MTA = Many Traumatic Adventures

Being a New York City resident for the past three years now, I think I have gathered enough information to determine that the MTA is a main source of most of my anxiety. I’m sure this is the same for most other New Yorkers as well. This is the reason why I am moving close to my job once my lease is up so I will never have to take the MTA on a daily basis again. It’s come to the point where I would pay extra money for my rent then pay less and take the MTA every day. Here are a few of the many, many examples of why the MTA is a huge anxiety to me.

1. I just have to say that this is what started me on ranting about the MTA. The MTA FORGOT about passengers stranded on an A train in last year’s blizzard. Recently, the President of New York City Transit was quoted in saying, “We forgot about that train.” They forgot about a train filled with passengers in a blizzard…yeah, no, I totally trust the MTA. Because of this incident, if passengers have been stranded for an hour or two, the MTA is attempting to appoint advocates that will act on the stranded passengers behalf and find ways to rescue them. I love how they are just doing this now. You non-New Yorker’s don’t understand what can happen to people who are stuck on a subway for even an hour or two let alone SEVEN HOURS which is what happened to those poor people last winter. Just to clarify the situation of being stuck on a NYC subway, here’s a few tweets that were sent out from a passenger that was in the stuck subway last winter. “Son!!! I wanna go home!!! Dudes on the train talking about cannibalism lol I want out!!!” And then: “6 o clock we gonna be live on abc news… But that don’t mean nothing!!! I’m hungry.” But amidst the despair, a note of triumph: “I’m lucky I’m a dude. I’ll just whip it out n pee out the last car. Lol.” (@OMJohnnyG) Some of the 500 riders stuck in the train overnight in Queens during the blizzard were forced to urinate between cars and huddle together to keep warm during the 7-hour ordeal. One passenger even vomited. Yeah, I definitely shouldn’t worry about being stuck on a subway car for a long period of time, it seems pretty comfortable.

2. “The MTA’s new executive director, discussed the organization’s nearly $10 billion budget gap at his first board meeting Wednesday and spoke out on necessary fare hikes.” Fare hike? Awesome! When I started college and moved to the city, the fare had just gone up for subways and it was at $89 for an unlimited monthly subway pass or $2.00 per ride. Since then, there has been a fare hike that brought the cost to $104 for an unlimited monthly subway pass or $2.25 per ride. Now they are saying they will raise fare by 2013? No, I’m done with paying for the MTA to screw me over on a daily basis. I am moving to where I work and paying a little more to do so just so I don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on services that only work half the time. Soon it’ll get to a point where people won’t even  be able to afford public transportation anyway. I mean I’m getting to that point soon.

3. On a personal note, they combined two buses near my apartment into one. I used to have no issues going to work in the morning because it would always come pick me up and drop me off at the subway stop to continue with my commute. However, now that they combined two buses, they are usually so packed with people that they can’t pick up anyone from the last 4 or 5 stops on the route. Thus, I have to walk (not a short distance) to the subway every morning. In the rain, cold, heat, everything. Even better is when I get to the subway, there are usually delays which make the stop super packed with people to where I can’t even get on the first few trains that do come by. Either a plague needs to break out that will take down our population count or MTA needs to figure out how to make people’s commutes A LOT better.

4. Their Twitter and Website are just lists of what’s going wrong with which lines. I get notifications on my phone if there is an issue with either of the 2 trains or 1 bus that I can take to and from work, and it goes off EVERY SINGLE DAY. There hasn’t been one day where I haven’t gotten a notification. And those are just the lines I use, I’m not even including all of the NYC lines combined. I know it’s hard to run a big operation like MTA, I know that. But I feel like the subways and buses I use are always having problems!!

This is exactly why I’m moving back to Manhattan within walking distance from work. This way I can wake up and say to myself, hey! I know that it will take me exactly 10 minutes to walk to work today! I should leave early and grab something nice for breakfast! Not thinking, great I get to wake up an hour earlier to get to work even though the trip says its only supposed to take 20 minutes. Oh? I get to be late because the bus will pass by me and the subways will be delayed? OH? I’m going to be packed to close to strangers in a hot box that’s moving super slow under the streets of New York? OH? SORRY FOR THE INCONVIENCE SUBWAY MACHINE RECORDING?? I think every time I make an MTA transit commute I lose 1 day of my life due to stress.

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1 in 5 Restaurant Calorie Listings is Off

Of course I come across this article as I am in the process of losing some weight by counting my calories. Apparently some restaurants aren’t entirely correct when listing their meals calories. Tufts University nutrition researchers have shown that nearly one out of five restaurant dishes has at least 100 more calories than what a restaurant states on its website. The underestimated foods came from several restaurant chains, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Olive Garden, Boston Market and Outback Steakhouse. Of course Chipotle is one of them because I had that today for lunch!!

The lab analysis showed that 19% of the foods tested had 100 or more calories in excess of what was on the website. (Which obviously is awesome because now I get to be paranoid ordering food wondering if I’m just that unlucky to choose one of those items from that 19%) 100 calories may not seem like a lot to people who aren’t counting calories, but it’s the difference of having a snack or not for me.

Continuing on with why the world hates me, according to the Tufts lab analysis, Chipotle’s burrito bowl with rice, black beans, peppers, onions, lettuce, green tomatillo salsa and cheese (which if you notice my picture above is almost EXACTLY what I got today) had 703 total calories which is 249 more than what was expected based on information from the restaurant’s website.

This article just concludes my theory of why I have so much anxiety. It’s because I know how unlucky I am. When you hear about those stories like a plane crashed in the ocean and everyone survived except one unfortunate soul, yeah that person was just like me. I’m that small percentage of things going wrong. I could’ve found an article about McDonalds giving wrong calories or a chain on the West Coast that I’ve  never been to, but no. It’ about the one restaurant that I chose to go to today. Not only that, but it decided to reference the one thing I ordered from the menu as being almost 250 more calories then I thought it was. Now you tell me that it’s all coincidence.

I am paranoid because I just expect the worst possible scenario, always.

 

CNN Article about this: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/19/restaurant.calories.off/index.html

Worrying About Spontaneous Face Combustion

Okay world, you win. You have officially come up with the craziest thing for me to worry about: Spontaneous Face Combustion.

Kim Grice, a 29-year-old mother of three, was having a routine outpatient surgery to remove some growths from her face when it BURST INTO FLAME. This poor woman suffered burns to her face and neck and had to be helicoptered to the University of South Alabama’s Burn Unit on Tuesday morning.

APPARENTLY what happened to Kim Grice was not an isolated incident. Experts have estimated that each year 650 fires flare up in operating rooms around the country. Some patients have recovered with scars and emotional damage but some DIE from burns and smoke inhalation. Why have I never heard of this?!

They are investigating the “flash fire” but apparently the doctors are as surprised as everyone else. I guess this explains the reactions of the doctors in this photo below.

“God golly gosh! This has startled me. What should we do? Let’s marvel at it for a bit. I mean, it IS a medical mystery!”

I can now add a new fear to my list for when I have to have any type of surgery done to me in the future. Thanks world. I’m pretty sure you’re doing this on purpose now just to laugh at people with anxiety and paranoia issues like myself. Awesomeness!

MSNBC article: http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/02/9168719-womans-face-catches-on-fire-during-surgery

Horses: The New Meat? Another Food I’m Afraid of Liking

While having my morning work ritual of reading online news stories, one caught my interest. It was an article announcing that in the next month it may be possible that slaughterhouses will begin to produce horse meat or “Basashi” as it’s known in Japan. This made me nervous for two reasons: #1 Because of the role horses have played as companions and as workers, it is a taboo food source in some cultures. This makes me wonder if someday in the future, dogs will be considered food in the US as well. Why not? That last statement pertains to your family pet or a seeing eye dog too. And #2 What if I end up loving horse meat??

I am an animal lover. I am however not a vegetarian. I get by eating meat by creating an elaborate story in my head of how this cow or pig or bird was an asshole. That they were the Hitler’s of their animal world and I am doing the rest of the animals a favor by devouring them. I’m telling you, it works. Next time you feel bad about eating that cheeseburger, just picture that cow picking on other defenseless cows. Cow tipping teenages? Hell no, it was this jerk in my hand that’s smothered in cheese.

Certain animals I just can’t picture being evil and this is where it gets hard to eat them. For example, I am so thankful that I do not like lamb. Tried it once and will never have it again, not a fan. Thank god though, because how can I picture this being evil??

My downfall though is veal. Damn you veal for being so delicious! I rarely eat it though, but when I have no choice, I just do it. I used to eat veal all the time when I was younger. My parents never told me what it was. When I would ask what kind of meat it was, they would tell me cow. My smart parents, they didn’t technically lie. When I got older I was told what veal really was. I remember wanting to cry and throw it all back up and shape it back into the poor creatures that I had so selfishly feasted on. For those of you that are unaware of what veal is, it is the meat of young cows (calves) that are kept in hutches, which keeps them isolated and restricts movement to prevent connective tissue from developing, as the taste of veal raised in this manner is considered desirable. So basically baby cows get taken from their mothers, stuffed in crates so they can’t develop correctly, and then are killed. DAMN YOU TASTE BUDS!

So on top of these meats (as well as being worried that I am eating cat when I order from Chinese restaurants) now I have to worry about eating horses. I love horses, they are gentle and graceful. Black Beauty, Seabiscuit, no! What’s even worse is I looked up what horse meat tastes like. It’s apparently slightly sweet, tender, low in fat and high in protein. Great, I’ll probably love it.

If you want to read more about the issue, the link is below.

Associated Press Article : http://news.yahoo.com/horses-could-soon-slaughtered-meat-us-080907323.html