Tuesday, August 31, 2010

language lesson

Yesterday I had a Czech lesson... I've not progressed very far and so the content of my lesson may be rather simplistic, BUT... both my teacher and I had cause to laugh.

I was trying to formulate a question - trying to ask about her coffee.

The words I chose would translate in to English as "How is your coffee?" with the how being the literal translation for "how". My teacher looked at my with confusion and said, "I know what you're trying to say but you must use another word."

I tried it again.

She then proceeded to tell me "You can't say 'How is your coffee?' you must say 'What is your coffee like?' 'How is your coffee?' is a nonsense."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Radio Prague - local life stuff

Check it out - Santa-Spiderman and selfish drunks... the "magazine" section from Radio Prague.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

my coast

We're landlocked. Knowing the ocean is so far away is not comfortable... I don't know why, but I don't like it. I don't know anyone here, actually, who was raised in a coastal area that is comfortable without easy access to the ocean.

So, while we were back there, the kid and I spent some time at the beach... Here we are and here's where we're from.


The drive to the ocean.

The little town of Bodega Bay - right next to the little town of Bodega. Alfred Hitchcock used these settings for his classic film The Birds.

one of my purest pleasures

Some women like purses. Some spend hours picking out the right shade of lipstick, nail polish or foundation. Some collect shoes. Some people have other little indulgent pleasures they engage in every now and then, a little ashamed at how much they've dished out for something that others don't necessarily understand - there is more value in the item placed by the owner than it is worth to the every man.

For me that little pleasure would be books. Bookstores, antique books, old cracked leather-bound books, aged papers with tobacco smoke infused in the ink, uncreased bindings with pages so fresh you get papercuts as you thumb through... books.

Today I read that the average American household buys 7 books a year. There must be some illiterate homes cause I have got to offset a few homes... we can quite easily buy 7 books per visit. In the past month, nearly 3 weeks of vacation, but still, I've read over 10 books... 10 books that I didn't have 6 weeks ago. With my new e-reader and the joys of free access via google books to all the out of copyright stuff... I've got a lot more reading to do!!

Sometimes I wish I were one of those women infatuated with fashion, sporting a strong sense of style. Sometimes I wish I knew what would be stunning on me, where to shop and how to piece random things together... or I wish that I had more patience for accessories and accessorizing and products... too many bottles and jars and pastes and tubes and colors and appliances for me to fully be comfortable navigating through a thorough makeup session. Sometimes I wish all of that, but not often. I'm usually quite content avoiding all of that and having more time to read.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dusty Dreams

Ever since I arrived back in the Czech Republic, my mother has had me cleaning. Three days.

While frustrating, there is a small shred of logic behind it. While we were both gone, a span of about three weeks altogether, a construction guy came and replaced some messed up tiles in our little foyer/hallway thingy. In preparation, my mom cleaned the house, and closed all of the doors, isolating pathways for dust. Of course, these efforts were thwarted by the construction guy opening all of the doors she had closed. This meant that when we came home, the entire house was coated in a somewhat thick layer of dust. Which my mom is allergic to.

So, the past three days have consisted of How I Met Your Mother playing in the background while I sweep, mop, and dust like crazy. Which, I will admit, has not been an entire triumph. I'm not a cleaning enthusiast, and tend to overlook things my mom obsesses over.

For once, I look forward to school starting. :)

ketchup ;)

I had a great time back in the US. It was wonderful and thanks to you who helped make it that way, and sorry to those who I didn't get to see... despite my best planning life happens and I totally ran out of time! (stupid dentist, stupid doctor, stupid jet lag - it got me on both directions)

This is just to let you all know we're home and safe and exhausted. The Kid and I both caught colds during our last few days and it carried over to the flight so it's take a while for the two of us to recover and catch up... it's 2:15 am so obviously I'm not fully acclimated yet.

Other than not feeling well the flight was good - a fair amount of moderate turbulence but it was ok on the way to London. Dealing with Heathrow however was another matter. Let me provide a little assistance. When you tell a teenager, "please be ready, we have 2 hours to make it through Heathrow and will need all that time to do it - have your stuff together" etc... You should understand that does not automatically translate to - know where your passport is, as I discovered.

We hit the entrance for the passport check [the misadventures in Heathrow have been removed upon request] and had a peaceful flight to Prague.

While we were gone our landlord had the broken tiles and the carpet she'd had laid down to cover them replaced. Yay! But the workers must have opened every door in the flat and failed to lay down drop cloths anywhere so everything, absolutely everything greeted us with a thick layer of super find tile dust. Every crevice nook and cranny... it's even clogged the nozzle in my hairspray, the vents in my hairdryer and coated the cooking utensils and every book in the living room. Every single thing we one has to be picked up and cleaned - it made it in to the cupboards where there was a crack between the doors. Oh dust allergy - you are quite literally making me weep.

I have a lot to say, thoughts and reflections on our trip, etc... but this is it for now. The Kid is supposed to have written something, but she hasn't yet - at least hadn't when I started writing this. I think you should ask to read her poem about the couch... it's been featured on a writing site she's a member of.

Hope you're all wonderful!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

July 28th

There has been some misleading silence on my part. I am sure the Kid will agree.

Wednesday was her birthday. She believed I was spending it with a full day of work and then we'd be having a video chat during her birthday party.

She was wrong.

I spent it in the air. PRG to LHR to SFO to be exact about it. And her first bite of her birthday burger coincided with my walking through the front door.

I think she just about died. Literally. She started crying and hopped up to hug me and tried to talk all with food in her mouth, which of course led to the inevitable choking. We worked through it.

She's now 17 and still alive.