Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A More Personal Memorial Day . . .

I don't have much time, but I wanted to share this.

I met a woman from Korea today. The topic of her native country came up and I just happen to know a fair amount about Korea (primarily the war). So after a brief conversation, she mentioned her hope that one day North and South K would become one again and the topic of the war came up.

So I mentioned my uncle who had fought in Korea. After I shared what I knew of his experience there, she asked me how she could get in touch with him. She wanted to thank him for fighting for her country and for giving her and her family their freedom.

Unfortunately, my uncle died a couple of years ago.

I've heard stories of this gratitude before. Several years ago, another Korean veteran who had traveled back there a couple of times since the war told me that as soon as anyone would find out that he fought in the war, they would thank him.

I say if you're planning a trip to Paris - go to Seoul instead.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

With regards to my last post . . .

Please note that I'm hypoglycemic and a co-worker brought a jar of Nutella to the office. Oh yeah. Good times.

A few weird facts about me.

1.) I wash my spatula between flips.
2.) I wash my hands about 300 times a day.
3.) I think the so-called supermodels are fairly unattractive.
4.) I have never watched a single episode of Baywatch. And, I think the swimsuits they wore were kind of silly.
5.) When it comes to bullfights, I pull for the bull.
6.) I think dancing is stupid.
7.) I think jewelry is stupid. If it takes an expert with a microscope in his eye to tell the difference between a diamond and piece of broken glass, I say why spend the extra money.
8.) One of my dreams is to be a comedian.
9.) I once went 14 hours without a shower.
10.) I think lists of weird facts are stupid.

Did I mention he brought another jar of Nutella to work today?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One Year Bloggerversary . . .

What? Nobody bought me a cake?

When I started this blog one year ago today, my goal was to finally write down all the incredibly brilliant points about, well, everything that I, much to the good fortune of those around me, make everyday. And, yes, you faithful visitors have, unfortunately, witnessed only a SMALL portion of my genius.

However, I have discovered that I'm a better talker than a writer. The reason is that I'm very poor at preparation and organization of thoughts. My phenomenal brain seems to work best off the cuff and without the speed bump that is my incredibly fast, but ultimately inadequate typing speed. For some reason, typing throws my brain off rhythm.

No problem again, you say. Just record yourself while you're in the zone. Tried it - didn't work. You see my incredible brain knows that my voice sounds horrific on tape. So when I try to record myself, it goes on strike. All of a sudden I'm stupid. In fact, if my brain gets anymore independent, I'll have to call it Hal and figure out a way to shut it down.

With that said, I have concluded it is time for me to shut this blog down.

Just kidding. :)

Here's my prediction for the next year:

1. I'll get an agent
2. I'll get published
3. You'll buy it, read it, cry, laugh, and tell all your friends about it.

predictions for the next 3 years:

1. Daylemania will sweep the nation.
2. T-shirt sales alone will surpass one-hundred-dollars.
3. I'll tell Oprah her show isn't big enough for me.
3. My dog will write a tell-all book and appear on Oprah where he'll destroy my career when he reveals that he actually wrote my books through telepathy and I didn't even upgrade his tennis ball with all the money I stole from him.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Hope This is True . . .

Young writers must learn the difference between ambition and pretention. I am convinced that the very best writing is born of humility; the truly great stuff comes to life in those agonizing yet exhilarating moments when the artist is acutely aware of the limitations of his skills and the poverty of his philosophies, for it is then that he strains the hardest to make the most he can from the imperfect materials and tools with which he must work.

-Dean Koontz, From How to Write Best Selling Fiction.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Speaking of Moms . . .

This is the only picture I have of mine. (In case you're wondering, I'm the baby.)
Unfortunately, I have no memory of her. She died when I was three.
This is the story as best as I remember the telling. We pulled into a gas station. (Everything was full service then.) The attendant lit a cigarette and the fumes caught fire. He then pulled back with the nozzle in his hand spewing gas into the open window and the inside of the truck went up in flames with all five of us in it. My father, while his legs were on fire, pulled each of us out. Unfortunately, on my mother's side of the truck, the broken door was tied shut with a rope. She couldn't get out and thus had severe smoke inhalation. From what I understand, she could have survived but the doctor (or nurse) gave her the wrong medicine or dose or something. She died in the hospital.
As for the rest of us, we all had 2nd and 3rd degree burns, with my dad and sister getting the worst of it. Long hospital stays and multiple skin graphs. In fact, my earliest memory is of a nurse holding me down in a tub while I'm screaming in pain. My scars are still visible - the burn-distorted outline of my 3 yr old hands can still be easily seen.
Now please understand, I'm not trying to bring anyone down on Mother's Day. My dad did a great job filling both roles and, well, let's be honest - I turned out fantastic. :)
What I am trying to convey is the fact that life can change at any moment. Sometimes tomorrow doesn't bring a chance to make up for today. Sometimes tomorrow doesn't even come.
Contentment can be an elusive virtue. It's easy for us to focus so much on our "small" problems that we fail to see the bigger picture. But the same is true for our "big" problems. Sure, I could have turned into a bitter person - full of resentment and mad at God for letting such a terrible thing happen. But what good would that do? Instead, I became a Christian. And since I am a Christian, I believe my mom is still alive. And what would she want me to do? Live my life wallowing in despair? Or, live my life to the fullest - happy and content? The answer is obvious.
No, I didn't blame God or get mad at Him. For my hope resides in God, who so loved me that He gave His only begotten Son. You see, even God suffered the loss of a family member. Before He conquered death, Jesus died on the cross. I truly believe that when we do pass from this world to the next, the scope of eternity will make all of our problems in this life, this twinkling of an eye, seem unimportant. Even my mother's death.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My life will now be Stephen King free . . .

At least when it comes to buying his books. I may read them, but I'll never give him a dime. (not that a multi-millionaire cares.) And, I'm proud to say, that I've never purchased a King book, and now, I never will.

Why? Yesterday, (I assume), King pulled a John Kerry - suggesting that our troops are in the military because they can't read and didn't do well enough in school. Well, that would be news to all the troops who requested books - including King's - to be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. I even sent a couple of his novels that someone donated.

The fact is our troops actually test higher than the national average. They are not dumb slobs who couldn't cut it in the real world. Dummies can't operate military equipment or perform complex operations with the precision that they do.

Now, I'll admit that maybe I'm being too hard on King. Maybe he's referring to the few Americans who did join for the chance at a paid education and a small paycheck because they didn't do well in school. (by the way, what's wrong with that?) But he didn't say that. If that's what he meant, he should have qualified his statement. And even if it were true, keep it to yourself until our troops come home.

I wonder if he's even met a solder or taken the time to visit Walter Reed. I don't know, but I'd guess probably not. He's too busy living his dream life under the very protection that our troops provide.

It's well established that King is on the extreme left. In one interview, he was railing against the Bush adm. for taking away his rights by illegal wire-tapping. When the fact is, the policy only allows for wire-tapping Americans who are receiving calls from known terrorists. In other words, the govt. is monitoring terrorists and when the terrorists call an American, they no longer have to hang up. They're not listening to you talk to your agent or check up on your money, S.K. They don't have the time. Now I don't hold it against King for being a leftist. That's his prerogative. But he crosses the line when he insults our troops.

I don't own a King book, but if I did, I would have probably thrown it away (among other actions I won't mention) this morning when I heard his comment. Maybe I'll buy a used one at a garage sale just so I can . . . Never mind.

What do you think? Am I overreacting?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Here's one of my sloppier works.

Or, as I like to call it: Impressionism.
It was my first try at using a more pastel laden color scheme - which became en vogue a few years ago.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I should read the Bible more often . . .

A while back I posted An Argument Againt Arguing. This morning, I came across this verse from 2 Timothy 2:24-26:

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him him must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.