Pink Trash Travels

9 Hours Later

After leaving Paris this morning around 11, we finally arrived in Munich nine hours later. Needless to say, the drive had its highlights. Unfortunately, I left the camera at our new flat (along with a somewhat disoriented Dennis the Cat). So look for pictures to be posted tomorrow as we'll have plenty of time on our hands while the movers manipulate our furniture up six flights of stairs and through the window.

Club Fridays - Eva & Sunfreakz

I may be in transit, but that won't stop the music. Sure, there are headshots to accompany each dance pick this week, but my computer resources are limited. Besides that, it's all about the music!

Eva Avila won Canada's American Idol in 2006. Her new single Fallin' For You, remixed by X-Union, may not get much attention in America but it should. Give it a spin this summer poolside! Link available here.

Sunfreakz Counting Down the Days is all over both American and European dance stations. There's a reason. It's catchy, fun and perfect for summer. There are many remixes floating around, but none is better than the original extended version. Link available here.

Please note: the songs featured on this site are notices to links only (and mostly unavailable for purchase). I do not upload any music - I merely share the links to tracks I find interesting and noteworthy. Should you care to have the material removed, simply send me an email.

You've Got 2 Be Kidding

Because we couldn't get on the road to Munich until tomorrow, tonight we're staying at the Westin in Paris (one of the few hotels that would accept a large dog like Maddie and that had availability). Sadly, it sounds as though we have a crying baby next door. And because it's an old hotel, the little annoyance might as well be pooping its diapers next to me. With my ear plugs packed away in the car, it looks to be a long night ahead.

Denis' Perspective

This morning they stuck me in this box because they thought it was funny. In any other circumstance, I would have been in heaven. But because it wasn't my choice to be in there, I thought it was obnoxious.

Right now, I'm all alone in our empty flat. Apparently, I couldn't stay in the hotel with them. Dogs get all the luck. So I'm walking around trying to keep myself entertained - chasing one of the few dustballs they left behind. I'm assuming they'll be back tomorrow to pick me up. I hope they arrive early as I don't have much food or water. And with all the windows closed, I can't escape. Please, I hope they come back.

Maddie's Corner

It looks like we're moving. I think we're moving. Last time they did this, I was shoved in a crate and shipped overseas for 10 hours. I sure hope they aren't going to do that to me again. Don't they know I now have a bad hip?

They gave me a bath today. Apparently I didn't smell too fresh. But I always know I'm going to get a treat afterwards so I don't mind too much.

They've been organizing all day. I saw Dave throw away what seemed to be a hundred shopping bags. Chris saves them for future use - but he never uses them. They've vacuumed the carpets and rolled them up. They've packed away some food, my leash and their gym bags. I'm pretty sure we're going somewhere.

My bed has been dismantled and is waiting to be laundered. The washing machine has been running all day with towels, clothes and whatever else they pulled from the bathrooms, cedar chests and shelves throughout our apartment. I know we're going somewhere.

I've had a long day of following them around and protecting the house from all these visitors wandering around. Besides that, a bath wears me out. Standing up for 15 minutes without falling is tough. So I'm going to bed now. Where are we going I wonder?

Looking 2 Pooped 2 Party

We recently found this flyer on our doorstep for a Physical party this Sunday night in Paris. For starters, these models look tired - very tired. They need to stay home and rest. But this is what happens to Parisians who party every weekend. They're 25 but look twice their age. It sure doesn't make we want to go out and dance from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The Beginning of Goodbyes

With our move just four days away, we're starting to say our goodbyes. Today we bid farewell to Alyse who has been living upstairs in our service quarters and cleaning our flat for the past two years. I always find it a bit strange that someone can be so intertwined in your life and then one day they're gone - most likely never to be seen again. If anything, I hope we entered her life and made it better by giving her not only a place to live but also helping out her family with clothes we no longer wanted. And tomorrow, we say goodbye to Jessy and Moona from our gym l'Usine. But just in case, I snapped their picture today for the scrapbook. It's all about the memories.

It's Our Last Weekend in Paris...

...for now (I always have to clarify these kinds of thoughts because I don't want the "powers that be" to assume I mean forever). Not that we'll act much differently than before. Saturday and Sunday morning we'll go to the gym. We'll most likely shop a little. We'll try to avoid the baguettes and eat healthy (a result of lingering back fat) until Fat Girl Sunday when we'll have our last (for now) pizza night in Paris. And because our satellite gets disconnected on Wednesday, we have five episodes of Boston Legal to watch. Yes, on the surface our weekend isn't much different than someone's three day holiday in Peoria. But we have one thing they don't have - a Parisian view from our floor to ceiling windows and FG Dance radio pumping in the background.

Club Fridays

For this week's Club Fridays, I contemplated featuring just one artist and two different songs. But after finding two new remixes today, I had to wait. There's always next week. You'll also notice the links are via Evilshare. It's as simple as the others, but to reduce spam and such, you have to enter a code you'll find next to the "download" button. It's similar to what yahoo periodically asks you to do.

Up first is Mike Rizzo's rendition of Roller Coaster by relatively unknown artist Erika Jayne. There's not many words, but the few she mutters are down right catchy. I've also included the electro version as sometimes it's more appropriate for me at the gym when I'm pushing it on the stairclimber. For the Mike Rizzo link, go here. For the Dave Pezza Electro link, go here. To learn more about Erika, including additional remixes available and full album release date, go here

The second remix this week is both new and old. Ciara's Get Up has been out for a while, but a new promo CD was just released - and includes one mix I'm featuring by Digital Dog. I've included their mixes a lot lately as I enjoy the simplicity of their remixes - along with their use of synthesizers and 80's inspired instrumentation. For the Digital Dog link, go here.

Please note: the songs featured on this site are notices to links only (and mostly unavailable for purchase). I do not upload any music - I merely share the links to tracks I find interesting and noteworthy. Should you care to have the material removed, simply send me an email.

So There He was...

Here's what I didn't see yesterday...or today. First Britney last year. Now Justin. Thanks to Just Jared for the photo.

Faulty Lasercomb

I'm a sucker for anything that promises to keep or regrow my hair. I consider it something like insurance. So when the Hairmax Lasercomb was FDA approved last fall, I decided to buy one. It ain't cheap. But beauty isn't inexpensive. And considering how important a full head of hair is to me, the Lasercomb is worth the price.

According to studies, it regrows hair by sending a low wattage laser into your scalp. Reports show new growth of up to 10% if not more. That means that per every centimeter, you could sprout 19 additional hairs. I like those numbers. Every bit helps.

But getting the comb wasn't easy. I had it shipped to NY where our friend J.C. from Paris brought it back to Europe on Monday (you don't ship anything of value from America to Paris because it gets stuck in customs and you pay crazy additional fees). And now that I have it, it doesn't work. Apparently the company says the power supply might be broken. And if that's not it, we'll have to figure out another way to get the comb to us. Again, it's the price I pay for beautiful hair.

I was so excited to spend 15 minutes tonight shooting lasers into my head while watching TV. Oh well. There's always tomorrow. No wait. There's always next week. No wait. At the rate I'm going, there's always next month.

Foiled Again

No Justin. Not that it's a big surprise. Fame, in all forms, eludes me. We did spot Katarina Witt in Munich at our hotel while eating breakfast last month. But that doesn't really count. She's so 1988.

Stalking Justin Timberlake

I stopped by the salon this morning to make an appointment for a color touch-up later today before working out. Even though there was an opening immediately, I decided to wait. I then headed to the gym. As I was unpacking my bag, I was told Justin Timberlake was there yesterday afternoon and was planning on being there again today (before his second concert tonight in Paris). So, like any star-chasing lunatic, I grabbed my bad, ran back to the salon, and rescheduled my day so I could return to the gym between 2 and 4 to hopefully catch a glimpse (and autograph) of Mr. Timberlake (even though I'm not THAT big of a fan). I wonder how he'll react if I ask for his John Hancock? So the questions are: (1) Will I see him and (2) If I do, will I ask for his signature? It's now 1:35. Back in two hours.

No Longer Amusing

Showing the apartment was once amusing. It's now a pain in my ass. When we returned from Barcelona, I had 12 voice mails from possible renters wanting to visit the apartment (which subsequently used all of my cell phone minutes this month - something I've never accomplished in two years).

Unless I'm getting a commission, I no longer think it's necessary to be as heavily involved (or to be charged for their annoyance). Then again, I never did. But I was told it was my responsibility. After further clarification, I find out it's not. So, I've told the landlord to speak with everyone inquiring about visiting the apartment and to email me with scheduled appointments between 4 and 8 p.m. Before that, forget it. I'm at the gym. And afterwards, I've got TV to watch, books to write and blogs to update.

Casa Camper 4 Seniors

While in Barcelona this weekend, once again we stayed at Casa Camper Hotel. Having had a great stay at this shoe maker's hotel in February 2006, we returned for another visit. This time, however, we noticed something quite odd - the majority of guests were over 60. I'm not sure this is what the hotel had in mind for its clientele.

Not that we have anything against senior citizens. It's just when on holiday, I don't want to be reminded of what's to be. I'd rather focus on the now - and some man candy to go with it!

Barcelona Trend Alert 2

Gold shoes and shaved eyebrows weren't the only trend we spotted in Barcelona. It seems "man boobs" are all the rage as well. Everywhere we looked we saw man breasts poking through tanks, t-shirs and sweaters. Nobody said all trends are worthy of exploration.

Body Fraud Exposed

There are numerous companies that sell body toning products for men. These manufacturers claim their gels and creams work miracles on fat. I've personally never bought into their lies. If losing weight was that easy, we'd all look like cover models. Now I have proof that what they advertise is nothing more than glorified hand soap.

While shopping at Sephora this weekend, we stumbled across one of these body trimming products by Jeanne Piaubert. It's not that we were looking to lose our love handles. What caught our eye was the cover model. Gracing the packaging was none other than Sebastien from our gym.

Sure, he's hot and well-built (and knows it all too well). But it's not Jeanne's slimming gel that helped him to "regain a tone and well-shaped athletic figure" in eight days. Instead, it's been a combination of weightlifting and one hour sessions of cardio everyday for the past six months. They should list that little fact on the box right under his glossy, airbrushed abs.

SBs Aren't Fun

I don't know why I check the weather on-line. It's always wrong. For example, both and accuweather forecasted Barcelona's weather to be rainy and 68 degrees this weekend. It turned out to be sunny, almost 80 and gorgeous. I'd rather have the latter. But when you're hiking through Park Guell to find the Casa Museu Gaudi (and the sight of America's Next Top Model Series 8 Fashion Show), you don't want to be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Sweaty balls aren't fun.

So Much 4 Being Different

When we travel, rarely do we go out past 10 p.m. This is, of course, if we're alone and not accompanied by friends. Otherwise, they usually drag us out until we shuffle away around 1 or 2 a.m. But tonight in Barcelona, we thought we'd be adventurous and have a drink after dinner in the "hood." Not only was boystown hard to find but apparently everyone was either still at dinner or just waking up. The bars were empty. The clubs weren't open. We returned to our hotel around 11 p.m. - almost right on schedule. So much for being different.

Barcelona Trend Alert

Shiny gold shoes galore. One shaved eyebrows everywhere. Not for me, but apparently for everyone else.

Barcelona (Rosie Style)

Sitting here ready for bed
Longer travel day than normal
Flight delays, Barcelona traffic jam

Forgot camera
Pictureless holiday

Was pushed by Iberia steward
Unfortunate result of delayed bathroom break
Kept calm
Averted nasty scene

Bumpy flight out
Vomit bag prepped
Averted second nasty scene

Weather's amazing
75 and sunny
Barcelona different in May than February
Streets full
Tourists everywhere

Casa Camper hotel great as before
Open kitchen, snacks galore
Cake waiting in suite
Hammock alongside Fox TV

Ugly Betty Night

I don't like to cook. But because I'm the "stay at home" in this relationship, I win the role by default. As a result, I find myself having dinner theme nights that correlate with what we watch on TV. I didn't plan it that way. It just happened.

So, because we're watching Ugly Betty tonight, we're eating breaded cod fish fillets (or fancy fish sticks), grean beans and Kraft macaroni and cheese (with the white pasta tossed out and replaced with whole wheat mini shells). It's comfort food with a healthy twist. And yes, so French.

Unfortanetly, I'm almost out of the blue box. We've been stocked for months thanks to my brother and Matt and Paul who hand delivered the American staple back in November. Just another reason to return stateside I suppose.

Club Thursday

Because we're off to Barcelona tomorrow for a long weekend, Club Fridays is relocating to Thursday this week. I could have always waited to post tomorrow morning, but knowing how crazy I get before we leave (between the gym and touching up the house for the dog sitter), it's better to attend to the music today. Consider it a jump start to your weekend!

I'm not a big fan of Amerie. I'm not a big fan of hip hop/R & B really. But with Tracy Young's help, Take Control takes on a completely different vibe - one that I like. Link available here.

In the past few years, Rihanna has proven herself a hitmaker with both the original and dance versions of her songs. Her new single Umbrella is poised to be smash this summer as it's generating buzz at radio and clubs. Jody Den Broder Takes his turn on the remix creating an energetic record. Link available here.

Please note: the songs featured on this site are notices to links only (and mostly unavailable for purchase). I do not upload any music - I merely share the links to tracks I find interesting and noteworthy. Should you care to have the material removed, simply send me an email.

Wig Discrimination

Well I hardly think this is fair. Why should bald men have to pay for toupees when women and children can get insurance to foot the bill? They are capable of wearing a hat just as easily as men when it comes to protecting their head from the elements. Discrimination I tell you.

2 Weeks and Counting

We depart for Munich two weeks from today. It's amazing how fast the past few months have gone. It makes me think just how fast the next 10-12 months will fly by. More so when I factor in what we have planned: Lisbon in July, Mykonos in August, Joel and Mike visiting in early September, Paddy, Dave, Matt, Paul and Tom visiting at the first of October, our trip to Hungary at the end of October, Thanksgiving, Lisa and Elizabeth's visit in December, Christmas, New Years...and look, it's already February when I'll hopefully begin the process of finding a house back in Chicago. Makes those 12 months seem like two!


According to this report, French are the biggest whiners about work. And that's a surprise? If I've learned anything while living in Paris, the French like to be unhappy.

Thank U Gladys Kravitz

We miss our home back in Chicago - the yard, the peace and quiet, the odor-free living space. Fortunately for us, our neighbor Marty can easily take pictures of our former residence and the area around it to keep us advised of the comings and goings of 1449 W. Cullom (it's hard to let go).

A photo he sent today shows us how the lot next door has evolved from a Monster House to picturesque meadow. The new owners now get to enjoy flowering bushes and trees whereas I was entertained my munching rats in windows filled with kitty ceramics.

Tube Mayo?

Even after living in Paris for almost two years, some things still are quite odd. Take mayonaisse in a tube for example. Since they stopped selling low fat mayo at the grocery store in a jar, the only kind available is packaged like toothpaste. Nothing compliments tuna fish better than recallling minty goodness.

PH Update

Our Cheesy Fun arrived in 42 minutes. They must have left the pizza in for those additional 12 minutes as it was slighty burnt. But at least they found the apartment!

Cheesy Fun

It's Fat Girl Sunday, so we planned to have homemade pizza. But when we realized we didn't have any pizza crusts (because I left them at the grocery store apparently), we decided to order from Pizza Hut for the very first time.

I've seen ads for Cheesy Bites around Paris now for a month. I've said I wanted to try them before we leave. Tonight is the night.

But before we could enjoy our Cheesy fun, we had to order. That was a process. Not only do you call a main number first (and get charged .15 euros/minute), you then get redirected to the restaurant where they didn't understand my French. I was repeating the ad but apparently that didn't ring a bell.

We should be receiving our pizza in 30 minutes. Here's to hoping it's as tasty and fun as advertised - and not delivered across town.

Eurovision 2007 Finals

Nothing exemplifies European entertainment better than the Eurovision song contest. Ironically, most of the acts can’t sing. If anything, the competition is more of an talent show with the performance serving as the main entree with the vocals pushed to a side dish. With that being said, for those of you who couldn't watch the marathon program on-line or via satellite, here’s what’s worth repeating:

Bosnia – Opens the show but puts me to sleep
Spain – They give boy bands a bad name
Belarus – Lady “wall crawlers” help
Greece – Gay, gay, gay
Sweden – It’s Beatles meet Beetlejuice
France – Running Frenchman with black boas
Russia – My favorite three angry, moustache free Russia ladies
Serbia – Who knew Hiro from Heroes could sing?
Ukraine – Flamboyant tin men
UK – Flight attendants performing at Disneyland
Bulgaria – Screeching drummer
Turkey – Dancing Oompa Loompa

I originally thought Russia should win as the song is quite catchy. But realizing there's more to the competition than singing, I believed the winner would be Verka Serduchka from the Ukraine with their entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai. Talk about entertaining. Check them out below.

Halfway through the country roll call where each one identifies who receives their points Serbia took the lead with Ukraine and Bulgaria following close behind. The bottom with no points? It wasn't a surprise. Check out the video below.

And the winner? I was close as Ukraine stole #2 and Russia drew #3, but the victor is "Hiro" from the Ukraine (or rather Marija Serifovic with Moltiva). Check her out below.

Club Fridays - Kaci & Nelly

We're back to ladies week with two new songs by Kaci and Nelly Furtado. Both are quite light and perfect for summer.

She had a big hit with Instigator. And thanks to Aurora, she returns with something a bit more house oriented with Can't Help Myself. Link available here.

You heard Dave Aude's remix of Kelly's Never Again last week, so it makes two in row for the synthesizer loving producer. All Good Things Come to an End (Dave Aude Mix) keeps if fairly simple, but because the original is so good, it's worth a listen. Link available here.

Please note: the songs featured on this site are notices to links only (and mostly unavailable for purchase). I do not upload any music - I merely share the links to tracks I find interesting and noteworthy. Should you care to have the material removed, simply send me an email.

Eurovision 2007 - What a Hoot!

At this moment, I’m watching the Eurovision semi-finals. And honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s like watching the Miss U.S.A. pageant opening sequence on crack (where they parade around in their individual state costumes). 27 countries are vying for 14 spots where they’ll join the current 10 finalists this Saturday night for the Eurovision showdown. There was everything from dancing vampires, drag queens and angry metal bands to yoadling folk singers, florescent opera singers and overweight aliens.

They’ve just recapped all 27 before the final votes are tabulated for presentation. After 15 minutes, it’s now the moment of truth. Who will be the names inside the 10 envelopes? In random order, the remaining finalists are: Belarus (cute singer), Macedonia (rubber act – or maybe leather), Slovenia (florescent opera singer), Hungary (strange little men), Georgia (Aguilera look-alike), Latvia (more opera), Serbia (odd lesbian), Bulgaria (outrageous rock band), Turkey (bouncy Oompa Loompa)…and the final entry is Moldova (the dancing vampires). There was no Norway, Switzerland and Denmark – all happy dance pop numbers I preferred. Oh well. Here’s to hoping my favorite from Russia wins it all with their Song Number One entry.

Check out Eurovision's website for all the latest news including complete list of finalists and how you too can watch this once-a-year spectacle.

"Oh No You Di'n't"

I sure hope this isn't a sign of things to come. This past weekend, a storm blew through Munich - pushing open one of our balcony doors and causing water damage to the floor. Even though we just stopped by on Friday to measure for a refrigerator and look at the paint job, we're being told it's our responsibility because we took possession the first of the month. "Oh no you di-n't."

For starters, it wasn't until this week that the relocation company performed a walk through where papers were signed. In addition, with repairmen and painters in and out through the month, who's knows who didn't latch the door properly. My response to all of this, again, is "Oh no you di-n't."

We SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT be held responsible for something we didn't do. They're telling us it's "German law." So even if we didn't stop by on Friday, and we weren't managing the people coming and going because we don't arrive until the end of May, we're still accountable for the apartment? Finally, my answer, "Oh no you di-n't."

Merci de Votre Appel

We move in three weeks. And apparently, until then, I'm in charge of managing showing the apartment to those interested in renting it. This wasn't a job I interviewed for. I guess I won it by default.

Needless to say, it's a bit challenging because my phone is ringing off the hook - and not with people who speak English. It's difficult enough to hear my native tongue on my cell phone let alone someone who speaks French. But my lessons are paying off as I'm scheduling visits through today and tomorrow.

If we rent the apartment by June 1, there won't be any penalties for our company to pay for moving early. Sounds like I should get commission off the deal, don't you think?

Sound Off: Chicago Billboard

Sometimes I can't ignore commenting on U.S. news - especially from Chicago. Apparently, a billboard in the Windy City caused quite a ruckus. I personally find it quite humorous.

The ones who are objecting need to lighten up. According to the owner of the law firm, the billboard's message was to motivate people to end unhappy marriages. What's wrong with that? If you're unhappy, make a change. And that's exactly what the billboard is trying to communicate. So chill out people. Focus your attention on something more newsworthy like who's getting kicked-off American Idol tonight.

Why Brian, Why?

It used to be when I watched TV programs, the majority of characters were older than me. From Dynasty to Friends, the shows depicted the trials and tribulations of those my senior. But as I watched for the first time What About Brian on our satellite tonight, I realized I’m now the same age as many of the inhabitants on prime time.

It’s something I never really thought about – and most likely took for granted. But seeing Brian and his friends gather around the dinner table gave me a reality check. That kind of show is all about “thirtysomethings” just as “thirtysomething” was a show about old people to me in the 80s. Now I’m one of them.

Even sadder is the fact that it’s something I can’t avoid. If anything, I can make the situation worse by switching to the CW and watching Smallville or Supernatural where everyone is barely of drinking age. So unless I start watching reruns of Murder She Wrote, I'm screwed.

Cause 4 Celebration

Not only did I find out this weekend that beginning in January 2008, Munich will be smoke free, I was told Chicago also will be puff free starting next year. 2008 must not be the year of the dog, cat or pig but the extinguished butt.

Jodie Foster's French Faux Paux

Who knew Jodie Foster was bi-lingual? Who knew Jodie Foster could sing? Who knew Jodie Foster looked so lovely in a matching brown vest and beret?

Weekend Wrap-up

We flew to Munich so I could visit our new home come June 1st. Let's just say the weekend was a bit rough with some arguments thrown in for good measure. After seeing the flat Chris selected a few weeks back, I agreed with him that it's nice. The problem I have is that the apartment is located in what I'd call a transitional neighborhood. Not transitional in the fact that crack houses line the street. It's just there's not much around in terms of cute restaurants and shops. They're coming, but not there yet. Fortunately, the train stop is only two minutes away so we can be in the middle of Munich within five minutes. That makes everything much more tolerable. And on top of that, we requested one wall in the flat to be painted a very light silver with a hint of blue to pick up the hues in our couch. What we got was a nauseating pastel blue backdrop. So, now we have to have it repainted due to someone's error. We once again returned to Leo's Sports Club - apparently the only gym in Munich with a free weight area bigger than a closet. It looks like this will be my home away from home. No other fitness club in Munich could come close to what they have to offer. And since everyone told me Leo's is the place to go (including models who get a discount for being pretty), the decision was pretty much made for me. I'll just have to get over the one open shower and embrace the German's ambivalence towards nudity. We met a friend of a friend at Leo's (the result of the gay distress signal we illuminated a few weeks back to make new friends in Munich). I was told he was a "party planner for the army." Turns out he runs the American Consulate in Munich. Talk about a crossing of wires. Even worse, I couldn't even tell you what a consulate was or what exactly they do. He did say, however, he's known to have thrown a "good party or two." We hope to join him and his partner Fillipe for dinner once we arrive in three weeks. I guess my blonde behavior didn't frighten him away.

Club Fridays

At first, I found Kelly Clarkson's new song Never Again horribly lacking any hook or melody - which carried over into the dance remix by Dave Aude. But what I've found over the past two weeks is that Aude's version grows on you by supplementing the original with an enhanced chorus. As a result, it cracks Club Fridays. Link available here.

Taken from his sophomore album, Ne-Yo's Because of You moves him in a more pop direction - which is a good thing. And by combining his "MJ" vocals with a Sunfreakz production, the song nestles in for a long stay on T-dance playlists around the world. Link available here.

Please note: the songs featured on this site are notices to links only (and mostly unavailable for purchase). I do not upload any music - I merely share the links to tracks I find interesting and noteworthy. Should you care to have the material removed, simply send me an email.

My Publishing Quest

The fear of failure can be quite powerful. Over the past year, an idea for a young reader book has been percolating inside my head. I've let the details come naturally vs. forcing them into fictional box. Two months ago, the last missing details of my 100 page story came to me as I was locked out of our apartment. I was, however, afraid to sit down and start typing. What if all I could muster was the idea and not the words?

Last night, I decided it was time to put my fears aside and begin writing. As in many young reader titles, such as the inspiration for my book, Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer, the prologue sets the stage for the adventure to come. So that's where I began. I'm not sure if that's technically correct, but one thing I do know is there are no set rules when being creative.

I don't think I crafted more than a 1/4 of a page of text. But seeing the words and the images they create finally come to life, I felt as though weights had been lifted off my shoulders. That's not to say the fear is completely gone. Will I be able to construct a hero's story - one that will peak the interest of publishers first and readers second? I guess my hero isn't the only one on a quest.

Fattyland, Here We Come!

It was announced today that Germany has the dubious distinction of being crowned the "Fattest Country in Europe." Great. Not only does that mean maintaining my figure will be quite difficult, but also there might not be much eye candy to keep me motivated at the gym.

A Pringles Discovery

Today at the market I stumbled across a new Pringles flavor. Under their Light Aromas line, the new Pringles Mediterranean Style Salsa with a touch of Oregano Oil brought a smile to my face. But it wasn't until I got home and sampled the new variety that I showed all my pearly whites. Not only are new chips lower in fat, the flavor beats those traditional and ho-hum varieties like Sour Cream and Onion. What will they think of next?

The Party Bug

The summer travel season is fast approaching. Last year, it seemed we had something almost every weekend. This year, it's a bit different as we're moving the last weekend of May and settling in to Munich the first week of June. We have trips scheduled in July and possibly the last week of August, but something tells me the party bug may creep in and motivate me to go to other destinations like Madrid for Europride 2007.

The problem is, weekends such as Madrid's Pride are a lot of work - alot. Not only do you physically have to prepare yourself for pool parties, you have to understand you're in for one crazy and long weekend as events in Madrid don't get started until way past midnight. That's a big commitment for someone who, around the early morning hours, is watching Sex and the City while eating a small bowl of Special K.

So it seems as though my friends would be the deciding factor. If they were to join me from Chicago, I'd be inclined to go - so long as there was more than one. This way, I could easily duck out as they continue into the night. It relieves any pressure on me to keep going. And knowing me, I'd be back in my hotel looking for a bowl, spoon, and Sarah Jessica Parker way before the sun rises - an oddity in Madrid.

The Almost Amazing Spiderman

I love seeing a film on its opening day. The crowd is different than other times - they're more full of energy and excitement. Today's showing of Spiderman in Paris was no different. Someone came dressed like Spiderman and entertained the crowds. It wasn't even hot or smelly (something we've come to expect). Instead, it was a relatively pleasant day at the movies.

The film itself was pretty good. On a scale of 4 stars, I'd give the movie 3 1/2. It was a bit long. But the special effects are amazing (as they should be for $260 million dollars). The introduction of two new villains are handled nicely. But what we found most hilarious was a scene in a French restaurant where Peter Parker is trying to impress Mary Jane. It was a moment I couldn't have experienced watching it stateside as we were surrounded by 500 French citizens laughing along with us.

It may be one of the last films we see in Paris. As a result, I'm glad it's ending on a positive note rather than a nasty one (because over the past two years I've had many uncomfortable incidents at the French cineplex). Thanks Spidey.