Tag Archives: fish

A Grim Trend

Fish Folk.jpg

There seems to be an awful lot of death around me lately. Last November, my grandmother passed away. I had to fly to the States for a bit of a memorial gathering. I haven’t seen my grandmother for many years prior to her passing, and in at least a couple of scares, our family had to mentally prepare ourselves for her passing. And when she finally passed away, it was more like seeing the long inevitable, acting in a scene long rehearsed.

Not long after, my godfather passed away. I don’t have much of a relationship with him, but he was close with my father and I do love my cousins. His health has been in a decline for many years now. And while it was a surprise for me that he passed away, I had a feeling that it was to be expected. He wasn’t getting any healthier. A few weeks after his passing, another uncle passed away. Like my godfather, his health was in a decline as well. It’s a bit of a coincidence that he was really close with my godfather and that they both died within weeks of each other’s passing. It’s almost like what they say about old couples dying.

Just now, my landlord just passed away. He’s not a relative, but being my landlord, he’s physically the one closest to me. His death hasn’t hit me as much as my grandmother’s death did, but the fact that I just saw him smiling with his family gathered all around him on a Sunday afternoon a few days ago makes me feel really uneasy. He was a good guy who was kind and generous enough to let me stay at his place for so many years even though he wasn’t particularly fond of the way I decorated and furnished my apartment. I just hope he makes a straight beeline to heaven and not linger around to make his complaints about my living space known.

Oddly enough, we are planning to move to a different place sometime this year. Having my good landlord finally pass away seems to make that decision even more pertinent. Here’s hoping we find a reasonable place in this currently ridiculous Seoul real estate market.

I don’t know if there’s really a point to my writing this week. There have been a lot of people dying lately. It feels quite uneasy.  I really would like to shake it off.

Be kind to people while they are still around. One of my biggest regret in life is not being there with my mother in her last years. I could’ve found another job. I could’ve made arrangements around my life to make it possible for me to be there with her, but I didn’t. I was lazy, unimaginative, selfish, and unkind. I kinda shut it all out. I pretended everything was going to be fine, and in the process, I missed out on so much from a woman who was nothing but a saint to everyone in the family. Be kind to people while they around, because when they’re gone, you might end up writing blog entries about it repeatedly and getting reminded of your mistakes every time another person dies.

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Oh Canada

Icarus

How do you measure love of country? You really can’t, but it’s all relative. There’s a personal rubric to everyone’s life to where you can measure love of country to. I think one of the ultimate sacrifices one can make for the country is to enlist in the military. As much as I would love to kiss Canada in the mouth, I don’t think I’m ready to take the risk of dying for the country as part of my occupation. I don’t want that to be an element of my 9 to 5. Of course, as Louis CK once mentioned, these soldiers only “think” that they’re dying for the country, because really what are wars about these days anyway? Unless you belong in a small country fighting an invading force, you’re most likely part of a large military machine fighting for unsexy geopolitical reasons engineered by politicians at the behest of the one-percenters. But hey, at the very least, in the soldiers mind, they would gladly lay their life for the country. That’s what really counts.

So me being an ordinary civilian, how much do I love Canada? Well, it would be easy to say I could die for the country more than I would die for South Korea or the Philippines, but there was actually one point in my life when I could measure my love for the country in another comparative fashion. It’s ugly, but it’s the truth: I love sleeping in my own bed more than I love Canada.

After graduating from university the first time, I was at a loss as to what to do with my life. Looking for some life experiences, I decided to apply for the navy. I figured it would be good to be part of the navy since I could be in the military without having to be in the ground and stabbing someone in the neck. My uncle is in the US Navy, and he seemed to be living quite the good life with his family in Hawaii. I was all ready to go and sign away my existence when I learned that the first eight months would involve me being in a submarine hot bedding. Hot bedding is the practice of sharing a bed with people and taking turns sleeping in shifts. That’s why the bed is “hot,” it’s always warm from the person who slept on it a couple of minutes ago. So that would’ve been my life, hot bedding in a steel canister, floating or sinking in a dark abyss. I decided no. It was too high a price for me to pay.

Living overseas, I’ve met many soldiers. A lot of them have suffered tremendous trauma from their times in conflict zones. I remember one soldier in particular who started drinking with me heavily a week after he came back from Afghanistan. I tried to keep up with him, but there was an odd glint in his eyes that just tells me he’s seen and experienced things most people shouldn’t. But my decision to not join the military was long before I’ve met firsthand people who’ve suffered from conflicts, conflicts which continue to this day. The bed situation was enough for me to say no. I don’t even remember if I was thinking about Afghanistan at the time. In fact, I remember considering and being seriously tempted to go to Afghanistan a few years ago for a non-military job. So it wasn’t even being in a conflict that deterred me, it truly was the beds.

It wasn’t until many years later, long after I’ve been living overseas that I’ve truly grown to love Canada. I’d like to think it was more with me growing older as opposed to me missing what was no longer there. I often trumpet my love for the country and evangelize the goodness that is Canada, but during the time when I could prove my love for country, I failed due to sleeping comforts.

These days, it is very difficult to join the military because you never really know which conflict you’ll be sent to and for what reason. Which place will they send you to, and will your death really matter or will it just be a statistic in the games people play for oil or whatever resources countries are now fighting for?  Conflicts are not as clear cut as fighting the Nazis. This is why I admire people who willingly join now. Knowing all of these detractors, despite cynics like, they still sign up for love of country.

I’m sorry, Canada. I love you. But I love you with my cowardly heart. It is a heart that needs a warm bed heated by my body heat alone.

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Websites Mother Fish

Reyes_Joseph_Fish_12inx14in

I found this Website which caters to artists, allowing them to have a fairly decent portfolio online. Here’s my Website: https://www.works.io/joseph-m-reyes. The layout is pretty clean and the interface is pretty easy to navigate. A lot of free sites offer a general Website or blog and people just customize it to show their works. This site has the artist in mind. The basic account is a little limited, but I guess that pushes people to either upgrade in order to display more images or just simply put their best images forward. I’m still not sure how accurate the site’s Web statistics works, like how do people find your page, especially since most of the artists on the “featured works” page, I assume, are paid accounts. There also isn’t a sort of function that allows artists to network with one another. I think that would’ve been interesting. But I guess that’s not the point of the site. Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting site with lots of what I’m guessing are European artists, https://www.works.io/. I suggest people check it out before it becomes like deviantart and get filled with too much anime.

Speaking of Websites. I’m having a bit of trouble with Godaddy and editing my Website’s mobile version. There appears to be a glitch on one of the tabs in my site. I couldn’t edit it out, so I’m chalking it to a combination of my lack of knowledge with html and the glitchy nature of the mobile version editing interface.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Well, it’s still Mother’s Day today in Canada. Happy Mother’s Day Ma! We miss you. Happy Mother’s Day as well to every mother out there who happens to wander to my site for whatever reason.

 

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Headache Hackery Hmmm?

Cat_fish

Been sick for the past couple of days. Giant headaches, no appetite, general weakness, fever chills, etc. Couldn’t quite point out the cause, but had the same thing happen to me yesterday. Couple of things that happened as a consequence of me being ill. One, is that I lost a bit of weight. Win! Two, is that I didn’t shave for a couple of days, and not I trimmed my beard to an 80s mustache. Win?

Trolling around the Internet, I stumbled upon the artistic works of 80’s star Richard Grieco. Now I don’t mind it if actors also dabble in the arts. In fact, I’m impressed by the works of Federico Castellucio and Jane Seymour. People like them, I wish I had half their talent. Let them do the acting, and I’ll do the artistic bit. It is a cruel world when people are blessed with talent, not just in one field but two. But when I saw Grieco’s work, I just got pissed. What a hack! http://www.griecoart.com/#!MOMENTS-OF-MADNESS/zoom/cxd4/image1y0h

“I’ve actually been told it look like Pollock, DeKooning, and others. I paint from above, I guess similar to what Pollock did.”

Yes, no shit, Sherlock! You guess? At least acknowledge that you’re stealing his shit, or ahem, incorporating his style. Don’t be dismissive like it’s dumb coincidence. You can steal art. You can borrow style. What you can’t do is paint a giant can of Campbell’s soup and not acknowledge that you’re borrowing from Warhol. “I guess”??? Ugh! This hackery is almost to the same level as when Nick Simmons (Gene Simmon’s son) plagiarized works from popular comic book artists (more popular than him) for his comic book series entitled Incarnate. At least the kid had the good sense to later say that his plagiarism wasn’t plagiarism but a form of homage.

If you’re an actor, be an actor. Become a good actor. If you’re the kid of a rock legend, be the kid of a rock legend. Be a decent human being and don’t pretend to be an artist just because there’s people out there who will tolerate your bullshit. There’s enough of us struggling artists out here to have to put up with vain hackery from those who don’t need the dough.

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