Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Back in Prague

While I officially returned to Prague a week ago, I'm only really here now, after experiencing a couple of days of jet lag (not excruciating, but enough) and then rushing off to England to present my Latest Thrilling Conference Paper. Durham will not be the same again.
Last week's readers will recall that prior to heading for Durham, I was thwarted in my desire to print out the semi-finished paper and felt obliged to go to the local Datart for a parallel-to-USB adaptor. Well, the staff at the Nový Smíchov Datart were pleasant but had no idea what I was talking about. After about 20 minutes it became manifestly clear that they did not stock this particular adaptor.
Let's just say that I was able to make halfway decent revisions on the train from London to Durham, thanks in part to the train having electrical outlets and to my having a US-British electrical adaptor. Once I arrived at Durham, I discovered that the outlets at the college were incompatible with my electrical adaptor. All subsequent revisions had to be done on battery. In fact, I never printed the paper, but read it straight from the laptop and used the conference laptop to show my images.
Er, wonders of modern technology. I will say more of the conference anon. For now, suffice it to say that I returned safely to Prague this afternoon (some people always want to know about one's safe return, you know), managed to get to my Czech class, and just had a long Skype conference with Hubert and Jesse.
Now I know I'm back in Prague, where I can sit on the couch, plug in the headset, and have my friends tell me that they missed my expertise in a recent discussion of ... orgies. Apparently the new Kubrick film includes a sequence that might be termed an orgy, but Alex assured them that orgies require more than two bodies in contact at one time.
I pointed out that I have no real personal experience of these matters (other than that gained from such works as Sarah Caudwell's The Shortest Way to Hades, which features them), although admittedly I was disgruntled at being left out of the original conversation. They pointed out that I had failed to be on Skype all summer long and that as Toyen had painted orgies, it was my job to be an expert on them.
I said that it seemed to me that while I agreed overall with Alex, you could still say a large gathering of the sort described (I have not yet seen Eyes Wide Shut) qualified as an orgy even if the camera only showed one couple after another.
No orgies are planned for the foreseeable future, but tomorrow I will be dropping in at the Embassy reception for the new Fulbright grantees and then heading over to the Obecní dům to meet Jesse and Štěpanka for a concert. Hubert is in the throes of composing something that will be performed next week. I believe it has something to do with Steve Reich, but I could be confused, or even getting Hubert's remarks mixed up with the Steve Reich works John caused me to listen to back in San Francisco. As I grow more sleep deprived, I begin to speculate that Reich did the music for Bruce Conner's film of atomic testing in the Pacific. No. A quick fact-check reveals that the composer in that instance was Terry Riley. Time to go to sleep, obviously.


Anonymous Dirk said...

When I was working for Apple in the early 80’s the marketing folks decided our manuals weren’t flashy enough so they brought in as series of candidate design consultants. One of them was a guy whose credits were mostly with Playboy. One item in his portfolio was an orgie. We on the selection committee all gathered around and admired. It was about a 3x4-ft photograph. Dozens of perfect bodies involved with one another in ways both elaborated and simple. We all admired his work but did not feel it was relevant o computer manuals.

September 20, 2006 5:39 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I am terribly disappointed to hear that Apple had the chance to decorate its manuals with orgy scenes in full color. Surely you were all being a trifle unimaginative in supposing that these weren't really relevant to computer manuals?

Just think where Apple might be today if you had hired Playboy Guy to redesign the manuals.

September 27, 2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I should have said Apple "missed the chance" but my proofreading skills pumpkinized at midnight.

September 27, 2006 12:21 AM  

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