We'll Always Have Paris....And Rome....And Paris....And Crippling Indecision

Wow, you all have some strong opinions about Europe, huh? Thank you, thank you, thank you for those great comments and votes and suggestions; we were tickled pink to hear your thoughts, although REALLY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, 48 to 52 percent? As Janet so eloquently said in the comments, "it's like a presidential election around here." Oh, I know: 52 trumps 48, but still, I was kind of hoping it might be more like 78 to 22 or something, so that we'd be forced to confront some sort of really clear-cut answer.

Speaking of answers.....um, we haven't got one yet. We still haven't come to any kind of proper decision, despite all your spot-on observations, and I oscillate so frequently between Paris and Rome and Paris and Rome and Paris and Rome that I feel I'm going to give myself a nasty case of whiplash at any moment. Most of the time I'm in the Paris camp (ease of taking the train, romantic notions of eating pain au chocolat on leaf-strewn streets, Metrodad's hilarious but entirely untrue assertion that they recently opened a Trader Joe's and an Ikea on the Champs Elysées), but every so often I'll find myself thinking BUT ROME! IT'S SO CLOSE! and then the whole annoying process starts again. Sean, it should be said, has taken great satisfaction in the fact that The Internet Says Rome, and is crowing about how we have to go now, look, 52% of people say we do. I'm not entirely convinced he didn't just vote all 306 times to prove his point that ROME! IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER!, but how can I argue with math?

In other news, I saw a policewoman's bottom yesterday, and hey, if that isn't a segue deserving of some sort of prize, then I don't know what is. You know how when you were little and you'd see a teacher at the grocery store and your little mind was totally BLOWN, because whoa, seriously, Mrs. Webb buys milk? And lives in a house? And exists in some dimension outside of the classroom? Well, that's kind of how it was when I saw the policewoman's bottom, which was---I should probably clarify---in the locker room at the gym, while she was changing out of her uniform (with the gun in the holster and everything!) into some rather spiffy pilates pants.

I mean, sure, I guess I must have always known policewomen wore pink plaid Hanes No-Ride-Up cotton briefs under their austere navy-blue trousers, but it did serve to make this particular policewoman---and thus all police personnel in general---a smidge less threatening, especially since the cotton briefs in question had certainly, uh, seen better days. Perhaps the next time you're pulled over on the freeway for speeding (or, you know, busted for that meth lab in your basement), it might calm your nerves to picture the officer in his or her laundry-day undies. Yes, that would help immeasurably, I would think.

And while we're on the subject of my gym, it was evidently some sort of Hippie's Day Out there yesterday (on the one day I forgot my iPod Shuffle!) because the overhead speaker system, which is normally cranking out the Beyonce and Madonna like nobody's business, yesterday played, in this exact order: two Grateful Dead songs, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Purple Haze, that one about going to San Francisco and wearing some flowers in your hair, and then (I kid you not) freaking Stairway To Heaven.

Stairway To Heaven! At the gym! Have you ever tried working out to Stairway to Heaven? It was like someone's acid-tripping Uncle Moondrops had wandered in off the street, hijacked the PA system, and slipped in a tape his friend Kenny had made him in 1972. I mean, I suppose Stairway was at least vaguely appropriate, given I was climbing at a very steep incline on the elliptical machine at the time, but still. What gives, 24 Hour Fitness? Ever heard of Shakira?

Jul 01, 2008

First? Because I positively feel like a Dave Barry blog reader.

Also, I am very pleased with you about the hippie thing.

Jul 01, 2008

I haaaaaaate the music they play at the gym. Every so often I'll, think to myself, "Oh it can't be that bad!" I'll take one ear bud out and listen for a few minutes, hear "To the left, to the left..." for the 4000th time and groan.

BUT, I begrudgingly admit I'd rather hear that song than - any of the ones you listed.

I voted for Rome. Sorry. :(

Jul 02, 2008

You had quite a day at the gym! I think the laundry day underwear might have been cause to make a citizen's arrest. OH, and I voted for Paris.
House of Jules

Jul 02, 2008

My gym is my small town's community recreation center and it is very mom and kid focused...If I'm ever there early on a weekday and it's not every crowded they will pipe OPRAH over the speakers and turn her on EVERY SINGLE TV.

You ever try working out to Oprah? I don't recommend it.

Jul 02, 2008

hello, hollee... please let me know where's that market (the one with the bags and the hanging lamp you liked) i'm off to berlin on saturday and would love to go there! great blog. cheers, maria

Jul 02, 2008

As much as I loath popular music, I have to admit that when it's playing during a workout, it's so much fun! I've been listening to This American Life during my new mini trampoline workouts (sooo fun!), but the only time I really get into it is between segments, when music is playing. Eesh.

Oh, and I hate to admit this, but I voted for Rome. There's something so romatic in the idea of only having a couple days to spend in a new city, who's language you don't speak, with someone you love.

Jul 02, 2008

I just voted for Rome! I tried to yesterday, but every time I opened your blog the internet would make a "bump!" noise and bring up some stupid message about errors and wouldn't let me view your page beyond what I could read on the screen without scrolling down. So, I knew there was a vote, but I couldn't get down to the poll until today.

Anyhoo, both of your points are valid, but I'd still say go for Rome and do as the Romans do.

And yes, your hair does look big in that picture, but it looks really cute and tousled.

Jul 02, 2008

gym? what's a gym?

well, if i knew what a gym was...i'd say playing stairway to heaven is against gym code. or something.

Jul 02, 2008

Maria -- it wasn't really a market, it was just a few shops on the side of the street. And unfortunately, I can't even remember which street it was, though I know it was in Prenzlauerberg, so maybe just stroll around there and see what you stumble upon. And then buy that lamp for me.

Jul 02, 2008

I'm fairly new to your blog, but I wanted to say that I love it! I totally feel like we would be friends in real life! Okay, now I'm starting to creep you out probably. Anyway, I voted for Rome because I've been to Paris and haven't been to Rome and Italy sounds fabulous!

Jul 02, 2008

There is a public radio station on the west coast that promises as long as the supporters continue their contributions they will never play Stairway to Heaven. Robert Plant liked it so much he became a member.
Now I have to recover from laughing so hard. Thanks for the much needed lift in from a perfectly maddening day.

Jul 02, 2008

I have a personal question for you... My significant other is (G) British, and when I read something that he wrote (or a Minnie Driver interview) my brain switches to hearing his (or Minnie Driver's) accent. BUT, since I have never met you, your blog is in am American accent in my head. Am I doing this all wrong? How British of an accent should I be reading in (in my head of course) if any?

Abigail M Schilling
Jul 02, 2008

I like to guess which songs are going to come on rotation at the gym. I'll pick two songs that are playing a ton lately and bet on what will play.

a) Bleeding Love only
b) No Air only
c) BOTH!

If I get it right, I get to run for 5 less minutes. Sad, I know.

Jul 02, 2008

Leslie: I think pretty British. Um, wait, here is a video in which I speak a little! Maybe that will help:

Jul 02, 2008


Jul 02, 2008

But ... did she just leave the gun in the locker, or did she bring it to pilates class? I'm scared.

Jul 02, 2008

There's also the video of you filming Sean while he's sitting in front of the computer trying to do something and you say "god, you're so booooring!" LOL I always hear that in my head when I try to put on an English accent. It helps, it really does. LOL.

Now I'm going to have to go back through the archives to find it.

Jul 02, 2008

I voted for Rome, despite the place I stayed there having been the worst hostel in all the world, but only from a you haven't been there yet perspective. And while I loves me some pain au chocolat, Rome has pizza AND gelato AND tira misu. AND tira misu-flavored gelato which we got somewhere near the Spanish Steps and you should really try to find it if you go. That is all.

Jul 02, 2008

I quit the gym in part because one employee really enjoyed Cher. Sure, there were other reasons, but Cher was the final nail in the gym coffin.

Jul 03, 2008

I am dying to know what happened to the gun as well. You can't bring a gun into the conversation and just leave it there. (Isn't there a playwriting rule about that?) I mean, could there be a gun and a holster just sitting in a locker at my gym RIGHT NOW?

Jul 03, 2008

I was out of town, so I didn't get to vote...but I'm all for Roma! I love Paris, because its Paris...but it never quiet lived up to the wonderfully romantic and fantastic "Paris" I created in my mind. While Roma isn't my favorite Italian city (that inconsequential honor is bestowed upon Venice), I love it every time I am there. Plus, since you know a little French you won't have any trouble getting around the Italian basics! (All the romance languages are so similar.)
And, you know, since it IS such a hard decision, you can't go wrong...either way, you end up with a beautiful, romantic city!

Jul 03, 2008

I used to hear these two stuuupid songs at the 24 hour fitness on Van Ness a number of years ago - over and over and over and over. Horrible bubblegum pop. Over time, I started to hum along, and next thing I knew, I totally loved them.

About a year later, I learned that these were the two big Spice Girl singles, and thus started a long love affair with the Fabulous Five.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I love the Spice Girls, and I have the gym to thank.