Commuter Musings

You guys. Today is my last day of taking the LIRR to work.

My friend James told me recently that the railroad must be mad at me because of how many issues there have been this month. Raised fees, derailed and delayed trains, equipment trouble and overcrowding — we’ve seen a little bit of everything in the last few weeks.

Well, good riddance, amiright?

We’ll start moving in today, but I actually have a few pictures to share that Joey took when he stopped in yesterday. Fair warning, I’m a little disappointed that they managed to make a completely gutted and renovated apartment look exactly like it would look if it had been set up over a decade ago. (Ugh…the bathroom tile. The cabinet finishes.) But I know I’m jut being a whiner. It’s all shiny and new and whatever. Here ya go:

20130329-072418.jpg

20130329-072436.jpg

20130329-191118.jpg

So there you have it. I’ll, of course, post more pictures once we get it more set up. (And after I’ve hidden that dang pink tile I can’t seem to escape behind a shower curtain.)

Assuming I survive the moving process, see ya Monday!

It has been a pretty busy 2013 so far.

In the last two weeks, I’ve been to California, Utah, Massachusetts, and Nevada. My body has no idea what time it is.

I haven’t been getting nearly as much sleep as I need and like to get, but it has been pretty fun. I mean, I got to spend time with some of my favorite people on the planet.

20130204-072330.jpg

So I might be exhausted, but I have some pretty great memories now. Sounds like a pretty solid win-some-lose-some situation to me.

Anyway, I have to admit I’m glad I’ll be staying put for a while now. With our (rapidly) approaching move, I have a lot to do before March.

And because we all know nothing keeps my brain more organized than making a comprehensive list, here’s everything Joey and I need to get accomplished before mid-March:

1. Sell the china cabinet.

20130204-073234.jpg

You know. The one I never actually got around to painting. Though it’s a solid piece of furniture and has provided us with tons of storage space, this mammoth piece of furniture will not be joining us in Brooklyn. Honestly, I doubt we could even get it into an apartment that wasn’t on ground level. It’s really heavy. Plus, we most likely won’t have a spacious dining area like we have now to fit it in.

So if you live in Long Island and want it, let me know and we’ll work something out.

2. File our taxes.

20130204-073517.jpg

That’s a sneak peek of a future post tentatively titled “how I organized and labeled everything paper-related in my life.”

But seriously. I want to get this taken care of this month. I went through all our files a couple of weeks ago and organized everything into labeled binders, all of our W-2s have arrived, as the sooner we get it taken care of the sooner we can (hopefully) get our refund. Which would be helpful in the whole paying-our-next-apartment’s-security-deposit thing.

Plus it’s just a good feeling when you finally take care of your taxes an don’t have it hanging over your head anymore.

3. Goodwill trip.

I still have those giant bags of clothes to drop off, and I also want to go through our kitchen supplies and see if there’s anything we really don’t use. (Remember that corner cabinet of doom of stuff I mentioned? Yeah, that has yet to be dealt with.)

4. Pack everything.

This requires procuring boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and at least a couple weekends of effort. Though, to be totally honest, the packing-up part doesn’t stress me out nearly much as the moving-stuff part. Anyone who wants to help with that I will gladly reward with food and booze. Just sayin’.

5-10. Quit our current gym, get our mail forwarded, update our Internet and cable, update our address on file at work and anywhere else it exists.

All that clerical stuff. Party.

11. Oh yeah, and, you know, actually find our next apartment.

Thinking about this stresses me out too. I mean, I’ve been looking online for a while, so in general I feel like I have a good grasp on what we’re looking for. But there is a bit of stress in the hunt for a New York apartment. The good ones go fast. But millions of people have done it, right? We’ll figure it out.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million other details, but those are the big ones so far. It makes me feel better to know I’ve moved quite a bit in the last five years, so I’m pretty good at this, but the experience also comes with the knowledge of what a hassle it is.

Oh well. I’m excited for the fun parts (living in Brooklyn, having a new apartment to set up, no more LIRR), so I’m trying to keep those things in the forefront of my mind.

Anyway. For today, I’m just focusing on keeping awake.

I was almost hit by a car this morning.

I don’t want to over-dramatize this. I’m totally fine. For the most part, I was not actually struck by the car. And it was entirely not my fault. (Mom.)

Here’s what went down.

I was walking to my office from Penn Station, like I do virtually every single day. I have to cross a series of streets and avenues to do so. In the name of total disclosure, I’m admitting right here and now that I do not always wait for the walk signal. If no cars are coming, I cross the street.

This is not just a me thing. This is an everyone-in-New-York-who-doesn’t-have-time-to-wait-to-cross-an-empty-street. (Insert: “New Yorkers are so impatient” joke here.)

Despite my penchant for (not actually illegal)(I don’t think?) jaywalking, I’d like to point out that in this case, I was crossing 9th Avenue because the crosswalk sign was telling me it was my turn to walk. The little white man was fully lit. It wasn’t even a blinking red warning hand.

So I crossed.

I was aware of a black sedan that wanted to turn left onto 9th Ave. He was slowly inching out, and I figured he was just waiting for the person crossing in front of me and me to get to the sidewalk. Then he would turn because his light was green.

Just because I know my mom is going to read this and think something to the effect of “If I had only just never let her leave my womb, this would never have happened!!!!”, I feel the need to point out that there was no way I could have seen this coming or prevented it. Short of just never crossing the street ever. I did what any normal person would have done. I crossed when the crosswalk told me I should cross.

Anyway. I was about two steps from clearing the front of his hood when I realized he had no intention of stopping and was in fact speeding up to turn.

I’d love to tell you that in that moment, time slowed down. Or that everything crystallized and became very clear for me.

In reality, it all happened super fast. But in a fit of The Next Karate Kid-edness, I slammed my left hand down onto the hood of his car and vaulted the rest of my body clear of the car.

The moment my feet hit the ground (and the driver apparently registered that the loud thunk he had heard was his car making contact with a human being), he and eye made equally wide-eyed eye contact. Both our mouths hung open for a second in total shock. (Well, his mouth was suspicious shaped into words something like “oh ship”, but I’ll leave the speculation to you.)

It was at that moment that I had no idea what to do next. Technically, nothing had happened. He had done something stupid (not watching where he was turning…I have no idea what he was looking at) and kind of illegal (turning into a crosswalk where pedestrians were walking), but technically nothing bad had come of it. I was so shocked and flustered, I honestly just kept walking while making furtive glances over my shoulder to see if anyone had noticed. (I honestly think no one did. Or they just didn’t say anything.)

To the driver’s credit, though he had started to just drive away, I watched him pause for a few seconds, obviously wondering if he should get out and do something. I guess he took the fact that I was not hanging around as his cue to vacate the scene. I don’t know what else I would expect him to do. (“Hey! Hey, you! Buy me a coffee for almost crippling me!”)

The point is, I’m totally fine, if not slightly rattled. But honestly, I have to chuckle at the fact that I’m pretty sure if any of us are going to walk away with a phobia about this, it’s the driver. He’ll become one of those guys who always thinks he’s hit someone because he almost did!

The kind of ironic thing is that just this morning, I was having trouble coming up with a blog topic and was thinking, “Man, it has been a really long time since I had a classic New York moment!” I should have just given it 45 minutes.

So anyway. That’s the story of how I almost-and-sort-of-did get hit by a car.

 

You guys. Winter has broken me.

And by that, I mean I finally bought a puffy coat. It looks like this:

20130111-072234.jpg

So…yeah. It happened. Because while afternoons have been strangely balmy in NYC lately, mornings and evenings spent commuting to and from work have been rather uncomfortable.

Plus, on days like today when I feel like my body just might be trying to get sick, nothing feels enter than wrapping myself in a cocoon of synthetic down and a giant scarf and just pretending no one else is around.

Though, to be fair, I do the pretending part anytime I’m on the train.

Anyway. It’s big news in my world.

Speaking of actual news, the next month and a half has somehow gotten kind of busy. I have a lot of catch-up dates with friends, I’m going to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit in less than two weeks, then I’m off to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. Then I basically have to start packing up my life because a move will be right around the corner. Wacky.

So what I’m saying is, if I am getting sick, lets get this thing over with, shallll we?

Happy Monday, you gorgeous people.

Side note: I’m chalking it up as a success that I even know it’s Monday because last Friday as I was leaving the office, I turned to one of our editors and said, “See you tomorrow! …oh wait, I mean Monday.” And then I walked away and suddenly started to doubt what day it was. Would I see her tomorrow, and now she thought I was a total moron? I literally almost turned back three times to correct myself until it finally dawned on me that it was, in fact, Friday. I have no idea, you guys.

In other news and my mental lapse aside, things seem to be on the up-and-up for me. The LIRR is back to its normal schedule as of today. (I know, I never thought we’d see it either.) And the nagging pain in my left heel that has kept me from running the last couple of weeks finally seems to be subsiding. (Plus, I’ve been reminded of the butt-kicking abilities of the Stairmaster. Seriously, guys, there’s a reason why hardly anyone is ever on the thing. It’s hard.)

Plus, last night I booked my ticket to Vegas for a weekend with some of my oldest friends, meaning I will get to escape winter this February and hide in the desert.

Plus plus, in a freelance miracle, I received the check for the project I just finished less than a week after I turned it in (still waiting on the one that I’ve been owed for a couple of months…grumph), so I was able to pay off all but the last bit of my credit card debt. It’s kind of crazy to think it will all be paid off most likely before the Vegas trip. Yay!

So, en general, things are going well. We’re also starting to think about our move to Brooklyn this spring, which has me excited partly because it will mean the end of the LIRR and partly because it will mean a new apartment to decorate. (I am who I am, you guys.)

Plus, we will only be looking at dog-friendly apartments. So there’s that.

Some how this post turned into a State of Justine address, but I guess I just want you to know I’m doing all right.

How are you doing?

1. Why their friend is talking to three guys and sleeping with a fourth.

2. Why their boyfriends’ moms hate them.

3. Why their hair gets oily.

4. Why people need to not get involved in their lives. (Here’s a hint: Don’t speak about your life at full volume on the 7 a.m. train.)

5. Why they don’t care what people think about their lives. (Noted.)

6. What they’re going to name their children (though one wasn’t sure how to spell the name she likes…).

7. Why secret Santas at work are awkward (“What if I get an old lady?”).

8. The pros and cons to big purses. (I can actually relate to this one.)

9. Whether or not one should pursue a relationship with the guy at Starbucks who talks to her.

10. A variety of other topics all punctuated with “see what I mean?”

And all without any transition. It’s too early for this.

UPDATE: “I was so sick, I like, turned my phone off. That’s how you know how bad I was.” <– ACTUAL QUOTE FROM ONE OF THEM.

I mean, seriously.