Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finally, the Classics / Finally, the Clarities

to nobody in particular:

...i don't know why it took me so long, but i finally did it...

...honestly, i have no real reason or excuse for the delay and absence of it in my life, except for laziness...

...i mean, i like it a lot, but had never done it before ...

...but, finally, i can say, that i now have bought my own classical music CDs...

...Vivaldi and Bach...

...methinks, this is just the beginning...

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

...yesterday, i learned: yes, human beings grow up, but in some ways, human beings don't really grow up...

...today, i learned: cheap no-name German orange lemonade is not so bad...

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currently enjoying: Tally Hall


Monday, October 27, 2008

Several Thousand Words / A Surprise or Two

to nobody in particular:

...here are some pictures from a recent trip to Tallinn, Helsinki and Riga...
















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

...three days ago, i learned: guessing is okay, but not when the knowledge is accessible...

...two days ago, i learned: some fantastic news...

...yesterday, i learned: there is at least one German in the world that doesn't drink alcohol...

...today, i learned: some movies are really good the first time around, and then, for whatever reason, even better the second time around (see below)...

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currently watching: Be Kind Rewind

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Scrumtrulescent / Stupendous

to nobody in particular:

...wow...

...it was an awesome four-day trip, this past sat/sun/mon/tues-day...

...lots of fun, not too expensive, lots of walking, not tons of responsibility, lots of relaxing, not-so-scary hostels, lots of picture-taking, not too exhausting...

...it was fantastic...

...brief overview here -- pictures to come later: we (four of us total) flew on saturday morning to Riga, Latvia, and enjoyed our day there in the capital city -- quite nice; stayed overnight and took a train to Majori on the Baltic Sea for the early afternoon; spent the rest of the day in Riga until our four hour bus ride to Tallinn, Estonia; walked to our hostel there and had a short rest until our early ferry ride over to Helsinki, Finland early monday morning; spent the day in Helsinki (which is a fairly expensive city and, of the three, was a little disappointing -- thought it would be better); took the ferry back to Tallinn and stayed in our hostel again; hung out in Tallinn on Tuesday (which, of the three, i liked the most), enjoying the "old town", including some good eating and a private sauna for a couple of hours -- nice; were in Tallinn until flying back to Berlin late Tuesday night...

...yes, it was tremendous...

...additionally, all travel and lodgings only added up to 116 Euro (roughly $160 US) -- not bad for a four-day, three country trip, right?...

...i'll throw a couple pictures up here sometime soon...

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

...five days ago, i learned: enjoying good company and great drinks overlooking the skyline-sunset of the capital of Latvia from the 26th floor is quite an unforgettable experience...

...four days ago, i learned: the Baltic Sea is cold in October -- swimming isn't necessary...

...three days ago, i learned: Helsinki is an expensive city -- mental note: don't live there...

...two days ago, i learned: a "real Estonian pancake" with bacon and smoked cheese is tasty, yet filling...

...yesterday, i learned: i am capable of giving a presentation about the Maori culture in German -- progress!...

...today, i learned: re-hanging curtains is a pain...

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currently watching: Dead Poets Society



...wow -- i still love this movie...

...so good -- thank you, Peter Weir...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Checklist / Punctuality

to nobody in particular:

...today is a day for a checklist...

--backpack: check...
--clothes: check...
--toiletries: check...
--camera: check...
--music/mp3 player: check...
--book: check...
--friends to travel with: check...
--passport: check...
--excitement for a four-day trip to Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia) and Helsinki (Finland) by plane, bus and ferry: check...

...leaving tomorrow morning -- should be a fun time...

...yes!...

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...today, i learned: if the Bahn (streetcar) hasn't come by in six minutes or so, when it should every five, and a firetruck has gone by in the opposite direction, followed by an ambulance, you may as well just walk home, even though there is a light rain, because you will probably make it home before the next Bahn would make it, because those emergency vehicles and the Bahn's lateness might have a connection to each other...

...yes, i did make it home before any other Bahn came...

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...currently enjoying: Cake

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Morgen!" / "Reservation Road"

to nobody in particular:

...Travis usually goes to sleep around the beginning of the 8 o'clock hour, and he did so a few nights back as well...

...around 9:30om, an hour and a half after he went to sleep, Sarah and i hear his door open up and we both look at each other, wondering, uh-oh, i hope everything is alright...

...he walks around the corner into the living room with a smile on his face and says, "morgen!", in the usual way with which he greets us in the mornings in German...

...i think we may have confused him a little bit as we walked him back into his bedroom, trying to tell him that it would probably be better if he slept just a little bit longer -- say, for nine or ten more hours...

...but i must say -- i've chuckled ever since then whenever i picture it...

..."morgen!"...

...the moral of the story is: "chuckling is good for the soul"...

...yes -- that's quotable, folks...

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

...today, i learned: if you rent a movie with an interesting and challenging story starring Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly expecting it to be a good one, you will most likely not be disappointed...

...see below...

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...currently watching: Reservation Road

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pictures / Peanut Butter

to nobody in particular:

...i noticed recently that i don't really post many pictures on here...

...so i shall remedy that...

...a good friend of ours took some time to take some family photographs for us recently -- here are a few of them...










































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

...today, i learned: peanut butter can be found in more than one store in Berlin...

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...currently enjoying: 2010 World Cup Qualifying Matches (check your local television listings)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Couple of Things / A Couple More Things

to nobody in particular:

...the following are some random things...

--there seemed to be more dog poop out on the sidewalks today than other days...

--i never thought i would see a naturally-exploded whale...

--Travis tends to refuse any kind of medicine or help for his cough and, now, walky nose (not quite runny, but just walky)...

--i am prepping for my "Referat" (presentation) in German class on thursday -- about the Maori culture (or, at least, three aspects of the culture)...

--tomorrow our intern and babysitter arrives from the States -- yes!...

--Germany will hopefully win number four tomorrow, after three wins for their first three World Cup qualifying matches (as does England)...

--i have a little bit of homework still for class tomorrow...

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

...yesterday, i learned: Maori Television exists in New Zealand as of 2004...

...today, i learned: life can be unbearable, boring and weird all at once -- even if only for 24 minutes...

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...currently watching: Whale Rider

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Miniscule / Myriad

to nobody in particular:

...i have a blog in mind about "art & entertainment", but i will save that for another day...

...meanwhile, we pay a monthly estimate for our electric bill, and our first year just came to an end, so we had to pay the difference after this past year...

...yeah, so yesterday, i made a payment of 00,01 Euro to cover our underpayment of our electric bill for the past twelve months...

...one cent...

...i had to make a payment of one, little, tiny cent...

...that's about 1.36 US cents (depending on the day)...

...our bank account is still hurting after that transaction...

...i guess we can forget about that steak dinner later this week...

...bummer...

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

...two days ago, i learned: my older brother was going to be Lando Calrissian in a Star Wars themed wedding...

...yesterday, i learned: this website about laser backgrounds is pretty funny...

...today, i learned: the German word for "freezer", when referring to one that is attached to or part of the fridge, is the "Refrierfach"...

...although, i'm not sure if i spelled that right or not...

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...currently listening to: The Guess Who

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reading / Without Crying

to nobody in particular:

...finally finished reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which i'm borrowing from a friend...

...a very interesting, heart-twisting, and emotionally-engaging read...

...i very much enjoyed it...

...not sure will be the next book in my hands...

...any suggestions?...

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

...yesterday, i learned: for someone who likes reading, i sure read slowly...

...i think part of the reason for this is that i like to immerse myself in the story -- not just breeze through it, but the author took the time to write it well (hopefully), so i should take the time to read it and read through it, if you know what i mean...

...today, i learned: Travis is able to take a bath and get his hair washed without crying...

...yes -- dad is triumphant!...

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...just finished reading: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Son / My Intake

to nobody in particular:

...i am truly blessed...

...i just put Travis down to bed, and was thinking, again, how he is such a great kid...

...he is funny, frustrating, joyful, moody, hilarious, whiny, loving, rejecting, compassionate, selfish, obedient, disobedient, considerate, ignorant, giving and greedy...

...those negative ones above test my patience, of course, but those positive ones are priceless...

...i love him so much...

...i took him to the playground today, and not even 30 seconds after we got there, a boy was upset about something that had just happened, totally unrelated to Travis, and pushed Travis over in anger, sending him toppling over a wooden barrier into the sand area, make him fall head-first, greeted with a face full of sand...

...thankfully (and i say this because maybe not all mothers would have done this), the mom was on top of the situation right away and eventually, after much talking to and many threats, the boy still wouldn't apologize to Travis...

...Travis recovered from the fall quickly and "shook it off", and continued on playing -- maybe not with as much confidence and boldness as normal, but enjoyed himself anyway...

...i felt bad, but proud of Travis...

...he gives great hugs...

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

...today, i learned: question, receive, reflect, and re-question -- that's not a bad sequence...

-----

...currently enjoying: The Iron Giant



...what a terrific movie...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Driving / Generalizing

to nobody in particular:

...we now have German driver's licenses...

...yes!...

...we finally went down to pick them up this morning...

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

two days ago, i learned: sometimes, things that should be difficult to do are relatively easy, and things that should be easy to do are relatively difficult, but then again, some things are easy that should be easy, and difficult that should be difficult, so i guess it all balances out in the end...

yesterday, i learned: sometimes the people that are hard to love, they are hard to love for more than just one reason...

today, i learned: if you look hard enough, you will increase your chances of finding what you are looking for...

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...currently watching: Iron Man



...very fun...

Friday, October 03, 2008

New Video! / New Discovery!

to nobody in particular:

...i just finished putting together the following video...

video

...Travis is a funny, funny little boy...

(...music credit: Weezer...)

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

...today, i learned: there really are Germans that play baseball...

...and i met one of them today...

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Today's Disease: / Tomorrow's Blogease:

to nobody in particular:

...i'm suffering from ridiculoussongrunningthroughmyheadinitis...

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

...today, i learned: throughout the day, i need to write down my good ideas for blog-writing when i have them, otherwise, later, when i sit down to actually type my blog for myself, i will forget them...

...you live, you learn...

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...currently enjoying: "Pork & Beans" by Weezer

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Language Mistakes / Lesson Corrections

to nobody in particular:

...on the way home from language school today, i was thinking about language mistakes, and here is what i have concluded for myself learning the German language...

...there are four different language mistakes that i make, or that one is capable of making:

...first, the "okay" mistake -- these mistakes are fairly overlooked and not a huge deal, nor do they really bother anyone -- they are just very small ones that don't change meanings or whatnot...

..second, the "poetic" mistake -- these mistakes are more on along the line of, "people don't really say that, but it's poetic and creative" -- they are basically a result of wanting to say something deep by using simple language or even metaphors, that aren't common in the German language, but don't necessarily sound bad...

...third, the "correctable" mistake -- these mistakes are the ones that must be corrected, because they change the meaning of a sentence, or is just simply incomprehensible -- what one might call "linguistic salad"...

...and fourth, the "unforgivable" mistake -- these are mistakes that sound horrible, terrible and annoying to the native speakers -- stay away from these!...

...ultimately, and idealistically, i someday will not make these language mistakes...

...but for now, i know i will -- and that is okay...

...that's another realization: making language mistakes are okay...

...amen...

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

...4our days ago, i learned: playgrounds and photography certainly do make great bedfellows...

...3hree days ago, i learned: speaking at Open Door is a good experience...

...2wo days ago, i learned: becoming a new nation depends on more than just language, culture and history...

...1ne days ago, i learned: little old eastern German ladies are funny to see when they are racing across the Bahn tracks to try and catch the Bahn -- look at her go!...

...today ago, i learned: i'm not an animal-/pet-hater, but not an animal-/pet-lover either -- it's more of an issue, that i don't agree that human beings treat animals/pets better than other human beings...

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...currently watching: Enemy of the State