Thursday, September 30, 2010

Self portrait (6)

today i wanted a picture of a phone, and since i didnt post a self portrait for a while, that was the easiest thing to do... :)
from today on, it is forbidden to text while driving in Massachusetts (i looked up how to write this, im glad that most people say just Mass, as i cannot spell nor pronounce this word. another funny thing: people from the Shire (New Hampshire) think Mass people cannot drive and therefore call them Massholes in traffic). here they dont use the term SMS (short message service), so in the beginning, when i said to a us colleague, ah, i will sms u, he had no clue what i was talking about. here they "text", which now you cannot do anymore while driving. teenagers also cannot call, but above 21, calling is still allowed. so there comes the trouble, critics say; how to prove that you were texting?! maybe you were dialing! in netherlands both is forbidden, which would solve this problem, and is more safe anyways, i think....
on my shirt: thats an MIT shirt. however, i am not working at MIT. so am i allowed to wear this?! i think so, as when i look in the mirror, it just says tim!! and when do i see it but in the mirror? but... i wore it now 3 times, and 3 times someone on the street or at work said something about MIT (ah, great, MIT. u from MIT? nice! MIT!), and each time i have no clue what they are talking about... :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Extremely sad

so, there are stupid people. very stupid people, and extremely stupid people. and then there is me.... last night, just before going home, i put on my watch. i dont wear it while in the lab as i dont want to damage it. so i thought i put it on, but next thing i hear is a very loud crack, and there it was, on the floor, shattered...... buuuuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh. then i had to tell tim and in the orange line back home i felt so awful i had to cry.
i got this watch from tim for my PhD. it has an inscription with the date of my defense as well as CaT, yes, thats for Cat and Tim. he gave it to me the morning of the defence, but my wrist waas bigger than the watch, and so wearing it, it looked like i had a sausage-arm. thus couldnt wear it during my defence, about which tim was very sad. the exchange for a bigger size then took another month or so!! and now its broken.... :((( hopefully they can fix it. we goto the watchhospital in boston this saturday, to see what they can do....
the green note comes from prudential center. one day each table in the food court suddenly had such a note. we found that very funny... some tables even had 2, and we found that unnecessary and thought our apartment could use one as well.. so its on our big fancy table there.. now with my broken watch next to it..... isnt that ironic... :((((

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ordinary street

just an ordinary street in Allston.... but i found the name funny, no?
yesterday evening we did not goto the gym, and while sitting lazily on the couch i realized i dont like how our amazing furniture is arranged in our 3 months old new place. so we moved it all, and now i think it looks much better (besides, on sunday we finally hung some pictures on the wall. or rather, tim did; looks sooo great!!). ah, btw, we had to trash our pet, not enough flies present.. :( actually, when we just got our free couch, some people warned us about bedbugs and i got all freaked out but we are bedbug free! :) then... today i read that actually the NY Victoria secret store has/had bedbugs!! yegh....! (link here). how did they get there? arent all these panties coming straight from the factory? what does it all have to do with the above pic? nothing... just all as ordinary.. in other words, nothing special going on here.. :) and its raining!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Something wrong

read in the news today that the owner of Segway -from the segway scooters pictured above, died while using one. he fell off a cliff and was dead immediately. that is sad.... :(
bush also once fell off, almost, i read somewhere, but he managed to jump off just before falling, and apparently this marvellous stunt made these weird scooters kind of famous. here is a link to a site where someone analyzed into (too much) detail why and how bush fell off, and that he should have worn a helmet. you see these things also a lot in malls; policemen use them to avoid walking (im pretty sure they also dont wear a helmet, btw). i always think it looks totally ridiculous. and why should they be on such a thing? some policemen obviously could do with a bit more exercise.... (maybe someday, when i dare, a pic of that as well...)
the pic above was a few months ago, it was raining quite heavily (this pic was a little before), but they were going around as if it was a perfect summer day. i took a picture as the guide was so busy showing things at the boston harbor, but the 3 tourists were more into the scooter itself, driving around the guide displaying not much interest in his stories. somehow this pic is not ok, i didnt manage to upload it but with some trick performed by tim, resulting in a loss of quality. ah well, it seems they are jinxed, no?

Enjoying as..

.. long as it lasts.... amidst so many people this man was just lying there in the sun on saturday. listening to the music at the jazzfestival... :)
sunday it was more grey indeed, and now it is raining... maybe it was the last day of summer ? but i have been thinking that during every sunny day in september, and the weather keeps surprising me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beantown festival

it is september 25. and it was HOT today. i guess 30 degrees? in fact, its almost 2 in the night now, and it is still pleasant out... amazing...
today was the end of the jazz festival going on in boston since a week. but today was for free (oh, the dutch!) and we didnt have to work, so... we arrived rather late and saw two performances, from grace kelly (pictured above; shes only 18 yrs old!! the shoes looked real cool on her) and the jon baptiste trio from new orleans. both were goooooddd! although the first ones were better... it was really nice, also because of the weather, and it was great to see everyone enjoying it so much. we took a lot lot of pictures....
this picture shows the frustration when arriving late, and all good spots are already gone. it was especially annoying since those music stands did not need to be there... (in the next performance they indeed removed them). but i also liked it, as we could see the sax and her shoes... nothing more needed! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lazy today

im lazy. so just a pretty picture (or so i think). this was last sunday, at revere beach.
guess what, its really warm right now, a little too warm, even, because of the humidity. and the pool really really is closed... some stories about that it is too cold during the night resulting in too cold water during the day (well, can i decide for myself?! sometimes it feels like we rent an apartment in an elderly home...), and then something about a wrong composition of chemicals in the water right now.. well, then just take out all water; now its sooo tempting!!
we were sooo excited, today the first episode of the big bang theory would be on CBS. so off to the movie room to watch it (no tv or internet at home)... turned out it was already yesterday.. :( buuuuuh! i want to see sheldon...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Victoria secreetjes

today was yet another beautiful, sunny day... we still have lunch outside... the americans around me are very eager to sit in the sun, as we should enjoy for as long as it lasts (oh winter! ). yesterday evening at 10 it was still so hot it almost was unpleasant!
this pic was taken at nantasket beach. these girls symbolize the Victoria secret generation. you can recognize the phenotype easily; very short shorts (i often wonder whether they forgot they're only wearing panties) or skirts/dresses. flip flops. lot of pink, and a bored look on their face. when talking, you will often (at least as a foreigner) not understand much, except the word "like" that seems to be said after every other word. so in dutch i call them victoria secreetjes, but how to translate that? literally: victoria "bitches", but that word does not fit at all...
for those of you who dont know what victoria's secret is: its a store with lots and lots and lots of colorful underwear. lots of pink, also, but also many clothes that arent pink at all, but have the word pink on it in big letters. ah yes, i also bought something there; a pink bathrobe (something not many stores sell here, i found out), but mostly i go into the store, wonder why, and run out again.. as you might know, the dutch Doutzen kroes modelled a lot for victoria's secret. i actually do not like at all how models are posing for victoria's secret, but maybe im just too old for it?

Free entrance

on wednesday evenings, you can enter the museum of fine arts for free. as there was an exhibition of richard avedon, i really wanted to go there again. at the ticket desk the girl was very friendly and all, she asked for our zipcode, and an emailaddress (why do they always always want your emailaddress? at least now we just say no, but in the beginning we even gave them!), and then she said: "no entrance fee today. would you like to make a donation?" "um. no". and then it was probably our consience that made us feel from then on she was quite a bit less friendly...
anyways, i very much enjoyed avedon's photos. and wow, he had a long long career. he started in 1942, and in 2000, 4 years before his death, he still was photographing fashion. in fact, i just read that he died while shooting for the new yorker, on october 1st. i liked the fashion photos they displayed he made around 1956, i think they were quite ahead of his time..
there was one guy at the exhibit with a big profi camera, and he was photographing avedon's pics... why?? you also just could buy them at the museum shop!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Calling 911

as mentioned before, when in an accident the entire circus comes down to help you (ambulance, firetruck, police). so be careful, when calling 911 from this phone booth, dont stand where tim now stands; a fire engine is rather large..!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The town

friday the town came out. a movie situated in boston about bank robbers in charlestown. of course we went to see it in our favorite enormous cinema. we hoped to catch the one at 10, and were right on time... but then the lady said: all sold out, first movie available is at 11.45!! while driving we passed a fair (i do prefer the dutch word "kermis"; fair does not seem to capture what a "kermis" really is, or so it sounds to me), and thus decided to pass our 2 hour waiting time with people watch there. watch indeed, i did not dare taking pics, but anyways i was more into photographing the colorful attractions.
then back to the cinema that was supercrowded, as opposed to last week with the crappy american. hmm, the movie was not boring (but what wouldnt be after the american), and it was funny to see boston, but they could have shown nicer shots of boston, and ben affleck really didnt need to wear tshirts with "boston" on it continuously, as his accent was strong enough already. also, he could have dressed up a little more, he constantly looked like he just came from the gym, while the girl he falls in love with is dressed up and totally not his type. ah yes, a flimsy story..., luckily i am not a movie critic!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More bubbles

i could not choose which picture to post today.. then i saw this one and wondered why i didnt take this one instead of this or this one.. most likely because last week i was indecisive as well... the two boys in red shirts destroyed the bubbles every time with so much enthousiasm, and the bubble artist kept telling to stop doing that. you could see every time a new bubble came out, they tried not to jump up, but only for a split-second...
this afternoon we probably had our last swim of this year.. :( (they close the pool tomorrow) a little cold at first, but then it was very pleasant! in the morning we had a nice walk in the forest, and after that we went to one of "our" thriftstores where i tried on some cool dresses, but they were either just too small or too large. ah well, maybe thats better, since our wardrobe is overloaded already....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Abandoned cart (2)

or, abandoned stroller, rather... :) this was in winthrop, a while back already. couldnt locate the owner of this cart, nor the child.... a little eerie, no?
its getting colder a little every day. but then tomorrow (weekend!) its supposed to be warmer again. the last day the pool at our apartment complex will be open... defenitely we have to enjoy that! i dont want to say goodbye to swimming!!! :(

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Indiana Jones

last night oak grove village organized a movie night! (thats where we live.. :) ). there was popcorn (on the right), and a huge screen (im sure you can find it yourself). besides, there was wet grass... at first we wanted to sit on a blanket but that was not very comfortable, so, as real americans tim got the foldable chairs from the car... also, this time we were prepared; we had something to drink and to eat! the old indiana jones movie was playing, but i forgot again which one. anyways, it was fun, although a little too cold to be sitting outside, and unfortunately there were not too many people.
the most important sentence of the movie: "ah, you americans are all the same. always overdressed for the wrong occasions!" ah well, i was underdressed: i forgot my socks and halfway had to run back home to get them; yes, it was really chilly!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

People photographing (5)

these 3 ladies were all taking a picture. of the same thing, i guess. but what? maybe the wooden thingie down there in the water. i also photographed it, that was when my camera stopped working, back in april. what i like is the different gradations of effort they display while taking the pic. the lady closest to the water had a "real camera", then the one in the middle took the pic with her phone, and the third had a normal small digital camera (but i dont know if from this we can conclude that the fanciness of your camera dictates the effort you display while taking a pic.... that might not be very scientific).
did they compare afterwards which pic turned out best?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Many tattoos

this guy was building some stage in front of faneuil hall, a very touristy part of boston. in fact i like the walk from the haymarket T station across the market (but after we bought real bad peaches there 2 months ago i refrain from buying anything there, but people watch is amazing..), then you walk past faneuil hall (not that interesting in my opinion) towards the waterfront (very nice...!). i noticed that a lot of people around here have their arms and/or legs tattood entirely like above. almost always very colorful, mostly flowers. i think it is really more extreme as well as colorful than back home.. but it might also be that here more body parts are more often shown due to higher temperatures.. :D
behind the guy is indeed a huge macaroni!! and it says: you know you love it. too bad i could not position him such that that was entirely visible... :(
(and right next to the macaroni is a sign: for your safety; please do not climb on the sculpture; american boredom/ to avoid lawsuits when people fall off?)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Big bird

big lady photographing big bird on a relatively small car (and not the lady's)..... in gloucester, where we had an ice cream yesterday.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plum island

i liked this tree. it was on the way to the beach at plum island, close to newburyport..... it was a little chilly and i dressed ridiculously.. sylvia took some pics that remain hidden, i hope... :) we just come back from watching "the american" with george clooney. he had a lot of eyeliner and mascara, thats all i can tell from the millions of close-ups from his sad face.. my goodness, never saw a more boring film.
time for bed now! its defenitely getting colder (although we did have a swim in the unheated pool!! who knows when they will close it..), and i start to become a little frightened of winter....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WTC view

this is in the financial center in new york, where you have a view on the place where the twin towers used to be. it seems they are now really building something there...
here we didnt notice any 9/11-related events.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bubble jump

and although scary, the kids couldnt stop themselves jumping right into the bubbles.... :)
couldnt help but performing a bit more of pubmedsearching, and found this paper in Science from 1969, where the author is describing the size and lifespan of his bubbles; so cool!!! here is a small citation:
"Bubbles, made from solutions A to F (Table 2), were beautifully colored, although rather thick at the beginning. After bubbles made from these solutions had lasted over 200 days, I became interested in blowing larger bubbles. Big bubbles were blown in a Plexiglas box (55.9-cm edge cube) (13), but they did not last more than a week. Then, Corning Glass Works provided first one and later three 72-liter Pyrex flasks (14), the largest spherical flasks produced in this country. They were perfect for my purposes, and many bubbles were blown to a diameter of 40 to 50 cm out of solutions A to F." (for the scientists: also interesting to see that the writing style of a paper is markedly different from nowadays, just from reading this small part its clear, no?)

Some soap

some water, a little glycerol and some secret ingredients. plus good humidity, not too much sun and a little wind; that is necessary to make gigantic soap bubbles. and of course an audience is needed... i am not sure the soap artist thought children were the perfect audience, but defenitely they loved it!! the bubbles were huge, and jumping into them makes them explode and you hair full of soap (which is a little scary; see above), and blowing into them makes smaller bubbles into big bubbles. i think i took 300 pictures -mostly bad ones.. :( . the children got crazy, as soon as another bubble appeared out of the artist's net, they jumped up to destroy it, while he kept saying: leave them, leave them. at least leave them until they are a full bubble!! it was amazing to see... :)
sylvia came over from san diego, she has a meeting in boston starting friday and we took half a day off thursday to go to Lincoln, to the de cordova sculpture park. the museum was closed, but the park was interesting enough (and the bubble man)! now ofcourse we will try to make huge bubbles ourselves too... in fact there are quite some papers on pubmed about soap bubbles; just saw that in june there was a publication in nature that describes what happens to bubbles when they explode; rather than vanishing, this creates small bubbles.... just to let you know...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Horse found

in fact the abandoned carriage from yesterday was not that abandoned after all. the building on the other side of the street that looked like it could fall apart any moment, harbored the horse on the ground floor (the other levels were clearly empty, there were not even windows anymore). it all looked soooo shabby. at first i did not even see the horse!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Abandoned cart

carriage, actually. also in new york; in the same street as the garage for cabs. it looked so strange, so out of place, finding this carriage there. it really looked as if it was abandoned in a hurry, and suddenly we were in another century, if not for the cabs rushing by.. we checked whether it was broken or so, but that did not seem to be the case.
i always heard this story that it is no pleasure to take a carriage ride in central park, as they keep the horse-shit somewhere close to where you are sitting. but i never tried, so i dont know whether it is true... :) (trying to find out a bit more about it, i came across this article, its about how badly these horses are treated, and that the average working life of such a horse is 4 years, whereas the average is 15 years for horses of the NYPD)

Monday, September 6, 2010

People photographing (4)

this mother is taking a picture of 2 of her children in front of the liberation monument. she was hoping that her son would look just like the soldier above, except that the boy did not at all understand what was expected from him. he kept looking up and smiling, while she kept asking him to look as in the sculpture above. it took soooo long that i could take 4 crappy pictures before i had one i was satisfied with. then the father, holding their other kid (hes on the left), demonstrated how the boy was supposed to hold his brother, and how he then had to hang his head backwards instead of looking up. pfff, what would they eventually do with this picture?! worst of all, some girls climbed onto the statue, clearly disrupting the entire image....
ah, in the back there is the statue of liberty. earlier that day we passed the endless row of people waiting to get onto a ferry towards it (4.3 million people visit it/year), surely we skipped that! we wanted to take a ferry to the liberty state park, as you have such a nice view on manhattan/lady liberty from there. but walking all the way from world trade center through battery park, staten island ferry terminal, we reached pier 9 close to the brooklyn bridge to find out that there is no ferry service at that point during weekends. by then we were so tired that we went there by car later on, just before driving back to boston. from there we saw the sunset over manhattan and it was truly scrumptious!! :)

Beware of...

... dutch people not wanting to pay for anything... :) hahaha. it was the first weekend of the month, and then certain museums are for free with our bank of america card! an advantage of having a bank account with (at?) that bank. of course i had looked up which museums were for free in New York. on saturday we went to the museum of metropolitan art, and on sunday we went to the intrepid (picture above is on that enormous boat). tim wanted to go to the latter (i wanted to go to the first), i was not that interested in all those different aircrafts... i dont know whether other visitors really looked at all those planes, if only through the lens of their camera. my goodness, so many pictures were taken there. you could hardly walk around without being in someone's pic... all in all, we saved 80 dollars of entrance fee!! quite a lot. but then we spent 50 dollars on a very bad meal in a bad restaurant on 33th street (close to the empire state building), next day we just went to mac donald's; a whole lot better...

Cab repair

the past 2 days we were in New York!! we were thinking of it on monday, we dismissed the idea on tuesday (no hotel available), we booked a cheap room/w free parking in jersey city on wednesday (close to where i used to live for 3 months, 6 yrs ago already). left at 7 on saturday, and drove to NY!! it all went smooth, until we were in front of the Holland tunnel (our shabby hotel was right at the other side). soooo much traffic!! when we finally lined up, a cab behind us was trying to go right through us, and tim even asked him to be a little more patient. few seconds later, the guy just drove against the back of ours!! idiot!! nice start.... although traffic was really crazy, we freaked out the cab driver by calling 911 (but the idiot just bumped into the car!!), and refused to move any further. he then threw some money into tim's lap (20 dollars) and asked him to please please cancel the cops, as he could loose his license, and his customers (they just got out and were about to leave). yes, blah! then luckily we saw that in fact our car was not damaged at all (except a bit of yellow paint from his cab on the bumper, easily removable). his front however... pfew, we were lucky!! we then decided to leave it and just drive on, as we were on the most awful spot to be standing still.
later that day we passed the 24 hour (!!) garage where they refurbish cabs... it was a beautiful scene; but i was too shy to take a picture... :( sooo stupid! i was annoyed about that the rest of the day. the next day we went there again, and then i did take some pics (see above), but it wasnt as nice as the day before..... :( and in fact they didnt mind at all! even, they said that now they probably will be celebrities very soon...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Earl

last night it was sooooo hot again. i was waiting for Earl to come... but he did not. not yet. it rained a little, and the governer declared a state of emergency, in case Earl will/would be bad. it seems luckily that earl has significantly weakened, but heavy rain is expected late this night.... maybe we get another flooding of the subway....
above in fact is not a flooding, its some water bassin next to the scientist church. And today i am leaving early...! (its almost 5 and friday, so thats allowed), because tomorrow we have to get up real early!!!!! pictures surely will show why, later this weekend.. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Self portrait (5)

a well, kind of a self portait then... the car reflected in the woman's helmet is the one we are in... :) and the woman is reflected in the helmet of the guy in front of her... too bad i missed the mirror in this one, as then we would also have seen the guy...
this was when going to wrentham, to the outlet center. and it was soooooo hot that day, as well as the days since (well over 30 degrees and not cooling down much at night, buuh!) but tomorrow we are supposed to get a visit from hurricane Earl...

American picnic

i think americans really like to picnic. we saw that already on july 4th. they bring huge blankets, food and games, often even foldable chairs and enjoy...
on the first day of september we went to the hatch shell at the south bank of the charles river (that area is called the esplanade). there was a free concert, the last one from many during the summer (the coming weekend summer officially ends.. buuh). they played all Beethoven's symphonies (each one every week). it was crowded! we were not that prepared and only had a small scarf and no food, but most people around us were.. like the old ladies above. wow, they brought so much! even a foldable table, and LOTS of food plus real wine glasses, which they continued to fill with wine... it was hard to take a picture of them, too far away and too dark.. so the most funny ones were not sharp... :( yes yes, taking pictures is no picnic!! :)
(i just learned that from wikipedia: In British and American English, the phrase "no picnic" is used to describe a difficult or trying situation or activity)