Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Small Aside

     While in NYC, there was an active film crew on the street where my hotel was located.  All the pedestrians seemed rather nonplussed, probably because there's somebody filming on every fifth street in that city.  They were filming inside the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, so that means it was surely some version of Law & Order/CSI/SVU, etc.  What was interesting to me, was that I was able to walk what felt like right through the midst of it all.  Craft services was literally set up right on the sidewalk.  An assistant-type walked past me, reminding an actor where to be set up for the next shot.  It was very cool.  The whole operation was there until evening.
     When I returned from a little exploring and walked past them later in the day, two different actors waiting on the sidewalk did double takes when I passed.  When this happened, I didn't think that they were attracted to or appalled by me, but in my heart, I hoped they looked because they were wondering why I wasn't inside waiting for my cue.  Like I could just shift right into the world where I truly belong.  It was bittersweet.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sky Mall Musings

     I've learned a couple things from Sky Mall on these two plane trips in two days.

- There are a variety of Yeti statues for your front yard, if you're so inclined.

- Your pets want you to buy a blanket with their particular breed on it, and it makes them happier when you purchase said blanket.

- People have hungered for a one handed hair cutter that appears to be operated in the same why that the quick chop in the kitchen works - by repeatedly slapping it against your head.

- I had no idea that there were so many kinds of necks, thereby necessitating the need for like 15 different kinds of neck pillows.  In that same vein, there's almost as many devices to "improve your posture" which all seem to work by pulling your shoulders back, but that's about it.

On a side note, the TSA at LaGuardia either take their jobs less seriously than the TSA at Logan do, or they don't feel that I match the profile of someone that needs to be patted down. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Small Trip

     I'm taking a small business trip to NYC for the night; it's exciting and I'm more than a bit nervous to fly.
     Got to the airport with what I hoped would be enough time ... Although I made issues for myself.  I went online in advance to make sure what I could and couldn't bring, but alas, I missed the fine print about the wonderful people at the TSA being able to do whatever they wanted to anyway.
     First, I left my pedometer on my hip ... Necessitating a mini pat down and extra time while that went through the X-ray machine. Second, I left a credit card sized, flat, multi tool in my wallet, necessitating a bag check.  It seems as though the 1 inch sharp side (which he kept calling a blade ... Really?) is against regulations.  I was told I could go back and check my carrying on or go back and mail it to myself.  I will tell you, I was a bit grabby ... Trying to show where it was and explain it was a bottle opener/multi tool. Alas, the officious prig who checked my bag reminded me he was trying to do his job. Not having the time to go back, I "relinquished" it.
     I then found a supervisor who explained to me that he took my concerns seriously and would provide feedback to the powers that be and the website.  Sure.  
     Thank you, sir. I appreciate your dedication and my civil liberties would like to add "fuck you."

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Couple Rules and a Couple Pictures

     I'm going to start making notes on some rules that could help my fellow passengers:

     1.From my limited understanding of train mechanics, sighing loudly does not make the train move faster or propel it forward in any way.

     2.If you want to sit next to me and flirt, I am flattered, truly I am.  But on one of the highest levels of flirting sits proper hygiene.  Ergo, no flirting with the super stinky.

     3.I'm glad you like your headphones and your interesting choices in music. Please sing inside your head.  We can't hear you there.

     4.While on public transportation, it's a good practice to keep your hands away from your face and eyes, and then you should wash when you get home.  Just a thought.

Those are from today.  And now a couple flying v's for your weekend:

(Yes, 3 spots ... You're counting correctly.)

Flying V = the spread eagle seating style that many men take while on the train; providing copious testicle space; boxing out the competition

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ride Home

     I love the righteously indignant look that some rich, older, white women get on their face when you don't cow to them.
     She was nearest the door to get on at Government Center and clearly on her way to the airport, with the rolling luggage, purse and additional bag.  When the train pulled up, she didn't have her shit together, so the two guys to the left moved forward as the doors opened. She tried to block their path with the purse and pummel her way through, but they dodged the attack and continued.  Then she let out an enormous sigh and tried again, but to no avail.  Two guys = 1, well heeled lady = 0. 
     She still got a seat right away, but she sat there with the most marvelous look on her face for the whole trip.  Precious.


     Has this ever happened to you?  You're out in the busy world, and you swear you just caught a glimpse of someone you know? But someone from a lifetime ago, or someone that there's no way in hell could be here because they live in like Fiji, and you wouldn't bump into them on a crowded subway platform during morning rush hour.
     This morning, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw my mom.  I turned to get a better look. Same almost bob haircut, steel gray with still quite a bit of brown (the genetics that allow me to not have dyed my hair yet), slight frame, tiny.  I stood still on the platform and almost called out "Mommy?"
     And then I started softly repeating to myself ... She's dead Heather, she's dead  ... It's not your mother ... She's dead.  After this registered, I went on my way.
     I've seen her once or twice before in my old store.  Her haircut and body type must be common for women of a certain age.  The last time, she was so painfully similar, I almost touched the poor, old woman to see if she was real.  Thankfully, I removed myself from the sales floor for a while in order to restrain myself and not give her an aneurysm.  But I was shot for the rest of the day.  Useless to the living.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cattle Call

     This morning I had a chance to board a jam packed train where I would have stood on the step, putting my face an inch or so away from the ass end of the sweatpants of the woman in front of me. 
     I chose to wait for the next train.  I believe I chose ... Wisely.
     Also, we got a bit jammed up on the way home.  Here's a shot of the cattle:

     I'm waiting for a chance to surge through.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bonus content

     On the trip home now, I had to stop and check to make sure I didn't have snot hanging out of my nose or too much cleavage showing, as yet again, there was a guy staring at me and gesturing from time to time in my direction.  It could give a girl a complex!
     To my right was a 6' plus half Amazonian half albino chick with a gigantic purse/piece of luggage in her lap, to my left a guy possibly related to Jabba the Hutt with a no lid on a LARGE cup of something with whipped cream on the top.  No lid ...  on a bouncing train ... It was hot ... I repeat, no lid.
     And the guy across the way was staring at me.  I think I was the punch line in the middle.

Morning Fun

     We were a bit more crowded this morning than normal, leading me to wonder what was going on and why I didn't get the memo.  A host if new characters ...

     This guy, who alternated between hitting me with his backpack/elbow and farting ever so gently.

     And the guy with the sour puss at the door who kept staring at me (I thought it too brazen to take a picture of that!).  It all culminated with taking the pointy end of an umbrella to the chest on the stairs at Park St.  It's not even raining, people.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

     I met a man today with amputations from the knees down on both legs.  He was a perfectly lovely man who needed a little help with an ATM, and I was happy to oblige.  We chatted amicably for a few minutes, and then he drove his motorized chair out the door and into the sunlight leaving me to reflect.
     We often speak about pain tolerance.  Mine is pretty high, but when I hit it, it becomes an effort to maintain my composure.  I'm an actor though so, carry on, carry on.  Earlier this afternoon, I was thinking about how much my knees hurt.  Each step forward, I could hear the grinding; I know they're swollen, warm to the touch.  I could feel my threshold rushing up on me.
     We all have something, and for so many, it's much, much worse than I can even imagine. Please don't think I'm saying you should just soldier on and never complain. Oh no!  If raging against the dying of the light helps you get through a rough patch ... Rage, rage on.  Ask for help. Take pain pills. Seek alternative therapy.  Do whatever helps you through.  Life is too short to suffer.  But inevitably, as bad as you think yours is, there is always a darker side of the fence in your neighborhood.  It's not pity that we seek, but empathy and compassion.
     And the man I met this afternoon helped me to reflect on that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


     I got on the red line and made my way to the one seat open.  I know I'm only traveling 3 stops, but I'm going to be on my feet all day ... So, I'm sitting now while I can. 
     That seat is next to a spread eagle guy with a bag on the floor, 1/3 of his leg on my new seat, handheld gaming device and big feet.  As I sit, I excuse myself, but he doesn't move.  I sit, clearly with my leg touching/on his leg.  I try to get some purchase with my feet, knocking his ... Doesn't move. I'm smushed against the pole on my right, his thigh on my left, and I'm cramping in my foot.
     And then ... The ceiling starts dripping on him.  He initially thinks it's me, but after I point to the drip, turns back to his device.  Every time the drip hits him in the back of the neck, he swats at himself.
     So, he didn't move, and when I stood up, his bag strap tripped me, but he was really annoyed and wet for a couple stops.
     And then I came above ground into the mother of pearl gray sky of my beloved city.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leg Wall

Thank You, God, that I was able to be near the door that opened on the way home.  Because when that door made way, I got to grab a seat (my back and knees have had a long day).  And that seat meant I didn't have to stand in the dreaded wall o' leg:

Yes, that is what I get to look at until it clears out in a couple stops.  We're a little tight this evening.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Night Time

     It's rather disconcerting coming home later in the evening on the train by yourself.  First, there are fewer people around you (unless after a sporting event lets out). Although this sounds good initially, that old adage about safety in numbers rings true.  Getting off the train in a moving carpet of people is quite different then getting off all by yourself on a dark platform with only the sound of your own shoes following you.  Second, when you live a little outside the city, the windows on the train are darkened which adds to the spooky factor.  Third, the trains take longer so you're standing on the lonely platforms longer.  And fourth, the walk home in the dark by yourself is great on the nerves.
     I used to love to be out by myself in the dark, when I was much younger, when I thought I was invincible.  But life and circumstances can take something pleasurable and twist the shadows and sounds around you into your fears.  That's another reason I don't understand why so many people have headphones in all the time.  They can't possibly hear that rustle just behind them, that person rushing just outside their periphery.  My mother used to say, "I know those shoes are pretty, but can you run in them."  It's a comforting mantra in the dark.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Car Time

     I had to attend a meeting outside the city today, so no train time.  I was driving down the road ... latte in cup holder, NPR on the radio, no stretched out male smushing up against me, chatting to me happily out loud ... and I thought to myself:

     "Self, I remember this fondly.  Hmmmm, maybe we miss this aspect of life."

     It all came back to me on the commute home.  I offered to drive a fellow meeting participant back into the city and drop him off at South Station.  I was going that way, I argued to myself.  Why not?  After all, it's exactly 7.7 miles from this T-stop to my front door. 

     It took me 30 minutes to get from the meeting to the station (15 miles), and then ANOTHER 1 hour and 15 minutes to get home after I pushed him out the passenger door.  I will take the train, with its lack of cup holders and abundance of slightly sweaty weirdos in exchange for forward momentum.

Today's Picture Pages

Crowded train, 2 seats & spread out

And ...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thanks for Nothing

     I talk to myself a lot. It's comforting, I work things through and probably, I'm losing my mind. It must be a slow process though, since I've been doing this for decades.
     The walk to the train is a little less than a half mile, so I can "go over" a lot in that time. And I'm always aware of my surroundings - safety first. This is why I don't understand those women, and men, who have headphones in constantly.  There's no way they know what's going on outside of their bubble. Hey, music is supremely important to me, too, but I don't have to fill every moment of my existence with sound ... But, I digress.
     I had reached the crosswalk, passed through the first 2 lanes (no one coming) and was in the middle median. Now, I don't know if that light is about to change, and I have 2 lanes full of cars to my right, so I hit the "pedestrian walking here" button. Immediately, the guy in the pole position starts screaming at me. 
     "Don't hit the button! Just walk! What's wrong with you!"
     This throws me out of my quiet, lips barely moving while I'm talking, revelry. I scurry across, turn my head back and scream, "there's no need to yell at me!"  The woman sitting next to him shrugs and smiles. The light turns green; they speed on their way and out of my life.
     But not really.  To paraphrase a joke I heard a long time ago, he flapped his wings momentarily and fucked my morning up. And I know I'm supposed to find my zen spot and let it go, but he screwed up my train of thought. So, thank you, sir ... And have a nice day.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hair Folly

I have long hair; always have, always will.

My old standard of when it was time to trim was when my hair would get stuck in the car door - as sometimes the hair has a mind of it's own and flies around behind me.  Occasionally, when I sit on the train, parts of said hair will reach out and land on the shoulder of my seat mate.  I always apologize and wrangle it back in.  Today, I didn't notice the landing on the girl to my right. My hair wanted to make a new friend with her headphones.  What followed was an interesting tug of war between she and I; me trying to get my straggler home, her trying to keep the headphone in her ear.   I won, and the follicles returned home.

Yes, today we have a new standard.  We're trimming this week.

Friday, October 4, 2013

AM thoughts

     I had spread eagle man sitting next to me, zipper down crotch forward man in front of me and gigantic suitcase man to my right. It's like being sandwiched in by tractor trailers on the freeway.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


     I just love listening to languages being spoken well.  The way the sounds roll and bounce, almost caressing you.  It's so pleasing; I don't care what the topic is. You could read an auto repair manual to me in Arabic, and I'd have to fan myself.
     The city is so full of amazing sounds.  This morning two of my coworkers were helping customers with rapid fire Spanish, another was speaking Hindi and I was trying to use my book French to help an elderly Haitian Creole couple, poorly I might add.
     Thank you, Boston.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Picture Pages

                                                               2 men = 4 seats

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I saw a wonderful example of New England stubbornness this morning. 

The train door shut and this guy announced loudly, "IS THIS GOING TO PARK STREET?" Several of us mumbled, yeah ... it's going to Park Street. "REALLY?"  Yeah, buddy ... that's what the map over your head says, the flashing electronic announcement is screaming, and the conductor on the speaker said three times.

Satisfied, he turned and grabbed the metal pole to his right, promptly smacking the woman standing next to him in the face with his coat sleeve.  He apologized, and moved his arm up about an inch on the pole.  Then the whole way to the next stop, his sleeve kept wap, wap, wapping her in the face.  And this is where the stubbornness comes in.  She stood there, refusing to give up her spot near the door.  She just stared straight on through the wapping.