Get Your Motor Runnin’

On any TV show, in any language, when cops get on big motorcycles, they play “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf.

Moonlight Sonata

He was American, that much was obvious without a second glance. That was not surprising in the least in a place like this. The second glance, however, revealed him to be much more foreign. He didn’t fit in that brash place filled with chrome and white oak, a constellation of halogen lamps in nouveau deco nouveau fixtures shining from every direction, removing even the hint of a shadow. He brought his shadow with him and settled it around himself as he sat. I watched him. He was not there by choice. His eyes tightened when the coffee grinder ran, and when the steam valve was turned on to foam up someone’s latte. I had never realized what a noisy place it was until I saw him wince and felt the needles in my own brain.

He brought with him darkness and smoke, late nights with bleary eyes, lost nights wondering what the fuck you’re doing there and why doesn’t anything make sense. He was a creature of the night, of last call and dark secrets, and he had come up to the light. His right hand, I realized, was playing, quite of its own accord, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, his fingers brushing the table with gentle assurance, the tendons standing out on the back of his hand. I watched his fingers draw the graceful, deceptively simple lines of the song. He did not play with precision, but each time his finger touched the table I heard the note, and when he struck harder I felt that too, and it was beautiful.

It wasn’t until later it occurred to me to be jealous. I am a piano player. When I saw him I didn’t know what he was, but I knew he was not a musician. But at that moment his fingers played and I was the instrument.

I am suddenly conscious of the telephones all around me. Mingled with the sounds of labor-intensive coffee there is a constant background of ring-tones, of chatter with people who aren’t there, conversations between disembodied and placeless people. Their voices are as bright and piercing as the place they are in. None of them see him. None of them will see the shadow in their midst, as if unseen, it didn’t exist. I try to convince myself that their brittle happiness is more forced, more strident that usual due to his dark presence, but I know they’re always like that.

His fingers changed their pattern; it took me a moment to recognize WoO 59, generally known by the much more romantic title Für Elise. Still just the right-hand part; his left hand was motionless, clinched white-knuckled around his forgotten mug. Between his hands was a slip of paper, smudged and creased, lying flattened out the polished table. He never took his eyes off it. His lips worked as if he was sounding out the words written there, but as I rose to get a refill I saw that the paper was blank.

While I stood in the short line I looked back at him furtively as he sat hunched forward, long stringy hair unwashed, beard too long ignored, clothes slept in, his right hand playing music he had never heard, his left on the verge of shattering his mug. He was not just a creature of the night, of the underbelly of the city that I visited for gigs, he was some mad demon prince of that realm and his presence here meant the end had finally come.

He caught my glance when I came back to my table, next to his. He looked at me through red-rimmed eyes, pulled me in despite my urgent desire to escape. I had looked at his paper, and now I owed him an answer. His right hand had reached the roller coaster moment in the music, his fingers playing the two notes back and forth, more and more slowly with increasing urgency. His voice carried a sadness that made me feel a hundred years old. “There’s nothing there, is there?” He asked.

Alone for the Holidays

One time, maybe a year ago, I was walking in Mira Mesa and I was at an intersection with a couple of bicyclists. They were wearing white short-sleeved shirts and dark, narrow ties over dark slacks. “How you doing today?” one of them asked me.

Just because they’re recruiters for some organization I have no interest in doesn’t mean I should be impolite. “Not bad,” I said, which was close enough to the truth. “How are you guys?” Well, of course they probably get treated pretty rudely much of the time, so the moment I didn’t shut the metaphorical door in their face they launched into their pitch. We’ve all heard the pitch, and generally we all deal with it by ignoring it. I was nodding politely when one of them said something like, “If you accept Jesus into your life you will never be alone again.”

I couldn’t conceal my reaction. “That sounds horrible,” I said with a visible shudder. I don’t think I offended them, at least they probably weren’t offended until later when they had time to think about it, but the one-sided conversation came to a crashing halt. No one had expected that reaction, least of all me, and the sincerity of my sentiment was beyond question. I wasn’t trying to put them off; I was truly horrified at the thought of never being alone.

Holidays act as an aloneness amplifier. Sure, I like being around family for the holidays, but as far as solitude bang for buck goes, you can’t beat Thanksgiving and Christmas. You are aloner on those days than on any others.

I went out walking today, in the sharp cold sunshine. I thought of buying a scarf, it was a good day for one, but much like my days on the road there are times when motion will not yield to practicality or need. Where I went was unimportant. My intention was to find a nice spot to grab a meal, but nothing appealed. Well, that’s not true, many places looked interesting, and tasty, and warm, and friendly, but I found a reason to pass each one by. On my return I went to the store and bought some supplies to construct a modest Thanksgiving meal here in the apartment. Spaghetti. I also bought some cold cuts that might be turkey, but I haven’t tried them yet.

Technically, it’s not Thanksgiving here anymore, but It’s still Thanksgiving over there, and it’s an over there holiday. So happy Thanksgiving, everyone, everywhere. May you find yourself in good company and high spirits. I know I am.

Veni, Vidi, Googli

So lazy, in fact, that the list is a short one today. But as a Special Holiday Bonus I’ve included a special section on cooking. As usual, words I don’t want to attract attention from the search bots are obfuscated by using spaces.

  • “v a l l e y of fire”, fault, map – one of the most eye-catching episode titles gets more than its share of hits: Through the Val ley of Fire to the B o s o m of B o b b i
  • electromagnetic launcher coil projectile – linked to my Get Poor Quick page, which includes a really bad but sexy-sounding idea for a reusable space vehicle
  • smoking glass whore san diego – linked to main page.
  • fun things to do when your drunk – My drunk? You know, I have a lot of suggestions, but really, you shouldn’t have to come to me for this.
  • human b l i m p – granted, my story was about human-powered b l i m p s, but heck, close enough. (By the way, apparently BASSCAR is already taken.)
  • who reads E U L A ask google a rhetorical question, it retaliates by sending you to me.
  • half squirrel half girl – came to the main page

There were the usual queries about bars and the dog in the movie Half Baked. Squirrel violence was of course a theme, and links to references to various bars around the western US. A new addition to the list of usual suspects is H i g h w a y 60.

What does it say when every Sunday and holiday sees a surge in queries about how to c o o k e g g s? I imagine it goes much like this in countless households across the free world:

Man: No honey, seriously. I’ll cook up a nice breakfast for you.
Woman: Really?
Man: Sure. I didn’t starve before I met you, you know.
Obviously, they both think, regarding his belly, but neither says it out loud.
Man: How do you like your eggs?
Woman: O v e r e a s y.
Man: Me, too! That’s great! Instead of going to the kitchen, he goes to the office and sits down in front of the computer. Lord, I don’t ask you for much, but please let there be step-by-step instructions for cooking eggs the way she likes them.

Luckily, man finds my page on the subject. There’s no page better (in my opinion), but it just scratches the surface. Alas, man doesn’t know that toast takes surprisingly long compared to the time the egg is in the pan. He doesn’t know the pros and cons of leaving a few crispy critters from the bacon in the pan while he cooks up the eggs. He doesn’t know about controlling the perimeter of the egg as it drops into the pan, and the crucial role pan heat plays in that. He doesn’t even know if she likes her eggs sprawling or contained. There’s not much I can do for that individual but tell him the first rule. Don’t flip too soon. If I wasn’t so behind already, I’d devote a chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel to cooking the perfect o v e r e a s y egg.

In that context, I am the Lord’s cruel tease. Man will read my episode and think he’s got it well in hand, but in the end it takes practice to get the huevos just right. The pan is never the same temperature twice, so I can’t say exactly how many seconds to wait before the flip. You just have to feel it.

Maybe It’s Kansas After All

Back at Roma, belly full, glass full, novel almost to 50K, and the local news is on the television behind the bar. I have a theory. I think every local news broadcast around the world really only needs to be produced once. You have a pair of talking heads, one blonde with a frightening amount of makeup, the other a distinguished-looking gentleman with just a little gray at the temples. The glamor and the stability.

It’s the holiday season, so of course you spend five minutes of the broadcast showing people putting up trees and other decorations. There is the shot of parents hiding the presents, another shot of the kids finding them. Some guy is droning on over the whole thing. Blah, blah, blah. For this spot language matters not at all. You’ve heard the same crap year after year. Finally the tape is over and we find ourselves back in the studio. The blonde turns to the gentleman and says, blah, blah, blah. He chuckles and says back, blah, blah blah. You could use Charlie Brown wah-wah-wah dubbing and then use the same clip the world over. No one would even notice that it was not in their language.

And now, the sports.

Now, there’s someting you don’t see every day

Dead Rooster on the Landing You don’t have to be assaulted by crowds of little people, accused of manslaughter only to be instantly acquitted because the victim deserved it, then snared into a blood feud with the victim’s sister, to know that you you’re a long way from home. Sometimes the signs are more subtle, but they add up.

Take being locked in the building. Any building manager that would change the locks without warning so that his tenants could not get out in a fire would be arrested in the US. Here, people just shrug and go find the guy to get their new keys. Apparently it’s not that uncommon of a circumstance.

I smell ham right now. Mmmmm… ham. I can smell the ham because my window is open. It’s really quite chilly outside, but it’s nice and toasty in here. In fact, it’s downright hot. There is no temperature control in the apartment. In the true collectivist spirit that reigned when this building was slapped together, everyone freezes or bakes together. I guess the man with his hand on the dial down in the boiler room likes his toes to be toasty.

And speaking of buildings, there’s a dead rooster on the little balcony outside one of the landings.

I have to say, everyone I’ve talked to has been very friendly – or at least they sound friendly. For all I understand all the things they say, they could be cursing at me from behind their friendly smiles. When they discover I don’t know what they’re saying, that doesn’t stop them at all. On they go, discussing the weather or, well, whatever. Once NaNoWriMo is over, hopefully I’ll have more brain to devote to learning czech. The guy at Roma Pizzeria has taken it upon himself to teach me one new czech word each time I go in. Last time it was “Dobrou chut” (bon apetit), which I already knew, but I didn’t know how to tell him I already knew.

Movies and accidents of fate

One time on late-night television, Letterman or something of that sort, Tom Hanks was interviewed. I guess at some point in the past he was in a movie where a dog was a major character. I remember if vaguely; I believe the dog’s slobber was as much a character as the dog. Tidy people forced to live with big sloppy dogs is a Hollywood staple. Not as common as the fifty attempts each year to recreate the odd couple with guns, but there are obviously many producers who read Marmaduke and somehow haven’t realized that the implicit punchline (Boy! That’s a big dog!) hasn’t changed since the first frame was drafted many years ago.

This has nothing to do with what I intended to write about tonight, but if Marmaduke were to choke to death on Garfield’s corpse, the world would be a better place. I know, I don’t have to read them, and I don’t, but my newspaper is paying – giving someone else money – to put that crap in when their whole business is selling space to other people. But enough of that.

I guess the Hanks-dog movie didn’t do so well. So there was Tom, sitting smugly in the guest chair, and rightfully so as I think at that point he’d picked up two oscars in a row, lovingly bashing on Gary Sinese for dragging him down, and the dog movie comes up. The Hankster said something like, “We forgot the hollywood rule. Never kill the dog.”

I just got done watching The Road Warrior. There is only one line I would change in the whole movie. He comes staggering out of the tent and says “I’ll drive the tanker.” There’s some argument, and then he says to the leader, “I’m the best chance you’ve got.” That’s the line I would have changed. ‘Cause really, he doesn’t know how tough the others are, and he’s pretty banged up. I would have written, “They killed my dog.”

I had a housemate once, one of the lowest people ever to walk the Earth. Listing his sins would have to be a whole nother episode. But when I list his sins, the one I finish with was, “and he’s mean to his dog.” Truly, some of his other, um… habits… were more despicable and more harmful. He was a blight on the planet. But his poor dog’s brain was entirely dedicated to pleasing him. I’m digressing again.

In Road Warrior, the bad guys kill the dog (whose name is ‘dog’) in cold blood, while Dog is defending its master. (Incidentally, the dog in question bears a striking resemblance to John and Janice’s dog Jesse, but with a lot more tail.) In that same movie, there is the amazon warrior, up on the tanker as it blasts out of the compound. If I’m not mistaken (and when was the last time that happened?) her last line was “I was wrong about you.” I have seen the movie more than once before, but my reaction every time her body is torn from the barbed wire to bounce across the highway, transfored from being a warrior to being a traffic hazard, has always been the same. “They can’t kill her!” They killed her, and left her on the side of the road for the buzzards to clean up. Not even a pause in the pacing of the film to let us feel the tragedy. Just another casualty. You wonder how she lived so long, being so brave.

The title at the top of this episode promised you an accident of fate, and looking back I may have oversold. But, when looking up the name of the warrior woman, who had a fierceness but carried a lot of freight when she said “I was wrong”, I ran across an actor whose name is… Boulder Road Warrior. Now I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that’s not what his momma named him. The name of the movie he was in was Twister:A Musical Catastrophe. Yeah, I’d change my name, too. Possibly I’d change it to Joe Blow or something like that. Boulder Road Warrior. Imagine you’re casting a film and that name comes across your desk underneath the head shot. There’s an agent crying to be fired.

In one of those Lethal Weapon movies they kill the girl, and wasn’t he the guy in payback, where they kill his dog and his wife? The dog is a much more sympathetic character, but you know sittin here typin I have to take my hat off to Mel, that he turned what for Tom was a Hollywood mistake into a great role. More than once.

Gotta sign off now, I’m playing the soundtrack to Get Crazy, and damn if it ain’t the best movie soundtrack ever.


Yesterday while I was at Roma eating pizza, sipping pivo (beer), and doing some writing, they changed the lock to my building. I got back and my key simply didn’t work. There was no sign, nor any warning that it would happen, and no indication what to do about it. It wasn’t just a language thing; there were no signs up at all. I stood outside the building in the light rain, asking myself, what the heck?

I stood in the doorway, flipping through my slovnic (dictionary) trying to figure out how to say “What the heck?” to anyone who happened to open the door. Eventually someone did, but by then I was too tired and frustrated to try to ask him anything. I really should have. Even if he spoke no English I by then knew the words for lock and key, and certainly he had got a new key from somewhere.

I mentioned the incident to another Prague NaNoWriMo participant and she said that she had heard of that happening to three other people. I had planned to be reclusive this month, but this is just crazy. The key is required to either enter or exit the building. (Most buildings are like that as far as I can tell. Imagine an American fire marshall over here.)

The biggest problem of all is that since I buy beer in quantities that fit in my coat pockets, I have no reserve. It never seemed to be an issue; there’s a beer store half a block from the front door. It is filled to bursting with yummy beer. Just down the street from there is a grocery store with even more beer. In between there’s a wine store and a booze store. All of them are on the other side of that door.

This just in: According to an email from Marianna, the building superintendant leaves town on the weekends. I probably puttered around the house too long, and now he’s gone. I will just have to hang by the doors until people pass through this weekend. Next time I leave, I’m coming back with plenty of supplies!

The Slacker Method for Avoiding Jetlag

Location: pL and Marianna’s place, Prague (map)

Had a great burst of noveling over the weekend, then caught a couple of z’s before rushing out first thing on Monday to pick up my wireless router. A few hours of setting that up was followed with a long, long night of catching up with various organizations, pontificating in the nanowrimo forums (I’m not an expert but I sure can sound like one), and of course, getting things rolling again here at MR&HBI. On top of that, I had my computer hooked up to pL’s stereo system. Sounding good! I resolved to get the plug adapter soon so I could listen to my REAL music collection, which I’ve been lugging around on an external drive for seven months. Well, that distracted me way into the wee hours and then I realized that I had been neglecting my novel, so I spent the rest of the night on that. Then my computer died. About then I realized that I hadn’t eaten in a long time. Or slept.

Some days I wake up early, some days I just don’t go to sleep at all. I think I need to leave the house more. I’m going back to the Roma Pizzeria for some more writing-in-bars action today.

Yesterday, having used physical violence to fix my laptop (mechanical problem called for a mechanical solution) I was up with the sun to go out and get a plug adapter so I could run my external drive and turn it into a backup drive as well as a music collection. I had spotted a store right up the street that seemed promising. I knocked around the apartment for a while, giving the place time to open, and at 8:30 out the door I went.

The place was closed. “No problem,” I thought. “It must open at 9:00.” I enjoy traipsing up and down Vinohradská. It is filled with the little shops that cater to little shopping trips executed by people who have to carry their booty home. More on the automobilization of Prague in another episode. So I went a’wandrin. Lots of shops were still closed, and I started to notice that many of them had hours posted that said they should be open. At first I laughed to myself. “There’s an interesting cultural difference,” I thought. “The keepers of these little shops aren’t so worried about their hours.” It was after nine when I got back to Electra Electro, and it was still closed. I checked the hours on the door; it said it opened at eight. I pulled out my dictionary to make sure I was looking at the right day. Maybe Wednesday is a traditional shop-closing day. Nope.

Then it hit me. Holiday. I had noticed that traffic was relatively light, and everything fell into place. It was a holiday. All the adaptér electricky stores were closed. I started walking down toward the center of town, hoping to find a place down there that catered to tourists and would therefore be open. Vinohradská goes straight down the the top of Václavské námisti (Winceslas square), with a statue of the good king himself (map) gazing down the long, broad street with every sort of shop imaginable crowding in on each side. Except electric adapter stores.

Finally I found a place, a computer and Internet store tucked way back in a not-so-glamorous shopping arcade (map), the kind of place that you could imagine people in Cyberpunk novels go to get contraband chips to put into their heads. I paid way too much for the adapter and back out I went into the threatening rain. The weather threatened and for the first time since being on my own I gave in and took public transportation rather than walk. Standing on the metro, I realized that I still hadn’t eaten more than a snack.

While getting all my technology straightened out, I started reading a book during file copies. I read the book almost straight through, pausing at 03:30 to take a nap. I finished it this morning.

This morning (no, wait, afternoon! It’s hard to tell; the sky has been cloudy almost constantly since I got here) finds me sitting, sipping tea, planning my day. Gotta get out. Gotta get back to the novel. Gotta start using my “Talk Czech Now” CD-ROM. Gotta get a new hard drive for the laptop and get my external working. Gotta start getting to bars.

I think I’ll take a nap.

If a tree Googles in the forest, does it make a sound?

Yes, it’s high time to take a look at the accidents that bring people here. For that is what brings most people here – blind chance and the whim of Google and the other search engines. In the past I have obfuscated some terms by using pig latin to prevent future searches from coming to the google page instead of the rightful target page. This time I’m inserting spaces in the words instead. It makes it easier to read, even if it’s not as fun.

  • witchcraft in springerville arizona – linked to the general road trip page. Part of the match was me telling about H i g h w a y 60
  • pup that ass – linked to an episode about Spike falling on his ass while trying to pee. But what were they really looking for?
  • bobbi hall boobs six – the Bobbi I met only has two.
  • enormous bosom – Bobbi again
  • Writing a good E U L A – One of my more important public services
  • h i g h w a y 60 New Mexico – links to ann episode with lots of good stories in the comments as well.
  • crystals feet sex – linked here
  • “passed out” marker – top of the list! Links to the episode where Jojo became my beer slave
  • positive things about drinking – they came to the right place
  • pitchers of hairstyles – Got more than one of these. I am popular among stylists who can’t spell.
  • “automobilization of America” – guess I can’t copyright that phrase. I used it here , but it is a theme in many posts.
  • iggy trumpet San diego – linked here; another one where you just have to wonder what they were actually hoping to find.
  • G i l l i g a n colour pics – links to the “Call me G i l l i g a n” series, which starts with a more muddled than usual ramble here
  • “friends bugging each other” “need space” – I’m an expert on bugging people. Links to a G i l l i g a n episode.
  • what to eat with b e e r c h e e s e s o u p – One of several searches that came to the right place
  • prenostalgia – It’s a nice word, I’m not surprised someone else thought of it too.
  • what is the state of alabama currently doing to curb de homeless? – de same thing as every other state – damn little
  • montana cactus thorn hand injury – clearly looking for something specific, and they got me instead.
  • man p e r f u m e manual – Another public service to be found here
  • pimp my peterbilt – the search phrase is more interesting than the the thing it linked to
  • fun getting get drunk – linked here. Obviously the searcher didn’t really need my help.
  • america as granfalloon – mentioned offhandedly here (Jesse’s comment is more interesting than the episode) – it just feels good to me that someone else thinks that way.
  • six bucket coltrane – amazing coincidence that all three of those words appeared in a single episode. Six Bucket Coltrane. That has a nice ring to it.
  • m e g a n smells – links to one of my more important public service announcements
  • baby ocelot pictures – linked to another Google episode, not to the original elevator ocelot rutabaga entry. It was the word baby that did it, but it’s nice to see ocelot show up now and then.
  • Suicide Meter – Linked to this episode, rather than SSDC – some good comments in there.
  • heard the voice of god while watching creatures – went to the homeless tour category page; where I would be stunned to learn that he who sought did find
  • tweaker whore san diego – sweeeeet.
  • tell her goodbye – linked to G o o d b y e, R o s e

In a given day, about 30% of the people that come to this site are looking for advice on how to cook eggs. I think the ratio is higher on the weekends. Lots of people find their way here looking up specific bars I have mentioned. A m y’s car generates a lot of hits. I’ll have to see if there’s a song by that title or something, because they come from all over the world. x r a y g o g s still brings ’em in as well. Finally I get a lot of hits when people search on the phrase “P r o u d to be A m e r i c a n”. I expect they’re disappointed by what they find.

There you have it! Did you find this site through a search? I’d love to hear from you!

Tranquility Base Here, The Eagle Has Landed

The air is brisk today, but when I get walking I keep warm. I cut quite a figure, at least in my own imagination, walking down the street, hair and long coat blowing behind me, scruffy two-level beard (need to get some tools), and purpose in my stride. Apparently 3pm is when pretty girls take their dogs for walks. None of them so much as glanced at me. They must have been intimidated by that ineffable machismo I was exuding.

Or something like that.

Anyway, after one small memory lapse (26, 16, whatever) sent me into a fancy little wine store I found the place I was looking for. I opened the door and walked down a few narrow steps and took a left into the quiet room, found a table, and sat down.

I’m back where I belong.

I’m in a bar, with my laptop, writing. I could get to like this place. Not smoky, not crowded on a weekday afternoon, decent tunes playing, good beer. No danger of me falling in love with the bartender, either—he seems like a nice guy, but, well, he’s a guy. He just brought my pizza, a fine looking pie. He also brought a bottle of Kečup. There’s an American stereotype I had forgotten. The beer is good, the pizza is good.

Life is good.

Christmas lights are up here already as well

It goes something like this…

On my first trip to Albert here is what I bought:
On my second trip to Albert, here is what I bought:
Bread, and Beer!
On my third trip to Albert, here is what I bought:
Green Tea, Bread, and Beer!

Albert is the local grocery store. I’ve only been three times, but I think you can see where this is going. Three trips may not a trend make, but you never know. I have a big coat with pockets just right for carrying bottles of beer (two pockets outside, two pockets inside). I can squeeze small items in with the beer, but sooner or later I’m going to have to scrounge up a shopping bag.

I believe the addition for the fourth trip will either be laundry detergent or nutella.

On My Own

Marianna left for the airport early this morning – she knocked on my door and said goodbye briefly. I bid her bon voyage and went back to sleep, finally dragging myself out of bed around noon. One cure for jetlag: sleep late and stay up late. It’s like you never left home. I spent most of the day reading rather than writing, not even motivated to eat or drink anything, just expanding into this space that will me mine for the next few weeks, enjoying the lonliness.

I just put on a CD from my host’s collection, a band whose name I don’t understand singing songs I don’t understand the lyrics to, but the music itself carries a sadness that augments my mood well. This is going to work. I’ll be writing late into the night, I can tell, but I suspect it will be The Fish rather than my NaNoWriMo effort, already so far behind. You have to write with the vibe (or at least I do), and a thriller isn’t were my head is right now. Although a novel needs to shift geard now and then. Maybe I can write a couple chapters for November as well. Whatever the case, I should be writing one of those things rather than this.

I hope all is well over on the other side, where the sun is still shining and you are all looking for diversions from your work. I’m only too pleased to be of service.

Pivovarský Dům

Snow is falling wetly outside my window, though it is still too warm for it to stick to anything. I get the impression that Prague rarely gets the winter wonderland look. I am sitting in my bed, 1.5 liters of Dobrá Voda at my side, replenishing my precious bodily fluids. They seem to be depleted this morning.

Pivovarský is Czech for brewery. Dúm, I believe, translates to “One heck of a good time.” Or was it “Yummy?” I know Marianna used that word more than once as we reduced the world beer supply half a liter at at time. At some point during the exercise we ordered fried Camembert with cranberry sauce – also yummy. “We already have bread,” Marianna said, pointing to her beer. I had several orders of bread last night.

Another reason I need to learn czech quickly: over the course of my journey I have become mildly skilled at flirting with waitresses and bartenders. It’s going to take some intensive study before I’ll be able to do that here. The waitress last night wasn’t really a flirtation candidate, but I realized that an important part of my bar-going experience was missing.

When we got back home Marianna pulled a big ‘ol bottle of Gambrinus out of the fridge. Of course, I couldn’t let her drink alone, so she pulled out a bottle for me as well. Yummy indeed. The stockpile in the fridge was greatly reduced last night. We talked about stuff and nonsense and listened to Irish music. Dang, I love Irish music. Out on the road it served as a great loneliness enhancer. It seems even in the happy songs there is a trace of sadness, and in most songs someone either dies or leaves home forever. Good stuff.

I have not heard Marianna stirring yet this morning. If she is suffering any ill effects, she will blame the fact that she had two different kinds of beer, not that she had so many beers. I think she will miss the snow; the flakes are fewer and falling faster as they melt on their trip down from the featureless gray sky.

How do you say jetlag in czech?

Location: pL and Marianna’s house, Prague, Czech Republic

Not much to report yet, except that I am here. Saturday I climbed into a large metal cylinder, sat for a few hours, changed to a smaller cylinder, sat for a couple more hours, and now everyone is talking funny and the sun comes up way too early. I broke my own jetlag rule and allowed myself to sleep in this morning. Oh, well, there’s always tomorrow morning to get on schedule. Today’s only plan is to get some writing done; tomorrow I’ll go out on a technology procurement expedition, so that I can actually post this episode.

Umm… That’s all for now, I guess.