Saturday, February 21, 2009

Carnaval

The southern part of The Netherlands (Limburg province in particular) is Catholic, and along with that comes a wholehearted celebration of Carnaval (Mardi Gras.) Nick and I have both been sick all week, but it's a once in a lifetime thing. So we slapped together a costume and will go see the parade on Sunday, and meet up for drinks. Without further ado, the professor and the school girl. Notice how well Nick channels Britney a la Hit Me Baby One More Time.

prof

student

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Is anybody else a little concerned about the media and its negativity? I realize the economy is not doing well, but the only reason I'm concerned about my personal financial affairs is because every day there is some article telling me that I should! I'm very worried that the media's recent trend toward highlighting the possibilities of doomsday will help shape the public's attitude in a way that increases the chances of its occurrence. Why is it that every single day cnn or any other casual news site has somebody's sob story? I am not saying that the stories aren't sad or that we should ignore those in need. I'm just wondering- doesn't the increased focus and visibility to these stories give the impression that they're more widespread than they really are? Sad human interest stories existed in 2006 too, but people were able to pretend they didn't exist because it wasn't promoted as news. If unemployment and foreclosures go up, there is a big bold scary headline. If foreclosures go down, the story is in small print at the bottom of the page with no picture and an advertisement that pops up in the middle of the article. Would people be as conservative and as concerned about the economy if there was a more balanced dialogue?

Pictures!

Happy New Year from Maastricht!

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Bruges Ice Magic

ice in bruges


For Dad- we visited Anne Frank's house and neighborhood in Amsterdam (the one she lived in before the hiding place, which is in a very non-touristy residential part of A-dam) Anne's family lived on the 2nd floor in the building behind the statue

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Anne's old school

school


Valentine's Day in Paris and Versailles (pic of Versailles)

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View of Eiffel Tower from inside the Museum of Decorative Arts (right next to the Louvre)

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Chairs from 60s and 70s (same museum in Paris)

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Rooms in Versailles

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Versailles Hall of Mirrors, chandelier view

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catching up

Well, apparently the novelty of blogging has worn off, and I am more attached to blogging with pictures that allow me to slack off on the writing. However, here goes: We went to the US for Christmas. It went very quickly, and in a way felt like no time had passed. I noticed that my normal Caribou drink (Lite White Berry, half raspberry) tasted like pure sugar, the free ice water tasted too cold, and the portion sizes were overwhelming. Other than those expected deviations, it was business as usual. We spent New Year's Eve in Maastricht on the Hogebrug (a bridge). It was fun to watch the fireworks, though the show had a much different feel to it- people all over were lighting their own fireworks, even on the crowded bridge. The show was amateur, dangerous, and from all directions. In 2009, we have visited Brussels for no reason whatsoever, Brugge for the Ice Magic festival, Amsterdam for a concert, and will head to Paris for Valentine's day. The funniest thing we've seen in 2009 is a Dutch teenager who drove an old, very large tractor to McDonalds in the middle of nowhere. The whole restaurant laughed as we watched him climb up, pull out of his parking space and drive away. I will try to put some pictures up later, since my descriptions are woefully shallow.