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Prague Blog; The Journey

Written largely on Wednesday 11 October. Sorry for the delayed posting, but there were WiFi issues at my new digs. That said, I think it ended up adding value.

Yesterday morning, I woke up in suburban Philadelphia around 8 am Eastern Daylight. Last night, a little after 10 pm, I boarded a Norwegian Air Dreamliner, which transported me and several hundred of my closest strangers to Oslo, where we disembarked around 11:30 (We're on European time now.) local time. Since then I have been puttering about the airport, asking strangers for lights (can't take lighters on planes, y'know), and generally waiting for my 19:35 scheduled flight to Prague. Tonight, sometime after 22:30 I'd imagine, I will deposoited at my new home in my new home city. The whole process will have taken less than thirty-six hours, about 18 if you just count from airport to aiport to airport and discount a day playing tourist in Philadelphia.

As many people have observed, the rapid speed of modern trave…
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Prague Blog: Preliminary -- What I Leave Behind

This post if pretty melancholy, and more personal than I often get. If you want more like this (or less), one way to ask is to go to https://www.patreon.com/sjcaustenite, become a Patron, and then exercise your right to request something more cheerful in the future.


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When I first made the decision to move to Prague, I focused solely on the opportuity it presented. Once the decision had been made, however, I started to think of practicalities. Like, how good is their internet speed? (About the same as the USA's, if not better.) How much are smokes? (About $4.50 USD--yes, I know I should quit, but I would rather quit because I want to rather than because it's too expensive.) What's the gay scene like? (So thriving the NYT did a piece on it.) Do they have Pizza Hut? (The chain is returning to Prague this year after a 13 year hiatus.)

Generally, the things that make my life not just tolerable but enjoyable will be available in abundance. Oh, to be sure, t…

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- The Things I'm Carrying, in Video Form

In Book II of the Iliad, Homer (let's just call the author that) enumerates the forces that sailed from Greece to lay siege on Troy, and then does a similar, smaller listing of the Trojan force. The "Catalogue of Ships," as it's known, stops the forward momentum of the epic to make sure the reader understands the scene on the plains outside Troy. At the same time, it establishes a great deal about the power dynamics at play, and provides us greater insight into the characters involved. Sometimes, what (or who) you own can speak volumes about who you are. In that spirit, but with none of the grandeur, I'm making a list of all the things I kept when I left my apartment and, more to the point, all the things I am taking to Prague with me.

The first category is things I'm keeping but not taking. This includes about a hundred books, mostly from my time at St. John's; a Johnnie chair, a college graduation present from my mother; various small items of sentiment…

Prague Blog: Preliminary -- Why?

Since I decided to uproot my entire life, move to a country I have never visited, and train in a career I have no experience with, people have often asked me, "Why?" I'm sure that many of them likely were wondering 'WHY?!?!?!" but, if so, they were polite enough to hide that fact. So, here, as the first (unofficial, preliminary) installment of my Prague Blog, I thought I would try to make the case for why this isn't a completely ridiculous thing to do.

The first starting premise for this is probably a key facet of my personality: I don't like things. Not, "there are things I don't like," but rather, on the whole, I don't care about physical things. I am not a thing person.* To a lesser extent, but still worth mentioning, I am not a creature comforts person. It is true that I go a bit stir crazy when I don't have access to walkable shops, etc., and I do have a great fondness for hot and cold running water and HVAC , but my needs in t…

I played all of God of War! Again!

Kratos was a Spartan captain, leading his army to victory after victory. He is brutal and brilliant, but his army is overmatched when they encounter a mass of barbarians. In a desperate plea to save his life and his reputation, Kratos offers his life to Ares, the God of War. Ares accepts the deal, defeating Kratos' enemies, and empowering the Spartan to further and further conquests. Kratos' bloodlust grows, and Ares manipulates him to be his perfect warrior, Ares' avatar on Earth. This culminates in Kratos killing his wife and daughter in a blind rage. That act causes Kratos to become the Ghost of Sparta, a warrior coated in the white ashes of his wife and daughter, a visible reminder to himself and all who encounter him of what this man has done. He breaks with Ares, instead serving other Olympian gods, especially Athena, as a sort of roving hero for hire. This service lasts 10 years before the first game begins. This is all backstory, told mainly in the first game, wit…

Doctor Who & The Punch

CW: Homophobic slurs, discussions of violence

The following post is intended to be an examination of the moral dimensions of certain actions in Doctor Who, pursued in a rationalist style borrowing from Western theories of ethics. As such, it will likely strike many readers as a chilly analysis, but I hope not an insensitive one.

N.B. After several days, and a loss of several hours work, I have given up on doing linking footnotes in the interest in publishing this before the heat death of the universe. Everything is marked, though, so Control + F is your friend. I also had help editing and proofreading this post, but due to the great Save Fail of 2017, many of those edits have been lost. Management regrets the inconvenience.
A Thought Experiment Let's say I'm walking down the street, and a guy calls me a faggot as he walks past me. As a gay dude, this has definitely happened to me. I know what to do, which is to keep walking. But what if I were to turn around, tap him on the sh…

Some Thoughts on Into the Woods

If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you're aware of my...intense feelings for the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical Into the Woods (original production here). While it's an exaggeration to say, as I often do, that it's my favorite anything ever, it's not that much of an exaggeration. You can imagine my delight, then, when it was announced that The Fiasco Theater production of IttW would take up residence at the Kennedy Center for a month. I was familiar with Fiasco's past work and I was curious to see what they would do with this masterpiece. I am not so precious about my love for the original staging and recording as to be unable to love any alternative version; between the film version, cast recordings of other major productions, and other stage versions, I felt confident going into the Fiasco production that, whatever changes they made--for there are always changes--I would be able to accept, and maybe even enjoy then. I gobbled up…