Willow Glen Branch Library

Of course I’m genius enough to venture to the library on the hottest day of summer yet!

And of course I take the elevator down to the station, walk out and see that the lightrail JUST closed its doors.

So mother told me to invite some friends. I did. Guess what?~ He overslept and I bounded down the road in solitude.

Not that I mind. I like biking alone. It’s more comfortable when you don’t have to worry about the other person hitting a car, person, or you. I have myself to worry about and that’s enough.

The Willow Glen Branch Library. Well they definitely live up to it’s tree-ey name. The Children’s Room is green and naturey all over.
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The odd thing about this library, I couldn’t find the restroom. or the quiet reading room. All I found was that I couldn’t find anywhere that felt comfy enough to do homework. So I settled for the nice courtyard outside in the library (does that make sense).
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Instead, more than appreciating its seclusion or its openness, I just felt oddly estranged from this library and its people.

I see them from the blurry view of the window.
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Now don’t listen to me. Willow Glen is a wonderful place! They have a strip mall nearby too!

Perhaps the heat caught to me and impaired my vision. It seems that I was always at the right place at the wrong time today. Missed the train, friend overslept, came home at the hottest time of the day.

These aren’t my words, but they resonate in my mind:

Timing is more important than preparation because it’s hard to get that moment back once you’ve lost the timing. Because time waits for no one.
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Next time I’ll be sure to go WAY earlier. Speaking about next time, I’m heading for Tully Community Branch Library, 3 miles not including lightrail ride, on Monday morning!

West Valley Branch Library

Before visiting the library, I volunteered at the Children’s Museum. As I brought my bike into the lightrail this morning, I dreaded every second.

4 people in the back. A lady to my left. More people on the other side. Bike rack in the middle.

Oh god.
I kept still until the next station when I finally decided, “LINH. TODAY IS THE DAY YOU PICK YOUR BIKE UP AND HANG IT ON THERE LIKE A REGULAR BIKER WOULD. JUST DO IT LIKE IT SAYS SO ON THE PICTURES.”

There were no pictures.

I CAN DO IT. YES  I CAN.
I CAN DO IT. YES I CAN.

But I tried anyway. I somehow managed to get it upright until it toppled down on me. Heave as hard I might, my 10 million pound bike with its 10 ton basket would not defy gravity.

Then. From my right, came an angel. “Do you need help with that?” The well-sculpted, young African man asked. “Just a little,” I smiled. And with a swift movement, my bike finally relented to being hung on the rack like a beautiful prize.

I often don’t take my bike on the lightrail because I know I’m not strong enough for my bike. My arms were still shaking minutes afterwards. But I want to change that. I want to be stronger.

The road to the library proved to be more confusing than it was supposed to be and more challenging than the last. That cursed bridge. I climbed up the spiral and ran down the other side like I was chased by some chimera.
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I suppose it was stupid of me to mistake SAN TOMAS with SAN TOMAS AQUINO. So I went a roundabout way and finally found a nice old lady to tell me the way to the library.
“LIBRARY? UHH EEH IT’S 4 BLOCKS DOWN EH THAT WAY.”

The West Valley Library. It’s quite the opposite of Vineland. Unlike Vineland’s seclusion, West Valley is a big, like it says, “Family Place.”
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Its design makes room for lots of sociable parents in the children’s area and center desks while also reserves the perimeters for quiet reading. It reminds me of those old one room houses with its homey feeling and balanced chi.
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I met up with my aunt and she took me to Yogurtland. (I actually started SHIVERING from the froyo despite the heat) She also confirmed something I probably already knew. Mothers are the strongest and fiercest characters in the world. Maybe because they’re so protective of their children or something, their will and courage is really great.

On the bike home, I think back to today and realize how lucky I have been.

I received so much help today. The man was strong Aeolus who swooped to my aid. The old lady was all three Graeae (Grey Sisters who shared one eye) at once as she foretold my bearings. My aunt was Demeter who offered me hospitality and kindness.

The kindness that you receive today, don’t take it for granted. Pass it around so that all may know its magic.

Yet, not all aid is constructive. I want to stand up for myself. When a weak person wants to fight, she’ll have to put her life on the line.

Someday, I’ll be strong enough to bear my bike on my own back.
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Phew! Sorry for the long post! Tomorrow I’m heading for Willow Glen Library, 7 miles from home but relatively close to the lightrail(not if I can help it)!

Vineland Branch Library

I had a bit of a late start. 12 o’ clock. But still I started! By the time I got OFF the lightrail I believe I was hit by a gust of hot air and dust. San Jose isn’t a desert but with all the cars and their fumes, it might as well be.
All I had to do was go straight and straight and straight and when you’re biking, just you and the street, you start wandering into the recesses of your mind. I believe when I reached a certain OSH I started talking to myself out loud, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. WHERE AM I. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE.”

BUT I kept going and finally reached my destination looking like a red, sweating beet!
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The great thing about the Vineland Library is that it has that feeling of seclusion. The atrium in the middle, children on one side, adults on the other. Teens have their own little room and for the people who just want someplace cool to sleep, there’s a quiet, secluded “living room” in the back of the library. I’m thinking that the architect must have been very creative when making this library. He/She put their own touches on the building and the library people only improved it.
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On the way home, I think I’ve noticed this for quite a while but couldn’t put it to words until now.
You know when you’re walking/biking and you see a green light? Do you go? Do you wait until the next light? You don’t know how long that light will stay green and you don’t want to take the chances of being honked at by cars but you know you want to go. I think life is kind of like a stoplight. Opportunities don’t stay green all the time. A biker can just wait until it turns green again but in life, sometimes it won’t ever be green again. Even if it turns yellow and red while you’re crossing, doesn’t it feel relieving to cross to the other side knowing you made it?

When life is green, go, because you never know when it’ll turn red.

Anyways, tomorrow I won’t be going because mother told me to stay home and clean but Friday I’m tackling West Valley Branch!! Approximately 15 miles from home!
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Biking to the City of my Dreams

I have always loved books. But I always find that the best books are always hard to obtain and as a poor high school student, I couldn’t possibly afford them all. The San Jose Public Library has been with me in those times. I lived my dreams in there. Traveled to Hobbiton and back. Flew atop Mount Doom and still had time to reach Vroengard. But in the short time I have left before my graduation, I realize that I never really explored my own city! Therefore, In a quest to prove myself and get to know my city before the inevitable (graduating high school this year), I present a challenge:

Bike to all 23 San Jose Public Libraries!

The VTA Lightrail will help me in SOME cases but for the most part, it’s just me, my bike, and the city of San Jose spread out against the horizon. Sounds dreamy doesn’t it? Well, when I reach the libraries, it’ll look more sweaty than anything! xD

My challenge starts tomorrow, June 26th, 2013. My first target? Vineland Branch Library, approximately 6 miles away from home. Not too far. Let’s see how it goes!
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