932 – North Pole Local
A warm and calm place to take a meandering journey with all the stops and double the coco.
Episode 932 – North Pole Local
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and residents of the North Pole, it’s Scoots here. I’m pretending…I don’t know if I’m pretending I’m a radio announcer or what patrons, but it’s time for the…what do you say we get on with the show? If you’re a patron, don’t forget sleepwithmepodcast.com/patronfeed, sleepwithmepodcast.com/patronhelp; those are two websites you…know if you ever need to access your feed from a browser or set it up on a new device or refresh it. Just on your mobile device, go to sleepwithmepodcast.com/patronfeed. If you ever need help or you want to learn more…you say wait a second, I want to try out this and this or I also want to add it to my…I have a iPhone but I want to add it to my Android tablet, you can find out more. There’s tons of videos at sleepwithmepodcast.com/patronhelp. Thanks and let’s get on with the show.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever is keeping you awake; thoughts, feelings, physical sensations. If it’s thoughts, things you’re thinking about or…that just come up, it turns out thoughts come up on their own too, according to a lot of the work I’ve been doing on my own where I try to be…I’m trying to work on my mindfulness, right? No matter who you…I actually…when I say this I mean it ‘cause I talk back…I’m one of those people that talks back to meditation teachers, but…or I talk with; I guess I don’t talk back. A lot of them, oh boy, whether it’s…whoever you’re listening to…wherever you listen, you say oh, wait a second, so these thoughts are just…they can just come up on their own, eh? Oh, also, the thoughts…sometimes thoughts for me come up in the middle of a podcast intro. But, so, thoughts about the past, present, or future, feelings could come up. They could be feelings, they could be emotions or physical sensations. They could be…any of those…they could be interconnected. A lot of times they are. Sometimes I don’t even know it. That is one of the benefits of being more mindful, is you get more connected to that stuff but you say oh boy, no idea. I’m not kidding; I’m not making light of this at all. I say wow, that is…wow. Okay. Or, yeah, I say hey, let’s feel that and let’s feel that, and let those thoughts…they…this would be…I’m not there, but I say yeah, let those thoughts bubble up like soap bubbles. I say well, most of my thoughts are more like various Jack-in-the-Boxes which I’d have to explain. I’ll explain what…hopefully we’ll get back to that and also I’ll try to make it a calm Friend-in-the-Box, a friend…pop-up friend, we’ll call it. We could talk about pop-up books, too. Whatever’s keeping you awake; so thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, it could be other stuff. Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of it and keep you company while you fall asleep. That’s kind of what I view my job as here, is to distract you, to keep you company as you fall asleep; repetitive stuff. What I’ll do is I’ll…I’m…a got a safe place here set aside. In this case, on the North Pole Local, I have a cozy seat right next to me. Oh, is it so cozy. It’s a bench seat. One bench seat per person. I’ll be here right now to introduce you to the seat. I don’t know how they do this on the North Pole Local. I hear the North Pole Express doesn’t even have these features because everybody’s so distracted. The North Pole Express is about the destination because you’re like oh boy, I can’t wait to get there, so you don’t even think about the accommodations. Plus, it’s full of kids running around. Where the North Pole Local, the seating…so, you have these bench seats. They’re reversible somehow, I think by holiday magic. It’s fleece on one side and some sort of comforting waterproof material. I don’t know what it is. I think they said it’s made from coconut, so the same thing…you ever have those spoons and stuff that are compostable? I think they’re made from coconut or something, or whatever those spoons are made of; totally breathable. You say well, let me try that fleece side out again. The thing is that it gets…there’s some sort of vacuum built in, so when you…it’s cool stuff, the tech they have here in the North Pole. You say well Scoots, why do they put so much work…I say well, the North Pole Local’s a longer journey. Some people are doing…taking a professional journey or they’re commuting to and from work. Oh, but we’ll get to that later. I can’t…so, I’m gonna create a safe place that’s comfy like that, where you have space. Then I’ll send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’ll use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders. I’ll go off-topic. Pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, they’ll be some of those. Pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, what other things? I go off-topic, I get mixed up, I get distracted. This is a podcast…if you’re new, welcome. I’m glad…welcome. Let me show you to your seat, or you could walk around and take a tour; self-guided or not. I’m glad you’re here. This podcast is meant to kinda keep you company and take your mind off of stuff as you fall asleep, so this is…it’s different than a regular podcast. One; I have creaky, dulcet tones that you have to kinda…have to let grow on you, get used to them. They’re a bit different, same with the style of the show and the slight humor. Also, the…what else of the content…? Oh, this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. That’s kind of the hardest thing for some people, is wait a second, when is the podcast gonna work or get started? I say well, it’s kinda like the train; it’s…especially the North Pole Local. You say, is this thing even moving? Yeah, well, we don’t want to build up too much speed between stops here ‘cause then you gotta slow it back down. We’re very energy efficient on the North Pole Local. Yeah, whatever…that’s part of it, is you say oh, okay. You say, what kind of train has multiple…the train can just…yeah, oh yeah, well, we…because it’s the North Pole…oh, we’ll talk about this in the show but yeah, we can choose multiple tracks and meander around so that one track’s always open, I say. Also, we’re plowing the track, so sometimes when all the tracks are open or partially open…you say okay, take Northern B, Sally, because we need to get that plowed because all the trains…we have plows on there too to plow the snow for the trains coming behind us. Another reason to go slow or at a steady pace. This podcast is like that, but you say in that case…and then we say the advice is don’t pay attention to if the train’s moving or not. Of course in that case, I’d say how am I supposed to do that? If I was on that train, I’m with you. That’s your first journey, just like your first listen to the show. You say, how am I supposed to not pay attention? I say well, it’s an eventual thing. Most regular listeners say listen two or three tries before you even get used to it. Give it a few tries of not listening and barely paying attention. I know that’s counter-intuitive. I know this show is not easy…and of course you’re skeptical if you’ve been having trouble sleeping. I’m skeptical and if I heard about a sleep podcast, I’d be skeptical, too. I understand that. Those are a couple things. What else is…? Oh, don’t listen…no pressure to fall asleep, either. That’s the weird thing about this show; it’s a sleep podcast that doesn’t really put you to sleep. I just keep you company while you drift off. That’s why I’m here for about an hour, to give you plenty of time. You could just fall asleep at your leisure when you do. The plus side of that is if you can’t sleep, if you’re…you got something going on, I’ll be here to the very end to keep you company whether you’re awake or asleep. [00:10:00] I don’t always point that out, but that’s one of the most important parts of the show for me, is that I’m here for you. You don’t have to be…you can be asleep or awake. I’m here for you. I don’t know, ‘cause I learned very early on from some wonderful listeners that let me know that some people aren’t asleep; they’re listening, so I’m here for you if you’re listening. Or if you just woke up, hey, I’m here for you. But you could fall…you could sit and listen or you could fall asleep. That’s the deal. Those are two things. The other thing can could throw new people off is the structure of the show. The structure of the show is a bit different. The show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, in this case North Pole residents, and that’s so everybody knows they’re welcome here. That’s important to me. There’s that, then there’s…what…oh, so then there’s business. That’s how…the business is about four to six minutes or so, and that’s how we get the podcast free twice a week. Then there’s an intro and the intro has the Supporter Zone where we say hey, this is important for you, these other resources. Then the intro just goes on and on and on from about minute six or eight to minute twenty to twenty-five. The reason it does that is one, it…’cause you say wait a second, the intro of the podcast is one-third of the show. I’d say yeah, approximately. That serves a purpose of introducing you if you’re new so you kinda get a general idea of what to expect, but if you’re a regular listener, then you can kind of adjust as…after those first two or three tries and you say okay, this works if I don’t…it works effortlessly which is not easy to…you say it…I figured it out by not figuring it out; that kinda stuff. Just like the mindfulness stuff. You say oh, wait a second, I’m not supposed to…it’s like loosening the knot, I guess is the easiest way to do it. I don’t even have any good analogies, but so…then as you become a regular listener…if you do; again, this doesn’t work for everybody but I hope it works for you. If you become a regular listener, then the regular listeners use the intro in a variety of ways, all of which are okay. For example, I just heard from a listener that skips ahead to twenty minutes and starts listening there. Some listeners listen on Patreon to story-only episodes, so that’s one way to listen. Another way to listen is to start your wind-down or getting-ready-for-bed routine whether it’s on your phone or your sleep phones or your smart speaker as you get ready for bed. Another way is as you’re doing a wind-down, whether it’s some sort of other chill-out activity, or maybe not. Maybe you’re arranging things or just doing some…I don’t know. Some people I know pick up stuff at bedtime. Whatever it is, you’re listening to the podcast, and then other people are in bed getting comfortable, maybe just chilling, and other people are falling asleep. Just kinda see how it goes. But that’s the purpose the intro serves as you become a regular…first it introduces you, then it becomes a familiar friend ideally. Now, again, like I said, not everybody…and you say oh, it’s a familiar friend I don’t have to pay attention to but that’s there. Then you kinda say oh, okay, it gives me some…in the end, it gives you some distance and some…a way to get some distance from the day because if you get a good night’s sleep, your world’s gonna be a little bit better, right? Then maybe you could build up some momentum and I don’t know; it’s just nice to know people out there are getting some rest and that their lives are a little bit better. Maybe if that becomes a regular thing, you just grow out of listening to podcasts; you’re out there in the world, flourishing. That would be amazing. Or you could become a regular listener and you say well, that’s my bore-friend. He’s there to keep me company. That’s the structure of the show. That’s why I make the show. The other things to know…well, I guess…oh, why do I make the show? I said I got those pop-up friends in my brain. I call them brain bots sometimes but they’re always popping up on me. They say hey Scoots, what are you doing, resting? Oh, okay, well, I was thinking about this. That keeps happening to me even when I meditate, too, before I get in bed or try to be mindful or quiet. Actually, lately it has helped because then it’s like oh, when I’m trying to be quiet and meditate, that’s when a lot of my thoughts will pop up, before I get in bed. I’m only laughing ‘cause it just took me now to realize that, but they say oh boy, remember this or remember that? Or oh…I say oh boy, could you…and even it has that music, ‘cause oh, what’s that friend…a pop-up Friend-in-a-Box. Some of you…this was before…I’m sure they have it still, but it’s not a toy…this is what I never understood, is I like the…it’s a toy you only play with two or three times. Maybe it’s more geared…I guess I would say this is probably another episode. Somebody remind me of this for the fall of 2021 ‘cause I’d like to know who in the heck invented this thing? ‘Cause you say who is this for? Oh, pre-toddlers. Okay. Take that person…keep this invent…toy inventor…take away their toy-inventing license. Well, how does your toy work? Okay, so it’s a box that looks like a present’s inside. Okay, I’m with you so far. For pre-toddlers, because they want…or toddlers, but more likely anybody that can’t…toddler, we’ll say, almost a toddler. Is that a tiddler? No, but…I don’t know. But so, okay, so you have a present box. Yeah, it’s a box that looks like a present. It has a mechanism on the side that you wind it. Yeah, I know that has a vocabulary word but I can’t think of it. Funniest thing; I invented the toy. I can’t think of it, either. You crank it…a crank, and you crank it and it makes fun music with a music box that’s inside the box. Okay, like, fun music like you’d hear at a carnival. Exactly, like you’d hear at a carnival. Okay, then what happens? Then at a random time while you’re cranking the box, a friend pops out and a surprise. Okay, but you never know when the surprise is gonna come. Right; it’s a delight. Huh, interesting. I’d say it’s probably a delight for 10% of kids and maybe a delight for them 3% of the…how many…what’s the reuse factor on this? Have you done any market research? No, but I think it’s a great idea. Here’s my plan; let me just run it by you. Okay, ‘cause yeah, you’re gonna need a plan for this idea. I’m just gonna make it a traditional gift and people won’t…I’m gonna…here’s what I did; also, I’m a time-traveler. Okay, so this makes more sense. You invented this toy in the present and then you traveled back in time. Yes, I did, ‘cause I thought it was a great idea. My whole life, people have said it was a terrible idea. Then I invented a time machine. Okay, let’s just stick to the Friend-in-the-Box. Okay, so then I went back in time and arranged it so it was a traditional gift you always give. You don’t even know why. I went so back far in history that I confused nostalgia and tradition and myth and people said well, I don’t know why we give kids these things. They only play with them twice and most of the time, the experience is not ideal. Then as an adult, you might play with it twice. But yeah, it’s just tradition. I don’t know. I don’t know what a kid wants. Get them that; the friend to pop out of a box. Okay, so you did that, and then what? Well now it’s a present, so I’m able to afford to make my time machine. Oh, boy. Maybe you should…maybe…that’s interesting. I don’t know if that’s the best use of time travel, but I guess you created time travel…I can’t think about that too much. I gotta close this intro out. But those are the kinda things that pop up in my head at bedtime, along with the carnival music. This is the person you’re dealing with. I’m glad you’re here. I really appreciate your time. Where did that even come from? I can’t believe that person invented that thing. Maybe if I get time travel, I’ll just go back and un-invent the Friend-in-the-Box. But I don’t know, then if we didn’t have it, what…they said well, it’s to teach children resilience. I’d say well, could you put a message in afterwards teaching resiliency, then? Well, that’s a great idea. Let me go get my time machine. Oh, you’re still listening? Okay, [00:20:00] well, thanks for everybody for coming by. Like I said, if you’re new, give this show a few tries. I really appreciate you checking the podcast out. I really hope and I yearn and I strive to help you fall asleep. Thanks.
Oh, hello, hello, hello. I’ll take your ticket there. Welcome to the North Pole Local. Oh wow, your destination is, wow, the actual North Pole. Oh, wow, you’re in for a treat if you…oh, you pre-purchased…wow, this is a special package. You’re here for a leisure ride on the North Pole Limited. You know, we’ve done a study…I’ll show you to your seat, but we just have a few minutes before official seating time begins. That’s why I’m talking to you now. But welcome to the North Pole Limited, the…so, I was saying that not many people purchase this leisure package because of the…just the nature of history and the North Pole and Santa Claus. You know, the fact that we don’t allow anyone to record or take pictures or anything like that. Just so you know, Santa knows. He’s checking twice. She’s checking twice and if you’re not behaving, she’ll know because Roberta Claus sees all. Also, we have…you signed, obviously, when you bought the package, so you know that. That’s why the influencers don’t do this. It’s just ‘cause we did a study, a joint study with some of the beautiful countries in the Caribbean because some of the mail boats there are also a well-known leisurely way to travel. The North Pole, because of the nature of us being in the North Pole, and…you know, a lot of people think that…and maybe this is a…this is gonna be…I don’t know if…you may have a car all to yourself. I’m not sure. Oh, you…oh, I forgot; you hired me, so I’ll be here narrating everything right in…right for you. Oh, yes, so, here we are. We were thinking oh, okay, this is gonna be…we have all the snacks which will be brought by. Now we’re headed towards our seat. Oh, you have a whole bench seat and there are pillows and blankets above. There’s adjustable temperatures and cross-breeze fans because the windows don’t open and of course, we have the pull-down blinds. But you’ve picked a perfect time to go. The light is just how you would like to see the various sections of the North Pole Region, Greater North Pole Region is what we call it. Oh, but I was saying some people…one of the reasons people don’t ride it is because they operate…the lower world people operate with the assumption that everything in the North Pole has to happen on…happens on some sort of mechanical clock schedule and that everything has to happen right on time. That’s just not how it actually works on the North Pole. We’re output-based. I can’t get into all the specifics if…’cause there’s so many jobs at the North Pole. But yeah, and of course, you could work if you wanted to. Some of the people that don’t have to work at a bench, the work bench, that are putting…the craftspeople. The North Pole Local is…because you say…I mean, this is another thing; because work is seasonally-driven here at the North Pole, the North Pole Local is mostly ridden by locals and it serves a lot of purposes. Now, you could work, but work’s supposed to be limited. There’s a lot of leisure activities. You said well, I think I’d…you’re a southern-worlder as we call…and non-elven, I guess is what I was saying. You say well, I don’t know…I’ve never…you say okay, yeah, and some elves want to…they have…there’s private club gatherings. But yeah, this is one of our times where you say okay, if I have to commute to work, maybe I shouldn’t be working on my commute back and forth. Again, it’s different than your world, very different, but one of the things is this is just supposed to be an enjoyable journey. Despite how the North Pole is portrayed in some cartoons, it isn’t…now, when you’re working, and especially in a period of high-demand…but yeah, let’s just say you were working and you were away from home for a while working on-location in another part of the North Pole or commuting back to say well, I’m gonna do a two-week run here at the wooden train painting…painting building number 47B; that’s imaginary. Oh, looks like we’re getting ready to slowly move and yeah, one thing that especially southern-worlders say is is this thing even moving? Especially when we’re in a plain area with no…nothing outside. It can be legitimately hard to tell. There’s no snow, which we don’t have right now, and there’s nothing on the horizon but a flat snow-covered plain. So, get comfortable here. Oh yes, you’re settling in on the bench here. Now, one of the other reasons we’re not really getting…moving too far is that you will start to notice here as we start to move with a little bit more momentum that your entry point, your…is it an ingress or an egress? You arrived from the southern world and of course, just like other nations or nation states or countries, we have our own rules. We have our own…I say okay, well, these are the rules when you come to the…you can’t just walk right in because you really wouldn’t want to, because you say well, we like to keep…make sure everybody’s gonna do good. We do keep all that on this side of these hills as we’re gaining some…and now you could see off to the right and the left, some…what look like rolling hills. You could say, are those real hills or snow…? I’d say yeah, those are small hills. This is one of the last regions that does get…there is some greenness in the summer. The first thing you’re gonna notice as we crest this next bend is a region we call the Sometimes Region. A couple reasons we call it that, but you’re gonna see…we’re gonna crest this hill and the first thing you’re gonna see is a house up there on the hill. The nice thing about that house is it’s always lit, day…I guess during the day it may be lit by the sun, but you know, with the kind of light we have now. Oh boy, I just noticed that if you really look off there to the west, you’re gonna see the sun there and it almost looks like a giant moon because of the pale grayness of the sky. That’s one of the reasons we don’t allow influencers or…poets could come, but we prefer that poets keep their…they say well, is that a steely sky? Oh, is that cold slush smeared across…we…’cause some people say well, I’m just…could you keep the poetry to yourself? I’m an elf; I’m trying to lie back, here. We don’t have any private rooms, is one of the things that you will notice. That was just a historical thing. There were times where we had private things and again, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of the Willy Wonka movies, but there are people that want to gather information about the North Pole. They said okay, well, we…if they don’t have a private room that we…Santa, Roberta Claus knows. She doesn’t even have to check once or twice, to be honest, so they wouldn’t be getting away with anything, but they would think they would. That was one thing, and then we just said well, if we’re gonna have this, we don’t really need any…what’s the right word? A certain type of frolicking would go on a lot of times in these bunks. Then it became more of a party atmosphere. I think you have a place…there’s different places in the history where you say well, you go there to get away and [00:30:00] leave the rules behind and kinda get crazy, you know? Oh boy, like that movie with those gentlemen or those maids of briding or whatever. You say oh wow, let your hair down. It’s friends’ night out or whatever. We say well, no, no, no, this is still a professional environment, though you’re not working. It’s just the decisions we’ve made. You say, that’s…you’re not technically at work but we still need you to behave professionally. You could relax, you could fall asleep, you could drool, you could play some games, you could even enjoy some nog, but no…none of that…workplace…I guess that’s why we eliminated private rooms. Plus, we went to this bench seating. There was a time where everybody wanted to live that champagne, riches, and caviar dreams and they wanted First Class seats on their trains, just…I guess that’s how a lot of trains are. We thought the southern-worlders, you kinda seem to be…especially those of you from below Canada there, you want…you say well, we’re individuals. We want our…I don’t want my elbows touching anybody’s elbows. But then we moved to these bench seats ‘cause we found a lot of people like to lie down and have a sleep, elves or guests. You know, we did become more elf-focused. It was just, there was different iterations of the North Pole Limited where they say…again, it was…sometimes it was based on success of other North Pole-based conveyances. I say well, that one’s got all the fame. What if we rebuild the North Pole Limited and put First Class seats in there? So, now we have bunks. Oh, and there’s the House That’s Always Lit. That’s what we call it, the House That’s Always Lit. Part of it, I’ll be honest, metaphorically…I don’t want to point anything out but it does give everyone the idea…one of the less…one of the things you really…for elves, we have created emotional space for this, but for someone from your world, you may have a different view. It’s like, because this sounds more ominous to a southern-worlder, is Roberta Claus is always watching. A lot of times you would…you immediately jump to watching and judgment. So, the idea that the house is always lit is not soothing but for an elf, it is…there is this strange level of elfdom…Northern Pole elfdom — I can’t speak for any other elves — that we are…this is also our belief system. Now, Roberta Claus is not a god on earth to us or a goddess on earth. She is, though, a benevolent figure. I’ve mispronounced that. So, her presence is comforting, though it could be…you say well, maybe…is that the correct use of benevolence? A lot of times when you’re down or you’re alone or you’re tired from work, you could think about it in a positive way and say oh, Roberta Claus…and be honest; as we’ve become more and more advanced on healthy practices on all levels of elven health, we’ve realized oh, well, sometimes identifying with something externally helps you deal with it internally. It does help children label their feeling…you say well, Roberta Claus can see I’m sad. Yes, I’m sad. Well, what do you think Roberta Claus would say to you if she could see you’re sad? How would Roberta Claus treat you? Then it can also inform your external behavior. You say well, I wouldn’t frolic then, on a train. I mean, not…that was…that’s not the greatest thing ‘cause you say well…but so, that’s the House That’s Always Lit. It is not on any tours because it is actually…one of the things they do there is they’re…it is a…it’s where they run a lot of the ledgers because a lot of the deliveries for the North Pole — well, all of them — come…and the freight trains also run on these same tracks as the North Pole Limited, another reason why it’s Limited or Local. I don’t know, I always get those two mixed up. I’ve worked here for a long time but I’m only a narrator of the train experience. I don’t know; I’m not an engineer. But you know, sometimes we have to wait for the freight trains and change tracks or if something needs a plow or someone says well, you know, I got…come say hi. We wouldn’t do that but I guess probably we would. Here comes the town that, like I said, is nearby here. The reason this town’s called Sometimes…you could see some of the windmills that generate some of the power for the town…is because sometimes this is…sometimes there’s visitors to the North Pole staying in this town. This would be the first stop and this is also where you would switch if you were going to take…yeah, I know you could catch the North Pole E double…you know, the fast one. There’s one depot but you could also switch to a…not a local but a shuttle train that goes from Sometimes…you say well, I’d like to spend a little bit more time in the North Pole Region. Sometimes is a quaint city but Sometimes is also full of elves. I guess you’d say it’s not exactly a bedroom community but a lot of elves that are working in different parts of the North Pole do like to live here, especially elves that want to be close to the southern world. This is one place where we do encourage our human…people that are staying for an extended time that don’t have accommodations or have a longer-term relationship with the North Pole to live here, but not everybody…very few people live here full-time. You say well, I live here sometimes. That’s how it got its name, just that simple. We’re gonna go over our first really beautiful bridge here and this is a mason…masonary…I call it a masonary bridge. I think it’s built for mason…stone masons of giant, giant stones. Oh, boy. These, whatever, the kind of stones they used, they’re very not-porous so they don’t do a lot of expanding or contracting and they don’t get a lot of water in them. We don’t have very many stone bridges and the further north we go, even less stone bridges we have. But really giant; made actually…they said that…the story goes that even though this bridge is…I think this bridge is 112 years old. Yeah, there; it’s this…yeah, that’s the date it was founded, 112 years ago. But so, this is…they did it…they said oh, this is how…oh, and this is called the Last Green River that we’re flowing…frozen now, but it is green during the brief time and it’ll be the last green river you would encounter on your trip north if you feel like we’re going north. Some people feel like we’re going south but yeah, so this bridge…if you were a frost giant…they said oh, this was built so that frost giants could cross over this river. There aren’t frost giants, just to calm you down, but the idea that frost giant…or that frost giants built this or helped build it, it’s just a fun piece of local lore because you see this…there’s a massive tree coming up here just past the bridge and that’s called the Resting Frost Giant even though it’s a tree. We imagine…because it…and this tree has the ability — whatever type of tree it is — to freeze during the winter. It’s evergreen; it looks over the Last Green River. I guess what I was saying is if a frost giant saw this bridge, it would look like a footbridge, a stone footbridge or whatever the…yeah, stone footbridge, yes. But to you, it just looks like a giant stone bridge, [00:40:00] or to I. Now, we are gonna briefly…this is a very beautiful time and we do have one of the treats coming up here in a bit. Now, we’re gonna pass some of these beautiful homes coming up that are facing the Last Green River and the train tracks. Now, these, they…you’d say those look like mansions and then you…sometimes people look at an elf and they say well, even…a mega-mansion. I say no, no, those are…kind of, because again, this is a Sometimes community. We just have a different view on private space. We have…I don’t know, I…one thing I notice about the southern…you know, the humans, I guess, is…and I think this is unfair, is that you don’t as children get enough focused education on these things where elves, we do. We really have a healthy sense of boundaries. Living in communities is an important thing even in community…in homes. Especially, it’s cost-effective or resource effective in our case because you say oh, okay. So, this first house is…you’d say it does look like a mansion. They both have different stone roofs or rooves or maybe that’s slate…a lot of windows to catch the light when it can, but also to just have a view. But yeah, those are…there’s multiple rooms in the house. It’s just designed differently than a human house because we share more…we have our private space. Everyone has their private space as well. But yeah, the next house is a collection of purples and pinks and I’d say…they said that the…they were developing that one ‘cause sometimes the sky could get that color and that the house would disappear against the sky ‘cause it’s such a…it’s not a bright pink or a bright purple, but subtle gradations of that. But here we go; as we round this next bend, you’re gonna see out on the balcony and in the yard there while it’s warm enough, those are musicians playing. They’re jamming. Now, we can’t quite hear from the train unfortunately, but I…it looks like I do see a banjo and a trombone. I see a drummer, I see some sort of guitar. I can’t figure out what style. A trumpet. This is maybe some sort of jazz jam going on. Isn’t it soothing to just see it, to see them playing with joy? That is one of our…that is the back-end of what you would call an opera house or a place where you would go to see concerts on one side, but that’s just where people are just enjoying themselves. There are some people observing too, but it’s just a nice spot to relax there. Oh, so, what we…wait here. We’re past the music area. Very nice as the…coming through is the egg nog cart. They have a variety of nogs for everybody’s…you say well, I just want some…they have water too, just in case, but they have non-dairy and dairy nogs. If you’re avoiding…you could just…you put your…oh, yes, you put your order in. You’re having the…that’s one of my favorites, is the two-nut nog, the turmeric nutmeg nog is an impressive one. Oh boy, it looks like…yes, that looks…oh, you ordered one for me. Thank you so much. Now, these are very relaxing nogs to drink, especially because they’re served at a special temperature. Yeah, that’s fresh sprinkled on there. As we sip at these nogs we say oh boy, I can feel my shoulders relaxing. Now, you’re gonna see something, and now this is just because of the humidity in the air right now. We have very low humidity. While the temperature is…currently, the temperature outside on the ground is just freezing. That’s why the snow is staying there but if you rise up, what you’ll see over this next…after we come down this next hill, is something…again, you know, I’ll back…I’ll explain it, but let me just tell you that…but as you reach ten feet…so, between ten feet above the ground and actually I think it’s…112 feet is a factoid I heard once. The air varies, but none of the air in that region between…I think it’s 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, which we’re in that range right now. Not that we’re paying attention to mechanical time, but this is just to put it in context for you. The elves here, they judge it more by temperature, but the temperature is not in the freezing range. It varies actually quite a bit depending on the sun. If the sun wasn’t out at all, it would be different. Some people would say I don’t know what I’m…so, oh, another reason to put this in context is…just like people around the world see movies and we see your entertainment products; elves are not known for international entertainment blockbusters. While we have our own internal entertainments; podcasts, TVs, movies, those kinda things, radio, and our own traditions, we do indulge quite a bit in human media. Part of that is it’s part of our job to understand you and to empathize and build things with compassion that we will spark joy and interest. The history of New York City is one; at least…you’re from the US. In the US…oh, you’re not. Oh, where are you…? Oh, okay. But so, people in the US that…okay. No, I understand. I just get…sometimes I get twice mixed up, so I understood then I misunderstood, then I understood; a misunderstanding. But so, a lot of children’s programs particularly show over the last forty, fifty years…New York City is prominently featured. It’s not always glamorized but for a child, almost everything is glamorized, the way we view it. I can think of…for me, Sesame Street is one. So, this next stretch — and you’re already gonna see it — these are…they’re bigger than regular brownstone you would see in New York or on the set of Sesame Street. They’re kind of an amalgamation of real brownstones, brownstones from adult films and…films marketed to adults. Excuse me. Not that…again, not that kind of frolicking. Children’s TV programs and films. Yeah, they’re painted a little bit more pastel. But again, a bit more muted. We call this place My Side of the Street which I think a sleep podcaster made a sitcom called My Side of the Street. He pitched it one time. It was going to be a brownstone with Jim J. Bullock and…I can’t remember; Gary Coleman maybe. They were all going to live in a brownstone…Bea Arthur. I think those were the three actors or performers he was trying to get. The song would end with My Side of the Street. But anyway, that’s…yeah, we listen to that sleep podcast here, too. It’s more for studying…well, it’s a special study. But so, the one thing is these are not residences. Some people say wow, who gets to live in those beautiful Sesame Street New York City brownstones? They’re so lucky. What is this? This is actually one of our laundry facilities. It’s the main laundry facility for everyone that lives nearby. But also, we wear uniforms for a lot of working. We have aprons, smocks. This is where a lot of that laundry is, and a lot of the laundry is line-dried. That was part of the idea. ‘Cause again, when we build things here in the elven world, [00:50:00] form and function are equally important. We don’t have the same…it’s a much more planned-out process ‘cause we say well, how are people gonna feel when they see this? I’ll say well, they’ll feel like singing Sunny Days are Here Again. You know, making the clouds away. Friendly Neighbors, or I Love Trash, or C is for Cookie, or Rubber Ducky. Or they’ll say wow, this reminds me of my trip to get pizza, or the sleep podcast would say that’s like the brownstone the Explorers Club was in, around the corner from the Guggenheim. But so, the…inside those buildings are laundry facilities. That’s why you see all the laundry strung between the brownstones, designed to be off of the ground enough so that we can line-dry a lot of our laundry when we can. It’s close enough to the solar farm that even some of…we’re not just using electricity; even some of the turbines inside are being moved by wind power. Just another cool thing that we’d like to…that we enjoy. Oh, here’s the C-O-O-K-I-E cart coming through. Now, I see you got a variety…you said…you picked Taster’s Choice. We always laugh at that because we know you have a cafe down there, a Taster’s Choice. But that just means they’re tasty…that just means the variety of cookies…oh, you’re going to keep them boxed. Really? So you asked for yours…oh, you’re gonna hold them as a gift. Oh, well, that’s so thoughtful of you. Well, maybe later you could change your mind. Well, that makes sense. Now, here coming up again…now, this is very thematically…and the…oh yeah, also, you notice that the train did stop at the laundry facility and again, we’re slowing to a stop. Sometimes people don’t realize it because we’re going so slowly. But yeah, next stop is another…we’re slowing down. Now again, it’s very thematically connected, but you say are those neon signs you see blinking? That’s one of my favorite things about this stretch, especially when I take the train at night or now, you know, the sky is getting a bit dimmer…is as we roll this…you can see it there, off…I guess I removed the ability for you to discover it and say oh boy, are those blinking lights or is that my imagination? One of the reasons I point it out is because some people have a stronger reaction ‘cause they say well, does that mean there’s a train? Train trouble? No, this is a…those are neon and electronic signs, lighted signs coming up. Those are sky scrapers. Now, those are, as you would call it if you go to one of your theme parks, a bit of a forced perspective but it does simulate…and actually, the train will stop right in the middle of it. Again, this is…I guess you’d call this our New York City Tribute Region because it does stop in the heart of what you would call Times Square. You can get on and off the trail. Now unfortunately what it does is it creates a sense of wonder. You can get off the train and stand in the heart of Times Square. The only thing is, we just encourage people to stay on the train. Of course, this is where…the fact that the roof of the train is also glass; you could see everything. Yeah, we’re already going down what does feel like a canyon with buildings towering over us and signs. Yeah, some of the signs you’ll see in Times Square are new toys we’re working on, launching for this holiday season. That’s part of the rules that we have. But yeah, there’s the original Santa Claus before…the last Santa Claus before Roberta Claus there. Yeah, there’s some famous historical…I like the signs, the children sledding down a hill in neon, blinking neon. That was one that they throw snowballs. You do see the windows. Now, this is…on either side of us are giant toy…now, these are raw material processing work areas, so giant buildings or…in a series of buildings. Of course, we do foreman functions. These aren’t false fronts but we aren’t working in towers, though you say higher up in the tower are office facilities where lower in the tower are buildings behind it connected to the towers which you would say a giant warehouse or an industrial building is what you might call it in your world. Again, there’s also…now, you can’t exactly see it now because it’s not time, but a lot of the…one of the joys of having the neon signs is that they can be pulled up and those…where the neon signs are…the ones that are on the higher floors are where cranes come out. The ones on the lower floor or the billboards — some of them aren’t neon signs but they’ll come up and that’s where…if it’s a train full of raw materials, they’ll be offloaded from the train very efficiently. This is one of the primary processing…and then reloading would happen. Again, you can even see up there is some sky bridges which were popular, I think, in the US for a time but are not popular anymore. But yeah, this is what we…we do call this Manhattan, or people say I work at the Manhattan Project. They say hardy-har-har. All the different materials that would be used in the construction of toys could be processed here. You say, shaped or categorized and then put back on a train completed to go north or if…or it would go into a recycling or reuse facility. That’s that. Now, this is where we do pick up a bit of speed here which does make time feel like it’s moving. That’s the other thing that you should know, is that sometimes when you’re on the North Pole Limited and you just roll with it, the people that are here, they say wow, I thought I bought this ticket…I thought it was the North Pole Express. We say well, one; there isn’t a North Pole Express. There’s something with another name. Two; you had to fill out forty-five forms to take the North Pole Limited if you’re a human. But they forget to enjoy the journey so much that…we’re talking here and you…that you kind of…sometimes you drift in and out of sleep during these periods of…or for an elf, we might play a game, we might write letters, we might work on one of our hobbies, we might go visit. There is a tea parlor. Now, you didn’t have a…you said you wanted to kind of stick to your seat so I will respect that, but on your next trip, you could visit the tea parlor or the media lounge or the library, the game room, the arcade. I guess we still call it an arcade, but it doesn’t take quarters. There’s the classrooms. A lot of different things. There’s a botanarium. I’ve never been to the botanarium before, but I think it just means a greenhouse, a moving greenhouse. That’s towards the end of the train. I don’t know, I guess I could share this with you because not many humans share this thing. But as a child, I was…looked at a lot of globes as a child and they would…as they taught us about everything…but my house had…one of the adults in our community in the house I lived in, they loved globes, so they kept a lot of globes. I also had a small toy train. I said oh, well, let me pretend I’m a train. I used to pretend…that’s how I got this job. It’s really my dream, but also a opportunity for me to live in a balanced world because not all is good or bad, you know. But so, the…I would play with the train and the globe but then one time I was heading the train up the globe, and we’re all the way to the…one of the tropics of something or other, because it was long. [01:00:00] But as it got towards the North Pole, the last two cars fell off. They ended up being…then I broke a globe, broke my two last train cars; a caboose and the second-to-last car which is the botanarium on this car which kind of ties into my explanation. It was just a very formative experience for me. Even though I know the fact that we’re not going north, we’re not being pulled south; I know that. This is true, so don’t be concerned. The fact the train is very well-engineered, I also know that as a fact. Part of me refuses to accept those things. It has such a formative experience that I just don’t…I say I prefer not to go to…one day I will. One day I’ll say well, it’s time for me to go to the botanarium. Now that I’ve been in the botanarium for a few years and I’ve gotten comfortable, I will go in the caboose. Once I’m comfortable in the caboose, I’ll look out of the caboose. My goal would be to spit off the back of the caboose. But not today, not today. Today is not that day ‘cause I still…that part of me…and all…I know humans can connect with this. You say well, what if today’s the day? The gravity’s really at the Tropic of Capric…whatever. Frank…that’s another thing we call it; the Tropic of Frank Capra. Well, what if it is down there and then it pulls the last two train cars with me? Or the person whose globe I broke, they were not…they were a bit…they had foul weather circling their head a lot of the time and was stern. I’ve grown as an elf, you know, to accept those things. We’re all elves or we’re all imperfect in our own special, wonderful ways. I see you getting comfortable because of the turmeric in the…that thing, and the cocoa cart is coming. I’m guessing that you also got…oh yes, another soothing cocoa. Is that lavender in there? Wow. Never had a lavender…just a lavender-scent cocoa. But as you sip your cocoa, there’s one last building…set of buildings I want you to see. Now, these ones have a lot of blown glass. It looks like…yes, it’s very…almost surreal, and it’s headed towards the trains in a variety of colors. Some of it looks like it could be, you know, it creates different experiences. Actually, you could see the lights, the way there’s lights inside of the blown glass. Yeah, some of that blown glass is built in a special elven way that I can’t explain because I don’t understand it. But yeah, it goes twenty or thirty feet in the sky. Yeah, like a warm campfire part of it, and then those purples and those other colors as we go on, and then some…yeah, you could see beyond there that some are towering, kind of surreal holiday trees, impressionistic maybe…holiday trees; evergreens. Now, this is actually…that’s…this is form and function and letting you know. The last two places were more…if you’re…if you didn’t work there you wouldn’t know ‘cause we’re slowing down here. This is our glass facility for anything glass or glass-related, or blowing of glass, polishing, all that kind of stuff. I don’t really…I just marvel at this ‘cause I know you…the earth, you have many famous glass-blowers; Dale’s…but I don’t know if…and many sculptures. This is just on a magnificent, gigantic scale. It was inspired by…also, the…under the sea. There’s something people don’t know, is that…and I can’t tell you why, but elves don’t scuba dive. We’ve never scuba…none of us have been much below the surface of the water. Has something to do with our inner ear, I guess. None of us elves…you will see this later as…this could take you maybe seasons to get to the North Pole on this trip, but you’ll see we do have a fascination with under-the-sea myths and under-the-sea art because it’s something…now, there have been a few elves that…because they said well, there’s just a strange shift in their makeup. They could…it’s not that there’s never been an elf that scuba dives, but that’s a billion to one, you know, that most elves cannot scuba dive. As a people, we have a great appreciation for your…anything under-the-sea-related. Yeah, even the song Under the Sea. But more, the…we enjoy the animated and the fantasy, but we…maybe the grander fantasies of Atlantis but this impressionistic stuff or the real stuff, the real coral…can you believe if you never…just never had the option to see coral? Not everybody…not every human scuba dives or snorkels. We can’t snorkel either, but that’s what I mean. We could swim and we could go under the water. Again, it’s just hard to explain unless you’re really familiar with elven physiology. But that’s why this is so amazing, this glass towering around us. It evokes the sea, it evokes the warmth here, and then the crystals of the north there, and the holiday evergreen trees, and then even there it gets a little fuzzier and foggier like a warm cocoa in your belly that has slowly drifted away and just left the impression of the cocoa in your belly, a warming feeling throughout you. If you were on a train that wasn’t gently rocking you but just barely moving underneath you as you stretch out and get comfortable, and you shift a little bit more. You move your arms just how you like them and you get that special place. You could feel something watching over you. You feel good. The eyes of a building or you say well, yes, now that I’ve been to a few stops on the North Pole, I believe in something even more and I feel good and I feel comfortable and I feel safe, safe enough to rest for a while. Goodnight.
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