Seeking the Odd & Creative!

I created a Facebook Group!

CreativeArray

For a long time, I’ve wanted an accepting space on the internet where I could post the geeky, quirky, creative things that I love without uncomfortably about sharing it with all of my Facebook friends/family/coworkers. Sure, some of us don’t have a ton of friends on Facebook. But– Some of us do! If you’re like me, you also have a few of those unfiltered friends and family that can’t relate and often drop comments on the post that hang a dark cloud over it.

That’s where The Creative Array comes into play. It’s a group meant for all of the artsy, oddball, crafty, creative, geeky, philosophical, nerdy posts to go that you may not share with on your personal News Feed.

This is that place that you can post that weird thought that popped into your head, or that theory you had about life. It’s the place to let your creativity and mind run free. Did you sketch or paint something that you want to share with like-minded people? This where you do that. Want critique or advice on a project that you’ve wanted to/already started? Ask it here.

I really like to think of it as a sanctuary for oddballs to gather together and embrace all the things that make us odd and different while celebrating creativity.

There isn’t judgement here. Only perfectly honest eccentricity.

Even if you’re hesitant, I encourage everyone to visit our page and see for yourselves:

The Creative Array

~

 

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To Barcelona and Back

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For those of you who might not know, I took the week of Thanksgiving off and flew to Barcelona for my vacation this year. I’ve been back almost two months now so I apologize for how long overdue this post is. Still, it really does feel like it’s taken that long for me to get back into the swing of things especially since the holidays happened right after.

The trip was a little over a week long, and it was one of those wonderful trips that are also incredibly tiring. We tried to cram as much sightseeing into those days as possible. We succeeded. We saw just about all there was to see within the city, and spent a day touring touring medieval towns outside Barcelona in the Catalunya region. I came back saying that I needed a vacation from my vacation, but it was most definitely worth it.

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I won’t pretend that I wasn’t expecting to come back from my first international trip very much changed by it all. Sure I have that experience under my belt, but I’m also someone who gets lost in the fast pace to the point of missing out on the good stuff. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the trip. I just wish I could have settled in for a longer stay and really got to know the culture of the city and region.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a distinct difference between a vacation and a trip for me. In my opinion a vacation is a time for rest, recuperation, reflection, and above all else an escape from everyday stresses. A trip is defined by activities such as an abundance of travel, sightseeing, touring new locations, and participating in new activities. This was most definitely a trip to Barcelona.

Despite how tired we were, it was still an experience of a lifetime. It was my first time outside of the country, my first flying over the Atlantic, my first time in Europe, and in Spain. I think it’s important that everyone travel and experience other cultures no matter how short the time. It does expand your mind and remind you that you are a single life in a vast world.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

 

Not all Gamers are Created the Same

We see it all the time. A family with children goes to a public place and the scene is always the same. They walk in, sit down, and almost immediately the parents hand over their smart phones or tablets. Within minutes the kids are engrossed in their favorite games.

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Now I have a lot to say about this type of parenting method, but that’s not what I wanted to discuss. I want to touch on how this may affect the upcoming generation of gamers. Does parents’ habits of handing over their smart phones/tablets shape them into gamers? What sort of gamers are emerging from this?

Let’s start with smart phone/tablet games. They can be as simple as scrabble or as in depth as an RPG, but most kids go for the colorful simplistic games. When it comes to handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS, PS Vita, ect., there are more complicated games available, but they also remain fairly basic for the sake of kids.

I’ve always said that I would give my children the older consoles to start out. I see so many young kids receiving the latest and greatest for Christmas, and I tend to shake my head at that. I want my children to first game on old school systems at least as far back as N64, if not farther. I want them to experience video games from the beginning, but I also want them learn video games as they evolved like I did.

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It actually benefited me to learn video games in that way, and I didn’t realize this until I started playing games with my boyfriend. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that he isn’t much of a gamer. Oh, he’ll definitely pick up a controller to play anything once, but he gravitates toward the old school games that are straightforward. The next generation games, on the other hand, have so much depth they are overwhelming at times. I don’t have the same issue. My skills and understanding of gaming evolved as the games themselves evolved. It’s as if the evolution of gaming guided us gradually into what video games are today, where as his gaming experience has skipped decades of it.

However, now I wonder if I’ve had it all wrong. I want my kids to follow the evolution of gaming so that they wouldn’t be dumped into the depths of next-gen gaming, but what if upcoming generations of gamers are learning this on mobile devices, specifically smart phones/tablets?

I really don’t know why I hadn’t considered this before. My first gaming device was a Gameboy Color. Sure, I used to play on consoles with my brother, but my first true solo play was on the Gameboy. Now look at me! I’ve gamed on console and PC for many years.

We can’t dismiss the popularity or molding skills of handheld consoles, but we as a gaming society are quick to dismiss smart phone/tablet gamers. I think it’s time to acknowledge that they may be a large portion of next generation of gamers!

Renee Giroux-Nix's daughter, Bella, 3, plays games and uses educational apps on her mother's iPhone, in Cedar Park, Texas, Oct. 10, 2010. Just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice, akin to a treasured stuffed animal, for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds, a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists. (Ben Sklar/The New York Times) -- PHOTO MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE - ONLINE OR IN PRINT - BEFORE OCT. 17, 2010.

There is an epidemic of children constantly playing games on tablets and smartphones when their parents don’t want to deal with them in public places and otherwise. In no way do I agree or wish to promote this! Video gaming is a fun and rewarding pass time that should be done in moderation and with breaks, especially when involving children.

Happy Gaming!

cho-g1

Fresh-Faced and Fancy-Free

We all struggle with things that we don’t like about ourselves.

As a woman, I have had quite the list of insecurities. It has taken many years of rewiring my own brain to shorten that list, but it’s a constant process. One of these insecurities is going bare without make-up, and I wanted to share my experience and thought-process on it.

People all seem to have varying opinions on make-up and why women wear it.  Some claim that women wear make-up to cover up imperfections while others say that it’s to enhance their features. Some say both, but I’ve come to respect make-up as a form of art that allows a woman to enhance their features. This was something I had to learn in my early twenties as before that I had a very skewed view of why and when I should be wearing make-up.

The females in our families have great influence over how we develop. We look to them as guides when learning what it means to be a woman, and they are also who we take our cues on make-up from. Personally, I looked to my mother. She was never the type of woman to leave the house not done-up. If we were going somewhere or had company coming, she’d do her hair and put her make-up on. These were habits that I eventually developed when I started wearing make-up.

I couldn’t leave the house without make-up. I mean, you never know who you could run into, right? I also didn’t see anyone outside my immediate family without first applying make-up. I needed to look my best at all times, and I felt too bare without it. It was just how I thought I needed to be; how I should be. I didn’t think that my natural beauty was enough.

It has taken a very long time to realize that I’m beautiful without make-up. I had to realign my thought-process completely, and even now I have moments where I struggle with the idea of running around without make-up. It had long become my safety blanket to hide the insecurities I had with my face.

If you are a woman who has struggled with a deep-seated need to wear make-up, then I have an assignment for you.

Part #1

The next time that you are bare-faced, go to a mirror and really look at yourself. Instead of focusing on the things you dislike, really take in the features that you do like. Do you love the color of your eyes, the shape of your lips, your cheekbones, or those contagious dimples when you smile?  It’s time to change the way you see yourself, and that starts with positive thoughts.

I guarantee if you do this at least once a day you will begin to view yourself in a different light. You’ll care less who sees you without make-up, because who can resist those killer dimples or those lovely eyes?

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Part #2

As you set down the path of realizing how beautiful your bare face is, I want you to consider another angle on make-up. If you are the type of woman to look at make-up as a means of cover up, it’s time to nip that in the butt.

Remember all those things you love about your fresh face? Make-up is the best way to enhance your best features.

Do you love the way your lips pout? Find the perfect shade of lipstick to make them pop even more!

How about the color of your eyes? An eye liner and eye shadow combo can really make them a showstopper!

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It’s all about focusing on what you like about yourself rather than constantly berating yourself with hateful thoughts. As you do that, you can begin to view make-up as a means to enhancing beauty that’s already there. This takes that evil power away from make-up. You don’t need to wear it. You choose to wear it because it enhances you’re already gorgeous self!

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Blogging Old School

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I was blogging old school about video games from a tender young age. Just look at that proof!

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Happy Saturday!
That is all.

The Real Unicorns: Gamer Girls w/ Non-Gamer Guys

It’s crazy stupid that guys who play video games still have this misconception that girls who play are rare; that they are “unicorns”. That’s definitely being debunked in this day and age. Gamer girls are here. We’ve always been here, and we’re growing in numbers! <insert maniacal laugh>

Anyway, I’m here to reassign the title of “Unicorns”.  That’s a title that should firmly belong to “gamer girls that date non-gamer guys”.

Let that sink in. That’s right; it happens. I know this because I fall into that category. I am in a relationship with a non-gamer guy. At the beginning of the relationship, our work schedules weren’t in sync and so I had plenty of alone time to game. Now with two new jobs, they do sync up. I’m happy for more time with him, but I am also figuring out that he didn’t really have to deal with the fact that I’m a gamer until now. Now I want to game and he’s there. Now it conflicts with “us” time because we’re always together when we get home from work. This is a dynamic that crops up with any gamer dating a non-gamer, of course, but it’s usually smoothed out much earlier in a relationship.

I’ve tried talking it through with him, but there are just some things that non-gamers don’t understand. I thought we’d arrived at a compromise but when I mentioned that I wanted to game I heard that tell-tale sigh. Desperate for some sort of insight, I do what any geek would do: I hit up the internet.

Anyone else notice how many articles there are on advising gamer guys on how to handle being with a non-gamer girl? It’s damn ridiculous, I tell you! The net is overflowing with them.

  • “How to Survive Dating a Gamer”
  • “10 Things you Should Know About Dating a Gamer”
  • “Scared to Date a Gamer?”
  • “The Perfect Non-Gamer Girl”

You would think that at least a few of these would detail what it would be like for a gamer girl to date a non-gamer guy, right?  — Nope! It feels like every conversation and article written is geared towards gamer guys and their issues or lack of issues with their non-gamer girlfriends.

But what if you’re the unicorn? What if you’re the gamer girl who dates the non-gamer guy? Some people might reply, “Well then you’d just take the advice and flip-flop it!” That makes sense right? I thought so too until I googled it and began reading. I wanted to see how I could apply all this advice to my own relationship.

 *Ahem.

I saw a lot of this: “When my girlfriend does her girly things, I use that as a chance to game.”

Girls do have a lot of time consuming girly hobbies that are mostly solo activities. We do our nails, read books, watch reality t.v., binge on Netflix, do arts and crafts, and the list goes on. A lot of the time these are things that guys aren’t interested in so it works out.

So what happens when the tides are turned? Let’s put this into perspective.

Most gamer girls are a tomboy on some level. We tend to enjoy the same things that guys enjoy and our S/O’s know this. The options for what my non-gamer boyfriend does that’s either a solo activity or something I don’t want to do is depressingly scarce. It’s just not the same!

I’m certain that everything will work itself out. The dynamic of the relationship will have to change now that my gaming actually affects our time together, and I sense that he’s alright with that. However, I just wonder where all the advice is for the unicorns of the geek world.

Non-gamer guys: Do you have a girl that games? How did you adjust?

Gamer girls: Do you date a non-gamer? How does that work?

Gamer guys: Help.

cho-g1

Flirting via Vehicles = Fail

I have a question first and then I’ll rant.

Why in the world do men think that it’s a good idea to flirt with women in their vehicles while they themselves are in vehicles?

Why?!

I’m driving from home from work today on the highway. I come up on a bit of traffic and it slows everyone down from the regular speed limit. From the corner of my eye, I notice that the truck to my right is remaining almost exactly at my side. When I speed up and slow down, it matches me. This rarely happens on its own when you’re in slowed down traffic on a highway.

After a few seconds I look over sort of absentmindedly just in time to see some random older man hardcore staring me down with this creeper smile on his face. His lane was speeding up, but he was adamant about this happy creeper stare and even craned his head back as he moved forward.

Seriously?

Dude thought he looked like this:

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When he really looked like:

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I wish I could say this was the first time, but it wasn’t. This happens all the time. It’s like these men think that the windows on their vehicles are made with one-way glass.

Let me just say it right now: We can see you!

I also wish I could say that this was the worst time, but of course, it wasn’t.

I can vividly recall a time when I was pulled up to a stop light on the way home from work. (I’m sensing a pattern) I had my windows rolled halfway down because I didn’t have a/c. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and looked over. A man, all sweaty and greasy from working, was hanging out of his window pointing back at his truck and then making the “Call Me” hand gesture repeatedly.

I looked back at his work truck to see that it had a phone number written in big bold letters along with the name of the company.

I just laughed a little, shook my head, and reached over to turn my music up.

Flirting from vehicle to vehicle is not only potentially dangerous since you’re not really paying attention to driving, but it’s ridiculous in my opinion. I have yet to have any nice experiences nor have I heard of any.

So there is it. It’s my belief that this should stop. Just stop it. I hope that most women find this as unimpressive as I do, but if you don’t please feel free to tell me why below.

I’d like guys to chime in too! Do you do this? Have you thought about doing this? Do you not do this? Tell me, Tell me!

Also, cute baby below gets a firm thumbs up!

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