Quality vs. Quantity

I was thinking the other day, as I occasionally do, about the phrase “quality over quantity.” This saying is useful when describing friends or hours spent studying or blog posts, but it is not always true. Sometimes quantity can be more important than quality.

For example, let’s consider Fred. Fred wants to start a sock business. He has scoured the globe for the perfect sheep with the softest, most unscratchy wool. He’s searched oceans and galaxies, talked to wise wizards and wise librarians, searched under rocks and inside the bellies of various beasts. After many years of humiliating fruitless searching and exhaustion, Fred finally did it. He found the perfect sheep.

He spent months in isolation, knitting away as the clock’s hands spun until he had created the most perfect, wonderful sock. It was the softest, the most breathable, the comfiest sock in existence. The quality was brilliant.

However, Fred only had enough wool to create one sock. Only a sad half of a complete pair. There simply weren’t enough socks to start a business. As there was only one magic sock in existence, Fred could sell it at an outrageously high price if he so wished, but he did not so wish. Through the years spent devoted to the creation of this sock, Fred had grown quite attached to it and he couldn’t bear to sell the love of his life to be worn on some random geezer’s stinky foot.

And so Fred had wonderful quality, but his lack of quantity led to a failed sock business.

Fred did, however, have a business-minded younger sister, Bethy. Bethy and Fred were always competing as children for their parents’ love. So while Fred spent years failing to find a sheep, Bethy took the opportunity to be better than her brother. She was going to start a successful sock business that would make her brother look even more incompetent in comparison.

Bethy’s socks didn’t have nearly as much care put into them as Fred’s sock did. Bethy business plan was to sell her socks at an absurdly low, low price so people would compulsively purchase them. In order to make them at such a low price, Bethy had to be clever. Instead of using wool, she used dandelion fluff. People paid her to weed their lawns and then she used those same dandelions to make her socks, which the same people later purchased. She also hired highly trained mice instead of people to make her socks because mice accepted cheese as payment.

Bethy’s socks weren’t of the highest quality. Her customers often complained of the socks being too fragile to wear and smelling oddly like rodent. But her customers’ contentment didn’t particularly concern her as long as they continued to purchase her socks.

And so Bethy had poor quality, but she did have quantity and a successful sock business, unlike Fred.

Now the question is, was there a point to this whole rambling story? No, not particularly. But it was fun to write.

Cactus Sitting

Arachnid… I have something to tell you.

My dad dropped one of your cacti. The captain, I think.

I’m so sorry.

Luckily, the cactus is still well after my amazing mother resurrected it from the bowels of death and ants. I was reading The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, to them earlier to further soothe the captain into his new orange pot (the other one broke). He’s still getting used to it, but he’s getting there.

Also, your cacti seem to enjoy romance novels. They always huddle close and blush whenever a romantic moment spikes up in the story. It’s kind of cute in a way. They like action too, but they don’t really seem to get the concept of “moving around” all that much.

One of the hardest things of cactus-sitting is finding a way to embrace the cactus without getting hurt or hurting them. I usually resort to a gentle pat, like I do when my friends and loved ones get angry, but the urge to hug them is very strong. They are so well behaved! Although Sargent Spike likes to get into some trouble with the windowsill.

I can’t decide on a favorite, but any good cactus-sitter knows that favorites make the other cacti sharply jealous, so I’ll avoid the subject with this post.

Weirdly, I found myself confiding my feelings with them today. They listen so well. (Let’s just say something very bad happened and end it there).

Anyway, I love these adorable cacti! They are so cute, not exactly cuddly and so awesome. You have raised your cacti well, Arachnid.

Ways to fill up sketchbook pages

Sketchbooks are so difficult to fill up.

For me, on average a sketchbook takes about a year to completely fill up. If I’m stuck in my room drawing all day and all night it takes at least a month.

My most recent sketchbook is almost out of pages and I’ve been getting creative with filling it so I can finish it soon. I want to get a head start with drawing in the sketchbook Arachnid gave me, so I don’t forget about it. *looks guiltily at piles and piles of unfinished sketchbooks*

The one good thing that has come out of speed-completing my sketchbook is that I’m now constantly pulling new ideas from my head. (Even if they don’t work out as expected; those are best drawings)

Here are some things you can fill a sketchbook with:

1. Sketches that take up the whole page with no spaces

I know this takes a long time, but it’s fun to do. You can fill the page up with zentangles, random shapes, puppies, doodles, feet–you name it. Usually, I enjoy making these with the adorable versions of things.

2. Cut doodles out from school notebooks or other things

I do this A LOT. Not as much as I do regular drawings, but still it is very normal for me. Plus, it is a very easy and effective way to fill up those very last pages of a sketchbook if countered with artist’s block.

3. Draw the things you are bad at drawing

Hands. Make a page dedicated to hands. Remember that no one will see your sketchbook except you. (Unless you are like me and have societal pressures for you to expose these private treasures.) Even if someone will see your sketchbook, working on the things you are bad at will improve your drawing skills.

4. Drawings inspired by music

I love to listen to music while drawing. Music takes me to another world. Some people think it’s a distraction, but I believe it’s a tool that helps me think of ideas.

5. Write/Paint

Who says that you have to draw in a sketchbook? Writing is a cool way to put ideas down that you can’t exactly draw yet. Painting and coloring can bring a splash of color into it too.

6. Pen Drawings with sticky notes

You might be asking: why sticky notes? I answer with because they are colorful ways to cover up your mistakes. Don’t use them too much or else the point of creating pen drawings is lost.

7. Create comics or short stories with pictures

I used to do this all the time in my old sketchbook. The whole thing was basically a yellow book with maybe ten pages of normal drawings and the rest being comics about a very gassy ninja.

8. Redraw old drawings

I don’t do this that often, but it’s good to do when you are running out of ideas. Generally, I draw sketches from a long long time ago.

9. Page fillers

When there are blank spaces on a page, I resort to page fillers. Those are basically simple, small and easy to draw doodles. Page fillers for me usually include: Exclamations, cats, roses, triangles, circles, squares, rainbows, koi fish and chibi characters.

10. Scribbles

Try scribbling and making stuff out of the scribbles. It’s simple enough.

Finger Guns: The Future of Communication?

Snap! Snap! Snappp! We have all heard the standard finger gun sound. It works for every awkward and non awkward situation, and acts as an outlet for my introverted side to dip into my awesome extrovert side!

A friend you haven’t seen in years due to the war? Finger guns!

A beautiful girl you admired from afar for all of highschool? Finger guns!

A gassy hippopotamus? …maybe finger guns can’t solve that one.

But, you get my point.

This is a fun and fast way to get comfortable with someone without touch, if you don’t prefer the cuddles and want to stay away from germs. You instantly give your friend the impression that you are comfortable enough to shoot imitation guns at them, friendly enough to snap and smile to get their attention, and respect their privacy (although if you really want to feel the love, you can ignore the last one).

Finger guns are the way of the future, and if we all converted to finger gunning, we would be able to help all types of people! Deaf people would see the finger guns and blind people could hear the sounds of the different snaps.

In fact, it’s been seen in nature with colonies of solider ants, or between blue whales busting water from their blow holes. It has been around for centuries dating back to -1 B.C. when the world didn’t even exist!

The finger gun is a truly perfect example of wonderful seamless communication.

Mellow Yellow Episode 19: Pool Party

In CYRA’s homely cottage, setting up a kiddie pool

CYRA: (whipping LUR) All done! I think your blood has filled up the pool!

LUR (weakly): Get me out of here.

CYRA: Yay! I’m going to change into my swimsuit, okay? You wait here.

LUR: I’m tied up! (struggles with the ropes)

 

***

 

CYRA: I’m back! (Now dressed in a green bikini, and is untying LUR)

LUR: What is this? A pool party?

CYRA: Yeah! I got the drinks too! (holds up a wine glass filled with blood. ZHAN’s eyeball floats on top) Want one?

LUR: No.

CYRA: Not even with these silver noodles he had clenched in his hands? (slurps TICK’s hair) They are quite tasty.

LUR: NO.

CYRA: Don’t you want to have some fun? (Puts hand on his shoulder)

LUR: … (Flashbacking wildly)

CYRA: Hello? Lur? (waving her hands frantically in front of his face) Oh well, I guess I could just look in that bag that you have…

LUR: … (Lost in the land of Flashback)

CYRA: (rummaging through his bag) Let’s see… bullets, an array of forks from different countries that don’t exist, Slugventures, and a single by Katy Perry. (Rubbing dust off the cover) Ooooh! California Gurls! This is perfect!

LUR: (back from his journey) Hey! What are you doing?

CYRA places the disk into a conveniently placed disk player.

California Gurls plays

LUR (Singing along): CALIFORNIA GURLS, WE’RE UNDENIABLE, DAISY DUKES… (Looks from his swim trousers to her bikini frantically)

CYRA: EIFFEL TOWERS ON TOP! (An Eiffel Tower grows out of the ground behind them)

QUINN is in the bushes with popsicles, ready to fire, along with his army men, JOHN, and LENA.

CYRA and LUR: FUN, FRESH, FIERCE, SO HOT. WE’LL—

QUINN: FIREEEEEWEEE! (JOHN fires the popsicles, but they melt in the air)

CYRA and LUR: MELT YOUR POPSICLE!

QUINN: So this is the true power of the Fire Nation.

JOHN: Yes, they are almost untouchable!

LENA: But it looks like they are having a lot of fun. Look at those yummy snacks they have!

JOHN: Let’s go!

JOHN and LENA rip off their clothing (they are wearing bathing suits), running toward the pool party, leaving QUINN all alone.

QUINN: Hello darkness, my old friend.

LENA: (wearing a blue bathing suit, settling down in the blood pool) Hey guys, what’cha up to?

JOHN: Yeah. What up? (In red swim trousers)

LUR: (with an idiotic smile) The Eiffel Tower!

JOHN’s eyes narrow.

CYRA sucks on ZHAN’s disembodied finger

JOHN: You are supposed to say “the ceiling” (Disgraced, he leaves the pool, tripping over the finished glasses of ZHAN’s blood)

LENA: I guess it’s just us now, huh?

LUR: Hey! I just realized now that I can escape!

CYRA takes LUR, folds him into a sandwich, and sits on him. She finishes him off with a dagger to the cheek.

LUR: Ow.

LENA: (Petrified) What? Is this stuff not fruit punch?

CYRA grabs LENA’s swimming suit, folds her into a burrito, and uses her as a footrest. She slurps her ZHAN-blood desperately trying to fit the eyeball into her mouth.

JOHN: (In the bushes with QUINN) The Fire Nation is truly despicable.

QUINN: Yes. (bites Bread Snadwhich three)

 

~~~END

 

Six of Crows

After a good month of Arachnid stuffing this book in every sentence she spoke and down my throat, I’d decided to read it.

And I did. It was amazing.

The first comment I would like to make is that none of the parts in this book went by slowly. Everything was interesting, from every nook and cranny of the pages, nothing was boring and it kept me entertained! The characters were awesome, the setting was brilliantly described and the plot was difficult to predict. I think this was one of the only books that I did not get bored of at one point and I got bored of Harry Potter, so this is a very fun read.

Because I don’t like writing summaries here is one I got off the book:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker.

Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. Matthias
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Jesper
A runaway with a privileged past. Wylan
A spy known as the Wraith. Inej
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. Nina
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz?

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My favorite character is all of the six outcasts, Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Wylan and Matthias because they are so fun to see fight and become friends with each other, but have terrible backstories that give their moral greyness a deeper meaning. Also, the characters avoid the stereotypical Power Ranger stereotypes that teams from other books and movies usually fall into.

They have great times with each other but are still unpredictable due to past conflicts and layered backstories that really make them do something evil, like be able to kill everyone on the team, but still have a reason. Matthias actually plotted to kill someone on the team because she betrayed him in the past and was part of a race he disliked, but ends up doing something really unpredictable instead.

All the characters have awesome motivations too and revenge plans to seek out which makes their goals worth it. (start spoiler) I especially liked the scene with Inej climbing the incinerator because it seemed like an hot, boiling (ha ha puns) anime fight scene where the main character gives it his all and won’t give up due to sheer stubbornness even as the villain gets stronger and stronger. As the soles of her shoes are burning off, Inej still climbs up the incinerator unable to stop amidst the flames which shows off her super hero-like determination. (end spoiler)

(all of this is a spoiler)

Another part I enjoyed was when Nina, the Heartrender sacrifices herself to the drug like substance jurda parem to gain more magical power and save the team from a whole army of soldiers. During that chapter, my eyes were glued on to the pages wanting to know what would happen next. Would Nina be spared from the addictive affects of two doses? Or would she die after she killed the soldiers?

(end spoiler)

I have no way to end this review so…

Wylan x Jesper for life!

Hypothetical Situations

Hypothetical situations—we have all thought of what to do in them. Mostly, I think of what to do in “problems” that will never ever happen, such as finding the land of the unicorns, winning a Nobel Peace prize, or making a master plan to get myself out of prison (the last one is probable). Usually, I discuss these nonexistent moments while in the shower or when I’m in front of a mirror of some sort. For some reason, the mirror, while it makes most people feel self-conscious, makes me feel sane. I have named the mirror various names, Bob, Joe, Fred, Sally but then I realized that most of the names I call the clear reflective surface are for human beings and that seems out of place, so I simply call the mirror “you”. You always hear what I have to say about hypothetical situations and never gets tired of it. I’d say you is a great friend to have, but he/she/it never talks to me… which is kind of a downside, but who cares, right? You is just really shy, is all.

That’s why I’m revealing some of my hypothetical situations to you. I mean, to nonexistent readers, to you nonexistent readers. But you cannot read this so… you can read this, well… nonexistent readers can read this? This is too confusing!

From now on, “you” will be used to indicate nonexistent readers and “YOU” will be used to define BobJoeFredSally.

Let’s try this again. That’s why I’m revealing some of my hypothetical situations to you. Hopefully, you can talk, correct? It’s also for trying to make my habit of talking to myself go away, but that’s not important.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a Genie? Well, turn that whole thing upside down—make yourself the Genie. Even with all that power, the Genie is stuck in a teensy weensy little space and is imprisoned for life. He has to stay put in a lamp until someone walks on over and rubs it. Also, who rubs a lamp? Do you ever rub your lamp when you go to bed at night? Most likely not. I do, though, because I want to get a better job rather than be an author/blogger person. It pays so much more! Let me just tell you that. Here is how the conversation went with YOU while brushing my hair two years ago:

Me imitating the Genie: I just retired! Sorry. You are my predecessor now.

Me: What?

Me imitating the Genie: Bye!

Me: So what if that happened? What would I do? Do YOU have a stance on it?

YOU: …

Me: Waah! What is happening to me? *turning into a big blue giant in my imagination*

Me: Let me grant you some wishes! *paces* Was that a good performance?

YOU: …

Me: Not as great as Robin Williams! *some more paces*

YOU: …

Me: Can I actually do magic? *snaps fingers, nothing happens* It looks I’ll have to search for some stupid loopholes everywhere…

YOU: …

Me: Still better than the current position I have in life!

Another hypothetical situation that I often ponder is this, “If I die in a crime scene will the police look through all my personal belongings?” (you can think of the “personal” belongings I keep). If they do, what will they find? From diaries to terrible old drawings, to my secret code key that I use to write some pretty mysterious and embarrassing items, there are so many things that are strictly private! Honestly, I hope they don’t look through my records for my schooling. What if they find out that I cheated my education? That I snubbed a grade? I imagine them scowling then declaring my death of suicide because of all that guilt that I’ve been hiding.

You know what? I’m going to reveal my secret right now:

I was supposed to be held back in kindergarten because I did not know how to tie my shoes. Of course, to avoid this mishap in my education, I moved on to first grade in a different school.

**************BRAINWASHING ASTERISKS**************

I know it didn’t work.

What if that actually worked? I would become a master hypnotist! Does this mean little kids will go into my car for candy now? Whoa! Does that mean I can convince Arachnid that social gatherings are fun? Does that mean I can hypnotize the whole world to love me, to bow to my shins? IS THIS HOW I DOMINATE THE WORLD?

Are you hypnotized?

You never answer.

Come on, you can tell me anything. Just get in my white van filled with candy! You’ll love it, I promise.

Don’t call the cops!

NO!

**************HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION HAS ENDED**************

As you see, that is an example of how the wild beast Spinette acts in the wild when alone.