Saturday, December 31, 2005

On waking up

I think waking up would be nicer if we all knew that we would passionately kiss an attractive stranger everyday at lunch.

A 20-something


I am sitting in my strange apartment in Zizkov, a neighborhood in Prague where, apparently, all the best restaurants are placed. I watch Vincent as he stares out the window. He does this for several hours a day. I guess it's his television. The coffee maker, which makes mediocre coffee even if you're using grade A Colombian stuff, is gurgling and spitting in the kitchen. I should get my coffee soon before it becomes, in addition to bad, cold too.

It is New Years Eve Day and I am wondering how I ended up here. Aaron and I had been talking about what we thought we would be doing in our mid-20s. Well, that really depends. If you'd asked me ten years ago, I would not have thought that I would be sitting in Prague typing while my coffee got cold and watching my plants die (I am blaming the lack of sun now). I don't think I even knew where Prague was ten years ago. I mean, Prague was here, but I did not know of its location.

I thought that I'd have graduated from some prestigious school working in a highly-paid job and wearing a suit everyday. A wife would have materialized at some point, a gorgeous professional who also led the high life, and vacations/kids/new things and consumerism would pack the horizon. I guess this is what the late H.S. Thompson meant by "humping the American Dream".

Well, now the "American Dream" happens mainly outside of America. It is the Global Dream now, flavored with the Colonel's secret seasoning. Imagine a world where the differences between all of its amazing cultures and people were slowly becoming more like one group, a group that is leading the world in stupidity, obesity, poor health, no exercise, violence, advanced weaponry, and mass media. Don't get me wrong here--America is a wonderful place. It is simply being led poorly, and the people are reaching critical mass. They won't stay stupid, fat, and consumer driven for too long. A revolution is coming. Americans must take the reigns of their powerful starliner and learn about what is really going on. One small weblog is a start, I guess.

Green Leafy Substances

I am locked into a sad debacle where I insist upon starving them to death. I could be convicted of committing atrocities! For some reason, I cannot remember to water my plants. It takes about 30 seconds twice a week to water them. This means I have to devote roughly 52 minutes per year towards watering two plants. One I found upon moving into my apartment in Prague. It had been suspiciously sitting on top of the refrigerator, in the kitchen (admittedly the most depressing area in the apartment) with a bag over it. That seemed cruel. Why put a bag over a plant? The second plant came from a Polish girl that I was half-dating. This one is more seaweedy, and Vincent confirms his obvious preference by consistently eating its leaves. It is much larger than plant #1, and both greener and fuller. Plant #2 visibly sags when it does not receive enough H-2, sulking a bit even.

What I am noticing now, as I disregard the dishes I agreed to clean, is that I have placed plant #1 physically outside the room, stuck in a clear limbo between the inner window and outer window, which is about eight inches away. In the Czech Republic, insulation is provided by a double layer of equally drafty and ineffectual windows, so that warm air simply escapes less quickly. I placed plant #1 in between these two windows, probably trying to hide from its pitiful condition. I figure if I ignore it for enough time I can declare it legally dead, thus abdicating any prior responsibility: "Well, I can't do anything about it now.” What a strange way to behave over a plant.

Plant #2 has unofficially won my interest. It is inside, sitting on a bedside table, watching over me as I sleep, plotting to kill me if I don’t take better care of it. I know that there is no way plant #1 could get through that window, but #2 is sitting within leaves length from my face with all its valuables—eyes, mouth, etc. I have to respect its position. While abroad you must avoid serious injury, especially when you don’t speak the language. A hospital rarely needs even more confusion and misunderstandings.

On cleaning the dishes


My roommate likes to cook a lot, which is great because she is a good cook and it helps when someone else makes the food and you can just sit there and read. I was about 10 pages away from finishing "Breakfast at Tiffany's" when she spoke to me. I had been subconsciously associating "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with "The Breakfast Club", which meant that I was missing the point in several ways. Thus, I had been avoiding both the movie, a classic, and the book because I began boycotting Emilio Estevez in the early 1990s. Truman Capote is the author of the novel. I like him now, but before I liked him because other people said he was a good author. Now I have read one of his books and I can like him without the social pressures of faking it. He writes in a familiar voice, something that my good-cookin' roommate compares to informality and marks with scorn. Consequently, she dislikes the following people: Tom Robbins, David Sedaris, Dave Eggers, Superman, etc. But she is cool still. Her question was this: I'm gonna do half the dishes(?)

A small protest leapt into my mouth. I did not create the mess in the kitchen. She did. But it was in the process of making dinner for both of us. A lightning fast decision must be made. The longer I do not respond, the more it seems like I have declined her question/offer. It was a strange dinner, but ultimately tasty. I allowed myself to ponder the consequences of an argument here--first of all, probably no more tasty dinners including soya shaped into chicken-like strips. If meat was to be replaced permanently with soya, I might endorse it. Secondly, an unnecessary tension would build within our domicile. This would make the cat urinate outside of his box, and this is unacceptable.
I decided to agree with her. I would indeed do half the dishes. But not right now, in a little bit.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Thank Heaven for Tomorrow

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