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100 Things About Me
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Russia Trip: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Best of 2002: Movies, Books, Music.
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Saturday, November 02, 2002

Monorail! Monorail!
My lungs seem to be pining for the fjords. That's the only explanation I can offer for their apparent desire to free themselves from confinement inside my body. I've spent the last week in one big coughing fit, but I took a moment between wracking hacks and gasping for breath to pop downstairs to answer the doorbell. Who should I find but a chap in a Monorail T-shirt earnestly soliciting my vote in Tuesday's election.

As a non-driver I'll definitely be saying "Monorail Yes!" on Tuesday. Since I use public transportation more than most able-bodied people I know, I'd probably vote for it whatever the circs, but the circs are that Seattle's traffic is seriously messed up. The initial downtown phase of the monorail project wouldn't do much for me, but if they did manage to get a 58-mile citywide system set up, a lot of Seattlites would be way more serene. As this Slate story points out, the monorail's "fun factor" is part of what makes it such an attractive alternative to the automobile:
The goal of mass transit is to convince people to abandon their cars, which feature such enticing accessories as CD players and elbow room. Light rails are too buslike to impress most commuters, too squished and close to the ground. Monorails, by contrast, strike a chord with travelers. There's something about the sleek designs, the pillowy rides, and the panoramic views that just enchants.

Besides, what other form of transportation gets you singing a Simpsons song every time you think of it?