29 March 2016

It Starts as a Post About Commuting then Runs off the Rails -- So to Speak

My total daily commute is about 2 and half hours a day — if everything runs smoothly. Of that time I spend a combined 40 minutes or so walking. First from home to the bus later from bus to streetcar, then from streetcar to work, then work to bus, then bus to subway and finally from subway home. On average I spend about 15 minutes waiting for a vehicle. Some days a lot longer. You never know.

During the part of the commute in which I’m sitting and riding I read. That’s not bad. The walking isn’t bad either. It supplements my running. The waiting is never good. Never. Especially when there are delays. The worst part is that grand total. Think of it, 12 and half hours of commuting a week. Maybe 50 hours a month. Even figuring time off you’ve got over 500 hours a year. That’s the equivalent of over ten days out of my year spent commuting. That’s a pretty conservative figure. It’s probably closer to 15.

Ya know what? It could be worse. People will tell you that. You hear it all the time. Is that all you have to complain about? You’ve got it easy! That’s nothing! There are a lot of people who will pooh pooh any complaint you can come up with. Sprained an ankle? Least your leg isn’t broken. Broke your leg? Least it’s not being amputated. Leg gonna be amputated? Least you’re not paralyzed. Paralyzed? You’re alive, aren’t you?

How big does your complaint have to be to be considered valid? How much pain do you have to suffer before everyone will be impressed and say, gee that sounds awful?

The flip side of that is good news. We’re going to Paris! Yeah I’ve been there. Whatever you’ve done the other person has done too, just as good if not better. Won the lottery. Yeah I won it too. Then there are the people who will find the negative in anything. We’re going to Paris! Kinna crowded this time of year. Then to Italy! I hear it gets hot there. Won the lottery! Your taxes are going to be something awful.

It’s hard to look someone in the eye and say: that’s great! Congratulations. Or, that’s terrible, you have my sympathies. I know what you’re thinking, plenty of people congratulate you or offer condolences. You say that because you can always find exceptions. The rents are so high in this city! We know a couple who found a cheap place. That team is awful! We saw them win a game recently. Murderers and rapists are terrible. We met one who was a pretty nice guy, remember, Mabel? Some people just don't want to be impressed one way or the other, it's like giving you some sort of power.

Okay so I got off on a tangent. I’ll do that. I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, I suppose. It’s weird because I still feel like a kid. I haven’t felt my age yet, other than a slight increase in instances of middle of the night pees. Yes, I get up to do it, wise ass. I know I look much younger than most people my age. Good genes, excellent physical health, good diet, exercise aplenty and a youthful attitude.

Don’t anyone say: knock on wood. It does absolutely no good to knock on wood and you don’t “jinx” yourself by mentioning a run of good luck. That’s all superstitious hogwash. If you want to participate in it, go ahead, just don’t expect me to play along. Same goes for you jokers who talk about astrology. Such a load of hokum I’ve never heard. Why seemingly intelligent people go on about it is beyond my scope of understanding. Some people say, “its just for fun.” Fair enough, but what the hell is fun about ascribing characteristics to a person based on their date of birth? Seems just damn dumb to me, but then again I believe in science, so call me crazy.

Ya know what is hard to nail down? What constitutes crazy and what constitutes intelligent. I guess crazy is easier. If your behavior or actions or opinions seem normal to you but frighten or disturb others then that’s a sign. If you are extremely paranoid, that may be a clue. I was going to say if you were extremely anxious but I think that’s just an indication you’re aware of how totally fucked up our world is. Of course doing harm to yourself or others can be a sign of insanity. I guess if you mug someone you’re not necessarily crazy, nor if you shoot someone while serving in the military. But I don’t want to put too fine a point on it. As for intelligence, that’s a tougher nut to crack. I mean you can be a leading mathematician and a total social misfit. I’ve known people who are very accomplished in difficult fields and don’t know the first thing about politics (the obvious joke here would be that neither do many politicians). The point is that you can be really smart in one way and an idiot in another so who’s to say your intelligent?

Speaking of intelligent - Donald Trump. Ya didn’t see that one coming, didja? No, I’m not really going to suggest that the man has a brain in his head. The thing about him is he dominates conversations. Last week I had dinner with two blokes I used to work with and while catching up on old times Trump manages to invade the conversation. The next day I meet a friend for coffee and of course the conversation eventually gets around to Trump. I’m back at work after a week off and a co-worker and I catch up on things and inevitably Trump comes up. Hell I expect some night to be talking in my sleep and the next day the wife says I mentioned Trump. I’ll be petting a dog saying, “who’s a good boy?” and before you know it I’ll ask the pooch, “that idiot Trump sure is something, ain’t he?” I’ll be talking to myself trying to remember the million things I have to do and it’ll go like this: “I’ve got to make those photocopies, find that document, turn in that form, Trump is such a moron….” I’d like to swear off talking about him but how do I get everyone I know to follow suit? Can’t be done.

So, like I was saying, commuting….Lot of hours, and I didn’t even get to the hassles of those damn other people who are doing it at the same time. Some of them are so Trumplike — damn, did it again.

(Dedicated to my wife who has to put up with me. Poor thing.)

No comments: