Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interesting looking bike you have there, can I buy one like it at Canadian Tire?

Bad behaviour on a GO train prompts journalist to ask:

How do you raise kids to have good manners?

Channeling your inner 12-year-old is too easy to do I guess

It's been two days since I discovered something on Facebook and I can't shake it off. As much as I'd like to think I have grown up and accepted my childhood for what it was, I guess the scars are still fresh.

My childhood was loving and safe (to a degree) but it wasn't normal. It couldn't be normal, not when it came to living with my sister, Jennifer. In a nutshell, Jennifer is developmentally and mentally delayed. She is 43 now but she might as well be seven years old. She lives with my parents. She works. She commutes on the TTC by herself (which is nothing short of a miracle) but that's as far as her independence goes.

She is, which not many people realize, my parents' retirement.

As my parents age, I can see how caring for her is taking its toll. So many people do not understand what my parents have had to deal with and continue to deal with. Jennifer is depressed, suffers from anxiety, can be withdrawn sometimes, is moody, is temperamental, is prone to meltdowns, pulls her hair out, self-harms by picking at her hands until she draws blood, is defiant, stubborn, overly emotional and ... exhausting.

My mom drives an hour and half in weekend traffic to my house just to escape.

Growing up, kids in my school, and in my neighbourhood, avoided or ignored Jennifer and when they did notice her, it was to taunt her. This usually resulted in me beating the shit out of another kid and then running off to hide to avoid punishment.

Kids made fun of me for having a sister with special needs. I know, you sit there and think real hard about how ridiculous that sounds, but it's true.

As an adult, I can handle being judged and criticized. Talk about me all you want. Poke fun. Call me names. I really don't care. I know who my friends are. I know who loves me.

But when you drag my sister or family along for the ride, watch out.

Facebook has this "People You May Know" feature. You've probably noticed it. I never paid attention until a name popped up that piqued my interest. My reaction was, 'I remember her?! Wow. I wonder what she's been up to?" I clicked the name and was brought to her timeline.

Scrolling down, I came across a photo album where she wrote she found some old school photos. She posted them and tagged old classmates of mine she was Facebook friends with. Only one is a mutual friend. I suspect that's where Facebook made the you-may-know-this-person connection.

I came across one that had me in it. I'm by myself and looking at a plastic ring. I can't remember what I was doing. She wrote as the caption for the photo, "Can't remember this bitch's name for the life of me."

Ready to channel their inner 12-year-old selves, former elementary school classmates of mine who I haven't thought of since Grade 8 graduation filled up the comment feed with my name and some other details about where I may have gone to high school but it was one comment in particular that stung. A person wrote, "She had a retarded sister, right? Didn't (name withheld) feed her dog shit? That was fucking hilarious."

This was written by a 40-odd year-old woman with, who, according to her Facebook profile, has three kids who look to be under the age of 10.

Oh yes, MOM OF THE YEAR, it was fucking hysterical. Ask my dad how funny he thought that was.

My dad is on Facebook. My mom is on Facebook. If I could read this comment, so could anyone else with a connection to this idiot.

I messaged both women. I was livid. I was shaking I was so mad. But I was diplomatic. I was cool.

I asked, "Are we not all adults now? As adults, don't we have a responsibility to demonstrate to our children that feeding dog shit disguised as chocolate to a person with special needs is not funny? If I can see that photo you posted of me in your "found these school photos" album (and it's Cindy Vxxxxxxxx by the way - the person holding the plastic ring) my mother can see it. My father can see it and probably my sisters. This is not cool. It's not. You both should be ashamed of yourselves. My sister can't defend herself. Please refrain from discussing my sister further in comments visible to the public. My parents do not deserve this kind of public humiliation. Thank you."

Not even five minutes had passed before my phone vibrated to indicate a Facebook notification. The former classmate who posted the photo had replied. She was apologetic (good). She said she would delete the photo (I told her I don't care that the photo is there). My response was that I was shocked that after the dog shit comment, she couldn't put on her "mom" hat and step in and call that person out for not only writing that but allowing for the comment to stay.

There were seven "I'm sorry" in her reply.

Yeah, I'm sorry, too.

Friday, October 24, 2014

OSHAWA GO Station cleared for re-opening

Looks like you'll get home in time tonight after all.

I just received an email from media relations the situation has been investigated and cleared by Durham Regional Police as of 1:15 pm.

No need to schlep home on a GO bus to Oshawa from Whitby.

I'd like to thank Anne Marie Aikins and Bill Grodzinski for their prompt assistance in bringing y'all timely information.

Train on friends. 

Police investigation triggers closure of Oshawa GO Station

GO Transit Security has informed me that Durham Regional Police are leading the investigation into the the situation at Oshawa. GO TRANSIT and METROLINX are following their lead and the closure and service disruption is based on their recommendation.

In light of recent events in Ottawa, extra caution is being exercised and as inconvenient this situation will prove to be, especially to those with daycare obligations, at least you will be home to put your kids to bed tonight and that's what we shouldn't lose sight of.

"Police have closed Oshawa Station for the time being as they investigate a suspicious package. Hopefully it will be cleared soon but I don’t have a time estimate unfortunately. We have a bus bridge taking people to Whitby. Customers on the train were allowed to leave and take their cars home. Security is currently heightened to ensure the safety and security of our customers, staff and the public at large.
Safety for our customers on our system is our first and foremost priority. We are acting out of an abundance of caution.
Our staff – and customers of course - are our eyes and ears of the system and consequently, staff have been reminded to always maintain a level of vigilance. We also ask customers if they see something suspicious, tell someone."

As if this morning's switch problems weren't enough of a headache for commuters on Lakeshore East, the Oshawa GO Station has been closed.

A suspicious package discovered on a train prompted an evacuation and cut service to the station. I have contacted both Metrolinx's media department and security team to see if they will tell me anything further.

What does this mean for you?

Passengers looking to travel from Oshawa or to Oshawa should check the GO website as it's not known how long the closure will be and how it will affect today's evening rush hour. Buses are being sent to Whitby to shuttle passengers to the Oshawa GO lot, but I'd make arrangements to be picked up by a friend, neighbour or spouse if this drags on past 3 pm.

There will not be enough buses to handle the passengers who would need access to vehicles parked at Oshawa.

Anyone who has been through a service disruption knows GO struggles to handle the capacity when shuttle buses are called in. The struggle is real.

Tonight may be a good night to stay in the city and enjoy a nice dinner and glass of wine. If I wasn't home today, I'd join you.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I like how she put waves under the title of "CHEAT SHEET"

Back in college, I can't ever recall creating a "Cheat Sheet" but I was amused watching this young woman work on her "homework" on the train last night.

The hell is a Cheat Sheet? And why does it need a title? And why does a title need so much drama?

What happened to writing on your hand?

Back in high school (and it would be awesome if she happened to read this site) I used to pay this girl, Guida, in Jamaican patties to let me copy math test answers off of her. We had the best beef patties at Loretto College.

It was totally worth the investment.