Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spring 2014: Day Four – The Magique of Disney

Peter PanThursday morning we had a choice. We had spent two very full days at the parks and seen most of what there was to see. The decision now was whether to forego the parks for a day in Paris or forego Paris and keep the trip Disney. We decided to at least start at Disney since we really wanted to see the Cinemagique show, which would be starting at 11:15 (and had been cancelled yesterday). Of course, since the parks opened at 10, this meant we could sneak in some other stuff before the show and then decide about heading into the City of Lights.

So now our question was which ride or attraction to try and get in before showtime. You know which one, don’t you? Go ahead and say it with me… Continue reading

Categories: Cities, Europe, Friends, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spring 2014: Day Three – Movies, Moters and Magic Dreams

StudiosWednesday morning we were up bright and early… so early in fact, it made more sense to walk to the parks than wait for the free shuttle, which we did. Today was designated as a Disney Studio day so that’s where we headed, arriving at 9:30, a half hour before the park officially opened. This park is similar to the Studio park in Florida and parts of California Adventure in Anaheim, focused as it were around movie making so when we got in, walking through a Route 66 style road-stop (food and souvenir shops), we stopped at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine to decide what to do first. Continue reading

Categories: Europe, Friends, Personal, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spring 2014: Day Two – Dragons and Squids and a Dangerous Rain Storm

Welcome to DisneylandTuesday morning arrived early, but not as early as it would have had I been at home with the crazy dog! I got to sleep in to the absurdly late hour of 8am! We both woke up, showered and were able to catch the 9:30 shuttle to the parks (which was good since otherwise we wouldn’t know where to catch it to bring us home, and in light of later events, that would not have been good). Continue reading

Categories: Europe, Friends, Personal, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Spring 2014: Day One – Flying High and Climbing Higher

La Tour EiffelOur trip started fairly easily. I was traveling with my friend Rasa, having decided I was going to go to Disneyland Paris (which is exactly the same as EuroDisney, but not allowed to be called that anymore) and she had decided she wanted to accompany me. It worked out nicely since going to Disneyland by yourself just sucks. So we did a little bit of planning and plotting and had decided that the three full days we were going to be in France (we flew in on Monday afternoon and flew out early in the morning on Friday) would be spent at the two Disney parks (Disneyland and Disney Studios) and so bought three for two day tickets and were ready to go. Of course, since this was going to be Rasa’s first time in France she asked if we could somehow see the Eiffel Tower, so we figured we’d do that on Monday, after we got to town. With all this in mind, we headed out early to catch a train to Vilnius, where our plane left from.

Continue reading

Categories: Cities, Europe, Friends, Personal, transportation, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: Noah

noahWalking out of NoahDarren Aronofsky‘s new film about the biblical seaman who saved 2 of every living creature so he could replenish the Earth after it was laid waste by god’s vengeance I thought if I had to describe the film in one word, that word would be “ic.” As a film, the music was bombastIC, the storytelling was didactIC and the overall filmmaking pedantIC. So yeah, -ic would be a good way to describe it. This is certainly not what I was expecting from the director of Black Swan or Requiem for a Dream. Granted, I wasn’t expecting much, but this was even less than that.

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Review: Pwned

Pwned
Pwned by Christa Charter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Pwned, Christa Charter once again brings Sexy Sleuth Lexy Cooper to life with a mystery following hot on the heels of her initial outing, Schooled. Once again, Lexy is dragged into a mystery set amidst the high-tech world of video game systems. This time, Lexy gets involved because her paramour, Nate, the married father she can’t stay away from, calls and asks her to check on a member of the team who should be at the airport about to head for Japan… but isn’t. Ever the dutiful “friend,” Lexy heads over only to discover the guy dead on the kitchen floor, a single stab wound to the chest. Continue reading

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Review: Her

herAnyone who says Spike Jonze‘s latest film, Her, is only marginally science fiction doesn’t understand the genre. It’s a remarkable piece punctuated by subtle, spot on performances, especially by Joaquin Phoenix and a beautiful meditation on what it means to be human in a digital age.

The plot centers around Theodore, a writer of personalized letters for other people at the company HandwrittenPersonalizedLetters.com (which, really, is a brilliant idea and one which deserves its own exploration). He’s very good at what he does, able to reach inside and pull out the best of people he’s never met based on a few snippets of information and maybe a photograph or two. Continue reading

Categories: Films, Reviews | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Review: Perfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch
Perfect Pitch by Mindy Klasky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My initial disclaimer here is I was given this book by the author, Mindy Klasky, as a “thank you” for helping out with something else and she asked if I were to review it, to give it an honest review. That’s fair. Although my personal thoughts, generally, are that if I have nothing good to say, why say anything at all. My secondary disclaimer is that I’ve never read a romance before and baseball is not one of my favorite sports. And yet, here I am, writing a review about a baseball themed romance novel to which I gave 4 stars.

The reason is simple: I enjoyed it. Continue reading

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Ownership of that Famous Selfie

selfie at the OscarsA few months back, almost a year ago now, I wrote a piece for David Magazine called “Yours or Mine” about Intellectual Property copyright law and who owns what and how that gets determined.

Today, while researching another article for David, I came across this piece from The Wire: Paging Bradley Cooper’s Lawyers: He Might Own Ellen’s Famous Oscar Selfie. It’s a fascinating look at the legal and real world implications of what modern technological trends are doing to IP. Especially when the picture in question can carry a price tag of upwards of $1 Billion US.

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

The road to the Cup

Ducks Pac Div 14

This just makes me happy – Anaheim Ducks on their way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs as head of their division!

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Review: The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s something nice about using classic characters as protagonists in your own books. Here Jim C. Hines uses Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and, of course, Cinderella, to create a fun caper with the wicked step-sisters as the antagonists. By using the classics, though, he automatically sets up expectations in our minds and so when he confounds those expectations, we’re doubly surprised. Continue reading

Categories: Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts of Lithuania and its place in the global culture

Calling LithuaniaA week or two ago, I was talking to my friend AAron. We try to keep up on a semi-weekly basis and this time there other people with him and his family and one of these other people, upon finding out I lived in Lithuania, had a question for me.

“Do you know any left-handed, redhead dentists?” she asked. Puzzled, I asked her why. She said when she needs to explain something as rare, the phrase which has become second nature to her is “rare as a left handed, red haired Lithuanian dentist.” I acknowledged that I did not know anyone who fit that particular description and we chuckled, but it started me thinking.

Then, a couple of days ago, AAron sent me the above ad from a magazine and those thoughts came back. Continue reading

Categories: Europe, History, Personal | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: Captain America-The Winter Soldier

Capt2Captain America: The Winter Soldier couldn’t be more “ripped from the headlines” if it were an episode of Law & Order. On top of that, it delivers on most every promise it sets up and it does it without pandering to the audience and providing some pretty good action and enough plot to keep it all going.

In general, the film takes place a little while after the incident in New York, as explained in the Marvel Cinematic Universe production of  The Avengers. Here, Cap (Chris Evans) is still adjusting to life in the present day after being frozen for 70 years and trying to understand the world as it is… And that’s actually the point of the whole film.

Continue reading

Categories: Films, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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