Tag Archives: Public Transit

Badd New Post

That’s what happens when you add a B to Add New Post. I wanted to call this Random Thoughts because that’s all it is, but I probably used that before, and so did every other blogger on WordPress, Blogspot and every other site that allows us to blast the universe with our mental excrement any time we feel the need. What a universe!! Anytime I want to say something to about 200 people including about 24 that I’m absolutely positive give a shit, and 176 or so that possibly do as well, but maybe not, I can do it!! (Hmmmm, do I fix that run on sentence, or just apologize for it in parentheses?) Nothing is here to hold me back other than my own lack of energy.

Some thoughts…..

Yeah, about this blogging thing….. I don’t want to get so negative right before Christmas, but how come I only have 200 followers anyways??? A lot of the bloggers I read have like 2000 followers!! I don’t think they’re 10 times better than me. I think they are probably only marginally better than me. I need to get that exponential thing happening, otherwise….. I dunno……I’m not off on Mondays anymore, and I don’t know how much longer I can push myself to do this every week. Maybe I’ll take a break at 200 posts. That would be one post for each follower. I’m no closer to writing a book than I was when I started this. Unless it’s a book of blogs….Then I’m really close to having it done. I’m running out of blog ideas though. I’m not fishing for inspirational speeches about why I should keep going either… I’m just thinking out loud. This hurts my brain some days.

I think that trailer trash mothers need to not berate their kids so loudly while on public transit. I’m not judging people who live in trailers either. It’s just the stigma…. to be honest, I have no idea where this lady lives, but nothing her 4-year-old was doing was cutting it. ‘Hold on, sit up, stand up, do up your jacket, pick up your scarf, take off your hat, put on your gloves, don’t walk, stand still, sit down, do up your shoes, tuck in your shirt’….. and on and on and on. Dammit woman… stop micromanaging the shit out of your kid on this bus ride, and lower your voice!! Your kid is gonna hate you by the time she’s six! Plus I’m trying to listen to some music. This is my quiet time where I start to unwind from work. I’m not expecting you to be quiet, but stop with the jarring voice noises!! Nothing you’ve said is important enough to say at that volume. You’re acting like you don’t have any stains on your sweatpants, but you aren’t perfect, and all you’re doing is training somebody to be miserable like you. END THE CYCLE!!!

In complete contrast to what I just said, I have another thought which I’d like to share with you. I said this to a friend a couple of years back and he said it helped him. I didn’t remember saying it when he reminded me about it recently, but it makes sense when you think about it, and I was glad he remembered. He asked me about my time working in retail for many years, and how certain bitchy and/or unreasonable customers didn’t fill me with anger to the point of exploding every single day. He wanted to know how I avoided strangling people in these situations. My answer to this is simple. I don’t know their pain. You never know what somebody is going through in their personal life, or how they’ve been treated/mistreated. Sometimes people who’s lives are spiraling out of control can get into customer service situations, and become completely unreasonable to you or I. A lot of times it’s because they can’t control what’s going on in their life, but whatever situation is happening now seems like something they can control and/or get a win out of. I don’t take these situations personally. If somebody is completely unreasonable and un-cooperative, I know deep down that it’s probably because they have other issues outside of this that are making them act that way. I try to find a resolution, and when possible I try to show them some kindness. I try to remember that I’m very fortunate in the grand scheme of things, and I have a really good life. Not everyone is as lucky as me, and if trying to win some sort of weird customer service battle is going to bring them some happiness or satisfaction, I try to let the babies have their bottles. I won’t let it bring me down.

I hope that you can all keep that in mind over the holiday season while you’re elbowing to get to the front of a line, or jostling for a parking spot. People are crazy this time of year, but only they (and sometimes not even) know why! Don’t judge them if you don’t know their pain…… Except for that lady on the bus with her kid…. she needs to take it down a notch ūüėČ

I won’t see you until after Christmas, so I wish all of you (24 or 200 people) a wonderful holiday season. Be good to each other!

Carpe Diem…. Or Don’t…. And Other Stuff

I hate it when people say Carpe Diem.¬† I don’t know why.¬† It’s supposed to inspire you to do things.¬† It doesn’t work for me.¬† Too many people say it.¬† Too many Non-Latin Day Seizers¬†out there for my liking.¬† Don’t tell me to seize the day.¬† You seize the day and show me how awesome it was, and then I’ll want to do it myself.¬† Lead by example!¬† What’s the Latin terminology¬†for that??¬† According to the Internet¬†it’s ‘plumbum¬†per exempoator’!!!!¬† I know…… Not so catchy is it?¬† Carpe Diem is easy.¬† Convenient!¬† Lazy!¬† I feel like it’s a way to make yourself sound interesting by using a different language, and saying something uplifting at the same time.¬† I’m going to come up with a new catch phrase that you can all start using.¬† It will mean something to me when I hear it.¬† It will mean something to everyone when they hear it.¬† It won’t be some vague instruction, but it won’t be so specific to any one situation so as not to make sense in others.¬† It will also be in English.¬† The only language I speak.¬† This is gold.¬† Are you ready????

‘Finish That Thing You Started!’

Well???¬† What do you think?¬† Is that Nike calling me for slogan rights?¬†¬†Status¬†updates¬†will never be the same.¬† This has crazy T-Shirt potential.¬† There’s not a person on the planet that can’t relate to that message, and get inspired to do whatever that little project was that they always wanted to do, but never found the time.¬† Finish it!!!!¬† You’re welcome Oprah!

OK, I can’t go on like this….. I don’t really feel like writing a full blog on one idea.¬† Which is good and bad for me.¬† Good because I don’t have to burn a lot of creativity trying to stretch out a mediocre topic, but bad because I will have to burn 3 or 4 blog ideas just to get up to my usual word count.¬† So without further ado, (and fully in the spirit of finishing what I started) I bring you…..

‘Other Stuff’

– I saw a bus ad the other day for a website, and they don’t reveal the company’s name (yet…..I’m sure I will have to see two or three more teasers first….awesome).¬† In the picture, there’s a guy in a scuba suit in a cage in the ocean with a bunch of sharks swimming around, and he’s giving a thumbs up to the camera (which I’m assuming indicates that he’s there by choice).¬† The poster says ‘What does your freedom look like?’¬† To that I say….. ‘I¬†just hope it doesn’t look like I’m trapped in a cage with a bunch of hungry sharks swimming around.’¬† That looks way more like confinement to me, but different strokes for different folks I guess.

– Also on the bus (man, I could have made this a ‘shit I see on the bus’ blog, and used the Carpe Diem thing later.¬† Oh well), I saw a lady who had hair down to the backs of her knees, which is bad enough.¬† She was wearing a jacket, and the hair was tucked into the jacket.¬† Unfortunately the jacket only went down to her waist, so the rest of her hair was showing below her jacket, effectively making her a horse.¬† Sexy.

– I saw a quick story about Arizona executing a prisoner for a 1991 murder.¬† I don’t have strong feelings about the death penalty either way (other than you better be damn sure you got your man), but isn’t the whole point so you can save money?¬† What’s the point of feeding someone and giving him free rent¬†for 20 years if you’re just going to kill him anyways?

– There’s a TV commercial with Jennifer Garner, and at the end she’s holding up a makeup remover with a bunch of removed makeup on it and she says ‘does your makeup remover do this’?¬† Now I don’t wear makeup, so I may not be the best person to ask, but if I did, and someone asked me ‘does your makeup remover do this?’, and then pointed at the makeup remover which had successfully removed the makeup??¬† My answer would be ‘I sure fuckin hope so!’



Escalator Issues are Escalating

Another public transit post??¬† Of course!¬† My commute is where I do my best thinking.¬†¬† Here’s what I was thinking as I went up the stairs at Spadina Station in Toronto.¬† ‘Man I wish that escalator worked’.

It’s not the first time I lamented about the escalator not working at this particular station.¬† I’d say this thought crosses my mind at least 40% of the time, because that’s how often the escalator doesn’t work.¬† I’m not suggesting that there’s any lack of willingness on the part of the Toronto Transit Commission to have this fixed.¬† They have repair men there a lot of the time.¬† Therein lies the problem……but I’ll get that in a minute.

I heard recently that the TTC is going to increase the fares next year, and that they want to outsource ‘bus cleaning’ to save money.¬† This is all going to result in a pissing contest of some sort, and a possible labour dispute.¬† While I agree that they can probably get people to clean these busses for less than the $25/hr that I heard they’re paying them, I know for a fact that there are better ways to save money.


Listen, I’m not just here to rant.¬† I’m here to help!¬† As a frequent passenger of the TTC, I just want what’s best for everyone.¬† I’m sure they have hired consultants who haven’t been able to uncover this money-saving opportunity.¬† Let me break it down (not the escalator, the situation).

Repair guys cost a lot of money.¬† These guys are fixing the same escalator at least 3 to 4 times a month.¬† I doubt it’s ‘just maintainance’, because they have to be smart enough not to do that during rush hour (well maybe).¬† They are fixing it, but rigging it to break down again in a week, so they can come back and fix it again.¬† I know that may seem unfair.¬† We’ve all known mechanics who we’ve probably¬†wrongly accused of this, but this isn’t unfair at all.¬† I’m no mechanic, but I know one thing for sure.¬† ESCALATORS ONLY DO ONE THING!!!¬† How complicated could the machinery possibly be??¬†¬†These guys are taking advantage of the TTC!¬† As they should, because the TTC is too dumb to put a stop to it.¬† I’ll bet these guys don’t have any other clients.¬† They don’t need them, they’re raking it in.¬† The cleaners and the passengers will be paying the price.

This advice is free, TTC!!!  Sorry, escalator repairmen!!!  Somebody had to blow the cover off this conspiracy.

Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants…….Saving Toronto¬†commuters, 5 cents at a time!!!

Subway Stories

I spend too much time taking public transit.¬† I waste a good percentage of my life people watching.¬† I figure between 6-9% of my days are devoted to this based on commute time divided by hours that I’m¬†awake.¬† This may be a recurring theme in my blog.¬† Anybody that wants to write and is stuck for ideas needs to live in a big city and spend time on the bus or train.¬† Everybody has a story, and you can either be a friendly dude and ask people for it, or you can quietly make up their story based on physical appearance, mannerisms and other evidence.¬† I get a big kick out of speculating what a complete stranger might be spending the rest of their day doing, and what else might be going on in their lives outside of this bus ride.¬† That’s only when I’m bored!¬† Sometimes the things that are happening on my commute are so interesting, that I don’t even have time for these games.

The other day I saw the worst toupee¬†I have ever seen in my entire life.¬† I can’t even call it the worst, because I’m always strangely happy to see a bad toupee, so I will call it the best toupee¬†I’ve ever seen.¬† It was black, and it took up 90% of this guy’s head.¬† Let’s just call it a wig.¬† The problem was, you could see his white hair above his neck where the wig didn’t quite cover.¬† Just a racing stripe of white hair at the bottom, enough so it blew his cover, and there’s no way the rest of it could pass for real hair.¬† That was bad enough on its own, but this wig was not unlike what 70’s Elvis Presley’s¬†hair looked like.¬† Then I got a better look at him, and I saw that his glasses were not unlike something Elvis may have worn around that time too.¬† I told someone this, and they said that maybe he was dressed up for some kind of festival or something, but that’s the thing…. he wasn’t.¬† From the neck down he looked like any other guy in his 60’s.¬† I would say if anything, his lack of flair for wardrobe¬†combined with his Elvis theme from the neck up (mouth up really, because of the white stripe of real hair at the back) was startling.¬† I promise, this was not some special outfit.¬† This is how this guy looks and perceives himself.¬† I’m positive this man looked at himself in the mirror that morning, put that wig on¬†and thought he was the King!!¬† He would have fit into my ‘Time Warp’ blog nicely a few months ago.¬† It’s funny what vanity will have you do.¬† Also ironic that¬†the bad wig makes him look way more ridiculous than whatever he was trying to cover up with it.

Sometimes the subway train will stop for whatever reason.¬† For a long time.¬† I always think it’s a ‘jumper’, but I think there are various reasons including electrical problems, and construction that a train could get delayed.¬† That doesn’t make it any less annoying when it happens, combined with being underground and having no cell phone reception to call work and let them know.¬† If you’re like me, and you time your work commute so you arrive there 30 seconds before you start, then there’s not a huge margin for error.¬† I could work at fixing myself, but instead I think I’ll complain about the transit system.¬† I understand that these things happen, but my main annoyance is the announcements they make.¬† They mumble!¬† There’s absolutely no human being on earth or Krypton for that matter who can decipher these messages.¬† They’re important too, but all you see is a train full of people with that wincing ‘I can’t hear’ face.¬† If it isn’t the mumbling messenger, it’s the crappy speakers that can’t seem to handle the most basic function of capturing the human voice.¬† Now here’s the conspiracy theory.¬† I truly believe that they do it on purpose, and here’s why…….¬† They are obligated to make an announcement, or else the paying customers which are trapped on this vessel in the middle of an underground tunnel will freak out.¬† The problem is that sometimes if people knew the truth (there’s a fire… somebody’s dead…), they would freak out even more.¬† So what do you do??¬† You install crappy speakers and teach your employees to mumble important announcements.¬† I can just see them doing it on orientation day.¬† ‘OK, now everyone grab a partner and practice sending important messages that nobody could ever possible receive’.

On Saturday I was trying to get home from work, and quickly because I had an out-of-town¬†wedding reception to attend.¬† I ran to the bus stop after work, and got there about 10 seconds ahead of the bus.¬† There were 2 other people already at the bus stop.¬† The bus driver did not pull over, but continued up the road.¬† We all looked at each other like ‘did that just happen?’¬† There was no ‘Out of Service’ sign up.¬† He just forgot to pull over.¬† Here’s the thing though.¬† There was a lot of traffic on the street, and he had to stop a little further up before the intersection.¬† So we ran up to the bus, and started tapping on the door so he would let us on.¬† This guy has the nerve to point out the bus stop up the street, and we were quick to point out that he hadn’t picked us up at the last one.¬† He started arguing with us through the door (so I couldn’t hear him that well), and tried to say there was nobody there.¬† Up until now I had been letting some girl handle the argument on our behalf, but then I kind of lost it, and pounded on the glass, and yelled a bit.¬† I’m not proud of it, but the guy was pissing me off.¬† Then he started yelling through the glass asking if I was going to cause him problems.¬† I responded by telling him that I wouldn’t as long as he opened the door.¬† Then this chick is like ‘I’m not causing problems, I don’t know him’ (referring to me).¬† Thanks Chick!!!¬† Perfect!!¬† Throw me under the bus (not literally)!!¬† So suddenly I’m Mr. Crazy???¬† Then this bus driver was saying ‘because I was thinking of pulling over but I don’t want any problems’.¬† So I calmly walked over to the curb.¬† He pulled over.¬† We got on the bus, and I showed him my bus pass, neither of us making eye contact, and I went to my seat feeling like the ‘unreasonable one’.¬† I didn’t wake up in the morning thinking I would intimidate a Bus Driver into taking me to the subway station.¬† I always thought that if I stood patiently at a bus stop, that he would just pick me up and there’d be no drama.¬† If he did his job properly, none of this would have happened, but that’s not really even why it happened.¬† It’s because he, like 75% of people out there can’t admit he made a¬†mistake.¬† Why is that so hard for people?¬† I wouldn’t have been mad if he just opened the door after he realized he screwed up, but why does he have to start¬†telling stories (like nobody was standing there)?¬† Just do your best, admit to your mistakes, and you will be forgiven.¬† I’ll never understand why people have to go through life with this ‘perfect record’ of never being wrong, even if it means they have to make things up to support it.¬† It’s dumb!



No please, really…. inconvenience me!!! Life really is all about you, I swear!

On the bus/streetcar/subway………

I’m so glad you feel comfortable enough on this bus to bring your take-out food, and eat a full-on meal here in front of me.¬† I think this is an important step in our relationship as complete strangers.¬† Ohhh the aroma, what is that??¬† Maybe you could give me the address of the place where you picked that up.¬† I’m so interested in your dining experience, I just wish there was something I could do to make you¬†more comfortable.¬† Maybe I could stand, so you could put your food down.¬† Maybe I have napkins in my pocket.¬† I can’t believe this stupid bus doesn’t have a drink holder for you.¬† It’s so innovative of you to think of eating here, and providing a dual purpose for this vehicle which until you got here was only good for transportation.

I love the way you put your makeup on while¬†riding the subway.¬† It’s amazing that I’m able to witness the entire transition on my commute to work in the morning.¬† It’s not just lipstick with you, is it?¬† You’ve got the whole case here.¬† This is going to be valuable for me to see you do this in a moving vehicle no less.¬†I’ll cross my fingers while you do your eye makeup.¬† I hope you’re done before I get to work so I can see the finished product.¬† I know you’ll look like an absolute princess when you’re done and it means a lot to me that you allowed me to see the blank canvas first, and that now I know how it must feel to be inside of your bathroom.¬† No really…. Thank you!¬† I feel closer to you!

Dude, that seat on the bus that you’re on is really a 2-seater.¬† I mean it’s a love seat.¬† It only makes sense for you to sprawl out.¬† It’s important to me that you’re as relaxed and comfortable as possible.¬† There’s only an off chance that someone else would want to sit in the other seat, and besides…. you got here first!¬† You and your friend are chillin hard right now, so it’s only sensible that you re-create the conditions of your living room.¬† You should really talk louder too.¬† I don’t know if your buddy can hear you over the annoying rumbling of the train engine, and the other people on the train.¬† You should really sit as far apart from each other as possible, because you’re saying some really interesting deep stuff right now, and I think the rest of the train can benefit from hearing it.¬† Thank you for being open and generous with your thoughts.¬†¬†You’re really making the rest of us feel welcome.

Oh and the guy with the iPod???¬† You are groovin up a storm.¬† The way you’re actually rapping some of the lyrics out loud is like entertainment for me.¬† You are mad talented, and I feel like Drake is right here on the subway train.¬†¬†I might need an autograph after this.¬† How can I get that song on my iPod?¬† The way you’re doing a live rendition of it???¬† I should be so lucky to have live entertainment on my work commute.¬† I didn’t even have to pay for a ticket.¬† Man…. you’re dancing like nobody’s watching!!!!¬† That is philosophically in alignment with every bit of ‘life advice’ I’ve ever received.¬†¬†I can only hope that some day I might have the courage to do the same.¬† You inspire me!!