After an eventful trip to Sydney I flew back to Denmark through Dubai and had arranged for a long layover in order to give myself a micro-vacation before heading back to work.
Having already experimented with crating infused bourbon and tequila I thought it’d be fun to document my creation of a garlic infused olive oil.
To ensure the high quality of the finished product I decided to go to Torvehallerne, the local markets in Copenhagen. After wandering around and taking in the vibrant surroundings on this hot summer day I ended up buying an Italian olive oil, a Dutch fresh garlic and a pot of rosemary.
After a detour to the beach to go for a swim to cool myself down I got started on the oil.
Here’s what I did.
First I got out all the ingredients
Then I prepared the rosemary and garlic for infusing the oil
Time to get out the bottle.
Now all that’s left to do is the finishing touch.
Once this is done infusing all that’s left to do is get some nice focaccia bread and a four leave balsamic and dip away in this garlicky goodness.
I just had a small but not insignificant epiphany.
For a while now I have wanted to do some writing. Whether this is caused by working with writers or a deeper desire I am still unsure, however the fact remains that I have a desire to do more serious writing than what I have done on this blog so far.
However I have keeps stumbling into the same issue that I always come across. I start writing an have a good flow and then suddenly I just stop. Very anticlimactic to say the least.
The issue is that I just make it up as I go along, without an underlying story to tell. I have described this in at least one other post. I tend to focus in the details rarer than the overall storyline.
And so my epiphany was this. How would I ever be able to write a story when I have no storyline!
I believe that once I actually have the storyline set the rest is just filling in the details which will be a lot easier than writing and then drawing out a story from the ashes of that.
Personally I rarely go to sites I follow any more as I just read the rss feed. So I haven’t really given my own sites design much thought after I changed themes last time… however I just realized that it didn’t really work that well.
See the thing is I really enjoy all the themes that make use of the post photos and display them in a big prominent way on the front page. It makes it less like just another blog and more like an actual website (something I haven’t really had for quite a while).
However for some unknown reason when I don’t host my photos in wordpress’ own media section they do not show up. So that kind of throws the reasoning for my themes out the window.
So now I’ve gone back to one of the most basic layouts… but at least it works!
Enlightenment would be appreciated, if anyone out there know if there are alternatives, which allow me to host my photos on facebook, picasaweb, flickr etc. and still have them show up in the theme’s frontpage.
As friends of this blog and blogger will know I have a certain fondness of visiting Starbucks. As much as I enjoy Starbucks I find it slightly sad that almost all cafés are more or less the same, so when I finally find one that’s distinct I get sort of excited as evidenced by my facebook photo album from London.
So I was quite excited to see this post from Architecture Daily: Starbucks Coffee / Kengo Kuma & Associates.
Do you have a favorite Starbucks and is it a standard place or does it have something different about it?
So about that creative writing…
Thing is, as I’ve mentioned before, I have this desire to produce more writing.
However so far the only real outcome have been a few status updates and tweets along with 3 or 4 blog post drafts (my first ever drafts that haven’t actually materialized into anything concrete or been deleted).
But now I’m starting to feel the results of this lack of writing. At
Work I’m responsible for publishing a magazine in which I have to write a part of the stories. That in itself is sort of cool as I end up with published material, however I keep encountering the same issue as with everywhere else… I am a rather mediocre storyteller!
In an attempt to do something about it I recently started following a fiction video production course at open university at Copenhagen University. I obviously have other reasons as well, or I’d be better off taking a dedicated writing class.
So far the outcome has been negligible in regards to my story telling abilities but it has made me realize something else. I enjoy producing objects, be it film, magazine or other, but I want them to be of a high visual quality.
This puts me at a crossroad of sorts – a crossroad most managers have found themselves at when they became managers. Do I rely only on my own production to ensure the high quality or do I bring in others for the things I have no grasp on (like story)?
Most people will probably (or is it hopefully?) think it a stupid question. You of course go with the second option and bring in people who posses the specific skills you lack yourself and let rely in their expertise. However there can be certain challenges with this option.
Firstly you do not always have the resources to bring in the desired talent.
Secondly how do you figure out how much you can demand of them. This especially becomes relevant if you like me work a lot with volunteers.
So far I’ve gone with the first option for multiple reasons:
1) I like to challenge myself and learn new skills
2) I’m often quite late in starting my processes, which means it can be hard getting other people involved as they need a decent amount of time before a deadline and finally
3) I feel a greater pride in something that I have fully produced than something I’ve just lead the production of.
This brings me back to my original premise for this post, namely that of the creative writing.
With creative writing I do not just refer to the act of writing fiction but the act of telling a story that has an overall progressing storyline which has a beginning, a middle and an end.
And today it hit me while working and again during my fiction video production course. Even if I do not create all the pieces, the act of creating a high quality object like a magazine or a film does in fact still require my definition of creative writing as their high quality is mainly defined (as mostly everything else ) by their ability to tell an overarching story.
In fact I believe that this is also what characterizes a good manager. The ability to guide your employees enough that they will work towards creating a story where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
This was actually supposed to be apost about writing fiction and telling a coherent story, but I will get back to that in another post.
See the thing is when I wrote the title of the post – Creative writing – it struck me that, while most lines of work do require you to be creative within your field, the only ones that brands you a creative are limited by the use of lingo. While being a creative writer is usually considered a good thing, doing creative bookkeeping will most likely see you end up in jail!
Why is that? Is our culture really so stuck up, that being a creative means that you are not a professional?
The stereotype of creatives being social people with all these great ideas and business people, accountants and so forth are these dry, somewhat ruthless people (or maybe it just says more about me that I believe that these are the stereotypes, but I will let you decide that) is in my opinion just plain wrong.
Some of the least interesting people I know are creatives, while some of the funniest and most aimable people I know are accountants… it definitely puts another light on the Monty Python sketch Vocational guidance counsellor.
It’s been a while now since I handed my friends iPad back to him. After borrowing it for a weeks time or so, I wanted to wrap up my last post by passing my “final” judgement.
Overall using the iPad didn’t quite pan out as I had imagined. My imagined scenario was bringing it with me more or less everywhere I went, using it for a few central things like writing, browsing and photo and video editing.
Two things hindered me from doing this. 1) It being my friends iPad I wasn’t completely confident just throwing it in a bag and lugging it around. I didn’t want him to come home to a ruined iPad and 2) photo and video editing would probably be great, except I didn’t have much chance to try it out. All the apps I already owned were not iPad compatible, and not knowing when or if I’m getting one myself, I didn’t want to spend the money on these types of apps.
There are however a few scenarios that I did use it for, where it proved pretty suited for the task and actually made the job easier for me. That might warrant it’s existence in my gadget arsenal, but let’s examine.
The first scenario is as a complimentary browser and entertainment device at home. Not having a TV I’m “stuck” using my computer for any entertainment I consume. The iPad makes it easier to move this from my desktop to anywhere else, which is definitely more comfortable. It also seems to be one of the much described use cases for the iPad.
The other use I found for it was a companion for interviewing people. I performed two interviews while using the iPad, one of which was in the field. The iPad enabled me to bring along any documents, additional information and notes, while also serving as a note taking device.
This last scenario of actually using the iPad as a tool instead of just for entertainment is what I was actually intending to test it out for. One thing about this is that not many other people use a tablet (or smartphone for that matter) for this yet. This means that the opening remark from both the people I interviewed was about the iPad. In the moment it kind of threw me off, but if used correctly I’m thinking it could be used as a conversation starter, thereby easing the actual interview.
But is it any good you might be asking. Well I guess I’m still somewhat undecided. I can totally see myself using an iPad for vacations, where I’d like to be able to write and do light photo editing. Another place I could see myself using it is for casual work, like interviewing people or using as a document reader for meetings.
On the other hand most of these things can already be accomplished either using my phone or a simple notebook and pen. So then what the iPad seems to bring to the table is the longer battery life (useful for all those intercontinental flights) than the iPhone or laptop (but less than a notebook and pen), easier to bring than a laptop, and the added benefit of not having to retype what I’ve put in a notebook.
So in the end the question seems to be if I am willing to pay for a device, which for my usage only have some added benefits over a notebook, a pen and my phone? As of right now it’s a definite no but I am not sure it will continue to be.
[This post was originally conceived and partially written on 16 August 2011]
Today was Tivoli gardens birthday and therefore they had a fireworks show. As a fan of fireworks displays I decided I’d go see it. Fireworks were pretty good, but one thing struck me as odd… their choice of musical backing.
Through my experiences at Disneyland I do know that music to go along with fireworks does enhance the experience and change it from a sight Ito a show. At Disneyland the music is tailored to the show to create a story.
So back to Tivoli and their choice of music – film scores! No doubt film scores can be very good and create emotional reactions, but what place do they have in a fireworks show… especially one in Tivoli gardens? In my opinion this is a wrong combination and is in some ways related to the anticlimactic ending of Tivoli’s illumination show which has a rather decent score, which ending just doesn’t keep up with the rest of the score. It basically doesn’t have an ending! It’s like a fireworks show without the three booms at the end… you don’t know whether it is over or not!
It seems the creator of the two shows would do well to take inspiration from the movies he obviously used took inspiration from and create a storyline instead of taking bits and pieces and stick them together in the hope they will make a show.
Usually while my friend Mark is on vacation I feed his fish because I’m a nice guy. This time around however we made a deal that I’d borrow his iPad while he was gone.
I’ve been yearning to try it out for quite some time. While that is possible at multiple stores, it’s not quite the same as actually living with one for a while.
My reason for wanting to try it out is that I’m wondering if it could semi-replace a laptop for many of the day to day things I do on a computer.
My impression so far is that it is quite capable of complementing my laptop, but there is still some tasks that just can’t be done on an iPad. Also my typing accuracy is not as good as on a physical keyboard, though that might just be a matter of getting used to the placement of keys.
One thing that I could see it being good for however is using it for basic photo and video editing. Unfortunately I’m using an original iPad, which doesn’t allow me to use iMovie so video editing I haven’t actually been able to try out and I do not have any photo editing apps that are iPad compatible. For now I’ve been limited to using adobe ideas and upscaling camera+. Neither is an optimal solution. But seeing as I’m handing back the iPad in a week I’m not gonna run out and buy a ton of apps for it.
Looking at what I’ve just written it doesn’t exactly look like the iPad is such a great supplement as I’d expected and I guess I’m a little disappointed so far. One very good feature though is that using the iPad for different tasks like random surfing, watching video and writing smaller pieces of text have allowed me to move around a lot more while doing these tasks than I usually would. So what it’s seems best at so far is ensuring a more ergonomic way of working.
Oh and for those who haven’t guessed it yet, this post was written on the iPad!
I will follow up with my “final judgement” once I’ve handed back the device to my friend.