Well, it’s Monday again, to the surprise of essentially no one. That’s just what happens after the weekend, isn’t it?
I’m starting this post while still at the house, sitting on the “piano” bench in my room, because it’s too chilly to sit at the bus stop for too long and do the writing. This is not merely a “chilly for south Florida”* chilly. It’s about 45 degrees Fahrenheit out. I don’t know how windy it is‒I haven’t been out yet‒but that’s not shorts-wearing weather even for snow birds.
Thankfully, fleece hoodies with the hoods up are more than adequate against such modestly cold temperatures, and walking is much warmer than riding a motorbike. I have more extensive covering I could wear in a pinch‒a long, black duster I got originally to be part of a costume, but which is also quite handy for cold weather.
Anyway, there’s not much going on. I had thought last evening about writing a topical blog post this morning, something relating to a book I’m rereading, called On Being Certain, but I’m not terribly into that right now.
I didn’t do anything useful at all this weekend, really, apart from getting some physical rest‒well, I walked 3 miles to 7-11 yesterday, but that was because I currently have no better means of travel, and I had some things I wanted. It was worth the trip, I’d say, though 7-11 is pricey.
Still, the good thing about my current disrupted commute really is how much I’m walking. Twice last week, I chose not to ride the buses back from the train station in the evening. The first time was just because I wanted to do it, and was early enough for it to be workable; the second time because the bus that had been scheduled to come just hadn’t shown up, and the next one wasn’t for 30 minutes.
I made a good deal of progress before that next bus finally passed me: more than half the distance I would have ridden it. I felt quite smug, as though I were the one passing it, not the other way around. On each of those two days last week, I walked more than 8 miles total. All the other days I walked more than 4. So my walking really is getting boosted.
It occurs to me that I still haven’t done any of my “audio blogs” or podcasts or whatever one might want to call them. Maybe I’m setting my bar too high. I’d been planning to record them using Audacity and a decent mic, at least, but maybe I should just use my phone. I’m using it for this, after all. What do you all think? Which should I do?
Okay, well, now I’m at the bus stop, but there’s still a good fifteen plus minutes to wait until the scheduled time for the first bus. That’s just the way I do things. I hate to be late to nearly anything, and at least since the time when I was in junior high, I always tended to get to school before nearly anyone else. I just preferred the quiet solitude before the cacophonic arrival of all the other people into the area.
This has continued through pretty much the rest of my life (so far, anyway), and has, if anything, become more pronounced. Indeed, my early awakening may well be distantly related to that sense that I can’t stand to be late (and being on time = being late to me).
If it’s related, it is pathologically so. For instance, I first woke up last night at around 12:30. I swiftly went back to sleep, at least, but still woke up more or less at least once an hour, and it became harder and harder to get back to sleep‒and it took longer each time‒such that by about 3:30, I mostly gave up.
But there was not too much point just to getting up and leaving early. Oh, I suppose I could have walked all the way to my old, standard train station, and I would have arrived in time at least for the second train, if not the first. But then, even given the weather, I probably would have started the day all sweaty.
Ending the day sweaty is okay‒you can shower and change clothes and all that‒but starting it that way can be a bit unpleasant. And in Florida, at least, it leaves you at increased risk for skin fungus, or at least for mildew smells in your clothes, and there are very few smells that I find more repulsive than the smell of most fungi (though baking and brewing yeast are exceptions).
Okay, well, now I’m a bit anxious. I looked on the “Myride” site and though it shows that there’s a scheduled bus arrival at 5:49 (in 2 minutes now) there’s no “estimated time” of arrival actually given until the next bus arrival time, which would be 15 minutes from now. It’s really not cool for them to fail to have the first bus actually run, especially on an unusually cold morning.
Getting on the next bus will mean getting on an even later train, and so on. Maybe I should have walked to the train station after all. But if I left now for the train station, I’d be much later. And there’s always extra work to do at the office after a weekend off. But when one bus (or train for that matter) ends up canceled, the following bus (or train) is always that much more crowded than usual, and I hate that. If it’s always crowded, at least I know what to expect, and I’m mentally prepared, if not exactly happy about it. But if it’s a change from usual, it’s stress-inducing.
BCT used to run a pretty good bus service, but it seems they’ve been slipping lately, because this is now 2 different buses in the space of 4 days that are late or canceled.
Okay, well, the first bus wasn’t canceled, but it was five to six minutes late, and I can’t say that I’m okay with that. It’s one thing for buses to be late when it’s rush hour‒such traffic is a chaotic system, and it can be effectively impossible to plan for every contingency when one has limited resources, as everyone does.
But at well before six in the morning, even in south Florida, there is barely any traffic at all, certainly not the kind of traffic that would slow a bus down. People don’t tend to get in the way of buses, and police rarely pull them over, and the number of stops they make has a theoretical maximum, and they almost never have to stop at every stop.
Oh, well, what are you gonna do? My boss at work sometimes sarcastically asks if I really think that the other people in the office are going to be able to do things to a level that I tend to do them, but my response is that yes, I do. I’m not expecting people to grasp science and the like as well as I do, or to have the same enthusiasm for reading, but the things I ask for are things that should be graspable and doable by nearly any “normally” functioning human, since even I can do them, and I’m far from normally functioning, and barely human. If they don’t succeed, it’s because they aren’t trying, or at least not very hard.
It’s like something I used to say to my kids when they would say they would try: “Good. That means you’ll succeed, because this is something I know you can do if you actually try.” Or words to that effect.
Anyway, that’s nearly it for today. The bus arrived‒late‒but it looks like I’ll be able to get on the scheduled train, at least if it’s running on time. Surely a simple 44 degree temperature isn’t enough to throw off all the public transit in south Florida? Yes, it’s chilly for down here, but it’s not that cold.
Okay, well apparently the train is running about 3 minutes late. That’s not horrible, but I still don’t think it should be considered okay. Those responsible should feel embarrassed, though perhaps not ashamed. People plan their days around the freely published schedules of the transit companies. They make the schedules‒those schedules haven’t been forced upon them by a consortium of riders‒so they should stick to them.
The same goes for people at the office, come to think of it. But apparently that’s just too much to ask of ordinary human beings. If that’s really true, then ordinary people are not worth keeping around.
But I don’t think it’s true. “Ordinary people” will for the most part live up to the standards to which they are required to live up, barring disease and disability. And even people with chronic pain and dysthymia and depression and insomnia and apparent neurodevelopmental disorders can make it their business to get places on time and even early, and then to stay until all the work is done, even if everyone else has already left. All that’s needed is just a little bit of passion**.
*Well, compared to whatever the temperature is currently in Michigan, or New York, or North Dakota, for instance, it would probably seem nice. But you still wouldn’t want to sit at a bus stop for 45 minutes with just a hoody for your jacket in such weather. And believe me you wouldn’t want to drive a motorcycle without layers and gloves and so on…though a good helmet will keep one’s head nice and toasty, at least.
**If that ending seems like a bit of a non sequitur, that’s because it was written in response to the fact that the person sitting in the seat in front of me on the train had a carton of passion fruit juice, and that made me think, “If there’s a passion fruit, why is there no ‘apathy fruit’?” which seems it would be much more an appropriate foodstuff for humans. I put that last sentence in the main body of the blog solely for the purpose of writing this footnote.
In England, to keep the trains running ‘on time’, they changed the meaning of ‘on time’, to mean ‘whenever the train got there’. I am surely getting the details wrong, but I don’t think by much.