For me life hasn’t become entirely routine…but rather it is comprised of routines. They come in handy when dealing with tragicomic three year-olds, especially on Monday mornings. After half a dozen increasingly urgent requests (swimming pool? cookies? Boppa’s house? play game? Grandma’s house? Children’s Museum? - heck, they aren’t even open on Mondays) he was eventually resigned to going to pre-school (and I was resigned to going to work), because that’s part of the routine. So we hopped in the car and headed out. The little man loves to point out the city skyline as we drive over the high bridge. And he gleefully points out every type of truck and bus we encounter along the way. What is it with boys and trucks? But we’re both a little frustrated by one point in our journey. I’ve lived in my house nearly four years now…and each spring a certain street has been completely blocked off and torn up. You’d think they could have gotten it right the first or second time, but now they’re on their fourth go. So we have to take a slight detour, and the little man breathes a sigh of relief once we get back on our path. Along the way we pass many billboards. I think he’s upset that Monsters, Inc. has been replaced. I’m generally relieved that the creepy pro-life billboards are gone…but one of them has been replaced by equally creepy and muy macho military recruitment signage. Something alone the lines of “pain is just weakness leaving the body”. Which could be altered to read “pain is just what your friends and family will feel when you return home in a body bag”. Across the street from that billboard is the latest from the milk moustache campaign. With no prompting the little man pointed up to it and declared “ew, yucky!” followed by “filfy”. Heh. Eventually I drop him off at his destination, we say our goodbyes, and I continue on with the second leg of my commute. But this is where my routine is going to have to soon change. For the last year I’ve been splurging. And trying to justify spending a certain amount each month…on a reserved parking spot, located in my office building. The amount is deducted from my paycheck, only part of it pre-tax. It really is convenient. Especially in the winter, in the enclosed ramp. No need to brave the elements to get to my car. Or to warm it up. Or brush snow off of it. Likewise in the summer…no long, sweaty walk to an oppressively hot car. But all that is about to change. The parking rates are going up. A lot. To $290.75/month. Not even I, with my somewhat mad mental gymnastics, can justify that. So instead I’m going to become a bus rider again. Which will be about $240/month less than the new parking rates. Certainly seems fair enough in the cost to convenience ratio. But it will take a little while to adjust to the new routine. All right, I’ll quite whining. For now.