January 31, 2005

Time to Rotate the Tires

A random check on sitemeter just showed me this:


If your the reader at the University of Michigan who found me via this Google search, send me an email with your particulars. I'll find some fancy prize from jolly ol' London to send you.

And if you just want a fancy prize from jolly ol' London, send me an email anyway ... you never know what my pop into your mailbox.

50,000. Does that mean my warranty expires?

Number One Rule

The sign posted in in the alley says, "Strictly No Dumping."

So taking a leak is okay, right?

January 29, 2005

Credit Card Hack

Hmm. Last week I randomly cut out a picture of an uncut boy and then subsequently met him. This week’s adventure makes me think I might be on my way to new a degree of royalty … King of the Small World.

Or if not, at least there's a bit of odd luck following me around this town.

One of the lovely ladies I used to work with in NY was in London this week and we’d agreed to meet for drinks and catch up (the social activity, not the condiment).

“We’re at the Lanesborough,” was the message on my Blackberry.

A few posh cocktails later (and I apparently was behind by a several rounds), I decided it was time to go.

“How does one get to Le Meridian Picadilly from here?” my friend asked, as we were getting our coats. It wasn’t far, and she seemed a little lit, so I put on my chivalry hat (the one that doesn’t get worn much these days) and said I’d escort her home. On the way to the hotel, she asked where to get a burger and we decided to go have some dinner. What the hell … she’d unwittingly helped me with my mood, the least I could do was blow off some work and have a meal with her.

After an all-American feast of roast chicken and Bush bashing, it really was time to go. We got ready to pay the bill and she insisted on using her corporate card.

“No no, you bought drinks at the fancy hotel, the least I can do is pick up dinner.”

She disagreed, but couldn’t seem to find the card she’d used at the Lanesborough. I was so hoping it was tucked away in her wallet or cute little handbag (if I were a girl … shut up, all of you … I’d have the cutest bags all the time). I really didn’t feel like schlepping back to Hyde Park to procure a misplaced credit card (the chivalry hat had apparently shrunk a little in the rain and was giving me a headache).

So we hoped for the best and I walked her through Soho and down to Picadilly. About 20 yards from the hotel, I heard a little chirp.

“Oh no,” J said. “I’ve gotten the hiccups. I can’t go into the hotel with the hiccups.”

“Sure you can, you clearly won’t be the first person to walk through the lobby with a buzz on.” I knew this to be true … I have stayed in that hotel.

I was not to be trusted, it seems. She stood on the curb, arms stretched out to the side, loudly exhaling through pursed lips. This was a hiccup remedy I’d not seen before, but certainly attention getting.

I heard the beep of a horn and a nearby cab driver was motioning towards me. I waved him on, not needing a cab, just needing J to put her arms down and get into her hotel.

He motioned to me again, and I shook my head … “no thanks, we’re fine.”

He pulled to the side of the road, rolled his window down and waved me towards him.

“Really sir, we don’t need a cab. We’re staying right here, just getting a breath of air.”

“Pardon gov, but didn’t I pick the two of you up at the Lansborough a couple hours ago?”

“Um, you might have … but I don’t …”

He held up a credit card that looked surprisingly like the one J had used to pay the bar tab.

“Are you f*cking kidding me?” I asked in my most eloquent American way. I confirmed my friend’s name, the driver looked at the card.

“Seems to be hers, gov. Here you are,” and handed me the missing card.

I thanked him profusely, gave him a nice tip and came back to she-who-invented-breathing-exercises.

“No, go take the *h’cup* cab,” she said, “I’ll be fine.”

I assured her I didn’t need the cab.

“But you paid him, I saw you. Go on, get in and go home.”

“I didn’t pay him, I tipped him,” I told her, handing her the previously missing piece of plastic.

“Did you have this the whole time? Just cause you wanted to buy dinner?”

I assured her I did not, and apparently it had fallen out of her coat pocket on the ride over to Soho, she was perhaps the luckiest woman I knew, and it was clearly time to stop pressing her luck and get to bed.

“Oh.My.God. I looooooooooove London,” she yelled.

So do I.

And I still can’t believe how random that was.

January 27, 2005

Unconditional Love

Isn't that what we all really want, when it comes down to it?

And does wanting it all the time from nearly everyone you meet (or at least most of them) make me one far too needy a person?

I suppose there's the rubbish theory that I want people to love me unconditionally, then it's probably my job to let go of the conditions under which I'll love them. That seems a bit extreme, doesn't it?

January 25, 2005

Bunny Bday!!

Everybody wish my Grandma Bunny a happy birthday. She's 88 today. And probably the coolest woman in the world.

Spent the last two days in Dublin. They are right funny, those Irish people. I haven't laughed so hard with work folk since I don't know when.

And my memories from a decade ago are correct ... Guinness is better when you have it in Ireland. Looks like I'll be there at least once a month for the next 6-7 months. Cool.

Love you Grandma!

January 23, 2005

Sorry, I Only Buy Drinks

Went into London's very own Townhouse last night, just to see if it was half as fun as last week.

There was one cute tall boy, buoyed amidst a sea of tragedy. We made eye contact and then I went downstairs to the den of dance.

After taking in my recommended daily dosage of senior disco (the old guys had their shirts off, which was charming and repulsive all at the same time), we wandered back up, where CTB was now sitting at the bar. After a little more eye contact, and given the lack of anything else to chat up, I walked over and said hi after Larry headed off to the gents.

His name is Philipe. He's from Brazil. I nodded and said of course you are.

"Why 'of course'?"

I explained that in the last several months of coming to England, I seemed to have met a good number of Brazilians.

We exchanged some more pleasantries, with him apologizing for his English ... he'd only been here for a few months. Doesn't come to this bar very often, has a flat just down the road from me. I asked him what he was doing in London.

"I'm an escort."

No problem with English there.

So I proceeded to ask him how work's been going, where he met clients, etc.

"Do you advertise in the local magazines?"

"Yes, but under a different name."

I asked which one and he said Vitor. He was going by his real name, but everyone expected him to be French, so he chose something more in tune with his homeland.

"Vitor?? No way. Do you have ads running now?"

He said yes, but it looked a little different because of a new tattoo peeking out of his waistband.

"That's kinda hot. Let me see the rest." He did.

:: :: ::

Just a couple weeks ago, I was thumbing through the escort ads, as one does on a Saturday afternoon. I ran across an ad for Vitor, "a new young Brazilian in town", who had a most intriguing endowment.

One of the Prince's flatmate is named Vitor ... he is also young and Brazilian, and although I've never seen him undressed, could have possibly fit the bill here, were he not straight and not selling his junk in the back of a gay rag. Nonetheless, I cut out the ad and gave it to him last week, complementing him on his entrepreneurial spirit.

He assured me that it was not him, I expressed my disappointment, and we all had a good laugh.

:: :: ::

Meanwhile, back at the troll bar, I'm going through the ads, looking for the one I gave to the real Vitor last week. Finding it, I asked my new friend, "Is this you?"

He nodded.

"No way," I said.

He handed me his cell phone, er, mobile (I keep forgetting), and told me to call the number. So I whipped mine out (my mobile, that is) and dialed the number in the ad. The phone that CTB had just given me rang.

Cool. I've met my first real hooker in London.

We talked some more, and I became all full of questions about visas, work permits, and immigration. My other Brazilian friends have issues with that, so I was naturally curious. He reminded me the work thing wasn't much of an issue with him, as he had a "cash business." Ahh, yes, of course.

It became time to go, and I shook his and told him he had my number now, so give me a call if he wants to go have a beer.

He just smiled and said something about he only goes out for business. I reminded him everybody needs a night off once in a while. He just shook his head.

Apparently, has a very strong work ethic. Too bad. He would have been fun to hang out with, and as much as I like spending money on my friends, I think we've got to draw a line somewhere.

January 20, 2005

A Real Cut Up

Two things I'm not entirely sure are necesary ...

1. The Illustrated Collector's Edition of The Da Vinci Code

2. Channel 4's new vivisection shocumentary, Anatomy for Beginners

January 19, 2005

Slow Learner

I'm such a sucker.

I've got 3 new books on how to better manage my time and money.

Maybe if I didn't spend money on the books and time reading them, I'd have more of my tasks accomplished and less worries about the deficits I see in my calendar and wallet.

The nice thing about airplanes is that you get quiet time to catch up on work (and or silly self-help books).

January 18, 2005

Smoking in Airports

I miss it.

And who was that really hot blonde young man in a suit that just smiled and nodded at me while I'm busily working away, minding my own business, in the Munich office this morning?

January 17, 2005

Shuffle Bored

Is this really necessary?


And more importantly, how long till I own one?

Most of us have been on the shuffle for awhile now ... in fact, I'm getting a little tired of it. It knows me too well and is beginning to get annoying, playing songs that I really just didn't need to hear.

"Excuse me sir," says the nice woman on the tube, "I can't help notice you're sobbing uncontrolably. Is there anything I can do?"

Then you have to explain that you were just feeling a little vulnerable and hadn't expected to hear "I Know the Truth" right after "Wicked Litttle Town", and she slowly nods and smiles and backs away ...

But really ... I 'm growing weary of the shuffle. It plays on my ADD too much. I need a new album to sink into ... one that is fresh and new and fun, with kicky tunes and lyrics that are smart and singable. One that you think you'll never stop listening to... that you find a new favorite track on after a few days, and then a few days later you have another.

Albums like Scissor Sisters, or Matchbox 20's "Mad Season", or Liz Phair's last release (no HWC pun intended).

There's got to be something out there that I'm missing ... any suggestions?

January 16, 2005

I Want an Oompa Loompa, I Want One Now

All his talk about gaming has got me itching to power up my PS2. Plus, I saw commericials for the new Crash and Spyro when I was at the movies the other day.

Trouble is I can't find a power cable for the machine. Nobody seems to stock then. Finally talked to someone who seems to know what he's talking about, and it seems I need a step-down transformer, with at least 100 watts. Been to several electronics stores, the Sony Centre, and an import gaming shops. Took the better part of two hours as I was on my way into the office this afternoon.

So not only am I thinking about wasting time with video games, I'm wasting time and energy just trying to get the dang machine powered up.

Seems like it might be easier just to buy a new PS2. Not that I need one. Not that I have time to play with it. It's just the principle. If I want to play it, I'll know I can. And since I know I can't right now, it's making it me want to play it all the more.

If I recognize my immaturity about it all, does that mitigate it in the slightest?

January 15, 2005

Eleven Hours

Is that too much to sleep? I went to bed about 12:30 last night .. not overly exhausted, but feeling ready for bed. And not full of liquor either, for those of you who might be quick to judge.

I woke up a little after eleven. I could probably go back to bed, but I need to be just a little productive today. Still not caught up on the work thing from vacation. The gym is beckoning as well.

I read about these people who go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up early and refreshed at the crack of dawn, with no alarm clock.

Who are these freaks and what sick twisted childhood did they have?

Seriously, do any of you do that? Get up early on your own when you don't have to ... say on the weekends, when it's gray and dreary outside (okay, it's London, that happens about 357 days a year). I'm curious as to how that happens ... natural? Habit? Insomnia?

Am I lazy, overly tired, clinically depressed? Or do I just like lying under a set of warm blanket because I am a creature of comfort?

Please enlighten me, as I am one who has clearly been hexed by Hypnos.

How much sleep do you get?
<5 hours
6-7 hours
8 -9 hours
10+ hours
no set schedule
depends on my medication
depends on last night's party
Free polls from Pollhost.com
Do you get up at the same time every day?
Yes, with an alarm clock
Yes, I just wake up on my own and get out of bed
Usually, but I sleep in on weekends
No set scheudule
Free polls from Pollhost.com

January 13, 2005

Remember Me?

Oh, that's right. I have a blog, don't I?

One of the goals this year was to blog more, perhaps be funnier and/or insightful, not just give reports here. Oh well ... the year's not over yet.

So let the reporting begin ...

1. The Aviator was crap. I still don't get the Leo attraction. Can anyone explain? Seems he's borrowed Mr. Cruise's acting technique, but has decided to use a furrowed brow instead of a clenched jaw.

However, Miss Blanchett as Miss Hepburn was amazingly and stunningly divine. She was the only character I cared about in film, made every gesture and inflection count, and, quite simply, was flawless. She is everything a movie star should be. And more. (Divine and flawless in the same paragraph??? Gurrrlll, we got on our gay on today, don't we?)

2. Some guy in the tube station this morning was reading 101 Frequently Asked Questions about Homosexuality. I thought there was only one: "are you the mommy or the daddy?" He was kinda cute. I think he was the mommy.

3. Swimming at the gym beats running on the treadmill.

4. I need a personal assistant to
a. organize my apartment
b. build a photo gallery of my Galapapagos trip
c. rebuild my blog templates, time for a new look

5. I want to go to Barcelona

6. When going to an orgy, it's always good to douche beforehand. However, is that something to be done at home or does one pull out their convenient travel bulb/hose combination while in a pub and the go to the loo for a quick flush freshen up? He and I are still wondering about that little bit of ettiquite.

January 5, 2005

Light Up the Night

Back in London for just about 12 hours now and I'm working through a big old nicotine jones.

Haven't had a smoke since Boxing Day ... smoked my last one the night before we got on the boat, thank you very much.


But now I'm quietly sitting at home (and I guess it is home now, I ordered my first pizza delivery tonight), wishing I was out with friends, feeling a little blown off, and starting to stress out about all the work that I need to do now that I'm back.

Odd, not even a week ago, I wrote this down ...

I’ve lost track of the days. I thought to myself this morning, “what day is it?” and I realized that I really didn’t know. I could have figured it out easily enough, but I figured, why bother .. it’s kind of fun to be so relaxed and removed from the outside that it really doesn’t matter what day it is. Or what time. It just is. I’m diving and sleeping and reading and laughing and talking to people and wishing that more people I loved were here to share this amazing experience.

And now I'm back to reality and committed to be in the office on Friday and I know that it's now Wednesday night, and I pretty much even know the date and time ... which sadly isn't announced to me by the divemaster to tell me to suit up for my next dive.

And Cindy ... I haven't quite worked out the goals yet, but one of them is certainly to learn to break this habit of seeing things as insurmountable challenges rather than managemeble chunks. 2005 is the year Bob learns to see the elephant in bite-sized morsels.

I did some goal workshopping/brainstorming on holiday, and came up with some values to build them around, which I'll share bore you with now ... this year I'm going to try to focus on (in no particular order)


And with that, I think I just might open up another beer, watch the rest of "Britain's Celebrity Mingers," and figure out what project to tackle here in the apartment tomorrow. Maybe put a gallery of scuba photos together. Maybe get my haircut. Maybe enjoy my last day off for quite awhile.

Or maybe I'll just have a peanut butter sandwich, which I am eternally thankful to him for.

But either way, I'm not lighting up.

January 2, 2005

Feliz Año Nuevo

Greetings from Guayquil, Ecuador.

The trip was amazing. I dreamed I´d see a whale shark, and that dream came true. Twice. Floating alongside a wall of lava rocks (not much coral down here), staring into the blue, schools universities of hammerheads swimming by, Galapagos sharks overhead, starfish and fat, lazy moray eels (too nonplussed by it all to even hide in the crevices, like their Carribean cousins do) underneath me, and all of a sudden the divemaster sounds his underwater alert. Not just a couple of rattles to alert us to a turtle or manta ray drifting into view ... no, this was a full-on alarm.

And then he started swimming. Fast.

We followed after to what seemed like a shadow in the blue, and in a couple seconds there it was ... a 40-foot creature, gray with white spots and fins the size of a garage door, floating into view. So. Totally. Cool.

And the second time was even better ... better visability, more viewing time before it descended, more majestic (and magical) in the water.

So many other sights and critters in the water ... sea lions, dolphins, rays, sharks, sharks, and more sharks, penquins ... just incredible. Pictures and more words to follow, when I have a chance to download and process.

Suffice to say the trip exceeded my expectations. As much as I want to chuck it all and get my SCUBA instructor certification and live the underwater life, I´m really eager to get home and start 2005.

Time to settle into the new place, get a grip on work, and find a healthy balance in all the things I want to do and see. Trying to work out some reasonable, measurable, attainable goals ... but learn to take each day as it comes and try to find the peace I found underwater this past week in each day.

Why wait to be in the ocean to have SCUBA solace?

I wish you all a fantastic 2005. I´m not sure how this year could beat 2004 for me, but I´m gonna give it a go.