Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Real Americans

today i saw 3414 (if i remember correctly) people become real american citizens. one of them i know from work; thats why i was there! i thought it was so cool that i could see that.... and he was sooo proud! :) he is in the middle of above picture (more or less).
but the ceremony was a little different than i thought. in fact, it was an endless process. i did not know he was one amongst 3413 others. how could i know it was such a mass-event! but it became clear as soon as i stepped out of the subway; endless rows of very nicely dressed people, waiting to get into the TD garden (the TD garden has 19,580 seats).we got in there around 9.30. i was never in the TD garden, so that was interesting. sooo huge! but after an hour i had seen it. however, it took until 12.30 before everyone was finally seated..... ooh, and everyone looked so beautiful, especially little girls with beautiful dresses... then the ceremony began. there was some singing. some speeches, and then the oath (thats the picture above). thats when you have to swear that when required by law you will bear arms on behalf of the United States, will perform noncombatant service in the us armed forces, and will perform work of national importance under civilian direction....
ah well... it was cool that i could be present there; it was a... very american happening... ;) congratulations once again!
here a few more photos (it was hard to take pictures, we were so high up in the stadium and it was quite dark. buuuhhh)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

With fish

in front of the entrance of the aquarium in boston. there was also a giant turtle.
here its so sunny now... but the nights are getting colder. soon they will close the pool.... and then one day its winter again.. brrr. but not yet...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oratory skills

ok, just a little bit more about irene. these girls just return from the water, yesterday during the storm. eloquently speaking about nothing is an art very well studied in ancient greece and rome. i will always remember my latin teacher saying; well, and then you for example had to give a speech of 10 minutes about.... a doorknob! well..... that doorknob was irene, yesterday. in many places the tropical storm (she was downgraded from hurricane to storm) "just" caused heavy winds and rain, and thus all those reporters were desperate showing something, any tiny flood or damage she was causing. this is an excellent compilation at universal hub showing just that; both me and tim had to laugh out loud last night. or this video, where a reporter is going on and on and on about some organic matter in which he is entirely covered. he is not aware that it is actually just sewage he is talking (and sniffing/tasting) about.... HAHAHAHA! but.... many trees came down, and many people were (are?) without power etc etc, as you can read here.
buuughh, im bored by my own writings. clearly not only the reporters need some better oratory skills.. :)
good night!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inclement (beach)weather?

today would be the day of irene's arrival. as said before, the media professionally hypes things up, so you never know whether it really might be dangerous. we saw that with the snowstorms; yes, there was a lot of wind, and a lot of snow, and some areas lost power; but thats only because the power cables are above-ground here, so that happens rather easily. 
even though we do not have a tv, warnings about irene were hard to avoid.... what to do on the day irene would come?! no public transport, and the mall in boston was closed as well. but the news this morning was pretty laughable: "although it technically is not a hurricane anymore, it's still a big threat!! there is still the possibility of incredible wind and water damage, even though we have not seen any wind or water damage yet. The winds are very mild so far, but they can potentially still have hurricane gusts among them".
so... off we went to the mall. we still had a coupon that was valid until today, and as true dutchies we had to spend that!! ok, the rain and wind were pretty heavy at times and many branches and even some trees were down. in the mall many shops were closed, unfortunately. thus we drove on to the beach for some further entertainment; ooh! what a surprise! there were quite some people there, and several were even swimming.... here some more photos.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane workshop

i cannot longer postpone it, i also have to write about irene, the hurricane. wherever you go, irene is there in some form or another. on the door of our apartment building, warning us to get enough "supplies", use flashlights and not candles when we will no longer have electricity. on the television, the newspaper, every store.... as im not that eloquent, this is what the free newspaper metro writes: "boston is expecting to get whacked with torrential downpours, heavy winds and potential flooding". and mind you, no newspaper on monday because of irene. boston will be without public transportation tomorrow, because of irene. and because of irene the home depot gave workshops on how to prepare, as you can see above. when i took a picture, a store employee came to me and introduced himself as the manager, asking me whether i found everything i needed. when i pointed at the sign and said i found it funny, he replied: "well, you do have to take this seriously! 1000 people came to the workshop!!" to which i could only reply: "you sure made some good money then, no?"
today we went for our weekly grocery shopping, of course exactly at the moment irene started her heavy rain (she came a few hours too early!!). in no time streets were flooded. it was interesting to see that most cars seemed to be heading to the liquor stores.... luckily our favorite supermarket still had everything we needed (i had seen on the news how people were hoarding water, food, batteries.. leaving shelves empty). since 2.30 this afternoon it has been raining on and off, but forecasts say tomorrow we really might see irene, which is why all public transport is suspended and everyone is asked to stay at home. according to cnn, 1 million houses are currently without electricity.
ah well.... lets see... i just checked the hurricane survival kit-list. we got most of it, although not the babyfood, nor the battery-operated radio. we do have the batteries and the manual can opener, but not the games. ah, i do not like games anyways...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Self portrait

another self portrait! this is actually the push-button for the light of a pedestrian crossing in boston. it was so shiny, and then i realized when i zoomed enough, it was a perfect mirror... :)
of course there is a wiki for button, but please check it out yourself if interested. there is also a wiki for pedestrian crossing, and that one tells me that many buttons in some areas such as new york are actually placebo buttons designed to give pedestrians an illusion of control while the crossing signal continues its operation as programmed. hahhahaha, i think thats funny. and not surprising at all. too bad it does not only count for traffic lights...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Need some?

this is in the (gay) village in montreal. the entire street is decorated with those pink balls; it was the first i saw upon arrival by bus. it looks so nice! but taking pics was, as usual, not that easy. as in... i cant show you how it looked... grrrr!! but above a try... here a few more pics of this street.
from may to september, this street is pedestrians only, the other months of the year its open to other traffic as well.
there were several advertisements for viagra. i do not know why....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Duck extension

this evening tim and me met at the ducks in the public garden. i could sit there everyday watch the children. its so cute, and i could prove my theory that almost each kid does the same when seeing this statue; sitting on each duck (there are 8 small ones and the mother duck; above), at least one time. and the parents do the same too; grab their cameras and take as many pictures as possible. this girl put her skirt over each duck head (the park is one of the few places without hand sanitizer). tim was worried the skirt would get stuck onto the head when she was about to jump off, but it didnt.
after that we went to the hatch shell to listen to some free classical music, but it got a little chilly so we left during the break. then we went to the cinema; we saw the help. it was sad, but also very funny at times, and i really liked it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Two ladies

underneath some weird advertisement in montreal.... im wondering whether they saw that!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Something simple

some raindrops on a green leaf.... but it took me quite a while to get i photographed! this was in montreal, where i went to visit a friend with baby, haha, so now you know why i went there. the baby is only 29 days old today.... and very cute.
the bus trip back was again not very pleasant. no dogs at the border this time, but the officers became very suspicious when one male passenger had a what appeared to be a female scarf in his bag. when asked twice whether that scarf was his (and yes, he answered it is!!), they took him to another room for further investigation. that took over an hour, after which he could just return back (so... do not bring "weird" clothes with you!). i dont think this passenger was treated very nicely, and most likely there was absolutely nothing wrong with him, and that while they have this "pledge" hanging at every US border.
more delays at the next stop, and then heavy rain slowed us even further down. i got back to boston 3 hours later than planned. grrrr!!!
tomorrow another montreal picture!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ooh, french..

i do not speak french. i never did and i never will. and now im in montreal and its mostly in french and i have no clue what they are saying. luckily most people speak as well english as they do french. but this artwork in the village is in french. i liked it a lot! but since i couldnt read it anyways, on this pic you cant read it either. each red stick has a letter, and standing right in front of it, you can read what it says, as you can see here. luckily, there was a translation, this is what it says:"a time will come where you can express yourself freely". and then there is a "manifeste" in which it is explained, but... only in french. to see the tex you had to peek through this square, i somehow see that as a message too.. 
so.... when will this time come, when you can express yourself freely? i dont know.... :) so either someone else can tell why im in montreal, or you have to wait another day... :P

Friday, August 19, 2011

When traveling..

traveling usually involves a lot of waiting, sitting and doing nothing. today i went by bus. a 7 hour trip it was supposed to be. during the morning everything went smooth (the bus left at 7.15. that was the only thing, getting up so terribly early) and i remember at what point i was thinking; ooh, how great this is. im sitting nice and comfortable, i have a book, when i look outside the window i see all these new and often pretty places.... then the last stop before the border. the driver saying; "dont get off the bus, your new driver will be here soon". soon became an hour. "sorry, your driver is stuck at the border coming back". 2 hours... and all the while the engine was running (aarrghhh!!). another driver.... yesyes, soon we go. then, finally, the border. "get all off the bus, get all your luggage"
"where are you living? when are you going back to the netherlands? how do you know your friend? where did you meet? wait in that room and do not go to the restroom." "now you all get out, place your luggage in front of you, step back, wait". (i had no clue what was going to happen and because i am reading the hunger games, the most weird things suddenly went trough my mind) and then dogs came to check both us and the bags. "thank you. now wait here. you can stand in the shade if you want". they did this with all passengers, lined up in groups, then the bus. we just crossed the border from us to canada. funny, what people do, and other people do to prevent that, and what people then do, and.... and so on and so on.
then a small road and endless farms. so green, so pretty! but all my photos with the ugly reflection of the window. they should have washed the windows, too. then... traffic jam..... a delay of almost 4 hours, but now i am in montreal for the weekend. jeeejj. why? tell you tomorrow...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Little protestors...

... but do they know what they are protesting for?
this is in front of the public library in boston, a little while back.
just noticed that both girls have their feet positioned the same way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Too close

biebkriebels placed this photo yesterday, so i thought to show you a similar one from san diego! when i arrived, i was, as always, looking down from my window (i prefer to have a window seat so that i can see whats going on), and the ground was approaching sooo fast! i couldnt see an airport, but i did see houses, streets, and it was all a little too close for me. it all went fine, and one of the first things sylvia asked me was how i liked the landing... as she knew ofcourse.... :)
later we were back there for the rental car, and i (also) had to be very quick to take a picture. now some wiki-facts about the airport; its the busiest single-runway commercial service airport in the us, but not in the world; thats london (and then comes san diego), with having approximately 600 arrivals and departures each day. august 16, 1928, exactly 83 years and 1 day ago, the airport was named San Diego Municipal Airport – Lindbergh Field, because San Diego was the city from which mister Lindbergh began the journey that would ultimately become the first solo transatlantic flight, in addition to being the place where his aircraft was designed, built, and tested.
besides, i am fascinated by the wall with the monkeys, no idea whether it was just decoration, or some sort of advertisement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Girl talk

im very curious what these ladies are discussing here, but it looks important...
monday we had rain the entire day! today at least it was dry, but the sun was kind of hidden... hope tomorrow will be better again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yellow car

this was on some field in new hampshire. i think yellow cars make for nice pictures. when i was in california, sylvia rented a car to goto the desert and LA, and that car was also yellow! at the rental company they had all these boring colored cars, but the one sylvia got. i will show you a pic of it some other day...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Self portrait

jeeejjj! tim got back from the netherlands today... so i thought it was time for another self portrait. this one is on mount washington. i picked him up from the airport, where supposedly also mike meyers was arriving, but we did not want to wait for that... 
now im too lazy to write more, so i leave it at that!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Frog pond (2)

remember this picture of the frog pond? some guards were not happy with tim taking pics..., that post ended up on this site, and generated a lot of responses. now yesterday evening i was bored and hopping around on facebook (what a waste of time!), and saw this post at the frog pond page: "Visitors at any public space have the right to take photographs and that is of course true at the Frog Pond. Please accept our apologies that one of our staff members aired on the side of overprotection." actually posted july 12, two days after my post... sadly, they had then had already removed tims question on their page about taking pics, and never wrote him back directly. 
ah well... i thus went to the frog pond this afternoon, without tim, as he only comes back from the netherlands tomorrow, but it was so emtpy there! hardly any kids in the water and not much happening. besides, my view was blocked by these people concerned about whales and dolphins... were they afraid to find one in the frog pond? :) (here is their site, actually sad to read that stuff.., good i never had the urge to swim with dolphins)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Holy drink.....?

sylvia and me went for some fastfood on tuesday at the in-n-out burger. although i am (slowly) getting used to the enormous amount of choices you are confronted with while ordering something ("what kind of salad? onions? tomato? what kind of dressing? on the side? small-large or medium? for here or to go?"), it was nice to go to a place where my options were very limited; only 3 types of burgers (hamburger, cheeseburger and double-double, which is double meat and double cheese), and/or fries & soda. and hmm, it was not bad at all! while drinking, sylvia told me to look underneath the cup. now zoom in.... can you see it? 
yes, it says "John 3:16". eeehhh? she told me that all cups have a bible reference. of course back at home i went to wikipedia to learn what this is all about.... well, as she already told me, this family-owned chain has been around for a very long time (the first restaurant opened in 1948 in california), and claims to be the first drive-through restaurant (which is different from a drive-in. want to know more? wikipedia will tell you all!). they pride themselves in always using fresh ingredients, including meat that has never been frozen. interestingly, they also have a "secret menu"; a 3x3 for example is 3 times meat and 3 times cheese, and you can order that in whatever number you want, at additional cost. so... someone once ordered a 100x100, and what that looks like, you can see here. now back to the bible; that started only in the 1980s, and is "a reflection of the Christian beliefs held by the Snyder (the founders) family".  so, our drink: John 3:16—"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." and our cheeseburger: Revelation 3:20—"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."
i do hope the lord likes fastfood....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Deserted place

another desert photo from anza-borrego. it was so amazing there..! here we were high up and had a view down on seemingly nothing but emptiness. i could not believe it! one moment we were driving on the highway, and just a bit later... total nothingness. and soooo terribly hot! there are several hiking trails, but we remained close to the car and only went out to take some pictures, that was more than hot enough. and in fact, down there it was not as deserted as it seemed, there were some resorts (is that for people with marital problems? ;)), and also actual people were living there!! the previous photo is taken somewhere down here too. we think we saw a roadrunner; at least it was running across the road, but wasnt followed by a coyote :), and it was a little small....
certainly, im not yet done with the desert and will show you more pictures later.
i got abck to boston this morning after an overnight flight without any sleep. i did see water for elephants once again during the flight; that movie is even worse when watching it for the second time., but at least this airline didnt make you pay for watching television. i do think the ban on water bottles is enforced by all airport shops. thirsty as i get from flying, i thought this time to buy some water at the gate. the lady even asked  "only this water?" well yes, it was more than expensive enough! 3 dollar 50... grrrrrr!!
the apartment was deserted too; tim only comes back on sunday....

Flying back....

... to boston.... :( this week went by so fast! sylvia just dropped me off at the airport, and now waiting for my flight..... 
today we did a boat tour and we saw lots of sea lions (i only ever saw those in the zoo!), and some seals. then we went to the beach again, another one this time, but.... the sun was behind the clouds and it was quite cold. nevertheless we went into the water, but not that many waves... ah well.... 
have to say that taking pics here was rather difficult. often it was quite cloudy, and although the weather was great, for pics it was not that great. ofcourse i did take quite some, so certainly you will see more the coming days.
and sylvia; thank you! it was great! now back to normal life, or whatever thats supposed to be... buuughhh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amazing holiday

now look at that..... isnt that great? 
this morning we went to old town, which was, indeed, a very old town... :) it is where the first europeans settled in california. that was very interesting.. to get a glimpse of what it must have been like so many years (but not THAT many) ago.. it reminded me a little of the movie true grit. it was a little too touristy, however, but i guess thats always the case, everywhere. we did get some very good candy, including "roldrop", yumyumyum... (note to tim; please bring me some from the netherlands!!). after that we had a burger in a very interesting fast food chain about which i will write some day or another for sure.. (i have been catching up on wikipedia already!), and then we went to the beach, as above, and had a swim in the ocean! jeeeejj! it was my first attempt of catching waves with a boogie board, but i had trouble to keep my bikini in place at the same time... :P when we got out the sun disappeared and it became a little chilly. i never thought of california as chilly, but it is! both in the mornings and evenings... not like boston where, when its hot, it will remain hot.... 
tomorrow will be my last day already... :(

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Such emptiness!

such emptiness we saw today when we drove to the desert! we went to anza-borrego desert state park, and it was just amazing. one moment we were driving on the highway, next thing we were in the middle of nowhere in blazing heat.... so beautiful! and so impressive! later we went through a small mountain gold mining town named julian, where we had just the best dutch apple pie i had in the usa.... yumyumyum!!
then we drove by the coast which was beautiful too. endless beaches, palm trees and just beauty.... after that we went to the pool to swim for an hour, just like we did on saturday morning. pure pleasure!
i took so many pictures and cannot choose which one to place.... and surely, tired once again....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Santa Monica

today we (or actually, sylvia, since i cant drive!) drove to los angeles!! we went to the getty museum, which was beautiful.... and so huge... and of course my pics were disappointing...
after that wedrove on to santa monica, where there were lots and lots of shops, street performers, and at the end of all that the endless sandy beach, as you can see above.... 
then hollywood which was so different from what i imagined. somehow it looked a little sad... all not as fancy and glamorous as i had thought... but so cool to be there!
and now im tired and not at all in the mood to write or refer to wikipedia... :) good night!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Palm trees

palm trees are everywhere in san diego! literally everywhere and everything seems to look better because of them, even parking lots, or so i think...  according to wikipedia, palm trees are a popular symbol for the tropics and vacations. for me, palm trees were something from cartoons, and it was only when i went to a conference in spain that i saw palm trees in reality, and realized that they are not only in cartoons.... (stupid, huh).
but now im tired.... so good night!

Im in......

when i arrived last night it was dark already, all i could see were palm trees everywhere.... because i am in ... san diego!! i never went to this side of the us of a, while my friend sylvia lives there. while she has visited us already twice in boston, we never got to visit her so far!
but finally.... here i am, on the couch in her apartment! today we went to a photography museum, and had a walk through the park, and then a veeerrrrryyyyy long walk at the beach. so pretty! and a lot of people were enjoying the sun and the water.....  many people on bikes... isnt he gorgeous.. ? :D all like in the movies, but better!! ah, and tim just said this guy reminded him of the one we saw in texas, you can see him here... hihihihihihi.
my, it looks so different here, compared to boston, let alone the netherlands... hahahaha.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Me toooo!!!

this is at newark international airport.... the view from my window onto new york city, which was not my final destination... yup, i decided not to stay at home either and went somewhere... perhaps today you see where i went! ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Glass ceiling

my dear friend wikipedia tells me that the glass ceiling refers to "the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements." i do not necessarily think that this only applies to women, so i am happy to read that the next wiki sentence tells me that it can also refer to men.
glass ceilings can be pretty too; above you see part of a glass ceiling. its in the MFA, and belongs to the chihuly exhibit i wrote about before, we then could not get in. i actually then saw it a few weeks later, but today i went with someone who had not yet seen it. when we got to the museum i saw lots, and lots of people, that formed a line, extending from the entrance up to the sidewalk onto the back of the museum... whoops. yup, it was free entrance night today, but more importantly, the last week of the chihuly exhibit. and no, being there around 6.45 was too late to get to the exhibit, even though the museum closes at 9.45. the MFA people were smart; they were offering us the option to skip the line and get in immediately.... if.... you become a member of the museum for 75 dollars. some people did... :) we (like many others) just left when it became clear we really had no chance to get in, and had a delicious dinner instead! here you can see some more pictures. it was hard to take pics, as it was rather dark there, and the sculptures so big!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flying home

well... i dropped tim at the airport today; hes going home to the netherlands to visit his grandmother, and then on to france to visit his parents. im staying in the us, enjoying the weather!! but its weird to suddenly be alone, or rather, without tim, after more than a year always being together..

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fashionable bostonians

GQ, which stands for gentlemen's quarterly, is a magazine apparently the male equivalent of vogue (oh, am i glad that wikipedia is there to literally explain me everything! how else would i have known what on earth GQ mag is!). they did a poll, which made boston the worst dressed city of america, which in turn was so shocking, that it was on the cover of the free newspaper, cnn, and on the (local?) news. i found back that article and just had to copy what they write about boston style: "Boston is like America's Bad-Taste Storm Sewer: all the worst fashion ideas from across the country flow there, stagnate, and putrefy. To be fair, it's hard to be a fashion capital when half of your population is made up of undergraduate hoodie monsters, including those unfortunate coeds who don't realize that leggings-as-pants were supposed to be paired with tops large enough to conceal their cameltoes." and this: "For the more proletarian-minded, there are the modest little burgs of Cambridge and Somerville, where everyone dresses like the proprietor of his or her very own meth lab." eh....?
well.. what can i add other than the picture above... the socks might be some sort of fashion statement, but after that it only gets worse, and where did he get that hat or whatever you call it?