Monday, June 30, 2008

A New Jersey Rant: The Accent

One of the greatest stereotypes of Jersey is the “Accent”. Nobody can ever ignore the Accent. It’s the basic all-in-one, take-no-prisoners Jersey stereotype besides the pollution and driving.

But the truth is, the Accent is hardly as prevalent in NJ as people think. Take it from one who’s been born and raised in Jersey all his life—besides some Jerseyans who might have the occasional hint of it in such words like “gone” and “on”, the Accent is a pretty rare in Jersey.

As far as I know, I don’t have much of the Accent (see my video entries in case you want some voice samples) and hardly any of my Jersey friends have the Accent. How and when this stereotype began to apply to all Jerseyans completely eludes me.

Maybe somewhere in Jersey there are specific regions where the Accent is more present, but I hardly ever run across them at all.

So why do some people still cling to this Jersey stereotype like grim death? Two words—spite and ignorance. That’s usually the case with nearly all stereotypes (or at least a majority of them). But that’s just me.

What say you out there?

Friday, June 27, 2008

How It Should Have

Ever saw a movie with an ending so bad or mediocre that you wish you could rewrite the whole darn thing altogether? I know everyone has and a bunch of guys got together and made a site solely devoted to this. The site's called "How It Should Have Ended" and it features a slew of animated shorts for select popular movies, where the ending could have been "rehashed" a bit. It's a very humorous site and, just to give you all a sample, I've included one their shorts regarding the "Spider Man 3" movie. Enjoy!

The address to the site is, , and from now it'll be located in the "Links" section of this blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beware of!

For all you young and eager poets out there who might be dying to get their poetry in print, here’s a word of advice from someone who’s been there--DO NOT fall for the scam.

Once in a while you might see an advertisement in the paper or on the net about how your poem could win a $10,000 prize or something like that. If it has any connection to, “The International Library of Poetry", “The International Society of Poets”, or “The International Poetry Hall of Fame”, DO NOT bother applying for it.

If you do, the following will most likely happen:

- You’ll get a flattering letter or email telling you that you’re a semi-finalist (which doesn’t make you anything, since they send this letter out to everyone who applies).

- You’ll also get a letter about spending at least $50 to buy the anthology that your poem is “published” in.

- You’ll then get a letter to show up at an awards banquet, which you have to pay for entirely (travel, room, board, food, etc.), in addition to additional expenses (admission and even the purchase of your own “trophy”).

Beware of this scam. When I was in early high school, I was unfortunately naive enough to fall for it. But it was a good thing I decided against going to the “awards” banquet before later finding out that the whole thing was a sham.

So be warned, people, and do not fall for any of this. For any other publication that you might run into, here are some signs to look for in order to distinguish them as scams:

1.) If the company asks you to purchase the publication that your work is featured in for a hefty sum.

2.) If the poetry contest is “free”. A good portion of legitimate poetry contests require an entry fee to pay for judges and prizes. So if any contest advertises itself as free—be wary.

3.) If their response letter is over-flattering. Legitimate publications, whether you get accepted or rejected, keep their letters professional and business like. There’s no time for ego-masturbation on their part.

To learn more, here are a few links:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Anticipated Productivity vs. Reality

Last Thursday, the Creative Writing Corner blog had this excellent installment regarding some of the things we expect to get done when we get more time off versus the reality of what really tends to happen.

Though the author personalizes the entry quite a bit, I think everyone, writer or not, could relate to this symptom--we expect to get more done when we have more time off, only to have the opposite or the same happen.

In terms of my writing, this is what I found out about myself--I am GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY! Oh yeah, and the link to this entry is found below.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - "Genesis and Catastrophe"

This short film is a period piece that's a little graphic, but emotionally intense at the same time. The end plays with your mind a lot and, personally, I was left feeling torn both morally and emotionally. Let's just say that at first you come to understand the "genesis" of birth, only to learn about its "catastrophe" at the end.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Anne Morrow Lindbergh - "Gift from the Sea" (Third Reading)

"The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day-to-day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself."

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Two Good Articles For Writers and Freelancers

I've been surfing the web for a little bit, when I ran into two interesting articles that can prove very helpful for any writer (whether fiction writer or freelance web writer). Though the first article is geared directly towards fiction writers, it includes practices that could help those who don't do fiction at all.

This first one is from the website "Life of a Writer" and it's entitled "Fiction Writing Tips: Writing the First Draft." The link to this article is right below.

The next one is from the "Freelance Folder" and it's entitled "Life As A Web-Worker - Are You Disciplined?" Again, the link to this article is below.

Happy writing!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Metaphor for Blogging - Fishing

Just this Saturday, I went on a fishing trip to Sandy Hook with a few of my friends. As we fished off the beach and casted our rods, I began to realize how much blogging was like fishing in many ways.

In fishing you need the perfect rod, the right type of bait, and the right line and sinker setup for whatever you aim to do or catch. In blogging, you need the right type of blog layout and the right type of content to catch the right type of crowd or to accomplish whatever you set out to accomplish.

In fishing you need both the patience and willingness to wait, even if, at the end of the day, all you get are a few bites. In blogging, patience is a necessity, because hardly ever does anyone become an instant success overnight. And if your blog only gets a few “bites” here and there each day, you have to learn to be content with it, even though you should always seek to get more.

In fishing, chance plays a humungous role. Maybe the fish aren’t biting today. Maybe you just picked a bad spot. Maybe the weather wasn’t on your side. Or maybe your bait wasn’t right for the fish in your area. Blogging’s the same way. According to Problogger, Darren Rowse, a lot of his success owed a lot to being at the right place at the right time. This isn’t so surprising because of the chaos and vastness of the Internet. Literally, the Internet has become a vast ocean where probability plays a huge factor in getting people to see your site.

When I finished the fishing trip, I only caught two Sea Robins (the fish pictured above). Though, my friends caught several times more fish than me, since it was my first time fishing off the beach, I was glad enough to get my two. Unfortunately for me, I also ended up catching a real bad sunburn in addition to my fish.

With all the similarities shared between blogging and fishing, it’s a good thing that, unlike fishing, blogging doesn’t give you sunburn!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - "The Insect's Christmas"

This movie is a stop-motion animation made around 1911 by Ladislas Starevich. Considering the time of its creation, this is a wonderful piece of film and a definite fore-father of modern day animation.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good “Time Wasters” for Writers

If you’re down and out of your writing and you need a good break, but still want that productivity factor, here are a few good “time-wasters”.

Read Something Enjoyable
If you like comic books, read some Batman. If you like a good mystery novel, start reading the first chapter of an enjoyable book. Good reading eventually leads to good writing and inspiration. So why not have fun with it?

Write Without a Point
Sometimes we get so over-critical and over-anxious about perfection that we begin to expect too much from our writing. If you’re tired of that all, just sit down and type out whatever. And when I say whatever, I do mean whatever. It doesn’t have to have a point. It doesn’t even have to make sense. The point here is to break from your “serious writing” and allow yourself to “stretch out” like you would after sitting stiffly at a desk for too long. And who knows? Perhaps your scribblings might sow the seeds of a future novel or poem.

Jot Down Ideas
This point is similar to the last one, but a bit more focused. Overall, there are many stories of famous novelists who would have the habit of keeping a journal or notebook of simple ideas for novels or meditations. Nowhere does this come close to being serious (unless you want it that way), but nowhere does this come close to being without value. Have you spent too much time writing your novel and you hit a rough spot? Are you too tired of editing an article over and over again? Sit down, have some tea (or coffee) and let the ideas come out. It’s good for you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Artist's Showcase - Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

This is a performance of the epilogue from Shakespeare's "The Tempest". I don't know who the performer is, but if anyone out there can give me his name, I'd be happy to mention it, since he does such a wonderful job!

Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.

-William Shakespeare

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Jersey Rant: Florida Drivers…In Jersey?

This is something that was lingering in my mind for quite a while, but here it is: why are there so many Florida plates in New Jersey? For nearly all the years that I’ve been on the road in my home state, I keep seeing at least several of them a week, driving slow as heck all over the place.

Pennsylvania, New York, and even Connecticut plates, I can understand, but Florida? Are these people here on vacation? What would possibly possess a person from Florida to want to come to New Jersey?

Maybe it’s just my area of NJ that happens to have these Florida drivers (coming to visit their kids over and over again or something like that). Maybe it’s some weird coincidence that I keep running into the occasional Florida driver in NJ (I’ve been cursed by some mysterious force to run into them). But there must be a reason why all these Floridians find their way to the Garden State. But it’s not occurring to me.

What say you all out there?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - The Tell Tale Heart

This animation was released in 1953 and it's based off of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart".

According to the Youtube description:

The story told by a mad man has a dark visual with a perfect work of narration by James Mason. It is a UPA Production and was the first cartoon to be X-rated (adults only) in Great Britain under the British Board of Film Censors classification system.

To say the least, this animation is one of the most chilling animations that I've ever seen.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Check Out My New Blog

I recently started this Asian American blog for the network. It's called "Asian America". For those you who are interested, be sure to check it out at:

So far, I've been trying to divide my time between "The Mad Hermit" and "Asian America". It's been quite a hassle, to say the least, but hopefully I'll get use to this. From now on, this site will be included in the "Links" section.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Just Turned 30!

A lot of young people dread the age of 30, especially when they get there. Many people tend to make a big hype about it. And today, I just turned 30.

What grand wisdom did I find out once I became 30?

Well, first off, this did not happen

Nor this

The moral of this tale--30 is just a number.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Interesting Article from ProBlogger: Full Time Income From Part Time Blogging

When I first saw this article, I was like, "Come on, really?"

But after reading it, I realized that it was a very well-balanced and fairly realistic piece. All in all, the full title of the ProBlogger article is: "Is it Possible to Earn a Full Time Salary as a Part Time Blogger?"

To read this article for yourself click the link below:

ProBlogger Article Link

Will I, personally, ever be able to get a full time income from part time blogging? Probably not and probably not for most bloggers.

But hey, blogging's a nice discipline to have in the first place and it does keep me in the writing habit every now and then. So I can't really complain (though I wish I did get more money from it).


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