Sunday, December 29, 2013

2 days and counting...

Just had a great Russian lesson.  Went over the four different ways to say “Whose”: Masc, Fem, Neuter, and Plural.  And how cool: my Russian teacher Natasha lives in Moscow and I didn’t know this, but the Transiberian Railway runs all the way from Moscow to Beijing!  I thought it was just Russia alone.  She and I both were talking about Mongolia, and how neither of us have been there.  So she proposed that we each take the Transiberian Railway and meet in Mongolia.  Wouldn’t that be an adventure.  She would take her family; I would get a group of friends from China.  The train runs from Russia through Mongolia and into China. 

Another fun fact I learned while looking at a map: the tips of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakstan, and China all intersect: China from the south; Russia from the north; Kazakstan from the west, and Mongolia from the east.  That would be a pretty wild meeting place haha.  Seriously, check it out: go to google maps and look.  I wonder why THAT is the intersection point of all four countries, i.e. what's the history behind those borders.  Gotta look into that.

I checked the train timetables here:   Very very interesting.  Though I notice that it apparently takes about 7 days from Moscow to Beijing.  That doesn’t seem very ‘express’.

I was on the transiberian express once, from Moscow to St. Petersburg.  Back at Franklin College in Switzerland.  During a class trip.  Spent the night in a sleeper car, which was pretty cool.  There was no murder.  Though perhaps that’s only on the Orient Express.  Hmmm… :)

I have to do my damn accounting now, for 2013.  I want to finish all my Quickbooks bookkeeping before I leave, so I can just send the stuff to David at from China, without having to do the bookkeeping over there.  If you want a great tax guy, he's wonderful.  But I’m still stuck in April 2013, and have many more months to catch up on.  I really should be doing that, and not writing in this journal/blog.

I really hope to find time to work on my novels again soon. I’ve neglected them for the last few weeks.  I’m up to about 18,000 words in Soul S.T.A.S.I.S. and I need about another 30,000 to be considered ‘novel length’.  And I need to start doing the research for Shanghai’d, another new novel I am working on, about the crazy practice back in the day that birthed the term of the same name.  And ugh, more PhD work.  My goal is still to finish the entire dissertation and earn my PhD by the end of 2014, but I’m not yet sure if that will be possible.  Which reminds me, I need to email again to Kim (my dissertation advisor) about whether he received my latest research proposal draft.  It got signed off by my other two committee members, and now it’s time for the ‘scientific merit review’ process.  If I get through that, then it’s IRB time, and then awesomeness: I can actually begin the research subject recruitment process.

And the movie.  Still waiting to hear back from the US distributor.  We're so close to finalizing a deal, and I really hope it happens in January.  Time will tell.

Hard to believe I’m only going to be here for another two days.  This time, in 48 hours, it’s off to the airport.  Oh, did you know that they use the Cyrillic alphabet in Mongolia.  Another fun fact.  Ya know, for the next time you're a) in Mongolia, b) trying to impress a friend, or c) are on Jeopardy haha.  But this is yet another reason I’m stoked about learning Russian and Bulgarian: the Cyrillic alphabet has multiple uses.  Not just for Russian.

I’m still so sick.  I think I’m sick AGAIN.  A new sickness.  I think hanging out with Nicole did me in.  I went over to her house to help put together her daughter’s dollhouse for Christmas last week, and she was coughing.  Nicole.  And I think I got whatever she had.  Lovely Christmas gift, haha.  No good deed goes unpunished.

It’s raining out now.  Drizzling.  The sounds of the droplets landing here and there is nice.  Soothing.  Calming.  Nothing lasts forever, even cold December rain.  That's a play on a GNR song, for those who may not be up to snuff on 90s music culture.  

I still can’t believe I’m doing this.  France, yes.  That’s understandable.  But China?  That’s just CRAZY!  Everyone wants to go to France for a few months; but who goes to China?!  FOR A YEAR?!   It’s so rugged, and ‘out there’!  Japan, Korea: they somehow seem more tame.  China feels like the wild west to me.  As wild a place as Iraq was.  As Africa.  That safari I went on in South Africa.  Living almost with the lions, in the tents, with a protective fence along side.  I remember walking along the fence at night, pitch black, tress all around, feeling like I was in Jurassic Park.  Waiting (and secretly hoping) that a lion would roar out from behind the other side of the fence.  And I would wrestle it to the ground.  Alas, I just day dreamed like Walter Mitty, and ended up crawling back into my tent with no stories to tell.  Well, scratch that: I just told a story.  Haha.  Yay, I got a story out of it after all!  And yes, I ended up seeing lions the next day when we actually went walking around.  Inside.  With no fences.  Pretty wild.  No pun intended :)

I should also update and post my acting reel before I leave.  It is almost done.  I really should do that.  Maybe I will try to work on that later today.  I don’t think I have time to make it ‘perfect’, but hey, as I love to say, ‘good now is better than perfect never’.   I also need to head into the city today to see one of coaching clients before I leave.  I promised I would try to seem him twice in person before we switch over to Skype, and well, it's important to be a man of my word.

I also got nominated to be a part of this new thing at Fryeburg Academy: the hall of excellence.  That’s a nice honor, regardless whether I get picked.  Thanks to whomever nominated me!

Okay, may the force be with you all.  I’ve got a million and a half things to do.  I am sure you do too.   So stop reading already and go do them!  Yes, I'm talking to you Monroe!  And YOU!  READER!  Chop chop!  Get moving.  Do what you need to do. :)

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