Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Chicken or fish?

So this is going to be really brief because I've got laundry on and have coffee and whatnot to make with the eating of.

I have survived my travels and am safely home for christmas. I'll do a serious post about my voyage to the center of Bratislava as well as thrillify everyone with my trip narrative. Once I arrived in Charlotte, I told my stepmom that I felt like I had been on the shittiest roller coaster ever for the past forty hours.

Ciao for now, darlings.

-Last Indian

MUSIC: step brother trying to teach himself piano.

Monday, November 29, 2004

it's almost 5 pm...

do you know where your children are?

If you're one of my parent's, the answer is no. At least not for all their children. Some of us are hiding in the already-dark evening of a foreign place, typing on borrowed time on a computer far better than their own.

So my money's dried up for the moment, and therefore it was a quiet little weekend. Big up to Jess for cooking for everyone this weekend. And I better say thanks to Andrew, too, since he cooked a little himself and I wouldn't want him to read this and cry. Anyway, hopefully if I get some money from home or my stipend works out well, I might be heading away this weekend before my final, serious, studious crunch.

Then it's home for a month before my wild and furious europe year continues.

MUSIC: (in my head) duran duran: ordinary world

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

student riots!!!

Today was the anniversary of the student riots in 1939 and 1989. Screw the nazis and commies, freedom rules!!

So that's all you're going to get about that for now. Maybe there'll be a history lesson later, but for the moment you just need to know that I had today off. Coupled with having everything tuesday off, that makes for weekend #2. And I took advantage.

Last night I had chicken stuffed with everything you can imagine for dinner. It was delicious. Then I went and met up with a posse of two americans, an englishmen, and a lovely scottish lass to drink and kill time until the show started. What show, you may ask. Why, Kid Koala, of course. By the way, keep your eyes open for his live in Brno recording. It was dope, phat, and totally raw off the heesy (sic).

He scratched in Close to me, and a Bjork song, and weird science, and ballroom blitz and a fair shake of his 'good friends' radiohead. I hope he actually does put out the show as a cd. It would make my day, that day, far in the future as it may be. Unless I get married or win the lottery that day.

So today, for the sake of continuity, I'll tell you what I ate. It was the mountaineer's chicken cut, totally wrapped up in a potato pancake. This is the second time I've ordered mashed potatoes at this place and been given something radically different, by the way. The first time was mushroom rice, and tonight, I enjoyed some fine french fries because I lack the requisite vocabulary to complain.

After that I came and downloaded Jump Little Children songs and sang along like a total sap. Anyone who hasn't heard JLC's close your eyes is a bastard. or ignorant. do yourself a favor, though, and go listen to it, since you're no longer ignorant and that makes you....

anyway, after that I went with Kelsey, a lovely girl from Arizona and her roommate (whose name I will now butcher) Kasha for a jazz show. The guys on stage weren't what I'd call jazz musicians, but they were really good. The drums and bass were sadly relegated to their rhythm section rock status quo position, so it was a guitar and sax show. The guys playing the aforementioned lead instruments were, as previously stated, awesome. But the guitar work, especially, seemed far more rock-y than not. Impressive and enjoyable, no doubt, but not jazz, I think.

So after that I spent some time hunting for the other international kids before finding them at Die Fleder Maus Haus. Drank some beer there. And I was wearing a suit, so a couple of Polish girls, Goshka and Ola (spelling aside) exhausted there store of synonyms for 'wonderful' to describe how I looked. Very flattering. I spent the rest of the night drinking and talking with some fellow amerikaners, Tom, my roommate, Cass from AZ as well, and my fellow north carolinian Katie. We went to a different club where, despite my best efforts, I was bested in Foosball, then the power was lost. Everyone seemed to be rushing out to catch the night bus, so I thought I'd better hurry, chugged my beer, and split.

If anyone's worried that I may have drunk too much tonight, be aware that I've only been home for about half an hour, and I seem to be having very little problem forming coherent thoughts. Don't worry about me.

MUSIC: jump little children: close your eyes

Monday, November 15, 2004

this one's for...

This one's for Kim. Granted, I don't know who kim is, and neither do you. Unless you are Kim, in which case it's a fair bet that you know who you are, though not certain. Life being an ever-changing and unpredicatable mess, as it were.

But the whole reason for this post, for those of you who follow my blog and it's comments, is to give Kim a way to actually contact me so that I can respond and let Kim know what she's in for in Brno. So my address is

Beyond that, it's been an interesting weekend. Though more for me than for you, I think. Got a fair amount of sleep, hung around, watched some futurama, ate out, drank. lived like a king, more or less. Today was my only day of class until Thursday since I always have tuesdays off and wednesday is the anniversary of the student riots in 1989. As a result, I'm a little tipsy. Note to Kim, I'm not really as lame as this post makes me out to be. Get in touch, and I'll respond when I'm at my sober and wittiest.

MUSIC: the postal service: the district sleeps alone tonight.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Which homestar runner character am I?

Which Homestar Runner character are you?

this quiz was made by jurjyfrort

triumph over evil

or at least a triumph over my computer. Now I can put new pictures up and type to my heart's content at any hour of the day in the relative comfort of my grungy room.

The weather's finally turned cold, I'm fighting a nasty cough, and george bush has a second term. That is, at least, the most recent news in Brno. I was on a tram at one point (well several points, but one in particular) during my websilence, and it was full of czech kids about my age or maybe a little younger. They had spread bubble wrap down the aisle and were taking turns doing somersaults down the tram as it barrelled around the streets of Brno.

A Czech man showed up at the sports bar where I was watching the last game of the NLCS with some other americans. This is nothing unusual. What is unusual is that it was the same czech man I had met after the scorpions concert, and he insisted on buying us Johnny Walker because we were Americans. After he left, some australians found out I had been avoiding the local liquors and were roundly disappointed. I tried to disuade them, as I had had a few beers already and the Johnny Walker, but it didn't quite work out. They still managed to get some Slivobite forced on me. So be careful if you come visit. The hospitality can be dangerous.

I ate in a restaurant in Ostrava called at the helm. it had portholes and the bar was shaped like a boat.

Everyone is really excited about my computer (more specifically the DVD player in it) being back from the land of the dead.

Last night I watched American football. You have to say American here when you're talking about football, as I'm sure you can understand. Anyway, I was going to see the Pittsburg/Philly game because my family is aligned with the steelers, and a lot of people here from the US are Philly fans. The philly fans didn't show, however, because their train was late getting back from Budapest. Perhaps it was for the best since they got totally decimated. Respect.

There was a dude from georgia at the bar, though, and he was totally weird. He heard Tom, Richard, and I speaking english, and finally turned around and, I suppose by way of introduction, said, "do any of you gentlemen know where I can find a good risk party in this town?" Nothing lewd about it, of course, he was talking about Risk, the game of world conquest. No, 'hey, are you americans?' or 'I couldn't help noticing you were speaking english.' just straight into the 'I don't know you, but met me make a bizarre request to play a twelve hour board game with you'.

He asked us if we had been to dragon con in Atlanta, and we all didn't know what he was talking about. Of course, I know what dragon con is, but that's as far as my knowledge goes, and I thought it best to plead ignorance, pay our bill, and get the hell out.

So that brings you more or less up to date. Anything else you want to know, comment or e-mail. I'm going to go drink thera-flu (thanks dad) then put on my scarf and gloves (thanks mom) and set out for food.

MUSIC: david bowie: changes

this is the quality of light here at three PM. ridiculous. take note, america, of the tram tracks and wires, indicative of excellent public transportation. Posted by Hello

a street Posted by Hello

big crowd.... this is the brno airport. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Who'd have suspected

that Sunday would be an epic party night? Certainly not me. But perhaps one would have such suspicions if they knew that THE SCORPIONS were in town.

That's right, I'm not embarassed to say that I went and saw the goddamn scorpions last night at the Brno Rondo. I admit, however, to being pretty embarassed that so many other people did too. The crowd was monstrous and they were so happy to hear Winds of Change and Through my Eyes and whatnot (note that I only learned these song names last night at the concert) that it was almost sad.

The lead singer (I think his name is Klaus) was into audience participation to a ridiculous degree, and led many, many sing alongs when he wasn't busy playing his (I'm not kidding) tambourine. By the end of the night, however, I did hear 'Rock you like a hurricane' so now I can die happy.

After the concert, having heard of a plot amongst many of the american kids to watch football in a local sports bar, my roommate and I made our way there. The american kids had bailed, but since his home team was on and neither of us particularly wanted to go home, we hung around. We drank a few pilsners and talked a bit about the concert and eventually began talking to someone beside us at the bar who happened to be from Massachusetts. We talked to him for a good long while and then he had to go, so his seat was taken by another person who wanted to talk to us.

This person, however, was not american. This person was a fairly drunk and very friendly czech man who spoke almost as little English as I speak Czech. He spoke slightly less german than I do, too, so conversation was very difficult. Tom, my roommate, ended up talking with his two younger companions while the older fellow tried desperately to talk to me. I understood him to say quite loudly that Scorpions were shit!! and that he 'is' rock and roll (meaning the czech man speaking).

He told me how Rush concert prague is number one and that I am from Nashville: country. I love America music! Ozzy Osborne, I love. I am rock and roll, love.

This is pretty much all I could grasp for a long time, then he invited me home. He said something to the effect of getting me girls (or me getting him girls, maybe) and that he wished I could go to his home, where his friends speak good english and am rock and roll, too.

Of course, it doesn't take that long to write, or to read, but to figure all this out took me an excrutiating hour and a half. Finally, I think when he wasn't looking, I paid the bill and we split. The bill was a bit higher than usual (twice as much) because we had thought it a nice idea to get these other guys each some Johnny Walker. Of course, the gentleman I was speaking to quickly informed me "Johnny Walker is shit! Like Scorpions" then he spit on the ground.

Anyway, last night was a long one, but tomorrow I have the day off to study the hell out of Czech, which is terrifically hard. Despite the fact that I know only ten words or so, the guy at the bar embraced myself and my roommate and told us we were "Czech boys! Good Czech boys!"

So this is one good czech boy signing off for the evening.


MUSIC: beck: bottle of blues

Friday, October 08, 2004


so it's friday.

I've been without my computer for nearly the whole week again, and I'm getting used to it. It's a nagging annoyance, but that's about it.

This week I got into a class on american independent films finally, and I went to my first eastern european cinema class. I watched and must expect to watch at least one movie every wednesday and another two movies every thursday. No complaints.

Thursday was my roommate's, Tom's, birthday, and so I slept very little last night as I was obligated to stay up and party. In fact, in something less than an hour, I'm meeting him to head to a bar to celebrate a bit more stylishly (this being compared to sitting on our balcony).

Today I met a fellow who spoke perfect english and was very polite, then I found out he was a czech mormon and was trying to get me to go to his church on sunday. I made up something about being out of town to visit bratislava and got out of it.

I think it's starting to rain and I already have a pretty nasty cold, but I don't now have time to go to my room (which is all the way across town) and get a jacket or something. C'est la vie.

So that's my brief entry for the week, more or less.

Expect more of the same until I get more time in these labs or my computer returns to the land of the living.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

HEY! Read this!

All right, so I just screwed up a little. I intended the series of pictures to be in order of my approach from outside the dorm to my bedroom, but I screwed it up and did it backwards.

So, to get the right feel for it, scroll down to the bottom of the pictures with today's date, and start there, scrolling up until you get back to this post. Then you'll have completed the tour and will have no trouble finding me when you come visit to give me lots of money and bring me american dvds and books and cough medicine.


MUSIC: pedro the lion: indian summer

And here's my little bed. Covered with crap. Posted by Hello

See. Posted by Hello

Here's the shower/sink. Over here they put the toilets in separate tiny rooms all by themselves. Posted by Hello

the veiw down the hall. I told you it was broad day light. Posted by Hello

And the hotplate where I make tea. Posted by Hello

Here's my little kitchen. Posted by Hello

I can't explain the effects I'm getting with this camera. This is my hall again, and it's broad daylight and a nice day, to boot. Posted by Hello

This is my hallway, and I must say that all of my pictures have a sort of shining-esque quality to them. I promise the Czech republic isn't nearly so grim and stylized. Posted by Hello

Again a fairly blurry shot. This is the excellent lift that helps me get heavy things up to my room. It's terrifying. Beside it, you can see the stairs that I climb, which are not as horrifying as they appear. Posted by Hello

This is me heading for my dorm and snapping a picture while on the move. It's blurry as hell, I know, but I think it's kinda cool, and if you don't, get your own blog. Posted by Hello

And if I lived on that street, these would be even more stairs for me to climb. but I don't live there. Take a left here and you'll run into a wall, but with some reasonable navigation skills, you'll find my dorm. Posted by Hello

Here's another look from right beside that statue. This is the summit of a series of hill and stairs that is absolutely no fun to walk up every day. Posted by Hello

This is a statue that is right outside the dorm. I know you can't tell what it is, but it's a nice little skyline, all the same. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 04, 2004


No, not to say that it is cold here, now. I think it's colder here than back home, but it's not terribly cold, really. No, the title derives from my most frustrating illness. I have a cold.

Normally, that's no problem, but here, it sucks. It is impossible to find any cold medicine here. Absolutely impossible. I can't even find cough drops or multivitamins. So I'm combatting the illness the only way I know how: getting drunk a lot.

no, that was a joke. I'm drinking lots of orange juice and getting plenty of rest.

That's really all that's going on at the moment. I'm in the lab trying to print up my documentation for absentee voting, which means that tomorrow I get to hunt for a fax machine. After this post, though, I'm gonna go buy some OJ and head back to my lair at Vinarska. There, I'll read and drink OJ and eat sandwiches and chips and probably watch Lost in Translation.

in the meantime, everybody be good, and for the love of god post a comment or two. At the moment I'm forced to assume that the only one who reads this is me, and that's hardly a delight to think of.

MUSIC: smashing pumpkins: adore (the album)

Sunday, October 03, 2004

damned internet

There have been several times over the past few days when I've wanted to post a new entry. Indeed, there have been times when I've actually gotten as far as the website and started typing them. Every time I do so, however, I suddenly am informed that my system will shut down and I will be forced to delay my posting to another time.

It's positively inexplicable.

So here I am making an effort to sum up all the things I would've said over the course of the posts I haven't made.

First of all, I have to mention my first solo class here. I've been to two other classes, but each time they were filled with other international students. So the first solo class was British Social History since 1707. It seems like it's going to be a pretty solid class, but then at the end, we watch Black Adder. For those of you who don't know, Black Adder is Rowan Atkinson's pre-Mr. Bean absurd british comedy show. So essentially we spent twenty minutes of a history class watch Mr. Bean insult Samuel Johnson.

My next class is an Introduction to Irish History and Culture. In that one, I'm the only male, and it's going to be a-okay. You may have noticed something odd about my classes. Let me give you the full list as it stands now so you can make a better judgement:

Czech for foreigners
The Age of Story
American Independent Filmmaking
Czech Cinema
Eastern European Cinema
English Social history
Irish History and Culture

Perhaps you'll notice that the history classes are in no way eastern european (one reason I came over here) and the film classes are all commentary and criticism rather than any hands on work (the other reason I came over here). A little frustrating.

One of the posts I started to create was a thank you letter to McDonald's. Now, of course, the feeling is gone, so it would be ridiculous to try and recreate the letter I had planned on Friday. Basically the idea was to thank the corporation for being consistant (though perhaps consistently awful) worldwide. I, for the first time on friday, went into a mcdonald's here and it was awesome. Not the food, of course, that was only slightly better than the mcdonald's food here. The awesomeness was in knowing what I was ordering and getting it with almost none of the struggle that goes with getting anything done in this land where English is strange.

Oddly enough, as it seems to have become a theme with me this weekend, yesterday I ate at little ceasars. I, too, was embarassed that of all the pizza chains in the US that is the one that has expanded here. And, in true little ceasars fashion, it was awful.

Where I found the little caesars was on the bottom level of Tesco. I suppose I should properly write it TESCO, because it's freaking enormous. It was compared to a wal mart when described to me, but it's almost more it's own mall. Truly a department store, with massive sprawling departments including cloth by the yard, strollers, hats, watches, and anything else you could want. I nearly invested in a heavy coat, a hat, and some gloves, but it's not really cold enough yet to even wear the coat I brought.

So that's pretty much it. I'm going to try and post this thing and just you know, keep truckin'.

MUSIC: hum: the inuit promise
(possibly the best song recorded ever)

Thursday, September 30, 2004

church across from the rectorate. Posted by Hello

the view from my hotel window on my first night Posted by Hello

you tell me what you think this sign indicates. Posted by Hello

here is a brno sunset, ladies and gentlemen. from right off my balcony. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

o, the cursed foreignness of it all

woe is me.

I know it's frankly a little obsessive at this point that I'm in this beautiful foreign country and all I do is bitch about my computer, but I have a terribly one-track mind. And I make these feeble little stabs at progress that only frustrate me the more once I realize just how little they've helped me.

So I got my computer to work again. Joy!

for a moment.

Then it wouldn't fully start up, so I found a way around that.

Then I found this flyer with a web address and something about Internetum Registrary or something, so I went to the lab (read here) and went to take care of what I thought was a routine registration.

Perhaps it is a routine registration.


because it's all in czech and so I curse the foreignness of the land around me.

MUSIC: radiohead: lucky

the password is in

okay, so now I know the password for my laptop. I can get past the prompt for logging on to windows.

but that's it.

One time, I started it up not in safe mode and it actually fully started. Just once.

even then, however it does not connect to the internet. I can connect to other people's computers directly, which I've never been able to do before, but I cannot connect to the internet at large.

Imagine my surprise when I found that I could listen to Queen's greatest hits off of someone elses computer but couldn't check my e-mail.

So I'm back in the lab, having caught my pair of trams and ridden them illegally as I have yet to acquire a quarterly pass. You see, every international student here gets assigned a peer tutor to help them do things like that. My peer tutor has been terribly sick and, as far as I know, still isn't even in town. Of course I wasn't assigned a new peer tutor, I was just left on my own. So handy things like buying an alarm clock or getting a tram pass or registering for classes or LEARNING HOW TO ORDER FOOD have been neglected.

and now I sit here just hoping rather vainly, I think, that I'll get an e-mail from my advisors telling me which classes I'm registered for now. and, of course, which one's I've already missed this week.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I'm not a very good blogger

And I know this. I have created a total, including this post, of two posts.

I know.


But here's my excuse. Ready? I killed my computer. Somehow I managed to make a perfectly healthy laptop decide that it wouldn't let anyone onto windows. It went from being my DVD player, stereo, and soon-to-be portal to the internet to being a big nightlight. So anything I post is posted on purchased time after a hike and rife with frustration.

Now that's not the kind of weblog (see, weblog, weBlog, Blog) I want to have, ladies and gentlemen. So I'll post once or twice more just to keep it slightly up to date, but don't expect this digital journal to properly bloom until I manage to get my laptop off the ground and onto the internet.

Saturday I moved into Vinarska, which is the actual residence hall for my stay here. The bus that brought us over stopped in the middle of a road, and the guy on the bus kicked us all off and left without a word. We finally figured out that we needed to go up a really steep hill with all our luggage, and I commented that we were the victims of a cruel Czechoslovak prank. Hah, hah, they said, very funny.

So we went into a building and waited in line to be checked in. When the first of our group got to the desk, which was after about 20 minutes, we were all told that we had to go to a different building to check in. So we all went to this different building and waited in line for a solid hour. It was only after we had been there for so long that we were told that we were again in the wrong place. Where was the right place, you ask? Why, the place we had gone to initially, of course.

So we all went back and waited in line for another 30 minutes or so. Most of us were then told that we were in the right place, most likely, but needed a yellow card to check in. And the yellow cards are distributed (you guessed it) back where we had just come from. So back we went, and another 40 minutes were lost in line. It took, all told, nearly four hours to get checked in.

I ended up rooming with Tom again, since I suppose we're more or less used to one another at this point. I won't say anything about the room as yet, because I do have pictures and they are worth a thousand words. Granted, I can't show them yet because of my computer ailments, but I will. I can't type all those thousands of words right now, anyway. I'm paying by the hour here.

Today is a holiday, which means almost nothing. It's the nameday of King Wenceslas (which is not his right name, but you know him, most likely, that way), so the czechs celebrate by being drowsy and not going to work. No parades or gifts or gatherings... just no work. So, it means I don't have class and I can relax all day, but I do that a lot anyway. It also means that I'll have a hell of a time buying something to eat. Bastards.

So I promise I'll be better about this whole blog thing. Hell, I'm already better about it, somewhat.

MUSIC: crooked fingers: a little bleeding

(the sing along part, mostly)

Friday, September 17, 2004

not relaxing. not at all

You know what? Maybe all those close-minded assholes are right. Maybe being foreign is somehow inherently wrong. I'll tell you one thing, it's certainly inherently a pain in the ass. Let me just say that the number of people who speak English in the Czech republic has been grossly eggagerated.

Feh. This will get better when I have my own computer up and running on the internet, but for now, it'll be just this little bit of bitchy text and then me leaving. Must eat gravy covered food.