Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick / treat

ah, halloween! unknown to us dutchies but such a big event here in the us. a month ago target already filled its stores with many hilarious costumes and home decorations... and at the lantern parade we already saw many children in halloween costumes. this thursday we witnessed the first adults dressed up while in the subway (sooo many of them! im wondering what percentage of the us did not participate in this event. this link provides a list with the most popular costumes; chilean miners, paul the octopus?!!) interesting.... but the pics i took were not sharp :( 
ah yes, are we boring! but i never enjoyed dressing up, and thus we did not go from bar to bar yesterday in weirdo costumes (instead, we were at the cemetery!). today we had a long walk around cold, windy boston, and saw some more people in costumes, mostly dead tired, hungover and hungry in the mc donalds... but also the pic i took there was boring. above... some children that are getting candy from firemen, in cambridge. yet the only child dressed up as a cute flower was of course hidden when i took this picture... but i like the boy sticking his head in the bag to see what he got....
just looked up what "trick-or-treating" is, as i didnt even know that. i knew it was going from door to door to get candy, but what is the trick part?  my friend wikipedia enlightens me: "Children in costumes, either in large groups or accompanied by an adult, travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?". The "trick" is a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given."
i do hope the boy was satisfied with his treat from the firemen...... :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Overload, maybe

clearly too much here... and on top of all those traffic signs, there is the us-flag, as you should never forget in which country you are... :)
generally i enjoy choosing a photo and writing something about nothing or nothing about something, im not in the mood today, nor yesterday...
ah well.... we went to the cemetery again as it was a beautiful, sunny day. ah, and the colorful trees from yesterday all lost their leaves entirely... this time we went by bike!! cant even remember when was the last time i was on a bike... :( (a real bike, the bike in the gym is just a stupid machine) oh my, i miss biking a lot... i used to bike to work every day for the past 4 years. and now? never, not even in the weekends.... also, i miss a proper washing machine. just tried to wash a comforter. well... after the wash, the upper part didnt even get wet, so then i turned it around and "washed" it again.  i guess we must be lucky we at least have our own washer. but why, why does the clean laundry often come out dirtier than it was before? seriously....
but that was enough whining... good night!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall colors

on the cemetery, last weekend. isnt that pretty? but more and more trees are entirely without leaves now. as opposed to yesterday, when it was like summer, its quite a bit colder again today and a strong wind...  so, soon no more fall foliage....
me? off to sleep....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Police explain

this picture was taken when obama was in boston. i can readily imagine how this lady is babbling on and on and on, but none of the police officers is actually listening... "officers, please explain me why nowadays.. blabllabla.." i didnt like the one with the glasses, he was on a motorcycle and when parking it in front of the convention center took the right of way and let a mother with 2 small children back away, while it was overcrowded there! this morning there was an article in the metro newspaper questioning whether police officers used excessive violence while arresting a 16-year old at  the roxbury college. this arrest was taped and can be seen on youtube. i myself dont want to watch the entire thing, but the beginning looks bad. ofcourse, i have no clue what this kid did, but fact is, he is only 16 and about 10 officers (!! were they taking turns on the beating?) were dealing with him at the same time. this part of the news report i found particularly stupid; "the teen allegedly grabbed the officers handcuffs and started flailing, which can be very dangerous", the Commissioner said. and: "3 officers were taken to the hospital". once again, i never hope to get into contact with "the emergency services".
other than that; today was a truly scrumptious day! it was like a sunny summer-day, only the trees gave away to true season we are currently in...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Truly bizarre

this photo i took on one of our walks through the fells reservation, close to our apartment in melrose. found the shadows on this fallen tree so pretty. didnt post it so far as usually i like a story around a picture (unless i really like the pic and it speaks for itself.. :) or when im lazy... ;) ), but couldnt imagine the story with this picture would be this weird....
my parents went on holiday last week. the day after they left i got an email from my sister with the subject "IMPORTANT!!!!" that worried me a little... 
she wrote me that a blossom tree in my parent's garden had been cut down; the person taking care of the house could not open the door to the garden and discovered a huge tree was blocking it. uuhh??! i think the tree is as old as me, and a real! big! tree! (not as big as the above one though). pretty too, although not nice to sit under, as many birds liked it as well, and the chance of getting shit on your head was pretty big. anyways, on the day my parents left, someone, somehow cut down this tree!! can you believe it?! else nothing happened (luckily), but there was no sign, no note, no phone call, both neighbors on holiday...
and now this big, cut down tree is lying there. my parents came back today and called the police, but they said that its not something to come over for (it is a big tree! i would have no clue how to get rid of it..). im quite curious, actually, what the police here in the US would do about this...
now i told my sister to take some pics.... so maybe i can post one here... :)

normally i never do this, but today i violate my own rules; below 3 pics of the actual tree, before and after, and its removal.... see, a nice, big tree... (photos taken by my father, in the netherlands)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Its october!

even, its almost the end of october and today it was around 23 degrees. in the morning it was a little hot, almost, very humid from the rain we had last night. today was great, and we once again had lunch outside (too bad the remainder of the day was spent in the lab).... boston keeps treating me very well.. :)
therefore a sunny picture, although not from today. this was in gloucester. i like to photograph seagulls, but usually they are far too unsharp. there were so many of them, and when this little dog came running towards them, they all moved up a little. i do think seagulls are very lazy, you need some effort to get them off the ground. strangers already once remarked; why you taking pictures of flying rats!!
ah, and here the most amazing picture of a flying rat.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ocean view

this was somewhere in rockport, when we were just driving around. it was soooo beautiful there. these houses were all perfectly located.. but i would find it a little too far away from everything, and ordering everything online is a little boring, no.. ? :)
i finally figured out how to get larger pictures on my blog. it was easier than i thought, just googling around and following step-by-step directions on this blog. ah, without google and wikipedia i would be sooo much dumber!!
therefore, just this pretty view...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enchanting leaves

 this morning we went to the wyoming cemetery here in melrose. this graveyard is more than 100 years old. many cemeteries here you can enter by car, i find that sooo weird.. (but it is a very big cemetery)! we parked somewhere outside and had a walk. it was very pretty with all the colorful leaves, and there were soooo many of them.. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lantern parade

this little girl is no anomaly in this crowd. she was one of many children in halloween costume. yes yes, it is not yet halloween; it was the yearly lantern parade around jamaica pond in jamaica plain. this parade began in 1984 when people gathered to make a journey with their candle-lit lanterns. around 4,000 people arrived at the pond around sunset, and all children were dressed up in their halloween costumes. it was soooo cute!
as the website spontaneous celebrations says: "The Lantern Parade has it's cultural roots in Japanese lantern making and Dutch tradition. It reflects our dedication to building community by exploring old and creating new cultural traditions." eeehhmm, dutch tradition? really? i do remember we had "lampionnenoptocht" (lantern parade), and the lanterns were from colorful paper, on a long stick. (here they were made from cut off soda bottles.. :)) but is it a real dutch tradition? (also, i do not remember whether i ever joined such a parade other than as a spectator) and wikipedia lets me down on this one....
anyways, it was real pretty to see all these small lights going around the pond, and it was a beautiful part of boston we had not yet discovered...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Many dream...

.. few manage it. (actually that is a sentence from the book im currently reading, it is said when the main character's house is on fire and he says "there is a dog as well. stuck in the house unless she's learned to fly". it is a book by annie proulx, postcards. i didnt read much american literature before, but i am catching up pretty well, currently. i like this book and writing style, it gives me a good view of the american life, although rather dark..).
above was last sunday. this area is around the place of "our" favorite supermarket. it is a run-down, industrial area. it was actually the first time we went somewhere solely for the purpose of taking pictures. it was not much of a success, i wasnt happy with any of the pics i took. i liked the building above, but the car was in the way... a little later i saw why it was parked there; they were having a photoshoot! while i took a pic of the scene, the mother of the model asked whether i wanted to take a pic of her daughter as well.. then she told us that they are originally from brasil, and that they (she?) hopes that her 17-year old daughter becomes a real model. however, a professional photoshoot was sooo expensive, so now a friend was taking pictures of her. in the end she added; ah, yes, if she would make it... then i dont have to work anymore!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On shoes

i am fascinated by the shoes american women wear. either they are like above, super high heels that i cannot imagine ever to be able to walk on normally, or big white ugly sport shoes. i do not see much in between, or maybe only these 2 extremes catch my eye. the big white shoes i never understand. sometimes a woman is so well dressed, but then i see her shoes... everything for comfort?! at the same time, for a party, or wedding, they suddenly are able to walk on impossibly high heels.. :)
the people in the picture above belong to the latest wedding i pictured. they were waiting while the bride & groom got their pictures taken... maybe now the guy has a picture of them at his desk, as to never forget he has a wife... ;)
a few months back i actually had the idea to take pictures of legs/shoes. but then i found out someone i once met at a party already did that, and even got a book published about that. curious? here is the link. is anything ever original? i guess everything has been said and done already before. some are just more succesful than others... :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pool closed

this picture i took on sunday. i liked the ominous sky combined with sunshine, and the rain i expected actually never came. the previous weekend i also took some pics around the pool, all not to my liking, and also this one does not reflect the beauty i saw when walking around it! the pool has been closed since a while now.. :( leaves started to accumulate, and with the sun it was soo pretty! yesterday morning we saw that they were taking out the leaves, and when coming back from work last night the pool was entirely covered. not at all pretty anymore and so suddenly the picture above looked a little more appealing to me than when i could still look outside and see it for real.. :) (haha, that goes fast).
anyways, im currently obsessed with crooked pictures (thats a new word for me. sounds funny). i easily misjudge the horizon level and then end up with something i thought would be nice, but... is crooked! aarrghhh. practise!!
back to the pool; it will be months before we can swim there again. and before that i will experience my first "real winter". brrrr... im now confined to the gym for my exercise, and find it extremely boring.. beeeughhhh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In isolation

it is still not cold (yet)! yes, in the mornings and evenings its chilly, but chilly in a nice and fresh way (dont they say "crisp" or something?). lunch outside in the sun is still possible, isnt that amazing?
this is at the boston common. i found him funny. it was so beautiful and sunny, and he had entirely isolated himself from his surroundings with his laptop, ipod/phone or whatever, and headphones. multimedia-kid.. :) (and now i sound like an old lady, as if i am not on the internet all the time myself!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

One day..

..he himself will be governor... :)
this was on Boylston, in front of the hynes convention center/prudential, on saturday when obama was in town. read this morning that 15,000 people gathered there to see a glimpse of him, and only 7,000 did. i took quite some pictures of the event, but this is the only one i truly like, and even this one is not entirely as i hoped... i need to practise more!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wicked funny

another wedding yesterday, or wedding pictures for that matter, at the public garden (shortly before we saw another one as well, but this one was clearly more posh). i found the entire scene hilarious, really everything is wrong, and i am sure these people would not appreciate this photo at all.. :)
what was real wicked fun (a new expression for me but towards becoming a real american i should add it to my vocabulaire, i believe), and this really lived up to the definition of "wicked fun" was the movie we went to see last night; red (retired and extremely dangerous). with bruce willis, morgan freeman and john malkovich. my oh my! that was really funny.. and i recommend you all go and see it...
we went to the AMC Loews at/near boston common, and the movie theater itself was cool as well. it was enormous (bigger than "our" theater in revere), and soo american! should take some pictures there someday...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

No glimpse

no glimpse, no look-a-like, nothing.... the closest i came to seeing obama was not today but last monday, at the top of a mountain called "gunstock" that we climbed in the shire (NH).
so, obama was in boston today at the hynes convention center, next to prudential. he was there to campaign for governor deval patrick; on november 2 are the congressional and gubernatorial elections (gubernatorial? i dont know what that is!). according to the newspaper it all started at 12.30. we were there well before that, but there was already an enormous, endless row of people waiting to enter hynes. apparently people had been lining up since 6 this morning!! no way we had a chance, and thus we stood at the entrance of hynes, watching so many people go in, although the row did not seem to get any shorter (7000 were allowed in; quite some people were unlucky). it was soo windy today, and sooo cold!! we waited there quite a long while, and i photographed a lot of overweight police officers, but no obama.... :( when someone finally asked a policeman he said; obama is long inside! they have underground parking here, ya know, sure he doesnt come through the front entrance..! and that was it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

On stage

staying in new york (didnt take any pictures this week) and the intrepid. i found this very funny, although i did not even know the meaning of "props". but luckily my IQ is always higher when the internet is working, and wikipedia tells me the following: a "theatrical property", usually referred to as "prop" is an object used or held on stage by an actor. A "prop master or mistress" is the person in charge of handling and buying/finding the props. but, a prop can have many other meanings, as listed here, and of course on the intrepid it actually refers to propellers..., the full text being beware of jet blast, intakes and props..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Girl running

with her dog. this was in new york, few weeks back. she looked very much new york to me, with the tiny little dog and her dress, running along the hudson. most funny was that we were at the exact same spot the next day, and she came running by with her dog again, but this time wearing another dress. too bad that time i did not have my camera ready...
ah, in the background the intrepid...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Moose tracks

we have this great little ice cream shop close to our house (not pictured above, it is not so photogenic; this one is in nantasket). one thing americans certainly are good at; delicious ice cream! and you get lots of it. the first time we went there we made the mistake of ordering a medium-sized ice cream. we didnt have dinner yet, and we didnt need one anymore after that.... i did not eat anything else the entire evening and was soooo full! i think a small ice cream here is still a lot bigger than a large ice cream in the netherlands.. (and you can take TWO flavors in a small..! 2!!). my favorite flavor is moose tracks. yum yum yum yum. not a flavor i would have choosen myself, but a real american colleague recommended it to me.. and i didnt want anything else ever since. it is vanilla icecream with chocolate fudge and tiny cute peanut butter cups. hmmmm.. want one now!! however.. most ice cream shops (including "ours") closed this weekend; its getting colder..... although today it was another sunny day, we even had lunch outside!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcoming visitors

as seen at park street/downtown crossing. on the other side of the street is boston common, with the brewer fountain. nice! :)
yesterday we went to new hampshire, and upon entering that state we saw the following welcoming sign: "live free or die". we made jokes about that the rest of the day. we also imagined that being the welcoming sign to the netherlands ("leef in vrijheid, of.. sterf!!!" hmmm). right after that, there were state-owned liquor stores on either side of the highway, with a huge sign: "no tax, stock up and save!" now isnt that a warm welcome! then we climbed a mountain and enjoyed the fall colors (very nice, nicer than in boston, actually) and beautiful views. we didnt meet any NH people, luckily, what if they would determine whether we were free or... ?
today i caught up with my wikipedia reading and learned that "live free or die" is NH's state motto, adopted in 1945. the phrase comes from a toast written by general john stark in 1809. and yes, every state has a motto! the one for mass is: ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem that you ofcourse immediately translate into: by the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty. but i like californias motto best: eureka!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Too sleepy

to write anything of interest or to pick a nice picture.. i didnt take any interesting ones today... not many people around where we went... :) oh yes, we climbed a mountain, or.. we went "hiking"; i always find that a very funny word, and it sounds very active; indeed, it was a bit tiring for someone who comes from a country thats entirely flat.... and yes, the view on top was nice and all, but im not good at capturing such beauty (but it really was pretty!).
im best off sleeping now, i guess, and its about time! tomorrow another day of work.. (and for those who might think otherwise; this is not a selfportrait!!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wedding shit

today was yet another amazingly sunny day (it is october!!). we had a walk in the forest, drove around, landed on this beautiful beach in rockport with a lot of dogs and a bride & groom.. they were there for their wedding photos, i presume. there was a lady with a huge camera, their dog, and his parents (i think). the lady was directing them to run along the water together, he had to lift her up and she put her leg perfectly up in the air. after those cliche pictures were taken, the photographer put them down in the dunes, and finally she made them walk with the dog along the beach. beeeuuuughhhh!! who wants such pictures?! what do you do with such pictures? what does it capture? your perfectly orchestrated moments after the wedding?! ah well, i guess i am not suited for wedding photography. the only time i really became interested was when the dog took a shit and the groom immediately got down to put it in a plastic bag (pictured above). well, that finally was a true and spontaneous moment! the bride was looking the other way, while her husband was doing what he was supposed to do. and at that time ofcourse the wedding photographer with her enormous camera was nowhere to be found... (in fact, the only thing she said, was "gosh, you 2 made that dog soo nervous!! and then the poor dog was handed back to their parents and the photoshoot continued)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Downtown crossing

one of the many entrances to downtown crossing. but one we hadnt seen so far, and currently is rather hidden due to some fences and construction work. too bad, because it is sooo beautiful!! especially since it was yet another sunny day... marvellous... :)
we went to the watchhospital for my broken watch, but like last saturday it had a note on the door, "sorry, we are closed this saturday". then we found some (i think) pretty weird jewelry shops upstairs in some building, but the watch maker as well as the jewelry-repair shop said that only the manufacturer could repair such damage... anyways, i didnt really want to give my watch to any of them... :(

Friday, October 8, 2010

Big glasses

this man is sitting at one of the benches surrounding the fountain on the boston common. he caught my eye because of his camera and his enormous glasses. both made me wonder... was he giving his camera a rest? was he filming the fountain? was he secretly picturing other people posing in front of it... ? he did notice me taking a pic of him but i didnt dare talking with him, somehow..
this fountain is usually surrounded by tourists but why was never clear to me. a little googling around taught me that this fountain is 142 years old, and that makes it the oldest one of the 21 fountains in boston. last year it underwent repairs costing more than 630,000 dollars!! in fact, it comes from europe, and it is the only known surviving copy of the original featured at the 1855 paris world fair, where it got a gold medal. it was imported from switzerland by gardner brewer, a wealthy merchant, who gave it to the city of boston in 1868.
maybe he was just thinking about all that.. while sitting there... :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bandit mask

oh yeah, they look very cute and all, with their blackish coloration on the front of the face resembling a bandit's mask, and their black-ringed tails... but these raccoons like to rummage around in the waste receptacles (i really like that word, it was in the rental contract we signed) at our perfect apartment complex. living here comes with many pleasures (24 hr gym, a pool in the summer, free internet at the club house, a movie room), but also with many rules (the perfect green lawns should stay that way, so no one can park their bike outside, children cannot forget their toys on the grounds and if you have a balcony, only official outdoor furniture is allowed on it, besides, you cannot put your name or whatever on your front door or paint your own walls). but what about the raccoons?! the first time i heard something around the large wastebin, i thought it was a mouse or so. next time we saw 3 raccoons staring at us while driving past, and one took time to pose for me (see above). 2 days ago i was about to throw my trashbag into the container, when i suddenly saw 2 eyes staring at me from within, my goodness, it made me scream! i had almost thrown it into its face and already was imagining what would happen next; the raccoon would swiftly catch the bag and throw it right back in my face... and thus tim had to come and throw away the trash for me....
indeed, raccoons are not that nice, just read this: "A raccoon typically attacks birds by biting the head or upper neck area. The heads of adult birds are usually bitten off and left some distance from the body. Raccoons have been known to mutilate poultry in cages by pulling heads or legs off."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sculpture park

on sunday we went again to the de cordova sculpture park. we were there less than a month ago, but enjoyed it so much (as well as the way driving towards it; especially now with the fall colors), that we went again. also, the museum was now opened, AND it was the first weekend of the month and thus free for us with our BofA-card :)
unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside the museum; there was a nice exhibition concerning gigantic objects of rubber by martha friedman. there was also some rubbish i didnt understand, but it must have cost the artist a lot of time to create. then we toured the park, until i spotted the bubble man and forgot everything else; the perfect happening to test my new camera!! in this pic the boy was following the bubble with his hands until it burst, while i was following the boy until we almost bumped into each other, both so focused on what we were doing, and well, above you can see the result.. :)
i already posted 3 bubble pictures before, now in the back you can finally also see one of the sculptures, perfectly surrounded by the bubble....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cutest couple

now isnt that just the cutest couple you ever saw?!! (im not talking about the accidental selfportrait here in the window ;)) while walking on boylston (yup, yet another picture taken on my birthday), we passed by this cafe/restaurant and saw a bee and a bird having an early dinner/late lunch. they invited me to take pictures and so i gladly did! yes, everyone posed for me.. :) i needed tims explanation why they were dressed like that (as usual), although they gave us a card and said we should visit the website increaseyourchances. just had a look and apparently many bees and birds swarmed around boston last weekend, they were there to make people aware that 1 out of 8 couples have difficulty conceiving, and that often this is treatable. for another very nice pic of a bee; click here.
by the way, in dutch its flowers and bees ("bloemetjes en bijtjes"), which actually is more logic from a biological perspective, right?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Everyone poses

i actualy wanted to post another picture for today, but somehow blogger does not want me to... (recently i had this problem quite often, and i do not understand it) arrghhh! this pic is from saturday, in/at the boston common. the dog clearly was enjoying the sunshine, as well as posing for me. this was the most funny one, but unfortunately also the one that is not entirely sharp... :( practise practise!! it really did seem all my subjects were cooperating this weekend, most likely because of my new fancy camera!! :)

So sunny

saturday the weather was really sooooo perfect! i couldnt stop saying that... above people are waiting to cross the street, many holding their hands to see something in the late afternoon sun. coming from the boston common, on the other side is the public garden. there were no clouds, the entire day!! tim and me did this walk so many times, but every time i enjoy it, coming from downtown crossing, through the 2 parks, then on boylston, passing the public library (and the hancock tower), hopping into anthropologie to see what fancy and too expensive stuff they have for us to marvel at this time.. and then to prudential to buy the best cookies i had so far in the US of A at paradise bakery. this time we had visitors we dragged along with our walk, i hope they enjoyed it as well... :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 2

this is at oak grove, orange line, on october 2nd as you can see on the MBTA message board. and this lady was my first model with my new.... yesssss..... new camera!!!! every year on october 2nd since a while now, i become a year older, and yesterday it was that day again. tim didnt ask me what i wanted, and just gave me what i most desired...! great, i didnt have to choose and most likely i would have gone on saying for another year that a better camera... but now i have it! i now can write on the side of this blog.. "i shoot with a... blablabla" HAHAHAHA. but, i am very very happy. i do have to practise, because it is quite different (and more heavy). surely i forgot to remove the lens cap several times yesterday, for one thing.. but luckily the manual really really starts from the beginning; they warn you to take some test shots before going for the real thing.
ofcourse there is still my fear of photographing people, although i like that most. but this lady most likely was hired by tim or so. she was dressed very stylishly and she was walking very slowly, and from behind you wouldnt say she was at least 60 years old. so she stood there for me, turned around slowly, and i took pictures.... :)
i think tim also arranged the weather; it was amazing... october, and sooooo sunny and warm!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Perish all

this is at Downtown Crossing, orange line station. usually it is very hot there. this was back in august, suddenly a man came with this big board about jesus. he was also talking, screaming, about jesus. on the other side the board said "jesus saves". he went into the train and continued his loud monologue there. he also distributed some printed text, but most people didnt want to take it. i read it and it was depressing. all will perish, everyone is doomed, we are sinners and only through prayers and devotion to jesus will we reach heaven.. ah well..... when he got out at the next station many people seemed relieved.
im a bit frustrated right now. i think it would be a lot of fun if this man would come into the lab with his board and start shouting here we are all doomed. perish all! im wondering what everyone's reaction will be. but somehow i think after hes gone and i will say to my colleagues "well that was weird", they will answer "what was weird?"