When Comedy and Creativity Collide and Inspire

My favorite month is about to come to an end and I’ve been slacking in my Obsessions posts. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind with home remodeling, and I’ve found myself going crazy about all kinds of things. Here’s a few of ‘em.

:: Parks & Recreation. Okay, so I know I’m a little behind getting in to this show, but that’s usually because I don’t watch several television programs at once. When my all-time top favorite show finally came to its close (that would be How I Met Your Mother, with which I am ALWAYS obsessed), I had to watch the entire series again. And I had some hesitations with Parks & Rec. One is that Amy Poehler has always sort of bothered me, and while I liked The Office quite a bit, I wasn’t in the mood to start another series just like it. But there was one main reason got me to turn it on (and for that, see the next paragraph). The first short season didn’t knock me out of my chair; but once it got going, I was hooked. And for two very simple reasons: Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman. These dudes are seriously hilarious. And instead of going on and on about why, just find out for yourself and watch the show. Bonus, Amy Poehler actually became endearing, and all the other characters get better and better (i.e. April, Ben, and I’ll admit, even Tom).

The Creativity Conference (aka Adobe MAX) :: At the beginning of the month, I attended the 3-day conference Adobe puts on for the second year in a row in L.A. I wasn’t expecting to be able to go this year, but one major factor had me figure out a way: Baz Luhrmann. An incredible visionary in filmmaking, his movies (while few in number) are BIG in style, and have made a huge impact on me as an artist, a writer, and film lover. He was one of the guest speakers and I just couldn’t miss the chance to see him in person. But there was another bonus: the “Sneak Peeks” that Adobe shows (the latest and greatest technology for us creatives) was to be hosted by Nick Offerman. At the point of registering, I had not yet seen Parks and Rec, but had seen and LOVED The Lego Movie (see my last Obsessions post), so this of course is what prompted me to watch the show. I’ll say this one thing. The man IS Ron Swanson. He is just as funny in person. Funnier. Hilarious. Best part of the conference.

The War of Art :: One of the best things I came away with from Adobe MAX (other than a free Fujifilm X-T10 camera and Apple Watch, which I happened to win by tweeting) was a handful of books to read and inspire. This one by Steven Pressfield is a must-read, not just for creatives, but everyone. Anyone who is trying to do anything good. If you’re an artist or a writer or a parent or an athlete, or just trying to lose some weight, this book will enlighten you. The basic idea is that anything we do that is of any value will be met with Resistance. And the only way we will accomplish what we set out to do, the only way we can achieve any goal or dream or project, is to simply tell Resistance to fuck off. Simple, not easy. But it is as easy as just DOING IT. It’s incredible what happens when you have one little thought that rules over everything else: “I’m not going to let Resistance win right now.” It’s one moment, one day at a time. It’s incredible what it does.

*Other inspiring books I came away with: Outliers, Design the Life You Love, Steal Like an Artist, The 4-Hour Work Week

Chvrches :: October is my favorite month for a lot of reasons, but one big one is because I get to celebrate being born. This year was a little tougher than usual (and that’s because I LOVE my birthday. Seriously, every year I go all out), but I felt scared of this one. No longer was I early thirties. I was turning 34, MID-thirties. And the thirties seemed to have given me thirty extra pounds I didn’t want. My body was in bad shape, I just had to recognize it. So I decided to do something (with a little thanks to my new found attitude towards Resistance). This was also when I realized one of my favorite music groups had just released their sophomore album, Every Open Eye. Chvrches’ first release, The Bones of What You Believe has a recurring spot on my rotating playlist, so I was super excited to get the latest. And certainly it has lived up to my expectations. With songs like “Make Them Gold” and “Clearest Blue”, I have some great new inspiring tunes to help with that extra motivation I’m going to need for the sweaty workouts I dread. I’m crazy about Chvrches’ beats, the fantastic female vocals, and 80s-inspired synth. Oh, and of course, that the trio is Scottish. Because we all know, “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”

ObsessionsJulie Kanta