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Archive for the ‘LifeExperiments’ Category

Empowered by the latest “yes we can” declarations, I decided not to wait for new year’s resolutions for my own change. As we all know; sometimes when you make your people-network aware of your plans/goals, you feel stronger and more determined to start something new or challenge yourself. What is better than the internet to reach a huge social network for support and sure critics as well? But each opinion can lead me to learn something new or at least make me remember something I forgot about. Today I’ll list down some steps that I believe will increase the possibility to turn me into the free and creative spirit I was in search of when starting my blog (Reference:About me).

 

Step1: Broaden my Horizon

Since last year I wanted to attend some classes, courses to build up a new friend and professional network (something you have to leave behind, when you move to a new country like me) and discover probably new interests/talents that I may not be aware of.

Finding a new class starting after September can be quite difficult, because most classes start before that. But the “yes we can” motto does not come with any option for excuses and I patiently went through all UC Extension web sites. Finally I found a perfect match at UCLA Extension and registered right away – hooray!

As of November 5 I have started to attend a Social Media Marketing Class at UCLA Extension and I’m excited for each meeting Wednesday evenings. Besides feeding my curiosity of how it feels to be a student in one of the UC campuses, it’s interesting to get business and marketing insider info on all the social media technologies I have been using for some time; mainly for personal reasons.

Wait; there’s more to come.

I took my educational craving a step further and decided to expand my horizon in fields that fascinated me; what if I would realize that I could create something fascinating too? Being amazed at what graphic designers and illustrators produce and wondering if I could bring some of the images in my mind to life by learning basic skills, I applied to CalState for Visual Arts classes offered this Winter term. My application is now in progress.

Ok; now it’s time for the next step.

 

Step2: Learn a new Language

Besides Visual Arts, I wanted to equip myself with a new language, so I took a Spanish Placement exam. It’s not hard to guess that California is probably one of the best places to catch up some Spanish. As a matter of fact, I speak German and Turkish, however I didn’t have a chance to use them here so far. It would be sooo fabulous to integrate my software development experience, language skills and artistic aspirations in some way. I’m open for ideas!

 

Step3: Soak in Art and Culture

In Istanbul, I was a frequent attendee in Is Sanat (sanat=art in Turkish), Ak Sanat, Borusan Sanat and Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, where I tried to enrich my soul with Classical Music concerts, interesting plays and special performances. All of sudden I realized that my artistic spirit was abandoned after moving to California and it needed desperately some attention.

Here’s what I have achieved so far for this artistic and cultural step:

Watching movies that were long on my “must see” list is another activity I included to this part. Recently I have watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, In the Mood for Love and dozen other movies. All Hayao Miyazaki movies were magnificent, yet Kiki’s Delivery Service was by far the best! Watch the trailer video, if you need to fuel your inspiration or wish to delight your heart.

 

 

Step4: Bookworm Transformation

Once there was a girl, who cried when she remembered the books she had to leave behind cause her family was moving far away. Bit by bit she distanced herself from books, read them in an instant and tried to forget about them to avoid any feeling of attachment. May sound weird, but define normal to the human mind? Now all grown up, in the latest adventure of her life – this girl could possibly lift the curse and build a new imaginary bridge to her former kingdom of books.

A Mini-List of my current books: Groundswell, It’s Not What You Say – It’s How You Say It, Three Shadows, Istanbullular, Birds without Wings, Programming Interviews Exposed.

 

Step5: Professional Creativity

There are some minor application ideas lingering in my head, however nothing concrete to report yet. My personal brainstorming sessions still need some tuning, which mostly consists of reading, taking notes and asking many, many and really many questions.

 

Step6: Blog more often and just be myself:

This entry could be a firestarter. A flicker of hope for the blogger in me!

 

These are my steps to change before 2009. Suddenly I’m busy, I’m occupied, I’m sleepless – but who said change is easy?

 

Let’s end this entry with a quiz: After reading this irrelevant mix of resolutions, all without any correlation whatsoever, what sign do you think I am?!?

A tiny clue: Could something spreading into this many multi-directions survive in anything singular?

 

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Due to my Istanbul trip my blog was surely not in a blooming state. But before moving on with life/tech. blog entries after such a long time-out, I felt I should fuel my blogging spirit with some inspirational thoughts. Hopefully this inspiration will be transformed to some form of writing energy and freedom of imagination.

We may not be able to reverse time in any sense, yet we can learn to value every moment and embrace the constant change of life. That’s why I wanted to share the famous poem of Samuel Ullman about “Youth” today.

 

Samuel Ullman – “YOUTH”

 Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism, then you are grown old, even at twenty, but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism, there is hope you may die young at eighty.

On second thought, my imagination might already be floating free, I am the one who is trapped inside it?!? 

 

 

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Distant Dreamer

Location: Istanbul
Weather: Rainy
Mood: Cloudy
Lyrics: Distant Dreamer; Artist: Duffy

Although you think I cope,
my head is filled with hope…
of some place other than here.

Although you think I smile,
inside all the while…
I’m wondering about my destiny.

I’m thinking about,
all the things,
I’d like to do in my life.

I’m a dreamer,
a distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope, from today.

Even when you see me frown,
my heart won’t let me down,
because I know there’s better things to come.

And when life gets tough,
I feel I’ve had enough,
I hold on to a distant star,

I’m thinking about,
all the things,
I’d like to do in my life…

I’m a dreamer,
A distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope from today.

I’m a dreamer,
A distant dreamer,
dreaming for hope from today.

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Words of Silence

There was this feeling again
It was just lingering inside you
Hiding but ready to wake up
Waiting for the right moment
To turn your restless soul against you

With one feeling
You just shut down your doors
Kept silent as you wished that all
faded out of your mind

You kept still
Almost turned invisible
A tiny little grey spot
That even you wouldn’t notice

You wouldn’t notice
If you wouldn’t know
About all those bright colors you were dreaming of
The strength you gained on your own
The reflection of hope in your eyes

You knew what all had vanished in just the spur of the moment
With those words that robbed all your powers
You got silent yet the anger screaming in your head

You knew… you got lost somewhere, somehow, sometime…
You knew
But you couldn’t help it

You couldn’t play deaf
You knew you had to go on

You just couldn’t…
You couldn’t be yourself anymore

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While I am still making my own discoveries about grails and groovy in a somewhat sleepless state, I came across the following “Grails in Depth” slides from the JavaOne Conference.

Graeme Rocher‘s presentation is definitely a comprehensive overview of the grails framework. For those who are curious, I would suggest you take a look at the slides!

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Weekend groovin’

The entire week passed by working on a grails/groovy project. Yet the weekend wasn’t groovy at all! While working on the project, I realized that there were a bunch of configuration settings that I didn’t take care of. Perhaps I am going to write about some of my grails discoveries within a short time.

While I was searching for some energy spreading music to wake me up, I came across Duffy by chance. Surprisingly there are so many new + interesting British female vocals out there: Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash, Natasha Bedingfield, Lilly Allen, Joss Stone, Duffy… Except for Duffy, I have listened to their albums and found them really fresh with lots of fun+smart lyrics! Here’s Duffy’s music video for the song Mercy:

 

 

That’s a funky weekend song; what do you think?

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Spring Cleaning

Spring is here; almost leaving its place for summer. It’s time to detox your body, invite fresh fruits and vegetables to your table, jump around in the green and feel more energetic… bla bla bla:) That all sounds to cliche; like from a fitness magazine, doesn’t it?

Sometimes the only thing we need is an emotional clean-up. Spring gives you the confidence with all its light, its colors and fresh scents floating around. It makes you wake up to some realities you might have been hiding for too long somewhere…even from yourself?

Here’s a terrific Kate Nash song with the title “Foundations” that outlines my point of view in a much more amusing yet realistic way. The lyrics don’t reference a specific season; however I myself think that Spring and soul-searching go together very well.

 

 

Actually I enjoyed the simplicity of the music video.  This is my favorite piece of literature in the song: “You said I must eat so many lemons, ’cause i am so bitter…”

She has also a website and MySpace page which both have lots of funny illustrative artwork.

ENJOY! Be brave!

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Currently I’m so busy; I only managed to escape to this web hideaway…

The weather was so clear yet windy today that it reminded me of a picture which is one of my all time favorites. I cannot call it a masterpiece… Sometimes I even come across some calendars or puzzles that use the image.

The picture is by Josephine Wall and it is named “Spirit of Flight”. There are similar artworks on her website; but they are too fantastical (let’s say fantasy-like) pieces for my taste. The one that I’m sharing here is colorful, dreamy and fresh – again according to my humble taste.

 

Spirit of Flight by Josephine Wall 

 

Here is the actual description of the picture: The Spirit of Flight, the force responsible for the powers of movement of the wind and air, has gathered around her all the flying things she loves. Birds, insects, flying fish, swirling leaves, seeds of dandelions and sycamore trees, butterflies and fairies all dance around her in a grand array of wild free motion. 

As I have been sitting at the same spot for hours today; free motion sounds so tempting;)

Hey Wind – let me join your journey!

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Recently I have been talking about a short Istanbul video; which I created for Digigirlz Day. Although I shared the file on Digigirlz Live Spaces, I decided to post it here once again.

The video is a slide-show like mini movie, which includes interesting global and cultural facts about Istanbul and its people. Unfortunately I could only choose a few details about Turkey; as the video had to be short! Conclusively, I decided to include some info about daily habits and emphasize how similar people around the world are in some ways:) At least, they are similar in my opinion. What do they say? The world gets smaller, ‘right?

My video file has been created with Windows Movie Maker. Many photographs are my own; some of the pictures are from flickr – but I asked for permission before reusing them. The song playing in the background is “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by the group They Might be Giants.

There are much more artistic and professional videos out there about Istanbul; you can start with checking out http://english.istanbul.com. Lately I also saw some promotional Turkey films recorded by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism on local US TV channels; here’s a full version of one of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT0nmnTwWLY&feature=related. You can check out more info, videos and pictures on this accompanying website: http://www.goturkey.com/index.php?home=1&lng=en.

Certainly today’s post is neither informative nor goal-oriented.

Now being here; I am not moody and surely don’t feel upside down. From time to time I even feel as green+blue+sunny as Spring! Yet today is Mother’s Day. I won’t deny that I missed my “Mama” ♥, Istanbul, my friends… Probably they missed me too; I guess.

So today’s post shall be a tribute to Istanbul and all the ones/all the things that I love over there! Maybe I could show my affection also with eating some cake; covered with chocolate and including negative calories;)

Plaisir Sucre?!?

Chocolate cake 

Tiny note: Yummy desserts with (-) calories + healthy ingredients (like chocolate, coffee, caramel-LOL!) are always welcome. Contact asap to help a troubled developer!

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Yesterday I was thinking about the origin of some words as I remembered one of my reference books, which I had to leave in Istanbul when I moved to California. It is sad to part from your books… I love Internet, mobile phones, social networking, my Nintendo DS Lite, Sci-Fi Stuff etc.; but I’d always choose paper-books over e-books. I need to scribble down notes, make meaningless illustrations, and draw my flower figures; which sometimes turn into a complete garden or a draft for a landscaping project. There’s nothing like a paper-book; the one that you can hold in your hand, carry to the couch, forget on the table, probably spill coffee all over or fill with delicious cookie crumbles…

I guess this is such a trivial topic to start off the week;) Well, I missed my books. Whatever… Manic Monday, I wish it were Sunday! In fact, I would change the lyrics to this song; I wish it were Saturday or even Friday evening. There is much more to expect on a Friday evening – at least 2 more free days! It is surprising; while working freelance there’s still the week-weekend rhythm somewhere hanging in the air. It is difficult to break a habit, difficult to change your mind frame especially for routine tasks that you are almost not aware of.

Let me share an observation that I made while watching Iron Man this weekend to top off my info-loaded entry with some crucial tech-news! First of all; why didn’t anyone cast Robert Downey Jr. for an action-movie until now? Last year I watched “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints“, which might be a splendid movie, yet it made me feel awfully depressed. On the contrary, the Iron Man movie is awesome;  technology + science + engineering look so cool on big screen! Here’s the tiny tech-detail: While improving the Iron Man armor at his modest tech-workshop, Robert Downer Jr. aka Tony Stark uses a special desk with a built-in screen, which very much resembles the Microsoft Surface technology. But the movie takes the cute gadget a step further. The prototypes displayed on the screen are also reflected as 3D holographic images. You might remember holographic communication from Star Wars: Princess Leia communicating with her father, Master Yoda talking to the Jedi Council, etc. I desperately searched for a photo of the Iron Man 3D interface; however I only found a video about the suit. If you are patient, the magic will start after the 45th second of the video! For more you can check out the LG sponsored http://www.insidethesuit.com/ web site.

By the way; STARK means STRONG in German. Apparently strong is an appropriate description for a man covered with IRON plus technology.

To make today’s writing aspirations as kitsch as it gets; I will use actual quotes from the Iron Man movie as the final topping:

~Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.

~Don’t waste your life.

That’s a statement. I’d better put an end to today’s kitsch;) Stop.

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