Friday, January 29, 2010

21 Days & Counting

21 days until my beautiful bride to be and I tie the knot. This picture was taken a couple of months ago at my cousins wedding (that's my fiancee I'm kissing, not my cousin LOL) Not too long from now, she'll be in the wedding dress and I'll be garbed in the penguin suit, hopefully replicating this scene after a heartfelt "I do."

Though we won't have our honeymoon right away, as the wedding itself approaches, I may be missing a post here or there, or unable to leave a comment back for each and every one of my readers. Don't worry, I am going to try my darnedest to keep up, but please have mercy if I miss a beat. I don't want to lose any of you devout void-stalkers.

Anyway, in the mean time I'm still hoping for more participants in my post below, regarding the quote and how it applies to writing. Keep em coming guys, I really find encouragement and get a lot of great ideas from you all.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday with more Voidwalking goodness.

A Literary Exercise

With much vexation of heart, I announced boldly to my body that it was time once again to get back into my exercise routine. I happen to have a physical therapy department at my office where I'm allowed to use it after all patients are done being seen for the day. In the department, they have many different exercise machines to help rehabilitate injured patients. One such machine is our good ol' friend, the treadmill. As I jumped on Mr. treadmill and set it to a hearty 3 incline and 3 miles per hour (Yes Grandma, you do in fact move faster than that in your wheelchair) I noticed a letter that was posted on the wall not 15 feet away from me. The letter contained a phrase that went something like this:

"Those who do not find time to exercise now, will have to find time for illness later."

I couldn't believe it, not only would I get a physical workout, (Yes Grandma 3 miles per hour does get MY heart going these days, geez, get off my back would ya) but I'd also get a mental one as I mused on this phrase. I thought of any way I could apply that to my writing world so that I could come back and astound everyone with a deep philosophical blog post. Then it hit me, faster and harder than a shoe being thrown at the president in contempt. I realized that it could be a fun activity to ask my readers to either comment back how this phrase could apply to their writing world, or ask them to post on their own sites an example of how it could apply.

So, here's where you come in.

1. Post back a comment to me explaining how you can apply the above quote to your writing life.


2. Write a post on your blog explaining the same thing and asking your own readers to do the same.

I'd love to see some of the concepts you guys/gals come up with.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Results, Benchmarks & Award

After yesterday's poll, I looked into the results and the comments you all left (big thanks to everyone who answered) and found that generally speaking, people mostly want a mix of posting topics. That's what I figured I'd see, but there were a few deviations making the 2nd highest choice topics about ME ME ME. **BLUSH** Thanks guys and gals.

I'll try not to disappoint you.

As for the "Benchmark" part of the title, I just wanted to shout out a big thanks to everyone who's joined my blog as a follower. I've passed the 50 followers benchmark. It's an honor for me to have so many of you stopping by to read what I have to say and encourage me in my own writing journey. A big special thank you to those of you who, not only follow me, but come by regularly to comment! Also I'd like to give a special thank you to Moonrat, who's industry related blog inspired me to start blogging again. So Moonrat, if you find yourself in sunny AZ, you are welcome to all the goodies in my trash cans and I promise I won't call Animal Control. **for those of you who don't already follow Moonrat, go check it out the blog, it's great!**

On to the "Award" portion of the title. I recently found myself a new blog to follow called Southern City Mysteries. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with it and if not, drop by. There's some great postings and information coming through. I was graced there with an award called the "Creative Writer Award," and a wonderful review for my blog. THANKS! This particular award does not appear to have any stipulations or anything. I'm going to hold on to it and will pass it on here in the near future, so stay tuned. EDIT: Also, Tiana Lei was kind enough to pass on the Honest Scrap Award as well. I've answer the Honest Scrap questions before. Here is that post if you want to see my answers.

As a side note, I'm posting a missing persons request. Does anyone know where Ash went? She ran the blog "From Ramblings to Interviews," but it's not there anymore. I wondered if her link changed or do we need to send out the blood hounds and helicopters?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What do you people want from me!?

Keeping it simple today. I'd just like some feedback from you all to know what you hope to see from me in the near future.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So as you may or may not know, I am employed in the health care industry. I've worked in the administrative or patient service side of health care for coming on about 7 years now, following a decision to leave the computer world of networking and technical services behind. It didn't take long for me to learn that, just as it was in the computer world, the healthcare industry is saturated with funny stories and quotes. In the spirit of this blog discussing issues revolving around writing and reading, I'm going to share some of the funny things I've encountered in written messages between patients and their physicians over the last few years,

So without further ado, here are the quotes, questions and comments that have left me dumbfounded or smiling.

[Moment 1]
Patient: "How long does it take for marijuana to get out of your system?"
Me: "um..."

[Moment 2]
Patient: "I took my wife's birth control. What is going to happen?"
Physician Response: 'Well Mr. _______ you won't be getting pregnant."

[Moment 3]
Me: So let me get this right. You want Dr. ______ to write you a letter for work clearing you of TB (Tuberculosis), but you haven't been TB-skin tested nor have you had a TB chest x-ray in over 2 years?
Patient: "Well when you say it like that, you make it sound bad."

[Moment 4]
Patient: "I need to know what to do. I got bit on my nose by a Bee."
Me: "I'm sorry, did you say the bee 'bit' you?'
Patient: "Yes, it bit me on my nose."
Me: "um..."

[Moment 5]
Physician's Order Reads: "OB wants Neurology to clear the patient before delivery of her child"
Me: "um...What if they say no?"

[Moment 6]
Patient: "I'd like to know if my doctor can give me an antibiotic for the camel flu."
Me: "Camel Flu?"
Patient: "Yes."
Me: "um..."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So, Here's the Scoop: Tokyo Vice

About 2 weeks ago, my soon to be father-in-law made a reading recommendation to me. Little did I know that the book he was referring me to, Tokyo Vice, was going to open as much of a door to my mind and heart as it did. I listened to him explain the premise of the book, then told him I'd love to read it and so began my journey.

The reading journey brought me back in time, to 2006, when I had went on a personal vacation to spend 3 weeks in Tokyo. Hoping not to come across as a completely unprepared foreigner, I thought I'd do my homework on Japan. I'd learned to read and write the Japanese Hiragana and Katakana which would help me survive some of the written world of Japan. I'd read about onsens, Kabukicho, foreigner job opportunities, visa options, gaijin houses, hostess clubs and most of the do's and don'ts to make sure I was prepared for what I'd be getting into. Little did I know that those things were only scratching the surface of a culture symbiotically tied with the Japanese Mafia. Little did I know that while I was playing around in Tokyo, trying to escape some of the woes of my past, the author of Tokyo Vice, Jake Adelstien, was right around the corner from me (literally at times) risking his life gathering information against the Japanese organized crime syndicate Yamaguchi-gumi. So, obviously, this book hit home with me really hard and really fast.

The book begins by taking you through a wild, and quite funny journey of Jake's introduction into the world of journalism in Japan, namely covering criminal activity for the Yomiuri Shinbun. His wit, skills, gaijin status and luck come together forging the perfect ingredients to bring about this memoir tell-all. As I followed his journey, I was enlightened to many aspects of Japanese culture, criminal or not, that I and many others are ignorant to. In some ways, I almost wish I hadn't heard about some of the things he mentioned in the book, after all King Solomon put it best in his own journal of Ecclesiastes: "For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow."

Despite the difficult elucidations I was being filled in on, I found myself unable to turn away from the book. The further into it I read, the more real the characters and the author became to me. I was filled with sorrow, encouragement, happiness and fear in this roller coaster ride of a book. I can honestly say that I've never felt more part of the story or connected to the characters as I have with Jake's story. His train-wreck of a tale ultimately leads him to a very dangerous dilemma, that any reader could easily agree makes an amazing climax. Without revealing too much, I simply want to say that if you have any passion for Japan or curiosity toward journalism, this is a MUST READ. It will leave you breathless, scared, entertained and maybe even a bit paranoid by the time you finish it. I would offer this warning though, if you have any aversion to sexual content or foul language, you may need to pass on this one. Jake is brutally honest and when honesty meets the crime world, you are bound to be left uncomfortable.

As a critical point to the literary compiling of this book, I did find that the time line of the story, as well as the abundance of Japanese names, were sometimes hard to follow, but by no means were enough to hinder the progression of the story. There are a few rabbit trails he takes you on, but they are there to fill in the gaps and are well worth the time to read.

All in all, it was an amazing read. I felt more emotions being drawn out of me than I've had in a long time. If you spend the money on this one, you won't be disappointed.

I also wanted to include a link to the Polaris Project, which helps fight human trafficking. After reading the book, please consider helping their cause, I know I will.

And for anyone else desiring to continue the story beyond the book, here is Jake's website

Upcoming Review

After many hours of somewhat uninterrupted reading, I've finished Jake Adelstein's book Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.

I have a lot to say about this novel and I hope you all will join me for my review of it. I'll post it as soon as I can.

For now, sleep beckons.