A Czech Tale

The first night we stayed with Marek (pronounced marrrk), and there is a story there, but not the story for today, children. It ended at 6 am with a long cab ride. Ask me for the story of Marek’s parents some time over beers. Weird.

So a couple more nights like this follow, and Phil and I are feeling pretty run down. We decide to head over to Telc (pronounced teltch), as it is a very nice little traditional czech (pronounced check) town with a very old town center. Phil (pronounced fill) called his focus-puller and cameraman friend Tomas (pronounced toMAHSH – it would be more obvious if I could type the accent marks) to see if he wanted to come out and play. He replied that he could join us for a while, but that he had been up all night playing bluegrass music with his old band, and he was very tired, so couldn’t stay out late. Whew! An easy night at last.

We met up with Tomas and his girlfriend Dasa (pronounced dasha) in the town square, and went to the restaurant owned by a friend of Marianna’s (probably not really spelled that way) named Ivan (pronounced eeVAHN). Dasha was heading back to Prague that afternoon, and once she was gone Tomas seemed much more interested in hanging out. He cancelled plans to go and edit a documentaty he is working on and invited us over to his house. Uh, oh (pronounced here we go again).

At his house we met his parents, who were really very cool. They gave is beer, and after a little conversation Tomas’s mother complained that we weren’t drinking them fast enough. Tomas and his father played some music for us, and dad showed us some of the american folk and bluegrass albums he had collected quite illegally during the communist times.

After a while Mom came back from the kitchen with some sausage and bread and cheese, a traditional czech snack. The sausage had been made from wild boar by a friend of theirs only the day before. I’m no sausage expert, but this was pretty tasty. Then dad got up and came back with a vodka bottle. Not to worry, he quickly said, this was not vodka but slivovitce (pronounced, more or less, SLEE-vo-vit-seh), a drink made from plums (was it plums? it’s all so hazy now) and very alcoholic. This had been made by a friend of his. It was pretty tasty, but I had to be careful – if I let my guard down for a moment, my glass was refilled. There was some other really sweet cherry booze that we tried also, but apparently it’s purpose is to give the women something to sip while the men drink their slivovice. Talk about your good hosts. There was also plenty of good conversation, with Tomas and Phil being very diligent with translations.

Well, of course after that there was nothing Tomas wanted more than to go out drinking. We went to a little bar near the center of town (the town is small enough that almost everything is hear the center of town), and bellied up to the bar. Tomas is the only czech I have been with that even considered sitting at the bar. Tomash was barely staying awake until a bunch of women showed up. Nothing came of that, but that got him going again and then there was the whiskey… It’s hard to find good scotch in the czech republic, but that night we did. We had a good time discussing movie stuff – My brother (for my sake) and Tomas (for his own) thought it would attract the women over to us if we were talking like we were going to film a movie in town. Of course it didn’t work, but we did come up with a really good steadycam shot involving two cranes and all kinds of people moving around. (Apparently cable cams aren’t good for shots that require tight sound synchronization. Who would have thought?)

So there you have it, just another day in Cesky Republiky (prounouced Cheskie rePOOblikie).

Jerry (pronounced jerry)

Another bad idea

While traveling around the Czech Republic, it occurred to me that all the postcards of the attractions were aerial views. That got me to thinking, and when I start thinking you know there will be blimps in the picture somewhere. So…

What if there was a tour company that took people all over Europe by blimp? It would be a big ‘ol blimp with enough room that the passengers could sleep in comfort and dine in style, and it would mosey about the countryside from one attraction to another. It would be a cruise ship of shorts.

Getting people on and off the blimp is an issue, of course, but with a big enough blimp you could have a hangar and a small plane to ferry people up and down.

Not much fun on a windy day, though, and who knows how people would feel about a giant blimp blotting out the sun?

Guess I Should Plug the Software

– not getting stuck on some detail or having t go back and find something you wrote somewhere a hundred pages ago, and inevitably editing instead of getting new ideas down. Of course, when the time comes to edit, you want to be sure you find all the places you weren’t sure about the first time you wrote them. If you’re not sure you will find the trouble spots later, you won’t be able to let them go for now.

Key features are:
– Outline that grows with your work, or you can use to define the parts of your story ahead of time.
– Character database where with two clicks you can store character names and descriptions for later reference.
– Margin notes so you can jot something down next to text you want to revisit later. This is an amazingly handy function.
– Regular note panel so you can remember the last time you ate.
– It actually knows what a chapter is (or whatever organizational structure you want to use).
– Better performance than most word processors for really, really big documents.
– More accurate page count.

If you are interested in the software, drop me a line. Man, I dig those margin notes.

Jerry For President

The obvious question is “Why the hell would you go and do something like that?” I simply couldn’t find anyone to vote for who would put my interests over those of big campaign donors. I am accepting absolutely no campaign contributions, and I hope to get a few votes. Most of all, I get to call George Bush a moron and an embarrassment to our country in a constructive, political manner.

The name of my party is Not For Sale.