Thursday, October 31, 2002

grand ol' day so far:

1. woke up at 6:30 for no reason. still tired but can't sleep anymore.
2. laptop has apparently died again. dunno details yet, but i'm not sure whether the fact that it sounds like the same problem is a good thing or not.
3. my brother has apparently moved into my room. no one has bothered mentioning this to me. if i had moved out, this might not have been a big deal. but i didn't, stuff was left in a mess there because it's MY room, and now he's apparently taking it over.

not a happy camper today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

in czech, any of "ano", "yo", and "no" can mean yes. no is "ne".

when i go home i will have the chance to make sincere use of the phrase, "and by 'no' i mean 'yes'!"

conversations with daniel make me happy.
1. i would love some oatmeal.
2. more than that, i would love some snow porridge. but i cannot find the stuff you use to make it in Tesco.
3. Tesco is evil.
4. i don't even know where Tesco is originally from.
5. oddly, i don't really care.
6. tomorrow i have a big czech exam.
7. i know precious little czech.
8. matt will prolly do better than i will.
9. this is a sad sorry state of affairs.
10. so i will sit and listen to more music on epitonic some more, because i am in desperate need of new music.
11. i still want oatmeal.
12. or messages.*
13. or snow porridge.

* short ones. otherwise i don't get the entire thing... sadly...

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

romania was awesome. mountains. beautiful countryside. horse-drawn wagons everywhere for normal transportation. lots of stray dogs. kittens falling asleep in my lap in the park. hiking the bucegi mountains. seeing bran castle and the fortress in rasnov. seeing vlad tepes' birthplace in sighisoara, which is still an awesome name. one day i will name a character sighi soara.* this entails actually writing a story, but it could happen. lots of friendly romanians, as always. absolutely no troubles whatsoever. stag stew. polenta. amazing pastries. seeing Resident Evil (Experiment Fatal!!) with romanian subtitles and understanding the subtitles more than the actual spoken english. i suppose if the entire audience is following the action through the written word, the actual sound quality isn't as important. not that it mattered. because the script seemed so very incredibly amazing. but milla jovovich was eye candy enough onscreen. 19 hour train rides there and back. giggle fits all the way home. suave hungarian guys telling us how our blue tongues (popsicles) were the same colour as our eyes. ooh it made my heart go pitter patter. ancient buildings. incredible graveyards. no vampires. feeling conspicuous with blonde hair and a nose ring. seeing my first european snow. walking down residential roads watching two cows saunter down the road, no one else around.

it might be an idea to start writing papers soon, me being in school at the moment and all...

* say: "siggi shwara"

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Air Canada: Dec 25, Lv Hamburg 10.20 am, arrive Van 2.10
Return Jan8, leave Vancouver 2.30 pm, arrive Hamburg, 1.35 pm


Wednesday, October 23, 2002

going to romania tonight with catherine and jordan, the wisconsinite that makes me think of dave nelson. transylvania and vampires and gypsies and rustic life... here's hoping we don't die. must dash off to buy train tickets now. have a good weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

it should be stated publically that brent is awesome.

so there we go.

Monday, October 21, 2002

number 38 is no longer applicable. number 40 appears not to be true in the czech republic. i'm certain that it will still be the case when i get back to vancouver, though. but it was a mostly pleasant experience. what wasn't is being dealt with. and no, not talking about hangovers. what, you think i'd be susceptible to those? of course not! i'm amazing.

don't worry, number 39 is still fully in effect.

had a field trip out towards the sudetenland yesterday. it was absolutely wonderful to be outside the city, hiking up rocks and hills and forging our own paths through the woods in cold, sunny weather surrounded by red and golden leaves. saw rabbits and deer and befriended kittens who tried to follow me home. explored the sites of long-gone castles and churches, found crazy statues that had been left behind, picked apples off the trees and ate them. i'm a big fan of fruit trees growing everywhere and the apples and pears free for the picking. a very big fan.

and today i have to remember that i'm in school, as i have a paper due this afternoon that i still haven't started. good times....

Friday, October 18, 2002

oh, and yesterday my sister turned 21. an age which is of no importance, really. at least, not in bc. but now she can drink legally in the states as well. i know she's thrilled.
i wish there were some exciting reason for the lack of entries over the past week but there isn't.

tonight's sanni's birthday and i should be going out to celebrate it with her. and i have to, because she'd be upset if i didn't. and i do want to. but today i also paid for the repairs on my computer and it cost a bit (read: prolly too much) and even if it does work now and in the long run i'll save the money if i can make long distance calls through it whenever we get the internet in the dorms, at the moment i'm still painfully aware of how much it cost and i really do not want to spend a lot of money at the moment.

and tomorrow night i'm going to see Andalusion Dog who i would have seen for their name alone, though the descriptions i've heard sound rather intriguing. and no, i haven't listened to the clips on their page, so i could still be setting meself up for disappointment, but i suppose that's what i get for travelling to computer labs without headphones. for some reason i haven't developed the habit of walking around prague with my discman. i'm not sure why. a lot of the americans never leave home without it. before i came here, i wouldn't have either. but somehow it seemed wrong and/or foolish to stand in the tram or wander around the old town square without hearing everything going on around me. and i just got used to living without music. which is prolly a good thing, because there's still plenty going on around me. before i left home i really wanted to go around with a recorder and just get certain sounds on tape to keep with me. not necessarily because i would miss them (some of them were sounds i'd only heard once). but just to play with, maybe. and now i'm wishing i had one with me out here as well. i still love the fact that you can hear the military school band across the street practicing every morning at 8am sharp. i like listening to the trumpet warming up. i don't know why, but i do.

at any rate. here's what you've missed in my lack of posting:
- the fact that the clouds here often make it look like there's nothing above you. they're just white. no colour, no texture, just white. it's almost creepy.
- my belief that they have people chained in a room where they're forced to invent strange and bizarre flavour sensations for yogourt. like chocolate coconut. or chocolate cherry. or hazelnut vanilla. which also begs the question, why did hazelnut never really catch on in N America? why is it a european flavour? i've always loved it, i just didn't know it was so big out here, considering how rare it is back home.
- frustrations over duelling parents (one offering me a ticket home for christmas, the other trying desperately to convince me to stay out here, partially because of the great experience but largely because they can't offer me the same thing themselves and they don't want me taking the other parent up on the offer).
- the humour and/or annoyance to be found in watching drunk people.
- czech guys can't dance.
- where to go next week (for a week!): hungary & more or croatia?
- random bouts of depression, self-doubt, missing people, and strange dreams that come with.
- spontaneous road trip with med students to southern czech republic. nothing much happened. saw gigantic chemical towers that seemed to be out of a book. listened to indian wedding music. i think i need a copy of the tape.
- been reading Nietzsche. think it's having an effect on me?

that's about it. see? nothing exciting at all, really. it hasn't been a bad week per se, but nothing really grand either. and i either need to post more or think more about what i'm writing, because this sounds far too dull. no wit, no flair, nothing good in the writing.

i want to read Good Omens. or Where The Wild Things Are. or Winnie The Pooh.

but i can't right now.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

i forgot to mention that yesterday was John Lennon's birthday. i remembered in classes - all my notebooks have that fact written across the top margin. so a belated happy john lennon day.
my laptop's currently broken. dunno what's wrong but it goes to an error screen before windows even starts loading. just sms'd michal to ask for advice and he sent me someone's number. "the only thing is that he doesn't speak english very well, but he has to learn. so call him and speak slowly and tell him you're a friend of mine. i consider it punishment for him."

michal's awesome. {g}

message from a person who shall remain nameless, in order to preserve their dignity:

"I just forgot what year it was. Had to look in my agenda. I'm obviously insane. Thank god it's a 3 day weekend this week."

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

consulates and visas are the bane of my existence.

i thought things were going well. now that's not so much the case.

i'm really just disappointed that i won't be able to return to dresden this weekend. at least, it would be pointless to do so.

consulates aren't into returning emails either.

because of that, they're terribly conducive to drivel. i am so terribly amused by what i am writing right now. sean connery, boredom, frustration, the missing of friends, and enless amusement in the little things can be a frightening combination.

i also just read the excerpt of jenn pardilla's novel from last year's nanowrimo. wow. i am inspired. can we please read the rest? please oh please? nothing would make me happier.

well, except maybe sean connery.


i'm frightening meself now. i should stop.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

yes. being 23 is definately good. and now more extremely good news, though i dare not jinx it by mentioning it here quite yet.

yesterday the architecture class took a romantic walk through the escape route for the czech presidents, should tragedy ever befall prague. it really was quite lovely. sanni, marcia, and i continuously commented on the romance of it all. the oh-so-blue-from-chemical-waste pond, the rusted lampposts, the lovely couples everywhere, the golden leaves, the sunshine... i gave sanni a maple leaf. it was so romantic. sanni threw the remnants of the apples we'd eaten at marcia. it was so romantic. we found fruit all around because of the trees all over. it was so romantic. we held hands. it was so romantic. some of the other students looked at us strangely. it was so romantic. sanni and i plan on going back there again. it was so romantic. it's a good place to know for when visitors come, though. it was so romantic.

i will most likely be unable to concentrate on anything today. i didn't really feel like working on a paper anyways.
squall: pretensious noise
retisonic: rockin' good times. danny elfman on drums.
gogogo airheart: boogie on down. mick jagger moves abound. oh and our drunk friend from wyoming took the stage.
milemarker: not bad. loud. jealous of the keyboardist's hair. and voice.

feel somewhat guilty seeing american bands in the czech republic, but it was so worth going.

now dresden.

took off thursday, last minute as always. didn't have the time to book a hostel in advance, didn't think it would be a problem. turns out it had been a national holiday and all the beds were gone at the hostel, but if i hurried i might be able to get a bed at this other place on kaitzer str. got lost. saw a hedgehog. was about to sleep on the bench in the park (and would have been entirely fine with it - weather was warm, felt entirely safe there) but tried one more street. heard english so i went to ask if they knew where i was going. a couple in their 30s saying goodbye to their british friend. they didn't know where it was, but where was i from. studying in prague, but originally from canada. some muttering in german. would you like to stay at our place? so i got their daughter's bed and she slept with her parents. but not before they pulled out some nice wine and apples from their yard and told me stories of east germany and saxony and we all bonded. their house is from 1891. during communism there was no money to tear down the fancy older houses and rebuild them, which is why it still exists. ironic, really. she researches molecular biology. he's a civil engineer, specializes in bell tower reconstruction, and has therefore been in charge of fixing up almost all the old churches around saxony. their children go to the international school, and therefore speak nearly perfect english. the daughter is brilliant. eight years old and she doesn't have to try to learn anything. calm, quiet girl. her and i discussed tectonic plates and global warming and she understood everything. the next morning they drove me to where i had to go and invited me to stay the next night. which i did. and the next day played with the children and brought lotta into the old town with me to explore. much fun was had. much money was saved, as i didn't have to pay for board or food. when i left, i nearly missed the train because olaf and ellena insisted that i stay for coffee. they drove me to the station at the last minute, sending me off with the leftover apple cake, a bag of walnuts from their trees, some apples and some grapes, and told me that when i come back i'm more than welcome to stay with them again. lotta kept asking when i'd come back and insisted that i sleep in her bed again rather than pay for a room. and then hugs all around and i caught the train home.

so dresden was pretty swell. {g} didn't get my visa because i needed one more stamp. which i now have and i'll try again this weekend. that alone should have made me hate dresden, but i really couldn't be upset in the least. i promised lotta i'd be back soon and i wouldn't want to go back on my word.

it's good. i don't like going somewhere and being a visitor. i like going and living there. and this weekend i most definately lived there rather than being a tourist there. screw castles and museums, i got to live with the people and find the cool parks and play on nifty german park toys (the giant top is my favourite one. why don't we have dangerous park toys in canada? we really are missing out...) and still found out a bunch of quirky tales of the city's history that i wouldn't have known if i hadn't met olaf and ellena.

oh, and i rode a scooter for the first time. i can now understand their popularity at home. they're actually quite fun.

so really, nothing had to happen for my birthday to get better, as the rest of the weekend had already been awesome. but then it did just get better in the most mundane of ways. which really is the best way possible.

and i still have another two birthdays to look forward to this year! {g}

Monday, October 07, 2002

about to be late for class. argh. but thank you to one and to all for the birthday wishes. they made my day.

it was possibly the bestest birthday i've ever had. for oh so many reasons.

weather was dandy. ended up in dresden over the weekend. no room at the hostel. extreme luck followed. it was like jesus and the inn. except that we just drank wine, rather than making it from water. turns out i have friends here in prague. going out with a soon-to-be supa-fly music producer. yes, supa-fly. never said it before, it's high time i start. the amusement factor alone does it. got phonecalls from other parts of germany. got my hand scratched up by gucci the cat because he was so very happy to play with me. and then to top it off, someone bought me cheesecake.

elaborations to follow. for now, gonna be late for class.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

i do so want to visit sweden while i'm here, despite the fact that i know it will cost an arm and a leg.

romania looks like fun too.

as does egypt. and jordan. and turkey.

lonely planet online is a wonderful thing.

just makes decisions all the harder. why does money have to be an issue?
i have no idea whatsoever where to go this weekend. dresden. bratislava. vienna. krakow. none of the above. i'm at a loss due to my indecision. please, someone, tell me where to go. if i can just go one place and start it all, everything else will follow. so please. pity me. send me away.*

there are people planning a trip to egypt in the coming months. i really need to figure out how much money i actually have to travel with.

otherwise: yesterday we explored the sewers of prague during my architecture class. found a room which was once used as a hideout in case of a siege, before it was borrowed by satanist cults. and then we stopped by jan svankmajer's house. he lives nearby the gallery of surrealism. it cannot be a coincidence. later, i got to see another film of his, Conspirators of Pleasure. unfortunately, The Dumb Americans (as opposed to The Cool Americans) went on afterwards about how terrible it was, how anything can be said to be art these days. even a couple who, before the film began, loudly exclaimed that they had seen his house today. because that made them cooler, somehow. i'm really getting frustrated with the superficiality of a number of them. heathens. all of them.**

oh, and i've befriended a fellow from wisconsin. he makes me think of dave nelson. i haven't told him that yet, and i don't think he's a secret canadian. but his home still amuses me. hopefully he will never read this.

* i am quite aware of how lucky i am to be here, never let it be thought that i'm just a spoiled, whiny, brat. i'm still an indecisive brat, at least, and therein lies my problem. just, y'know, covering my ass here...
** "them", of course, refers to the Dumb Americans. not the Cool Americans. just covering my ass here too...