Yellow

March 26, 2007 at 3:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Crocuses are out

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New England; Rockport

February 26, 2007 at 6:00 am (Uncategorized)

We decided to escape Cambridge yesterday and took a trip to the beach. It was sunny and freezing, and quite windy but Rockport, on Cape Ann, was very cute even in winter. The colonists moved in around the 1700s and the winding streets on the point look that old, as do the oldfashioned shops. There is lot of sweet and fudge shops, but interestingly you couldn’t get a drink in a restaurant until 2005!

The revolt against rum

“In 1856 a gang of 200 women lead by Hannah Jumper swept through the town and destroyed anything containing alcohol in what is called “Rockport’s revolt against rum” and banned alcohol from the town. Except for a period in the 1930’s the town has remained one of 15 Massachusetts dry towns. Since then alcoholic beverages could not be purchased in Rockport, but in April 20, 2005 the town ballot passed a home rule petition to allow the sale of alcohol by restaurants.”

That was a long lasting revolt. Here’s some pictures…

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The frozen estuary

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The harbour

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Bear skin point (no horses)

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Ice-cream store

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New York

January 29, 2007 at 6:02 am (general)

We were pretty proud of our efforts on arrival in New York. I hadn’t really gone to sleep the night before because that is what I do when I get excited, especially if I know I got to get up near the middle of the night. I’ve got used to that though, every exciting/stressful/big (and not so big) event type thing I have done has usually been preceeded by little, if any, sleep the night before; interviews, exams, marriage, holiday, christmas… So we got up early, and were the first people to walk on the snow, and got our four and a half hour bus to New York. We passed through the Bronx, and Harlem, and then arrived in the middle of Manhattan. Immediately in a new place you look for what it is like, what is different, what is the same, what is it like? I loved what we saw of New York. It had a real city feel, it felt vibrant and proud, and sort of tough.

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Time Square

Our hotel was near ‘Koreatown’, and we shared a bathroom with the other guests, and a little family of cockroaches, which was okay because I didn’t think to much about the time I found a cockroach nest in the back of a second-hand fridge in an old flat, or the vision of the pile of eggsacs which still pop up in nightmares. We had a view of the roof of a building and the high walls of all the other buildings. It was nice though, and had a TV which was a novelty, we got to see all the advertisements for pharmaceuticals which could treat anything from heart disease to your legs feeling a bit funny before you go to sleep, which is evidently a medical problem treatable by a course of drugs…

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Little Italy meets Chinatown

We had planned our days out a bit and did everything we had wanted to do – we got student rush tickets to Les Miserable on Broadway the night we arrived, which reminded me of the lovely Sarah Lee, and Josie Burdon because I somehow remember them singing the songs… We marveled in Time Square; walked the whole length of the island, wandered and ate our way through little Italy and Chinatown; by Brooklyn Bridge where Will Smith was shooting a movie; passed by the WTC hole; rode the ferry to Staten Island by the Statute of Liberty; and ate dinner in Soho. We met some friends from Cambridge for a coffee, and visited the MET and MoMA, of which MoMA was my best. Seeing some of the paintings I had loved in real life was a highlight. MoMA also gives you a little thing you can listen to which explains the paintings. It was interesting to hear an explanation of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, though the room with a light going on, and then off, was a bit of a stretch.

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Appreciating some art. 
We road a lift to the top of the Rockefeller Centre which cost a right pinky (Mark gave up his)  but was worth it, and saw the place where Diego Rivera’s painting would have been. Winter really arrived while we were there, it got down to -15C with a wind chill of minus a million. We figured out wearing two scarves was a useful way to not freeze the inside of your nose, and that making a list of the ten people we’d invite to hang out with for a weekend (anyone in the whole world, but must be alive), and the ten worst people is a good way to pass a long bus drive home.

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Snowed under

January 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

At the moment I am spending 6 hours a day reading for class (3 hrs) and then attending it (another 3). And then the balance writing a paper for that class. It is on the Federalist Papers, which are the arguments the ‘founding fathers’ published in the papers in 1787 to convince New York to ratify the Constitution. Pretty interesting stuff; the most famous ones are 10 and 51, for the arguments about the separation of powers.

Not much else to say really. We are going to New York in a few days, which should be fun.

Apart from that, I enjoyed this write up by Russell Brown of Dinesh D’Souzas book; watch the interview with Stephen Colbert.

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Carving up the ice…

December 23, 2006 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Mark literally carved up the ice when we went skating the other day. For a while he clung to the sides and edged around, not really getting the hang of it and talking about how he hated it and was going to stop. So the ice skating assistant man who incidentally could not skate suggested he use these milk crates as support. Another girl learning as well was aghast at the suggestion, totally embarrassed, “no thanks”, I guess she was there on a romantic date. But Mark thought it was a great idea. He got three giant milk crates piled on top of each other and slid around the rink with his legs flailing all over the place. It was hilarious. People came to watch and stood on the side of the rink to see this hooded man seemingly going nuts on the ice for the first time. He didn’t care. I don’t even think he noticed them. Here he is with his boxes. I couldn’t really capture it on the still… It was really a video moment but alas one was not at hand.  He did this for two hours…

Here is with his boxes,

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… and just taking a breather.

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He’ll get to practice more over the next two weeks cause the guy there offered me a job as an ice skate rink attendant! Heeee! Never done that before! So I’ll be an ice maiden for a few days, “just while all the Harvard kids are outta town”. I’ll sit in the little warm cabin with the German Bagels and the bags of chips and fit people for skates and send them out into the rink. Plus, I’ll skate whenever I feel like it. I need some kind of outfit. I have an interview on Tuesday, which the guy said was a formality, although I did have to tick a box that said I would allow them to test my pee for drugs. Isn’t that humiliating? Peeing in a cup to get a job? Hopefully I don’t have to do that.

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Procrastination of M Bear

December 15, 2006 at 7:34 am (Uncategorized)

MBear says: I should be doing my take-home test on constitutional law. But I have spent the last week doing it, and I think I can spare a few more minutes doing something else. Well, actually I am just going to talk about what else I have been procrastinating about, so I obviously haven’t been working too hard.

Reading: D M Thomas The White Hotel, which works in well with my reading of Freud, and also with the recent Holocaust denial conference Iran hosted, which as far as I can tell has the subtitle “Unfinished Business”. (To clarify, I mostly agree with what Harvard law professor Charles Fried says about this reprehensible event) . I am also reading Don Delillo White Noise, which is similarly dark, but more of a dark comedy so far.

Listening: The Clean Anthology. Can’t remember why I thought to buy this. But really good – Tally ho, tally ho, d-d-d-d-d-d, d-d-d-d-d…

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Old Man Winter

December 6, 2006 at 10:20 am (Uncategorized)

It snowed for the first time on Monday morning. Just a little bit, about an inch which all melted away by lunchtime. We’ve never seen it snowing like that before, I think I love the winter here, the minus temperatures, being all wrapped up and warm, the snowing. Except for now, because Mark burned something in the oven and the smoke is all over the place and we have to have the windows open and it is freezing me to death.

These aren’t very good pictures, it was early in the morning – the snow looks like popcorn. That would be okay too I guess, the squirrels would like it. I hate squirrels. I have made a transition from they are cute, to they are a bit freaky, to they are rabies carrying giant rats. It is all because of the ones that run towards you, or hang out in big groups and then dart all over the show. I know they have plans to climb my legs and tangle themselves in my hair instead of running away like a good wild animal.

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What M Bear has been up to

November 26, 2006 at 6:15 pm (Uncategorized)

Ok, since S Bear has been keeping her blog rolling on and on, I better tell everyone what my days have been filled with. Which is probably far more boring than her exciting life.

I have been listening to a lot of Sufjan Stevens (beware awesome ‘I’  [he wrote an album about Illinois]  t-shirt and trackpants combo he and his band are wearing), Mars Volta(beware freak-a-delic space rock), and Planes Mistaken For Stars (beware profanities on second link).

That is accompanied by reading. Most often from this great book about US Constitutional Law (well, actually a later edition, but you get the idea:

It is a fat book of 1700 pages. But remember, constitutional law is not about what the constitution says, and all about what the judges FEAR.

Also I am reading also about Nietzsche out of this book:

Remember, he is not about anti-Semitism or destruction, and all about the will to power, living your life with style, the overflowing of the passions and artistic juices. Or something like that, he is quite confusing sometimes. How about you read some too:

From The Gay Science,

279 Star friendship.— We were friends and have become estranged. But this was right, and we do not want to conceal and obscure it from ourselves as if we had reason to feel ashamed. We are two ships each of which has its goal and course; our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did—and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had one goal. But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones, and perhaps we shall never see one another again,—perhaps we shall meet again but fail to recognize each other: our exposure to different seas and suns has changed us! That we have to become estranged is the law above us: by the same token we should also become more venerable for each other! And thus the memory of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path,—let us rise up to this thought! But our life is too short and our power of vision too small for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility.— Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies.

And

341 The greatest weight.— What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you in your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!”— Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: “You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine!” If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you; the question in each and every thing, “Do you desire this once more, and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight! Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal? —

Hmm, somethings to think about. Anyway, we are also reading Freud, whose explanation of anything is basically “it’s all sex”.

I also read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which was interesting to read alongside Freud’s The Future of an Illusion.

Also a great comic strip from the 50s called Pogo Possum, which was about swamp animals like an alligator and possum but which was highly clever and political, and took on McCarthyism in a big way.

Blah blah blah, books and music. What else?

Thanksgiving and other sundry experiences you can see on S Bear’s blog. Staying up late, sleeping in. Having lots of baths. Reading books in the bath. Surfing the net. Playing soccer. Going out to dinner. That is the life of this bear in boston.

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PORTLAND, ME

November 7, 2006 at 10:18 am (Uncategorized)

WHAT WE ATE

Maine is a beautiful State. I almost wish I bought a ‘Maine’ hoody instead of my Boston one. We spent a good part of the weekend eating volumes of fantastic food in nice places like Becky’s. This diner was straight out of an American movie – older men lined up along a bar counter getting coffee poured by a friendly waitress that seemed like an old friend, and us hanging out in a red vinyl booth, waiting on our burger with fries and a pickle. Burgers here come with potato chips (like bluebird) and a pickle unless you ask for fries.

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Our Inn was pretty and made better by a big breakfast which included three kinds of cake, and all day access to a huge tin of biscotti which we ate through quite fast. It was really cold up there – on Saturday morning we saw icicles hanging from the eves. We found an all you can eat vegetarian/vegan restaurant for only $3.99, and a Pandora style bakery on the waterfront with the best brownies I ever ate. We decided against going to the play, and ate lobster rolls in a pub on the waterfront instead. Lobsters are delicious. I got a pile of claws in a roll and M had Lobster with salads.

WHAT WE DID…

M. at LL Bean being talked out of buying hunting wear that was warm & half-price, and also all camoflage or highlighter orange. We all have to be reminded that you can go too far in neglecting apperance over warmth sometimes.  Maybe I am wrong.  We’ll go and try to find jackets at Filene’s again this week.

We wandered around town, froze, found a great second hand shop where I got a woollen jersey & a floaty brown gold skirt, got lost finding the museum (it said congress sq not street…), went on the Friday night artwalk where artists open up their homes and galleries so you can look at their pictures and drink their wine and eat their cheese while you do. Very refined. Saturday we considered biking up to Freeport to go to the jacket shop but decided to catch a boat out to an Island instead. We explored the island in the sun, freezing ourselves, and encountering wildlife (Seals, Deer, Cats, Crabs, Crows) . It was so beautiful and remote, we’d like to live somewhere like that.

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On the boat towards Peaks Island. Lots of seals in the water, and freezing cold air.

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Exploring the interior of the island and startling a deer. (I don’t know why you can’t see all that photo…)

HORRIFYING SQUIRELLS AND RUNNING TO THE TRAIN STATION
When it was time to leave we walked down to the bus stop beside the park and were chased by squirells. Here they are scared of you, but these were big monster ones fed up by park visitors and they saw us as a source of treats. It was disturbing to have a hoard of squirells coming at you from all directions only moments away from running up your leg to scratch out your eyes. While watching squriells we also noticed that the bus was way late so we had to run all the way to the train station which was about three miles away. A guy noticed us and gave us a ride in the back of his ute which was fun and meant we got there with four minutes to run onto the train before it left. So now we are back.

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I think it is over…

October 26, 2006 at 2:30 am (Uncategorized)

for the cat face pumpkin. It has turned into horrendous pumpkin. It has mouldy ears and it’s eyeballs are sinking into it’s head. Lifting the lid reveals a fine selection of spindly and slimy moulds, a flurry of fruit flies and an indescribable stench, also noticeable if you come into the house after being out for a while. I think I will take it down to the trash and put it on the raised bank beside the bin.  I guess it is really just getting to its Halloween best.

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