The Bus Sagas Cont.

The third time is supposed to be a charm, but of course if it worked out like that, the situation wouldn't be worth sharing, right? So of course on my third attempt to traverse home via public bus, everything went the opposite way I hoped. And quite frank the way I assumed, over confident with the third try mentality.

Again as with the two previous efforts, I mapped out my walk of about a block and familiarized myself with the bus route and gave myself plenty of time to commute to the bus stop. Once I got there, I waited. Patiently. I waited patiently as a man with a lady hair cut scowled at me as I traced my route on the poster size map of the the bus system with my index finger, just to reaffirm I was headed in the right direction.

Stepping out to glance down the street to see if my public chariot was yet in eye shot, a little boy and his mother rounded the corner of the shelter. "Miss Abbi?!" It was Little B! And his mother! I was caught completely off guard and already in a vulnerable and fragile state, nervous that I would never conquer the bus system and starting babbling like and idiot. And for some reason in my vomit of nonsense I was spouting out I thought it necessary to tell Little B's mom that I had attempted to take the bus twice before and had failed, so was hoping to hop on tonight.

"Where do you live?" She asked. "Penn Quarter..." I replied.

"Oh dear, you are on the wrong side of the street! This bus goes to Maryland; you need to be over there," She pointed to the bus stop on the opposite corner from where we were perched. The stop that no less than three buses had utilized during my wait.

"Ugh, well, I guess I'll just walk!" I said, humiliated, my voice so shrill I was certain only dogs could comprehend what I was saying, "Thanks and sorry I'm not this flaky! I promise I'm not an idiot! Sorry I'm your son's mentor!"  WHAT? Sorry I'm your son's mentor?! Sometimes I think my speech is involuntary. At least I don't want to think my brain processed that and okayed that it exit my body in the form of words.


Public Transportation: 2, Yours Truly: 0

This makes day number two of a strong attempt to ride the Metro Bus to work...and day number two of failing miserably. I like to think I'm somewhat of an intelligent person, but this bus system is completely over my head. Seriously, I think a rocket scientist designed it.

I just don't understand how I was able to navigate the outrageously ridiculous bus system in Roma, Italia, when I couldn't eve speak the language and the drivers basically decide where they want to go, yet WMATA eludes me. Perhaps it's a conspiracy. Yes, let's go with that theory.

Yesterday I had to be in the office early -- plus, most of the city was probably hungover, either from celebrating or wallowing -- so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give this bus situation a test run. I checked and triple checked the stop, the time and my pocket containing my SmarTrip card, took a deep breath and headed out. Weirdly, I was excited, like I was about to conquer something.

But, I waited....and waited...buses would stop, but not the one that I was supposed to I waited. After 20 minutes of standing and pretending to be deeply engrossed in my BlackBerry, I gave up and hoofed it as usual.

When I woke up this morning to 40 degrees and a foul drizzling rain, I researched the bus routes again, and this time more in depth -- discovering that there are indeed two stops .01 miles from my front door and yesterday I wasted my time at the wrong one. I chose a new route, psyched myself up and headed out again, walking with purpose and hoping to give off the image that I had done this a thousand and one times, the one and a half blocks to my chosen stop. When I got there and looked at the sign, the 54 Bus was not on the list of buses utilizing that portion of the sidewalk. WHAT?! I frantically looked around, swore out loud, but could not find any stops in the vicinity that I could have confused it.

Is this my life?! Really, how hard can it be? Is this the Universe telling me that I need the exercise? Or perhaps God testing my patience? This is not the time for funny business.

Argh. I'm giving it one last shot and then I'm throwing in the towel. Maybe I'm just not cut out for the Metro Bus system; I guess it could be worse.

No. No it couldn't.

The Results are [Almost] In

"The people spoke," John Boehner cried and I overhauled my blog's image (with intermittent scurries from the den to the living room to catch clips of speeches). It certainly was a big night for red voters -- at this  point, having gained over 60 seats in the House to take control and at least 9 seats in the Senate, closing the gap on Democratic control.

To be honest, I can't help but think a more even balance between the control of the parties is a bad thing. But, several polls indicate that 37% of voters chose the Republican on their ballot simply out of spite for President Obama. For real, people? For REAL?

The older I get, I don't necessarily become more conservative, but less loud, shouting over views that differ from mine and instead, trying to understand these differences. Though, when it comes to equal rights, you can't convince me otherwise and I won't be shutting up so long as the rights of my LGBT friends are the same as mine., but I digress. To vote opposite of the party in power, just because you think it will piss them off...well, that is foul. And, quite frankly, ignorant. This accomplishes absolutely nothing.

When the historic nature of this election is put into context, it's not difficult to see that time repeats itself and the similar issues continuously get similar responses. This is the largest swing of party control since 1948 -- they election when voters showed fatigue over the New Deal and its inefficiencies.. With the contempt for Health Care Reform a major issue in this election, you have to this just a fad? Will a more universal health care system one day be the norm?

I suppose this is the nature of the beast. The good news is, we will carry on. Things have shifted and will be different, but the election is [almost] behind us, so let's get to work people.

If you haven't already...

Read Apt. 16's post from today and follow it's simple instructions.

If you don't vote, you can't complain.

Fighting Global Warming

Yesterday's mentor session with my third grader -- who shall be known as Little B from here on -- was, well, most enlightening. Because there were more students in the lunch session than usual, due to other reschedules like my own, my student and I were shuffled to the "library" to read. In a hasted to not loose the trail of other students and mentors leading out the door and up the stairs, we grabbed two books from the reading cart and dashed out after them.

While my student picked at his food, and for the third week in a row refused to drink his milk -- don't they have alternative drinks? -- we discussed how his week had been, most importantly how much candy he collected on Halloween. The innocence and blissful ignorance of children never ceases to amaze me and Little B is no exception. His bright eyes and sheer happiness is a light in the fog of all that is going on around us.

"So, what did you dress up as for trick-or-treating?" Little B grinned and said, "I was Pajama Man! I didn't have a costume, so I wore pajamas." My heart instantly panged, when I think about the amount of hours some of my friends have spent obsessing over simple pet costumes. However, he was none the worse for not having been a pirate or lobster or Woody from Toy Story; we decided there were probably no other costumes like his and that made it the coolest. Plus he got mountains of candy, which is the goal of the evening, right?

We opened our first book, which happened to be a picture book about things we can do to be environmentally friendly. Without fail, there were a few pages dedicated to global warming, "Miss Abbi, why do we shut the lights off to save the polar bears -- how does that help?" That is a damn good question is what I wanted to respond, because really, how do you make that connection to a third grader.

I strung thoughts together that went something like, "Welllllllll (dragging it out as long as I possibly could)...lights have energy and we know energy is hot and the more lights that are on, the hotter it is everywhere and the polar bears live on big ice bergs, so when it gets hot the icebergs start to melt. And that is why we shut off the lights when we don't need them on." Sort of kind of, I just hope he doesn't forward this information on.

Expecting Little B to not care what I said, or even really listen for that matter, I was floored that not only had he taken in, but had a solution of his own. "Well what if the polar bears got into the ocean to swim more often?  That way they would get exercise and their fur wouldn't melt the ice? Bears are warm too, you know. Then I can keep more lights on. Right?"

Well, yes. I suppose that would work, too. If we are concerned about the polar caps melting, asking the bears to swim more often solves that issue. "We should probably still only turn the lights on when we need to, because if you aren't in the room, you won't notice that they are off anyway." And, yes, I wanted to say, ask the polar bears to swim a little more.

Global warming solutions, brought to you by the third grade. Gotta love it.