The Endangered Tradition of Taking a Walk

You can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, or you can actually walk with them instead.

To “go take a walk” used to mean something.  On the surface, it could seem that walking without a necessary destination may seem pointless.  But when you’re physically moving, the gears in your head tend to move as well.  (I get most of my ideas to write about while moving in some way, not sitting still and just trying to think stuff up: The ideas just appear in my head as long as I’m moving somehow.)  When walking alone, you will more likely be able to think more clearly and creatively.  When walking with another person, you’re more likely to engage in clear and creative conversations.  But in a culture where we do a lot of scurrying around, then we get home, and we are often so exhausted from the day’s stress that we just want to chill out on the couch, the tradition of taking a walk has become endangered.  And therefore; less thinking, less talking.

Taking walks is a tradition I am making a point to bring back in my own life.  Every day at work, my friend Chris and I take a fifteen minute walk around the buildings near us.  He’s nearly Asperger’s when it comes to World History and Geography, so I learn a lot from him.  And I’m able to bounce ideas off of him as I am in the midst of writing about them, like about capital punishment.  If it weren’t for our daily tradition of walking together, he would just be another guy I work with.  But instead, he is a friend to me, not simply a “work friend”- because there’s definitely a difference.

And if you’ve live in a townhouse development or newer apartment complex in a decent sized city, you’re aware of your Korean neighbor ladies who walk around the neighborhood every evening after dinner.  They are always an inspiration to me.  But of course it’s not just about necessary daily exercise; it’s about putting yourself in a position to where you can simply think (if you’re alone) or to strengthen relationships with people in your life.

Being Excessive and Eventually Finding Common Ground: My First 40,000 Hits on WordPress

Thanks for 40,000 hits.

In my 313 posts on Scenic Route Snapshots, I’ve covered so many random topics along the way that if you type into my search box on the right side of the screen (“Curious? Type any word in the box…) the first off-the-wall word that comes to mind, you are quite likely to pull up at least one entry.  Try it right now if you’d like.  Go ahead, I’ll still be here.

Here are a few examples to try: John Candy, 1977, duckbill platypus, moped, or Ohio.

It all goes back to #9 of The Code: Write an excessive number of posts every month. They won’t all be awesome, but it’s often the ones that I predict won’t really connect with readers that are the ones that really do.  The more I write, the better I’ll be, and the better I’ll know how to connect to readers.”

Perhaps the greatest example of this theory occurred this week: WordPress hand-selected  The Korean Sauna Experience: Friendship, Friendship as a feature story on their “Freshly Pressed” homepage ( wordpress.com/).  Accordingly, my daily traffic has benefited:  The first day I was featured I got 1,748 hits and the second day 1,646.  (Last week’s daily average was 584.)

The funny thing about this is- of the hundreds of posts of written in the past five years, that particular one in my opinion, is definitely not one of my best.  At 1500 words, it’s over twice the length of most things I write.  It’s seems a bit of a bore to me- though I have to keep in mind that it’s an event that I experienced six years ago, so it’s no longer that exciting to me.  But for someone hearing it for the first time, I could see how it could have a different effect.

The point being, I simply lazily posted a familiar story on my website- just another brick in the wall.  But it caught the eye of the right person and found favor with them, which has increased reader subscriptions and daily hits.  In part, because I post an excessive amout of my writings.

I’m way too scatter-brained to come up with a smart theme like http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/, which is creative, yet focused.  Maybe I’m just a conditioned channel-changer, a product of the 1980’s.  Getting exhausted by having to think about the same concept for everything I write about.  So I just write about whatever comes to mind, which by default, ends up being about one of the following things: My Categories: Nostalgia, People, Storytelling, Spirituality, Writing, and Recaps.

So what I can’t accomplish by being clever enough to come up with one solid money-making idea, I plan to make up for in my excessiveness- by typically publishing an average of 28 posts every month, basically one per day.  (Usually I don’t post anything on the weekends, but at least 2 or 3 every weekday, averaging about to about one a day.)

I guess when it comes down to it, I’ve set a secret goal to publish more posts than anyone I know that has a website.  So far, I’ve been successful at meeting that goal.  Doing my best to slowly take over a corner of the Internet, so that whatever noun a person types into Google, they will easily find their way to me.

So in my Spumoniness, I am able to reach out to several demographics of people.  And my hope is that in the end, I won’t be just a gimmick or a fad that people eventually forget about as I fade away into obscurity.  I want to be here in the background of your life, writing the coming-of-age literary soundtrack.

Other posts of this “10,000 Hits” series:

Being Down to Earth, Yet Never Really Touching the Ground (posted April 11, 2010)

Being Original, Yet Never Really Breaking New Ground (posted May 18, 2010)

Being Engaging, Yet Never Really Standing on Dangerous Ground (posted on June 10, 2010)

The Ethnic Backgrounds of the Cast of LOST

Italians?  Check.  French?  Check.  Koreans?  Check.  Jews?  Oddly, not so much.

When the creators of LOST were in the casting process, they knew they wanted an “international cast”.  Well done.  Who wants to see another show with a bunch of white people and one African-American thrown in for good measure?

The ethnic diversity on the show adds so much to the characterization and even their storylines.  I have gone through the painstaking process (for most, but for me was a lot of fun!) of searching and studying the ethnicity of the entire cast of LOST.  While I won’t bombard my fellow Losties with every single cast member ever, I will feature most of them.  The phrase in (parenthesis) tells where the actor was raised.

Matthew Fox as “Jack Shephard”: Italian-English (America)

Evangeline Lilly as “Kate Austen”: English (Canada)

Josh Holloway as “James ‘Sawyer’ Ford”: Scottish (America); rare in that he is one of the few Southerners on the show- from Georgia in real life, on the show he was born in Jasper, Alabama

Jorge Garcia as “Hugo ‘Hurley” Reyes”: Chilean-Cuban (America)

Naveen Andrews as “Sayid Jarrah”: Indian (England)

Daniel Dae Kim as “Jin-Soo Kwon”: Korean (America)

Yunjin Kim as “Sun-Hwa Kwon”: Korean (America)

Terry O’Quinn as “John Locke”: Irish (America)

Dominic Monaghan as “Charlie Pace”: English-Irish (Germany); he speaks both  English and German

Michael Emerson as “Benjamin Linus”: English (America)

Emilie de Ravin as “Claire Litteton”: French (Australia)

Henry Ian Cusick as “Desmond Hume”: Scottish-Peruvian (both Scotland and Peru)

Sonya Walger as “Penny Widmore”: Argentinean-English (England)

*oddly, married couple “Desmond and Penny” are both in real life half British, half South American

Alan Dale as “Charles Widmore”: New Zealander (New Zealand)

Ken Leung as “Miles Straume”: Chinese (America)

Francois Chau as “Dr. Pierre Chang”: Cambodian-American-Chinese-Vietnamese (America); random fact- he played “Shredder” in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze

Andewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as “Mr. Eko”: Nigerian (England)

Nestor Carbonell as “Richard Alpert”: Cuban-Spanish (America)

Elizabeth Mitchell as “Dr. Juliet Burke”: English (America); another rare Southerner (from Dallas, TX)

Jeff Fahey as “Frank Lapidus”: Irish (America); though his character his Greek-American

Cynthia Watros as “Libby Smith”: Greek or Czech (America)

Michelle Rodriguez as “Ana Lucia Cortez”: Puerto Rican-Dominican Republican (America)

Tania Raymonde (Katz) as “Alex”: Jewish (America)

Mira Fulan as “Danielle Rousseau”: Jewish (Croatia)

Katy Sagal as “Helen Norwood”: Jewish (America); played Locke’s love interest, also known as “Peg” on Married with Children

Titus Welliver as “Man in Black (Esau): Irish  (America);  though he looks like Billy Joel, who is Jewish

Mark Pellegrino as “Jacob”: Italian (America)

Since Jews only make up 1.7% of the American population, the three confirmed Jewish actors on LOST accurately and proportionately represent themselves in the large number of actors on the show.  And that’s rare.

Of course, as usual, in the strange case there are no Jews or hardly any Jews on a show or movie (like Family Matters or Family Ties), the producers and/or writers are Jewish.  So it goes without saying, that in fact, LOST creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are both Jewish.  Along with Jeffrey Lieber (who most likely is based on his name and physical appearance).  Same thing with LOST writer Adam Horowitz.

It’s safe to say that LOST truly has the most international, most diverse cast of any show in American history.  We as Losties have invested years of our lives in these characters.  They’ve become like real people to us.  I’m so glad this show is made up of such a randomly planned cast of characters and actors.

Read more about the astonishing number of Jewish actors in American film: The Funny Thing about Jews

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on this, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one

 

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 14- “The Candidate”

What’s sadder than sad?  Having Korean couple Jin and Sun be separated for three whole years (by different continents and different decades) only to be reunited for a few hours before meeting their fate in a leaky submarine.  Knowing that their daughter, Ji-Yeon, will be an orphan, and that Jin never even met her.  He only saw a few pictures of her.

Hurley has always been one of my favorites.  For me, one of his best moments was when he wailed after learning about Jin and Sun.  Devastatingly tragic.

And while none of us would have chosen for the Kwon’s to meet their Maker at such a young age, never getting to raise their child together, this happening only reminds us of one of the many reasons we love LOST so much.  Despite its saturation in sci-fi, the show reminds us a lot of real life.

In real life, good people die young everyday.  People who were just getting started and just getting things figured out.  For the past six years, the stories of Jin and Sun have been nothing but tragic.  They never, as a couple, seem to catch a break. 

However, despite such a great loss of characters, admittedly, Jin and Sun’s slow death was one of the most romantic and sincere ways to die.  After losing her for so long, Jin would rather die with his wife rather than live the rest of his life without her.  He sacrificed his life to spend Sun’s last moments with her.  Which became his last moments as well.  And in doing so, Jin also sacrificed his life for Sawyer, when Jin refused Jack’s help.

Speaking of sacrificing, the often Jesus-reminiscent Sayid gave his life for everyone on the sub.  I don’t know what exactly his deal was.  Was he actually Sayid?  Mostly Sayid?  Fading Sayid?  No matter what, the real Sayid was in there somewhere and as the island’s true protector, he died so that the others would have a chance of living.  Goodbye Zombie Sayid.  And thank you.

So what does this all mean for the remaining three episodes of LOST?

As I mentioned last week, the whole reason Jin and Sun had to come to the island was to have a baby, which could have only happened on the island, but the baby could have only been born off the island.  And once little Ji-Yeon was born, ultimately, the island no longer need Jin or Sun.

Mark my word (or calculated prediction), by the final episode on May 23rd, we will learn that Ji-Yeon Kwon (Jin and Sun’s daughter), will have a major role with the continuity of the island.  And finally, we will all see what happens in the year 2010, since LOST has refused to show us what happens past 2009, even in any flash-forward.

The name of the episode was “The Candidate”.  Moments before his rush to death, Sayid told Jack, “It’s going to be you.”  In other words, Jack is the candidate to become the new Jacob.  Which I’m sure will happen.  And once Ji-Yeon grows up, she will eventually replace Jack.

I can’t predict any other deaths.  The island was finished with the Kwon’s, and they died.  The island is done with Kate, and despite being shot, she’s still alive.  But I do believe Jack will survive to serve his purpose of being the new Jacob.  Jack can’t die anytime soon.

Below, I am posting links to think last couple of LOST recaps I have done in case you missed them.  Note that I still did new LOST post last week (“The Kwon Kid”), though last week was a rerun:

LOST Recap: Season 6- The Kwon Kid

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 12- “The Last Recruit”

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 11- “Everybody Loves Hugo”

The Nashville Flood of 2010

As my wife and I drove back to Nashville from a B&B in Burnside, KY on Sunday afternoon, we began receiving texts and calls from friends warning us to stop wherever we were and stay in a hotel for the night.  All three of the major interstates going through Nashville were closed (I-24, I-40, I-65) and that most exits were shut down as well.  Nashville was undergoing a flood.

So we took the next exit, which was White House, TN, not far from the Kentucky border.  Churches had all cancelled.  School the next day was cancelled.  Houses were being destroyed.  People were drowning.

And we had no way to even get to our own house.  So in our room in the Holiday Inn Express, we watched the local news try to sort out what was going on.  The Opryland Hotel, which was scheduled to have a huge conference this week, not only had to cancel all its festivities, but also send away all his guests.

Thank God, our house went untouched by the flood, though just a few miles away, the town center was underwater.  One of the most memorable events we watched was when the local news covered the flood from their helicopter.  As they were filming the parking lot of the Opry Mills mall, which for all practical purposes had became a lake, the cameraman spotted a minivan with two people on top of it.

The water was up to the top of the windows.  They appeared to be a middle-aged Korean couple.  The husband was standing up, waving a red shirt up at the helicopter as his wife remained lying down, appearing to be exhausted from trying to remain on top of the minivan all night in the pouring rain.

About a quarter of a mile away, there were two men driving a motorboat.  As everyone watching from home had hoped, eventually the men in the boat rescued the stranded couple.

When we first saw the man on the van, he was wearing no pants- just his underwear and a shirt.  But by the time the boat got closer, he slipped his pants back on.  My guess is that his rain-soaked pants were keeping him cold, so he just took them off until he realized he was actually being rescued.

Based on their interactions, it appeared the couple didn’t speak much English.  I would love to know the whole story.  That had to be one horrible night for them.

Though we were able to make it back to our house safely on Monday since most roads have reopened, unfortunately, so far around 18 deaths have been confirmed.  And there are countless people who lost their homes and did not have flood insurance, being that Nashville is a low-risk area for floods.

Here is an article telling more about the Nashville Flood of 2010:

http://www.startribune.com/nation/92657684.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on this, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one