Pink Trash Travels

11 Years & Counting

Tomorrow is Chris and my 11 year anniversary. Who knew 12 years ago when we met that we'd be together for a third of my life - and in Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Paris and Munich no less! And even though I gave him his present last month (a 1940's cake cart from a factory outside of Paris), I had to get him SOMETHING to recognize the actual date. So after walking around Munich today (30 minutes before stores were closing), I stumbled across this piggy bank. We always throw change (which can be up to two euros a coin) in a basket to redeem before we move. And when we do, we always say, "Once it goes in, you can't take it out." Wilbur the Pig will always make sure we follow this rule. Now if I could only figure out what his card says.

Gaggle of Gays

There's one in every gym - the gaggle of gays. Tonight, I spotted the flock around 7 as they one-by-one gathered in the weight room. With a jovial spirit, they swarmed the corner chatting about everyone and everything in sight. One made his way over to my weight station - but never initiated conversation. Not that I care. I made friends with those girls in Paris. And after a few months of trying to keep up, I realized they're in a different world than me.

If anything, it gives me something to look at should I chose to return in the P.M. The crowd was, overall, good looking. But because that requires me to adjust my schedule to not be home at night, I'd say it's unlikely. There's TV to watch.

Deborah Cox returns this month with her new single Everybody Dance. And, with the first mix hitting clubs by Offer Nissim, expect to hear this one for the next few months. For the link, go here. And for you Kylie lovers, I'm highlighting Pauline's You Can Run (Soulshaker Mix). It's not Kylie, but close. The song is the perfect balance of light vocals mixed with a house beat. For the link, go here.

Speaking of Wieners

Did you know the word "wiener" comes from the word "wien", which is the German name for the Austrian capital city of Vienna?

Wiener Wraps - German Style

It's been a long time since I've seen the Pillsbury Dough Boy. But today, as I ventured into another market a bit further up the street, I was happy to see his smiling face once again. So, on Fat Girl Sunday this week, I'm looking forward to making "wiener wraps - German style."

I've got the croissants in a can. I'm substituting Oscar Meyer wieners with Bruzzzler Minis (small turkey brats). And for a side dish, I also found Gebackene Bohnen, or baked beans (because you can't have weiner wraps without baked beans). Is it Sunday yet?

On the Road Again

It's been almost two years since I stopped driving on a regular basis. And I can probably count on one hand how many times I've actually been behind a wheel over the past 24 months. So today when I hopped in our BMW X3 for a 20 minute drive to Ikea, I was a bit nervous. But after a few minutes on the road, I quickly reverted back to my old self.

Driving in Munich is fairly stress free. There aren't as many scooters as in Paris and most of the bikers are on designated paths. It also helps I ventured out around 2 in the afternoon. Not many people are on the road - they're working of course.

It was, however, raining. And with the backseat loaded with plants, I had a few additional blind spots to overcome. But I made it back home safe and sound just in time to go to the gym for the second time today and the first time at night (I've been told the evening hours are primetime viewing). It was fun. But that's a story for another day.

Happy Birthday Chris!

Tomorrow, June 27th, is Chris' birthday. So if you'd like to wish him well (or send him a few internet spankings), drop your thoughts to And since he never reads this, he'll never know I told you!

Up & Running

After what seems like weeks without internet (resulting in the shutdown of the stateside bat phone), we're finally up and running! It's time to celebrate with a bowl of my favorite Quaker Cruesli au Chocolat (balanced with a bit of Quark for that extra shot of protein). Let the calling begin...

Cheezy German Pop

Unlike our gym in Paris, Leo's Sports Club in Munich has televisions throughout the cardio room showing everything from local news to music videos. So, while I'm running on the treadmill trying to rid myself of all remaining back fat, I'm entertained by VJs over accessorized in Nike apparel and cheesy boy band videos like US5 and their hair swooped single Rhythm of Life. The song samples Duran Duran's Wild Boys - which is the only redeeming quality about the track. Es ist schlecht! Watch it below.

German Law - Declawing a Cat

We found out today that declawing a cat in Germany is illegal. Maybe that's why I hear angry men yelling aroun town...there cat destroyed their sofa.

Fun or Challenging?

What's the difference between a house party in Paris and Munich? No, there's no punchline. It was too difficult to compare one to the other with just a joke. Instead, let me say this: one is fun while the other is challenging.

For starters, everyone at our first multi-person get together in Munich on Friday hung around the kitchen - as in America. Secondly, they spoke English without caring (and being asked). And lastly, everyone was casually dressed in shorts, t-shirts, jeans and such. There was no pretentious behavior about talking one language rather than the other. There was no comparison of fashion houses. There was a jovial spirit in the air as everyone gathered around the food spread outside of the living room.

I guess that's why we feel, after three weeks, that Munich is more our speed. And because of people such as Eric, Filippo, Francesca, Matt and Molly, it's starting to feel like home - at least for now.

This week, it's pretty much all electro, all the time. I've said before I love Thomas Gold's remixes, so this week, I feature yet another! For the link to Dan Marciano's Boy I Believe (Thomas Gold Mix), go here. Number two is Delta Dog's Tear It Up (Digital Dog Mix). Two dogs for the price of one! For the link, go here.

And because it's Pride this weekend in Chicago, I'll throw in a few party links for DP! For Sharam's PATT (Party All The Time - Tocadiscos Mix), go here. For Shave & Sugar's Step Into the Light (Hook & Sling Mix) featuring Darren Hayes from Savage Garden go here. Happy Pride everyone!

Munich - The Most Liveable City

In today's International Herald Tribune, Munich is ranked as the most liveable city in the world. How cool is that? Quite honestly, we've realized Munich is a great place to live - and we've only been here three weeks. As the article notes, the Bavarian city "is surprisingly laid back." And by combining summer/winter activities with Munich's convenient location for travel within Europe (never mind the fact that you can leave your bike unlocked an NOBODY will take it), I can see why it won. Here's to our stay in the most liveable city in the world!

Frosty's a Cover Girl

Look whose picture I stumbled across while doing some research today - Sebastian from our gym in Paris. He graces the cover of Refresh magazine - a gay men's publication. He may be hot, but that facial expression is about as cold as "Frosty" is in person. Such a shame. If only he'd recognize the power of pleasantry.

When Calvin Met Hobbs

Finding new friends when you move is like finding a new job. You make a few calls, set up a meeting, discuss topics applicable to both parties, then assess the rendezvous once it's complete. In some circumstances, a call back is in order. In others, no further communication is necessary. For us, last night was our first official "interview" in Munich. And, from our perspective, it went very well.

Eric and Filippo were friends of friends of friends. And as I've noted in the past, the gay community is very welcoming of those in social distress. So a few weeks back, Eric invited us to dinner (after meeting us initially the first week of May). It was very nice of him to initiate - especially considering his family had just departed after a long stay.

Dinner was good. Conversation was great (and that's not because Eric and Filippo may be reading this as I gave them the blog address). Our make believe kids, Calvin and Hobbs, even got along as they played for hours in Eric and Filippo's back yard while we enjoyed our steak, zuchini risotto and fruit salad.

Like any good interview, we made plans to meet again. But with Filippo away in Dallas every other week, Eric out and about promoting America, and Chris further developing Ronald's menu, it's a bit tricky. But with a little planning, we'll make it happen. Calvin, after all, needs a play mate.

My Hunt 4 Whole Wheat

I've been on the hunt for whole wheat bread products in Munich (especially in the form of buns to host our turkey brats). The problem is, however, I didn't know what whole wheat was in German until today. And even then, I'm still not quite sure.

But what I did find out is that German "Weizenmehl," or flour, is milled from soft, European wheats lower in protein and water absorption capacity than the hard wheats grown in North America (The all-purpose flour used for baking in America is generally a blend of hard and soft wheat flours and may be bleached or unbleached). The good news is only unbleached flour is available in Germany, which has higher nutritional value.

So it looks like we can't go wrong when eating those carbs that, in America, would raise our insulin levels to fat building proportions. Well, I hope that's the case anyway. If not, that back fat will be sticking around a little longer.

The Pretzel Report - Calves

I've noticed many people here in Munich have defined, toned, and in some circumstances, big calves. Riding their bike all over town obviously agrees with them.

Dear Diary

For our first official Saturday out and about in Munich, let's just say it was a busy day. We started the day at the gym of course. From there, we met Chris' colleague Francesca, her husband and daughter, along with another family, at the English Garden's Chinese Beer Garden for an afternoon of pretzels and beer. I drank a combination of apple juice and sparkling water. Though, I did sample a mixture of beer and lemonade - forgot the name of course. Tried to buy water but all they offered was sparkling. On our way back home through the park, I noticed numerous dog droppings. But upon closer inspection, Chris pointed out that the little brown plops were, in fact, slugs. When I returned back home (as Chris was at the market), I was greeted by one of our North American neighbors who lives on the first floor. Molly is from Canada and her husband David (not present) is German. Molly was accompanied by Matt from Atlanta who also lives here in Munich. They brought with them dessert - which I found to be quite nice. Matt invited Chris and I to his party next Friday. He's "family" so it's nice to start working our way into the community. We talked about the apartment building, it's "transitional" location, the "soup kitchen" across the street, the grassy knoll not far from us where drunks hang out, the meat packing district two blocks away where cows are literally dropped off for slaughter, and all the other positive attributes about living on Zenistrasse like its convenient location to the metro, its proximity to Oktoberfest and how quiet it can be at night while sitting on one of two terraces (most Germans would die for) while sipping iced tea and watching a storm roll in from the Alps off in the distance. Tomorrow, it's Fat Girl Sunday. Who knows what the day will bring besides the Frankfurter cake I found today along with an apple strudel bar. Um, um good.

It's a little bit of rock remixed with some electro thrown in for good measure. Fall Out Boy takes the pole position with Thanks for the Memories (Lenny B Mix). Lenny B usually creates some friendly dancefloor remixes and once again he doesn't disappoint. For the link, go here. And I saved the best for last. I first brought the original version of Stylophonic's Dancefloor to your attention last fall as it was featured in a D & G ad. Now someone has finally remixed it making it even more spine tingling. Thanks Tocadiscos! For the link, go here for a myriad of mixes.

German Food Discovery: Quark

I've seen Quark at the Sofitel breakfast buffet, but I never tried it. For some reason, I thought it was a high fat cheese spread. But while I was at the market today, I spotted some in the dairy aisle and decided to give it a taste. Turns out it's the perfect high protein snack.

It's like fromage blanc I found in France (which is like thick whipped cottage cheese). But Quark is even thicker and not as tart. It has the consistency of Betty Crocker frosting, and even looks like the cake topping, but of course Quark is minus the trans fats, sugars (and sweety goodness). But if you add a dollup of low sugar jam or fruit of the season, Quark packs a delicious and health punch with only .5 grams of fat per 100 grams, 4 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein! Consider this my new secret weapon against my war on back fat!

I'm Lovin' My Office

So here I sit at McDonald's up the street using their internet hotspot. I suppose it's ironic as I'm actually working on press sheets FOR McDonald's. There's nothing like being connected to the customer.

I don't think I'll be here long. It's a bit warm as the temperature outside is around 85 degrees. Oddly, the average daily high for Munich in the summer is 72. This doesn't bode well for a cool summer. Fortunately for us, we have one a/c unit installed on our second floor. When it's turned on, and the air circulator blows the cool air downstairs, our flat is fairly pleasant. Of course, this is with the curtains pulled shut to keep the sun from blaring through our oversized windows. But what about the plants?

Grill Happy

Grilling is something we take for granted in America. Most people in Europe aren't afforded the pleasure of outdoor cooking because having a terrace seems to be a luxury. But now that we've moved to Munich, and we're fortunate enough to have the financial means and support to rent a flat with a terrace (two in fact), we've become grill happy. We may not know what we're gilling (as last night when it took a google search to reveal what exactly a "putensteak" was), but to once again smell smoke pouring from our new Weber grill is quite exciting. Two years without flamed-goodness is too long.

Creepy Euro Commercials

Yet another creepy commercial. This time, it's for Evian water. There's something just plain wrong about dancing babies with no penis or vagina. It's like Chucky came to life. Check it out below.

Carb Free and Confused

My mass building experiment last fall loaded me with 15 fairly useless pounds. Most of it settled in my mid-section – just where I didn’t need it. As a result, I’ve been on a downsizing program for almost three months. Fortunately, I’ve lost most of it and am settling back to my old self. However, there’s still an inch I’d like to eliminate. Which means, for now, I’m not eating carbs past 5. And in a new world where I don’t know the names food or their contents, it makes it pretty difficult to find a menu item to accompany my protein – especially in a country that likes its starches.

So there I stand at the market up the street trying to not only decipher packaging contents but also what foods work together. I know if I stick with something green (either fresh or frozen), I’m fairly safe. The problem is I don’t like most vegetables. And the ones I do prefer are yellow or orange and loaded with sugars ((i.e. corn and carrots). Even worse, I prefer canned goods over fresh produce (back in Kansas we rarely ate anything plucked straight from the dirt). All of which leaves me perplexed.

I wish I didn’t care. I wish I didn’t mind the fat roll on my side that now doesn’t want to go away. I wish I could eat all the pretzels, potatoes and dumplings I wanted with my chicken breast without punishing myself the following day on the treadmill. I wish I could instantaneously know German so I could muddle through aisles of fatty goodness to find those more appropriate for my quest. Oh well. Here’s to another exciting dinner with side salad. Boo.

German Law

Yesterday, while we were returning from the gym, we noticed two German police officers "pulling over" a woman on a bike. Wondering what she did (and to stop the same from happening to us in the future), I waited for the "bike bandit" to leave before approaching the two armed guards. "What did she do?" I asked.

Apparently, when riding a bike in Munich, you're not allowed to go in the opposite direction of traffic. So even though there are bike paths throughout the city, if you're going the wrong way, you're fined 50 Euros. Besides that, if you run a red light while on a bike, expect a ticket for 20 Euros.

The Germans are serious about keeping order. I so far don't have a problem with such rules. It keeps things running smoothly and trash out of the metro. And considering I now ride the train everyday to go to the gym, tidiness is appreciated.

It's a new look for club Fridays! Sure, it might be because of our internet troubles, but again, it's all about the music. So, on that note, two songs this week. The first is Edun's Put Them Up! (Sunloverz Mix). I ran to this song in the Oktoberfest park yesterday and it kept me going. I wish they'd play more of this type of music on American dancefloors. Then again, maybe they do as I haven't been on one in a long time! For the link, go here. The second single is by another unknown making her way through the clubs. It's Whine Up (Johnny Vicious Mix). It's a party anthem for summer with island beats reminiscient of Rihanna. For the link, go here.

My War Against Flying Rats

Tonight I risked my life by crawling out on the roof of our building to install anti-pigeon stakes around the second floor terrace. I originally was against the idea as I had visions of me sliding on the tile roof and falling to my death 6 floors down. But because the flying rats wake me up every morning (and they deposit golden jewels of diseased waste around the deck), I decided it was time they never came back. I witnessed three of them try to land then quickly backtrack to another terrace after I installed a few so I know they work. Here's to hoping it wasn't a one-time thing and that they just weren't scared off by my menacing growl.

The Pretzel Report - Leo's

Now that I've had a chance to work out at Leo's Sports Club in Munich for three days, there are a few bits I find quite odd. For starters, you have to either rent a shower towel or bring your own. The front desk gives you a locker key so you can't pick your favorite corner. The weights aren't numbered so you have to count in your head. There are no water fountains - I guess they want you to buy water. For being the premiere fitness center in Munich, they lack the special attention members deserve.

Unfortunately, I found a gym closer to our flat that apparently just opened (Chris pointed this out to me yesterday). But being that I've signed a one year contract with Leo's, it's a mute point. So I'm trying to convince myself the 18 minute commute out of our neighborhood on foot and the metro is good for me. New scenery. New people. New experiences. Besides that, it's only for a year, right?

The Pretzel Report

Now that I found a Wi-Fi hot spot I can use at the gym, I'm able to finally give a quick report on Munich so far...the good, the bad and everything in between.

1. We've decided Munich reminds us of Denver. People dress casually, everyone bikes and there's not a lick of pretentious attitude to be found.

2. Our flat is about as opposite you can get from our old place in Paris. It's so quiet you can hear the birds chirping and so dark you can see the stars at night from our terrace.

3. After two visits to the gym, I getting used to the "open showers." If anything, the Germans attitude towards nudity will make me more comfortable in my own skin. But don't expect me to be prancing around on any nude beaches soon.

4. Trying to find low-fat items at the market is more difficult than Paris (which explains why Germans are the fattest people in Europe). Forget healthyt brats. Turkey comes close but still has over 20 grams of fat.

5. Good thing we didn't spend almost $200 on a cat tree for Dennis. He prefers to rest on the open stairs to the second floor in our flat.

6. To ride public transportation, you purchase your pass then away you go. There are no stalls to pass through or gates for hoodlums to jump. But if you're caught without a valid ticket, you're in big, big T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

7. We're about a 10 minute walk from the gay hood but it seems as though a gaggle of lesbians have settled in our neighborhood - that's all I see!

8. Water is expensive compared to Paris. For a 1.5 liter, it's 1.25 euros. Iin Paris, it was .60. Apparently there are "water wells" for cheap water, but that experience is for another day.

9. We're running short on storage space. Actually, we don't have any. Germans don't believe in closets. As a result, we're getting creative with cheap furniture from Ikea. Why spend money on something nice when in a year we'll be moving to a house where we have no idea what will fit inside?

10. To help keep our sanity, when we're frustrated or don't like something, our new mantra is, "It's only for a year." With that in mind, it puts everything into perspective - enjoy it while we can!

A Dog's Nine Lives

Our friend Colton always seems to find his way onto TV. Whether its the Price is Right or Hollywood Squares, he has a knack for publicity. But this time, his appearance on the boob tube was a story he would have rather avoided. His dog jumped off the balcony of his condo - and lived! Who knew dogs had nine lives?


Because of the German Telekom strike, we won't have internet until, get this, June 24th! So I'm now forced to go to Starbucks, order a Frappaccino Light I wouldn't otherwise drink, and spend 8 Euros an hour to stay connected. Oh well. At least I can people watch.

What I've Learned (So Far)

People in Germany are very trusting. That, or they're scared silly about getting caught. For example, tenants in our building leave their bikes unattended. There are no locks. There are no chains. Nobody is worried about their bikes being stolen. I'm sorry, that's never going to happen with me. As soon as I become so trusting, my bike would find its way down the street stuck to someone else's behind.

What a Day

It started this morning at 5 a.m. and is now just ending at midnight. Honestly, I'm tired of opening strongly taped boxes with my bare hands. But because we worked through the day, the majority of the flat is put together.

The most difficult part is finding where to put everything. Not only is the place a bit smaller than Paris, there's no storage except for our third bedroom we converted into a closet. I don't know what's with the Germans and their unwillingness to build closets (any closets), but it poses problems for Americans who want to hide such things as brooms and a vacuum cleaner.

Tomorrow we head to Ikea to find cheap light fixtures (as renters we're responsible for lighting). We're also hoping to purchase a few pieces of furniture to store towels, bathroom necessities, etc. It would be nice if we could find a plant or two.

We're staying at the Sofitel until Sunday - Maddie, Chris and I. Dennis remains behind wandering through the flat. Fortunately, Dennis calmed down today from his "freakish" behavior yesterday. But then again, if I was locked in a small, wet box for a nine hour drive, then forced to take a shower once I was released, I'd have been a bit distraught also. Good thing he's almost back to normal. Nothing is worse than a cat with a permanent "spaz" attack.