Friday, September 30, 2016

What is Reality?

Zytroft: Season 1, Episode 12, "What is Reality?"

Do enjoy. Like, subscribe, comment, share, and Bithi on, Bithiyanites!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Don't quit caffeine

Hello Bithiyan!  What is new you ask?  This question has a couple answers to it.  Let me enlighten you.

1. So yes I'm back from an short hiatus.  Let's call it a sabbatical.  Over the last week, I embarked on a great experiment.  I took a week off from all caffeine.  Why? Why would I do this?  Well, this week  served multiple purposes.  a. From time to time I do a week long detox, either because I've been drinking too much coffee or have been over stressed and don't need any extra jitters.  b. It was an experiment in alternate states of being, or in this case my "natural" state.  The question, "could a caffeine free life be a better more productive life?", sparked my interest.  c.  Depriving oneself of a pleasurable, well ingrained, daily habit that borders on addiction serves as a great test of character and willpower.  One will feel proud and empowered after successfully completing a week without it.

Embarking on this experiment set the stage for the week.  Last Sunday I had my last sip of coffee for the duration.  For the first half of the week I was off of work and could have been productive, but nay, the lethargy and headaches had incapacitated my up'n'at'em, relegating my week to netflix.  Perhaps my best achievement from this period of time was catching up on shows.  Monday was at the migraine level, Tuesday eye strain level, Wednesday minor bump on the head level, and Thursday relative lack of pain.  Still I had no resurgence of energy.  Friday was back to work for the weekend.  I soon found myself in a trough because the headaches returned and, yes, I was hydrated enough.  Three days of barista-ing on the busy weekend usually flies by but this time it was driving behind a short grandma, in a snowstorm, in slow motion.  Being surrounded by coffee at work, I was not tempted too terribly by the brewed beelzebub.  Monday was the day I was allowed to re-endulge, but I had already completed acclimation to a caffeine free life, so i waited until Tuesday.  Tuesday was gooooood.

A successful detox deserves coffee.

So during the duration, my ability to do this was rather nil.  And nil is what I did, mostly.  I read online the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal about five days in, then had a good laugh at how accurate it all was.  Most of these were me, such as: headache, sleepiness, irritability, lethargy, depression, lack of concentration, brain fog and dizziness.  The funniest one that was inaccurate for me was insomnia. HA if I wasn't working, eating, or trying to watch netflix, I was sleeping.  Despite all these symptoms, I was able to work on some things, which leads me to...

2.  Fanfictions! No, I haven't be writing fanfictions, but I did do some proofreading and editing for my before mentioned friend Josh who is serially posting chapters of a crossover fanfiction.  If you liked the recent animated film, Zootopia, and also enjoyed the hit dysfunctional family sitcom about Long Island Italian-Americans, Everybody Loves Raymond, the this story's for you.  Check it out here.

3.  I wrote a short philosophical analogy.  It's still being tweaked.  It should be up this week.

4.  Working, obviously.  $$

5.  Finally, some new and important scenes are in development for my screenplay.  

So, that has been the recent days.  Look out for daily articles once again!  Huzzah!

Comment and share, if you dare. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Zytroftian Update #3

I've got another video on the way and been busy coordinating some big things in the works, so stay tuned!

And here's a photo I snapped in Ocean City, MD on my sole summer beach trip!

I'm standing between the ocean and a tidal pool.  There were killer sandbars that day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ode to Batoidea

This is an ode to thee, oh aquatic pancake
From the sting ray below, to the noble skate 
You sit low with a dark, mysterious eye,
watching the fish sway with the tide
You fly through the sea like a headless avian,
Casting a shadow, negating your alien
 You are a right friendly lad
in a sandy floored bachelor pad
 I admire your groovy polka dots, but
in this environment your camo kinda rots
 Your sacrifices gave the samurai a grip
on their swords, fighting the mongols off their ships 
"Good Morning!" you say
In a most antisocial way
You finally bid the day adieu
and you sleep in the sand on a night anew. 

There you have it!  I was determined to make this post a little more entertaining than just pictures of batoids.  Even if it means laughing at bad poetry!  So be it!  Now if you do have a love for aquatic tailed pancakes, then you shall have enjoyed my photos from the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  They're just delightful aren't they?

Please share and comment!

Enjoying NYC Again

I am no native to New York but am decended from it.  My family hails from Long Island circa 1977.  But they, despite being in close proximity, visited the city very sparingly.  I could safely say that I have spent more time in Manhattan than that of my father and his siblings.  It is understandable as to why though.  Imagine the logistics of taking six kids into the city for the day.  My grand parents had enough work to do already.

I, on the other hand, grew up on the Hawaii of the east coast and spent most of my days playing in fields, woods, and on beaches.  I lived fifteen minutes out into the country from my small town, which was forty minutes south of the closest urban centre on the eastern shore of Maryland.  So a big city seemed like some far off dream world.  A place like NYC was a setting for television and movies and a place were famous people lived, but it was hard to grasp what I was in the first time I really walked Manhattan.

I went to NYC a few times while as a kid, at least twice. Then one day I went off to university.  In the fall of my freshman year, the student activities office had a sign up for a free time trip to New York.  I jumped at the opportunity to go and ended up strolling about the most touristy of touristy areas, i.e. Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Centre, etc.  I even planned out a few off-the-beaten-path destinations and hit those.  This idea would influence my later trips to the city a great deal and thankfully so.  The iconic things are fun and all that but gets the busiest and are expensive(in the bad way).

My next trip to the city was two years later.  At this point I made a close friend, Josh, who lived lived nearby the city, he was quite familiar with it.  My university had another free time trip sign up and we jumped again.  Being that I had seen the best spots already but two years earlier, he and I decided to give the grand tour to a new friend/love interest of mine.  We basically saw all the same things but was at a completely different level of fun because the trip was also a quasi date for me and the new friend.  One thing I'd never seen before was Central park, and it was closing in on dusk, so we all (her friends were along too) went to see it.  Excellent! Central Park at dusk, time to make my move!  Josh broke off of the group with her friends(as planned) leaving me and her walking alone.  Thats when I used the most cheesy line ever(involving a hershey's kiss, I snagged it (got it for free) at the hershey's store) to ask her out...and Huzzah, it worked! Josh and I dubbed this the Magic of the City.  And so my second college city trip left me with memories of the start of a really great relationship.

From here Josh became my official NYC tour guide and companion.  We have gone to the city many times after this, having crazy adventures, including running at midnight in the pouring rain to catch a train and singing We The Kings.  Each of these trips became less and less focused on anything to do with the main things you think of when you think NYC.  The hidden treasures had become what visiting NYC was about.  Do or see something new every time you go.  The epitome of this became seeing the apartment from the cut scenes in Friends, in the Village.  Greenwich Village is well known and well represented in media, but, the tourists don't seem to really go there much.  And so it has become one of my favorite places to go.  It has many great cafes and restaurants, it's a great place for a writer like me.  It's relatively quiet for Manhattan.  And the people walking around there are real people that live, eat, shop, and sleep in the city.  You can find your chains but there are also grocery stores and clothing shops.  It's great if you like antiques and specialty stores.

When you walk down the side streets in Greenwich Village, you no longer feel like you're in New York.  It feels cozier and homier.  It's a pleasant and comfortable place to promenade.  The crazy thing is, I always wanted to escape nowheresville and go off to where people live and where things happen but when I finally did I found myself drawn to the places that didn't feel like where I was.  Essentially, I want to be in a place that is close to where I come from in the middle of somewhere completely foreign to my home.  And I don't mind.  It also has to do with growing up, I think.

Many people go off into the world and find a place they can call theirs, yet they still want it to feel like home, to a degree.  We are all biologically programmed to pursue procreation.  It drives the desire for starting a family and conversely it drives hedonist desires too.  Our genes want to be passed on, despite our own selfish wants.  But despite those things, when we decide to have children or when they wind up on the way, it's natural to want to raise them in an environment similar to our own childhoods.  Of course this depends on quality of one's childhood, but this theory isn't about the exception.  But yeah, in regards to the Village, it's pretty nifty and swingin'.

So going forwards in my visits to NYC, I've gotten to the point where enjoying the city is now about visiting the places I enjoy.  Finding a nice place to get lunch, sit and relax with good company.  Have a drink, make good conversation.  Also, the thing to do is to find a new place or thing to do that you can't do anywhere else.  Something very specialized that caters to a specific interest of yours, especially if you can't really do it anywhere else.

Recently I read an interview on GQ.  Director Wes Anderson (one of my favorites) interviewed the founder of a new movie theatre/cafe/restaurant called The Metrograph.  They specialize in indie and classic films.  The founder was saying that he'd like it to be a place were writers can hangout and work on their screenplays. Being that I am working on a screenplay and have cinematic desires, this is one of my newest destinations.  Another is The Iguana.  Monday and Tuesday nights a live swing band plays, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.  They played at my university and I quite enjoyed the show.  I have a love for Swing music and the Jazz era.  This destination sounds like a hopping swing club and the dance floor calls my name!

To conclude, for new visitors of NYC I'd recommend, yes, go see all the tourist things.  Then do it again, and again if necessary.  You need to get tired of them so you can effectively search out new things.  Then do that, find the new things.  As you do this, you'll begin to figure out what parts of the city are your favorites.  Then eventually, visiting the city will no longer be stressful and tiring, but relaxing and more enjoyable than times square ever will be!  But still expensive (but in the good way). "It's up to you New York, New York."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Gun Safety

Just a reminder! These are the rules every lawful and responsible gun owner should follow.

1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
2. Never point a gun at anything you're not willing to destroy.
3. Know your target and what's beyond it.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire.

Happy shooting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Antique Photo Shoot

When I was at university I did some antique style photos that I posted to instagram.  Oh right my instagram is @zytroft.  Anyway, I always liked the idea of making modern photos look antique, but not like the kind you get by the shore.  I have better taste than that.  So, today I decided to do a photo shoot of that nature.  I edited them using instagram.  These first two I took while at university.

Nolde Forest, November 2014
I was going for a Civil War feel here.  I always liked the photos showing soldiers just hanging out, like this.

Nolde Forest, November 2015
Here I wanted an air of WWII french resistance.  
Both of these photos correlate with what hats I had on hand, and the hats I had on hand correlated with what i was studying at the time. 

Today's Shoot
French Revolution of 1830 if they had photography and percussion cap rifles

Musket and Dagger

On the march

The lad that got stuck with the musket during the Easter Rising.

Civil War portrait

Victorian portrait

I feel like this is starting to become an art blog.  A project like this pleases the artist and historian within me.

Be sure to share and in the comments tell me which ones look the most authentic!  Also follow me on instagram @zytroft 

Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Sunday, September 11, 2016

How to order coffee

There are endless ways to order coffee but in most American coffee shops, these are the basic coffee beverages and what constitutes them.  This is really a 'what to order' not a 'how to order.'  As a barista, I thought it'd helpful to write a post on the basics of what you see on a coffee shop menu.  This is for those of you that know what coffee is, are fond of it, and perhaps looking to expand your caffeination repertoire, but may not be sure what some things on the menu are.

Drip coffee (what you think of when you think coffee):
Light roasts- lighter taste, strong caffeine
Medium roasts- balanced taste, moderate caffeine. Most house blends.
Dark roasts- bold flavor, slightly less caffeine than medium roasts

Roast levels are due to roasting times.  Longer roast, less caffeine.  You may add cream and sugar.

Espresso (pressed coffee):

This is the liquor of coffee. Made a shot or too at a time, often mixed with milk.  All espresso drink caffeine levels depend on quantity of espresso.  One espresso shot averages the caffeine of an 8-12 oz cup of coffee.

Espresso- straight up. Usually a solo (single) or doppio (double shot).
Latte- Espresso, steamed milk, thin layer of foam
Cappuccino- Espresso, steamed milk, 50/50 ratio foam to milk
Americano- Espresso, hot water.  Consistency of drip coffee, espresso flavor
Machiato- Steamed milk, thin layer of foam, espresso poured over top foam.  Layered latte.
Breve- Steamed half and half, espresso

Flavors and toppings can be added.  Whipped cream also exists, that's all I'll say about that.

Drip coffee variants:
Red eye- drip coffee +1 espresso shot
Black eye- drip coffee +2 espresso shots
Purple eye- drip coffee +3 espresso shots
Cafe au lait- Drip coffee, steamed milk

Decaf: A coffee flavored something we don't talk about...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Quotes of the Day

"A locked door is as good as a wall."

This quote popped in my head while at work today. What inspired it was simply the corner between the men's bathroom door and the employee only back room.  To customers, the door to the back room is as good as a wall.

"It's a cotton candy sky!"
-My Cousin Austin

Austin is my youngin cousin.  Tonight he saw the sunset and declared it a a cotton candy sky.  I thought it was quite poetic for a nearly three year old to say, even though he was simply calling it as he sees it.  After hearing him say that, "It's only a paper moon" instantly popped into my head.

And so I took those two quotes and wrote a small poem to the tune of "It's only a paper moon."

A locked door is good as a wall,
and so I walked on by.
And then a sight made my delight.
It's a cotton candy sky! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Curse of the Dark Water

Please watch with headphones on if possible.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

What is the The Bithiyan?

The name "Bithiyan" is derived from the Laminish word bitheyan, meaning festival.  Lamina was a moon of the planet Equa.  The native inhabitants would hold a festival every year when their world passed into the shadow of the planet.  Each revolution around Equa took about three earth years.  In the meantime, resources were gathered for the bithiyan.  It was a time of celebration, when work ceased and merriment prevailed.  In each village green a great structure was built that would be slowly burnt throughout the entire season.  Music, dancing, and feasting were paramount.  People also would discuss ideas, philosophy and history.  Many Laminans fell in love during the bithiyan.

I originally started the Bithiyan back around 2013 as place to post stories from this universe, but that never happened.  As time went on, postings were rare, I think I averaged one a year until 2016.  When I decided to start blogging, I decided I'd stick with the Bithiyan because I knew I wanted to write about a broad spectrum of topics, and the etymology of the name was perfect for that.  Thus, Festival of Ideas was born!

So what is the Bithiyan?  Yes, it is an eclectic blog with ranging topics from philosophy to history to politics to literature to dreams to poetry, love, and the macabre.  But it is also a central gathering for everything creative I do, on the internet and off.  Here I post my Youtube videos, paintings, drawings, and photography.

I also have bigger plans for this blog and the Bithiyan brand.  These plans include possible additional writers and contributors, to film, to endless possibilities!  Only time will tell, and the greatest asset of the Bithiyan is its readers.  You!  So please please, share, comment, promote, like, follow, subscribe and contribute!  Do some of the things or all the things!  The Festival of Ideas is counting on you!

Twitter: @zytroftEF
Instagram: @zytroft

And always remember that I met the Dark Lord, we tight.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rambling Poetry

Each morning the butterflies rise.
It’s a nauseous feeling caused by eyes.
She trots about, I’m awaiting the day,
Where once again she’ll come my way.
She’s refuses the coffee,
and insists on strawberry.
Our relations are made common
Like the rich man eats ramen.
The diverse coalescence of times,
In contrast it saves potential dimes.
Yet, money sings quietly above,
Since by my heart sings the biological dove.
Her title is one which suggests:
Perhaps I should pursue the person which pests.
The other of same name
Makes ripples in the pursuing frame.
She’s a picture that saved me the warm season
Now that looks like a wasted clover reason.
Shall I clench the soil
To only have it foiled?
Cut short by cinematic travel,
Should those without desire toss the first gravel?
I have it and will toss it.
Without the desire your freedom is grit,
An annoyance in spit.
Poetic evolution from heart to liberty,
Contrasts a question of stifling duality.
It will not do to choose a choice that chastens the spirit.
Better a leap into the dark, still why do we fear it?
Across the mountains and over the sea
Lies unimaginable possibility
To liven the spirit and fulfil the need.
It’s a result that’s desired with exacerbating speed.
In the meantime, remember to always have fun,
The path of life is a gushing run.
It turns and twists down valleys and gorges,
Cutting the rock, the mindset it forges.
I will find a love that is over that hill,
Leaving the choices, especially the shill.
The next chapter is a song and a reel,

Oh you butterflies, take the wheel!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sleepy Oxford

I visited the Oxford cemetery recently and saw the grave George Washington's Aide-de-Camp, Tench Tilghman

He's the tall one.

"Tench Tilghman
Lt. Col. in the Continental Army and Aid de camp of Washington, who spoke of Him thus:
'He was in Every Action(it looks to be) in which the Main Army was concerned.  A Great Part of the Time He refused to receive Pay.  While living, no man could be more Esteemed and since dead none more Lamented than Col. Tilghman.  No one had imbibed Sentiments of greater Friendship for Him than I had done.  He left as Fair a reputation as Ever belonged to a Human Character.'
Died April 18th, 1786
Aged 42"

"In memory of Col. Tench Tilghman who died April 18th, 1786 in the 42d year of his age.  Very much lamented.  He took an early and active part in the great contest that secured the Independence of the United States of America.  He was Aid-de-Camp to His Excellency George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Armies and was honoured with his friendship and confidence and he was one of those whose merits were distinguished and honorably rewarded by the Congrels, but still more to his praise he was a Good MAN."
"His remains brought from old St. Paul's, Baltimore, were reinterred here, November 30, 1971."

Don't forget to subscribed to my channel and keep sharing the Festival of Ideas!

Au Rêve

This video I uploaded earlier this summer.  It was edited on my iPhone as a way to put together random clips.  I wanted to make something of them before deletion. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Oh, Mr. Bagel: A poem

Potato chips are quite the crisp,
The tentacle opens the bag.
The driveway cat, oh Mr. Bagel
Lives his life in drag.

Can we put a date on it?
No, not even a stamp.
The oily glasses will tell you
That’s why the lady’s a tramp.

To pop the cork on luck,
Could be popping the bottle of poison.
Maybe more crisps than oyster crackers,
Hails the channel that the boy’s on.

Can you write upon the graph paper
To tear away its grid?
Don’t use that keystone rewards card,
Or you’ve already lost that bid.

Don’t erase your library slip,
If it sits upon the charter.
The old cellphone already died,
To save us the pain of barter.

Who will carry the sun peaking flag?
Or deal out each hand of magic?
To get this far without a context,
Would be a course that’s tragic.

Tempting thee to toss this page,
Back to the wailing seas,
Is to understand this dreadful poem

And not possess a disease!

This poem was inspired by the random things sitting on my desk.  Please tell me in the comments if you find any deeper meanings in this poem! Also, keep sharing the Bithiyan!