Monday, February 18, 2008

Off to the Big Apple

Hi Everyone!

Well I'm off to the Big Apple tomorrow for a conference and unfortunately woke up sick this morning! It might have something to do with staying out very late on Friday after the great AbbaMania concert. Because we knew one of the lead singers, we got to party with the band until the wee, or not-so-wee, hours in the morning. By the end of it I felt very old and in need of a hot water bottle. Some of us (like me) embraced the 70s spirit of the evening with retro-clothes. And of course we played silly games like "scary-face" making at the bar. I post a picture of 3 women trying to look scary. Only two succeed. For some reason I couldn't muster "scary" with all that 70s karma floating around me.

I can hardly wait to see Peter in New York, meet friends and colleagues at the conference, eat Mexican and Ethiopian food (not at the same time) and do some shopping. After my presentation on Sunday, Peter and I are headed up to Massachusetts where several of my students are defending their theses later that week. Then it's back to Rostock on March 1st.

One thing I hope to bring back with me are some measuring cups. I've started impressing my friends with rough attempts at baking banana bread, but since English measuring units aren't used here, I've been guessing at how much of various ingredients I'm putting in. This isn't always successful! My recent result was more like banana stone than banana bread...

I'm also looking forward to longer daylight hours in Rostock. Each day between Dec. 21st and June 21st our day length increases by 3 minutes. While the sun was rising close to 9am and setting before 4pm in December, I'm awaiting the long days of June with 18 hours of sunshine.

Hope you all are well.....

Monday, February 11, 2008


We had a gorgeous ride on Saturday, the day was AMAZINGLY beautiful with bright sunny skies, crystal clear visibility, little wind, and LOTS of miles to ride. We misjudged the distance and rode at least 90 kilometers. I've posted a pic of the cycle team on the blog here. Our friend Sutay cut his day short about half-way through, and Elke and I are still giggling over leaving the boy in the dust....Today I am relaxed and thinking about laying down some more (that might also have to do with the fact I can barely sit on a chair, my rear is so bruised from the bike saddle!) Today we're socked in with fog that is thick as pea soup and it's cold. So all the stars must have been in alignment for us Saturday.

Yesterday I took a big step and ordered a pizza from the local pizza parlor to be delivered to my house -- all in German! I've been terrified of making phone calls in German b/c people might ask me questions I can't understand. But the pie arrived, was delicious, and I'm feeling very worldly today. :-)

Well, other than number crunching, paper writing, and buying two train tickets, two subway tickets, a plane ticket, a bus ticket, and a couple hotel reservations (all for my trip next week to NYC), it's been a quiet day! I just found out I was invited to present research at a conference in Mannheim, Germany, next month, and will be taking a night train with a sleeper car as part of that trip. I've never done that, but it looked so fun when Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen did it in "White Christmas" that I had to try.

Hope all y'all's weekend was lovely too, M.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Dear Friends and Family....welcome to my blog from Rostock. I always thought I was on the cutting- edge of technology until I turned 30. Nowadays I realize what a dinosaur I am, compared with my nieces (whose prowess I've witnessed on facebook). So although I never thought I would use facebook, and I certainly never thought I'd be one of those annoying eglomaniac bloggers who think all the world is interested in the inner workings of their I am!

I intend to use this blog to share my life in Rostock with those whom I care about and are interested in such things. Yes, I realize I'm almost half-way through my time here, but for the next 5 and 1/2 months, you can get the latest updates of my wild and crazy life on my blog. (I know everyone is pointing at might picture and is yelling "she's such a dork!" at this point. It's ok, I can take it. Remember I typically teach 20-somethings who are super cool and think I'm the biggest nerd on the planet....)

So whazzup around here? I have a fun month planned....tomorrow I'm going on a 75 kilometer bicycle ride along the Baltic sea coast with two friends from work: Elke (from Munich) and Sutay (from Turkey). We're going to a hanseatic sea village called Wismar. And a week from today I'm going with some other friends from work to a big-deal concert called "AbbaMania" -- yes, it is an ABBA-impersonating band from Scandinavia that's apparently very popular. The director of my institute's daughter is one of the lead singers, and we are excited to go. Yes, I will be wearing bell-bottoms and the craziest shirt I can find in downtown Rostock. Finally, on Feb. 20th I go to New York City for 5 days for a conference (oh yeah, I've got to write the paper and presentation before then) and will be meeting my sweetheart in the big apple...Peter's coming down to see me and catch some Harlem jazz and some Broadway musicals.

In between the long hours at my desk crunching numbers and writing papers, and the bouts of homesickness I seem to continually feel, I'm slowly learning to speak German, drink Weiss bier, and relax. I think for the first year since I started graduate school I'm not having eyelid-twitches and insomnia. Ah yes, everyone should take a retreat to the dark, rainy northern coast of Germany in the winter....

Auf Wiedersehen,