Friday, August 31, 2012

That's not my purse...

The 7:53 OSH-UNION train was 21 minutes late this morning. People who had shown up for the 8:25 train, hopped on the 7:53 resulting in a rather crowded ride in.

Just before Whitby, the woman sitting beside me excused herself, left her purse on her seat and went upstairs.

The doors opened at Whitby and a woman asked if she could sit where the purse was. I said it wasn't mine and that its owner had gone upstairs. She gave me a look. Then she puffed out her cheeks and rolled her eyes which pissed me off. The hell, right?

Next, we pull into Ajax. Purse owner is AWOL. Ajax passengers begin filling the coach as they funnel through the train cars and two people ask to sit next to me. Again, I explain that it's not my purse.

People are frustrated. I'm not happy that a stranger has put me in this position.

At Pickering, this elderly couple climbs on. I've had about enough of the stares and disapproving looks from passengers who think I'm bag riding, so I stood up, grabbed the woman's purse and offered both seats to the elderly couple. They sit down. I stand. I'm holding the stranger's purse and my bag. One woman who was sitting gave me a smirk and a shake of her head. I wanted to punt this woman's purse across the coach. From other passengers' perspective me standing there holding the bag looks like an admission of guilt.

As we move past Danforth, I decide to go upstairs and find this donkey.

Walking up, I search through the crowd and try to remember what she was wearing. I hold the purse above my head and look around. People look up. Some stare. I climb down the back set of stairs.

At Union, the train empties and I'm standing near the doors holding this fucking bag. The train is 2 minutes away from moving onto Exhibition and I decide it's time to toss the purse back onto the seat where she originally put it. As I move towards the seat, purse lady comes down the stairs. She sees me holding her purse. I ask her where she went. She said she'd gone to talk to her husband. I said I went looking for her because I vacated my seat and gave her seat to an elderly couple. I told her I didn't see her upstairs. She says she was in another coach.


We both exit the train and are now standing on the platform and I explain to her how rude it was to do what she did. She tells me she didn't ask me to watch her purse. Swear to God ... I wanted to kick her.

What do you say to people like this?

I'm too nice. That's my problem. I should have just tossed her bag onto the floor and ignored it.

Is it legal when you're behind the fence, in uniform, on the platform?

I think that's still Metrolinx/provincial property (fence or not) so the no-smoking by-law still applies. I'm always disappointed when I see this. I'm also dismayed by the amount of GO bus drivers who smoke on the bus platforms at Oshawa. The signs are there. Go to the parking lot, please.

- Submitted

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Revenue Canada is pleased

Me Gusta!!!
Back in June, Revenue Canada sent me a letter asking me to provide proof to substantiate my public transit claim. So I mailed in my Presto transit usage report.
Yesterday I got a letter from the agency informing me that I have satisfied the requirements. SATISFIED. I like that word.
So for all of you who were worried about the reports, the way they are formatted and whether Revenue Canada was going to be a jerk, don't be.
Revenue Canada is pleased.

Playing chicken with a VIA train

Imagine listening to this donkey after a day's work?

Heeeeeeeeeeey, sexy lady!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I've been taken down by a mosquito

Well ladies and germs, I became a statistic on August 15. That was the day when I showed the first symptom of West Nile Fever - sore throat.
By the Friday, I was a shaking, feverish, shivering and sweating mess. My fever hit a high of 39.9 C and by Sunday, I had a rash covering the lower part of my legs. On Monday, the headache was so bad, I couldn't tolerate light and wore dark sunglasses to survive.
I did go into work and suffered and also went in on Tuesday. I did visit a doctor who said he was extremely confident I was suffering from West Nile. A blood test later confirmed it.
I was told to work from home for the rest of the week, doing what I could, and focus on getting better.
It's been hell. My asthma has flared up and I just about died biking this morning. It's hard to hack up a lung and remain in control of a bike.
I've been a pitiful mess and I'm still very fatigued.
I'm writing this post not for sympathy but more to warn people to heed the message. Cover up. Wear insect repellent and carry a citronella candle with you after 8pm.
I also had difficulty finding other people online who had experienced West Nile. I can assure you the worst headache of your life will go away. It is true that no amount of Advil or Tylenol will help. You just have to ride out the storm.
The dizziness and nausea will cause you to break down in tears out of frustration of feeling do dreadful.
The vertigo is worse during the fever stage and will eventually stop. Hold onto handrails when negotiating stairs at all times! Don't trust your feet.
But most importantly, don't trust any mosquito.

Monday, August 20, 2012

And you thought it was only feet you should worry about

Ripped from Tumblr

“So broke that I pleaded with Dad to borrow his bike so I could ride to the Clarkson GO train station so I wouldn’t have to spend money on the bus to get there ‘cause I wanted to go to Toronto to see a show. Anyway, when I got back from Toronto some fucking asshole had stripped the bike. I had to ride home with no fucking bike seat for like 12 kilometers. It fucking sucked so badly. My legs were aching. I tried to ride a bit on where the bike seat was but it hurt like it was going to tear off my asshole. I was literally riding on a sharp hole like a fucking moron. Even worse is that I’m going to have to replace the fucking odometer thing, the seat, the horn things, etc. Shit’s expensive and it’ll probably take weeks of worth to come up with the cash. So, in trying to save like $3.50 it probably cost me a brown note. Dad’s always like, “you gotta value things, take care of them”. Once I brought the bike back dirty and he was like, “I leant you this clean, you brought it back dirty???’ and he made me detail it like it was a Ferrari. So, when I bring this shit backed stripped, he’s gonna fucking kick my teeth in then I’ll have to rollerblade everywhere.”

Credit: benpobjoy1981

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not sure if intentional or practical joke

Saw this car this morning, wrapped in saran wrap, as I biked my way back from dropping my kid off at daycare.

All the single ladies!

You know those stick-figure decals on the back of family SUVs and mini-vans? They're supposed to tell you how many people are in the vehicle owner's family. I saw this last night from the bus. Sorry for the blurriness. The bus was moving. Because you know, that's what buses do.

You go girl!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Great Projector (Should be Pretender but read on ... )

from: Chad D
date: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 3:01 PM
subject: TCT

Hi CJ,
I ride the GO everyday from Oshawa to Union and Back!! Thank god someone is posting the thoughts I have about the life of riding the GO Train.
Last week on the 7:21 train to Union from Oshawa I had the pleasure of having a 6'2, 300 lbs man dressed as a woman sit across from me and talk on his cell phone about his transsexual meeting groups and how he dislikes the coffee they serve there. His conversation probably could have been heard 4 cars down, and when he said transsexual he made sure to announce it loud and clear and look around. I just turned up the volume on my intense game of Angry Birds and laughed.


Chad, I have to ask, are you this guy?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dirty cup holder is dirty

I noticed this on the bus this morning.

First time I've seen a cup holder on a GO bus.
I took a quick look around and couldn't find another one attached to another seat. How odd, right? One cup holder?

So I opened it.

Ewwwwwww. I see that GO cleaning staff have forgotten about this one cup holder. I used a pen to pry open the clips that hold the cup.

I'm not sure what size of cup these clips hold but they seemed best suited for a traveler mug and not your conventional take-away coffee cup.

There's a reason why I hate discovering shit like this in the morning. It's not until a couple hours later when I'm more awake do I think of what I could have done with this to mess with people.

I should have left a note professing my love for a driver named Steve. It's best to pick a common name in the 30-50 year old male bracket to make the story believable. I would have started with "Dear Bus Driver Steve, I don't know if you'll ever find this note but I didn't have the courage to hand it to you but ... "

Of course, someone would find it (obviously not the cleaning people - that's a given) and hopefully give it to the bus driver on duty who would totally read it and then go back to the yard, or head to Twitter and launch a manhunt for Steve.

Steve, assuming there is a GO bus driver named Steve (and I bet you a thousand foot riders there is) would spend the rest of his driving career wondering which commuter held him dear to her heart.

Friday, August 10, 2012

NO! I will not stare at your bare-ass feet during the train ride home. The hell wrong with some of you?

I asked the person who sent me this photo, live as it happened TODAY, to provide a cell phone number.
I called her. I asked her to tap this donkey, hand him her phone and say, "It's for you."
Presumably bewildered, he took the phone and said hello.
And then I hung up.

Just a little bit of GO history

For the first years of operation, passengers would pay half a fare to board the GO train and rip off half their tickets. Passengers would pay the rest of their fare and deposit the other half of their tickets upon arrival at their destination. The above photo shows arriving commuters depositing their remaining fare and tickets when leaving Union Station. Thanks to:

Scoring the last seat on the train

Set the laser to annihilation!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please print this puppy out and start handing it out to the donkeys who smoke on the platforms

My beer can chicken... is fancy

It's time, y'all, to make it a crime - New York's doing it right

I quote:
It is perhaps the most minor crime New Yorkers are routinely arrested for: sitting improperly on a subway seat. Seven years ago, rule 1050(7)(J) of the city’s transit code criminalized what was once simply bad etiquette: passengers putting their feet on a subway seat. They also cannot take up more than one seat if it interferes with other passengers’ comfort, nor can they block movement on a subway by doing something like standing too close to the doors.

Relax, if You Want, but Don’t Put Your Feet Up

Thanks to @CommutersUnited for the news tip and photo.


from: Mary P.
date: Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 6:46 AM
Found this note on the train this morning.
I really liked the parts that read, "drive for another 3-6 minutes" and " if you get lost, just start over".
What? No way. The comedy gold was the comment about the bunnies!

Bitch, don't you know I sit here?

to: CJ Smith
date: Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I don't know if you've ever blogged about this, but what are your thought on habitual seat entitlement?  People who try to sit in the same seat, in the same coach everyday.  I've always been somewhat annoyed when I see this behaviour and try to thwart it by getting to the platform early, lining up exactly where the doors usually are, and scooping the 'reserved seat'.  I get the typically passive aggressive know, the sighs, the pause and glance, and the odd hairy eyeball.  I feel like I have particularly won, when they are joined at successive stops by their train buddies who also exhibit this behaviour and add to it with snarky comments like "Does that person know he's in our seats, didn't he get the memo?".

It's that comment that makes me want to do it again....when people claim, "I'm in their seat".  F*ck you!  These seats are for everyone!

Anyway, as you may have guessed, I had the pleasure of effecting this today, and am looking forward to a repeat tomorrow.  I should note that I've seen some people eventually choose a new, "this is my seat".  Then I feel bad if I continue to torment the fellow rider as they showed some adaptability by giving up on the original seat.
I will admit this post made me laugh out loud because I personally know people who get on at Oshawa who make it a point to sit in the same seats everyday and even myself have expressed annoyance of not being able to sit with train friends because clearly, others "didn't get the memo". But as the saying goes, you snooze, you lose. 

When the train is empty, all you asshats better sit many quads away from me

How about on the bus? It's worse than the train. All those empty seats and that one dude decides to sit right next to you?!

Some chick decided to study - for three years - social behavior displayed by commuters. True story. Here's what she found.

Hate when a stranger sits next to you on a bus? You’re not alone

Because love makes you stupid

When I was 15 years old, I fell in love with a boy who was staying at a cottage rented by his parents one concession road over from the cottage I was staying at that my parents had rented.
I really, really, really liked this boy.
I woke up one morning, a week and a half into a 3-week vacation to a note from my parents that they had taken my sisters and gone off to visit some 300 year old church built out of toothpicks or something and decided to let me sleep in since I had been up so late the night before talking to my crush, Adam, on the beach.
My parents are very considerate.
I dressed, ate breakfast and was promptly bored. The phone rang and Adam asked me to come over seeing as his parents had left to go grocery shopping and he figured we could play "Nintendo" together. Hell yeah.
The only problem was it was piss-pouring rain out and the thought of walking six kilometres to his cottage when my hair was looking all kinds of awesome wasn't appealing.
To make a long story short, I ran into Adam this morning while walking through the PATH on my way to work. He was walking towards me.
What was brutal was that I had to jog his memory and it was the car story that worked. OH MY GOD. Seriously?! All those nights on the beach ... c'mon ...
Of course, he hadn't changed but I grew out, not up. He grew up - a lot. But Adam has these piercing blue eyes and that's what I remembered. He was instantly recognizable to me.
He showed me pics of his kids on his iPhone. I showed him pics of my kid.
I'm not disclosing the full story of that summer day because:
a) family drama leads me to believe that someone trolls my blog with the purpose of starting shit
b) I want you to think what you're thinking but of course, second-guess if I really was that stupid
Did I take the car?
Only four people know if I did or not. I'm waiting for the phone call from my mother in 5... 4... 3...