Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Why does the media insist on making my life horrible? I am usually ok with the media. Sometimes the media pisses me off but I understand it is a godless-lack-of-information-machine set to only deliver half the news. I am aware of this and accept it. However, when the media trespasses on my good fortune, I have serious problems.

Case in point, the current North Side expansion project on the CTA was blasted all over today’s Redeye paper. For the past month, we have been told that on April 2 the 2-year expansion project will start and it could as much as double commute times. People have been bombarded with messages to leave early, leave late, take alternate routes, etc.. I was not looking forward to this.

Yesterday morning I got up at my regular time and left at my regular time. I wanted to see how awful this expansion was and would then adjust accordingly if need be. I got to work 5 minutes earlier than normal. The train was far less crowded than usual (which doesn’t matter to me since I live far North enough to always get a seat) and people seemed calm and relaxed. On my way home I left at the normal time and arrived home about 10 minutes late due to some sitting, no biggie. The train was much less crowded and people seemed calm and relaxed. I thought the golden age of transit had arrived.

As you can tell, I did not post about this phenomenon yesterday. It would have fit in well with the whole branch theme (branches of transit) but I wanted to keep this glorious redline change a secret. I have a few readers in Chicago and, while I love you guys, I didn’t want this good news getting out. Selfish yes, stupid no.

This morning as I am taking my leisurely ride on my incredibly un-crowded train (it was a brown line car with fewer seats than the red line ones and nothing filled up until Sherridan) I began to read the red eye. There were two separate articles on how great the commute was on the train. Are they trying to ruin me? If people find out that the trains are great now they will stop taking alternate routes, leaving late, leaving early, and the commute times will double. It’s not smart to advertise things that will cause problems. I fully expect my 15 minute early arrival this morning (despite leaving at the normal time) to be my last. Tomorrow all those people who read the articles will be back on the trains and I will be late to work.

On a happier note, Sandra of Sunshine Scribe has been sending interview questions out to various bloggers and I wanted to post our interaction for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

1. What is the first concert you ever attended?
The first concert I was at was technically a Yanni concert. I don’t know why my parents were there. They generally have pretty good taste in music. I was a small baby and cried until they had to leave. The first concert I remember was an outdoor Stevie Wonder concert. That was really awesome.

2. If you were recouperating in a hospital, who would you want in the bed next to you, excluding your relatives?
It really depends on what I am recovering from. If it was a surgery on my abdomen I would need someone not very funny, if it was for any other reason I would need a funny person. Tony doesn't count because although he is not related, he is family. I would probably say Brooke, my partner in crime from the college days. She can make me laugh or talk about the deeper philosophies of life. she probably wouldn't make too much fun of me for being in the hospital, but she might. Not to mention she plays a mean Monopoly.

3. What is your least favourite word?
Being a lover of linguistic expression I honestly can’t say that I have a least favorite word. I think every word expresses something and was put into the language for a reason. Even the words that incite riots and wars are important to me. I may not say them, but every loaded word elicits some kind of emotion and that is what living and expressing yourself is all about. Part of what makes life so tragic and so beautiful are the bad things in it. We couldn't laugh without pain. Everything has its place.

4. For what do you think you would be willing to lay down your life?
My sister is the one thing that pops into my head immediately. I have a real protective thing with that girl and hate to see her in pain. While political causes and social justice are important to me, I think that I can effect more change in those areas alive than dead (at least in this day and age). My life is pretty darn important to a lot of people.

5. What reality TV show would you kick butt on?
America’s Next Top Short Plus-Sized Model. This show obviously doesn’t exist. I don’t think I would be all that good on any reality show. I tend to have a relatively dry sense of humor and I don’t know if it would really translate well to a wide audience. I also tend to be a jerk sometimes and it would probably get me kicked off pretty quick. Once this girl dragged me along to a casting for The Real World and they asked me what I would do when embarrassed and I said I didn’t get embarrassed (which at that point was actually kind of true I made a fool of myself often and didn’t much care) because nothing was that important. A girl next to me said something about walking into a wall in front of a cute boy. I said I would get over that (I had a big habit of doing stupid things in front of a particular “cute” boy who got less cute over time) and I was telling the truth. They thought I was no fun and I got no call back. Then again, I would assume few people do.

1. What happened to/ The world we knew/ When we were dreaming, scheming/ Whiling the time away.

2. Megan/ She don’t eat bacon/ She never killed a sweet innocent little piggy to get bacon.

3. And she was lying in the grass/ And she could hear the highway breathing/ and she could see a nearby factory/ she’s making sure she isn’t dreaming. And She Was, by Talking Heads. Identified by hospital buddy Brooke.

4. It's a hard world to get a break in/ All the good things have been taken/ But girl there are ways/ To make certain things pay

5. I’ve got a delicate mind/ I’ve got a dangerous nature/ And my fist collides/ With your furniture. Regrets, by The Eurythmics. Identified by Dad (much better than Yanni)


Dad said...

#5, Regrets by The Eurythmics (MS word insists on calling them Eurthymics). Coincidently, I was watching 1984 on my PSP.

Danielle said...

I so agree with you on words but there have been words that have caused me to thrown down, two I am not even going to dignify with text and the other was "immature" in context of that particular beat down it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I think I may have that story written somewhere with the focus of sociological connections that I wrote for school. I might even post it.
I can only imagine what you are to face with the commute now that everyone knows that there was no delays.
I hope at least you can get a seat.

Brooke said...

Aw, Friend, I'm honored. By the way, you will always be King of the Rock to me.

3. And She Was - Talking Heads. The first song on that busted cd you made me.

Sandra said...

You are the best. I love, love, love your answers.

Thanks so much for playing along!!

Lakeiya said...

I gotta disagree with you on the least favorite word thing. I'm having trouble thinking of my least favorite word at the moment but I know there have been one's where I was like "wow, that word's kind of lame." Like "fart." That word's really no fun. An actual fart is a lot more interesting than the word itself. I guess I'm just saying not all words evoke emotions; some of them are just plain boring and those are probably my least favorite kind.

Blondie said...

I was wondering about the CTA situation. I used to take a bus and two trains to work before I got a car. Now my life is much less stress free--and I get 3 hours back of my life every day. I hope the situation stays good for you. Damn that Red Eye!!

Lizza said...

Oohh, I understand your frustration with the media. Sometimes things are just too good to share. Selfish, eh? Damn.

Very good interview! I enjoyed reading your answers. I love words, too, except for one: the "c" word.

With Love, Fat Girl said...

Sorry the media's been so nuts on you, but thinking about it from a young reporter's point of view... any "important" story is jumped on, as it's always a career boost.

Sucky, I know.

Monica said...

you know what two words I hate? froth and frothy. Blecchhhh

Natalie said...

Dad- shouldn't you have been working...

Danielle- I'll always get a seat, but maybe not the nice one in the back all by myself.

Brooke- Well thanks, funny how that incident wasn't even with the particularly embarrassing guy. Man I suck at life sometimes.

Sandra- Thanks for letting me play. Couldn't have answers w/o questions.

Lakeiya- You are cute and adorable and I want to pinch your cheeks. You also told me you like the word poot, HA.

Blondie- I would never do a bus and two trains, sounds horrible. I have always lived one train away from work and like it that way.

Lizza- Sometimes I don't like that word and sometimes when I really am mad at someone it is the only one that will do.

WLFG- That’s the journalist in you coming out, not the humanist that I know is in there.

Monica- How about a nice frothy milkshake?

CS said...

I like that meme, and I especially like, "Part of what makes life so tragic and so beautiful are the bad things in it. We couldn't laugh without pain. Everything has its place." Well said.