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November 29, 2006

winter blue

My laptop died.

It's in the shop for two weeks now.

I am so depressed.

We are down to nine hours of sunlight a day.

I need to get more sunshine and exercise.

November 27, 2006


I just returned from a delicious visit home - you know - the place they say you can never go back to.

Time stopped. I ate too much, gawked at the stars, took rambling walks through woods, hung out with family and friends, gossiped, tried to solve everyone's problems, listened to music, read, knitted, watched movies, spent way too much time working on a puzzle, and ate just a little bit more.

It was a perfect vacation except for one thing.

I had to travel to get there. Somehow, over the past year I have gotten so grounded that I lost all desire to travel. Packing my bag, purchasing my ticket, and planning all the details excited me less than weeding the garden. It took three days to get over the culture/travel shock of getting there. Then, by the time I got into the swing of things, it was time to leave again. While I was happy not to take a plane back (security, dry air, long wait times, delayed flights, hurrying to catch a flight, people and diseases all around constantly, tempting but bloody expensive airport shops) the drive home was excruciating. All together it took us close to seventeen hours. We drove through the night - which was great because I got home at a decent hour - but left me a bit short on the sleep side. I had this coat of grime covering me by the time we got home and my body still aches from the car ride. Fortunately the return home entails less culture shock but it is still there.

I used to LOVE travel - what happened? I loved the culture shock, how it makes you look at the world differently (now it just makes me feel lost, confused, and very unproductive). I enjoyed the colorful airports, eavesdropping on strangers and window shopping in stores. I never minded the waiting, it seemed like a great time to assess things, read, knit, and adjust perspectives. So what happened?

It isn't that I don't appreciate those aspects of travel any more - just that I have other things I would rather do. I think this is because I am more focused now. When I loved travel it was part of my self-discovery. Hopefully I'll never stop the self-discovery process entirely but it has certainly slowed down since my college (and post college) days. I guess I'd rather spend my energy on people I care about and issues that I feel strongly towards. Unfortunately part of that entails travel (just like I always wished when I was a traveler) so I suppose I'll have to reconcile the gap somehow.

November 16, 2006

equal rights

I just waded my way through a heavy event recycling season. I also just celebrated six months at my new environmentally friendly job. The amount I have learned over the past half-year is tough to quantify. However, right now as I am deep in the middle of reporting and analyzing my efforts I've noticed one problem again and again - possibly the most common mistake regarding recycling efforts. There is no equality between recycling bins and garbage bins.

I have dug through more garbage than I care to count - including my home trash - after tons (literally) of exploration I realized if you put recycling and garbage together then separate them accurately close to half of what people throw away is recyclable. Yet - count the amount of garbage and recycling cans in your office, home, favorite store, park, daycare, school, or where ever else you find your self - chances are the garbage out numbers recycling two to one (or more). We expect people to litter if they don't have a garbage can every ten feet yet we expect them to hunt down the one recycling station on the entire floor! No wonder Americans throw out so many recyclables! The fact is we can recycle more than ever before from every room in the house - boxboard, cans, and bottles from the kitchen and bathroom, almost everything that comes in the mail, most paper generated in the office and in my house there are plenty of beer and pop bottles generated all over the place. Despite this we only have three recycling containers in the entire house - compared to six garbage cans. I think I need to get some container parity.

All I am saying is give recycling a chance - equal space for all waste!

November 10, 2006


After a beautiful Indian summer, the chill has recently returned. Today's high was a paltry 33 F (close to 0 C). This is prime bicycling weather. The air is fresh, crisp, and smells wonderful. I find that with a few layers and a good wind breaker I can warm up and then just fly across the terrain in a way that I never feel inspired to do when breaking a sweat is guaranteed. The chilled air has a special sparkle and in the gray desolate landscape occasional bits of color take on new depth and meaning.

That said, with the sun going down at five a clock I find my desire to scoot has hit an all time low. Previously I was surprised to realize that thirty-degree temperatures, when adequately dressed, don't hinder my mobility at all (as long as it isn't snowing). However, now between both the cold and the dark it just feels dangerous and numbing. Car drivers are even less likely to see me and with all my layers of clothes (I need much more on a scooter than on a bicycle) I feel klutzy and lack ease of movement. I'll probably still try to pull it out once a month so that I don't need to officially "put it away" for the season, but for the most part I have to agree that scooting is a two/three season transportation option in Minnesota - unlike the bicycle.

November 08, 2006


I voted.

The morning after always feels like just that - as if I got way too drunk and had a one-night-stand.

Let's hope my candidates show a bit more commitment than that though. If they don't I'm not afraid to vote against them next time. Here in Minnesota we have plenty of options.

November 02, 2006


I just bought my ticket home. I haven't been there in a year. I don't know how I made it this long! In some ways I feel more grounded than ever and in a really good place. Yet, I am having a difficult time staying connected with those I love who are far away from me. I first noticed this drift last holiday season when I didn't send out cards for the first time in a decade. I meant to, yet somehow I just didn't have it in me. Now as I approach this holiday season - with so much news (and all of it good) - so many wonderful changes over the past year - I wonder if I'll be able to post cards. I'd like to but I always want to reach out to people, it's actually doing it that is the tough part.

November 01, 2006


I think I have actually eaten my fill of little chocolates.