April 17, 2011 § 5 Comments
I must apologize for my lack of an appearance as of late. The semester is coming to a close, so my professors feel that it’s necessary to assign ridiculous paper topics and give us a couple days to crank out 20 pages. Nonsense, I say!
I was able to find a break though, in all the typing of papers and doings of math, to get myself to a local show. I figured I could use the time away from the computer and scattered notebooks, you know? So, I hit up the Gallery 119 (Lowell, MA) to go see some experimental rock bands. I had only heard one of the bands prior to Friday night, and I really had no idea what to expect. I’ve always been one for strange sounds, but only recently have I really started to appreciate the concepts of ambient noise. Allow me to say that this show was REFRESHING.
The line-up consisted of Action Park, Babydriver, The Big Big Bucks, Birdorgan, Colleen Green, and Home Body (no website). I could spend this paragraph doing a review of the show BAND by BAND, but that would just be too mundane. So, I will just say… Every single one of these bands were incredible. So many crazy noises and sounds being incorporated into a single song… It was the most relaxing/chill show, and at the same time the most energetic and free-spirited. One band that sticks out in my head is Home Body: a guy/gal duo using synth and poetic vocals, creating a really energetic/dancey atmosphere. Epic.
Please also allow me to ask of all my readers and fellow-bloggers to give new music a chance. Nowadays, the only music you hear on the radio are the “Top 40” which only ever consists of hip-hop, rap, and RnB. Unless you’re actively involved in your own music scene, then you probably don’t know what’s going on in terms of local music. Some of the greatest musicians you’ll ever hear live, will never EVER get airtime on your favorite radio station. So please, get out and go to a local show – find some music that you don’t really like or understand (something weird) and give it a chance. Might open up some creative flow! Who knows?!
Until next time, internet!
April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
First off… In my last post I talked about how I hoped our adventuring crew would grow in number, and that we could go in larger and larger groups as the summer progresses. WELL. Yesterday, that group grew! Hopefully, it doesn’t stop there… So alas, here’s the breakdown:
It’s about 11:00am when I check my Facebook (yeah, I’m a social networking addict). My friend had posted on my wall, “Let’s go play outside.” I agreed, of course – and we planned to grab a group of people, and meet up at a placed called Ward Reservation (North Andover, MA). I’ve actually found a website, through Google, that lists all the hiking and adventuring spots in New England – and surprisingly, as we’ve been knocking them off the list, we haven’t found a dull trail! Moral: Spontaneity wins.
We set off at the base, or what we thought to be the base, of Holt Hill. Not even a hundred feet into the trail, we came to a large clearing lined with trees and rock walls. It was gorgeous. Once again, we picked a great day to adventure. It was a bit windy, but it was no winter-wind that’s for sure. We enjoyed the vastness of the clearing for awhile, taking pictures of the trees and rocks… And each other, of course… Then we pressed on. We had found another part of the Bay Circuit Trail (which wasn’t mentioned in the Harold Parker post, but that’s what we were traveling along also) and followed that for awhile.
The trails at Ward Reservation are definitely more intense than the past two places I’ve talked about. Now… When I say intense, I don’t mean for you to think you have to be Stallone to get to the top… I guess, I mean to say… They get pretty steep. I think we all found ourselves hunched over, leaning forward, as we walked up these steep, narrow paths (so you can imagine). Once we got up to the top of Holt Hill, we could see Boston on the skyline. It was about 20 miles away. I didn’t have my glasses on and squinted to see it – but oh, it was there. At the top of the hill was also a giant stone compass, where we found a couple guitarists just shootin’ the shit and doing their thing. We didn’t stick around too long, since we had a trail map and saw “Elephant Rock” on it… We had no idea what to expect, or even why we would’ve bothered to check it out, but we were enthralled and had to go. So we did.
I will say, Elephant Rock was probably the coolest part of the adventure… Mainly because, it was the adventure. Getting to the top of the hill wasn’t enough for us. That’s probably the best thing you can do if you want to search for adventure, by the way – grab a trail map, put your finger on the most interesting spot you can find, and figure out how to get there. Hey, it worked for us! The trail we took had spit us out in a GIGANTIC clearing scattered with tree stumps (where’d all the trees go?). It was definitely a sight to look at, and our timing was perfect – the sun was going down, giving us a nice sunset, and just before it went away it lit up the treeline one last time – which was our cue to head on out; our adventures were over.
If you ever find yourself looking for a place to go for some great pictures, a game of frisbee (or anything you can ever imagine doing in an open field), Ward Reservation is your stop. The trails are great for walking, jogging, running, or biking – so you really can’t go wrong here.
April 3, 2011 § 6 Comments
Well, internet… It was a very calm day, yesterday. I spent the morning knocking out some Algebra homework; a couple cups of coffee eased the pain of morning spent doing math. However, doing homework in the morning gets me using my brain – which in turn has me stoked to get out and about afterwards. Moral: Be productive, it feels good.
The newly dubbed Weekend Hiking Crew (my friends Chris and Rachel, and myself) saw a new face, yesterday! Well, we didn’t actually dub ourselves that… Actually, I just made that up on the spot, but I’d like to see this weekend “group” grow throughout the summer as I attempt to get my friends involved. Everything is better in numbers… Except drinking milk, or something of that nature… That’s better done solo. I’m a big fan of digressing, aren’t I?
So, we get together and shoot some hoops (photo) for a bit before taking a drive to Harold Parker State Forest (Andover, MA). Growing up, I had gone to a summer camp in this forest, and still made frequent trips every so often to go for a walk. It had been awhile, so I suggested that we go scope it out and of course the whole group agreed (what else were we gonna do?). We pulled into a lot, and set out on what we found to be called the Healthy Trail (photo), which didn’t take us very far (so we set off making our own trail). I guess “healthy” means an entirely different thing in hiking terms. /shrug
Now, there’s a lot to like and dislike about hiking at this forest. For instance, I liked how the trails were more “rocky” and had a lot to offer aesthetically. There’s a lake that most of the trails, in some way, wrap around (a reason I will most definitely come back in the summer). However, every path you take will somehow spit you out onto a paved road. Though, if you walk along this paved road you’ll find more trails to the right and left. I don’t know, though. For some reason, I don’t like seeing a giant paved road as the “master trail”. Turned me off, a bit. Of course, it’s all in where you want to be when you’re hiking. Had I brought a bicycle with me, this may have been a different story.
Trekking deeper we found a lot of makeshift bridges crossing the lakeside’s swampy terrain. Some of them were heavy logs dropped into place, and some were just large rocks (photo). As I’ll say in every post, today and henceforth in some manner, you gotta love the little things! Coming across a bridge like that, knowing another group of trekkers stood in the same spot you are, and thought “Shit! We gotta get ourselves out of this.” and building an awesome little bridge. It’s really cool, I must say. Maybe I think too much, actually. Haha.
All in all, I would not be unsupportive of those wanting to adventure/hike/camp in Harold Parker State Forest. It’s definitely a great visit, though I’d strongly suggest going during the Summer over Spring. Why? Well, it’s definitely more active in the summer with people fishing and setting up tents to stay for the weekend. So, most likely, you’ll pass some strangers on the way (which usually consists of staying to the right, a mutual nod of the head, and wimpering out a “hello“). If you’re looking to get out, and take an undisturbed walk through the woods, then I would suggest going in the Spring or even possibly Fall. A great trip, nevertheless.
Click here to see all of the photos.
Until next time, internet.
March 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
7:30am and I’m already up and ready to go. Something’s happening to me, internet. Something bad… I’m becoming, dare I say… Proactive? Son of a bitch. That must be it. I must’ve passed out no earlier than midnight, and woke up this morning ready to knock out my analysis essay. I brewed up two cups of coffee and slammed ’em back faster than you can say ANXIETY ATTACK. (stops and reads that last sentence) Hey… That rhymed! I’m a poet and I didn’t even… (cough) Hm? Nevermind…
So, I bang out this paper, see… Not an extravagant topic, but a solid paper nonetheless. By now, I’m looking out my window and it’s looking like a promising day. I’m flipping coins on where I should go, but nothing sounds interesting. Then I remembered, Hey! They cleared out a huge path in my backyard to lay down a gas line. I should go scope it out. Yeah, it sounds pretty ridiculous… Mainly, because it is. I guess the town really wanted a gas line smack dab in our backyard. To do that, they demolished probably about a 20-foot wide, mile long path through our backyard. Now, Hank (my dog) usually heads back there when I let him outside and I unleash the little guy and let him go explore. So, naturally he became my tour guide for the trip deep into my own backyard (view photo here)
Immediately upon getting in the center of the path, I could see how far it extended. Actually, it gave me an eerie chill down my spine. It looked so desolate. Trees were destroyed, stripped of their bark, and strewn across the ground. It seemed almost like the aftermath of a wildfire: everything was void of emotion. Just quiet. Tranquil.
I stumbled across this rock, jutting out from the marsh (yes, my backyard is a swamp). I got a couple good shots while I was exploring not even 100 feet from my back porch. It’s pretty amazing the things you will find not far from home. If you have any cool shots from around your area, your backyard, or just the everyday things you come across – send me and e-mail and I’d gladly feature it in a post!
Until next time, internet. Stay outside!
March 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Today marks the day of a very momentous occasion, internet. What is it? You ask. What is this blessed “day of days”? You ask. HOLD ON, LET ME EXPLAIN! TODAY… I have decided document all the times I sit and appreciate the little things around me. For those moments when you’re out and about, and you smell food from the restaurant around the corner, and the air is just right – and all you want to do is stop everything and savor it. Yeah, those moments. I’m a big fan of those moments.
Before we start, though. Does anybody else think the way my dog (Hank) looks at me is extremely creepy?
Moving on… Let’s start with today’s observation. It was 6:20am when my first alarm went off. Snooze. 6:30am. “Fuck it, fine!” I scream in my head, reluctantly tossing the sheets aside. I hustled upstairs and brewed a cup of coffee using the new Bodum French Press I got. HOLY HELL. If you’ve never made coffee using a french press, I definitely recommend giving it a try. You can get a good one for around $15-30.
ANYWAYS. So, I make the coffee, I grab a bagel… Just doing the whole “morning routine” thing, you know? Not expecting anything more or less out of my morning… DOT. DOT. DOT. I grab my bags and supplies, and I’m heading out the door when I suddenly think, “Maybe it would be good to bring my camera along for the drive.” I quickly packed up the camera and raced to the car, hauled out of the driveway, and took off for my class. As soon as I got a mile from my house, I noticed all the shadows that were hugging the buildings. Just the balance of vivid color and darkness got me snapping away out the window (yes, for a couple seconds I was taking pictures and driving at the same time. NO. I don’t recommend it).
I couldn’t help but appreciate it. Something so natural as shadows and sunlight can create such a great mood. I was able to pick out my favorite two pictures from what I got out the window (photo one, photo two) Gotta love the little things!
Stay classy, internet!
March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
Hello again, internet. Looks like I’ve made it back for a second post. So… I discovered that there’s a word for people like me. There’s words for every tiny offset of another word. There’s too many god damn words! ANYWAYS. I digress… By “people like me” I mean to say people who eat fish, but no other meat (yes, I’m one of those people). They call it being a pescetarian. Well, I don’t mean to sound like this is a brand new, exciting, or even shocking creation. Actually the term was coined in 1993, so… I’m a little late on the discovery.
ONCE AGAIN! I DIGRESS!
So with such a calm afternoon with the sun shining through the clouds, I decided to avoid the frying pan and get on the grill. Oh! Let me make a point to introduce you to the “frying pan”! I’ve been using this one frying pan; it’s this black, teflon, almost perfect frying pan. Now, this pan has kept me fed all winter. We kind of have a good thing going right now… Or… Had a good thing going. Today marks the end of one relationship and the beginning of a new. My grill. Oh my God, let me tell you about my grill. It’s those most fantastic fucking thing (pardon my Italian) I’ve ever laid my spatula upon. So today! I thought loudly to myself, I will craft the most delicious salmon burger that could ever be crafted. Spoiler alert: Success.
With a generous TSA-style pat down of Paula Deen’s “Southern Chili Spice” and some olive oil, this burger was ready for some heat. Now, remember how I talked about appreciating the little things in yesterday’s post? Oh yeah, talk about all the nostalgic moments a grill can give you. Think about it. You press the igniter, hear the woosh of the burners, and just the smell of things burning on an open grill… Mmm. Mmm… Come on, you know what I’m talking about.
And how could I forget about the giant gift basket I received as an Easter gift. Though, instead of candy… It’s filled with Freshwater Farms dried fruits and granola, three Bridgewater candles, a bag of the spiciest habanero chips I’ve ever cried over, and a bottle of LollipopTree brand Apple Cinnamon Syrup (which I have yet to have with waffles, but you will all most certainly know when I do).
Though today’s “outdoor moment” was brief, there is of course a good reason… I’m a student. I got to write a paper. BUT ALAS! I SHALLTH BE ADVENTURING SOONTH!
Until next time, internet… Stay peaceful, stay happy, and more importantly… Stay outside!
March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
As I begin the first post on this photoblog, I would like to announce the purpose of it… See, these past few months have been long, harsh, and beyond freezing in Massachusetts. So, my goal for this coming summer – to be as adventurous and trigger-happy with my camera as possible. Now… With that in mind… Please feel free to enjoy my day, today:
10:30am came fast. I filled my backpack with teas, some almonds, and my camera, picked up Chris and Rachel, and we began our trek through Thanksgiving Forest (Chelmsford, MA).
After bundling up in our sweatshirts we set off. We had picked a good day for a walk considering that the past few days have given us rain and snow flurries. We lucked out. There was still snow on the pathways, but it did not deter us in the slightest. A long and cold winter had kept us indoors for months, and finally the warmth graced us. We had been waiting for a day like this.
As we pressed onwards we came across interesting discoveries: a skull sitting atop a post, a birdhouse built in the lake, and a shy turtle. Well, the turtle wasn’t a discovery so much as a good catch on Chris’s behalf. Of course, these were only a few discoveries if you don’t count the sights, sounds, and smells. Throughout the trek there was a constant discussion among us: “Appreciating the little things.” It truly is the only thing I could think about as we walked from path to path. Now, when I say the little things I ABSOLUTELY mean the littlest of little things. Example: the sound of a can of almonds bouncing around in my backpack as we climbed our way uphill. You gotta appreciate these things.
It didn’t take long for us to set up food and drinks on a picnic table just off the trail. It was perfectly positioned just near a lake, which was still considerably frozen (somehow). Within ten minutes the wind blowing off the ice had frozen us solid, so we packed up and began to make our way back to the car. It was a longer walk back than to (as it always seems to be after a hike). Thankfully we still had enough energy to haul ass to the car and warm up… Quickly followed by a plate of Schezuan rice and vegetables at a restaurant called Jade East.
All in all, I’d say today was an amazing first trip through the woods… Well, for 2011. So many more adventures to be had, so many more photos to be taken, and so many more stories to be told.
Click here see all of today’s photos!
Until next time, internet…