Saturday, March 29, 2003

another tip: if ever at a loss for a bottle cap, prolly thrown out due to the fact that someone used their teeth to open the bottle, wine corks appear to be the right fit. and it's so much more fun pulling out a cork to have a drink of water than it is to unscrew the top...
for future reference: if i need to know medical information or names of drugs i've had, if i call the pharmacy and tell them i'm calling from another continent, they're more than happy to tell me what i need to know.

rock on. {g}

Friday, March 28, 2003

Kim Jong Il (the illmatic)'s LiveJournal.

cuz it's time to get ill.

(i'm truly sorry for that comment. it's just been running through my head nonstop since i went to the page...)
got an email from my mom telling me that she's arriving in prague on may 10th, and flying out of frankfurt on may 27th. i'm only out here until june 3rd (i think). so much for the idea of travelling around europe a little more after school ends.. it's going to be travel around (and try not to go insane) with my mother for two weeks, and then spend a pointless week in southern germany for one week, before leaving europe for a very long time.

i'm a little annoyed by this. why couldn't she have come before may? then i could have had one month to travel on my own? or at least, time to travel without feeling guilty for not travelling with my mom? of all ways to spend my last few weeks abroad, spending them with my mother is prolly at the bottom of the list. especially when i'll be going back a couple weeks after that and spending a very long time in close quarters with her for who knows how long.

goddammit..

i'm definately not seeing spain now. so frustrating.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

i'm trying to figure out how to set up my digital camera as a webcam. because apparently it can be.. but no luck yet. perhaps i'll figure it out this weekend. (any (free) programs people can recommend?)

i have discovered my pool skills have dropped dramatically since coming to prague. this saddens me. i was never good to begin with, but at least i had lucky runs. but every time we've played out here i've just proven meself to be an out'n'out bad player. such sadness.

according to SFU. last semester i took 6 with plans of taking only 2 this semester, in order to have more time to travel and explore and generally waste time. yesterday i found out that technically we're supposed to be doing three courses a semester out here. i wouldn't be concerned if the school out here hadn't already sent SFU my transcript for last semester. now i'm a little concerned. should be emailing the international department back home right now, but i think i'll put that off until tonight. also, haven't heard from the lit teacher out here whether i'm in trouble for skipping lectures that i already sat in on last semester or not. may be creating problems for meself. i'm a (lazy) fool.

canadian bonding = sarcasm galore. good times. at the expense of alister's pride. {eg}

brentos isn't going to make it to europe, save a miracle. there would be money enough by the time he would come, but there's not money now to get the plane ticket, and the chances of getting one later (for cheap enough) aren't too much, and it's just too much uncertainty and not knowing how to plan things and not being able to plan things...so we're doing it the easy way and just saying it's not going to happen. it makes me sad, though. really sad. because i would love for him to see prague, see the places that i now, be here when the atmosphere's the one that i'm used to.. because we can come back here another time when money's not so much an issue, but it won't be the same. it definately won't be the same once the czech republic joins the EU. but some things just don't work out. instead, i'll meet him earlier in ontario, and we'll spend more time back east before i finally get back to vancouver. still, if anyone would like to pledge their support in the "Get Brent to Europe" fund, they'll always be accepted!

it's a sunny day. i'm going to the park now.
sorry.. i really don't want to post so much on a topic that's being discussed incessantly everywhere else... but i'm catching up some more. i can't help it, it's like living in a bubble here in some ways. not quite the same as sean is, but a little similar. i don't have a radio, i don't read the newspapers (because i don't want to pay for the only english one with a relatively strong ex-pat american feel to it), i don't have a television, i only find out what i actually search for. more often than not we just find things out through word of mouth. (like this whole asian flu thing in canada now? didn't know a thing about that until yesterday and that's been going on for months now!) of course, trying to stay on top of headlines online, but i'm still missing things.

like this. there are times that i do miss having a television. just to have gotten to see televised "reality" shattered. or at least challenged a little. not in a "look, george bush is a twat" sort of way (regardless of what my opinion might be in that matter), but as a reminder that everything is calculated, everything is an act, everything is for show. i didn't have a chance to see it, i didn't even know it had happened before now, and i'm actually very surprised it took place. it's rather ironic that it happens when it's potentially most-damaging.

or i think it is, at least.

aside from that, also found this morning, this article (both links, actually, c/o the comments on douglas rushkoff's blog). another perspective (this time economic) on the reasons behind the war. interesting read.

so i just thought i'd share. and in an effort to keep this blog from becoming completely dull, i'll now put together a random snippet of my life to post above this. curb your excitement...

[edit] one more link added:
i've been reading this journal for awhile, because generally speaking, he's absolutely hilarious. but i thought this post was rather well-written. exactly the sort of thing i've though numerous times (particularly when trying to talk to people who don't seem to fully realise that innocent people dying means innocent people dying. that it's more than just a random number.) except that he writes it far better than i could.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

quick queries to people with digital cameras:

the owner's manual says to use rechargable Ni-MH batteries. BUT. if i use plain old no name alkaline batteries.. is that alright? even though the alkaline battery says 1.5V and the Ni-MH one says 1.2V/1700mAh (i have no idea what the second number means, but it's there so i'll write it down anyways..)?

also. should my computer already have a VFW driver or does it make sense that i'm now out searching for one, because the webcam program says that it can't find it?

any and all advice is appreciated...

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

finding some interesting articles linked in and around here, but i think this one's rather interesting to start with. as is this one.

actually. just a minor comment. it's starting to bother me, coming across comments by people, how there are so many people determined that things be black and white. just because someone's against the war doesn't mean that they don't realise/think/whathaveyou that saddam hussein is just a bit of a bad person. doesn't mean that they don't think that the iraqi people should be allowed a different leader, a different life. it just means that they think there were better ways of going about it. and would like to think that there still are. and are hoping that this ends as soon as possible with as little life lost as possible. but as for the last bit, no matter what your opinion is, i think everyone's of that mindset.

just getting annoyed with the "this or that" mentality that's unfortunately almost always around anyways. it just becomes all the more apparent during crises.

yes, by "they" i mean "i"...

Monday, March 24, 2003

when you're one person alone in the room, and there's no other noise, and there's nothing new being reported, just the same analysis over and over again.... why do you need to keep listening to the news so fucking loudly???

Sunday, March 23, 2003

bored
it's not even 2 in the afternoon but it feels like 6 at night
losing one day to sleep alters your perceptions
so does talking to people on the other side of the world

should be finishing a letter
should be mailing postcards
should be putting together tracks to burn a cd
should be buying the black cd to burn
should be emailing a prof who still doesn't know i'm in her class
should be emailing some of the countless numbers of people owed emails
should be finishing a book
should be outside at the park
should be eating real food
should be starting a photo project
should be doing something productive

instead
sitting in pjs
watching cartoons
eating skittles
sending messages to people who hear from me all the time
reading news that isn't new
wishing i could be writing arts for a newspaper
wanting to play around at cjsf
listening to cash, glass, and others with last names that are objects
constantly reloading my email page in hopes of something exciting
listening to burning branches across the street (spring cleaning)

what an exciting sunday.

aside: my skittles tolerance has dropped drastically. i can't eat near as many in one sitting as i used to. so sad.
a couple of random links. i'm cleaning out thoughts and my computer at the same time.

don't know how much longer this will be there, everyone has prolly seen it already, but oh well. asian boys are funny.

saw an art show this past week. works by ales vesely. giant sculptures and land art. much of the exhibition was drawings, models, and plans for hora hor, "mountain of mountains". very odd. very strange. entirely pointless by my way of thinking. kinda cool. he's apparently the head of monumental sculptures these days at the academy of fine arts in prague these days. i would love to meet him. the show was also accompanied by some music he recorded, "sounds of sculptures". noises of his sculptures being "played", apparently. bizarre. i liked. much.

someone sent me a techno video featuring rainbow brite. despite everything else that was on the cd, i think it was that alone that made me miss her lots right now. thank you julie.. {g}
psyops 101, c/o cbc.

i wish i was in a communications course right now. or my utopias class. that was a godsend to have handy when the WTC collapsed. somewhere to discuss the things that were on my mind without being told off. i need to have a conversation about this with people who aren't wholeheartedly behind this war (it's just frustrating talking to them) or with people who know more about the situation, if only to leech some more knowledge off of them. because i don't feel like i know anything. even though i've been skipping between sites searching for something that'll make me feel enlightened. not finding it yet.

want to know something funny? i have no idea what's really going on in terms of canada's involvement in this thing. i'm looking at the cbc website, for crying out loud, and i know there's protests going on everything thanks to indymedia sites (but that's only a given anyways), but in terms of official governmental stances, i have no idea. obviously i'm not looking hard enough at the moment. but canada is so un-newsworthy by other countries' standards. and apparently the canadian mind-link doesn't work so well across oceans.

what is strange, is looking at headlines on websites. for the words and for the stories. american soldier detained in grenade attack on US command tent, friendly fire may have downed british plane, stray missiles land in iraq, other helicopters crashing... this war sounds incredibly messy and ill-coordinated. i'm sure other wars have their same problems, but have there been any big stories so far that don't involve some sort of accident? it all sounds like a play that's showing that was nowhere near ready for performance, that no one wanted to perform yet...and yet it's going on anyway.
i haven't written much about italia yet, have i. it'll come out eventually. fixing up photos tonight, actually. although like before, i found i was taking a lot more photos with the real camera, not the digital one, so i'm not going to have so many to post. but i'll get some up sometime soon. sarah's being productive! but anyways, here's something.

agerola (aka Heaven) was amazing. Best Hostel Ever with the nicest host in the world. went hiking every day because it was so beautiful, just wanted to see more. paolo, aka nicest hostel owner ever, had put together directions for a couple of hikes already, which was handier than i expected it to be at times. however, they'd obviously been written (or at least translated) by him, and as good as his english may be, he's not quite fluent. which really, is all the more fun. with the directions you knew what he meant most of the time, but there was one part that confused me to no end:

Taking the left has passed crossing the Mediterranean stain and it is arriced next to some house of the fraction of Tovere and the petrol of pumping with the God mother.

no idea what he meant with the God mother pumping petrol. that is, not until i got there and saw it:


just a petrol point with the virgin mary on top. of course. why didn't i think of that? {g}

i loved the amalfi coast for so many reasons...
thank you ms pardilla. {g} the comments are where the true humour is. and you have to admit, anatomy is funny. signer #104 proves it.
there's some things you just don't need to hear about when you're on the other side of the world and unable to do anything about it. like Odd Job Jack. i really want to see it. more than what they have online. looks (and sounds) rather entertaining. and then there's the whole don mckellar part of it all... and dave foley... and yes.

oh poor me, unable to watch quality canadian programming. hopefully somebody's recording it? (though i sorta doubt it, considering she didn't mention the show to me at all so she prolly doesn't know about it? doh..)

Saturday, March 22, 2003

i like hearing hellos over online radio. {g}

saw The Ring tonight. half the time i spent listening to the reactions of the czech viewers. see, if you've ever seen czech films, chances are you'll have picked up on the twisted, dark/bleak sense of humour. there's already been a few films that i've seen where you hear people laughing or joking at points that, in north america, would prolly be silent and/or spooky and/or creepy. like the short animated film with the girl stealing limbs for her legless love and helping death take away the souls of the other soldiers. the czechs were so jovial during that film..

**(i don't think this is a spoiler at all, but if you're really picky about these things, don't read. course, i saw the film in the czech republic, everyone else will have seen it by now...)**
so when she's standing there holding the now-decomposed body/skeleton in the water, when it's supposed to be some mixture of heartbreaking and relieving and enlightening... the theatre was full of people making jokes and laughing out loud.
**(end of not-a-spoiler-at-all)**

i loved it. poor lida didn't notice. she was too busy curled up in a ball hiding her head in alister's shoulder. she didn't know it was going to be a scary movie, y'see...

poor girl. {g}

cleaned the kitchen completely, which involved a great many dishes. strange, considering that i hadn't cooked since i'd returned when i washed them. noo... not bitter at all... but now i know the kitchen's clean. sitting listening to irma and ed on cjsf. first time since i came out here, actually. s'nice hearing familiar voices from so far away.


Take the 'What Jhonen Project Would You Be?' @ JtHM.net


it's been awhile since i did any. quit your complaining.
so that was exciting. going to the doctor's here is almost like being back in vancouver - go to the doctor to have them tell me i'm healthy, and keep returning until they realise that i'm right and they're wrong, that there is something wrong with me (because there always is). the only difference is that out here i have to pay $75 a visit until they believe me.

...frustration...

Friday, March 21, 2003

hurrah and huzzah, permalinks have been fixed! as my prize to me, i'm gonna go have a shower because it's something to do, and then maybe, just maybe, i'll get dressed for the day and go to the doctor's!

you're jealous. try to contain yourself.
on wednesday i saw what i think was the first american tourist in prague that made me happy to see. catching the tram back to the kolej when i'd arrived back in prague, the tram was relatively empty, but towards the back was a group of tourists with suitcases prolly just arrived and finding their hotel. the son wasn't too interesting to look at, just looking around nonplussed. the daughter, maybe 24 years old, she must have been having a terrible time because she looked pissed off as hell. mad at the world, annoyed by her family, glaring out the window at everything with a camera held in her hand. (maybe she wasn't that angry, maybe that's just how she looks, but to me she looked ready to kill.) the father was sitting on the other side of the tram, a little overweight, wearing a brimmed summer on top of his very round and fleshy face, huge glasses with thin frames that made his eyes look huge, and he was looking all around out the window on the opposite side with such a huge-eyed, simple look of contentedness and relaxed excitement. he looked so calm and peaceful and so happy to be there at all... he deserved to be travelling around prague. it looked like it was his dream come true or the next best thing. absolutely adorable.

he made me happy. never would have thought an american tourist in europe would do that. at least, not the sight of them alone. {g}
have had to give into taking advil regularly. oh well, sometimes it has to be done.

saw a bunch of people off to poland at the train station last night. first time it's been me wishing people a good trip. usually it's people coming to say goodbye to me or greet me when i arrive back home. so strange. fun, though. got to sound czech while i walked around in my new not-quite-fuck-me boots. what fun.

i also have no roommates this weekend. this is good, in my books. may go hiking outside prague tomorrow. may have to go alone because anyone who didn't take off this weekend is most likely a med student stuck studying all the day long. poor me.

braving the czech medical system today. really didn't want to while i was away, but i figure staving off blindness is better than putting up with a recurring eye infection for another few months. i'm such a wimp, i know. so strange though, paying for it, getting invoices, faxing it off so that i can be reimbursed the money... i'm going to the canadian medical clinic (i don't know why there's a canadian one here, so don't ask me) and while i was on the phone, i asked if i'd need my Care Card with me. she told me that yes, i can pay with credit card if i wanted to. so i guess i don't need it. so bizarre. and all of that will hopefully cost under $100! which my father, in his wonderful way, told me that he'd submit asap once i fax him the invoice, and rather than put money into my account to reimburse me, that maybe i should just deduct it from that time four months ago when he transferred a little extra money into my account by accident, that time that i'd sorta forgotten about, that time that added enough money to not feel like i had to worry about money issues, though told him to withdraw the money if he had to, but he didn't, so i assumed it had been a gift of a sort to cover some of my computer troubles and living expenses when nothing more was spoken of the matter.

but apparently it wasn't. so i figured i'd at least get the money back if i go to the doctor's, but nope.

needless to say, i'm a little miffed. just don't know how to write back and suggest to him that i hope he was joking, because that's not really fair to call on something that was thought to be squared up months ago. and also, because if i'm not being reimbursed, then i think i have to start worrying about money. which would have been nice to know about before i'd bought a bunch of things in the past month.

and then there's this war thing. of course i'm pissed off. of course the people i've spoken to out here feel the same way. there was a vigil and march last night, although in all honesty, what on earth is standing outside the US embassy in prague really going to accomplish? i wish it would do something, anything, but i honestly don't think it would. been spending the past few hours following links to sites and stories trying to find some news articles that are a little informative. been reading through the cnn website for the laugh, looking at how things are worded, how things are portrayed, it's downright hilarious. and depressing. when i first started learning about the world wars in school, the idea that the nazis had a "minister of propaganda" named such amused me to no end, because i couldn't understand how you could be so blunt and forthright about it and still accomplish the job. but apparently you can be completely obvious about it and still get away with it. well, enough to still be considered "reputable news" by enough to stay in business.

also been reading this blog, written from baghdad, although i appear to be the last person to've come across it. still, started (it seems) back in september, what i find really fascinating/odd/sad is that reading posts from last year and now, life still seems to have been roughly the same. i know that this war didn't just start this week, regardless how it's painted in the news, that it's been going on for years, but it's still strange to come across it so obviously like it is in a blog written day by day.

i'm not making a lot of sense. i'm sure i'm sorry. body's in revolt at the moment, thinking processes are bound to be affected.

anyways, despite that ramble, i'm not actually wanting to say much. there's many other people out there who can say what i'm thinking far more eloquently. (if i was smart, i'd throw in a link or two, but the internet being as fickle as it is today, it's too damn frustrating to look up some of the articles i was reading earlier, especially considering that i was using text-based 'net which doesn't save a history, and i'd have to try to follow links one by one to find them again.) i'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse that i'm somewhat sheltered from news about town without radios or english newspapers surrounding me, that i have to look it all up meself. i'm leaning towards blessing, i think. just don't know if it's because then i find the information told in a way that i deem "better", or because i can pass time in some sort of ignorance when i'm not sitting in front of a computer or bringing up the topic when i want to.

i do feel somewhat guilty that i'm more worried about it possibly because i'm a little worried about being closer to where all the excitement's taking place. because i'm so far away from some of the people i care about. because i'm scared to be having to fly home in a few months. someone suggested (or maybe it was me, and then elaborated upon by others) hitch-hiking north up to and through scandinavia and then hiking across the north pole to get back home, because i'd certainly be safe then. certainly would be a lot of fun. certainly almost sounds like a better option than taking a planeride during a war when methods of attack and warfare are vastly different than they ever have. i just feel so guilty sounding so selfish. there's people who are being actually affected by everything, not just hearing about it from afar (and have been for years) and here i am selfishly wishing that everything would have at least held off until i went back to canada (because sadly, i realised that awhile back, i'd already gone from hoping that things wouldn't come to this to hoping that things wouldn't come to this before i go home).

somebody slap me.

don't worry, i hate how i sound in this post, it hate it sounding like what everyone else already knows, i hate sounding selfish and spoilt and just a general snot. i hate not being able to word things any better. so i'll just have to post a lot after this to move it all down quickly enough.
IN. PAIN.

on the plus side, not pregnant. because we were oh so very worried about that... the proof just took it's lazy time in coming, and due to the laziness it's hitting me hard.

evil. pure evil.

and then toni came around. and offered to bring me back perogies from poland. before i even had the chance to avoid talking to her. the world is becoming scarier by the moment.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

a random list to make me hide my head in shame...

Things Bought During The "Cheap Trip To Visit A Friend" Trip, Which SHOULD Have Involved Little-To-No Spending Of Money:
- limoncello bath gel
- licorice soap
- italian music
- more italian music
- italian wine
- italian chocolate biscuits
- muesli, cuz it's cheaper there than it is in praha
- a nifty scarf
- italian candies
- more music
- too much gelato (but is there such a thing as too much?)

...and so on. sarah's an idiot.
voila. links still causing trouble, but images working again. huzzah.
the first person who can fix my link links at the bottom of every post gets something from me. i don't know what happened to it, somehow all the pertinent information just disappeared, and i don't know how it was to begin with.

at least i have the fishies back. not the title, but i'm working on that one too.

exciting times...
alright. so i'm back. came back, dealt with fixing my computer, packed again and took off for florence to visit sanni for near a week, had fun, had sunshine, had flea markets, had gelato, had good vino, had a long trainride home but had books this time, and now i'm back in prague. and i'm not leaving for awhile. at least, not for the next week. we'll see what happens after that. but i hope i'm not going anywhere else. i need to spend time with the kolej people.

but for everyone's amusement, i asked brentos to send a quick email to family and all those who were on the list of Need To Know If Sarah Dies, as i hadn't had a chance to send anything to my parents to let them know i was leaving town again. and this is what i found out he sent:

Hi everybody,

This is brent. Sarah wanted me to notify you all that she is not going to be in Prague again until next Tuesday or Wednesday.Once again, this brave soul is venturing off into the uncivilized wilds of Europe. This time, to some back woods, red neck, hick town called Florence (which the local yokels refer to affectionately as "Flo"). Flo is in Italy, which, for those of you that aren't "in the know", is the western-most peninsula of Cambodia. She will be travelling by train through most of Europe until finally having to switch to riding camels across the Great Italian desert. Don't worry about her getting lost. Camels, like salmon, travel thousands of miles during the mating season to their place of birth in order to spawn. After mating, the female camels eat the males then lay thousands of eggs in the sand. Due to the heat of the Cambodian sun, the eggs do not have to be incubated by the female camels who are then free to do as they please. Many have been known to take up racket sports. Luckily for us and Sarah, it is currently the beginning of the camel mating season, so she is guaranteed an expedient trip to Florence. Anyways, had Sarah herself written this message, it would probably had been as follows:

> still not dead.
>
> number of days left on eurail pass: None
>
> currently: on route to Florence, Italy.
>
> weather is: lovely
>
> knee is still in one piece. rah rah brace!
>
> love,
> sarah :)

Sweet and to the point, but you must admit, not nearly as educational and informative as my message.

Take care everybody.

brent


he's a dork. {g}

and i'm back in prague again, hurrah.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

HAPPY BRENTMAS DAY!!! the day of parades and celebration for the birth of the one and only UltraBrent!

celebrated here by a nice collection of goodies upon arrival back to prague, some maly buddha goodness, and a good night's sleep. sorta. not really.

much much much more to write, many emails to answer, exept i'm having severe keyboard troubles at the moment which will hopefully be fixed later today. i hope.

Friday, March 07, 2003

why have all my images disappeared? can't look stuff up at netfirms til i get back. bothersome.
IN HEAVEN. thought i'd just spend a day or two around amalfi resting on the beach. staying a lot longer and i have yet to see the beach properly yet. staying at the bestest hostel in the world up top the cliffs in agerola. been hiking so much my feet are about to fall off. gonna hafta spend a day on the beach just to recuperate...after the hour-long hike down the cliffs.

today: heard only waterfalls & goat bells and lizards running away. waved back and forth with a goatherder on top of a mountain who looked more like a wizard than a person. tried to catch him and his herd and learned that climbing up steep hills (read: CLIFFS) is fine but coming down (after missing him) scares the bejeezus outa me. especially if no one would find your body for a good long time. may have finally learned (after 3 times forgetting) that when hiking alone, best to stay on the path - REALLY. saw a green spider. saw the biggest fly of my life. was accompanied partway by the cutest dogs in the world. had stilted conversations in italian with gardeners all the way down through La Scala (aptly named "stairs"). made food from scratch (again!) and it actually tasted good (again!). staying at the best hostel in the world.

supposed to go to florence tomorrow night, but i may just stay here until it's time to return to praha. a city's only a city, but this is some form of paradise, i swear. if i don't hear from the person i'm supposed to be meeting there, i'm not leaving.

so looking forward to just sitting tomorrow, though, after three days of straight hiking. i'll prolly hike instead though. i'm a masochist.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

last post didn't show up. curious.
in roma. christianity is so gluttonous. saw flies mating in cinque terre. nearly died on a hike there. guess i have to finally admit that i'll never be able to hike mt everest. doh. finding out that i can sorta understand italian's been fun. getting rid of sleazy italian guys hasn't been so much fun. especially the guy who kept fondling himself while watching me on the train. ewww. and he didn't understand why i told him to stop it either. ewwwwwww. whatever. and i didn't even have the shower monkey out of my bag! go figure.

hope hope hopin i get to go hike mount vesuvius. at the very least prolly gonna see pompeii. the whole greece/italy trip is now just an italy trip. and that's just fine.

maybe i should let my parents know i'm alive now.