Look, I get fuck-all traffic to this site. A few faithful readers, friends and a lot of people googling the word foreskin. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that I'd been violated! Er, copyright-wise. Look, AcidJasmine...there's one of those fucking Creative Commons links to your right. It says that you can quote with attribution, like Nick has. So be a gentleman, and tell the world where you palmed your dickmilch. And until then, keep your paws off my pixels, poof!
12 entries from November 2007
Munich is in the throes of an election campaign this holiday season. It surprised me that the usual flurry of political posters should halt for a week or so, to let the parties wish us a happy holiday. This example comes from Social Democrats, represented by wildly-popular mayor and one-time cabaret comedian, Christian Ude. For all you American readers, how would you feel if you caught sight of a poster that read Merry Christmas from the Republican Party? Creeeepy.
Liz's Year in Socks, 2007
Neil Kramer, Los Angeles-based freelance writer had a brilliant idea. It's called The Great Interview Experiment.
He's a blogger commited to the ideal of blogging; to its inherent open-ness and democracy. The moment you hit the Publish Post button, you're a writer, a someone, a documented life. Those lives make fascinating interview subjects, as much as any writer's life and outlook does. So he has been matching up bloggers to read each other's work, and interview one another on what they read.
I got lucky. My first interview subject was Liz, a mom from Richmond, Virginia, in the good-ol' US of A. Just about the coolest mom I've ever met.
It took a bit of coaxing to reveal exactly how cool she is. My first question, I admit, was a little blunt. Your life and my life are about as different as it is possible to be. Discuss.
She pulled me up on that one. Liz has sure earned her gay cred. She acted as a social worker in NYC in the late eighties, dealing specifically with AIDS patients. Remember, this was back in the days when no-one knew how HIV was transmitted, or, indeed, what HIV was. To associate with gay men...well, no-one quite knew if it was safe. Liz didn't let this daunt her, and she writes of the warmth she shared with the gay men she came to know. Bravo, Liz.
She also writes that the chaps gave her a very, very gay baby shower when she became pregnant with her first son, Alex, now 16. I can't really imagine what a gay baby shower might have looked like, except the pacifiers would have been interesting. I hope that both Alex and his sister Monica have a brace of gay pretend-uncles who continue to provide them with different perspectives on life.
Speaking of the kids, they have been on a smile moratorium since they became teens, and that kind of irritates their mom. I probed for a family-dynamics explanation of this, and sure enough, Liz confessed up front. She's the "family papparazzi" (should that be papparazza?). She loves to take pictures of her kids whenever they do something that delights her, which is pretty much all the time. The go-slow campaign on the smiles is designed, she thinks, to discourage her guerilla snapshots.
Now, Alex and Monica, listen up. Here's how real celebrities deal with the papparazzi. You surrender yourself for a photo-op every so often, smile for the camera, and then they leave you alone for a while. Try it.
Liz has a racy story about how she fell in love with her husband, Juan. Oh, and she's a master at all the puns on the name Juan, too. So don't try to get Juan up on her.
We discussed how, from time to time, she prepares Elvis-style fried bologna sandwiches for her family. Living in Europe, ironically, one cannot find bologna luncheon meat. Not even in Bologna. I asked if I might not substitute, say, mortadella? I shall never ask that question again. She is an Elvis gourmet purist.
But after her family, her passion is knitting socks. Now, this is obvoiously more than just a hobby for her; she's a real sock savant. Her 2007 output is recorded above, minus those lost in the tragic kittens-in-the-knitting-basket-catastrophe.
Personally, I think that she should turn this into a business. I can see it now. Elizabeth of Richmond. Bespoke Knitter. Quality Undergarments for the Feet. Remember not to underprice yourself, Liz.
You'll find the full answers on Liz and Juan's LiveJournal here. Lots of love to you all.
Jack helps pack the car for a camping expedition.
Alice Springs, July 2002.
This young couple was handing out free hugs in the centre of Stuttgart. On a mission to cheer up some dour Swabians, no doubt. Or perhaps just on a lark.
I took their picture, thanked them and went about my business. It didn't dawn until much later that I actually might have availed myself of their services. Dammit, I really needed a hug, too. How fucked up am I? How male am I?
Munich has been a-twitter for weeks.
The office was in a funk for days. My colleagues couldn’t get tickets for the MTV Europe Music Awards, this year held in Munich.
It used to be a slam dunk. If you worked in an ad agency, you could snap your fingers and get tickets to anything. Media organizations (especially TV networks) entertained you lavishly, since you controlled your clients’ advertising dollar.
Alas, times have changed. Media placement is now handled by independent companies, and besides, nobody watches TV any more.
The comeuppance is, that the likes of me has to buy his own drinks. This makes no difference to me personally, nowadays. My hard-boozing years ended quite some time ago. But many younger colleagues have seen open bars ripped out from under their elbows while still in their prime.
I tried to console them. “Here’s an alternative. You could probably still get a ticket to the Europe’s Best Butt Competition. It’s the night before.” Using German slang for butt, the press had labeled it a search for the continent’s prettiest po.
“Doesn’t have the same cachet” replied Count von Smart, a recent divorcee and party animal. “The Archbishop didn’t try to ban Europe’s Best Butt like he did the MTV EMAs.”
The Archbishop of Bavaria, Cardinal Wetter, deplored the fact that the MTV event would be held on November 1, All Saints’ Day. Through a spokesbishop, he said that we should spend the day in peace and calm, to respect the dead. In fact, Bavarian laws declare November 1st a public holiday precisely for this purpose. Dancing is prohibited, unless you get special permission.
Christian Ude, the mayor of Munich, gave short shrift to His Eminence. “It won’t stop anyone from attending the cemetery,” he sneered, eyeing his place on the comps list. He added that the star attraction, a certain Mr. Justin Timberlake, had only one opening in his schedule. So the deceased would just have to lump it.
Now, couple of points.
First, would the bishop know the difference between dancing on MTV, and aerobics? I mean, they’re not doing any bishoppy stuff like waltzes, gavottes, or tarantellas. The Awards were held at the Olympic Village; they could pretend it’s a gym. Get Jack LaLane to host instead of Snoop Dogg—in German, Herr Schnüffelhund—and Wetter will never know.
Second, why was MTV EMA treated with such scorn and the Best Butt (whose celebrations would surely go past midnight and spill into holy moments) get off without a spanking?
Perhaps the clergy rather likes butts. Perhaps the bishop didn’t know that the reverently named All Saints were past winners at the EMA?
Or maybe His Eminence simply chose the larger target, publicity slut that he is. There’s so little a bishop can say about his actual area of expertise that will get him into the Abendzeitung.
Which affair best lived up to the Archbishop’s expectations? I vote for the Po's, sponsored by the people who make Sloggi underwear. (Many a night I've ended up with sloggy underwear, but that's another story)
Watch the video on the Best Butt website. It begins with the 46 finalist butts arriving at the venue by bus. For people who would spend the night bouncing around in someone else’s underwear, they all seemed carry rather large suitcases.
Now, fully clothed adults arriving on a bus ain’t exactly glamour, so our videographer had to arc up the tension a notch or two.
He achieved a half-notch with the arrival of the judging panel in what must be Munich’s only stretch Town Car.
The judges (model agents, fitness gurus, Gabor sisters) were not unanimous in their criteria. Some said that butt was all. Some said that since part of the prize was a modeling contract, general attractiveness and deportment should be taken into account. A British judge liked petite little bottoms. Channeling Rodney Dangerfield, an American judge said he wanted an ass “with its own area code”.
The judges, though, proved themselves thoroughly German in their taste for Third World tail—the winners were Ms. Kristina Dimitrova of Bulgaria and a Mr. Andrei Andrei of Romania. Germans find their neighbours to the east rather sexy; years of compulsory calisthenics and a diet of gruel under communism does wonders for the figure.
Now, lacking the qualifications to judge, there’s not much I can say about Ms. Dimitrova’s bottom except jolly good show and I’m sure it’s terribly nice. But Mr. Andrei—this guy has NO BUTT AT ALL. Obviously, our American judge was in the minority.
And besides, this guy has one too many Andres in his name. Or the priest had a terrible stutter at his christening.
Personally, I would have picked the gentleman from Greece. The po was nice, but the package was exceptional. Surely this, too, counts in selling underwear. That's my professional opinion.
Ms, Winehouse wows the crowd.
Actually, Europe's Best Butt looked like a lot of fun. By contrast, over at the Olympic Hall, many in the MTV audience felt the show was just a little suboptimal. A few addled performances—most notably Amy Sh…er, Winehouse—disappointed the crowd. The Munich bloggers at Pink Trash Travels left early. So did Count von Smart, who managed to score a ticket. He needn't have bothered, since it seems the event was eminently crashable.
As for me, I was at home, curled up with a glass of wine and a good book. I guess that counts as respecting the dead, no?
Videos from YouTube. Best Butt pictures from the website of sponsor Sloggi. MTV Award pic from their website. As always, should the owners of these materials object to their use, I’m very happy to take them down with an apology.
Where is he gay today? Amsterdam.
Hieronymus Bosch Antiquariaat, in the Leliegracht
"I call them the Utch," said the Diva, "because after a year, I give my host culture a D-Minus."
As if to confirm her judgement, our drug-fucked waitress sloshed a cup of Douwe Egberts fakeaccino across the table without a word of remorse, nor an effort to wipe it up.
The Diva does the same thing I do for a living, only better. A perceptive and articulate woman of Mexican stock, we used to work together in NYC, before her fortunes took her to Amsterdam, and mine to Munich.
"Weeeelll, maybe once you get to know them you'll find they have hearts of gold, deep down."
"Deep down? You mean among the swanshit sludge at the bottom of a canal?" she sneered. "You should try being a Hispanic in Holland."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing, except that everyone mistakes you for a Muslim." she sighed. With her long dark hair and light-coffee complexion, the Diva looks ten kinds of exotic. She might be Brazilian beach bunny, a Roma princess, a swarthy Scheherezade or a native American. Trust the Dutch to take all those gorgeous possibilities, and read terrorist. "It's not just the stares and the suspicion. I've been grabbed, jostled and hounded. So much for tolerance."
Outside the Cafe Brandon, in the Kezergrecht
"Well, that book my old pal wrote should have given you a hint. A cuture which religiously examines its bowel movements on a little shelf in the lav needs some cheering up. The Dutch ain't laugh-a minute.
"I don't know", she said sarcastically, "I did hear an actual Dutch joke recently."
"Yes. When the Germans invaded in WWII, the first thing they took away were the bicycles. So when you meet a German, you're supposed to ask for your bike back."
"Um, that could sound funny with the right timing."
"Sure," she replied, mopping up the coffee with a dog-eared copy of Danish GQ, which the cafe management had left on the table since 2004. "...hysterical."