Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Buying a condo: HA! Isn't that laughable? ME? BUY A HOME? That would require some kind of...what is the word I am looking for.... committment? Committment to a city/state/country? HA! Beyond this so-called comittment it would also require MONEY. Am I in la-la land or what?
Sky Diving: HYSTERICAL! I don't even like to fly. How am I going to jump out of the plane when I can hardly get on the plane in the first place, much less JUMP out of it?? But I bet I would get some great pictures. Bonzzzaaaaaaaiiiiiiiii!
Going back to School: OK, this one isn't so crazy. BUT STILL. Especially if I could get into a program like the Masters of Science Program at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA. Hey, I just applied for an application. That's a start, isn't it?
Thank god I am going on my big trip to Amsterdam and ???? (wherever our fancy takes us) in a few weeks. That will make me settle down a bit. Actually... probably not. It will likely make me think of selling everything I own and moving back to Europe. Hey! That's not a bad idea....!
Oh, and by the way. The US Department of State issued a Travel Warning for Iraq today. Just in case you were thinking of spending your summer holidays there, I thought you should know. Damn. Now where am I going to go? I hear Syria is nice this time of year...
Monday, June 27, 2005
A friend of mine is one of the founders for the charity group Stock the Pond. How they describe themselves:
It only takes two degrees of separation to make a connection. Stock the Pond connects people by hosting parties where our friends and your friends create the guest list and we all support a worthy cause. There is no best place to meet someone. But in our experience the best way to meet someone is through friends. We know some great people, you know some great people, let’s bring them all together.Their next event is on Wednesday at:
312 Stuart Street
Wednesday 6:00pm - 9:30pm
If you want to be included on the evite, click HERE.
I haven't been to other events of theirs, but the buzz says this one will be lots of fun! Did you know I have a direct line to the Buzz? I bet you didn't.
So Friday night Geary and I started off the weekend right by hitting some local bars for some fun and drinks after work....
Here are some of the places we went*
We had some good conversation, and the evening got a little wild and crazy-- especially when we hit Solas and got front row seats at HB's bar. Geary even got to dancing with the local talent after a few strong cocktails...
Here is Geary dancing with an Irish guy at Solas*
It was a late late late night out, so Saturday I was feeling very hot and lazy-- Boston summer is here and I don't have much in terms of air conditioning. I lounged on the couch and surfed the internet most of the morning, changing all my links to my new URL....
Here I am lounging on the couch*
Around 2pm I went to pick up Erin's car, since she wasn't using it for the weekend. She was sweating her ass off on a charity road race from Boston to Provincetown. That's 75 miles on a bike for 2 days in 90 degree weather. Did I tell you that insanity runs in my family? SO anyway, I was psyched to have a car for the weekend....
It was also great to have a car since I went out to Newton (pronounced new-un) because Kevin was having a party. Here is a nice shot of the gracious host...
The regular boys were there, and I brough Geary with me. I met some nice new people including a guy who couldn't stop talking about his nipples and how sore they were. It was a nice crowd of people...
The regular boys and some nice new people*
Since I was driving, I decided to leave before things got too wild and crazy. Kevin's couch didn't seem as comfortable as it looked. But I hear things got really crazy...
party gets crazy at kevins*
The next day, another hot and sunny day, Ashbloem had a great idea: let's go to lake Waban! Right on Wellesley College's campus, it was the perfect spot for the day. We sat in the sun, swam in the lake and snacked on a variety of fruits and munchies. Here is a shot of the lake...
We had all kinds of fun and interesting characters with us. Here is a shot of Ashbloem by the port-a-pottys:
Ashbloem by the port-a-pottys*
Mana and Seth were there too, and brought their friend Brent. Crazy Brent actually ran around the lake not just once, but twice! In 90+ degree weather! In teeny-tiny running shorts! Here is a shot of Brent and Mana hanging out at the lake...
Brent and Mana*
We were also joined by my new friend, Mr. Germany. He took a break from splitting atoms at MIT to hang out with us. I was shocked when he said he didn't know who David Hasselhoff is...I think he was lying. ALL Germans must know who DH is, right? Isn't he like HUGE over there?? Here is a picture of Mr. Germany at the lake with us...
Mr. Germany and I finished off the weekend over a few casual drinks at the local pub.
Me having a casual drink at the pub*
So you can see, it was another fine weekend!!
The funny thing is that I am supposed to have today off. But I FORGOT. What the hell? I have more vacation days than I can count so I planned to take off a bunch of random Mondays, including today. But I forgot. I could be home lounging right now. Dammit.
*Not true depictions whatsoever. Duh. Although some are pretty darn close if I do say so myself.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Summer nights on Ashbloem's Amsterdam terrace
Friday, June 24, 2005
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and/or Matt Damon may or may not be in the trailer photographed above. Or the One next to it. Yes. You heard me. One or all or none of them may, or may not, be in that trailer, or the other one.
Apparently they are filing a movie right here in Beantown (I bet that is Matty D's doing, being a local boy and all) called The Departed. According to IMDb:
Plot Outline:The story, set in Boston, revolves around a gangster (Damon) who infiltrates the police department and a cop (DiCaprio) who infiltrates the gangs. The two find out that a mole is in each organization and race to find each other's identityDoesn't that sound super exciting and unlike any other film filmed before? Other actors listed on the call sheet are Mark Wahlberg (another boston boy if I am not mistaken), Alec Baldwin (right, since he is such a bad ass), and President Martin Sheen. I should also mention that none other than the great Scorsese is directing. Maybe this will be the one to garnish him with his first Oscar! And while he is accepting his trophy I will be home on my couch shouting, "I saw his trailer, or maybe it was Nicholson's!"
All I know is that I am definitely keeping my camera with me at all times just in case I run into one of them at the Store 24 getting Funyuns (N.B. NOT spelled "funions" as I first suspected thanks to Ashbloem who says anyone from TX or is a Brittney Spears fan knows how to properly spell Funyons goddamit).
Say I were to run into Matt Damon at Store 24, he with Funyons, me with a box of croutons (I know, it's weird that I love croutons so much, just accept it and let it go). This is how I imagine the conversation:
ME: Wow, hi. You're Matt Damon.
MD: I know.
ME: I didn't know that you liked Funyons, I pegged you more as a Pringles kind of guy.
MD: Huh. No. Funyons are where it's at. Pringles are for p***ies Have you ever been to Texas?
ME: I've always been a Doritos girl.
MD: Well, I like Doritos too! Which flavor?
ME: Nacho Cheese all the way. Those other flavors can go to hell. I'm a traditionalist.
MD: Totally. I'm right there with you.
MD: Want to go to the South of France with me? I'm ditching my super-model girlfriend.
ME: Sure! Can I take your picture?
(see Matt Damon is polite enough not to question why I am eating from a box of croutons. He's a good guy like that).
Think you want to work in movies and live in New England (acting, producing, working on the set)? Check out this site: NEFilm.
In other news...
I was riding the %^&$% Green Line Shuttle last night (heading for my first "e-date" in a while-- that's a story for another time) when I saw this graffiti on the bus and just had to laugh:
Amen, brother. Amen.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I truly feel sorry for anyone who is not blessed with a sister (or brother for that matter). Having siblings is the best! Well, maybe not for the first 15-18 years or so. But I will save those stories for another day. Although I have to say my favorite Erin story is when she got caught when she was 17 or so hiding booze in her toy chest. Who thought Mom would look there??
Why Twinner? I don't know. Ask Jeff, he is the one who provided her with that nickname. We all had silly nicknames... he was jeffajuazoomagoo. I was.... what do you think I am? Stupid? I am not telling you my childhood nickname*.
So raise your glasses one and all to Erin! Happy Birthday!
Birthday girl and me at her party last night
*My nickname had many variations: Pookie, Pookieluke, Pookers...you get the point. But SHHHHH! Don't tell anyone.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Monday, June 20, 2005
Dad, being a native of Massachusettes, grew up being a Red Sox fan. Since he hadn't been to a game in 6 or 7 years, the tickets made the perfect Father's Day present!
Here are some pictures of the day:
Going to the game
Me and Dad: Happy Father's Day!
"All Praise Kevin Millar!" shouted the kids sitting next to us
Ashbloem and Ann of Superette fame joined my family for the big game. Ash was a little worse for wear due to the previous nights activities, but she rallied around the third inning or so. Ann was as fun and gregarious as ever.
Ashbloem and Ann
Ann scored some serious hotdog action
Pitcher Matt Clement on the mound
Ann and me
Historic Fenway Park
Erin Regresses to her old childhood ways
The next big name in baseball was sitting in front of us
I love that they still change the stats by hand
All in all it was an awesome day. The Sox beat the Pirates 8-0. Woo-hoo! Dad said it was the best Father's Day he ever had. I couldn't agree more!
Dad and his girls
Saturday started off EARLY when we made our way up to NH to volunteer for a biking event. E. is riding in the Great Mass Getaway to support MS next week and this was a fundraiser to help the team make their donation requirements. We met the bikers and then got to hang out and hand out water and snacks to the riders.
The biking gang pre-ride
Dad and E. at the checkpoint
Some say I look like my dad...
Our next stop was to Ipswich to get Dad some REAL clams at the CLAM BOX. Dad said they were some of the best darn clams he ever had. After gorging ourselves with fried food, we went to Crane's Beach for a walk along the water. By then the sun had come out and it was a beautiful day.
at Crane's Beach
reflections in the sand
During the day, E. and I got to catch up and exchange in some pretty deep conversation:
T: What are you talking about?
E: That's a funny word.
E: Say it. Sas-Katcch-e-wan.
E: Say it. It's funny.
T: Leave me alone.
So, that's all for Day 1 of Pop-alooza 2005. Stay tuned for Day 2!
Sunday, June 19, 2005
ONLINE TERRARISM? THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO COME AFTER YOU!
OK, not quite that dramatic, but you get the point. Interravision got the most votes, so I am testing the waters to see how the response is. Thoughts? Terralicious came in a close second... but I don't think that's what I want.
So... how does it look?
Friday, June 17, 2005
Last night started off relatively low key. Geary called on her way back from NYC and we made plans to meet up later that night. Since Ashbloem is having a very wicked affair with MDWSA, it's no wonder the evening ended up just as it did. Let me recount the events of the evening for you.
Since feeling, once again, "low key", we decided to hit my favorite Irish Pub... as we all know by now it is my favorite because of Hottie Bartender Who Gives Me Free Drinks. When Ashbloem and I walked into the bar, we (well, I) was sorely disappointed to see that some other dude was tending bar. Whhaaattt??? The fact that he was also Irish provided little consolation. Oh well. The evening suddenly took a whole different spin now that HBWGMFD wasn't there. We sat down anyway and had a drink. I pulled out my trusty little camera, and started taking random bar shots again, so lucky for you readers, I am able to illustrate many of the events of the night.
scenes on a table
Geary arrived shortly later like a Tornado, having just come from talking to a friend who is at a pretty serious personal crossroad. We talked about this friend, the problems with families, and why the damn waitress couldn't Just Be Polite. Conversation was both animated and serious with lots of gesticulation (mostly on dear Geary's part).
We had some food... we had some beers...
It gets to be about 11pm or so and we decide to call it a night.... after all it is a school night for Ashbloem and Geary (I have today off). BUT WAIT! WAIT JUST ONE SECOND!
Literally as we are walking out the door, I spy HBWGMFD by the kitchen. HE IS HERE! But we are actually moving out the doorway into the rain, coats on, umbrellas out, already forming our goodbyes. Fun Ashbloem, stops me (Sensible Terra) on the sidewalk just outside of the bar and we have a conversation that sort of goes like this:
FA: Let's go back
ST: What? And do what? Are you kidding? We've already left the bar.
FA: I have a plan.
ST: You have a plan? What plan?
FA: Don't you trust me?
FA: Fine, then we're leaving.
ST: What is the plan?
FA: I am not going to tell you, you just have to trust me.
FA: What's it gonna be, huh?
ST: Come on, just tell me.
FA: No. Do you want to call it a night?
Let me break from the story for a minute. I have known Ashbloem a LONG time. She is probably my longest running adulthood friend that I regularly hang out with. I know if she has a plan, it is likely a good one, but will definitely push me beyond my typical social boundaries (not that this is a bad thing). The question I should have asked was, "How far does your plan push me?". Back to the convo:
ST: OK, I trust you.
We trot back into the bar like giddy schoolgirls looking for the hunky quarterback, as if we hadn't just left 5 minutes before... Geary and I faithfully following Ashbloem like ducklings behind mamma duck. She walks confidently up to the bouncers and says, "Is Sean here tonight?" They respond, why yes, he is tending bar upstairs.
Upstairs? I didn't even know there WAS an upstairs. But there is, and here is evidence of it:
the bar upstairs
So, once again in line we follow the lovely A. up the stairs... and THERE HE IS. My memory of the rest of the evening is like watching a videotape in fast-forward. Ash and Geary did their best to encourage some flirty conversation between me and HB. Ash would say things like, "Oh, you can rent out the upstairs for parties? Wow! Terra and I have thrown some great parties when we lived in Amsterdam. They were really fun. If we threw a party, would you come to it?" (he said he would). Ashbloem would nudge me under the bar when it was my cue to say something witty, and she laughed heartily at all my quips. We laughed... we had more to drink.
At one point of the evening HB and I were debating who is more romantic: Irish or Italian poets. He challenged my theory by daring me to write a limerick and handed me a napkin and a pen. I took on this challenge very enthusiastically (it came together quite quickly, and wasn't so bad if I do say so myself). He seemed genuinely impressed, after Ashbloem did a dramatic reading, and said he would have it framed behind the bar (yeah, right).
There once was a bartender named Sean...
After that things started to deteriorate a little bit (well, at least my memory does). All the while Geary was having a grand old time chatting up a nice man she met sitting at the bar. Ash and I had more to drink and I took even more pictures.
This is around the time that Ashbloem thought it would be a good idea to walk behind the bar throw her arms around HB and exclaim, "Terra take a picture of me and HB!" I wasn't even jealous for a second because I knew EXACTLY what she was doing... giving me an excuse to capture the Hottie Bartender on digital film. That's exactly what good girlfriends do for you. She took one for the team. That is, if you can call throwing your arms around a gorgeous hunk of an Irishman a sacrifice.
Ashbloem "helping me out"
The evening came to a close... we asked for the tab and none was produced "It's already taken care of my dears". God bless HBWGMFD. God bless girlfriends. It's going to be a fun summer.
That's what friends are for
Thursday, June 16, 2005
I have 2 extra tickets... anyone want to come along? I'll give ya a great deal.
The weather is going to be a perfect 75 degrees and sunny-- ideal baseball weather!
No, I haven't always been a Red Sox fan. Growing up near Baltimore it was illegal not to love Cal Ripken and the Orioles. But since moving to Boston I have fallen for this team of idiots. I was so excited when we won the World Series last fall that I ran to the streets at like 1:00am in my pajamas with camera in hand. Here is my favorite shot of a random fan:
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Cinque Terre, translated as "The 5 Lands (or villages)" is a string of beautiful small towns hugging the rugged coast of the Ligurian Sea connected by about 5 miles of hiking trails. The five towns are: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Here is a map of the area:
We stayed in a simple but friendly pensione in Monterosso, one of the bigger of the 5 towns, and the town with the best beaches. These villages were not accessible by road or train until the 1960s, so development of the area has been very limited, unlike more accessible areas of this region. Here are some pictures of my very memorable trip:
Vernazza seen from the hiking trail
These towns are spectacular for many reasons, but for me it was all about the colors that assault you at once. The blue of the sea; the green orchards passed along the trails; the brilliant painted reds, yellows and oranges of the house facades; the blue fishing and leisure boats parked in the piazza waiting to be deployed; the purple flowers climbing up the balconies.
blue boats waiting to be deployed
Beyond the hiking, there is still a lot more to see and do in the region. Mara and I took a kayaking tour around the coast and stopped to do some snorkeling in some of the inlets along the way. Sadly I just learned that our guide, Sean Risatti, no longer has his guide business up and running. He was excellent!
We went in early summer, before the tourists had really descended upon the area. I wouldn't want to visit in the peak of summer, but I bet late September would also be a great time to visit.
lots of empty chairs on the beach = not too many tourists!
I flew into Milan from Amsterdam and then took a train to Monterosso. The train station is in the middle of town and you can walk to wherever you might be staying from there. Easy! There are tons of cafe`s and restaurants too... most of which serve seafood caught that day by the local fishermen. Yumm!
flowers in full-bloom
The picture below was taken from the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza. I recommend stopping at one of the local fruit stands or grocers before heading up the trail so you can have a little picnic along the way. That's what Mara and I did and it was the best lunch ever (and easy on the wallet too).
orchards and gardens along the way
The hikes sometimes take you right through the center of the villages you are passing. I passed these kids heading into Vernazza and couldn't help but laugh at the stereotypes being acted out at such a young age. The little girl was sweeping and cleaning the patio. The little boy ignored her and played his gameboy. I was thrilled to be able to catch it on film so discreetly.
Gender roles are learned early
As you would guess, the area attracts all kinds of artists and travelers. There were people paintings and taking "real" pictures all over the place. Check out this guy:
Four days really weren't enough to get a full appreciation of the area, so I guess I will just have to go back someday!
Here are some helpful links if you'd like to visit Cinque Terre yourself:
This guy Adrian has a great collection of information and online resources.
Fishnet: Kate Little, a Texan expat now married and living in Monterosso, used to have a friendly little internet cafe which was a gold mine for tourists. She has now closed the shop, but still has a very informative website online.
Monterrosonet is also a great site with a ton of info.
Many people think that Rick Steves more or less ruined Vernazza and the Cinque Terre region by letting the cat out of the bag. I guess it would be hyprocritical of me to get on that bandwagon being that I am blogging about the proverbial cat myself.
I think that Fodors online is a great travel source in general. Their message boards are a rich source of information. Anytime I am planning a trip I consult the experienced travelers who post regularly on their site. My other general travel source is Tripadvisor; I also frequently write reviews on their site of the different places I have traveled to.