Monday Starter : 59

What I’m reading: Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon - I haven’t looked at this book in ages. It’s good to read it again as it reminds me that I’m ok and I should just go ahead and create work. “Stand next to talent”is a great quote.

What I’m listening to: Fujicast podcast #1 - I started shooting with Fujifilm gear last year. This podcast is mostly Fuji gear talk but still relevant for photographers in general. The interviews are refreshing and insightful. Kevin Mullins and Neale James are really lovely to listen to.

A movie I’ve seen: Ben is Back - I’m always deeply moved by stories that involve parents and children. Because I think about my own. And it scares me. Julia Roberts is amazing in this film, possibly her best work. The story is neither upbeat nor festive. But that’s what drug addiction is - unforgiving and relentless.

A quote I’m pondering on: “As the Zen Buddhist saying goes, how you do anything is how you do everything.” - Simon Sinek

Monday Starter : 58

What I’m reading: Past volumes of Smith Journal

What I’m listening to: Once More by Spandau Ballet

What I’m watching: Adobe InDesign CC Essentials Training Course on Udemy - I don’t know why I’ve avoided using InDesign until now. It’s such a useful and powerful tool for graphic design, typography and publishing. There’s nothing else like it.

A movie I’ve seen: Mary Queen of Scots - This film received mixed reviews but I liked out how it reminded me how awful men have been (against women) throughout history. Saoirse Ronan is a powerful performer and worth the price of the movie ticket alone. It’s beautifully shot.

A quote I’m pondering on: “Every artist was first an amateur.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday Starter : 57

What I’m reading: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari - I started reading this book last year (2018) after reading his first book, Sapiens. It’s a great read but I somehow got distracted, lost the book and recently found it! I’ve had to re-read a few chapters as I lost my spot and forgot what it was about. I will finish reading this awesome book. I promise.

What I’m listening to: There’s a War on Sugar. Is It Justified? by Freakonomics Radio

What I’m playing: Yes I play “computer” games. My console of choice is the Xbox. I’ve been playing Overwatch lately. It’s a multiplayer character-based shooter. Each character has a unique ability, each reflective of their style and personality. And those abilities have cooldown timers, each different depending on their power and utility. I have some favourites - Soldier 76, Symmetra, Lucio and Orisa. It’s good fun. I can certainly waste a lot of time on it. Ugh. Now I can’t wait for this new game called Anthem. Game technology or whatever it’s called has advanced a great deal since the days of Atari and the invention of the joystick. Graphics and processor hardware is super fast and sophisticated now that game developers just need to catch up.

A movie I’ve seen: Eighth Grade - An authentic and uncompromisingly honest film. Sweet, funny, painful and excruciating. It’s not overly profound but worth watching nonetheless.

A quote I’m pondering on: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

Monday Starter : 56

What I’m reading: The 2019 Ikea Catalogue of course. - Did you know that it takes Ikea about 10 months to develop the catalogue from concept to final product? The catalogue takes up about 70% of their marketing budget and nearly 300 people are involved in its production. I saw a documentary about this last year. I’ll have to dig up the title.

What I’m listening to: Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G Major by Bach - I recently heard this wonderful piece performed live by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I put it on repeat when I’m packaging products for clients. Somehow that exercise just works for me.

A movie I’ve seen: A Quiet Place - Possibly one of of most inventive and handsomely crafted horror films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s terrifying but oh so good! And Emily Blunt!

What I’m watching: The Man in the High Castle - I’ve only managed to watch a few episodes as each one feels like a full-length movie and a tad exhausting. It’s a well put-together show with a great cast, beautiful lighting and an entertaining (if not disturbing) story. Highly cathartic.

A quote I’m pondering on: “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” - Simon Sinek

Monday Starter : 55

What I’m reading: The Barefoot Investor for Families by Scott Pape - I read this book in one sitting on a flight to Perth. I’m usually quite sceptical of books like these and find them boring. But this one is practical, easy to read and actually refreshing and inspiring. We’ve started using the steps on our 13 year old son. I wish I had this kind of financial education when I was his age!

What I’m listening to: Freakonomics Radio Live: “Jesus Could Have Been a Pigeon.”

A movie I’ve seen: Free Solo - We saw this film on Imax. I think that’s the only way to watch it. So scary and exhilarating to watch. I was squirming in my seat. Superb film-making.

What I’m watching: Star Trek Discovery on Netflix - This show is pretty solid. It does take a few episodes to get back into it but there’s enough visual spectacle and layered storyline in the first episode to get me hooked again. Captain Pike played by Anson Mount is very “captain-y” indeed. I’m not a Star Trek fan at all.

A quote I’m pondering on:The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” - Alan Watts

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