I discovered "ride sharing" this week.  It was quite exciting.  Because I'm a student (aka, cheap/poor), I did not want to pay the $60ish dollars that it takes to get the bus from Montreal to Ottawa and back.  But I really wanted to go to Ottawa. 

My friend told me about ride shares.  She said, "Google it, and you can find someone who's also going to Ottawa and get a ride with them."  I thought that seemed kind of strange, but I googled, and sure enough there were a couple of ads on Kijiji about rides to Ottawa.  It's kind of like hitchhiking except you use the internet instead of your thumb and you pay gas money. 

I thought, well okay, I'll call the guy and I'll know, by the sound of his voice, if he's creepy or not.  I dialed his number, my "creep" detector on high intensity.  He said normal people things, and didn't slurp or gargle or make monster noises.  So that was a good sign. 

I was a bit nervous in meeting up.  I was also hoping that he was a hot student.  You know, best case scenario.  It turned out that he was an older man.  He was quiet, but he seemed nice.  There was also another girl getting a ride, so that made me feel more relaxed.

The only hitch in the whole deal came when I went to put my stuff in the back of his minivan.  It turned out that it wasn't just me and the other girl getting a ride - two dead sheep and half of a cow we coming along as well. 

"Um, so, er, what's with the dead animals?" I asked.

He was transporting them to a butcher.  Well okay, that seemed ... normal.  Sure, why not? 

The ride turned out to be perfectly fine.  Actually, the man is getting his PHD and researching drugs for ovarian cancer.   On the ride back I went with a bunch of students, and that was pretty fun.  All in all, I'd say that ride sharing is a pretty sweet deal.  I saved $30.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a new shirt. 

I got this!
Guess what happened while I was walking down Peel street today?  A lady gave me a free sample of tampons.  I got 8 free tampons on the street!  Perhaps a bit weird... but still!  If I had been driving I would have missed out on that deal.  

I also wanted to mention; perhaps it's just me, but doesn't the act of driving make destinations feel like errands?  "I have to go here.  Park.  Next I'm going there.  Park."   Today I discovered a new market.  It sells flowers and fruit and because I was walking, I got to mosey inside at random, check things out, and mosey out again.  It felt like an adventure, not like a chore.

Oh!  And my feet!  Okay so I have a confession to make.  I sort of forgot about the pedicure thing.  I was in bed, all about to fall asleep, when I thought "Oh yah, my ugly feet!"  

So then I weighed the pros and cons about getting out of bed to fix them.  I almost didn't, but because I had told you guys that I'd give it a try, guilt dragged me up.  I grabbed a bottle of moisturizer and completely slathered my feet with it.  Then I slip and slided around my room until I found a pair of socks.  

The lazy man's pedicure.

But let me tell you, it was quite the chore to wear socks during a hot summer night!  There was some effort involved!

I don't think it worked.  My feet are still pretty leathery.  I think I need to do the foot scrapy thing, but that kind of weirds me out.  


Walk o' Shame. I found this picture on: http://itisthewaytogo.com/2008/06/12/walk-of-shame/
Because this blog is about walking, in all of its forms, it wouldn't be fair of me to avoid this topic: the Walk of Shame. 

The Walk of Shame, for those who don't know it, is a walk that someone must do (usually around 11am) whilst wearing their fancy dress from the previous evening.  The dress is rather inappropriate for the time of day (short, black, sequins), as is the high heels, dangly bracelets, and small fancy purse.  The hair of this walking lady is fairly messy, and her makeup is quite smeared. She sticks out like a sore thumb, causing passerbys to think, "she is wearing the same outfit she wore last night!"

There are many reasons why a lady might be in such a predicament.  Maybe she lost her house keys and had to stay over at a friend's house.  Maybe she's walking to a photo shoot and that's how the makeup people wanted her to look.  Maybe her house burned down while she was at the grocery store buying a carton of milk.  Maybe she slept over at a cute guy's house.

You know, really, it could be anything.

So, I am going to admit (for undisclosed reasons) that this weekend I walked the walk of shame.  Slightly hung-over, I stumbled the 30 minute walk home in my poor little pair of high heels.  I got a lot of looks, and, of course, I ran into three people that I know.  I had to carry on the most awkward conversation about weather with a fellow from one of my classes while we waited for the stop light to turn green.  Come on stop light, turn green, turn green!

I bring this up because as a No Car person, walks of shame may occur.  It may not be the best part about walking, but if you keep a positive outlook, it's really not that bad. No one who sees you could say that you are a boring person, could they?  And they probably become pretty jealous over all the fun you likely had.  You see?  If you had a car all of this excitement and gossip potential would have been lost!

At least, that's how I'd like to see it.

PS - I wanted to say thank you to John who sent me some nice comments.  I'm glad you like my site!  You should comment on this post and let us know what Walks of Shames are like for guys.  Or do they even exists?           
I'm trying to figure this out:  Whenever I'm late for something, the traffic lights are against me.  Whenever I'm on time, they're in my favor. 

I'm definitely the kind of person who leaves the house late.  You may say, "hey, if you had a car you could get there faster".  But no, I'd still leave my house late.  And then, instead of running to catch up, I'd have my foot on a gas pedal.  It's probably a good thing that I don't drive.

Yesterday I smiled because I saw a business lady running in the streets.  It made me happy because for once I was on time and not the "running person".  And then Karma hit me and made me late for my midterm... 

A little while ago, my friend told me that there was a Facebook group called "I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head".  When she told me about it, I was like, "oh that's so mean!"  But now, sometimes when I'm hurrying to my destination that image will pop into my head. 

I'll come up to this cute couple who are meandering along, all loving and sweet and holding hands and ... THEY'RE BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK!  I attempt to whiz past, trying my best not to be the annoying "rushed person" that disturbs their beautiful moment, but they're really BLOCKING THE SIDEWALK!  And I'm going to be late.  So I kind of hover behind them.  You can picture it can't you?  Me doing some little stressed-out skips, breathing down the neck of two unaware, beautifully happy people.

I'm not a violent person but times like these make me wish I had never heard of the group "I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head".  Because now I get that image and I feel guilty.

It's probably a good thing that I don't drive.     
Okay, so now I feel bad.

I was doing the dishes, thinking about homework and an upcoming date (perhaps not in that particular order), while my roommate was watching TV.   He was watching some sort of environmental show, the kind that has a deep voiced announcer updating us on current world disasters.  It was really sad.  I looked over at the show just in time to see a cute child running through a field. The man being interviewed said, "what will I tell my son?  I'm sure he'll ask me, 'if you knew what was happening, what did you do to stop it?" 

Eeek.  What am I doing to help keep our world clean?  I have been really slacking on this blog/website thing.  I've gotta kick myself in the butt and get going!  I've got to step it up!  I've got some ideas... coming soon, so watch out!

On a separate note, it's cold here in Montreal.  I'm glad I finally got a real winter jacket.  People were starting to comment on my "Canadian tuxedo" (my jean jacket.  I'm still trying to decide if "comment on" is really more like "make fun of") 

Anyways, the other day I was walking home from school and it was storming outside.  A complete whiteout.  It was one of those times where you just bend your head against the wind and scuffle home as quickly as possible. 

Just when I'm in the middle of grumbling about the cold, I hear this Micheal Jackson song coming up from behind me.  I look back to see this younger man in a motorized wheel chair.  This chair, with is super thick wheels, was beating the storm and spitting in it's face by blaring Micheal Jackson at it.  Yeah man! 

I followed that guy for as long as possible.  Winter storm walking is not that bad.  I don't need a car.                   
I'm doing some reading for class.  Well, I'm trying to do some reading.  My roommates - yay Craig's list! - are a couple and they're presently working out a disagreement.  Loudly.

So I can't concentrate.  But, this one reading is pretty interesting, and since it mentions walking I thought I'd share it.  It's by my professor, R. W. Morris, and the article is called "Beyond Body-Spirit Dualism" (2001).  Here are a few segments:

"The automobile, which Borgmann (1992) aptly refers to as the 'vehicle of modernism' (p.58), has gone a long way in replacing the bicycle and walking – two modes of transportation that put us in direct contact with our bodies and the outside world.  Walking activates all the senses.  It allows us to slow down long enough to see, hear, smell, touch and sometimes even taste.  The car and its supporting cast of gadgets, furthermore, has rendered the body almost superfluous (Le Breton, 200, p.13)..."

"...Even a mundane technology like the automatic garage door opener radically severs the possibility of an embodied relationship with nature.  The price 'is any real relationship to the physical world.  If you live in a suburban home and commute to a parking garage somewhere, that ten seconds opening the garage door might be nearly the only rain you ever feel' (p. 247).  In northern countries like Canada the growing popularity of the remote car starter means that the ten seconds it takes to walk from your home or place of work to your car might be the only cold you ever feel..."

"...The fitness revolution is largely rooted in our ever-increasing preoccupation with the appearance of our bodies.  Taken at face value, this phenomenon seems to indicate an attitude of wonder and care for the human body.  A closer look, however, reveals a new attempt to escape our moral, corruptible and imperfect bodies.  Here our bodies are objects, 'commodious surfaces', to be altered, enhanced, perfected and make forever youthful.  The body is not a friend but rather an enemy to be defeated."

So, let's make friends with our bodies and take them for a walk! 

As well, if you are interested in the topic of body/mind separation, you should check this out:
It's a lecture by Ken Robinson about schools killing creativity and educating from the head up "and slightly to one side".  A super good talk, funny too. 

(P.S., TED.com is an awesome site) 

My roommates aren't fighting anymore.  They have the music turned up and one of them is singing loudly.  Off tune.  Save me.        
I just finished writing the research essay that never ends never endingly (Martlet, 2008).  If that sentence made sense to you, good.  That's about the level of brilliance I could muster up for that paper.  

I should try to walk out my "essay butt", but it's pretty late.  Instead I'll write about walking, which is really not the same thing at all but I'm too tired to go to bed. 

Also! I really want to answer my first comment.  Bryce wanted to start a conversation about "how towns are set up for the convenience of cars over that of walkers" (Bryce, 2009). 

I totally see where he's coming from. I think this is especially evident during construction when the construction workers take over the sidewalk instead of the road.  Us poor, freezing pedestrians have to wait for a light, cross the street, wait for a light, cross the street, and finally, wait for a light and cross the street. Aww, look at us, being all cold and having to walk more in the wind and rain while the drivers are not inconvenienced at all...

...but, on the upside, think of the hot leg muscles we're developing with all the extra walking! 

Hey, something cool happened to me when I was going to school today.  This random girl gave me a huge pink rose and said "have a nice day".  Then she walked away.  So I carried the rose from class to class, reveling in the fact that all my classmates thought it was my birthday or something. 

Carrying a rose all day without crushing it is a huge responsibility.  You will be happy to know that the rose survived.  When I finally got home, I put it in water in a tall beer glass (I have no vase.  Classy, I know).  It looks very nice on the table (Murphy, 2009).

Take that, car drivers!  I bet you didn't get a random rose on the street!
Yah, it's true, that's a beer mug. I don't have a real vase to put it in.