Sunday, June 19, 2011
I've been quite caught up in preparing for comps, hence the lack of posts. I've read seven books in the last four days, and have twelve more to read in the next seven. I can do it, right?
I've been taking a little bit of time off over the past week, first to visit with friends before they left for Scotland, then to edit some pictures (and regain a bit of mental sanity). I have about 750 more to edit, and lots now posted on Flickr (some of which will appear here).
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the AppleTV
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I really liked these doors. I think big doors like this are fabulous. These in particular remind me of the doors in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Not entirely sure why, but they do.
Spent all day reading up on the manuscript sources for Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas and Cello Suites. I think I have successfully memorized all the necessary minutia.
And now for sleep! Hooray!
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Monday, May 16, 2011
I thought this would be an appropriate picture to post after seeing the Met's last HD broadcast of the season this weekend. It was Die Walküre, and during some of the pre-opera filming of the audience, the camera panned to show a couple of women wearing rather similar headgear. I snapped this picture because of an inside joke about Screaming Helgas being my mascot of choice. Perhaps I should have bought one, but I took a picture instead.
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
These wagons were outside the Kriminal Museum, and they completely remind me of the ones in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that the child catcher drives. When I was a kid, it was one of my favorite movies, and in order to keep me from being scared of the child catcher, my mom called him "The Bad Nosey Guy." To this day, I still think of him as The Bad Nosey Guy, and when I first heard him described as the child catcher, I was confused.
Anyway, back to work. One paper down, one exam down, now onto the last paper and then the semester will be officially over and it will be summer! Which means, studying for comprehensive exams. The sad part is that I'm actually excited to just focus on exam preparations.
iTunes: Bad Romance by Lady GaGa.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Apologies to my vegetarian and vegan friends, but, oh man, did these look delicious! (And apologies to all my Catholic friends as well--posting pictures of meat on Good Friday?) Being from a good German family, I grew up on Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Braunschweiger, and the like. I knew I couldn't carry a whole pack of German sausages around with me all over Europe, so this picture had to suffice. I love the little wooden signs from the different types of meat. Imagine being able to stop by and pick up dinner here on your way home from work. Yum!
And now, my goal is to make a to-do-list for everything that needs to get done over the next week (or few weeks, depending on how far in advance I can plan). With any luck, I'll be able to cross "find a new apartment" off my list by either this afternoon or this coming Monday. My friend and I looked at an apartment this morning and it seems quite promising. Now we just have to decide whether we want to go for it or not. Fingers crossed!
iTunes: Grosse Fuge, Op. 133, by Ludwig van Beethoven
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A shot of the square in the mid-morning, before the lunch rush comes and people fill up all of those picturesque café tables. I wish they hadn't been so pricey, or we would've sat down and had a bite. But we did stop at another shop on the corner of the square for cold drinks. You'll have to wait for those pictures!
Alas, the delay since the last posting is due to the end-of-semester workload and my stubborn determination to make weekend trips whenever possible. Oh yes, and doing my taxes. Now that taxes are filed and I only have one more weekend trip on the horizon, the only thing keeping me from posting is coursework. And I dare say that it will only get worse over the next couple weeks. However, there is (sort of) an end in sight: my last class is 27 April (unless additional classes are scheduled), and my last paper is due 15 May, so in 33 days, I will be done with coursework!
As a side note, a friend of mine asked if I would photograph her wedding in October! It's been a while since I've been able to do much photography, but I'm really looking forward to it. It will be even more fun since I've known the bride for about 5 years and met the groom when they started dating, and they're both fun-loving, laid-back people. So my new goal is to finish editing these pictures from Europe by the time their wedding roles around...
iTunes: String Quartet No. 3 in Bb, Op. 130/i, by Beethoven
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Every street was perfectly picturesque. It helped that there weren't cars everywhere, since they would seriously throw off the aesthetic.
Last night I discovered a new bar and a new beer. The bar: Cask Republic. The beer: Fransikaner Hefe-Weißbier. I don't tend to be much of a bar person -- they're usually too loud, too grimy, and too annoying, but this one was even palatable on a Saturday night. I think we'll be going back in future. The beer was good, too! Not only do I tend to prefer European brews, but I just enjoy ordering anything in German because it's so fun to pronounce. (And I sound like I know what I'm doing.)
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Taking a quick break from reading another intense musicology article to post another Europe photo. I just find this sign charming. Oddly enough, I find the Fraktur script rather nostalgic. Don't know if that was the case while I was studying for the German proficiency exam or if this is a more recent development, but either way, I like it now.
Speaking of Fraktur, while I was out of town for the weekend, I briefly stopped in to visit my grandparents. My grandmother gave me a set of books her mother had purchased at the Wagner Festival in New York City in 1923, which included the entire set of Wagner's operatic librettos (in Fraktur)! It was really neat to learn that my great-grandmother shared my love of these works, and my grandmother was thrilled that I was so excited to have the books.
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
Friday, March 18, 2011
There will be quite a few postings from the streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber -- it was a very picturesque, quaint little town, despite being so tourist-y. I really enjoy all the cobblestone streets. And, yes, I can walk on them in heels -- though I didn't have heels with me for the trip. I fit everything I needed for nearly three weeks into my backpack. Impressive, yes?
Winding down the last week of my spring break. Can we just extend it a little longer? I've been hanging out with my favorite kid since Tuesday, and it's just she and I today because she doesn't have school. She's pretty tuckered out from all the excitement, so she's still asleep and I have a chance to get some early morning work done and to post another Europe photo.
iTunes: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, by J.S. Bach
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Quick Sunday afternoon post. I managed to have a productive day thus far. I read six articles and even managed to spend some time knitting. But, the day is not done and I'm going to try to make it through four more articles...
iTunes: Wißt Ihr, Wann Mein Kindchen, Op. 103/3, by Brahms
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I love how brightly colored the building were on the main square. It almost gives the town the feeling of being an enlarged doll's house. I imagine they weren't so bright during the Middle Ages, especially with all the soot, dirt, and grime that a city produces. But it looks nice now.
I've had a lazy day today. Watching the Harry Potter movies and knitting while in my pajamas. (I'm on the sixth movie now!) Perfect way to spend a rainy day in West Virginia.
iTunes: Hochgetürmte Rimaflut, Op. 103/2, by Brahms
Monday, March 7, 2011
And the next location on our tour: Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. And certainly the most tourist-y one. But regardless, it made for some good photo ops. I'll be sharing a lot more Rothenburg pictures--we spent longer there than the other cities we had been to thus far, and we had great weather. When the clock in the main square chimed, everyone came out to take pictures. I thought it would be an appropriate first shot to share.
Spending time with cats today has been lovely. And I finished a button pidge scarf. But the highlight of the day was probably running on the treadmill and doing lip-trills to the Zigeunerlieder. Which are one of my new favorite pieces. Check them out.
iTunes: He, Zigeuner, Greife In Die Saiten Ein! Op. 103/1, by Brahms
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Last Würzburg post. Which may not technically be Würzburg since it was taken during the train ride. But we'll just say it's Würzburg. The sunshine was just gorgeous that day, which was a welcome change from the pouring rain we had when we first arrived in Amsterdam.
I made it to WV in a record 7 hours, including stops. Not entirely sure how that happened, because I didn't have the heaviest lead foot on the road. Not by a long shot. But it was nice once I crossed into WV and the speed limit went up to 70 mph! Tonight is my friend's masters recital, so we're stapling programs and such this afternoon and preparing a ton of food.
iTunes: Bad Romance, by Lady Gaga (yes, I do listen to more than just Classical music on occasion!)
Thursday, March 3, 2011
One of my recently discovered favorites from the trip. I like the lines and the crispness of the black-and-white. And yes, still in Würzburg. Sorry, but there will only be train station pictures. I may or may not post one last Würzburg picture, or I might move onto the next city we visited. Only time will tell...
I just finished up the first half of my semester, and the next two weeks are spring break. Thank goodness. Two weeks for spring break is exactly what I need -- a week to get some extra work done and a week to relax. I wish there was a two week break during the fall semester as well, but we just have one week at Thanksgiving. Which is better than just a couple of days, don't get me wrong, but it comes right at the end of the semester when you're behind on work, need to get ahead on final papers, and are completely exhausted from the semester. I won't miss the stress of coursework this coming fall!
iTunes: String Quartet No. 12 in Eb major, Op. 127, by Beethoven
Monday, February 28, 2011
Taking a break from Würzburg to share a photo of baby W, who turns three weeks old today! I've spent some time with W and her big brother S and my friends M and T over the past few weeks, and I managed to take some baby pictures during one of the visits. (Normally I'm too busy holding her or making food!) Perhaps I'll share a few more, but this shot will suffice as introducing her. Expect to see more of W over the next few months (and years)!
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Based on the number of pictures I'm posting of the Würzburg train station, we must have had a decently long layover there on our way to the next destination. This shot has some grunge-appeal as well. I'm curious as to what all these buttons do. I resisted the urge to press any of them and just took pictures instead.
Preparing for a big presentation on Wednesday on an article on this movement of a Beethoven string quartet. I've listened to it about 40 times in the past 5 days. Thank goodness I really like late Beethoven string quartets!
iTunes: String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127: I, Maestoso/Allegro, by Beethoven
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I really liked the red train in Würzburg.
Today I anticipate spending a lot of time on hold. I'm hoping for half-decent elevator music. Renewing car insurance and trying to sort out a credit card mess since it was stolen last week. Ugh.
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
May as well squeeze in the little cities where we only spent a few minutes (or hours) while changing trains. Normally I find black-and-white photos with masked color sections a bit... tacky. BUT sometimes it works. I think this was one exception to that general rule. I think it's the grunge aspect of the black-and-white portion.
Anyway, back to reading Foucault. (What have I learned from reading Foucault for two weeks? I don't like Foucault, and I don't like his manner of writing. I prefer the Germans.)
iTunes: The Turn of the Screw, by Benjamin Britten
Monday, February 14, 2011
Taking a brief break from Europe posts to say Happy Valentine's Day! No matter whether you have a particular "special someone" in your life or a whole bunch of special people whom you love, I find that February 14 always presents a chance to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. So, share some loving kindness and make someone's day!
This little one has been my valentine for the past few years, and I couldn't ask for a better one! Since moving to New England, I haven't gotten to see her on Valentine's Day for the past two years, so I send her a valentine instead. But hopefully I'll be seeing her soon!
iTunes: Wellingtons Sieg, by Beethoven
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I like shots of train stations, so I thought I'd share another one. This was the main station at Frankfurt, where we changed trains on the way to our next destination. So it's one of the few Frankfurt shots I have, since we never left the station.
Today is a reading day with a couple of meetings thrown in. I was thinking about having some leftover shrimp for lunch, but I don't know that they'll reheat well in the microwave. Perhaps I'll have to dig up something else to take with me for lunch.
iTunes: Der Glorreiche Augenblick, Op. 136, by Beethoven
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Well, I know I said I was done posting pictures of Amsterdam, but I suppose this train station shot is still technically Amsterdam, and not the next city we visited (or the next one we stopped in -- you have to love train-hopping!) -- so this is the last official Amsterdam post of this stretch!
I love how the trains run on time in Europe. (Okay, Italy may be excepted from this for reasons that I will share later. But At least Germany and Switzerland! That good old Northern European blood makes everything work like clockwork... Perhaps I can blame my liking of being on time on my German heritage.) When I was in Berlin last spring, I overheard some locals complain that the bus was 2 minutes late. In the US, 2 minutes late would be on time! The trains I take here are often 20-40 minutes late!
Wednesday is hump day, and my only day with two classes. Looking forward to getting through the day and coming back to whip something delicious up for dinner. Having a dinner guest this evening, which will be an excuse for making something special. Shrimp perhaps?
iTunes: Diabelli Variations, by Beethoven
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Surprisingly, I'm coming to the end of the best-of-the-best Amsterdam pictures. But I thought I'd share this one last shot before moving onto the next city we visited. I do love a nice, crisp black and white shot.
Up later than usual tonight, and have an intense day of classes and meetings tomorrow. Probably should be getting some shut-eye instead of posting pictures, but I didn't want to get out of the habit again.
iTunes: Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111, by Beethoven
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I just thought this little addition to the menu was super-cute! And rather close to true as well... though we weren't quite so sad as the little person on the left.
I'm plugging away at some pretty hefty readings, and it's time to get back to it. At least I have dinner to look forward to -- I'm planning on trying a new recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup, and will be stopping to pick up some fresh bread, salad, and wine on my way home. But first I must get through this book I'm reading...
iTunes: La Traviata, by Verdi
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Because of some unexpected travel issues, we didn't get to do much in Amsterdam or Haarlem. Seeing signs was basically the extent of our sightseeing while we were there. The next time I go to Amsterdam, I would like to actually see some of the things this sign points to -- especially the Corrie ten Boom Huis (Corrie ten Boom's House). I have always had a fascination with World War II and Holocaust history, and I remember reading books like the Diary of Anne Frank and Number the Stars as a kid. One of my favorite museums in North America is the Holocaust Museum in DC.
I am determined that today will be a day of productivity. I had a very virtuous start to the day and got downtown to my favorite coffee shop by 7:30, only to find that it didn't open until 8:00. So I stood outside in the cold for half an hour, wishing that I'd let myself be less ambitious about getting up so early. Next time, I'll remember not to try so hard on a Saturday morning.
iTunes: Piano Sonata, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier), by Beethoven
Friday, January 21, 2011
Meetings today. Short post. But more Amsterdam. Looks much nicer than here. We got more snow last night. And I am again reminded that my snow boots are not waterproof. Also discovered that they are literally falling apart. Perhaps it's time for new boots?
iTunes: Der Glorreiche Augenblick, by Beethoven
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Amsterdam returns. As does more snow and ice tonight. And I just discovered that my driveway is already a solid sheet of ice.
Can you say massive wipe-out?
Anyway, this is a view from the porch area of Carla's Café. I like the juxtaposition of old buildings with "new" technology (tram power lines). And the morning light.
iTunes: Violin Partita, BWV 1006 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Taking a momentary break from Amsterdam... but not to worry, I shall return tomorrow. (Or rather it will return to me. I will spend tomorrow trying to brave the newly-frozen "lakes" that are now covering the city after a day of freezing rain.)
Besides international travel, the other thing that I have not been able to keep my camera away for is cooking. I adore cooking. I adore food. I adore taking pictures of food I've cooked. So I may occasionally intersperse some mouth-watering shots. And recipes?
Who says a (lapsing) photography blog can't also include photos of food, and directions for how to make said food?
So, I introduce you to:
Uovo al piatto con pomodori
Serving Size: 3
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, small, finely chopped
1 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat oil in shallow, ovenproof dish. Add onion, cook to golden. Add tomatoes, cook 5-10 minutes or until very soft. Stir in basil.
3. Break eggs one at a time into layer on top of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Dot with butter if desired. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake 7-10 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still soft. (Cheese will not be browned.)
6. Garnish with basil.
Works great in individual ramekins, but adjust amount as necessary.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Our delicious breakfast smoothies at Carla's. I believe I had banana and Kelley had a berry smoothie. (Blueberry, perhaps?) Sadly, I think my breakfast today will not be quite as good. Maybe I'll take it as a challenge and try to make something delicious, since it is Saturday...
iTunes: Sleeping Beauty, by Tchaikovsky
Friday, January 14, 2011
"Peace, Love, & Food." All sound good to me! Carla's was our favorite find in Amsterdam, and I loved the decor. For me, coffee shops can either be hit or miss with their decorations. They can try too hard to be funky and end up just being awkward, or they can be too feminine for my taste. Carla's was a mix of fun and classy. Just right.
I've supposedly made it through the first week of classes. Two of the three have yet to meet, and because of MLK Day on Monday, the one that I've had twice this week won't meet at all next week. It won't be until week three of classes that I'll have a normal week. Yet I'm pretty tired all the same. Got home at 6:30 after dinner at a local Thai favorite with some friends from the department, got right into my pajamas, made a couple of single-serving brownies in my new ramekins, and sat down to knit a hat and listen to Harry Potter. Now that I've finished listening to the last book, I'm starting over from the beginning. Lately I've been more in the mood to listen to books on tape than to watch anything. I think it has to do with not wanting to look at my computer screen.
And I shall leave you for the evening with the quote I just heard:
"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here." --Dumbledore
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling (Or Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, if you're from the UK)
Thursday, January 13, 2011
This was the bar area of the cute little shop where we had breakfast on our morning in Amsterdam. Carla's. Delicious smoothies, photos to follow. Warning: you will want one after viewing the photos.
Yesterday we had a "snowpocalypse." We had about 20 inches of snow, the biggest snowstorm apparently since 1978. Yale is no exception to the general rule about Ivy League Universities considering a university-wide weather-related cancellation to be an affront to the halls of learning everywhere and a horrible blemish on their personal record. So, despite being unable to run the buses and closing most of the libraries, classes continued.
In order to make it to my morning class on time, I had to leave at 8:00 -- I estimated that walking in during the blizzard would probably take longer than my usual 45-minutes. Surely, if my morning class was canceled, my afternoon class would not be. Wrong again. I finally get to campus to find out that BOTH classes were canceled, with the emails sent while I was trudging through the blizzard. Had I left late enough to get the emails, I would have been late for class (the class that didn't meet anyway). Fail.
Unfortunately, because I had to lug in all my class things and was worried about the snow messing with my camera, I didn't take any pictures yesterday. Perhaps if I'm not too lazy, I'll snag some today.
So, I had a very productive morning, being one of very few people in the library during the few hours in which it was open, then did some reading in the afternoon. Thankfully, despite Connecticut's seeming inability to salt their roads (oh, is just plowing not enough in a blizzard?), we found a pizza place that was open and had some delicious mashed potato pizza with artichoke hearts. Yes, mashed potatoes and pizza. Carb overload, and a New England thing, but delicious. Don't judge until you try it.
Today, since I have no reason to go downtown, I'm staying in to study. Hot chocolate may be in order.
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling (yes, yes, I know... Harry Potter at 10:00 a.m. when I haven't started working yet...)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I like the "architectural longevity" of European cities. With the exception of some of the advertising, this looks much like I imagine it would have several decades ago. I love that about Europe -- in the US, it seems that something is barely a decade old before it is deemed "out-dated," and it's pulled down and replaced. And everything is built to last about that long anyway. As they say, in America, 100 years is a long time, and in Europe, 100 miles is a long distance.
iTunes: Don Carlo, by Verdi
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I like when cities have water and boats. And I like how open certain cities feel -- when the buildings are spaced out a bit and aren't too tall, and you can look up and see the wide-open sky. So I think I would quite like Amsterdam if I could spend more than 4 hours there. My first impressions weren't the greatest -- torrential downpours and jet lag didn't help -- but the next morning made up for it.
Courses have now started up for the semester, and today is full of meetings to discuss my choice of topics for comprehensive exams. A lot of people talk about how the process of taking qualifying exams is a horrible experience, but I am determined to look on the bright side. I think the studying process will play to my strengths, and as long as I work steadily and prepare well, I hope that the whole process could be a good, constructive experience. I've had a lot of fun brainstorming ideas for topics, and I'm curious to see which ones I end up doing. I have a meeting this afternoon about it and then a group meeting tomorrow morning, so I'm starting to narrow in on specific ideas.
iTunes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling
Monday, January 10, 2011
When we arrived back in downtown Amsterdam the morning after arriving in Europe, the weather couldn't have been better. Or more different from the evening before, which had involved buckets of rain. The bright blue sky just seemed cheerful, and we walked around for a bit to take pictures and see what the city looked like in the light of day and without lots of rain.
Pretty nice, huh?
And now... off to start the first day back. Wasting no time diving right back into classes!
iTunes: Va tacito e nascost, by Handel
Saturday, January 8, 2011
This is a shot of the Haarlem train station. After the morning walk, this is where we picked up the train to head into downtown Amsterdam for the morning. What I like about this shot is seeing the textures and lines of the iron work in the old station. I also like the silhouette of the older gentleman standing about halfway down the track. We spent quite a lot of time in train stations during the trip because we had Eurail passes and used them to get from city to city. It was convenient for all the places we wanted to travel, though the next time I go back to Europe, I probably won't try to fit so many different cities into one trip.
iTunes: Circus Band, by Charles Ives
Friday, January 7, 2011
This shot was another one that I snagged on my morning walk along the canal. I loved seeing the reflection of the houses in the water, and I love how the black-and-white brings out the various textures in this image.
People have sometimes asked me which I prefer, color images or black-and-white images. It's hard to say, and impossible to really decide. But I must say that I love the classic crispness of a good black-and-white shot.
Often, when I'm out shooting, I know as soon as I frame the shot whether I want it in color or in black-and-white. I always shoot in color, because I like the flexibility that the color data gives me in editing a photo to be black-and-white, but sometime I frame a shot knowing that it will eventually not be in color.
iTunes: Sometimes I'm Happy, by Sarah Vaughan
Thursday, January 6, 2011
It's been almost six months since the last post, and I'm long overdue for an update. Such is the life of a graduate student, though. There is no sign of the work letting up anytime in the near future, but I'll attempt to periodically share a few shots from the archives -- hopefully with more regularity than I've been posting.
To start with: here is one of my first shots from my trip to Europe last summer. The first stop was Amsterdam, but because of hiccups in our travel plans and nasty weather as soon as we arrived, I didn't pull out my camera until the day after we arrived. We took a walk around the outskirts of the city, close to where we stayed the night before, before taking the train into Amsterdam. Don't you love the early morning light here?
iTunes: Beethoven, Missa Solemnis