29 December 2006

My Friend in the New James Bond Flick

My friend Michael Cella has a cameo in the new James Bond flick Casino Royale. Mike (on the right) runs the Globe Cafe & Bookstore here in Prague. On Christmas Day, he talked with my mom when my family called me, as he and I were at a shindig along the river where about 20 expats were hosted by a most-generous Brit & Swede couple.

Quote For the New Year

"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority."

~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)

24 December 2006

Cyberhugs For Annie Wilkins!

My best new Prague friend Robbie Wilkins is a documentary filmmaker and a typical posterchild for the 'Creative Class'. We observe, think, dream, plan, analyze, and create together, shaping history with every breath. Prior to coming to Prague, Robbie intended to move to... Portland. But since I was leaving Portland to come here, he must have sensed a flux in the universe and came to Prague to prepare for my arrival instead (a rather self-centered perspective, but nonetheless true to my perception).

So this gets better... Robbie's sister Annie is moving to Portland. Here is Annie's blog - and though I've not met her, her editorial blog-eye suggests she's every bit as dynamic a soul as her brother. Please, Portland friends, welcome Annie Wilkins to our fair city on the Left Coast (the American city that tries harder than any other to be 'European' - and almost succeeds).

22 December 2006

T-Shirt Haiku

Saw this on a t-shirt @ www.threadless.com and loved it!

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

14 December 2006

Self-Inflicted Euro Haircut - Part Deux

Well I told you they were coming, so here they are - pics of my first ever self-inflicted haircut (unless Mom remembers another time when I was a wee lad?). Anyway, this was a huge milestone for me, letting go my desire for a 'professional' and simply trusting in my own perfectionist tendencies. And I saved a few bucks along the way.

The tools... small pair of dull scissors, which I could barely fit my fingers into... small mirror, about 2"x3"... and a rubber band off some vegetables (I don't remember what kind).

The remnants of my wooly winter fluff.
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The results (after an hour or so): Voila! Euro Haircuts rock! Please note that it looked much better after a wash, and looks great now since it's got its curl back.

Thank you for your fascination.

11 December 2006

Genius: Do You Know Who I Am?

I can only hope I will be this clever if ever in a similar situation:

What I Need(ed) For Christmas
(17+ Years Ago)

The alarm clock that runs away and hides when you don't wake up. Clocky gives you one chance to get up. But if you snooze, Clocky will jump off of your nightstand and wheel around your room looking for a place to hide. Clocky is kind of like a misbehaving pet, only he will get up at the right time. Read more...

I know, it may sound crazy, but when I was in high school I would set anywhere from 3-5 alarm clocks all around the room - electric, battery, wind-up, it didn't matter... I'd either sleep through them or get up in my sleep and turn them off. Typically, my waking up required my grandma or my sister shaking me until I came to.

To be fair, I wasn't lazy - I simply rarely got sleep. Living on a hobby-farm meant routine phonecalls from neighbors telling us our cows had gotten through our shabby fences and were in the middle of the road... so I'd often get up at 3:30am (or whenever), round up the cows with a flashlight, 'repair' the fence with bailing twine (or wire), and then go back to bed for an hour or two before school.

And my teachers wondered why I slept through classes...

08 December 2006

Self-Inflicted Euro Haircut

Last night I cut my own hair. I look more 'European' now (no, it's not a Euro-mullet, but it was at one point - til I fixed it). Photos will follow in a few days.

04 December 2006

Murrican Haiku

Expat damsels
crochet cuz they have to
- th'accordion's that intense

~written at Globe Bookstore & Cafe, during Pavel Brycz's reading from his book I, City (Twisted Spoon Press).

30 November 2006

Quotes of the Day

"I can believe anything, provided it is incredible." ~ Oscar Wilde

"It is to the poet a thing of awe to find that his story is true." ~ Isak Dinesen

“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Women: You can't live with them, and you can't get them to dress up in a skimpy Nazi costume and beat you with a warm squash.” ~ Emo Phillips

21 November 2006

Prague in 3 Minutes

I wish I could say I had something to do with this short film of Prague still-shots, or the superb choice of my favorite band Wilco for the sound, but alas I only found it on YouTube, so I take credit only in presenting it to you:

Seldomfence - Possibly My 'Post of the Season'

I wonder why CDs from one of my old bands, Seldomfence, are selling for so much on amazon when we could barely sell them for half that much at our shows?

Some online reviews I found through google mention:

"[Seldomfence]...would be excellent listening for a road trip across the midwest in autumn" (Portland Mercury, 25 Oct 2000)


"...the type of music that might be created from a group of friends cooped up inside on a cold winter night after having a few whiskeys (or maybe just a Portland microbrew) to warm up" (Swizzlestick, 1 May 2001)

but there's certainly nothing that warrants a $20+ price tag - that's ridiculous.

20 November 2006

Rob and I hard at work...

Rob (on right) and I, the tech guys behind the scenes at the Sweater Club...

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17 November 2006

My New Job

The Origin of 'Terrorism'

"DON'T EAT THE BIG APPLE," God said to the first humans, and so they cut down the tree that held it, all the other trees around it, and built two towers in its place.

They called these Babel North and Babel South, both majestic and, to them, superior to anything God had made.

And since God saw the humans' hubris, He sent a score of brown dragons to destroy their towers.

Then the terrified humans said, "Surely our God would not do such a thing," and so they waged war on the brown dragons, for they could no longer see the works of their own God.

Quote of the Week

"It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them."

~ Bill Vaughan

Prague Sonnet #3

From New-in-Prague...

My favorite cafe serves kerosene matches
that go out only with sirens
thump thump thumping at cardiac doors.
I've tried to drown them in pilsner falls.
Flapping arms I've taken flight... and still
they burn. I am sleepless over this
pending inferno. This game between hops & scotch,
studying white lines thick as pages,
counting quarter-to-two cracks in the plaster
waiting for the pipes to burst. I am
a medieval rocket - destined to hoist
red flags on the moons of dark ages.
I satellite spires, awake as a wheel
in the midst of zodiac clocks.

17 October 2006

16 November 2006

Quote: Our Greatest Fear

The following quote, perhaps best-known from its use in the film Coach Carter, is often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, but was in fact written by Marianne Williamson:

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God, your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

New Jeff Tweedy Film Trailer

Jeff Tweedy, the mastermind behind the bands Wilco and Loose Fur, as well as contributor to such musical projects as Golden Smog and Uncle Tupelo, is one of my favorite living songwriters (along with Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and JJ Cale). Here's a trailer for a new film about a solo tour in the Pacific NW that I had the pleasure of seeing with my friend Brennan Ehret at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon:

Buy the DVD:
Jeff Tweedy - Sunken Treasure - Live in the Pacific Northwest