Pink Trash Travels

Beijing Goes Non-Smoking

Speaking of non-smoking, add Beijing to the list.

Back 2 Smoking

When we stopped by our salon on Saturday to make an appointment for Chris to get his hair cut, the receptionist, who knows how much I hate smoking, asked if we heard the news. "What news?" I replied. Turns out the politicians in Munich are going to be reversing the smoking ban in Munich come June or July - if not sooner. Apparently, it was a (pardon my French) a "cluster fuck."

This isn't a big surprise. For starters, when the city enacted the smoking ban on January 1, 2008, they left room for interpretation. Meaning, if you wanted to declare yourself a "smoking club," patrons could smoke (for example, on Saturday night, we had to finish dinner by 11:00 as our restaurant became a smoking club where either membership is required or you sign a roster declaring your participation). The problem with this little loophole is that it created an unfair playing field - giving some establishments the advantage over the others. So, complaining began. As a result, we now must say "bye-bye" to a smoke-free Munich as I'm sure most places will revert back to their original ways.

Paris did it. London did it. New York did it. But apparently, Munich couldn't pull off a smoke free city. How sad.

Waving the Wheat

Congratulations Jayhawks for making into the Final Four!

Madonna's 4 Minutes - Peter Rauhofer Style

For fans of Madonna's 4 Minutes, Peter Rauhofer debuted his remixes on Friday night in New York. My friend Dave went, but never heard the tracks. He may have left too soon as Peter likes to save the best for last.

So, if you want to get a preview of Peter's remixes set to be released around the middle of April, check out the video below. Sadly, it doesn't look like the crowd was having much fun. If I heard that track, I would have gone crazy. I quite honestly can't wait to have it thumping in my ears at the gym. Talk about motivation. Grrrrrr.

Zeno's a Success

It's a miracle. Well, good science or technology anyway. As I noted yesterday, I had one of those unpleasant pimples starting to form under my skin. You know, the kind that festers deep below and seems to stay around forever. Well, I zapped it with my new Keno three times - at 2:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and finally around midnight before I went to bed. Today, I'm happy to report that the blemish is nearly gone and unnoticeable. As my friend "The Ziz" would say, "G-E-N-I-U-S!" No need to return that gizmo for a refund of $125. The Zeno is a keeper.

What I Learned Tonight

I learned two valuable lessons tonight: (1) Iwan's in Munich makes a must-have Mojito and (2) I shouldn't wear my new Gucci boots if I have to walk more than two blocks - think Monica from friends season eight, episode 181 The One with Monica's Boots.

Eurovision 2008 - First Look Germany

Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia is just around the corner. So, leading up to the May 24th finals, PTT will be featuring participants' videos - from the cool to the quirky. Some will be live. Some will be official videos. But one thing is for certain, they'll all be enjoyable!

And because we live in Munich, up first is Germany. Disappear by No Angels is a standard, mid-tempo girl group track. Not as strong as Girls Aloud or Monrose, but not half bad. Check it out below.

Will Zeno B Successful?

We're a sucker for new products - especially those that feed our vanity. So, last year, when the FDA approved the use of Hairmax, I quickly ordered the laser comb to help keep my follicles healthy. Well, two weeks ago, while we were leaving Chicago, we stopped by Walgreen's. I noticed a new contraption for zapping pimples. Zeno was noted as an "acne treatment device." So, I bought one.

Today is the first day I get to try it out as I noticed I had a pimple growing under my right cheek. I charged the device. I pushed the power button. I placed Zeno to my face covering the pimple for 2 1/2 minutes. Apparently, by placing heat on the zit for a specific amount of time, Zeno breaks down the bacteria in the blemish. And, within 24 hours, after one to three treatments, Zeno claims the pimple will go away (in some circumstances even sooner).

If only I could zap it away by 8:30 tonight as we're going to dinner with Mark, Greg and JP. Though, if the pimple is still there, it's nothing a little cover-up can't handle.

Chaos @ Heathrow

My work with McDonald's has been keeping me quite busy lately. And with convention just around the corner, it's sure to increase dramatically over the next few weeks. But luckily, I don't have to fly to the UK to conduct my work. Heathrow looks like a mess!

Oh that Jesse McCartney. He's all grown up and releasing records with more R & B bite than his previous offerings (even collaborating with Ryan Tedder to write Leona's Bleeding Love). Even so, I'm still not a huge fan. What makes him worth noting is Ralphi Rosario's remix of Jesse's newest offering, Leavin (Ralphi Rosario Mix). Ralphi knows how to kick it up a notch.

Déja Vu

We were in Chicago for Daylight Savings Time and the changing of the clocks. We lost one hour of sleep. It happens again tomorrow night in Munich as Europe catches up with America. So, we lose another hour of sleep. Two hours for us. And at our age, we need all the beauty sleep we can get.

Gaying It Forward

It's difficult for me to stay away from the gym. Not only does it get me out of the house and away from my work, but I then also don't feel like I'm missing anything. Because as I tell Chris, you never know who you'll run into while you're out and about. Today was no exception as I bumped into JP Calderone, one time Survivor contestant and recently announced gay man who jumped out of the closet last year with his Instinct magazine interview.

One thing led to another, so Chris and I are "gaying it forward" in Munich tonight as we're taking the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency model out to a German beer hall for dinner. He's here until Sunday, so we also plan to show him Munich's nightlife on Saturday perhaps along with Mark, Greg and a few others in from Berlin.

That's what being gay is all about. You meet. You greet. One thing leads to another...

Leona Hits #1

I continually make note that in terms of music, America most of the time is behind Europe about six months or so. The newest case in point is Leona Lewis and her just announced number one single Bleeding Love. I featured the track last October (and made note of her as the next big thing way back in December 06). And look, today she's the first British woman since Kim Wilde to have a number one song in America. No wonder Kelly Clarkson is now working with the producer of Bleeding Love - Ryan Tedder from One Republic. Congratulations Leona!

Will It Ever End?

At this rate, Europe will soon be able to buy America.

Melting Meat

I found some delicious wheat buns at the grocery store the other day. I thought they'd make the perfect house for a hamburger, pastrami or corned beef sandwich. And because I tried them out with beef last night while Chris was in Paris, tonight I opted for the deli sandwich.

So earlier today, I bought saurkraut, "American dressing," low-fat mozzarella cheese and what I thought was corned beef. It said so on the package. It was low fat. I thought it would be perfect.

But when I topped the piles of meat with cheese and placed in the oven, and returned five minutes later, what I found were two mounds of decomposed meat. It looked like baby food. Fortunately, the cheese kept some of the melted corned beef in a workable shape.

"What the hell?" I thought. After closer inspection of the package, turns out the Deutsches Cornedbeef was 87% rindfleisch (meat) with the second ingredient being Schwarten (which is gelatin). Makes sense why it literally melted.

I decided, even though it no longer looked like meat, that we'd still eat it. "It could be the best sandwich ever!" I said. Turns out it wasn't. Though, Chris thought more negatively of my concoction than I did. I compared it to something like Manwhich. He thought it was too mooshy - bun and all. This is exactly why I don't experiment when he's in town.

Why the Change?

Why is it that I can eat the same 5:00 o'clock snack for days in a row (most recently rye crisps with light paprika cream spread topped with smoked turkey breast) then wake-up one day and decide this snack no longer appeals to me? What made me change my mind? I suppose it's similar to how I never liked sparkling water (always thinking it tasted like flavorless soda), but one day, all that changed. Now I drink it everyday!

Demi Hearts Leeches

Who knew I could travel to Austria like Demi Moore for leech therapy? I know Austria and Switzerland are known for having some of the best modern medicine on the planet, but I think I'll pass on having something from the worm family suck on my body.

Bill Said What?

I'm watching Fox News in Munich as it's the only news channel that beams from America - and real time. For starters, that Bill Hemmer is handsome (sure, he has the anchorman hair and pearly whites, but he's still one hot dude). Anyway, I digress. Bill just made note of another reason why I don't like to fly.

New & Noteworthy - Sam Sparro

Because it's electronic music, America won't give Sam Sparro's Black and Gold release the time of day (even though he lives in LA). But his former home in London, and the rest of the UK, are giving the single the attention it deserves. Think Jamiroquai meets Prince with a little Justin thrown in for good measure - mixed with a splash of 1983 Spandau Ballet or Taco. Check out the video for Black and Gold below and visit his Myspace page for more on this upcoming artist.

Following Muscle Chow

I'm reading a book Chris gave to me for Easter called Muscle Chow by Men's Health and Gregg Avedon. I know I don't eat enough to gain some muscle mass, but this book helped me to drive the thought home. So, today I'm trying to follow some rules Gregg outlines (if only we were on a first name basis). However, having just eaten an apple with some peanut butter and a small glass of milk, I'm already starving (this was, of course, after my two protein shakes before and after the gym).

According to Gregg, eating an apple, due to its high soluble and insoluble fiber content, should keep me satisfied for a good length of time. Wrong. Instead, I can't wait until my next meal of ham on a small pretzel (sure, the pretzel is more simple than complex carbs but I can't go completely crazy).

I've also decided I'm not eating enough fruits and vegetables - especially the later. So, if I don't find myself consuming enough of the green, I've decided I'll try steaming broccoli, mixing it with quark and water, and drinking the goo as fast as possible. This way, I get the nutrients I need but only have to suffer for 10 or less seconds.

But don't get me wrong. I'm not in one of those bulk-up modes I swore I'd never repeat. I'm happy with how things are settling around my midsection. I just want to ensure I'm feeding myself enough food to reap the benefits of my 1 1/2 hours in the gym everyday. I don't go there just for fun (well, on some days I do - especially when those like Mr. Pirate surprisingly show up).

What's the Point?

What's the point of people running and nearly killing themselves to catch the subway train when another is most likely just minutes behind the first? Not only do they sometimes get caught in the closing train doors, if they miss it, they look absolutely silly. And if you have a child or dog, why risk them getting squashed like a bug - as I've seen over and over and over again?

R.I.P. Mr. Popeye's

So you know how I'm into Popeye's fried chicken, right? (For those of you who don't watch Will & Grace, that won't seem funny to you). Actually, both Chris and I love the quick service restaurant. While in Chicago this past month, we ate their twice!

Well, my friend Tom sent along a sad note today about the owner of Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits passing away in a clinic outside of Munich on Sunday. I'm not sure what he was doing here, but we could have been eating a pretzel next to him in the Chinese Gardens! If I would have known, I would have asked him for some coupons (or I could have traded him for some McDonald's vouchers). "Love that chicken from Popeye's."

Where R They Now?

Have you ever wondered what happened to Sam J. Jones - Flash Gordon from the 1980 film of the same name? I did after catching a glimpse of his hotness on the movie playing today on our UK satellite. He's still acting a bit but, sadly, he went from hot to not. Now my boyhood dreams (and a few from today) are shattered.

The Pitfalls of Rapidough

Chris gave me my Easter present early on Saturday as he thought I could use it for game night. So, along with Mark and Greg, the four of us played Rapidough. Sadly, it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Depending on the rules you agree to play by at the start of the game, you can either allow the modeled clay to be put into motion to get your team to identify the word, or you can make it static. We opted for the first. So, for example, you can model a plane and then fly it around. No sounds. Just movement. But the problem with this allowance is the fact that sometimes, little modeling is required. For microphone, the first word we played, both Mark and Greg grabbed the ball of clay, squashed it into the their hands, and placed it in front of their mouth. We quickly identified both as a microphone, but not before guessing penis.

Because you see, almost every modeled piece of clay looked like a penis. It wasn't intentional. And just because we're gay doesn't mean all we think about is the penis. It just turns out when you try to shape dry clay, it looks like a penis.

I'm thinking next time we play Rapidough, we'll adjust the rules a bit so the modeling of clay on a more detailed level is required. That, or alcohol needs to be involved to make it more interesting. Either way, we're not done with Rapidough - yet.

America latched onto Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. Now it appears she's enjoying a second wave of success with the her current hit Love Like This. But the better single is the title track from her latest LP Pocketful of Sunshine. And the remix by Stonebridge is breathtaking as they replace their usual club sounds with one that features a lighter bassline. Mixed with Natasha's vocals, Pocketful of Sunshine (Stonebridge Mix) wins top billing this week at Club One.

Well Hello Mr. Pirate

It's been a while since I've written about any fun gym stories. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much in term of exciting news, events, or more importantly, hotties worth noting. Well, all that changed this weekend when someone new entered from stage right.

For now, I'll call him Mr. Pirate. Not for reasons some of you might expect, but rather because he's tall, with dark features, has salt and pepper short hair and a light goatee/thin beard along his jawline - somewhat reminiscent of Johnny Depp (though taller, more lean and muscular and without the heavy mascara). I first spotted him yesterday when I was on the elyptical machine and he walked by to go upstairs. Again we connected as he came back down a few minutes later, passing by one more time, glancing, then turning away, then just before passing out of sight, glancing back again to see if I was looking. Of course I was. That's when the game began.

I didn't expect to see him again. After all, I've seen a few others that have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Besides that, we don't usually go to the gym around 1:00 in the afternoon on the weekends. But today, because it's Easter Sunday, we took our time leaving the flat. And I'm glad we did. I had another encounter with Mr. Pirate.

I had just showered and relocated to the blow drying station with my bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner, body and face wash. I thought it would be easier than going back and forth between my locker and the hair dryers. About half way through my styling process, I happened to glance behind me. There was Mr. Pirate looking from across the locker room. Of course, I tried not to pay attention. It's a game afterall. I finished blow drying and walked to my locker - of course passing directly by Mr. Pirate. I glanced. He glanced. Fun for all.

Unfortunately, my locker is around the corner (though, Chris was luckier than I as he was stationed right across from Mr. Pirate). So I get dressed (leaving my shirt off as I know the assets that draw attention), and apply my eye cream and face moisturizer. I then finish dressing with applying hair product as the final touch. I take one glance in the mirror to ensure I'm manageable, then grab my bag and pass by Mr. Pirate once again - glancing a third time. He replies with another as well. But because he's almost ready to go upstairs and workout, I decide to give our chance encounter another opportunity to be fully realized (besides that, I had to go the bathroom - that's what two liters of green tea will do). So I drop my bag alongside the blow drying station and do my business knowing full well Mr. Pirate most likely will stop at the sink across from my bag for a chance to look busy as I exit the bathroom.

Sure enough, as I open the door, there is Mr. Pirate filling up a water bottle and pretending to be engaged in his music from his iPod. He glanced. I glanced. I then grab my bag, glance again but this time with a small smirk, then head out the door as he glances back.

I'm not sure if I'll see Mr. Pirate again. He might be in town for the holiday weekend or in Munich for a modeling gig - because he's quite modelesque. However, I'm not completely convinced that he's gay (you'd think with as much staring between us two there wouldn't be any doubt). But he could be one of those straighties that likes to stare at you to see if you're staring at him. But I'm hoping Mr. Pirate is family. It makes going to the gym that much more enjoyable - on so many levels.

Way 2 Early Morning Church Bells?

It's 5:49 a.m. on Easter Sunday and the church bells have just begun to ring. Why someone in the bell tower feels it's necessary to make such noise at 5:50 in the morning is beyond me. Don't they know some of us are trying to get back to sleep? Or, is this Bavaria's way of telling you to get your butt out of bed and go to church? Three minutes later, still ringing...

Awake on Easter

Don't you hate it when you can't sleep? It's 5:39 a.m. and I'm sitting here watching Tom and Jerry after spending the past two hours being entertained by Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo. I think my initial hunger woke me up, but now, after having a bowl of cereal, I'm just annoyed that I'm not getting some shut eye.

But, my restlessness did give me a chance to do some research for our trip to Mykonos and Santorini this summer. My job is to find transportation between the two islands. And apparently, the four of us (including Mark and Greg) have but a few air options as the maritime choices go away late in the season. So, we either fly a major carrier, like Star Alliance partner Agean Airlines, which takes about seven hours as we connect through Athens, or we opt for a local carrier and fly on a 19 seat plane with a flying time of just 30 minutes.

Sure, it's as though the question answers itself. But for someone who doesn't like to fly, that 30 minute flight could be scary. I've flown a puddle jumper before in St. Croix, but for some reason I think I've grown more anxious over the years. As a result, the Blue Sky Express option frightens me a bit. But for only $100 and five hours less traveling time than our other limited options, Blue Sky starts to seem bearable. I'll have to remember to pack the one remaining Xanax I have reserved for emergency purposes only. And that flight, with just 16 other passengers, seems like it will be an emergency (but not in a plane going down kind of way - you always have to clarify in case someone is listening!)

Chris' Fave: Neti Pot

The Neti Pot caught Chris' fancy when we visited Life Spring in Chicago for protein powder. And being someone interested in how the body works, he bought one. Now, the nasal cleansing product is one of his favorites. You may look odd as you're washing impurities from your nose, but it gives you that "fresh" feeling. Be sure to check out the video below. Seriously, you'd think it was an SNL parody. Watch as water pours from the demonstrator's nose - especially when she's done and both nostrils drip liquid! Besides that, towards the end of the video, there's an added bonus - calisthenics! You can also visit Neti Pot's website for more information.

Its seems as though most reviews of Paula Abdul's song Dance Like There's No Tomorrow read as, "It's not horrible." True. But the Paul Oakenfold remix of the track utilizes its best elements. Now, go dance like there's no tomorrow!

Olivia & Eurovision 1974

I'm sitting here watching, on Good Friday, a show on the Biography channel about Olivia Newton-John. Did you know she was the UK's entry in the Eurovision contest of 1974? And, that she placed fourth behind the eventual winners Abba who took the top prize for Sweden with Waterloo? Check out Olivia's performance below.

Happy Easter Everyone!

In celebration of Easter on Sunday, check out a clip from The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town below. The Rankin and Bass holiday classic from 1977 was just made available on DVD in February (which explains why you can't find it for free viewing anywhere on the net). But that's okay. A small snippet works for me too. It reminds me of when I was little, on Easter, and my parents would hide various clues around the house, one leading to the other, that eventually directed me to my Easter basket. Happy Easter everyone!

What Happened 2 Spring?

Myspace Icons

New & Noteworthy: Leona's Better in Time

Back in October, I noted Leona's Bleeding Love and how I anticipated its climb to the top of the charts in America. Currently, it sits at #1 on iTunes and most likely, depending on radio airplay, will reach the pinnacle position over the next few weeks. With its success comes, in Europe, the second single Better in Time. It's a double sided release with Footprints in the Sand as the flip side. However, because Clive opted to punch up the stateside release with more beat influenced tracks, Better in Time may find a later release - possibly as a third or fourth single from Spirit. But why wait to check out Leona's latest in Europe? The track is a mid-tempo ballad that calls to mind early Mariah and songs from her first LP. Check out Better in Time below.

What do 36 15 28, Lost and Chris Have in Common?

Talk about bizarre. Tonight, while watching last week's episode of Lost, we hear Ben tell Locke the numbers of a safe combination: 36 15 28. Oddly enough, and quite honestly, very bizarre, is the fact that 36 15 28 is the combination to Chris' gym pad lock. What are the odds? Does this mean something? Is Chris somehow involved with the show through an alternative universe?

Countdown to DP's Departure

My friend DP will soon be moving to Zurich - in four days to be exact. I've asked him what he'll be doing over the coming days in preparation for his departure. His response was, "I'm packing." He's essentially a planner so I'm afraid he's overwhelming himself with the small details. Instead, I think he should be:

1) Seeing movies at the AMC River East movie theatre in Chicago where he can grab snacks from Walgreen's before the show.

2) Having a burrito at El Mariachi on Broadway or a quicker version from Chipotle. Even though we just returned from Mexico, he'll miss the rolled goodies.

3) Roaming Target looking at all the discounted items he'll miss buying on a Sunday.

The Gay Gene

And now because I'm eating healthy again, I have a headache. I think I'm having sugar withdrawal. Or, it could be salt withdrawal. Or maybe, carbohydrate withdrawal. Damn the gay gene.

Return 2 Normalcy

Today is the first full day that we're back in Munich and all is back to normal. I woke-up and made my protein shake. I bought a train ticket for the remaining few days in March. And I headed to the gym for a workout before settling back home to work. Though sadly, once I got to Leo's, I realized I forgot my iPod shuffle. Which, as a result, made my workout less than spectacular.

I'm not sure if you're like me, but when I don't have tunes pounding in my ears, I have less motivation (hence the birth of Club Fridays and now Club One). And since there wasn't anybody at Leo's to keep me going, I somewhat wandered around trying my best to get pumped. My workout became more experimental as I need to adjust my routine for the next eight weeks. So, I suppose it wasn't totally worthless. I now have the foundations for a one-arm program that starts next week.

Because believe me, I need to step it up a notch now that we're back and I have three weeks of food settling around my midsection. Sure, it's not bad (I'm not Karen after all). I can properly assess if there's a big problem. But psychologically, tacos and Popeye's chicken don't make you feel fit. Full, yes. Fit, no.

Dave's Faves: Cadbury Creme Eggs

It's almost Easter so of course Cadbury Creme Eggs are splashed all over the airwaves. But here in Europe, they also squash them (which also clearly identifies the eggs' biggest selling feature - the goo). Check out one of my favorites below.

Madonna's 4 Minutes

I couldn't let the release of Madonna's new song 4 Minutes go by without some comment. Having just watched what's obviously an Ellen marketing ploy on a YouTube, and listening fully to the track on a FG Radio broadcast from Paris, I can honestly say I'm somewhat numb. Maybe it's the overpowering horns that drown out both Madonna and Justin. Or, it could be the song's lack of a true Madonna hook. I'm hoping further listens allow Timbaland's latest to grow on me as did Justin's Sexyback. A spring drive through the alps with the windows rolled down could do the trick. Check out the Ellen video below.

If the Tube is a Rockin'...

We came back to an almost full digital video recorder. And because a myriad of shows are scheduled to start over the next four weeks, our TV dinner plate is going to be full. Pushing Daisies, one of this season's breakout hits, and featured on my 2007 Advent Calendar, begins airing in April. Besides that, Brothers & Sisters returns in one week along with the premiere of Dirty Sexy Money. Chuck starts in two, and Gossip Girl, the newest incarnation of Beverly Hills 90210, makes its way to the small screen March 27th. So if we don't answer when you call or write, now you know why.

That Warm Poo Feeling

We're back in Munich. And I don't care what class of service you fly (with Business and First being preferred of course), you still feel like warm and tired poo once you arrive in Europe.

Though, at least on this journey I slept maybe two hours. I didn't take an Ambien but opted for a Xanax. Also, though I was joking with Chris when I rolled over onto my stomach in my seat, I actually found a resulting fetal position at the lower end of the seat quite comfortable - allowing me to rest between hours four and six of our nine hour flight.

Now that we're back, I've cleaned the house due to our cleaning lady's elected day off (which made me quite sad as I was looking forward to returning to a fresh and clean home), we've unpacked our 300 pounds of luggage including Swiffers, protein mixes, candles, an electronic cat box, Kiehl's bath products for us and Maddie and Mexican dishware (just to name a few).

In addition, I'm trying to stay awake. It's better if I push through the day rather than taking a nap. If not, I won't sleep tonight. I'm hoping a warm shower will energize this otherwise drained soul. If not, the next eight hours will be quite long and yawning. And not even the excitement of catching up on three weeks worth of America's Next Top Model and Lost will be able to keep my bobbing head upright.


We're behind Project Runway at least two seasons on our Sky satellite. So when I originally heard about the skit on SNL featuring Amy Poehler's take on the winner of this year's show, Christian, I wasn't sure I'd be able to follow along. Well, no worries. You don't need the back story to appreciate the comedy. It's fierce! Check it out below.

Dreaming of Alex

It's Sunday in Chicago and we're all recovering from a long night out in the Windy City to celebrate our friend's departure to Zurich. Fortunately, we could attend the festivities as our flight back to Munich was delayed until Monday.

The slight pain I'm feeling today was worth not only spending time with our friends but also the opportunity to see the hot bartender at Mini-Bar. His name is Alex and apparently he has photos out on the world wide web. So, I'll be hunting those down later today and, if possible, will share with with you of course. He can serve me a drink anytime!

Duck Spotting

I'm happy to report my dentist visit was the quickest cleaning ever. As I told the office, "It pays to go to the dentist twice a year!" There was very little scraping, just a few pokes and fairly non-existent pain. Just the way I like it! And afterwards, I rewarded myself with a bit of shopping where I spotted a suburbanite with so much lip injections she looked like a duck. Very fun.

Off 2 The Dentist

I'm visiting the dentist today in the suburbs. I'm actually being forced to go as I hate to have my teeth cleaned. But as Chris says, "We're paying for it." I guess I'm a bit concerned they'll tell me I need a new crown to replace one of my fillings that is over 20 years old. That, or I'll have a cavity. And because I'm a baby in the dentist chair, I cringe at the thought of having to return to meet the drill.

I'm Not One 2 Gossip

What world famous record label executive and his entourage invited my friend Xavier to fly to Palm Springs for the weekend on his personal jet? Unfortunately, X couldn't go. But, I offered my substitution instead. Then again, I'm not a sexy and handsome French man so I'm assuming the invitation won't be extended. Oh well.

Because good music isn't limited to the end of the week, say goodbye to Club Fridays and hello to Club One. Featuring one track, once a week up to once a month, Club One will continue the tradition of highlighting links to my favorite dance singles. And to kick things off this week, go here for the first remix of Mariah's Touch My Body that I've found exciting enough to feature on PTT. Seamus Haji, who's worked his energized house on artists like Chanel and Booty Luv, takes the slow jam to the dancefloor with gusto and vocal sensibility. Afterwards, go here for information on Seamus Haji.

Looking Back: The Week in PV

Of course I have my favorites: Tom speaking to the scary doll, the screeching monkey in the tree, the Telly Tubby plopped face down poolside and the group shot. But these pictures only have special meaning for those in attendance. Otherwise, the remaining snapshots capture a glimpse of our week in our lush surroundings. Will we return next year? Most likely not as 2009 is a big year for momentous birthdays. We'll probably be venturing out to sea on a cruise or down to Australia. But no matter. We'll always have PV through pictures.

Ranting in Chicago

We stopped by a Panera Bread today in Chicago for lunch. We were afraid to go in as it's usually overcrowded with those tied to their laptop. And sure enough, even though the fast casual concept expanded its walls, over 50% of the tables were filled with students and free wifi users wearing sweatpants, hoodies and running shoes. Somebody needs to be on table patrol - clearing these loungers and their space for those who actually want to eat and continue on with their day.

Sure, they may have bought a sandwich two or three hours ago. But now they're just loitering around absorbing space from additional paying customers. One table of three students even brought from home a plate of baked goods for snacking.

I'm one for using free wifi. I've had to use it on occassion when our internet was down. But when it keeps paying customers at bay, rules and regulations need to be put into place to protect the integrity of the restaurant. How about no loitering during lunch or dinner hours? The solution is nothing more than posting a sign at the front door notifying patrons of the change. Let the girls take enjoy their sponge cake elsewhere. In the words of Valerie Cherish from The Comeback, "I don't want to see that!"

From Hot 2 Cold

We're back in Chicago after a full day of traveling. Our flight was delayed two hours so on top of a 3 1/2 hour plane ride, it makes for a long day. Which, of course, is why I'm thrilled that we don't leave the States for another few days. I don't think I could handle jumping back on a plane today bound for Munich. Not only are my ears are plugged, I have a bit of an upset stomach and my sinuses are bothering me. At least while we're here I won't be on the hunt for Mexican food. I've quite honestly had enough (for now).

I'm Not One 2 Gossip

What recently transplanted entertainment reporter had to be escorted out of our villa around 3:30 a.m. early Friday morning after planting himself in my bedroom waiting for me to go to bed?

PV Live! Humpday

More than half way through our stay in Puerto Vallarta, most of us still haven't left the villa. Again, there's no need to escape as everything is within reach at Casa Septiembre. A few of the 12 have ventured out at night, but quickly returned as PV, in our experience, isn't about finding hotties at the bar (instead, it's about being with friends). Sure, you there's a gay scene, but mostly those in attendance don't turn heads.

We're planning on going out as a group tomorrow night. And with so many in our party, no matter where we go, we'll BE the party. Because again, our trip to PV is about connecting with friends. And maybe, as an added bonus, we'll see a hottie (or two).

What I Learned Today in PV

Because our satellite TV in the villa has Spanish subtitles, I learned today, as we watched Two and a Half Men that "tonto" means stupid. Well, that's how it was translated. Which made me realize the writers of The Lone Ranger selected a name for his Indian friend that was quite derogatory. Only in the 50s I suppose.

PV Live! Day Two (or Three)

Depending on how you look at it, we've been in Puerto Vallarta now for two days (or three if you officially count Saturday afternoon). And since we arrived, we really haven't left the compound. With food and drinks within reach, and service to ensure your every wish is granted, why go elsewhere? I did escape for a few hours today to go to the gym. If I'm sitting around in a swimsuit, I'm surely not going to stop working out. And with all the guacamole, chips, salsa, enchiladas and more, sweating off some calories is a good idea.

And in terms of the villa vs. last year, I think the gang actually prefers Villa Septiembre to Villa Verde. It's traditionally decorated, is quite a jungle and sits right on the beach. The pool is longer (great for volleyball) and the rooms are just far enough apart that everyone has privacy. So far so good!

It was brought to my attention by some avid readers and a friend of mine here with me in Puerto Vallarta that I somehow managed to forget Club Fridays this week. How could I be so forgetful? I guess I was focused on departing for Mexico. Afterall, as the Julie McCoy of the group, I had my hands full with making welcome packs.

So, I suppose it's better late than never, right? But because I'm sitting here in a wet swimsuit in Mexico (after getting my butt spanked in water volleyball), the entry for Club Fridays is gonna be short. SK8 and Chris Cox. Amnesty. Loads of fun! Enjoy!

Off 2 Puerto Vallarta!

After a short day in Chicago, where I found myself fighting to stay awake most of the time, we're off to Puerto Vallarta for seven days. The weather is forecasted to be in the upper 70s, low 80s with mostly sunny or partly cloudy days. If so, you'll find no complaints from me. So, look for updates throughout the week in between pool time and our numerous trips to Margaritaville (though, since I don't drink, I'll be the designated driver).