Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review "Memoirs from the Aslyum"

"Did Ya' Ever Notice" is all about finding things that others miss or don't take the time to see. Most of the times I will be posting about things that I see while out in the world and asking the question...
This week is a little different.
Sometimes I trade my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" with another author and we do reviews of each other's work on Amazon. This is one of those weeks.
I was able to read Keeneth Weene's "Memoirs from the Asylum" and was shocked at what I read. The book is a behind the scenes look at mental illness and the life the people who live in these institutions lead. It was a hard read, not because it wasn't written well-- it was written extremely well--it was just the subject matter and how open Mr. Weene was able to convey it.
Anyway, read my whole review and then read the book.

In “Memoirs from the Asylum” Kenneth Weene allows the reader to enter a world most of us pray we never have to…the world of mental illness and the effects it has on both the victims and those that are paid to help them.
There’s Marilyn, the catatonic schizophrenic, who spends all of her time seeing an altogether different world through a crack in her bedroom wall. It’s the world she once related to and is populated by those of her past who meant something to her. How will she respond when the crack gets repaired?
Dr. Buford Abrose is the first year resident who also has seen his share of problems. From a loveless marriage to the feelings of failure on his part when he can’t balance the paperwork aspect of the job from the actual attempt to make a difference, he is caught within the walls of the asylum. The closer he tries to understand the patients, the farther he falls from his own life.
The unfeeling workers of the asylum add to the misery and complications these, and the other characters, of the book experience. Their answers normally include medications and isolation for the patients…or is it for themselves?
There is a feeling of connection between these characters that becomes apparent as the book goes on. Although they all react in their own way, the connection that they share is that of fear. Fears that were brought on by the “real world” when they were younger…probably none of their own doing. Possibly a death of someone close, maybe the physical abuse of a parent or friend…something made these people afraid and wanting to escape. Now that they did, all they really want is freedom, whatever that means to them.
In the unique style of narration, Weene allows us to see what really happens in the minds of those that are institutionalized. Sometimes the book was hard to read, using words and imagery that the normal person may not understand or relate to and was lacking an actual plot, but somehow at the end it all comes together.
Not one to be a spoiler, all I can say is that “Memoirs from the Asylum” is a book that everyone should read and at the same time pray to the God of your choice that the freedom you have is the freedom that you really want.

So "Did Ya' Ever..." find something that others never have? That's how I feel after reading this book. Another unknown author who should be well known. Do yourself a favor and get "Memoirs from the Asylum."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Traveling is getting more difficult...

I travel way too much--my job demands it and marketing of my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" asks it, so I do it. It used to be it's just tiring.

It starts out by getting to the airport. Luckily I live a few miles away from the local one, so I can leave a lot later than most have to. I already know the patterns of my airport and realize that Tuesday is the best day to leave and Saturday is the best day to return. The worst day to return is Thursday night...everyone comes to Vegas on Thursday after work. Monday is a bad day to leave also, especially in the late afternoon.

Business people know all this and adjust thier schedules to accomodate the best situations. Unfortunately regular travelers don't. They have trouble getting through security--it's only been about 5 years that you can't take water through, that you must empty your pockets, and that you must take off your shoes--is it that difficult? Families are the worse, but I understand that and never get behind one.

Then comes the flight itself. I only fly Southwest, a great company. Again though only business people get it. How hard is it to line up in order, why do the regulars not understand the routine? Then they get mad when the guy letting them on the plane tells them to get back in line.

Once on the plane, these people look like cattle, just following the person in front of them. They all want an aisle seat or look for "their" seat. Southwest has open seating-- do you think you'd know that after you make your reservation?

Luckily I can fall asleep on any plane trip.

Finally, the worse is when you reach the hotel. Most doors close on their own, so you don't have to help them. Yet, I am constantly awakened by the slamming of hotel doors at night and in the morning. Again do this once and learn, people!

Traveling is something I must do, so I will. But it sure isn't as fun as it used to be.

"Have Ya' Ever Noticed" that traveling is more work than actual work?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A new title, but the same old thing...

So this morning I changed the title of the blog to "Did Ya' Ever Notice...? Unfortunately I was running out of random acts of kindness to talk about. They were all the same, like donating to a certain charity (and there are so many nowadays), thanking someone for a kind review of my book, or helping out someone who has more of a need. I'll still use some of these but I notice things all the time and want to talk about it. Here is my forum, and yours too. Share with me and the readers what you notice as you go through your day--interesting, stupid or just amusing--let's share them all!

The first thing I noticed yesterday was that it was Father's Day and no one missed it. 95% of the posts on Facebook were about dads--even those people trying to sell a product tied it into Father's Day. I read about young dads, older dads, and even some great memories about dads who have passed away. It was rather refreshing that everyone had something good to say. I felt happy about the world, at least for a day. Even the news had a happy spin on it.

Wouldn't it be a cool thing of every day could be a holiday? People seem happier, more together with each other and actually make each other smile. Why can't we make every day a holiday, like "Smile at the opposite sex day?" or "Shake hands with a different race day?" or "Say hello to everyone day?" We really are all the same inside, that's what the posts I read yesterday were all about. It didn't matter if you are young or old, married or siingle, black or white or whatever--everyone had something in common on this one day-their father. They shared feelings and experiences very openly with anyone who was their "friend." Why can't we all be friends? Why can't every day make us feel like we did yesterday? Can't we all just get along?

"Did Ya' Ever Notice" that we are more alike than different?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's In Green Tea That Makes It So Good For You...

Growing up I loved to drink lemonade with a sprig of mint floating on top, thanks to my great-grandmother. You can read about her and her famous lemonade in my book Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male. As I grew up my tastes have changed a bit and now I love green tea. No sweetners, no additives, just plain iced green tea.

Last week I wrote a post about green tea (already taken down) and what is in it that makes it so healthy for you. Well, I made a mistake...I found out that the list of ingredients was actually an article written by Steven Popec for the website ESP Emporium, a great website about tea of all kinds and a place you can order it from. I never intended to "steal" his work, I thought it was just a list made up by a Facebook friend. Well, again I was wrong and I apologize. The article is a great one though and you can read the whole thing here...

I always knew green was good for me, just didn't know how much. Thanks to Steve and the people at ESP Emporium I have been educated, both in tea and watching for copywrites. Hope all ends well with them.

So what makes you feel good? Leave me a comment about that, or if you have seen a random act of kindness that I can share in an upcoming post. One such act follows:

I have a blogger friend who has a daughter that needs some help. She is trying to raise money on her own to help with a medical device she needs---well. let's have her say it better.

Ana was recently disgnosed with scoliosis and needs a special kind of brace which is not covered by insurance. She needs the brace as soon as possible and has set up a website to sell her artwork to raise the funds. It would mean a lot if my readers could take a look. I appreciate everyone who follows this blog and hope to be posting more often again soon.

How about checking out her website and seeing if any of her artwork appeals to you? She really could use the help.

So both an apology and a random act of knidness this week.
Until next week,