I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

Archive for April, 2009

Warm Summer Nights

Today was freakishingly warm for this neck of the woods…..27 and beee-autiful. Accordingly, tonight is freakishly warm and very reminiscent of a gorgeous warm summer night.

I was walking home from the gym and remembered just how much I LOVE these nights.  The temperature is perfect, you’re in no hurry at all and everything seems absolutely possible and never out of reach.

I feel so alive and human in warm weather and specifically warm nights. Living in a cold climate for a good chunk of the year, you don’t take tolerable temperatures forgranted. Personally, I don’t feel very human-like when trudging through calf-deep snow, getting pelted by angry snowflakes and having your eyelashes freeze shut. Something about that just puts a damper on life, you know?

Warm nights have so much freedom to me. I remember spilling many a secret on a warm summer night, feeling unusually comfortable and sure of things in the dark and the heat. There’s just no rush, to get in before it’s cold, or before your extremities go numb. Time stands still. I love it.

Years and years ago, one of the first times the boyfriend came out to Saskatchewan with me, we drove out to the middle of nowhere. We climbed onto the roof of the car and just lied there, talking for hours, staring at the stars. And it was EXACTLY the temp that it is tonight, I swear.

It reminds me of camping as a kid, when we were allowed to stay up late with the grownups and poke at the fire. It reminds me of entire months where there was no school, no dance class, no alarms, no homework. It reminds me of grade 8, where I walked around the block with my first serious crush at the school play afterparty. It reminds me of drunken nights spent on Toronto patios. It reminds me of silence for some reason, which I love. It reminds me of the countless trips my family made across the prairies, zooming along in the dark coming home from the grandparents, with the windows wide open…..my dad called it 4×100 air conditioning….open all 4 windows, drive 100 km/hr. It reminds me of the stillness right before a wicked thunderstorm. It reminds me of knitting on the porch, forging new friendships a few years back.

It calms me down and makes me believe anything is possible.

It apparently makes me very emo. Meh. It’s my blog, I’ll emo it up if I want to.

And on that note, I have a walk to nowhere that I have to sneak in before bedtime. Mother Nature is going to clue in to the fact that we weren’t supposed to get this weather for a good month and a half or so pretty soon, and I’m going to take advantage of as much of it as I can. Hell, I’m even wearing a skirt! It MUST be affecting me!

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Subway Fail.

Did you ever hear the one about the Amish guy, the subway train at rush hour and the hordes of angry Torontonians? No?! Well, let me fill ya in.

Yesterday as Emerald and I were beginning our journey home, we were sharing our subway car with the usual mix. An unusual addition to the mix though was a group of three Amish folk. Two of them were sitting in the seats, one was meandering around inside the car. He got bored as we waited to go (it was the end of the line, the train stops for a bit) and wandered out onto the platform.

As he is toodling around outside, doing nothing in particular that I could discern, the train gets ready to leave. To move on down the track and out of the station, so that all the other trains on that line could continue moving efficiently and get everyone home nice and smooth-like. You know, like trains do.

Now, I don’t expect people who don’t live in a city with a subway train to know how they work, to be familiar with the system, the protocol. And neither did the people who designed the trains for the TTC. If you ride the train long enough, you learn to recognize the sounds that indicate you’re about to move. Of course, not everyone has this well-trained transit ear. So, we make it easy for you…..

When the train is about to shut the doors and leave, BRIGHT ORANGE LIGHTS FLASH OVER EVERY SINGLE DOOR AT THE SAME TIME THAT A LOUD OBNOXIOUS ‘DING DONG DING’ GOES OFF OUTSIDE AND INSIDE THE TRAIN.

This way, if you are hearing impaired, you can see the lights as an indication to get your ass on or off the train. Alternatively, if you are vision impaired, you can hear that the doors are about to shut. Easy, right?

Apparently not for our restless Amish traveller. He wasn’t alerted or alarmed in any way to the flashing lights and dinging noises three feet away from him. Oh no. Unphased.

So imagine his surprise and disbelief when the doors started closing, seperating him from his two friends smart enough to sit their asses down and wait to go.

He panicked, and bolted towards the closing doors. He squeezed his body, minus his right arm and the suitcase he was hanging onto with his hand, into the train. Lacking the strength to push the doors back open and faced with the prospect of losing his arm in a tunnel, he released the suitcase and pulled his arm into the train.

Now. For a guy who didn’t understand how to get on or off the subway, I was amazed at the speed of what he did next. Without skipping a beat, he smashed the Passenger Safety Alarm. I don’t  know how he even located the damn thing, read the instructions, thought it through and decided to hit it all so fast.

Dont press, unless you want to be a total douchebag

Don't press, unless you want to be a total douchebag

He. Hit. The. Safety. Alarm. The train came to a screeching halt and immediately we were accosted by a high pitched, constant whining tone. The doors of the train were locked shut and we had nothing to do but wait until the emergency personnel arrived. Nothing to do that is, except for yell at our moronic travelling companion. And yell we all did. The entire train car groaned in unison. Swears were thrown out with no abandon.

He looked astonished that we weren’t all breathing a sigh of relief, for now he could get his damned blue suitcase back. He posed a question to the entire car, “Why can’t I open the door? How do I open the door??”

To which Emerald, bless her heart, blunty and loudly stated, “You can’t! You hit the EMERGENCY alarm! The train is stopped, you’ve locked it down and now we probably have to wait for an ambulance and the TTC officials to show up! GAWD!”

We all sat there, passively fuming in our oh-so-Canadian way (getting mad without getting mad…….it’s a thing we do) for a few minutes while people gathering on the platform stared at us as though we were animals in a zoo. We stared back.

The TTC personnel arrived and the one worker became very agitated when he realized there was no emergency, only stupidity.

Upon entering the train, and thrusting the blue suitcase in front of him, he loudly asked, ‘Who the FUCK threw this onto the platform???’ (Ah, I love this city).

Amish guy claimed it, chuckling and stuttering and trying to explain the situation. What was most amazing is that he seemed genuinely clueless about what he had done, how he had stopped the entire subway line, how everybody was giving him the cut-eye for messing with their commute and forcing them to listen to a high pitched buzz for the last few minutes. It didn’t strike him as strange at all to ask a city of 5 million to fall at his knees.

We then continued on with our trip, uninterrupted.

Now, here’s the thing. It was obvious due to this person’s background that this may have been one of a handful of times in his life that he was on the subway. That’s cool. I’m alright with that. I will gladly give people directions on the subway. But I dont feel that that was a valid excuse in this case.

Hundreds of newbies ride the TTC every single day. I’m willing to bet a good half of them don’t speak english, and that a good half of them have never or have rarely taken a subway. But, they all manage to figure out the drill. Wait for subway. Get on subway. Ride. If they forget the protocol, remember, we’ve made it simple for them with the FLASHING ORANGE LIGHTS AND DINGING prior to departure of the station. It’s a stimulus. People respond. Monkeys respond to noises and bright lights. This guy didn’t.

It pisses me off that I had to have my commute wrecked by a guy less reactive than a monkey. I don’t want to be there the day a car is sliding on the ice, honking and flashing his lights to alert the guy to move his ass out of the way. He’d probably smile and wave.

I hope he got fined. Oh, and in case you’re wondering…….the correct answer would have been to ride to the next subway stop, get onto the train going BACK to the original stop, and get your suitcase. Stupid does not equal emergency. Thanks for playing.

Rants, with a bit of an ode to one special guy.

I have blogging performance anxiety. I don’t know what to write about after my extended and inexcusable absence.

So, I will do what I seem to do best…..write rants. I have recently adopted the habit of saying, ‘Dear xxxxx’, then listing what I hate about them, then ending with ‘Luuuuuuuv, Talea’. Sometimes, I come out with some pretty good ones, I’m not going to lie. In the spirit of that, I will ease myself back into blogging by returning to the familiar…….Angry Talea.

Dear Particular Client Who Shall Remain Unnamed, So I Don’t Lose My Job:
Please understand that I do not wake up each morning and think to myself, ‘Gee, how can I go about fucking up Xxxxx’s life, so that they will yell and curse at me, accusing me of things I didn’t do. Hmmmmm.’ You don’t seem to realize this. I hate you. Please stop yelling at me for doing my job. Luv, Talea.

Dear Shopper’s Drug Mart:
Damn you! Damn you all to hell! Damn your marketing people and the people who design your stores and all of your retail psychologists. I routinely walk in to pick up one thing. I routinely walk out $50-$80 poorer. I have like, 4 bottles of shampoo right now. Why? Because I CAN’T SAY NO TO YOU! The way you display things, and light them, and offer me free points and have rotating sales on everything I don’t need! Dammit!

Dear Guy Who Took That Plane Hostage in Jamaica Yesterday:
Um, first off, I hope you get what’s coming to you. Second, your timing was very poor. I was in fact ON A PLANE, 35,000 feet above the ground where I was absent mindedly surfing through the channels on my wee personal TV, when I saw two stations covering your little debacle. For a person with a serious flying phobia, this was NOT cool. I about shit my pants, imagining that I was next. Seriously. Not cool.

Dear Vin Diesel:
Mmmmmmmmm. Thank you for being so pretty.

Ahem.

Woo.

I’m back. I promise. Yeah, I know….that wasn’t a rant. But what the hell right? It’s my blog and I’ll post conveniently cropped pictures of my Vin if I want to.

Dear Right Armpit:
What the hell-ass? Why are you so itchy lately? I can’t be going around, itching my armpits without drawing comparisons to a monkey and providing people with amusing mental images that I’d rather not inspire. Please stop it.

Dear Sweaty McSweaterson:
Dude, I know we’re at the gym. I get it, we’re supposed to sweat. But when the back of your shirt looks like you went through your neighbour’s Slip and Slide on your back, you need to see someone about that shit. Really. They have meds for that. I’m sure your cardiologist would be very proud, but I don’t want to look at that. It’s 2009….no excuses, take care of your embarassing medical ailments.

Dear Primus:
Your service sucks and your inability to read my emails stating my desire to cancel service is unbelievable. Also, go ahead, keep charging my credit card. I’ll keep reversing it. And by the way, suck my balls.

Dear Ottawa:
It was Sunday afternoon, 3 PM. So why the hell did we have to go to three restaurants to find one that was open? You call yourself a city? You won’t even serve me nachos! Boo to you, Ottawa. Boo. To. You.

Dear Hostesses at Restaurants Lately:
When I come into your establishment with my chosen dining partner/s, it is your job as a hostess to greet me and welcome me. You all seem to have that down pat. Until recently, you would follow it up by doing some quick math in your head, then stating the number of my party participants and repeating it back to me in a question. As in, ‘For two?’ This was to ensure you seated us at a table with the appropriate number of seats in order for us to dine comfortably, and to confirm that we weren’t expecting other attendants. It was a good system. It worked.
Recently though, you all seem to be forgetting this. You say hello. Then…silence. I am obviously there to eat. Do not stare at me and expect me to tell you what I’m there for. I’m not the one at work. Please do your job. Thanks.

Dear Brain:
Please come up with some blogging ideas soon. This post sort of sucks. Thanks.

Hmmmmmm

I am seriously considering returning to the blogosphere…..does anyone still read this damned thing?

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