Archive for 'prague' Category


The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle of Rudolf III’ve finished my first book of the year. Not that I started it this year, mind you; I started it probably back in October 2012… But I just finished it the other day. The book: The Magic Circle of Rudolf II by Peter Marshall.

I picked this up for research into a story that I started -and takes place- in Prague a very long time ago. Rudolfine Prague was always an interesting topic for me as you can still see the remnants of the golden age brought on by Rudolf today, and the cultural melancholy that came from his passing and the imminent Counter-Reformation and resultant Thirty Years’ War. Reading the book gave me an inside view of the thoughts, dreams and actions of Rudolf which led to, and depended almost entirely on, his life and peculiarities. Though the goal of the book was to show how Rudolf straddled the line between medieval thought and modern thought during his rule as Holy Roman Emperor, and did a good job of it, I read the book more for historical, character and cultural needs. Alas the coloring needs of writing.

My next task for the book before retiring it to the shelf is to gather all of my notes and put them in my Scrivener file for the project. I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but it’s looking like I might try fiction again: The SFWA European Hall of Fame edited by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow.

Comments Off on The Magic Circle | Catergorized: books  prague  writing


Bones, dem Bones

When I lived in Prague I had heard about the Sedlec Ossuary. Eventually I even visited. These were the days before digital cameras and I didn’t bother carrying around an old 35mm camera, so I don’t have pictures. So when I saw this article on about ossuaries I went picture hunting again. I think I’ll have to go back again sometime (and to a few of the others in the article)… This time with my own (digital) camera.

Comments Off on Bones, dem Bones | Catergorized: memories  prague


Curtis Jones, RIP

I’ve just gotten news that Curtis Jones, a mainstay of ex-pat culture in Prague for more than two decades, passed away.

RIP, Curtis. If you find the afterlife half as interesting as we found you here I think you will have a pretty good time.

Comments Off on Curtis Jones, RIP | Catergorized: friends  memories  prague


Just a Couple Things

Several random links. I’m going to watch the Czech Republic take on Turkey in the Euro Cup in just a few minutes. Speaking of Turkey, I was just telling a friend a couple days ago about how Turkey is such a mystery to me. I know a lot about its history but not much about modern Turkey, especially its politics and how it fits (or doesn’t fit) into Europe (it is trying to join the European Union) or entirely in the Muslim world, either. This article, which I think was written to clarify, actually just confuses me more. I will have to look into this unique country’s situation more.

In the more nerdy world, I was alerted to a new independent film being produced about constructed languages. It’s not a topic you’d think would be made into a comedy but as you can see if you mix in awkward high school crushes anything can be pretty funny. More information on this film here.

Meanwhile, I want to build these goggles. Pretty freaking cool, and surprisingly simple.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

UPDATE: Czech Republic lost in a very dramatic second half. *sigh*

1 Comment | Catergorized: games  geek  prague  worldbuilding


Absinthe Again (or Not)

Last summer on my trip to Europe (part business, part pleasure) I picked up a bottle of absinthe in Prague. I also picked up four brilliant antique glasses in Paris to drink it in. Alas, I can’t seem to get my varied friends together to sample the “green fairy.”

Drinking Absinthe and Writing My Journal
Absinthe Writing
It’s funny because I noticed Jordan (who seems to lack permalinks?) recently posted his story quest for absinthe. Reading his story got me thinking about the absinthe again. My first experience with it was when I lived in Prague. My friend Richmond and I were sitting in Bunkr. I was writing and drawing in my journal when the first shot arrived, Bohemian style. My writing is pretty clear and coherent if a bit depressing. A musing about my love life. The drawing I made was pretty good, though. By the time I had the second shot my handwriting is straying and pretty messy. Clearly my thoughts are wandering, too.

After the third shot… Well, I don’t know what the heck I was writing about, and it’s barely legible anyways! Well, that’s not true… Obviously I was thinking naughty thoughts in a vampiric way. Even reading it now my eyebrows are crinkling and I’m thinking, “What the heck was I thinking?!?”

Anyways, the point is that absinthe is an interesting drink and it would be fun for me to see how my friends react to it. How to convince them?

8 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  memories  prague


4×4 Ayes

So Jason tagged me with one of these things where you answer all kinds of questions and then tag others in the hope that they reveal as much information as you do so your answers aren’t quite so embarrassing when you look at them the day after you post them. Jason’s post is a series of four answers for various personal stats. My post title pays homage to the nature of fours, his post title, the fact that I didn’t post anything for Talk Like a Pirate Day, and an old anime called 3×3 Eyes. I’m kind of proud of how much reference is in that title. :)

Four jobs I have had (current job excluded):
I’ll make these approximately in order from the first jobs that I consider “real jobs” since I’ve had far too many jobs in my life…

  1. Burger Flipper. McDonalds. My parents made a deal with me in high school that I could drive the car but I had to pay for the gas and maintenance. Not knowing what else to do I took a job in fast food just like, it seems, much of America has at that age.
  2. Industrial Drill Press Operator. Haynes Engineering and Manufacturing. For two summers I worked for my Uncle in Detroit as a drill press operator. We made many of the pumps that Detroit automakers used on their assembly lines. It was hard, dirty work but I learned a lot about honest work under the watchful eyes of my Uncle and the guys in the shop.
  3. No title. The Front Room. I don’t know if all of you are old enough to remember, but coffee shops used to be almost non-existent. There were no vente, grande, or short coffees. Certainly no frappucino sweet drinks. Despite that we were on the bleeding edge and actually had imported coffee. Ironically I didn’t drink coffee at the time.
  4. Currency Exchanger. Cekobanka. My only qualifications for this job were I could count in a couple languages and speak English natively. The job rather sucked but the people I worked with were united in their bitterness in the job and scorn for the tourists.

Four Films I have Watched Again and Again:
I’m going to divide this up into chunks of time since, really, I watch too many movies. This is probably the only part of this post where I could go on and on and on without let up, and even the answers I give will seem extremely limited. I won’t be happy with any of the answers alone…

  1. High School. Highlander. I couldn’t even tell you how many times we watched this. For quite a long time it was almost a weekly ritual. There can be only one!
  2. College. The Princess Bride and Heathers. Two of the most quotable movies in my life for a really long time. Eskimo! Another good one from this time was Dangerous Liasons.
  3. Early San Francisco. The Matrix and Starship Troopers. Although The Matrix has sort of dropped off the radar after its sequels came out and I got disillusioned with it, Starship Troopers will still come out when Mookee and I are drinking. Man, we drank a lot of Weinhards beer watching these…
  4. Late San Francisco. The Fifth Element and About a Boy. I have quite a large collection of DVDs at this point, and for some reason whenever I feel stuck on what I want to watch I keep coming to these two. There are tons of other movies I’ll watch again and again, but these two keep drawing me back.

Four Places I Have Lived:
I’ve grown up moving a lot. Comes from my Dad being in the military. Until I came to San Francisco, in fact, I hadn’t stayed anywhere more than a couple years. So here are a few of my favorites.

  1. Seoul, Korea. We lived here the first time in my preteen years. It was a brilliant time when our family pulled together. I consider my years extremely formative and can see so much of who I am today coming from those three years.
  2. Athens, Ohio. This is where I went to college. First relationships, life long friends, and loads of stories as we all started discovering our first tastes of independence.
  3. Prague, Czech Republic. Finally out of college I went to Prague. There’s so much that happened there I don’t even know what to say. So I won’t.
  4. San Francisco, California. I had a hard time picking between here and Washington, DC, but I have to choose SF. I’ve been here 10 years this month which is more than twice as long as anywhere I’ve ever lived before. For those who know me that speaks volumes.

Four Shows I Love to Watch:
This is the hardest one for me to answer because I don’t watch television. Seriously. So many of these will be “expired” shows. I think each of my shows depended hugely on their ensemble cast. There is no mistake that they are all science fiction, too. Honorable mention to Stargate.

  1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I loved this show. I think this is one of the very first American shows that had an angry black male in the lead role. It also had an angry Klingon, but that’s another story.
  2. Space: Above and Beyond. This, along with the next entry, are two shows that were given only (merely?) a single season yet I thought were amazing. S:AaB took war into space with all its ugliness, heroism, humanism, and reality. I wish they’d been given a chance to at least end the series properly.
  3. Firefly. What a show. While it started kind of awkwardly it sucked me in and didn’t let go. The idiots at Fox television made such a huge mistake in cancelling this and S:AaB above.
  4. Battlestar Galactica, old and new. I love these. I remember being allowed to stay up and watch the original series with my parents. I think it was the first show we ever watched as a family. And the new series… Well, if you’ve been reading this blog at all you know what a huge fan I am.

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation:
I haven’t had a lot of real vacations in my life. I’m not much of a vacation kind of guy. Aside from yearly trips up to Tahoe to snowboard, here are a few of my more memorable trips.

  1. Okinawa, Japan. My Dad, brother and I went to Okinawa when we were stationed in Korea the first time. My brother and I were so bloody excited to eat at a McDonalds again, much to Dad’s chagrin, but really, the whole trip was amazing. The place was so shockingly green in color…
  2. Chejudo, Korea. We went one summer break from college when I was back in Korea. The island is well and truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth and almost completely unknown outside of Korea and Japan.
  3. Oahu, Hawaii. Annemone and I visited my brother and his family when they were stationed at Pearl Harbor and went around the island. I loved visiting but I don’t think I could ever live there; too insular (which is quite an appropriate word if you know Latin).
  4. Paris, France and Prague, Czech Republic. Though part of my trip earlier this summer was for work, I did take some time off and fell in love with Europe all over again.

Four of my Favorite Foods:
I’m not really a

  1. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. For years as a kid this is what I had on my birthday every year. I will still eat a whole box of it every other week or so…
  2. Steak. Almost any kind of steak. Mmmm… meat.
  3. Chocolate covered cherries. These things are like crack to me. I’m eating some now.
  4. Lasagna. I don’t know what it is about lasagna. Amazing. Safeway makes an amazing vegetarian lasagna. I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch but this stuff is addictive. I’ve even gotten friends hooked on it.

Four of my Favorite Drinks:

  1. Jolt Cola. I wish this stuff were more widely available out here. I’d drink it to the exclusion of almost anything else.
  2. Coffee. Love it. Live it.
  3. Fermented and unfermented red grape. I love red wine, almost any kind of varietal. Also in the last year I’ve been drinking gallon on gallon of grape juice. It’s actually helped me cut the amount of Coke I drink dramatically.
  4. Coca Cola. I do still drink Coke, though. I used to drink tons of it (since Jolt is hard to find) but in the past few years I just have some with lunch. Sadly (?) I don’t even always finish the bottle I start anymore.

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:

  1. Paris.
  2. Prague.
  3. New Zealand.
  4. Asleep.

Four Bloggers I’m Tagging:
Let’s see if I can break the bad luck I have getting others to take this up…

  1. Carlos Costa at Population Statistic. Let’s see how adorkable his lists are. :)
  2. Kevin at Humble Tidbits of Vacuity. I can’t wait to hear more about his vacations.
  3. Mr. Brown at Brown That Banana. Really I just want to see what pictures he uses.
  4. Banana Boy over at Banana Land. Nothing to do with Mr. Brown’s blog. I keep hoping he’ll do one of these.
7 Comments | Catergorized: college  dc  family  food-drink  friends  korea  life  movies  paris  prague  san francisco  tahoe  tv  work


Reminding Myself of Things Forgotten

And it seems most of all I write this to remind myself of things I sometimes forget.I wrote this in the Spring of 1994 while in Prague and found it today scouring my old journals for material to fill out a project I’m working on. I would write it a bit differently today, but the sentiment is still very true. Maybe we are wiser in youth then we ever realize.

I do not write this to wring bitter memories of days of hate and confusion, to remind you of slow days walking around town, of sleeping in on the weekends, of sitting on the patio discussing the day and just how things seem to be in the world, of watching the tree across the street slowly turn yellow and start loosing its leaves until snow started to cover it all anyways.

I write this to remind you that love is real, but that love can die, and when anything dies it is a sad occasion and often causes a lot of pain. But in every moment of a death there is a birth, and so it goes.

I write this to remind anyone that cares to read it that love is so much more than holding hands and going out. Love is more than just an intense experience. It is all those days in between, all the days of sitting down to dinner, of trying to wake the other one up, of calling to see when and where to meet, and of getting ready for bed in different parts of the bedroom. Love is about ordinary days as much as about the days that turn into future stories.

And it seems most of all I write this to remind myself of things I sometimes forget.

2 Comments | Catergorized: memories  prague  thoughts


First Wave Second Wave

Too many people recommended I read this article about American’s in Prague. Though I was there in the early 90s some of the “adventurous” spirit of the Second Wave of Americans in the article was around when I was there. Give it a read if you’re so inclined!

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And I Dance Dance Dance

Hijinks Art and Music Flyer

Last night I went out dancing for the first time in years upon years. When I lived in Prague, friends and I used to go out regularly but for some reason when I came back State-side I left behind many of these things I did. I know part of it was that there was a raw, underground and vaguely illegal feeling to these parties in Prague where as here they feel established, polished and, for lack of a better way of describing it, presentable.

Last night was not presentable. My friend DJ D was spinning at Balazo Gallery in the Mission District. The place has nothing outside the building to indicate it’s the right place aside from the address. In fact it’s got the previous tenant’s old Chinese restaurant sign still hanging. The interior is unfinished; a squatter’s dream.

I had a lot of fun. I’d forgotten what it was like to close my eyes and just dance. I never claimed to dance well, but this was the kind of place where no one cared, so I didn’t either; as one cared to be cool which leaves all the pressure out on the street.

I will have to do this again. All I have to do is figure out how to get DJ D to cover the song in this video while I figure out how to emulate the dancing.

2 Comments | Catergorized: audio  friends  life  prague  san francisco


Pictures from Paris, Prague and Liberec

I’m back from my trip to Europe. I’m very tired but, despite this, I posted a few pictures so you can see some of what I’ve seen. I haven’t added any details to the pictures yet, but I will… Especially if I can get used to typing on an American keyboard again (I got used to typing on the French keyboard layout and it’s very different in subtle ways).

Gallery One: Paris, Prague and Liberec. These are the pictures I took in Paris, as well as the pictures from Prague and Liberec that had familar people in them.

Gallery Two: Pictures of Prague. The pictures here are just of the city of Prague. I love this place!

Comments Off on Pictures from Paris, Prague and Liberec | Catergorized: food-drink  friends  life  memories  paris  photos  prague  work
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