The last minute trip is being organized on a shoestring. “To save money, even our coach is not coming,” said the 21-year-old Janulionis, a student at Vilnius University. Because of the remote location of the regatta, all competitors will sail in charter boats provided by the event organizers. (more…)
Members of the Italian women’s World Cup ski team in Lithuania.
The Italian women’s ski team traded the slopes in the Alps for the Snow Arena; they were impressed not only by Druskininkai, but also by cepelinai, writes Marius Grinbergas of www.sportas.info.
“If you compare it to football, it would be like if Milan or Torino Juventus, or one of the other superclubs, chose to train in Lithuania,” said Lithuanian Alpine Ski Federation (LKSF) President Paulius Augunas.
It was thanks to the effort and communication of the LKSF that the Italian women’s ski team chose to come to Druskininkai’s Snow Arena for a training camp. Almost all of the best Italian women ski racers came to Lithuania after the first World Cup of the season in Austria.
Alpine ski stars like World Championships silver and bronze medalist Denise Karbon, Sabrina Franchini, and Manuela Molegg participated in the Snow Arena training camp, with one of the best and most interesting coaches in the sport, Livio Magoni.
“It was a risk to come here. We could have done like all the other teams and trained in the Alps. I got a decent amount of criticism for organizing this camp, but now without a doubt, I know my decision was the right one,” Magoni told sportas.info. Read the full article here.
It’s a proud day here at One Way Ticket, because I’m now an official burgermeister! Read my review of last week’s lunch at Oakland’s Trueburger on Burger Weekly. It’s a tough job, but if somebody’s got to review cheeseburgers, it might as well be me!
In the introduction to my graduate student reading for my Master of Fine Art in Writing at California College of the Arts, my friend and classmate Liz Mayorga wrote, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Jenn has superpowers, which is how she managed to write two novels in such a short amount of time.” Well, thanks Liz! I didn’t quite get both novels completely done—I have a few more chapters to write! However, if you want a taste of what I’ve been up to, watch this video.
And if you just can’t get enough, watch the full, official video here.
Showing off my Lietuva t-shirt to Šarunas Marčiulionis
I had the extreme pleasure yesterday to attend the San Francisco opening of The Other Dream Team, a new film by Lithuanian-American director Marius Markevičius. In a very succinct and enjoyable fashion, the movie documents the events of the second half of the twentieth century, showing how in a little Baltic country, basketball came to be synonymous with freedom. Markevičius brought together interviews with members of the 1992 Olympic bronze medal-winning (and tie dye-wearing) Lithuanian team, their opponents, NBA coaches and analysts, and the players’ families, with rare footage of World War II, the Soviet deportations, and the movement for Lithuanian independence 1989-1991. And just like the Lithuanian story, this movie has something for everyone, from history buffs, to basketball lovers, to fans of the Grateful Dead.
After the movie, the SF Lithuanian-American group organized everyone to head around the corner to Five. It was great fun to be together in the crowd, meeting new friends, and even reconnecting with some old ones. I was also fun and flattering to be reminded that I’m famous in certain circles—a couple of avid Lithuanian Heritagereaders mentioned the article I wrote in the July/August issue about Rūta Šepetys. I got to tell them, “Well, I wrote that!”
And while I’m not normally star-struck, meeting Šarunas Marčiulionis was certainly a highlight in my life. I jumped right out of the theater to ask him to take a picture together, but also later, as he was leaving Five, I got to shake his hand again. I made sure to tell him, “Ačiu.”
The Other Dream Team is opening around the country over the next few weeks. Watch the trailer below, and click here to see when it will be coming to a theater near you.
I have an appointment for an interview with Ellen Cassedy, author of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, at five o’clock—well, it’s eight o’clock for her. She is at her home on the east coast, and I am calling from San Francisco.
“Hello, Ellen? This is Jenn calling. Are you ready?” I put my phone on speaker.
Though Cassedy’s background has its roots in Lithuania, it is one I’m not very familiar with. I start by asking her to clarify the term Litvak for me. “In the Jewish geography there used to be an area called Lite, which doesn’t really appear on maps, but within the Jewish world it encompassed Belarus and the Baltics. It has its own special pronunciation of Yiddish and special cooking. Someone who lives in that area is called a Litvak.”
Cassedy’s book is so new, it isn’t even available at my local bookseller yet. To prepare for “meeting” her, I read excerpts from each chapter online at Amazon.com, but only the beginnings—I have no idea how it turns out. It’s an incredibly strange way to read a book and my list of questions is heavily influenced by my desire to know what happens. I dive right in by asking her about the secret her uncle revealed on the eve of her first trip to Lithuania. “In the book, I talk about my uncle revealing this secret, but I try not to give [it] away before people read the book,” she says. Without ever telling me what the secret was she adds, “It upended my view of how some people were pure victims and some people were bystanders and some people were pure rescuers … it muddled my view of the Holocaust.”
“It’s amazing how many of us have these stories that intersect,” says Rūta Šepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray, over a paper cup of Starbuck’s coffee in Monclaire Village just outside of Oakland, California. She’s here to promote her book, which came out in paperback last week, at a local bookseller, A Great Good Place for Books. Although I have come to interview her, she begins by asking me about my family’s story—and we quickly discover we had a lot in common. Both of our grandfathers were officers in the Lithuanian army, both were engineers, and both settled in Michigan to work in the automobile industry. Telling similar family stories of fear, escape, and survival, we make each other teary-eyed.
The diary of Olympic attaché Antanas Guoga: the most successful Olympics, non-Lithuanian blood, solid bonuses, and powerful countries defeated.
Photo: Alfredas Pliadžias (LTOK)
The record after the defeat by the Russian basketball team said it—maybe it’s the last record. However, a new Olympic victory brightened my mood.
This Olympics has been the most successful since the restoration of Lithuanian independence. I’m glad that I was an Olympic attaché. Many have worked with the basketball team because I was its leader. The players didn’t shine this time. But other sports’ successes will allow us to forget the basketball team’s failures…
Click on the pink links for definitions of unknown terms.
What is not quite right here?
Really though, it was probably bound to happen sooner or later—I’ve been saying all summer that the shrouds were too loose—but all we do know is that there was definitely something wrong with the standing rigging that day.
After working on the yard most of the morning, we thought we’d reward ourselves with a sail. It was the best wind on the lake Joe and I have seen in two weeks. The three of us—me, my brother, and my dad—left the mooring with just the jib and then put up the main. I was on bow/pit, Joe on trim, my dad on helm/main trim. It was a beautiful, windy day: sun shining, air just the cool side of hot, and a couple of beers in our boat cooler. Things went downhill from there.
Click the pink links for definitions of unknown terms.
Whew! Three solid weeks of regattas makes for one tired sailor. My knees are stiff, my feet are bruised. I’ve got cuts, carpal tunnel, a sore back, and a tired neck, but man, has this summer of sailing been fun!
The two Mac races were followed by the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs. I was on a J111 from Chicago called Rowdy. Our crew included the owner, four local kids, a pro (calling tactics), and me. Friday buoy racing was a day to sort out the kinks. In four races, we didn’t finish higher than 8th, out of 10. But by Saturday, we were ready for the distance race, dubbed the Tour of the Bay. The start was just outside of Harbor Springs, and took us back and forth around the Little Traverse Bay for the better part of the day, finishing inside the harbor, a stone’s throw from the yacht club.