Someone told me I gave the blog too long of a name. I countered that I had actually shortened it from Whatever the F*** I Want to Say Whenever the F*** I Want to Say It, so I think I actually made out pretty swell. Brevity is not my strong suit. I know, I can hear your gasps. And there’s your intro to my return after however many months since I last posted. I’m still writing, it just hasn’t made it here…yet. We have to leave some surprises for the book, right?

You know I’ve plenty to write about loves. Where to start? Just as with running (and other things, wink wink, nudge nudge), if you haven’t been at it in a bit, you’ve really just got to pop one off and get it out of the way.

So, what’s up? Write me a private message and I’ll give you the punchline to that one. Aside from (still) working on my running pace (mad props to the bro for showing he could best me in Brisbane while doing the most brilliant Forrest Gump impersonation) and writing heaps for myself and that other gig I do, I’ve also been trying to master the art of telling non-dirty dirty jokes. Don’t ask why. Or ask why. Totally up to you.

Like a starlet I’ve been criss-crossing the map, from London to Barcelona and Figueres to Bangkok, Indonesia and Bhutan, then back to good ‘ol DE (and therein up and down, west to east). Work, pleasure, work, pleasure, and a touch of soul-searching. I’ll get around to writing the details of each trip. I’ve already drafted some about the Land of Happiness. Whatever you believe in, that place, without shred of doubt, reconfirms some sort of divinity. Gobsmacked I was. Am. Still am.

All the awe-inspiring travel and living the exotic expat life yields an abundance of material to leave most people jonesing for a taste of this good life. But, everyone needs something grounding once in a while, to keep them from going all Edie Sedgwick. The cosmos has a way of delivering those parcels when you need it most. Cue music.

Ha Ha Tonka (the band)

Brett, Brian, Lucas, and Lennon (behind) from Ha Ha Tonka.

Last week some of the finest gentlemen from my hometown (sorry Bill Bradley, they got you beat in my book) landed their shiny belt buckles* in Göttingen for a show in support of their latest album. I’m not going to lie, prior to the show, they were like that cozy sweater I shoved in the back of the closet when everything got all warm and sunny, and only when the first nip of ugly and cold grey weather hits do I remember it even exists. When I find it again, it feels so instantly familiar, and hip-rocking, jump-up-n-down, right and good. Ha Ha Tonka (the state park) is one of my all-time loves in Missouri, right there with float trips (canoe, river). I would have said I didn’t have one ounce of homesick blues until I thought of both during the Ha Ha Tonka (the band) show. They may credit the Ozarks for the essence of their sound, but they had at least a handful of true Deutschen fans follow them from Dresden to Hamburg to GOE, proving Brian and co have totally harnessed that beguiling Midwestern ability to make you feel right at home, no matter who you are, what road you came down and regardless of what brew you’re throwing back. Their song-writing prowess gives further evidence to debunk hillbilly myths – at times contemplative, witty, and steeped in literary and historical references. Now I’m flipping through old photos all weekend, waxing on full of sappiness, with Lessons (plus the prior three albums) on full rotation like a lovelorn fangirl. The consolation is I’m remembering to be humble and set myself back to work on some of the projects I’d abandoned. Oh, and I probably just earned some forgiveness from my mum for publicly referencing both the F bomb and dirty jokes by offering a glimmer of hope I might visit the U S of A again some day. If you’re already in the you-nited states, get thee to the HHT site and start making your own plans to catch one of their summer shows. If you’re on the same side of the pond as me, find their stuff on one of the tunes sites and stick it in your ears. And if you’re making some excuse about your clicking finger being all worn out from Candy Crush or Farm Heroes, I’ll leave you with a taste here as motivation:

* Disclosure: I’m not totally sure about the shininess of their belt buckles. Despite the fact that’s actually the point on most people that falls right smack at my eye level, I try to not obviously stare so as not to give any ideas I’m trying to get familiar. 

** One of the perils of becoming multi-lingual as an adult: you switch word order and mis-conjugate, even in your native language. Buckle belts, belt buckles, you knew what I meant. 

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