Summer Update!

Writing

 

Hey guys!

How’s everyone’s summer coming along?

Mine is coming along better; I’ve been sick with bronchitis for the past 2 weeks. I’m feeling better now but I’ve still got a mild cough. I think the worse thing—for me—about being sick is that I can’t sing. And coughing. That sucks royally. But I’ve got my voice back—not fully—but it’s better than it was before.

I’ve been contacting more people to interview for the podcast. Many of them have been very busy so I’ve had to wait patiently until they can fit me into their schedules.

As for me, I’m still on the fence about attending some anime and comic conventions this year. Like for instance, I’m more than likely not going to New York Comic Con, but I still may go to Baltimore’s. Mostly because it’s local and if I do happen to see some famous people there, it won’t cost me $40.00 for their autograph.

At least I hope not.

I’ve also been working on a new manuscript for my publisher that’s really coming along well. Thank God because only weeks ago, I wasn’t so confident. It was as though the story I had in mind was very muddled when I sat down to write—well type—it out.

When I took the story apart, I realized that it just wasn’t popping. The story I had in mind was very boring, and I could just hear my publisher—what is this?!—in my head. So I scrapped it—well put it away for now—and started again. And I really like this story that I have much better.

It’s got some editing that has to be done before I can send it to her. If she still likes it after that, then she’ll assign an artist to draw it and hopefully I’ll get to see the storyboards on it. That’ll be exciting!

I’ll also be updating my YouTube channel and this blog with vlogs on different stuff, like life here in Baltimore, my move to Los Angeles, and more Writer Hangouts. So stay tuned!

That’s all for now folks for me, what about y’all? What are you up to this summer?

Hurray for Maryland Pit Bulls!

Pit bull with bird and bunnies

A couple of months ago, Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, had signed HB 73/SB 247, which undoes the 2012 ruling that pit bulls and pit bull mixes were “inherently dangerous.”

As you could imagine, this is a huge victory for dog owners, many of which were faced with choosing their home over their beloved family pet. There was always room for an owner—of any breed—to be sued if their dog had attacked and bitten a person, but the 2012 ruling had targeted pit bulls owners specifically, and stated that the owner’s landlord could also be sued.

In an effort to protect themselves, many property owners announced to their current and future tenants that pit bulls were no longer welcomed on their property. So, many families had to either say goodbye to their pets and surrender them to shelters, or find another place to live.

While I’ve never been in a situation where it was either me or my pet, I still couldn’t imagine giving up my pet in order to secure a place to live—I’d find a new place, no matter how long it took. Now before you throw tomatoes at me, I do understand that some of the people in that situation didn’t have a choice, for one reason or another and I don’t judge them.

However, I do judge those people who single out pit bulls as dangerous, vicious dogs when any dog—or animal with teeth—can bite you. I’ve seen many stories in the media about how a child was chased and bitten by a pit bull, and how their parent had joined the fight against pit bulls. But I ask myself, would those same parents raise the pitchforks if the dog had been a Pomeranian, or a Labrador, or a Chihuahua? Would those same news cameras care if the dog were a Springer Spaniel or a Yorkshire terrier?

Most people wouldn’t because they don’t see them as threats. But speaking as a veterinary assistant for close to 10 years, I’ve been bitten by all of those breeds previously mentioned. My most recent injury was by a Cocker Spaniel. Strange huh? Most think of them as friendly, like Lady from Lady and the Tramp. But let me tell you, it wasn’t a Disney movie. I had a nice mild concussion because of that dog.

And during my career, I’ve never been attacked by a pit bull. Now, I understand why pit bulls get that bad reputation. They look very scary, sometimes their ears are cropped (which will be another post for another day) and in different media formats like films and television, they’re the “to-go” breed to use when filming a dogfight scene (anyone remember that episode of True Blood?). Whenever the police break up a dog-fighting ring, almost all of the dogs rescued are pit bulls.

But the truth is that it’s all in their owner. Far too often, the wrong people own pets, not just pit bulls. They don’t know how to train them, how to speak to them and they don’t know how to deal with situations that call for professional help. But the same could be said about every other breed of dog—and cat. The basis mechanics of how a dog treats the outside world stems on how their owners treat them.

I’m very happy that this new bill takes the burden off the landlord themselves and the laser eye off the pit bulls owners as a whole. It goes back to the original point—no matter what breed your dog is, if it attacks a person, you—the owner—are liable. And that’s where it should be.

For your reading pleasure, please check out the links below. And if you have some pictures of your pit bull, or other family pet, I invite you to comment and share them with me!

Links: Maryland Does Right By Pit BullsASPCA Truth About Pit BullsPit Bull with Birds and BunniesPinups for PitbullsPit Crew Rescue

Murjani’s Miscellania Episode 1: Terri White

 

Hey everyone!

Apologies for the delay but it’s here! My 1st episode of Murjani’s Miscellania podcast! For this episode I interviewed a friend of mine, Terri White. Her goal is to travel to all 50 US states and DC by August 2016, and she blogs about her journey at fiftystates5years.blogspot.com. You can read about the states that were covered, and the states that are up next. If you’ve got an interesting museum, activity or restaurant she should try in a state she’s yet to visit, please let her know.

Oh yeah, I found out which piece of highway I was able to see from my hotel in LA—it was the 110.

I hope you guys enjoy it. It was my 1st time recording and editing alone so apologies if it’s a bit rough. If you have some kudos and/or suggestions, leave word below.

Reflection

The other day I was combing through a few of my old journals looking for random poems I’ve written. Sometimes I’ll be inspired in the middle of an entry and I’ll haul off and just write what’s in my mind. While looking for them, I started reading over the various entries when I was involved in my past relationships.

Let’s just say I wrote quite often when I was involved with those particular men.

Now a person could just sit and start tearing themselves down like Why didn’t I see it coming and What the hell was I thinking being involved with them? Now I’ll admit in the early stages when a relationship falls apart, I’ve asked myself the same questions. Sometimes you see or remember an ex and wonder just what the hell you were smoking when you’d decided to be with them.

Honestly, with each relationship I’ve had, I’ve learned a lot from. I’ve learned how to be better selective when dating, what I will and will not tolerate and just what it is that I want. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the nasty habit of putting myself dead last in the past—under the guise of compromising—and it’s only been to my detriment. Now that I’m a bit older, I’ve become a bit wiser and a lot more awesome!

From time to time, I’ll share some verses I’ve penned—I’m proud of them. But I’d also like to hear from you. What have you learned from your past relationships and do you feel you’re a better person after your trial(s) by fire?

Easter!

What’s new folks?

I hope everyone enjoyed his or her holiday this past weekend. Mine was spent staycationing with my family at the National Harbor for a night, interviewing a friend for my 1st podcast episode (Yay!!) and having Easter dinner with the rest of our family. And then it was back to work today.

Because of the busy weekend, I had missed AwesomeCon, which was kind of a bummer. I had went for the 1st time last year, and had a lot of fun meeting and chatting with voice actors Billy West and Phil LaMarr. But my best friend, Mansa, had the pleasure to attend this year and had a blast meeting and hanging out with Phil LaMarr, Rob Paulsen, Sean Astin and Cary Elwes.

I’ve been a fan of Cary’s since The Jungle Book so I was happy for him that one of us had the chance to meet and chat with him. Even though he was a douche in the movie—his character—I was smitten with his charming looks and accent. Actually, that’s also how I became a fan of Lena Headey’s. I also wanted to visit India because of that movie. It’s funny the things you remember from your youth =)

I’d really like for him to guest blog here so he can share his experiences firsthand with you guys. Here’s hoping I can sweet-talk him!

For those who have never watched Animaniacs, below is a video of Rob Paulsen—who voices Yakko Warner, Pinky, Dr. Otto von Scratchansniff among others—doing Yakko’s Countries of the World. It’s pretty awesome, enjoy!

 

One small step for woman!

…well not that dramatic, but I’ve made good progress on my recordings today. While doing a trial run on my new Nessie microphone, I noticed a slight echo in the playback. While playing with different angles and distances, I thought about what my friend SomeGadgetGuy would say—look at your environment.

He’d done a great video on making your audio better, I’ll put the link down below. But he makes a good point. The room I’m in is untreated, larger than a recording booth with 2 windows and mirrors. And while the echo isn’t large, it’s still something I noticed. Which means it’s going to bother me until I get it right. I will say this about the Nessie; I had recorded next to a closed window and it didn’t pick up any of the noise outside. Awesome!

So it means back to the drawing board. Hmm… maybe some packing blankets on the next Amazon shipment is in order.