With exams coming around the corner down here in Aus, I can’t resist making a student anthem. The Beatles are a suprisingly good match with exams blues. So here is Yesterday: A Student Anthem –
Yesterday, all my exams seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re on their way.
Oh, I wish for another day.
Suddenly, there’s no time to watch T.V,
There’s an exam looming over me.
Oh, yesterday went suddenly.
Why time went so fast, I don’t know, where did it go?
I spent my time having fun, now I need another day.
Yesterday, all my exams seemed so far away.
Now I need to start and cram away.
Oh, I wish for another day.
The jar is coming. I got to painting some more jars about a week or so ago so expect more of my epic jars (I don’t care what you have to say, they’re epic) to be appearing on here over the next few days!
First up – my pride and joy – the Game of Thrones Jar. Those sigils are a beyatch.
And while I’m here, I thought I might just give a few tips on how to use Pic Stitch filters.
Liz reported a little while back about the amazing-ness that is Pic Stitch, an iPhone/iPad app that’s fantastic for creating collages like the one above. It’s pretty neat and at first I was like, “Ugh, I have to go Instagram my photos and then import them over to Pic Stitch. What a pain.”
Well I might even go so far as to say that I don’t need Instagram’s filters anymore.
Don’t get me wrong – Instagram is still awesome. The filters there are still the best. The built-in filters on Pic Stitch leave much to be desired, to be honest. However, you do not need to go through Instagram to make your pictures look awesome (to the non-photographer’s eye anyway). Because Pic Stitch has a lot more customising options.
In Instagram, you’re stuck with the filters, and a few little tweaks. On Pic Stitch, you have a whole array of tweaks. So here’s the steps to go through that I suggest in order to make your Pic Stich pic awesome:
1. Choose a layout to fit the pictures you are ‘stitching’. NOTE: you DO have to choose from the default layouts but you can change the aspect ratio of the layouts. After you’ve selected a layout press Aspect in the middle of the toolbar and you can choose a different ratio that better suits the pictures you’re stitching together.
2. Add your photo to a frame. (Double tap and choose your photo from your library).
3. Try out the Effects first. I usually find none of them to my liking, but it pays to take a quick look through in case one really does work well with your picture.
4. If that fails, click on Enhance and try out those settings. Sometimes they hit the jackpot. Sometimes they just look bad. But again, worth a try.
5. After that (whether one of them works or not), adjust the Saturation. When you increase the saturation (by sliding the bar so it rolls to the to left), you’ll find that the colours appear brighter and more “full”. When it comes to pic stitching – this is usually a good thing. For this stage focus on the object. Make sure the colours in the object of your photo are really looking good. The background may look a little too weird and ‘technicolour’ – that’s ok. That can be fixed later.
6. Done with Saturation, move to Contrast. You may not see huge drastic changes as you increase/decrease the contrast, but it does add some subtle shadows and really makes the colours separate and ‘pop’. So now you’re getting full, popping colour.
7. Now it’s time to attack the Brightness. Go easy – you’ll see more drastic changes here and it will generally affect both the object and the background. I find that I usually end up adjusting the brightness to a point where it makes the background look a little more natural than the weird saturated version I’ve created. But only just so that the object doesn’t look washed out.
8. The final touch is to use the Sharpness. This will make your image look more crisp – especially if you’ve got shaky hands when taking photos like I do.
9. There is the optional final step of adding words using the Text option, or the Draw option – and perhaps correcting things like Red-eye and adding Stickers. I feel this sort of thing, however, is more useful if you’re planning on a photo-booth-esque type photo. Maybe that’s a cool gimmick to have at a party? Instead of a photobooth, have an iPad with Pic Stitch and an Air Printer set up with sticker paper so people can print out their images? Sounds like a bundle of fun to me!
So there you have it – if you were always baffled by the functions on Pic Stitch, perhaps this will help you to use the app better to optimise your photos and make them look (sorta) cool.
Stay tuned for more jar photos (and a special surprise one that’s not a jar).
Previous jars on Gay Geek:
Ladies and gentlemen, ho and mo, I ask you all the question of our age, a crossroads we have all faced. I’m quite sure that if you are a true geek you have come across this problem.
The problem being, at what point do we stop watching a show we find boring, even though everyone tells you ‘it gets better’?
Like men, I click with T.V shows instantly or it never happens. I also know that once you have started it is very hard to stop because you want to see ‘what will happen’ or if it really does get better (just like dating men). But at some stage enough is enough right? There are so many T.V shows out there to be watched, why spend time watching something you clearly aren’t interested in?
The T.V show in question for me is Breaking Bad and I have to say that it is very well done, and the tension and drama, as well as the plot twists, is all done superbly. It’s just not MY show. There is no other way to explain it. I’m two seasons in and I already feel like skipping half of the episodes just to see what happens next instead of actually watching it.
A show like Supernatural or Sherlock is my kind of show. I know they both have a ridiculously large fan following, especially in the geekdom, but that isn’t really my type. Actually I don’t even think I have a type! I mean there is no link you can possibly make about Sherlock or Supernatural apart from the fact that they have a huge following and that they are both amazing shows (I’m not biased at all). But there is something about them that really sparks with me, that makes me want to watch every minute of every episode.
That being said I have been converted to the ‘it gets better’ type of show and I’m happier for it. All that does though is further complicate things for me. Should I keep following a show that I find okay or even bad, just because ‘it will get better’ or should I just stick to the spark? And if I don’t stick to the spark how much is enough?
I think the safest rule of thumb is to watch one and a half seasons. Why? Simply because you get to watch the season finale and if it only gets better after the finale (i.e in season 2) then you are there to witness it.
I still think the ‘spark’ is the best way to go but if friends and family are pushing it, then the least you can do is try right? And at the end of the day, you can choose another T.V show and leave the boring one on the shelf, never to be thought about again. Unlike men.
I feel conflicted about this article I read on Star Online. You see, this author details a wonderfully heartwarming story about how his parents flew half way across the world for him and his partners commitment ceremony, and gave a speech that got the waterworks running.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful, hopeful and joyous story. It gives those of us who are not so lucky the faith that there are those who do accept that we are who we are – he explains how he came out to his mother over a giant platter of ice cream, and there was no fight, no anger, nothing. He then says how “the anticipation was definitely worse than the outcome” when it came to telling his Dad.
It’s great, and I’m happy for him. But you see before I came out to my parents I read so many stories like this. And with my parents being reasonably liberal with regards to traditional beliefs, I thought I would be able to add to this pool of heartwarming stories. I was wrong, and I’m not sure I was entirely prepared for it.
I think the terrible and scary coming out story has been relegated to those with extremely religious or traditional parents in today’s day and age. And while I wish and could hope that that was truly the case, I don’t believe it is. The truth is we don’t have equality yet. Many people in the world tolerate homosexuality in others, but as soon as it enters their own backyard, it becomes an abhorrent nightmare – it is not true acceptance, it is still homophobia. Just quite cleverly hidden homophobia.
When you come out, even if you don’t have strict parents, you could be compared to having cancer, to having a psychological problem, to having a demon possessing your body. It’s the type of thing that “happens out there” but you never believe it would happen to you and your family.
That is the reality. The problem is that there’s the lucky few out there who can live out and proud, because they’ve had such happy receptions from their parents, they are the voices of the Internet. But I don’t believe they are representative.
So why aren’t more writing about their experiences coming out who don’t come from strict family backgrounds? I’ll tell you why: because they (we) love their (our) parents. And when a child knows that our parents will eventually come around, they will be ashamed of their initial reaction, and we don’t want to embarrass them by telling the world about it.
And while that is noble and fair and perfectly understandable, I feel like it leaves the next generation of gays a little bit out in the cold, not ready for the possibility that their non-strict parents may still harbour some relatively warped views on homosexuality.
So in this relative anonymity I have here, I want to let you know that if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex or anything else outside of the ‘normal’ heterosexual spectrum, and you love your parents enough to want to tell them the truth, and believe that they will, at least with time, come to accept you – be prepared that they may not take it well. That they may break dishes. That they may tell you you’re disgusting. That they may call you selfish. That they may ask if you need to see a psychologist. That they may tell you that you cannot tell anyone else about this and must hide it from everyone.
But remember, and this is the important part, that they will get over it eventually. And they will be ashamed of how they initially reacted. You just have to stick it out, rely on good friends and find support wherever you can. The world doesn’t end, what they are saying is not what they truly mean, and it will get better.
In the beginning, I am the constituents. Air, heat and fuel, swirling about in the vast chasm that is the world. The enormity of space making it seem like we are never to meet.
There are those moment where fire is created, when the match scrapes across the box, when the flame is forced and the fire begins. And while such a fire brings the relief and joy of accomplishment, it is almost dull compared to the anticipation. You are now mine, but I no longer want you.
Then there are the moments of chance. When a fleck of amber glides through the air and lands upon the last chip of wood. An unexpected flame leaps into existence. An eruption of passion that was so unplanned that is brings it’s own form of joy, in the most wonderful of surprises. You burn me sharply, for I hadn’t prepared for you, but so quickly you are gone.
And then there are those when the moments of chance coincide with the struggle of labour. When those stones that have been slapping together for the last half hour suddenly give rise to a glorious spark, that sends the brush alight like I would have never dreamed. When the candle’s flame inexplicably burns brighter and higher than it had before. You have met my every expectation, and then exceeded them.
It is in moments like that, that I feel immortal. That our fire will burn forever. But even though it will last longer than the former flames, every fireplace eventually goes cold and every candle eventually burns down its wax. And eventually we return to air, heat and fuel, in the unending search to find the right combination.
I am like fire for no matter how the passion begins, by design, by chance, or by a harmonious combination, I burn hot and I burn bright. And I revel for the next moment of searing intensity.
If you follow GGeek, you might have noticed that posts kinda stopped coming out of the mill over the last few days. The reason is because Vik here has fallen terribly ill and struggled to get out of bed the last few days. He has since (not really) recovered and is now (forcing himself) back to work. It sucks that he was unable to organise posts for the last few days, but it has given him a bit of insight into his working habits. The bottom line is: I need to slow down. A lesson I think many geeks can take.
I find that geeks are often the types of personalities who like to go go go. We generally have so much passion for so many passions that we get lost in all of that passion. I found that when I was forced to stop, forced to just relax I didn’t know what to do with myself. My brain got jumbled and I started thinking up the most ridiculous scenarios of all the horrible things that would happen because I wasn’t doing everything in my power to keep it going. My brain was trying to work because that’s what it got used to doing.
But sometimes, it’s good to do things slowly. To take one task at a time, to not push yourself to your absolute limit. It is more productive to scale things back and work at a level that is sustainable, rather than a level that pushes you to make you ‘stronger’. It doesn’t make you stronger, it only makes you weaker. And I’ve learned that because I got so weak that when the temperature suddenly dropped, I wasn’t in a state where I could handle it and the flu took me over. And once it got its slimy little paws inside me, it hasn’t let go.
So I’m going to start slowing down, and start to understand the difference between what I need to do, what I want to do, and what I feel obligated to do. The problem is sometimes these overlap and it becomes difficult to separate them when they fall into multiple categories. But we live and we learn and one of the things I feel I still need to learn about time management is that it’s not just about time. It’s about priority, about focusing and about balance.
I now realise it’s important to keep a work-life balance not just for mental health, but for physical health too.
So bottom line for gay geek is that we’ll be cutting back to two posts a day for now. At least until I find someone who would like to help administrate. Any takers?
(After that spiel I’m sure there will be none! Hah. It’s truly cathartic though, I promise!)