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New Sights on a New(er) Site.

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I’m packing up and almost ready to start my new semester in Prague. That’s right. Czech Republic. Formerly communist, and formerly Czechoslovakia. So this should be really fun.

Anyways, I’ve decided to switch to another blog, or tumblr (or both) that focuses on all the stuff I do, places I see and things I think about while I’m in Prague. If this disappoints anyone, sorry. Maybe you’ll devote your time towards something else. I kind of want a fresh start, and feel like this is the best way to do it.

If it doesn’t disappoint, then great. Glad to know you’ll be along for the trip.

I’m gonna go experiment and see what’s best. God speed, and see you on the Czech side.


No One Listens To The Band Anymore (Except Me).

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Hello again. It’s nice to see you’ve arrived back here. If you haven’t stopped by in a while, that’s okay. I’ll let you in on a little secret: neither have I.
And if you’re a first timer, I’m happy you’ve decided to stumble across my pages. Er, webpage, that is.

I’m surprisingly calm today. Well – at ease. Calm would involve a bubble bath or a long nap or hours of reading. I can’t do the former, as the bathtub drain is clogged. Also, I’m not a really big fan of relaxing in a tub of water because it always reminds me of the phrase ‘stewing in your own filth’ and well, IMHO, that’s not the most appealing way to lessen stress – even if there are lovely pink bubbles to distract. But I digress.

It’s Monday, so I didn’t have classes. I decided to get up and have breakfast/lunch at Palladium because I tend to crave waffles in the early hours of the morn. And seeing as Pallades has big waffle irons that produce fluffy, monster sized waffles which basically allow you to pour vast amounts of syrup into every crevice soaking it completely but still retaining some crunch – um, where was I going with this? Oh right. My breakfast, elevensies, and luncheon was mixed into one oversized waffle. I think I’m right in blaming my afternoon sugar crash on this.

I’d love to tell you that there are more interesting things going on in my life. Like how I am officially going to study abroad in Prague next year! I was convinced for a week straight that I didn’t get in – not that I wasn’t informed, but that I was pretty sure I sent in my application too late and lost out on a spot. So my mood was in the red for a while there. But my frown turned upside down when I got an acceptance letter. It hasn’t hit me yet, and probably won’t until a week or two before I hop a plane and leave my metal city behind for the world overseas. I think I’m going to study German for my foreign language requirement. Mostly because I’d like to read Kafka in its original text. The cool thing is that I’ll probably get to learn Czech and Russian in some part too. Ziemlich süß. Dost sladký. очень сладкий. (pretty sweet)

I’ve also been listening to No One Listens To The Band Anymore, the new album by one of my favorite bands, The Damnwells. I found them on one of my many Itunes music browsing sessions when I had ample time to do so, circa when their album Bastards of the Beat came out in 2003. I think “Kiss Catastrophe” is what compelled me to go out and buy their music immediately after listening, although “Newborn History” or “Electric Harmony” could have equally been the culprits. When I listen to this album, it brings me back to simpler times (as if I’m some baby boomer reminiscing, ha) in my hometown. I recall opening the cd and having my first listen alone in my mom’s van (back when it still worked) while she ran some errands in the post office. Or maybe it was on my CD player. Anyone remember those? Ha Ha… (right, maybe I shouldn’t talk like I’m fifty)

So they have other albums that came out after 2003, like Air Stereo and some EPs, but I haven’t really listened to them in full. The ones that top my list are their last two: One Last Century and No One Listens To The Band Anymore. The cool thing about OLC was that Alex Dezen, the lead vocalist, pianist, and occasional guitarist and Ted Hudson on bass, decided to send out some emails to adoring fans that they would be offering their cd to download for free online. I wondered how they would make profit from this tactic, but I’m pretty sure that’s not really why they did it. They don’t need the money (I mean…), they just want to get their music out to those who love to listen. And I do. I listened to this album all summer, never growing tired of it. And now I’m doing the same with their new one. This time, however, they are selling CDs. I ordered one from their pledge site and am waiting for it in the mail. My birthday present to myself.

The great thing about The Damnwells, despite their name of course, is their sound. I’ve noticed that their sound hasn’t done anything except get better. I can listen to their first and switch to their last and it’s like they had too many tracks to fit on one cd so they decided to put them on new discs and just sell them at a later date. Like how the LOTR movies were all filmed at once but released in increments because no one can possibly see all three in one sitting (but I’ve tried). Although, I definitely notice that No One Listens is easier to dance to. My toes start tapping and then my whole body follows until I’m singing along. My roommates must think I’m crazy. Yeah – crazy in love with these guys. The more I listen to this album, the more I love it.

So I recommend them to you. Go out and buy their CD. I’d suggest borrowing from a friend, but if you’re like me and keep CDs of bands that hold special meaning in your life, I trust you’ll do the same.

In the Aeroplane over the Sea.

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Woke up this morning with the sun glaring through the windows. Thanks to daylight savings time, it’s actually sunny and light outside by 8 am – unless it’s raining and/or hailing like it was when I woke up yesterday. So it’s a pretty nice wake up call. I actually felt motivated to get up to get ready for class without hitting snooze three more times. (Trust me, sometimes an extra 15 minutes is well worth a brisk walk or jog to campus.)

Another way to stay motivated: playing some really good music on your way to class, or wherever you’re going. Today’s choice for me is Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors. It’s only my first listen through the album, but I’m already sold on the first song, “Cannibal Resource.” There’s just something about this band, and I can’t get enough of their music.


Unfortunately, my earphones have decided to wage war against me. They’re damaged, rendering the connection frayed and my ability to hear less than satisfactory. I can only hear clearly out of the right ear bud, which makes it hard for me to enjoy any music on my Ipod. And even though the right one has sound, it’s botched half the time; I have to finagle the cord around constantly to maintain coherency. This happens far too often with my earphones. Every time I buy a new pair, they only manage to last for a minimum of 3 months. It sucks.

But hey, it’s not enough to bring down my entire day. I’m in good spirits.

I’ve got to choose classes for the spring semester on Monday. I think I’m going to study abroad next year, so I have to make sure I take most of my core and specialization classes for Food Studies before looking towards Europe. I’m torn between Florence and Prague. Florence would be great for me in terms of experience – I can eat, learn, and recreate real Italian cuisine – as well as being able to learn Italian at the same time. But Prague offers more classes that fulfill the credits I need for my major (Florence is not as friendly with Food Studies or anthropology classes/majors), as well as being in a great location. I can visit other places – Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, etc., relatively easily. Not to say that I couldn’t do that if I went to Florence, but I feel drawn to Prague for some reason. I’ll have to figure it out.

If you’re feeling musically inclined like I am today, check out Neutral Milk Hotel. And while you’re at it, be sure to give Matt Pond PA a listen, too.

hey, hey, would’ya look at that! there’s only 10 days left!!