Five Fandom Friday – New Year’s Fandom Resolutions

Five Fandom Fridays

It’s Friday. That means another edition of Five Fandom Friday from geeky bloggers all over thanks to the genius of Super Space Chick and The Nerdy Girlie. Today’s topic: New Year’s Fandom Resolutions. I make resolutions every year (some more successful than others), but I don’t think I’ve ever made any specific fandom resolutions So this week’s topic was very interesting to consider. After all, what exactly should a fandom resolution entail? Here’s what I’ve come up with: (more…)

Hope, Dreams, and Optimism in a New Year (2014 to be specific)

The New Year begins and with it more goals and pledges and resolution for just about everyone. I’m no different. There is a reason for the brightness and optimism as the calendar year changes. The hope for a fresh start and improved situations is powerful.  While I agree with many ‘experts’ that say you shouldn’t wait for the new year to make small (or large) changes that will improve your life – mentally, physically, emotionally, whatever-ly. Every day is a fresh start. But the calendar year provides a tangible mile marker that is hard to forget.

I have big plans for this year. I’m determined for 2014 to be the year that changes a lot of things for me.  Big things are going to happen because I’m going to make them happen. I’m going to focus more effort on my appearance, my health, and my relationships.  And I’m going to actively work towards changing many things other in my life. I have so many plans and goals and things I want to do in my life, but I have not been actively working towards many of them.  The things I have been doing in the name of achieving those goals have been more superficial activities. Yes, I have been taking classes to gain skills and meet education requirements for a new career field, but I haven’t been actively practicing many of those skills to produce work that will help me achieve my goals.

They talk about making New Year’s resolutions in the manner of SMART goals (specific, measurable, blah blah, etc.). But quite honestly, I really don’t know how to make all of my goals SMART. I barely feel like I have enough time as it is to do many of the things I love (and the things I have to do). So, I will need to make many changes and I haven’t quite figured them all out yet. I do know that I need many changes in my life and I need to actively work for them every single day.

So here are just a few things I’m hoping to work towards this year:

  • Production of more art, including some I’d be proud to present in a portfolio
  • Regular writing (blogs, short stories, a novel and/or a screenplay). I’ve got ideas I just need to sit down and let them out.
  • More web creations (I’ve got a domain – mesulli.com. I need to make better use of it.)
  • Glorious, amazing mistakes (because this means I’m not afraid to try. It means I’m creating even if it doesn’t work out)
  • More meaningful interactions with those I care about

I’ve also got a more specific (and for me very challenging) goal.

Aside from the three books I have already pre-ordered, for series that are absolute favorites, I am aiming to not buy any books next year. Why make this ridiculous goal? Because I have a problem. I buy way too many books. In 2014, I need to make my way through my massive to-read list of books I have previously purchased.

What are your big plans for 2014? And how are you doing on day 1 of this wonderful new year?

No Longer MIA

I’ve been MIA and I sincerely apologize for that. I always have so many big plans, but then life always seems to get in the way.  Needless to say, my grand plans of re-watching and documenting my thoughts on Battlestar Galactica seem to have fallen by the wayside. I’d still love to do it and will eventually.  I even have notes for two more blogs for which I did the watching but never quite wrote up my posts.  And then my watching kind of stopped.  There’s just so much other great film and screen stuff I’ve never seen.  And then came Game of Thrones…..I watched, I loved and I started reading and reading and reading.  George R.R. Martin is quite the master (long-winded but brilliant throughout).

Oh and I also started taking classes at a junior college to pursue more of my passions.  Apparently, the two bachelor degrees and the Master’s degree I have are not in topics I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing.  Wish I’d understood that before I spent all that money…. In any case, working full time and taking classes has been cutting into my blogging time as well.  However, I have big plans and hope to combine a lot of my interests in amazing ways. And that includes writing more. So… I’m back! And I’m going to try to be back regularly too.  So stay tuned!

And P.S. I’m catching a flight to San Diego to attend my first Comic-Con. I’ve wanted to go for years and years, but my schedule never allowed it. But, I’m going this year! And needless to say I’m super excited. So, expect some blogs documenting sights, thoughts, feelings, and more from my time surrounded by many like-minded people in that crazy, wacky world of Comic-Con.

Who is Gottfried Helnwein?

Gottfried HelnweinUntil last Thursday, I had no idea who Gottfried Helnwein was.  Not that I truly know him now, but at least I know of him.  Gottfried Helnwein is an artist who was born in Vienna after the second world war ended.  Why do I mention these two facts? Because they play into who he is, or at least who he portrays, or maybe they don’t have anything to do with his persona at all.  He, like most artists, is a bit of an enigma.  So, why I am talking about this man?

Last Thursday night I had a volunteer shift at the Crocker Art Museum.  I was there to help with one of their “Thursdays ’til 9” events.  Because it was the first Thursday of the month, it was Film Frame.  The film for the evening was a documentary titled “Helnwein – The Silence of Innocence” and it was shown in support of a current exhibition at the museum – Gottfried Helnwein’s Inferno of the Innocents.  I had the fortune to watch most of the film during my shift.  As I watch I was at times appalled, inspired, and awed.  Gottfried presents a sort of rock-star persona with lots of jewelry and sunglasses.  His art is incredible, if a little disturbing.  (Just search for Helnwein images and you’ll see what I mean immediately).

Gottfried Helnwein, The Murmur of the Innocents 3, 2009.
Gottfried Helnwein, The Murmur of the Innocents 3, 2009.

I was fascinated watching this documentary that had very little commentary.  It also tended to focus on his work on nearly completed paintings when it showed him working.  But, the photorealistic quality of those paintings is amazing.  THe film showed his castle in Ireland (I want one of those) and his studio in LA.  You saw how he works with his models (young girls) and the role his family plays in his life.  For me, I felt like watching the film and seeing him as the person portrayed in that film, some of the shock from his paintings is alleviated.  Not all, but some.  The focus on bandaged and/or abused children is hard to take.

After the film, there was a discussion with with Jesse Drew, Associate Professor of Technocultural Studies at UC Davis, artist Ianna Frisby, and Elaine O’Brien, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Criticism at CSU Sacramento.  Listening to the comments and feelings of the panel and members of the audience was fascinating because it was another example of the power of art.  It was clear that everyone seemed to form their own strong opinions of the film, of him, and of his work.  Sometimes those views were inline and sometimes they conflicted.  At times, when conflicting viewpoints arose, the temperature of the discussion rose.  In all, it made me so proud to be a part of a community, an to have a museum willing to bring this artist and to hold a discussion to get people talking.  The conversations about Gottfried and his works become so much more because of what is depicted and what peoples personal experiences, feelings, and thoughts are.

Personally, his work frightens me and makes my heart ache.  It is frightening despite of or perhaps because of the realism and the beauty portrayed there.  Obviously, there are different reactions and different feelings to his different subject matters.  But those pieces portraying children, particularly those that are bandaged, abused, and/or gun-toting are extremely hard to view.  For someone like me, who is so empathetic and feels so much, seeing the first images of some of his work at the beginning of the film hurt.  My heart ached.  Even watching the portion of the film with the little girl who was excited to be playing with stage blood was still hard for me.  I have not seen the full exhibit at the Crocker yet, but before it ends on April 29th, I will. And I encourage others to visit the Crocker Art Museum and to explore Helnwein’s webpage and join in the conversation. How do his works make you feel? What are your thoughts about his work?