By John Sieger, Special to   Published Sep 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Like I said before, going to Europe is still a big deal to me. In a town full of guys who go there to play music the way I run to Speedway for a soda, I'm still spreading the gospel about my trip to England five years ago to a less-than-enthralled audience. "Yeah, John, we heard about the haggis and the machine that ate your credit card in London," they seem to be saying with their eyes rolling just enough to let me know it might be a good idea to give it a break.

So while I'm looking forward to getting some new stories, I'm also the kind of pins-and-needles guy who can spin innocent anticipation into morbid dread with very little coaxing. This is especially true two days before I cross a fairly large and wavy ocean to drive all over Germany and many of its former conquests with Klaus, a guy Greg describes as a little crazy. I hope he's wrong.

So how do I prepare? In the usual way: In between bouts of anxiety, I go to that list in my head that would really benefit from being on paper.

My wife, the most meticulous keeper and scratcher-offer of lists you would ever want to meet, gets things done with an efficiency that would inspire my soon-to-be hosts in Germany. We are both half German, but she really got the full set of this-is-how-you-organize-anyting genes. I can organize things like leaving the garage door open for an hour or two while I run errands. I'm also pretty good at leaving faucets running and burners on the oven on. Scratch those off my list.

With two days to go, I plan to pull everything I need out (don't forget that passport!) and stage it somewhere. Dining room table, maybe. I will then audition bags, cases and other portable containers for various things I feel I can't do without that I'm sure I'll regret having brought along the minute we get there. I'm picturing this as a major source of entertainment for Greg and the rest of the band a few days in the future.

Since this is officially a blog – and also because nothing has really happened yet except laundry – I'll keep this short. When I start telling laundry stories, you know it's time to leave the country.