How Molly got her freckle back

The much anticipated Dona beach.
It’s no secret I’m white. And not simply white, but white. A pasty-porcelain-lucent kinda white. Despite this, I was able to survive living in Hawaii for three years without jeopardous pause. In fact, during my tenure, I created a seminal bond with the sun. I thanked her every day for not burning me to a crisp; she gave me a pacifying freckle base as to not stick out so much.  

Don’t get me wrong, I was still white. I came to this realization while full moon surfing in Waikiki. I watched my incandescent leg circling in the water and imagined it looked similar to a mahi mahi swimming in the water.

“Shark food,” I thought.

That was the first and last time I ever went full moon surfing. 

SUPing in the Atlantic
Germany was a ginger-friendly move. For the most part, I’ve been away from my dear friend sun for majority of the past five years. And in that time, I’ve watched my freckles slowly fade away.

Germany is the where freckles go to die.

obligatory surf shot
But if there is one thing Jeremy and I have missed more than our freckles these last five years – it’s surfing. So when our friend Leslauuuugh asked if we wanted to take a surf trip in Lagos, Portugal, Jeremy and I jumped up and down like kids in a candy store and answered with a resounding “Jawohl!”

Our first time in Portugal was a humbling experience. It wasn’t easy – but still an adventure. Despite a rocky start with Goldcar rental car company trying to nickel and dime us upon arrival, this trip was easy like Sunday morning.

For a whole week, Jeremy and I joined Leslauuuugh and our
new friend Mikeguever in embracing the “aina” and soaking up the sun. We surfed, swam, climbed rocks, SUPed, lounged on the beach, and buried ourselves in sand. We ate copious amounts of delicious fish and drank even more Sangria. We became locals at a bar called “Dona” and hiked up a huge hill every night to our home with a view.

While our Leslauuuugh turned a pleasant shade of brown during the week, the rest of us freckling-faring souls watched as our skin speckled in the moonlight. We matched freckle against freckle, knowing by the end of the week one of us would be crowned a dotted victory.

There is no doubt Mikeguever won by clear majority of freckle real estate, but I claim a close second as freckles I haven’t seen for years came out of hibernation. At this rate, my childhood dream of all of my freckles banding tougher to create a glistening flawless tan is not too far off.

one happy jerome.
All I need is just a few hundred or so trips back to the Portuguese coast. Easy.


Almost Famous

the buddymollys or molly and the others or molly and the enders or ... 
It might be music that actually brought Jeremy and I together. Exactly one year prior to our wedding date, a random conversation went like this:

Me: I just wrote words to a song, but I don’t have any music yet.
Jeremy: That’s crazy, I just wrote a tune, but don’t have any words yet. Come over tonight, we’ll put them together.

I’ll spare you the details of how that never actually happened, (we made another kind of music that night - wink). In fact, the buddymollys moniker was more about our relationship than an actual band – but we still liked to rock the ukes at random talent shows, camp-outs, bbqs and ski trips.

It was the latter where we picked up Michael Kreis - a fellow uker - to complete our trifecta of mediocrity. (Note: he’s way better than us).

At the advice of a friendly restaurant owner in town, we sent in an audition tape for acceptance into the Weiden Traümt.

The Weiden Traümt is a yearly festival where the pedestrian zone of our little town is overrun with 15 or so musical performances, and even more stalls with food and drink. Stores stay open late and herds of people partake in the hoopla. It's a happening Friday night in downtown Weiden. 

Our band photo and “ukulelenmusik” description managed to make a few advertisement spreads in neighboring German newspapers, as well as the centerfold of the program.

We practiced for a few weeks leading up to the performance, and narrowed down our set to 18 songs, which we then played over and over again during our six-hour gig.

We had three ukes of varying degrees, me on the baritone, Mike on the bass uke and Jerome holding down tradition on his tenor.

We didn’t expect much, but managed to gather quite a crowd. At one point about 100 folks were standing around clapping offbeat to our jam, and two people even asked if we had cds. (We, of course, do not). The lady running the fest said we were one of her favorite acts. She used the word "pleasant" to describe us. Win. 

Now, I’m not being modest when I say we’re not that great. Because, really, we’re not. But we are somewhat of a novelty here in Germany. And we’ll take it because we really have so much fun playing together. 

It also doesn’t hurt that we have our own “Mel” of Flight of the Conchords fame in one Pat Kummerererererer. He is, no doubt, our most dedicated fan. And hearing him cheer “Way to go Molly!” after every song, never gets old. Ever.

Crowd shot with super fan Pat Kummererererer bottom right.  

It was Pat that coined the term “Molly and the Others” which is what we refer to ourselves at times. That also transitioned into “Molly and the Enders” because while the beginning and middle of our songs are just OK, we always end well. Always.

On that same note, our night ended just as well. We had 52 euros in tips lining our uke case as we yelled “Prost!” to random passersby and congratulated each other for managing to pull this night off.

As our glasses clinked together, Pat was in the background yelling “Way to go Molly!”

It never gets old. Ever.

Below are a few musical samplings (mixed with random german conversations) via video from the evening - 1. a bit of Patsy; 2. who doesn't love Elvis, even if sang poorly; 3. for those who aren't sick of Wagon Wheel.


Braving the biergartens once more

(Editor's note: We have some major catching up to do, so we’ll just dive right in and tell it like a Quentin Tarantino movie except without all the gore. Below begins the update in order particular no.)

I have been preparing for this past Saturday for several months. So much so, that the only thing listed on my calendar for the following day was “recover.” 

And for the past four years the premise has always been simple: Cull a handful of the best locales from “Larry Hawthorne’s Beer Drinker’s Guide to Munich,” and stitch together a cohesive route that is easy for people who are becoming progressively more drunk to follow throughout the day.

Pouring some out for our homies who couldn't make it ...

Having learned from past three years, I chose not only the most scenic biergartens, but also grouped them by proximity, and booked a hostel right in the middle. The results slurred for themselves.

but let's not be wasteful, folks. 
In several cases the pictures filmmaker R. Eric Davis captured provided evidence for events that few could recall. A few things are for certain though:

We were entertained and oogled by a barkeep named Baki,
and tried our luck playing homemade bocci.
We sipped and slaked till our hearts’ content,
but spent little time questioning where the day went.
We bounced between buses, S-bahns and trams, but never got lost (well, …)
And Lord Michael Kreis still reigns over Munich from atop the A&O hostel.