Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prompt 8-Nature and Thoughts

My goal with this blog assignment was to be one with nature. When I read other nature articles, there is sense that these writers go to a place where other people can’t.  I don’t know if they are making it up or they actually believe nature is it’s on entity. The first times I went to my spot, it was just a spot. It was a place where I can go to relax and run without being bothered. Now, I feel like the land is talking to me. I’m not sure if that’s nature talking or if I’m going crazy.
                I realize this spot changed throughout the hour. I don’t know why, but I just assumed the weather would be the same if I went here at any time of the day or night. Maybe it’s because in the beginning I was running to this spot, sweating and trying to catch my breath. Now, I walk here, watching my breath swirling in the wind as if I was smoking a cigarette. Most of the times I’ve been here, it’s been frigid. I don’t own a lot of winter clothes, so every time I came here I was more resentful than anything else. It was hard to concentrate at times. Sometimes I just looked at my watch hoping 20 minutes would pass by in an instant.
                I guess after awhile I got use to it. Even though it was hard to concentrate when the snow was blowing in your face, it made me stronger. My skin felt like it was burning and my eyes turned red. Any temperature above freezing was like paradise to me now.  Weather changed me. Well Pittsburgh weather did. It made me expect the unexpected. I’m sure if I was in Hawaii where the temperature was always in the 70’s, I would know what to expect. However, after awhile, it would be boring. Each day was something different in Pittsburgh. True, mostly it would be full of gloomy clouds and unhappy faces, but now and then, you would get a smile, even from a homeless person.
                At first, thoughts of being warm were the only thoughts that came popping through my head. It slowly evolved into useful thoughts: “Why does each snowflake have to be unique,” “Why is the grass still green after being covered in snow for a month,” and “Why can it be short shorts weather one day, and the next day it might start hailing?”
                To me nature is about thoughts. Things that help stir up something in your head. Every time I went to this spot, something new happens. It was pretty wonderful. Sometimes I wouldn’t move without knowing it. I would be so deep in thought that if anyone saw what I was doing, they would think I was a part of nature.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Place 8 (A quickie before Prompt 8)

Everyone complains about the weather. Not today. It’s beautiful. I don’t like using that word because it doesn’t explain anything. The Mona Lisa is beautiful. My girlfriend is beautiful (She’s sitting right next to me). Where I am standing right now, only one word can describe this, beautiful.
                Maybe it’s because I’m not used to seeing this many people in shorts. Last week, I was wearing a sweater and a snow jacket. Today, I’m overheated with jeans and a sweater. I’m here on my lunch break. I’ve never felt so glad to be on lunch. There’s something different when you’re eating outside. Food seems to taste better.
                People are playing Frisbee right in front of me. I want to join, but I decide I’ll sit on t he grass and watch. This is the first time in awhile where I can sit on the grass and not get any kiss marks from it. The ground feels cold. My head feels the heat, while my butt thinks it’s on an ice cube. I don’t care. I just want to enjoy the first real day of spring. We had spring days before. They were more like teasers of things to come. Today is what days will be like in the future. I want to enjoy this day and think about those coming days where winter will be here again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prompt 7 Connection to Storms

I always had a connection with storms. Not just rainstorms, but blizzards, tornadoes, flash flood warnings. Storms that have most people hiding in their house because it’s too dangerous out to go outside.  To me, these storms are like students that no one liked in school and had no friends. Why should sunshine be the only one to have friends?
There was a big snow storm in South Korea last year. It was the first time in 20 years that all the schools in Seoul got shutdown. The only people you would see in the streets were military people who had to clean everything up, well military people and me.  As they were shoving the snow from the streets (I guess Korea never thought about investing in snowplows), I was running in three layers of pants and a hooded sweatshirt in the middle of the street. Cars were abandoned and most were unlocked. It would be paradise for people who played Grand Theft Auto, but all those people stayed in their homes playing the video game instead. On that day, I ran for three hours.
I don’t feel the same way with sunny days. It might be because deep down I’m a loner, and I don’t like to sweat. When I look outside during a thunderstorm, I see loneliness, but feel happy that I can play outside with them. As a child, they were like scary movies to me. A part of me was afraid, but I would still keep watching.
Now as an adult (I guess I’m an adult) I’m still afraid, but instead of watching, I’m in the movie. And what I know about scary movies is that the Asian kid never dies. My mom would yell at me for running outside when there’s lightning out. She doesn’t understand the probability of me getting struck by lightning is me winning the lottery. My dad plays the lottery almost every week. There was once where he had every number correct except for one. Once he wins the lottery, I’ll stop running.
As an adult though, I get fewer chances to run in storms than when I was a kid. I’m either working or sleeping. If I’m so lucky enough to be woken up by a storm I usually go for a walk. My least favorite storms are hail storms, but even then, if I have enough clothes on and have a hockey mask, I don’t mind hail so much.
Flood warnings are the best. Living in Erie, we got them a lot. When water reaches your knees and at anytime you could get hit by a car, well that’s living on the edge for me. I can’t tell you how many times cars honked at me either for saying “Hi” or saying “Get the F out of the road.” To me this is how you experience nature. You go head on and hope your dad doesn’t win the lottery.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Place 7

My mom told me never to talk to strangers. Maybe that's why I don't talk to my dad. My dad hasn't been there throughout my life. I mean, let me try this again. I don't like talking to my dad because he scares me, in a Vietnamese kind of way. I don't really understand the language, so when he talks, it always sounds like he's angry. He could be congratulating me about a job promotion and I would think he was throwing me out of his house. I've seen the History channel. The Viet Cong was ruthless and my dad looks just like one of them.

There's a couple of strangers at my spot. They look like a couple. Only couples hold hands. They're in their mid-50's. How they are acting, I would say they're in love. I want to tell them to get the f out of my spot.

There are a lot of strange things here, besides the couple that's in love. This place is no longer my place. Footprints, a forgotten frisbee, and a couple of pop cans are all what is left from the couple of spring days we had in Pittsburgh. Winter in Pittsburgh is 12 months of the year. Only five of those months have zero snow. Sometimes there are days during the snow season where it gets hot and people wear shorts. It's like Hawaii, but everyone is wearing yellow and tries to pretend they're...Hawaiians.

I'm usually ok with  strangness, but I expected nature to be normal. By normal, I mean expected. I would love to move to Hawaii. The weather is always between 65 and 75 degrees. You will find people at the beach. People will be eating spam or sushi for lunch and dinner. At night, pants would still be an option. Then it would repeat. I wouldn't have to buy so many clothes.Just shorts and t-shirts. That could last me the rest of my life in Hawaii.

Then I realize how awful that would be. I would miss the snow. I would miss the surprise of snowstorms and rainfalls. After a month of paradise, paradise would seem like hell, and hell would seem like hell. I take a look at the couple and they wave at me. I wave back and walk away. Tomorrow will be a new day and maybe I get to wear shorts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Prompt 6

There’s nothing like being on a track. If I had to pick a place where my life began, it would be there. I guess if you want to be specific, it would be Mcdowell’s track in Erie, PA. It’s not home. It’s not a place where I go to often. I would even say I have less memorable memories than I do memorable ones. But when I go there, my legs tell me, “get the fuck off the track.”
That usually doesn’t happen. I run on railroad tracks and my legs tell me to go faster. On a running track, it’s different. I’ve been told that I wasn’t good enough to be on the track. “You’re too slow Thanh” or “You suck Thanh” are the voices I hear over and over again in my head. This might sound hard, but I hear the same voices when I’m taking a math test as well, and I’m really good at math.
It started when I was a kid. My two brothers and I were competitive with each other. We still are. We try to see who the best was…in everything. I don’t want to get too into it, but I’ve never won in anything, not even in a height contest. I don’t remember when I was ever taller than my little brother. So when I told them I was joining the track team in high school, they had a poll: When Will Thanh Quit the Track Team? If I had to bet on me, it would’ve been a month, but my brother’s friend had taken it already.
I wasn’t fast, so distant running was my only chance to succeed in a sport that is so individualized. I remember my first race. There were two heats. I was in the slower heat.  Running on track is nothing like running on cement.  The cement absorbs your feet. The track acts like a propeller for your feet. I’m a helicopter trying to get off the ground. Once I hear someone say go, I’m off.
Now for most of my track career, I usually finished last. And that was ok with me. I was just happy that I could run around the track four times without quitting. You see for me quitting was always an option. I never learned not to quit. On the track field, it was different. You had everyone watching you, rooting you on. People don’t quit for many reasons.  They never learned how not to quit or they feel like failures if they did quit. For me, I was afraid to quit. I still am. I think it’s the only good thing to be afraid of, that and serial killers.
It so happens that after a couple of years of not quitting, I got good. Good enough to be beat people in a race. The track is life to me. Whatever I do, I’m afraid to quit at it. I might be bad at it, but give it time, I would slowly, but surely, beat you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Place 6 and the Rain

It’s raining and I don’t have an umbrella. I’m getting wet, but it doesn’t bother me.  Why should it bother me? It’s just water. I read Cassie’s blog, and the only thing I can think about is water. How much water is there on my head now? It reminds me that I need a haircut. I’m getting soaked, but I know it could be worse. A little water isn’t going to hurt me.
I have cheap plastic shoes on. My socks are brown. It was white when I first put them on this morning. I don’t mind. It could be worse.  There could be holes in my house. The rain would be invading the living unannounced. Instead of frying mushrooms and boiling pasta, the pots and pans would be providing rain a home in my home. Even then it could still be a lot worse.
My pants aren’t waterproof. I probably have to buy new khaki’s. Still it could be a lot worse. I could be wearing no pants. My legs would be shivering.  There would be a chance of hypothermia if it was a little colder. Now, I would just get embarrassing looks from people on the streets. Maybe they think I’m homeless with a laptop case. It wouldn’t the first that ever happened to me. But again, it could still be a lot worse.
I’m going to be late for work. My laptop probably got wet. It might not work. I feel my whole life is saved on this computer.  I feel empty when I don’t have a computer. I know how stupid it sounds. It’s just something I could get anytime I want. I’m just so connected by it. It’s my life. The rain laughs and tells me I should get a better life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prompt 5

I live in Pittsburgh, PA, but for the people who live in Pittsburgh, I tell them I live in Oakland. It’s not as dark as Shadyside and has fewer squirrels than Squirrel Hill. It was named after William Eichenbaum’s farm that had an abundance of oak trees. William settled here in 1840. Ever since then, trees have been slowly dying here.
It started in the early 1900’s. Pittsburgh started growing as a city: manufacturing factories, tall trees, and fast trains. Because of it, the city produced a lot of people. It also produced a lot of ore dust.  Ore dust is a silent killer of flowers and trees. After a few years, the oak trees disappeared, and the buildings started to move in. All the new trees planted in Pittsburgh have a 20% chance of life after five years.
The main attraction in Oakland now is the University of Pittsburgh. Now, the streets are closed for every college basketball game that is played in Pittsburgh.  People would cut down every tree if it means getting the Pitt Panthers to the Final Four.
I still wonder why they call it Oakland. It would make more sense if it was called University City or something to that extent. The city revolves around its sports. Half of the stores were closed when the Steelers were playing at the Super Bowl. They recently built two new stadiums for the Penguins and Pirates, even though the Pirates shouldn’t count as a real baseball team. Now, it’s March Madness and the Panthers have a good shot to win it all. If they do, I’m sure they’ll build a bigger stadium for them as well.
Nature has to live around these things. I see birds building nests in letters of Hines Field.  Chipmunks get their food from popcorn after the Pens hockey game. Trees get climbed on when the Steelers win a game.
There are environmental groups in Pittsburgh trying to help nature, but it’s a losing cause. They try planting trees, but the trees can’t survive in this environment. The city wants to keep growing industrially. They want jobs. They want people. They want money. But until the economy picks up, all that Pittsburgh can count on are sports. Oakland will never return to its original form. These trees aren’t coming back, not unless people find the sport equivalency to ore dust.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thanh's Rant on Place 5

My mom told me never to get my shoes dirty. When it rained, she always told us to stay on the cement. She hated muddy footprints, especially on a cleaned floor. If my mom saw my shoes right now, she wouldn’t let me step foot in her house. She probably would’ve made me sleep outside in the rain just so I could learn my lesson.
I’m going to have to buy new shoes. You can see half of my sock with my left shoe. I got these shoes for Christmas. I bought it for 15 dollars. This is the first where my shoes didn’t last me for more than a year. Pittsburgh’s weather wouldn’t allow such a thing.
When I’m at my place, the thing I’m getting more in tune with is the weather, Pittsburgh’s weather. I had lived in Erie and Ithaca. Both places I’m used to getting 12 inches of snow in one day. The cities still functioned like it was another day. True, driving in the snow is a pain, but the roads were always plowed. I knew what to expect when I was living in these cities: cold, snow, and non-cancellation of schools.
I’m at my spot at 8:30 AM because no one is at the Political Science Department. The doors are usually opened by 7, but on this Tuesday it is not. I checked to see if the entire school was shutdown. It wasn’t. The commute to the school from Dormont was close to two hours. It usually takes me 40 minutes on a good day. Still I made it on time for work and no was there.
I could barely hear any of the cars outside. There’s about six inches of snow on the ground. Last week, it was sunny with some people wearing shorts.  I went home to Erie last week to bring some spring clothes back to Pittsburgh. I dropped off some of my winter clothes in the process to save room in the closet.
I wish I was  wearing a scarf right now. A winter hat would be nice as well. I don’t see any chipmunks or rabbits. There is nothing but me that is alive in this field. I don’t know why animals live here. How do they know when to come out from hibernation? Pittsburgh’s weather is a killer of animals. They trick them into believing it’s spring, and when they come out, six inches of snow are thrown into their faces.
I can’t feel my feet. I hate you Pittsburgh Weather.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prompt 4 Russian Tortiose

As a kid, my favorite cartoon character was Donatello from the Ninja Turtles. When I was six, I asked Santa Clause if he could send me a turtle for Christmas. I remember giving my parents 25 cents for a stamp. I got a t-shirt instead. 13 years later, I told one of my best friends this story. For my birthday they bought me a Russian Tortoise. At first I called him Donatello. Then my friend told me it was a girl. Female Russian Tortoises tend to have flared scutes on their shells. I didn’t want to give a female turtle a male name; I thought it was kind of sexist of me. I changed her name to Donatella instead.
I’ve read The Turtle and The Hare, and I want to say my turtle could beat the hare in a foot race. And the hare doesn’t need to take a nap. My tortoise is fast. She can cover a half a mile in a day.
There is a concern of survival for the Russian Tortoise in the wild. Humans are destroying their natural habit. However, they are very durable. They are usually found in Central Asia. During the winter months, they would burrow themselves deep underground and come out when the temperature has risen to suffice their needs. A Russian Tortoise has four toes with claws to dig. I’ve lost my turtle in the backyard for days just because she would burrow herself in the corner of the picket fence. I’ve also seen her climb over logs and rocks. I don’t know why they want to climb. Maybe they want to get closer to the sun. I would say it’s for food, but I’ve seen my turtle eat grass, daffodils, and four leaf clovers. They’re pretty common in my backyard.
Still, we humans, after destroying their habitats found out they made great pets due to their size. The female Russian tortoise can grow up to eight inches, while the males grow up to six. My Russian Tortoise is about 5 right now. She’s quite heavy. She has to spend most of the winter indoors, which I know she hates. During the summertime I like to train her. I create obstacle courses that test her intelligence, agility, and strength.
She loves climbing over things, so I would create two different kinds of blockade: one made of rock and the other of wood. The blockade made of wood has food behind, while the one with rock doesn’t. It took her a while to figure out, but now she always climb over the one that is made from wood.
I also time her to get to point A to point B, which is usually the length of my backyard. It is roughly 12 yards long. I don’t know if Donatella knows I’m timing her because halfway through, she sometimes stop and burrow. It takes her about an hour to do the whole backyard, but I’m sure she can get it all down to 20 minutes.
You may ask me why I’m training her. The first tortoise in space was a Russian Tortoise. I want my Russian Tortiose to be the first one to Mars.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Place 4 and It's Hot

I have Bieber fever. That’s my reason on why I’m so hot at 7 in the morning. I’m wearing the same jacket that I wore when I could spit and it would turn to ice before it hits the ground.  The same jacket I want to put on the ground, but I’m afraid it might get dirty. I’m not stepping on squishy land. It’s firm. It feels like I’m transported 2 months in the future.
The grass is calm. I wonder what it looks like when it’s angry.  It’s been dead for the past couple of months. Now, without any indication, it has risen. I guess you can call it a zombie now minus the whole eating brains thing, like The Attack of The Killer Tomatoes.  Wait, this reminds me of a different movie: The Happening, a stupid movie about the environment killing humans by being airborne and making the humans killing themselves in grotesque ways.
I’m Mark Wahlberg. I figured it out. The plants had enough. They want to take control of the situation. Every year, acres upon acres of plants, trees, and land are taken away. Scientists must’ve figured it was going to happen; the earth is fighting back. I’m slowly getting overheated. 62 degrees during the Pittsburgh winter season is unheard of.  I want to lie on the grass, but I’m afraid what might happen to me. This could be a mirage. A mirage only happens when it’s really hot outside and the heat starts playing tricks with your mind. This could be a mirage during the winter time.
I snap out of it. It must be the fever talking.  I walk away from this place trying to make sense of the whole thing. I wave my hair and start singing baby, baby, baby, ohhhh…

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prompt 3

Intimate. When there are hundreds people around me and I see none of them. I’m searching for loneliness. Not the type of loneliness when breaking up with a loved one and eating a bowl of ice cream by yourself while watching Lifetime movies. That loneliness never helps anyone, unless you’re anorexic. The loneliness I’m talking about is the people look for. It’s when you have so much on your mind and need to get away from it. It’s when you have 8 kids, and they’re all under the age of 5. The loneliness I’m looking for is something people need, but hate asking: space.
It smells like spring. It feels like spring. I’m a little overheated from the walk here. This is the first day of this year where a jacket isn’t necessary. I’m waiting to see all the animals run around to search for a mate. I can’t help to think of Bambi. Love is in the air. Those male chipmunks are going to get some.
Then I realize something. The birds aren’t chirping. Kids aren’t playing Frisbee. People are still wearing coats. Chipmunks aren’t getting any.
It happens every winter. One day where it hits 50 degrees after being in single digits just last week. The groundhog did predict spring was going soon. He is usually right half of the time. The ground is making splashes. I have to step slowly if I don’t want any of the mud sticking on my jeans. Oh, darn too late.
I’m sure during the summertime this place is crowded. This might be the only chance I have to actually enjoy this place without worrying about frostbite. It’s times like these I wish I was a poet. I’ve read other people’s blogs and they’re putting up a stanza here, a couple of lines there.  I’m sure if they were in my spot, they can write how wonderful it feels to be alone in this place.
I can’t. I never got poems. Probably never will. I can tell you a poem right now would be perfect to describe the feeling I have.  The first line would probably set up the location. Something like, “And the sky was blue, something I wasn’t used to seeing
That line doesn’t work. The sky was blue. The grass wasn’t green. It was brown and watery. It’s not spring. Today was a deceptive day. I know tomorrow will be muggy, maybe a chance of rain. The weather is deceptive, but I don’t care. It makes me happy that I’m alone.
However the poem wouldn’t make sense if I started out with something positive. It’s not positive whatsoever. And I thought this poem was about loneliness, but the different kind of loneliness. How about the actual place? When does that come in? That’s why I have problems with poems. I just don’t know where things should go.
At least I know what the last line of my poem would be. Something with chipmunks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Place 3, It's Cold

I used to love the cold weather. As a kid, every day after school I would play in the snow. My mom was against it, but she couldn’t resist the sad faces of three boys.
Now I’m getting sick and tired of it. I want to move somewhere warm. Hawaii is nice this time of year. Once I stop running, I get cold instantly. My sweat starts to turn into ice, which makes me even colder. I try to make this work. In the cold, I try to have fun. I pretend I’m smoking a cigarette. I never smoked a cigarette before in my life. I kind of wish I had one right now. Breathing in the smoke might raise the temperature of my body. It might also get my heart to beat faster.
I breathe in the cold air. It’s a stupid idea I know, but I just pretend it’s really hot. I heard that’s how lava feels. You touch it and for a brief moment you think you’re touching an ice cube. Then a few milliseconds later your hand melts. I don’t want my organs melted. I want to be able to blow rings of smoke. My little brother can do it, he’s a smoker. I try to pucker my lips and blow. I see my breath frozen in mid air. Then it disperses itself with the other gases. It looks like I’m blowing cold fire.  I try a couple of more times.
I left all my warm clothes back at home. I’m wearing three long sleeve t-shirts, gloves, and track pants. I don’t have a hat on. My ears are turning red. Well I can’t be too sure of that. I can’t really feel them. Maybe they’re blue and purple.
I just want to curl up in the fetal position. I remember once when I found a bird in the snow. I thought it was dead, but it just flapped it feathers and flew away. Maybe I can do the same thing. There’s not much snow on the ground, but I’m sure I can burrow the ground enough to make it a suitable sleeping place.
How long has it been? Four minutes. Sigh. Ok. I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I’m in Hawaii.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Prompt 2

Even though it’s not home, I feel at home when I’m running. When there are so many things going on in my head, I go for a run to sweat them out.  Pittsburgh is the least “home” running place for me. One of the best places to run in the world (in my opinion) is in Erie, PA on Presque Isle. It’s flat, quiet, and most of the runners are girls. It feels like you are always running with a friend. People pass you or you pass people. Personally, I let people pass me, so I can pass them later on.
I’m home when I’m alone running. People can be around and that’s fine, but I run better by myself. I can go at my own speed. If I’m tired, I’ll slow down, if I just want to stop running, I can stop running. When I’m running with friends, I have to adjust to them. Runners are like snowflakes. None are the same, but they all look pretty.
When I think of Nature I think of a place where I can let go and be myself. Running to me is a part of nature. It’s second nature to me. The worse the weather, the more likely you’ll find me fist pumping with my Ipod on and running through the streets. I like paths. Those are my home. Pittsburgh is a place where runners have to look left and right three times before they cross, especially during the winter season. Just like how the Midwest we think of flatlands, Pittsburgh I think of curvy hills that go straight to cars. It’s not home for me.
That’s why I like my secret place. It’s in the city, and I find myself going back to it when I almost get hit by cars. You be surprised how many times I almost get hit by a car. Twice a week, twice a day during the winter seasons.  I go back here and I run around. I’m free to dance, sing, and run backwards without worrying what’s behind me. I gallop in the snow and get my socks wet. I can be myself and no one can see me. But a track would be better. A path in the woods would be nice. I do have this secret place, but I feel like it’s just a summer fling in the winter season.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Place 2

It’s 2 a.m. on a Saturday. It smells like nature just threw up. This isn’t what nature is supposed to smell like. I’m pretty sure someone just vomited somewhere. I just can’t seem to find it. I was hoping to see if I can be at this place when it’s completely dark, but I forgot I lived in the city. No place is completely dark. I can’t even see the stars. It’s just blackish with a hint of orange/gray mist, which I think is pollution.  Oh is it the reflection from all the lights coming from Pittsburgh? I should look this up. I see other footsteps. A couple of people were here right before I came.
It’s freezing right now. I should’ve dressed for the occasion. I’m usually running to this spot with sweat coming down my face. Now I want to cry ice cubes from my eyes. I closed my eyes to hear the wind, but I can’t help to hear the cars driving and making out words like, “Hey!” and “French fries.”
I make a mental note not to come to this place at 2 a.m. again. I thought it would be more isolated, but it’s the exact opposite. Oh crap, I’m standing in vomit. I’m out of here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nature Blog Prompt 1

Sitting on the steps of my secret place, I’m not sure if the environment mixes with the culture. I know if I take a few steps back this place wouldn’t hold the same experience. I can still hear the traffic all around me. I’m not sure where the noise is coming from, but one thing is for certain, it makes the place less significant to me. I’m all by myself, which I think is surreal, since it’s hard to find places in the city to be by yourself.
It’s here where I can be isolated from the city. Maybe during the summertime it would be different. I can imagine people running around or playing Frisbee with their dogs. During the winter season, it’s much different. It looks like I’m the only person who has been here for weeks. I can still see the shoe prints that I made the day before. It’s a weird feeling knowing I was the only person here yesterday.
I mean it makes sense. It’s cold outside. Why would anyone want to walk around in the snow in the freezing cold? I ask myself this question while walking in the snow. Am I the product of the environment or is the environment the product of me? I enjoy the isolation of it all. I like the fact no one bothers me and I don’t see any cars. Will this place exist in ten years? I can see the higher people making this into a parking lot or maybe a tennis court. It makes me sad to think this place will soon disappear and I was the only one who got to enjoy it on this cold day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nature Blog 1

There aren’t a lot of running trails for me to get to without a car. The closest one is about three miles away from my apartment and unless I’m training for a marathon, it’s out of the way. I have to stick to running on sidewalks, something I don’t enjoy. It’s a constant run and stop. Each corner I have to look left, right, left again, and raise my hand up to thank the incoming traffic for waiting. Even if it’s a red light, I thank them for listening to the rules of the road.
It was around fall time when I found it. There’s a spot right next to the University of Pittsburgh where cars couldn’t get to. It’s a secret garden minus the garden. There is stairs leading down to it. If you look straight ahead, it seems like the field is swallowing you.  Once I put my headphones on, I forget I’m in the city. Today, it’s just me inside this mouth.
The snow is seeping into my shoes making my socks wet. I don’t mind because I have this field all to myself. The only footprints in the snow are mine. Well, that’s not’s true. Some kind of rodent has left their mark in the snow. Rabbits? Squirrels? A deformed hobbit? Whatever made the footprints knew I was coming. I follow the markings, but it disappeared right in the middle of the field. Maybe it was some sort of flying rat.
The cold air is like my personal water bottle. If I need a drink, I just take a deep breath. It’s good for days when I’m doing sprints, especially in the snow. I try to step in the same footsteps that I made. I don’t want to ruin the whole field. It was more appealing before I came here.
My iPod just died.
I hear the traffic. The cars are coming to get me. It’s time to leave.