Archive for the ‘Roz Abellera’ Category

life

The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.

-Florence Scovel Shinn

irises-vincent_van_gogh

Vincent van Gogh’s work entitled ‘Irises’ is one of my favorite paintings. It has a lot to do with the fact that my favorite color is blue which this painting has a lot of. I also love the angles and shapes that he used.

Vincent painted this masterpiece while he was staying at the Saint Paul-de-Mausole asylum for the mentally ill in Saint Remy de Provence, France, in the last year before his death in 1890.

Vincent started painting Irises within a week of entering the asylum, in May 1889, seeing the Irises in the garden at the hospital. He produced an incredible body of work during this last year of his life including this one. By all accounts, painting and art is what he occupied most of his time with during his stay. It was his daily obsession.

He called painting “the lightning conductor for my illness” because he felt that he could keep himself from going insane by continuing to paint.

When I see ‘Irises,’ I see a man who masked his suffering by creating something beautiful. And in that beauty he felt a small glimmer of hope. And that glimmer of hope was enough to keep him going.

-Roz Abellera

 

Hey, Julia Bigelow. Do you remember this?

 

These are my top 5 favorite artists who have influenced me to want to do art:

1) Pablo Picasso,  Born: October 25, 1881, Malaga, Spain, was one of the most influential artists/painters of the 20th century. To use an analogy, to me, he was like the Bruce Lee of visual arts in that he borrowed, mastered and mixed different styles to create his own-much like Bruce Lee did with Martial Arts. 

Picasso was important to me because at the time that I discovered him, I was hung up on what style of art I should do. Picasso showed me that as an artist, I don’t have to be pigeonholed within one style, I can explore and try anything I wanted. His career shows this philosophy in the way that he started out classically trained doing realistic paintings to doing strange abstracts and creating Cubism later in life. He was the prolific master.

More about Pablo Picasso:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso

2) Salvador Dali, Born: May 11, 1904, Figueres, Spain, was the most influential Surrealist Painter in art history. His signature style was to take realistic art and mix it in with dreamlike scenery. His famous painting, Persistence Of Memory  is a great example:

220px-the_persistence_of_memory

Persistence Of Memory depicts melting clocks against a barren landscape. This is just one example of the dreamlike worlds he created in his head.

Today, one can make scenes like this with a computer, but you have to remember, Dali did it with nothing more than his head, hands and heart. He was important to me because he showed that if you want to be technical, you don’t have to stick with plain and boring realism-you can create different, fantastic worlds with it.

More about Salvador Dali:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD

3) Vincent van Gogh, Born: March 30, 1853 Zundert, Netherlands, unfortunately is probably only famous to casuals for being the artist who cut off his ear and gave it to a woman at a brothel he frequented. Although to the history of art, he was much more than that. But he was a tortured artist who suffered from depression and mental illness and spent many of his last days in a mental hospital painting feverishly. Art was his obsession.

His paintings are known for its bold colors, bold lines and heavy brush strokes. Starry Night was arguably his most famous work:

van_gogh_-_starry_night_-_google_art_project

To use an analogy, if we were talking about Rock music, Van Gogh was like the band Nirvana of his time. If you’re old enough to remember, when Nirvana came along, technical guitar solos with opera like vocals was the order of the day for Rock. Rock had become this technical type of music which required some great technical skill to play. Then Nirvana came along with a crude, raw sound that was based on “feeling” rather than being technical and they changed the face of music.

Van Gogh was the same as Nirvana in that during his time, realistic looking artwork was the call of the day and then he came along with his “crude” raw looking style based on feeling and emotion and made an impact. But unfortunately for him, he wasn’t popular and was often panned and ridiculed by critics . So much so, that he made little to no money as an artist while he was alive.  They saw his work as crude and talent less. I guess there is some justice in that his paintings today sell for millions of dollars.

The duality of van Gogh was that he was a tortured man who felt ugliness and pain in his inner world but brought grace and beauty  into the outer world through his art.  Unfortunately, he committed suicide at the age of 37.

Van Gogh was important to me because he showed that art can come from emotion and doesn’t have to be technically perfect. It can be used for pure expression.

More about Vincent Van Gogh:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh

4) Katsushika Hokusai, Born: Born: 1760, Edo, Japan.  He was a Japanese artist, painter and printmaker. He was known to use heavy lines and bold colors making his painting almost “cartoon-like” by today’s standards. He’s known to have influenced many Western painters, Van Gogh included. In fact you can see the heavy influence of his art in Van Gogh’s paintings. Hokusai’s most famous work is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa:

220px-great_wave_off_kanagawa2

When I look at Hokusai’s work I think “style.” He wasn’t caught up in the academia of art and how things are “supposed to look.” Like in the picture of above, he didn’t follow any rules of how a wave is supposed to look in reality. He painted the waves his OWN personal way.

This is what he brings to the table. An artist should have his own personal style.

More about Katsushika Hokusai:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokusai

5) Whilce Portacio,  Born: July 8, 1963, Naval Station Sangley Point, Cavite City, Phillipines. He is a comic book writer and artist noted for his work on such titles as The Punisher, X-factor, X-men, Iron Man, Wetworks and Spawn. He was also one of the founders of Image Comics.

I was once a comic book nerd, still am to some degree, and when I first saw Whilce Portacio’s drawings I thought “wow.” There really is no other way to describe it other than that when he draws these comic book characters, they just look extra cool. When you see another comic book artist’s depiction of Spider Man or Wolverine, then look at Whilce’s version you see that his version has that “cool” factor about it. Check out his version of the X-men drawn in pencil:

xmen

Whilce Portacio is important to me because his art makes me want to pick up a pencil and just draw. His art sometimes tempts me to try my hand at doing graphic novels. Hmm?

More about Whilce Portacio here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whilce_Portacio

So these are my top 5. There are other artists that I love as well, but these are the main ones that had an impact on me. Check out their works and enjoy!

-Roz Abellera

My pet aquatic turtle Isabelle, AKA Izzy, outgrew her basking dock. Turtles like to sit and bask under a heat lamp and soak up the rays, it’s good for their health. She got so big that her store-bought dock would sink halfway into the water every time she lay on it. So she could never get completely dry because of this; her head would get some rays but than her feet and legs would still be soaked.

The skin on her legs was getting irritated so I had to come up with a plan. I ran across this video on You Tube (see the video below) on how to make an above the tank basking dock. The basking dock rests on top of her tank and when she wants to get into the water, she just climbs down the ramp. This was a fun project that me and my wife worked on together. We used egg crate and zip ties and used the video for reference. Izzy loves it!

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“What’choo lookin’ at!?”

 

turt2

“This is all mine.”

 

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Queen Isabella

 

turt4

“A girl’s gotta get her sun.”

-Roz

I’m a believer in keeping a positive mental attitude to get through life. I believe a positive attitude can help one achieve many things and help you reach seemingly unattainable goals. It sure beats being negative and miserable when confronted with an issue or problem. That only makes the problem seem worse, in my opinion.

Because of this, some friends and acquaintances have pinned me as one of those “Anyone Can Do Anything They Want” positive attitude shiny happy people. You know the type. Like the stereotypical motivational speaker who says things like”Hey, you want to be the richest man in the world? Well, if you believe, you can achieve.” Or “If you want to be a superstar athlete? Well, if you believe, you can achieve.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of many of these motivational speakers. They have a wealth of wisdom that have helped many people with their lives. And I love a lot of their quotes and philosophies. But I don’t really follow their way of thought 100%. I don’t believe a positive attitude ALONE is enough to reach your goals.

See, some of these motivational speakers for example will tell you that anyone can just have any dream they want and if they try hard enough, and believe enough, they WILL achieve it. For example, you can take Joe Blow off the street and because he wants to be an NBA basketball center so bad-it’s going to come true. Well, in my opinion, the first thing you have to ask is “Does he have the skills and does he have what it takes physically (is he the right person)?”

See, I don’t consider myself a pessimist, optimist, or even a realist. I consider myself an opportunist. I believe in odds. The harder (and smarter) you work, the more skill sets you gain, the more skill sets you gain, the more positions for opportunities you gain, the more positions for opportunities you gain, the more the odds for success are in your favor. It’s all about odds to me. And I’m all about putting the odds in my favor. This is why I’ve never had a problem with working hard, I see it as ultimately a numbers game.

So going back to the pro basketball center analogy,  if I dreamed of being an NBA pro basketball center, it more than likely wouldn’t happen. For one, I don’t have the skills. And two, I’m only 5’5. So even if I trained for years and got good at basketball and got the skills, I still don’t have the physical size for the position (Shaquille O’Neal is a basketball center for example at over 7 ft. tall). For the optimists who don’t completely agree with me, even you have to admit that the odds wouldn’t be in my favor.

So I believe in trying to achieve your dream, you have to take a serious inventory of yourself and see if you’re a fit for the role or you have the talent. And if you don’t have the natural talent, is it learn-able? Because unfortunately some things aren’t. It’s best to be realistic about these things. It’s just the way life is, some people fit into certain roles better than others.

So to my friends, no, I’m not one of these “Anyone Can Do Anything They Want” Guys. I’m more the “You Have To Be The Right Person, At The Right Place, At The Right Time” Guys.

Now go get it.

-Roz Abellera

‘From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea’

Every time we do this
I fall for her
Wave after wave after wave
It’s all for her
I know this can’t be wrong I say
(and I’ll lie to keep her happy)
As long as I know that you know
That today I belong
Right here with you
Right here with you…
And so we watch the sun come up
From the edge of the deep green sea
And she listens like her head’s on fire
Like she wants to believe in me
So I try
Put your hands in the sky
Surrender
Remember
We’ll be here forever
And we’ll never say goodbye

I’ve never been so
Colorfully-see-through-head before
I’ve never been so
Wonderfully-me-you-want-some-more
And all I want is to keep it like this
You and me alone
A secret kiss
And don’t go home
Don’t go away
Don’t let this end
Please stay
Not just for today

Never never never never never let me go she says
Hold me like this for a hundred thousand million days
But suddenly she slows
And looks down at my breaking face
Why do you cry? what did I say?
But it’s just rain I smile
Brushing my tears away

I wish I could just stop
I know another moment will break my heart
Too many tears
Too many times
Too many years I’ve cried over you

How much more can we use it up?
Drink it dry?
Take this drug?
Looking for something forever gone
But something
We will always want?

Why why why are you letting me go? she says
I feel you pulling back
I feel you changing shape
And just as I’m breaking free
She hangs herself in front of me
Slips her dress like a flag to the floor
And hands in the sky
Surrenders it all

I wish I could just stop
I know another moment will break my heart
Too many tears
Too many times
Too many years I’ve cried for you
It’s always the same
Wake up in the rain
Head in pain
Hung in shame
A different name
Same old game
Love in vain
And miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Away from home again

-The Cure

“Life isn’t fair.”

This is what someone recently said to me. You’ve probably heard this saying a million times. You can either accept it or deny it. Me, I choose to accept it because I feel it makes me deal with life easier. But I’ve always been one of those people who likes to call out things as they truly are and not look at things through rose colored glasses. I’d rather deal with with a brutal truth than a comfortable lie. That’s just me.

But it’s true, life really isn’t fair. Based on your perspective, some would say I’m luckier than others or unlucky -depending on who you talk to. Some of us were born closer to the finish line than others. I recognize that. Whether this means you’re richer, taller, prettier, etc. etc. That’s just the way it is. You really have no control, good or bad, how you were brought in or brought up in this world. We really have no say about where we started from.

Some people like to sulk in misery because they feel like life dealt them a bad hand. I can understand why they feel this way because I see that some people really do have a hard life. I can sympathize with that. But what I say to that is: FIGHT. Fight hard with your will and determination to improve yourself and your situation. I know it’s easier said than done BUT it can be done, I’ve seen people do it.

This is the part of your life that you DO have control over. Self improvement. I’m a firm believer in this. Whatever your lot in life is right now, whether you’re ahead or behind, you can take the steps to become better. It just takes discipline and will. You have to play with the cards you were dealt.

So whatever your short or long term goal may be to make your life better; whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, whatever it may be- just get started. YOU have to be the one to take that first step.

Yeah, life isn’t fair but so what?  I refuse to just lay down and die.

-Roz

The outsourcing of jobs to countries overseas has been a political issue for many years now and has been a major topic in this upcoming election. It came to my attention a few years back that many people don’t actually know the mechanics behind outsourcing and why American companies do it.

A few years back, I worked for a local paper here in Florida and I overheard a coworker talking to a credit card company on the phone. After she was done talking, she hung up the phone and said “I wish they would go back to their country,” obviously because the rep that she spoke to had a foreign accent. I had to correct her because the statement she made was plain ignorant and she sounded very uneducated (Um…they are in their own country). But it also made me wonder how many more people were just as ignorant about outsourcing.

Now let me start by saying that I do NOT support or believe in outsourcing. I think it’s destructive to the American economy. Also, as a Filipino/American I feel I have more of a reason to dislike it than your average American. Here’s why.

I was born and raised in the USA but my roots and my ancestry are from the Philippines. One of the countries where jobs are outsourced to is the Philippines (A lot of call center reps that you talk to are either in India or the Philippines). American companies outsource jobs there because it’s cheaper to pay a worker overseas than a local worker. For example, a call center job here in America would pay maybe $10-$12 an hour where comparatively the same company might pay an overseas worker $1-$2 an hour. To me, this is pure exploitation and I don’t like it. It’s an example of a rich and wealthy corporation looking for cheap labor to exploit in order to make themselves richer. They can fatten their wallets by paying someone overseas something close to a slave wage. And I don’t buy into the notion that they are there to try to help this poor country or whatever other reason they may have. This is an example of corporate GREED, plain and simple.

From my American side, I dislike outsourcing just as much because by sending jobs overseas this leaves people in America without jobs. Without a job, a person is unable to support him or herself or their family financially. It’s horrible to see someone lose their job due to outsourcing. Some people who defend outsourcing say “yeah, but by outsourcing we can have cheaper products.” My thought on that is: What good is it to have cheaper products if no one has any jobs to buy them.

Outsourcing isn’t new, it had been going on to some degree for many decades but there were 2 events in American history that made it worse. First, was the implementation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by former president Bill Clinton, which he signed into law in 1994.

NAFTA is a colossal failure that has done catastrophic damage to the U.S. economy.  Here are some quick facts:

  • Before NAFTA the U.S. had a trade surplus with Mexico – now we have have a $97 billion trade DEFICIT!
  • 682,900 U.S. jobs have been lost due to NAFTA.

Second, was China’s entry into the World Trade Organization which was also supported by Bill Clinton. From this, all products made in China can be sold in the USA without tariffs. So products once produced in cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or Greenwood, South Carolina, is now produced in communist China or some other off-shore location and then sold back to the U.S. This is not trade—this is the destruction of the American economy!

Now I apologize if this looks like I’m pointing fingers at Bill Clinton and it offends you, that’s not my intention. I am simply stating facts. These are not opinions-these statistics are well documented. I would have pointed out the same thing if this was done by Abraham Lincoln. You can look up the history of the NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO if you think I’m being politically biased.

Also, as I write this, the 2016 Election for president is tomorrow. And no, I am not trying to sway any votes to go either way for any particular candidate. I myself am neither Democrat or Republican so I have no dog in this race. I’m also old enough to know that no matter what you say about a candidate, a person is going to vote for he or she regardless. I can have evidence that a certain candidate is a part time serial killer or likes to pull wings off butterflies for fun and their supporters will vote for them regardless. So no, this is not my intention. Consider me politically neutral on this subject.

So basically, American jobs aren’t being taken away. They are being GIVEN away by greedy corporations. Also, these people don’t have to “go back to their country,” as this uneducated woman said. They are in their own country. It’s these companies that are going to these foreign countries and offering jobs to people over there. These people aren’t hiring themselves.

Some politicians are also partly to blame for this outsourcing problem because some of them are in cahoots with these greedy corporations and getting trade agreements signed into law that are no good for the American economy and the people.

I am just setting the record straight  because outsourcing has been one of the major subjects during this election. So it reminded me of when I had to correct this woman and tell her that if she was going to say something ignorant to at least get her facts right.