Dishevelment Update, the final chapter

Here we go.


In March of 2020, I had not had a haircut since late January or early February. Since I was having to play the role of octogenarian Adam in As You Like It, I decided not to get it cut until the show was over and I was cruising down the Rhine River.

One week before opening, As You Like It — and the whole world — shut down, and there was no opportunity to get my hair cut.

By June:

Not bad. As I’ve been telling people for four years, at first I couldn’t get a haircut, and then I was just being stubborn, and then I went feral.

A year later, spring of 2021:

You wish you were this sexy.

Which brings us to today:

All washed and dried…

I’ve loved having long hair, but today, finally, I am getting it cut. The Longhairs is a company of longhaired surfer-hippie-dudes in San Diego from whom I buy my hair products — and on March 16 they will attempt to break their own Guiness Book world record of most hair collected (by weight) in a 24-hour period. Their Great Cut is a fundraiser; their cause is kids with hair loss, which they support year-round with portions of each sale. (Obviously, the collected hair is going to companies who supply wigs for kids with hair loss.) I love their goofy, open, and positive style; I will miss buying hair ties from them.

Since I cannot be in San Diego on the 16th, I have to mail mine in by March 1 to make sure it’s there in time to be counted. I’m not sure at all that any child wants this ultrafine gray wispy stuff, but even if they end up tossing it I will have done my part to support the effort.

I will post an update soon.

More Adventures in Hoarding

Having emptied out our storage unit, we are now faced with dealing with the boxes of personal papers that we stuck out-of-sight-out-of-mind for twenty years. (There’s also a bunch of furniture as well, but that is not my concern at the moment.)

You will recall that I came across a box of materials from our 2007 William Blake’s Inn workshops, and I actually took that to a meeting on Friday with potential collaborators to show exactly what I mean by workshopping the world premiere.

There were also two boxes/tubs of empty three-ring binders, and given that we now live in the space science future I’m having a hard time re-homing them. But look at these:

These held the scripts for some of the very first shows I directed in Newnan. (Time’s Wingéd Chariot alert: The first show I directed was Georges Feydeau’s Hotel Paradiso, in the summer of 1975. I will spare you the mental math — that was 50 years ago.) Of the actors involved in these shows, several are still doing theatre, and one ended up on Broadway.

Then there was this:

It was attached to the script for the “Epilogue” of William Blake’s Inn, and I know it had nothing to do with my magnum opus. But I have absolutely no clue what I was working on that I would need this quodlibet of songs — and what’s with the ? on p. 12?

In the storage tub of music that I was surprised to discover in the back of the storage unit, there were all these notebooks:

BACK IN MY DAY, WE HAD TO SCRIBBLE OUR MUSIC ON ACTUAL PAPER AND JUST HOPE IT SOUNDED RIGHT. I actually had a music pen, a fountain pen with a broad nib that allowed me to write noteheads and staves and flags and rests that looked almost like real music.

Eventually, though, I used pencil and paper to scribble ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS before transcribing them into Finale and beating them into shape. Here’s the sketch for “Wise Cow Makes Way, Room, and Believe,” from William Blake’s Inn:

What else was in those notebooks?


The real treasure trove?

My manuscript copies of William Blake’s Inn. I’ve put them in a portfolio binder, and I seem to be missing “A Rabbit Reveals My Room,” “The Man in the Marmalade Hat Arrives,” “Two Sunflowers Move Into the Yellow Room,” and the above-mentioned “Make Way.” I don’t know whether I ever created an actual manuscript for those pieces; they may be in that tub or in the study somewhere.

Just look at what is still in the tub:

I see at least three never-finished projects there, and there are scraps of ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS littered throughout. My current plan is to take this tub with me on the Lichtenbergian Retreat in a couple of weeks and go through all of them, transcribing bits that are still only on paper and cataloging them all. And then?

I don’t know. Put them back in the tub. Store it in the basement or something. Wait for the biographers to show up.

Adventures in hoarding

In order to make our transition to the hoarding lifestyle more efficient, it was decided[1] that we would take our basement playroom and turn it into a storage unit.

Part of that impetus was having to clear out my mother-in-law’s room at her retirement facility after her move to a rehab center; we had to have a place to store that furniture, some of which are “family pieces.” But it was also decided[1] that we would shut down the storage unit and bring all that stuff home as well. [To be sure, this was the correct decision.]

We did at least hire the sturdy men of A Better Way Moving to do the heavy lifting, i.e., all of it.

So here are some thoughts.

The storage unit contained not only furniture (“family pieces”) but also boxes of papers and files and certificates from our two careers. (Obviously we were paying to store a bunch of stuff that only our biographers in the multiverse would ever want to go through.) I decided that I would load all my boxes into my car and deal with them myself.

The first box I pulled off the shelf was full of drawings and stuff from the 2007 William Blake’s Inn workshop. (Also, since I haven’t really announced it on this blog, look!)

So we’re going to regard that as a positive omen. And then, in a box of empty notebooks, the first one I opened had this:

The script of the “Epilogue” from that 2007 performance. It’s enough to make you believe in fate.

What else did I schlep home?

I had this box of empty notebooks as well as a larger plastic tub of them. Why?

And the plaques/awards… Many are framed certificates — STAR Teacher awards from the school, system, and regional levels, that kind of thing — and can be removed and filed. (Hold that thought.) There were one or two awards I don’t remember winning. Innovative teacher of the year? I suppose I was, but I don’t remember achieving that.

The plaques themselves… What do you do with them? You can’t burn them. More work is required, but I can’t see any use for them other than maybe take a photo for the historical record and then dump them. (Full disclosure: I currently have in our bedroom awards acknowledging my contributions to the State STAR Student program; the Governor’s Honors Program; and the general well-being of our community in the form of the Richard Brooks Visionary Award of Distinction, a tale full of giggles if you only knew. Somewhere in the house is a plaque from the Newnan Theatre Company.)

I also brought home some antique technology:

l to r: My father’s 8mm film projector, my SE/30 Macintosh, and my PowerBook 190 (my first laptop). Whatever am I supposed to do with these?

There is also a tub of music, which surprised me since I thought I retrieved all my old scores months ago. I’ll report back when I’ve had time to go through those. Otherwise, there’s a box of 8mm home movies from last century, and a tub of GHP material which I will have to go through.

Then, in a stack of larger framed items, there was this.

This unprepossessing piece of art was actually an award from some art show when I was a youth. My art teacher, the unforgettable Tom Powers, was always over-the-top in his descriptions of pieces that he would bring in for us to see, and his description of this was in that vein:

Transcription: “PEARS” / Original ink painting by…. / LILI RENE’ / Famous French artist whose work has been exhibited all over the world and sold for some of the finest collections….Known for the boldness and originality of her work… / Market Value….. $25.00

More than 50 years ago, children, a $25.00 painting was kind of a big deal.

Still, I never really liked it, and I’ve never had it framed or displayed. I mean, “bold and original”? Even at 14 (or whenever) I thought it was mediocre. It was consigned to the storage unit.

But my curiosity was piqued: Who was this Lili René? If she was in fact a famous French artist whose work was exhibited all over the world and included in some of the finest collections, we ought to be able to track her down on the intertubes, oui? Mais non, mon cher, the googles failed us. If you search “lili rené” without the quotation marks — fun fact, if you put your search term in quotation marks, search engines search for exactly and only that term — you find Lily Reneé (Phillips), an Austrian-born American artist who was a famous comic book artist.

As tempting as it is to try to make that work, I don’t think this painting is by a world-famous artist. For one thing, I don’t think Tom Powers would be confused about Lili’s nationality, and Lily was in no way French. For another, Lily would have been substantially well-known at the time I was awarded this painting, and I think Tom would have spelled her name correctly if not outright acknowledged her actual claim to fame.

So Lili René remains a mystery.

Let’s have a quick look at the rest of our hoarding, and then I have a point to make.

In the hall:

These will actually go back into the guest bedrooms, but one of those is cluttered at the moment from stuff we had to move out of our bathroom to have the tub converted into a walk-in shower. Hi ho, the hoarding life!

In the playroom storage unit:

You can’t see them, but there is a second row of shelves behind the visible ones. Very tidily done, I must say. Plans are to make the family pieces available to family, and then to our neighbors, and then…

There’s some emotional baggage as well, of course. First and foremost, you cannot help but consider the reduction of a life as you move your mother-in-law’s much-reduced possessions out of her retirement facility apartment — itself a reduction from her suite here in our house, which was another reduction from my in-laws’ comfortable house in Abingdon, VA, and yet still more expansive than her current bed in the rehab center.

Then it dawns on you that you’ve started the same process. We jokingly call it “death-shedding,” our version of Swedish death cleaning, and that’s what it comes down to. I have all these memories stuck in boxes: files, scores, lesson plans, thank you notes, encomia, official documents, photographs… Where do they go? It’s not as if any university or think tank is waiting to receive and preserve them. At some point they must go to the landfill, right? Why not now? …

Ah, the musings of the agéd — how does one choose to reduce one’s own life? In The Lion in Winter, Henry II’s sons are in prison awaiting what they are sure is going to be a death sentence. Richard is fretting about his final image, and the cynical Geoffrey sneers, “As if the manner of one’s going matters!” To which Richard replies, “When the going is all there is, it matters.”

That was meant to be deep. Your mileage may vary. At any rate, I’ll keep you posted on our adventures in hoarding.


[1] Passive voice used deliberately.

Cocktails: The Chartreuse Test

If you’re into craft  cocktails at all, you know that green Chartreuse vanished during the pandemic and is now slowly returning to the shelves, albeit at horrendous prices. It seems that the Carthusian monastery that has made it since 1737 had a literal come-to-Jesus meeting and decided that they would dial back their commitment to supplying the world with one of its essential liqueurs. Ergo, supply < demand = higher prices. Like $100/bottle prices.

Naturally, our brave bartenders and cocktail writers have been feverishly writing articles about the Next Best Substitute for green and yellow Chartreuse. In my bar I already had Boomsma Cloosterbitter, and on a recent jaunt to Little Five Points in Atlanta I popped into the package store there and was stunned to see the Faccia Brutto Centerbe — I had heard that it was as hard to find as the real stuff.

So the other night I had a direct taste test, making a small Bijou[1] out of each one.

How small? I used only .25 oz of each ingredient — no way was I going to either 1) drink three full Bijous; or 2) pour out a drink containing green Chartreuse, what, are you crazy??

Above you see a quarter-ounce of each liqueur: Centerbe, Cloosterbitter, and Chartreuse. The Cloosterbitter is actually a little greener than the Chartreuse. Flavorwise, Centerbe and Cloosterbitter are very similar to Chartreuse. There are subtle differences, but on the whole I think we’ll be fine using the other two in most cocktails calling for Chartreuse.

Here are the three mini-Bijous, identical in appearance, and again, pretty much the same in taste. There were very subtle differences, but my palate is not that refined (nor am I that driven) that I’m going to nail those differences down when all three cocktails were perfectly yummy. If I handed you the Centerbe or Cloosterbitter version, you wouldn’t know it if I didn’t tell you.

Last night I tried my own Smoky Topaz: 1.5 oz barrel-aged gin (Tom Cat preferred), .75 oz yellow Chartreuse, .25 oz green Chartreuse (Cloosterbitter this time), .75 oz Averna Amaro.

Again, as tasty as with actual green Chartreuse.

But you have already spotted a weakness in my plan: All this time I’ve been hoarding green Chartreuse without giving a thought to the yellow… and now I’m about to be out of yellow Chartreuse with no backup.

More work is required.


[1] Bijou: 3/4 oz each of gin (I prefer barrel-aged for the Bijou), sweet vermouth, and green Chartreuse

A lovely little ritual

Several years ago I downloaded an app called Sundial onto my iPhone, and it has created a lovely little ritual for me.

What does Sundial do? It tells you everything you’ve ever needed to know about the movements of the sun and the moon: rise, set, peak, phases, length of day/night, solstices/equinoxes — you name it, Sundial’s got it.

I downloaded it so that I could find out when the times for the 3 Old Men labyrinth ritual at burns should be: solar noon, sunset, and an hour past. (You can set the date for which you need info, so it’s like time travel.)

There’s more: behind the front screen, you can set alarms/alerts for different events. I set an alarm for sunset, choosing a little owl hoot as the sound, so that now, every day, if I haven’t silenced my phone, there will come a soft, sweet double hoot, reminding me and anyone in hearing range that the sun has gone.

It’s a quiet reminder that this huge planet that I live on continues its revolutions and its orbit whether or not I’m paying attention — and it helps me pay attention. The days get shorter; the sun pauses for a few days, and then the days get longer, until the sun pauses again and we repeat the cycle.

Throughout the year, I am usually either cooking supper or having a cocktail or both when the sun sets, and in my circle we’ve started raising a glass when the owl hoots. Acknowledge the passing of time…

So far behind…

The past couple of months have been a drag, which you may have suspected after my account of our trip to Germany in December broke off mid-trip. For that I can only say that the wifi in the Motel One chain is weird and unreliable, and it was cold.

Then the holidays, and more cold, and so much crap being sprayed about by whatever fan we as a society have been cursed with that I couldn’t see sinking myself even further into nonaction (and not the good kind) by ranting about it here, plus all kinds of paralysis over on my Lichtenbergian blog due to the impending possibility of a world premiere for William Blake’s Inn, and soon you’re talking about real stagnation here.

So I am now going to raise myself out of my torpor by talking about an amusing kind of failure, a backlog of cocktails.

Some background: I subscribe to several emails from websites like and which send me recipes nearly every day. I’ll go and look them over, and if I think one might appeal to me, I copy the recipe into a word processing document that is always open on my desktop. When the page is full, I print it out and start experimenting.

That’s the theory. The reality? See this photo?

On the right, my bar book. On the left, twenty-one pages of cocktails that have built up over the past year or so. Either I don’t get around to making them, or I’ve run out of a key ingredient or there’s some syrup or tincture you have to make first… You get the idea.

How bad is it?

On those twenty-one pages there are 189 cocktails.

Of those 189 cocktails, I have approved 26 of them and eliminated 14, i.e., I have tried 40. That means that I have made only 21% of the cocktails that I claimed to be interested in.

I hereby commit to doing better.

Germany 2023: Day 5 & 6 probably

Yesterday in Munich, in the block where we ate lunch at a very good burger place, there was a movie theatre. This is what was scheduled for Sunday night:

The silent era masterpiece Metropolis with a live orchestra? Yes, please. My only consolation was that it was no doubt canceled because of the snow. Everything was canceled because of the snow that everyone seems to think is so pretty.

Otherwise, there would have been plenty to do in Munich of an evening besides wander the stalls of the Weihnachtsmarkt and sip glühwein. One theatre had a production of Cenerentola, for example, Rossini’s version of Cinderella and one of my favorites.

So when we last left our intrepid band, the cliffhanger was whether they would be able to escape Munich and make it to Stuttgart, the next stop on the tour. In a sequence worthy of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles they made it: four cabs to the bus station, and a 2-hour+ bus ride to Stuttgart (plus a subway ride to the main train station and a walk to the hotel).

Around Munich the snow was still thick:


But by the time we got to Stuttgart, there was no snow on the ground, Gott sei dank!

After a short break, we headed out to the Christmas market. I will state for the record that Stuttgart’s market is to be preferred over Munich’s. It seems more relaxed with a much broader selection of wares than Munich’s. I can state this with confidence because we immediately bought a bunch of stuff, which was not the case in Munich.

Here, have some photos:

Yes, that is a children’s Ferris wheel, with seats that look like Christmas tree ornaments.

We ate at the Alte Kanzlei, a well-regarded restaurant featuring Schwabian cuisine. It was very tasty. On the wall, one of my favorite glitches in the Matrix: the random use of English in another language:

Bottom line: Oldtimerturen durch Stuttgars Weinberge.

We explored the Market thoroughly, making some fun purchases because NEVER TOO MANY CHRISTMAS KENNETH, and then heading back to the hotel and its lovely gin bar.

How dedicated a gin bar is this bar? When I asked the bartender in this one if he could make a Manhattan, not only had he never heard of the drink, he had no idea what rye was. (They did have Bulleitt bourbon, so I used that to build on the young man’s knowledge base.)


No real reporting for Wednesday, because I had a bit of an upset digestive system. Nothing Immodium couldn’t cure, but I realized it too late to take the meds and be settled in time to catch the train. I settled for a quiet day in Stuttgart while everyone else headed off for a charming day in Tübingen. (My Lovely First Wife found THE SHOES THAT CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN EUROPE KENNETH, so it was probably just as well that I was in the hotel reading Terry Pratchett.)

Have another glitch in the Matrix, a major one:

This is a sign on a store, one of several. The store builds wooden furniture and makes that fact its identity. But did you catch it? It’s a tree story. A freaking pun in English, and only in English. One’s head spins, it truly does.

Once everyone else was back, the two of us chose to go to Mauritius, a “beach bar,” where indeed all the cocktails are tiki cocktails in English: Zombie, Beachcomber, Sex on the Beach, etc. The food was good; we eschewed the fruity drinks.

Back to the parts of the Market we missed, including the great plaza with a light show:

The column in particular puts on a computer-sequenced show that’s delightful.

Very nice things at the section of the market we covered: antiques, quality goods, and this charming decoration:

The three discs turn, giving the illusion of skiers schussing down the mountain. Did we buy it? Not at all. But it was cute.

Germany 2023: Day 3, 4? Who the hell knows?

It’s been a right old time here in München, Deutschland. You may recall the general rejoicing over the SNOW, KENNETH, as we rode the train into Munich. Yeah, well, what you saw as picture-perfect Christmas-postcard delight, meteorologists saw as a 90-year record snowstorm, blanketing Germany in feet of snow and crippling transportation all across the nation.

But first, let me back up and tell you how our Saturday did not end in starvation but indeed turned out beautifully.

Our tour leader Jim texted us all that he had made reservations for an Italian restaurant nearby if anyone wanted to join, which we did. There were seven of us and we had a great time over drinks and dinner, getting to know each other and laughing. One of us, Debbie, misheard the waiter asking if “alles” wanted the tiramisu and thought he called her Alice, which is her name now I don’t make the rules.

(“Alice” also made an inadvertently — and hilarious — vulgar joke which I will not repeat here but which you definitely should ask me to repeat for you in person if you’re that kind of person. You know who you are.)

Alice went out for a smoke and returned to tell us excitedly that there was a carousel right down the street, plus one of the dozen Christmas markets that litter the city at this time of year.  Of course we headed out, only to find that she had scammed us: the carousel was kiddie-sized. But the market was real, and we had a blast wandering through it. It was much smaller and much more fun than the Marienplatz market downtown.

Finally we returned to the hotel and hit the bar.

You will recall that I had hit the hotel bar on Friday night and called it solid but basic. This was their bar book:

It listed all the whiskeys, rums, vodkas, etc., that they stocked, plus a handful of basic cocktails. But it didn’t list the gins, of which there seemed to be dozens. I thought that was odd.

On Saturday night, we headed back to the bar after that long day, where I discovered:

I was in a gin bar! This bible contained all the gins they stocked…

… including its type, its botanicals, where it’s made, and the recommended tonic water for a gin & tonic. And you see that half-page bit in the center? Those are regional gins. I suddenly didn’t mind that a) Munich does not seem to be blessed with solid craft cocktail bars; or b) that I might be trapped here for a while.


We were supposed to go to Nüremberg on Sunday, but transportation across Bavaria was largely shut down. What trains were running were overbooked as Germans tried to get home from Munich. We had to cancel any of our plans, which included my visiting the Ayers gin distillery and buying more of one of the most delicious gins I’ve ever bought. Ugh.

I am omitting our visit to the Alte Peter church, because it triggered my inner Marxist and I’d like to keep this positive.

We went to the Residenz, the in-town palace of the ruling Wittelsbach family back in the day. It was largely destroyed in WWII, so most of what you see is a reconstruction.

The main courtyard as we waited to enter was blanketed in snow. I found this cherub delightful:

Yes, there is a cherub under there.

The first room was the Grotto, a fantasy of one of the Wittelsbachs.

A close-up of one of the ladies in the decor:

Yeah, the whole thing was pretty grotesque. Yes, the whole thing is encrusted with seashells.

The first main hall:

Here the Wittlesbachs gave full rein to their imperial fantasies, with busts of all the Roman emperors and their appendages.

Me with my friend Marcus Aurelius:

My friend Dionysus:

My friend Apollo:

These two were fairly nubile, but there were multiple athletes of one kind or another who were much tauter.

Here’s a terrazzo at the bottom of a very big staircase leading up to the Elector/Duke/Emperor’s private chambers. I really liked the geometry involved in graduating the sizes of the tiles to accommodate the arced design.

The palace as a whole is a rabbit warren of halls, antechambers, bedrooms. Each head honcho felt compelled to build his own suite of rooms, often adding entire buildings to do so. The only rooms open to the public are the glamorous ones, but of course we wondered where the accommodations for the servants were, where the kitchens were, dining halls, etc.

We noticed throughout this little dingus:

I thought perhaps it was some kind of drawer for the maids to keep brushes or something, but it’s simply a retro-fit for electrical outlets for today’s custodial staff.

The Residenz has some nice bits, but on the whole the Wittelsbachs were not Bourbons, and the Residenz is not Versailles.

We roamed the Marienplatz market again for a while, then the group set out to find sustenance. At some point, two of the company and we set out for a restaurant that one of us had highlighted in her book, i.e., highly rated. We set the phone to guide us, and trudged through the snow-still city only to find that the restaurant was closed because of the weather.

Just down the street though was another restaurant, a charming little cottage set in a courtyard, which was brightly lit and warm and closing as we walked in.

But they recommended Siggis, right next door, and it was open. It was also vegan, but the meal was delicious and we were content.

After that it was back to the hotel, a few more gin and tonics at the bar, and then bedtime.


Everything is still at a standstill. We slept late, then hit the road to explore another market. On the way were these cool sculptures, made even cooler by the snow:

Did you see it?

All the trees in this park had straw bales tied to their bases. Why? Because kids were sledding there; these cushioned any kid who whammed into the tree.

Our main goal on the way to the Sendlinger Tor market was the Asam Church, which we had seen in 2007 but was worth another visit. Our hearts sank as we hit the street and saw scaffolding covering the facade, but it was open. Although the gate to the chapel itself was locked, we could still see the interior, which is a stunningly Baroque masterwork.

This was the private chapel built by two brothers; it sits behind an unassuming facade in the middle of a 21st-c. shopping street, and it’s a showstopper.

The Sendlinger Tor market was a bit of a disappointment, very few booths and most of those food or glühwein.

Lunch at a really good burger place, then more wandering through the main market before linking back up with the group to head over to the Hofbrau Haus for a beer and pretzels. There we discussed how the hell we were getting to Stuttgart tomorrow, or if we would get to Stuttgart tomorrow.

All I will say is that we have a plan, but since it involves the icy precipitation holding off enough for us to escape, I will spare you the details.

Back to the hotel, where I have decamped to the lobby with the laptop to catch up on this blog, this time with a Manhattan rather than a gin and tonic. (I had to teach the Hungarian bartender how to make one.)

I apologize for the blogging of this trip being so lackluster, but as I said in the previous post I haven’t been able to get as many photos as I usually do. Rest assured that we’ve done plenty of shopping, and the company has been first-rate. (In fact, I can snag a lot of photos from our WhatsApp group, but the wifi at the hotel is less than first-rate and it’s a pain to stay online.)

Here, have a photo from one of the markets:

Will our intrepid crew make it to Stuttgart, much less Frankfurt, much less home? Stay tuned.

Germany 2023, Day 1 & 2

Note: The weather is working against us, so for the first two days there’s not a lot to report or show.


We had a long and uneventful flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt, and then a long and uneventful train ride from Frankfurt to Munich.

Here’s the train station right there in the Frankfurt Airport (not to be confused, we were told, with the Frankfurt station, which is in Frankfurt, unlike the Airport station, which is not).

Uneventful, except for this:

Not only is it snowing in Bavaria, it’s a white-out. MY FAVORITE KIND OF WEATHER, KENNETH. (It is not my favorite kind of weather.)

The hotel in Munich is nice, Hotel One, clean, well-appointed. After a short rest, we met with the group to walk down to the Christmas Market. It was crowded, snowy, and pretty enough. No shopping, because we were just getting our bearings. (Our tour guide, Jim, is an old friend from GHP who drags tours around Europe.)

We dined at the Weisses Bräuhaus, near the market, where we had traditional German food and those who liked beer had traditional German beer.

And as was foretold, we trudged back to the hotel in the snow — still falling — where some of us retired. I went to the bar, basic but solid, and had a gin and tonic before retiring.


Still snowing. This is the garden area outside our hotel window.

We headed back to the Marienplatz, where the Christmas Market  is, in time to hear the Glockenspiel play and watch the charming 19th-c. animatronics do their thing in the New Town Hall tower.

Then over to Alte Peter, “Old Peter,” the oldest church in Munich. (Munich — Bavaria in general — is Catholic, having fought off Martin Luther and his minions over the years.)

Although the Alte Peter dates to the 12th-c., the  interior is a mishmosh of subsequent architectural styles, with Rococo predominating.

Next we hit up the Frauenkirche, the “Lady Church,” i.e., a cathedral devoted to Mary. I don’t have a photo of this one. I’ve been bundled up with multiple layers, plus a stadium coat, plus scarf/hat/gloves, so it’s a real pain to get the phone out and take a photo. My apologies.

Lunch at the Augustiner Bräuhaus, where it was so crowded that we were able to be seated only because we volunteered to take two other people at the table. We were joined by a lovely Belgian father and his young son, who had come to Munich for a soccer match but were forced by the weather to circle the airport for two hours, plus wait for the transport bus (from the tarmac to the terminal), and then found trains/buses/taxis were all shut down because of the snow.

You know, the beautiful snow that you all seem to love.

We were not with the group, so we decided to use our time before regrouping to head over to TK Maxx so I could buy a fleece blanket for my personal sleeping comfort. By the time we made it back to the Frauenkirche for the next leg of the trip, the group had already moved on to the Residenz. Since we’re all communicating via WhatsApp, we told them that was fine, we would do our own thing.

We then set off to maybe actually shop at the Market, but then one of us wanted to find a shop that we remembered from visiting Munich in 2007, Kenneth. You might be surprised to learn that we never found it.

At this point we decided to trek back to the hotel. It was still snowing.

At the time of this writing, we are wondering if we are going to be able to find anywhere that’s open at which we can eat dinner. If worse comes to worst, I have a pack of trail mix that will keep us alive until morning.

Germany 2023: The Beginninging

::sigh:: Yes, yes, we were just in Germany last spring, but this is different.

When our son was studying in Munich seventeen years ago, we went to visit for Thanksgiving. We had a lovely time, but we had to leave the day before the Christmas market opened. This has rankled my Lovely First Wife for a while now, and so for Christmas I have given her a tour of Christmas markets in Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt.

Because, if you know my Lovely First Wife, you know that there is no such thing as TOO MANY CHRISTMAS.

Follow along as I freeze my ass off all across Germany.