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Friday, December 19, 2014

Thank You Rob

This one is long over due.

Last month I celebrated a birthday of some infamy, glad I made it to such a high number, but not to pleased that it has happened so fast either.

Just one more day closer to death. Ah... but that's what life is anyways... we are born to die.

For such a milestone of an event, you might figure there would be much celebrating and the whole three cheers and a tiger for me (to quote from a Bugs Bunny cartoon far older than myself), but it was rather a low-key affair.

In keeping with it, I received a Ghostbusters LEGO kit (ghosts - death, WTF?!) from the wife and kid... and from my bud, RE Jones... a whole gaggle of stuff.

Rob and I have been friends since we were 14, or rather since he was 15 and I was 14... as the two youngest kids in our grade, where every bastard was going on 16. Rob is probably the ONLY person on this planet who could actually purchase comic books for me and have a pretty good shot at making it not only something I need, but something I want.

He did that with a plethora of Godzilla comic books - newish ones from IDW... which also led me to an ad which made me write about Machi Koro (HERE). He also bought me a Rocket Racoon t-shirt, he of the Guardians of The Galaxy, as Rob probably correctly surmised that I had enjoyed reading that comic book for years before it became a damn popular movie this year.

There were actually three comic books in the bunch from 1972 that I probably shouldn't already have, but I did... and that's cool because they are in far better shape than the reader copies I had that bought brand new. You know... it's the thought that counts.

Now... I have received plenty of well wishes from my friends for birthday greetings - from all over the world, in fact, which is really quite cool considering some of them I only know through this blog - but I will tell you for free, that getting older scares me, as I am now just four years shy of the age my mother died.

I tend to take after her.

While I have been off on vacation this week, and the ensuing weeks, I did go foraging down into the vaults below the main floor looking for some stuff to write about for this blog... old letters and such that I had kept for 20 years, but am no longer sure if I actually kept for 25 years, which is where I am now...

While digging around in a box, I found a typed story my mother had written... describing her illness about nine months before she died. I had no idea it existed, and I have no idea what to do with it. It just makes me sad... so I suppose I'll re-type it out here one day soon enough.

Anyhow... I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes, and especially to Rob for his kind and thoughtful gift.

I've been meaning to call, but work kept getting in the way, and then this stupid cold. I haven't really been outside but once this week - and that was to bring in the garbage cans earlier this evening - two days late, as apparently I'm the only one who brings them in.

I'm still alternating between shivering with cold and sweating my nuts off, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are winning and so are the Toronto Raptors, so I guess I can put up with the minor discomfort.

How sick was I? Yesterday I didn't write a single word. First time that's happened in ages... yeah, yeah... sometimes I write these blogs in advance... in fact, I might be dead for a few days and still have articles being published by me from beyond the grave... or wherever they try and hide the body.

That's what's going on with me. No... I'm not dying. At least not physically.

And to Hudson - no, not my son, but another Canadian reader with that name... you queried on whether or not I had actually lost focus on what this blog might be about because I don't write about my life as much as I should.

It's possible... and that's why I have created two more stories about myself this week... but truthfully... I have long thought that this blog was about Japan... an Encyclopedia Japonica.... presenting interesting factoids about things people wouldn't normally seek out.

Granted there probably isn't any real reason for me to to present a story on something already out there in the mainstream news - you are right - but at the same point in time, I can't ignore it. It's why I write everyday... if there's something not to your (or mine) liking one day, maybe there will be the next.

The interesting thing for me when I write, is that I have ZERO idea what I am going to write about until it appears on screen.

Writing about just myself is okay, I suppose, but I would be bored. I already lived it once... now all I have are faded memories.

Japan is Japan. Love it or hate it. It's why I often show the good with the bad. When discussing Japan's wartime past in WWII and earlier in China - Japan was horrible. The fact that its apologies are not considered strong by those it is apologizing to means that perhaps Japan needs to find better ways to apologize.

Then... when you see what Japan had to endure after WWII... holy crap... I never knew... and I only really discovered this stuff when I came across something on NETFLIX... a mere mention... that got me searching for more... and creating a blog for you all HERE.

And that's what this blog is all about... it's a blog about discovery... you never know what you are going to find when open up another box.

Oh... and Rob... thanks again for making me a better creative writer.

Back when I was in Japan, to celebrate Rob's birthday back in Toronto, I decided that rather than write a letter every day, I would create a short story every weekday... so I did... sometimes two, sometimes three or four... which means that Rob was the beneficiary of being the first person to read my stuff... spelling mistakes and all.

That one month period... I have NEVER been so prolific before or after with the fiction.

More boxes coming,
Andrew Joseph

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