Due to the business of the time, I’m throwing out some more random thoughts that occurred to me while I was waiting in traffic this past weekend.  This is a busy week, I promise that I will get back to a regular article as soon as I can.

…It continues to amaze me that the various states can’t find a better source of income than toll booths.  How much time is wasted by people waiting in traffic for their opportunity to pay tolls?  Even with Fast Lane (an automatic payment system in Massachusetts that involves a transponder on your windshield), you get caught in the traffic jams created by the people who don’t have Fast Lane.  I also tend to get stuck behind the inconsiderate jerks who drive up to the Fast Lane lanes and then block all Fast Lane traffic while they try to cut into the lines for people who need to pay cash (after all, they are much too important to WAIT IN LINE, for crying out loud).  There are also the people who drive into the Fast Lane lanes, which are clearly marked, and then stop for 10 minutes while looking for someone to pay, instead of just accepting the mistake and moving on.

Santa, my Christmas wish is for the end of tollbooths and for our public servants (a laughable phrase most of the time) to find another way to raise that money without wasting people’s valuable time.  If people paid attention to how much time was wasted by toll booths, we might have an old fashioned Toll Booth Riot…

 …I took the Megger to New York City this past weekend to see the Rockettes for her 30th birthday.  Even though I was inclined not to enjoy the city that the hated Yankees call home, we both enjoyed the weekend and the city very much.  I would love to go back next year.  Some memorable things about the trip were:

Our hotel was apparently built for members of the Lollipop Guild.  The elevators had a maximum capacity of 3 people (without luggage), and when we opened the door to our room, it hit the bed.  The bedspread had a cigarette burn in it, so I have to assume that the Munchkins enjoy relaxing with a smoke when they’re not eating lollipops.  As an aside, do you think they have a spray in Munchkin Land for those annoying flying monkeys?  I’ll bet once that green lady melted, the flying monkeys probably swarmed all over looking for new hives.  I bet it would be a joy washing them off a windshield.

The tree in Rockefeller Center wasn’t lit yet, which was a minor bummer.

The line to eat lunch at Planet Hollywood was much, much too long if the food there is anything like the food at the Hard Rock Cafe.  We didn’t eat there, but we did walk around to look at some of the stuff hanging on the walls, and one of the items was Roger Dorn’s Cleveland Indians uniform from the movie Major League.  Scott Sarian recently wore Pedro Cerrano’s uniform (“must keep bats warm”) from the same movie at our recent Halloween party.  This is pretty much meaningless, but I thought it was cool.

I didn’t see many homeless people begging in Times Square, but there were tables and tables of stuff being sold on every corner by shady looking characters.  On Saturday it was mostly handbags (Meg bought a bunch), but on Sunday it was all watches.  Brands like “Swiss Navy” were priced to move at 2 watches for $10.  In Boston, these people just stand there with a cup.  In a related story, I recently watched someone in a minivan hand a pile of change to a man with a sign and a cup on the off-ramp between the Mass Pike and Rte 93 South.  The man graciously accepted the pile of change and waited until the minivan moved on.  He then sorted through the change, threw all of the pennies on the ground and pocketed the silver.

When we were driving home from NYC, we had just gotten out of the city and the Megger said, “This isn’t bad, at least there’s no traffic.”  We then turned a corner and ran into a logjam of cars.  We waited in traffic for long stretches during the remainder of our trip home, which took more than an hour longer than usual.  I know the traffic wasn’t her fault, but a tiny little piece of my brain might blame her, just a little…

…When we got home from NYC, we were told that our engagement announcement had been published in Sunday’s Worcester Telegram and Gazette.  First of all, let me explain what was involved in getting the announcement to be accepted by the paper.  To begin the process, the Megger wrote the announcement how we wanted it to appear and emailed it, along with a picture, to the T&G.  They called her and told her that they didn’t accept pre-written announcements and directed her to a form to use.  They also requested the original of the picture.  The Megger filled out the form and sent them the picture.  Two weeks later, they called her back and double-checked everything on the form with her.

So, when they finally printed the announcement, we noticed that they spelled her last name incorrectly underneath our picture.  They also said that the Megger was pursuing her master’s degree, when the Megger has had her MA for quite some time (my baby is EDUCATED).  All of my information was correct in the announcement.  The Megger wrote a scathing email to the nice people at the T&G, pointing out the errors and asking them to please re-run the announcement.  They agreed to do it, but I’m almost afraid to see what they’ll do to us for asking for the re-run,  probably something along the lines of what cooks in restaurants do to people who send back their food.  I half expect to see a picture of Joe Torre and Don Zimmer above the next version of our engagement announcement…

…Speaking of our good friends at the Telegram and Gazette reminds me of an experience my sister had with them about 10 years ago.  My brother-in-law’s high school alma mater had gone to the Super Bowl, and the T&G reported that it was the first time the high school had ever made it to the Super Bowl.  My brother-in-law mentioned to my sister that the paper was mistaken, and that his high school had gone to the Super Bowl once while he was a member of the football team.

My sister thought that this was interesting and called the good folks at the T&G to report the error.  The man who answered the phone at the sports desk said to her, rather forcefully, “Do you think that fact has any bearing in relation to bigger things happening in the world – I mean, do you really think that George Bush (the current Prez’s dad) cares about high school football and whether that fact was correct?!!”  My sister was speechless (some people might say that this alone was newsworthy).

It’s nice to know that the Telegram and Gazette was so concerned about the accuracy of their paper.  If they used that man’s criteria, the entire Sports section of the paper could have been eliminated, and he could have tried to get a job reading George Bush’s lips.

You might  get the idea from the above paragraphs that I am a nitpicker, and that I’m about to marry a nitpicker, and that my sister could pick nits for a living.  In response to those accusations, I have the following to say:  Whether or not I’m a nitpicker depends entirely upon what your definition of the word “is” is.

  If you’ll indulge my nitpicking for just one more minute, it makes me laugh every time I go to two separate sub shops in Cambridge to see the spelling mistakes they display.  At one place, let’s call it Papa’s, they have a sign in their parking lot which states that their parking rules will be “stricktly” enforced.  Another sub shop, let’s call it Ricotta’s, is the type of place where the guys behind the counter yell at you if you take too long making up your mind about your order, and they always laugh to each other in Greek about the women who walk into the place.  Anyone who has been yelled at can take solace in the fact that Ricotta’s nice new sign behind the counter advertises their great “ceaser” salads (I don’t think they mean that the salad will kill you, but I’m not sure).  NOTE TO MY READERS:  This is not an invitation for you to email me about the various typos and misspellings on my site.  If you find a typo, please feel free to congratulate yourself quietly and then immediately forget about it.

…To finish up, another RB update for you.  I recently had to have the fan fixed which ran the heater/defroster.  Smiling V “cleaned it up” for me (meaning that he jiggled the wires) and got it working to the tune of $45.  It works now, but for some reason I smell burning oil when I run the heat.  The Megger says that The RB has long outlived it’s usefulness, but it continues to get me to and from work successfully, and so I keep it alive.  Of course, it’s a little cold out today, so I have my fingers crossed about the engine starting for the commute home.