What kind of traveler are you?

“They’re saying you need your passport.” “Don’t you have a copy?” “Yeah, but they need your visa page.” “Why?” “Some stupid COVID thing.” I turned away from talking to the BF, back to the front desk clerk. “I promise you he hasn’t left the country in three years.” “Sorry, it’s the policy of the government.”…

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Film Fridays – Xanadu (1980)

The combination of my partner playing ELO in the gym and reading The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley made me think of one of my childhood favorites, Xanadu. Considered a truly awful movie by many, but a cult classic by Oliva Newton-John fans like me. While the soundtrack went double-platinum in the US, the…

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The Changing Seasons – Sept 2020

The challenge. I didn’t go anywhere. What do I take photographs of? I’ve exhausted my little neighborhood, haven’t I? My world has shrunk, and like many, I don’t really venture beyond a small area. Yes, yes, COVID and all that, but the problem still needs to be solved. Ah, ha! What’s on your desk? Here’s…

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What are your little joys?

I try. I really do. After all, there’s no shortage of horrible news that makes you want to suck your thumb, strap on an adult diaper, and lose yourself in a tub of tears and ice cream. Salty! Happy Panda did a ‘Happiness is…’ photo series which is such a good idea. Here’s one of…

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The gifts of a reading habit

Falling in love with reading has been one of my biggest influences. I can’t imagine my life without a good book or even a shampoo bottle for me to read. I was thirteen when I walked into Waldenbooks out of utter desperation to do something with my time after I had no friends, no outside…

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Changing Seasons – Aug 2020

Hello, again. I’m back! Sorry about missing June and July, needed a break, but I’m ending the month with a holiday so I’ve got time and sanity back (momentarily). Most of August was tough though. I was juggling two jobs, teaching online and in the classroom. We went back into the classroom at the end…

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Film Fridays – Death at a Funeral (2007)

Some movies remind me of those long gone days of perusing indie video stores. Where you wandered down aisles and contemplated something outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you might have been hoping to bump into a handsome stranger, but that never ever happens in real life. Right? I might have heard Death at a Funeral…

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Film Fridays – Beautiful Accident (美好的意外)

On a long haul flight, most likely from Hawaii back to Thailand, the BF binged watched Chinese movies while my nose was stuck in Norse Mythologies by Neil Gaiman. And after watching god-knows how many films, Beautiful Accident is what he remembered and recommended. This was years ago, so that’s how long it’s taken me…

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Social media: self harm or much ado about nothing?

Every day, I usually do a quick scroll though Facebook because: it has become a second inbox, it’s how I remember birthdays, and it allows me to stay connected to my family, friends, and students from around the world. On this particular occasion, I was having a giggle over the above image. Was it 100%…

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What do you value?

Quicksand economies, medical crises, personal blows, you name it, there’s no shortage of external and internal factors that can cause us to reevaluate how we live our lives. A couple of years ago, I had a wake up call when I realized, like really realized, how much my mom and I are different, how our…

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Film Fridays – How to Train Your Dragon

Finally, it was my time to introduce a movie my BF hadn’t seen! Although to be fair I think he’s much more of a movie buff than I am. What saves me is when I was in high school theatre, we thought it was our creative thespian duty to watch old classic films so I…

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Film Fridays – Jaws

Until recently, I never saw Jaws. Now you might find that odd, or you could argue that since I was born and raised in Hawaii, this made perfect sense. We don’t fear the water over here; we respect it. I grew up listening to the surf report on the radio. Our islands have good warning…

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How to improve your mood (extra strength edition)

Prior to 2020, life was plenty challenging enough, but after? As soon as we entered this new and momentous decade, 2020 took the reins, told us to reach for the sky, and it doesn’t look like its going to stop terrorizing us anytime soon. After months of isolation and contemplation, as well as witnessing what’s…

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Film Fridays – The Graduate

I am not a fan of movie trailers. I think this is because trailers often do a poor job of grabbing my interest and often spill the whole story including plot reveals. When I was listening to Tim Ferris’s podcast with Brené Brown, she confessed that she likes to binge watch movie trailers and never…

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What’s your relationship with clothes?

Clothes and I have never had any problems. Clothes have taught me a thing or two about penny-pinching, distorted body images, and beloved jackets. And just like how you change on the inside throughout the years, “my style” has evolved too. [Thanks, Marta for the inspiration for this post.] Childhood Running around with the boys,…

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Changing Seasons – May 2020

Hello! I’m back for another monthly photo recap hosted by Su (find out the details if you’d like to join here). For my birthday month, I decided to do something a little different. Please share yours too! My biggest wins: // getting published for my funny essay “Jumpsuits, not just for air-raids anymore!” on Drunk…

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Film Fridays – 1917

I have wanted to hang out with the cool kids, Darren and Sarah, doing their Film Fridays but it is a rare day when I watch a movie. Normally, I watch British panel shows or standup bits and specials. The last movie I watched before 1917 was months ago, and it was Grease because the…

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Fish out of water: expat bloggers interview series #6

Hello everyone! We’re back with another interview with expat bloggers from around the world. I know it’s been a while, but it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want. (* evil laugh *) I’m pleased to introduce Damianne who I met through WordPress’s April Discovery Prompts (met several great bloggers actually). But check…

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Discover Prompts, Day 30: Grateful

Despite participating in #365grateful for several years, I’d still wake up with an expletive as soon as my alarm went off on certain mornings. A gratitude (or even a mediation) practice is no magic pill, but many of us believe that it’s the Holy Grail to serenity, sanity, and everlasting self-discipline. Yet there are plenty…

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Discover Prompts, Day 27 + 28: Team & Focus

Like most kids in Hawaii during the ‘80s, I enjoyed an abundance of free time and sunshine. My younger brother and I grew up in an enclosed neighborhood of tall rock walls and bougainvillea and hibiscus bushes. Even though I had a collection of Barbie dolls and her accessories, I ran with the boys. We…

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Discover Prompts, Day 26: Hidden

Are you good at spotting hidden objects? Just for fun have a look at what Nature magazine has done. One of the things I did when the news first came out of China (regarding the virus) was avidly read scientific articles, and since I found myself returning to Nature magazine’s website, I decided to subscribe…

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Discover Prompts, Day 24 + 25: Elixir & Magic

Beauty hacks come in all shapes and sizes, but budget beauty hacks that reuse materials you already have in the house are the best. I mean, don’t you just hate waste? For example, I’ve always felt a sense of loss after I’ve clipped my nails, especially my toenails because they’re so big! But did you…

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Discover Prompts, Day 23: Note

Friendly Notices! from Your Homeowners Association Date: November 2, 2018 Re: Courtesy Notice – Halloween decorations Dear Eleanor Gardens Homeowner: As you are aware, the Board of Directors wants to ensure that our community is an extraordinary place to live, and in order for this to continue enforcement of the Rules and Regulations is necessary…

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Discover Prompts, Day 21 + 22: Instrument & Tempo

Instrument: Electric kettle, French press, coffee Tempo: Slowly wake up, make coffee (drink it black, strong, with feeling). Instrument: Journal and Paper Mate Ink Joy gel 0.7 Tempo: With starts and stops, with pleasure and panache, scribble down yesterday’s events, thoughts, lofty dreams, goals, and to-do lists. Instrument: All-in-one Acer desktop computer + working internet…

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Discover Prompt, Day 20: Music

I made a timeline. It’s called A Brief History of Lani & Music 😀 I’ve been participating in WP’s Discover Prompts for April and they’ve allowed me to dig in and get creative. Even though I’ve already shared music with PAIRS on Day 9, I knew I wanted to try to create a timeline, a…

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Discover Prompt, Day 18 + 19: New & Three

Three new things that I have been doing: 1) Participating in WP’s Discover Prompts I’ve been blogging for ten years (but not all on WP), and I’ve never blogged every day nor have I ever participated in any WP challenges. I’ve tried to, but the timing was never right. Doing this has been more rewarding…

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Discover Prompts, Day 17: Distance

Social distancing isn’t just the hottest catchphrase, it’s also a new way of life after COVID-19. • My kid can’t beat up your kid anymore. In fact, with these masks on I can’t tell which one is my kid. • Siblings no longer need to draw an invisible line in the backseat of cars, a…

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Discover Prompts, Day 15 + 16: Scent & Slow

// The world has slowed down, and I’m not sure we like it. // I live in an apartment in Thailand, so sometimes I smell what other people are cooking. When this happens I shut my windows because it’s often the neighbor deep frying garlic or fish. Now, if I’m frying garlic, I don’t mind…

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Discover Prompt, Day 12: Light

“Is anybody awake? I’ve got to go to the porta potty.” Kari confessed. We were seniors in college, doing archaeological fieldwork at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Southwest Colorado. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding.” Sara rolled over. “What time is it?” Kari and Sara were my best friends and our tent…

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Discover Prompt, Day 10 + 11: Orchestrate & Bite

It was the morning after Superbowl Sunday. The guys were about to get to their job sites, but they were lingering outside by their trucks with hot cups of coffee, talking about yesterday’s game in pairs or small groups. Usually their trucks would be idling, usually they would be scrambling for their hard hats, tool…

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Discover Prompts, Day 9: Pairs

What are the five best books I’ve read paired with a song? Glad you asked. Challenge accepted. In no particular order (thanks to Jeremy for recommending the first two books), but this was not an easy list because I’ve read many wonderful books. I tried though to think about books that really impressed me.  …

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Discover Prompts, Day 6+7: Hands & Below

I am a giant tending to my plants on my apartment deck. Sometimes I start the morning by giving my plant children a stern look over. Is everyone okay? Who’s thirsty? I pick up dead or dying leaves. It’s important to make sure your little forest doesn’t have any fires. During this ritual I noticed…

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Discover Prompts, Day 5: Dish

It was American Thanksgiving, and like many other years, I was far from home. I was living in Eugene, Oregon, working part-time at a non-profit ISP, training to be a Waldorf teacher, and living in a house with a divorcee, Jo, who seemed angry at the world. Her best friend, who also was one of…

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