You’ll Put You Eye Out!

June 24, 2011 at 10:02 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

This morning, I watched a woman seated across from me on the train attempt to apply her eye make-up.  Don’t worry, I wasn’t a creepy stalker – this picture is not of her and is from the more anonymous  internet instead.

Not. Safe.

I see this surprisingly often and I just don’t understand it.  Every day, countless men and women lose their balance and dangerous bodily collisions are made all over the trains.  People drop their groceries, bags and children in attempts to stay upright and yet these brazen women are poking at their eyeballs with sharp little sticks covered in goo.  How can they possibly think this is a good idea?

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be wearing make-up.  But maybe they should consider waking up 2 minutes earlier and applying it before leaving the house.  I get all anxious watching them try to paint their faces because I’m just waiting for a catastrophic injury to occur.  As in, poking out an eyeball.  If this happened I suppose I could save the day by donating the Tupperware I carry my lunch in to house the poked out eye until the woman could be taken to the hospital but in reality I’d probably freeze with horror and forget to make that an option.

I mean, I know how often I poke myself with my mascara while I’m standing completely still in the bathroom and concentrating with all my might.  Perhaps other women are born with inherent ninja moves that allow them to apply make-up with efficiency and ease – but if that’s the case, why am I lacking that gene?  I was actually told this week by a male friend that I’m a “bad woman” because I had to Google the term “romcom”.  It means romantic comedy but I thought it had something to do with video games or the internet.  He said this in the nicest way possible but now I’m thinking that I’m missing part of an X chromosome.

Oh well.  I’m not putting my own eyesight and health at risk so I guess I shouldn’t really worry about it.  But if I have to rescue some hapless woman on the train and I won’t be able to keep from saying “Eye I told you so”.

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“Whoops”

May 18, 2011 at 10:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’ve been able to talk to my dad and he’s feeling better – we’re all still waiting on test results but since there’s not much that can be done until we know what we’re dealing with, I’m trying not to stress.  And since the daily grind doesn’t grind to a stop just because a loved one is sick, I’m still going about my normal routine.  Which of course means waking up early and catching the train to work.

Sorry!

So there I sat, enjoying a few moments of peace and quiet before starting another work day.  I had my eyes closed and was in that nice spot somewhere between dozing and being fully alert.  I was also enjoying some random thoughts and one of them had to do with public transportation (shocker).  I can’t quite remember if I blogged about how the train jammed a few weeks ago and caused a nightmare of a commute for thousands of Chicagoans but if I didn’t, I meant to.  No one was hurt and I managed to miss the headache by about an hour but it was strange because that same morning, as I was on that train line, I had wondered to myself how many times I had to ride it before being involved in an incident.  Statistically speaking, of course, not because I’m into that sort of thing.  It was a little weird when I heard the news later that day but I was just thankful I wasn’t involved.

Back to today.  One of my random thoughts pertained to coffee drinkers on the trains, as there are usually more than a few.  I’ve never seen anyone spill anything on anyone else and considering how jerky the rides can be, that’s somewhat surprising.  Roughly 3 minutes after that thought morphed into another, I felt something warm on my leg.  After quickly determining I hadn’t just wet my pants, I opened my eyes and saw some dude in a suit staring at me with real fear in his eyes as he apologized.  My reaction time was delayed as I was still in that semi-conscious state but I do believe I looked at the stain spreading on my knee in utter disbelief.  Before I could say anything to him, he ran off the train.

Luckily for me (and him), we’d been on the train about 20 minutes and the coffee wasn’t really all that hot.  Still – some stranger spilled coffee on me!  Not a great way to start the day.  It didn’t end up staining my pants but it did forever tarnish my perception of humanity in general.  Alright, maybe my reaction wasn’t exactly that strong but I cannot say I was pleased.  I’m also now scared of thinking random things on the train because they seem to come true.  Tomorrow I shall test this theory and wonder how often people find hundred dollar bills on the floor of train cars, but somehow I don’t think that will produce the outcome I want.  Although finding some money would allow me to buy a handy poncho for my daily commute.

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CTA (Crazy Transit Anecdotes)

March 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

If you’ve read my blog long enough, you’re familiar with the fact that public transportation in Chicago provides for some interesting stories.  This week has been no different and, while it’s just Tuesday, I’ve had enough interesting for the week.

The first story took place on the train Sunday evening as I was making my way home from the megabus stop near Union Station.  The closest train stop for me wasn’t exactly the nicest one but I’ve been there plenty of times and don’t really think much of it.  I found a seat and hunkered down with my luggage, then settled in for the ride.  But the ride had to wait because an elderly man displayed pure badassary and single-handedly stopped a pickpocket.

Oh CTA, you so crazy

I didn’t really understand what was going on but I did see an older couple with a ton of luggage blocking the door to the train.  There was also a man who seemed to be being held by a few others and at first I thought he was drunk and trying to board.  Then he was pulled away by a few security guards and the couple fully boarded so the doors could close.  It was clear the older man was shaken and as he sat down and  began to speak to his (likely) wife I figured out what had actually happened.  He basically caught the pickpocket red-handed and held onto him for dear life while the security guards were brought in.  Standing in the door was the smartest thing he could do and the other passengers helped hold the would-be thief until he was apprehended.  I was happy for the man and impressed with his quick thinking – I also held my purse a bit tighter the whole way home.

The second story took place on the train coming into work yesterday morning.  I was sitting quietly with my eyes closed as I usually do on the ride into work, trying to mentally bend the space-time continuum so my train would arrive in the future after the work day was already finished.  I was having problems with this when I could sense the person sitting next to me squirming around a little more than normal.  Upon opening my eyes, I saw a woman who was obviously very uncomfortable.  Since I know what it’s like to be hungover nauseous on a moving train, my heart went out to her.  Then she put her head between her legs and made a retching noise so awful that I did a double take to see if she was harboring a small rabid animal in her purse.  Seriously.  She wasn’t.  When she came back to a sitting position the poor girl was obviously extremely surprised by her outburst and also very embarrassed, which probably got worse when a bunch of strangers started asking her if she was okay.  Perhaps she was pregnant and experience the first wonderful throes of morning sickness?  Maybe she was the host for an alien that was trying to burst from her stomach (hmm…similiar to pregnancy)?  Or maybe she had a ham and cheese breakfast sandwich that just wasn’t sitting right.  Regardless, when her stop came she was the first one off the train and I couldn’t exactly blame her.

Last but not least (holy crap this is turning into a marathon post), I overheard a couple of teenage girls on the bus this morning discussing their Driver’s Ed course.  Apparently they’re both terrified of lane merges and think that the recommended stop sign wait time is much too long.  This gave me yet another reason I’m glad I don’t have a car and it made me extremely thankful I’m no longer in high school as well.

Besides, if I drove everywhere then I wouldn’t be privy to these crazy transit anecdotes.

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Trains, Pains and No Automobiles

December 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Relying on public transit has its perks, such as not ever having to worry about needing a DD.  However, this also means that you’re at the mercy of anything than can and does go wrong when you push hundreds of thousands of people into train cars day in and day out.  Case in point: yesterday.

I got on the train after work per usual and was happy to find a place to sit.  I settled down with my reading material and off we went.  At our first stop, the door to our car didn’t open right away and some guy manually pulled the lever to get out.  Then the door didn’t shut.  An announcement came over the speaker saying there was a train malfunction and the conductor walked back, shut the door and once again we were off.  Then the same thing happened at the next stop.  Awesome.  The conductor looked at the door for a while, shut it again and proceeded to our third destination.  The door stuck again.  Then we sat for almost 15 minutes while the conductor walked around, poking things and looking perplexed.  At this point there were people stuffing the train car and we were well behind schedule.  So of course we got another announcement, this one stating that the entire car was broken and we all had to get off the train.  Onto a platform full of dozens of other people who were waiting to board to begin with.  You can imagine how happy everyone was.  I myself almost got pushed on the tracks by an angry woman with someplace so important to be that she was willing to commit homicide in order to get there.  The next train that pulled up a few minutes later was already so full that roughly two people were able to squeeze in before it pulled off.  I caught the one after that, which was still like wading into a can of sardines.

So eventually I made it off the train and went home.  I had evening plans for board game playing with some friends and had a brief window of time in which to get home, give my special needs cat her insulin shot and get back to the train.  I did all that and was happy to see one approaching not long after I started waiting again.  The platform I was standing on is in the middle of the highway and the passing cars, wind and freezing temperatures made it so I don’t want to hang around there any longer than I have to.  You can then imagine my disbelief when this train failed to slow down and passed us poor commuters right on by.

What in the wide wide world of sports?  That was the one and only time I’ve ever seen an express train on that line and it’s my personal belief that the conductor was just too lazy to make his regular stop.  Or he saw me, knew about my luck and decided to make it worse.

At least I could have all the beer I wanted with my pizza dinner and not have to worry about driving home.

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Yes, I Live Here

August 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Ah, the Chicago Tourist

Nothing makes me feel like a true Chicagoan more than helping confused and befuddled tourists find their way around the city.  It’s not often that I happen to know exactly where I’m at and how to get someone else to their place of interest so I’m always excited when it happens.  Yesterday provided me with two opportunities to help out those new to the area and I must admit, I felt pretty proud for getting them to where they needed to go.

The first couple in question followed me off the Metra train as I made my way to the bus for my doctor’s appointment.  They were going to the Cubs game and since my stop was on their way, we chatted as we waited for the bus.  They were more than impressed with the bus tracker on my phone (ooooo, ahhhhh) and asked a few questions about my life in the “big city”.  They were from the far north ‘burbs and had never been to Wrigley Field before, so I was excited for them.  We talked until I got off the bus and they thanked me profusely for helping them on their merry way.

Which way?

After my appointment, I stopped by my apartment for a quick wardrobe change and then met up with a lovely lady friend at Blue Line Lounge and Grill.  I know I’ve mentioned this place one or twice and their $5 martini’s and half off appetizers on Wednesday nights are very nice indeed.  After my friend and I caught up over a few drinks, it was time to make my way home.  As I stepped on the L, an extremely inebriated couple got on behind me.   The guy was a little worse for the wear than his lady counterpart and they looked as intimidated as a little boy lost in the lingerie section of a department store.  They weren’t even sure what train they were on but somehow they had managed to stumble into the one they needed and after I informed them of that they started asking me the first typical tourist question, “Do you live here?”  This was their first time on any sort of public transit and I could tell the guy was regretting his last few drinks as the train swerved and dipped along.  After they asked me the same set of questions a few times in a row and memorized the directions I gave them that would get them home, they both went to that state of half-consciousness that drunks on the L are so often in.  They woke up enough to tell me thanks when I departed and I can only hope they made it home from there.

Yup, I mentally patted myself on the back for getting these fine tourists around.  And yes, I did so correctly and without any mean city-girl bullshitting.  If I know enough to help a tourist out then I’m more than happy to do so, especially because I still sometimes ask people on the street for directions myself.  I will probably continue to get myself turned around here for years but every time I can help a tourist I feel a bit more confident in my navigating abilities, and an angel gets its wings.  Win win all around!

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