Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Well, the blog has a new look. I deleted most of what I wrote. Why? My writing style sucks. I've spent so much time writing my thesis that that style has spilled over into my blog-writing style. So I've resolved not to post anything theological until I can fix that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

De - fense [stomp, stomp] De - fense!

Shabbat Shalom! My advisor just emailed me today. This morning I emailed her asking if it was cool to schedule my thesis defense since I hadn't heard from her in a while, I think my research and thesis are in decent shape, and time is running out. She wrote back saying to go ahead with scheduling my defense! Halleluyah!

It looks like it'll be sometime between January 26-30, but I'm waiting to hear from the rest of my thesis committee on what days and times work for them. I'll post when I know for sure when we'll be flying back and specifics on the defense. I'll need to have that all nailed down in the next week. After the defense, it's party time, and if you know me, you're invited to the party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ich bin in Oldenburg!

This is me(Bethany) now, and yes, I did make it to Deutschland and after that, have succeeded in distracting Eric sufficiently so that he hasn't been able to post anything else since my arrival. ;)

Seriously though, we've been pretty busy finding an apartment, buying bikes (no car, Woohoo!), buying blinds for our windows (that took about a week because I didn't know the right attachment for the windows, because, as the windows here swing out, you can't attach blinds to the wall above the windows; you have to attach them directly to each part of each window - this little attachment, by the way, cost me 10 Euros each - not counting the blinds - so that ended up being an expensive endeavor - but we now have privacy! We love how much light this apartment gets, even on rainy days, but since we are on the ground level next to two parking lots, we are also pretty exposed, so blinds are nice in the evening especially :)

We also were able to get most of the furniture we need from a girl who was moving to Frankfurt. Her furniture goes pretty well in our apartment which is a bonus....

This is kind-of stream of consciousness but oh well! We also bought a washer - it was fascinating being able to watch the clothes being washed the first couple of times! We haven't gotten a dryer yet, due to indecision on whether we actually need one or not, and also not being able to afford much more yet... The move has been expensive to say the least. So I've been hanging clothes to dry on our drying rack, as well as on the lines strung up by the landlord in the basement (apparently this is a common thing in Europe). They are big on conserving energy here! The toilet even has a small and large button - smaller for using less water, and larger for more... That was interesting. Our fridge and freezer are tiny! The small size would be a huge problem in the states, but here, almost everything comes in small containers, so it is not a problem. Also, there are farmer's markets every single day, so, to do it the German way, we go each day or every other day to get fresh produce from the market... There farmer markets are weird though too, in the sense that they sell bananas and oranges etc (which we KNOW did not come from this area), as well as regional produce and milk (and cheese, lots of cheese! not much cheddar, though, to Eric's dismay...his graduation party will have to involve lots of good quality cheddar cheese :) ) Anyway, some other interesting things are that Germans subsist almost entirely, it seems, from the offerings here, off of Schweinfleisch (pork and or pig products of amazing variety), bread (fresh baked daily from amazing bakeries that cook bread right - without preservatives etc), and cheese (all sorts of varieties - it is overwhelming to go to the cheese counter! because most of them are not common in the US and the ones that are common in the US are not common here!) I finally figured out that a mildish type cheese that doesn't have crazy aftertastes that goes well on pizza, sandwiches etc is Gouda.... I found that out by looking at the preshredded cheeses that Aldi specifically had for use on pizza. Also, Germans love their alcohol. It is much cheaper than in the US and also better quality.... Eric is happy about the beer.... They do not use baking soda in baking by the way, which led me on a long search for it... after searching google online, and figuring out what it is called, I finally asked for it in a bigger grocery store (which seems gigantic here but is tons smaller than a US store and not very much car parking space - which they don't need - most people travel by bike!) they led me to the medicine section, and apparently I found out, baking soda is good for upset stomachs!

I am still finding my way around and exploring, so it has been hard to get in a routine... Even buying groceries takes quite a bit of energy! It is hard to find what I'm used to buying, and things that I'm used to being cheaper items are more expensive here, and other things that I'm used to being more specialty items are cheaper here... It is all very confusing! But interesting... and my German is getting quite a bit better, as is Eric's. He's able to understand quite a bit now in conversations I have with his colleagues in German....

Anyway, if anyone's still reading this, we're still alive, and hopefully the next sunny day I'll actually remember to bring my camera with me to take some pics! (yesterday was gorgeous and there are sooo many beautiful places in the area... The architecture here is really nice as well... things are much more solidly built here.... we haven't used the heat really at all in our new apt, even though we've had some really chilly days outside.... We have solid stone or brick around us, which helps to keep the warmth in.... I am not freezing constantly as I was in our old place.... It is nice :) Also, we don't hear our neighbors hardly at all... When they were drilling in the apt next to us, we could hear them, but it was faint and far-away sounding.... pretty amazing! It is nice to feel a bit more like we are in a house, not an apartment.... We also haven't heard the person up above us at all! Pretty crazy!

OK. I think I'll call it a day for now. Would love to hear from you! (if you haven't all run away by now)

Bethany :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Post

Well, I've had a few friends strongly enourage me to start a blog. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, but between writing my Ph.D. thesis and everything else that life brings, I haven't found much time to blog. But since I moved to Germany about a week ago (Bethany will be joining me in a week and a half or so), I decided that this would be a great way to help us keep in touch with people. Oh yeah, in case we haven't had a chance to tell you yet, I have a job in Germany which came together at the last minute. It's a crazy story, so I'll reserve that topic for another forthcoming post. Since we got married over 3 years ago, we haven't kept in touch with people as much as we would like, and we apologize, but once we get settled in here, our plan is to change that. Shortly, I'll be posting my experiences in Germany and some of my impressions and experiences here.

So if you're ever wondering what we're up to, this is the place to look, unless we say otherwise. We may occasionally email people when we have updates and maybe I'll figure out how to set up an RSS feed for automatic email updates when we add something, but we'll be here as long as possible. We'll begin posting pictures from the past several years up on Picasa as well for viewing online. I'm working on reducing the file size of the images so that they don't take all day to download too.

In addition to providing personal updates, we want to prove an outlet and a forum to discuss thoughts and ideas. To most people, Bethany and I are about the most outside-the-box thinkers anyone has ever met. So if you're looking for fresh, new (or renewed, we hope), controversial perspectives on topics of faith, politics, health, society, life, etc. then grab a cup of coffee or a frosty mug of a quality microbrew, pull up a seat, read, comment, and discuss. Hmm. beer sounds like a great idea.... Ich habe ein Neumarkter Lammsbräu Dunkel. Organic German beer, brewed in accordance with the German purity laws for beer: Reinheitsgebot. Wow that's good.

Anyway, in my next post, I'll talk about how we think and why so that subsequent posts will have a context within which to be viewed and help you, the reader, understand where we're coming from, our paradigms of thought.