Monday, July 30, 2007


I love finding out new quirks that I have: Little things that I always do yet never realize. Here is a short list of my own physical/mental quirks:

-Whenever I put on deodorant, I have to simultaneously put on my "Putting on Deodorant Face". I kind of reach my neck up and make a fishy face (Bass face, anyone?). Why? No idea.

-Often, when I am walking down the road thinking or even sitting in my room thinking, I often reply to my own thoughts out-loud. Yeah, I answer my own thoughts. More than once, somebody has caught me talking to myself and I usually play it off like I was singing or something.

-I bite the insides of my cheeks

-I am obessive about not having food on my face.

-I wiggle my toes inside of my shoes. Often.

Now it's your turn. Spend today really analyzing thyself and see if you can find some weird quirk that you never noticed before.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How I Saved the World

Recently I was thinking about some world problems and how I would solve them. To tackle this monumental task, I used a method patented by cartoonist Scott Adams called "sitting down and thinking about it."

We should make everything edible. Yesterday I had two scoops from my favorite ice-cream shop. One of the reasons it is my favorite shop is that the girl behind the counter is as cute as a button (I fall in love probably every second Tuesday here in Munich). Another reason why I love this place is that they serve the ice cream in waffle cups. QUE? Did you say "waffle cups?" I did. All the joy associated with the cardboard flavored waffle cone, in the convenience of a cup! What joy!

Then it hit me: why isn't everything edible? Our utensils, water bottles, plates, cups.... everything could be edible! Everybody wins. If I need just a few more calories, I can eat my cellulose spoon. The homeless could even forage for a great meal in our city landfills!

Ok, that might not be a great idea. We already have obesity problems in the US. But I have a solution!

City owned Gym-Power plants. I call it the "Civil Athletic Power Program." We have city owned gym equipment that is connected to cables (like most gym equipment uses now). Whenever people work out here, they lift the weights and therefore pull the cables. Those cables are connected to pistons that rise and fall with each rep, therefore producing energy. How do they produce energy? I don't know, leave that to the engineers. But you can get paid to come here, work out, produce electricity for the city, and shed those unsightly love handles! Highschool football teams could even be sponsored by these places. Hell, the Texans could power the entire country.

When I become Galactic Commander (my preferred title when I assume world power), I am going to have a group of people who just sit in a room all day thinking about problems and how to fix them. They will have an unlimited supply of 12 year old scotch, leather bound books, access to the Internet, organic cigarettes, mint tea, pancakes, and prostitutes. Anything that keeps them happy and thinking.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Adventures Galore!

Last night I went to a real festival in backwoods Bavaria. What can possibly be at a carnival-type event in Bavaria? Please.... it's probably going to be a bunch of slightly overweight Germans drinking lots of beer, eating pretzels and sausages, and singing American songs from 20 years ago, right?

Uh, yeah. That's exactly what it was. I was looking to shatter all of the stereotypes and be all "Bavarians are actually a rather reserved people who prefer the crunch of a fine peice of celery instead of the abrasive qualities of a fresh beer." But that's completely untrue. They freakin love beer. I had two.... just to fit in, I swear.

(Reality Check: I am in a salad-based/hipster establishment currently, and playing from the radio right now is a truly nauseating, German version of Tom Jones "Sex Bomb." It sounds like the genie from Aladdin is singing it. That wouldn't be very kosher with the kiddies.)

Besides festival hopping and tour-giving, a few days ago I had to lead one of our infamous "Pub Crawls." That's where the guide brings people to the bars and clubs in Munich. Usually we get about 15-20 people per PC... but, of course, on my day I had 43. And 18 of them were Irish.

Did you just say "oh my god" to yourself? I appreciate the sympathy, but God was not with me. They were freakin insane! There is no way of controlling a group of drunk Irishman. Wait. I made a mistake. Controlling the Irishman is possible.... controlling the Irishwomen on the other hand is a feat that shalt be left to the gods of Olympus. They are a difficult bunch. The worst part, however, is the language barrier.

I havn't worked up the guts to say "I speak English; American English, and I think you can understand every single word I say. You have not asked me to repeat myself. But what the hell did you just say?" Dude, I truly could only get every third sentence or so. I have notoriously bad hearing as well (thank you Pete Townsend). Not a good combination.

In closing, I hope people are planning on visiting me here! Cousin April and Carsten on coming here next week; and you should to! Get on it! I have floor space. And a tub.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Now, I am not one to get homesick (nothing against home or my wonderful family.... it's just that I never really get homesick. I guess I know I will be back eventually so there are no worries) but there is one thing in particular that I do miss very much:

Driving stick.

Manual transmissions are standard here (nice pun). I have recently been entertaining the thought of hot-wiring this sweet little black Maserati I always see parked on the road. Would it be wrong if I took out the car, but, I return it with a full tank of gas? I did him a favor! Anyway, I have that nagging/beautiful sensation in my hands: the need to grip the knob of the shifter, throw it into 2nd while travelling 30mph, the roar of the engine, the jump of the odometer, the shouts of the children as I pass. They throw their arms jubilantly into the air as I zoom by and shout "Go Matt GO!" Yeah.

I found free wireless internet right down the road from my apartment, so I will hopefully be on the internet a lot more often. Rocking. Hopefully I can get back into the blog routine. I enjoy doing this, as it keeps my mind busy: daydreaming as I walk down the road, thinking about what witty things I can write.

But not much today. I just finished my book, so I am off to the English language book store here to find my next poison.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thats Munich For You

So I sit down the other day for what I expect to be a nice quiet dinner at one of my favorite Thai food spots. Nothing special. I order the Thai chicken curry and a mango juice. I get orange juice instead, but I am not one to complain, so I just drink my orange juice. As I am about to pay the bill, a family arrives and asks if they can take my seat. "Of course" I say, as I was just leaving anyway. However, a man sitting next to me instead invites me to sit with him and talk instead of leaving. He must have heard me panic and use English to the waitress. So, what the heck... sure, I'll chat.

Dude was the freakin man! We ended up just chatting about anything for about three hours at the restaurant. We talked about politics, Munich clubs, his family's escape from Romania, World War II, beer, etc. It was a very welcome interruption to my otherwise mundane evening plans (continuing a biography about the photographer Robert Capa. I found the book in my apartment, and since it was one of the few in English, I opened it and started reading. I love it and I am hooked). I only learned his name in the last minute of our conversation. I think it was "Volker." This is not the first time I have misheard a name. Names are tricky here, and not necessarily intuitive. Regardless, that was an awesome experience.

That sort of stuff is always happening to me here. I meet these random people for no reason and totally hit it off. Case in point (what the hell does that saying mean?): I wandered into a very Victorian looking tea house the other day. Thez have a (NOTE: the "y" and "z" keys are switched on German keyboards, so please excuse the mistakes) great selection of about 40 teas, so naturally I was intrigued. I order an Earl Grey (play it safe first.... i'll be rebellious later). As I am ordering I start chatting with the girl behind the counter.

Zoom ahead an hour: we're sitting down and I am giving her love advice concerning her boyfriend who is a very jealous person. She, however, is totally cool. Mom will be proud: she is Spanish (that's Spain Spanish) and just working and having fun in Munich. Cool! I have practiced my spanish more than my German, unfortunatley... I guess. New friends!

Funny thning: we're chatting and stuff, and the subject of whale watching comes up. Now, mind you, I have never been whale watching before, but as it comes up in our conversation, for no reason whatsoever, I drop that I went whale watching a few years ago. Why the hell did I just lie? I dont look cool or make any money dropping this lie. I just did it. "Oh yeah, I did it once off the coast of Maine." WHAT! That was so unnecessary! I thought it was pretty funny when I was thinking about it later that day. Have you ever dropped a lie, for absolutely no reason whatsoever? I feel dirty.

ps. To all of you Project Runway fans out there, namely, Abbie, I actually used the word "caucus" today, as in "no big deal guys, you just caucus about that and let me know." I laughed out loud as I walked away.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fraternity, Liberty, Equality!

Happy Bastille Day.

Anyway, I realized today that I have superpowers.
Pretty cool, huh? What powers do I have, you might ask?


I mentioned in a previous post that I like to frequent this little Italian chain-place by my apartment. It is run by this very charming older Italian man, and he is the only reason I go there. The food is mass-produced, not enough, and sort of bland. But that guy is so nice, that I just keep going back. I was chatting with him at dinner a few nights ago, and he said to me that I have "a good look." Naturally, I let my right hand fall to my side and I put my finger around the trigger of my .45.... just kidding. He then went on to comment on how I am always smiling.

That's when it hit me.

A simple smile can do wonders. Try it out. I dare you. For no reason whatsoever, just be pleasant to the girl behind the counter of Starbucks. Now, of course we must tip-toe along that fine line between being friendly and just being plain creepy, but I have faith in you. You will probably make that person's day.

Which brings me to my next topic: That waitress I wrote about.
I have had requests to post a picture of her. ARE YOU FREAKIN' CRAZY! Here is the only way I could get a picture:

1. Put on my favorite trench coat, fedora, and sunglasses and sit in a van across the street for hours on end, waiting for that perfect photo opportunity.

2. Be Honest. Okay, here's how the conversation will go:
M: Hey, how's it going. Listen, can I take a picture of you?
W: Umm, that's weird. No. Why would you take a picture of me?
M: So that I can post it on the Internet for all my friends and family to see. I've written about you on my nerd-blog a few times.
W: Get out.
M: Does this mean we're not getting married?
W: Not in a million years.
M: So you're saying there's a chance?

There you have it. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Life, the Sit Com

I am currently sitting inside of my old hostel, hijacking their internet connection. Looking around, I notice that the usual cast of characters are all in here. I am going to give you a brief run-down of the people who I see every day.... and an interesting bunch they are. (I hope they never read this: actually, it would be pretty terrible if they did. Executive decision: I am going to change the names to protect the innocent) parenthetical aside in italics: The song by REM "Losing my Religion" just came on the radio. I remember being so afraid of this song as a youngster. It still bothers me to this day.

Slinky: One person described Slinky as the "God of tour guides." That mayhaps be a slight exaggeration, but he is very good at what he does. And he knows it. Slinky is pretty much obsessed with himself. Very charming dude. Granted. But honestly.... you're a tour guide. Slinky seems to believe in the art form that is "guiding." Dude, you are a tour guide. Thankfully, I have no delusions of guiding grandeur. This is a fun job, but I am by no means an artist. Well, now that I think of it.... I am an educator and an entertainer. Maybe there is an art to it.

Jimbo: Jimbo is the dude who stands on the corner handing out flyers for a pub crawl company here. He is not "all there" as they say. No, Jimbo is that kind of person who when they speak to you are staring off into space at the same time. He's not being rude, he's just "not all there." Nice guy besides that, but a bit of a weirdo.

Jack Daniels: Jack runs one of the bike companies here in Munich, and he is freaking hysterical. He is not trying to be, he just is. A big American dude with funny facial hair (think soul patch with a part in the middle), he is basically a giant teddy bear. Very good dude, if maybe not the smartest. He rides his bike around taunting us walking guides in a playful way.

I would continue, as there are so many more, but I am ridiculously hungry. Back in my neighborhood where I live, I have befriended many of the local restaurant owners. There is the bald guy over at Soul Kitchen, the sweet Italian man at Pasta e Basta, and the Jesus-looking dude who runs the nut stand (50 grams of almonds is the usual order for me. Nice healthy snack.) I am feeling Italian. Maybe Spaggetti Carbonara with a nice cappoccino.


I forgot. One last thing. I have a dilemma:

Should I become a stalker?

I know that thought has gone through your head before. Here is the situation: That waitress who I previously mentioned in a post works on Wednesdays at this coffee place. Should I be a total sketch-ball and go there on Wednesdays now? Is that the first step to being a stalker? I mean, I know her schedule. Pretty soon I might set up a mini-shrine dedicated to her in my refrigerator: complete with undercover photo, empty cappoccino cups, and all the change that she has given me. I'm doomed.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

All is well!

Hello everybody!
So, what is new in the life of Matt? Well, yesterday I was on the verge of seeing the most awe-inspiring spectacle on the planet... until I chickened out. It is called "Deep Space Night." Jane nearly convinced me to go to this apparently very popular rave in Munich that has a Star Wars theme to it. Serious. Darth Vader comes out in the middle and does a dance with the Storm Troopers. I am not making this stuff up.

Why the hell would I miss such a golden opportunity, you might ask?
Dude, really think about it for a moment. It sounds like a great idea. It might be fun. But in all honesty, it would be hysterical for about 5 minutes... then it would just get scary. These people are actually enjoying this! In order to spend more than 38 seconds in that place, I would need a bag over my head and also be under the influence of heavy horse tranquilizers. I don't think I could handle it otherwise. How do you dress for a thing like that?
Anyway, I didn't go because I decided to go out with another group of friends instead.

Basically, I have three groups of friends here: 1- my tour guide buddies and everybody who works for the company. That's Murdoch, Murray, Jane, Katie (who left for Switzerland), and associates. 2- Natalie and Philip. I met them when I did karaoke at the Irish Pub, and we totally hit it off and are good friends now. Natalie is my partner in musical expression here (we sing at any given opportunity). 3-My German buddies Josef, Steffi, and Sabine. In order to tell how I met them, I must be brutally honest. Sorry! So, I was stumbling home one night (I was....uhh.... studying.... yeah, studying real hard that night) and I see these three people ahead of me. Sabine turns around and asks me something in German, to which I have been programmed to automatically reply "Sprecken zie English?" They were looking for a place to go to, and I just happen to be ending my night, so I showed them someplace and actually stuck around with them. We had a great time! Now, we're buddies and hang out on the weekend. I am actually supposed to meet up with them for an open air opera in about 15 minutes. Good stuff.

Observation of the Day: I love it when people do the "I'm Ready" dance on the subway. When the U-Bahn is totally packed with people, and a person's stop is next, without fail that person will do a little dance of adjustment to signal to the others that, in fact, he or she is ready to exit. I think it's pretty funny.

Thar be it. It's time to steal toilet paper from my old hostel. Come on... they had three weeks of my business: The least they could do is part with a roll of their sand-paper TP. How am I going to get it out of there? Oh god... yeah.... smuggle it in my shirt. Oh, how desperation can turn the most unassuming into the biggest lame-ass. Woe is me.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Alive and Well

Jeez, I miss a post for a few days and I feel like I am cheating on you, my faithful reader. Unfortunately, this will be the norm for now on, as I have moved out of my 40-bed dorm room and into my new apartment!

Dude, the place is awesome. I already gave you a run-down of some of the specifics, but after sleeping there for a night, I have a new appreciation. Besides being in the best part of town (Schwabing, the student district), besides being surrounded by countless cafes and restaurants, besides being on a rather quiet street in a house that sits in a wooded courtyard.... I have my own place! The freedom is incredible! No drunk people are puking in my bathroom! It's my own bathroom. No, it doesn't have a shower... but its got a damn good bath tub. I christened that bathtub today (after thoroughly bleaching the entire tub and toilet). Good times.

Unfortunately, I do not have internet at my place (nor TV. But, I do have a tape player with jazz cassettes!), so I will not be able to be online as often as I was before. But I think three times a week or so is totally possible.

In response to a question from Sexy Paul: is there room for a guest. Honestly, I could have four people sleep in the room. My actual room is kind of huge, with a couch and all. So, if anybody wants to come visit little ol' me in Munich, you certainly have a place to stay. Just be ready to take a bath.

I am going to try and post some pictures now. Let's see how that goes.

ps. Everything else in life is going great. Tours are going well. Life is grand.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


I have a place to sleep that isn't surrounded by 39 other people!

The place, however, has.... hmmm.... "charm."

The building itself is located in a small courtyard off the street. You walk into the courtyard and see a bunch of buildings covered in ivy. Very nice. Then you step inside of my building. Up one flight of stairs, and there's my room. Walk in the door and you are greeted by a small lantern/mini-lamp that hangs at about chin level. Ok, that's kind of weird. No big deal.
To your left is the bathroom. You will see a normal toilet. That's cool, but where's the shower? Um, there is no shower. There's only a bathtub. Hahaha, that's "charming."

The room is decked out in 1930's furniture, including a leather chair (that kind with brass studs around the perimeter. For those of you who don't know my ultimate fantasy/goal in life, it is as follows: I want to have a big study or library in my future house. It will be furnished with leather chairs with brass studs, lots of dark woods, bear skin rugs, and lamps with that green glass. The walls are filled with thousands of history books in wooden bookcases and interspersed with portraits of the Marquis de Lafayette [my idol], Napoleon, FDR or Churchill, and various other historical figures. As I enter the room [in my silk smoking jacket] I reach into my jacket and pull out my pipe. I hate smoking, but I will smoke a pipe in my fantasy world. So, I light the pipe and sit down on my leather chair with brass studs. Right on cue, my two bulldogs waddle into the room to keep me company. The big fat one who sits at my feet: his name is Suleyman the Magnificent [I call him "Sooley" for short]. The fatter one, who slobbers on the furniture.... his name is Lu Bu, but I call him Louie. They enter the room and sit at my feet, while I smoke my pipe. I pluck a volume from the bookcase, and then stare proudly at my antique rifle case that is near the ceiling. Inside, there is an original m-1 Garand and a 1911 colt .45, along with many others. Smiling contently to myself, I think "isn't life grand?") and the room also has a bookcase! Sweet. It also has a nice couch, where many a drunken friend will pass out. Turn the corner and you will see my little kitchenette (that's redundant. Can there be anything but a small kitchenette? A large one would be.... well... a kitchen. I digress...)

It's located in Schwabing, which is the young part of the city. This is where the university is located and is the traditional artistic refuge of the city. Hopefully I'll fit in. I need to find some black rim glasses...
That's about it. I really hope nothing goes wrong with this one. It's perfect.