Category Archives: Transportation

Take a Right, at the Speed of Light and Head for Proxima b

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If you got past the conspiracy theories, mud slinging, “softening” on positions, media frenzy and general acrimony of the the 2016 election that was all the news yesterday, (I think they should load  both candidates up with beer, escort them to a mud pit, let them go one-on-one and winner take all, but that’s a rant for another day) you may have stumbled across an article about potentially habitable planet Proxima b.  Located outside of our solar system, Proxima b is apparently the closest potentially habitable planet to Earth at just over 4 light years away which, by my bubba math, is about 24 trillion miles.  That’s one hell of a road trip, and reminds me of my 1979 Honda Civic which looks and drives like its traveled a couple trillion miles.

Suffice it to say, neither my Honda not any conventional spacecraft is going to be humping it to Proxima b anytime soon.    We’re going to have to come up with a new mode of travel more in line with the make believe world of Star Wars or Star Trek.

So here’s a question.  Have you ever seen a cockroach either appear or disappear?  If you are like me, the short answer is, NO and YES respectively.   Where I come from, lots of folks call the big ones Palmetto bugs and when they appear they generally cause women and adolescent girls to scream, old folks to swoon, men to go for a shoe or magazine, and children to ask their parents if they can hop on and go for a ride.

Anyway, I have never seen a cockroach enter a room.  Not once in my life.  They simply appear.

Walk into a room, poof, they are in the middle of the carpet.  Turn on a light, poof, they are traipsing across the wall, look up from a book and they are strolling along a counter top.

Unless you nail them with a shoe or magazine (which requires light speed, I might add), more often than not, they simply disappear into thin air .  You aim, fire, miss then lift up the sock they just ran under and poof, they are gone, or the notebook, or the chair or the wall hanging.  They simply vanish.  Get my drift?

So I am thinking, perhaps the best way to Proxima b is by way of understanding the cockroach.  If they appear from thin air and then disappear into thin air, who’s to say they aren’t the ticket to understanding long distance space travel?  If they can do it, why can’t we?  Heck, they are probably already Proxima b already.  Light years ahead of us.

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The Top 7 Strangest Things About Living in NYC That No One Ever Mentions

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Dear friends, I have been living in New York City for quite some time now. And as you can probably guess, it is a strange and wonderful place. What I personally find most amusing are the daily occurrences that nobody ever seems to talk, write, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, or otherwise let you know about. My dear friends, I would like to share them with you now.

1. I’m going to try to say this as delicately as I possibly can. When walking around the streets of New York, occasionally (read: all the freaking time) one’s undergarments choose to slowly (or sometimes swiftly) shift themselves from their comfortable and well-adjusted positions and decide to enthusiastically lodge themselves in places they should never EVER be. In a normal situation, you would be able to find a discrete location in order to quickly and assertively put them in their place. NOT IN NEW YORK. Here, everyone can see everyone else during seemingly ALL moments of one’s walk to the subway/work/food/home, and there is NERE a moment to adjust, leaving instead a bunch of people who all look as though they’re about to murder someone. New Yorkers are not mean, they just have colossal wedgies.

2. People handing out flyers have all made it their PASSIONATE life’s mission for YOU PERSONALLY to take their flyer. I’m talking about physically blocking you from progressing on your journey, following you several feet while manically waving their flyer about, and putting said flyer RIGHT in your line of vision so you are quite literally blinded and can walk no further. Sir, if I did not care to take your flyer for the creepy Chinese massage parlor of terror in the past 93 days, I most certainly will NOT be taking one now!

3. People stare at you. All the time. Not in a “Oh wow, look at that beautiful (or HIDEOUS) girl walking by!” kind of way. No no, dear friends, they stare at you as though they have never in their lives seen a blonde-haired creature before in their lives. It’s as though you are a fairy or unicorn or perhaps extinct dodo bird strutting down the street like it ain’t no thang. People look at you in shock and amazement.

4. No matter what you do, you will inadvertantly touch approximately 6.7 people’s butts on the subway whilst you ride to work. There’s nothing to be done. All the car jostling and people moving and ranges of human size make it physically impossible to avoid them. It does not matter how diligently you attempt to keep your hands away from butts of all shapes and sizes-as SOON as you step into a subway car, your hand becomes a magnet for random strangers’ rear ends.

5. Similarly, if you manage to get a coveted seat on the subway where your innocent hands are FAR away from anyone else’s butts, you are suddenly struck by the horrifying view of a stranger’s crotch. Or even worse, you find yourself sitting underneath someone’s outstretched arm. This person thinks they are merely holding on to a pole above your head. Not so. All of a sudden you are in the splash zone of an exposed armpit, begging yourself not to think of what lurks above.

6. Gym snobbery. What’s up with that? It seems as though 90% of Manhattan goes to a mind-blowingly fancy gym where they “work out” with other perfect looking people in their fancy lulu lemon yoga pants. Why does your hair look perfect AT THE GYM?! This is not a runway show! What are you doing in there?! A photo shoot for the rich and fabulous?! And why do you come out looking even more put together and perfect than you did when you went in?! When I go to the gym, I immediately turn into the most horribly awkward and unattractive version of myself, embarrassingly trying to use machines and muscles I’ve never even heard of. Go away, gym snobs! I’m no match for you. You somehow look like a majestic and graceful stallion while working out, and I look like disgruntled platypus trying to waddle her way over a block of slick ice!

7. Buildings without air conditioning EXIST here. Honey baby sugar child, I am from the SOUTH. When I walk out out of the humid, horrible, hair-deflating heat, I want to feel like I’ve found my own personal igloo oasis, a place where I can sit down, have a nice tall glass of iced tea, and freshen up my lipstick y’all. I most certainly do NOT want to walk out of the humid, horrible, hair-deflating heat into a fiery sauna building from HELL in which the air is somehow MORE dense and MORE mind-meltingly hot than it was outside! I don’t care how you do it, New York, but get that AC going.

While there are many glorious and wonderful things about living in this great city, those, my friends, are the most horribly (albeit amusingly) terrible occurrences and quirks about residing here.

Train Training

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As I zipped along in the underground confines of the Q train yesterday, the subway car began making odd noises. About every 30 seconds or so, the train would make a horrible groaning sound as if the side of the car was grating against the wall of the tunnel.

My friends, if you’ve ever ridden on any form of public transportation (and I certainly hope you have, unless you are fabulously rich and can afford those things I’ve heard speak of called “taxis”), you know that irritating, delay-causing, and exceedingly odd occurrences happen each and every day. So my subway car making a horrid noise was not cause of any alarm or concern.

But it did get me thinking…

How in the hell subway drivers train to become a subway driver?! There must be some sort of class, note taking, hours of simulated driving, an exam they must pass. They MUST have a training period.

BUT, as in most jobs, there must also be that terrifying and nausea-inducing first day, in which the little baby bird of an employee must leap (or be shoved) from the safety of the training nest and ACTUALLY perform whatever task they have been hired to do.

What I want to know is how many times I have ridden on a subway that was conducted by a driver on their very first day. Does this explain a myriad of strange occurrences throughout my time as a dutiful subway rider?

I think back to the other day when, rather than the typical automated voice droning the stop and subsequent instructions for being a courteous rider, a person with a strange, high pitched, circus-announcer voice came over the intercom and made announcements.

“Laaaaaadies and Gentlemeeeeen, this is LEXINGTON and 59th!!!” He screamed excitedly, as if nothing so thrilling had ever before happened in his life.

“Pleaaaaaase step out, step out, step out of the car quickly! And make room for our new guests! New guests, new guests, kiiiiiiiiiiindly move to the interior of the car, say hello to the other passengers, and away, away, awaaaaaaaay we go!”

…This strange man was making the N train sound like a ride at the fair or a jaunty square dance rather than 20 people too many squeezed against each other like extremely uncomfortable sardines.

Could this be because it was this odd man’s first day? Was he so incredibly excited to finally be fulfilling his dreams of driving the N train that his enthusiasm was spilling out and over the intercom?

And could this explanation account for just yesterday, when the train inexplicably honked its incredibly loud horn over and over again, causing me to think “Who the hell are you honking at?! We’re on a singular track! I surely hope you’re not honking at ANOTHER TRAIN, sir or madam, because if you are, we are all about to die!”

But perhaps this was simply a fresh employee, being initiated into some secret subway drivers’ club by honking the horn and casually terrifying unsuspecting passengers!

I began to imagine the inner monologue of the inexperienced man driving the Q train I was currently on, awkwardly and continually scraping the side of the train against the walls.

“Oh…oh shoot. Sorry! Sorry. Dammit,” He would think, as the train emitted its shocked groan of discontent.

Swear pouring from his brow, he would nervously overcorrect and scrape the other side instead, all the while thinking, “I’m TRYING here! But this subway track is absolutely NOTHING like the one in the simulation! I think MAYBE these tracks have been updated since they developed the driver training in 1987!”

This is all just a theory, dear friends, and once which I’m sure bears very little merit. However, the thought of it entertained me until the conclusion of my ride, and I felt the amusing need to share my theory with you.

What do you think, subway riders of the world?