Friday, November 22, 2013

Sick in Roma

Minimal tourism and shenanigans in Roma, as I slept 20 hours a day for 3 days straight.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Der amerikanische Comic Künstler Tim Fish signiert seine Comics

Dashing to the shop with my paper, full pen set, and tight shirt, I arrived to a very full house. Not all for me, but some were, and that was nice.

Turned out to be one of my better "signings" gathering about as many as might show up if I did a "presentation/reading" as part of the night. 

It was a great time...the guys who showed up (a mix of existing fans, people who bought my book in advance, and new readers) sat and we chatted at length until the queue was such that the person seated with me politely moved on. 

I joined such luminaries as Ralf Koning with my drawing (above) in the Lowenherz guest book.

A few of us went to dinner after, with the shop owners too. Among them, the one fan I knew in I had in Vienna (until he moved), Alexander, who gave the best bear hug ever.

No costumes, but an incredible Halloween!

PS the only dressed up people we saw seemed to be high schoolers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

This is Vienna!

The day of my signing, I heard from Betram—he couldn't make it! So, we met for a delightful coffee at the theatre/coffeebar Top Kino. Knowing they have an extensive menu, I asked the server for a recommendation. During the signing, I drew her reaction for the collection of one of the attendees.

While she was a little harsh, she warmed up and was really nice and charming. I get that culturally, she would have found it presumptuous to recommend something to me. 

I always hated recommending films when I worked at the video store, so I also get the vibe that you don't want to be responsible for a choice not to the person's liking.

So, I had a capuccino. It was good.
I never did get to have schnitzel with Bertram, which is fine on one hand, as I don't eat beef. But the way he invited me was super-cute.

It was also super-cute that his Italian Greyhound was named Leopold. They have a classic boy-dog relationship.

But I had to dash to get back to my apartment and grab my things for the signing later that afternoon.

The morning walk w/Xavier, the meet-up with Bertram & Leopold, the coffee, the signing, the dinner...made this one of the banner days of the trip!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

München Bowl

You may recall Xavier and I have tried to bowl wherever we go. It may seem like a silly thing to do when travelling abroad, but it's a fun activity and the subtle and not so subtle differences regionally is pretty interesting.

Not too many opportunities within the city limits of München, but just west of the hooker and casino district is a charming transitional neighborhood. A bit run down, but containing hipster elements. You know the sort of neighborhood...perfect for boutique graphic design and architecture firms.

Here was the pub Zur Schwalbe, with its lone bowling alley, reminiscent of the Sheep's Heid in Edinburgh.

The balls were larger than candlepin balls, but smaller than standard 10 pin ones, with 2 finger holes.

There were but 9 pins, forming a diamond pattern. They were connected by cord, so when it was time to reset, the cords pulled the pins up. Sometimes they struggled, giving the fun imagery of dancing pins.

The rule book, containing like 35 different games one could play, was all in German, so we made up our own rules. We each won one game, and we tied one, thus preserving our friendship.

The next day, we trained to Füssen, to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. It was a lovely day trip, as the Bavarianside is lovely. The castle is situated beautifully, with stunning views of the structure and the mountains. But the house was largely unoccupied, so it didn't have many "stories" to tell. Long lines, hurried tour, little information. I stress, it was a nice day trip. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Men of München

The "in" 'do for gay boys across Europe (as seen by English boys, German, Austrian at least), is the close crop on the sides, and quite long on top. Either shaggy as Christian sports, or coiffed up as the below drawing shows, or plastered back a la the 1920s.

Speaking of the fellow below, he was interesting. Maybe 20 years old, 6'2" with a 27" waist, tight T-neck, and pants that when the light hit them just right you realized they were vinyl tight-mesh jeans. Best of all, the sparking bedazzled trainers. Xavier dubbed him "the Dazzler."

Next night we saw a fellow in all-white, who Xavier said, "he looks like the scientist from [Back] to the Future." I said, "oh, Doc Brown." But then it hit me as I drew this, if he had the 'stache, he'd totally be Mark Twain.

Too late in the trip did Christian explain how to order beer in München. The standard is to order "a beer" to produce a half-liter of Augustiner, the standard beer in town. It's light enough to take on several half-liters. But Xavier had been ordering us "white beer" which produces a half liter of something not very white or very light and not easy to finish even one half liter with a heavy German meal.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

München Nude Beach

Here we were, innocently walking through the lovely parks of München, when we stumbled on to a site of horror.

First, let me explain how lovely the parks are in München: imagine swatches of Vermont plunked into the big city of your choice. That's it. Minimal fancy layout, just lovely nature. Sure, some canals, bridges, and what-not. But it definitely felt like the country within the city.

And it was at the end of peak foliage season, the city was alive with reds, golds, orange leaves. Stunning.

Stopping along the bridge, I noted to Xavier, "look down there, they are all nude or half-nude."

It required a closer look from the adjoining bridge: yes, keep in mind each bridge has full access to this place.