Monday Starter : 76

What I’m trialling: Clover app and Notion app. I’m constantly searching for new and better apps to help me organise my thoughts and tasks. It can be difficult to find one that is right for me because there are so many available options. In addition, I also don’t want to spend too much money on it as there are a lot of good free apps already available.  I’d be willing to pay a small fee though if it’s the right one.

The app needs to be easy to use, beautiful to look at and blend easily into my current workflow. I haven’t found the right one yet. The Things app looks great however I’m not sure I want to spend 80 bucks on it when the Apple Reminders and Notes app are both free and can do fairly similar things. I use a number of different apps from Apple Notes, Pencil Planner to Apple Reminders. Recently I’ve been trialling Clover and Notion. There are many common and recognisable features in both. Clover has a clean interface and is easy to use but requires a monthly subscription while Notion has plenty of features and is free for personal use but has a steep learning curve.  I’m not sure which one I prefer yet.

A movie I’ve seen: Old by M. Night Shyamalan. M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are often panned by film critics. I think they’re just an acquired taste. I find his work disquieting, eerie, and scary. Yes, they can be underwhelming (if I were to do an unfair summary of all the movies he’s ever made) but I believe that this is perhaps a trademark of his filmmaking. Old has some really intriguing ideas which made me think about my own mortality; of getting old and about illness. Moreover, if a good movie includes a compelling parent-child narrative, I often come away from it examining my own life. There’s enough dread, despair and hope in this film that kept me engaged until the end.

What I’m watching: Resident Alien. We’ve just finished watching this season. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and worth watching for Alan Tudyk’s quirky and absurd acting. It’s a good concept with plenty of heartfelt moments and good performances; including by the younger actors. Because if the kids look like they’re “acting”, it ruins the show for me.

Of course, I’ve been watching a fair bit of the Tokyo Olympics as well, particularly the swimming.

A quote I’m pondering on: “Be the guide, not the hero.”

Monday Starter : 75

What I’m learning:

  • To be patient.
  • To say “no”.
  • To practice more gratitude.
  • To slow down.
  • To write.
  • That things don’t have to be perfect.
  • That family is everything.

What I’m reading: The Saturday Paper. My sister gifted my 15-year-old son a subscription to the print edition of this newspaper for his birthday. Side note, my son, is a bookworm, can read very fast and loves politics. I find it engaging to read, and it has a good choice of topics filled with high-quality writing. I hardly really the “regular” paper, ie. The Age, nowadays and spend more time listening to podcasts and The Saturday Paper. I had never heard of the term “narrative journalism” until I encountered this publication.

What I’m working on: I’m thinking about shifting my photography business away from weddings and portraiture or finishing it up ultimately. I will still be open to shooting weddings, but it will only be for people and events I want to shoot for. In 2020, I started pivoting my paid work towards digital content, training and event management. Let’s see where this goes. I haven’t “practised” enough photography for myself and created work that I’d consider “personal work”. This needs to change.

What I’m watching: Love, Victor on Disney+ (Hulu). I’m pleasantly surprised by this show. It might look a bit lame at the outset, but the series is groundbreaking given the platform that it’s on and the target audience. The acting is consistently good (particularly from the kids) with clever writing and genuinely funny one-liners. The characters can be over-the-top and aspirational, but that doesn’t matter. I’m going to ignore the fact that the “kids” in the show are 15 to 17-year-olds living slightly unrealistic mature adult lives. It’s moving and painfully relatable, and I wish this show was on when I was growing up.

A quote I’m pondering on: “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” – Mark Mason

Monday Starter : 74

What I’m learning: Design Sprint Masterclass. The last couple of years has been a major shift for me in terms of my “career” or work/life. I completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in 2020 during most of Melbourne’s lockdown(s). I’ve been fortunate enough to apply the skills I’ve learnt running a photography studio for 12 years and create work for myself in digital marketing and events management. Now I have a real interest in learning how to help others solve problems. I hadn’t heard of Design Sprints before and I’m really excited to start this course by AJ&Smart. I was planning on going to Germany to actually do the course in person (because why not) but COVID-19 happened.

What I’m reading: Econobabble - How to Decode Political Spin and Economic Nonsense by Richard Denniss. Omigosh this book is absolute gold. I already had a basic understanding of the BS that is spun by our politicians in Australia and this book unpacks it all for me in a clear and digestible form. It’s a fascinating read and makes me so angry I have to stop and put the book down for a minute. I feel like I want to go and do something about the revelations in this book but I’m not sure what yet.

What I’m listening to: The 7am Podcast. A staple podcast when I’m editing or driving.

What I’m watching: See on Apple TV+. We ignored this show when it first came out a couple of years ago, as I think we decided it was not quite appropriate for our son to watch. We’ve only just started season one, and while it’s a tad gory for me, I’m surprised how unbelievably epic it is. I love it! It’s beautiful to watch, even though it can be dark and harrowing at times. The performances are superb. The American accent sounds a bit awkward at times, perhaps because the dialogue is wordy and poetic? I love the artful choreography of the fight scenes. And the clever way the (blind) characters communicate, touch and speak to each other on-screen. They don’t look at each other; they smell and touch each other.  It’s so intimately close you can see them smelling each other’s breath. And Jason Momoa…

A quote I’m pondering on: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” – Steve Jobs.

Self Portrait No. 1

During the big Melbourne lockdown in 2020 I stopped taking photos of other people.

So I started photographing myself.

This was a difficult thing for me to do as I hate taking photos of myself. It’s still not easy.

I didn’t know what my “theme” was exactly but I started playing around with the idea of my shaved head and covering it with something. When I started this project there was no plan to share the work. But here goes.

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