Pink Trash Travels

As I've noted, I'm having internet issues (and will continue to have them until next Monday night). So, Club Fridays is relocating to Thursday this week (as I'm sitting out in the hallway, butt aching, only for a few minutes tonight and not tomorrow). We have guests arriving on Friday from Milwaukee so my time will be limited to preparing the house for their arrival. For you, it's a bonus as you get this week's track early. Check out Club Fridays below.

Oh, how this week is a doozy! I've been waiting for official remixes of Janet's Feedback ever since I heard the original. Sadly, the song didn't catch on with the American public. And quite honestly, it's baffling why nobody bought the record. The single was the most added via blogs a few weeks back. But when it came time to purchase the single, nobody did. Maybe it's because of file sharing. Then again, Britney's first two releases have been successful so that theory doesn't really apply. Anyway, for your listening pleasure, I've noted two radio remixes available on promo only: the first by Ralphi Rosario (and a little more on the circuit side) and the second by Moto Blanco (more house oriented) who seem to be remixing everybody these days (then again, so is Ralphi). For Ralphi's Dirty Sexy Radio Edit, go here. And for the Moto Blanco Radio Edit, go here.

And remember, if you like the original, be sure to go to iTunes and purchase the single for $0.99. That's what promo dance singles are all about these days. Since you can never buy them, it's all about creating buzz for the single!

Leo's Live: New and Notworthy

Time doesn't stop even though I don't have internet at home. And I can only do so much sitting on the cold, hard floor out in the hallway. I get tired of neighbors looking at me weird and asking me questions. How many times can I tell them my "net is kaput!" So, after my workout at Leo's, I do my best to keep up-to-date on the happenings around the world - especially music.

His name is David Jordan and his debut album hits stores in the UK in February. The first single pulled from his first effort is Sun Goes Down. It's a nice mix of soul, pop and rock with hints of Prince and Michael Jackson in his video performance. Leave it to the Brits to keep fresh music coming and not the same old Ne-Yo or T-Pain tracks flooding American airwaves. Check out the video below.

My Butt Hurts

Sure it's chapped as a result of my internet dilemma. But my butt hurts from sitting out on the cold, hallway wood floor trying to get some work done. Maybe I should bring down my furry beanbag later tonight?

The System Couldn't B More Flawed

Right now, I'm sitting in the cold, hallway of our flat building. Our internet isn't working, and won't be until "who knows when." So, I found an open wireless network - giving me access to communicate for now. Never mind the odd looks I'm getting as neighbors go up and down the stairs. In short, the whole internet connection system here in Munich is completely flawed, "back-ass backwards," and a giant pain in my left cheek (I'd venture even to say my right as well).

A technician arrived today from T-Com. For starters, I specifically asked for someone who could speak English as I knew solving the problem wouldn't be easy. Not only did he not speak my native tongue (which is fine, I get it, I'm in Germany), but he studdered. I'm not against studdering, but it doesn't help the communication efforts. After disconnecting all of our equipment, he tells me the router is broken. I need to get a new one. After minutes of going back and forth, with me asking, "Then what?", I got on the phone to T-Com and had them speak to him. Afterwards, they spoke to me. I need a new router. Then, someone is going to have to come back out and connect it. We make an appointment for Friday. Frustrated beyond belief, I say goodbye to the technician as my blood pressure builds. "There has to be an easier way," I thought.

So, I call back T-Com and ask if I can go pick one up at the T-Com store, come home, and connect myself. "Do you have the code?" they ask. Code? I guess I need a code to "launch" the internet. And since it was "launched" six months ago, by a company who set up our net and phone, I couldn't tell you what or where the code is - which means I need a new code. Of course, this little fact wasn't communicated to me on the phone. So if I wouldn't have asked about it, the technician would have arrived on Friday, after my new router arrived in the mail tomorrow, to try and make it all work. But as it's clear now, it wouldn't without this code that's floating around lost (probably in the pocket of the homeless man who we found sleeping on my summer lounge chair in the basement). Now I need a new code sent to me (which could take two or three days to arrive via post).

I thought the Germans were efficient. Today's three ring circus only makes me believe their ability to get the job done and done right has evolved to the point of now everything is difficult. First the French, now the Germans. Get me out of here!

Once Again, Disconnected!

As I was trying to download the last three episodes of Ugly Betty last night, our internet kept shutting down, then restarting, then shutting down again. Finally, after about an hour, it completely went dead. I was hoping it would come alive later in the night. No luck.

So, I tried calling T-Com to fix the problem. First, I contacted someone who didn't speak English. She referred me to another number which, of course, didn't work. As a result, I called back and somehow got connected to a number that was on permanent hold. So, I once again call - this time getting someone who speaks English. From that, now I must wait until tomorrow afternoon, between 1 - 4, for someone to stop by and check the line. Of course, they couldn't come out today; which is a slight problem. I am scheduled to have a phone interview, or chat, tonight regarding a job in Chicago. And since the "Bat Phone" is dead because it works through the internet, I'm left to use Chris' cell phone. It was that or cancel and the latter isn't an option as it could be a great opportunity.

Which means for the next few days, I'll only be able to jump on-line at Leo's. So, don't look for much to happen until later on Wednesday when hopefully all is well again. But until then, I'll leave you with another one of those commercials from the UK that gives me the creeps. Take a look below. Until tomorrow...

Munich Live: Sixteen Candles

Yes, we're having an exciting Sunday in Munich. As the wind blows so hard outside it's about to whisk away our patio furniture, we're watching Sixteen Candles. In my opinion, the flick from 1984 is one of the best movies of all time. There are so many great lines (including some that would never be uttered on screen today). A few include:

"Jake Ryan? He doesn't even know you exist!"

"What is she...retarded?"

"Grandparents forgetting a birthday? They live for that shit!"

"Yes, you're a total fag."

"Fred, she's gotten her boobies...Oh, and they're so perky."

"What's a happenin' hot stuff."

"I have to sleep under some Chinaman named after a duck's dork."

"You're really acting asshole."

"You make somebody a bride's maid...and they shit all over you."

"Very hot. Very hot."

"Underpants...girls underpants."

"I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek."

"Now you listen to me mister. God did not put me on this earth to be awakened by filthy suggestions from a foul mouthed hooligan like you."

"Oh sexy girl friend."

"No, he's not retarded."

"No more yanky my wanky."

Now, can you identify who said each quote? Fun for all on a cold, winter day.

Coach or Bust

This may be the first year since 1998 that I'm not attending McDonald's Worldwide convention in Orlando. No business seats are available using mileage awards and there's aren't any upgradeable fares. So, if I want to go, I believe I'm going to have to fly coach. And, as I stated before moving to Europe, I won't fly home unless I'm in business. It's not that I'm picky, I just don't like to fly. But then again, I'm starting to realize I don't sleep on the plane anyway and the food in business doesn't appeal that much more to me than what's available in the rear. So, why not fly coach? I could buy an extra battery for my computer and watch movies on my own time. Other than that, would there really be a big difference? And because we get an allowance from McDonald's for flying, I'd really be paying myself to fly home. More money for my Koi pond.

Something Else I Learned

In the UK, food product shots in television spots look horrible. Why? Advertisers aren't allowed to use food stylists like they do in America. So, no plastic cheese, glue for milk or honey droplets for chicken juice.

Why So Harsh?

UK television commercials are so harsh. The latest advertisement to premiere on the tube is one for car tax evaders. As the announcer states, "If you don't pay your car tax, we have the legal power to clamp, tow or even CRUSH your car." It's just one of many advertisements that scare people into doing or not doing something in the UK. Why so harsh? Doesn't anybody listen if your nice and pleasant?

Dave's Faves: Heinz Beans Snap Pots

They're easy. They're "beanzy." And I didn't know they existed until today when I spotted a commercial for these miniature pots of baked beans from Heinz. How could I not love the ad as it features one of my favorite side dishes AND a song that tickles my fancy from the 70s. A match made in heaven. Check out the spot below.

New & Noteworthy - Duffy

I made note of Amy Whinehouse over a year ago - commenting she was bound to make a splash in America with Rehab. This year, I'm making a prediction Duffy will have similar success (in large part due to the doors Ms. Whinehouse opened with her Back to Black album). Duffy's single Mercy is a soulful throwback to 60s R & B with a hint of Dusty Springfield and Lulu. Check out the video below.

Je Suis Fatigue?

Ugh. The Antonio Sabato Jr. effect is kicking in full force apparently. I was told today that I look tired. And, the past couple of times I've seen this person, he's said, "You look tired." Not something I want to hear. But, because I'm focusing on gaining size (and as a result losing weight apparently) for Puerto Vallarta, my face is sinking faster than Janet's latest single. Again, ugh.

If you checked out the Lloyds TSB commercial I posted a few days back, you may be like me and unable to get the soundtrack out of your head. If that's the case, then why not pound it into your noggin even further with two remixes unavailable stateside? The Journey Continues, featuring Sarah Cracknell, is both eerie and captivating. For those of you who like their dance music on the subtle side, check out the original version here. If you're like me, and want an alternative mix for those times needing a bit more punch (the gym for example), go here for the Thomas Gold electro infused remix.

Balls 4 Justice

Have you seen the video featuring thousands of colored balls bouncing down the Spanish steps in Rome? Apparently, it was a reaction to "lies told by politicians."

Congratulations Erika

I made note of Erika Jayne a few months back on Club Fridays (and she, in turn, highlights Pink Trash Travels in the media and press section of her website). Her song Rollercoaster was one of my summer/fall favorites. She's back and currently sitting at number one on the Billboard dance charts with Stars. Take a listen to the original (and silky smooth) version here. If you like the track, be sure to check out iTunes who has available eight versions for purchase by big name remixers like Moto Blanco, Mike Rizzo, DJ Escape and Johnny Vicious as well as Steve Mac and the track's original producer, Eric Kupper. And don't forget to visit Erika's Myspace page (as her official website is under construction). Congratulations Erika.

Forbes Travel Tips

Because of the weak dollar, it's nice to have a little insight on where to travel - specifically locations that don't empty your wallet. Forbes makes note of three destinations I'd like to visit before we leave Europe: Thailand, Morocco and Hungary. As identified in the article, I'm all for having a personal butler in Bangkok.

Kookey in Kitzbuhel

For the second time now this season, I’ve missed out on skiing. But this time in, it wasn’t because I either consumed too many Ambien on my way back from America or had the flu, but rather it was the result of freakishly warm weather in Austria resulting in nothing but fog and ice resembling that out of a Snoopy Snow Cone machine. But global warming’s power wasn’t enough to stop Patrick, Chris and I from having fun in what many would call one of the most posh ski resorts in Austria.

Of course, no road trip would be complete with stopping at McDonald’s. And on the way out of Munich, there’s one of the most expensive McDonald’s restaurants in the world. Referred to as “Ferrari,” the McDonald’s boasts a media center, indoor athletic arena, multiple ordering stations, a McCafe with fresh cookies and coffees and even fresh flowers throughout the two floors. After stopping only once, we arrived in Kitzbuhel mid-day Saturday just in time to catch the beginning of one of the World Cup ski events.

The Hahnenkamm World Cup Ski race was being held the same weekend we opted to travel to Austria. It was a pure coincidence as we only selected Kitzbuhel because of the availability of the McDonald’s apartment. Some would consider this a deterrent and a pure nuisance (as we did when first arriving). But after watching the race from the sidelines on Saturday (as our tickets weren’t where they should be), witnessing Bode Miller win the overall competition from the VIP section on Sunday, and venturing down into the town filled with crazies (which can only be described as Oktoberfest in the Mountains), we all agreed the World Cup brings with it pure entertainment (even for those who aren’t 18 and falling down drunk).

Not to say filling two and a half days in a ski resort town without snow was difficult. Snowboarding was out. We couldn’t find the tobaggon run. And retail establishments (in pure European fashion) were closed late Saturday and all day Sunday. But a restaurant up the street from our apartment provided not only two delicious meals of Goulash Soup and Turkey Schnitzel, but also an unexpected surprise of bowling in the basement.

In the alps, it’s called Alle Neune. And the activity is similar in style to American bowling with its use of a ball to knock down pins. But the sport is different in that the ball only has two holes, is about half the size, and the pins are automatically reset even though they’re hung by strings. We played four games – two where you knock down as many pins as possible on the first throw and the second that requires more technical skills as you can’t continue to the next frame until you clear all the pins in the alley. Patrick, who’s quite the bowler back home, won as my technical game required too many balls to swipe the slate clean of multiple splits (check out video below).

Paddy Goes 4 Gold

Bouncing Bowling Pins

Music Helps 2 Pump U Up

I can't keep motivated at the gym unless I have dance tunes pumping - especially those songs selected from Club Fridays. This article details exactly my thoughts towards listening to music while working out. It even mentions Rihanna - featured on Club Fridays last week. Now it's proven fact lady walking wouldn't be the same without those bpms.

The Paddy Curse

The Brady Bunch had its Tiki. I have Patrick. Everytime it seems I'm with him, I have some type of bad luck - especially with tickets (see post below). When I stay with him, I get a parking ticket or my rental car gets hit. When he's with us in Austria, I go the wrong direction and get fined. When and where will the Paddy Curse strike again?

Back from Kitzbuhel

We're back from Kitzbuhel. It was odd not having internet (or English TV for that matter). Look for a report tomorrow. However, I will vent on one subject before I make note of our trip.

Today, before we left, we decided to drive into town so Paddy could do a bit of shopping (as nothing is open on Sundays). As I drove down a street, a cop pulled me to the side. He said I was driving in a one-way and that signs were posted, three actually, up the street. He asked if I saw them. "No," I replied. So, I was given a ticket and forced to pay 35 Euros on the spot. I'm sure he's now enjoying a few beers on my Euros. "What a scam," I thought.

Because, as we returned to where the signs were posted, they are indeed there. However, there was a truck blocking both signs I would have seen from where I turned. I wanted to go back, find the cop, and drag him to the scene of the "crime" to show him exactly what he referenced. That way, I could then make HIM feel like a fool. I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well. They don't take kindly to strangers. Besides that, after three days of over 100K people in town for the World Cup, I'm sure he didn't have much patience left.

If only I could write a letter...

New & Noteworthy - Mark Brown ft. Sarah Cracknell

It all began with a Lloyds TSB bank commercial. The music was intriguing and something to remember. As a matter of fact, there were times I couldn't get the eerie "yodels" out of my head. Check out the commercial below.

It wasn't until I heard a sample of the commercial (which in turn samples Elena Kats-Chernin's Eliza's Aria) in a track from a European, DJ dance only compilation that I started to investigate further (as now I had more information to follow). The Journey Continues, by Mark Brown featuring Sarah Cracknell, is officially set for release this February across the pond in the UK. It includes the sample of a sample - all connected by one classical piece. Talk about a chain reaction. Check out the song below.

Holiday on Ice

We're headed to Kitzbuhel, Austria this weekend with our friend Patrick for some fun in the snow. The problem is, we're not sure if it will be a winter or wet wonderland. is forecasting the temperature to be around 41 - which is quite warm. I'm not sure how it will impact the World Cup event being held there this weekend, but I'm assuming it can't be the most ideal conditions for skiing.

Not that I would know what is good or bad. I've worn skis once in my life (and those were consecutive days in Vail, CO). So, quite honestly, I'm more excited to snoop around the Austrian village, have coffee, and visit the spa. We do have plans to take snowboarding lessons which should be fun. This way, since none of us have ever been snowboarding, it will be an even playing field. Otherwise, Patrick and Chris would be off on their own swooshing down the mountains while I fumble around the bunny slopes.

Club Fridays Rauhofer Style

This week, it's one song and one song only. No, it's not from an unknown, but rather an artist who's made her biggest mark yet in 2007 and looks to continue her success in 2008. Don't Stop the Music is unquestionably the best track pulled from Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad album. But for some reason, the record label was only planning on making the song available to DJs as a "holiday present" - even though it reached the top of the charts all over Europe. Well, because of iTunes, the big whigs quickly changed their tune as the buying public started snatching up the song one at a time. So, now the record has an official release and is storming up the Billboard charts - jumping from 26 to 13 this week. Many mixes are available, including those from Jody Den Broeder and Wildboys. But this week, I'm introducing a hard-to-find mix by Peter Rauhofer. He's had a snippet of his mix on his Myspace page, but didn't leak the song to the masses until this week. And considering he's one of my favorite production artists working today, I couldn't help but to feature his remix of Don't Stop the Music this week on Club Fridays. For the link, go here. And be sure to visit Peter's Myspace page here.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Has it really been 25 years since Michael Jackson's Thriller hit the streets? It seems just like yesterday when we were listening to Billie Jean as we played hide-and-go-seek in the bowling alley after it closed or watching the Thriller video on our 13" TV that sat atop bowling shoe lockers. Where has the time gone?

Vapiano: Coming to America

My friend Patrick and I ate at Vapiano three times when I visited him in Berlin for the marathon. And as I was sitting there on the first night, I thought, "What a great idea!" Who knew it was a large chain - with expansion plans for the United States. It looks like we'll be able to enjoy Vapiano's now not only across Europe, including Munich, but also in the Windy City by the end of the year!

How Can U Not Like Ronald?

According to researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK, children don't like clowns. What does that mean for my employer, McDonald's, whose spokesperson has a big, red mop top?

Whimsical U-Bahn Signs

I don't know why I find the Munich U-Bahn signs so funny, but I do. I guess it's the whimsical man strolling down the steps in his little hat. Because as you know, we all lazily descend into (the words of Karen from Will & Grace) the "underground city" dressed to impress.

Writers and TV Season Out

It appears the writers strike in Hollywood is going to
impact the remainder of the 2007/8 television season. For us here in Europe, that means more Sex and the City, Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond. But what happens now to our iTunes season pass for shows such as Desperate Housewives? Will we get a refund?

Looking Back: Smokefree Paris

It's truly a different experience visiting Paris now that the smoking ban is in effect. Almost every eating and drinking establishment has one of the stickers below in the window. What a sight!

Happy Birthday Smurfs

Known in the Belgian comic strip as Schtroumpfs, the Smurfs this year are celebrating their 50th anniversary. I used to watch the Hanna-Barbera cartoon back in the 1980s before going to the bowling alley to work on Saturday mornings. My grandma even still has the glassware I bought from Hardee's. So they hold a special place in my nostalgic heart, which is why the Youtube video below is both hysterical and somewhat disturbing.

Looking Back: Paris Shoe Scare

Chris loves boots. So of course, when there's a sale at Patrick Cox, he can't say no - that is unless the sales clerk has to cut off the only one in his size because the zipper broke. Check out the short clip below.

One Photo Says It All

I'm back from Paris and sitting in my living room leather chair. This is, of course, after I quickly cleaned the flat. I can't relax when there's a few balls of hair floating around the wood floors. Not that it was dirty. Emily, our housesitter, took care of everything wonderfully. It's just I like the home spotless (you can thank my mom for that lovely quirk).

When I was searching through pictures I snapped this weekend, one summarized our four day stay in Paris the best. It was all about seeing our friend Xavier and hitting the sales. A pictures speaks a thousand words.

Paris Live! Changing Directions

Last night for dinner, we anticipated having a nice meal with friends. It turned out to be more of an elaborate affair as others joined us. As a result, Chris and I were regulated to the end of the table while the other guests spoke French all night long. Not that we cared, but I commented how one or two people can change a group's dynamics so quickly. So, after three hours, we returned to the hotel while the others, in Parisian style, continued the night at a local discotech.

Paris Live! Deceptive Memories

Sometimes, memories are better than the actual circumstances. For example, I was really looking forward to returning to L'Usine Club de Sport this weekend in Paris. It was truly one of my favorite aspects of Paris - not just for space and ambience but the hotties that would find their way to the gym. However, after spending two weekend mornings at Paris' most hip club, the environment is all we remember but it was full of U-G-L-Y. Which, as a result, improves Leo's standing in Munich on the Hot or Not meter. Not that it's all about the pretty people, but it sure does help to motivate you to lift that extra set.

We're now off for falafel in the Marais - another favorite of ours on Sundays. Here's to hoping it meets our expectations.

Paris Live! Tres Different

I'm back in Paris for the first time since moving last June. And let me say, it's a tres different experience than before - but in a good way. There's no pressure to fluently speak French as we're no longer residents of Paris. So, everyone truly appreciates the effort and extends a friendly hand to make your experience enjoyable. Best yet, however, is walking by the restaurants, bars and cafes and seeing smokers standing outside freezing and not inside stinkin' up the place.

Catchy & Annoying

This Orange UK commercial, titled Good Things Should Never End, features a whistling tune that, once heard, won't get out of your head. Check it out below, then, welcome to my world!

I haven't been back to Paris since we moved last June. So this weekend we're escaping to the City of Lights to see our friend Xavier (who will be visiting from New York), shop as the bi-annual sales started today, workout at our favorite gym L'Usine, eat baguettes and falafel, and just enjoy the city. All of which means Club Fridays needs to relocate to Wednesdays since tomorrow I'll be busy at the gym, working, packing and cleaning the house for our housesitter Emily.

It's quite honestly a slow week in music. The first of the year always brings with it an onslaught of releases that aren't memorable. As a result, this week on Club Fridays I'm featuring a hot track released at the end of 2007 - but is currently sitting atop the Billboard Dance Charts. Dave Gahan is the lead singer of Depeche Mode, but also a solo act with the release of Hourglass. The first single, Kingdom, crawled its way to the top of the dance charts with the help of Booka Shade and Ralphi Rosario and Jody Den Broeder. But it's the latter's version (and two of my favorite remixers of the moment) that ups the single from a dark and moody track to a big room filler. For the link to the track unavailable for purchase on iTunes, go here. For more information on Gahan, visit his website here. And if you like the mix and want to hear more from Ralphi, go here. And since Ralphi didn't do it all alone, don't forget to learn more about Jody who's had an impressive year with remixes for the likes of Rihanna and Enrique. Check his Myspace page out here.

Reinforcing My Fear of Flying

This is exactly why I don't like to fly. I can only imagine if I was one of those passengers. I would chewed my fingernails to the bone.


While watching TV the other night, Chris and I began discussing why some men let their eyebrows and other hairy parts get so unruly. It's just a fact of life that there are areas that need trimming once in a while. Well, this morning, I noticed my eyebrows needed some attention. So, with my electric razor, I began to manscape. However, I didn't pay close attention to what I was doing. As a result, I now have one eyebrow split in two. I shaved too close so now it looks like I have a gap on the left side. I know it's fashionable in Paris and other Euro cities to have an eyebrow streak, but not in a 36 year old man. So, with no eyebrow pencil in sight to fill the gap, I used a little brown shoe cream to tint what hair remained. Of course, this is only a temporary fix as I'm definitely stopping by the drugstore for a L'Oreal shade that compliments my skin. I can't be running around Paris this weekend looking half complete (or a TOFES - too old for eye streak).

Look What the Sun Brings Out

Everybody says when the weather turns warm, Munchens swarm the streets to enjoy a beer or two. So today, when I was walking around the Viktualienmarkt on a sunny 50 degree weather day, I wasn't surprised to see this gentleman in his liederhosen consuming a liter. The shorts, however, did make me turn twice (oh, and possibly the socks too).

Uglies, Fuglies and Buglies Oh My

It's now the new year, so you'd think the gym would have a resurgence of some hotties. So far, no luck. Just more of the same: uglies, fuglies and a few more buglies. Where's the motivation in that?

Down Goes Entenmann's

Literally, my Entenmann's Fudge Cake I brought back from Chicago is now in the trash. For some reason, it tasted different. Maybe it's because there's no longer trans fat in the Fat Sally Sunday treat. No matter, I no longer have a craving for the cake covered with a marshmellow cream and layer of frosting. Now I sit and wait for it to make me ill - that or a sugar high. Either way, the end result won't be good.

Happy Birthday Fat Sally!

She hasn't had a name for years - always referred to as a "girl." That all changed yesterday in an email our friend Mark sent us about meeting for dinner. Without knowing the exact title of the day Chris and I ignore calorie counting, Mark referred to it as "Fat Sally Sunday." Fat Sally was born. Happy Birthday Fat Sally!

First Night Out

Tonight was a night I've been dreaming about for years - being able to go out without having to inhale second hand smoke. And seriously, it was awesome. I loved watching all the smokers congregate outside of the restaurant and bars while the rest of us were able to enjoy a cocktail and dinner without our eyes burning. And now that I'm home at 11:52 p.m. (crazy, I know) without smelling like smoke, I'm even more giddy.

Can you believe it's 2008? I remember being in St. Croix as we crossed the new milennium - waiting for the world to end. It didn't and now it's eight years later and we're living in Munich. Who would have guessed?

This week, Danielle Bollinger makes the grade on Club Fridays. She's had big dance hits in the past with Kiss the Sky and You'll Always Have Me, but it wasn't until I heard Surrender Me, a track pulled from Tony Moran's The Event CD that I became a big fan. For the link to Tony Moran and Warren Rigg's remix, which is basically an extension of the original version, go here. For information on Danielle, be sure to check out her website here and her MySpace artist page here. And to learn more about Tony Moran's The Event release, go here.

Finally, I'm also including a track I heard on Promo Only's Dance Radio series. Get It On, by Spencer & Hill, is a great dance song in its original radio edit. But, when the Niteclub Extended Version is offered, I'll take the latter as it has a driving beat that kicks off the tune. For the link to the longer edit, go here. And for more remixes of the track, iTunes actually has them for sale. So, if you like it, support the artist by paying $0.99 for the tune. It will help them to buy a sandwich.

As Easy as 1-2-3

My new favorite meal for supper (as we say in Kansas) is a baked fish by Iglo that comes in it's own handy aluminum container. Not because of the main course, but because it's so easy to prepare and clean. Combine that with packaged salad and low-fat dressing I found that tastes like Ranch, and dinner essentially cooks itself!

Good Job NBC and Pee Wee

I've always thought one downfall to our UK satellite receiver was the six month or year lag time behind shows in America (some programs such as Ugly Betty this year are only now two weeks tardy). But now that the writers strike has sucked most original episodes from the air, the delay is turning out to be a pleasant surprise as shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, The Office and 30 Rock are just making their way to our TV.

Of those, 30 Rock has to be one of the best new shows on TV. Tonight, we watched Black Tie featuring Paul Reubens as Prince Gerhardt. Not only was Pee Wee quite hysterical as the Austrian Prince with numerous disorders, but the cast once again proved why the show deserved the Emmy. Thanks NBC for keeping the program on the air - even with its low ratings.

Jumping 4 Joy

I can't tell you how exciting it is to walk around the neighborhood, looking in restaurant windows, and see no smoke. Seriously. It's exciting. I told Chris that we should go out to dinner now that the world is open to possibilities. The problem is with Puerto Vallarta on the horizon, we can't eat bad. And German food isn't the lightest. But, we are planning on where to go out to eat this weekend. Part of me hopes someone is smoking so I can go up and tell them to put it out. It's the little kid in me.

So Long Junk Food

Because our trip to Puerto Vallarta is less than eight weeks away, we kick our diet (or healthy eating ways I should say) into high gear tomorrow. Beginning January 2, our dinners will consist of chicken, chicken, and more chicken accompanied by vegetables and salad. Not what I'd consider delicious, but necessary. So goodbye cereal while watching Sex and the City. It's all about the cottage cheese now!

Looking Ahead

I'm the kind of person that likes to somewhat have a plan in place for the future. But for 2008, it's rather difficult to make any road map for our future. For starters, I'm not sure when we'll be returning to Chicago. We think it might unfold towards the middle to end of the year. But so much has to fall in place for the ball to get rolling.

As a result, we forge ahead not knowing what will transpire. I'm looking for a job. We're making plans for holiday travels through the end of next summer. But all all of that could change with an unexpected turn of events with Chris and his job here in Europe. But I can't think of what "might be" in regards to our future. It's more about trying to establish a plan of attack and following through to the best of our ability.

So as we ring out the old and welcome the new, I can surely say it will be an exciting year of change - one way or another. We'll have a change of cities, homes and jobs or we'll have a change of mindset in regards to Europe. Either way, it's good to know one element remains constant and that's our friends and family. And to you, I wish you all the very best in 2008!

New Year's Eve in Munich

I've never witnessed anything like the homegrown fireworks display we saw last night around midnight. Thousands of explosions illuminated the Munich skyline as the church bells rang in the new year. In short, it was crazy. And because of the noise, as Kevin, Brian, Mark, Greg, Chris and I were standing on our upper deck watching the most elaborate grocery store bought rockets, fountains and canons ever, Maddie literally had the "crap scared out of her." She dropped a few bombs of her own. Talk about a clean-up crew needed - on our our deck AND all over town. There are firework shells everywhere. Check out a quick video below that captures just a glimpse of what we saw. Amazing.

Congrats Munich, Paris and Chicago!

Looking Back - Boyz of Chicago