Friday, June 29, 2007

This is our apartment in Paris. We will be here for 2 months while we look for permanent lodgings.

This place looks pretty nice, it's on the 5th floor of an elevator building with a balcony that runs the length of the apartment. I wanted to be in the 6th Arrondisment, but I'm not going to complain, it is close to Kelly's school in the 7th. There is no internet access, but the owner agreed to let us have a cat so that pretty much decided it.

Kelly asked him to send an exterior picture of the building so we could get a feel for the building and he sent a satellite picture of the roof- he may be a little left of center- that works.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I went up to my brothers house to drop some stuff off and my 9 year old nephew and 7 year old niece came running out of the house. Basically they were laughing at me. "Tell the story about the Tonka Trucks" they screamed in unison- "Oh Christ not this one again." I thought.

Most kids hate getting ready for bed, bath, brushing the teeth, going to the bathroom etc. But I l didn't mind it because after my nightly ritual was complete I could fly- truly.

The bathroom was at the end of a very long hallway. After I finished brushing my teeth I would run, as quickly as my footed pj's would allow me, down the long hallway. I would build up incredible speeds, becoming no more than a blur of blue woolly pajamas. My tongue sticking out the side of my mouth with determination; my arm movement propelling me forward even faster. I would run into my bedroom and leap into the air -my arms outstretched like Superman's I would fly across the room and into my bed.

The story my niece and nephew want me to tell is the time their father filled my bed with large, rusted metal Tonka Toy trucks. Tonka Toys are my Kryptonite.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tacoma Girl and Aralena- Thanks for the great advice- you guys are rockstars!!!!

We move to Paris August 8th- If anyone has any suggestions or advice for moving to or living in Paris please pass it along.

I was late for my meeting last night. I ambled slowly up and down streets, taking the longest route possible, wishing I had worn shorts, listening to my Ipod. I saw Marty out watering his lawn. A few months ago I had placed an ad to sell chairs on Craig's list, all part of the great trimming down of possessions. I received a call for the chairs and recognized the southern accent.

"Misplaced, I wondered if that was you- I saw your name and the neighborhood and figured it might be"

I didn't sell the chairs but we got to talking and I , having nothing else to show for my life, mentioned Paris.

"Well, you aren't going to believe this" Marty said, "but next June we are traveling around the globe for one year"

All the writing I've done about the mental dilemna of quitting a job, selling everything and moving suddenly I seemed like a whiney little bitch. Marty with his wife were leaving their jobs, his two young daughters were leaving there middle school (or is it high school I can no longer tell) and traveling around the world. Different visas for different countries, different currencies, just the paperwork required for Laos made my head spin.

Marty asked, "What is it, you suppose, that makes people like us do this? Not everyone can make this move and I'm not talking in a financial way. We are wired different than some of the others." Marty grinned. "You got time to talk more, I wanna keep watering the plants? It's funny my wife hates to water the plants, I love it. Most guys I know are sitting at a bar drinking an $8 martini and I get to water my plants and everyonce in a while a neighbor comes by and we get to talkin'."

I told him I was late for a meeting and we made tentative plans to resume our conversation. I moved on to my meeting where I'll be surrounded by people who have been given a second chance in this world. Marty's right, we are wired differently than others, for whatever reason. I walked slowly, still in no particular hurry.

Life is pretty spectacular.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The move to Paris is in 1 1/2 months and there are a few things I need to help on.

1. Cell Phones- which do you recommend, approximately how much is it?
2. Gym- I hear Club Med is the way to go (aprrox. 1,000Euros per year). Any other recommendations? How different is the equipment?
3. There is an English library that I'll become a member to- do you know anything about it- is it worthwhile.
4. Should we bring our own measuring cups or is it best to jump right into metric (we are bringing an american cookbook)
5. Does it make more financial sense to buy clothes in the States and bring them to Paris?
6. English speaking doctors for myself and my wife- any recommendations?
7. How feasible is it to work under the table (teaching English or whatever) not that I would ever do that.

Could you email me at with any suggestions. Actually anyone can email me with suggestions about anything- I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Kelly rolls her eyes “ok…you do that”

Man’s Night Out, the idea feels me with glee. Back in the day Man’s Night Out was dangerous. Friends and I would meet up after work with in downtown Chicago and walk home, north to Wrigleyville. We would stop in every dive bar we passed and have a couple. By the time we got home it was 3:00 in the morning and we could barely stand but it had been worth it. I have been called a “rat fucker” by Middle Eastern shopkeepers long before it was fashionable to be hated by them. One woman told me that she would “rip off my head and shit down my neck” it was unclear why she was going to do that but it was all part of Man’s Night Out. So when my friend Demetrius called last night and said “MAN’S NIGHT OUT!!!”

I responded with a hardy “HELL YA!!! I’LL CHECK WITH MY WIFE!!”

Now that drinking is out of the question, smoking cigarettes and anything else for that matter is over, along with anything else that is remotely fun Man’s Night Out has changed. For instance we can have a man’s night out in the middle of the week and not worry too much about missing work. It’s a lot like double dating but without any dates and we get to see a manly movie but even those are in short supply. Oceans 13- that’s what’s left to us.

“I’M LEAVING FOR MAN’S NIGHT OUT!!!!” I scream from front door.

“Ok- you have fun with gay night out…I mean man’s night out.” Kelly says from the second floor.

GAY NIGHT MY ASS!!!! I yell upstairs as I throw my man-bag over my shoulder, checking to make sure there is a diet coke in it and a sweater. It gets so chilly at the movies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is a picture of the French Consulate in Chicago. I'm not claiming to be some arbiter of current fashion but I half expected Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda to come walking through complaining about Ted Baxter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I was tagged by Aralena (highly recommended reading) to write about my favorite subject, which is, of course, me. The topic is 10 Things About Me. Since I just did one of those last May I thought I would steal her idea and use childhood memories. So the following is a list of ten things (in no particular order) involving candy, toys and muggings from my childhood in the Midwest.

1. SSP’s were racecars. I loved them. They had a plastic ripcord shaped like a T with ratchets in it. Slide the ripcord in the gears by the wheel; pull with all your might and the center wheel spun madly with a great ZZZZZZ sound. Someone told me that a case of SSP’s had fallen off a train that ran through our neighborhood. I was unable to run to the tracks to pillage- my mind simply melted with the possibilities of owning a case of SSP’s, the thought of the collective ZZZZZZZ sound and my central nervous system shut down. I stood there, helpless and drooling.

2. Vanilla French Chew candies were my favorite. The white powder would cover my face after I ate a French Chew. I looked like Al Pacino in Scarface after he plants his face in the mountain of cocaine. Vanilla French Chews are better than cocaine.

3. I tripped caring two bottles of Mountain Dew and I got glass in my hand. My Aunt told me she would give me a quarter if I could get the glass out. The glass was removed in short order because a quarter was the cost of a French Chew (see #2 and the effects of cocaine). As I walked (probably skipping with excitement) two toughs mugged me and they stole my quarter.

4. The “toughs” were two 12-year-old girls; I generally leave that part of the story out.

5. I was mugged again by a guy who become a big NBA star- he bought Doritos with the dollar he stole from me. Stealing money for Doritos is just plain wrong.

6. I would spend hours playing with plastic toy soldiers; I would rip the grass out of our backyard to make the scenes more realistic. By the time I was through our backyard resembled a mangy dog.

7. I had a puppet that at one point had been a tap dancer- but his strings became tangled and I lost his coat and his tap shoes so I made a super hero out of him. He is the first gay super hero. I, for some reason, named him Sid. “Sid The Gay Superhero”. (Photo to come)

8. Hippity Hop: Ok, it wasn’t a great toy, and I’m not certain I really liked it but when Connie Castleberry hopped and then popped my hippidy hop it became my most prized possession. I was done wrong by the purposeful vandalism of my bouncy toy. She had accidentally hopped on a piece of glass but I didn’t mention that to anyone- let them think her weight was a factor.

9. Mud ball fights: The idea of this now is insane but we would make mud balls and throw them at each other. It hurt like hell to get hit, but that’s the nature of the beast. They weren’t soft, sloppy mud balls but hard, balled up with a rock or two placed in the center for added ‘shock’ value.

10. There was a ravine behind our houses, which was a great place to get away from parents and run amok. My childhood was spent in this wooded hollow making clubhouses reading playboys and learning to smoke- you know all the things kids like to do. I found out as an adult that the ravine was actually an open sewer stream. That might explain a few of the nervous ticks.

I'd be curious to hear what Simon Chase has to say on this topic. Simon consider yourself tagged.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Chicago was wonderful. As I mentioned it had been over 10 years since I had been back. I spent my 20’s there- Studio apartments and dive bars are fun in your 20’s at thirties its a little tired, at 40 it’s downright shameful so I was fortunate to move on. I was amazed at how much the city had changed and how many of my ‘old haunts’ had disappeared- O’Rourke’s Pub- which was a great dive had disappeared, the building where I worked at 444 Wabash was still there but the office was now an empty space. Life can move pretty quick, although in not having been there in 10 years it could move l slowly and still make quite a few changes. There was a corporate park that was built while I was there- I used to eat my lunch on the benches when it was new- now bums lay sprawled out – each bench occupied- garbage on the once highly maintained lawn. I even saw a building being demoed that I watched being built.

I called my two cousins that still live there. When I first moved to Chicago I stayed with Chris- and later, when his sister moved to Chicago she lived with me. They both have stayed. We were close before Chicago but became very close living in the same city. After I left we all went through our own things and grew distant- I hadn’t seen either on of them for many years. I was glad to reconnect with my cousins and for Kelly to meet these two people that were so important in my life. We have a family vacation in Michigan at the end of July and they will all be there. I think it was good to see each other before all of that.

Kelly and I had only one little spat. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I’m a singer. Actually every one in my family are singers. Why would that cause a spat? I sing when I’m in a good mood- and as I walked down Michigan Avenue late in the evening with the street full of people I sang a little song. This, it turns out, annoys Kelly to no end. I think its endearing, she thinks I look crazy- and when one is tired it’s difficult to suffer the songs of crazy. In my defense…

Chicago is my kind of town. Chicago is- my kind of town. Chicago is -the Wrigley building, Chicago is -the Union stockyard Chicago is-one town that wont let you down, it’s my kind of town.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Haven’t I been the bad blogger this week? That’s ok- just feeling the stress of the things that need to get done and hoping that if I don’t acknowledge them they will go away. This doesn’t work as well as it used to.

K and I are going to Chicago today. We have an appointment with the French Consulate Friday morning where we will give all our documents for the visa. Since the visa process takes 2 months and it will be June 15th and we are leaving August 9 I suspect, although I’ve never been good at math, that I might be screwed. But we shall see what we shall see. Anyway- Chicago will be fun. We are staying at the Marriot on Michigan Avenue and I am plotting a massage for each of us. I am justifying this with the fact that it was my birthday yesterday. 43 years old! How in the hell did that happen? Here is the only good thing about being a recovering alcoholic. I’m in better shape and healthier physically and mentally at 43 than I was at 33 or 23…ok that’s actually kind of depressing.

It will be strange to be in Chicago. I lived there after college up until age 30 and I haven’t been back. Most of my drinking was done there and so it will be odd to walk around- it might make me sad in a nostalgic way but I’m treating it like a vacation.- you know- the vacation before I go on vacation to Michigan in July before I quit my job and move to Paris in August…yea I have a reason to complain. My life is golden…I’m completely aware of that. I’ll shut up now

Monday, June 11, 2007

It was a busy weekend.

We got up early on Saturday and began loading the truck to put things in storage- we have too many books. I never thought it would be possible to utter these words, but we have too many books. I ran a load of garbage to the company dumpster- it is so nice having one of those. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up for the open house on Sunday.

The one issue with the open house on Sunday (our first with the realtor) is it is the same day as the Gay Pride Parade, which closes off all the streets to my house. That was a concern for the realtor, not us. We went to our friends/ neighbors at the bottom of the street for a cook-out and to make noise for the parade. Delta Airlines was represented, they said they loved us, but I don’t think they really do. If they loved us so much they would make cashing in miles easier and they would treat us the same as they treat their “preferred customers” although I liked the mini coup they rigged up. After the parade we went up the street to my brothers to celebrate my nieces and nephews birthday- my birthday is this Wednesday so get your shopping done early. We took a quick nap and went downtown for dinner with my parents and Kelly’s mom and sister. It was fun but it was a lot.

…and then the panic set in. What if we don’t sell our house…shit.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I've been kicking around some new ideas for the blog- first thing -I need to update my favorite blogs. I have several that I've been perusing lately that need to be added and a few that I don't connect to anymore and should be deleted. I also need to implement some of the suggestions that Self Taught Artist suggested and the final thing I need to do is decide if I want to change the name or format of the blog for Paris.

So much to think about.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ok the results are in. Actually they were in a long time ago but I, like you, completely forgot about the 4000th visitor to this sad little corner in the midwest.
And the 4000th visitor to Misplaced in the Midwest is …(drum roll) (envelope opening) (I'm so nervous)…
Someone from Gifu, Japan looking for Bukkake Girls!!!!!!
Congratulations you win some lotion and paper towels.
I am one visitor away from 4000. How very exciting. Who will be the 4000th visitor?
I think it will be some pervert who googled "teenage & making out."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Continuing in the same vane regarding the shredding of all the evidence. I also found notebook after notebook of journals that somehow survived the great drunken disposal of all known records, I am too tired to link to that particlar post, you'll have take my word for it.

Anyway I found my journals from high school, which detailed my many sexual exploits as a young teen. My sexual exploits consisted of making out with a lot of girls, which is lame in one way but very cool in others. I was the king of the make out session and it was not unheard of for me to make out with more than one girl at a party and, in one case two girls at once(that's right, you read that correctly). I was a bit of a make out whore. But what made all these girls want to make out with me? Granted I was good looking, witty and had phenomenal hair but more importantly I don’t think I ever pushed the envelope, as it were, during the make out session. In other words, I just really liked to make out and I was completely fine with it not going anywhere else. This made me, I believe quite the hot property when it came to drunken making out….oh yea, I forgot to mention we were all drunk which probably helped me considerably.

So I read these little journals, relived my glory days as a make-out king and I shredded them, anything that could come back to harm me in my run for the presidency was destroyed. I would think having a president that is known for being a good kisser and a make out king might be a good thing but you just never know. I sent my wife an email looking for a testimonial on my make out skills- she never responded- she probably does actual work at her job- what a sucker.

A note on the picture: I wanted an appropriate image for this post so I googled the words -teenage & making out- That was interesting. I settled for the picture above.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Workmate: So when are you going to Gay Paree?

Misplaced: August 8th we fly out.

Workmate: You looking forward to GAY Paree?

Misplaced: I get it , Paris is Gay right?

Workmate: Heeheee GAY Paree

Misplaced: (walking away, shaking head) What a numb-nut
I’ve continued to shred documents. This is part of the great purge- getting rid of the shit. It’s been an eye opening experience to go through the old boxes and really decide what is needed and what isn’t. I have every cancelled check I’ve written, in numeric order, since 1991. I can track where I lived and what I ate for the past 16 years. The question I have to ask myself is “Is that really necessary?”

During the dark years (heaviest drinking time until 1997) I can say for certainty that I ate a lot of Dominos Pizza and bounced a lot of checks. There are large checks to individuals and I have no idea what they’re for. Since I didn’t have a lot of money you’d think they would stand out. $2,500 hundred to some guy named Tim? Since I don’t have breast implants (or enlargements of any kind) I can rule that out. Tim apparently did something for me that cost some cash.

So hours were spent in front of a shredding machine dropping each check in so some meth mouth teenagers doesn’t rifle through my garbage. Did you know that one of the ingredients in making meth is the same chemical that erases pen off old checks so they can be forged- how convenient is that! It’s almost as though God wants meth addicts to forge checks to pay for their habit. In recovery we call this a “a God thing” and would follow it up with a quick “It’s God doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.”

It’s all about simplifying and getting rid of the excess baggage (not the emotion excess baggage- I’m keeping that forever and ever). I have bags and bags of that baggage in the truck ready for the dump.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Make Cakes Not War

I’ve never liked the cheap shots that are taken at lawyers, car salesmen, and contractors, but real-estate agents have really got me thinking. It’s like a little mafia.

If you are selling a $250,000 house the real-estate agent gets 6% or $15,000. Now I’m not naive- I realize that there is some work involved in selling a house but is there $15,000 worth? That’s a lot of money for putting a sign in the yard and unlocking a door. But really what you are paying for is to have other realtors show your place and getting on the MLS- if you try to sell yourself they generally wont show your house.

As you probably suspected we hired a realtor, Sandra, to sell our house. K and I both really like Sandra and have worked with her before. On Tuesday she wants to have an open house for other realtors in the area-, which is a good idea. “Will you have refreshments?” She asked me. Since we will be paying them a great deal of money I think they should be stocking our fridge but neither here nor there I said “probably not.”

Sandra: More realtors will show up if you have free food.

Me: That’s pathetic.

Sandra: That’s how it is.

We managed to talk Sandra into taking a lower percentage but were hoping that she could pass that lower cost to the other agents if they sell it.

“No” she explained. “The other agents wont show your house if they only make 2 1/2 % instead of the standard 3%."

Me: They wont open the door to the house if they make $6,250 as opposed to $7,500?

Sandra: No.

Me: That’s pathetic.

Sandra: That’s how it is.

So tonight after my French class I’ll be making a Spice Bunt cake for the little piglets but Kelly and I will cut off 6% of the cake to share between the two of us. It’s sad and passive aggressive that we would do this but it’s better then ending up in a bell tower with a high-powered rifle.

Friday, June 01, 2007

This must be a guy thing.

The Vice-President of the company that we have been in depositions with left a message for me. He is one of those guys that attempts to bully others through intimidation but, unless you work for him, it fails miserably. He has enough employees stroking his ego that his level of self importance is staggering. Anyway, he had his secretary call me to tell me to call him.

Hi Mr. Misplaced this is Linda calling for Mr X.
Mr X would like you to call him.

How big of a tool do you have to be to do this?

There's a blockbuster down the street from us, I'd like them to make the following call for me.

Hi Linda, this is Blockbuster calling for Mr. Misplaced. Linda could you have Mr. X call us back so we can schedule a time for Mr. X to call Mr. Misplaced? By the way let Mr X know that he has a copy of Power Tool which is overdue- Thank you.

It's kind of a crappy day which would explain the bitchy post.