Silly Grins

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writers On a Plane

Dear Saint Phil,

Thank you for introducing me to Pak Jun Do. And AJ.

I have to admit to being a bit confused about the both Mr. Do and Mr. Johnson. Mr. Do, who later becomes Commander Ga,  is very interesting. It’s just that they way Mr. Johnson writes…it’s different. Not that different is bad. In this case, different certainly isn’t bad at all. Heck, if Mr. Johnson writes for Playboy and lives in San Francisco, he’s got to have mojo

Just where, exactly, are you going with this? 

Living in Japan, reading books written about life here is a gamble. Some of the stories are very exciting and even quite insightful. However, there are those that aren’t. I just can’t figure out where to file The Orphan Master’s Son. Exciting? Yes. Insightful? Yes…hesitantly. Insightful about North Korea? That’s another headache of information that I’m not too sure I’m ready to begin sifting through. But I am sooo tempted. Okay, hooked.

Not a photo of my actual beverage, but this is as close as it's gonna get.
(The mood of the previous photo was sexier...maybe it was the subdued lighting.)

Bacon Bloody Mary
Photo featured in Foodspotting, posted by Janet.
(A highly recommend "free" site for foodies)

Getting good information on any place is not easy. At least, that’s my perception. And perception is everything…perception is everything until, well, someone says something like the following:

(Though I never had faith, I must hail to Her spicy taste, full of grace...made me feel as if the lord was with me when she went away. Yes, maybe the habanero.) 

This most recent road trip was quite a big deal for me with too many details to be recalled at one time.

What I saw…what I saw was more than the miles we put on the car. There were people. People living their lives. Using what was around them with the skills they had acquired over the years. A number of skills were acquired by choice as well as a number that were picked up out of necessity.  Sink or swim. Nobody had given in.

Don’t part with your illusions.
When they are gone, you may still exist
but you have ceased to live.

I’ve realized that I may be spending too much time isolated where I am at this point. This, I can change.

(Begin conversation in Will's head...)


The possibilities are endless. Like, for instance, trying to bring the Bacon Bloody Mary to Japan. Maybe even make a localized version.


Because they taste good, damn good. And not because it needs to have any alcohol in it (which couldn’t be tasted at the time), but because of the bacon, cheese, olive, and spices. Shoot… I get worked up just thinking about it. Can you imagine sleeping in on a Sunday morning, then getting up and fixing that perfect drink…fixing the perfect drink that feels more like a meal on the customary day of rest? Can you imagine it?!

Can you?

Well…eh…um…no. Not Bloody Mary, not 13 times, not while looking in the mirror. Alone. In the dark. Adults drink her. And now I gnaw on her burnt, salt-sweat flesh. Does anyone need to remember?

Maybe when you have time this evening.


(...end conversation)

I’ve also realized that staring into the abyss is a good thing from time to time, but that I have been doing it too often; isolation can do this. 

Thank you for reaching out. 



 (yes…there’s more)  

Fist night back in the homeland was spent listening to some live music while desperately trying to ignore jet lag, which was more of matter of a lack of sleep than anything else. Before one of the sets, I met this guy, a local, who also happened to be a writer. He’d had the good fortune of being paid to cover The Boss in Europe. Spain, to be exact. So, this writer…who doesn’t give his name…this writer, talks about how Bruce performs his heart out, willing to put in the extra time, going more than three hours. Maybe even four.

This writer…we’re talking and he’s not giving his name. Not like I’m asking, not exactly. We talk about writing and I throw in a comment on how writers are people who can’t not write and how I’m glad I’m not one of them.

Seeing as how it wasn’t meant as an insult, the writer gives a chuckle of resignation.

And then I bring up the issue of self-publishing. This is where things get a little funky.
His eyes light up. Then his brow furrows. After a nervous glance to either side, he looks straight at me.  He says that he is careful to write under pseudonyms, ‘cause self-publishing is the kiss of death

Here’s a guy, in the field, one of the few who confesses to being able to make his living (more or less) from this writing thing, and he’s saying that the big publishers won’t come near you if you’ve self-published.  Not in a million pages.

That was the first night out in the homeland country.

On one of the last night’s out, one of the comments was, after I gave away one of my gifts, that  ‘Times are changing’.

Now, I really don’t know who to believe.

Or if it really matters.

There are still a lot of empty seats not taken.



  1. Every time someone has to make a calculated move in the interest of maximizing the longevity of his/her career, whatever goodness (fun, reward,... whatever) that was a part of the whole experience becomes somewhat diminished. Do it too much and...

    well, we all know what happens...

    1. Calculated moves...and the somewhat diminished.

      Bill - thank you for stopping by. And thanks for passing along the information regarding the iBook app. I've been jonesing for a nice way to be able to read pdf files on my iPhone.

      Haven't taken a lot of time to stop and leave comments on active blogs recently, but I should be able to shortly.

      About those calculated, with your experience as a gambler, have insight on how things tend to work at the table. Though not a gambler, as a social creature, I am interested in what goes on.


  2. Replies
    1. A word of warning, it wasn't only the bacon. Not paying attention at first, I may have missed the most crucial part of the process. There was a tomato that got carefully crucified to make the Sunday morning's restorative elixir. No cans were needlessly sacrificed in the making of The Drink that was somehow meant to be slowly savored, perfect for brunch after a stroll by the mission (keeping our respectful distances from each other). They have their sacraments, and now I've found mine. wasn't just a drink; it was an experience.

      Bless you.


    J.E.W my ass!!

    That's Loco!! ;)

    1. Didn't realize what the initials spelled out. Apparently his first wife and their three children are Jewish.

      But let's not get sidetracked from that Bloody Mary.

      Priorities. Yep.

  4. I have a friend that makes a killer Bloody Mary... next time I go see her on a fine Sunday morning. I will have her make me one with bacon to accompany my Eggs Benedict. What type of cheese was in your drink? I was unable to make out cheese in your photo. I am glad you made it back safe after your trip.

    1. Um...the "borrowed" photo will be taken down shortly and replaced with a far more accurate image (and credit will be given to the person who actually took the picture).

      For the record, the type of cheese in the drink I had was blue cheese...that had been stuffed into an olive.

    2. This is now a MUST try for me. I love blue cheese. I will have to bring my own to the watering hole but I WILL have this bloody Bloody Mary.