Sunday, December 27, 2009

What a cold tease

Granite Peak, the half-mile high mountain of Wausau, Wisconsin claims 70 runs and a medley of terrain parks for snowboarders and skiers to tackle.  I don't know how, but they pulled off their claims.

It was a great time, well worth the $30 it costs for four hours of night boarding.  I love and hate snowboarding. It reminds me why cold weather rocks and what I hate most about Chicago: flatness. When Chicago grows a mountain, I'll call it a great city.

Now I remember why I'm jealous of friends in Montana, Colorado, Canada ... well maybe not Canada. As humbling as it is to strap into a snowboard and ride like the people I used to make fun of when I was the regular and they, the novices, it was still worth it.  Well done Wausau, you frozen tease.

Of course, Granite Peak is a glorified bunny hill in comparison to the Rockies, the Alps, or Whistler out in Canada ... but it's still a taste of the good times to be had when you strap your feet into a board.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hi Michael. Part 3.

3am. Urgo and I were heading home for the night when an iron patio chair came across my path.  Chicago was frigid but we were buzzed with holiday excitement, karaoke, and $2 beers. Yes. I picked up the chair and took it along.

"Aren't we right by Draft?" Urgo spurred the thought and I vocalized it by responding "Yes! Let's bring Michael a gift of love. And Iron!"

Security didn't look twice as we scanned our cards and headed to the elevator with a black metal chair in my arms.

We headed straight to floor 18. Giggles were endless as we waited for the doors to open. Once the sheets of polished steel opened, we bee-lined it for Michael's cubicle.

The next three minutes saw a flurry of activity. Michael's ergonomic company chair was replaced with a cast iron, frozen metal patio chair.  Little did I know, Urgo stole his magnetic name tag which he proudly mounted in front of his cubicle for the world to see.  How would he know he belonged in this cubicle? We left him our token greeting. In writing.

"Hi Michael." was scribbled onto a sheet of printing paper with a brown sharpie for Michael to know he was loved. We hope.

Last I heard, Urgo walked by and saw Michael situated on a old, nasty looking brown replacement chair.

Michael 0, Greenhouse 3.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hi Michael. Part 2

Fast forward one day later. I dressed up again because it's too much fun to walk around the place with a snazzy outfit and a swagger to match it.  Draft is in need of gutting and sharp-dressed young blood makes elderly hack creatives (not saying all elderly creatives are hacks, just the ones who lost the drive to push their work beyond the creatively neutered safety zone) cringe in their padded cubicles.  Literally cringe and give you the stink eye as you walk by.

So, I returned to the titan's floor and descended the stair case with three people this time. Nobu, Urgo, and I donned our best power stride and swung past Michale's cubicle.

"Hi Michael." I had practiced all morning and my tone was spot on. Pretentious and saving face, the boss giving heed to his minions.  This time Michael was less spastic and more overwhelmed with confusion, the brows were furrowed more than last time.

"Hi." Michael fired back a monosyllabic greeting alongside an intentful stare. His gaze was purposeful with a dash of desperation.  I quickly rounded the corner and began the corporate filler talk. "So I tell Rob all about how I shot a 38 last weekend and he still doesn't believe . . ." it was beautiful.

Best part, Nobu staggered his descent by a few steps and followed up the joined in with a "Heeeyyyy Mikey!" He delivered in a tone of faked familiarity. The tone of the boss who assumes you're best friends since he makes more than you and has a better office.

Within ninety seconds, our day was made and Michael's was ruined as he was left to ponder how all of these young executives know who he is and he knows none of them.  Poor, poor Michael.

Michael 0, Greenhouse 2.

Hi Michael

After three months of working at Draft FCB in Chicago, a suit-powered ad agency of 1,600, my favorite experience happened in the last week.

The story starts with a presentation to Rob Sherlock, CCO of Draft FCB Chicago. Short of having the client accept your original, brilliant idea for their product's campaign, becoming Chief Creative Officer is the highest honor a creative can receive.

Why am I telling you this? Because we had to dress real fancy.  So there we were. On the top floor where all the executives live,  a dressed up team of young creatives walked the big guns through their work.  Blah blah blah we kicked ass in the presentation and Sherlock was blown away that we didn't suck as bad as every back stabbing mid level creative told him.  

When you nail a presentation, you feel great. When the presentation is your creative work and raw insights thrown on the table and you nail it, you feel high.  You walk out of the room with swagger, Travolta in Saturday Night Fever swagger.  With this swagger, Urgo and I desceneded the top floor via the spiraling stair case which is in view of cubicles and corner offices.  Draft FCB designed the stairs like this on purpose so every worker knows they're being watched.  

As Urgo and I walked down the stairs we heard a passing girl offer a greeting to a guy in the cubicle nearest to the stair case. "Hi Michael" she said with an overenthusiastic tone much like the telephone operator of Intitech in Office Space.  Once again, here I am dressed up and descending from the titan level, the executive floor. It was too perfect.. I couldn't resist.

"Hi Michael." I said with an authoritative tone of a boss giving heed to a minion. I spoke in the loud, overly confident tone of a man who's primary goal in life to save face.  Michael bolted out of his chair like a fly anticipating a rolled up newspaper. We locked eyes. My hand was raised in a half-assed pretentious wave. The half wave, perfect for brushing off people you don't care about but have to say hi to. 

"Hi," stammered Micheal with heavily furrowed brows. There was a two second pause.
"How's it goin?" Michael squeaked out. 

By this time, I was rounding the outer edge of the spiraling stair case and lost the eyeball lock with the confused, and unfortunate Michael. I offered no response and continued on my way.

Greenhouse 1, Michael 0.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On fame and infidelity

Jonny Boy:
"So he's in trouble for cheating on his wife because he's married."

"Yeah, meanwhile Jeeter and A Rod don't have wives but bring home different women every weekend and it's no big deal. All because they're not married. "

"Really, if you aren't married you can do anything, except dog fighting."

"Basically, stay away from the bitches."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Booze always helps you reach out to kids. Just not violently, we hope.


We are talking with high schoolers interested in advertising today.  Also true = we found Sweet Tea Vodka is way stronger than it tastes.

Great. They'll smell the booze on our breaths as we tell them how hard we work and straight laced the industry is.  Meanwhile, these underprivileged kids notice we smell just like Mom and Dad and hope we don't act like them too.

How am I supposed to know if I'm funny when all I get is nervous laughter?

It was the worst of times. It was the best of times.

I woke up. It was 11:21am and my roommate walked in to have lunch. 11:21am. I had to present to the Jack Daniel's client at 11:30am.

"Oh hey you're here bro." -Jonathon
"NO. NO I'M NOT. NO NO NO NO." -Matt

Clothes were thrown on without breaking stride as I went from my room to the presentation room twelve blocks away in fifteen minutes flat.

I arrived. The presentation had come to an end minutes before. Fuck.

Apologies were made and "Hang in there buddy" pats of consolation were given.  We parted ways, the top level creatives returned to a meeting while I sauntered off with my disappointed 6'9" art director hovering over me like a saddened mountain.

What a day. Time for lunch, Chicago style. Pizzeria Uno, but not Uno, Due. Uno was often overcrowded like it was today. So, for such occasions, Uno made Due which was empited apart from a few fortunate souls who got a great show.

Why did they get a great show? It started with me overhearing a cute, brunette waitress's lament about the frustrations of internet dating. It progressed to me telling my story of how I got an arch-nemesis in my life thanks to Most importantly, it ended with giving her my number and getting the cutest smile I've seen in a long, long time.

Stay tuned. Hopefully, more good news will follow.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Man's best friend.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Deutsch Bag gets an arch-nemesis

In the middle of November, birthed an epic hatred.  For now and all of eternity, I have an arch-nemesis.  That's right Stielow, I beat you to it.  

1. It starts with a Deutsch_Bag.

2. A profile is spotted. She sounds opinionated yet contradictory. Interesting.

2. Contact. 

3. A response.

4. A fight.

5. A silence.


Little by little, internet dating is less about pedophile stalkers and more about genuine connections.  The thought of connecting based on keystrokes and pixels is scary, yet exciting. Or so I thought until I joined the cybernetic meat market.

After my pre-med days of pouring over classifications of arthropods in biology came to an end, I thought I was done reading boring crap.

I was wrong.

How interesting do you really think it sounds when you say "I'm a cool, laid back girl who likes to have fun." Who doesn't consider themself cool, laid-back, and fun loving? Come on. Say something worth reading.

At least list your allergies so I know something about you instead of the general population's mindset on who you should be.  Okay, I actually want you to list your allergies so I can plant them where you live and weed out the lame. One by one.

Also, if profiles are an accurate indicator of America's literacy rate, we're screwed.  Between the emoticons and typos, it's not a pretty story.  I'll give it two years before text speech takes over all spoken dialect. "Bro, I ROFL'd and LOL'd all over the place." Screwed. We are screwed.

So, I have a story of shame to share. Actually, I have two. One is about the two faced carniwhore, the other is a story of how I gained my own arch-nemesis.

Stay tuned, the arch-nemesis is up first.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Always Underdressed, not always typing

Always Underdressed didn't pan out so well.  It's my fault for not promoting it as hard. Instead of trying to bring it back to life, I'll save it for random blurps I want to write about and keep this as my main blog.  How do you beat Deutsch Bag? You don't.

Thanksgiving. One Deep.

When I moved into the apartment 190 feet high in the heart of Chicago, I was shocked my haberdasher roommates kept the blinds down.  Floor to ceiling windows with a stunning view of the Chicago river and Magnificent Mile and the $*%*$* windows are covered up?

Fast forward two months and I finally understand. Sure, it's beautiful but you always see the same thing and the sun reflects off the building to create a magnified sun spot in your eye.  As much as I love natural light, I rarely find the effort to pull up all six giant window covers.

Thanksgiving weekend was a great time. Props to Ms Rachel Schwarz for organinzing an army of twelve mid-twenty gobblers.  There was food, beer, wine, and multiple rounds of celebrity.  Pace, having a mustache doesn't make you a celebrity. Douche.

The rest of the weekend was played out solo. I was uber productive. A very good writer. I left my external at work so I didn't have Zombieland and fifty plus other movies to kill time watching. Unfortunately, Band of Brothers had a two day marathon going. Yes. It dominated my Friday. Sooo good.

I'm rambling and I'm sorry.  Odds are you didn't read this far, but if you did. I love you. Stay tuned and I'll throw in some pixels next time. I promise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I heart this commercial

Orange - words

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I got a new way to talk.

I'm starting up a new blog. I have a place to crash, so the Chicago experience is officially underway.  I'm living with two haberdashers, also know as professional clothiers. Suits. Men in black.

I see this rolling two ways. One, I always look like a VIP since two taller guys in suits hang out with me. Two, I look like a scrubby little brother trailing his older brother's crew.  Which option will come true?

Check out the new blog to find out:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Please take my George from me.

Sure, you made a few bad decisions which is why you're out here on the corner, draped in a plaid assortment of tattered outerwear.  Still, it's not the end for you.  You found a saxophone,-God knows where- and you figured out how to make it sing.  Kudos to you Mr. Street Musician.  Your riffs make me feel better on the inside where I need it most.  

I'm broke too but I seem to have this dollar.  Something tells me I won't feel right unless it ends up in the upside-down Sherlock Holmes hat positioned strategically within an arms grasp in front of you.  Would you be fast enough to grab my arm in time if I dropped the one dollar bill and picked up the five I see some better-off aficionado blessed you with?  I guess I'll never know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bromeo & Juliet

Yesterday I was talking with my friend Jonathon about the aftermath and carnage of the break up. Friends you lose, clothes you never see again, and pets you never get to play with ended up being the top three fatalities. As we talked more, we stumbled upon a truth many relationship-enders face: the Bromeo & Juliet syndrome.

The Bromeo & Juliet syndrome is based off the premise when you break up with someone, you break up with their friends. Here's where it sucks for anyone who became good friends with a friend of the once-significant other.

Despite how deep the secondhand connection may bet rooted, the truth still holds: when you break-up with someone, you break-up with their friends.

Thus, the Bromeo & Juliet situation occurs to those losing a dear fried of a once boy/girlfriend. All things considered, if all you face is the Bromeo & Juliet syndrome after a break-up; you did pretty damn good.

Move Along.

Beloved blog readers, thanks for reading about my Deutsch Bag experience. I have a dozen or so entries to post about the Euroxperience so don't you worry, there's more to learn about Europe and the good times I had.

This brings me to the second point. I'm in Chicago. Fear not, Chicago is full of potential for adventures and stories. But, it might get a little confusing in the next week as I write about Europe and America. Maybe not. Hopefully not.

I guess we'll see how it goes for me and the two people reading this (I love you Mom & Dad).

Monday, September 28, 2009


Here's a teaser of the pictures I took in Austria.  Become enticed and be left wanting more. Ready go.

Uploading all of these pictures on blogger will take a lifetime.  I'll post a link to my Flickr account so you can view the high res versions in an easier format.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

But what about the pictures?

I'm not taking pictures. I'll use words to describe everything.

Ready? Neither am I. Of course I'm taking pictures, they're the best I've ever snapped. Once I'm back in the states, I'll put the pictures together and post them for you to enjoy. September 30th is the day the pictures will show themselves, write it down.

I'm Praugenant

I'm in love with Prague. The preggos have a special place here in my heart. I'm Praguenant. The place is so diverse in people and architecture. This town's seen so much action between the Holy Wars, Nazis, and Communism.

I sat where the evilest Nazi used to play his violin. I walked around where 27 Elderman were beheaded for starting a revolution. I ate a Czech crepe where a leader of Prague announced they were now a communist country, the list goes on and on. It's fascinating to walk the same cobblestone streets where so much happened. Prague is a great place to write, inspiration is everywhere you look.

I'm so torn right now, I don't have enough time to go see a museum I wanted to see the whole time I've been here. It's called the Pinkas Synagogue in the Jewish part of Prague. During the beginning of the Holocaust, the Nazi's were having a hard time getting adults to work because their kids were so distressed with the brutal living conditions. To solve this, the Nazis brought in a famous Jewish artist to start an art therapy program for the kids. The kids drew everything which tormented them. From what I've heard, the interesting part is the kids drew pictures of happy times and their old homes before the concentration camp. It was their way of saying they missed what was taken away from them. Eventually, the Nazi's figured out a more efficient way of killing Jews with the gas chambers and everything so the Jewish artist was sent to a death camp along with all the kids. Before the artist was shipped off, she hid thousands of the drawings in a special place where it wasn't discovered until long after the war was over. These paintings are on display and they're all these kids ever were able to contribute to the world. Also, there's a room dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust from Moravia and Bohemia. Every name of the 80,000 who died is written on the wall. All the walls of the room are covered with the names. I've heard it's a powerful experience and I don't have enough time to find out for myself. Scheisse.

Ahh it's already 10:30 over here which gives me two hours. Two hours to get there, check it out, potentially get lost in the city (it's a nightmare to navigate), and make it back to the train station by 12:30. Scheisse. I don't have enough time.

I'm going to have to come back to Prague. I know where to stay for 5 Euro a night with a free breakfast included and I know where the cheapest beer is. Add on the concentration camp visit and the Pinkas museum and it's a worthwhile two day visit.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why does Rod Stewart haunt me?

Rod Stewart's on heavy rotation at the hostel here in Prague.

It's great, I can be more thankful I wasn't born a decade earlier and forced to watch his music videos featuring him busting moves in overalls.

It's the end of day 1 here in Prague. Day 2, I've seen everything, time to get a tour guide. Of course, Brian and I lucked out and found the free tour with a kick Aussie host. Yes, straight from down under.

Most importantly, I lost a sandal today. It was a good soldier for countless steps on smoother terrains. All the sudden, a little cobblestone comes along and I catch a few times and BOOM no sandal for Matt. Three miles on cobblestone feels like transversing an endless bed of nails. WIth typhoid and multiple other potential diseases waiting to have their way with me.

Prague is beautiful by the way. Stay tuned to see the pictures. Or don't. I don't care. All I want is a clean and typhoid free right foot and I'll be happy. I don't need you as much as I need my right foot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm off to travel

It's time to start the traveling.  I'll do my best to snap great shots and come back with stories worth hearing.

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures as a teaser of what Im about to experience.  

Friday, September 18, 2009

Good things come to those who wander

Here's how my random day went.

Breakfast outside, perfect plate of keesh. Alongside the manly slice, an uber healthy salad full of enough greens to make a wardrobe for Adam and Eve.

Wandering around FeldstraBe, the artistic haven of Hamburg.  The collection of vintage clothes, designer graphic shirts, and odds and ends of wearable art blew my mind. 

My favorite stop was a place called Splash.  It's the showroom of four artists who bought the space to sell their work.  They make specialized rings with illustrations engraved into them.  If I ever get married, I want them to commission the ring.  I don't want the blank gold band.  I want a crazy design which captures the nature of the relationship with the unlucky lady who I lock down for a lifetime.  Maybe "Comp" engraved into one ring and "plete" into the other ring. It's a first thought. I'll beat it.  Better yet, the future wifey will come up with something amazing.  Or at least be on board with the idea.

Justin and I stumbled across a store in the middle of prepping for an art show. Free beer and new Casio Watch designs, rock on.

Like I said, good things come to those who wander. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Come on Hamburg, hold it in.

It's been a week.  At first it was funny and made me giggle boyishly. Now, it's annoying. And gross. 

What am I talking about? What have I encountered on a daily basis for a week straight?

The shameless relief of human waste in public.  

It started with a three year-old having mom help her pop a squat and pinch a mini-loaf.  Pretty funny stuff.  Something about a little girl in a daisy flower sun dress defiling a sidewalk is hilarious.  Such a sweet soul performing a hideous act.

Same sidewalk, next day.  A man pulls it out in front of me as I'm walking by.  Nonchalant, as if grabbing for change to buy a snack at a Kiosk.  Boom, out in the open. Spread the legs and make it rain.  No big deal.  To him, I didn't even exist.  I'm sure my eyes were big with shock. I could have danced in a Napolese tribe dress and he wouldn't have noticed. All he was focused on was relief. Right here, right now.

Different place, next day.  As I walked down my favorite alleyway with an old and abandoned caged-in court for kids to play soccer in on the right, I noticed something.  A flash of faded pink granny panties made their way up. But to where? All I could see was the cotton moving upwards, then I saw who it belonged to.  She was easily in her mid-fifties and dressed in soiled flannel as she pulled up her tarnished khakis.  Her hair had thinned out into clumps of silvery strands with a pink blotchy scalp peeking through. Here eyes were sunken in deeply, she didn't have teeth and her abundance of wrinkles combined with her oddly long neck made her look like a turtle.  A guilty turtle. She knew what she did. I made direct eye contact and shook my head.  

She stood above her puddle of relief and held the stare of shame. 

How hard is it to find a toilet? There's outhouses all over but people love to whip it out and let it all out.

Come on Hamburg, hold it in.

By the way. I done real good.

Here in Hamburg, it's hard to win an award. They don't hand them out willy nilly. There's no status quo for handing out awards, especially this quarter.  Reason being: a bunch of sub-par work was awarded to meet an award quota last quarter. So, now it's a straight up yay or neigh.
If the judges don't think something is awesome, they don't award it. End of story. 

It's terrifying to put a quarter's worth of work into ONE campaign and put it up on the wall with your big fat heart attached to it. 

I'm proud to say Bob the rock star art director and I threw down hard this quarter and have some congratulatory bling to show for it.

"Enjoy the dark side," a dark and twisted campaign for Pumpernickel Bread won gold. It's loaded with offensive but hilarious dark humor. I was nervous because you either hate it or love it, but we rolled the dice and came out on top. Yess.

We put out another campaign for a calorie-burning drink with a new media idea. Bottom lines. Write headlines about the product benefit on the bottom of the can. Simple and direct.  It took down a gold too. 

At the end of the day, school awards don't mean crap to a creative director (the guy/gal who decides whether or not to hire you). But, it feels good to have the ego stroked nonetheless.  

Want me to post the stuff up on here? If you ask really nicely, I just might. 

It's all over?

Routines make me put my pants on every morning.  I had a good one going: get up and go to school.  Now, it's over and all I have is free time. Too much free-time.

"Ohh Matt, shut-up. You're so lucky to have so much free time." You shut-up. I hate having too much free-time. It's maddening. 

It's weird to admit this, but I already miss the stress of school.  When life's falling apart around me, it's nice to have an assignment to go work on. 

Sure, I've wanted off this bipolarcoaster of hope and rejection.  Many times.  I'll curse and swear off writing for a lifetime only to return to it the next day.  It's a drug. The pen is my syringe and ink is my heroin.  Ink, the heroin of copywriters. If it's not injected onto paper, I don't feel as good about my day.  Maybe this is why Hemingway always wrote 500 words a day without exception.  It makes sense.  Keep the ink flowing and thoughts will do the same.  
So, I don't want to stop. I've got Bob the rock star art director on board with me and we're gonna get busy.

If I don't have a project to suck up my thinking time, I start evaluating life. Evaluating my life is annoying. This Tony Robbins guy pops up in my brain and starts with the motivational talk.  "Get out there and live! Meet new people! Go try something new! Now is your time! Seize your day! Be the Carpe of the Diem!" 

What's the difference between a self-motivational seminar and a new age cult?  Seriously, what is the difference?  They both sound the same and work the same. 

Neil French wrote a long copy piece about being trapped in the elevator with a rampant optimist for 6 hours. He laid out how to transform the happy-to-be-alive type into the please-death-come-now-and-end-this-misery.  I found it hilarious. Check it out for yourself:

Around here, everyone's left with a blank itinerary.  Saying "hi" is replaced with "what are we doing today? What are you doing tonight? We gotta do something really cool!" 
Sure, I agree. It's important live like you don't want to die. Sitting around is lame, but sitting around and stroking paper with a pen is great.  I've taken a real fancy to writing.  I don't write epic pieces, novels, or even great headlines. But, I write and it feels good to do it.

Then comes the problem of filling up the creative tank with inspiration.  I wish the walk to school would be enough, but it's not.  Traveling, experiencing something new, talking to a stranger.. those are great sources.  So we're gonna travel. 

I'm making like a gypsy and traveling around Europe. Berlin, Prague, and Vienna are on the itinerary.  I'm excited to see the places and go have fun. But I still want to write.

And I will. So, stay tuned for more. I love you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It makes me smile

Finals Finals Finals

If breathing was a mental task I had to keep track of, I'd be dead.  The stress of finals over here is unreal.  I'm excited for the work but the past two weeks have been an endless process of writing, re-writing, defining the concept, re-writing, presenting, being told to change the idea, re-writing, re-writing, and re-writing.

I've kicked it old school and put it all onto paper since the screen makes me feel like a zombie.  This morning I realized all five of my pens are out of ink.  Pretty crazy stuff.  

It's great to be writing and challenging myself to go to a new level of intensity, but I'm ready for the break.  Three days and counting until it's all over!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hamburg's Most Wanted.

I hate the days where I'm at school all day and can't run home before class to eat.  The hunger makes my stomach sing and becomes all I can think about.  This was the state I was in when I became one of Hamburg's Most Wanted.

I was at school. I was exhausted. It was hard to think straight after writing headlines and body copy all day.  It was time to take a break and get some fuel.  If I stayed at school any longer, the only good it would do was, well, nothing.  

The two-toned yellow and white lights of a Subway sign drew me in from the darkness like a moth.  It was time to eat.  I stepped up and ordered the goods. 

Did I have a ten or a twenty in my wallet?  As I unfolded the leather, all I saw was black.  No euros.  No money.  

My foot long sweet onion chicken teriyaki on honey wheat was ten seconds away from finishing the toasting process.  Think Matt. Think.

Can't think.  All my brain could muster were puns and bad headlines.  

Have to think. Have to do something.  Must get out.

I'm not proud to admit this, but it feels good to say it.  I acted on the first idea I came up with: fake the important phone call.

Wait. I don't have a phone because I'm in Germany.  No problem.  I'll use my wallet.

Yes, I took an important phone call from my wallet.  "Hello? What? What? I can't hear anything!" 

When my sandwich artist turned around to take my edible canvas out of the oven and decorate it with toppings, I walked outside to get better reception on my wallet phone.

Keep walking. Don't look back. Keep walking.

I was hungry. I was exhausted.  All I could think was they're probably chasing me at the same power walking pace.  Keep walking.

I walked until I stumbled across a random art exhibit. Old newspaper clippings and screen printed posters or propaganda from World War II covered the white walls.  I was staring through the one grand window and realized people were looking at me.  Time to mingle.

I sauntered into the exhibit and walked around. The floor was destroyed.  It was ancient concrete and looked like it housed a family of five who spent their free time playing with jackhammers in the living room.  

Onto the next room.  This was when I realized there was a line.  I wandered into a line which came out of nowhere.  As I looked around, I couldn't see where this line of German conversationalists ended. So, I went with it.  

It wound around the room I was in and into a new bigger room I hadn't seen before.  Collapsable picnic tables were set up around the entire room.  People sat on the other side stamping hands and collecting Euros.  

Then I realized it.  You had to pay to see the art exhibition.  I was eight people away from the table.  What do I do now?  How do I get out of here?  I was three people away from the table.

Suddenly, my wallet phone rang.  

I tried not to make eye contact with people. I didn't want to see their judgmental artistic eyes.  

Keep walking. Don't stop.  There's probably a crowd of twenty unique rebels chasing me with tickets and stamps.  

Keep walking.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fight the Sandman

Saturday started with waking up at 10:34 am. I had to show up for brunch by 11am.  Was it worth getting out of bed? Do I fight off the allures of cotton sheets to go out for brunch?

How can you say no to brunch for under 5 euro?  I love a good deal, almost as much as I love sleep.  It was time to get up.  I sprung out of my day bed and threw the sheets across the room. Justin, awoken by the deafening ensemble of ricketing from the day bed made of aged drift wood and fastened by flimsy screws, looked at me with shock and daze. 

"Am I dreaming?" Justin's eyes were coated in a pinkish glaze from falling asleep ony a few hours earlier.  "Are you seriously awake right now and I'm not?"  Before I could answer, his eyes failed to fight off his heavy lids. He pulled the sheets over himself and returned to a deep slumber.

I had to make brunch. I got up and stayed up.  Cold shower, grab the keys, sprint down the steep stair case.  

Wow, I haven't included any pictures of the apartment have I?  I will post them soon. 

Back to the story.  I rented a bike and furiously pedaled across the park and into the Reperbahn.  Park the bike, continue on foot.  Past the random German patrons passed out on the cobblestone streets after partying too hard.  Keep moving.  Past the hookers calling it a night and heading home.  Onward to brunch.  

Do I know exactly where it is? No.  Have I gotten lost for hours before when operating on the same situation? Yes. 

Am I screwed? Probably.

Do I have enough time to finish the story right now? Unfortunately I don't. 

Stay tuned. 

I love you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I take back all the mean things I said

Carbonation.  It dominates every soft drink and water bottle in this town.  For a month and half, I've cursed it's existence and called it the fizz demon.  It burns my tongue.  It scratches my throat. 

Tonight, everything changed when I had my first glass of Prosecco wine.  From the German countryside, this teardrop shaped dark green bottle has the look of a classic, timeless wine.  I've never had or heard of Prosecco, all I knew was it's a white wine. Sounds good. Let's do it.  

The cork was a nightmare, it ripped in half while removing it. Luckily, the second half came out in one whole piece so I didn't have to spit out cork shards after every sip.

The final piece popped open into my hand. It didnt' have the velocity of champagne, but it still packed some heat.  Then I saw it.  A lazy white cloud pouring out of the bottles opening.  It was carbonated wine.  I'm too poor to throw the bottle out and get a new one, so I gave it a swig.  

The Prosecco wine rocked my mouth like a Led Zeppelin encore.  Perfectly carbonated, it's gentle fizz worked to enhance the flavors instead of perform a tap dancing solo in my mouth.  Wow, I finally found a carbonated drink I like (excluding soft drinks).  

Way to go Germany. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turns out writing is fun

I'm auditioning to start writing for a blog dedicated to ridiculing rap stars.  I only wish I had found it earlier.

The site is:

It's brilliant, you start with an excerpt from a rap song and make fun of it with a pseudo serious interpretation.  

Here's my bit:

"To the window, to the wall, (to dat wall)
To the sweat drop down my balls (MY BALLS)
To all these bitches crawl (crawl)
To all skeet skeet motherf'er (motherf'er!) all skeet skeet got dam (Got dam)
To all skeet skeet motherf'er (motherf'er!) all skeet skeet got dam (Got dam)
Let me see you get low you scared, you scared
Drop dat ass to the floor you scared, you scared
Let me see you get low you scared, you scared
Drop dat ass to the floor you scared, you scared
Drop dat ass hey shake it fast hey
Pop dat ass to the left and the right hey
Drop dat ass ya shake it fast hey
Pop dat ass to the left and the right hey
Now back,back,back it up
A back,back,back it up
A back,back,back it up
A back,back,back it up"

Sounds like Lil' Jon had enough of being called Lil' Jon.  Did his entourage say Lil' in a condescending way or was it his mother calling him by his first name Lil'?  Whatever it was which tipped Lil' Jon, he's obviously bulking up to become Big sized Lil' Jon.  

But, what about Little John of Sherwood Forest?  If Lil' Jon is serious about becoming a Big Lil' Jon, someone should really tell him to stop doing the Lil' Jane Fonda thing and hit the weights if he's going to beat up Little John and take his forest cred.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I almost forgot the best part!

Twenty seconds after the senior citizen rocking a speedo dive-rolled under the pine tree for cover, lightning struck the ground twenty feet from where I was standing.

I felt all my hair stand on end, the flash was blinding.  It was like a camera flash but fifty times stronger. I was blinded for a minute as the ground shook from the thunder.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Then came the one hour long trek home in the rain.  Worth it.

Hail Germany

Props to Mr Joe the red beard Poeschl for a great party.  The America vs Germany Grill off was a huge success.  The party crowd was big and lively enough to solicit a noise complaint and a polizei appearance.  Not bad.

Unfortunately, I ate an undercooked sausage.  In my defense, it was late in the night and hard to see.  The bacon it was wrapped in was cooked thoroughly but the coals had died down so the sausage sat on the grill in the cold, festering with food poisoning potential.  It rocked my system. I was out for a full day.  

Nonetheless, I ventured to the big Stadt Park on Sunday to do some writing and enjoy the scene. People were out with their grills and groups of friends or families were seen for acres and acres across the grand lawn.  

Stadt Park is a few hundred acres in size with bier gardens scattered throughout amidst other attractions like mini golf courses and large swimming lakes. The Planetarium, a monstrous building located in the southwestern corner of the park, can be seen a half-mile away throughout the isle of grass cleared out to give it a grand entrance.  This was where everyone hung out to grill out and kick back.

It's relaxing to hang out and soak in the friendly vibe.  Little did I know, a hail storm was on its way. Fast. 

When the blue skies were stomped out by shades of dark grey, people started scrambling.  The winds picked up and became chilly and everything went dark.  Then it came.  A wall of hard rain coupled with hail.  People were running for the woods.  I stood in the center of the lawn and watched it all go down.  I knew it was hopeless, I couldn't outrun the rain so why not take it and enjoy the show?

Best part: I saw a 60 year old man in a speedo dive-roll under a pine tree for cover.  He left his clothes and belongings strewn about the lawn.  Fantastiche.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Church of the Saint

I could stare at those statues for hours.
This is Saint Mark carrying forth God's will and banning evil from the church as he crushes the demon saint Diablo. 
Diablo as in the devil?

Yes but do come along, there's much to see inside. But before we enter I wanted to show you something else.

Notice if you will the engravings on these bronze entrance doors.
What's going on there? It looks like a pretty hardcore fight.
It's an interpretation of the saints battling away the demons.  It serves as a praise to the Saints who fight to keep this a holy place, devoid of all evil spirits.  In the past centuries, it was an honor for an artist to get asked to depict such a scene since everyone went to church and the experience starts at the door.  It was up to the artist to show the people why the ground they walked upon was holy.
Is this church still popular for Hamburg locals? 

It was before the construction started. 
Construction? What kind of construction? The church is already here, why build it again?
It's a restorative effort to preserve the aged works of religious art.

As you'll see, the construction is gorgeous.  The restoration of gold and bronze statues takes a long time to complete without destroying the intricacies of the sculptures and artwork.  
So it's a big tease.
What a big let down.  The Sanctuary looks incredible, and I never get to experience it. Great.
Yeah! Why don't they do a partial restoration so it's still somewhat functional?
The entire task is undertaken in hopes of keeping everything in pristine condition.  Let's move along so you can see Martin Luther.
Wait. Check this out. It's officially a big tease.

Helvetica Font. Figures.

Let's go see Martin Luther King.
It's been awhile.

Was he German?
Matt. Come on. Really? 
Dude I was kidding. Of course I know if Martin Luther King was or was not German. 

I was just hanging out with Martin Luther King. F yeah.