Holidays Are Just About A Wrap................

Well, Christmas has come and gone for yet another year, and I actually had a pretty decent one, all things considered.  I had to celebrate it a couple of days early, due to the fact that I was working on the actual day of, but that’s fine with me.  Since I first started working, back when I was 14, or 15, I’ve worked Christmas day whenever the opportunity presented itself.  My justification has always been, if I work it someone else can have the day off, which in its own is a nice present for a sometimes complete stranger.  Too bad whomever that individual is that reaps the reward of my insatiable thirst for holiday pay can never be found when I need the weekend off for Beer Fest in August, but such is the way of giving, very often it is somewhat one sided.   I’m just playing around, I really don’t mind one bit.  I rather enjoy driving the bus on Christmas day for two reasons, one, the empty Toronto streets are so surreal, right out of a movie of sorts.  And two, the people of Toronto are uncharacteristically very pleasant, even though they are out for whatever reason they are out on Christmas day.  So that’s where I was, on the 24th, 25th, 26th, and where I will be on the 31st, and January the 1st.  Out of all them, New Years’ Eve is the only one that’s moderately tedious, the rest are just light drives, coffee, crosswords, coffee, sodukos, and a bit more coffee.

Now, for my Festivous like festivities, that was another story.  I had a rather busy couple of days on my pseudo Xmas.  A buddy that I used to work with flew in from overseas this month, so he, my roommate and I, went to the restaurant we used to work at back in the day.  We killed that place too.  I had a steak the size of your head, and ended dinner with a slab of carrot cake that made the steak look small.  And the amount of one liners, jokes, and intricate metaphors that were dropped that evening at dinner were enough to fill three comedy books.  It was a good entertaining meal, and must be done again, hopefully quicker than the 6 years we waited to do this one. The next day, I made the hour and three quarter trek to visit my mom.  We hung out, swapped some gifts up, and then buzzed across town to visit Grandma and Grandpa, with a special cameo appearance from my father, (I know, right?).  Grandma cooked, and oh did she ever.  Prime Rib was the feature item, because everyone knows I don’t do turkey (unless YOU are really going to deep fry me one, because I have to try that, I’m waiting BTW, and a call or text doesn’t hurt either……just saying) After that, I headed back home, and on the way popped into my other Grandmas for a late night visit, and stayed for a bit.  I kicked it with her, and my Aunt, just telling old ones, playing with dogs, and eating some more cake.  I’m one of the fortunate enough ones to actually have two Grandmothers still and this I know to be true, there is no one out there that hugs you like your Grandma does, she just means that shit, and it’s unparalleled.  Mom hooked up the presents as well, like she always does.   I’m a simple man really, all I ask for is toiletries, and she, as she always does, delivered.  I won’t have to step into a Wal Mart for deodorant, razors, soap, socks or underwear until probably mid-summer, as of right now that is, because my birthday is in the spring, and she will go ahead and do it all over again then.  Copped me a new set of sheets as well, light green, 600 thread count.  My ass can’t wait to get these on, literally.  She also knows I’m a movie buff, and usually litters me with Blu-Rays.  I told her I wanted the newly released Star Wars box set, and in only child fashion, I got it.  Now if I only I could catch the flu, I’d have the time to lie in bed and watch all 9 discs.  She also, for some strange reason got me Gremlins.  She said I used to love that movie when I was a kid and watched it over and over again, although I don’t really remember seeing it more than once.  However, I have made mention to a lady friend or three that I got that movie, and they all replied the same way, “Gizmo is so god damn cute, I love him.  Can I come over and watch it with you?”  Mom may be onto something here, I’ll keep you posted. All in all I’m satisfied with my take, I don’t ask for much, because I don’t really need much, but Mom more or less spoils me every year like she always has since I was a kid.  And who am I to say anything about it, it’s what she likes to do, let her do it, right?
Now, before I move onto New Years, there’s something I want to touch on real quick.  I wanted to say something a few weeks back, but thought it should wait until after the 25th, for appropriateness.  There was a lot of grumbling this year, as there is every year, and seemingly growing grumbling on an annual basis about the term Merry Christmas, or lack thereof.  The term is slowly being phased out, and changed yearly, bit by bit too “happy holidays”, a more generic correct version.  And this undoubtedly has people worked up in frenzy.  I see more and more posts about “I have a Christmas tree this” and “I give Christmas presents that”, and that’s fine, I understand.  But what I think you don’t understand is that, it’s not the minorities, or differing religions that are causing this nonsense.  It’s the right wing media and the ever always wanting to be politically correct organizations that are both promoting and forcing corporations to change their holiday slogans.  And by getting involved in all this hoopla of promoting Christmas versus whatever variation of seasonal greetings, you’re really just adding fuel to a non-existent fire.  Truth be told, ever since Santa Claus was created, the direct affiliation of any religious beliefs pertaining to this holiday began to subside.  And anyone in the know will tell you, the 25th historically isn’t even Christ’s birthday, it was used primarily because it was exactly one week prior to the mark of the New Year.  And all your ranting and raving about this situation means you’re no better than the people who cause this nonsense, because you, just as they do, prove your naivety in forgetting what Christmas has evolved into, the celebration of the golden rule if you will.  An opportunity to both do unto others as you would have done unto you, and to, if financially available, offer charitably in the form of gifts to loved ones all in the name of thanks.   Thanks for another year of friendship, thanks for being there, and thanks for being you.  Running to the top of the mountain and screaming as loud as you can “it’s a Christmas tree damnit” does nothing but leave you cold, and hoarse.  Call it whatever you want to call it.  Let shopper’s drug mart call it whatever they want to call it.  And let the guy handing out his pamphlets outside the subway call it whatever he wants to call it.  Who cares?  But celebrate it how you feel it should be celebrated, and don’t buy into media propaganda, it’s terribly unbecoming of you to be honest, and I expect better.

Now, onto New Years.  As stated earlier, I will be working.  Late too.  But it’s cool, because I’ve put together an evening with the team, set for Thursday, and it will be our “New Year’s Eve” if you will.  The team I have in place was strategically picked for what they bring to the table, because the plan for that evening is quite simple, it’s simple but genius.  We are all meeting up somewhere, and crawling until we find where we will spend our evening.  We may end up staying at the first spot we hit, we may end up staying at the 12 spot we hit.  One round and call it then, that’s the M.O.  Which is what makes the selection of soldiers important.  I assure you, even if we don’t find a good spot, absolute hilarity will ensue.  It will inevitably turn into an expensive night, and I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but the guys have bought into it, so we are doing it.  We could end up on the other side of the city.  We could end up at the casino.  We could end up at the airport, who knows.  But it will be ridiculously entertaining none the less.  If you are interested and want to come along, let me know, and if I think your someone we should have joining us, I’ll tell you the starting point, because at this point, that’s all that’s really known.
As far as resolutions go, I’ve never been one to buy into the New Year’s resolution game.  I’m of the will and mentality that if something needs to be fixed or changed, I’ll do it on March 13th or August 27th, just as easily as I could on January 1st.  But I do understand how the flip of a calendar and the beginning of a new trip around the Sun can help you with yours on a subconscious level, and I won’t mock that.  But stick to whatever you decide to do please, you put a lot of effort into making whatever decision you’re making, see it through.  If you need help, call me, I’ll motivate you.  If I were to make a resolution, what would it be?  Okay, well, let’s see.  The first thing I’m going to start working on is a little trimming of the social fat I seemed to have taken on.  The phone seems to beep an awful lot with not much being said, and frankly I’m over it.  I’ve allowed myself to be sponged into some very serious small talk relationships, and believe me when I tell you this, those days are numbered.  So, if I disappear from your BBM, or suddenly stop returning your messages, now you know why, in 2012 I’m not playing any more games with a lot of people.  The New Year will also usher in the return of an important rule of mine that I haven’t exactly been enforcing as of late.  If I message you, and you don’t reply, for a total of three times, consider that your good bye.  I honestly don’t think there is anything out there ruder than reading and not replying to a message, of any kind, without some sort of recognition.  Picture this, if I bump into you in the mall, and we walk up to each other, and I say, “Hey, how’s it going?  What’s up?” and you say nothing at all, how long do you think I will allow that to go on for, before I grab you by the throat and ask you not so politely what the hell your problem is?  So why is BBM any different?  How long does it take to type “busy, can we talk soon?”, or “fuck off stalker, I hate you”? Clearly not long at all, so have some text etiquette will you.  Three messages total, over any period of time, and your cut, end of story.  Resolutions as far as the blog is concerned, well, we have some big plans for the blog, and they will be revealed as time goes on, but I’ll say this much, as long as there is someone out there, be it in California, be it in Toronto, be it in Latvia, so much as I have one reader, I’ll post something for them.  Now, I don’t know if I can keep up the torrid pace of one post per every seven days that I’ve been maintaining now for over 4 months but I’ll try.  At minimum I’ll promise three per month, and we will go from there.  What about the gym?   Oh boy, that’s a game plan that has to get totally chopped and screwed.  I plateaued about 6 weeks ago, and haven’t been able to shake it, no matter what I do, so I’m going to have to figure something out there.  As soon as my New Years with the guys is recovered from, I’ll start studying and work those bugs out.  Might have to switch the Marky Mark thing up though, I’m seriously starting to doubt I can get that light, which for the record, as my mom said to me, the last time I was under 200 pounds I was a teenager.  We might switch it up, and go for bulk now, I have a body more conducive to that.   

Anyway, that’s enough for now, I’m gonna go take these new sheets for a spin, and enjoy this Neo Citron buzz I got going on, make sure you have a happy New Year, I most likely will, but you have a couple of drinks for me, dance, and be safe.  I’ll be out there New Year’s Eve, if anyone needs a ride home, just message me, but remember, if I message you, you should probably message back, or that’s one…..    Finish up the holiday season strong, and I’ll see everyone back here in 2012!!


This Is Our Mayor ?!?!?!

“Services will not be cut, guaranteed."       
“There will be no major service cuts to the TTC.”
“There will be no major service cuts to the TTC in 2012.”

That’s three different direct quotes by one person, the Mayor of our great city, Mr. Rob Ford.  Slightly contradicting?  If you know him or have followed him, you’ve learned to accept that he does shit like this, like it or not.  And the reason is simple really.  He was elected based solely on one platform.  He is an average everyday guy, wanting only to run the city for average everyday people.  It’s a campaign that in all honesty was noble, but it brings to light a very important focus point.  You see, you can hate on politicians as much as you want.  I mean sure they are conniving, they have hidden agendas, maybe they don’t always say or do what they said they were going to say or do, but one things for sure, you want a seasoned vet of the political game in charge at the end of the day.  One with a track record of accomplishments, and one who, for the most part possesses some assemblage of how to do things, preferably in the right way.   Since his election approximately a year ago, the people of Toronto have learned a very important lesson, and it’s something I said when he was running, it’s something I’ve always said and it’s something I will continue to say until my last breathe has been taken.  You don’t want average everyday people running shit, because point blank, average everyday people don’t know how to run shit, hence why they are average everyday normal people.  Look at it like this, I’m about as average as they come.  Normal, everyday guy, who goes to work, comes home, eats and repeats.  I have my views, some of which are rational, some of which are extreme, and I have ideas on how things should be done.  Now ask yourself this, knowing me as well as you do, do you really want me to run this city?  Probably not, because in the grand scheme of things, although I keep a mean blog, drive a bus much smoother than the next guy, and always have a story or joke to tell, I don’t bring a whole lot more to the table.  And I certainly don’t know anything about balancing a Metropolis sized budget, being in front of a camera where everything I say and do is open to grand speculation and criticism, or having every decision I make result in the spending of millions of dollars’ worth of someone else’s money. But this isn’t about me, this is about Bubba, and so on the eve of a decision that will no doubt result in a fare increase AND major service reduction to the TTC, which he promised wouldn’t happen on his watch, let’s look at a few things he’s done in and around the city, to make it oh such a lovely place to live. To be fair, I won’t get into his hot headed temper tantrums with 911 operators or people who take his picture while he’s using his phone and driving.  Nor will I dwell on his personal feuds with particular media outlets or the fact that he can’t remember the last time he could do up the bottom two buttons on his shirt, I’ll just look at hard issues, numbers and facts.
Removing the Vehicle Registration Tax

This was just ridiculous, and downright redundant.  Although, I suppose it had to be done, since it was one of the promises he made on his campaign towards election.  One of the few I might add, that he has actually kept, if not the only one he kept?  Truthfully speaking, the VRT wasn’t that bad.  Anyone who lives in the city, and annually registers their car had to pay an additional $60 tax, which translated, equates to sacrificing slightly more than a case of beer a year, for the betterment of the city.  You may disagree, and that’s okay, but you’re short sighted.  That tax generated $200 million for Toronto, which could have gone a long way and done a lot of positive things, it wouldn’t have cleared us from the red by any stretch, but it sure would have dented the shortfalls.  And from Ford’s perspective, the tax was implemented by a previous administration anyway who already suffered the political back lash from it, so he should have just left it alone.  

 Closing of Public Swimming Pools and Arena’s
Besides the fact that public swimming pools and arena’s, or community centers in general, offer employment to numerous high school and university students trying to support themselves and their education, these places do something that is invaluable to our society.  They offer a refuge to our youth, an inexpensive place where they can go and have fun, exercise and be supervised by at least somewhat positive role models in our community.  Its two fold really, battling negative influence and obesity at the same time.  And I don’t give a shit how much it costs to operate places like this, because the reality of it all is, without venues of such, there’s only one place cheaper to spend your days.  Out in the streets, where there are no lifeguards, no counselors or no rec committee employees.  But there are guys named “Dagger” and “Stretch”, who become authority figures in our futures lives, and it doesn’t take a physicist to figure out where these kids are going to be in a few years.  It costs a lot more to, ahem, rehab these youths in the future, than it does to keep them busy and safe in the present.  That’s basic matrix math, current cost vs. production vs. future cost.  It’s pretty simple shit Ford, just add it up.

Closing of Public Libraries
This one really baffles me, because if there is one thing our kids, and some of our adults need, it’s a lot more knowledge.  Seriously, has anyone noticed that the youth of our generation couldn’t throw together a proper sentence if their lives depended on it?  Never mind the fact that they have a street fight with any word bigger than three syllables.  And who the fuck closes a library anyway?  I know, I know, the defense is, everything’s available online, and right at your fingertips, right?  And libraries cost a lot of money to ascertain.  But we all know what happens when you’re doing research online.  One minute you’re reading a great article about the strange existence of anti-matter and its radical imbalance as a cosmic constituent, next minute you’re watching three someway, somehow, very sexy, Vietnamese Shemales having at it, and 15 minutes later you’re taking a nap.  Ok, 4 minutes later, but that’s not the point.  Pump a little money in promoting libraries, offer rewards on spare time essays, or book reports, be pro-active, it’s our damn future your impeding here, because if you don’t, you’re really saying you just want to raise a generation of bus drivers, and we already got plenty of those.

The Police Department
If you’ve ever been out in our streets, particularly at night, you know and will testify that if there is one thing we need more of, it’s a police presence.  We aren’t exactly at a West Baltimore level out there yet, but there are more than enough Marlow’s and Barksdale’s in our environment to make you think twice about when and where you go, and about when and where you go there. So demanding that the Police Department makes any kind of cut back is just plain farcical. One of the tactics suggested was cutting back on partnered patrols?  WTF?  Two cops per car aren’t enough if you ask me, because when shit hits the fan out there, it’s rarely ever one on one.  It’s usually more like 6 on 8 or 12 on 3.  So the first car to arrive walks into this situation alone?  I’m not even suggesting that a partner evens things out, but an extra set of eyes, and an extra clip of bullets would never hurt your odds.  These guys out here don’t play, and don’t care, and they have guns, bigger and stronger guns than cops do, that’s for sure.  Up the police budget, and spend what you have to.  Is there really a number associated with public safety?  And if there is, what’s the price tag Mr. Ford, because I would love to know the dollar value on an innocent bystander’s life, or mine for that matter.

The Fire Department
In the last 15 years Toronto’s, well, the GTA’s population has boomed by approximately 20%.  That’s unfathomably huge.  Yet the GTA’s fire department hasn’t grown at nearly the same rate, although sadly, I can’t find the exact numbers, I do recall hearing 5-6 percent somewhere, and is now facing serious cutbacks themselves.  Some three hundred firefighters and twenty plus trucks are to be removed from service in the next year?  The standard response time for an emergency is 6 minutes and 20 seconds from the sounding of the bell, with the whole crew arriving at about the 8 minute mark, yet the department is coming in around 7 minutes and 30 seconds for the first truck to arrive on scene. It’s not their fault because of resources available, but too far below the standard none the less.  Here’s something for you to think about, you can’t rationalize with fire, there’s no talking things out with it.  It’s not a drunk at the bar, or a girlfriend and boyfriend arguing, where you can slow the escalation process until help arrives.  It’s fire, and quite frankly, it does what the fuck it wants to do.  And my thinking is, if your one of the men or woman crazy enough to want to run into a burning building and right the situation, I want to make sure that you have whatever you need to get there and do it as quickly and properly as possible.  For a city of this size, we should be coming in better than what the standards call for, and being proud to do so.  These are the people brave enough to save our grandmothers and children, those who aren’t quick enough or strong enough to get out of horrible situations themselves.  Why would you even think about sending these people home?  That’s just plain stupid.

As far as the TTC is concerned, let’s be realistic here, there’s no way I can address this situation with any level of bias, and clearly, bias opinion is something I strive for (???).  Besides, there’s nothing I can tell you that you haven’t already heard, and there’s nothing I can write here that you haven’t already read about.  But for everyone who rides public transit on a regular basis you need to know something. Thanks to Mr. Ford, it’s going to get about as bad as you can imagine it getting in the very near future.  He did no favors to either of us by deeming us an essential service and taking away our right to strike, because now we have no real way of defending ourselves, which although you don’t realize it, defends you as well.  We don’t want what the future brings as much as you don’t want what the future brings, but it is inevitable, even if he does at the last second alter the service reductions list like we think he may do.  He doesn’t like us, and we don’t like him.  But the difference is we go about our days and jobs like usual, while he pokes and prods and pushes and pulls. But remember this Rob Ford; you need to be very careful when you fuck with the backbone to society.  You need to be very, very careful.  We are the blue collar individuals who put our health and safety on the line every day.  We sacrifice our social lives and miss our families and friends, all in the name of getting our citizens back and forth across the city.  We lunch box it and hard hat it 365 days a year 24 hours a day, and when you insult us, well you infuriate us.  The people of Toronto will tell you first hand, you can win fights with us here and there, you may even come out on top in big battles more often than not, but when it’s all said and done, WE win the wars.  Just accept it, it’s been going on for around 100 years now, it’s just the way it is.  And watch out too, because if the people that rely on our transit system as well as the people who operate our transit system ever one hundred percent see eye to eye on this matter, and on you in general, we may finally decide that enough is enough ………………………………. just be very careful Rob Ford, be very very careful.

Sometimes You Just Miss The Bus.........................

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been learning some valuable lessons in life.  Sometimes you don’t always get all the toys you want for Christmas, but what you get, should always be enough.  Not everyone gets to fuck the Prom Queen, I myself was 0-3. And sometimes, just sometimes, you down and out miss the bus.  It happens, handle it.  Meaning, get over it, and get over yourself.  For the record, both my contractual agreement and my ethical obligation begins and ends with those who are diligent enough to be waiting patiently for me to arrive at the bus stop, those who are there when they are supposed to be, regardless of whether I’m three minutes early, or nine minutes late, and those who made damn sure to value not only my time, but the time of everyone else who shared that same level of respect to keep things moving expeditiously.  Buses don’t wait for people, people wait for buses.  It couldn’t be any easier to explain.  And who the hell are these people anyway?  The only word that comes to mind is audacity.  The sense of self entitlement is through the roof.  Let’s hold up the entire city, because you HAD to catch the end of Desperate Housewife’s, and now you HAVE to catch THIS bus, not the NEXT one.  Here’s something for you to think about; I would like to have two fully functional and healthy Achilles tendons, I would like to be six foot four, and I would love a much greater endowment.  Do you see me standing on the other side of the street, jumping up and down yelling about it?  Do you see me running from a block and a half away waving my arms in the air making a big spectacle of myself? Or calling some phone number to cry about it to someone who gets paid to answer phones, but clearly doesn’t care?  No, you don’t.  You see me, limping down the street, in my five foot ten frame, with all my average-ness tucked neatly in my pants.  Just trucking along, dancing with what I brought to the ball.  This is what you should be doing too.  Utter to yourself a quick “that sucks”, which, believe me, I do on a regular basis, and get over it, you conceited prick.  Your late, not my fault, yours.  Not the guy working at Tim Horton’s’ fault, yours.  Not whoever called, and you had to answer before you left the house, yours!  Deal with it.  Now I know what you’re going to say.  Because you missed the bus, now you’re going to be late for work, and probably receive some level of disciplinary action resulting from it.  My friend that is basic having a job 101.  Ensure that you have plenty of time to get to work, so as to allow you to be able to overcome circumstances that are out of your control.  Especially if you rely on someone else to get you there.  I drive myself to work.  On an average day, it takes me 30 minutes, door to door.  Does that mean that every day I leave the house exactly 30 minutes before I’m supposed to start?  No.  Because I understand that there are elements out there more powerful than I am, as hard as that is too believe.  I know that the highway can turn into a parking lot on a whim.  Or when I stop for coffee there could be a line up out the door.  Or the weather will somehow become the unseen vehicle on the road and cause me a world of problems, which will slow me down.  I take all these things into consideration every day, and adjust my time accordingly, AND I DRIVE MYSELF!!!    You depend on someone else to get you too work and you don’t allow for considerations?  I’m sorry your highness, tell your boss it was all my fault, I bet he cares.  Real quickly, let’s do a little simple math together.  Let us assume, for the ease of calculation that an average light is one minute long.  And let us assume that the next bus is 10 minutes behind me.  Both numbers are probably off, but for the sake of simplicity we will use them as our factors.  I’m at the stop, loading, off-loading, what have you, and there are 43 people already on my bus, so I’m not quite full but close.  Again, not real numbers, just basic addition, you’ll understand in a moment.  Here you are, in all your mighty-ness, on the other side of the street, and you’re in a hurry, for whatever reason that may be.  You expect me to wait the one minute for the light to change, so you can cross, board my bus, and thus avoiding a 10 minute wait for the next bus, because where ever you need to be, you need to be there rapidly, and that 10 minutes is just too damn long of a wait.  But what about the one minute that the 43 people on the bus now have to wait, in addition to myself, who, in all honesty, has more people waiting on me than you could possibly ever imagine.  That’s 44 minutes of total lost time for us collectively, all so you don’t have wait 10 minutes.  That’s a swing of minus 34 minutes, because you’re a slow moving douchebag.  That seem reasonable to you?  That doesn’t even factor in the traffic that we are holding up, or the however many people up the street or at the subway station that all need to wait that additional minute all on the strength of your self importunateness.     So I ask the question again, who the hell is this guy, that the whole city should stand still for, all for the sake of his time?   Obviously he’s terribly important, and his lost time as a fraction of our lost time is way more substantial.  Guess I’ll wait.  Guess we will all wait. Yeah right, let me know how that works out for you late boy. Oh, and do me a favour, don’t bother calling in to complain either, that’s just pathetically sad.  The truth of the matter is you’re calling someone to say that you screwed up, and didn’t make it on time, regardless of the spin you put on it too make it my fault.  And I assure you, the lady at the customer service desk cares even less than the 43 people on my bus plus I do.  She’s going to tell you what you want to hear, stroke you a little and hang up, and when she does hang up, she’s going to think to herself, damn, that guy must have always got every toy he wanted for Christmas, he most assuredly fucked the Prom Queen,   but in the end, he just down and out missed the bus, and then she will laugh……….Uncontrollably........................

If It Ain't Broke, Change It Slightly....

So I’m broadcasting live and direct via my brand new computer, and let me tell you folks, this thing is a behemoth!  I went out and got myself an early Christmas present, and why not, I work hard.  Well, not really, but I work lots, and that’s hard enough.  I won’t get too much into what it is, because frankly I have no idea, what I will do is give you the link, and if your inclined you can check it out yourself, although I doubt you will, because I wouldn’t, but here it is anyway (mines upgraded to 2TB and Blu Ray)  (newtoyhere)  .....  More on why I did that later…

Now let’s get on with the program shall we?  The producers of theBusDrivachronicles have come up with a new format for me to dandy around, and albeit their good ideas are few and far between, I don’t actually mind this one too much.   Basically they want me to do things like “week in review”, amongst other ideas, in more of a “musings” type arrangement.  Similar to what you might find on the last page of the sports section, or if you used to read “slam” magazine, in their “trash talk” section.  Simply put, its 20 or so ideas, in rapid succession separated by some of these things (…………). It’s not a bad plan, and while I usually throw half their ideas out the window before they are even done explaining them to me, this one I may be able to accommodate them with.  They do after all write the cheque's, so appease if you may, I always say. They also want me to do some reviews on food, restaurants, movies and the like.  And the executive producer, well, he’s one of these computer tech guys, and he demands more links.  He’s of the thinking that the WWW must ever expand, and it can only do such if the contributors to the web, such as me, add links whenever the opportunity presents itself.  Normally when someone demands anything of me, its fight time, but the last time I took a massive stand against him, he changed my password, and wouldn’t give it back  to me until I apologized.  You know how much I love my blog, and to go without it, and without all of you, well, that was just not fun at all, even if it was only for a day and a half.  Apologizing was a very, very humbling experience I must say, and I don’t want to have to do it again.  So I’ll give it a try, but I promise you, like I told him, I will not saturate this blog with anything I wouldn’t myself have any interest in. 

Before we do any of that though, something has to be said about last week’s post.  For the first time since this blog has been up, over 100 people tuned in to have a read on the first day.  That’s a number I couldn’t even fathom when all this started out.  When I reached 60-70 readers I thought that was the ceiling, but clearly that’s not the case.  I know I had some help too, so for everyone out there that retweeted, shared my link or posted their own link on their Facebook page, or anyone that just grabbed someone on the street and told them old school social networking style where to find my thoughts, thank you.  The levels of my appreciation are unexplainable, and please, continue to spread the gospel.  In exchange I will continue to provide you with a complete reading experience, that is both mentally stimulating, and emotionally moving, while at the same time eccentric, different, cutting edge and maybe, if I can squeak it out, a little bit funny at times.  Continue the promotion people. I’m international, thanks to you.  I’m known, and getting more and more known by the day, because of you.  And this blog, nor the people’s blogger, wouldn’t be anything without all of you.  One more time, thank you, and now let’s try this musings format thing out, and see how it goes…..

I don’t like runny noses, so by association I’m not enjoying this late night cold weather.  The days have been absolutely beautiful but the nights are downright freezing, and I’m not a fan at all...............
Remember that Asian girl I crushed that steak with before I went to Mexico?  Well, I got the “no chemistry” talk the other day.  I’m not buying it personally.  If there is one thing I got and can make, its chemistry.  But it’s all good, she was a sweetheart for using that instead of saying “listen, slightly overweight, average looking at best white guys aren’t my thing, soooooo see ya around?”  I ain’t mad at her though…….. 
Oh, and the D.A. by way of the Bay?  Well, she’s down to one word answers, if she even responds to messages at all.  But that’s cool too, she’s busy people, what with a full-fledged important career and all. And let’s face it, although ours would be a story that movies are made of (no Kevin James would not play me, I’d push for Tom Cruise), it would also require a ton of work.  Shame though, I really would have loved National League baseball, and I’m growing somewhat tired of snow.  The precipitation, not the artist……….  
New goals at the gym, and they are pretty basic.  Get down under 210 by January 1st, (currently 222, WAS 256 first week of May) and then look like Marky Mark by the middle of February.  (Marky Mark circa'91) Complete with throwback White Sox hat…….. 
That reminds me, I got to re-up my supply of Barry Bonds, better do that now before I forget, BRB.  Ok, good, that’s done and on the way………….
This is actually pretty fun, we may keep this format……….
The NBA is back, although I’m having a hard time figuring out who cracked, they are keeping that pretty hush hush.  I wonder if my blog had anything to with it?    Probably………. 
Opening day will be Christmas day, and what a lineup of games.  Not really sure that it’s worth missing out on double time and a half, so I’ll be at work. But still, sometimes I wish I had a family to ignore while I put my feet up and enjoy a triple header on a holiday.  Maybe one day…..…  
Jay and Kanye killed it.  I wasn’t there but it’s all I’ve heard about all week.   What impressed me the most?  No opening act.  That speaks volumes about their catalogue……….
You have got to get one of these computers by the way.  It’s powerful enough, that if I wanted to I could probably blow Switzerland right off the map from my bedroom, although I’m probably just going to use it for YouTube and porn.  Shit, mom, skip that part if your reading this…………. 
My two favorite ladies, Rihanna and Avena Lee, and I can’t even tell you how good they look on this screen………….  
I’m enjoying this shit, hope you are too…….. 
Roger Goodell has really fucked up the NFL, it’s not even the same game anymore.  It’s officiated like an elementary school football game now.  FLAG, FLAG, FLAG. Let these dudes hit already, it’s why we watch damn it.  Well, that and the cheerleaders………. 
Do yourself a favor, go to Boston Pizza, and get yourself a brute, add the Bolognese.  You can thank me later……..
Why did Ryan Reynolds get to play two comic book characters? I know one was DC and the other was Marvel, so they would never cross paths anyway, even if Dead Pool didn’t die, but still…………. When was the last time you actually sat down and listened to Journey’s “don’t stop believing”?  That’s one well written eff’in song…………. 
I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t switch from Blackberry to IPhone.  But trust me on something; the new bold 9900 is THE shit.  Not sure if it’s good enough to save RIM, but it’s good enough to get me through until the IPhone 5 drops, maybe I’ll sell out then…….  
J Cole, J Cole, J Cole, J Cole…………….

Wow, you know what? That was a blast.  That format is definitely sticking around.  I’ll sandwich it in between the deep posts, and the rants, but we are keeping it for sure.  Let me know what you thought.   Oh, and another idea the producers had (yeah, it was a long meeting, my OCD was gooooing craaaaazy), they want me to read and maybe promote other blogs out there.  So if you have someone whom you follow, and you think they may be of interest to me, email me their link, and maybe I can send them some “blog love”.  I doubt they have the following I have, so for sure they will appreciate it.  Keep the feedback coming, both good and bad, email me with anything, I’m always looking for topics to spit about, and please and thank you once again, for all the retweets, Facebook shares and word of mouth promoting you guys are doing.  Keep up the good work, I’ll be back next week with a heavy hitter for you, it’s almost done, and yeah, it’s that good.  Now go and hit that share button already………

This Is What Annoys Me.......Part 2

Page views, comments and feedback don’t lie.  “This is what annoys me” may be in fact one of the best written, well received and thoroughly discussed blogs posted in the entire history of the internet.  Every person I discuss my blog with defaults to that entry as their favorite, and the non-original page views, which measures repeated reading from the same person, shows it as the most revisited post I’ve offered.  The cries, the requests, the suggestions abound.  I never thought I’d be the type of author to do sequels, but as the people’s blogger, I write for you, not for me.  And if you want a part 2, it would not only be my pleasure, but my duty in fact, to provide my followers with exactly what they want, what they need, and what they desire.  You know the drill, if you have done, or do any of these things, then yes, absolutely, I’m talking about you.  Knock it off, your irritating the dog shit out of me!!

Talking to me
Let’s be clear, I enjoy a good amount of back and forth as much as the next guy.  And there are in fact a handful of people that actually have something to say.  They are few and far between mind you, but they do exist. For clarity though, this is the type of talking I’m referencing.

-If you know the answer to the question your about to ask me, then stop.  Stop right now.  I’m busy.  I know it doesn’t look like I am, but I am.  I’m probably doing 13 or 14 things right now that I’m supposed to be doing, and most assuredly at least 4 or 5 things that I’m not supposed to be doing.  Clearly my hands are full.  If you don’t need help, don’t pretend to need help.  And kindly don’t waste my time, our precious air and your last remaining strand of self-awareness on being redundant.
-I don’t want to hear your jokes, or your anecdotes or your limericks.  I’m funny, you’re not.  I drive the bus, you ride the bus.  I’m a solid contributing member to society and the community, you’re you.  Let us all just play our roles here. 

-That long winded story about your brother, I’m sorry to hear it.  No, like I’m really sorry I had to hear it.  You are going to be in my life for about 9 minutes, why do you feel the need to tell me something important about your sister, cousin or dad?  Do you really just need someone to talk to?  I’m not the guy, for two reasons, one, remember the first point up there?  I’m busy dumb ass.  And two, I just don’t care.  You have to talk, go to a bar, or get a haircut, talk there.  That’s what they are there for.  Now go sit down, I’m driving a bus and planning my next blog here.
-Do not, for any reason what so ever, ever in your right mind, ever tell me how to do my job.  In the same respect, I will never even once come into Wendy’s and tell you how to work the deep fryer.  If I did something, maybe I swerved, maybe I stopped short, or anything else for that matter that you deemed reckless, it probably wasn’t reckless, it was probably evasive, and there’s a good chance I avoided a much bigger problem than you having to do a little two step.  If I’m driving a little fast or way too slow, I’m doing it for a reason, and no, to be honest, you don’t need to know that reason.  I drive, you ride, remember? 

Pay your fare, in full, if you please.
Why is it assumed that because you’re short its ok?  Here’s what I want you to do tomorrow.  Walk into Tim Horton’s and order a large coffee.  When the employee brings it to you and says, that will be $1.65, put .85 cents on the counter and say, “that’s all I have”.  The employee will reply with a cheerful, “oh, ok than” and take the coffee back and walk away from you.  There’s no room for debate, or discussion.  No funds, no coffee. End of story.  Yet I’d say, and this is conservatively, that 70% of the people that get on the bus don’t have full fare.  A dollar, a dollar 35, 14 cents, whatever the case may be, sometimes they will say, “this is all I have” as they drop it in.  Sometimes they won’t say anything and just drop it in.  Either circumstance the implication being, that’s its fine, no problem.  How about this, if you don’t have the money, you stay your ass home, or you walk?  Did that ever pop into anyone’s mind?  Where does the audacity come from?  This grand illusion that price is negotiable, or fare is for everyone except themselves.  Oh, and your excuse for not having money, well, it’s neither original, nor plausible.  And I don’t care to hear it.  Didn’t you read earlier, I’m busy.  pay your fare, move to the back,sit down and be quiet, these blogs don’t write themselves you know.

Or don’t pay your fare, just be quick about it
Truth be told, I don’t care.  You not paying your fare is actually a form of theft.  Taking a goods or service and not trading with equal value.  I don’t have time to police, nor do I have inclination to argue with a fool.  What you’re doing is not right, but that’s between you and whatever God you pray too.  You can deal with him when the time comes.  But whatever you do decide to do, do it expeditiously please.  Meaning pay your fare, don’t pay your fare, move to the back, sit down and be quiet.  That’s about as simple as it gets.

Don’t eat your “delicacies” on my bus
I know your short on time and trying to do nothing more than multi task, but come on, do you not have any respect for anyone around you?  Your sitting there gnawing away on your whopper combo, mouth wide open with ketchup and mayo all over your shirt, at least I hope that’s mayo, all the while everyone around you gets to both watch and listen to you chew.  Absolutely disgusting. And more importantly it’s just down right bad home training.  If there was a couch on the bus you’d probably be jumping up and down on it with your damn shoes on too, right?  And the whopper combo’s, big macs and hot dogs aren’t even the worst of it.  I can at least tolerate that, even if it’s because I don’t really feel like dealing with it.  The “foreign” meals are the most horrendous.  Anything with words like curry, goat or cow tongue should be left eaten at home or the whole in the wall they were bought from.  Why? Because point blank, if it smells like ass or armpit there is no way you can come close to convincing me that it tastes good. My bus doesn’t need to smell like a high school cafeteria in Zimbabwe.  The reality of it is, it smells bad enough to begin with, so leave it at home, you’re making me nauseous up here.  And seriously, I know your primitive and all, but if you have to eat on the bus, take your garbage with you when you leave.  Not for me, because in all reality I have no reason to venture to the back of the bus, so it’s not really my problem, but do it for the other people that use the bus.  If they wanted to wade through your trash they would go to the park you live in and do it there. 

Cut your finger nails at home
This requires absolutely no further explanation.....  Bunch of savages…….

Pay attention
You’re out in the real world.  You are on your way to work, a buddy’s house, the unemployment office, where ever it is your going.  Have a look out the window.  Know where you are.  Simple stuff here, right?  How is it that about 4 or 5 times a night someone misses their stop? That shit is just unbelievable.  If people paid attention to their surroundings then the term “the dumb get dumber” would have never been invented.  And I don’t care if the stop calling thing isn’t working, because the reality of it is, you’re neither hearing, nor visually impaired, so it’s not for you anyway.  I could understand if the bus was covered in a giant tarp, and the only person that could see out of it was me, AND the stop calling apparatus wasn’t working, but you’d still be considered a moron for not being proactive instead of reactive.  Another thing, listen for announcement’s, they are for you, not for me.  When I make an announcement that the bus is short turning and you miss it, because your screwing with your phone, or listening to your music, I’m not going to remind you when I’m about to make the turn.  I’m just going to make the turn and head back from whence I came, and guess what, now you’re coming with me.  I say things like short turning next stop, please move back, or I don’t really care, once.  I’m not in the habit of repeating myself to educate others.  It takes too much energy to be honest.  Next thing you’re going to want me do is find the village that’s missing their idiot so you can get back home.  Well I’m sorry, in case you haven’t been following along, I am way too busy for that shit, I’m driving, doing some other things, some of which I should be, some that I shouldn't be, and most importantly I’m working on a blog up here people!!!!

Back Before You Had A Chance To Miss Me

I’m relaxed, I’m refocused, I’m reenergized, and you have really got to see this tan!  What a week.  Words can describe neither how bad I needed to get away, nor how good it felt to be away.  I would love to fill this post with tales of erotic debauchery for you to enjoy, but unfortunately I don’t have stories like that for you today.  This vacation was both about rediscovering me, soul searching if you will, and getting away from all that bothered me.  And that’s exactly what I did.  Highlights included winning yet another beer chugging contest, it’s been awhile since I won one of those. And I don’t even really drink anymore, but what is it they say?  “Kings stay kings” and my title was defended internationally this time. I made you proud once again Toronto, your welcome for my die hard and never ending representation. I also came close to finally spending a night in a Mexican jail, but 42 dollars kept me from knocking that off the bucket list.  What bullshit too, who really considers public urination a crime?  That night I was offered coke by 12 cab drivers, at least 4 bartenders, and even a janitor, then was approached by 4 or 5 Mexican street hookers on the very strip I relieved myself on, and I’m supposed to believe that that’s the letter of the law they are choosing to enforce?  I called the bluff and for the record was fully prepared to go and get my “OZ” on, but my travel companion wanted to go back to the hotel and paid the cops their hush money.  I didn’t hear the end of it until I gave him the money back the next day though.  Actually I haven’t really heard the end of it yet, your welcome Facebook, we all know I’m always looking to provide some fodder for you all.  I spent a lot of time by the pool and around the resort, drank a lot of rum and pineapple, ate like a king, and generally just got my “put the feet up” on.  I even participated in a lot of activities, and as my mom so sincerely pointed out, actually smiled a few times.  Looks like yours truly had one hell of a week.  I also did what I tend to do best.  I tracked down some great people and made some amazing new friends.  And that’s what I’m going to concentrate on here.  Now, it would be impossible for me to talk about everyone I met, so if you’re reading this, which I highly doubt, because no one reads this, then don’t be upset.  You were probably immortalized in pictures, and as an ex or two can contest, I never forget a thing.  Besides, if not making my blog is the worst thing that happens to you, hell, lets switch, and I want your problems for a day. 

My English Counterpart
When I first met this guy, he was terribly close to getting a good old fashioned BusDriva beating that is usually reserved for people who insist on kissing their teeth repeatedly in my face.  He was loud, belligerent and outspoken, which clearly I can’t stand.         Pause.       Anyway, a funny thing happened that night out, he yawned in a jam packed club, and I slapped him across the face for it.  Then I poured shots down his throat and voila, we became sidekicks for the rest of his vacation.  He’s good people, or as he would say, “dog bullocks”, whatever the hell that means.  We even had a couple of serious chats too, as he’s not completely sure where he’s at versus where he should be at this point in his life.  Now I’m not saying I’m the one anyone should talk with when in that situation, but I listened, made a couple of jokes, and it was all good.  So good in fact that he expects me at some point in the near future to, as they say, “cross the drink” to England for a visit.  I highly doubt it though, I’ve seen “the Perfect Storm” and that Atlantic Ocean is one kick ass pond.  I doubt I will ever trust anything to get me all the way over that thing, and if Mark Wahlberg couldn’t swim out of it, I’d be a dead man.  We shall see

The Newly Weds From Philly
What a great couple this was.  It was your not so typical situation, when high school sweethearts get married ten years deep in their relationship.  You really don’t hear shit like that anymore, and it is sort of refreshing.  The common denominator here was no surprise, baseball, or more importantly Roy Halladay.  And anyone who knows the BusDriva knows that if you want to talk baseball and know what you’re talking about, than if I had one you would be catapulted to the top of my Christmas card list.  We spent a moderate amount of time together and had some laughs.  So many laughs in fact that the new Mrs. invited me repeatedly to come down to Philadelphia for a baseball game, and so she could introduce me to her sister.  That’s a long drive, but it sure would be nice to see “The Doc” live on the mound again.  Maybe, we shall see.

The Trio From Kentucky
Now here are a collection of late 30’s (wink wink) ladies who just came to relax and let loose.  Fun bunch too.  I’m not really sure why but I constantly kept saying they were from Ohio.  Are the two even close?  Hang on I’m going to check right now, BRB.    Thought so, they are right next to each other, honest mistake, I’m a Canadian, good enough.  Anyway, these girls were just some laid back, Daisy Duke type of gals, who were really a pleasure to be around. They didn’t bat an eye at the innuendo laced humour, had no problem throwing back a shot or 4, and I don’t think a minute went by that all three weren’t smiling about as big of a smile as I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was a good time when they were around.  We had such a good time in fact, that I was told that if I ever had business to take care of out in the Kentucky area (?) that we would all get together for dinner.  I’m almost positive I will never have business in the Kentucky area, but still it was genuine, and who knows, we shall see.

And finally
The D.A. From San Francisco

I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with this young woman by the pool, and at first I thought she was just another pretty face.  I mean don’t get me wrong, really nice body, great eyes, great smile, was laid back, and fun, truth be told, much more than a pretty face for sure, but what I soon realized I could not have been prepared for.  The next day we accompanied each other to breakfast, being that her travel partner was too hung over to get up, and my travel partner only ate breakfast because I woke him up and made him.  Over breakfast I was absolutely floored with what I witnessed.  Not only is she a lawyer, which means she has a relatively high level of intelligence, but she could hold and carry a conversation to boot. She didn’t talk much but said a lot.  She paused when I finished a sentence before she started hers.  She asked questions, and listened to the answer.  Was well spoken sincere and genuine, and all in all an absolute pleasure to be with.  After breakfast I walked her back to her room, so she could check on her roommate, thats when she told me she had a boyfriend back home, and felt bad.  I don’t really know if I’m buying that though.  I mean maybe she does, which is fine, but in my evaluation of the situation, I don’t believe it, I think she just didn’t want to become another Cancun statistic, and that’s something I completely understand, and actually really respect.  So we can go ahead and tack ethics on to the growing list of pros.  And to think, I had to travel all the way to Cancun of all places to find a woman with morals.  Or hell maybe she does have a boyfriend, and I’m just doing what I do best and over dissect things a little too much.  Whatever the case may be, we spent a fair amount of time together the rest of the week, and the more time we spent, the more I realized, the bar by which I evaluate woman has been dramatically raised.  Here is an independent, intelligent beautiful woman, who is more happy laying by a pool reading a book than she could ever be knocking back shots, who dresses well, always looks great and from what I experienced always has something to say.  She can take a joke, really brings something to the table conversation wise, and lights up everything with a smile that belongs on T.V.  If she was a baseball player, she would be referred to as a five tool athlete.  If she was a hip hop song she would be Common Sense’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.” and if she was a bus driver, well, then, she would be me.  But there are two important issues in play here.  1) San Francisco and Toronto were not placed very close together when they drew up the North American map, and 2) District attorneys and bus drivers don’t historically have a track record of romantic involvement.  We said we would keep in touch but everyone knows how that usually ends up, and just because in all probability our paths won’t ever cross again, that doesn’t mean I won’t hope that one day they do.  And in the inevitable event that they don’t, well, hey, such is the Tao of the BusDriva.  I’m definitely better off for knowing her, that’s for sure, and right now, that’s all that counts, because quite honestly, right now that’s all I have.

You know, a lot of people don’t seem to understand one very important thing in life.  Your car, your house and your bank account really don’t mean a whole lot to anyone when it’s all said and done.  Where you go, where you’ve been and what you’ve seen makes for a good photo album, but really nothing more.  Even accomplishments and achievements are no more than place holders until someone comes along and accomplishes or achieves more.  It’s the lives you touch, and how long you live on in the memories of other people that really rate you as an individual.  Are you someone people forget a few minutes after you leave the room?  Or are you someone people think about and remember and maybe smile or chuckle at something you did or said long after you’ve left?  That’s impact.  That’s what counts, and that’s all that matters.  That’s what I remembered about myself on this vacation.  I’m an impact player, and as much as some people don’t want to, or just flat out can’t admit it, you really are a lot better off with me, than without me. Not only am I the peoples blogger to you, all 8 of my readers, but ask an outspoken window cleaner from England, or three young mature woman from Ohio, or Kentucky or where ever the hell they were from, or a couple of newlyweds down in Philly.  5 or 6 months from now, if they remember me, I did my job, and it’s a job I take seriously, always have and always will.  Just do me a favour though, don’t ask the D.A. in San Francisco, I could have been way off, she may actually have a boyfriend, hell, they may even live together, and he could very well be within hearing range. 
Oh, and by the way, you really, really have got to see this tan………    

"Occupy Reality"

Well, it’s been a busy 8 or 9 days for the peoples’ blogger.  What with making a last ditch effort at reaching my 6 month goal at the gym (which for the record I fell a “you know what hair” short of), helping my Mom scratch a few things off a to do list (again, fell a tad bit short there too), penning a bio for a buddy for a job opportunity overseas (he didn’t really like it too much), and enjoying a steak with one of the most beautiful sets of eyes I’ve ever seen (still haven’t heard back from her though), never mind a busy week, it’s been a pretty shitty week apparently…lol.  Sadly I haven’t had very much time to author an entry, and trust me, I’m just as unhappy about it as all 6 of you readers are. And it doesn’t end there either.  Today and tomorrow I’m going to be slightly tied up getting a few affairs in order, as I have a ridiculously early flight to catch Tuesday morning.  A friend and I are taking a much, MUCH, needed vacation to Mexico, and it could not have come any sooner.  It’s been a hectic/menace of a/hard working year for me, and it’s time to get away.  No work, no gym, no drama, no headaches.  Throw these pale feet in a set of sandals, get an umbrella ella ella eh eh eh drink in my hand, regroup refocus and recharge.  I still have a week off when I return, and hopefully that week will be spent catching up with some people I haven’t caught up with in a while, maybe relax a bit more, chip away at the last couple of things on Moms to do list, and hell, I’m in a dreaming mood, maybe date number 2 with the “eyes to end all eyes”…….    Or maybe I’ll just get reacquainted with the old PlayStation for the entire week.  Whatever the case may be, we will cross that bridge when we get there.  But I do feel as though I owe you something to quench your reading thirst.  For the last few weeks or so, I’ve been asked to speak about the “Occupy Toronto Movement” repeatedly.  And I’ve tried to.  I’ve written a couple of things here and there about it, but truth be told, I’m not the one to handle this topic.  It’s no secret that I’m somewhat outspoken, belligerent and have even been referred to as pretentious once before, although I can’t by any stretch of the imagination figure that one out.  My views on these lazy, want for everything but don’t want to earn anything, self-absorbed, people owe them the world, crybabies simply can’t be expressed in the 5 or 10 minutes that you have put aside to hear what I have to say.  There are just way too many issues, way too many problems with their strategy, hell, their execution, or lack thereof would be an extendo blog in its own.  Not to mention the simple fact that I am of the highest ranking “have nots” society has to offer, yet I don’t feel a burning desire to cry about it, disrupt society, and waste the same god damn tax dollars they are crying could be better disbursed (fucking hypocrites).  I believe in going to work every day, saving for what you want, more or less (thank you best buy credit card), and most importantly living within your means.  I’d like the silver spoon as much as the next guy, but that’s not the hand I was dealt.  Get over it and go be the best you can be at your blue collar job, ability and potential all be damned.  Now, the other day, as I do every day with my morning coffee,  I was scouring the internet looking for fascinating reads, educational and thought provoking articles, and of course somehow previously not viewed vintage 80’s porn, when I came across an article that discussed the “Occupy” movement on wall street.  I was going to use this article as a basis for research for my own blog, but truth be told, it was so well done and said, that in uncharacteristic blog fashion I’m just going to give it to you as is, through this authors words.  I’m secure enough to do that, and although I would have laced it with a few poignant profanities, and intricate metaphors, she spoke her mind in her words, and said exactly what I was thinking.  While she still only scrapped the surface of the problem, her points were well made, valid and I appreciated them, as I’m sure you will too.  I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, with a tan, a couple of stories, and hopefully another date (although it’s not looking good thus far), as well as a special surprise for you.  I like dramatics too much too divulge what exactly I’ve got in the works, so I’ll just say this, I never thought I’d be a sequels writer, but when the people ask for something, the peoples’ blogger can do nothing else but deliver.  Enjoy the read everyone and I’ll be back soon enough.


 Call it an occupational hazard, but I can’t look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, “Who parented these people?”
As a culture columnist, I’ve commented on the social and political ramifications of the “movement” – now known as “OWS” – whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: “Everything for everybody.” Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it’s clear there are people with serious designs on “transformational” change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel. Yet it’s not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I’m the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters’ moms clearly have not passed along.  Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters’ mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn’t, so I will:

• Life isn’t fair. The concept of justice – that everyone should be treated fairly – is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want.”
No matter how you try to “level the playing field,” some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they’re dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid question.

• Nothing is “free.” Protesting with signs that seek “free” college degrees and “free” health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don’t operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and “slow paths” to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.
While I’m pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

• Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don’t require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It’s a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for – literally.
• A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York, while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn’t evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don’t dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don’t seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.

• There are reasons you haven’t found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn’t a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It’s not them. It’s you.

                      Credit to the author:  Posted By Marybeth Hicks on October 19, 2011