realLife

Constant Vigilance

When interviewing with a prospective employer or embarking on a first date there is a lot of fuss made about first impressions. You want to look the part of up-standing citizen and hide the fact that you maybe aren't a neat freak or the most detailed oriented.  

Personally, I've gone into a job interview with my shirt on inside out and backwards. Thankfully a couple years before that day in particular the Gap had come out with a new line of 'tagless T's' so it wasn't as obvious you'd think. Also, the person I interviewed with might have thought "the kids" where enjoying a new inside-out-backward fad of some kind. I wound up getting that job and (for all of my faults) I excelled at it. On the other side of things, when I met my current partner I thought he was a bit of a spaz, until he took interest in the things I had to say and my opinion changed dramatically.

My point is, while first impressions are important they only offer one small look into our potential. By making it to an earlier agreed upon location, completely clothed, fed, and caffeinated, you have only really committed to the bare essentials of adulthood. It's not until you are in the middle of a tense discussion in the office or stuck on the side of the road with your significant other that the real metal of a person is tested. Moments like those can't be created artificially so we must always be open to what might come our way and respond accordingly.

 

While this observation seems obvious, "Don't judge a book by it's cover kids!", it's amazing how often snap judgments are made that come from a place that is scared, ignorant, or just plan jaded.

In the past month I have learned so much from the people kind and adventurous enough to come over and talk about their lives into a microphone. The biggest take away though, has been not to take for granted the real person living underneath the first glance or interaction.

 

Ask yourself, would you have treated this kitty as royalty if she hadn't worn a crown?

Notes on Bus Travel

The snow is steady and sticking but not bad. It's the traffic that sucks. People lose their minds over a dusting.

 

Everyone will discuss this subject idly around the office coffee pot this winter. Droll topics such as the weather are perfect for avoiding your cubicle. The only thought that comes to my mind is how much I miss sitting in traffic when it's this cold outside. Riding the bus in the winter is all about honing your survival strategy. 

Traffic is so backed up on East Carson today that even the normally mute commuters  are starting to bond over the bus' lateness.

Have you seen it? Figures... it's never on time. With this weather, we are fucked! Goddamn drivers make too much money while we freeze our asses off!

The necessary equipment for winter bus travel:

  • Easily accessible bus fare (don't leave your fellow riders out in the freezing cold while you scramble for exact change- I fucking mean it.)
  • Water resistant footwear insulated by thick socks. If it's really slushy out, wrap your socked feet in plastic bags to keep the wet from creeping in - just in case you have to wait or walk a while. 
  • A good coat (duh), scarf, hat, and if you don't lose them often like I do - a nice set of gloves. This is an obvious thing to mention but you'd be surprised how often I see a poor soul freezing their asses off at the stop. I can tell their car is in the shop that week.
  • A cell phone or small flashlight is essential. If the street light is out at the stop your at that bus will fly right by you. 
  • Something to listen to AND something to read, the former for the wait and the latter for the ride. Both if you get stuck with the bickering couple that ride every morning on the 54 to the Southside. Her mother-in-law isn't a fan of that dude and I never cared why...

 

This list provides only the very basic elements for survival on the Allegheny County Port Authority Bus system.  Feel free to tell me what I'm missing.