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 …” 

…   …  …

Me and Mary Jane

Today I met with my friend, Mary Jane.  I haven’t seen her in a really long time.  It was quite nice.  She is quite practical.  Cute in a mature kind of way.  A little flirty, and fun.  Today she made me feel great!!!  I felt taller, and slimmer and  it made me wonder why I don’t hang out with her more often.  She is quite the fashion icon, and everyone seems to know her.  In fairness, I have to be in the mood to chill with her, and feel a bit self-conscious unless I am wearing just the right ensemble with some fab accessories.  I guess it’s been about a year since we’ve hung out, and today we did a fair amount of walking around.  We tend to see each other mostly in the fall, when we are better able to find the time to spend together; particularly when the weather cools and the autumn leaves start to fall.  And then, we’re practically inseparable until  late spring.  I suppose you could classify her as a seasonal friend.  She was locked in my shoe cabinet until today, when I broke her out of retirement.

Yes, I, like many others, have a few Mary Janes stashed away.  And, I am quite fond of them all.  I always wondered how the name of these utterly fabulous shoes came to be, and here’s the scoop:

Many a moon ago, in 1902, (yeah…. that was a l-o-n-g time ago), there was a comic strip called ‘Buster Brown’.   He looks kind of girly in the comic above, but I guess for the time, that’s what all the young whipper snappers were wearing!  The story goes that Mary Jane was Buster Brown’s sweetheart/girlfriend/babe/hot tamale (coincidentally the same name as the creator’s daughter).  Apparently, a couple of years later, Richard Felton Outcault, licensed the use of his characters to a load of companies to advertise their wares.  The Brown Shoe Company, being one of the most famous of course.  So, both, Buster Browns and Mary-Janes gained in popularity, mostly due to some live skit that travelled across the country, where actors were hired and … yada…yada…yada – kind of interesting from a marketing point of view; very ingenious for the day.   I’m sure I must’ve had a pair of Mary Janes as a young girl (or that would’ve just been wrong, on many levels), but for some reason I have a very vivid memory of little Kevin Horner from elementary school, in his adorable lace up buster brown shoes.  Could the impact of his impressionable soles become the stepping stone for my shoe obsession?

These totally cute brown Mary-Janes I wore today, were must-haves for £5 when my Sistah and I were perusing through a ‘car boot’ sale in England a couple of summers ago.

“The future’s got a million roads for you to choose, But you’ll walk a little taller in some high heel shoes” – Hairspray
Ain’t that the truth!