Friday, September 26, 2008

Forgotten / Reminded

to nobody in particular:

...i was flipping channels the other in between soccer highlights when i came across a '90s Sinbad movie...

...wow -- what ever happened to him?...

...not that i really care, but the curiosity does tickle...

...almost as much as the thought, was he actually popular?...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: even though i may expect the unexpected, i can still get caught offguard by unexpectedly not expecting the unexpected...

...today, i learned: what wacky world we live in!...

-----

...currently reading: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Twodays / Fourdays

to nobody in particular:

...i think it went okay on sunday -- speaking at BIC...

...it is always hard to tell, and feedback was minimal...

...but it was okay...

...anyway, i'll be speaking again this coming sunday at Open Door, but not the same message...

...i think it will be alright, too...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...three yesterdays ago, i learned: sundays can be very emotionally complex...

...yesteryesterday, i learned: Sarah and Travis, together, make a supertasty banana bread...

...yesterday, i learned: i can understand more German than i think i give myself credit for...

...today, i learned: for every 100 girls born in China, there are 117 boys born in China...

-----

...currently wanting to watch: Hoosiers

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Creative Writing as Sermon / Creative Vacuuming as Method

to nobody in particular:

...tomorrow morning, i'm speaking at Berlin International Church -- a church that our Berlin team works with (also began several years back), and i must confess, i am a little nervous...

...i don't mind being up front and speaking, and, saying this as humbly as possible, i know that what i have to say is important, effective, challenging and encouraging all at once...

...but it's more about the approach i'm taking -- not a normal three point sermon with illustrations, pictures, Bible verses on the screen, movie clips, pop culture allusions, poignant stories, etc. (some of these i like to use, when pertinent)...

...i took the Feeding of 5,000 stories (from 3 Gospels) and took them all together, and wrote my own creative, firsthand account of one of the disciples looking back on the day, as if he wrote me in an e-mail with it -- then after that, just share a few thoughts...

...we'll see how it goes...

...don't know why i feel this way, but i'm just hoping it "works"...

...i like it, and i'm pretty sure God likes it -- so, i suppose, that should be good enough...

...we'll see...

...we'll see...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: the method of cutting hair using a vacuum cleaner to suck the hair while you cut can work, but not when your 2 year old son isn't fond of it...

...another failed attempt at a calm haircut with Travis...

...(sigh)...

-----

...currently watching: The Jungle Book (Disney Animated version)

Friday, September 19, 2008

German / Swedish

to nobody in particular:

...it's been a long/short day...

...lots of German studying, learning, listening, talking and more...

...time to relax -- in English...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: there's an interesting Swedish filmmaker, whose films i'm interested in checking out -- Roy Andersson...

...a guy from our class did his presentation on him and his filmmaking today -- pretty intriguing...

-----

...currently watching: Big Fish



...very good movie...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confounds the Brain / Satisfies the Palate

to nobody in particular:

...this morning, on my way to class, i walked past a guy with longer blond hair, black thick-framed glasses, a black unzipped jacket over a green shirt, blue jeans and i-didn't-notice-whatever-kind-of shoes...

...only about 6-7 meters behind him (that's roughly 20 feet or so, for my non-metric friends), there was a a guy with longer blond hair, black thick-framed glasses, a black unzipped jacket over a green shirt, blue jeans and i-didn't-notice-whatever-kind-of shoes...

...they looked unbelievably, ridiculously alike...

...i don't remember walking into Bizarroworld, but i must have some time this morning...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: broccoli salad is quickly becoming one of my favorite dishes...

-----

...currently enjoying: They Might Be Giants



...some days just call for a little Giants...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blogless / Lessonful

to nobody in particular:

...a couple busy days there and i didn't blog...

...and after these five blogless days, i'm not sure what to write...

...so, let's move on to the daily lessons, shall we?...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...two yesteryesterdays ago, i learned: when i wake up early in the morning and the last thing i want to do is go to a team prayer meeting, that is usually the best thing for me to go and do...

...it was a really good time together on saturday...

...three yesterdays ago, i learned: it only takes me 20+ minutes to walk from our apartment to the bar where we can watch NFL football...

...on sunday nights, i meet up with a couple of guys to watch Sunday football action in the evening -- the bar has tons of English speaking tourists/people there, and we can always watch a game on Sky Sports or NASN (North American Sports Network?)...

...yesteryesterday, i learned: creativity, along with the right ideas, can come lightning fast, so be ready with a pen and paper (or computer)...

...this happened twice on monday -- for my speaking on this coming sunday, and brainstorming for a possible short-term missions trip from the States next year

...yesterday, i learned: customer service and idiocy can often intertwine...

...let's just say, phone conversations can be funny when you hear only side of it...

...today, i learned: soft pretzels work wonders...

...it's true...

-----

finally finished re-reading: Your God Is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whacky Dreams! / Portugal Screams!

to nobody in particular:

...last night, my dream consisted of: posters, quesadillas, Nyack College AND Black Forest Academy, old friends, a treasure chest, a 70 year old guy who turned out to be a zombie that i had to beat down to protect my son, a pack of baseball cards, plasma televisions -- including one with a Playstation 2 -- paying bills and a bike...

...there were elements of sacrifice, love, pride, rage, jealousy, expectations and suspense...

...it was quite bizarre...

...oh, and totally unrelated to any dreams, did i mention that Travis has had four successful and enjoyable baths in a row?...

...amen -- God does answer prayer...

...prayer and patience -- waiting and prayer...

...like peanut butter and jelly -- unless, of course, you don't like the two together, then, i guess, you could substitute that with some other two things that go together in your mind...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...today, i learned: Portugal lost 3-2 to Denmark the other night in soccer for World Cup qualifying...

...HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

...that happinizes my face...

-----

...currently pondering: "the White Stripes have the coolest videos", as commented by Optimist Prime...











...yes, indeed...

...and these are just a few of them...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Titanic, Secrets & More / Germany, Soccer & Beyond

to nobody in particular:

...in our class, each one of us has the chance to do a "presentation" on a topic of our choice, and yesterday was the first of many -- i'm not sure what i'm going to do mine on, yet...

...anyway, our 35 year old student from Italy did his "Referat" about the Titanic, and how there seems to be more than just an accident with an iceberg...

...he shared about how the world has changed because of the Titanic "catastrophe"...

...in essence, he told us that there were five very important and rich men on the ship, who were all against the Federal Reserve and opposing an oncoming "world war" -- and these rich, powerful, influential men died in the "iceberg accident", leading to a decision FOR the federal reserve and, of course, the first World War did happen...

...he believes that the captain intentionally sank the "unsinkable"ship, knowing fully well where it was vulnerable, ignoring warnings to take another route -- being a tool for the downfall of the Titanic...

...well, needless to say, it was interesting, and we talked about it for a while...

...i hadn't heard any of this before, and i didn't have any interest in the Titanic, really...

...when it comes to hearing and reading about "stuff", it's not that i'm stubbornly doubtful, i'm just not unquestioningly trusting...

...does that make sense?...

...interesting, nonetheless...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: Germany, even though they should be the better and victorious team in most soccer matches, do like to cut it close sometimes...

...last night, Germany finally tied the game at 3 goals each with Finland in the 83rd minute -- why it took so long, and how they gave up the three before that, is baffling...

...today, i learned: Bed Bath & Beyond wants you to have a lovely home, but wants to stay out of anybody's business -- for better or worse...

...see this here blog for more info...

-----

...currently listening to: Muse



...maybe not a great video, but definitely great music...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hatred & Love / Film & Sound

to nobody in particular:

...yesterday in class, we read a few paragraphs from a novella written by a German that was entitled "I Hate Berlin", and the author was talking about the different things she hated about the city...

...it was interesting, tongue-in-cheek, exaggerated, ironic, cynical, funny, confusing, understandable and within reach...

...our homework assignment was to write a short piece entitled, "I Hate Toledo", or, you know, whatever your hometown is...

...so i did -- in an exaggerated, cynical, ironic, biting, sarcastic yet not-totally-true-to-my-mediocre-level-of-hatred-to-Toledo opinion...

...if you were given that topic for discussion/writing, what would be some things you would bring up?...

...then, this morning, we had a 45 minute discussion about marriage, just living together and divorce -- i'm sure it would've/could've gone on for longer, and i know not everyone agreed with me or saw where i was coming from, but it was interesting...

...all i said (or tried to get across, anyway) was that when you get married, the connection/responsibility/love/reality of your "togetherness" with your spouse is deepened and made stronger -- and then even more when children come into the picture...

...it was interesting, to say the least...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: i, an English-speaking American born in New Zealand, am capable of watching, understanding and enjoying a Spanish movie with German subtitles (El Orfanato)...

...progress!...

...today, i learned: Travis has a set of lungs so grand that i can hear him (and can distinguish that it is, indeed, my son) up in our language school classroom when he, his mother and his sister walk by before class is over to greet his dad...

-----

...currently pondering: seriously -- what is said by the guy laying on the ground in this video?



"Just" by Radiohead

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Travis Enjoys Wonderful Music / Ben Enjoys September Soccer

to nobody in particular:


video

...here's a little clip of Travis enjoying music -- i think it may have been Chevelle playing at the time...

...hey, don't worry, he gets his German Sesame Street CDs in his room when he's playing...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: the Germans play soccer way better than those lads from Liechtenstein...

...they won 6-0 in their World Cup qualifier...

...today, i learned: the first week of September can usually go by very, very quickly...

-----

...currently enjoying: see video above...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mish-Mash / Three Days Grace

to nobody in particular:

...finished up my first week back at language school, and it has been pretty good so far...

...listening to McCain's acceptance speech as i write this -- a little humbler than Obama, i think, but definitely a weaker speaker...

...personal goals for this next year: learn more of 20th century European art and culture, with a minor in German film and authors...

...Travis enjoyed watching this video the other day, repeatedly saying, "fall?...fall?...fall?"...

...almost at the end of one book, anticipating the next...

...went to see The Dark Knight with Sarah and Hannah (she did really well -- slept most of the time) and our friend Don -- and enjoyed it just as much, if not more, the second time around...

...tomorrow is a big day for Europeans -- hint: check the World Cup 2010 qualifying schedule...

...i, too, am realizing the sickness of culinary pornography (footnote/source: C.S. Lewis & Mark Buchanan)...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesteryesterday, i learned: public transportation in Berlin is reliable and great, but not always punctual...

...yesterday, i learned: "anderthalb" is another way in German to say "one and a half"...

...today, i learned: big change comes from intentionality, self-discipline, forming habits and personal desire, which, in essence, are all pathways of little change...

-----

...currently pondering: this piece of genius from Tally Hall...



...i'm gonna write them and ask them when they're coming to Berlin...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bathtime / Catch-up

to nobody in particular:

...Travis hates baths -- he used to like them, but since he turned a year old and we moved here, he hates them...

...he doesn't like showers either...

...he likes spraying himself and others with a water bottle, brushing his teeth, washing his hands, seeing fountains, being out in the rain...

...but he hates baths...

...i'm really praying this fear is annihilated soon...

-----

..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: Tandem Language School actually DOES have male teachers...

...after several months of taking German classes at our language school, i finally have a male teacher in this next class -- all the teachers before have been women, have been good teachers, but it's always nice to have a different perspective, style and gender to learn from...

...today, i learned: Tuesdays can be worthwhile too...

-----

...currently listening to: Chevelle...