unique visitors since July 27, 2005

May 05, 2006

Lord, I Was Born a Ramblin' Man

Malbug_17

OK, possums, I'll be in DC this weekend.

(Thankfully, at least some of you will not.)

Be good while I'm away.

And if you see me at Halo or Cobalt/30° tomorrow night, say hi.

But no drinks tossed in my face, please, unless they're carefully aimed at my open mouth.

If you don't know or can't remember what I look like, you can watch the video here, seeing as how much I love posting pictures of myself.

Gotta keep the readership levels up, yo.

April 23, 2006

How High's the Water, Mama?

Water_line Malbug_13I missed my flight yesterday to Andorra (via Barcelona with a three-hour drive), mainly because of the big rain storm yesterday that slowed traffic to a crawl, and the closure of the FDR for construction, which further locked the gridlock.

After finding a non-nonstop through Madrid and arriving five hours late, I thought a nice shower would be a good pick-me-up.

My hotel room's bathroom is pictured at right.  See anything wrong?  That's right, there is no barrier to keep the water in.  The hotel was so booked that I got the last room, which was specially made for disabled people.  By "specially," I mean "sadistic in a way that would make Dr. Mengele proud."

As I showered, the water began creeping farther and farther toward the bathroom door.  I was so afraid that it was going to spill out onto the hardwood floor and flood the people below me that my shower consisted roughly half of getting clean, and the other half of running back and forth to the "high-water line" (marked in red) and dragging the water with my foot, squeegee-like, back toward the drain.

All I could think of was some poor schmuck trying to do the same thing in a wheelchair.  Surely the Europeans are smart enough to have figured out how to be both handicapped-accessible while also not requiring, you know, flood insurance.

Back home tomorrow night.  I'm physically and emotionally spent for many reasons, some of which I'll go into soon enough, so I'll do the lame blogger cop-out and apologize for the "light posting."

April 19, 2006

"Andorra, I Adore-a," or "A 'Mo, Blogging"

Europe_guy Malbug_13Does anyone ever read that silly "Heads Up" thing on the right-hand column?  I used to update it, once upon a time, usually with my travel schedule.

I'd happily take suggestions on what to do with it: trash it, sell yet another ad, install a live webcam pointed at my crotch ...

Actually, it's the whole travel thing that I'm writing about now.  Tomorrow I am flying to Minnesota, where I will stay less than 24 hours but will get to see my family, who will come from their eerily Fargo-esque surroundings to join me for dinner.

I will get back just in time on Friday to leave on Saturday for Andorra, and arriving back in New York on Monday.

Now if someone could just please tell me where the hell Andorra is?

March 19, 2006

Samstag in Köln

Malbug_13Ah, Cologne.  I am sad to leave you behind, yet also very happy to get back to my own (occupied) bed.

I am air-blogging again from the plane, somewhere over the North Atlantic.  This has been a great trip, mainly because I have been able to take a little more time to be a tourist than usual, instead of working 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.  Still, it wasn't enough.

I had heard that the people of Cologne were friendly, but that was apparently an understatement.

Cologne is fast becoming one of the major gay hubs of Europe, and it is threatening to dethrone Berlin as the gay capital of Germany.  There are two main gay neighborhoods, one of which, Rudolfplatz, my hotel is smack-dab in the middle of.  Conveniently, it is the younger and more twinkish of the two areas.  The other one (east of here, near the main bridge across the Rhine) is older, hairier and abounding with leather.  (Sorry, bears, them's just my tastes.)

On Friday night I went to a bar called "Ex-Corner."  (Thanks to the reader who suggested it.)  People there were exceptionally friendly, initiating several conversations.  I did my best to speak almost entirely in German to them, which most of the natives agreed wasn't bad for not having spoken it in about 15 years.

The bar was playing an interesting variety of music.  There was popular American stuff like "Hung Up," the ubiquitous Abba, and some older but fun American songs.  (Who knew so many Germans knew all the words to the theme song from "The Fall Guy"?!)  There was also a lot of German pop music that I had never heard.

Everybody sang along to almost every song, even the ones in English, and then when they would play these cheesy German ballads, it almost became like the stereotypical German beerhall (but without the putsch).  Everyone would grasp arms, raise their Kölsch's high in the air, and sway to the music.  It was a very cool tourist moment for me, and it felt great to feel accepted and part of the crowd.

We've all heard so much about how Europeans supposedly don't like Americans very much these days.  Maybe I was expecting them to quiz me about Iraq and whether I support the president, or whatever, but there was thankfully none of that.  Anti-Americanism might hold sway in some places across the continent, but not last night in Ex-Corner.  There were just friendly, fun people.

But how they drink all that beer and stay thin, I'll never know!

By the way, I really must find a way to take photos without making a spectacle of myself, because I need some visual proof that the men of Cologne, as a group, are among the hottest guys I have come across in any city anywhere.  But take my word for it, and considering penciling in some travel plans of your own.

A few tourist snaps follow after the jump.

Continue reading "Samstag in Köln" »

March 15, 2006

The Scent of Gay Cologne: [Sniffs Airs, Walks East]

Malbug_13Gaycologne_1 Wow, based on what I knew about Cologne, I expected to find a lively gay life here.

But who knew that I would wind up a short slog from Rudolfplatz, one of Cologne's hippest, youngest and cutest areas for the ho's and the 'mos.

I'm going to have to give whoever booked me this place a big hug!

I think I will try some reconnaissance in between my meetings for more active indulging later in the week.

(Still waiting for reader suggestions!  Tap tap tap ...)

March 14, 2006

Bis Später

Malbug_13OK, y'all, I'm headed out the door for Cologne, Germany.  I anticipate being much more successful blogging from there than from the jungle.

I'll post my poison-pen letter to my apartment's management company soon enough.

In the meantime, it's still not too late to tell me about the hot-spots (gay or otherwise) in Cologne, aside from the Dom.  Toodles!

March 08, 2006

Gentlemen, Start Your Bandwidth!

Malbug_13Barring technical or other unforeseen problems, this should be a big MalcoVision day.  Robbie has recorded practically the entire network television schedule, while I will probably make a contribution or two myself.

I hope y'all don't mind the brief ads before the videos.  They're something extra I wanted to do to thank the Premium sponsors.  I promise I will always keep them brief (~10 to 12 seconds), and will try not to have more than one before the start of a video.

As I had been warning for some time, we were on a razor's edge with the old ISP, which is still hosting videos we posted up until a few weeks ago.  Well, they finally got their head of of their ass and realized that I was exceeding monthly bandwidth allotments by several degrees of magnitude, and now they have been calling daily, harassing my husband.  So to keep those videos running (and many people still watch them), I'll probably have to shell out yet again.

So thanks for tolerating our advertisers, if not worshiping, adoring, clicking on and shelling out scads of cash to people like our Premium Sponsor (411metro.com) and our Bandwidth Supporters (Geography Club, Scott-o-Rama, Ghost Whisperer, and Jeff Cook for Congress.)

On a separate topic ...

German_eye_1If you read the right sidebar on a regular basis (and who doesn't?), you'll see that I will be traveling again, this time to Cologne, Germany.  I leave Tuesday evening and return the following Sunday.  I'm not sure if I will be going solo or if I can convince my man to come along, but either way I'm looking for suggestions what to do while I'm there – either gay-related or general touristy.

I do know that Lufthansa has WiFi on a lot of its routes (I would assume between JFK and Germany), so with any luck, I can do the Internet equivalent of those annoying calls people make from airplanes: "Guess where I'm blogging from?!"

February 24, 2006

Apologies

Malbug_13I am heading out the door for a week in Africa.  I apologize for the relatively light blogging lately on my end, but it's because I have been preparing for this trip.  (And a couple of weeks after I get back, I will be off to Cologne, Germany, for several days, but because I will be flying Lufthansa, I might actually be able to blog from the plane.  We Westerners are so lucky!)

I will be in many places next week where I will be lucky enough to get a dialtone, let alone WiFi, so I imagine next week's blogging will be even sparser from me.  Robbie will be shouldering the load (hee hee), but I will try to check in from time to time if I can.

As Jerry Springer says, "Until next time, be good to yourself, and to each other."

December 13, 2005

Must ... Have ... Culture!

Malbug_13If you had asked me three weeks ago whether I would have been anywhere on Dec. 9 but at the cineplex, enjoying my exalted status as a resident of one of Brokeback Mountain's "limited release" cities, I would have dismissed you in an instant.

Ah, but how life – and work – do intervene.

I'm now in London (where the hotel's 11 TV channels are only slightly less of a caricature than the four cheese-related channels of "National Lampoon's European Vacation") on the homestretch of this 11-day trip from which I will return Wednesday night.  In the meantime, of course, I have missed:

  • Beef
  • Pretty much anything worth seeing in the countries to which I have traveled
  • The premiere of some TV reality shows
  • The denouements of others
  • And, yes, Brokeback Mountain.  (I suspect that those who think we are too obsessed with the topic are too young to understand the cultural significance of this moment.)

For now, I live vicariously through Kenneth, and others who will have said it all before I even get my chance.

I kissed the ground when I got back from China.  This time, I might just do so again for a host of different reasons.

December 11, 2005

If It's Sunday, It Must Be Switzerland

Malbug_13I made it out of Delhi today, but unfortunately, so did a bunch of stowaway bacteria in my alimentary canal.

Just a couple of hours before boarding my nine-hour flight, I began to realize that I had almost made it through the entire week without a dreaded bout with "Delhi belly."  Almost.  The next several hours were spent in relative misery punctuated by trips to the bathroom.

Fortunately, I am now in Geneva and the worst seems to be over.  The bug's worst impact was not on my stomach, but on the part of my body that an old friend would describe as "the south end of a north-bound horse."

It's not hard to guess what did me in.  I was given a box lunch in the hinterlands yesterday that included a salad of diced apples and walnuts.  Moronically, it didn't occur to me that eating the skin of fruits is tantamount to sticking your mouth up to a spigot of tainted water and slurping away.

Cameltoes, after the jump ...

Continue reading "If It's Sunday, It Must Be Switzerland" »

December 09, 2005

Monkeys!!! (Or "One Man's Mirth Is Another's Menace")

Monkey3Malbug_13I was driving around the central government area of Delhi today when I encountered a sight that was both alien and delightful to this American.  I practically shrieked like a girl when I saw wild monkeys roaming the streets at will.  (Rhesus Macaques, actually.)

I stopped to snap a few quick pictures.  (I probably should have called a few of these "bad pictures of famous monkeys.")

As it turns out, the pleasure and joy I took in seeing the cuddly primates was probably insulting to my hosts.  Let's just say the little guys aren't like your typical, friendly organ-grinder's monkey:

In a capital city where cows roam the streets and elephants plod along in the bus lanes, it's no surprise to find government buildings overrun with monkeys.

But the officials who work there are fed up. They've been bitten, robbed and otherwise tormented by monkeys that ransack files, bring down power lines, screech at visitors and bang on office windows. [...]

Macaques are crafty pickpockets, know how to open refrigerators, and brazenly snatch lunch pails from government workers, said (Atul K. Gupta, of the Wildlife Institute of India). "They have learned the tricks of finding food in an urban environment."

Monkey1

Monkey2

Workers in the area were so upset, in fact, that they filed a lawsuit.  The monkeys were represented in the case by the law firm of Dewey, Bitem and Howe.  The presiding magistrate issued a summary judgment for plaintiffs after being hit by feces flung by defense counsel.

OK, I made that last part up.  But it is true that the Indian Supreme Court banned the monkeys from the capital.  The ruling was apparently lost in transit to the monkeys' lawyers, because there are still hordes of them today.

The government has responded by putting many of them behind monkey bars, as it were, but officials are overwhelmed nevertheless:

Monkey4NOBODY wants the Capital’s monkeys. A crisis is brewing as the Delhi government cannot find any takers for the monkeys caught and kept in its custody.

Following no response from any of the states, the government is now planning to approach Delhi High Court to direct one of the state governments to take these monkeys. [...]

With no long-term solution in sight, the government takes recourse to piecemeal solutions to tackle the growing monkey population in government custody.

Meanwhile, the (environment) minister has asked the department to build a temporary shed, next to the existing one at Rajokri, so that another 200 monkeys can be kept.

I'm sorry, what were they saying again?  Look at the cuuuute monkeys!!!

Authorities in the Indian capital Delhi have come under new pressure to bring the city's large population of monkeys under control, after a man was killed by a falling flower-pot apparently thrown or pushed from a roof by a monkey.

Aww, I'm sure he was just trying to be funny!

December 08, 2005

Sensory Deprivation

SacredcowMalbug_13India's a remarkable country, but the only thing worse than looking under the "burger" heading on a menu to find only "chicken" and "veggie" is missing out on American reality TV, like the new season of "Project Runway."

So that's why God made Made In Brazil.

What I'm Learning: Subcontinental Edition

A few Larry King "dot, dot, dot-style" observations (and equally vapid) ...

Malbug_13"Singh" is Hindi for, like, "Smith" ...

Cricket_3Malbug_13Just because American cable channels go junking up the bottom of our TV screens with headline crawls doesn't mean you need to ...

Malbug_13Cricket still makes no fucking sense ...

Malbug_13Diet Coke tastes funny anywhere outside the USA ...

Malbug_13That Sharmila Tagore sure is one hot Bengali tigress ...

Malbug_13Yesterday morning, this item mysteriously appeared on the floor of my hotel room's loo:

Scale

So what exactly are you trying to tell me? ...

Malbug_13I didn't much like twin beds when I had to sleep in them as a youngster, and I like them even less now ...

TajmahalMalbug_13I wonder how long the list of non-Indians who have spent a week just a short drive away from Agra without ever seeing the Taj Mahal is?  And I wonder how many of those people never stepped foot out of their hotel rooms? ...

Malbug_13"All Out," India's No. 1 Liquid Mosquito Destroyer, has extra MMR ...

Malbug_13My hotel is OK for amenities (including the mandatory WiFi), but where it truly excels is in the service and demeanor of its staff.  Every one you pass stops what he or she was doing to offer you a slight bow and a "good morning" or "good afternoon, sir" ...

But even in a land of great obsequity, the broad smile and greeting of one cute bellman in the hallway seemed intriguingly excessive ...

Which was exceeded by the even cuter man who brought me my breakfast and then stood in my room for about 10 minutes, engaging me on every aspect of my travels, what life is like in New York City, and the nature of my business.  He then proceeded to ask me how I liked my coffee, pouring it from the pot with his white-gloved hands, stirring in the perfect mix of milk and sweetener, then placing the cup and saucer delicately on my desk ...

This story has no bow-chicka-bow ending, I just mention it as a curiosity ...

Malbug_13Bombay=Mumbai, Madras=Chennai and Calcutta=Kolkata, but just don't say a patriotic Burmese is from "Myanmar" ...

Malbug_13You think New York drivers like to honk their horns?  I have never heard a greater cacophony (or feared more for my life and limbs) than on the streets of Delhi.  If Bloomberg were mayor of Delhi, this city could balance its budget on those $350 horn-honking fines alone.  Of course, I never see them issuing those $350 tickets in New York, either ...

Malbug_13Pack my suspenders, my shoulder pads and my ridiculous, owl-like glasses because on Saturday I will be in Jaipur, more popularly known as the Pink City.  Awww, you didn't have to change the name just for me ...

December 05, 2005

Lost On Me

Malbug_13Having less than an even rudimentary knowledge of cricket, the metaphor in this ad for "Tulip IT Services Ltd." on the front page (front page!) of today's (Tuesday, for me) Hindustan Times was completely beyond my grasp.

Perhaps one of our intenerational readers can help me.  Although, just as humor dies in the dissection, don't expect it to make me rush right out to buy a truckload lorry full of Tulip IT Services.

Cricketer

In An "A" Hole

About_11dosageMalbug_13I am in my hotel in Delhi and just took my new Ambien CR to make sure I get to sleep and reset my clock for our meetings tomorrow.

I am extremely hesitant to blog much of anything – first because I am in the very strong grip of Ms. Ambi's potent gaze; and second, anything that I write is liable to become a treatise on the spiders that are climbing the walls of my room, devolving into paranoid shrieks and then finally a face plant into a pool of saliva on the keyboard.

But I have WiFi in my room.  Sweet, understanding Lady WiFi.  She's a little slower than what I'm used to, but does one really need to see a cumshot at 500kbps?

OK, the Ambien is tugging me under.  Must ... stop ... blogging.  Fingers ... like ... swollen sausages ... pounding random keyszzzzzzzz ......

December 04, 2005

Bombay Delhi Dreams

Malbug_13

I am on my way to India for a week on business, and then onto Europe for a few more days before returning home.  Hopefully I will have a little more time (and better Internet access) for pithy observations along the way than I did in Morocco.

But either way, my co-blogger, Robbie, will be stepping in to fill the breach with his own special blend of caffeine- and alcohol-fueled rants.

So until New Delhi (and hopefully no "Delhi belly"), be well ... and much love from The Malcontent.

November 27, 2005

Blog-Rolling

Malbug_13Wow, I actually just got a little misty at Robbie's Thanksgiving post.  Thanks, man.  (I will be sure to pull that one out to respond to the next "fan" telling me what a louse I am!)

I didn't plant as many holiday "time bombs" as Robbie implied.  In fact, the only one I was able to complete ("Targeting Target") already detonated at around 1 a.m. on Thursday.  This blogging thing is a harsh mistress, I tells ya'.

I started writing this on Thanksgiving Day as we were headed east on Long Island (quite literally, blog "rolling") on the Hampton Jitney.  I wasn't able to finish before we pulled into Southampton, so I am finishing now as we head back west.  This is their "Ambassador" line, which means you get the same crummy Otis Spunkmeyer muffin and WiFi, but a little more legroom.  (UPDATE: We just got a complementary glass of wine.  Huzzah!)

There were only a couple of celebrity sightings to report this weekend.  First we saw the fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka at the restuaurant James on Main in Southampton.  Honestly, I wouldn't have known them from Bartles and Jaymes if my husband weren't such a clotheshorse.  I'd share the picture I tried to take of them if it weren't such a joke.  But at least I think I discovered a better camera setting for clandestine, no-flash photos.

The fact is, I am becoming something of an expert at taking bad pictures of famous people.  See, when I encounter celebrities, I want to take their picture, but I don't want them to know that I am taking their picture.  So when I stand behind Alec Baldwin and his Asian girlfriend in line at the Starbucks in East Hampton like I did today, the result is something like the picture I took of them at the "fixins" station:

Alecbaldwin

Continue reading "Blog-Rolling" »

November 10, 2005

Mimosas for Everyone

Lakedistrict_3 Britain has decided some of the gayest tourist attractions in the realm must no longer be able to discriminate against gay couples:

It will be illegal to bar gays and lesbians from clubs and hotels under new legislation approved Tuesday in the House of Lords.

Lord Alli, a Labor peer, proposed the amendments after complaints that gay couples have been turned away from bed and breakfast places, hotels and restaurants.

Barring a gay couple from a bed and breakfast is a bit like banning a priest from mass. It simply isn't done.

Continue reading "Mimosas for Everyone" »

October 03, 2005

Hamptons Post-Script

Malbug_13LeakyThere is apparently something about the Hamptons that makes little children there spontaneously lose bladder control.

I swear to God, I would have taken a picture of this if it wouldn't have led to a potential kiddie porn rap, but we saw the following on Saturday in East Hampton:

We were walking up Newtown Lane when we saw a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old, in a tree box.  She was squatting down, holding onto the small fence surrounding the tree for balance, and bare-ass naked, in front of some very high-end furniture stores.  Her butt was thrust outward to keep her pants unsoiled by whatever was about to come out of her.

Even more strangely, her family was standing around her, cheering her on and making pissing noises to ease her through what appeared to be severe pee-shyness, rather than quickly escorting her to any of the nearby bathrooms that permitted public use.

I ask why the Hamptons seems to elicit such behavior only because Gawker posted a quite similar story a couple of years ago, writing it off as "normal."

So are the Hamptons' over-privileged spawn of yuppie scum really just Manhattan's publicly urinating homeless of tomorrow?  I'm just wondering.

Malbug_13And finally ...

Our hotel was nice enough, as far as last-minute Hamptons reservations go, but the walls were ... well, a wee bit thin – as evidenced by the following clearly overheard conversation:

MAN: Hey baby!

GIRLFRIEND: Yeah?

MAN: Guess who's up?

GIRLFRIEND: Who?

MAN: Mr. Pee-Pee!

Things remained quiet long after that exchange, so we can only assume that Mr. Pee-Pee is still up at this very moment.

It Was Definitely a Sign

Malbug_13As we wandered East Hampton on Saturday, freshly disembarked from the Jitney, we knew we must have been close to our hotel when we saw this:

Gayroad_1

And then this:

Gayinsurance

A few more Hamptons photos after the jump.

Continue reading "It Was Definitely a Sign" »



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