1 late night bedtime
2 unshaven legs
a dozen clothes on your chair not put away and thus too wrinkled to wear to work
2 ½ annoying sounds coming from someone's 7am construction outside your window.
garbage day on the calendar
1 boss with an early meeting
1 full streetcar or bus that drives past your stop
3 smelly fellow subway passengers
½ a glance in a mirror in the concourse to let you know, you're fooling no one!

Wake up on a work day and press the snooze button until you have about 20 minutes remaining until you have to leave your home. Depending on how realistic you are, this may require as many as 8 snooze pressings - but be determined, keep the faith - you will in time beat the clock. Not in a good way.

Next, (and this is key) after the usual stumbling around and bathroom visit, find something that you didn't see as a problem the night before that will lead to a huge amount of time wasting on your part. A stray chin hair, a chipped toe nail, even a cup of coffee left out and not rinsed. This will most assuredly lead you to try and fix similar problems - check your eyebrows, repaint your toenails or do the dishes left in your sink.

Soak (in):
When enough time has passed, hurry to your closet and pick out anything not worn the previous day, smell it and shake it out. After washing face and armpits, shake head and hair several times, and apply deodorant to armpits. Hurriedly get dressed and leave approximately 15 minutes later than you should.

While walking to the bus or streetcar stop - smell as much of your surroundings as you possibly can. This will put you in a fowl mood if you aren't already in one and at the same time, get you angry at your neighbours for being such smelly human beings who have even smellier garbage and put too much junk out on the curb. If you live near a subway station you might be able to skip this step, but you'll have more work to do on the back end of this recipe.

If you time your departure perfectly, you will have walked out at the exact time to miss as many buses, streetcars and green lights as possible. This will take practice. But trust your instincts, they've already gotten you this far.

Cooking time:
Finally you are on your way to the subway station and the ride there should be relatively problem- free - until you enter the subway car. This environment will be ripe with potential for confrontations, misunderstandings, and odd odours. If seats are available, choose one carefully. Be sure to pick one that sandwiches you in between 2 people. If you cannot find one like that, locate the nearest baby carriage, person trying to read a large section of a newspaper that will probably lead to a hand or paper hitting you in the face, or at the very least - someone using the seat next to them as a bag or purse holder. This will give you the chance to confront someone to ask them to move their stuff so you can sit down or better yet, you will be able to seethe in anger while you stand in front of them and their oblivious existence. For added angst: subway operator is new on the job and comes to a screeching halt at each and every stop or encounter a delay on the same line as yours.

When you emerge from the subway car at your stop - be sure to find the "UP" escalator as this will contain the highest percentage of rudeness in one crowd of people. As you ascend to concourse level, expect to be side-swiped and pushed, coughed and stepped on - if you have to go up to street level, you may even be lucky enough to be brushed by someone's lit cigarette that they are holding down at the side of their body, facing outward, as they rush past you.

After safely making it inside your destination, do not stop for a second to take a breath. Relaxing and shaking off the last half hour's stress will only make your morning more bearable. Take the path of most resistance and bob and weave your way through a crowd that is obviously unaware of manners and decorum. Lack of eye contact in this task can really add to the randomness of the slight you will experience, physical or emotional. Eye contact can open up a whole new level of a secular Dante's inferno - and you'll see this as you get back nothing, or an icy cold stare or a weird creepy look that follows you long after you've walked away. Do not turn around unless you want to add a pinch of futility to the moment.

At this point you should have a pretty solid foundation for your bad day. You will notice floaty bits in your concoction, and you'll begin to wonder whether you want to continue in this vain. The doubt will be heart-sinking, a weight on your chest - and you'll do anything to be able to pour it down the sink - perhaps even on to someone else. Completing the recipe will only give you indigestion and, possibly, nausea. Your forgot to check the nutritional analysis.

Take some time to think about the power of your own thoughts and attitude, then proceed carefully. You've painted your world before you with each step you took this morning, and with each utterance and with each reaction to a thing or your perception of a thing.
Stir once. Let simmer.

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