Happy Holidays ya’ll!

December 24, 2008

So, barely any good weather in the 12 days since I’ve been home but I’m still grateful for so much. My mom is healthy and so is my pops, I have basically everything I want and even some I don’t want! haha I hope you all get everything you need for Xmas.  This isn’t a Xmas for what you want, this is one for what you need.  It’s important to be happy with what we want but even more important to be happy with just what we need.



November 23, 2008

I’ve invented a new German word: Sanfransuechtig. Suechtig means “addicted to” and well, Sanfran is pretty easy to follow.  I just, pretty impulsively bought plane tickets to be in San Francisco for 11 days in March of next year.  Franziska will be there and we’ll be able to celebrate her birthday together again. This year it was in Vienna and next year in San Francisco, not a bad start, eh? Maybe we can find a play to go to and/or sneak away to Napa Valley for a night or two for wine tasting and fun.

It wasn’t the most professional thing I’ve ever done but nor was it the least professional.  It’s just one week or work missed, and I love that I can take these chances.  It’s fun. 🙂

Great brunch with my folks and Franziska and her friend Jan in the highest building in Freiburg, a great view of the snow that was still suck on the roofs.  Last night’s snow was one of those moments you never forget. Now it’s snowing, my parents are in their hotel room and probably watching tv and my mom is constantly looking out the window and giddy as a schoolgirl, I’m in the hammock and my window is full of snow. It’s gonna be interesting going to work tomorrow, I can’t wait!

Cold as hell!

November 22, 2008

Sorry I’ve been incommunicado all week, after barcelona, I was busy with work and then my parents came back into town last night.  They had a great time in Amsterdam and even had what can be called a “productive” time work-wise.  We went to dinner last night with some friends and colleagues, some damn good italian food, I was wild boar, franziska had rabbit which was delicious!

We went to the Australian place where a friend Kristina works and had some more drinks and desserts. Franziska and I caught the last tram home.

We had planned on going to Heidelberg today but my mom wasn’t feeling too well and it’s cold as hell here, literally at the freezing point and some light snow fluttering about which is really exciting for my parents, something they don’t get to see.  I think the last time my parents saw any snow was 3-4 years ago when they came to Freiburg to visit, how funny is that?

The first thing we did was get a sausage at the market around the big church and then we did some shopping. I am the proud owner of two new ties and 3 shirts and a new scarf. I’m gonna knock ’em dead at work on Monday. 🙂

Then we went to a flea market and bought some stuff, had some Turkish food for a late lunch and then my parents went back to the hotel and I came home so I could clean my room which needed it desperately.

We’re going to Tacheles for dinner tonight for some schnitzel and then probably an early night. I have not had enough sleep for about a week and I can feel how exhausted I am right now.

Today is the 45th anniversary of JFK being shot. As Vonnegut used to write, “so it goes”.

A shout out

September 25, 2008

Well, this is my last full day in the States for about 2.5 months until I come back for Xmas in mid-December. I’m sure that time will fly but still, I have to try and squeeze in all the American stuff I want into today. What will that include? In-n-Out Burger with my buddy Chad, doing some last minute shopping for DVDs (Chuck Season 1 anyone??) and also buying some more clothes with a gift card I have for JC Penny. I’m also going to BBQ with my folks and meet my buddy Zach to possibly watch the Dodgers clinch the division tonight.

And that leads me back to my shout out. I just wanted to give a shout out to my folks, who have always been there for me, supported me, even in the midst of decisions they weren’t totally sure about, i.e., moving to Germany, going to Central America, etc. etc. etc…But they are so generous and caring and even though we are on different sides of the political spectrum for the most part, they are still good people! hahah, just kidding, of course they are. Anyway, this is just a little reminder for all of you out there to make sure to tell the people that mean something to you that they, well… mean something to you.


June 28, 1998

June 30, 2008

10 years ago today…

So on http://www.blackcrowes.com/ they have an online radio. And today they put on the show from exactly 10 years ago today. That was a very strange time for the Black Crowes and their fans. After a hiatus of a year and losing their lead guitarist and bass player, the summer of 1998 was filled with hope and uncertainty. They started their tour with the new guys a week before this show and because of the internet really starting to catch on in summer of 1998 (for me, at least), I was able to find out almost every day what the setlist the night before or 2 nights before had been. This was a wondrous thing for me because in the mid-90s the only way for me to find out what setlists were being played on a tour, it would come from me collecting tapes and seeing what was written on the tape and thinking wow, so this was the setlist for the show in say, San Antonio in early May 1995. Now of course people at the concert send text messages to people at home who post onto the internet what the current freaking song is!

And this is my point a bit. 10 years ago today. I was just starting to use the Internet more often, going into chat rooms and finding tour dates of bands and ebay. It was at the beginning of the nadir of the internet boom of the late 90s. Think of how things have changed in 10 years. 10 years ago I was amazed at the idea of someone putting up the setlist onto some website thingy that i could access from my desk at home in my boxers. Now I’m not amazed at the idea of people sending text messages while they’re IN the concert still and before people even get to their cars in the parking lot, me, on the other side of the world now, if I’m still up, can find out what the setlist was. I can wake up tomorrow morning at 7pm and look at the stats of the just finishing Dodger game.

I have flown across the Atlantic about 20 times since then. I’ve written 4 books, had a fashion show, a music festival and photo exhibitions in 5 countries. Half of this time I have lived in Germany. That in and of itself is insane to think about. There is no way that I could have predicted in the summer of 1998 that I would ever live in Europe. In fact, that summer is memorable also because it was that fall that I moved to West LA where I lived for about 18 months. That year had an enormous impact on my life. Really, it is the last 10 years that have have the greatest impact on my entire life. I have become an adult, albeit immature and barely responsible, in this time. I have travelled the most, experienced the most, learned the most, more than I ever learned in the ages 14-24 in school. I have really learned things, like how to open a bank account in German, how to get a permanent residence permit in another country, another language, a new job that is good work for my lifestyle.

I have lived in 6 places since then (LA, OC, Toronto, PA, 2 places in Freiburg). I have made a lot of new friends but the old friendships are still strong, you know who you are, Clog, Roman, Moondog, Borrevik, and of course others but you know that distance cannot penetrate our friendships completely. I’m glad to know that all of our lives are continuing and growing.

My parents moved 6 years ago and it was probably one of the smartest things they ever did themselves and their marriage. They could barely afford it and it just skyrocketed in value right after purchasing it, and they have put a lot of money into it, buidling a huge terasse and now I hear a freakin’ waterfall somewhere next to the horseshoe pit I have yet to see as well. That house has become party central and my parents have built a 5-star resort in their backyard, I couldn’t be happier for them. My parents are still healthy, thank god, my mom has a bout of cancer 2.5 years ago but she beat it back and they’re doing great. And from this distance, it makes me feel so lucky because I can still afford to be so far away from my folks, they are both lively and fun people, in their prime of their lives.

So a lot has changed in these 10 years and basically most of it for the positive. The rest can be chalked up to growing up. Now the song “Wiser Time” is on, and the lyric that defines a lot of can be summed up: “you ask why another road song, funny but I bet you never left home, on a good day, it’s not every day, we can part the sea, on a bad day, it’s not every day, glory just beyond our reach”.


ps The Black Crowes more or less officially opened their 2008 summer tour with two shows near Boston. In the 2-hour shows, only one song was repeated and it happens to be their single on some radio stations. It’s called “Wounded Bird” but the cool this is that it was the first song one one night and the last song on the other…