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On Mortality

reflections-on-mortality
A few days ago, a piece of news came over my Facebook feed about a high school friend. It was his wife, posting on his account, that he had passed, suddenly and without warning, the night before. Now, he and I weren’t necessarily close in high school, and we were facebook friends but hardly ever interacted outside of some casual “likes” on random posts from time to time, but for some reason, his death got me thinking.  Continue reading

Categories: Monki, Personal | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Rome – March 29-April 2

IMG_0960March 29, 2018 – So this trip started back in December. As we were driving to Mažeikiai for Christmas, I suggested to Rasa that we invite her mom to go to Rome for Holy Week and to see the Pope deliver his address from the balcony on Easter Sunday. Rasa thought it was a great idea, since her mom hadn’t been on an airplane in probably 40 years and had really never traveled. What a fun way to have a little break and, for someone who is as devout as her mother is, a (probably) once in a lifetime event. Continue reading

Categories: Art, Cities, Europe, History, Monki, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disneyland Shanghai – March 22

thumb_IMG_9763_1024Aside from the shows, though, Shanghai was a fun city, even though we didn’t really get the chance to see a lot of it. On Thursday, with one show under our belts, Zack and I headed out early in the morning to go to Disneyland Shanghai. To be perfectly honest, this was the one thing I was really looking forward to. Knowing we were going to have a heavy schedule, I was hoping to get at least a few hours to explore this version of the Happiest Place on Earth. I had already asked Zack if wanted to go with me and we invited Anton (our sound guy) to also come along, but he had “studying” to do (which is like kryptonite for teachers – can’t argue him out of it). Continue reading

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People’s Grand Theater – March 21-26

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe left Zengzhou on another bullet train (top speed 302kph) and 4 1/2 hours later we were pulling in to the Shanghai train station. Everyone remembered their tickets so we could get out, and we were off to our hotel for the night – A one-night stop kinda on the outskirts of town. The following morning, we went to the hotel where we would spend the bulk of our time in Shanghai, a nice, older place called the Pacific Hotel just across the street from People’s Square (and next door to the Radisson and Madame Tussaud’s). Continue reading

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This is China – March 15-20

thumb_IMG_9595_1024It started when I got off the plane. Sure, the ride itself was normal – the long side, heading from Helsinki to Shanghai, I was seated next to a guy who decided my armrest was his property, but I just watched some movies and stared out the window. The flight itself was only 8 1/2 hours (it’s ten going back) but then going through customs and immigration was a bit tricky. I didn’t know the name of the hotel I would be staying at (the info was in my bag). When the officer asked, I just explained I was there with a clown show. “Then just put that,” he said. So yes, my official entry form states my residence is “clown show.” Continue reading

Categories: Adventure, Personal, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Immigration and visas

passport stamsLiving as a foreigner in a foreign country has certain pluses and minuses and these are going to be different for everyone involved, but one thing remains the same for everyone – dealing with immigration to ensure your resident status.

In the seven years I’ve lived in Lithuania, I’ve had to deal with it every year and every year, it’s been a different experience. This year was the most harrowing of all, though.  Continue reading

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On Judging English Competitions

HostingSeveral years ago, back when I was regularly attending pub quiz, I met a woman who was the head of a primary school. Being a native English speaker, she had asked me if I could possibly come and be part of a jury for an annual English/speech competition the school hosted. Naturally, I said yes and have been doing it now for several years. In addition, I’ve also done some recording for her as the voice on the audio portions for grammar school English books (and, I was just informed, the English teacher in the books was named for me!) Continue reading

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The US has 11 separate ‘nations’ with entirely different cultures – Business Insider

Each region in the United States, from “Yankeedom” to “El Norte,” has its own cultural identity, says author Colin Woodard. This is a fascinating theory. While I’m not entirely convinced by the geographic breakdowns, it certainly makes a lot of sense as to why different areas of the country think the way they do.  Continue reading

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Skids Poppe

Johnathon_Blaze_(Earth-616)_from_Marvel_Spotlight_Vol_1_5_001I’ve always loved motorcycles. I’m gonna say it stems from first picking up a Ghost Rider comic book (#35, “Death Race,” way back in early 1979, from the wall rack at the Readmore bookstore on Spring Mountain and Jones). Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider‘s secret identity, became my personal favorite hero and I proceeded to collect every appearance of the character in the Marvel universe up to that point. Continue reading

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On Writing Preparation

So I’m in a bit of a quandary. I just finished a fairly massive writing project and waiting on notes but while working on it, I was hitting my goal of writing every day (one of my personal, accountability goals). Once it finished, though, I’ve skipped a day here and there, but I want to get back to it, and I want to write something for me, not something I have to write to fulfill someone else’s deadlines and content pools (Yes, I’ll still do that, but I like writing fiction).  Continue reading

Categories: On Writing, Personal | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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