November 2008


You might as well do it in a big way! I knew I was taking a chance when I didn’t post on Thursday before heading to the bus to NYC, but I ran out of time, and catching the bus was definitely a higher priority than posting.

I made sure to take some pics on my way from the train station to Rich’s house, already about 5pm by that point, wondering whether I’d have a chance to upload them and post.

I hadn’t brought my computer, I was heading to a friend’s thanksgiving dinner. Was it realistic to think that at some point before midnight I could say “hey, let me go to the bathroom with a borrowed computer and my memory card and pretend I’m not being antisocial”?

Nope, not at all!

I did feel a slight pang about missing the post, but then again, the entire purpose of my signing up for nablopomo was to actually take pictures every day. Post or no, I took pictures every day in November.

And so I have failed in the nablopomo quest this year, but I succeeded in the driving force behind the challenge itself.

I also am pretty happy with my decision to just ignore blogging, email, and anything online for my weekend away. I’d already missed the challenge, why make the effort to get online when I could just spend it with a friend? And so I was social instead.

As an interesting side note to the weekend, I read “A Highly Sensitive Person” on the bus ride up and back, and in the mornings before Rich and Beanie woke up. I can’t actually decide whether I fit the criteria for a “HSP”, but even if I don’t, there was plenty of insight into some of my needs with regards to being social, as well as some of what is behind the conflict I always feel.

No wonder this book was recommended to me.

In many ways this was an ideal weekend. I had some group socializing, but most of the weekend was spent with just one good friend, tramping over gnarly tree roots, through beanie bushes and fence holes, around graffiti buildings and into a museum, walking endlessly through my favorite part of the city to all of the regular stops I love so much, being disappointed that the vegan ice cream parlor was not open this weekend, but essentially having a social weekend of the kind that suits me best. Not a ton of people, but definitely a ton of interesting conversation.

And pictures.

And desserts.

My bombing of the nablopomo challenge was an unqualified success!

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I’ve been having a hard time getting going in the morning, so I left later and later the past two mornings. But…that means the sunrise starts earlier along my commute! Today was the perfect timing for the sky to lighten and start changing colors as I rode the MUP under the bridges.

It was so pretty. I had been determined that I’d get some pictures on my way to work, because otherwise I find myself annoyed in the evenings, with the early dark and the need to figure out what I can take a picture of inside. Yet both processes have been helpful – forcing myself to stop my forward momentum in the morning, to really see what is around me and taking the few moments to capture it, as best I can with my little p&s that travels with me, as well the evening ritual of forcing myself take pictures of my beanie or the laundry room, things I’d never otherwise take pictures of. It is sort of odd to me, that things I find annoying are nevertheless helping me grow!

After I got to work, I was looking at the pictures on my little camera screen, and for some reason decided to take a picture of my feet. And for some reason, I sort of like it, random and not really composed at all as it is!

One thing about this nablopomoing – I’ve become absolute crap at responding to comments, let alone returning them. Apologies to all. I think November has been one of my busiest months in a long time, and so that doesn’t help either. I’ve had a few different time-sensitive projects to get done, company last weekend, a trip this coming weekend.

chocolate chunk spice cookies

chocolate chunk spice cookies

And cookies to be made, of course.

Excuses, all. I’m hoping to get back on track soon…December for sure!

I got an email from the nablopomo site today, and it was oddly motivating. 5 more days…should be a no-brainer, right? Especially as I’ll be spending Friday chasing abandoned railroad tracks.

I read a lot of photo blogs, some of them for their insight into the mental process, some of them for the absolutely stunning photography. Taking pictures of the things in our every day lives is a theme among some of those who muse on photography. I think it is a great point. There is something essential about being able to see the beautiful and unique in what is around us all the time. It is so easy to become blind to what we are too used to. The world is so interesting…we don’t have to travel to far away places, do we? Of course not.

laundry room

laundry room

As I’ve ridden my bike to work these past 4 months, every new type of weather has come with comments from coworkers. They state, with assumed authority, that I “can not” and sometimes “should not” ride in such weather. Or they ask in amazement whether I will ride in whatever the new-to-this-year conditions are.

I know that this is happening primarily because it is a novelty for them. They’re waiting to see what my limits are. They don’t understand me, I don’t understand them. I do wish they’d stop offering unsolicited opinions.

The odd truth, for someone who hates being cold, is that I’ve been enjoying the cold weather riding. My feet still aren’t staying warm, but everything else is. And one of the biggest bonuses is that it is cold enough that the “cagers” are keeping their windows rolled up, and their ignorant opinions to themselves.

I did get a comment the other day…someone driving a car recklessly rolled down their window to shout something that sounded like “aargurrgh”, but likely was “you are my hero”, and almost crashed into the car in front of them, which they apparently neglected to notice was stopped. As I was in the right most travel lane, and they were in the left, I cruised right on by them while they concentrated on not rear-ending the car in front of them. The unsolicited advice from the cage drivers largely came to a stop once the temperatures dropped into the 40’s. Definitely a bonus of cold weather riding.

Though having it balanced out by the unsolicited advice of the coworkers is a bit annoying. Why are they so nosy, anyway?

Today as I put on my under-the-helmet hat, I noticed that the label said “never a bad time to ride.” And it reminded me of a pretty common saying among bikers who don’t limit themselves to fair weather: “there is no such thing as bad conditions, only bad clothing.” Or something like that.

I had to work today.

A Sunday.

My weekend!

But I knew it was going to happen at some point, and really it wasn’t all bad. I was able to arrange so that I didn’t have to get in until 1, which was good, because I had company all weekend. He was heading to the bus around the time I’d have to leave for work anyway, so that was okay. And it was a gorgeous afternoon.

“I can’t believe you rode today! You’ll spend almost as much time riding as at work!”

I don’t know what I could ever do to convince people, because my words have no effect. Riding is not a chore. Yes, it is something I believe in strongly. It is fun, but I don’t do it just because it is fun, I do it because it is the right thing to do, to further reduce the toll I take on this earth. That’s important to me, and frankly while I wish it was important to others, I really don’t have enough time to care. I’m tired of fielding the amazement.

Because honestly, what I find amazing is that people willingly choose to forgo a beautiful afternoon when they could get a couple hours exercise in the bright bright sun on a near perfect riding day to sit inside a glass and steel cage.

Why?

No, I don’t understand their amazement.

It was early, and it was cold.

The waters were frozen. The wind was biting.

Hard to believe it is only November. We’ve had this cold weather for almost a week now, and it is predicted for all of next week as well. This is colder than it usually is in January.

The snow lovers are hoping that this means they’ll finally get a snowy winter.

I hope this means we’re getting all the winter out now, and we’ll have a mild few months until spring!

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