Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday ramblings number whatever

Sometimes I think I’m living in an alternate universe. If there are people who make things happen and people who watch things happen and people who wonder “What happened?” -- and today there are stockbrokers on Wall Street who fit all three categories -- what do you think I was doing earlier today? I’ll tell you what I was doing earlier today: I was watching a country singing star named Jewel teach Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb (now there’s a name you don't hear every day, unless you watch NBC, and then you actually do) how to yodel on the telly (I threw that in for the readers across the pond). There. I said it and I’m glad. Let us move on.

Besides the current mess in Washington about bailing out Wall Street or the big banks or the stupid holders of subprime mortgages (you can tell I’m really involved in this -- or maybe that’s called denial), the past few days have seen major changes for our family.

One member of our immediate family (MOIFA) began taking the bus to work yesterday. Atlanta is in the third week of a gas shortage that began around the time Hurricane Gustav decided to visit our fair shores, followed soon afterward by Hurricane Ike (remember when hurricanes all had girls’ names?). By “gas shortage” I mean that over 80% of the gasoline stations in our region have no fuel at all for days on end, and waiting lines of 45 minutes are common at the few stations that do manage to have gas to sell. Since moving back to the Atlanta area three years ago, MOIFA’s commute has been 40 miles into the city every morning and 40 miles back every afternoon. That is not unusual around here; it is called life in Atlanta. But what had been a 50-minute trip three years ago has been getting longer and longer; recently it has been taking our MOIFA at least an hour and a half each way, and sometimes longer. With the recent spike in gasoline prices to over $4.00 per gallon, MOIFA has been spending $400.00 per month just to get to work and back home again. So MOIFA decided that enough was enough and purchased yesterday a month’s worth of round-trip bus tickets for $94.00, which means that our MOIFA will be saving over $300.00 per month in transportation costs. Add to that the fact that Atlanta’s Clean Air Commission has a policy of refunding three dollars per day if you ride the bus 20 days each month for three months, and MOIFA will eventually collect a $180.00 refund from the CAC people and be able to buy almost two more months’ worth of bus tickets. On top of that, our MOIFA’s round-trip drive to and from the bus stop is 16 miles instead of 80. Less stress. Less cost. Less time. A win-win situation. Of course, there is the little matter of having to leave the house much earlier, which means having to go to bed much earlier, and also the part about the bus dumping into a train station, where MOIFA will get a transfer and take the train the rest of the way. A major life-style change, to say the least. But we’re hoping it still turns out to be a win-win situation all around.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to bore you, but it was a story that needed telling.

Another member of our immediate family (MOIFB) recently accepted a job in another state, so this week was packing and moving time. We had a final goodbye breakfast yesterday at the International House of Pancakes followed by final hugs and kisses and stifled tears. Then we waved goodbye as MOIFB, MOIFB’s spouse, and MOIFB’s children got in their car and drove away, and we watched the car grow smaller and smaller in the distance until we couldn’t see it any more.

It’s been quite a week. We haven't heard news of any changes affecting MOIFC yet, but the week is still young.

All in all, it’s enough to make you want to yodel at the telly.


  1. No news is good news...I guess.

    Nothing earth shattering to report from Alabamistan. Except maybe a big ROLL TIDE and WAR EAGLE!!

    MOIFC's children will have an exciting weekend, however. Number 1 son will be traveling to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tn with his dad, MOIFC's spouse, to watch the Auburn/Vandy game!! Number 2 son will be traveling with MOIFC to Build-A-Bear Workshop for fun and excitement while Daddy and brother are at the ball game.

    Love to you both! MOIFC

  2. I hope MOIFA discovers that transit is a good experience. I took a commuter train for ten years, riding for approximately 55 minutes each way. I wrote a great deal of fiction and knitted many items on that train. It was SOOOO much better than driving.

    Sorry that MOIFB had to move away. I hope the opportunity is a good one.

  3. That's MOIFs A,B,& C? Blessings to all in all their life changes. Moving is a biggee.....may all go well.

    I happened to have the TV on this morning, which rarely occurs, but I wanted to see what the news was of the financial situation, AND I happened to see part of that Jewel interview, too! I heard her say she grew up in Alaska with a coal burner for heat and no electricity.

    Our newspaper has reported about the fuel shortages in your part of the country, and its interesting to hear firsthand from you about it.

    Couldn't let this day go by without saying "Happy Blog Birthday", or Anniversary, or whatever it should be termed! And, may your blog have many, many more! (This was the day, right? The 30th.....I hope so.)

  4. Good to hear from MOIFC, Ruth, and Jeannelle!

    Jewel also said in that interview that she left home at 15, was homeless for a year at 18, and lived in her car for a while.

    Jeannelle, the date was 9/28, actually. So the blog is now "in its second year." Good wishes are never late and always accepted gratefully hereabouts.

  5. Oh Bob, Bob, Bob. Have you ever tried to yodel? My father yodeled all the time and I used to be able to do it as a child. Now I sound like a raspy old toad. Something you have to stay in practice for I guess. Not that yodeling is something many people find amazing. Yep I come from the hillbilly gene pool.

  6. Oh and I am sorry so many changes are occurring.