Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interesting headline in front of me given the last post...

Not that Amtrak is run by the Port Authority of NY but the guy sitting across from me is reading the WSJ and the headline right in my face says:

"Train pulls out on new corner of debt market
Auction-rate securities failing to draw bidders;  a toll on port authority"

On the train...

So, I try to keep a good attitude but at the moment I think a word about something is appropriate. 

I love Amtrak don't get me wrong but in this case their service is well, a disservice. I've finally managed to procure a seat in the food car after boarding the train an hour ago. Now, it doesn't bother me that I didn't get a seat I paid about $100 for but in the case of the family sitting nearby I'd have to say they really deserve to be as pissed as the mother seems to be. Basically, the poor woman, her husband and her probably age 7 daughter have a seat finally, but it's in the food car.

What if they had been traveling with and an elderly person? A sick person maybe? 

It seems the conductor has gone out of his way to accommodate the family but of course his options are limited. I feel bad for them but I would've been pretty pissed if it was me. Ah well, maybe it's just another side effect of the shrinking economy.

Maybe we'll send our jobs to economies with cheaper labor and then one day they'll give us the gift of train travel a la their style?

I very much support globalization but I believe domestic macro capitalistic powers (I won't pretend to be an economist here - that is a term I made up and understand ... sorry if it doesn't mean anything to you ...) anyway... will show the true value, or lack thereof, of the American dollar through their increasingly poor delivery of services and goods.

So I believe wealth is leaving the United States... can't prove it... just a hunch (hello rising price and diminishing supply of oil, weakening dollar, increasing cost of real estate...)

I can't claim original thought on these ideas... I'm heavily influenced by a few sources - a book called "The World is Flat", a documentary called "The End of Suburbia" and a few others as well as some other context clues derived from watching the world... 

Dunno... just a  thought...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the road...

Okay, here's something I've always wanted to do - blog while moving. Yup blog while in transit and so have I fulfilled one of those goals right here and now. As I thee write, I'm chinatown busing it from Philly to NYC. I wish I had a pic to show you but I'm so excited about the blogging I can't stop for a second to take a photo my dear pups.

So, as each year has passed since graduating college I've become increasingly cautious and prone to worry. Thus, I became less and less likely to take such things as transportation that is probably run without insurance. However, being away from my day-to-day routine takes me out of the cycle of worry and thus when my dear pal suggested taking the C-town bus because it was quicker and cheaper than the alternative Greyhound, I didn't really hesitate. 

We said our quick and half-sorrowful good-bye on the street (we know we'll see each other soon but of course we want to hang out and chat forever- but I have a mere weekend and some partying in NYC to do and she has  play to act in) and so we part. Her boyfriend, whom I've just met, grabs me a cab and off I go.

I thought my cab driver might kill me because he had a tendency to... well, how should I say it? Mmmmm, bark. Yes, he was much the barker. 

"WHERE?!!?!" He growled deeply. 

"11th and Cherry" I bleated. 

"CHERRY?!?!" He growled even more deep and ferocious. 

I really couldn't tell if he was deaf, raging or mean. 

"READY?!?" He boomed, staring straight ahead. 

"yes" I said, very much doubting the truth of my response.

And so we were off. Miraculously I arrived at my destination, which proceeded to perplex me, even if only momentarily. I was on the corner of two streets in Philly's Chinatown, but there didn't appear to be any buses. But soldier on I did once I observed the half Chinese half English sign for the Cherry bus (I laugh here at my soccer mom self, like I've never been by myself in the city before - what is more, like I've ever been a soccer mom before :) 

I go in to buy the ticket but there doesn't seem to be anyone behind the counter in the near empty room with just a few old office chairs strewn about the once white linoleum floor. Suddenly, a Chinese kid about age 15, started asking, "New York" to the few who had gathered inside and just outside the door. "Come on," he said. "We have to go down the street."

No one hesitated, they all just followed. So, I did too. What can you do? Down the sidewalk, behind the building, to the right an open van full of boxes with plastic hanging out, to the left, a parking lot of broken down cars. We keep going up yet another small parking lot behind another set of buildings, and there's a bus at the end - he let me pay once I got on - no big deal. "One way?" He asked and yet also told me. Not sure how he knew I was going one way only...

And, so I'm on the bus. Just a few moments ago, at a gas stop, the driver asked the eight or so of us on this bus, exactly where we are going. And once he took a tally, which at first I think confused everyone, he decided where he was going to stop. I can hear him now yammering away in Chinese on his wireless headset as he protectively delivers us to the city.

This is far better than those Peter Pan bus drivers who used to bark at me in college for bringing a slice of pizza on the bus. No rules about talking on your cell phone, no need to print out your ticket beforehand, or really to even have one at all. I can spread out over two seats (or four if I really wanted - the bus is only 1/8 full - I get free Chinese lessons the whole way there - The couple next to me chatters happily about visiting Ground Zero... it's pretty good. And all this for just ten bucks.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hola my people

What's on the brain today... mm.. well, there has been some positive kismet floating around me lately which is strange but welcome.

Like, I mused the other day I thought that I would like some flowers for my office and the next day my colleague brought in potted plants for all. It died a week or so later unfortunately.... luckily I didn't kill my boss's fish while she was traveling though...
  • Also, recently got together with some friends I lurve...
  • I had wished for my computer to be more robust and 20 minutes later I was asked by our ops coordinator if I would like to be the first to have my computer upgraded (course then my IT person never showed for our appt... but this detracts from my story :)
Something else happened... oh, a client reappeared for a challenging project I'd love to work on... meeting later this week...
  • Found a cheap train ticket to visit a friend in Philly
  • Wished for a trip and got one - to Toronto - DSF's co flew me to his location instead of bringing him home - that was fun
  • Got up the guts to ask a writer if I could ghost-write something... that's ballsy - I haven't even had an article published yet - who cares! I can learn :) (it's on the culture of oversharing no less... hmmm, what do I know about that?)
  • After getting slightly harassed AT THE POLLS by an immature college student for my voting choice, my candidate won my state in the primary - SHOCKER - I thought I was the lone supporter - apparently not :)
Had someone post on the blog about law school advice a few days ago - that was really something - I wasn't prepared for feeling connected to their pain - I hope they muddle their way out of the pain of that experience - 

Anyway, I should be sleeping and DSF just walked in so I think I might connect with another human real time (even if he's breaking my peaceful vibe by being chatty.. I'll grant him this I guess :)

Ah... he's in the WC ... I have another moment with you dear reader!!! This whole "culture of oversharing" concept that I've just heard of is pretty interesting. While I've oft considered myself to be an egregious Oversharer, I think I might be way more reserved than a lot of other blogging counterparts - for one thing, unless I've sent you the link to my blog, you probably don't know my name .... I haven't told you EVERYTHING everything....

okay.. more on that later.