All posts tagged “commuting

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Style : Work

Check out those demon eyes. Clearly I was born to be doing this, right?

Like the internet needs another person blogging photos of their outfits. Ugh, I hate myself already.

Yesterday was my first day working from home (and by working I mean supervising movers and figuring out how to squeeze all my crap into my 10′ x11′ office), and I figured I’d celebrate by documenting my last week of leaving-the-house clothes. (Ok, if you’ve been following the weather in NY you’ll notice it was my technically my second to last week’s wardrobe.) Obviously, I’m already getting SO much DONE. 

It was actually oddly fun and relaxing taking these by myself with a tripod. Click 10 sec timer, try to look fierce, fail miserably, repeat. I might make this a regular thing to motivate myself to continue dressing thoughtfully. (Even if it’s just in one of FOUR pairs of Uniqlo legging pants I just bought. They’re seriously that awesome. Work from home pants, what what.)

I was pretty proud of this week’s outfits, especially in light of the unseasonably cold temperatures (I don’t know how to dress for 70’s) and fact that I’ve been doing a lot of manual labor at work. There’s a solid color scheme going on, and I think this would make for an excellent vacation wardrobe, as it all can be mixed and matched and repeated ad infinitum.

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P1030507
This is the face of someone who’s not usually productive before 9am.
Top: Target?
Shorts: Express
Shoes: Keds
P1030513
Outtake, ftw. Unless you enjoy my fiercely stressed out face.
Pants: Target
Hoodie: H&M
Shoes: Toms
Scarf: Target
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This one does not photograph well. I’d like a do over with some skinny white jeans.
White shirt: Converse for Target
Tank: for Target
Pants: H&M
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What is this, FashionToast? Look at that pose. I clearly think I’m on ANTM. My first serious attempting at mixing prints. I think it’s working. God I love purple and persimmon.
Onesie: Express
Scarf: Target
Belt: NineWest via TJMaxx
Shoes: Keds
Bag: PradaP1030537
 P1030542 More intense modeling.
Skirt: Vintage, my mom.
Tube: I don’t remember
V-neck: Express.

 

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Thoughts : Commute

Thursday, April 26

I’m mostly writing this because I feel like clicking keys are the only defense I have right now over obnoxiousness. Clacking keys drive Scott crazy on the train but I have a feeling they won’t drive the guy next to me crazy because he’s so drunk I can not only smell it on his breath, but he sat on an empty soda bottle that was on the seat next to me. I mean, sat on it. I don’t know how that’s possible. I don’t think anybody’s ass is large enough to flatten a plastic half liter soda bottle enough to mitigate sitting on it for an hour. This is what is breaking me.

That anonymous comment this morning on my half-joking, half-true LIRR rant only upset me momentarily, until I had formulated a fair but firm response to it. But it + my usual shitty commute got me thinking about the part that’s not in that post, the part I don’t like admitting to because who likes to admit their weaknesses?

I wish I had meant none of what I wrote there. I wish I had a smaller personal space bubble, I wish I wasn’t claustrophobic on places like trains and airplanes. I wish I could ignore or—even better—not notice people’s rudeness. I wish, like sooooo many New Yorkers, I was blissfully OBLIVIOUS.

But I’m not.

And my frustrations with all of those things can leak out as snark. I don’t think that’s such a harmful way to deal. At least it seems better than other options—like the excessive drinking of the seatmate mentioned at the beginning of this post, whose initial muttering to himself dissolved into unintelligible gurgling noises by the time he got off an hour later.

(And at least I’m not alone in my frustrations or snark, as the comments on this Gothamist post happily reminded me.)

For the past month Scott has been “trial working” for a company that was looking for a full-time designer, but seemed open to negotiating to work-from-home and/or part-time, and then the owner said “never mind” after Scott had already worked out an agreement with the guy who would’ve been his boss. When this all came down on Monday, there was a brief moment in time where he was considering agreeing to full-time.

And I almost lost it—on the train, appropriately enough. Because I thought we were getting out of this. I thought the commuting was almost over. I thought the living in NY would be over in the next few years. I thought we had a plan. And then for a scary moment I thought—like those horrible stories of people’s whose partners leave them with no warning—maybe I had been planning all of this alone.

And I realized, I am so far at the end of my rope, with commuting, with NY, with having the same life that has not changed in 5 years, that I would do it alone if it came down to it. Maybe this is taboo, but my sanity is more important than anything or anyone, and it’s slowly crumbling under the the mind-numbing monotony that is my day-to-day existence. I look at all these people on these trains everyday, and they all look as fucking miserable as me. Just older. Worse for the wear. Often drunk. I can’t wake up in another 5 years and be one of those people.

I know right now I’m talking about a lot of big changes and plans that I haven’t even mentioned on this blog, and I know I’m horribly out of the loop and wrapped up in my own shit. (Wasn’t the selfishness supposed to recede after the wedding?) But I had to get this off my chest, and out into the universe. Changes are coming, and I don’t care if none of it is “safe”, financially or otherwise. Y’all can just point me right back here, to this day and this post, when we’ve living in a van down by the river.

And now back to my blogging sabbatical.

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Thoughts : Mass Transit Tirade

1313796644386 these girls where stupid, spoiled whores

 

The thing about New Yorkers is, they are the kind of people that will one day stop randomly and help carry a stroller up the stairs and the very next day will push you down them all because of what mood they’re in.

 

I know this, because I am one of them.

 

I could go on and on about the assholes I encounter and the ridiculous situations I endure whilst commuting, but I try not to. Mostly because I think the things you dwell on and talk about breed similar things, so if I don’t focus on assholes, I’ll encounter less of them. But sometimes I wonder if bottling it all up as I do isn’t perhaps worse for me in some grander scheme of things…

 

1312982659928 if this were an airplane, you’d be buying two seats

 

Anyway, last week two incidents happened in quick succession that made me want to rant. First the drawstring of my jacket got caught in the seat as I went to stand up at my stop. After the initial panic of getting stuck on the train an extra stop (really not that much of an emergency), I extricated myself and attempted to exit but was faced with a wall of blank faces attached to zombie-shuffling bodies who were somehow unable to move intelligently aside. I was sitting next to the door, for crying out loud—anybody with a modicum of observational skills should’ve seen me struggling 3 seconds earlier!

 

After elbowing my way out through the crowd, I was met with a continued horde of people coming down the stairs three abreast. (All this at 3pm—not even rush hour.) I chose the right hand side of the stairs (you know, the polite side), and head down, I started climbing. That is until I came face to knees with someone who started screaming, “I need the railing. I need the railing. I need the railing.” Paralyzed, I gestured wordlessly at the people coming down the stairs shoulder to shoulder with him blocking me from going anywhere. They too momentarily froze at his alarming yelling until finally one of them scooted aside while the entire subway vestibule watched me make myself as small as possible to scoot around this guy.

 

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this guy stank of so much cologne my eyes were watering

 

And, as I type this, an enormous man has sat down on the outer seat of my three-person seat on the LIRR. He proceeds to gasp for air in the ridiculous November heat, removing his suit jacket and draping it all over my purse that is taking up exactly one third of the middle seat. Fuming already, I move the purse in a huff. He doesn’t notice. He then proceeds to repeatedly drop his enormous paw on the center seat, shaking the entire bench each time.

 

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This is killing me.

 

When it became inevitable that Scott was losing his job, I really didn’t give a shit except for the selfish little girl in me that knew that commuting alone would break me.

 

In the too many years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve been taking the same train home for nearly all of it. It’s so awful and so crowded and I’m so so stupidly sensitive to it, that I immediately started taking a different, later, looonger train just because it’s less crowded.

 

Until this fat, personal-space-oblivious, coughing, seat-shaking asshole ruined it.

 

AND my left hand spells like old black man probably from the overhead bar I grabbed on the subway.

 

That may be the grossest thing that’s ever happened to me.

 

And probably the karma I mentioned at the beginning of this post…

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Manifesto of LIRR Etiquette

IMG_20110517_184119 my commuting view

A couple weeks ago I had a really shitty week, and I wrote this after a particularly bad morning on the train. Since my friend Aimee told me she thinks I write best when I’m angry, I decided I may as well post it. I know there’s more to add, but it’s hard to write angry  after you’ve stopped being angry!

There are some unspoken rules of the rails [HAH! Did I really just say that? Please kill me] that assist the reasonably polite, god-fearing, courtesy-abiding 85% of us in not kill ourselves in the hell of commuting, That is, until the other 15% come along and remind us why sitting in traffic ALONE isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Here they are in painstaking, but hopefully hilarious detail:

  • BOARDING THE TRAIN
    • “It may require a ticket, but this is is not a rock concert.”
      • I’m looking at you 50 year old business men. You definitely would not have let women and children get on any Titanic lifeboats first. Chivalry killers. Most rock concerts I’ve been to have had much less deliberate elbowing me in the face and knocking small children aside so that you can make sure that you get to sit down before they do. Can’t we all just file on in an orderly fashion? Most of the time it’s the same people every day and everyone sits in the same seats, and no one’s seat get “stolen”! Because we’re 8 years old. And people steal seats. I mean, if they didn’t what else could possibly be the reason for pushing and shoving?

        (And anyway, why should I be punished just because the 4’9” Asian woman are the only ones who’ve figured out exactly where to stand so that the train doors open directly in front of us.

  • PERSONAL SPACE RULES
    • “Everyone has a bubble, or How to choose a seat.”
      • Only the most truly clueless 5% of people don’t know that you should fill all empty rows before sitting with someone, and if all the rows are already occupied you sit in a three seat row before squishing your fat ass* next to a perfect stranger in a two seat.
      • Four and six seats are fair game on peak trains, but it’s your own fault if you don’t leave them for large groups on off peak trains, and wind up surrounded by incompetent parents unable to contain their brood of screaming children.
        • When occupying a 4 or 6 seater, stagger your seating in them. DO NOT sit directly next to someone if it can be avoided! Q: Why would you do that? A: Cause I get motion sick going backwards is the only acceptable answer. Otherwise it’s just creepy.
      • Handicap seats: Only 2 kinds of people sit in these: those transporting large items and those who truly hate other people. And presumably the handicapped, but I’ve never seen it.
        • If you’re transporting a large item then for the love of god USE these seats. Don’t block the doors between cars or the aisles with your paraphernalia. And don’t try to wedge your carry-on into the poorly designed and therefore useless (**for anything but drunken fireman crawl races) overhead racks. This is not an airplane. I don’t want a concussion.
        • If the person sitting in one of these seats isn’t transporting a large item that means they don’t want to sit with you. They’d rather sit on an uncomfortable fold-down bench than next to you, so do them a favor and don’t try it.

*Know the width of thy ass. If you can park a car without hitting things you should likewise be able to park your ass. If you are so fat that you cannot possibly keep your ass on your half of the seat, do not even consider sitting directly next to me or anyone else. Just because I’m 110 lbs doesn’t mean I’m paying $254 a month to share my half of the seat with you.

**My thoughts on the “drunk” trains are an entire appendix in and of themselves. 

  • III. ACTIVITIES
    • “It’s my train too, or limit your activities.”
      • Eating:
      • It’s okay to eat on the train. I do it every morning. And people leave me alone. No one wants to sit next to an eater. (Except the most clueless 1% of people on the most crowded 1% of trains.) And I like it that way. So enjoy your breakfast, and leave me to enjoy mine.
        • Just please, please, please, don’t eating shit that smells.At any time of the day or night.
        • And avoid leaving your TRASH EVERYWHERE. This one goes out to the guy who left the banana peel under his seat, and then got huffy when my fiancé called him on it. You’re an asshole
      • Laptops:
      • The train is not your office.
        • Allow me to clarify, the train is not your office when you’re sharing a seat with someone. Unless it was your office and then they chose to sit down next to you in spite of that. Spread your shit out all you want, but don’t do it when you sit  down next to someone who was already there. Nothing is more claustrophobia (and homicidal rage) inducing than someone who plops down and starts busting out files, and newspapers, a full-size laptop all the while precariously balancing a steaming hot cup of coffee in such a way that you know it’s going to spill and all you can think about is whether you’d get in trouble for punching them in the face when it happens.
      • Phones:
        • They make announcements saying to keep your calls brief and use the vestibules for a reason!
          • I don’t want to hear your business and it’s fucking annoying when I do. If my ipod at 80% volume can’t drown you out a half a car away…you need to see a doctor about controlling the volume of your voice!
            • Especially when you’re talking about Great Aunt Susie and how she can’t control her bowels. True story.
          • If you *can* talk on the phone at a volume that I can’t hear from a seat away, then you deserve a medal and all the phone calls your little hands can dial. It can be done people, I’ve seen it.

IV. CROWDED TRAIN CLAUSE

    • On crowded trains–like emergency crowded–almost all of this, sadly, must be discarded.
    • But another set of rules applies:
      • Don’t be the assholes that refuse to sit next to another human being so that those of us traveling in pairs are forced to stand in the vestibule with 25 of you because clearly there aren’t 2 seats together anywhere. If you do that we will be forced to make out in the corner until you feel uncomfortable enough to sit next to someone.
      • When trains are this crowded, don’t glare at the people standing in the vestibule when you need to pass by to get off. We’re not here by choice.

And a special message to the residents of Kew Garden and Forest Hills:
What the fuck is your problem? Why do you always have to sit down? Are you all crippled? It’s a 7 minute ride. Why are you eating breakfast and busting out the laptop next to me? Wait 7 minutes until you get to work. I have always loved the magical hamlet of Forest Hills and wished to live there, but if it’s going to turn me into an idiot, then never mind.