Saturday, October 3, 2009

Welcome Back to the Land of the Livin'... Now Pick Up a Shovel and Get Digging!


Fact: I have two big work-related projects to do, which will require a lot of work and focus, and will yield satisfying financial results.

Fact: I am thrilled to get the work and look forward to performing the tasks.

Fact: I had almost a full day today to get to either one.

Fact: I did squat.

Fact: I am lazy and lack adequate self control and self discipline.

Honestly, I blame Havah. :D I have to! She "invited" me to play some of the mindless games that she's hooked on over on Facebook, and I figured "why not?" and gave a couple a try. Now I'm likewise hooked. Now when I try to work, I hear the siren call... ok, I know I can't blame Havah, I'm sorry. I have to assume full responsibility. But it was such a beautiful southern California day today! I couldn't just spend the day cooped up in my office working! So I spent the day cooped up in my office playing mindless games instead! To recap, it is vital that you stay in your homes!

OK, that's not all I did. We went to a baby shower this afternoon for one of the young ladies at church. The wife and I are both social minimalists, but for different reasons. I like everyone, but I'm inexplicably uncomfortable in crowds, so I get antsy and want to split. Wifey has a small handful of people whose company she prefers; that's just the way she's wired. She'll gravitate toward her group, visit for a bit, and be ready to split as well. So we put in an appearance, ate some great filipino food, visited for a pair of hours, then came home. Saw a lot of the blog regulars there in person, which is always nice. Abbie, Rebekah, Shannon, Jayson, Grace, Keno, among many others.

Whoops, getting too verbose, better throw in a Funny Picture to loosen things up...


Sorry, my archive of Funny Pictures is getting really low... not much left that will crack a smile even... I had to put a White Ninja comic instead...

Hey, I have a surprise book review for you! Before diving into the final Mistborn book, I decided to read a small book from my library that I recently got back from my sweet mommy, to whom I had loaned it a ways back...

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A Review: The Girl with the White Flag, by Tomiko Higa

The Battle for Okinawa in WW2 was an incredibly devastating and brutal protracted battle, made doubly horrible by the fact that there were over a quarter million civilians living on the island, unable to flee, as 100,000+ Japanese soldiers defended the island against the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific campaign. The battle took 3 months and killed over 220,000 people (140,000 civilians, 66,000 Japanese soldiers, 12,500 Allied troops), with many times that wounded.

One such civilian family were the Matsukawas, descended from a line of Samurai from back in the day, living in Shuri. The youngest child of this family was 6 year old Tomiko, the eventual author of this book, which chronicles her attempts to survive the battle, separated from her family and alone, for the three months the battle took. Often walking around in the midst of the battle itself, bullets flying and bombs dropping, trying desperately to find a safe place to hole up, to rest, to scavenge food, to survive in the "every man for himself" chaos of the battle, the account is stirring, to say the least.

The book is written in the simple, clean style of one for whom English is not the primary language, augmented (I'm sure) by the author's desire to tell a clear, unambiguous story. The simple, effective style is likely the main reason why this book is classified Young Adult, in spite of the often harrowing content. I don't know how to explain what I want to say... I keep starting and erasing this sentence... lemme try again... the book strikes me as the logical fleshing-out of very old, but vivid, impressions and emotional snapshots. The author was six at the time, and didn't write the book - or even tell anyone about her experiences - until the late nineteen-eighties, when the photographs of her as a child holding the white flag on the day of the surrender surfaced, with someone else claiming it was them in the picture. Tomiko was put out, to say the least, that someone else would dare to do such a thing, and resolved to set the record straight, if only for her own sanity.

That's 40+ years after the fact... I can barely remember things that happened last year, much less from when I was six, and she recounts conversations that took place, feelings she had, things she ate and how they tasted, places she hid... I suppose, if circumstances are traumatic enough, they will leave vivid, long-lasting impressions for some. This must be the case for this author; how she can recall the details of her weeks alone as a 6 year old is stunning to me. Just because I can't remember what I was wearing yesterday doesn't mean someone else can't remember 40-year-old childhood conversations from random encounters, etc.

But I digress. The book is brief - barely 125 pages long, and a quick read. I finished it in two sittings, over about 3 hours. Just because it's a quick read doesn't mean it won't take the breath out of you, and make you long for the day when war and death and extreme suffering will cease for good. Kids shouldn't have to experience things like Tomiko did. No one should, but kids especially. It's no wonder she kept her story buried for so long.

Summary: Strongly Recommended 5/5

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And now, this...


Gooooaalll!!!!! I'm curious how he was able to get to the ball... and how he was able to run around celebrating afterward... you'd think he would have been tackled and dog piled. Must have been a really boring game... stay conscious... you're going into shock...

I have nothing left for today. Nothing. At. All. It's nice to see that you've all bonded through this disaster...

Until tomorrow, remember, that was longer than a heartbeat.

9 comments:

Bob said...

yesterday's unclaimed speedround quote:

"only three days left... plenty of time to read my Bible and look for a loophole" = Dead Man Walking

Bob said...

Title is from Army of Darkness

last sentence is from 28 Days Later

Bob said...

"To recap, it is vital that you stay in your homes" is from Shaun of the Dead...

i'm guessing today's theme is brain-eating zombies? :D

Attila The Mom said...

Tough to buckle down when the beautiful weather calls, isn't it?

Enjoying your blog!

David Wagner said...

Massive points for Bob today! Lemme grab the calculator...

5 points for yesterday's free-for-all quote

15 points for today's 3 quotes

10 points for the (rather obvious) theme...

so that's 30 big ones, unless my math is off! Good work, Bob!

Thanks for popping in, Attila! Moms are awesome...

Krista said...

Funny you spent all your time playing...you big kid! It's cool, though, we all need to keep some of that inner kid..

The Girl with the White Flag, by Tomiko Higa--
A five/ five rating, eh? It sounds like a good one. I'll have to try it.

Now movie quotes.. I think it's going to be hard to keep up with old Bob there! He seems to be quite good at this...

"stay conscious... you're going into shock..."--Resident Evil--Awesome trilogy! In my top of Zombie movies.

"It's nice to see that you've all bonded through this disaster"--Dawn of the Dead

"that was longer than a heartbeat." ---28 Days Later

P.S. There's another giveaway going for a Signed copy of Warbreaker if you want to enter the Link is listed on my blog sidebar. Dude, I entered cause I'd love to win a signed copy!! Good luck to you if you enter, and don't forget to tell'em who sent you..LOL! I hope you win and if you do I hope you give it away and I win...LOL! Though I would never give a signed copy away...LOL! Good Luck!

David Wagner said...

15 points for Krista. BOOM! Like that!

Paula Titus said...

Great book review - and sounds like a great, easy read - will definitely pick it up. My daughter will love it too since she's all about WW2. :)

havah said...

Okay, that's weird. When I first saw the photo at the top, I saw a woman in a bikini. Am I the only one who sees that? o_O

I accept full responsibility, if you so wish, Dave. I'm an incorrigible, corrupting force! Games make me happy. :D

Sounds like an interesting book. I admit, I like young adult and children's books. I like the simplicity, and, for the most part, they're better written than some adult novels because young teens are not going to waste their time wading through c*&^ hoping the book gets better.

*L* Cool goal. Almost makes you wonder if it was planned. Hmmm...

Sorry I didn't comment yesterday. I'll get to to it later or tomorrow. Oh, wait...it is tomorrow! :o