so, I’ve done a couple critical mass rides before- chicago being the favored city. [ about critical mass] they’ve always been an absolute blast- hundreds of bike riders getting together and riding around the city is always a good time. However, tonight was my first Philly critical mass, and I must say…I miss chicago. 😦

the drivers here are SO RUDE. not even five minutes into the ride, someone got hit by a car driven by someone who was pissed off that bikers were making him wait- so he tried to weave through and then hit someone. The rider was okay, but it was something of a hostile situation. It just sucks because it’s not like we as massers are just trying to tie up traffic or cause trouble, we’re just doing something we all enjoy together, with the hopes of maybe raising awareness about the bicycle as a valid form of transportation. le sigh.

something else that complicated matters was the size of the mass- maybe 100-ish people. maybe. with such a small group, we have less power, and cars are more temped to just ‘push’ us out of the way, making the ride much more dangerous for everyone involved. I almost got hit a couple of times, it was a little scary. I also got cut off by one of those stupid “ride the duck” vehicles. hate them hate them hate them. I have found a new cause.

I also invited my younger sister to come along, even though she’s not really a biker. between the small size [and thus the danger], and the lack of cohesiveness among the group [differing speeds, etc.], she had an awful time. I suggested we go home early, because I really don’t want her to hate biking, especially because I love it so much.

blah. I guess I’m just disappointed- I was really looking forward to my first philly mass, and it ended up being such a lame experience. oh well. rather than just complain, I am now making it my mission to get more people to come out to future rides. I’ve got a whole month to paper and chalk my campus to get others to come out, hopefully it will work. 🙂

all right, I think I’m going to do some knitting in order to unwind and feel like I’ve done something productive today. until next time,

-alexandra

so…. new to wordpress. I like it- the interface is nice, no annoying ads with scantily-clad women, and no strange men hitting on me [at least not so far]. I just moved from Chicago to Philadelphia, and figured a new blog was in order. I’m a new PhD student at a large research university here in the city, and we had our department orientation for the newbies on Monday. One of the more memorable moments of the day went something like this:

Department Chair: “…so, it takes the average student 8.6 years to finish the program here.”

All new PhD students: [looking at one another] ………….     o_0

8.6 YEARS??? oy. This is not exactly what I signed up for. We were told 5-ish years. I’m curious as to where those extra three years appeared from. sigh. Maybe it’s just that other students have been slackers and have taken foreeeeeever to finish their research? So I, being the exemplary student that I am [hah], should definitely be able to finish in a shorter amount of time if I plunge in full speed ahead, right? Right? ugh. I guess we’ll see. Maybe I’ll just drop out of school and open a yarn shop.

Speaking of yarn, we have several all-day meetings this week, mostly of the sit-in-a-chair-and-learn-nothing-you-didn’t-alread-know variety. Thus, I’ve been bringing my knitting along, and have knitted half a sweater so far. hah. My goal is to get it done by the time classes start next week.

I finally took my bike out today- I’ve been a little nervous about riding in the traffic around here. But it really wasn’t too bad. I went to the library and got a card, yay! [I know, what I nerd I am…] Also went to the pharmacy to pick up a few things. On the way to the pharmacy, I passed this little fresh market place, and ducked in to see what was what. I was a little bit hungry, so I grabbed an “organic, locally-grown white nectarine” for $1.02. A little steep if you ask me, but I tell you, it was one of the BEST things I have ever eaten. It turned into one of those perfect moments- I was walking down the street of my new city, having finally started to get out of the apartment and explore a bit. Biting into this sweet fruit, juice dripping everywhere, new poetry in my backpack, walking down the sidewalk past bistro diners and begging music-makers. I think I like it here.

-Alexandra