Dealing with post-accident stuff today was getting me down and pissing me off, so I thought it would be best to go through some serious cake therapy, because cake makes everything better, you know?
So, after the car issues and rental car issues and insurance adjuster issues and police issues and what-side-is-my-rental car's-gas-tank-on? issues, I treated myself to dinner and dessert at a restaurant I will call Shmeal Shmood Shmaily on La Cienega.
Halfway through my slice of cake, I came across a human hair.
A HUMAN HAIR.
In the sage words of the Pet Shop Boys, what have I done to deserve this? I'm not kidding.
[Also, I was flipped off by a guy whose license plate frame was one of those Jesus fish things. NICE MOVE, RELIGIOUS GUY.]
I paid a brief visit to the Cologne flea market, where I came across this wedding dress for sale.
Nara was working the big NFL Europe game between the Cologne Centurionsand the Rhein Fire, which was promoted as Die Mutter Aller Schlachten. (The Germans have really taken to American football. Who knew?)
On Game Day the RF fans took this huge party ferry down to Cologne. Here are just two shots of the madness and excitement.
Why, hello, Random German Guy and Rhein Fire Fan Who Posed For My Camera. How you doin'?
...in order to post a photo of one of the completed "Ugg" Baby Booties I made for my niece (we're 90% sure) due to arrive in August. I've wanted to knit these forEVER, and am terribly pleased with the result.
(I took a picture of it on top of a CD so you can get an idea of how big - or small! - it is.)
How cute is that?! I almost can't stand it. I started and finished this in less than three days, and that includes time spent frogging half of it because I dropped some stitches (grr).
I can't wait to finish the second one just so I can look upon them and wish they came in my size. And before you say anything, yes, I could just buy a pair of Uggs, but these knitted ones are so cute!
Nara and I drove to Cologne for the weekend. He worked and I tagged along because, hey, free trip to Cologne, you know?
Hee. "Ausfahrt." I'm twelve. (By the way, it means 'exit.')
The Cologne Cathedral, or Dom as it is more commonly known. Neither words nor my photo do it justice.
When I finally got to the Dom, I had walked about five miles. It was hot, I was still adjusting to the time change and was cranky, and my energy started to lag.
The very first thing I heard upon walking up the Dom's steps was these buskers playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which is one of my favorite classical pieces. It's hard for me to explain, but at that moment, in the shadows of this stunning church and with the air filled with beautiful music, everything sort of fell into place. I no longer felt cranky or tired or out of my element. I was happy, peaceful and curiously light, and my heart filled with joy and my eyes with tears because I became totally aware of where I was and, most importantly, who I was. For the time being, things just made sense.
I was exactly where I needed to be.
Yes, I bought the group's CD. It's one of my iPod playlists. Whenever I listen to it, I remember that moment of clarity, and I smile.
This was taken near the top of the Dom's tallest spire. The ascent to this point was up a single staircase which was very narrow, crowded, hot and vertigo-inducing. It is definitely not for the faint of heart!
See? High up. It was totally worth it, for just look at that view!
The timeworn stairs leading to the top of the spire. I took this picture on the way down.
If you're in Cologne and looking for a great place to eat, I highly recommend Neideck. The owner, Mario, is a delight, and the food - prepared by chef Igor - is off the hook. I can only hope that our waitress, Zoe (a lovely German woman who spoke English with an Australian accent due to her years of schooling Down Under - crazy, I know), is still there, charming accent and all.
I can't not love a place called Bastard.
P.S. It looks like two major newspapers are mocking me today, what with the cover story on Amsterdam in the Los Angeles Timesand theNew York Timespiece on Cologne.
Fine. BE THAT WAY, NEWSPAPERS. Mock me, why don't you? GOD.
I had been in Amsterdam for about three or so hours when I took this picture at 8:13 p.m. I was on my way to dinner with my friend Nara's co-workers at a place called Harlem, a soul food restaurant (!!) in Jordaan, a neighborhood which he described as "kind of like Melrose." It was, by the way.
The Finger Lickin' Chicken was yummy, and pretty! See?
Aw. On this date one year ago I began my European Summer Tour 'with stops in Amsterdam and Cologne. It was my second trip across the pond and I was a bundle of emotions - excited at the prospect of getting new stamps in the passport and seeing brand new places, stressed because I of course tried to do too much right before leaving (like work a full day at the office - what was I thinking?!), you name it.
But really, I just couldn't wait to get out of town, and neither could my keeper of secrets and faithful travel companion of 20-plus years, Mr. Bear.
Here he is taking a breather at the gate before boarding our plane at LAX. Isn't he cute? Check out his snazzy tartan bow tie, a tribute to his presumably Scottish heritage.
(Aside #1: I've decided to post a photo a day from the Europe trip. We'll see if I get off the stick and actually put a proper album together for your viewing pleasure. It's not like I don't have photos - I took over 800! - but I wouldn't put y'all through the pain of looking at all of them, because that would be just mean.)
(Aside #2: This is my 300th post! Imagine that! I feel like I should do something to mark the occasion...like have CAKE.)
...did you see Clay Aiken's hair, y'all? I mean, how could you not?
Clay, Sweetheart, you know how I feel about you. Why, your Christmas album is one of my favorite holiday albums - really! Okay, so "Invisible" kind of creeped me out because it's a bit Stalker 101 ("Every Breath You Take" being the Master's Thesis of Stalking, you know), but I forgave you because I love you.
But this? THIS? I cannot abide by this at ALL. I mean, ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME?! Are you being totally serious with your faux emo Panic! at My Chemical Fall Out Confessional MySpace hair??!! Because if you are? OH MY GOD.
You want to know who you remind me of?
CHRIS GAINES, dude. Chris Effing Gaines.
Do you REALLY want to be compared to him? Because we all know how well that turned out.
Clay, that is Bad Hair of the Highest Order. I'm serious. Fix that NOW, please. Thanks.
As for the show....what was going on?! Live was there, Meatloaf (whaa?), Al Jarreau looking curious in his too-small beanie, Mary J. Blige and then PRINCE (EEE!) of all people?! I was so confused.
I HATED the cheap-ass jewelry on the women. Those necklaces and earrings just screamed "CLAIRE'S," did they not? And while I'm at it, Mandisa? Step away from the belts and shirts with detailing that circle your hips, love.
Chris, you look positively yummy all dressed up. Me likey.
Oh, and Katharine McPhee fans? (Phans?) Sorry, but hey, at least she got a car.
And my final word on Clay: this should quell any rumors about him, because no self-respecting gay man would have such bad hair.
P.S. Unpopular Opinion: I hate Mary J. Blige's cover of "One." I hated it when she did it with Bono, and I hated it again when she did it with Elliott.