Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Monday, March 20, 2006

bright lights big city, UK ed.

vodka red bull - socially acceptable bolivian marching powder

we just spent £700 on a bottle of belvedere and some canned mixers! (awesome!)

their mothers were right and their faces froze like that

Friday, March 10, 2006

Göttliche Durchwahl

a priest in the crowd on his mobile?

i've been looking for a good confession

what's that sign say?

göttliche durchwahl- god's direct line!

... but this isn't any absolution i've heard of?

i know a little something about this subject

the big man and i compare notes

enlightenment attained! don't you wish you know


Helau is the word used for greeting people in Düsseldorf during die fünfte Jahreszeit. Cheery and slur-proof, people love to sing it out, arms raised in the direction of their exhortation. As a bonus, it is even easy to remember... although maybe that is because there's a few hundred years of practice behind the only slightly vowel-modified... Hallo.

willie wonka wants you to have this lotion

willie wonka wants you to have this beer

candy may be dandy, but liquor sure is quicker

watch out for willie's cane

and the lord's best intentions...

that's me in the middle, the beneficiary of willie's beer

hopefully this is the only time i end up held by the polizei

the golden einhorn! apparently there was dancing involved

Rosenmontag Zug

Rosenmontag has nothing to do with Roses, pink or red, but it is on a Monday. Rosenmontag comes from the word 'rasen,' to rave. 'Cause once a year, Rheinlanders go nuts... and when they do, watch out...
because it's gonna be a barrage of cheap wrapped candies,

nickelodeon character assassinations,

mockery of other nations (with new, anti-religious flavor!)
and the Gay Tops. yeah... remember, the word top here doesn't have the same connotations. it's just like a dreidl. not that that doesn't have a whole set of cultural associations...

that's a pretty wicked firetruck. oops, or early '20's cruiser.

fresh produce? gemüse, anyone?

they brought the big bags, filled them, and still tried to steal ours...

Viva Colognia!

it wasn't the first night of karneval, but it was the first anyone thought to document. friday the 24th we headed down to cologne, the grande dame of the rhein, to investigate rumours that kölsch is a better beer, and that kölners have a better handle on this celebrating thing that their friendly neighbors to the north. so for a night we left Helau back home and went to spread a little Alaaf instead.

8:30 PM. espressos in the köln hauptbahnhof as fortification for a long night

4:20 AM. yummy drunken imbiss kebab. the drinking is over but the fun's just begun

4:46 AM. what train did you guys say we were supposed to take?

4:47 AM. yes, that's my ass. four guys and a camera, inevitable, really.

4:54 AM. hey cowboy, can you help me wrangle a late night ride?

5:02 AM. like he knew where we were. and surprised we expected otherwise.

5:13 AM. should have gone for the shwarma.

5:24 AM. he was supposed to be on a flight in two hours, an hour away

5:26 AM. train? really? where? cause i'm not seeing a train

5:31 AM. we'll make it home eventually!

5:42 AM. briefly considered as an option

5:34 AM. hauptbahnhof! weren't we just there? düsseldorf, bitte?

6:08 AM. that's a wig, kiddos.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

With regards to why Germans don't dig the appellation Anglo-Saxon:

It's the hyphenation thing, I think. They hear Anglo-Saxon and immediatly get all hung up on the Anglo bit, and start feeling insecure... like Anglo is better than Saxon just because it is in front.

I told them, look, the Kaiser made some fantastic contributions to European history, but let's face it, you never did have an empire. I mean, even Portugal had an empire. And then you tried to go and make an empire, but the time had passed. it was like moving to Williamsburg after the mid-ninties- the rent was high, the locals didn't want you, and the cool kids had moved on long ago. And you totally like, went broke and pissed people off in the process, and ended up having to share your country cause you couldn't make rent.

And who had the best newest shiniest and biggest Empire, the empire to end all empires, the one the sun never set on? Uh huh. The Anglos.

My best friend and fellow self-conciously literary banterist then had this to offer:

Dictionary.com defines hyphen as:

hy·phen ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hfn)
A punctuation mark (-) used between the parts of a compound word or name or between the syllables of a word, especially when divided at the end of a line of text.

I think there should be an additional definition:

2. A punctuation mark used two link two surnames or two proper nouns (usually ethnicities) in order to achieve the impression of a higher social or evolutionary status. This was a particular common practice during the Wall Street Boom of the mid 80's.

Examples: 1)Tabitha Harrington-Brown

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

a whole new take on gummies

now, usually I am a daily candy hater. I can't the presumption that I loll about in wicker backed chairs at sidewalk cafes on shady, tree lined street on the upper west side, (are there any cafes as such? Or are they the delusional conjurations of new yorkers with a paris inferiority complex on their third glass of sancerre?) wearing oversized sunglasses and eating egg white omelettes (hold the calories, please) while my useless mop-dog tangles its prissy handrolled leather leash around the legs of unsuspecting sidewalk strollers.

but this? my mirror still effects two purposes, but without so many powdery remains!

can't focus much on work

when i know this is where i'm going sunday... compare to picture below. give me sweet sun!

that pink slip is a hell of a hangover

this is superb. cringe with me now.

Monday, March 06, 2006

edelweiss, edelweiss...

zurich this weekend to visit my friend B. 3rd time in as many months. starting from the hour i stepped off the train, more snow fell in Zurich than it had had in 10 years. an evening in a restuarant with half the name's neon extinguished, a bar so crowded breathing was as much an effort as moving. fishtailed home around six in the morning, slept the sleep of the dead until two. by then, the snow was so deep and thick that the trams emerged from the U-stations into snowbanks, transfers to be taken to buses.

a long day of leisurely prosecco, people watching on bahnhof strasse, the children of the rich expatriate bankers of the city swirling through boutiques, a do-si-do of sixteen year olds swapping arms and tongues and daggered looks, an OC in the CH.

it's a funny thing, a european conceit, the umbrella in the snow... a charming futility deserved of a smart haberdasher and a fur trimmed topcoat.

the second evening with dinner from the euro playbook, six pieces of flatware per person for as many courses, a restuarant where the owner comes to kiss the girls and shake the hands of the men. of course, this may be from the company i kept, girls who had the entirety of the swiss society in their little black book. the same owner returned when the trams had stopped running two hours later to escort us in his 'vier le vier' the four blocks through the 8" to the club... where the manager knew everyones name.

morning just a few hours on, spent an hour huddled together in the lee of a garage, waiting on a taxi, listening to Nick Cave, dreaming of Tompkins Square Park, Parliaments, and the way it used to be... of snapping golden leaves and a light rain on the corner of B and 10th, the korean deli with the excellent import selection, a language and a lifetime apart.

15 centimeters later, a fishtailed car into a snowbank, and a boot with a broken heel, we made it home. the next morning, the greatest snowfall in a decade, the bluest sky i've seen since arriving in europe, a crackling on the overhead lines and a five hour ride back into the gray.