Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Like a Rat

The MTA can suck it for having some situation or another arise as my 5 train sat in the Union Square Station for 20 minutes this morning without opening the doors to let us off.

The conductor can bite me for mumbling garbled apologies periodically, yet giving us no information other than letting us know he was 'sorry for the inconvemuidhaio,' 'the train has had an emergency fqhqaffljwe,' and to 'please be patient with the aisuhrqnddke.'


The first few minutes were just odd, as the train started to pull out of the station normally, and then screeched to an abrupt halt.

5 minutes later, the still closed doors made their 'bee-boo' sound, and we started moving forward, only to halt sharply again in a few feet.

We then sat, trapped like rats, with the doors shut, as 6 trains pulled in and out across the tracks.

Passengers started pounding on the windows to be let out after 10 minutes, as orange-vested MTA-types shook their heads at us and kept stalking up and down the platform.

Finally, as tempers started to rise, they finally herded us into the one car on the entire train where 1 door was half open, and let us squeeze out and dash to grab the next 6 train.

No calamity here, per se, but not exactly the confidence-boosting experience one has to be reassured that in a real emergency, we wouldn't all be left to die in blind panic.

Bite me, MTA.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Grinch is Early

That's one of my all time favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips, but the older I get, the more the grim underlying humor gets to me.

Steve and I were talking yesterday, and I was complaining about how Christmas advertising seems to start earlier and earlier every year. Back in the day, I seem to feel it really ramped up after Thanksgiving, and the month of constant bombardment to BUY! things to show everyone how much you LOVE! them was at least reasonably tolerable.

But now, as I said to Steve, Christmas does literally start the day after Halloween, and it's a non-stop hellfest of Santa this and elves that and cheesy families chucking snowballs at each other in the season of merriment and joy (all for only $99.99 + shipping and handling).

Not that this is revelatory, but as I kid, I used to love Christmas. Getting the tree, decorating it (especially with my favorite ornament, shaped like a tiny old-fashioned gum ball machine), watching the cat bat low hanging ornaments all over the house, eagerly counting my stockpile of gifts, knowing the shape and size of the box for Cornsilk Kids Cabbage Patch Doll and realizing I was getting one. Or the matching Barbie horses, one palomino and one black.

But, as an adult, there's the pressure of finding just the perfect gift and the financial sucker punch one reels from in January. I begrudge no one on my Christmas list, and I get tremendous pleasure out of happening upon a present someone I love truly enjoys.

It's really just the ceaseless, endless, shameless marketing and sheer commercialization of the season that gets me down. Two months of any one commercial is already too much, and when every commercial is practically identical, and they're all urging me to buy for the sake of buying, I feel myself thinking, "Goddammit, it's Chrismahanukwanzakah again."

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