Pink Trash Travels


Eat a Sandwich!

I don't like to be told I'm skinny. Lean? Yes. Skinny? No. And over the past two days, I've heard the skinny comment twice. That makes me sad. In Europe, I'm not skinny. In fact, I'm the norm. So, I'm attributing the comments to the fact that I look more lean here in America because those around me are just more fat (not those making the comment of course. Yes. That's it. The people around me are fat.


What I Find Funny

I find it funny that last night during dinner, after my friend Doug discussed ordering french fries to accompany his turkey burger, the server stated, "You know, next week is Market Days." In other words, what he was really saying was, "Nobody likes a fat gay. Order the cottage cheese."


When I lose money, or anything really with monetary value, I feel as though I need to punish myself by not purchasing something. So, this week, since I lost over 50 euros somehow, I told myself, "No new pair of jeans for you." Well, now that I actually made $150 by wearing a tank top to the house inspection yesterday (thus getting a discount on the service), I feel as though I'm now actually ahead. Good to know my hard work at the gym pays off in other ways than just making me feel good.


Hungry 4 Cereal

I shouldn't go to the grocery store hungry or craving cereal as I just left the Jewel with three boxes of the anytime goodness including Frosted Mini Wheats Cinnamon Streusel, Blueberry and Bunches (from the Honey Bunches of Oats family). I can't wait to sample.


Reflecting on My Day

Today's been very busy as not only did I have a phone "discussion" with Blue Plate Chicago about a Marketing Director job but I also had the inspection on our new house. All-in-all, it was a good day. But, that doesn't stop me from noting that I'm a bit anxious and nervous.

I'm anxious about the job with Blue Plate Chicago. Is it a job I'd really like to have? Initially, I say yes. But, the job description doesn't accurately describe the responsibility set. Not only does Blue Plate need a Marketing Director to oversee activity with their three restaurants and catering businesses, but Blue Plate is also introducing a new product into the market along with a retail concept. So, the Marketing Director, who will be replacing a variety of exiting former employees, will have his/her hands full. As for next steps, I'm to note my thoughts about our chat and forward to the Human Resources director I spoke with today. I've asked for the same from him. We'll see if our thoughts line-up.

I'm nervous about our house project. Well, project isn't the right word. I'm thinking it's a major undertaking. The inspection went well. So did my walk through with the architect. But again, it's going to take time and money to convert the house into the dream home we want. I can only hope we have the patience. We'll be noting our requests for credits to the laywer tomorrow. As for the architect? He's going to be pulling together a schematic to let us know how he would reconfigure the space. I'm, again, nervous about the upstairs rehaul as he's thinking the two rooms might be a bit small to collapse into a master. But, I guess I'll just wait and see.


German Smoking Ban Revisited

Paris can do it. New York can do it. But cities in Germany can't figure out how to ban smoking? So instead, they're repealing the no-smoking rule until individual states can solve the individual room vs. partitioned section dilemma. Please, it's not that difficult. Don't allow patrons to light up and not only kill themselves but those around them. Nuff' said.


Today's a Busy Day

Not only do I have a phone conversation at 2:30 with Blue Plate Chicago, our house inspection is at 3. So I'll be chatting about my experience outside of 5245 Lakewood for 30 minutes before heading inside to find out what, if anything, needs to be addressed with our big purchase before we close in four weeks.


Chicago Live! Parking Police

I'm sitting here watching police ticket a row of cars out on the street because they're parked illegally on a street cleaning day. And, as I've been ticketed before for the same event, I feel sorry for the poor saps who now will have a $50 fine waiting for them after their morning cup of coffee. Though, my excuse back in March was that I was a visitor, and I parked down the road from any signage stating, "No Parking. Wednesdays. 7-9 a.m. April - November." Not that it mattered. My complaint was rejected.


PTT Secret Mix #4

She's a perennial summer favorite. And some actually think she's singing, "Stir Me Up." Who is she? Don't get disturbed if you can't figure it out. You'll enjoy the Craig C Vocal Mix no matter.


Chicagoans Vote Windy City #1

My friend Tom loves Chicago and is very proud to call the Windy City home. And according to this article he forwarded to me this morning, he's not alone. Chicagoans are most happy with their surroundings, beating New York and Paris as most loved by its residents.

Chris and I always tell everyone back in Munich that Chicago provides an easy way of life with a great lakefront location. Sure, the winters can be harsh, but that's why you escape to the tropics!


Note 2 Self

Don't drink NO Explode and 1 liter of green tea prior to your 5 p.m. workout. I didn't go to bed until 1 a.m. And now that it's 7 a.m. the following day, I can honestly say I don't feel like I've slept at all.


Revisiting Lorenzo

Many of you may remember my history with Lorenzo. If not, it's too complicated to highlight in one post. In short, he was one of the first people I met in Paris, grew especially close to, then somewhat drifted apart from over the last few months while we were in Paris. According to recent reports (the latest on Perez Hilton), it appears he was headed for marriage to Marc Jacobs this past weekend. I'd contact him directly to find out the scoop, but his emails are kapuut. Which tells me all of his entertaining in Paris, and Ibiza later this month, came first with his job second. So, unless he reaches out to me down the road, our relationship is one for the history books.


Luca's Hot Cover


I made note of Luca Toni many times during the Euro 2008 tournament. Now he graces the cover of Italian Vanity Fair. If you didn't see it before, now there shoud be no questions regarding the hotness that is Luca Toni. Oh la la.


Relighting My Fire

I may not have liked The Dark Knight as much as others, but one element kept my attention: Aaron Eckhart. I loved him in Thank You for Smoking. And, I believe around that time I identified him as my new boyfriend. With The Dark Knight's release this summer, Aaron has relight my fire. If only he knew.


So Did We Buy a House?

Yes. But our plan somewhat changed after spending three days looking at homes throughout Chicago.

Let me start by saying we never had any intentions of buying a home that needs a major rehaul. Sure, we thought we could update a kitchen, possibly a bathroom or two. But a rehab? Absolutely not. That was until we saw that our spending cap still required updating. So, after spotting a house in the historic district of Lakewood Balmoral (the perfect neighborhood with amazing houses up and down the block, unbeatable resale values, and a short walk to restaurants, boutiques and even the lake), we decided to take the plunge.

We'll be closing the first week of September quickly followed by Greene and Proppe starting on the house a few weeks later. Being experts in historical rennovation, and a firm that can handle everything from soup to nuts, both Chris and I are excited about them managing the project (especially after meeting Thom on Friday before making an offer). Sure, we'll pay a bit more. But from what we can tell, it will all be worth it. Not only will we have the perfect house for us, it's a house we'll be proud of eight to ten months down the road.

All of which means we'll be searching for a small apartment to rent once we return in November or December. But knowing what's in store for us at the end of Spring, our pain and suffering will be tolerable. And as far as our relationship goes, if we've survived moving to Paris, then Munich, I have a feeling we can withstand anything.


Do I Look Like a Soccer Mom?

I'm back in Chicago after a nice weekend in Houston with my family. It only took me four years to get there, but better late than never, right?

All was dandy until I arrived at Enterprise. They didn't have a compact car ready for pick-up (I reserve the smallest car possible because not only is it easier to park in Chicago but it's better on gas). The front desk clerk asked me, "Is a mini-van okay?" With a "are you serious?" look on my face, I politely replied, "Do I look like a soccer mom?" So back he went behind his little counter to find another choice. The only other option was a Mercury Mariner.

Similar to a Jeep Wrangler, the small size SUV, so far, has turned out to be "not so bad." It drives fairly well and, unlike my Dodge Avenger from last week, I can actually see out the back windows. But I'm a bit concerned about gas consumption. I've already used almost a 1/4 of a tank - and that's just from the airport to downtown with a few miles here and there. I guess I'll just have to limit my usage just as I do my temporary phone. I need to save all the money I can with a big purchase looming on the horizon (more on that to come).


So Did We Buy a House?

I'll reveal the big news tomorrow, Monday, once I return from Houston. I'd spill the beans today, but as many of you know (either because I've told you in person or via this blog), I don't like to leave a paper or electronic trail before I fly. And considering my United flight tomorrow is most likely on a dated plane from 1960, I've even more nervous (assuming it's in similar condition as my ride on Friday).


Houston Live: The Running Men

Because of the mounds of cake I ate last night, I decided to go for a long run this morning around my mom's neighborhood (ironically down Queenston Blvd.). Who knew the sights would be so enjoyable? I passed a hot running man on my way out, and again on my return home. He gave me a "high five" both times (which allowed me to slow down a bit to enjoy more of what was in front of me). Besides that, there was another hot running man across the street as I turned into my mom's development. Maybe I need to burn a few more calories later.


Steer Clear of the Beaver

We all decided we're not a fan of the Beaver -the b-b-q joint with a twist in Houston that our friend Kevin and Brian recommended to us. Our first starter, sweet potato fries, was swimming in grease. The second, corn "hush puppies," were probably my favorite part of the meal as they were small balls of fried corn meal (and pretty much anything with a crunchy coating and fried can be delicious). My main meal (which was more appropriate for a Sunday afternoon lunch than a Saturday evening dinner), a sloppy beef sandwich, looked (and tasted) more like Rosanne Barr's minced meat sandwich than a traditional b-b-q delight. Sadly, it was bland. One additional shining star was the baked beans side dish. Then again, how difficult is it to muck-up baked beans? So on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best, PTT awards Beaver's two pink campers.


Houston Live: Sampling Beaver

My mom and I are getting ready to meet my brother for dinner. Based on my friend Kevin's recommendation, we're dining at Beaver's in Houston. Apparently, it's run by two lesbians - which explains a slogan on one of their t-shirts: Beaver's - just south of Hooter's. I thought the just noted "Hot 10 Summer Blockbusters" by Bon Appetit would be a good restaurant for my mom's down home dining style. Besides that, none of us feel like having an outfit change from casual Saturday. It's too hot.


Houston Live: Hot!

I'm on leg two of my journey across America. I landed in Houston this morning to see my mom and brother. It's been more than three years (possibly four) since I saw my mom. My brother? Not as bad. Maybe two.

I'd been promising to come down for months - years in fact. But I always found a reason to avoid the flight. So instead, I find myself here in the middle of summer. And currently, it's over 100 degrees and humid. Thank goodness I purchased those dress shields last March. They'll come in handy this weekend for sure.


So Did We Buy a House?

After three days of house shopping, did we buy a house? You'll just have to wait and see.


Why So Long?

I'm not sure why all the critics are raving about The Dark Knight. It's good, but not THAT good. Besides that, with a running time of around 2:30, it felt long (and a little like two movies). And considering we spent $32 for parking (double what we anticipated), $24 for two tickets, $5 for movie candy and just under $4 for one soda, I can barely say it was worth the price of admisstion.


Blogging Live: AMC

There are gays everywhere. And why must I move down one seat when I arrived 45 minutes early to chose the seat I want?


Blogging Live: AMC Movie Theater

We're getting ready to see The Dark Knight in Chicago. And because I stress about getting a good seat, we're here 45 minutes early. Of course we had to stop at Walgreen's for movie candy (with the flick costing $12 a ticket and $16 for parking,you have to save where you can).

Ah, the smell of popcorn and a freezing cold movie house. Now that's summer!


Chicago Live: Thursday

Today, I'll be looking at a few more homes. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the process so far. I've narrowed down what we saw yesterday to two homes: one across the street from our old house and the other a fixer upper (but in an amazing hood and worth the investment). After Chris arrives tonight, we'll go look at the finalists tomorrow - maybe making a decision or deciding to wait.

Quite honestly, you'd think there would be more houses on the market and at better prices. Considering more reports today show that June housing numbers are negative once again, I'd assume sellers would realize it's a buyer's market. Maybe they know something my realtor and I don't.


Silly American Product

While burning away last night's steamed potstickers and General's chicken at the gym this morning, I spotted a commercial for the Aqua Globe watering system during the Price is Right. Who wants this goofy product sticking out of their house plant? It's blown glass, but not pretty. Maybe functional. But again, not pretty. Actually, pretty silly.


My Faith in Humanity is Restored!

Blame it on my cynical mindset, but I didn't think there was any chance I'd ever get Paddy's phone back in hand after I left it at McDonald's yesterday. However, after driving there this morning, I was amazingly surprised that someone had, indeed, turned his phone into the front counter. When the manager walked out with Paddy's Motorola in hand, I almost fainted. "I can't believe it?" I said. The manager looked at me with a confused look on her face. I stated, "No, it's a good thing!"


Chicago Live: Gym Time

It's always fun to return to Chicago and go to the gym. Not only is it a pleasant change of pace from the daily routine in Munich, but it's nice to see the tall, dark and handsome men that America has to offer.

Yesterday, before and during my workout at Lincoln Park Athletic Club, I was fortunate to spot not one but two all American hotties . And funny enough, in just baggy shorts and a t-shirt, they had it "all going on." Do I care that they were straight? No. Do I hope to see them again in about an hour or two? Definitely.


Why? Why? Why?

Everytime I come to Chicago, something bad happens. I get parking tickets, have cars towed and damaged and leave doors open so dogs can wander outside. Today, I can add "lose cellphones" to the list as I left Patrick's cell phone at McDonald's after lunch. And when I tried calling McDonald's to ask if anyone turned it in, I might as well have been speaking German. The shift manager said she was the "only one there." I replied, "Isn't this McDonald's?" She said everyone from earlier went home so she "knew nothing." So tomorrow I'm going to swing by to check the status of my lost and found report. I don't expect much.


Chicago Live: House Hunting

The Today Show on NBC just noted that it's going to be a beautiful day in Chicago with highs around 80 degrees - picture perfect for outdoor activities. Good thing I'll be spending 7 hours, from noon to 7 p.m., out and about looking at houses with my realtor. Sunny days always make buying a home better. Now, can we do something about the rising interest rates?


Minding My Manners

I've never seen the magazine on newstands, but with a cover model like this, I'll be looking for Manner once I return to Germany in two weeks. Note: the link to the magazine features a different model (July I believe), and he's not half bad either.


What I Find Funny

While shopping for caffeine free soda tonight at the Jewel-Osco in Chicago, I found it funny to see all the two liters lining the shelves. Those gigantic bottles of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi seemed odd and again, huge. Because in Europe, most soda is sold in one liter bottles which, of course, we thought was strange when we moved there three years ago. Now I'm thinking, "What am I going to do with all that pop?"


Reason 4 Delay

You probably noticed a lack of postings today on PTT. I was inflight to Chicago - flying 10 hours. And since I don't like to leave emails, phone messages or any lingering communication before departing, I opted out of blogging early Tuesday. But now it's evening in Chicago, and I'm trying to stay awake, so what better way to keep the peepers open than to blog about my trip!

For starters, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into business class on my United flight. My plane was outfitted with the new lay down beds and entertainment systems. So, not only did the upgrades allow me to sleep for a whole two hours, I played backgammon and watched three movies. It made the time fly by.

My neighbors were an odd bunch. To my right was a family of four from Denver who were so excited about all the features in business class that they could hardly sit still. Cute. Very cute. To my left was a gentleman who barely could control his enthusiasm when he finally connected his iPod to the enterainment system - allowing him to watch six episodes of The Sopranos. I tried to ignore him as much as possible - until I needed his pen of course.

Quite honestly, I can now say United's new business offering is now better than that featured on Lufthansa's aircrafts. With the beds laying down completely flat, it truly makes all the difference in the world. So, United, you may just get my dollars back.


Chicago's Supporting Role

I should designate my friend Tom as a PTT correspondent for Chicago. He sends me interesting articles about the Windy City - the latest being one that reports on the Windy City's supporting role in The Dark Knight. Pretty cool.


Twitter Update

Well, sadly, I have no friends who are Twittering. So, until they sign-up, I'm all alone in Twitter land.


Welcome 2 Twitter

Do you tweet? I didn't until today. But now that I've signed up at www.twitter.com, I can tell my friends "what I'm doing." And they, in turn, can tell me. As Twitter describes, "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?" There's currently a feature on Facebook that's very similar - and it's quite popular. So, I can only imagine how Twitter will take off. I'm there. Are you?

Warning: Because of Twitter's current high traffic volume, you may be unable to sign-up. Blame it on USA Today.


Opening Minds

Because this November, Californians will go to the polls to decide if gays and lesbians will be able to retain their right to marry, it's important that we defuse the controversy by educating those opponents of equality. Check out www.outtakeonline.com for a trailer that helps to define just what's right. Look for the "view trailer" button on the top left hand side of the page.


PTT Fashion Tip

I don't know if anybody is wearing these American Apparel Slim Slacks in America, but over here in Germany, you see them everywhere - unfortunately. They just aren't flattering to most men. Actually, they make you look like a lady. So if you're goal is to attract those who prefer dudes, stay away from the pants and opt for a pair of nice fitting jeans instead.


4 All U Madonna Fans

It looks as though Hard Candy is a hard sell stateside. I blame it on Madonna for not exposing herself enough (yes, odd) in regards to the record as well as making lazy videos. That, or the buying public just doesn't "buy" her collaborations with Timbaland and current hitmakers. Do they expect more from a foreward thinking artist? Anyway, I digress. If you're one a fan of her latest, Give it to Me, then you may appreciate the Eddie Amador remix and accompanying video. Check it out below. It keeps me more entertained than the original!


The Crackdown on Baggy Pants

I'm not sure how I feel about this new law banning sagging pants in a southern suburb of Chicago. On one hand, it's a personal style choice. Where do you draw the line? On the other, if you're essentially walking around showing your butt crack (in other words, a bit of nudity), then I suppose someone can fine you for dropping your drawers. My question is this: Will they also fine ladies for showing too much boob?


Pow!

You may not find this interesting, but I sure do. Batman, as of midnight on Saturday night, looks to make over $150MM this weekend - besting the best ever three day opening by Spider Man 3 one year ago. Just another reason why I wish I could go see the film. It's an event - and I like to be part of opening weekend mania. You might get to see some kook dressed up like Batman.


Say NO 2 PDA

Mark, Greg and I were lucky enough to sit behind a couple at Mamma Mia! last night who couldn't stop fondling each other. His arm was around her. Her arm was around him. His tongue was down her throat. Her tongue was down his. And Mark's finished popcorn bag was near my mouth as I was prepared to vomit. Mark agreed that couples seem to do that a lot here in Germany - on the train, at dinner, at the gym, in the market.

So, consider this a plea. Stop! And if you're one of those couples who like PDA, please keep in mind those around you don't need to see what goes on behind closed doors - just where it should stay.


Oh Mamma Mia!

And I write that sarcastically. I much rather would have preferred to see Batman, however, it wasn't an option (as it doesn't open in Germany until next week). But since I wanted to be social, I decided to go see the Abba song turned Broadway musical turned big screen flick with Mark and Greg last night.

In short, not good. Not terrible. But not good. We all cringed when Pierce Brosnan started singing. Actually, it was hard to watch most break out into song. Luckily it wasn't long. There were a few bright moments that made us laugh. Meryl Streep leans into the camera while the credits roll to ask the audience if they want some more song and dance. Funny. But the most hilarious moment was in the final scene when a water line breaks. One of the characters is gay. And, as the group is dancing, they pan to a shot of Meryl in the foreground with the gay one somewhat blurred in the back - with his shirt off, hands in the air, as if he was at a circuit party. Most wouldn't get it. But we did. Real funny.

Was it worth the price of $15 admission? No. Is Mamma Mia! a good airplane movie? Yes. But quite honestly, if it's playing again on a flight back home, I'm flipping the channel. Once was enough.


Quick Catch-up

For those of you wondering if I ate my Jager Bolognese last night, unfortunately I did. I suffered the rest of the night and into this morning. I'm sure it didn't have ANYTHING to do with the odd collection of ingredients I threw together to make the beef dish taste better.

And I'm not sure when the festivities begin downtown, but as of 1 p.m. today, it was still fairly quite. I only saw a few jugglers. I have to assume all the craziness begins closer to sundown when the stages being constructed will be exploding with German performers. Will I be attending? Considering I'm going to Mamma Mia tonight with Mark and Greg, probably not. But, you never know. We could be so filled with Abba goodness that we want to continue the night out and about. Doubtful, but one should never say never!


NY Calorie Posting Revelation!

As part of an anti-obesity campaign in New York, restaurants are now forced to display calorie counts for food items. Of course, McDonald's and other fast food chains get singled out in the fight against blubber. But for the House of Ronald, redemption will come from the fact that people will now be able to compare what they "think" is good for them to what actually is. Sure, a Big Mac has over 500 calories. Just wait until these clueless patrons visit a Chinese restaurant, or five star establishment, and learn that their plate of noodles or fancy meal has over three times as many calories as a burger from McDonald's!


Looking Forward: Chicago


Gets Me Everytime

For the 17th time, I'm watching Carrie Bradshaw land in Paris to meet Alexander Petrovsky. And just like the 16 times before, I get somewhat emotional when I watch her get all giddy when she walks into her hotel room and views the Eiffel Tower from her window. It takes me back to Friday, August 20th, 2005 when I arrived in Paris, our flat, and our new life in Europe.


Beef Surprise Gone Wrong

When Chris is away, I sometimes experiment with dinner. Tonight, I decided to try a pasta dish called Jager Bolognese (from a packet of course). I was to add ground beef, green onions, mushrooms and pasta. Since I couldn't find lean meat, I opted for turkey (and substituted whole wheat noodles). Wrong decision. Because what I tasted, seems bizarre. I think the turkey flavor didn't combine well with the sauce packet. So I added tomatoes. Still wrong. Next, I threw in some sweet corn. Still not right. Now I'm wondering, "Will those little crunchy onions you use when making Green Bean Casserole help?" Probably not. So the next question is, "Do I eat it or throw it away?" I hate wasting food, but stomaching my beef casserole surprise isn't my idea of a good time.


PTT Secret Mix Returns

Apparently PTT readers like to play games! My posting of the "Secret Mix" last week proved to be quite popular. So, it's back again this Friday. This time, I suppose I could say my friend DG is quite a fan of this artist. And, the singer from Australia who now lives in LA was recently featured as a free download of the week on iTunes. The "Secret Mix" is a mid tempo electro tune that chugs along with ease. For the hot track, go HERE. And if you can't solve the puzzle, shoot me an email. I'll respond with the artist, title and remixer! Enjoy.


Cruise and Cheese

What a combo! Because the official video for Star Pilot's In the Heat of the Night hasn't been released yet, someone jumped the gun and created their own version that combines Top Gun with the current #2 track in Sweden. Check out Tom in all his glory (and before he took a tumble) below.


Brit Lingo

While watching GMTV on my satellite (a bad version of Good Morning America with terrible sets and unappealing interviews/stories), I'm schooled on Brit lingo. Today, I learned the the following:

Pulling a Sickie: British term for calling in sick to work.


Giving an Earful of Unhappiness

I don't know what the rules and regulations are for construction in Munich, but it shouldn't be legal to start throwing around giant sheets of metal at 7 a.m. Sure, for many, the rude behavior wouldn't matter as most are up and running. But for me, my schedule is a bit different as I work usually at night - writing until 10 or 11 (or later), then trying to settle down with a bowl of cereal and Sex and the City until around 1 a.m. If only I knew who to call, and what to say, in German. I'd give them an earful of unhappiness.


Munich's 850th Celebration


As part of Munich's 850th anniversary celebrations, Munich's town center is scheduled to be closed to traffic this weekend from tomorrow at 9 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 p.m. Organizers are trying to create an "Old Town Ring Road Festival: A theatrical, musical and playful journey in time on the Old Town Ring Road." Sounds like it's going to be one big drunkfest for 72 hours. Either I'll be truly annoyed or happy that the festival brings with it good blogging material.


New & Noteworthy - Alphabeat's Boyfriend

With all that heavy talk about Chicago, I thought it was time to lighten up. So, check out Alphabeat's new video for Boyfriend below and the Ting Tings video for Shut Up and Let Me Go HERE. Between both groups, the British pop scene is pumping out some good tunage. Now go "she-bop" around the office, living room or whatever space where you're cruising the net.


Giving Perspective

After my friend Tom read my entry today regarding the "crime wave" in Chicago, as well as numerous reports coming out of Chicago regarding the "trouble" the city is facing, he thought it would be a good idea to give some back story on the events. And because I love Chicago, I feel as though the information is important. After all, I know how the media can make something quite small seem extremely large (i.e. riots in Paris). In the words of Tom:

Gov. Blagojevich is an unpopular sitting governor with historically low (a la Bush) popularity ratings. Mayor Daley, although a fellow Democrat, has never been a supporter of the Governor. The Governor’s offer of assistance to “fight crime” is simply an attempt to embarrass the Mayor. Not to sound blasé, but to the average person, crime has certainly not noticeably increased, nor does one feel “unsafe” downtown or in Lincoln Park/Lakeview/Uptown/Ravenswood.


Why R U Moving Again?

I get numerous emails asking, "Why do you want to move back?" The persons asking are referring to our eventual return to Chicago. Not only do they make note of the economy, but recently they've recently started commenting on Chicago's "out of control" crime. I'm sure the media is making a mountain out of a molehill, but none-the-less, it raises questions.


Separation Anxiety

I'm sure this won't come as a big surprise to you, but it's cold and raining in Munich. As such, I took my umbrella to the gym today. I still have a hard time leaving it at the entrance, wet. Why? Because just like Carrie on Sex and the City, she left her Manolo Blahniks at the front door and someone took them - either by accident or on purpose (not that my umbrella is as stylish as a pair of Manolos, but it is a Burberry).


Looking Forward: Chicago

There are the obvious items I'm looking forward to enjoying once I land in Chicago next Tuesday afternoon. Time with friends, of course, is #1 followed by finding a house at #2. But what about #3, #4, #5 and so on?


Munich Cowboys

Munich has a football team? And they're called the Cowboys? And they sell American food at the concession stands including hamburgers, hotdogs and fries? Pack up the cooler boys. We're there.


Hot Summer with Monrose

If you're reading this blog from America, I know you're starved for pop music. Elsewhere around the world, we're fortunate that radio programmers still feed us fun music. So, let me spread the pop wealth by featuring Monrose and their new single Strike the Match. Produced by the uber hot Ryan Tedder (of One Republic and Bleeding Love fame), It has a similar sound to their big hit from last year, Hot Summer. Check out Strike the Match below. And, to remind you why I like them in the first place, scroll down to watch Hot Summer.




AussieBum Ad Blankets Pink UK


AussieBum's clothes, dare I say it, are crap. However, the company knows how to market their line of underwear and swimsuits. Select hot models, show as much skin as possible, and buy a targeted media plan that hits the gay hotspots.


Jake in Paris


We miss baguettes from Paris. But, we also miss the star sightings (Hollywood just doesn't come to Munich). So, of course I'm a little reflective when I see Jake in Paris holding a giant baguette. But what's up with the big cigarette?


And So It Begins

During our evening walk tonight, Maddie and I strolled through the Oktoberfest park. And, surprisingly, it appears they've already begun setting up for Oktoberfest 2008. I suppose it does start in just under nine weeks - so it's not that crazy. But if I remember correctly, construction didn't start until the first week of August last year. I guess this year, they decided to jump the gun. Ah, let the games begin.


Just 4 Matt

Consider this a surprise Club One entry - and one that I'm posting for my friend Matt who adores the original song. I'm not sure how many of you will like the secret mix that was just released this week, but if you love the movie above, it might tickle your fancy.


Looking Back: Norbert in Prague

At first, his name was Paul. Then, after I decided not to buy the 400 Euro marionette, I changed his name to Norbert - referencing a monk we read about later in the day. Good thing I didn't buy him. I had an issue with spending $646 for a companion puppet to Mr. Pantalones I bought in Venice. Now that the Euro is even stronger against the dollar, Paul, or Norbert, would have cost thousands!


What the "H" "E" Double Hockey Sticks?

Seriously, what's wrong with the US dollar? It's getting beat like a red headed stepchild by the Euro and every other currency on the planet.