Public Transit – Bravo or Bust?

oc bus lineupOn most days, I drive my little compact SUV into the office, a quick 3km jaunt, taking an average of 6.376 minutes. On nice, sunny, summer days, I may instead, be seen venturing out to work on my bicycle, equipped with my helmet, messenger bag, and sporting my professional work attire, avec biking shorts sous ma jupe, (I’m practicing my French!  Translation: biking shorts under my skirt) for my quick “superwoman change’ and taking an average of 11.827 minutes plus 1.592 minutes to lock up. And, on rare occasions, when the Big D loads his mountain bike on the back of the Sportage, he kindly deposits me curbside.  angrybirdcookies black shadowThe walk home takes an average of 29.72 minutes. (Including the pit stop at the BOKO bakery on Elgin Street, for Moukie’s favourite Angry Bird iced cookies). And in the winter, there are other times, when I take the bus home (12.831 minutes) … as I happen to, just the other day.

For the bargain deal (note the hint of sarcasm), of $3.30 CDN I will partake in the time-honoured tradition of utilizing public transit.  second cup revisedI suppose in many cities, $3.30 is a rock bottom deal, but I would prefer to spend my funds on a daily decaf non-fat butter pecan latte at Second Cup.   Yummmmm … butter pecan in liquid form.  This winter I’ve had more than my fair share of bus rides.  (Ohh…was that when the Big D lost my set of keys to the car you ask?  Why ‘yes’, yes it WAS the only set left after he lost HIS and not had them replaced … hmmmm…. coincidentally, it was also the same time we were out in the freezing cold with Mouks and the pooch for a New Years Day snowshoe excursion; and, you would be correct in noting that it was this particular instance in which we had to have the car towed to the dealership, and had to wait almost an entire week until we got a new set made….uhhhhhh…. Yeah.  Mmm Hmmm.. That was then.)  So, this winter, I’ve frequented the bus a number of times. And here are a few things I’ve observed:

  1. People at the bus stop rarely look you in the eye in this fair city.
  2. $3.30 is a stupid amount of change, but a great way to get rid of your coinage.
  3. A ‘thank you’, can go a long way, so I make sure to say a kind word to the bus driver. He can kick you off… right? But not for jamming all your pennies in the money-box thingy, can he?
  4. People don’t say ‘excuse me’ much.
  5. And what’s with taking up TWO seats??!!! Is there any particular reason why your bag warrants its own seat during rush hour?!! I think not! So… move… either your dumb bag or entitled ass – over.
  6. The majority of the world is attached to a digital device. Like, almost literally. I think implants will be next… If someone isn’t listening to music, they’re texting, talking on the phone or checking emails. Just an interesting little observation; I’m not offended.
  7. That smell has to come from somewhere – and it sure the heck isn’t me!!!
  8. There is a wide age range of people taking public transport.
  9. Does it look like I want to jump over a mile high pile of snow to get out of the back doors in THESE boots??!! Thanks so much, but I think NOT!
  10. And yes… of course I loved being splashed by that giant puddle! Heartfelt gratitude for your consideration!
  11. Gotta love that the city silenced one of their drivers for singing on the bus. (Again… sarcasm, but true story). There goes the value-added for your whopping $3.30. Seriously? The guy is stuck there, on his little perch with nothing but the road ahead and a bus load of people … what’s the problem with spreading a little happiness? Check out this link oc transpo driver silenced   Note the video at the bottom of the article, with him singing.
  12. And the City actually had to debate blasting a LRT tunnel through downtown?!!?  ‘Cause our roads are sooo spacious with the backlog of buses, taxis, cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles sharing the road while trying to flee the downtown core during rush hour. Not to mention the amount of pedestrians waiting for said transport. I mean, really, does a major city actually NEED a subway system?!  DOH! 
  13. Presto! Auto pay passes… still aren’t fully operational. Shocker. They were only supposed to roll out, I dunno…. a year ago?! Nice idea – poor implementation.
  14. Oh yes… let’s not forget the GREAT idea of double-decker buses in a city that gets freezing rain and ummmm record snowfalls. Yup. GREAT idea. THAT was a c-l-e-v-e-r.
  15. And, similar thoughts on the accordion (articulated buses)…. though, it is a little fun to sit in one of the seats in the middle; kinda like a low-grade tilt-a-whirl when you go around a corner.

oc transpo Collage

And each day, as I sit in my downtown office, overlooking the busy street, I hear the rumble of the buses, the squeal of their brakes, and I can even smell the slight faint stench of their exhaust through my sealed window; and despite all the frustrations and idiosyncracies of public transit, I am still brought back in time to the sweet thoughts of buses and babies, and the song I sang repeatedly to Mouks when he was just a wee young lad:

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round… The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town…”

“The money on the bus goes ‘clink clink clink’, ‘clink clink clink’, ‘clink clink clink’… The money on the bus goes ‘clink clink clink’, all through the town …” 

…   …  …

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Sized up

Okay… so I’m irked. I mean totally ticked, agitated and pretty much, more than unimpressed. That is my way of trying to edit my language to keep it clean for my readers; okay, okay… I mean for my mom. Yesterday, a colleague at work showed me the YouTube video of the WKBT Reporter, Jennifer Livingston (who by the way has a very famous brother from the TV show, “The Office”; and, YES… we were YouTube’ing during work time, but that’s okay, ’cause the big boss watched it too), who received a degrading email from some guy (and by that I mean ‘knob’) about her weight. Like it’s any of his business what the size of her waistline is. I’ve read a load of the articles out there on it (’cause there’s about a million of them, as it’s pretty much plastered all over the internet). And I guess I’m gonna re-hash some of the same ca-ca that’s flying around out there:

Some dough-head writes this Wisconsin news anchor an email that in a nutshell, calls her fat and that he hopes she doesn’t consider herself a role model for young girls. Because, “ohhhh, yes, of course the size of someone’s ass determines whether you can be a role model”. Seriously? I guess a woman’s intellect, compassion and generous spirit would have nothing to do with it… at all? What delusional world does this guy live in? It appears from the media reports that he is a fitness fanatic and, based on his trade, would be deemed as highly educated, tho through his actions, he appears to have some kind of ‘holier-than-thou’ complex. My assumption, is that’s he’s been rejected by women for being so arrogant (I would say that’s probably a safe bet), which masks his insecurities (we all have them), that he potentially (a little butt covering here) lives in a love-less life and obsesses about exercise because it’s the only way he can find any real pleasure (a guess, but plausible). The fact that he even gives a rat’s behind what a television news anchor looks like is beyond creepy. (Like c-r-e-e-p-y kinda creepy). Oooooh.. and get this…. he’s now saying that he’s trying to encourage her to lose weight and wants to help her. HA! Okay… need I say more? I don’t have a degree in psychology, but I can smell a l-o-s-e-r a million miles away!

I do wonder a teeny smidge, in the back of my mind, if he would’ve written this same email to a male news anchor? I would take a stab in the dark that he probably wouldn’t. No offence to any of you fellas out there; consider yourself lucky he’s neglected you. AND… by the way, no where have I read yet, how attractive she really is. And she is. Beautiful. Very much so. And articulate. And darn smart. Who cares what size she is. All I’ve read is that she’s fat. Though, I do have a preference for the term ‘chubby chick’, personally. And… I have a ‘zero tolerance policy’ for people who can’t see internal and external beauty beyond someone’s physical size. We all come in different packages. How amazing is that?

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

So, October is Anti-Bullying month… and, she’s fighting back, while teaching girls that they can stand up for themselves. “Girl power!” Yes, we could take over the world if we wanted to. One of Jennifer Livingston’s quotes was “Do not let self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many”. I suppose that if I sent him a copy of my blog, maybe he’d think I was a bully for calling him a knob … hmmmm… food for thought. (Mmmmm…. double chocolate hot fudge sundae; Kidding! Gotch’ya!). I guess my rant is really directed in general solidarity. Chubby chicks. We’re everywhere. Get used to it buddy.

One of my favourite Dove ads … she is stunningly beautiful.

One of the most amazing marketing campaigns I think I’ve seen is the “Dove – Campaign for Real Beauty”, which targets real women. All women. All inclusive. I find it inspiring.

And, here’s my appropriate quote for today:

“It’s not the size of our butts that matter…. it’s the size of our hearts”. – Smacki