Haiku Collection about Return to Viet Nam Completed

I have a separate blog where I write poetry, with annotations to some poems to give either context or full story to them. I just finished annotating a collection of poems from an epic trip I had over 4 years ago to visit my home country of Viet Nam for the first time since I left as a child in 1980, and I wanted to share it for any readers here who might care for such writings.


Just over 4 years ago, in 2015, I returned to Viet Nam to visit for the first time since escaping the country as a young child in 1980. During this trip, I did a lot of reflection, as well as took notes on people, sights, events, etc. It was an overwhelming amount of information to retell, but I tried to summarize a rough version of it in a collection of 64 haiku formed poems, with annotations, I called Tales of an Expat Tourist. The poems are haiku formed because they are only haiku in form of 3 lines and some order of 5-7-5 total of 17 syllable lines, not following other requirements like lack of use of similes. I generally only write haiku for form, anyway, punctuating with dashes like Emily Dickinson.

I had completed the collection a few years back, writing annotations afterward that took longer. Unfortunately, I forgot about finishing it along the way, thinking I had finished annotations and postings. A search for something in one of those poems showed most had still been in draft posts, never published because I had not annotated them. After a marathon session today, I’m happy to say I have completed them and wanted to share news of that in this post. That’s because to get the poems ordered the way I wanted, I had to artificially back date them in a certain way that was set up a few years back, so they would not appear in the general feed for many readers.

If you care for such poems, thoughts, reflections, etc. I hope you’ll give them a glance or read, and I hope you’ll like some of them. Thank you.

Tales of an Expat Tourist

Why Facebook Needs a DISLIKE Button

If you use Facebook, you know there is a Like button you can click on to show you like, support, approve or think positively of it in some way. There is no Dislike button, probably to keep the social experience positive, among other reasons. However, this lack of a Dislike button isn’t serving the need on identifying true social public opinion on any matter that might be controversial. If all you ever saw were all the people who Liked something controversial, how would you ever know how many people might Dislike it like in a real poll?

Continue reading

Better Ways of Getting Closer to Your Food Than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Only Eating Animals He Kills

Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is only eating animals he kills himself these days! That’s his latest “personal challenge”, which, for context, have included things like learning Chinese in 2010 (continuing) and wearing a tie every day in 2009.

Mark’s reason for doing this?

Continue reading

Bring the Mighty Uke Movie to Halifax!

I returned home today to a message from my friend Lis regarding The Mighty Uke Movie.

Well, that hit a note and struck a chord!

The ukulele

In the 1980s, the musical instrument of choice taught in the Halifax school system was the ukulele, led by Chalmers Doane. I was one of many many children who took it up and went through that program. It was my first instrument to music in Canada, and I progressed far enough to make the prestigious A Ukulele Group. That ukulele musical experience left me with many great memories. I remember a couple of thousand of us kids played for the newly wed Prince Charles and Lady Diana as they visited Halifax in 1983. When I was in grade 8, we had an exchange with an outstanding group in Langley, BC, which was my first trip really far away from home. There were lots of good times and rehearsals in between.

Now, as the trailer said, the ukulele is sometimes said to be perceived as being a bit of a joke. Well, anything is until a lot of people embrace it, and there seems to be that going on. Ironically, I had switched to guitar during those school years and now, though I can still do more on a ukulele than I’ll ever be able to do on a guitar. It’s just a lot more versatile being a smaller instrument for a little guy like me. However, I’m very much keen to take it up again seeing there’s a revolution going on. That F# string is going to make be say a few things starting with F#, though, I’m sure, given it’s a semi-tone off from the G-string on the guitar while the strings surrounding it are the same. But I’ve got a lot of muscle memory left. I can still do the Jazz Pizzicato riff as well as ever.

But in case you think the ukulele is a joke, have a listen to a couple of pieces below. The first is the late Israel Kamakawio’ole playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World like you had never heard it before him. Nice and simple, but just gorgeous.

.

But for those of you who needs a little virtuosity in an instrument to prove its worth to you, check out this Jake Shimabukuro guy playing an instrumental While My Guitar Gently Weeps of George Harrison fame. Yowza!

.

Or try the MUCH cuter version! WHO IS this kid???

.

My ukuleles might have been put away, but they are coming back out! That’s right. That’d be plural! Cause like pistols, a real man carries two!

The Might Uke Movie is making its Toronto premiere soon. I hope they will bring it to Halifax! They had better!

Check out ukuleledisco.com for some good, bad and ugly ukulele performances!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.8

Share/Bookmark