Friday, September 30, 2011

Tour bus

there are many tour buses in boston, i guess from different companies. there is ofcourse the famous "ducktours" that both drives you around boston, as well as is able to go into the water (as they describe it themselves: a W.W.II style amphibious landing vehicle). i never had the slightest urge to take such a tour. i am somehow always annoyed when they drive by (and they do, very often), they block your view, they stop on the middle of the road to allow the lazy people to take pictures of the "sights" they ought to have seen, they cut you off while driving yourselves (in this case; tim :) ).
this tour bus i saw last week or so. and it is advertising for boats?!! so basically advertising against themselves? a lot of these tour buses also promote that they drive "green", but are they really green, when going through the city with so many at the same time? (often only half-full or less, as they just drive around and tourists can hop on and off).
for me that ad said enough.. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feel free... leave a response. on sunday we saw this message leaning against a tree in the public garden, close to the ducklings. i wonder whom and why this was put there, what they did with it, whether there were many responses... googling around i found that it may be a quote from einstein, and actually he meant to warn you for oversimplification, leading to a false conclusion. certainly hadnt thought about it from that perspective.
the past weeks i had been wondering whether this blog is useless. it sometimes gave me the same feeling as when being with a group of people. one is telling an interesting story, and you can relate to that, wanting to share your view or experience or whatever. you start talking, but so does someone else, and mid-sentence you realize that nobody is listening to you. what do you do? do you continue, a little louder? or are you embarassed, and stop abruptly? do you notice just one person in the group does listen to you and then you continue talking to only this person? or do you wait till the other person that did get the attention is finished, and then tell your story? and... do you listen to that person's story, or are you merely waiting for ir to be over? and, what does that mean? if you cannot even listen to what someone else has to say, and just want to blurt out your story, is anyone, ever, really listening to you either? 
but... then just recently people told me that they do check this blog. sometimes every day! and more people than i thought! and they also noticed when i was posting more irregularly. but unlike biebkriebels, they do not leave a response (while i like comments!!). but well, did i write a response on that piece of paper in the park? no....
so... i will continue, because i like taking pictures, and i like to write a little, or a lot. (and each time it makes me realize how hard it is to write down your thoughts... )

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cheer leader

during friday's football game we also saw cheerleaders! i had never seen them in reality, but so often on tv. it still is funny to see how everything you see in the movies is just real and normal here, while we (or me?) think its made up for the movie, and very funny (perhaps that explains why we have to laugh more often in the cinema than the real americans?). i was surprised to see that some were not superpretty! (i also learned from the movies that only the most pretty and popular girls can become cheerleader, so perhaps that is one of the few things thats only true in the movies). here they were holding one girl up in the air, i think there were 4 or 5 like these, and then they would let themselves fall down, all at the same time. they were also twirling their pom-pons around, but to me it all looked pretty useless and actually was diverting my attention from the game.... 
i did have to look up the word pom-pons, and ofcourse discovered a wealth of information about cheerleaders! how interesting... for instance, cheerleading originated (ofcourse) in the usa, but intially was an all-male activity! johnny campbell (he sure does look cheerful!) in 1898 was the first to "cheerlead" (i made that word up). only in 1923 women began to join, and with currently 97% being female, dominate the sport (there is so much more to read here).
but.... ever since the big bang theory, i cannot think of cheerleading without thinking about the conversation penny and sheldon have when penny is trying to make him feel better. she tells him not only he has lost his opportunity to greatness, but also she, when she was not chosen as the head cheerleader. it makes sheldon only more sad, as you certainly cannot compare missing out on the nobel prize with cheerleading. and more importantly, he absolutely does not see how she can be a cheer leader, not being able to cheer him up at all!! (i searched on youtube but cannot find a fragment of this.. buuuhhhhh)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Special effect

at the photo course on sunday we also learned how to shoot a moving object such that the object is sharp, but its surroundings all fuzzy. we then went out to practise on some field next to the street. ideally, this car should be entirely sharp... i need to try it more! but when i was checking the photo later on my screen, i saw that there was another special effect. the driver is making a face... and hes not wearing a shirt!! looks pretty weird.... 
ofcourse, some cars were honking etc, seeing us all standing there with cameras pointed on them.. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thats boston

close to our apartment complex are 2 cemeteries, and i sometimes like to go there. especially when the leafs start to fall, it will be very pretty. you can get to both cemeteries through a small forest (can you still call it a forest when its small?). and i discovered there are several paths taking you there. i found a path i had not yet seen before, and just followed it, thereby discovering that the forest is actually a little bigger than i thought! i just followed the path (but aaargh, i was not pleased by all the musquitos), up and up and up, and suddenly i had a wide view all around me, i was so high up! there, thats boston, those tall buildings. then to the left (out of view) you have revere beach, right underneath me the cemetery and a little to the right our apartment complex. well, that was a surprise! 
i decided to walk on, but then got onto some construction site that was fenced off... :( buuuh. maybe i could have climbed over it, but i didnt want to embarass myself and get stuck somewhere or whatever, and thus had to walk the entire way back again. but actually i think that was nicer than going through the neighborhood.
here it seems boston is quite far away, but its only 12 minutes by subway.

Three miles!!

a few weeks ago i made myself the following promise; run 3 miles (5 km) without walking in between. and this had to be accomplished before i turn 30.... (iiieekkkk, 30!! 30!). now i know many people run easily a lot more than that.... but im not the sportive kind. i always liked swimming, but other than that, really nothing else. ok, i used to bike a lot, but for a dutch thats just a means of transportation. upon moving here, i stopped biking, as i think its too dangerous. ofcourse i feared not being able to bike properly anymore when going back to the netherlands, and thats what brought me to the gym of our apartment complex (plus i did not want to outgrow all those clothes i brought from home....) the past year or so i spent numerous miles on a stationary bike. my goodness, how boring! (but now i can bike better than ever..)
oh, but actually i wanted to write about running. well, at some point i decided to try running, and i hated it from the first try. but i just wanted to be able to do it!! so i continued... even got some real running shoes, but those turned out to be awful for my feet, and thus i remained with the sneakers above... and today, finally, i managed to run 3 miles in 29 minutes and 10 seconds, without stopping! jeeejj!!!! and im not yet 30... 
and im happy with that picture too! it might seem boring, but i could never have taken it without the photo-course i took. for this pic, i changed the ISO, the white balance and i choose a low aperture, while before all i ever did was changing the ISO a bit every now and then (if i thought about it). jeeeejjj! and also that before im 30, and my camera turns 1 (i got it last year for my bday from tim; hes also in the pic, can you find him?).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Parachute jump

today i had a "photo fieldtrip", together with julie. with 10 others or so, a real photographer told us more about all the buttons on our camera, and how/when/why to use them. after an hour of instructions, finding all the buttons, trying some settings, we went out into the wide wilde boston for a bit and tried it for real. that was interesting, and useful (for example; i wish i had known some of the settings during friday's game; im sure i would have taken some better pictures!). now i just need to practise, and really use those settings, before i forget it all again. its just... often you i suddenly see something, and want to take a picture quickly, before the moment is gone again (and im still searching for the particular settings).
julie also told me im doing a bad job here, at my blog. which is true... as i sad already this week, im often skipping a day, even though biebkriebels also wrote me some nice words!! so... i will try to do a better job now again.. :)
i just told julie that coney island is really worth seeing, when in new york, and especially this structure called the parachute jump. sometimes also called the eiffel tower of brooklyn, it was built for the 1939 new york world's fair in queens, and moved to its current location in 1941. although not functional anymore since 1968, the ride was based on functional parachutes which were held open by metal rings throughout the ascent and descent. in 1939, adult riders paid 40 cents and children a quarter. the trip up took about a minute and the drop down was over in 10/20 seconds. one time, entangled cables left a couple in the air for 5 hours, but the next day they came back to ride again! yet another coupld married during the ride.... the enrite wedding party was pulled up, and were let down when the couple completed their vows. haha...
nowadays, the parachute jump is protected as a designated NYC landmark and recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. there is so much more interesting stuff to read about it at wikipedia! (here)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

American football

this evening we went to watch a game! american football; harvard against brown (i think they are from providence). we were once before in the harvard stadium, when it was entirely empty and the weather very nice... as you can see here. but... today the weather was not that great. it was quite warm, but it had been raining all day already on and off. somehow i was convinced that the rain would stop during the game, and i just brought my crappy umbrella, not really thinking about the fact that i would have to sit in that outside stadium.... i sacrificed my time magazine that i had not quite finished yet to sit on (although that turned out to be useless), and shared my umbrella with tim.... rain rain rain.... of course i had no clue what they were doing on the field, just a lot of guys in tight pants running around every now and then... ah, and the cheerleaders, that was funny, never had seen them but on television! after 45 minutes, the rain finally stopped, only to return at full force a little later.... it got so bad that we did not stay till the end of the game (i think harvard won). while walking to some place to eat it got worse and worse, i was entirely soaked by the time we found some place....
ah well, it was fun. sort of.. :) although i guess it would have been a lot nicer without the rain...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dutch driver?

saw this vanity plate at a parking lot here around melrose. "neen" is dutch for "no". so that was funny... :)

Bad blogger

currently, i am not very good at blogging. i often skip a day.... im not so much in the mood... :(
above an old picture, still from utrecht, the netherlands. i miss good fries, sometimes! but im a little confused by whats next to it. it is ketchup? that is weird; the dutch normally eat their fries with mayonnaise... (i also miss mayonnaise, sometimes). or could it be peanut sauce? some people eat their fries with that. i do not miss that at all, i think thats gross.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Child storage

we went to 2 malls on sunday, and it was depressing. i miss shopping streets, like in utrecht, or amsterdam. here you get into your car, drive, and somewhere along the highway, next to fastfood restaurants and whatnot, there will be some mall, or another. on sunday we got kind of lost in the mall, and barely bought anything (so that was good). then we went to a more shabby mall, with cheaper stores, for cheaper stuff.. :) and there they had this child hanging device for only 7 dollars!
here you cant see it, but they were jumping up and down, on this elastic ropes they are attached to. the boy operating it all was somewhere in another world, totally bored and yawning all the time; seeing that i dont think i would ever let a child go into that, how would you be sure he secured them safely? but it looked fun.... i didnt dare to ask whether it was also for adults, like me... :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scenic america

hmmm, or not really scenic.... this huge billboard stands alongside the zakim bridge that leads you into boston, or rather, underneath boston.
i realize that there are a lot of advertisements for alcohol, either beer or hard liquor alongside roads in this country. while you are not allowed to drink while driving, you cannot have an opened bottle of alcohol in your car, are not allowed to drink alcohol in public places (like while having a picnic in the park), you cannot drink when under 21 (but drive from 16 years onwards), and you might not be served alcohol when you cannot prove you are above 21, even though you look like 50.....  those were just my thoughts while we had plenty of time watching this ugly billboard, as we ended up in a huge traffic jam on saturday afternoon.....

General entrance

last week we saw that the state house in boston has a general hooker entrance... at least they arent hiding it!!
or is it the entrance for the long dead joseph hooker?  a major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War... as wikipedia just told me.. but wikipedia tells me more: "Hooker's reputation as a hard-drinking ladies' man was established through rumors in the pre-Civil War Army and has been cited by a number of popular histories. There is a popular legend that "hooker" as a slang term for a prostitute is derived from his last name because of parties and a lack of military discipline at his headquarters. Some versions of the legend claim that the band of prostitutes that followed his division were derisively referred to as "General Hooker's Army" or "Hooker's Brigade." However, the term "hooker" was used in print as early as 1845, years before Hooker was a public figure, and is likely derived from the concentration of prostitutes around the shipyards and ferry terminal of the Corlear's Hook area of Manhattan in the early to middle 19th century, who came to be referred to as "hookers". The prevalence of the Hooker legend may have been at least partly responsible for the popularity of the term." well, thats interesting!
ah, and, here i found that the actual entrance has a huge sign, and that sign cost almost 15,000 dollars!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Old news

accompanied with an old photo (taken while i was in san diego). a few weeks back i read on the news that someone from jersey shore was asked not to wear abercrombie clothes. of course, that kind of news brings many questions. what is abercrombie? jersey shore... ? well... abercrombie and fitch is a brand of clothes. every mall has a shop that sells this kind of clothes, but we never go inside; those stores smell horrible! from quite a distance you can smell this store, and googling a bit around, im not the only one noticing this. apparently, there are even protest groups asking to stop spraying around... (here; it seems to be also toxic?!). once we were just too curious, and we did go into this store, but it was once and never again; as someone else put it "you go from a bright, bubbly, fluorescent mall to a loud reeking cave. The only light in the place shines on the clothes. The ceilings, walls, and shelves are all painted black, and there’s no escape route in sight" (that person analyzed the entire store).
now... whats jersey shore? thats some sort of american reality series, and one of the stars,  Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino has been asked by the smelly store not to wear its clothes. (this guy is also named "the stiuation"; something just too weird to question). abercrombie stated this person wearing their clothes may be distressing to many of their fans.... hmmmpfff, just weird. i think they should rather just stop spraying their toxic smell and have normal shops...they did offer to pay this person not to wear their clothes anymore! well, i would like to get paid not to wear a certain brand... no problem! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Deadly force

on sunday we were at a cemetery behind our apartment complex. we had never been there before, and it was quite pretty! we also saw a hawk and spent quite some time observing it. or rather, waiting for it to do something interesting so that we could take a picture of it. but... he wasnt afraid at all, it seemed, he was just intently staring... sometimes at us, it seemed. i came a bit closer, and then i saw what he was looking at all the time; underneath the tree, there was a limp squirrel (perhaps because of the hawk?), who was depesrately trying to get away... eventually he managed. then the hawk got bored (and probably angry with us), and flew away...
i learned that deadly force is something else as well. i saw on the news that it is now law in new hampshire that people can use a gun with deadly force in public if they feel their life is in danger. before, this was only allowed on your own property. many people are against this, as it could lead to much more violence. i was a bit shocked by such a law, but i read now that not only the shire has it, but also for example florida, where the number of civilians killed through justified homicides tripled (i stole all this knowledge from here). those crazy americans....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warm weather

its been so warm the past few days! really nice... i hope they will keep the pool open as long as possible, here at the apartment complex...
above is at a fountain in boston. this one also has steam, as you can see.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Symbolic end

last week monday it was labor day, which marks the end of summer, symbolically... it often also means, for children, back to school. so this liquor store had a fitting (?) slogan. i photographed their witty slogans once before, on thanksgiving (here). when we still lived in somerville, we sometimes waited there for the bus. and while i always check their slogans, we never went inside that liquor store. we did this saturday, and it was a little sad (the other people too), just fitting with their sayings... they all sound a little alcoholic.... :)
anyways, wikipedia also tells me that in "high society", labor day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable for women to wear white. good to know.... ;)
(meanwhile its still hot here, while we had a lot, lot of rain last week, the past few days have been very sunny and warm, between 25-30 degrees celsius!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fallen firefighters

this sculpture is at the state house, in boston, and i actually had never seen it before. we saw it on sunday, while walking by. i had to take the picture through the gates, you could not get to the statue. perhaps on other days you can, i dont know! i also never visited the state house... and i would like to see both. once.. :) the sculpture was designed by a local artist, robert shure.
this sculpture is there sine september 11, 2007, and is a tribute "to the spirit, courage and dedication of past, present and future firefighters. each year an annual ceremony is held on september 11 to honor the fire community and unveil the names that have been added that year. currently 701 names are included within the Ring of Honor." too late we realized we maybe should have gone to a memorial, on sunday. but we were both somehow extremely lazy and tired yesterday... so, we should do that next year.
i also discovered there is a 9/11 memorial at the boston logan airport. the planes flying into the twin towers departed from boston. of which i was unaware as well. perhaps i go see that memorial one day or another..

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Boston bridge

flags are half-staff because of 9/11, now 10 years ago. above one on the bridge leading you into boston. i actually had never seen a flag there before.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dunkin' Donuts

im just wondering what kind of donuts they sell at this store? perhaps a "zeeuwse bolus" (some dutch treat). the slogan on dunkin' donuts; america runs on dunkin. i can make some bad jokes about that too, but i leave it up to you... :)
this was on our way from maine back to boston. perhaps in maine they dont really like dunkin' donuts? it was founded in boston, quincy actually, in 1950. and indeed, in/around boston you see these shops on every street corner. on some crossings at each of the 4 corners, i have once been told, but perhaps that was just "telling lies to innocent foreigners" (i did see 2 of the 4 corners occupied). and... to be honest, i really do not know WHY. their coffee is really terrible, and their donuts... well.. not that good either.
i remember the very first morning after we arrived in the us. we woke up in our temporary apartment in somerville, with an entirely empty fridge and hungry stomachs. we had no clue where to go, and just wandered around in the neighborhood, in searh of something to eat (and internet). then we finally found a dunkin donuts (by that time we were already a bit depressed), found out they had no internet, ordered something that was supposed to be breakfast... and got even more depressed...  ah well, quickly thereafter we found our way around and never had to go back there! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thunder hole

i wanted to see "thunder hole" at acadia. it is "a small inlet, naturally carved out of the rocks, where the waves roll into. At the end of this inlet, down low, is a small cavern where, when the rush of the wave arrives, air and water is forced out like a clap of distant thunder. Water may spout as high as 40 feet with a thunderous roar". but only when the waves are high, and the waves were not that high when we were there. the amount of people visiting it, however, was very, very high. "going back to nature", not seeing many people... not when you goto acadia! as you can see here..
thunder hole is to the left on this pic, you just cannot see it. funny thing is, i heard that thunderous noise a little further up, where we were having lunch on some rocks above the sea; i guess there must have been some hole underneath as well, and at first i really thought it was thunder...
the people above were sitting on some rocks that quickly got surrounded by water. they were sitting, and sitting, and tim thought they were going to sit there until they wouldnt be able to get off anymore. or at least not without getting wet feet. but... shortly after this pic they got off, when a wave splashed them in the face... :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Excuse me

im just not in the mood to write anything or to choose a pic. this vanity plate i saw on our way to acadia. i pictured a few during those days... some are really funny. i think you see a lot less of these kind of plates around here, as compared to maine or california.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bubble rock

on sunday we went to see the bubble rock. it was the funny name that made me have a closer look, and it turned out this trail would show us a "giant glacial erratic that was left on top of bubble mountain during the last ice age". here you see it, with some cute kids that were instructed to pose as if they are pushing it off the mountain. it took quite a while for the mom to have their kids do what she told them.. :) (their dad above taking pictures, too afraid himself to go down as we heard his wife say).
me and tim have some discussion about this picture, but i am certain i am the one who took it... the trail towards it was not very long, and designated as "moderate". luckily tim had forbidden me to take my not very useful bag (thats why we had to share the camera), because the path suddenly became very steep, and difficult. at some point i had to get myself in between a cleft in the mountain and hoist myself up. but i did not fit, or... i thought.. if i would fit, i would get stuck. slight panic attack, but i managed (with tims help). the girls that came after us were scared too, so i wasnt the only one! it was, however, very beautiful, although scary to be so close to edge of a cliff, nothingness beneath you... here you can see me "climbing".
and this rock that looks like it can fall off anytime was impressive too. ofcourse we took some photos similar as above, here you can see them, but all the time i was a little afraid that upon my touch it would drop down (with me in its wake).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cadillac mountain

the highest mountain on acadia is mount cadillac, with its elevation of 1528 feet (470 m). having climbed mount washington (1912 m), we denominated ourselves mountain climbing professionals ;) being able to do any other mountain in the area. we choose a trail, but as parking was very limited, we were forced to start on another trail, a difficult one. steep it was. and tiring. and difficult at times, but... now we were professionals, so no complaining! at the end it became rock climbing again, but the trail was better marked than at mount washington, and less difficult. except at one point, where i really couldnt get myself up; tim had to help me. luckily 2 ladies watching me, said it was because i do not have real hiking boots, whereas tim does... :) by then, tim yet again was carrying my bag. stupid as i am, i again walked up a mountain with a real lady-shoulder-bag; absolutely useless when you try to climb some rocks (yes, i promise, i will use a backpack next time!). it was hot, it was tiring, i was sweaty, and i could only think of this; there are no showers at the campground (repeat 100 times), yegh.... but it was very pretty, although it became a little foggy, just at the moment we reached the summit. this time we did walk down; in total it took us about 4 hours (whereas mt washington was 5,5 hrs just one way!)
so, this mountain used to be called green mountain (green it was), but in 1918 it was renamed cadillac mountain, after mister cadillac (the cars were also named after him), a french explorer and weirdo, if you read wikipedia. apparently, this mountain sees the sun first of the entire usa. but only during fall and winter, so i dont quite understand why seeing "the nation's first sunrise" is a popular activity among visitors of acadia. 
here on flickr a few more pics.

Two amateurs

we took advantage of labor day weekend (an extra day off on monday), to go to acadia national park, in maine. after having seen photos of it from several friends, i was determined to go there as well. it is an island, approximately 6 hours away from boston by car. as this might well be one of the last warm weekends of the year, and just for the fun of it, we decided to go camping! we bought a cheap tent (60% discount) and off we went....
above is on the island, just before the campground. we had to stop to take in the beauty (as many other people did as well) and.... the mosquitoes. the person above is not waving to me, but trying to get rid of the enormous amount of mosquitoes. just before nightfall we were at the campground and managed to get the tent up before it was entirely dark. very dark. the campground was in a forest, and there was no light, but from the restrooms. luckily we had brought some flashlights! (although i had almost forgotten them). looking at the other campers, we were clearly amateurs, lacking fancy headlights, special outfits, airbeds and wood to build a fire. yup, an airbed might have been a better idea than our guestmattress; the ground was full of stones.... buuuhhh. and.... there were no showers. obsessed as i am with washing my hair, that was quite.... unpleasant. :) but we managed, and did not even go to the coin-op showers that were a 5-minute drive away.
but! it was great!! it was beautiful there, and the weather was perfect too. not too hot, not too cold, no rain, just thousands of mosquitos... and camping was fun too. we can, perhaps, do it again. only for a few days at a time though! however, we will always remain amateurs (even though i practiced quite a bit as a kid, with my parents; i realize now that it is quite different as an adult.. ) more photos later!

Friday, September 2, 2011

And.... back!

we were away a few days... it involved quite a drive, this weird sign (we just passed it!), not showering for some days (yegh... im so glad i just had a shower again!), absolutely no internet, my phone did not even work, and some mountain climbing again... :)
more tomorrow, now im tired!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Times square

this was in may, when we went to new york with my sister. it was crazy crowded at times square, and amidst it all was this man. then i thought; ooh, he is so old, and on times square! but then i thought; ooh, why is it weird he is there, and not that i am? i, for one, do not really like times square. too crowded, too loud, too many tourists, too much of everything. and what is old? i remember when the year 2000 was extremely far away, and i was calculating how extremely OLD i would be when we would finally get to the year 2000. and now its already 2011, and i do not feel particularly old.... :)
theme day at the dailyphotoblog was perspective this month, i hope i finally manage to participate this time! :)
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants