Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Negotiating with managament in an exercise in exasperation and frustration. But if I weren't on the team, I wouldn't have the illusion of control. Still, I wouldn't give up my participation in this for the world--it's very informative.

And our radishes are much bigger.

No strike/no lockout clause expires at midnight on the 30th--wheeeee! We've got a long way to go.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I almost got struck by lightning yesterday while weeding around my radishes.

I had some. They are, in fact, delicious.

There was a freakish beauty in dashing to and then huddling under an open-air shed while a fantastic line of storms came rolling through, I must admit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My father got me a 1960s-era linguistics textbook called "The Science of Language" some weeks back, and after summarily ignoring it for some time, I've leafed through it and am now glad I did. More recent advances in the field aside, it's very much an intro linguistics book in the modern trasition, complete with humorous footnotes.

"5. It has been humorously observed that one might gain the reputation of speaking fluent and elegant German by simply learning to say correctly a few expressions like, ach so? wie Schade! Ja, Ja, natürlich, and ausgezeichnet, and at every pause throwing in whichever one seems most appropriate." (182)

Wow, such have been my experiences with German. And Polish and Bulgarian, come to think of it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I've been using the post-vacation vacation time thoughtfully provided by my employers to get a lot done in terms of organizing and streamlining my life (and my life I mean papers) Also, I'm trying to vacuum my room for probably the first time this calendar year. At least. But it doesn't look dirty...

A short list of my haul in Czech books, with reading notes.

1958 Czechoslovak press editions of:

Karel Čapek, Povídky z jedné a z druhé kapsy (Tales From One/the Other Pocket) {read on planes/in Dulles on the way back}
Karel Čapek, R.U.R., Bílá Nemoc, Matka (R.U.R., The White Plague, Mother)
Karel Čapek, Kalendař, Záhradníkův rok (Almanac, The Gardener's Year) {started in Dulles}
Karel Čapek, Hovory s T. G. Masarykem (Talks with T.G. Masaryk) {started on some train or other}

recent printings of:
Ladislav Fuks, Vévodkyně a kuchařka (The Duchess and the Cook) {last of the Odeon Fuks prinitngs, I think--I have all seven}
Michael Viewigh, Vybijená (Dodgeball) {read in Brno}

Also, since I've gotten back, I've been catching up on some reading--I read a draft of an old paper of Nick's entitled "The Valuation and Evaluation of Writing," bits of an old Czech textbook on historical linguistics, "The Shining," and have started in on my bilingual Old French/French "Song of Roland." My French is refreshingly still present, ast least passively, and the Old French is useful as reference for trickier words, believe it or not.

And two more points, the biggest of all:

It's a sunny day.
And two days ago I found out about a Flaming Lips show in Burlington in September...on my birthday...and I just bought two tickets.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

So I'm walking down a busy street in Prague, looking for some building or other...I think it was Národní třida, and I look up at oncoming pedestrian traffic. And there's this guy walking towards me...grinning. A bit too widely for normal fun, not widely enough for insanity. As he walks, he's taking the top off a shoebox, and putting it on the bottom of the box. There's a pair of shoes in there.

Without really breaking his expression or his stride, and right as we're passing each other, he stuffs the shoebox into a trash can and walks on.

That was one of the odder things that happened to me in Europe. Forgiveness of the few people I've mentioned this to in advance; I say this by way of saying the first wave of photos are in.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Tram. Bus. Airport. Plane. Airport. Translatlantic flight. Aiport (Seven-hour layover in Dulles.) Plane. Airport. Home.

Bed, in about five minutes.

Prague, Brno, and Bratislava are still lovely, more on which (with pics!) later.