Friday, January 28, 2005

Jason and his brother are coming in for a long weekend today and I am childishly happy. First, it’s always great to see someone from “my other life” and second, it’s wonderful that it is Jason, who I’ve taken to like a little brother. I had heard about him at least a year before I met him. One of the other students in my Italian class (another entry here entirely that I ought to think about doing), Pamela Downes knew him as did the teacher, Christina DiSanzo. All I kept hearing was about how he was a travel writer, blah blah blah, Jason this, Jason that. I thought, Oh he’s gonna be a real pain in the ass, full of himself bore. A year or two later when I went to work for Tom Bullock at 2 Kings Highway West, there were five or six other office suites on our floor and much to my surprise one of them a few doors down was occupied by Jason. I was expecting this stuck up food and travel writer but boy was I wrong! Instead I meet this kid, early thirties, very regular, very bright and very funny. Friendly as hell and we hit it off the minute we met. We discovered we had a lot in common – love of food and travel, obviously, but similar politics and a wicked rotten sarcastic streak. He was friendly with the guy in the next office, Bob Dale, a brilliant type lawyer/real estate developer who is absolutely one of the kindest and most gentle people I have ever been privileged to know. Bob has looks very reminiscent of John Malkovich and for some reason I was totally intimidated by him at first, but he’s someone else I really love and trust. Anyway, those two guys were just terrific to me. We spent a crazy amount of time just drinking coffee and chatting. My office was the hub for the entire building or so it seemed. There were some other nice people in the building who have become friends as well. Ann Walters is a married attorney, Haddonfield soccer mom with a couple of kids and a practicing Republican, but I like her a great deal, huge shock! Bob’s best boyhood friend Dan Ljoka also rented out a suite as well. Danny’s also a writer, does treatments and screenplays for films. He hardly ever has anything produced but somehow manages to make a crazy amount of money. He’s a neat guy who lived in LA for years, but came back East with his wife and kids a year or so ago. He’s got great stories about celebrities, which I devour. Just a neat guy. That was a lovely little situation that. And everyone in the building tells me that woman who took my place is just a little mouse, which delights me and I know it shouldn’t. Let’s face it, I would have been miserable had they all been crazy about her. I have spoken to her on the phone a few times, and she seems nice, but lacking in personality. Tom tells me he pays her half of what he paid me. Yeah, I said, and you get half the brains and half the fun. And none of the volatility, if I am completely honest.

Anyway, meeting Jason, Bob, Danny and Annie was a great deal of fun and I am happy that I have stayed in touch with them. And especially happy to be seeing Jason today.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Go Eagles! We stayed up last night watching the Eagles win the NFC Championship over the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 27-10. It was a lot of fun because the game was being played in Philly where they had a foot of snow on Saturday. Somehow the entire field was clean as were the stands. However, my sister told me that the newscasts were telling people to please not arrive before 8 a.m. for tailgate parties because they had to clean the parking lot. The game was slated to start at 2:30, Philly time, who the hell starts partying six hours in advance? Funny! Anyhow, glad to see the Eagles win this one, as they had lost it in the past three consecutive years. After last year’s loss, the entire metropolitan area was in a bad mood for a week. I am sure everyone’s having a great time now!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

We’ve hardly had any snow this year here in Munich, which I find really disappointing. Back on the East Coast, at home, they are getting hammered. I spoke to my sister yesterday and they were bracing for 18” of the white stuff. I love when it snows like this at home. It’s an excuse for everything to stop for a few days. My favorite storm ever was a few years ago when we got pounded in early September. Suzanne threw a snow party at her amazing place on Kings Highway and we all brought covered dishes and got totally hammered. It was just one of those impromptu great times that don’t happen as often as they should.

My friends Melissa and Bill got in their four wheel drive and went allover town photographing some of my old haunts in the snow. It was great to come in last night and see a picture of my old house, but it brought tears to my eyes. I can be so silly.

My neighbors, Todd and Pam, sent some photos of their kids in the snow, which also made me feel a bit homesick. I need to get a grip!

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing for the championship this afternoon and the whole area is going wild. Luckily, we have a dish and are going to watch it at 8 p.m. tonight. They better win or the whole Philly area is going to revolt!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I have been neglecting this blog shamelessly lately. Like everything else in my life, I go hot and cold with it. Okay, well today’s a new day and all that crap.

Much has been happening with us. Chris was in the States last week at a company meeting during which he sat down to discuss our pending relocation. Everything went swimmingly, indeed much better than either one of us had dared to hope. The upshot is that he will be relocated to Philly, and that it is a great move for his career. I had assured him that I was fine here and could hang on until it was the right time for his career, but he assures me that this is perfect timing. We had harbored ideas of another Munich summer, but that is not to be. It will be good to get back and to find a permanent home for us. We’ve been having a lot of fun looking at real estate on the internet. Prices, if it is possible, have escalated even since I left in April. Haddonfield is out of hand money wise, but I love it, and so does Chris, and I really hope we can find something there. But Collingswood is lovely too as is Haddon Heights. But having lived in Haddonfield for such a long time, I really forged some nice relationships and also like the downtown area. I loved when I lived on Potter Street because I could walk to work, to the train, to the grocery store, to the coffee shop and most importantly, to Joanna’s place. And I won’t even start waxing poetic on the Haddonfield Library, truly one of my favorite places in the world, with the most quirky and well chosen collection of books. Doug Rauschenberger, the Director of the Library, has done a great job. It’s a beautiful building, modeled on Jefferson’s Monticello, and it has been in the same location for almost 100 years, but there has been a library in town for 200 years. Anyhow, here’s a photo of it. I’m looking forward to prowling its stacks once again.

So we are all involved in relocating. I have had a great time, but I miss having a living space with my personal stamp on it. After years of collecting art, pottery, books, and rugs, it was a shock to the system to come here to a place so generic. I also miss having a garden. When I was home last though, I went by the old place on Potter and saw that the new owners had ripped out my beautiful and extremely well established perennial garden. I was absolutely flabbergasted as it was beautiful in the way an English cottage garden is, seemingly unplanned, but in actuality plotted to within an inch of its life. Catherine told me she went by on trash day and was grabbing stuff to put in her garden. I have to say that seeing that bland patch of grass really upset me and if I weren’t so close to Todd and Pam, who live next door, I would avoid Potter Street completely. You’d have to be lacking a soul to destroy that garden. “Nuff said though, different strokes and all that. I also really miss my great kitchen ware, temporarily on loan to Melissa. Stuff just cooks better in Le Creuset, you cannot deny it!

This has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to our final months here. We have lots of great stuff planned. Next month we are going to Egypt for 11 days, a dream for both of us. We are also planning a week in the South of France as well as some weekends away before we return to the States and a bunch of work surrounding the purchase of a new home. Jason will be here next Friday, which should be great. My friend Tara is coming in May for a few days to kick off a trip of hers. A friend from work, Jane, is doing the same in June. It’ll be an eventful run up to leaving, but ought to be fun.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Last night a huge crew of people went to Escobar to celebrate Lise’s birthday. It was a real motley assortment, the best kind to my thinking. Lise is an angel and everyone who came felt similarly. I got a ride with Jo, the only person I know in this town who insists on driving everywhere. I sat next to Anne for a long time, who had me cracking up. I also had a great chat with Mason, with whom I have hit off very nicely. He is really kind and has a very calming effect on me. Also chatted a bit with Chris and Martina, who are in post engagement bliss. Vikki was there as well and feeling a bit emotional as she is leaving on Sunday. Stine was there, absolutely gorgeous and magnetic as ever. She’s so amazing. I really like her. Ditto Anna, who has a warmth I find very compelling. We had a nice round of chick chat at the end of the night with Jen at the helm. Simon and Pete were there also, as were Bev and Gary and a bunch of other folks too. Quite a good time. Two funny things happened revolving around the toilet. First, Lise was in there washing her hands when her cake came out and second, Stine was using the men’s room all night thinking it was the women’s room. Funny as hell.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Buried in the media the past week or so has been the news that Eli Lilly & Co. just turned over missing documents relating to Prozac, which claim a link between the anti-depressant and suicidal, violent behavior. Lilly claims that no documents were ever missing. Harrummph. Whatever. If I had to bet, I would say that Lilly most definitely suppressed these papers. C'mon, there's millions of dollars at stake here. For me, Prozac has been a lifesaver. I have been taking it for years with no ill effects other than some weight gain. I need it. I had a period this past year where I was experiencing immense personal happiness and I thought I could do without it. Let's just put it this way: that attempt ended in tears. However, I am aware that many folks do have problems with it. There's a web site I frequently surf called Prozactruth , which chronicles some of the problems folks have with it. I guess I am lucky. It works wonders for me and has since the day I began taking it.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

We had a really nice family Christmas in England. It was great to meet the rest of Chris’ family, who seemed to like me, or, at the very least pretended to like me. I thought I would be dreadfully homesick for my family, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was just an extremely nice, warm experience.

Now we are back in Munich and it is January 2nd. We had the most fun on New Year’s Eve. We started at Lise and Richard’s with a few civilized glasses of Prosecco. Then we met Graham on the bridge to enjoy the fireworks and it was a ball! I normally am terrified of them, but I guess all the drinks I had helped me conquer my fear – if only for one night. Then we all wandered over to our favorite little bar and stayed till four a.m., during which Chris and I got into a drunken battle, not our speed at all, and utterly ridiculous. We made up though and spent all day yesterday in bed watching tv, dozing and laughing. Now we are up early and about to watch yesterday’s football highlights. Oh joy!

I am having problems getting the tsunami out of my mind. It is so terrible and seemingly all-encompassing. Beyond making a donation, I feel powerless. It is an awful thing and here, in our warm, cozy home, I feel lucky.