~  You can't be real unless you feel  ~
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tales from the Metro, Part I
Many of you may not know, but since my move up to Burbank, i commute to work. I take the Metro. LA is not known for its Metropolitan Transportation Network, basically because it really doesn't have one. Or so most people believe. There is, in fact, a train in Los Angeles. You can get more info at Metro.net. There are three basic lines. The Red lines travels East-West between North Hollywood & Union Station (the LA Amtrak Station). The Blue line that travels North-South from Downtown LA all the way to Long Beach. And the Green line that goes East-West from Norwalk to Redondo Beach. Not to the actual beach, mind you, but just far enough away that it makes it pretty useless. Which is why most people don't even know about the Metro, let alone take it. However, i happen to be lucky. See, my place is about 2 miles from the North Hollywood station. And the green line goes right through El Segundo, were all the Aerospace companies reside, including mine. The El Segundo stop is a mere 10 minute walk from my work.

All in all, this means that the Metro is a viable commuting option. Here are the benefits/woes that the metro offers.
+ You get to ride the Metro to work
- You have to ride the Metro to work
+ I drive just under 4 miles a day, saving lots and lots on gas
- It's PUBLIC transportation
+ I get to walk quite a bit, which is good exercise
- I have to walk quite a bit
- The shoes i just bought already have holes in them
+ The Metro is filled with interesting people
- The Metro is filled with very interesting people
+ You get a chance to relax and read, most of the time
+ Traffic is never a problem
- You have to wait for trains in between stops
- It takes me 1 hour and 45 minutes each way
+ My company pays me back for the Metro Pass & Parking
So, as you can see, the biggest benefit is that my commute is essentially free, as it is subsidized by my work. This i pretty much the only reason i take the metro.
Unfortunately, the biggest down side is that my commute is a total of three and a half hours each day!!! So with nine hour days at the office, when i leave home at 7am, i don't get back until 8:30pm.
That's a LOOOOOOOOONG day.
In addition, i don't get to spend time with my wonderfully awesome lady NOR my brand new baby, and that really sucks. So basically, we are fixin' to move, ASAP.

In the mean time, i must suffer through the Public Transit System of LA. Like a clown at a circus, however, i have decide for your entertainement, to start a new column here on MarkZak.com where i will share my funny/sad/scary/un-nerving stories from the Metro.
Starting, of course, with today's.

Today, as i boarded the Metro, there was only one seat left. So i sat down next to a man that was reading a book. I figured, common, Mark, how bad could it be? The first twenty-six seconds was just fine. And then it hit me.
   The stench.
Yes, this man smelled bad. Not the bad as in motorcycle-rebel bad. REALLY bad. Like, bad as in i-might-permanently-be-down-to-four-senses bad. It was such a foul odor, that it hung in the back of your throat, lingering, tickling you, simply reminding you that you should probably move if you want to live past thirty. It was the stench of three weeks of hard labor in the sun, wearing the same clothes, without a shower. The smell of a rotting rat corpse stuck under your fridge. Now i have never actually smelled a decomposing human body, but i'm pretty sure that's right up there with this.
It gives me chills simply writing about it.
Oh, i love the metro.

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Kato-Potato  posted on  Tuesday, August 12, 2008


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