The Journey Begins

I’m sitting in the Prague Airport right now, waiting to be allowed wait in line to go through security. Oh, yeah, modern travel. The idea that wireless Internet connectivity is a basic human right, right up there with clean drinking water and oxygen, has been slow to take hold in this country (though some parts of Prague are embracing the idea), but I do have access to electricity, so I feel an obligation of sorts to open up the ol’ blog and type something.

Not that there’s much to say, yet. Metro, bus, terminal, check in, get passport stamped, sit. My layover may yield more stories, depending on the policy of the airport concerning overnight stays in the terminals. It’s a long layover.

Well, the travel part of the day (starting in the evening) hasn’t amassed any significant events, but it was a pretty good day doing some shopping with Delilah. No big deal, but a nice break in the frantic cleaning/packing cycle.

I’m sitting right now at the start of one of those moving walkway conveyor belt things to help folks traverse the long corridors that typify modern airports. This particular moving walkway is not moving, however. I would say that roughly half the people who approach it stop on the threshold, pause, and when the conveyor doesn’t come to life they back up and go around, preferring to walk next to the conveyor at exactly the same speed they would travel had they just kept going. Too much thinking. It’s a malady I know only too well, myself.

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A soulless hotel bar in Dublin. A well-poured pint of Guinness. A lighter wallet. Free WiFi. A really annoying television program on the flat screen. Won’t be getting much done here.

But I am here, and that’s not such a bad thing.

May as well post this, because I can.

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Only I couldn’t. The journey continued in an uneventful fashion, and now I’m in Annapurna’s World Vegetarian CafĂ©. A whim, really; I was heading for Flying star but overshot and the rest is history. I ordered a green chile cheesburger, but they were out of cow. I got the Lebanese Wrap instead, and while it doesn’t have any real Lebanese in it, it is very tasty anyway. The Chinese tea with rose petals is remarkably good as well.

I just got my official NaNoWriMo winner badge. Woo Hoo! I’m still allowed to work on the story for the rest of the day, though. It’s starting to get good.

Late Night, Last Minute Thoughts

I’m tired.

How the hell am I going to be ready to get on a plane tomorrow?

I really should respond to the emails from B, S, Iv, D, J, H, SB, Is, E, L, A, and M.

Maybe I should set an alarm for the morning.

Only 1100 words to go. I could nail that down tonight. Er, this morning.

I’m tired.

Logorrhea Monday

This morning I woke up with a head full of ideas, scenes and interactions, motivations and conflict. I couldn’t wait to get to work. When I woke up this morning, I was a writer.

To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve felt that way. It’s been a while since I’ve thrown off the heavy blanket and jumped out into my cold apartment because the story beckoned. This morning I was so wrapped up with writing that it wasn’t until later that I thought, ‘wow! I remember this!’

What happened yesterday that would make today so exciting? Ten thousand words. NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close, and I was way behind. It was either punt or prodigy. Sunday evening I clocked four thousand words. Not a bad day’s work. Then there was Monday. I still had momentum coming off Sunday, but it was almost noon when I started. By midnight I had 10,000 new words, plus change. At that rate it would take a week to produce a draft of a typically sized novel. The best part of days like that are that when the paragraphs start piling onto the page one after another, they’re usually pretty good. Today I woke up and all I wanted to do was keep going. Man, that feels good.

I didn’t really get any lift from last year’s NaNoWriMo, and this year I was almost at the end before it happened, but here I am, less than twenty-four hours from a transatlantic flight, I haven’t packed, I haven’t cleaned my place, I haven’t bought locally unique Christmas Crap, and all I want to do is keep writing. Just like old times.

1

Why I Like This Place

After a productive morning, I was forced by thermodynamics to go find some food. I am exothermic. There’s just no getting around the fact. I don’t eat, I stop. I am fortunate that there are millions upon millions of people working to make sure my little furnace is stoked.

When I went in search of people-chow, the sky was a clear, deep blue. The midday sun hung low in the south and the wind was mild. The temperature was just above freezing. I walked down the long stairs through the the little park near home, really enjoying the scenery. Perfect weather for a miniskirt and tall, fur-lined boots. Dang.

A few hours later I was sitting with fuego:the brother at Sax’s, and a tall woman with a short dress and a long jacket came in. “I can’t believe you’re leaving this place,” f:bro said.

Tonight’s Game

11:30 As I tune in to the game between the San Diego Chargers (the good guys) and the Baltimore Ravens (the bad guys), the Chargers are winning. The announcers are talking about what a nice guy Ray Lewis is (Lewis narrowly dodged a murder rap). San Diego has the rather unusual score of twelve points. Four field goals? It seems early in the game for that, but we’ll see.

11:33 Baltimore challenges a call, doesn’t win. Dang, this whole replay review things makes for boring sports. Hockey also had video review, but it seems to work a lot better. Baseball is going to be introducing video review of some calls. Just what baseball doesn’t need,

11:42 Chargers are marching down the field, but not really looking good doing it.

11:44 I’m not sure what Baltimore was thinking, but the Bolts just got an easy touchdown. Somebody wasn’t doing his job. Tomlinson crossed the backfield to make a key block. It won’t show on his stats, but dang. It just adds to my admiration of the guy.

11:46 Dang! I can’t type fast enough! Chargers get the ball back on a muffed kickoff reception.

11:49 Field Goal by San Diego with time running out in the half. I have to think, however, that there was a missed extra point earlier. That would be the second in three games.

11:50 Halftime. Back to work on NaNoWriMo.

11:55 Wait a minute — who were those guys in the “best quarterbacks ever discussion” commercial promoting a game next week? Some of them looked like… some of the best quarterbacks ever.

11:56 I’ve had a hankering for some good sushi for several days now, this minute included.

12:04 Bolts take the kickoff, go to work. They made almost no yards rushing in the first half, now they start the second half with three consecutive run plays that all work.

12:08 Chargers pick up the blitz, Ray Lewis is burned for a touchdown. I’m starting to think to myself, “No curse tonight.” I have seen San Diego score 17 points, and I have yet to see Baltimore’s offense on the field.

12:12 Hey! That’s Peyton Manning in a TV commercial! Who woulda thunk?

12:13 The third ad I’ve seen suggesting that I buy a car for someone I love. A car. Diamonds aren’t enough anymore; but the car is probably an easier sell because the gift-giver benefits as much as the receiver.

12:17 The Ravens are moving down the field pretty well, no sign of panic.

12:21 Nice play action pass fools the Chargers completely, and Baltimore shows that they know what to do to make a comeback — just play solid ball.

12:27 Chargers barely manage to burn a minute off the clock before giving the ball back. And now back to the commercials.

12:31 Bad-luck call against the Chargers gives the Ravens a break…

12:33 … and the Ravens are moving again.

12:36 the San Diego Crowd forces the Ravens to burn a time out on 4th and 1. Nice work, fans!

12:37 The Bad Guys are called for illegal use of cheating, and the drive is over. Barring catastrophe, the good guys will get the ball back. Let’s watch some commercials! Cars! Beer! Mobile Phones! Peyton Manning!

12:42 My video stream has frozen on a view of Peyton Manning’s butt. Priceless.

12:52 Chargers score again, a field goal, but really, it’s the nail in the coffin. I believe that despite my watching, the good guys are going to win this game.

12:54 I feel like having a Budweiser. The only thing is, I don’t feel like having one of the Budweisers they’re showing on TV.

12:56 If you have the urge to buy me a car for Christmas, I’d rather have the cash.

1:01 I think, if you could pin down two things that are different this game than the previous few, it’s that the Chargers have their excellent center back, and that the Ravens suck. Hard.

1:03 “What a great race the AFC West is going to be,” the announcer said. This is because the top two teams, Sand Diego and Denver, are equally bad, and the other teams, although truly awful, aren’t too far behind. Woo Hoo!

1:05 OK, I understand tactically why Baltimore is challenging the call on 4th and 3, since they have nothing to lose, but still, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

1:11 The Chargers aren’t pretending to be trying to score anymore, they’re just running the clock. Go Clock! Go Clock!

1:13 The stream has switched to Denver/Chicago. I can no longer watch, therefore San Diego’s victory is assured. There was no sign of my curse throughout the contest. A good day. Denver is ahead, but even though they are San Diego’s rivals in the division, I can’t help but pull for them. It’s a geographical thing. First play I saw: Chicago scored a touchdown.

Well! How about that? The Good Guys won, right before my eyes. This is really going to throw them for a loop in Las Vegas.

Typo of the Day

Obviously I was trying to type “biology” but the above is a great word in need of a definition. Suggestions?

Travel Plans

I put off buying plane tickets for my holiday travels because I was hoping for clarification of some rule changes for immigration in the European Union. Rather, I was hoping for some clarification of rules enforcement here in the Czech Republic. Word on the street is that if I leave I’ll have to stay away for a while.

I never got that clarification, but it was time to take some action. The plan: buy a ticket one way and figure out the rest later. This morning I went online to do just that. And…

Holy Cow! The first set of tickets that came up were ridiculously expensive. I tried the next day and there at the top of the list was a ticket that cost about 60% as much as the second-cheapest. It got me to Albuquerque via Los Angeles. I cut out the Albuquerque part of the itinerary and the price went down even more. A bargain, plain and simple (well, relatively…). I bought it.

The catch is that I planned to arrive in California with a car. There is one waiting for me in Albuquerque, although there are complications there, too. So, for me, the ideal plan is for someone to meet me at the airport, take me to the DMV to renew the registration and then drop me off in Albuquerque. Any takers?

Alternately, I could spend my California time carless, which is the environmentally responsible thing to do (and doesn’t make Shrub’s friends yet richer – even the sagging dollar puts money in his buddies’ pockets), but with all the different places I want to go, that could be a real Pain in the Patoot. I suppose I could look into Greyhound package deals or whatever. That would certainly be an adventure.