Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Berlin: Potsdamer Platz

As we were walking into the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz, I told Mrs. TBF that I thought it looked very Helmut Jahn-ish. As it turns out, Helmut Jahn WAS the architect, which resulted in Mrs. TBF accusing me of being an "architecture geek"!

Feeling very cock-sure at this point on the Helmut Jahn-coup, I pointed out to Mrs. TBF that the Sony Center ceiling reminded me of the scene in the movie Independence Day where the spaceship is settling over Area 51 and Robert Loggia blurts out: "They're preparing to fire their primary weapon!" She agreed, and even tolerated the half-dozen or so "...they're preparing to fire their primary weapon..."s that I blurted out in rapid-fire succession as we walked toward our lunch spot.

Then, as we lunched at Lindenbräu (a restaurant/brewery recommended to us by the Expatters), I enjoyed watching a gauntlet of cheerleaders that shook their pompons as people walked into the adjacent sports bar.

Oh...I don't know. Maybe it was the one-liter beer I drank (along with the lapel pin I was awarded for finishing it), but I suddenly became very cavalier and started talking "crazy" talk. Yup, I decided - and advised Mrs. TBF - that I was going to be buying her a cheerleader uniform.

Doh! That was shot down. BIG TIME!!!

Achtung, Baby! I Have An Announcement To Make...

Berlin is a pretty cool city. I'd recommend it, AND I'd go back. Es tut mir leid for last week's lack of excitement for Berlin (and Germany in general). I'm blaming a "...general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament."

We stayed at the Hotel Adlon which is right by the Brandenburg Gate. Not only did we receive an upgrade to a Junior Suite (I'm tellin' ya, ya gotta ask!) with a view of the rather futuristic courtyard (lifetime employment for the window cleaner!), but I also found out that Mariah Carey had stayed at the hotel. Just in case she stayed in our room (unlikely), I touched every single surface. I also touched every surface in the lobby AND every elevator button. Wait a second...what am I thinking? Doesn't Mariah have a designated elevator button pusher in her entourage? Ummm....thought so. Dammit!

After waiting a good twenty minutes for our bags to be brought up to our room (I'll bet that Mariah didn't have to wait that long!), we quickly unpacked our bags and then set out to explore Berlin. We stopped for a quick chat with the concierge, he gave us a map, and we walked out into Pariser Platz. So much to see, and so little time. What should we see first? Should we explore East Berlin? West Berlin? Potsdamer Platz? Checkpoint Charlie? The Wall? THAT a...? Could it be???? DUNKIN' DONUTS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Italian Shoes, South African Candles, And...

...a shot glass.

Those are the souvenirs I brought home from Berlin.

Oh...and also some good memories!

Berlin turned out to be better than expected. How much better? Well, you'll just have to wait and see. We're having our taxes done this evening, and the accountant will be here in just over four hours. some organizing to do!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I've Never Been To Manhattan...

...but this weekend, we take Berlin!

For all you Leonard Cohen fans out there...oh, never mind!

I have to come clean -

I'm not the biggest fan of Germany. Ok...I said it!

Mrs. TBF and I met our friend Dave in Munich in October, 2001, and we had a really fun weekend. Then, we went to Hannover for a wedding a couple of years later, and had a good time at the wedding (even though I had a bad cold), but found Hannover to be...well...a bit on the dull side (sorry!). So, other than a handful of trips just over the border into Lörrach, or to make a flight connection in Frankfurt, Hamburg, or Munich, we haven't really ventured into Germany at all over the past few years.

And here's the best part: I speak passable German, AND the German border is only fifteen minutes away from where we live.

Ok...OK...take it easy! I have nothing against Germany. Nope...nothing at all that I can think of. I...just...don't make a reason to go there. It's kind of like when I lived in Chicago; there was absolutely NO reason to venture into Indiana or Wisconsin unless you really had some specific reason to go there (...going just to laugh at the Hoosiers and Cheeseheads doesn't count!).

It's the same for me with Germany.

So, why did we decide to go to Berlin this coming weekend? Well, I guess it's because the Basler Fasnacht begins this coming Monday, and the thought of being around Basel during the weekend prior to, and Monday of, Fasnacht (and having to endure that grating fife and drum music) is even less appealing to me than going to Germany for a long weekend.

Yes...I'm a real party-pooper when it comes to the Basler Fasnacht. Hell...I didn't even buy a Fasnacht badge! Mwah-ha-HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

So, it's with mixed emotions (indifference, lack of excitement, opting for the lesser of two evils...) and a general malaise (at least where I'm concerned) that we will make our way to Berlin tomorrow morning. I haven't made any restaurant reservations, I haven't really read our "Top 10 Berlin" book, and I...

Well, we'll see...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Greasing The Pipe!

King da Cat is old! How old? We really don't know for sure since we adopted him as a stray from a shelter, but we estimate that he will be 19 years old (the equivalent of 89 human years) this May. Yup! O...T...D! Older Than Dirt!

If you'll remember from last week, King was a bit sick and had a rather unpleasant episode of vomiting and diarrhea. Sure, he vomits every now and then (most cats do), but I knew he was sick when I noticed the diarrhea. That's because, normally, he has the opposite problem: nuggets hard as granite!

We've tried cat grass (works sometimes) and various hairball eliminators mixed into his food (eats it for awhile, and then won't touch it), but nothing seems to ease the strain of his kitty constipation. So, today while picking up thyroid medicine for the beast (gettin' old's a bitch!), I mentioned it to the vet who decided it was time to move onto heavier artillery.


The Germans call it: Darmregulans

The French call it: Regulateur Intestinal

The Italians call it: Regolatore Dell'Intestino

...the vet calls it: "...just vat an olt und fett cat needs to help beecome unplukked!"

I just about snotted when he said that!

Then, the vet pulled out a syringe. I took the syringe into my hand, and...this is a recreation of how I imagine my face must have looked when I imagined the pure joy of being put in charge of giving King daily injections. However, no such luck! The syringe is just used to draw the "...sveet liqvid" from the bottle before indiscreetly mixing it into King's food. I figured that King would shun it, but I determined that I hadn't added to the Rejected By King Collection" for awhile, and thought..."what the heck?"

I wasn't very optimistic when I was mixing into his food, but...the beast proved me wrong. Just look at that pig licking his chops. He loved the stuff so much that he even went around and licked up the food that flew out of his bowl while he was gorging himself.

Then, I realized that the old lunker didn't know that the syringe wasn't for injections, so I decided to torment him for a few minutes by chasing him around the apartment with the syringe.

He didn't seem too concerned. He ran straight to the bathroom, and went to sleep on the warm floor.

Gatinar, do your magic!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Join The Club!

The Swiss - along with the rest of the world - like to make fun of Americans and how fat they are. However, I have been noticing billboards like this one popping up all around the Basel area over the past couple of months. The billboard points out to the Swiss that THEY are getting fatter (one-third are overweight), and it references a website that gives all sorts of "top secret" information on how to lose weight such as: exercise more, eat less fat and sugar, etc. (DUH!).

When Mrs. TBF and I moved to Switzerland in 2000, we were amazed at how slim and fit the Swiss all looked. One rarely saw an obese Swiss person; I'm talking, like, once per year. It was so rare, in fact, that when an obese Swissy appeared in public, people would just stare...and I'm talking Swiss - who always stare at everything anyway - and foreigners alike.

A couple of years ago, we began noticing that the Swiss were beginning to look a bit pudgy. Unlike America, where people wear clothes that are too big for them in order to hide the bulge, the Swiss seem to insist on squeezing into their old, too-small clothes which results in considerable public displays of muffin-tops.

Too-tight, low-rise jeans + midriff-baring top + love handles = BAD LOOK! Trust me on this one!

So, let's see here...

There are a little over 7 million people in Switzerland of which about twenty-five percent are foreign. If one-third of the Swiss are overweight, then that comes out to nearly 1.8 million people. There are currently 645,000 Swiss living abroad... The skiing in Switzerland is currently in a bad state due to the lack of snow. This means that the Swiss aren't able to work off all the fondue they're eating at this time of year...

I'm predicting that by this April...there will only be approximately twelve thin Swiss left. Of course, they'll all be complaining about how fat Americans are.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Blues...

Even though we were both sick for most of last week, we actually managed to accomplish something...

The NYC puzzle has been completed!

Yes, that bitch of a sky tormented me (and ME alone!) for countless hours, but I still shared "last piece" honors with Mrs. TBF. Aren't I nice?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Valentine Flu Bug...

That was one nasty flu bug we had this week. Lucky for me though, the worst of it was fairly short-lived. On Sunday, when TBF started coming down with the flu, I was hoping I could escape it's grippe (pun fully intended). But, by Tuesday night, I was starting to feel some of the symptoms. I was hoping I was just imagining it and that when I would wake up on Wednesday morning, it would be gone. Instead, I really started to feel body aches. But, I went to work for a couple of meetings and then finally gave in at about 3PM and went home to rest. Thursday AM was full on every move you make hurts kind of body aches, which lasted pretty much the entire day and yes, I did stay home from the office. I managed to get a lot done in a semi-prone position and did have a few phone calls. Luckily for me, TBF was feeling better on Thursday so he could take care of me - which he did. He made me soup and hot TheraFlu and a few cups of tea. Unfortunately, I'm pretty allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen, so pain relief is confined to acetaminophen based products. On Thursday night when I went to bed, I really wasn't sure I'd be able to make it to the office on Friday, but when I woke up after a 9 hour sleep (at 8AM), I actually felt - not bad! So, I decided to give it a go and head to the office, where, as the day went on I felt better and better. I still have a little cough - not ever as bad as TBF's was, and a tiny bit of congestion. By Friday night, I was feeling well enough for the wine-tasting we were invited to that evening and thought that a little (ha ha) wine would actually do me some good. After all - doesn't alcohol kill germs??? The wine tasting was a good end to a bad week and a great start to a weekend. Stay tuned for the Valentine's weekend of cooking. TBF is making a special dinner for me tonight and I'm making him a special dinner tomorrow night. I can smell the beautiful guinness chocolate cake he's baked and he's working away on a couple of surprise dishes right now. By the way...he's just taken his shirt off so it must be getting hot in that kitchen! Can't wait.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Stupid Foreigner: 2 Swiss Company: 0

If you'll recall from about two months ago, yours truly reigned supreme over the evil* Swiss property management company when push came to shove over paying a bill for the repair of our dryer.

Let it be known that I have triumphed, once again, in the never-ending battle of the "stupid" foreigner vs. the "we're right because we're Swiss" company.

Here's a very brief summary of what happened:

Dryer repairman repairs dryer and says vent is clogged.

Dryer repairman calls management company and tells them that the vent is clogged.

Random "vent unclogging" company calls me to tell me that they will come out in two days to unclog the vent.

I call management company to tell them that my dryer is working fine, my clothes are totally dry at the end of the dryer cycle, and I do not think the vent-unclogging work is necessary.

Management company lady tells me the owner wants to have the work done to prevent any possibility of moisture/mold damage.

I tell lady at management company that I will allow workers in only under the condition that the owner pays for the repair...because I think it's not necessary.

Lady at management company tells me that " will not have to pay for this repair."

Repair is performed by two chain-smoking men in jump suits with ridiculously high-tech apparatus (plumber's snake with a tiny camera on the tip). Total overkill!

So...what's the problem, you ask?

Two days ago, we received a bill for CHF 672.00!!! That's over $500 U.S.!!! Since I was sick, I wasn't really in the mood to stick my size-12 American shoe up the management company's ass, so I waited until today to give them a call.

I calmly explained the situation, and told the man that I shouldn't have to pay this bill. He immediately agreed, told me that I should never have received the bill, and told me to throw it away.

All's well that ends well, but I'm beginning to get a little suspicious. I'm beginning to think that the management company is just sending these bills to us hoping to get away with a fast one. Maybe they assume that we won't even question the bills, and that "the rich North Americans" will just pay them.

*Note: Our property management company isn't really evil. The people there are actually pretty friendly and helpful. AND...they are happy to speak English with me - which is a BIG plus! I just happen to think that they're also a bit...sneaky!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Going Back For More...

I just received an e-mail confirming a flight I booked last week for going to Chicago in April. I used 90,000 Aadvantage miles so that I could fly round-trip in Business Class. That leaves me with only a few thousand miles in my American account.

Mrs. TBF just booked two first-class, round-trip Tokyo tickets for October on British Airways; we're going to be going to Japan to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. These tickets required over 300,000 miles AND her gold coupons, and they pretty much wiped out her account.

I'd better make sure that I totally enjoy these flights, because I might have to (and it pains me to say it) (GASP!)...until we build up the miles again.

Getting back to Chicago...

I've been going through a bout of home-sickness lately, and I figured that I'd up the Chicago trips to three to four times per year. If you'll remember, I was just there at the end of January, I'll be going back in April, we'll probably both fly to Chicago in August and then drive up to Canada for my cousin's wedding, and then we've been talking about possibly going at the beginning of December.

I'm looking forward to seeing friends, playing with the nieces and nephew, hijacking their toys ("...just sit on Uncle TBF's lap while he attempts to beat his top score of 92!"), and eating all that good food.

Health Update...

King has made a quick recovery, and it seems like he's almost back to normal.

I seem to be getting sicker. Yesterday, it was the pounding headache. Today, it is a combination of chills and sweats, a dry cough, and burning lungs. I don't think it's time to go to the doctor yet, but I might reconsider if my health does not improve by tomorrow night.

Mrs. TBF? She told me last night that she wasn't feeling 100%. This morning, she said she felt sick, but had a meeting she absolutely had to attend. She ended up coming home from the office early and doing her work from home. Of course, Mrs. TBF is blaming me for the sudden downturn in her health. I, in turn, am blaming King for our ills.

So, here we sit with our steaming cups of Theraflu. King is snoring away on the sofa, Mrs. TBF is on a conference call, and I'm blogging away. Romantic, isn't it?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

F-Off, Young Greens!!!

After on-going, intense negotiations, Mrs. TBF and I have come to an agreement: the "For Sale" sign will go up in the Jeep window around September 1st.

Why then?

Well, I'll tell you why...

Mrs. TBF wants us (and I can't blame her) to keep the Jeep through the hottest part of summer so that she doesn't have to ride the tram home from work when it is hotter than a sauna and filled with passengers emitting nostril-hair and eyebrow singeing body odor AND old Swiss people who complain when one opens a window because they believe that wind causes illness.

The plan is that I will pick Sugar Mama up at work on the hottest days of July and August - as I have in previous years...because it's in my job description - and then, hopefully not too long after that, the chapter on Jeep ownership will come to a close.

At least that WAS the plan...

Wouldn't you know it? Now, those stinkin' Young Greens of Switzerland are trying to cause trouble for us four-wheel drive owners. Of course, "...the limits would only be applied to new registrations" (gee...that's swell of them!), but "...older vehicles [such as ours] would be allowed to stay on the road as long as their maximum speed was kept to 100 km/h."

Who the heck is going to want to buy our Jeep now???


Will the threat of strict limits on new four-wheel drive vehicles make our "grandfathered" Jeep...even MORE VALUABLE???

Woooo Hoo! Go, Young Greens!

Sick Day...

...times two!

King and I are both sick today. I began feeling flu-like yesterday morning ("...feed a cold, and feed a fever, right?"). This morning, I woke up (with the chills) to the sound of King throwing up what I thought was a hairball. Then, Mrs. TBF informed me that there were little drips of kitty diarrhea all over the house.


I have to say that since we adopted King back in 1991, he has rarely been sick. As a matter of fact, I don't recall him every being sick other than having to have an injection to clear the fur out of his digestive track.

So, I jumped out of the warm bed and started the fun task of going around the apartment wiping up all the little "chocolate" drips (...thank God for tile floors). King was kind of following me around, and he would stop from time to time and look as if he was going to...poo on the floor right next to me!!!


Now, King is normally one of the greatest litter box users in the history of all felines, so this abnormal behavior kind of startled me. I picked up the phone, called Dr. Buser, and got an appointment for 10:00 a.m.

It turns out that King has a bacterial infection. Dr. Buser gave King an antibiotic injection, AND an injection that stops his digestive track working for eight hours; apparently, this was to stop "the beast" from launching from both ends. Also, I'm not supposed to feed him for 24 hours, and he's only supposed to have 1 teaspoon of water at a time.

...good grief! How the Hell am I supposed to do that?

As I was loading King back into his crate, Dr. Buser told me "...zat zee wirus can NOT be transmeetted from zee cat to you, but zee bacteria CAN make you seek eef you do not take extra care by sanitising everyseeng!"


The worst part, after we got home, was that I had to go around (while sick) and sanitize the floor with bleach and wash a bunch of rugs and our duvet cover (...not a pretty sight!) while King...just slept on the warm tile floor in the bathroom.

It's raining sideways outside right now...

There's not enough food in the fridge for dinner...

I have to go to the grocery store in my weakened state...

Oh, woe is me!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Flashback: Moving On Up... that dee-luxe apartment, in the sky-y-y....

With very little fanfare, we just passed the two-year anniversary of moving into our apartment. We actually spent the first night in our apartment on January 22, 2005, but our lease began on February 1st (complicated partial monthly rent back-payment to previous tenants...don't ask). What that means is that since we signed a two-year lease, we are now free to move whenever we wish without penalty.

During the first two years of our lease, if we had wanted to move, the onus would have been on us to find new tenants to lease. Of course, the landlord would have to approve the new tenants, and...well...let's just say that it's a situation best avoided.

So now the state of things is such that all we have to do is give a three-month notice if we want to move. Not that we're looking to move in the immediate future, mind you, but it's nice to know that the option exists should the situation warrant.

To the flashback:

I went to the extensive TBF photo archives and blew the dust off of these pictures from moving week/January, 2005.

We woke up the first morning (with stiff backs) after sleeping on the trusty, old futon mattress; that space is now taken up by the "puzzle table". The waterbed was set up a few hours after that picture was taken because there was nooooo way I was sleeping on that mattress for a second night.

A few days later (on the coldest day of the year), I threw on my work gloves and helped (we were paying by the hour) the moving crew make the 7 km./4 mile move to the new apartment. My God! Look at how red my cheeks are. It kind of makes me wonder who was doing all the work. Well, apparently the pets were, because they were exhausted!

The picture with the moving crew makes me sad because this was when our dog - Dominique - began her quick spiral downward and began to have bouts of confusion (as you can obviously tell). We had to put her down less than two months later. King, on the other hand, is still terrorizing us with his toys during the night and feels the need to tap my nose every morning around 5:00 a.m. when he feels I should be getting up to feed him.

I wonder if this apartment is the last place King will ever live...

Thursday, February 08, 2007


...on the global warming bandwagon!

(Early Thursday morning: TBF walks into the bathroom singing "You're Beautiful!" with a cup of coffee for Mrs. TBF while she stands in front of the mirror putting on her makeup.)

Mrs. TBF: "Will you drive me to work today?"

TBF: " We have to do our share to help stop global warming!"

Finding TBF...

Here's a list of recent keywords that enabled YOU - the random, loner, internet searcher - to find The Big Finn:

sauna etiquette america, sauna protocol switzerland, menards sauna, etc.
- Who knew that there are so many sauna lovers out there? More importantly, who knew that there are so many people out there who are concerned about proper sauna conduct? Maybe I can help. In America, people wear bathing suits in the sauna. In Switzerland, it's considered unhygienic to wear a bathing suit in the sauna (...not exactly sure why), so you go in naked and sit on a towel. That's right, people in North America...there are naked men and women TOGETHER in the sauna at my health club here in Basel.

turun sinappi - Another common keyword, and one of Finland's best kept secrets. Let me tell ya, there are A LOT of people out there searching for info on Finnish mustard. Let the worldwide distribution commence!

weight watchers points hooters wings - You're on the Weight Watchers diet? Forget about it! I'd say that one wing is equal to about half of your daily point total. I once made a batch of Hooter's wings from a "secret" recipe that I found on the internet. I'm not joking...a serving of wings has about a whole stick of butter in it. Just...forget about it!

famous swiss movie stars - ...not too many! See following keywords.

ursula andress - "famous" swiss movie star!

fennel seed health benefit fart - I'm not really sure how these keywords brought this person to my blog; I never fart!

Bob Neuenfeldt - Bob lived right behind us in Wheeling, Illinois from the late 60s to the mid-70s. Bob...was that you?

why gorilla pod sucks - The gorilla pod is the tiny, little tripod I used before I got my knew "quikpod". Sucks??? Isn't that a bit harsh? I doesn't totally suck, but it doesn't really grip too well either. I guess it just kind of semi-sucks.

what is fishbowl friday - EVERYBODY knows THAT!

kämp receptionist - This refers to the Hotel Kämp in Helsinki. she hot?

pronounce street shtreet - This really makes my blood boil. I hear it all the time on TV. First, rappers were pronouncing it this way. Then, I'd hear kids who were rapper-wannabes saying "shtreet". Now, I hear TV reporters saying it. It's pronounced "street"!!! There's no "h" in it, s'it 'ead!

what products does scarlett johansson use - hand sanitizer?
- Mmmmmmm...Scarlett Johansson!!!

"blog" AND "chicago" AND "tapas" - Wow! A little demanding, aren't we? You just want it ALL, don't you?

total shots grey goose bottle - I'm not sure...we lost count.

cheese cuckoo nazi gold green wing - I had no idea, so I did a Google search. My "So Clean...and Safe" post about Switzerland was the culprit. The "nazi gold green wing" was in one of the comments (thanks, Sara!).

...and my two favorites:

young lady corset weighed scale strict - I have no idea...

tantric massage german blog - ...sick and wrong! I'm sure I'm going to have nightmares about this one.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Get It While It's Cheap!

Beachfront vacation property for Lapland!

Maybe there is something to all this talk about global warming after all now that the Finnish Prime Minister has decided that the figures in the United Nations Climate Report are " alarming that they must be taken seriously."

Temperatures going up 9 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years in Finland? Heck, that would make Lapland almost balmy.

Now, if they could only do something about all those damned mosquitoes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Vince!

Believe it or not, I used to actually go to a barber to have my hair cut.

Yes, I actually once did have hair...

Mrs. TBF and I bought our first house in Elmhurst, Illinois in 1987. Shortly after moving in, I noticed that my hair was getting a bit scruffy, and I realized that I needed to find a local barber. As fate would have it, while making one of the first of what would be many drives to the local home-improvement store, I happened to pass a barber shop located only a couple of blocks away from our house - Vince's Barber Shop.

I liked the place the moment I walked in because: appointments....first come, first served...

...guns mounted on the walls, and usually a gun on the table next to the cash register that Vince would be cleaning while he was waiting for the next customer to come in. I'm not a "gun person", but I thought it was pretty cool!

...three barbers' chairs, but only one barber...

...stacks of gun, car, and girly-magazines...

It was truly a barber shop for manly men.

More often than not, while Vince ('s amazing what one can find with a Google search!) was cutting my hair, one of his buddies would pull up in front of the shop in his Cadillac that would take up two parking spots, come in to the shop, sit in one of the chairs, talk to Vince about guns - or some other pressing matter - for a few minutes, then...leave without getting a haircut. Yup...just stoppin' by for a little visit.

Vince, whose birthday is on February 2nd (I remember it every year!) was - and probably still is - a real character.

One time, while getting my hair cut about a week before Christmas, the following exchange took place:

TBF: "Did you buy your wife anything for Christmas?"

Vince: "Leather goods."

TBF: " a purse, or something?"

Vince: "No...a boot in da rear, and a belt in da mouth!"
I've used that one a million times...

Around 1995, I realized that I didn't have too much hair left, and I started buzzing my own hair with a trimmer. Then, in 1997, I began shaving my head. Vince's services were no longer needed, and I stopped going to "the" barber shop.

I wonder if he even noticed...

Zip ahead five years to late summer, 2000 when, shortly before moving to Switzerland, I stopped in to see Vince.

(TBF walks into Vince's Barber shop...)

Vince: "Holy shit!!!!"

TBF: "I just thought I'd stop by to let you know that I didn't leave you for another barber."

Vince: "Looks to me like your barber is a real asshole!"
I grabbed a seat, talked to Vince for a few minutes, told him I was moving to Switzerland, said goodbye, and walked out of his shop...

Yup...just stopped by for a little visit.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Waking up is hard to do...

Ok, I guess the words were really breaking up is hard to do...but this weekend it's waking up that's been hard to do. Why you ask...because I've been across a million time zones in the past two weeks and the old (over 40) body of mine decided it needed to sleep more than usual, so I let it! In the past two weeks I've been in and out of EST(GMT-5), CST(GMT-6), GMT, GMT+1, GMT+6 and then back to GMT+1 (home). Where you ask...Greenville, SC, Barrington, IL, London, Basel, Bangkok, Basel. And, this also involved two overnight plane rides, which are never feel-goods. So, by the time I arrived home Friday AM around 9:30, I was pretty tired. But, did I go to bed? No, I went to work and stayed in the office until about 18:30. Dedicated? No, insane is more like it. But, when I arrived home for the weekend it was such a nice atmosphere with TBF and Andy having just finished their Friday night 'tinis (short for martinis if you didn't get it) and having selected a nice bottle of red to open next. So, I joined in for a glass (or 3) of red and some snacks. Then Di and the amazing "Mr. Limpit" kids, Sam and Alie, who had just finished 116 laps of swimming each arrived to join the fun. We had what I would call a truly impromptu Friday evening with TBF's delicious vegetable soup supplemented with some pesto pasta. We all enjoyed a nice evening. Then it bed, glorious bed! I didn't wake up until about 11AM on Saturday! 11 hours of sleep! It was so luxurious...and TBF brought me coffee in bed. Isn't he the best?
After that, I joined TBF's walking obsession by donning my new pedometer for the first time. It was a beautiful day - a 4 on the TBF weather scale only due to some clouds mixed in to a mostly sunny day. We had a lovely walk, and I'm proud to say that I had over 15,000 steps yesterday between the two brisk walks and the normal walking around the apartment. Later in the day, I had an opportunity to do something I haven't done in a while - cook. Nothing major, but TBF and I collaborated on a nice Pot Au Feu, enjoyed some wine and then...crash! I slept until about 10:45 this AM, and since the Bears are in the Super Bowl tonight, I feel pretty good about that, since it's going to be a late night for us. Here, the game starts at about 1AM, and as you probably read earlier this week, TBF was in training for staying up late...all blown by having to pick me up Friday AM at the train station. So, we'll see how well we do. But anyway, did we relax today? Sort of... We walked...all the way to where our old apartment is and we had a coffee with Di, who then made the super "Mr. Limpit" kids accompany us about half way home on their bikes. How far did we walk today - well, by 16:30 I already had over 15,000 steps on my pedometer and decided to take it off for the rest of the day. By the way, it was a weather 5 today!!!
I'm not sure if TBF and I will be able to watch the whole Super Bowl, but I can guarantee that either way, tomorrow...waking up will be even harder to do.