Pink Trash Travels

Forget the A-Listers

Speaking of the MTV Awards show, Pete Doherty has just been added. Good lord. They're going to the C and D list for this event. Or maybe it's because on November 1, it's illegal to dance or play loud music in Munich. So, nobody worth noting wants to perform as they'd have to stand still and whisper like a kitten.

Crisis Averted

With the European MTV Music Awards less than one day away, I started pulling together my outfit. Sure, I've been thinking about it since I found out I was going, but today was crunch time. I thought I needed an understated black belt to go along with my Cavalli jeans, Margiela jacket, simple D & G white shirt and shiny silver/gold boots. Turns out I have one that works just fine (buying one could have been a disaster as the belt loops in the jeans are quite small). So with Chris picking up the VIP tickets tonight, we'll be all set for the show that airs tomorrow night beginning at 9 p.m. with the after party at some hanger near the airport. Hopefully I can take my camera. If not, I'll do my best to describe the affair this weekend!

In celebration of Halloween, Club Fridays goes creepy. Marilyn Manson scares us with Heart Shaped Glasses remixed by Bill Hamel. For the link, go here. And Korn, with all their ghoulish charm, gives us the willies with Evolution (Page and Garcia Mix). For the link, go here.

No Pooping Zone

I'm tired of seeing small dog droppings around our flat. So tonight I posted homemade signs politely telling people to clean up after their furry little accessories. Let's see if the notices make it past noon tomorrow.

Gobbling up Istanbul

Because of the language difference and unfavorable media coverage, Istanbul isn't on many American's vacation destination lists. As noted by our tour guide (the well versed Gamze Artaman), most American's are unsure of the unknown so they opt for the likes of Paris, Rome and London instead - which is unfortunate. These doubters are missing a city bustling with amazing sightseeing attractions, beautiful acommodations and budding high-end and specialty shopping.

What We Saw
The Blue Mosque's exterior isn't actually blue, but rather is named for the tinted tiles lining the inside walls. The interior is rather simple compared to churches throughout Europe - but that's exactly how it's supposed to be according to the Islam tradition. There are no images of people. Only understated stained-glass windows, painted ceilings and a newly carpeted floor where shoes aren't allowed. Good to know I'm not the only one who doesn't like shoes to be worn inside. Have you ever stopped to think about what you're stepping on as you walk through the city? Ick.

First a church, then a mosque and now a museum, the Hagia Sophia is quite impressive indeed. Fortunately for us, our tour guide pointed out one of the most interesting aspects of the attraction - the fact that an image of Jesus lies between two Islamic symbols (and even in the same direction as the Muslim's pray).

Home of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, Topkapi Palace is the number one tourist destination in Istanbul. I wish we could have visited the Harem portion of the palace, but because our day was full, we briskly saw other points of interest including the museum where an 84 carat diamond is on display. Look for the palace to be featured in a new sequel to the Thomas Crowne Affair starring Pierce Brosnan in 2009. Of course, that caught my attention real quick.

Where We Stayed
I hate spending too much money for hotel, but sometimes it's necessary. So, if you want pampering in Istanbul, chose the Four Seasons. For starters, the staff is very helpful - and even remembers your name. The former prison is also located in the heart of the Old City so it's conveniently located next to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Just don't order a soda while waiting in the lobby for dinner. It will cost you over $10 for a small bottle of Diet Coke. Boy, would my mother croak.

Where We Shopped
Of course, we visited the high end district just to see what's new in fashion. But the most interesting shops that won our dollars were located in the Grand Bazaar. Sure, it can be overwhelming walking into this mega mall of Turkish vendors. But settle down and take the time to investigate those stalls that interest you and you're likely to find both engaging people who look forward to your conversation and good deals as well.

Ilyas Mehmet from Sehrazat helped us not only to select scarves for ourselves and family but also to understand why most shoppers don't get his attention - they're rude. "Don't just ask how much," he said. "Say hello. Look around." Because as he describes, those who simply ask "how much" most likely won't buy anyway. They don't care about quality, only price. And as we sat in the back room drinking Turkish coffee, we witnessed this all first hand - over and over and over again.

And further back, hidden in what once was a sleeping quarters for those working in the bazaar, is a Turkish rug vendor who's worth the many hours it will take to just find him. Featuring antique rugs from the heartland of Turkey, Sisko Osman and his son will offer you apple tea while you sit back, relax and enjoy the show as they unroll rugs that are 50, 60, 100 and 200 years old.

Where We Ate
Strangely, not once did we eat at McDonald's! We normally have at least lunch at the restaurant that affords us the luxury to live in Munich and go on trips to Istanbul. But while in Turkey, we found ourselves absorbing the kebab mentality (like at a hotel recommended restaurant up the street where I also sampled chewy meat balls made from mystery meat) and Changa - where Turkish and Thai cuisine collide in a gay friendly atmosphere.

So how do you gauge if your vacation was a success? I ask myself, "Would I go back." In the case of Turkey, the answer is yes. And with a new Four Seasons opening up next year, well, why not?

Gamze K. Artaman
Professional Guide
Tel.: 90 212 560 74 90

Four Seasons Hotel - Istanbul
Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1, Sultanahmet-Eminönü
Tel.: 90 (212) 638 82 00

Kalpakcilar Caddesi Takkeciler Sokak
No: 4/6 Kapali Carsi
Tel.: 0212 526 13 56

Sisko Osman
Tel: 90 212 528 35 48

Siraselviler Caddesi 47
Tel: 90 212 249 13 48 249 12 05

Istanbul @ Night

One of the most interesting aspects of Istanbul is how the Muslims pray about every four hours. At that time, throughout the city, loud speakers broadcast various men singing. It's amazing to hear while you're awake. But on a Sunday morning, at 5:30 a.m., not so much.

New & Noteworthy - Ida Corr & Fedde

When traveling to other countries, I love watching their music television stations. You never know what you'll find. Last weekend in Turkey, we found a song that was released in the UK in September. I never was a true fan as I only heard the unflattering remixes. But after seeing the video to Ida Corr and Fedde Le Grand's Let Me Think About It, I'm now a believer. Not only do I love the horns and breakdown, the video features a sexy man that enters half way through. No, he doesn't have his clothes off. But there's something very appealing about an attractive fella who can dance. Check it out below.

Free Taco Bell

If only I could swing through Taco Bell tomorrow for my free taco. I miss Mexican food - and everything close to that (aka Taco Bell). I miss burritos, tacos and refried beans so much in fact that Chris and I almost ate at El Chorito in Istanbul this past weekend. But when we sat down, and looked around, we just couldn't do it. El Chorito was scary (in a "I'm sitting in a run down Las Vegas casino that serves an unusual assortment of Mexican platters" kind of way). So for those of you back home, enjoy your free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco on Tuesday between 2 and 5 p.m.!

The Longest Day

I just mentioned to Chris that today seems to be ", the longest day ever." This morning, we woke-up at 5:30 to Islamic prayer being telecast outside in Istanbul, we had breakfast out on our hotel room's terrace, we flew two hours back to Munich, I cleaned the house while Chris baked brownies, we've lounged around on the couch all afternoon watching the X-Factor with Celine Dion performing, it's getting dark and it's only 4:49 p.m.!

Istanbul Live!

Exploring Istanbul has made me stop and think. For example, I never really thought about the Middle East being in Asia. When I hear that Istanbul lies on two continents, Europe and Asia, I believe I should see more Chinese restaurants around every corner. It's hard for me to imagine that the Irag is in Asia. All of which made me wonder why it's called the Middle East? It's not in the East. But then again, Kansas is referred to being in the Mid-West when, in fact, there's nothing West about it. That would be Califoria. Humm...

Turkey Day

Before we planned our trip to Istanbul, I can honestly say I didn't know much about the city formerly known as Constantinople. But after walking around last night and spending five hours with our tour guide today, I'm quickly learning.

For example, did you know that Istanbul is the only city that lies on two continents - Europe and Asia? Or, how about Muslim isn't a religion in Turkey but the individual that follows Islam? Or that the meatballs found in Turkey are a collection of odd proteins that are somewhat chewy and should be avoided at all costs? What will I discover tomorrow?

MTV Music Awards Update

As noted earlier, Chris and I are headed to the MTV European Music Awards. We've got VIP seats and entrance to the after party being held somewhere out near the airport. It doesn't even have an address (as I'm sure they're trying to protect those attending). We have to take a bus out to the event once the show ends around midnight. All of this is good.

What is not-so-good are the scheduled performers (I'm trying not to complain - I'm fortunate to even be going). But of course the year I go to the awards, big stars seem to be staying home. Avril? My Chemical Romance? Foo Fighters? Nicole Scherzinger? Mika? Where is Justin, Madonna, Beyonce or Nelly? I thought for sure Kylie might perform as her new single hits stores in two weeks. The same goes for Girls Aloud, Leona Lewis and Westlife. Here's to hoping they're saving the best for last!

Homo Newbie Raising a Ruckus

I learned about the Kinsey Scale in college. The report attempts to measure sexual orientation with a scale - 0 being exclusively heterosexual and 6 being completely homosexual. So, if someone falls in the mid-range, it's possible they could chose which way to lean - straight or gay. But even then, they didn't decide to be in the middle. They were born that way just like the rest of us.

I surely didn't chose to be attracted to Superman and the Six Million Dollar Man when I was 6 and 7 years old. So I applaud those in Italy who are trying to educate people on the fact that we come pre-wired for attractions to men or women. Now if we could just keep the likes of Anne Heche of the streets it would make informing those who are unsure a whole lot easier.

It's a Match!

In the spirit of "Turrget Lady" from SNL, I found a match with my new salon I visited yesterday. The color is natural. The cut is superb. I finally discovered a hairstylist overseas I can trust. Besides that, it's even cheaper than back home. See for yourself next week when I post pictures from Istanbul!

Because of our travel schedule, sometimes I think I should move Club Fridays to Wednesday. But that wouldn't be as fun, would it? Club Wednesdays? So, with us departing for Istanbul tomorrow, Thursday, once again the weekly dance spotlight is relocating.

Though Annie Lennox released Dark Road first from her new album, it's the song Sing, a collaboration with the likes of Madonna and others, that is generating buzz on the dance floors. Dean Coleman put together a "White Label" mix that's been buzzing around the underbelly of the dance circuit. Over the past week, the track finally bubbled a bit more to the surface. For the delicious link, go here.

And next but certainly not least is a 2007 reworking of the Spice Girls Wannabe. Their greatest hits album hits stores in a few weeks. So in preparation, not only are they releasing a terribly weak (and boring) single, they officially commissioned production teams to remix their previous tracks. For the link to the Soul Seekerz mix, go here.

New & Noteworthy - Girls Aloud

Why is it so difficult to find great pop songs anymore? And I'm not talking the rock-tinged varieties so heavily populating the airwaves currently. They're good too. But I'm referring to those tracks with hit-you-in-the-head melodies. So of course, when I find one, I'm thrilled. Thanks Girls Aloud and Xenomania for once again crafting a tune worthy of playing during my house chores - making mopping the floor enjoyable. Check Call the Shots below.

Xavier, Brooke and a Man Called Clive

Fame, and famous people, seem to avoid me like the plague. If there's someone noteworthy around, I'm most likely in the bathroom. So, I find it funny and entertaining that our friend Xavier from Paris, who now lives in New York, had dinner last night with Brooke Shields and an older gentleman who goes by the name of Clive Davis.

For those of you who don't know who Clive Davis is (just like Xavier), he's the music mogul who not only founded Arista and J Records, he's guided the careers of such luminaries as Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Timberlake to name a few. In other words, he IS music. And we all know Brooke Shields.

So as I told Xavier today on the phone, "Don't let your current boyfriend loose - unless he's unbearably boring." It's by this association that Xavier finds himself dining with the likes of superstars (which means there's still hope for me yet). Then again, I have a feeling Xavier doesn't need anybody to make his way around NY. He's attractive. He's witty. He's French.

Hair Jitters

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'm having my hair cut and colored by a stylist in Germany. It's my first salon visit in Germany and, quite honestly, I'm a bit nervous.

The first time I visited someone other than Lee from Zea Salon in Chicago was in Paris. Two hours later, I exited looking like a cross between Betty White (the color) and Zac Efron (the hair swoop). So I've been doing my best to make sure I'm conveniently back in the Windy City for all my hair care needs. Unfortunately, I can't wait until December. After all, I've got the MTV European Music Awards next week.

So luckily Chris and I stumbled across a salon as we walked around Munich on Saturday. It's not to stuffy. It's not to edgy. It appears to be just right with it's 20 year, Vidal Sassoon trained colorist and owner who'll be cutting my hair around 2:30 p.m.

Now, I just need to decide if I'm going to get my hair trimmed or something more dramatic. I'm somewhat tired of my bangs hanging in my eyes and my hair splitting down the middle like "butt crack" hair. Then again, like this morning, there are times I love the length. But do I keep it long for a few good hair days? What's a gal to do?

Mad Men Soundtrack

It's my new favorite show (thank goodness for Apple TV). Now Mad Men is my new favorite soundtrack. I've been hunting down the songs from the AMC series and oddly, tonight, I found them on iTunes (again, thanks Apple). The 13 track album wasn't there last week. Now it is. Let the cocktail hour begin.

Leona on X-Factor

This is pure talent. Leona Lewis, last year's winner of Simon Cowell's X-Factor, debuted her single on the show this past Friday night. It's amazing how even singing live she replicates the single almost exactly - down to every high pitch note. Sadly, the single isn't available stateside...yet. Clive Davis signed her to a $10 million dollar contract so I can't imagine he'd wait to long to push her in America. Check Leona's performance below.

Frozen Schnitzel?

Germans don't mind eating bad pizza. They're more concerned about the cost. Now they'll have the option to munch down on some frozen schnitzel that takes less than 3 minutes to prepare. Sounds delicious.

Interesting What U Learn

It's nice having neighbors who can join you for dinner (and ones you want to spend time with on a social occasion). Last night, Molly, David, Chris and I ventured out further than we expected for Asian cuisine and to celebrate Molly's birthday. The food was good but took too long to prepare (it shouldn't take almost three hours to eat Chinese food). What was enjoyable was the company and interesting facts we learned while waiting and waiting and waiting for our food.

Did you know the average German eats 90 frozen pizzas a year? That's almost two a week. Apparently, as concerned as Germans are about quality in their cars and furniture, they aren't as particular when it comes to food. They don't mind consuming a frozen disk that costs around 2€.

Germany's daycare system is quite poor. Up to the age of three, the only real alternative for new parents is for one of them to stay home. And in Germany, that's the wife. This lack of attention to childcare is also one of the contributing factors why Germans don't have a litter of babies. One or two is enough. Otherwise, careers are on hold indefinitely.

Hometown Stories

My grandpa is 92. Every Hyllingsfest (a bi-annual celebration in my hometown), he would march in the parade carrying flags for the American Legion. This year, apparently the "powers that be" booted him from the parade as it would be too draining for my grandpa. So what does he do? According to my cousin, he got dressed up in his uniform, waited for the flag carrying Legion members to walk by, then he jumped into the parade as if nobody would notice. The paper did. They wrote this week that they "appreciated his service, that he was a true patriot, but they were concerned for his health."

Uh Oh Spaghettios!

I just had one of those moments where my stomach turned inside out. As some of you know, on the bottom of my emails is a personalized signature that directs people to Pink Trash Travels. When I send business or personal emails, I disengage the link - especially when I send notes to those family members who don't know I'm gay.

Well, tonight, it finally happened. I forgot to delete the website reference when I replied to an email from my cousin - and one that went to my uncle and another cousin in Texas. All of which means, if they scroll to the bottom of their email, they'll notice the link and possibly visit this site.

The last time this occurred, I went in and removed all references (or the obvious ones) about my sexual orientation. At this point, I'm afraid it's too late. I sent the email more than two hours ago with exchanges of emails in between. And let's be honest, there's no possible way I can go and "degay" this site (like in the Birdcage). Pink Trash Travels is too far gone.

So, dear uncle and cousin, if you're reading this, there are two things you should know: (1) I'm gay and (2) The grandparents don't know - just how I hope it remains. If not, well, all should make for an interesting Christmas when I return to Kansas to celebrate the holidays with those who are in the know - and not.

I'm Okay with That

Today is the first day you can see your breath as you walk around Munich. It's cold. But I'm okay with that. Ask me in a few months if I'm still okay with that. Most likely I won't be. But for now, I'm okay with that.

And in related news, people are still wearing the same amount of clothes as they did when it was 60 degrees. You'd think if they were cold enough to wear scarves and coats then, they'd pile on additional layers now. Guess not.

Friday, October 19

It finally happened. After weeks of seeing each other in the gym (and even bumping into one another on a bus at the airport on our way to St. Petersburg), Dolph Lundgren and I exchanged nods and then hellos. It was a deep conversation. And right after, he undressed next to me. Though, I couldn't watch. He might never say hello to me again if I turned into one of those creepy guys that stare. Not that I'm against staring. They do it all the time here in Munich. I just don't want to be one of those creepy guys that stare - in the locker room anyway.

The first entry this week on Club Fridays is by request. I could have said no, but the song is quite good. Booty Luv's Don't Mess with My Man is breaking on XM Radio after peaking in the UK this past summer. Originally a hit for Lucy Pearl seven years ago, the track continues Booty Luv's trend of reworking R & B hits into more dance friendly fare. For the link go here. And for more information on Booty Luv, check out their MySpace page here.

Mr. Klum, or Seal, finally returns to his roots with his new single Amazing. I don't prefer most of the mixes floating around, but Kaskade (who's been making the rounds lately) does a great job of pumping some life into the sedated original version. For the link go here. And to learn more about Seal, go to his official website here.

The Pink Flame Award: I wasn't planning on featuring three singles this week, but because this morning I stumbled across a link to my favorite track from a "DJ Only" promotional series, I had to include it. It's "H" to the "O" to the "T"! Disrespectful, by Chaka and Mary J. Blige, is pulled from Ms. Khan's latest CD. But DJ Paulo and his working partner Dutkevitch bring it full throttle to the dance floor. It's similiar in sound to Inaya Day's Lift Me Up with the cracking whips - one of my all-time favorites. For the link, go here. For the original version, check out iTunes and other music retailers.

And remember folks, the songs and links I feature on Club Fridays are for promotional purposes only. I do not upload any music - only sharing what I find out on the net.

Now That's Customer Service

Forget the fact that many of the items you buy in pharmacies in Germany wouldn't make it past the FDA in America. Instead, appreciate how the stores offer you free water to swallow your meds after you buy them. Now that's service.

Down Goes the Bionic Woman

Because of iTunes feud with NBC, we're unable to purchase any new NBC shows this season - including the new Bionic Woman. But now that the show is sinking in the ratings (with an audience loss of 36% from its debut and a third place finish in its timeslot), we may be lucky we didn't get hooked on the show. It may have been picked-up for a full season, but the new Bionic Woman is in jeopardy of not returning next year. I guess Isaah Washington might once again be unemployed - and his six episode story arc hasn't even been shown. I'm guessing that will make the show sink even faster.

Prep the Fireplace

New & Noteworthy - Leona Lewis

Why can't our American Idols of late put anything out this great? Hey, I'm a poet and didn't even know it! Check out the UK's X-Factor winner Leona Lewis below. Talk about pulling a Mariah from 1990!

So Long Fat Girl Sundays

We decided to say goodbye to Fat Girl Sundays. Instead, we're going to allow ourselves to have two bad meals in one week rather than an entire day of overeating. We'll see how it goes. But how exciting to have pizza on a Wednesday!

Boy Bands Are Alive!

If you think boy bands are dead, think again! Sure, they might be dormant in America, but the craze returns about every seven to nine years. In the meantime, thankfully we have the Europeans! Check out Westlife's new song and video for Home. It's sappy but the perfect tune to sit back, relax and get cheesy!

An Emotional Rollercoaster

Tonight was the first night Maddie and I returned to the Oktoberfest grounds. Where once stood a ferris wheel now stands a pile of trash. The skyline is no longer dotted with brightly colored steins. Instead, giant cranes hover above empty beer tents waiting to finish their job. And though Oktoberfest will come again in 2008, for us, attending the festival while living in Munich most likely will be our last. So experiencing an emotional rollercoaster was difficult to avoid. Because even though I'm excited to return home, with the end of Oktoberfest comes the closing of another chapter in our European adventures.

New & Noteworthy - Hoosiers

Once again, the Brits deliver another catchy pop/rock song reminiscient of those songs from the 70s. The Hoosiers are sitting pretty at number five in the UK with their Goodbye Mr. A - a song that has hints of ELO's Mr. Blue Sky (well, more than hints really). Take a peek and listen below. And if you want to hear the similarities, look and listen to ELO's Mr. Blue Sky from 1978 right below. Oh how I love ELO - especially those Xanadu years.

I Caved

Let's just say it's difficult to NOT participate in the German lesson when it's in your home - just two feet away. I felt so guilty I sat my butt down and played along for more than an hour. After that, I walked away to take Maddie for stroll around the block. Heidi, our tutor, is coming back on Wednesday. We'll see if I'm better at avoiding her then.

Boo! 2 Learning

I'm sitting here trying to complete my German homework before our tutor arrives tonight. I'm having difficulty finishing the exercises because I don't like doing them. As I've said, I hate learning a new language. It's very frustrating. And because I know I'm most likely leaving in less than 9-10 months to return back to America, why should I study so hard? I'm getting some basic vocabulary under my belt - especially from our friend Paddy who was here the past few weeks. He was the best teacher I could ask for. I think it comes down to finding phrases I'll use on a daily basis - and being told them by someone close to me who I ask for the information (that's why they say we should find a live-in German boyfriend). For example, "Do you have...", "Can I try this on?", "The check please." I didn't mind learning when Paddy was my teacher. I found it quite exciting. So why do I have such an issue with sitting here, writing, and trying to figure it all out? I think I'm done for today. Let the teacher focus on Chris tonight. After all, he's the one who arranged the lessons.

Our Grey Day at Dachau

I was in junior high when I saw my first film on the concentration camps in Germany. I remember watching this black and white, grainy movie with disturbing pictures of frail men and women. Some were alive but many had passed away. So when we visited Dachau outside of Munich on Friday, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and how I'd react. Two days later, I'm still trying to absorb every bit of information I read, heard and saw on that rainy afternoon just 48 hours ago.

Dachau was powerful and after only a few hours, my brain hurt. It might have been because I was forcing a full day's tour of the memorial into a short amount of time. Making the day even more challenging was the fact that I didn't know my handheld audio guide worked inside the story-filled museum. As a result, once half through, I circled back around to the beginning listening and reading at the same time. There were so many pictures and stories about those who died and survived. And because each fact raised another question I hoped someone or something would answer later on, my noggin was working overtime.

But I'm glad we had the opportunity to see Dachau (even though it's not one of those destinations where you leave with a smile on your face). Instead, it's a thought provoking experience about a disturbing time in history - one they don't want you to forget. And just like the film over twenty years ago, I know I won't.

No Homos Allowed

I don't think anybody really cares about Clay Aiken anymore - especially if he's scheduled to perform at a church in Wichita, Kansas over the upcoming holidays. But because there's controversy regarding his sexual orientation in my homestate, I couldn't resist posting the story.

Apparently, parishioners from the Central Christian Church in Wichita don't want Clay walking through the front doors if he's a big homo. Have they heard him talk? Have they heard him sing? Have they seen his picture? DUH!

Beer 4 Runners

I wish I had a camera today. While walking back to the car from the gym this morning, we were following the end of the Munich marathon. With 4 kilometers remaining, Paulaner was offering pints of beer, not water, to the participants. Just what they need, a dehydrating beverage after running over 20 miles.

For Future Reference

It's nice to have friends in Munich who "get" our American references - like "I say who...I say when...I say...who!" from Pretty Woman. But sometimes, because we've been overseas, we miss those tidbits from back home that make their way into popular culture. So tonight, when we were playing cards, Greg and Mark didn't latch onto our Penelope impersonation from Saturday Night Live. They knew Kristin Wigg's "Target" lady, but not Penelope. So, to ensure they're up-to-speed, I'm posting what appears to be Penelope's latest skit on SNL. Sadly, we haven't seen the 2007 premiere yet (maybe in three or four weeks when our satellite begins airing this season). Thank goodness for YouTube!

Cosmo Bachelors 2007

Sure, it's totally gay, but how can I not direct you to Cosmo's 2007 Bachelors list? My favorite is Michigan. He's older and not so cheesy. There are some that made me wonder, "How'd he squeeze by?"

We've lived in Europe now for over two years and I've never known what "WC" meant - until today. Call me slow.

Sure, she's a mess. And her comeback was quite ill conceived with no video available until last week (which is quite sad) and no official dance remixes produced and released. As a result, every dj on the planet has attacked Gimme More and made their version available for download. So Club Fridays this week is featuring not one, not two but three remixes.

The first, by Ander Standing, is only a tribal radio version but worth noting. For the link, go here. The second, by Kaskade, is another radio version but takes the song in more of a house direction with hints of electro. For the link, go here. And finally, if you like it a bit more laid back, the Klubjumpers version is more on the down low side. For the link, go here.

I wondered...

Why don't I see more German Shepherd dogs? Shouldn't I see them everywhere? I am in Germany after all. Then again, I see Schnauzers all over town. I'm assuming the German kind.

Peppermint Snuff

While drinking in the beer tents last week, we kept seeing those around us snort what appeared to be cocaine. We thought to ourselves, "How brave!" Turns out it was peppermint snuff. I didn't try it but apparently the white stuff (and brown version as well) gives you a rush - mint rush that is. Whatever tickles their fancy!

Here Comes Kylie!

It's here! Kylie's 2 Hearts premiered today. It's different than I expected - very Goldfrapp meets Scissor Sisters. But the change of pace is welcomed. And when you combine Kylie's new material with that of Girls Aloud, the UK music scene couldn't be any hotter. Yeah for me.

Looking Back-Boyz of Oktoberfest

Like a Broken Record

My friend Dave and I just got home from an early Italian dinner in the gay hood. We weren't specifically looking to hang with the sisters, but it's the only Italian restaurant we could find that wasn't too smoky at 7:00 p.m. But all that changed about 35 minutes into our meal when numerous filthy whores surrounded us with their cancer sticks. So even though all was clear when we sat down, the scene quickly turned disgusting.

It's probably a good thing January 1st and the smoking ban is just weeks away. If not, I might get arrested for unruly behavior. Because when I'm sitting in a restaurant and someone lights up around me, I seriously want to walk over, politely smile, then burn their eyes out with their cigarette. Yes, I hate it that much. But, I'm sure that's no big surprise. I'm like a broken record when it comes to smoking.

What I Find Funny

I ordered large print measuring cups and spoons for my grandma from Amazon on August 26, 2007. When I asked her today if she ever received them (because she was cooking scalloped potatoes), she said no. I then went to Amazon to check the delivery status. Apparently, they were delivered to the house, and the back porch, on August 30th. So these two sad little packages (where the shipping cost more than the cups and spoons) were sitting outside for almost six weeks. Luckily, she found them tonight amongst her dead plants that she's forgotten to water. Thank goodness for tough cardboard boxes.

New & Noteworthy - Sugababes

They've come close to breaking in America, but for some reason, radio programmers just don't give the Sugababes a chance. Maybe now that they have a number one single in the UK penned by Lukasz "Dr Luke" Gottwald (writer of such hits as Kelly Clarkson's Since You Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes along with Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend and Pink's current top 10 hit Who Knew), radio will realize what they're missing. Check out the song and video below.

Kylie Breaks Tomorrow

Kylie Minogue's new single 2 Hearts hits radio and video outlets tomorrow. I'm hoping she opts to perform at the MTV European Music Awards November 1 as the single's physical release is four days later. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Looking Back - Return 2 Ludwig's

One of our day trips last week was a return to the Neuschwanstein Castle just outside of Munich. But while our friends toured Mad King Ludwig's pet project (one and only one castle as they incorrectly read their ticket times), Chris and I drove around in the McDonald's van looking for antiques. Unfortunately, we learned small German villages really don't have antique shops. So we entertained ourselves by taking pictures of country cows and self serve pumpkin stands where you select your gourd and leave your money - one holiday tradition that would never happen in America. Someone would steal the pumpkins and take all the money!

Post Oktoberfest Depression

With the closing of Oktoberfest and the departure of most of our guests, it's very quiet on the homefront - too quiet actually. In addition, it's somewhat depressing. Since our move to Munich, we've been preparing the house for the arrival of our friends. We've bought beds. We've bought outdoor furniture. We've bought candles and sheets and towels. Oktoberfest was an event on the horizon. And now that it's gone, it's like the 26th of December.

Who is this Aunt Linda?

I've referenced Aunt Linda a few times in the past (including a few inches below). But unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any video of the skit from Saturday Night Live for reference - until now. Kristin Wigg and her character is one of my favorites from the past few seasons. Check it out below.

Flopping 4 Fun?

On Sunday, while wandering through the English Gardens in Munich, we ran across a fit naked man suntanning himself. Sure, it's common practice to flaunt your stuff in Germany (and in Europe) for a bit of color. But I'm sure the families strolling by the main pedestrian walkway would have preferred not to see his flopped over penis adorned with what appeared to be multi-colored beads.

Something Funny 4 Monday

This week, while watching our Sky satellite, this commercial made our entourage from Chicago laugh. Maybe it will do the same for you this Monday morning. Anticipation builds because of the :30 second countdown so hopefully you're not in a hurry.

The End of Oktoberfest?

Because of yesterday's drinking marathon, it looks like our time at Oktoberfest is finished. Our six guests no longer want to visit the third and final "Gay Day" tomorrow morning (because we'd have to arrive around 9 a.m. to secure a place in the tent). Which, for Chris and I, is just fine. We've spent more time at Oktoberfest than at home this past week it seems. But then again, everything could change tomorrow. After a good night's rest, the five (our friend Dave G. departs one day earlier than the rest) may change their mind. If so, they're on their own. So I guess for Chris and I, Oktoberfest 2007 truly is history.

For the first time since Club Fridays began months ago, the weekly dance music blog entry has overflowed into Saturday. With Oktoberfest festivities taking over, it was difficult to write. So with that being noted, this week's Club Fridays is short and sweet with two songs by a former Spice Girl and the voice behind those Black Box hits from the 90s.

Mel C has continued to make music after her girl band deflated more than 10 years ago. Her tunes may never have caught on in America, but that's no big surprise. Her latest didn't really register in Europe either, but the Lawsky remix of Carolyna is fun. For the download link, go here. And Martha Walsh seems to be fighting it out with Pepper Mashay for the queen of circuit music. Her Keep Your Body Workin' is featured on DJ Tony Moran's CD The Event. For the Bassmonkey's Remix, go here.

Knowing When to Say When

It's 10:27 on Friday night. It's been quite a long day as we've been partaking in Oktoberfest activities since 11:30. So, I'm quite lucky I can even type after 3 liters of beer and a few cocktails after we made our way home. The others are still going strong. But because my nasal congestion got the best of me, I returned home to tidy a bit before going to bed. Besides that, I want to have a productive day tomorrow. And knowing what a hangover feels like (though it's been years since I've felt the pain), I opted to call it a night. My head will thank me tomorrow.!

I'm going to the MTV European Music Awards in Munich November 1. Chris told me yesterday that not only do we have two tickets to the show, but also passes for the after party.!

Gaying It Forward

There's something to be said for helping a young, gay lad feel comfortable in his skin. And last night, we tried our best to offer our years of wisdom to a 22 year old from Austin who was obviously unsure of his place in this world.

We spotted him and his friend leaving the Hilton Hotel on the west side of Munich. The gang and I were headed to Candy Kitchen - a party held in town four times a year before a holiday. Eric (I believe that was his name) walked with us as his friend fell far behind and eventually returned to the hotel.

So at the club, all of us gave our advice to the fledgling gay from Texas who, at the time, was trying very hard to fit in and be "one of the guys." "Be yourself," someone said. "And don't stop what you're doing." Because let's face it, it takes courage to walk up to group of strangers, especially gay ones who could be quite catty (and in a foreign country), and take off on a nightly adventure. Good for him.

Men of Oktoberfest

Sadly, I've only found two men hot enough to make PTT"s first ever Men of Oktoberfest posting (and even that might be a stretch). Of course, I don't travel with my camera 24/7 - which makes it even more difficult to find those worthy of the title. But with seven days remaining, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some eye candy in liederhosen.

Munich's Own Schaumburg, or Topeka, or Galveston...

With the weather projected to be at its best today, the Dave's, Chris and I ventured one and a half hours to Salzburg (yep, it's like driving to Schaumburg from downtown Chicago, or Topeka from Kansas City, or Houston to Galveston). So with the fog rolling through the hills that are alive, we drove through the countryside at around 130 mph. And unlike two weeks ago, there wasn't any traffic. Once in Salzburg, we found the infamous Baum Kuchen and chocolate covered "big as your head" pretzels that made our list of "tasty treats" from 2006. But the most intriguing discovery of the day was a small cemetery around the corner from the base of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The graves are decorated with planters and ornate metal headstones and are truly both peaceful and spectacular.

Four hours later, we hopped back in the car and returned to Munich to meet our other friends arriving from Chicago including Patrick, Matt, Paul and Tom who are houseguests until next Monday. So as you can imagine, it's going to be a busy week. Not only will my blogging be a bit sporadic (between all the beers I'm going to try to consume without vomiting), but all the activities are going to plop hiccups in my gym schedule and diet as well. It's good there's not another Mykonos on the horizon until early or late winter. I have time to play catch-up.