Pink Trash Travels


Because I didn't want to see or hear how much Chris was spending on Christmas decorations in a little German woodcrafts store in the Marienplatz, I left to go to the bathroom at Starbucks around the corner. While I was there, a gingerbread latte caught my eye (darn merchandising). So I bought one. Afterwards, however, I realized I had just spent $6 on a cup of coffee! Yes, we have a cost of living adjustment here in Munich. But that doesn't stop me from analyzing how much more everything costs now that the dollar has tanked against the Euro.

Sights & Sounds of Munich's Christmas Market

Leave it to the Germans

Leave it to the Germans to develop a smart tree stand (they might be available in America, but I haven't seen them). Not only does the metal stand weigh a ton, and have a metal band that grips the tree once you pump the lever, the tree holder features a water gauge that tells you when the tree is thirsty.

I'm sure my enthusiasm for the tree stand is enhanced by our giddiness to be in a country that treasures a traditional Christmas. Not only did we have thousands of beautiful trees to chose from this evening, our final selection only cost $50. And that's not bad. Besides that, it will be nice to have a Christmas tree last more than five days as it's not stuck to a stump (like in Paris) but instead is swimming in water.

I changed this week's Club Fridays at the last minute. Why you ask? Well, I thought it would be appropriate to be current with those radio hits making waves in America. And since I'm a fan of Jordin Sparks (more her personality than her new album), I wanted to include her in this week's featured tracks. In addition, Natasha Bedingfield has a new single in America also that is slowly creeping up the charts. So, consider this my way of helping both original songs make it closer to the top 10 (Jordin's Tattoo is just two away sitting at number 12 while Natasha's Love Like This rests at 23).

Jason Nevins seems to be the go to guy lately for remixing pop songs - especially those American Idol winners. He injects a lot of energy into each track which helps those tunes that are a bit boring on their own (which is how I find Tattoo). For the link to a much better version, go here. I have similar feelings towards Natasha Bedingfield's Love Like This. The track is an add-on for the American release of her latest CD. And of course, they throw Sean Kingston into the mix to make it appeal even more to U.S. radio. But, sadly, I personally don't think the song clicks - sounding a little forced. So thank goodness for Johnny Vicious who once again remixes Natasha into a dancefloor frenzy. For the link, go here.

Keeping it Clean

Tonight I tried this new spaghetti. It's incredibly large - like straws. What I quickly realized upon eating the extra long tubes is that they were, indeed, too big. It was difficult to coordinate, on one fork, both pasta and sauce without it splattering all over the living room. Now, I know what you're thinking. No double entendre intended.

Not Always About Me

Though this blog mostly centers around those tidbits I find necessary to share, my significant other obviously plays a major role within the life of the Pink Trash Traveler. So, why shouldn't he participate? With that noted, read a Blackberry email I received from him this morning. I find it funny.

Subject: Old Man Stew

So far this morning I was seated behind an old man that had a terrible stew smell. Now I am in a car driving through Slovania and my driver has a BO problem. I am hungry but think I might vomit cause of the smell - I am breathing through my mouth.

Good times.

Blast from the Past

It's one of my favorite Christmas songs. And every time I hear Last Christmas by Wham!, I'm transported back to 1984, working at our bowling alley in Lindsborg, KS, staying with my grandparents on the weekends to escape my stepmother, watching Night Tracks on TBS, and eating Lee's donuts while enjoying The Smurfs on Saturday mornings before going back to the bowling alley to run the kids league, make hamburgers and eat too many Twizzlers. Who knew back then I'd be one degree away from George and living in Germany? Relive Mr. Michael's glory days with his frosty locks and gal pal sidekick below.

Farts in Bars & Beds

It seems tonight is all about passing gas. At dinner, when the smoking ban in Chicago became the hot topic, our friend Cathy noted one downfall to a smoke-free environment. "You'll be able to smell farts in bars," she said. And later, the Sex and the City episode that played while eating my cereal was The Drought - when Carrie thought her farting in bed scared away Mr. Big. I guess there was something in the air.

Who's a Grinch? I'm a Grinch.

Do you ever have those days when people annoy you - and you're not sure why? Today is one of those days. Yesterday was too actually. It might be because I'm ready to go home for the holidays. But sadly, I'm not scheduled to fly to Chicago until December 19th. I thought about changing my flight, but that would mean we'd only have one weekend in Germany for the Christmas markets (as Chris flys to the States for work and family obligations). So, I guess that's not an option. Which means, I'll be grumpy like the Grinch for another few weeks.

Kristin Wiig is Genius!

My friend Paul told me about Kristin Wiig's new character on Saturday Night Live a few weeks back. Unfortunately, nobody has posted the Publisher's Clearing House skit until today. But, I will say, it was worth the wait. Sure, there are hints of every character Kristin Wigg has performed in the past in her latest creation, but she knows how to make you laugh. Update: The original YouTube video was deleted so I substituted the first entry with "what appears to be a TV shot with a video camera" below.

And in celebration of the holiday season, take a look at Kristin in the Turrget Lady skit from last year. Again, genius.

Bad Hair Days

As I was riding the train today, I looked around and realized the German's, or Europeans for that matter (as it was in France also), seem to have dry and badly colored hair. Both young and old need to find some conditioner in their stockings this holiday season. That, and a few Euros to have their hair professionally colored.

It's a Keeper

Chris will be the first to admit he doesn't take good pictures. So when our friends the Walters snapped this photo of us in front of Lindau's harbor, I was quite thrilled (I wish my hair would have fallen a bit more as I've learned not to blow dry it, but it can't be perfect all the time I guess). Never the less, the photo is a keeper and most likely will make Europe's top photos once I sort through them all and make final prints for a album back home.

Dave's Faves

When you travel and stay with friends, one of the best parts of the trip is your ability to test new soaps and shampoos (in bottles of course) in their shower. Sure, you bring your own. But if they have something good to sample, why not? This morning, I tried Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree line of products. Not too bad. My hair is quite soft and manageable. Good enough to take me away from my L'Occitane? I think not.

Lindau Live!

Linda is a small German city, and an island, on the Eastern part of Lake Constance where Austria, Germany and Switzerland meet. We came here for a long weekend to see our friends the Walters (Walter and Walter) who we met in Mykonos and who are from Detroit, Michigan.

It didn't take long to get here - two hours from Munich (and that was with traffic). As it was dark when we arrived, we haven't seen much of Lindau (except for Obi where we bought a Christmas Tree stand for $75!), but we will hopefully today. We did cross the border into Austria last night for Mexican food (yes, Mexican). However, I'd say to call Viva's menu Mexican is a stretch of the imagination.

Sure, they serve tacos, burritos and fajitas. But the tacos were rolled and fried like chimichangas with a hearty beef flavor (think Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff). Not that it was bad, it just wasn't the delicious Mexican I've been craving. Besides that, my opinion of the joint could have been affected by the smokers that, of course, gathered around our table.

We've all decided I'm cursed. Of all the people in the restaurant, the only ones who lit up were the table of 4 beside me and the table of 10 across the way who, when they walked in, I knew would be trouble. Apparently, the no smoking ban hit Austria last year but they didn't necessarily solidify a date (and we no if you're not specific, who's going to change?) They learned their lesson as come January 1, all that changes.

Not that I have any plans on returning to Viva next year. I've heard, if we do come back, there are two other Mexican restaurants to try. Maybe they'll have a normal cooked taco.

Thanksgiving 2007 - A Reflection

While most of you are just sitting down with your families, here in Munich we just finished homemade Chinese food while watching an episode of Boston Legal from last season. Soon after, we enjoyed the Friends Turkey Day episode with Brad Pitt - really the only bit of Thanksgiving we had today (and one that I decided will become a holiday tradition in the Lutman/Young household as Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Chandler and Monica have been with us since moving to Europe).

I also told Chris that last year at this time, I was thinking how nice it would be to be home for Thanksgiving 2007. Because, at the time, we thought we were returning back to Chicago in June, July or August. My how things change.

So while all of you are eating turky, dressing, and green bean casserole, think of how lucky you are to be with friends, family and pumpkin pie. Don't take it for granted.

One of the best reasons to go home for the holidays is to eat - especially those dishes your mom is known for making. Mine makes the best broccoli rice casserole. Unfortunately, it's one dish I can't duplicate here in Europe as they don't sell Cheez Whiz in Germany. But just in case you want to make the casserole that ranks higher in my books than the green bean variety, check out Kraft's version below (at my house, we don't cook the onions, we skip the breadcrumbs and we top with melted butter). Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
* 2 cups cooked MINUTE White Rice
* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, cooked, well drained
* 1 cup CHEEZ WHIZ Cheese Dip
* 1/2 cup fresh bread cubes


1. Cook and stir onion in 1 Tbsp. of the butter in large skillet on medium heat until tender.
2. Add rice, soup, broccoli and CHEEZ WHIZ; mix lightly. Spoon into 1-1/2-quart casserole. Toss together remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, melted, and bread cubes; sprinkle over casserole.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Myspace Thanksgiving Day IconIt's Club Fridays - Turkey Edition. And because many of you will be traveling this week, I thought it was appropriate to move up the weekly spotlight to Wednesday so you'd have the latest tunes to play in your car as you make your way to grandma's house. And because you never want anything too heavy before eating the a big bird, I'm keeping it light and refreshing. So how about a little Celine done Ralphi style? No, not his circuit sound but rather his gliding beats. For the Chicago native's take on Celine's Taking Chances, go here. And for more information on Ralphi, check out his website (surprisingly more than just a MySpace presence) here. David Morales has been around for years. Lately, he's keeping his mixes on the down low - preferring to keep his productions silky smooth. So for dessert, check out his remix of Mary J. Blige's Just Fine. For the link, go here. For more information on David, visit his MySpace page here . And that's it for this week. Be safe. Travel well. Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

Bee Sure to Look Right

Check out my help wanted sign to the right. I thought to myself, "Maybe those who follow along with PTT every week might be able to offer some assistance." So if you know or hear of a marketing job (possibly something in entertainment, communications, or one that is heavily involved in the creative process), let me know!

Euro's Best Holiday Ads - John Lewis' Shadows

John Lewis is a chain of department stores in the UK. Their Christmas commercial Shadows is intriguing - and makes you want to watch (just what a TV spot should do). And the payoff, accompanied by the music, is magical. Check one of my favorite European Christmas advertisements below.

United Debuts New Biz Class

Everybody knows I don't like to fly - especially international flights. Even when I'm in Business Class, the trip still isn't pleasant. But that's all about to change (I hope) as United yesterday introduced it's flat beds in Business and First Class. Besides that, they've also reconfigured the entertainment systems and head rests. Now maybe I'll get a good night's sleep on my way back to Munich. I can actually say I'm excited about flying home next month! Then again, maybe I shouldn't be. That's just when something bad will happen. So maybe I'll continue to be a freak about flying. It's probably better that way.

And Here I Go Again

Sex and the City starts again tonight. That means I will have seen the series, from start to finish, more than 15, 16 or 20 times since moving to Paris and now living in Munich. What is it about the show that lures me in - and causes me to eat a bowl of cereal almost every night? At least now I've learned to eat cottage cheese before my cereal. That way, I keep the sugars low and protein high.

What Did They Say?

I was trying to find my way home from the gym today. As I was sitting on the train at one of five stops, the train conductor made an announcement. We then traveled one more stop. Everyone exited the train. All I could do was stand there and hope another train would come by - but it never did. And I just wasn't in the mood to ask those around me what was going on. So, I made my way above ground and walked home (quickly I might add as I had to go to the bathroom real bad). Which all made me realize something; it's been over two years since I could completely understand those around me in my daily life. How depressing. You'd think that would force me to learn German even faster. Quite honestly, it does just the opposite - it makes me long for the day when I'm back in Chicago listening intently to conversations I can grasp. Then again, when I was home earlier this year, I heard a lot of Spanish. Maybe it won't be better after all.

Up Goes the Price of Beer

There's apparently a world shortage on malt and hops. So, the price of beer is expected to increase in Germany. I can hear the twirled moustaches rumbling now.

Leona Hits America

It's official. Leona Lewis, whose album Spirit sold almost 400K copies in the UK alone this week (beating the Spice Girls and Celine), will be released in America March 18, 2008. Clive Davis probably wanted to see how well the album performed overseas first before committing to a stateside release date. Then again, I guess I our friend Xavier could ask Clive directly. I'm sure Leona's career would make interesting table talk after the fourth course at one of Clive's dinner parties.

Girls Aloud - Snailish Pop Stars

Girls Aloud performed their latest and deliciously sweet pop tune Call the Shots on the X-Factor Saturday night. I love the song. And the girl group gets kudos for singing live. But for a group that has had 16 top 10 consecutive hits, and mostly uptempo tracks, you'd think they could pull it together when it comes to performing. They just move around like snails. Check them out below.

X-Factor's Rhydian Camps it Up!

We all know Euro pop can be quite campy at times. And because it was disco week on the X-Factor, it's no big surprise to see Rhydian go full throttle on the cheese meter with his rendition of Go West by the Pet Shop Boys. Check it out below.

Gym Mugs

When I see people at the gym, sometimes a story automatically comes to mind. Then there are those whose tales are like a taking a bite from a hot pepper - it slowly intensifies. Today, as I was trying to workout, a women I call "Heddie" kept coming up to me and asking me questions. "How can I make my shoulders bigger? What do you do?" I told Heddie that it takes time. I showed her a few moves too. But I just wasn't in the mood to be giving out free advice at the time. But there she was, about every 10 minutes or so, asking me another question.

So who is Heddie? Heddie isn't married. Her insecurities don't allow her to get close to anyone. Instead, she uses the gym as a social vehicle - never having to become intimate with those she meets (especially the gay ones). Besides that, she's a penny pincher. Heddie doesn't like to spend money on frivolous or exuberant items - including personal training sessions. She'd rather follow others around, imitating their every move, while trying to look inconspicuous (a trick she learned from Grace Adler on Will & Grace.

PTT Spotlight: Leona-Bleeding Love (Moto Blanco Mix)

I so look forward to Fridays. Not because it's the weekend but rather because it's the last day of the work week when I share music with all of you. Quite honestly, it's one of the best parts about having a presence on-line and in the blog community. Sure, it's great for me to have a venue to write, but giving you tunes to enjoy is pure joy. With that being noted, this week is all about Radio hits and edits. Up first is one of my all time favorite songs Apologize by Timbaland featuring One Republic. I love the original version. But, the dance version by Lenny B. is too fun - perfect balance of light beats and original vocals. For the link, go here. Be sure to visit One Republic's MySpace Page for information on their upcoming release Dreaming Out Loud. Up next is the spotlight track of the week - Leona Lewis and her Moto Blanco remixed Bleeding Love. Again, the original is a great piece of pop that hopefully the U.S. will quickly pick-up. But if not, at least you have the dance remix to take you into the weekend! Again, love it, love it, love it. For the link, go here. And be sure to visit Leona's MySpace page for information on her debut album, Spirit released November 12th, concert dates, videos and more. Finally, for all of you who ARE NOT sick of Britney's Gimme More, I found which has to be the best of all the mixes out in club land, both official and unofficial. It's remixed by Junior Vasquez and Johnny Vicious. Most of the creative work had to come from Johnny as Junior is way past his prime. But either way, it's hot! For the link, go here. And please, we know enough about Britney already there's no need to go anywhere else for information on "the artist formerly known as a performer."

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.

Trying Not 2 Get Xcited

Myspace IconsAs I know how long it can take to find a job, I've started the job search process this month. And so far, there's at least some activity - all thanks to Because I reached out to former colleagues, I've heard of a few great opportunities this week. Oddly enough, one of those is an entertainment marketing position - exactly the type of job I just spoke to a recruiter about back home last week. Specifically, it's what I wanted to find in Chicago, but knowing supply is limited, I didn't have much hope. So, we'll see where all this goes. Quite honestly, I go back and forth between happy and unsure. Will I have good luck? Will I find a job I want? And what if something comes along the first of the year? What then? I guess I don't have to worry about that until it becomes a problem.

I Miss Driving

I miss driving - particularly listening to music in the car. I don't miss the traffic. But I do miss playing for the first time a just released CD. Some songs are just better in surround sound as you drive through the streets of Chicago. Take Britney's new CD. I hate to admit it, but Blackout does feature a few good tracks - perfect for a ride including Heaven on Earth and Toy Soldier. As a result, I'm already planning my next car purchase when we return home in in 2008. And, considering I've talked about owning one for years, it's time to shut up and drive - my new 2008 Stone White Jeep Rubicon with automatic transmission, both soft top and Freedom Top, and power convenience group. No, it's not fancy No, it doesn't have the best driving performance. But the Jeep sure is fun. I'll leave the Lexus, BMW or Volvo purchase for down the road when I no longer have hair to blow in the breeze. Then again, that could come sooner than later.

New & Noteworthy - Monrose

I love me some girl groups. Monrose is no exception. I featured them a few months back and their song Hot Summer. The winners of Germany's Popstars returned this fall with Strictly Physical - another top 10 hit. Call me crazy, but it has hints of Timbland with the "Eh, Eh, Eh" in the background. That, and the man eye candy ain't half bad either. Check it out below.

I Wonder

I was watching Ellen today when T.R. Knightly noted how some actors in Hollywood feel as though they need to stay in the closet. Knightly commented he's not familiar with their situation and it's up to them if and when they decide to reveal their homo tendencies. Which made me wonder: How do those who are gay in Hollywood keep it a secret? You'd think someone would blab - especially a bitter queen who has it out for another.

How Many Shows R Left?

For those of you who download American TV shows from the net (as well as those back home who are fortunate enough to capture them live or on PVR), check out this chart that identifies how many original episodes remain before they go dark.

Pitter in morning, Patter in the Evening

As Chris and I left this morning around 7 a.m., our downstairs neighbor crawled out of bed to tell us we're noisy. "You're up at 5. You're up at midnight," he said. He mentioned he could hear everything as the floors are not sound protected. "I'm sorry," I replied. "We'll do our best." Which is exactly what we'll do - try. We don't walk in the house with shoes so there's not much else we can eliminate to keep the noise down. Inside I was thinking, "That's what you get for not living on the top floor."

We always try to avoid living under someone as the noise drives me crazy (so I can sympathize). And if those of you can remember Paris, well, let's just say that's one aspect I don't miss (as well as the fishy hallway). Those kids upstairs used to drive me bonkers. I'd pound on the ceiling with a broomstick when they'd have a houseful running around while I was trying to watch Sex and the City at 11 p.m. But then, it's not even comparable as we don't bop around the house at midnight as they did upstairs in Paris. So I felt as though my rage was warranted. Here, not so much. Our neighbor is lucky we don't have kids because Calvin would most likely be quite energetic.

Like Brothers

While on a break from work today at McDonald's, I posed with Ronald. Does anybody else see the resemblance? It looks as though our heads are shaped the same. Not a good thing I suppose.

What UR Missing in Munich

I've never seen someone wear a mud mask in the locker room. But today, there he was - a nicely built man who was violently kicking a boxing bag upstairs walking around downstairs with an olive green face. It was difficult not to look for many reasons.

Can't Wait Until Friday

Animated Icons Oh, if it were only Friday because I've found some great remixes today. So, check back at the end of the week when Club Fridays will feature dance versions of Justin's latest Until The End of Time as well as one of my top 100 songs Apologize with One Republic.

Some Good from the Strike

Maybe it's a good thing the writers are on strike in Hollywood because our current crop of TV favorites are experiencing major bumps in the road. Take Ugly Betty for example. Who cares about Betty and Henry? It's more annoying than anything. And Smallville lost its way with Lana and Lex getting together. And don't get me started on Ghost Whisperer. That show is never consistent. Melinda should be used to seeing dead people. One bright ray of sunshine is Desperate Housewives. Marc Cherry, the creator of the show, at least has pulled that one out of it's second season slump. So, again, maybe this time off for the writers will do them good. I mean, I can't resort to watching bad British TV or German TV for that matter.

I Wonder

As Maddie and I were riding the elevator down to the first floor so she could go to the bathroom in the snow for the first time this season, the lift starting to make noise. As it creaked I wondered, "How many elevators have crashed to the ground?" I'm sure it happens. And would jumping inside as it hits the ground make your impact any less fatal?

Linkedin-Spreading Like Wildfire

I mentioned Linkedin last week. Since Wednesday when I first signed up for the business social network, I've collected almost 14K people in my network - and that's small compared to colleagues of mine who I haven't talked to in years but who Linkedin asked if I knew. Yes, their programming is that smart. I'm also amazed how, over the past few days, those I've introduced to the site have now heard about Linkedin through the press and word of mouth. Talk about spreading like wildfire. Mypace who? Check out my profile here.

The Best of Euro Holiday Ads

The holiday season is in full swing in Europe; stores are filled with Christmas cookies, garland lines the windows, and you can smell hot cider brewing around every corner. But best of all, Christmas commercials are everywhere. And since we don't get the traditional holiday fare, these ads are the next best thing. This M&S Christmas Belles spot is the first that caught my eye. I love the retro feel that's in-line with one of my favorite shows of the moment, Mad Men. Be sure to check back for more over the next few weeks as the 25th draws near.

Today was the day Chris met "Nike" at Leo's. Well, he didn't actually meet him but rather saw him as they crossed on the staircase. Chris approved. I also ran into Nike in the locker room before making his way to the weight room. And quite honestly, each time we speak, I do all the talking. He never asks questions. He only listens. But I've been told that's how he is - a bit conceded. And this unfortunate attitude is more apparent everytime we see each other. Which means, at this rate, Nike will be no more attractive then Mr. Magoo by next Thursday.

I love stumbling across a DJ set that isn't all pots and pans or an electro mess. DJ Paulo's latest set, Gimme More is the perfect balance of drums and vocals. Inside the just-over-an-hour set, he seamlessly weaves tracks in and out - some old, some new (including my current favorite and featured Club Fridays track Disrespectful). For the link, go here. And for the latest on DJ Paulo, including his Top 10, playdates and additional downloads, check out his website here

Hold UR Horses

Sometimes I say phrases and wonder, "Where did that come from?" For example, this morning, I muttered the words, "Hold your horses." Did it originate at a small farm in Kansas?

I Guess It's That Time of Year

Christmas Myspace Graphic

No Shirt. No Shoes. No Buying.

I've almost given up on the idea that the dollar will rally against other foreign currency - especially the Euro. So, as I told Chris tonight, we're no longer buying anything unnecessary in Europe. No shirts. No shoes. No buying. And with me returning to America in December, both of us coming back in March, and then again in April, then hopefully permantly next summer, our suitcases will be filled with as much food as possible. Anything to save a buck or two or three or five or ten or a hundred...

Who Shot King Ludwig?

The story of King Ludwig II, better known as "Mad King Ludwig," is quite the tale in Germany and around the world. The Bavarian government ruled his death a suicide - though most would agree there's more to tell about his untimely demise in Lake Sternberg near Munich. Now a statement by a Munich banker has fueled speculation that not only was King Ludwig murdered, but he many not have been crazy after all.

I waited to go to the gym today because Chris was having a German lesson tonight. Besides that, I wanted to see what was going on with the evening crowd at Leo's. Turns out the German teacher cancelled and the gym was on a fast track to lameville. Where were the models that adorn the wall of fame? Needless to say, there's no reason to return at night. It was truly uneventful.

Have U Heard About Linkedin?

I was speaking with an HR representative at Dreamworks yesterday. A former employee of mine is relocating their and the film studio needed some reference information. After we finished our chat, we started talking about what I do and my move back home. She asked if I knew about Linkedin. "What?" I replied? Apparently this business social network slipped by me without getting noticed. So, because I'm starting the process of looking for a job back home, I'm now a registered user with a network building by the minute. I'll need all the help I can get to find the job that's not only a good fit with my experience, but one I'm excited about as well. And with my varied background, it ain't gonna be easy!

What I Find Funny

Because the subway here in Munich is underground, and the trains have slightly reflective doors, it's funny to watch both men and women fix their hair, adjust their hat and fold over collars without trying to be seen.

New & Noteworthy - Dannii

Who says it all has to be about her sister Kylie? Dannii Minogue, in addition to her judging duties on The X-Factor, has a new single out where she continues to flaunt her euro-dance sensibilities (and cheesy produced videos). Check out Touch Me Like That below.

It's a Small World

Time and time again we prove just how small the gay community can be. For example, our friend Xavier in New York recently started dating a gentleman named Tim. Tim is friends with Clive Davis. Our other friend Steve in Chicago introduced his new boyfriend, Mike, to our group of friends in the Windy City last weekend. Mike had dinner with Clive and Tim a few weeks back in New York where Tim talked about this Frenchman he was seeing. Who knew our lives were so intertwined?

I Know, I'm Bad

Right now, I'm sitting upstairs as Chris studies German with our teacher, Heidi. I participated for 15 minutes because Chris was late. Otherwise, I probably would have bagged the whole session (I did learn how to say a few phrases that will come in handy out and about). And I sure Chris is thinking to himself, "I wish I would have cancelled." Because I know very well that he's had a long, hard day at work preparing for a big presentation on Wednesday when the hamburger world apparently comes together here in Munich. The last thing he wants to do is sit down and study - especially considering he hasn't practiced on his own over the past few weeks. Which, unfortunately, makes his lessons even more unbearable. Again, where's the German boyfriend when you need him?

World Music Awards

Now this is more like it. The World Music Awards had A-list talent - Celine Dion. Where was she last Thursday at the EMAs?

It's been over five weeks since I've seen "Let's Just Call Him Nike" at the gym. Our last conversation was in the locker room - him making a few comments and I, of course, returning the compliments. He was one of the few that I look forward to seeing at the gym (because it's always more motivating to be surrounded by hotties). However, all of that has changed.

He's obviously the type that likes to be pursued. But I refuse to inflate Nike's ego by always being the one to initiate a "hello." So today, I casually waved and went about my routine. I even walked by him on the way to do cardio. And instead of waiting to lift in order to talk, he went about his business - only smiling as I passed by. As a result, so did I. And when I left, I ignored him as I headed downstairs. Two can play that game.

On the other hand, I did shake hands today with "Dolph." Our gym relationship has slowly evolved from ignoring each other, to the casual head nod, to finally today shaking hands and saying hello. There's something to be said for pleasantries.

Singapore's New Class

If ya' gotta fly, fly right.

As we were driving back from the gym this morning, here was my train of thought:

1) "I can't believe it's November."
2) "Do you realize we've lived here five months?"
3) "And in seven months we could be going home."
4) "We could be driving to Costco right now."

And because Chris wanted to eat soup for lunch, he then replied, "And going to the grocery store to buy ingredients for soup." To which I answered back, "And non-sour cottage cheese."

You see, grocery stores are closed on Sundays in Munich. In addition, the cottage cheese we've found here has a stronger taste then the creamy variety back home. Which means we look forward to having our Sundays free again - free from the shopping lockdown in Europe.

4 Those of U Who Missed It

Here's the tragic mess that was Amy Winehouse at the MTV EMAs last Thursday. To say she was exhausted is a stretch - a big one.

Hey Ms. Ungrateful

The media is all over Amy Winehouse's performance last night at the European MTV Music Awards held in Munich. She mumbled. She stumbled. She almost fell right off the stage. But according to Whinehouse, "I was exhausted." Even worse, she states, "I can't really be bothered going to perform but my family love these kinds of awards shows and watching me, so I'm doing it for them really." Hey Ms. Ungrateful. That's exactly the kind of statement your fans want to hear - the very same people who have supported you through your career and given you the ability to buy all your drugs.

What Happened MTV?

We're now sitting watching the MTV EMAs from the comfort of our living room. An oddly, the show is in the same spot as it was when we left - about 45 minutes into the telecast. Not that I would have been upset about missing one minute of the event. It was, how can I say this delicately, sad.

But before I rip into what should have been a highlight of my year, I want to thank MTV Germany and McDonald's for providing us the tickets and the opportunity to go. It's not everyday you get the chance to attend an MTV Awards show.

Now, the reality. For starters, the line-up of attendees had to be one of the worst on record. I knew beforehand who would be performing live, but the list of presenters was even worse with the likes of Boris Becker and Michael Stipe. Something kept the stars away. Was it me? We all know how fame eludes me.

As for the venue, it was oversized and too big for the audience in attendance. The MTV Music Awards in New York has an intimate feel about it. I expected the same for Munich. Instead, it was as though we were at a generic concert stadium with empty seats around the nosebleed area.

Speaking of nosebleeds, mine should have been running red. We were six rows from the top. But what made it worse was the smoke that bellowed around me. You'd think the building was on fire. And this is even after the fact that the announcer stated very clearly that there was no smoking allowed indoors. And it's not as though I could ask one person to stop smoking. EVERYONE was smoking. Besides that, they all had cameras too. And I was told specifically not to bring my camera. So why should I be surprised? Apparently you do the opposite of what you're told.

Then there's Amy Winehouse. This talented yet tragic performer, after winning her first award, could barely stand up as she muttered one word to the audience, "Thanks." She then stumbled down the stairs and back into the bathroom most likely to do more nose candy. This, sadly, was a highlight of our 45 minutes. And after just watching her perform at home, she must have stayed in that bathroom quite a while as it didn't sound like she was singing in English. The girl is troubled.

I am excited, however, about my plastic mug with handle I received when I purchased my fizzy water for five Euros at the Wiener stand. It's the perfect size and texture for me to sip my Coke Zero while eating my turkey sandwhich at 5:00 p.m. during the King of Queens. So it looks like the evening wasn't a total bust.

Next year the awards show is scheduled for Liverpool. One can only hope MTV has better luck at pulling it all together. That, or just make sure everybody watches the telecast from home. It looks much better on TV.

Countering the Media

Having just visited Istanbul, I find it hard to believe that American's are so strongly disliked by the Turkish people. I'd say there might be growing frustration in response to the USA's handling of the PKK in Northern Iraq. But to say there exists such negative feelings is once again a good example of how the media likes to overexaggerate.

PTT's Top 100

While I'm on the subject of music this week, I thought now was as good time as any to finally post my Top 100 songs as requested by my friend Dave. I don't think he ever completed his - but I did. I rank the songs in order of year they played - or as close as I can remember. You'll notice most of the songs come from the 1980s. This Reagan era influence only makes sense as music is all about connecting on an emotional level and seemingly tied to specific events in our lives. And back then I had all kinds of somethin' going on.

• Travelin’ Man – Ricky Nelson
• Jive Talkin’ – Bee Gees
• One of These Nights – Eagles
• Laughter in the Rain – Neil Sedaka
• Dancing Queen - Abba
• Hopelessly Devoted to You – Olivia Newton John
• Grease – Franki Valli
• Staylin’ Alive – Bee Gees
• Player – Baby Come Back
• Knock On Wood – Amy Stewart
• Ring My Bell – Anita Ward
• Last Dance – Donna Summer
• 9-5 – Dolly Parton
• Xanadu- Olivia Newton-John
• Suddenly – Olivia Newton-John
• Little Red Corvette - Prince
• The Tide is High – Blondie
• Toto – Africa
• Waiting for a Girl Like You – Foreigner
• Self Control – Laura Branigan
• Say, Say, Say – Michael Jackson
• Baby Come to Me – Patti Austin
• Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
• Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
• Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
• Careless Whisper – Wham
• Like a Virgin – Madonna
• Thriller – Michael Jackson
• Twist of Fate – Olivia Newton-John
• Puttin’ on the Ritz – Taco
• Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
• She Blinded Me with Science – Thomas Dolby
• Talk to Me – Chico Debarge
• Out of Touch – Hall & Oats
• Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics
• Take My Breath Away – Berlin
• Obsession – Animotion
• She Bop – Cindy Lauper
• Torture – Jacksons
• We Belong – Pat Benatar
• Dancin’ in the Sheets – Shalamar
• Can’t Wait Another Minute – Five Star
• A View to a Kill – Duran Duran
• Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
• Private Dancer – Tina Turner
• Sara – Starship
• Soul Kiss – Olivia Newton - John
• Election Day – Arcadia
• I’m Your Man – Wham
• Sidewalk Talk – Jellybean
• Mountains – Prince
• Sugar Walls – Sheena Easton
• Crazy for You – Madonna
• Take on Me - Aha
• Say You, Say Me – Lionel Richie
• A Love Bizarre – Sheila E
• Kyrie – Mr. Mister
• If You Leave – OMD
• Human – Human League
• 99 Luft Balloons - Nena
• Talking in Your Sleep – Romantics
• Say, Say, Say – Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
• Let the Music Play – Shannon
• Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
• The Right Stuff – Vanessa Williams
• Come Go With Me – Expose
• Girlfriend – Pebbles
• The Lover in Me – Sheena Easton
• Secret Rendezvous – Karyn White
• Miss You Much – Janet Jackson
• Blame it on the Rain – Milli Vanilli
• Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
• Two to Make it Right – Seduction
• Vogue – Madonna
• Giving You the Benefit – Pebbles
• Freedom – George Michael
• Save the Best for Last – Vanessa Williams
• What is Love – Haddaway
• All That She Wants – Ace of Base
• Creep – TLC
• Beautiful Life – Ace of Base
• One More Try – Kristine W
• I Wanna Be With You – Fun Factory
• Reach – Gloria Estefan
• One by One – Cher
• Sweet Dreams – La Bouche
• You’re Makin Me High – Toni Braxton
• It’s All Coming Back to Me Now – Celine Dion
• Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
• Frozen - Madonna
• Believe – Cher
• Bye Bye Bye – N’SYNC
• Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie
• Love at First Sight – Kylie
• Crazy in Love - Beyonce
• Maybe – Emma Bunton
• Walk Away – Kelly Clarkson
• Don’t Cha – Pussy Cat Dolls
• Hung Up - Madonna
• Apologize - Timbaland w/One Republic

No Cameras Allowed

There are no cameras allowed at the MTV European Music Awards show tonight. So if I'm sitting next to Nelly Furtado (one of the few A-listers scheduled to attend), I guess you'll have to take my word for it. "Take my word for it." Now that I typed it, the phrase sounds odd. Just like one of those words that, once you repeat it over and over again, doesn't seem correct.