Don’t Make Eye Contact. Don’t Touch Anything.

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With a new year, new changes and a new job now comes a new commute.

This is me, I am now a commuter.

To be honest, I tried driving the thirty-five miles each way for two whole days, then I tapped out. It was two days too many.

Driving that many hours in that kind of traffic is not good for the already tenuous grasp I have on my sanity.

So I escaped the confines of my car and leapt into the tired, dingy but quite serviceable arms of the Bay Area Rapid Transit, also known as BART, our local subway system.

In the past when I commuted regularly, I rode the CalTrain (commuter rail as opposed to a subway), and I always really enjoyed it. Up until last week, I had only been on BART for a few random trips here and there, but now I’m doing the everyday BART trip and then catching a shuttle to the office.

I have to say, it works really well. BART is nowhere near as elegant as London’s Tube or as clean as Singapore’s MRT or as wide reaching as the subway in New York, but it does the job (assuming it goes where you need it) and mostly does it well.

I’m always amused when riding public transit because there is this whole attitude that you have to adopt. We all wear a game face that is a cross between casual nonchalance and aggressive apathy, with enough of a snarl so people will leave you alone.

You aren’t supposed to look around. You aren’t supposed to lollygag. You aren’t supposed to look people in the eye and goodness knows you don’t start up a conversation.

Even if you are a flat out rookie, you gotta look like you have done this so many times you don’t give a rip. I don’t know why this is, but it just is. This goes for all subways not just BART.

Also, public transit is always the best way to find any city’s collection of lost, offbeat and troubled people.

Friday there was a guy talking to himself and loudly groaning. He was sitting across from a guy who during the course of the journey put on eight shirts, two hoodies, then a polar fleece and topped it with a parka and a huge knit hat. It’s cold here recently but this guy was preparing to hunt penguins.

Mostly it’s just a whole lot of people trying to get somewhere. Students, elderly, professionals, blue collar, rich, poor, moms, dads, kids. Just about every make and model of person out there steps on the BART train headed somewhere.

During the course of my ride I start on the peninsula, traverse San Francisco, and end up in the East Bay. On that hour ride it is like the Bay Area has been neatly sliced in half and I can clearly see all of the different kinds people who make up this crazy place.

A one-hour BART ride is a true representation of both the best and the worst of the almost seven million people who live here and call the Bay Area home.

And I’m one of them. I’m that sort of hayseed looking girl who is eagerly looking at everyone’s faces trying to read their stories while looking like I’m not looking at all. I’m the one laughing inappropriately and feeling stressed trying to fit in at my new gig.

Not to paraphrase the Beatles or anything but…

When I ride the BART train, I am you and you are me and we are all together.







Image from LA Times.



More from photography class

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So a little over a week ago, I posted a few photos I’d taken from my photography class. We’d been on a day field trip to the cactus garden.

Over the weekend, we again had a field trip. This time it was an evening into night shoot in a town called Redwood City. We started at the CalTrain station and worked our way through downtown.

Hooo boy did I struggle with this field trip. But the good kind of struggle. When the light is changing that fast, you have a lot of technical things to keep in mind. Since I’m just learning the technical things, I’m still pretty slow, so many of the photos didn’t come out worth a dang.

But I learned A LOT, and that’s the point.

Anyhoo, I put up another gallery of my favorite photos from the night, there are just 27 in this collection.

Here’s a few to get you started. Click any of the images to see a bigger size.

Assignment here was to play with the light of sunset as it bounces off objects and buildings.

Assignment was slow shutter speed, I *love* the ping effect of the droplets! Look at the big size to really see it!!

Also a long exposure, I was trying to catch the purple light on the tables and also got some passing tailights on long exposure. I liked the effect!

I have learned so much from actually being hands on out in the field. My assignment now is to keep practicing!

How is *your* Monday shaping up?

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Mine? Well let’s see.

The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS (round two of the playoffs). Brutal.

Woke up today to the news that the global markets are a mess. Again.

My own company’s stock took another major dive.

Our intracompany HR system laid an egg, and I cannot deliver performance reviews today (It would have been a little good news to my weary and battered team).

And my socially, environmentally and economically conscious mode of transportation failed me today. Early this morning CalTrain danced with a semi truck. Minor injuries only and it happened far away from me. But that meant as I arrived at the station this morning, I got the news, “trains delayed indefinitely”.

*sigh* Not an auspicious start to the week.

Guess “someone has a case of the Mondays!

Let’s see…

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Since I dropped out of the world yesterday (see post below), let’s see what’s going on in my little world today so I can get caught up. Yep, let’s go to the news.

Stock are down…blah, blah, blah

Government bail out…blah blah

Obama struggling to maintain lead in key states. Sure, yeah, ok.

Palin ain’t talking to the press. boooring

Tainted milk in China. : brr : scary.

David Blaine hanging upside down for a real long time. Yawn. My feelings on that yo-yo are already documented.

Every state has a personality. Hmm. Mildly interesting.

A crappy rendition of the National Anthem. Nothing new. Ya never know what yer gonna get when you go to the yard.

Meg Ryan talks about her divorce. From, uh, 2000?

Wow, ok, well, in one day, not much changed.

And in that same day…people were rude on the CalTrain. My boss pooped on one of my performance reviews. The shuttle to the train broke down. There was a major accident a block from my house. And I ended the day with a deep headache and a really bad mood…that I brought home to The Good Man…just so he could experience the special joy his wife had to bring to the table.

feh!