Tuesday, March 30, 2010

138 - Things I Learned Today on the way Home

The movie High Fidelity was released 10 years ago today. I actually enjoyed this movie but then I again I knew this was not the typical John Cusack comedy going into it. My friend Sara, a fellow fan of the Cusack, didn't know this...and thus she was disappointed.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the Top 5 Songs you want played at your funeral. Courtesy of IMDB.com the exchange is below:
Barry: Top 5 songs about death. A Laura's Dad tribute list, okay? Okay. Leader of the Pack. The guy fuc(*&' beefs it on his motorcycle and dies, right? Dead Man's Curve. Jan & Dean.
Dick: Do you know that right after they recorded that song Jan himself crashed his car...
Barry: It was Dean you fuc&^%' idiot...
Rob: It was Jan. It was a long time after the song.
Barry: Okay, whatever. Tell Laura I Love Her. That would bring the house down - Laura's Mom could sing it. You know what I'd want? One Step Beyond by Madness. And, uh, You Can't Always Get What You Want.
Dick: No. Immediate disqualification because of its involvement with The Big Chill.
Barry: Oh God. You're right!
Dick: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot.
Barry: You bastard! That's so good - that should have been mine...

I love the above scene because A) I've had my song list ready to go for years and B) I can totally see this conversation taking place IRL.

And of course there is a great rendition of Let's Get It On included in the film. LOVE IT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V_-iZYIofU&feature=related

Also on this day - 29 years ago - John Hinckley, Jr. tried to assassinate President Reagan. He failed and poor James Brady got the worst of it. (Ever hear of something called the Brady gun bill? Yeah, it's named for him.)

I remember walking in the house after school that day and there it was live on TV. Trying to catch some One Life to Live and this madness takes over the screen. I think I was immediately sent outside to play as to not have to see it over and over and over again. Crazy day that was. Crazy times in general. The Cold War was a stressful time for a kid in suburban DC.

And can you guess what the number one song in the US was on that very day? Anyone? It was Rapture by Blondie.

From High Fidelity to the Reagan Assassination Attempt with a side of Blondie...one day, so many different reflections....

Monday, March 29, 2010

139 - Three Days

AM Commute
For fans of Jane's Addiction, you'll know the meaning of the title. For those who missed one of the best songs from BITD, you can hear it hear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpCCfazKxzk
Easily my favorite song from Ritual de lo Habitual.

Anyway, I am using this title because I realized this morning when I woke up I only have three work days to get through this week. Friday we have our company Spring Holiday....Thursday I am taking vacation. So the realization of only three days was a great way to start the day.

Plus, I am totally re energized after spending the better part of last week in Nashville at a conference for/about the AEC industry. So, when the alarm clock went off this morning I shot out of the bed ready to take on the day.

I was ready a good 20 minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive so I opted to walk over to the Sandy Springs station. Was a nice walk as the temperature was just about right (40ish) and the sun was just starting to take its place in the morning sky. The ten minute walk saved me about 25 minutes. Again, not a bad way to start the day.

As I made my way in on the train, I discovered Moscow had a subway bombing on Monday. Simply tragic. People going about their business and this is how they meet their end. And invariably, some moron on TV will say something like, "well, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time." Really? The wrong place at the wrong time is 2:30 AM coming out of a club by yourself while not in the right state of mind. Going to work on a Monday morning? I'd argue there is no more "right place at the right time" than right about then.

Needless to say, I jumped to the AJC and found that Marta is now bumping up their security too (http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/marta-boosts-security-in-415165.html)...not that I noticed any real difference.

PM Commute
Since the weather was still lovely, I opted to walk home. This saved me from having to hit the elliptical at the gym...which I hate visiting when the weather outside is nice.

I got home, tossed in some laundry, unloaded the dishwasher and changed so I could do my at home Yoga. Comcast on Demand has an Exercise Channel and while it's not as great as Yoga with a class, I figured it was worth a shot.

When I had a car a did Yoga a lot. And I really liked it. And apparently, my body/mind did too. Because since I have stopped going my skin is a mess, I'm not getting the stress out of my body (which is leading to back pain and now my legs SWELLING up like sausages) and I am now grinding my teeth in my sleep. Though I am very expressive there is, apparently, a fair amount I keep inside.

So yeah, I figured it was worth at least trying the at home option.

The program was good (if short, only 20 minutes) but it served it's purpose in helping me stretch my legs and hopefully offset some of this swelling that is going on. And I certainly could have done another session.


Except when one does Yoga at home and when one is in downward dog, it's easy to see all the dust that has collected under ones sofa.

So, once class was over I embarked on a cleaning kick. I moved the sofa to clean under it and then decided to rearrange the entire living room. So everything has been moved, dusted, fluffed, vacuumed, and rearranged.

You know how back in the olden days beauty pageant contestants would rearrange furniture as their "talent"? Lame, I know....but I SO would have beaten the rest of the ladies in that category.

And you know what else is funny?

When you live alone and decide to move furniture all by yourself downward dog kinda comes in handy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The rare weekend post

Something about this video just lifts my spirits...I hope you'll find it as charming as I do!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

145 - 142 - Outta here

and spending the week here: http://www.nashville.org/

I'll be back next week.


Monday, March 22, 2010

146 - Spring has Sprung?

Or so we thought.

The first day of Spring was Saturday. And I thought that meant the worst winter in the 12 years I've lived here was finally behind me.

So, you can imagine my surprise this morning when I encountered snow as I made my way to the bus stop.

Hey, Old Man Winter, yeah, you can kiss the fattest part of my (*&.

149 - I'm late / I'm late / For a very important date. / No time to say "Hello." / Goodbye. / I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Dear Newest AM Bus Driver –

The image to the right is a clock. You might want to learn how it’s used.

Because on Friday AM, with clear weather and lighter than normal traffic, it should not take you 17 minutes to go 1.8 miles.

Further, you might want to research the correct usage of the gas pedal. Generally, it is used to accelerate..something that seemed to stump you as we crawled to the Dunwoody station.

Review of the correct usage for both of these items would be much appreciated before you show up again on our route.

The Riders of Route 105

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

151 - Libraries, Trains and Buses...Oh My!

Apparently Fulton County Library employees do not know how to tell time.

I got a call to pick up more books (yes, I know I have too many already) and so I hustled over to the Peachtree Branch to retrieve my literature before they closed for the night. They close at 6PM on Wednesdays...so you can imagine my surprise when I got there at roughly 5:52 and some dude out front told me they were already closed. Between puffs of his smoke, he told me they just closed down early. No reason given..they just took off.

Well, how nice for them. Sucks for me but who cares about that? Anyone? Anyone?

Silly me for going out of my way and traipsing through the rain (again) to get there before closing time! Had I know the closing time was merely a suggestion perhaps I would have tried to arrive at say...3:18 to avoid the off chance they might be closed. Of course, who's to say they'd even be open then?

And yes, you are a right. A strongly worded letter is about to be drafted to the head book worm about this unfortunate incident.

Rather pissed, I then walked to the Arts Center station.

Just as I am decending the stairs (since, you know, the escalators still aren't an option) the Doraville train rolls in. And it sits there...without opening its door for about 5 minutes. Just sits there...no announcement as to why the doors aren't opening. Perhaps that info is on a "need to know" basis. I guess we didn't make the cut.

So the people on train are looking out at us; the people on the platform are just standing around waiting/hoping that the doors open. And me? I am planning my escape route.

Because the longer that Doraville train sit immobile on the track the higher the likilihood that the next train, my North Springs train, will come slamming into it at full-bore.

Ladies and gentleman, I always have an escape plan. True fact - as a child the first thing my father would do when we checked into a hotel was have me locate the closest emergency exit door..and then route the way there. Maybe that is a bit extreme...but I still do it. Better paranoid than dead I say. (And after seeing and outstanding and gut wrenching movie entitled Remember Me this past weekend, there was no way I was getting stuck in carnage of the North Springs train hitting the Doraville train. I certainly would have remained on site to help others - god-forbid something like that happen - but I made damn certain I knew where the support beams were and made a point to stay right by the stairs until I could ascertain the threat was over.)

After about 7 minutes the door finally opened and those heading to Doraville piled on. Then the doors shut...and after about another 5 minutes the train finally pulled out of the station.

I've no idea why there was a delay...I'm just glad I didn't have to use my escape plan.

My train rolled in shortly thereafter and we headed out without a glitch. In fact, I got to the Dunwoody station right at 6:30..perfect timing to catch the 6:35 bus. Or so I thought.

The bus didn't arrive until 6:50 (traffic, I get it)..and then the driver vanished (which I don't get).... Until 7:05. When we finally took off.

Total time lost thanks to the bus? 35 minutes. Had I gone on to Sandy Springs and walked the rest of the way, I'd have been home by 6:45. To paraphrase the Grail Knight from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, "I chose poorly" today.

Ain't that a fact, Jack..and the story of my life.

But fear not, because you know me...I always have an escape plan.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

152 - He Puff Puff'd As I Passed

With the time change in affect and thus the extra hour of daylight, I found myself not leaving the office until 6 today. That is one thing that I know will become more commonplace...without having to worry about getting home before dark I am sure my work days will be a bit longer than they were during the winter. I am just like a farmer in that way I guess.

Anyway, I passed a dude this evening on the way to Marta who was smoking a joint.

Homeskillet looked like the average Midtown commuter...except it wasn't a Marlboro he was puffing on as he walked down Peachtree Street.

He's a brave dude...I once got sighted for open container back in college so even if I was down with the ganja there is no way I'd be walking down the main thoroughfare of the City puffing away.

But just imagine how mellow the commute would be if everyone hit the wacky weed before heading home. And while I'd imagine that we'd never acutally get anywhere in a timely fashion, I'm not sure anyone would really care.

Monday, March 15, 2010

153 - The ongoing Marta Escalator Cluster*&#^

And they wonder why a) no one rides Marta and b) why they can't get any funding....

Marta is now saying it will MEMORIAL DAY before all the escalators are all up and running again. Mind you they broke BEFORE the SuperBowl.

Brodie Bruce - you were so right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gwGcP8QbH8

157 & 156 - Twofer

157 - Thirsty Thursday

Thursday I only had to make a one way commute. The evening included HH at RiRa with the girls...and some excellent eye candy for us to enjoy. The place was super packed...they had a band coming in...and also they had a private party going on. It was madness. We felt right at home. Was good to catch up with everyone.

156 - More Rain

What a mess. One minute the sun would shine...the next it was raining so hard you couldn't see a thing. I am so glad I have not only the rain suit but rain boots. In fact, I've found a few additional pairs I'm going to procure...just as soon a I can get a ride to VaHi to buy them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

158 - Apparently, I have both First Born and Baby Tendancies

This week's commute book is entitled, "What Your Childhood Memories Say about You-- And What You Can Do about It" by Kevin Leman.

I am only a few chapters in but so far I've learned that as the youngest with my closest sibling greater than five years older than me I exhibit traits of a firstborn AND a lastborn.
I can totally see this as most people that don't know me or my back story are usually surprised to find out I am the youngest. Apparently, lastborns aren't known for volunteering to help or known to charge headfirst into a task. One guy actually said he was surprised I didn't sit around waiting for someone else to get the ball rolling. Maybe if that had ever been an option for me I would have taken it...but that certainly wasn't the case in the World I grew up in.
The book asks you to think of a few memories..and how you remember them. Mr. Leman goes onto state, "Tell me three of your early childhood memories, and I'll tell you what weighs you down and what motivates you forward, what causes you to lose sleep at night....in short, what makes you you."
I have tons of memories so coming up with three wasn't hard for me.
One - my 4th birthday...PoohBear cake, rainy weather. (aligns with lastborn memory theme of parties/holidays as we tended to be very social. It also aligns with firstborn as it includes specifics details).
Two - My father wouldn't buy me a caramel at the grocery store...so I stole it. He then caught me with said caramel and he made me return it to the store manager and apologize..then, when we got home, he made me tell my mother. Which was way worse then telling the store manager. (aligns with firstborn memory theme of breaking rules, making mistake, and getting hurt and is very detailed.) I was five when this occurred.
The third memory is of an arguement I witnessed when I was about five. I remember where I was, what I thought, who else was in the room, what they were wearing and the time of day. This memory is entirely indicitive of firstborn memory theme. It was not fun then and it's not a real walk in the park when I think about it now.
I could go on and on about my early memories (the first day of school, the first birthday party I ever attended, etc.) but I won't bore you.
I'm not far along in the book yet so I've still got to read to see how these memories and the way I remember them impacts my life in the here and now. But it's not hard to see how what happened then correlates to how I am now. After all I know I never stole anything every again, I know I still enjoy cake and I know that I cannot bear people yelling at each other...and if they are yelling at ME forget about it...I shut down totally until I can't take it anymore and then I strike like a viper. It is not pretty.
If nothing else this book should provide a deeper understanding of myself. And surely that can only be a good thing...(says the youngest child!)
If you are interested in reading the book for yourself check your local library or visit this site to order it: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/What-Your-Childhood-Memories-Say-about-You-and-What-You-Can-Do-about-It/Kevin-Leman/e/9781414311876/?itm=1&USRI=your+childhood+memories
I'd be interested in hearing your point of view.

159 - Pulling a Scarlet O'Hara

No, I didn't make a dress out of curtains.

Nor did I connive to steal my sister's beau.

I did, however, take a nasty spill down my front steps. Leaving me with a super tender ankle, a sore back and a bruised ego.

I simply wasn't paying attention/was running late and moving too fast and I bit it on the front steps. Fortunately I didn't hit my head, rebrake my hand (I once fell in college and shattered three bones in my left hand), or screw up my face (any more than it already it, that is.).

I immediately gathered myself up and went back home where I removed my now dirty and torn pants, put my PJ bottoms on and proceded to ice the hell out of my ankle.

For about the next three hours I rotated between my foot spa full of ice (brutal but effective) and bags of frozen vegetable to get the swelling down. Between the ice and the double dose of Advil I got the swelling minimized and I then felt I could finally get into the office.

I wrapped the foot and called a reinforcement, in the form of Holly, who kindly drove me to the train station so I didn't have to tackle (or rather fall down) the stairs again. I Marta'd in and then used three different elevators in various buildings to avoid the hill on 15th street and get into the office.

By the end of the day my ankle wasn't nearly as tender. I figured if I had to make the walk home I could handle it. But fate intervened and I was able to once again avoid a long walk home as I met up with my friend Katie...who retrieved me at the Sandy Springs station and ferried me to dinner and then home.

It was a rough start to the day...but one thing was for certain...it could only get better from there!

Monday, March 8, 2010

160 - Maryland My Maryland

Today's title is taken from the Maryland State Song, aptly titled Maryland My Maryland. For those who weren't in 6th grade with me, and who therefore did not have to sing this for one solid month following the Pledge thanks to that tyrant Mrs. Humphrey, your best chance to hear this diddy is before the Preakness. It's always sung by the Naval Academy Choir before the big race. I couldn't find their version so this one will have to do. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJcHNCZNj24). Trust me, it sounds much better when the Academy is singing it.

All this Maryland pride is rearing it's head today for two reasons. 1) Mo'Nique won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar last night...and she's from Maryland! Woodlawn to be precise; and 2) I am missing home.

I haven't seen Precious (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0929632/) because frankly, I don't think I can handle it. The clips I have seen on the award show circuit have shown me enough and I know there is no way I can sit and watch something that graphic, terrifying and cruel. Hell, I cry in grocery store when a parent snaps at their kid. I can only imagine how I'd respond if I saw the entire film. That said, I still want to give a shout out to Mo'Nique. From Woodlawn to Morgan State to the Kodak Theater....way to go! As I twittered last night, MARYLAND IN THE HOUSE!

On to part 2.

To get my MD fix and end this longing (which is totally RIDICULOUS!) I tuned into 98Rock via my Iphone for my evening commute. Stash, who has been on the air since I was in high school, was jockeying...talk about longevity on the air. I graduated High Point in 91..and he was on the air way back then. Except then I think he did nights. But don't hold me to that..it was a long time ago. Anyway, James Brown may have been the hardest working man in show business but Stash must be the hardest working man in radio.

And today he reinforced why he's still on the air...cuz he totally cold kicked it live this afternoon. The first three songs I heard were "Bringin on the Heartbreak" by Def Leppard; the new Creed song (which wasn't terrible) and then Fuel by Metallica. Just hearing the first thumps of Fuel made me want to run. But after last week's ankle swelling incident (so swollen you couldn't even see the bones in my ankles) I know better than to even try.

Stash then cut to traffic...trouble on the JFX (which I don't miss!) and then had a Raven on for a chat. (yeah, I have no clue who it was...cut me some slack...I've been gone 12 years!)

All in all, listening to a little 98Rock got me smiling again...and hopefully this will tied me over until I get home next month.

BTW, does anyone know if DC101 is still getting the Led out weeknights at 10? Lemme know!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

163 - Well, isn't this great news!

"It's likely going to take until May before all of the escalator repairs are complete....."


Thursday, March 4, 2010

164 - Warning - Bad Language Alert

I am drained today and can't write about my numerous escapades. (Train door slamming in my face with me on the platform; crazy wicked traffic; shopping for a dinner party and then getting the stuff home, you catch my drift.)

Instead I direct you to this site...it pretty much sums up my day:

It's Miller Time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

165 – The not so smooth transition back to work

I checked the train schedule before I left this morning as I wanted to make sure that if I took the initiative to walk to the station I wouldn’t have to wait terribly long for a train. I trotted over and arrived 2 minutes early. Which was great…until I realized the train arrived 3 minutes early. I still had a 12 minute wait. All these numbers (and a conversation with my MD BFFs over the weekend) reminds me of this great scene from Friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLeBWcARXYo
Anyway, taking the time to look up the schedule did me a fat lot of good. Not.
Most of the escalators still aren't working. Not that this is news. All those who thought Marta would meet the end of February deadline for their repair please raise their hand. -insert cricket chirping sound here -
Had no real intention of seeing the new Alice in Wonderland until I went to Disney this past weekend. They are are in full hype mode down there for this one. I did manage to discover that this Alice story takes place when she's 19...so I think it could be more interesting than I had imagined. I think I won't be late for a screening this weekend.
Care to guess how many emails I had waiting for me at work today? 276. Some junk; mostly work. It took me until lunch time (not that I could stop to eat...) to go through them all.
Been a week since I emailed my City Councilwoman regarding my Marta situation. Having not heard back from her, I resent the message...and copied a local reporter on that transmission as well. Funny, when I did that I got a response in less than an hour.

The good news is that she was aware of the situation and has been rallying the troops (in the form of private citizens, Perimeter CID, Newell Rubbermaid, Ackerman, Kaiser and UPS) to work on and with Marta to maintain service to the affected area. Many voices are harder to ignore...keep your fingers crossed for us!

I may actually engage my GA state representative (Joe Wilkinson) and GA state senator (Judson Hill) in this battle too. I am crafting letters to both of them to make sure they get on the bus with the rest of us.

Who knows, maybe I'll even reach out to our GA members of Congress. They don't appear to be doing anything constructive in DC anyway, so maybe they can help a sister out.

The more the merrier I say. Just ask Alice...I think she'll know....