I can’t think of anything flowing or connected, so here’s what I’m up to, in vaguely bullet-point form.
If you’ve ever been to the Czech Republic, you might know how the Czechs feel about their UNESCO World Heritage sites. I’ve figured it out, so it was no surprise that when I said I was going to Třebíč, I heard from literally everyone that I talked to that it was a very nice town, with a lovely Jewish quarter and cemetery and basilica that are, collectively, UNESCO-listed. I wasn’t disappointed by Třebíč’s charm, and certainly not by the company of my Letní škola and Fulbright buddy, who’s currently teaching down there. We didn’t actually get to go into the major synagogue or the basilica, though – the basilica was our fault for not knowing about their tour schedule, but the synagogue was closed for a wedding. On Yom Kippur. And it was not a Jewish wedding — these people were way too chipper to be fasting. Anyway, overall, a weekend well-spent!
The Liberec Library
If you have ever been into the Northwestern University Main Library, you will immediately understand why I was so excited to walk into the Liberec Library and find that it looked like this. Like, it’s a place where people might actually want to hang out, not where they go if they want to be swallowed by stacks that seem to close in around you with every step you take. The walls are entirely windows, the supports are mostly wood, and on top of it all, they have books in English! Now I can push back my purchase of a Kindle for a little bit longer. I know where I’ll be spending a lot of time watching the snow fall . . . which I hear will be starting soon. Better hurry up and find the perfect couch spot.
I fulfill my hockey dream
No, I haven’t played in a game yet. Yes, I did get to wear the tiger mascot suit for our last home game, but that was just a nice bonus. What I’m talking about is this: for quite a few years now, my favorite player in the NHL has been Matt Cullen (I haven’t forgotten my Arturs Irbe roots, he’s just been retired for quite a while now). Matt Cullen used to do this at practically every chance he had. Usually there was a bit more of a deke in there, but you get what I’m saying. I always wondered when I would get to try that myself . . . and it happened tonight. Yeah yeah yeah it was a practice, but I’ve got to take the small victories, right? We were finishing off a long practice with a shootout, where we had to sprint to the red line if we didn’t score. I tried glove side high, sprint. Blocker side high, sprint. Then I remembered Matt Cullen, and gave the Matt Cullen Deke my best effort . . . SCORE! Again – SCORE! I think that I don’t usually brag about myself, but this, to me, was a definite bragging moment. Just wait until I get to do that in a game . . . which may be never. So you get to hear now! Lucky you.