In “Your Face”! #TVTuesday #TuesdayTunes

Oh, I missed these hash potatoes! So today, it’s #TVTuesday and #TuesdayTunes post.  Double fun, woohoo!!! Today, I am sharing one of my current favorite shows, Your Face Sounds Familiar (YFSF) Kids Edition.

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The YFSF Kids of Season 1: (From Left) AC Bonifacio (2nd Runner-up), Lyca Gairanod, Justin Alva (3rd Runner-up), Elha Nympha (1st Runner-up), McNeal “Awra” Briguela (WINNER), Alonzo Muhlach, Xia Vigor, and Sam Shoaf

Saying “Your face sounds familiar” sounds really weird and like utter nonsense. The premise of YFSF, however, explains it.  Okay, background with a little bit of disclaimer:

YFSF is a singing and impersonation competition owned by the Endemol Shine Group, known abroad for producing many reality TV shows (Big Brother and others). YFSF was franchised by Philippine TV network giant ABS-CBN and the first regular season started in March 2015. There came another regular season and then, the first-ever season of the Kids edition was aired in January 2017. It gained international attention when then-7-year-old Xia Vigor performed as Taylor Swift and the video of that performance went viral.

The second season of the Kids edition is currently running and the kids’ performances are making much more waves. That’s thanks to the already-big attention the YouTube reactors’ community has been giving Filipino artists.

YFSF has a set of screen and theater artists–singers, dancers, actors–competing against one another onstage every week. Weekly shows are divided into two parts with the first half of the performers shown on Saturday and the remaining ones on Sundays. That gives ample time on the second day (well, eve) to announce the week’s winner and show the participants pressing the “iconator” (just a coined term as abroad, it’s called “randomizer”, even simply a “buzzer”). That’s the button that every contestant presses to reveal his/her next icon.

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Xia Vigor impersonating Taylor Swift. Image courtesy of Elle.com

Competitors are each assigned celebrities that have become music icons or made waves in the industry one way or another. That’s regardless of the age of the icon, race, sex and gender (so expect cross-dressing in some performances).

But this is a step up from the usual impersonation stuff. A major part of this involves the makeup artists and prosthetic. Every week, performers are madeup and often–not always–made to wear prosthetic. The idea is to not only sound and act like the icons but to LOOK like them. This is where my disclaimer enters.

In the past, I saw some foreign YouTubers express concern prior to seeing an actual performance that the performer might be doing “blackface”, which people could find offensive. Then they got to watch and realize it’s not the case (especially when they saw it was a great performance!). It really isn’t meant to be offensive, not at all. It always depends on the look of the icon. It has nothing to do with being racist. So if s/he’s white, then the performer’s Pinoy brown color is turned lighter (sometimes, the prosthetic can be a tad weird and creepy-looking, though). So if we’re playing the race card, might as well call it “whiteface”. Or “yellowface” even, depending on who’s being impersonated.

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The YFSF Kids of Season 2: (Clockwise from Top Left) TNT Boys, Chunsa Jung, Marco Masa, Krystal Brimner, Telesa “Esang” De Torres, Noel Comia Jr., Xymon “Onyok” Pineda, and Sheena Belarmino. Image courtesy of Rappler

Just to be clear, not every performer is a good singer, or even dancer. He or she is judged on how well s/he has projected him/herself as the icon being impersonated.

Anyway, to show how talented our kids can be, I am sharing a few videos from this season’s (season 2) kid performers. They seem long, but that’s because the videos continue until all the jury members have made their comments. There are lots of funny stuff that follow a performance, but feel free to stop playing. (BTW, copyrights to all the images and videos here belong to ABS-CBN, unless otherwise specified. I got some from other sites, but of course, they’re still mostly from ABS.)

I’m starting with my biggest bet, Sheena Belarmino. People know her more as a singer as she was a grand finalist of the popular singing competition Tawag ng Tanghalan (TNT)  that was part of the noon-time variety show It’s Showtime. That ended late last year. Prior to that, however, she was a finalist of Dance Kids from 2015 to 2016. You can say she is a powerhouse of a talent. As of last count, she’s won thrice already, currently the most number of times this season. However, she’s also currently ranked 3rd-4th . That has something to do with how the jury individually assigns scores.

Watch her perform as local artists Sarah Geronimo and KZ Tandingan and judge for yourselves. Sheena showed Sarah’s swag as the latter performed the song onstage (the hair and expressions were based more on the “Tala” video). That was Sheena’s first win. Everyone was definitely impressed. BUT she even topped that recently by showing more swag impersonating KZ’s viral performance of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” on the recently concluded Singer 2018 singing competition (Jesse J. won) in China. Sheena even wore the same outfit. She blew everyone away! I think you will agree. And she also got a wonderful surprise after she sang… 😉

Meanwhile, also check out her performances as Ariana Grande, (so good!), Chris Brown, and local artist Jessa Zaragoza (for which she also won, though I’m not crazy about it…The link I shared is just of Jessa singing at an event — she’s not wearing a gown and not doing much of the movements she’s been known for).

Next, the TNT Boys! They are composed of Kiefer Sanchez, Mackie Empuerto and Francis Concepcion–all grand finalists of the TNT Kids singing competition, like Sheena. Among all the contestants, they are undoubtedly the most popular due to their emotional rendition of Beyonce’s “Listen” in the GGV show. Actually, for fun, they were asked to sing it while pretending to be fighting (Francis bullies Kiefer, then Mackie defends Keifer who tries to pacify both of them). It was a hoot! And it became viral. Suddenly, the group TNT Boys was born and they have now performed in Little Big Shots US and UK. Since then, a lot of their performances onstage and offline have been going viral, particularly their YFSF numbers. They’ve won twice and are currently ranked 1st.

Below are two of their performances. The first is of The BeeGees. They didn’t win but this was the first video of the season that went and is still going viral around the world. The BeeGees loved their performance and actually tweeted about it. The next is–get this–their impersonation of Destiny’s Child! It was their first win and very well-deserved. These boys are so talented! I loved their performance of The Supremes as well, it’s my personal favorite–classy with less flair. Their second win, though, was their Mariah Carey and BoyzIIMen one and,  you guessed it, it’s gone viral as well.

Now we have Krystal Brimner. She was a relatively unknown in the mainstream showbiz world until YFSF. Some people may recognize her from the movie Honor Thy Father where she played a vital part. Theater aficionados may remember her playing the title role of Annie, for which she won Best Child Actress and Best Female Lead Performer from the 2016 Platinum Stallion Media Awards and 2016 Philstage Gawad Bahay Awards. Based on her performances in YFSF, it’s obvious she’s been using her training to good use.

Krsytal is currently ranked 2nd. I am not sure if she’s an audience favorite, but I like her. For me she’s done a LOT  of great impersonations. Below are the two performances that made her win: as Jesse J. first, then as Alicia Keys. I would also recommend her impersonations of Miley Cyrus (on her first week, when she made her mark as a talent to reckon with), Stevie Wonder, and Dionne Warwick.

Last on my list is Esang De Torres. Among the top four, I think she’s the one who first made her mark on national TV. She was such a cutie joining the MiniMe contest of It’s Showtime, where she “impersonated” her idol Lea Salonga. But it was in joining The Voice Kids that made her. Coached by none other than her idol, Lea, she was the team’s grand finals bet. It was apparent that she had a singing talent that was perfect for the stage that, with a lot of encouragement from Lea, Esang joined the theater world. In fact, she was one of those who played the title role of Matilda. Like Krystal, it’s obvious she’s putting her theatrical training at work. She gets better everytime.

She’s won once so far, but her often-high weekly scores have tied her at 3rd to 4th rank with Sheena. I liked a lot of her performances as well. I am first sharing one of my faves, her impersonation of John Legend. The next is her doing a Christina Aguilera, her first actual win Feel free to also check out her Cher, Lea Salonga, Cyndi Lauper, and Bonnie Tyler. As fo this writing, she just did a Freddie Mercury, which was also good, by my standards.

 

And my list is done! Basically, I think the TNT Boys getting into the finals is already in the bag. Sheena, my most fave, doesn’t always get the highest scores, so I’m crossing my fingers. Krystal, if she keeps doing what she does, would most probably be in the finals, too. I am crossing my fingers for Esang as well, but she does consistently get high scores…

I am actually surprised and very glad to know that my top ones are those who are leading the ranks. The girls are my faves, but biases aside, I thought that they should be in the top three.

Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed reading my post and watching the vids. I enjoyed putting this together. I could do another set next week, if I have the time 🙂

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It’s sooo Lit!!! #atozchallenge2017

***NOTE: As explained in my last post, I was going to finish last year’s A to Z Challenge. Here is my letter “L”.

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Literature. I cannot write about the topic of Writing without writing about literature. That would probably be some form of blasphemy…

What is Literature to you?

When I was young, I used to think that “literature” was exclusively used to refer to stories or novels. I don’t know now how I learned more, but it was probably when I encountered the term “related literature”. I was a bit surprised that anything written (well, at least those with some value) can be considered literature.

According to the Ancient History of Encyclopedia,…

Literature (from the Latin Littera meaning ‘letters’ and referring to an acquaintance with the written word) is the written work of a specific culture, sub-culture, religion, philosophy or the study of such written work which may appear in poetry or in prose.”

Based on this, it is either poetry and prose.

Dictionary.com explains it much clearer in the definitions it has provided. Literature is defined as:

  • written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit
  • books and writings published on a particular subject
  • leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice

That last part was the kind of information that most surprised me when I learned about it. Leaflets and advertisements were far from my mind. That was mainly because whenever I thought of the word before, I thought of value and merit, especially artistic merit.

“Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not.” (Britannica.com)

That was how most of us were brought up. It was so old-school that even anything that’s not artsy was generally disregarded as literature, no matter how valuable the information it contained.

“Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words—even when organized and written down—is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative—technical, scholarly, journalistic—would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics.” (Britannica.com)

Anybody can be a critic, but it does not necessarily make him right. If anything, this kind of thinking was developed during the times when people were concerned more about social strata and social snobbery. We put the word “literature” in a box — No, this is just you, Lit. You can’t be some leaflet or thing that anyone just thought he’d write and call Lit. The nerve!

Today, we have become open to accepting the more modern definition of the word. Still, there are critics that cannot be persuaded. Me? I have broaden my own definition:

Literature is a valuable written work that is artistic and/or informative and has merit to, at least, one individual.”

You say toh-mah-toh, I say toe-may-toe. Basically, it all boils down to the person appreciating it.

How do YOU define literature?

 

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I could have written more about it, but I fought off my tendency to write long posts to keep you interested. I hope you liked it and share your own thoughts in the comments below.

L is for “Literature”

This piece serves as my Letter L post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I’ve missed you, WP and A-Z!

Yep, that’s right. But I’m back! All I can say is every day, I wanted to write here.  My only comfort was I was writing for work and liked seeing my stuff published even without a by-line. I don’t think I’ve ever written as many articles as I have until now. I’m just sorry I can’t link to those pages from my portfolio blog.

My articles list spreadsheet is looking better and better, though. The thing is, I’m not done collating my past works especially those from back in the day (okay, I feel so old now talking like that). So that portfolio blog still seems empty. It isn’t, not really. I will be doing some actual posting there, too, soon.

I did especially feel the pressure to blog last April when I knew other writer-bloggers had been participating in the A to Z Challenge. It was torture.

I knew long before that I couldn’t participate this year. I knew I wouldn’t have much time due to several factors, so I didn’t even try. Too bad ’cause I really enjoyed last year’s A to Z Challenge. My only problem then was Holy Week fell in April. It affected my personal writing schedule. Long story short, I skipped my L and M then was unable to do W to Z.

I came to a decision as early as last February: I am going to complete last year’s A to Z. I could’ve done it last April but thought it would not be fair to those participating this year. Even though I am no power blogger, I felt that that would still be like stealing attention from those who truly deserved it for the hard work they were putting in.

Now that April’s gone, however, May is going to be my writing pal. Next week, I’ll be posting for a week to make up for the missing letters. I think that’s fair enough, right? After all, the point is to write and be productive. Then maybe, I’ll go backwards and complete those I left in the years 2015 and 2014 in the next weeks or months. Nothing definite yet about that second plan.

That’s not my only announcement. I will be bringing back my #MonthlyRecaps. Early last year, I unintentionally suddenly stopped my recaps. That was very foolish. My new idea will take care of that. Each post is going to be like a two-in-one thing. What’s that? You’ll see. Also, I’ll continue my mini-TV reviews like Thrones, Faerie Tales, Serial Killers, Zombies and Science, Space, Elementary, my dear Lizzie. They were supposed to be a quarterly thing, but obviously, I’m way behind.

Frankly, I have various ideas I should get back to. You’ll know them when things actually “restart”. Right now, the other things that keep me interested are, as you probably have already guessed, watching TV series and playing Soda Crush (so sue me).

Just finished the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, The Good Place, and Once Upon A Time. Before that, I finished the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and all the seasons of NCIS that Netflix could offer in the meantime. So I’ll be waiting for quite awhile for all the new episodes to be available. I was watching Sherlock, but my access is temporarily interrupted *sigh*

Also, a few nights ago, I watched the series finale of Lost. I think I’m gonna do a longer review of it and of Dexter, but I’ll do something a bit different than the usual. I am currently only watching Season 2 of Big Bang Theory (serves as my backup show whenever I can’t watch others online) and just started with Grimm the other night. I did get to watch Charmed on iFlix, but they only have the first season and nothing else. Netflix doesn’t have it at all.

So you see, there’s really a lot for me to catch up on. Read me next time, alright? And share YOU, too!

“I miss Perspective” (post-)#MondayMemoirs

One of the things that has kept me busy these days is collating all of my written articles that I can collect in one place. No, not here. I have made a new blog that will serve as my online portfolio. It has become necessary since I have been asked to share previous works done long before my current job. So I thought I’d create it.

So far, I have not really posted anything yet, but I have been busy creating the pages (which I can’t seem to make publicly visible for now, for some reason) and finding links. You see, many published articles are either missing now or not archived online. Thankfully, I have soft copies of many. What bothers and annoys me is the idea of retyping the many more articles that only have hard copies. I am trying as much as possible to find archived copies.

To make this story short, my search for possibly archived UPLB Perspective articles brought me to this old post that can be found in TonyoCruz.com. My fellow-Perspective writer Anthony Ian “Tonyo” Cruz (blogger/columnist/strategist) and his commenters — anonymous or otherwise, like political humor blogger The Professional Heckler — described a wonderful part of my college life back then. It was a time when the world was already getting much more modern and we were still stuck in early 19th century technology. Okay, exaggerated, but really, floppy discs, no laptops,…?

So I’m sharing 🙂 Just click on the image, guys.

missing-uplb-perspective

The blog post that made me reminisce my days as student journalist

 

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I just realized something…it wasn’t Monday yesterday! I forgot that we were on holiday last Monday! And here I was trying to post just minutes before it was supposed to turn Tuesday in other parts of the world.

Sorry about that. Mea culpa..Ha ha haaa!!!

Let Us All Rise! #WhatsupWednesday

Let today’s post be a celebration of the wonderful poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist Dr Maya Angelou. This is one my most favorite poems of all time (thanks, Google Doodle!). It reminds me of hope, courage, triumph over adversities, equality and the importance of self-acceptance. Maybe it’s timely, too, that I am reminded of it.

(NOTE: You might want to skip to 0:41)

Still I Rise

Happy 90th Birthday, Dr. Maya Angelou!

 

Woe is Me

So it’s Good Friday. Time to reflect on our lives, as is believed. And I’ve been doing that a lot, and I’m not particularly happy.

I’m not anywhere near the best person I want to be. Of course, I could try, but I don’t really need to hear any sugar-coating right now from anyone. I don’t want to hide the ugly — that would be like lying to myself. It’s not going to change anything for the better.

Let me just babble on. Because I don’t know what to talk about right now except to grumble. I have been so busy these past weeks, the stress has been enormous. It’s stress coming from everywhere! Really quite frustrating because I have much stuff I want to work on, like blog or do videos or have time to study and pass specific tests. Always, always, always, something comes up.

And then there are relationships that need mending and yet I wouldn’t really know how even if I could change the past. There are relationships that have been strained long before I was born. How can I change those when there is a lifetime of history of bad blood among kins? Generations of us. I have tried and things just blew up on my face. I tried to get close, I was betrayed. I tried to isolate myself. They still come back with intentions which sincerity I’m not really sure of. History keeps repeating itself.

Yes, limbo is real. We’re all living it.

I am living my biggest, very personal limbo. It comes in the form of a person I am supposed to understand but can’t, because the person just won’t listen and change what needs changing. This limbo has brought out the worst in me — the things I didn’t know I could be capable of — and it manifests quite noticeably through my words and actions. It’s a combination of anger, frustration and desperation —  not exactly a nice cocktail. I could give the “I’m just human” line as an excuse. But that’s exactly what I hate! I hate the human side of this! There may come a time that both of us won’t be able to forgive me.

Of all the great challenges I have encountered in my life, this seems to be the greatest. I have to admit I have no clue of what really needs to be done. What frustrates me is it is inherent in me to keep trying, so I do keep trying. It makes me mad that I can’t just quit! The thing is, maybe that’s what’s needed to be done. Maybe I need to just let go and accept I cannot defeat this…

Talk about doing reflections! Well, Easter Sunday is near. So maybe I’ll have a clearer head by then.

 

Versatile Blogger

Kumusta? I’m back for another post 🙂 Today, I have decided to hit two birds with one stone. I promise, no actual birds will be harmed in the making of this post 😉

In my non-Chinese New Year post, I mentioned that I was going to make a list on the next post (I didn’t, sorry). That’s the first bird then. The second bird is my proper acceptance of the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD given by Tobe Damit of Loud Alien NoizeThanks, Tobe. Took me a while, though.

versatile-blogger-awardTo start, the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

“If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.”

Number 1, I’ve done a long time ago. Number 2, I just did above. Numbers 3 and 4, I’m skipping. I have decided long ago not to nominate for valid reasons. So let’s jump to Number 5. This is where the first bird flies in. I have decided to share 7 new things about myself. Let me do you one better: since it’s 2018, I’m sharing…

8 New Things About Me

Reading glasses

Well, you knew that already from a previous post. Since I’m covering 2017 to present time, thought I’d include that.

I did have a bit of a “scare” a few Sundays back. I went to buy groceries. I kept wearing it to check out product details (I’m that kind of shopper) then taking it off. Finally, I realized I lost it! My son and I had a frantic search. I told the grocers and a guard. The good news was some Good Samaritan took it to the customer service area where lost and found stuff could be retrieved. *Whew!*

Online reselling business!

I have been busy taking care of my footwear online reselling businesses. I handle two branches of LiliwTsinelas.com, the Liliw Tsinelas in Makati (@LTMakatiCity) and the Liliw Tsinelas in San Pablo, Laguna (@LTSanPabloCity) branches. Liliw is a town in Laguna and known as the province’s shoe capital. We are trying to reach out to more clients around the country.

Been busy learning the ropes, trying to find out how to find more customers. I only invest time and effort here, no money. So while it is not lucrative (for now, hopefully, things will get better in the coming year), I do believe it is a perfectly productive way to use my time and resources.

Netbook

What mine looks like..It’s so cute! Well, was *sniff*

If you’ve been my blogger-friend for years, you’d know I had been holding on to my old and defective Samsung N150 Plus netbook for practically 7 years. It was somewhat pitiful, I know.

I finally bought a new one, on credit, in April 2017. We were still using the old one but it finally somewhat died sometime in November, if memory serves me right. Not exactly sure if that’s over, but it seemed like it. It actually sounded like a machine suffering a heart attack when we tried to turn it on! I kid you not. Laptop in a coma.

Laptop accessories

The A4Tech PK-635G Flexible, Anti-glare Web Camera. Sorry, no pic to show headset

I waited till Christmas to buy a webcam and a headset. They weren’t the priority.

The new webcam is because my new laptop’s cam is not really good. I use the new one to take pics of things sometimes. Plus, I am hatching a kind of plan that will require the camera if it pushes through.

The headset is more for the purpose of using the mic rather than for listening. My old headset is already malfunctioning while my earphones don’t really have proper mics. I thought of this so that we can use it when Skype-ing with relatives and when a video/voice chat is required on days that I have to work at home.

WiFi connection at home

Just like with the stuff above, I delayed doing this. I finally decided I would do it because my pocket WiFi has become very unreliable. I couldn’t have that on days I’m supposed to work at home. The pocket Wifi connection only works well now from midnight till early morning. Imagine that!

New Puppy!

After Augie, we didn’t want a new dog for a while. We were thinking of the pros and cons. Even when an opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t get an already big dog. I felt it would be hard to keep it. But two Sundays ago, I saw Augie’s mom being tailed by his cute, li’l siblings. We decided to bring one home.

Our newest baby, PauPau!!!

We named him PauPau, after a character in one of the kids’ favorite local series. His breed? Aspin, short for Asong Pinoy or Filipino dog. It usually refers to a dog of mixed breed, often of an unknown origin. Although there can be distinct features in some, you can’t always pinpoint what breed or breeds they are.

Next, will find a kitten.

Digital Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor

I’m not proud of it, but it’s a must. I had to purchase a BP monitor because — *sigh* — I’ve finally been diagnosed with hypertension. Ugh! One of the family curses! Diabetes is one, too, but I am, so far, not diabetic. I’ve been warned nonetheless.

It’s cute and it comes in a cute box as well

I got an inexpensive monitor and it seems to be accurate enough. I’ve been testing it against a known brand of digital arm monitor. The results are always close and, I’m happy to inform, always normal 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Phone

I’ve got a new phone!!! So what, you say? I say you don’t know me enough,

Of course, I love technology, but I’m known to not spend a lot on them. A few years back, I did buy a not-so-expensive tablet for valid reasons. Unfortunately, it died more than a year ago (one of the reasons I finally decided on a new netbook I could use).

I am not big on buying the latest gadgets. Money, you know. When you’ve got your own family, you tend to not spend on extra things. I am always using the low-tech phones because, my point is, I only really need a phone just for calling and texting. In fact, this is the one I am still using:

This below is the new one (excuse my face!). Nope, I didn’t buy it. I won it in a raffle!

 

 There you go — 8 new Things About Me! Or rather, 8 New Things I Have. Well, a rose by any other name…

What about you guys? Anything new about you?

Thanks again, Tobe!!!

Busy is the Word #WhatsupWednesday

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI!!! or GONG XI FA CAI!!!

Welcome, Earth Dog!!!

How have things been, guys? It’s been almost a week since the Chinese New Year (others call it the Lunar New Year). If you celebrate this, then my greeting goes out to you 🙂

I had been busy writing work-related stuff these past three weeks. I often had no more energy to blog or do much more socializing on social media. I would try to start but end up falling asleep just watching Netflix.

I have been learning new things that I hope I can use, though. Maybe they’ll work. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I sign out for now.

Have a great day or evening, friends!

Write! Write! #TuesdayToons

Yes, it’s a new hash potato day! #TuesdayToons! And this one says A LOT about me:

How appropriate

Copyright goes to Jorge Cham. Check out his site PHDComics.com! (“PHD” means “Piled Higher and Deeper”)

Revisiting Discarded Post-it Poetry: An Idea That Sticks [REBLOG]

Reblogging because (1) I like his idea, (2) it’s a nice interview, and (3) It’s Mr. Pinkoe for real! (except he loves yellow, it seems)

little word studio

My friend, sob, and I recently reconnected over Instagram (hey, find me @melissakandel!) and it made me want to repost this interview I did with him several months ago. I publish this not only to celebrate our Insta-friendship but also in commemoration of his most recent milestone, hitting 20k followers! Enjoy!

We met in the most unexpected way. And while I guess great love affairs do often spring from the auspiciously unusual, I’d suspect none involve quite so much dog poop as this.

In the thick of Sunset Boulevard, just a hint from The Standard hotel, there’s a little dog park chiseled into a hill, accessible by two sets of stairs guarded at their very top by a blue-painted guitar standing sentinel at the entrance. Egyptian mummies are painted all along this guitar and on a warm, early morning in June I imagined that looking at the guitar was about as creatively inspired as…

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