Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Chronicles of Murl: Things I learned in Europe

1. Lufthansa is the European word for "Lost Luggage". Mine was lost twice. Had to buy skivvys in a little lingerie store in Vicenza, Italy. I'm putting them on my expense report.

2. Found out that I must be more German that I think. It's my love for the unifying beer drinking songs. "All Australians are born Illegitimate, born illegitimate, born illegitimate...."

3. All Italians know the words to "Country Road". They wear matching T-shirts and sit together in one big group at Oktoberfest. Yeah All of them.

4. Oktoberfest is not a thing for Germany. It's a thing for Bavaria. What does that mean? Bavaria=Texas. Lederhosen and the frilly dresses= Cowboy boots and hats. Ahh... It all makes sense now.
5. People hate Americans because of our Military presence. Not because we are there, but because when we are there we are egotistical, arrogant, ignorant, disrespectful jerks with guns and buzz cuts who carry vodka in a camel back while running. (Don't write letters, I just met two of them, but they tainted my view immensly, for all of you Europeans, we are all not like that).

6. Trains are awesome. Riding in cars with natives is not. I am normally not motion sick.

7. If you lose your luggage once, and you buy really expensive skivvys, you should pack at least one of them in your carry on from that point on... because lightning can strike twice.

8. Course number 5 or 6 of a good meal is heaven on wheels... the cheese cart. Heck yeah.

9. You would think that while you are sitting drinking wine in an outdoor cafe on a piazza at sunset, watching the people mill around casually and unhurriedly, dodging bicycles laden with loaves of bread, not a car in sight, not a building newer than a thousand years old, that you couldn't feel more removed from America. Then the music from the string quartet wafts over to your table. Rich cellos and violins echo off the walls of the buildings. It's "Memory" from CATS. You scan the grounds to see if you can throw yourself infront of a Vespa.

10. You know that you better have a map handy when you ask the train station ticket lady to repeat what she just said in English and she replies "That was English".

11. You probably just got screwed when the weinerschnitzel cart vendor says "That will be twenty" and you say "Euros?" and he pauses and says "Sure"

12. Adapters are not enough. You need the transformer. A fried cell phone charger means you call your parents from a strangers cell phone in line at the airport because you don't know anyones phone number by heart.

13. Jim Garner is a rock star. I didn't really learn that in Europe.
14. If you are shaving in a foreign country, put your razor completely back in it's case before shoving your hand into your bathroom kit.

15. Flights that have people on them who have heart attacks over the Atlantic turn around, fly an hour in the opposite direction and land in Iceland. They remove the patient, and then after refueling, have to remove the patients UNATTENDED LUGGAGE. Flights that have this happen on them tend to miss the connecting flight...and the next connecting flight...and the next one....

16. I cry much more easily at movies on airplanes. Sure Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, that just means I'm a cheeseball. But Monster-In-Law? I'm certifiable.

17. When changing your pants on a train infront of lederhosen-clad adolescents, you should probably put something over you.

18. Six million Germans agree. Oktoberfest Rocks. I know this because I asked them, they were all sitting at my table.

19. In Munich, there are Houston Astro fans. I knew wearing my Cardinals shirt to Oktoberfest was a great idea.

20. In Italy dinner lasts 4 hours. But that's only if you are with Amerian clients. If you are not...it lasts 6.

21. Swizterland is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

22. The world is really big. My mind tends to be really small.

23. I love Coke with ice in it.

24. I like water without bubbles in it.

25. I like America. But I like the way the Europeans do some things too. Like 6 weeks of vacation, toilets that have different flushers for 1 and 2, escalators that don't move until you step on them, mass public transit, highways with no speed limits, and chocolate. I like that American doors open to the outside and that we don't eat lukewarm bologna for breakfast, and that we actually have church in our churches.

26. I love my job. The sex drug is coming along. I figured out that by increasing sex drive, prompting weight loss, and tanning, basically it turns you Italian.

27. OH YEAH... I almost forgot. Joaquin Phoenix is OUT of rehab. I mean once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, but he seems to be doing well... Or so said the magazine that was divinely left in the seat pocket infront of me with his black and white mug on the cover.....there is a God.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm off

Off like a prom dress to hop across the pond for some equipment audits. First time I'm going somewhere with clients by my lonesome. Should be interesting.
I'll start off in Verona, Italy, and take a train to eastern Switzerland, then will drive to Basel, Swizterland, fly to Frankfurt, fly to Hannover, and after work is done, I'll take a train from there back to Munich for Oktoberfest with our very own Jim Garner. Where I'll do God knows what, stay God knows where and hopefully actually find him in the midst of the worlds largest kegger, and hopefully get to an airport in time to come home. 7 planes, 2 trains in eight days. No internet for me for the week, leaving the lappy at home, so I'll pretty much be uncontact-able for the next week. Miss me! Ciao!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This could be bad....

Dear Friends,

I'm in a jam. Going to Europe on Sunday for a week, and my iPod, my sole source of peace while I travel seems to be broken. Anyone know of anywhere in St. Louis that fixes iPods FAST? A store? A guy somewhere in a basement with a hammer? Anyone want to loan me theirs for a week?


Desparate in St. Louis

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cry a little

“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,’
I still dread all my sufferings,” (Job 9:27-28a).

Life isn’t without some divine decisions that our mortal minds simply cannot comprehend. At times, we cannot imagine why God couldn’t have just given us what we asked. Sometimes our frustration lies in the fact that we know He could have, that He certainly had the power, but in His divine wisdom, He chose not to. Hear this with your heart: God knows we can’t think like Him. His ways and His thoughts simply are not ours (Isa. 55:8-9). Sometimes the very essence of faith is trusting God in the midst of things He knows good and well we cannot comprehend. Not that we won’t, but at times we literally cannot.

~Beth Moore

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tasty of Tasties.

It's like a piece of my heart has returned to me.

My dear friend Angela is home from all over the eastern world, and her return has been balm for my soul. I have missed her, and I'm not good at the mushy stuff very often, but she is all that I love in a person. So funny, so real, so compassionate. And to a much lesser degree than most, will act like she doesn't know me when I almost pee my pants in the supermarket after I see a box of cereal called "Organic Gorilla Munch".

Will you stop here and just read that again.


What in the free world is that? It was like a dream, I looked up and saw the box, with the giant gorilla nostrils and the face staring at me, and I almost lost it. Like just saw it and doubled over and had to like limp over to the box to point out what I was dying at. Gosh I'm sitting here writing this and I laugh out loud. Mark, Murph, Patrick, it's the closest I've been to wetting myself, so if you want to work that into your next attempts at bladder busting, that may be helpful.

Anywho. (Gosh just read it again. Organic. Gorilla. Munch. Wow. I really really need help, let me know if anyone else thinks that's pants wettingly funny... I'd say I'm just easily entertained, but that's just not the case.)

Tonite we did a 'get to know you' interview thingy with Mike and Beth the new DR people, and we had the audience write down questions on index cards, and I, talk-show style, censored and selected the anonymous questions and read them to Mike and Beth. Angelas question was "Do you like bacon?" Had Annie! been there I would have sworn it was her doing. But it was Ange, and yes Mike and Beth DO like bacon*. So after that that was settled, Angela and I got to talking about the increasing numbers of people who have "an unusual proclivity for bacon"** and how there should be a website and T-shirts. I agreed. I mentioned the bacon shaped air-freshener hanging from my rear view mirror, and then we went and made BLTs***.

God knew I needed her back here right now. Needed some fresh air, fresh perspective, and to laugh so hard. It's an amazing thing really, that a person can live in another hemishpere for a year and then come back and it feel like they never left.

Very very good, indeed.

*Wondering at this juncture if Mike and Beth also have an unusual proclivity for Kevin Bacon?
**Quote provided courtesy of Casey Finan's journal entry.
***And yes, we used Farmland thick-sliced bacon. It is the best, after all.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Faces in the crowd

Yeah Todd. This guy was nasty on Defense. Also note the three hottie hot hot fans sitting directly behind him.

And sorry, Liz, Sean Scott is in fact dating Rachel Wacholder.

Friday, September 02, 2005

AVP Y'all

Yes!!! I'm off to the AVP with a few of my nearest and dearest. Chi-town here I come.

Man I love this game. Happy Labor Dabor to me.

Deana, as usual, you are a rock star for organizing the weekend...

My recipe for happy includes yellow and white leather, a couple of people whose names I say with exclamation points at the end, and a minivan.

Heck yes it does.

One of my purest dreams was to play sand volleyball for the rest of my days, maybe even try out for one of these tournaments. But I fear I have waited too long. My body has become too old. A summer of mono, and an inflamed rotator cuff, bursitis-something-something and me losing my real leather volleyball have all sadly put a major damper on the sand borne festivities. Ah well. Will continue to live vicariously through Misty and Kerri.