Friday, February 26, 2010

170 - Have Pizza, Will Travel

Today I rode the Route 5 from Lindbergh to my hair Guru, whose shop is out by the Fountain Oak Shopping Center.

My seat neighbor was a gentleman who carried on a Pizza Hut pizza. I can only hope he's got a toasty oven waiting for him at home. Cuz after 30 minutes of chugging North that thing had to have been cold. And not the good kind of cold..like the next morning for breakfast cold...

Which reminds me of the old adage about sex and pizza. Even bad pizza is still good..cuz it's pizza. Change the word pizza to sex and you'll get the jist of the saying.

On that note, I bid you farewell. I am off on a mini-break and won't be back until Wednesday. In the words of Tigger, TTFN.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

171 - Things that make you go hmmmm

Running down the aisle of the Marta car at full speed (with a humongous suitcase trailing behind you) is not appropriate behavior. For you or your son. With the parents acting so ridiculous it's no wonder so many kids today don't know how to behave in public.
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Escalator update: Most still aren't working. Am checking daily for the repelling ropes to get up to/down from the train platform. I am only half joking...with all the cuts Marta is proposing I think it's only a matter of time before the ropes become a reality in this urban jungle.
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Speaking of Marta cuts, I reached out to my Sandy Springs City Councilwoman to enlist her in the fight to save the 105. Thus far, I haven't heard back from her. She may not be able to help but at the very least she should know what is going on in her district. I'll let you know if/when I hear from her.
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The book I started the other day? LOVE. IT. Taking it with me to Florida this weekend. It's heavy but I can't bear the thought of leaving it here and not knowing how the story ends. Yes, I have a reading problem. So sue me.
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As stated directly above, I am heading to Florida this weekend. My mission tonight is to pack for a four day trip in one carry on bag. I am doing this to simply thumb my nose at the airlines who now charge fees for everything. I think some of them actually charge fees on their fees. It's not that I can't afford the fee; it's that I refuse to pay. I'm not getting any extra service out of the fee..maybe if I got my bag FIRST it would be worth it. And further, until I get a refund for every time I pay for my bag and they STILL manage to lose it, I'm fighting the power. In the words of George Banks, I'm saying NO!

Anyway, I've got my packing plan of attack outlined..now I just need to stick to it. Good news is that where I am going I don't need any high heels, fancy clothes or bulky sweaters. Which will make packing considerably easier I think. Wish me luck.
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Have recently discovered Ellen D is looking to "change lives"...(Ellen is looking to change lives -- will yours be one of them? If you or someone you know has been having a tough time, write in and tell us about it! Read more: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/show/respond/?PlugID=234#ixzz0gb6UPxV5) Trying to decide if it would be in poor taste to write in and ask for some wheels. She did give away a car this week. Hmmm......

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

172 Squared - The Boys Are Back in Town (not Baltimore, but Tampa)

Pitchers and catchers reported 2/17; the whole gang was due in Tampa today.

Maybe this will be the year the Os get the pennent and back to the World Series. Keep the fingers crossed that this is the year.

1983 was a long time ago.

172 - From the No S*&^ file

Atlanta is among the worst cities to get your car fixed if you’re hoping for a fair repair cost estimate, according to AutoMD.com’s Advocacy for Repair Shop Fairness Report published Wednesday.

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/02/22/daily36.html

Pft, I coulda told them this last August.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

173 - Save Route 105!

Based on my online research and my conversation with a friend who works at Marta, it seems the 105 bus route is on the chopping block.

Worse yet, if the route is cut, Marta has no intention of rerouting existing bus lines to serve the areas affected. Namely, where I live!

That said, it's time to go all advocate, as my sister says. Apparently, I have a history or standing up to things I perceive as injustices. I guess I do. It's just that I feel when things are bad or wrong I should shed some light on the subject. I am sure most times it has no real impact on the issue. But having my say makes me feel better, so if that makes me an advocate, then an advocate I am.

So, I visited the Marta site and found a comment form.

Under I wish to make the following comment I said:
Suspension of service of bus route 105 will leave a large portion of Fulton County under served. Further, this will remove the Marta option for UPS employees as without this route they will have no way to their HQ. Residents on this route already are not provided service on the weekends; discontinuation of this route will further alienate them from the community. At the very least other routes should be modified to serve the population at Mount Vernon & Barfield, as well as Barfield & Abernathy and Abernathy & Glenridge.

I then emailed my completed form to Marta...and just to be sure it got there, I faxed it too. I also made copies of the form to distribute to my fellow riders on the 105. In doing so I hope that they too voice their concerns. (One rider didn't even know Marta was thinking about canceling the route.....so much for "public notice"!)

I also reached out to 11Alive's Commuter Dude to see if he can get involved and cast the bright lights of TV on the subject. I am not so sure Marta wants that sort of publicity.

If only the squeaky wheels get greased around here get ready for some major squeaking, friends.

I'd encourage any local readers of this blog to take a moment and join my fight to save the 105. Click the PDF symbol below to access a form you can fill out and send in too. Send us your comments regarding a Community Forum Presentation...PDF Community Forum Comment Form (PDF, 49KB)

Thanks for your support and remember - Always speak your mind...even if your voice shakes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

174 - That's it..I quit...I'm movin on

Today's title comes from a popular Sam Cooke song. Man, that guy could sing. And his songs were so good even today they are being covered by others...Adele being one of them.

The title is also what I am doing after a week of reading Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill.

I am pulling the plug on this one. It's not a bad book, it's just not entertaining me...or even engaging me. And I am a huge history buff...so that is saying something.

And with so many books in the que (including two that I haven't even started yet that are due next Tuesday) I just can justify spending more time on old Winston.

So, I am moving on to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I'll let you know how this one goes. I've heard her stories are outstanding...hopefully by this time next week I'll be able to either substantiate or refute those declarations.

Stay tuned....


177 – I think I speak for everyone when I say, Huh?

So rather than drive all the way in on Friday, I decided to drive to the train station and head in from there.

I figured this would save me a ton of time.

I was wrong.

I left my house at 8:10 and thanks to poor traffic signal synchronization it took 10 minutes to get to the station. This is all of a mile from my house. When I walk to the station it takes me 10 minutes. So wow.... that is some horrid traffic management.

I naively thought I’d get to the Sandy Springs station in plenty of time to catch the 8:20 train.

Wrong.

As I walked into the station, that train pulled out. So I had another 10 minute wait for the next train. (Please note that in the 10 minute drive to the station and the 10 minute wait for the train and the ensuing 15 minute train ride I could have made it to my office…see yesterday’s post for the story on how much time I save by driving.)

I was in my office by 8:50, which was still a 10 minute time saving over my normal bus/train adventure but still not really enough time to make a strong argument for Marta use.

And they wonder why the general public is uninterested in using mass transit. We need what Steve Dunne. from the great movie Singles, promoted…a high speed train with good coffee and great tunes. Then people would ride. Maybe.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

178 - Do you Believe in Miracles?

Channeling Al Michaels here people....it's the Olympic after all.

Anyway, I woke up late and thought things were off to a terrible start.

But the AM commute was money...like Trent and Mike in Vega$ money (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117802/). I got to the bus stop just as the 105 rolled up.

I got to the Dunwoody station and up the stairs to the platform just as the train rolled in...and just like that, ICheck Spelling was headed southbound to the office.

The ease at which the morning commute transpired freaked me out. I thought for sure this must be an indication that the trip home would be nothing short of disaster.

But, I was wrong. (that's right...I said it.)

When I got to the office, a coworker and good friend told me he was heading to WV this weekend to ski. And then he offered me the use of his car while he was gone.

Um, how awesome was that?!?

The timing of his offer was spot on too. I had an after hours work event and so after I dropped him off at the train station, I headed over. Once the event was over I simply hopped in the car and headed home.

No dropping off of the ZipCar, no walk to the train in the dark, no cab from Sandy Springs Marta to my house.

His kind offer saved me (and our company) serious time AND cash.

Having this car at my use is great for another reason.

As someone, who like many of my generation, considers herself "spiritual but not religious" I've finally stumbled upon a church I'd like to actually visit. http://nwuuc.org/

As a cradle Catholic, I am sure this service will be vastly different from the religion I have known all my life. I love the ritual of Mass but I do not feel any real connection to, well - God, when I attend. In truth, I never have.

And so, access to this car means I have an easy way to check out this new church. I have to wonder if it was just a random act of kindness from a friend that has given me this opportunity...or was it something more?

Maybe I'll find out Sunday at 10 AM.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

179 - Step Away from the Library Card ...or You Have Got to be effing Kidding Me

22 fun loving degrees (but it felt like 10) this morning as I made my way to the bus stop. Somehow in the one block walk to said bus stop I lost my Gryffindor hat. So not only was I super pissed to discover this, I was also super cold. Maybe I left it at home? It's part of a matching hat scarf set so I really hope so.
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From the "insult to injury" file: Now the elevator @ the Dunwoody station is out of service too. So, no escalator, no elevator. We are not making progress with whole moving people thing. What next? No stairs and we have to climb ropes to the train platform?
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Had a different bus driver this AM. Somehow we started chatting and turns out she's from Maryland too! Baltimore...she went to Dunbar. We both agreed that while we do miss aspects of home neither of us are super inclined to move back. And we were both happy that we were nowhere near the joint for all the snow they've gotten recently.
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This morning the bus was on time (Maryland people are nothing if not punctual) so of course the train was late. 12 minutes to be exact. Which I might not know if I hadn't been standing on the windy ass platform in 10 degree temperatures sans hat. This managed to somehow suck and blow at the same time.
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I bought two new books last week (Barnes & Noble waived shipping fees...score.) and I have decided I can't even open the packaging until I finish the two books I currently have under way AND the three I just picked up from the library on the way home tonight. So, come Easter Sunday I should be about ready to unveil them.
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Speaking of Easter, I contemplated what I should give up/do for Lent this year on the way in. Which is odd since I haven't been to Mass since June. Do I really even need to participate in Lent this year? Would that be hypocritical? Anyway, if I do decide join the Lenten party I think I am giving up Facebook. Which will be way harder than all the years I've given up alcohol and such. Question - I can post to Facebook from this site...so if I do that during Lent is that cheating? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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On the train home tonight two Georgia State students noticed my Gryffindor scarf and asked where they could find one. Kindred spirits, indeed.
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Finally, on the ride home on the 105 bus the driver informed me that all signs are pointing to Marta canceling my bus route. They already don't run it on weekends and now this. I am keeping my fingers crossed this doesn't happen. Talk about a kink in the chain. Hopefully the riders of the route and UPS (one of the big guys whose employees ride the route) will be vocal enough to save it. If not, I hope Marta will at least re-route an existing bus line to a location somewhat close to my house. Otherwise I am going to have to walk both ways to the train every workday. While said walk has been no fun in the cold it will be even worse come summertime.

If they do pull the plug on the 105 I might have to look into this option: http://www.paidride.com/
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And also, when I got home tonight, there was no sign of the Gryffindor hat. sigh

Monday, February 15, 2010

180 - President's Day

So today is the second Federal holiday of 2010. Which means super light road traffic and light ridership on the train for those of us that had to trudge in.

As it's a day honoring our Presidents (like the free housing and the 400K/per year aren't enough) I decided to do some research on the way in. Here are some interesting facts I discovered:
  • At 6'4 Abe Lincoln was the tallest President. Dude, by today's standards 6'4 is tall...he must have been a giant back in the day;
  • George Washington had no formal education (this also applies to Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln & Andrew (not Lyndon) Johnson as well as a few others) and apparently he really is the father of our country...rumors indicate he was a bit of a lady's man...if you know what I mean;
  • Adams and Jefferson didn't like each other and oddly enough, they both died on the same day...July 4th, 1826..which was also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence;
  • Andrew Jackson was a dueler; he also really screwed the Native Americans;
  • Obama doesn't like ice cream. Apparently his high school job was in an ice cream shop and he got burned out on the stuff; Funny, I worked at Chuck E. Cheese and could still eat pizza 24/7....
  • Bush 2.o was the first president since 1888 (Harrison) to become President without winning the popular vote; he also once owned the Texas Rangers...
  • Gerald Ford, though stereotyped as a klutz, was actually quite athletic and even played football for Michigan. Which is sad only because I loathe UM;
  • Clinton's nickname as a kid was Bubba; he also met JFK while attending Boys Nation (http://www.legion.org/boysnation); and also there is the impeachment thing...
  • Bush 1.0 was 19 in 1943 when he received his military commission, making him the youngest pilot in the Navy; say what you will about the man but that is a pretty bad ass fact.
  • Almost all of them had affairs...
  • Jimmy Carter attended Georgia Tech before he went to the Naval Academy;
  • Nixon, well, I'll go positive here and state he had a Rose Garden wedding for one of his daughters while in office....
  • Lyndon Johnson had a donkey named after him by one of our neighbors growing up; these folks lived right by Big Rock at the bottom of the hill on Powder Mill Road (folks from home, you'll know what the hell I am talking about);
  • Kennedy got more ass than a public toilet; and also managed to win a Pulitzer Prize;
  • My mother named her cat Ike after President Eisenhower;
  • And finally, Harry Truman's Mom - a Confederate sympathizer - would not sleep in the Lincoln bedroom when she visited the White House. Talk about holding a grudge.
The more you look into these dudes the more interesting (and real!) they seem. Maybe if teacher's focused on the things that made these cats human History might be better received in the classroom.

I'm just glad there are still folks out there that want to be President; cause if they came after me to fill that role I'd take a line out of the Lyndon Johnson handbook, "if nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve."

LJ might have been many things but he wasn't wishy-washy.

183 - 213


No, this is not the NBA All-Star game score.

It's the number of accidents as of 5PM on Friday thanks to the Atlanta Blizzard of 2010.

As the evening commute continued I am sure that number continued to climb. I've no idea as I popped open some chardonnay and settled in to watch Couples Retreat and the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Good times.

Friday, February 12, 2010

184 - Looks Like We (or rather I) Made It

Today’s title is from an old Barry Manilow song. It’s actually a great tune and you can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIcqUokPiTw Kinda poignant as we roll into the Valentine’s Weekend…although I am more inclined to celebrate Chinese New Year on the 14th. It’s the year of the Metal Tiger.

Anyway, back to the commute…….I didn’t leave the office until 6:30 so I really had to shake my tail feathers to get to the train. See, the last bus that goes by my house departs Dunwoody at 7:05…and by that time, it’s way too dark for me to walk home.

I hopped on the 6:46 train and got to the Dunwoody station right at 7. I had a whole five minutes to spare. Yes Barry, it does look like I made it..afterall.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

185 - Which is Worse?


A wind chill temperature of 11 degrees for the morning commute?

Or

Riding into Midtown within a Marta train car that smells like vomit?

Survey Says: Vomit!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

186 - Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet....

...I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now. (Clark Griswold upon realizing Cousin Randy’s visiting for Christmas.)

Or how I felt today when using ZipCar.

After my fairly severe bashing of their service last week, I feel compelled to share that today’s outing went without one glitch.

A car reserved on the fly, the gas tank surprisingly full, a Prius with functioning brakes, stored IN an actual garage.

I was shocked. I was amazed. I was happy.

And I am hopeful that this level of service will become the norm, not the exception.

Monday, February 8, 2010

187 - No Electronics Were Harmed During this Commute

Today I decided to step away from the Iphone (which I use in the AM to catch up on news headlines and Twitter) and try and get caught up on my magazines. This morning I read my Entertainment Weekly....a double Oscar issue to boot.

The Winston Churchill book I mentioned last week? I decided to save that for this coming weekend.

Anyway, I finished EW on the way home tonight...so I thought I was all caught up. Then I checked the mail and low and behold another had arrived.

My postal carrier must think I am on crack because I get the the following:
Entertainment Weekly
Sports Illustrated
Real Simple
Marie Claire
.....I previously also got Rolling Stone and Newsweek...but I let those lapse. So I have/had a rather eclectic magazine list. If "random" is a pattern, that's mine.

And before you get all judge-y about me having so many subscriptions remember:
1 - I used airline miles for most of them and
2 - When you have no car to take you places that will entertain you, you must find ways to bring entertainment into your home.

And now, I am off to try and finish my Marie Claire before this week's SI darkens my doorstep.

190 - Hey Zip Car...you STILL suck

For those of you that know me IRL, I am sure you thought you'd get a great story about me and my Gorton's Fisherman outfit that I wore to work today. (Laugh all you want, but I stayed bone dry..unlike 98% of Marta's other passengers.)

Alas, yet another Zip Car snafu arose and thus stole the bloglight from my tales of becoming Atlanta's inclement weather fashionista.

Weeks ago I reserved a Zip Car for a late afternoon appointment I had. Since the Prius was already booked, I opted for the Volvo. Not a big deal...figured it would be good to try something new.

Less than one hour before I am supposed to pick up "Sevier" (the name of the Volvo...yes, the cars are named. And not by me, by the company.) I got an email reconfirming my reservation for, wait for it, a Honda Hybrid Insight.

Now, I wasn't too thrilled by the last minute change but it certainly wasn't the end of the world. I called Customer Service to make sure there were no special instructions for this hybrid. I did this because the Prius was a bit daunting the first time I got in it and I didn't want to relive the panic I felt when I got behind the wheel. The nice lady assured me that there were no special instructions to drive the Honda and so I hung up feeling a little more confident.

Just to make sure there were no secret instructions (once bitten, twice shy), I went to the website. Where I was told "Mashburn" the Mazda 3 going to be my car for today's adventure. To which my response was a less than lady-like WTF.

By this time I didn't have time to call back to AGAIN clarify the change, so I just went with it. I donned my rain suit, loaded up the backpack, grabbed the car reservation and headed out in the still pouring rain. (This is because ZipCar won't use the parking deck in my building. So I get soaked because they don't want to pay for indoor parking. Nice.)

Anyway, I got to the lot and the only car there was Mashburn. And my card opened the door, so I figured I was cooking with gas at this point. I tossed the bag and umbrella in the back and climbed in.

Then I started the car and wouldn't you know it, there was less than a quarter of a tank of gas left in the car. Which means the douche bag that had the car previously should have refueled it....and it also meant yours truly would have to stand in the rain and do it instead.

Angry, party of one, your car is now ready.

I trucked off to my appointment, still wearing my rain suit mind you, and striped out of it in a the parking deck before I went in for the meeting. Once over, I then I got redressed in the parking deck so I wouldn't get soaked when I got back to the ZipCar lot. I am sure the security guards watching the surveillance tapes had a good laugh watching my antics.

As I made my way to the designated parking area I stopped and filled Mashburn up. I deposited him in his assigned spot, locked him up, and made my way to Marta.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call 45 minutes later (as I disembarked the train at Sandy Springs to walk home, yet again, in the rain) asking where I was with the car.

Me: (unknown number on phone) Hello?
She: )*%)$*#)()#(^(*%(^)(^)^%%( - translation - I couldn't understand a single word she said
Me: I'm sorry, who is this?
She: This is insert name here with ZipCar calling to find out where you are with the vehicle.
Me: Uh, well, I am in Sandy Springs at the Marta station and the car was returned to the lot 45 minutes ago.
She: So you don't have the car?
Me: No, it was returned at about 4:45..about 15 minutes before my time was up.
She: And where is that?
OK, NOW I am pissed.
Me: The same place I picked it up, the rainy lot at 11th and Juniper.
She: And that is where you left it?
Me: (thinking to myself, did I stutter?) Yes, that is what I said.
She: Oh. loong pause....OK. Thanks. Click.

So yeah, I was less than pleased. Further, it is evident to me ZipCar:
  1. had no idea which car I had; which means had I needed roadside assistance I'd have been up shit's creek...cuz they'd be looking for a Honda..and I would have been in a Mazda;
  2. They are not checking the cars often enough because at least 90% of the time there is not enough fuel in the car I've reserved; and
  3. They had no who had the Insight, or when it was going to show up again.
At this point, I am not sure I am going to renew my account. It's $25 bucks a year PLUS the cost of the car, which generally runs $8.25 an hour. And that adds.

Frankly, I think I can cab it for about the same cost and with a lot less stress.






Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ongoing - Things I Miss as a Result of Not Having a Car

So I've decided to keep a running tally of the things I discover I miss as a result of being broom-less, erm, I mean wheel-less.

Let the record show that beyond the obvious answers of seeing my friends and going on road trips, I miss:

Evening at Emory - I used to take all kinds of classes for fun...tennis, a Civil War lecture, German, piano. Now I can't as I have no way to get to there night location. And it sucks...cuz I love to learn.
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Singing Along with the Radio - No one on the train or bus is too enraptured with my voice when I forget where I am and go all JayZ/Green Day/Susan Boyle on them. I just think they are jealous of my vocal range. I know beagles seems to love it.

Hitting the Book Store and Browsing for Hours - There was something freeing about hitting a big ole bookstore on a weekend day and just meandering through all the stacks of books with no time constraints. I always managed to find some unknown (to me, at least) gem to delve into. Or I'd stumble upon some read long-ago classic that transports back me in time to when I first opened those pages, allowing me to recapture the wonder I felt when first I read it.

I think there is something magical about the books I read as a child. I really wasn't a big reader at all until I hit my 20s. Point in case: I could probably name all the books I read up until high school (where I still didn't really read all that much) on both hands. And yet those are the ones I seem to remember most.

I read slower then and I guess since I had less life experience those stories just jumped off the page and sank into...well, me. I remember crying at the end of Bridge to Terabithia; laughing at Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. When Charlotte wove her first web, I got tangled up in it too.

Now when I read it's often so fast that you'd think my life depended on finishing the book. I can't bear the thought of not knowing how the story ends. You'd think I was being chased by a Death Eater if you saw how fast I polished off the the Harry Potter books.

I guess in actuality, I sorta am being chased by a Death Eater...we all are.

As a child I had all the time in the world, even if I lacked the motivation and guidance to do so, to read. Now as I enter my late 30s I rush to cram as much into my head, life and heart as I can. Partly because I know, in ways I couldn't have comprehended as a child, that time is fleeting. That I'll never be able to do/see/go to all the things I want before it's time to depart. And while that's scary, really, that is just life.

Hot Yoga - actually I miss ALL yoga but Hot Yoga especially because it was an ass-kicking I actually enjoyed. Sure, I bitch while I am doing it, but afterwards I feel great and my skin is just glows. Talk about deep cleaning your pores. I kid you not, even my knees sweat during Hot Yoga. Alas, the studios I enjoy aren't on Marta lines and so I can no longer partake of this exquisite torture. I look forward to getting back to it some day.


191 - Fear and Respect that Escalator!


Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don't hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent - I don't care which one - but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator. - Brodie Bruce, Mallrats

Oh Brodie Bruce, where are you when we need you?

Yes kids, some moron apparently didn't fear OR respect the escaltor and thus most are now not working. At all. Anywhere. Which for us able-bodied folks isn't terrible...but for those with mobility issues, this sucks six different ways.

It all started last week when a contractor somehow screwed something up. How's that for specifics. For all the gory details you can visit: http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/marta-getting-some-escalators-290959.html

Here we are a week later, and the issue, and according fix to said issue, still hasn't been resolved. Seriously, the Marta escalator drama has lasted longer than the television shows Emily's Reasons Why Not and South of Sunset (starring Glenn Frey of Eagles fame) combined. Yes, I did say combined.

The long and short of it is that now ALL the escalators have be inspected. And that is expected to take three, yes, three weeks.

And wouldn't you know it, the week they are supposed to be fixed I'll be out of town. How's that for karma?

192 - Should I be Embarrassed?

I picked up a book on Winston Churchill last night on way home from the awesome Fulton Co. Library Peachtree Branch. As an avid reader, I love the library. It saves me tons of space in my house as I don't have to house my books after reading them. And more importantly, I couldn't support my reading habit if I had to shell out $ every time I stumbled upon a book I wanted to explore. Plus, I can also access music AND movies through the Fulton Co. system. So yeah, I am a big big fan of the library. Which I odd since I hated the Library Science class I was forced to take in college...

Anyway.

So the book I got is titled Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and it's meant to be my "commute book" this week. It's written by Gretchen Rubin and it looks very interesting to me, a card-carrying member of the I HEART History club. (which is totally made up...but maybe I should start one! ) It allegedly "makes Churchill accessible and meaningful to the 21st century reader.." I'll be the judge of that, thankyouverymuch.

Of course, what did I read on the way home tonight? Yeah, this blog post about Lost. http://www.mytakeondisney.com/FanBlogsandSites/lost-season-6-la-x-episode-1--2 Troubling, is it not?

Churchill would be mortified at this admission, I think. Spent all his time trying to save the world from tyranny and genocide and his thanks? Getting bumped further down the reading list because I must try and grasp some method to the Lost madness. I mean really, what was a meeting with Stalin compared to the mystery surrounding one Mr. McSmokey?

I hang my head in shame...and I hope to start the Churchill book tomorrow. Unless I get sucked into Twitter whilst on the train......I'd say I weep for the future at this point...but I'd be kidding myself if I still considered myself "the future"...I guess I weep for the "near past" instead.


Monday, February 1, 2010

193 - Don't drive angry. Don't drive angry!



Today is my favorite day of the year! Groundhog Day!

That's right...IT'S Groundhog Day. A day that never fails to bring a smile to my face. A movie that always makes me laugh out loud. A party in the middle of nowhere PA that is nothing but fun, fun, fun!

Even as a little girl, I looked forward to Phil's forecast. The first thing that morning, I'd race down the stairs to find out what the good word was. Would Winter linger? Or would Spring arrive early and kick Winter to the curb? Shadow? No Shadow? Me and my shadow! I've always loved it.

I think I hold this Hog affinity because there's no real expectation tied to it.

Unlike Christmas, where you stress out about what to get whom..and how to pay for it. And how you'll spilt your time with your divorced parents without upsetting someone.

Unlike Independence Day, where inclement weather can waylay the best made plans.

Unlike Thanksgiving, where on top of people not be very thankful, you have to orchestrate a huge meal around a football game.

Don't get me wrong, I like each of the referenced holidays, I am just saying that to me, Groundhog Day is tops. The bees knees; the elephant's instep.

My perfect Groundhog gathering would be a Groundhog Brunch (complete with Groundhog shaped cake) followed by croquet in park with anyone and everyone who shares my joie de vivre.

Because, unlike Phil Connors (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107048/) we only live once...so I say pass me that cake and the croquet mallet...


194 - I Don't Like Mondays

No, I am not eluding to the Boomtown Rats song...which I also don't like...I am just referring to Mondays in general.

I am not sure if my complaint last Friday had anything to do with it or not, but we had a different driver this morning. I fail to beleive that Marta (or any quasi-government agency for that matter) would be willing and able to act with such speed to rectify a problem. Guess I'll have to wait and see who's driving tomorrow.

Sadly, I don't think it will be Charles S. Dutton. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116404/

197 - I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!

The Fat Lady has sung.

The camel is in traction as a result of breaking his back.

Translation - I am pissed about the ongoing saga of the AM driver and his inability to function at a normal rate of speed.

And it's not just me! Several other passengers expressed their concern one windy day earlier this week on the platform as we waited for a train...since you know, our normal one was gone by the time Mr. Banana Slug got us to the station.

Anyway, I've logged a formal complaint with Marta. He's been given ample time to get familiar with the route and yet he is still consistently late..and it's adding an addition 20 minutes to my commute time every single morning.

I really hate to be a bitch about it but seriously....it should not take over an hour to get to work in the morning...because it never took that long BEFORE this guy started driving the route in late last Fall.

And before you go on the defensive, no, the traffic patterns haven't changed and no, he's not picking up more passengers, thereby stopping more.

I don't know what the hold up is, and at this point, I don't frankly care. I just want to get to work in a timely fashion. I've already had to forgo highheels as part of this mass transit communting deal...is it too much to ask to at least be timely??

198 - Enjoy the Silence

Ear buds are great. I can wear them without ever turning on the sound and no one bothers me. Genius.

(PS - Today's title is brought to you by depeche mode)

199 - Wednesday's Words to Live By

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are - Author Unknown
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I bet you can guess where this post is going....

Rule #1 - If you see people standing on the train, do not use an extra seat for your work bag. Unless you are paying two fares put that puppy on your lap like the rest of us do. I don't care if you are carrying the cure for cancer or the common cold...whatever is in there does not require its own seat. Not when its standing room only.....

which brings me to Rule #2...

If you see an older lady standing, you should offer her your seat. Females, I am talking to you too! Whatever happened to respecting our elders? Age trumps gender folks. Shame on those of you with seats who didn't at least offer. It was appalling to witness.

Rule #3 - If you don't know rules #1 and #2 perhaps you should enroll in an etiquette class. Or simply realize you aren't living in a vacuum and pay attention to others. It's really not that difficult to do!

I swear, sometimes it seems that most people were raised by wolves.


200 - TWO WORDS

inside voice.

I swear, it's like some people have had no home training. I sure hope it's that, otherwise they are just rude and ignorant...and that is just sad.

201 - Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

Today's title comes from one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs, Time. This song holds a special place in my heart as after many a night out on the town my freshman year in college, I'd find my way home and pop in this CD as I tried to bed-spin off to sleep.

Invariably, Time always came on as I would FINALLY start to dose off. Which means when the alarms and bells would sound at the start of the song, I just about had a heart attack. I'd fumble to turn it to another song and of course the CD would cycle through and again, just as I'd start to dose, the bells and chimes would ring again. In retrospect, I guess I should have used a different lullaby CD.
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Someone on the train today smelled liked ballpark hot dogs. I sure hope it wasn't me.
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How is it possible Christmas was just one month ago? Feels like we should be at the end of the first quarter already. I hate January. It seems to last forever and by the time it's over it feels like it should be March. Bring on February, I say. January blows.
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So it's the Colts and the Saints in the Superbowl. Neither team really holds my interest. That said, I hope the Saints destroy the Colts...simply because a) the Saints haven't ever been and b) I am still bitter about the whole "fleeing in the middle of the night thing."

Anyhoo, I'm just hoping the commercials are decent this year. The ads from the last few years have been pretty weak. It's shocking to me Preparation H hasn't optioned Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash for use in an ad. Hmmmm.
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New computer is all jacked up so The Geek Squad has been called. Hopefully, they can remedy the situation. Chances are this time next week (and to the tune of $130 bucks!) I should be up and running again. Or at least up..if not running.

And BTW? I hate my wireless router. Maybe if it ever works I'll feel differently, but right now...not so much.
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We got our W2s super early this year. So of course my mortgage company screwed up my 1098...which means I can't file my return until they reissue it. Thanks Murphy and your stupid law. Have I told you lately that you suck?

204 - A Goose has Come to Roost

A goose has taken up residence on the grassy area in front of my complex.

I noticed it (I can't determine if it's a he or a she) as I crossed the street to get to the bus stop. It noticed me too....and when I got to the other side we stared at each other for a good, long time.

Eventually, said goose decided to come to my side of the street. (FYI - The lesser known follow up to 'why did the chicken cross road' is apparently 'why did the goose gander across the street') After a few close calls with various vehicles, he/she arrived safely on my side. And wouldn't you know it, just then the bus pulled up, so I had to leave him/her all alone.

I've no idea if I'll see him/her tomorrow. But I am taking his/her presence as a sign that Spring is here...and after the last few weeks we've endured, that is music to my half frozen ears.