Friday, August 31, 2007

Shanghai

A friend of mine is moving to Shanghai, China tomorrow. He's a large, blond dude who loves Brian Urlacher. He's engaged to an Australian girl. It's a new chapter in his life. I know all about that excitement but of course the only and major different in our new chapters is that he chose his and I didn't. But that's okay, they're new chapters anyway and we're both going to try and make the most of them.

I also saw another friend who I hadn't seen in awhile, a couple of months and now that there is no more smoking in bars so he has no more excuse about not coming to hang with us for football. I don't go to O'Kellys Irish pub as much as I used to for various reasons. I think the prices keep going up, the menu gets smaller and the service gets worse. I got there, went to the bar and ordered a beer. I gave him a 10-euro bill and jokingly asked if I'd be getting any change. He said, "That's a good way to get kicked out of here." I told him, "Dude, there have been plentyof guys who have been kicked out of this place but come back the next day." And he said something to the effect that that is not true. When did people get so sensitive? I caught a buzz tonight and asked the Spanish waitress in Spanish that I've known for probably 3 years if she still had a boyfriend. She said, "No, not anymore." And I replied, "How is it possible to see you without clothing?" And she said, "It's not." And it made me laugh. I love knowing other languages.

I did meet a girl tonight but it was brief and of my own doing. She was sitting two tables from Rolf, Whitney, Erik and I. We were waxing poetic about world economies, history, philosophy and the future. I kept noticing her somehow, wearing a green tanktop and her two friends were wearing black (big surprise in Europe! hahah). I saw her laughing or smiling a couple of times and I thought, Jay, you gotta go talk to her. You have no reason now not to go over to that girl, introduce yourself and ask if she wants to go out sometime. I thought about it for about 20 minutes and when Whitney went out for a smoke, I left Rolf there and went over to their table.

(in German)
Can I disturb you girls for a sec? I asked.

Uh huh.

Yeah, well, I just wanted to meet you. I saw you smiling a couple of times and thought it was really cute. What's your name?

Ina.

Jason.

I introduced myself to the other two girls so they wouldn't think (it's midnight at this moment while typing, I have an important private lesson in 11 hours) I was ignoring them. I asked where she was from.

Near Frankfurt, and you?

California.

Oh, that must be cool.

It is.

(all 3 girls laugh)

I wanted to know if you'd be interested in going out sometime.

Maybe.

Well, I can give you my number and then it's up to you.

Ok.

What do you do in Freiburg?

I study.

What?

Law.

And you don't study English?

No.

Because I'm a teacher at the university and it wouldn't be cool to date girls who are students of mine.

(One girl rolls her eyes and I call her out on it.)

Hey, I saw that. I live with 2 girls, I know that look.

(all 3 girls laugh)

----
I asked to sit for 30 seconds to give her a better chance to know if she wanted to call me or not. I stayed about a minute and had pretty good timing to get out when I did. She has my number now and it's her "beer". It's funny but I have to at least get myself out there. It shouldn't be a problem, as a wise Japanese woman, Wanaka, wrote me on rice paper:

You meet many persons and you talk them into human being.

I'm listening to live Ryan Adams from a month ago and it's perfect, meloncholy yet real. "True love aint' that hard to find, not that you'll ever know." Ouch. hahahaha

Chick A

Chick A just left. We have hung out the last two days. She's someone definitely worth knowing. You'll remember that she was the girl that I "hung out" with just before I left Germany for the States at the end of July.

Yesterday we lunch together and then went and chilled out at my place, trying to make some sense of the chaos of my room and trying to get to know each other better. She seems to understand that I'm not in the right head space for a girlfriend but I can be a great, uncomplicated person to know. We definitely have some stuff in common but she's shy, something I haven't been in probably 25 years so it's interesting how different we are as well.

Today she came over for dinner but first we had to go shopping for food. We decided to "pimp" spaghetti bolognese and put some green olives, onions, garlic and fresh peppers (long thin peppers with some punch to them). It was great just getting to hang out and talk and make food with someone. I can't stress enough how much it has meant to me to have someone really cool (and sexy as hell to boot) to spend time with. I could potentially feel as alone as I've ever felt, what with living in a foreign country without what's-her-face, far from home and yet here I am, hanging with a super cool chick. Tonight she definitely opened up some more, told more about her life growing up in Italy, about her siblings and stuff and while it might sound mundane to you, I am in a completely new position in life and I enjoyed having a totally normal conversation with a woman and it was sort of like we were on a date but there was no pressure. After dinner we went down to Walfisch for an espresso and a jaegermeister, the culmination of her german and italian roots I suppose, hahahaha.

There's actually a lot more to tell about her but not all of it is appropriate since my mom and some of the family occasionally read this blog but don't worry, this isn't some dream and it really happened. She's walking home now and I'm saying hi to her now. Hi.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Juliana, beautiful Ukranian girl extraordinaire





















Zach, Me, Chris, KC


I like being single


Maybe single life ain't so bad...


Me on the deck before leaving OC


Nate and I riding bikes in Pacific Beach


Monday, August 27, 2007

New York

Can you really make the title of the post any more interesting? No.

I arrived in New York on a hot and humid Friday afternoon. It took me almost an hour to get across to Brooklyn, to a party of town called Greenpoint. It's a Polish neighborhood as my host Mike was soon to tell me. On the subway over, though, it was cool to meet two people on their way to Hungary and another guy who works in photography and said I was going about it the right way, whatever that meant.

Mike, who I met through Wibke, arguably the glue that holds Hospitalityclub in Freiburg together, and I had a piece of pizza and then went to his place, a spacious apartment very laid back in its decorating. I got cleaned up and headed down further in Brooklyn to meet one couchsurfer for some middle eastern food. An hour later I was at Lorimer stop to meet two other couchsurfers, Lizze and Johnny Rocket. We had a drink at the Brooklyn Tea House and then went to the liquor store to buy 2 6-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon and then took teh subway all the way down to the bottom tip of Manhattan, walked another 10-15 minutes to South Street Seaport where a live band called Camera Obsura was playing. We met a bunch of other couchsufers there, including people from 2-3 German cities including Freiburg, Belgium, the States and Canada. The music was good, the atmosphere even better and after the show we headed back up to Bedford Avenue, what Johnny Rocket called "arguably the hottest strip in thh country".

We went to Black Betty, then another bar and then the Country Club where you got a free pizza with each beer. We met more people and we got more drunk and it was basically an epic night that ended sometime after 2am and me wandering around Brooklyn trying to find my host's place. I found it sometime before 3am.

Yes, there was a hangover the next day and I was quite uninteresting for the next couchsurfer I met and went to Union Square with. I had some more middle eastern food I wasn't sure if I could keep down while it was hot and humid and I only could sweat out alcohol and grunt occasionally. Not surprisingly, she left me soon after and I went back to my host's to chill out. We watched some of the Dodgers/Mets baseball game on TV and then I had to head back into Brooklyn "south" to meet my friend, Gina. I met her at her restaurant Babbo where she's the pastry chef and we went to a wine bar around the corner from there. I drank pineapple juice. We had a really good talk, discussing the end of my relationship with what's-her-face and her impending move to Rome in January. We spent another an hour and a half there and went over to Bergen Street, a better connection for both of us to get back and had another drink at a place called Sample and then I went back to hang out and try and recharge the batteries for Sunday which I knew was going to be a long day.

I woke up Sunday sweating, and packed up after having a nice breakfast with my host and then took a bus and then an elevated train to 30Avenue in Queens. I walked the 7 blocks to my new host, a singer in a groovy country band called Modern Earl. His band played in Swamp, the bar below my house in Freiburg and I kept in touch and was stoked to have the connection. He's a super cool dude and his German wife Geli is really nice as well. I showered and then went to the Met to meet up with Carolin.

Carolin you'll remember was in a class of mine at the university a couple of semesters ago. She's a really nice person and it has been great the past month to have someone "nice" to talk to, especially because what's-her-face wasn't naturally the nicest person in the world. Carolin and I had a great time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then walked around Midtown for awhile before going back to the host's place, cleaning up a bit and then wandering around until we found some Mexican food and then took the train out to Shea Stadium for the Dodgers/Mets game.

We missed the first inning but had good seats, great weather and the Dodgers won! It took us awhile to get back and we hung out with Chris and Geli for a bit and then went to bed around 1am. I sweated and slept and got up at 9.30am. We showered, had some coffee and then got a manicure and pedicure from a place down the street. I hadn't had one since Lima, Peru about 11 months earlier so it was definitely time. That was nice but of course strange because it's new to me and then we found a great Greek restaurant that had been recommended to us called S'Agapo which means I Love You in Greek. Great food, nice atmosphere and then we did a bit of shopping. We got her stuff back at the room and then went down by thet train stop to have a drink before she left. We had a really good conversation, mostly with me babbling and her offering objective opinions about my situtation but it was good for me. She got on a train and left.

So, my month in America ends tomorrow. What have we learned? Well, I'm certainly doing a lot better than I would have had I stayed in Freiburg for all of August. I got to visit with a lot of friends, had a photo exhibition, visit a bunch of cities I hadn't seen since the summer of 2005 and kissed a couple of girls, talked to a shitload of others, went to a strip club, drank a bunch, saw my favorite band, cried a couple of times, and ironically, I didn't take ONE picture with my good camera on this trip, can you believe that? It's been years since that's happened, probably since before I started dating Jennifer which was January 2000 so you can do the math.

This trip has been the best therapy I could have had. I am most definitely not over the relationship with what's-her-face but I don't want to be with her anymore. I am over her but not the relationship. I'm very open about what happened and that's helped the recovery process immensely. I need to have some fun for awhile, figure out what I want and more importantly, don't want from the next woman I date seriously and continue to live my life almost exactly how I've been living it.

I'm going to buy a new bed at IKEA. I'm going to buy a new comfortable desk chair, a printer and rearrange the room. I'm going to work on a synopsis, sample chapter and outline for my newest book, inspired by Gina to get me off my ass again, titled the same as this blog. The goal is to have that package done by the end of the year and it shouldn't be a problem, as long as I don't travel too much and have too much fun on the weekends and oh wait...

See you back in Germany, friends...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cheesesteak and Thomas Jefferson

hey ya'll,

Just have a couple of minutes left here at the library, wanted to tell you I took the train into the city, met a guy who works in a hospital and is going to Germany for the first time next week to Heidelberg for his brother's wedding. I went into Chinatown and bought a small tambourine because I decided to get my drum out of the living room and have it in my bedroom and create a little creative corner where people can play the drum or tambourine when they will, create a little lovin', ya know what I'm sayin?

It's humid and icky today and I walked down Market St a bit and then turned right and accidentally found the house where Thomas Jefferson composed most of the Declaration of Independence and what's so cool is that it was considered "outside the city" at the time but it's in the heart of the city now. It's inspiring to think of that period of history, the ideals and morals and intelligence of the men who founded this country. They would be sick to their stomachs to see what their ideal turned into but that's another blog post.

I asked one of the park rangers at Independence Hall where I should eat my one cheesesteak and he said Jim's on 4th and South Street. It took me 10 minutes to walk over there and it was the same place we (my parents, Assiyeah and I) went to 2 years ago when we were here visiting. It was good but a bit pricey and then I went in search of a bead shop where I'd been twice before. It had moved and I found it at 2nd and Market. I got another cool 'J'-shaped pendant, this time made from bone and had a cute girl named Rachel put it on for me. No, she didn't want to go out for drinks with me and my friends after work. Then I walked up the street awhile and got a call from my buddy Mooney. It was about getting the taxes on his ex-girlfriend's flight back but it involved my credit card and it's a bit sticky but it'll all work out for the best. Without a doubt he and I are going to have a blast in Spain together without the women we had planned on bringing, that's fo sho!

I'm meeting Corrie soon and then 2 hours after that we're meeting Danielle and we'll have some drinks and some early dinner and go from there. Tomorrow I'm on a bus at 11am on my way to NYC. I can't wait but there's still some of today to enjoy!

Ciao!

Philly yo!

Arrived in Philly this afternoon. Yesterday I got a ride to Boston and couchsurfed, a pretty mellow night but good for me. I got to the airport and around security lost my new neckland I'd bought in Providence the day before.

There was a chick next to me on the plane leaving her husband and going to florida to stay with an uncle for an undetermined amount of time.

Behind her was a freakish couple as the boyfriend spent most of the one-hour flight talking about the things he'd like to do her ex-boyfriend, namely slashing his tires, kicking his ass, breaking his wrists, ad nauseum.

Corrie picked me up and we had some good grubbing with some of her old-coworkers, a ballerino (a guy), a burlesque dancer and an art history student who was flying to Europe to be an exchange student for 4 months.

Chicken, burgers, salad, stirfry, bread and beer, good stuff.

Tomorrow I'm going to see a friend who used to live in Freiburg for one year. She was the 3rd part to the triumvirate of Maya and me back in early 2005. We even went to Poland together for a 5 days in August 2005.

They changed the Dodgers/Mets game from 1pm to 8pm, those bastards! haahha but we'll go the Met before that so it'll all work out, it always does...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the satin doll

Last night I had my first real strip club experience. I ended up spending about 150 bucks and it was worth every penny. I got two lap dances, one from a girl named "Notorious", an 18-year girl from Warwick, RI and a chick named Joey. It was 25 bucks/lap dance and it lasted a song or so (Joey gave me a song and a half which was nice of her). Beers were only 5 bucks but I spent about 40 bucks in singles last night and even gave some to the girls to give to other girls while they were dancing. That 150 bucks I justified as what my rent in Freiburg would have been had Assiyeah and I still been together. I spanked about 5 different asses last night and I just want to thank god for giving me the opportunity to earn enough money that I can every once in a great while waste 150 bucks on something as beautiful as that. It was another therapy session. I'm glad I'm cheap because I could see where people (guys) could wasted a bunch of money there but that ain't my scene but I enjoyed posing in it for the night.

I'm in Boston now, staying with a couchsurfing host named Rob. I'm flying to Philly tomorrow. Germany is getting closer and that means a lot of things, stress and lonliness but also opportunity and freedom and work and daily routine. I hope that I can find a good mix to make me feel like there are also positive changes in my life as well.

cheers
jason

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lobstah

I had a lobster dinner tonight during the sunset on the beach with 6 middle-aged lesbians. I guess I wanted to write more but that is enough.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

26

Last night I saw the Black Crowes for the 26th time and it was a really good time! I met some great Black Crowes' fans and we were drinking beers, had dinner together and watched a lot of the show together, which by the way, was on a pier which made it so cool. I really really needed that show, it's like church for me and I got my hands in the air like I'm at a gospel church singing all the words, it is exactly the perfect therapy...

I got an email from Assiyeah yesterday. No big deal, just about some of our furniture and stuff but I definitely found myself tearing up a bit writing her back. I was able to say exactly what I wanted and it really wasn't such a big thing but it reminds me yet again how lucky I am to be in the States another 9 days to have a good time and then, when I get back around 9.30am on August 29th, I can take a shower, eat something and go to IKEA to get my new bed. I wonder if I'll give it a name...just kidding.

I'm going to Providence, Rhode Island tomorrow. It's one of the essentials of travelling, to have open days so when you meet people that say, hey, come and stay at our place for a night or two, you just say cool, sounds good and boom, it's hooked up. I haven't ever really been to providence, just driving through it but I'm looking forward to seeing it and plus, it's only about 40 minutes from boston airport. i got another offer to stay with a guy in boston i met last night too so that's another option for me. Options are good.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Newly single update

I'm a free man, to do what I want, when, where and with whom I want. For a moment that felt like a daunting thought, being alone. But I already decided that maybe I could be alone the rest of my life and that's okay. that is okay. It's no problem for me. I like me. I could spend the rest of my life with me, hell I have to, right?

Anyway, I thought I'd update a bit more of what the past 3.5 weeks has been like. First off, I have met some very nice, interesting, cute, hot, sexy, crazy, available, unavailable, bitchy, cool women in the past month. It was weird walking around Freiburg and suddenly every woman (more or less) was a possibility. That was strange.

Then I meet a hot chick we'll call A (for the first one!). We hooked up in Freiburg before I left and it was exactly what I needed. God bless her and with any luck, I'll be seeing her again when I'm back in Freiburg. I feel like it's already hooked up but you never know, right? haha, nah, I feel pretty good about it. She just wants to date and hang out and have someone to be with from time to time and that's exactly what I'm looking for. She's 24. She's someone I will be friends with no matter what happens and that's a good feeling.

Then there was chick B. She was in a class of mine at the university (but is no longer a student of mine, nor will be). She just happens to be in the States all summer and we started sending some emails and then had some long phone calls together. There's definitely a connection but (isn't there always a but involved?) she is looking more for a relationship if "fun stuff" is gonna happen. We're planning on meeting up next week here on the east coast but the chances of something happening with her here in the States is virtually nil. Possibly back in Germany but for now she's a cute girl and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better. I can't think of it as any more than that. We 're gonna hit a baseball game, do some siteseeing and hang. It's nice to have a woman to spend some time with while I'm here in the States.

Then there was chick C. I used to work with her 6-7 years ago for Bluetorch TV back in Irvine. There was definitely sexual tension between us but I was with Jennifer at the time so of course nothing happened. I saw her again after I came back from Greece and we had a good time hanging out and having some wine but I was with Assiyeah and so of course nothing happened. I hadn't seen her in 5 years until last Tuesday at karaoke. She walked in while I was singing "They'll stone ya when you're trying to be so good" karaoke. The tension was still there and it was fantastic. We kissed some at the bar, some more outside and we made some "definite" plans to hook up when I am back in December. She's for sure someone I'll be calling when I get back in 4 months!

Chick D is not totally a part of my life yet. We met at karaoke the past two weeks and I was very hot for her. I didn't talk to her the first time too much. She was interested in the photo exhibition but didn't come. Then she came late the second night and she totally loved the photos I brought. She ended up taking 4 of them and we talked outside for awhile. I learned she's not from Orange County and has been having a hard time out there. We shared a moment or two but nothing happened. She made it seem that she'd contact me but hasn't as of yet. I'm not worried about it but there was enough between us for her to be included.

Chick E: a girl back in Freiburg. Nothing has happened, but indicated she'd be open to go out when I get back to Germany. She's a smart chick. She said an ideal date for her would be that she shouldn't know it's a date. I like that. That means drinking beer on the Augustiner Square with 200 other people and just hanging and talkin'...

I have another 10 days in the States, I'll try and get to the first letter of my name by then. Just kidding...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Portland, Maine

A lot has changed in the 2 years since I was last in Portland, Maine. I have had 8 exhibitions, lost a girlfriend, traveled to South America and other new countries like Turkey and Montenegro. I have gotten better jobs, have had unbelievable trouble and stress with the foreign authorities, and all of the everyday stuff that goes on.

I am starting to enjoy being single. Again, I am the luckiest MOFO to be out of Germany this month and I have been taking advantage of it. I've been enjoying being able to talk to other women, encourage them to get to know me better and who knows, I might really start to like being single but I hope I can find someone to keep me warm this Fall! But one day at a time....

Tomorrow I'm going to see the Black Crowes for the 26th time. On Wednesday I'll be in Philly and on Friday I'll be in New York. Life is good my friends...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pacific Beach, San Diego

This is one of the few places I would live if I were to live in America again. What would I do here? No clue but I absolutely love the vibe, the weather, how it's laid back and of course the spanish vibe.

I had an epic karaoke night on Tuesday, spent about 50euro and saw some people I hadn't seen in ages, including this really cute girl I used to work with at Bluetorch 20% of my life ago. We hadn't seen each other in 5 years and it really felt like no time had passed. Those are the kinds of friends I want in my life. Even if we don't keep in too much contact, we see each other and it's like it was yesterday. I have about 10 friends in the states where I have some semblance of that and of course it's a scale of how easy it is for us to jump right back into it again but that's how it felt with Bluetorch girl (Sorry rubia, I was trying to think of a cooler name for you but thought that fit).

I sang some kick ass karaoke and got pretty drunk but it was another excellent therapy session for me. I got home at 3.40am. Yesterday I had a hangover but it was completely worth it. I had lunch with my mom and then Nate and I drove down to San Diego to hang with Mooney. he took us on beachcruisers for arguably the nicest bike ride I have had in my life, going down by the bay, perfect weather, slight breeze, riding lazily past joggers, rollerbladers, families in the vacation rental patios. We sat on the beach with an 18-pack of Tecate and threw the frisbee and had a great bonding session watching the sun set. It was a glorious last full day in California for 4 months.

I'm flying at 10.30pm tonight to Cleveland, changing planes and then continuing on to Manchester, New Hampshire where my aunt and her girlfriend are going to pick me up. The second part of my "Recovery Tour 2007" is about to start!

I'm walking the last 100 meters to the beach now...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How I came into posession of Sweet Pickle Salad

It was Spring 2001. There was excitment and buzz about a new Black Crowes' album and people were hoping it would be better than BYS. I organize a Tall Day in LA in late March 2001. We had dinner (about 15 of us) and then went and saw Beachwood Sparks play. It was an ominous evening, especially when you consider just 5 months later the Sparks would be the opening band for the 2001 summer/fall tour.

A lot of us became friends that night but some of us already knew each other. There was a new girl there and she came with her then-husband and two of his buddies. I'm sure they were convinced we were going to be axe-wielding freaks but of course we were just freaks without axes. Anyway, as we were having drinks and getting ready to go in and check out the show, the girl mentioned that she had a friend who was part of some recording session that Chris and Marc had been a part of. Of course I expressed interest and about a week later a CD came in the mail.

I was at my then-girlfriend's place and popped in the CD. Immediately it became clear that something huge had just come into my hands. Here was a 5 song EP of some of the best rock the 90's produced and no one knew about it. It was only a name at that time, no one really knew much about the music and if they did, the quality was shit at best. I immediately made 5 copies of the album and mailed them to people around the country who would best understand and appreciate what they had just received. There's no need to name those people but within a couple of months it started to circulate and then later one of those 5 people upgraded the sound but it was from that recording I had sent them.

I'm sure that the girl who gave it to me would have been mad at the time had she known but now it's 6.5 years later and who gives a patootie, right?

Any questions?

Marrakech and the Thrills

booya!

Without even thinking, I bought two tickets to see the Thrills in Bristol, England on October 5th. I already have tickets from Basel to London October 3 to the 7th and the 5th is a Friday so that's perfect. I have only seen the Thrills once, and that was November 2004 in Norwich so I'm most definitely up for another show but I need to get their new album, Teenager, first.

I just checked www.easyjet.com because that's something I do quite often and I shit my pants when I saw two new connections from my beloved Basel airport. First is Basel-Marrakech, Morroco and the other is Basel-Porto, Portugal. I've been to Porto before and I loved it so that is definitely another possibility but I wanted to go to Marrakech with the ex in February but our tickets got cancelled because of some EU-Morroco arrangement so we ended up going to Turkey instead and had a great time but still Morocco has been still in mind. I think I'd like to go with somone though, any takers? I'm thinking for 9 days at Easter, late March. If I'm dating you I'll pay for your plane ticket. If I'm not, you're probably going to have to pay for it yourself! hahah

so, that's it, thanks.

photos from the exhibition


This is my parents' new terasse where a lot of the party took place.









Here is the inside of the party tent with a poker table set up.









Some people chillin out on the terasse at the sunset.







Me chillin on the terasse.












Me and Cinny.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

275

I sold 275 dollars' worth of photography tonight, 70 of which I have donated to Breast Cancer Research. We had around 50 people at one point, a beautiful sunset with great food and a good mix of people.

It's gonna suck tomorrow breaking "the party" down, taking down tent, etc., but I'm old enough to know that that's just part of it. So you accept and plan to try and act mature and grateful to have the opportunity to help out, especially when my parents put a lot of energy and time (read: money) into the party.

We've planned to sleep in and I'm around until it's finished tomorrow. And then I should buy my parents dinner. That will be my day of atonement, weissh?

p.s. more to tell, about going to the bar after, seeing a kick ass rock band jam out and not having to pay for a drink (2 beers, 2 fancy shots, diet coke). I gave them 10 bucks and one of the dudes returned 5 of it. It's the same bar I spent 80 dollars at 4 nights ago. It all works out in the end. That is the lesson for today, even though it's occurring at 2.24am of the next day: it all works out in th end. See ya tomorrow.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Photo Exhbition #9

Today's the day. We're a little less than 4 hours away from it beginning. Almost all of the preparation has been taken care of, just need to pick up some food, shower and then get ready to drink from a plethora of beers and sodas. We have beer from Argentina, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Mexico and of course a bunch of, as my dad calls it, "barbecue beer", aka Bud light.

I will be seeing my favorite band in the world for the 26th time next Saturday. Yes, of course it's the Black Crowes, who else? That will be in Portland, Maine. I had planned on staying there 3 nights and then going to Boston for 2 nights but my aunt lives in Portland and I'm really looking forward to seeing her and so maybe I stay even longer in Portland, 4 or 5 nights and then I fly to Philly. I'll be seeing Corrie and Danielle in Philly and I think another friend of mine (you know who you are) is coming to stay in Philly the same time I'll be there. Should be an excellent time, and a fusion of friends. There's Corrie, who I have known since high school and college and the ONLY person besides my parents to have visited me more than once in the 4.5 years I've been there. And there's Danielle, whose family owns a company in Freiburg and she lived there for over a year 2 years ago and we became good friends (along with Maya), and the 3 of us (Maya, Danielle and I) even went to Poland together 2 years ago. That was the week after Kelly McCue's in Mission Viejo burned down but that's another story.

I love bringing together people who don't know each other but know me together. It makes me feel diverse and I think often those people get along well because let's be honest, if you can handle me, you can handle anyone, right?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beerfest

I watched a movie with some buddies last night that was pretty funny. It's called Beerfest, and it's by the guys who made Supertroopers. If you don't know that movie, you've got to see that one first. Anyway, Beerfest is about a secret beer-drinking contest in Oktoberfest. It's pretty immature and stupid and how it makes fun of Germans is overly clever but there were some good parts in the movie but it was insane how much alcohol was drunk in that movie.

I also met up with a friend of a friend for a drink. She's a nice enough person but said one of the all-time classic things to hear as a single guy having a beer. "I took a vow of celibacy." I shit you now, that's gotta be on the list. It's not even that she was my type or that I was trying to get anything, it was just really funny to hear that. I haven't been single in a long time, it appears the excuses one can use have been greatly expanded in the past 7.5 years, eh?

Well, there ain't gonna be craps at the photo exhibition, my buddy's buddy who owns the table is using it for some work party but that's okay, we'll have one or two poker tables set up and we'll get the Bocci ball and who knows what else. I got a lot of prep work today and it ain't necessarily gonna be fun but it's all part of it so...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

32

There will be 32 different photographs in the exhibition, far more than I had originally thought. Tomorrow we're setting up the party tent and Saturday is slowly shaping up to be a kick ass evening.

I was asleep by 10.30 last night and woke up fit and thirsty at 8.30am this morning. I had a coffee, went to a bookstore and bought a Mark Twain biography for $2.14 and then met my buddy Zach for lunch at the overpriced El Torito Grill. I'm so out of touch in America that I didn't even realize that there was El Torito and El Torito Grill, the latter being more chic and priced accordingly. Now I have a couple of hours to chill, I might do some shopping but I'm not really in the mood to go anywhere, we'll see.

Tonight, going to chill with some friends and tomorrow is preparation for the exhibition. I know, nothing too excited to report but still, wanted to fill ya in!

80 bucks

Last night I spent 80 dollars in a bar. That's the most I have spent in one bar/restaurant in who knows how long, maybe forever but it was totally worth it, except for my hangover this morning but still...

It was 1-dollar tacos and 2.50 Coronas like I mentioned and they had karaoke with judges like american idol. I got wrangled into the contest even though I just wanted to sing a song. I sang Fight For Your Right to Party by the Beastie Boys and then later P.I.M.P by 50 cent that was pretty sweet and got the chicks going. I met 3 dudes from Guatemala and 3 from Mexico, a girl with a skull tatooed on the front of her neck, another white rapper dude from Long Beach who sang, "Hey, we want some p*ssy" song from 2 Live Crew which brought the house down. I bought drinks for at least 10 people I didn't know. I was telling my dad today, hey, it's cheaper than therapy and I got to buy some buddies drinks and there were drunks girls who needed drinks, what's a guy to do?

Didn't have any luck however but must say I had a smashing time.

I played golf today, perfect weather, a bit hot and I'm a bit out of it now but so happy to be home and plan to be here the rest of the evening methinks...

Have you ever seen the movie Hairspray? The new version? Yeah, me neither but I'm curious how it is.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rock Bottom

I saw 4 people I used to work with 4.5 years last night: Chad, Dennis, Matt and Nick. We all worked at Rock Bottom in the Irvine Spectrum and it was a great job that allowed me to save enough money to move to Germany. I'd only seen Chad once or twice since then and it was great to see all of them at one time. We spent most of it reminiscing about hot chicks we used to work with and being grateful that our old manager Matt comped our entire bill, which was probably getting close to about 100 bucks, thanks Matt!

We talked about movies and travel and art but mostly we did what American guys do when they get together and drink: we talked about chicks and also spent most of our time trying to make each other laugh. One of us would start to tell a story about our past, invariably it was Chad because he's the "most accomplished" of the group and then another one would try to supply the punchline to the anecdote, thereby infusing humor where it shouldn't necessarily be. Good stuff...

Today's agenda? First, it's 7.20am and why I am awake already, that's the question! I'm going to lunch with Amy, and I need to swing by Aaron brothers to get something to hang the photos with for Saturday's exhibition. I'm going to try and go to my buddy's bar for Taco Tuesday. Come on, 1 dollar tacos, 1-dollar beers from 7.30-8.30pm and 2.50 Coronas all night, me gusta mucho! Tomorrow I'm playing golf, woohoo! Life is good.

***This post has been edited because I apparently repeated the same info in two posts, woops! Hey, it happens, right?

Lamppost Pizza

I met up with my buddy Nate today and we went back to his house to hang out a bit and then we went to Lamppost Pizza by his house. They have a microbrewery attached to it and we sat there and ended up talking to the assistant brewer and the bartender. They were both really nice people and I couldn't believe that the brewer knew about the Deutsche Reinheitsgebot, it was fucking classic. The bartender was a cute 21-year old girl with a boyfriend but I had the feeling she could be more interested in what I had to say but then again, I was just a customer and that definitely changes things.

But that's the cool thing, I'm still in heal-phase from my relationship but getting to know new women and talking to them is going to help me find my place, my voice when it comes to the single, heterosexual world. I'm super stoked to be talking to this student of mine outside New York, she's a really cool girl and I think we have a lot of things in common and I'm looking forward to hooking up with her in New York, it could be a really good time. It's just so bizarre that I'm suddenly allowed to flirt with women and get to know new women, I'm still getting used to it.

That's the thing. Assiyeah could probably meet a lot more guys who wanna fuck her than I could meet girls who wanna do the same to me but there's a chance I might end up getting more action than her the next 6 months because I'm motivated and I"m a guy. She will have this fling with the dude and maybe it works out and maybe it doesn't but it ain't my problem. She still has to feel comfortable with the new guys she meets. For a woman, that's complicated. For guys, it's a much easier proposition but before I delve into that, this might be a good place to stop so we still have things to talk about!

Assiyeah wrote me today trying to get out of paying my half of the rent for August. She said, why, you're just on holiday and it's unfair and if you want I wont' bring the new boyfriend to our place, I'll respect that if you want. I wrote her that there were much more important things to respect two months ago when she decided to start cheating on me. I apologized but for me to heal properly, I have to stand strong here and not pay for my half of the rent when I'm not there for the month. It might make her mad but this is part of not being with me anymore. If she can't understand that, that ain't my problem anymore, is it?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Olvera Street

I went to a Dodger game with 7 friends last night. The ticket was 8 dollars, the parking 15, a large beer 12, a hot dog 5. It was expensive as hell EXCEPT for the ticket, oh the irony!

The weather was perfect, just a beautiful evening in a beautiful ballpark. But before the game, we wanted to have a beer and eat something in the city. We went to Olvera Street by Union Station in LA. Olvera Street is the oldest street in LA. It's very short and touristy with lots of small market stalls selling stuff and restaurants. We had 5-dollar beers (Amy had 9-dollar margaritas), some good chips and salsa and it was a perfect 30-minute excursion in the city before the game.

I'm going to put some of the photos for my exhibition next weekend onto boards today. We're having a barbecue this evening and I'll probably just chill out because I've been on the go a lot lately and I already know tomorrow night I'm going down to San Diego to visit some old restaurtant co-workers I worked with before I moved to Germany.

It's strange because I didn't do anything wrong in my relationship with Assiyeah but for some reason, when I see people who also knew her, I don't know how to be around them. No, that's not it, it's more like they knew her and I'm not with her anymore and so there's this extremely personal thing that has to be completely out in the open and it's painful. I am definitely getting better by being here and I've been chatting with a really nice girl lately and it feels good to talk to another person, and hear about their life and to have them listen to me and to talk to her about stuff that has nothing to do with my relationship. It's over. That girl doesn't want to be with me anymore. All I can do is regroup and try and find my inner spirit again which shouldn't be difficult. I love my life, I think any girl would be lucky to have my attention and I have nothing but opportunity in my life. I don't have any real problems in my life, except for a broken heart and work permit problems, only the basic foundation of my life in Germany but still, I can feel hope for the future. I'm not even sure if Assiyeah feels that now and she's the one who broke up with me. Pray for me. haha, just kidding, please don't. Buy me a beer, laugh at my jokes, sleep with me, but please don't pray for me!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Simpsons movie and old friends

After the Simpsons movie last night we went to have a beer across the street and there saw some old friends and I mean old friends. Two are from high school which means I have known them for 15+ years and a girl who was 2 grades lower than us and I had not seen her in probably 10 years. The two guys I both saw at Xmas. One of them I still kind of like and the other I'm not too sure about. We have just become different people now and with not as much in common. It's weird, especially when essentially they are still doing the same stuff as they were doing 10 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I am still doing some of the same things too but I'm doing them much further from home which somehow lends more credibility, I think.

Part of me is exactly the same person I was 10 years ago when I was 23. I like to go out and have a good time but I think I've experienced the world a little and have taken a lot from those experiences and have become better at dealing with people, or at least realize better that you have to treat some people differently. I'm sure my friends know that too but it just felt like it was a shock for me to hang and have a beer with a guy who I hadn't seen in 10 years and he immediately begins to bust my balls. I can handle ball busting but come on, I've been living in Germany 4.5 years and my girlfriend just broke up with me. I felt like I had more important things to talk about but that could have just been my headspace.

The Simpsons movie was better than I thought it was going to be. It wasn't perfect and it had some slow moments but it was pretty damn classic, some great humor and for sure you have to see it again to get all the jokes. That's a good sign.

Today we're going to the Dodger baseball. I haven't been in a couple of years and maybe the last time I went was july 2002 just after coming back from Greece and I went with my buddy Zach to the game and talked about my future relationship. This was when I was 6 months from moving to Germany.

I told him when he asked, what if it doesn't work out, "Well, then I come back to one of the most beautiful places on earth." Well, it apparently hasn't worked out and I am back in that beautiful place but I am so glad that I don't live here right now. I have so much freedom in my life in Germany, freedom of work and travel and I'm free to do whatever I want all the time. I wouldn't have that chance here and I'd have to drive everywhere which I wouldn't like at all anymore. I love catching a buzz and riding my bike home, that's how it should be.

It's going to be a beautiful day...

Friday, August 03, 2007

100 dollars in dvds and cds

I felt like buying shit yesterday. Wasn't sure what but I already had had enough books from amazon I have to schlep back that I thought some dvds or cds would be a good idea. This is what I got for 100 dollars or about 75euros:

1)Weeds, season one: About a woman whose husband dies and she starts selling marijuana to make ends meet.
2)Simple Life, season one and four: Remember, I live with two chicks and this is perfect for chilling on a rainy saturday afternoon and watching Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie do various jobs badly, it's good easy television.
3)King of Queens, season 6: my folks gave me one season of this show and I really dug it and it wasn't too expensive so I bought it.
4)Beerfest: a movie from the guys who made Supertroopers about a secret beer drinking contest in Germany and the Americans have to win! Could be taught in a class sometime soon maybe...
5)Sam Cooke, Portrait of a Legend: one of my favorite singers, this is a new best of for him and I had lost my original, now out of print best of with 28 songs. The new one has 30.

Actually, it was about 96 dollars and it felt great!

Also, last night I hung with Zach and Chris and we drank beers (Miller Lite) and watched baseball (the Dodgers lost), ate Pizza (pepperoni) and chilled (hardcore). I crashed there and was up at 6.20am because of jetlag.

Today? Mom and I will get some supplies for the exhibition, go out to lunch and then maybe I'll do a workout and tonight we're doing dinner and then I'm going to see the Simpsons movie with friends. So far, even without female contact yet, I'm having a perfect trip home so far...cheers!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Remedy

Yesterday I was up at 6am. Today was much better at 8.02am but I also went to bed much later, 10pm and 12:30am respectively. Jetlag, I hear it's called though I haven't been sleeping so well for about 2 weeks now, I wonder why...

So, I got caught up on news yesterday, watched some of the testimony about the Pat Tillman fraticide case online and watched some morning news (story about a guy who too many animals in his house was one of the stories) and on good ole Fox News they talked about the fear/distraught of Hillary winning. I usually only get to see the creme de la creme of Faux Noise so the normal day to day stuff that probabaly slips past the blogosphere somehow quite disturbing.

My buddy Nate came over around 11 and we went down to Guitar Center where a friend of mine who I never see is the manager. She and I met through the Black Crowes but the first time we actually met was in October 2000 in Fresno for a Pearl Jam concert. She's a good connection for my friend Nate who plays guitar and bass and has spent plenty of cash in Orange County Guitar Centers over the years. Then the two of us went to a new Mexican restaurant called Jalapeno's (there's a tilde over the n but I was too lazy to find that letter) and had yet another carnitas burrito. Do you know what carnitas is? Probably not if you're German...Basically, it's pork shoulder that cooks in a salt water until it is shredded and extremely tender. You put that in a tortilla with pinto beans and guacamole and onions and you get close to something tastes perfectly every single bite. Yes, of course I'll be eating Mexican food for lunch again, what are you crazy?

We were met at the restaurant by my oldest friend, Amy (we've known each other since we were 5) and her 10 month-old son Jake and Nate's and my old college roommate Shavid with his fiance. The weather was so perfect that there was no weather and the 5 of us (maybe Jake too but I don't think between throwing banana pieces and large pieces of musli he was too involved) had a classic conversation about everything from beer bongs to firemen humor (Shavid's a fireman in Newport Beach, a good gig for sure!).

Afterwards, Shavid, Nate and I went down to the Irvine Spectrum, basically a large shopping/eating area without cars and cool Middle Eastern architecture, easily one of the coolest (and most expensive and superficial) areas close to my parents' house. We went to the bookstore and I bought a Vanity Fair and a book about F. Scott Fitzgerald's and Zelda's marriage and was turned down for a drink by the chick who sold me the stuff and then the 3 of us went to the Yard House, a nice restaurant with over 100 beers on tap (vom Fass). I had a Paulaner Pilsner (I only see the Hefeweizen in Freiburg) and then a Belgian Blue Moon while we sat outside in the small patio and talked about our 3 relationships. I think we basically concluded that women are insane, we 3 are the well-adjusted ones in our relationships and all of the stuff you were taught by women on television about how to deal with women is complete bullshit. They are more like Jack Nicholson's character's description in "As Good As it Gets" when asked how he writes women so well:

"First I think of a man. Then I take away reason and accountability."

That is easily one of the most classic movie quotes of the 90s, something Nate, Shavid and I know a lot about. We sometimes only talk in movie quotes and we reminisce about our time in college which was basically perfect (maybe 25% more chicks might have been better but I'm not complaining because it definitely could have been worse!) and how it's hard to believe it's over.

After that, I chilled at home a couple of hours and then my pops and I grilled two T-bone steaks with some corn and baked beans and watched the beginning of the Dodger game. I showered and Nate picked me up at 9pm so we could go see my friend's (who works at Guitar Center) boyfriend play in a rock cover band in Newport Beach. It's a dive bar in a ritzy area (think the TV show O.C) which a crazy mix of people, some in their mid-twenties who think they are better than they are (thinking specifically of about 3-4 chicks in the back), some alternative folk, some women in their late 30s/early 40s who probably have fared quite well in their divorces and now they're barflies and also some men in their 50s who are now divorced and are willing to look stupid and dance if it will get them one of those women. And some beach bums by the bar.

They played Lenny Kravitz, Zeppelin and for us, the Black Crowes' Remedy which was a treat. We had a good time chilling and watching them, they weren't great but it was perfect for the mood of the place and for us.

They were done around 11.30 and I was home in bed around 12.30am.

That was yesterday, more or less a perfect prescription for what is ailing me. I wonder what today has in store...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

24 hours in 10 sentences

1)I met a lesbian from Oklahoma on the train today.
2)My flight from Frankfurt to Philadelphia was cancelled and it looked like I would have to stay an extra day in Germany.
3)A girl named Katrina who works for Lufthansa helped me out so much that I got onto an overbooked flight direct from frankfurt to LA.
4)I sat next to an Australian guy and a Ukranian woman.
5)The flight was incredibly smooth and I was so happy to see my folks.
6)My folks bought a new car they are picking up tomorrow.
7)I had a Chipotle carnitas burrito with guacamole and I inhaled it.
8)The Dodgers are on TV now against the Giants.
9)I have plans with two old friends, Amy and Nate, for lunch tomorrow.
10)If all goes well, I'll go see some live music Wednesday night and maybe get a chance to meet a friend of a friend if ya know what I mean!