Salubrious Sunday!

12 10 2008

After my previous rant/post, I feel compelled to balance out the negativity by spreading the love!

Okay, truthfully I am having trouble sleeping, and I’d rather go to bed thinking good things than bad. And seeing as it is 2:30AM central time, let the lovefest commence so I can get some rest!

the month of October
the smell of leaves
the song Ayo Technology by Milow
pumpkin spice lattes
realistically, everything pumpkin
learning new things
the word “belligerent” (it makes me laugh!)
aquafina water
lo mein noodles from Ichiban back home
bathtubs the size of a small pool
Disney movies
curling up with a good book
the city of Toronto
hockey season
holding hands
things that are too awesome to be coincidences
the smell of books
sleeping in!
writing silly haikus 

There are plenty of things that I still love but miss because of changes in my life. I think these things deserve their own list. 

my family
my best friend
going ghosthunting
waking up on sunday to my mom cooking a big breakfast for the family
Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house with the entire family
not having to worry about being an adult
Irish dancing with friends at the local pub
my car
going to the beach

So what do you love? and miss?

Share the love, cheer me up, give me something to smile about!



Fear and Loathing on the CTA

11 10 2008
We all have the occasional bad experience when riding the CTA. I’m pretty sure that it’s included in the fares when you’re purchasing a card. We’re all subjected to delays, crowded trains, and obnoxious fellow riders. Tonight however, crossed the line of a typical bad experience.
My boyfriend and I were on our way home after a nice day with friends and decided to take the Red Line home from Belmont. Chris has a U-Pass from school, and I have a Chicago Plus Card (which has been giving me problems lately anyway). Chris went through the turnstyle and was waiting for me to come through when the turnstyle instructed me to “retouch fastcard”. Before I could retouch it, someone exited through the turnstyle I was trying to use, so I just moved to the next one. This time the turnstyle wouldn’t let me through thinking I had just tried to use it, telling me “one use only”. 

Since Chris was already through the gate, he told me to ask the attendant for help. I walked over to him in the booth, and told him what happened. The attendant came out of the booth and immediately accused us of trying to cheat the system by using one card twice (ie. letting chris through with my card then trying to go through myself). After he insisted he “saw” me do it, Chris showed him his U-Pass to prove that we did indeed have two cards, not one. He looked over to him, and then turned back to me without a word of acknowledgment.  He then moved to the gate to open it to let a biker through, and blocked me with his body from entering the gate. Then he insisted that I must have just left the station and came back in (how that makes sense, I have no idea) or I just got off the bus (which would be a transfer, and also made no sense) and that the card can only be used so many times within a certain timeframe. 

By this point Chris had come back through the turnstyle to try to reason with the attendant. The attendant then turned to my boyfriend, and began calling him a liar for his explanation as well. He then yelled at us to come back after 12 minutes and try again.  He then locked himself back in his booth.  

We both left, completely shocked that we had just been yelled at, and now both out of a ride since he had forfeited his when coming back through the turnstyle. We walked over to Addison Red Line stop and luckily this time neither of our passes gave us any difficulty. 

Thanks to some of my followers on Twitter, I was given suggestions on how to file a complaint, since the customer service number on the back of my card was no help at all. As soon as Chris and I got home, we were emailing our complaints to not only the CTA but also to Going Public (a blog on the CTA from the Chicago Tribune) and the CTAtattler

I don’t expect the CTA to really do anything about the situation, but I would hate to think I wasn’t the only one getting such horrible treatment from this person. We are all entitled to have bad days and sometimes we take it out on people we shouldn’t, but behaviour like that crosses the line into unacceptable and unprofessional. I’m honestly rethinking my decision to utilize with public transportation and to bring my car to Chicago. If I’m going to spend my money in a way that’s going to get me treated like that, I’d rather it be because of road rage, not because of someone’s incompetence in customer service. 

Forthcoming in the life of Maggie

8 10 2008

I know I’ve been horrible about keeping up with my blogging, but working evenings doesn’t give me much time for a normal life most days. It’s pretty much a sleep-and-work cycle on the days I’m working, then catch up on sleep on the days I’m not. However, things in my life are about to change and I have five events in my life right now that I am really excited about:

1. On October 20th I will be starting a new job! I’m not a very superstitious/religious person, but how I got this job basically can be summed up by fate/a blessing. I was not even looking for a job, but a coworker at my current job who also works for another facility asked me if I’d possibly be interested in a position there. I said sure, I’d talk to the director and see what they had to offer, not expecting anything really to come out of it. I went in for the interview and before I even left the director offered me the position. Not only did they offer me more money, but benefits (which I don’t have at my current job) and better hours, and on top of all that it is 15 blocks from my house, on the same street. How could I pass up an opportunity like that? I feel like all the good I’ve done for people working in hospitals since I graduated is finally coming around back to me in the form of this opportunity. 

2. A couple of my twitter gal pals, Theresa Carter and Blagica Bottigliero, are hosting an event at the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store called “It’s Chic To Be Geek, Ladies”. It’s going to be a meetup for ladies in and surrounding Chicago who use technology in their every day lives. I’m really excited to be able to be a part of this, not only because it gives me an opportunity to meet new people but because I know so few girls in Chicago, especially ones who are as crazy about technology/social media as I am. 

3. As I may or may not have mentioned, Thanksgiving is my absolute favourite holiday ever. When I moved here I was concerned I would not be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family due to my job, airfare being too high, etc. This whole having family in another state and having to travel to share holidays is new to me. I was also concerned that I would have to choose being able to spend it with my family or with Chris if he couldn’t take the time off work. Like children from a divorce, we chose to spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his (is that how other couples do holidays when their families live out of state?). We booked our tickets and lucked out by getting the last flight available the day before Thanksgiving, and we’re coming home on the dreaded Black Friday. It will be a short trip, but it means a lot to me to get the chance to spend the holiday with my family. 

4. Shortly after that comes Chris and my one year anniversary! I’m pretty sure everyone in the world knows this, but in case you didn’t, Chris and I happened to meet on Twitter. Our relationship blossomed over those 140-characters-or-less messages into what it is today. Not only have I been very lucky, but I think our relationship has been somewhat inspirational to some. It makes me feel very good about the chances I took to be here when someone tells me that things have turned out pretty amazing for me and that I have proved them wrong. I guess I can really celebrate beating the odds so-to-speak when we get married (yeah chris, thats a public nudge!). 

5. I’m from Pittsburgh and I’m a hockey fan. Naturally, I love my hometown team the Penguins. Luckily for me, I move to a city that has a team that was part of the Original 6. Even more luckily for me, I have an awesome boyfriend who bought me tickets to the Blackhawks/Pens game in February. I am so excited beyond words for that game. This means I have roughly 5 months to turn Chris into a crazed calling-the-game-from-your-couch-acting-like-you-know-more-than-the-refs-on-the-ice hockey fan. 


I also recently joined Viddler and 12seconds so look for some videos soon! If there are any events in the Chicago area that I should add to my social calendar please let me know. I love going out and connecting with the people I meet online and interacting with them in person.