Monthly Archives: May 2009

Ships to visit

So, instead of bitching on and on about the Tall Ships and how they are going to be ruined, maybe people should open their eyes to the ships that are already here in the New England area. Sure, some aren’t as big or flashy…but they all have an interesting history, are nearby, are free or cheap, and would make an awesome day trip for a family.

Many places, such as Quincy or Battleship Cove, have multiple ships in port for you to visit or have other attractions around them so it can be made into a full day trip.  I’m sure there are other ships that are not listed here, and I did not go outside of the New England area, but they are all worth a visit. Not only are most of them run by non-profits, which are having issues these days with dwindling attendance and rising costs, but many of them were involved in major battles throughout Naval history.

Here are your options:

MASSACHUSETTS

USS Cassin Young, Boston, Massachusetts, Free

USS Constitution, Boston, Massachusetts, Free

USS Friendship, Salem, Massachusetts, Admission

Demolition Boat, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

Hiddensee, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

LCM 56, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

USS Lionfish, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

USS Massachusetts, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

PT 617, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

PT 796, Fall River, Massachusetts, Admission

USS Salem, Quincy, Massachusetts, Admission

German Seehund, Quincy, Massachusetts, Admission

NEW HAMPSHIRE

USS Albacore, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Admission

RHODE ISLAND

Soviet Juliett 484, Providence, Rhode Island Currently sunk by a storm, closed at

the moment.

CONNECTICUT

USCG Boat Arctic Scout, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Japanese HA-8, Groton, Connecticut

USS Nautilus, Groton, Connecticut

Italian Siluro San Bartolomeo, Groton, Connecticut

USS X-1, Groton, Connecticut

Auxiliary Schooner Brilliant, Mystic, Connecticut, Admission

USCGC Eagle, New London, Connecticut

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Esmeralda

Today, I went to visit the Esmeralda, a tall ship from Chile. I had some mixed feelings after hearing about her past, but I also wanted to see what the ship looked like after meeting a few of the sailors the other day.

It was a rather dreary day at the Navy Yard and no one was really visiting. The gangway was angelled very high and my feet slipped a few times going up because of that and the residual rain from earlier this morning.

Once on board, I just wandered around the main deck. There were plenty of sailors to talk to, but I prefer to wander on my own. Took some pictures:
My creation

For more information on the Esmeralda, look at this post on Amnesty International.  They are still trying to get information about the people who were tortured aboard the ship and where their bodies were buried.

Smokey the Bear

Yesterday I was wasting some time before meeting friends for dinner and I walked over to the park at the corner of New Chardon and Cambridge Street to read my new book, Mop Men (which is excellent so far).

As I was wandering over to a bench, I see: a dog off leash, about 4 people sitting and smoking, and a pile of mulch, also smoking. Soooo not good.

What bothered me more was that there was a woman sitting right next to the pile of smoking mulch and she wasn’t doing anything. No worry, no action…just smoking her cigarette and ignoring everything.

So, I walked up quickly and poured half my bottle of water onto the area and then started stomping on it. And the woman is looking at me like I’m the crazy one! I finally got it put out after about a minute or so and sat down to read my book.

She asked me about it after I sat down and seemed incredibly surprised that mulch catches on fire quickly…idiot.

Now, mulch can catch on fire if someone leaves a not put out cigarette in it or a match, but I think this one started spontaneously as the high heat, wind, and intense sun combined to make conditions favorable. This article is interesting, there have been multiple fires already this year in Illinois. Hopefully, I will not have to play fireman again this year.

Mulch Fire Remains
Mulch Fire Remains

Racing to the weekend…

I cannot stand life right now.

Visitors at work keep trying to talk to me about politics or other topics that we aren’t allowed to discuss, they just voted in the concealed weapons bill and its going to the President for approval, one of my co-workers is a close talker, and I’m just exhausted.

I have also had in the last few days multiple people use racist language around me. Today, a woman asked if the people driving the trolleys spoke clear English because they couldn’t understand people with funny accents. Hmm…guess she probably couldn’t understand Bostonian then. And the other day, a man asked me why we are paying attention to and highlighting the Civil Rights movement (which he seemed to indicate meant from the time period that the slaves were freed to the actual CR movement) and the Women’s rights movement instead of just paying attention to dead white men.

In reality, I wanted to go up to him and yell at him. Especially since he was with his son/nephew/friend who was not white and sitting next to his wife. I’m not sure why people feel that they can confide their deepest darkest hatreds. Maybe its the same reason that people come up to me in the subway or on the street when they are lost. I must just send out something that says “Talk to me!”.

I hate it.

Rats

Has anyone in the downtown area recently experienced a larger than normal influx of rats to their buildings?

Since last April, we have been visited by rats of all shapes and sizes. Some are large, others tinier. But all are Boston city rats. Grey, fat, fast city rats. Oh, and they are all weighing in at around 2 pounds.

For some odd reason, I seem to be the only one who sees them. They like to play on our stairs, running up and down in front of people or when no one is there. One time, I saw one come down the stairs so quickly, he flipped tail over nose. It was quite funny to me, though no one else seemed to be amused.

We have killed 21. In our research, we have discovered that they like chocolate over the bait that people generally put out and so to trap this latest one, we have put out Newman’s oreos. I can only hope that this most recent one goes the way of his friends before he gets to make babies. Yuck.

Buy a vowel

Today, I came thisclose to having to kick Vanna White out of Faneuil Hall. They are in Boston filming promos for the shows they will be conducting here later in the year and wanted to do a shot from inside the Great Hall. However, they did not want to pay for it. How cheap can they be?! So, I was sent to my station, prepped to toss Vanna out politely if she dared to come inside.

Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall

However, it didn’t matter. They filmed outside the Hall and shall be filming at the Union Oyster House on Thursday. Too bad, though…I like meeting famous people. It is always interesting to see how they react to life.

Only two more days of work left this week and then I have a three day weekend! Thank goodness.

Grace and Laughter

Tomorrow is an important day for my family.  Not only might my newest neice arrive, but my dad is getting a second chance tomorrow.

Me and Dad
Me and Dad

8 months ago, I received a weird phone message from my sister asking me how I was and when I talked to our mom. I hadn’t, though, and had no idea what she was talking about. So, I started calling my mom…who was avoiding calling me. I finally got in touch with her around noon and that is when I was told that my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia, specifically AML. That was one of the worst phone calls I have ever gotten…worse than the one telling me my grandfather had died last year, worse than having to make the phone call to friends telling them that a classmate died. I was devestated and haven’t recovered yet.

But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is the day that my father gets his bone marrow transplant; and hopefully, back to normal and healthy.  The donor is a European woman, that is all we know of her, but she is definitely one of my heroes right now. The fact that someone is willing to get a huge needle in their hip for a stranger makes me feel like the world isn’t as bad as the media and some leaders make it out to be. There are good people out there doing good things. You just have to look a little harder to see through the grime.

Either way, I hope that if I have to deal with something like this in my life, I can do it like my dad. He has been incredibly brave and graceful about this whole thing and has even kept his laugh.  Without laughter, you have nothing.

So, please…if you stop by here tomorrow or the next few days, keep us in your thoughts. We can only get so far on our own; other people are always needed to provide the structure that keeps us upright and going forward. And that is the only way we are going, forward…even if this doesn’t work at first we will still go forward and try again, because there is no going backwards.

Almost Done…

In the last few days, I have written 4 papers (one a proposal, one a description of where I did my internship, one about my internship, and one a MARC record for a collection) and am almost done with my annotated bibliography that was due on Tuesday. Thankfully, I got an extension till tomorrow night from the teacher.  I also finished up my internship on Friday and have secured recommendations for the future when I need them and an invitation to Strawberry Fest.

I still have to finish the rest of the bibliography, evaluate about 100 more sources (or so it seems), take my final exam on Tuesday, and present for 15 minutes about my internship. Not sure what I’m going to do about that since I don’t really have 15 minutes of stuff to talk about.

Only a few more things and I can finally sleep in on my days off. What a concept!