Commuter Musings

I’ve been waiting in line over two hours for gas.

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I want to give you a second to wrap your mind around that. The worst part? This is the second line I’ve waited in this morning.

I’m in a line of at least 50 cars, all with our engines off, and every five minutes or so, start our engines again so we can move up five feet. We do that every five minutes or so.

Things got hairy a few minutes ago when the line didn’t budge for about twenty minutes. You could smell the panic over the gas and exhaust fumes.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard how the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy have been suffering from a gas shortage. Lines have been approaching the 3-hour mark since early last week, and though supposedly we will be “back to normal” by tomorrow, I haven’t seen any signs of that yet.

I mean, people are driving to Connecticut to get gas. That makes more sense for some people than waiting in these lines.

Of course, that’s assuming the gas stations around you have power and gas and even have lines for you to wait in.

Live update: I was looking down at my phone and didn’t notice that the car in front of me had moved up three feet. Someone shouted at me, “Could you move up, please?!”

These are crazy times, folks.

On the upside, it looks like I’m actually going to get gas within the next half hour or so (ugh). And there are apparently 28 million gallons of gas hitting New York today. So we should, theoretically, be back to normal by tomorrow.

Because, if not, so help me…

An email exchange between Annie and me:

From: Annie
To: Me

Want a peak into my weird brain that ends with a question for you….
 
So Al and I have been running in the mornings – but its pitch black, but i’m not afraid of running because I’m with someone.
 
You run in the mornings, and Joey doesn’t go with you….is it still pitch black?  Are you all “on alert”
 
Then Annie brain goes to – well scary people aren’t awake at 6am so I shouldnt be worried…unless they are so crazy they dont sleep at all…or all totally nocternal so they are actually at peak time of crazying.
 
So….do you run alone in the morning dark?

From: Me
To: Annie

Haha funny you should ask!

Yes, when I run in the morning it is dark. I tell myself much the same thing you say, that the crazies aren’t up yet. There’s actually a really hilarious scene from 30 Rock that I repeat to myself a lot, where Elizabeth Banks’s character gets back from an early run that goes like this:

Jack Donaghy: Where were you?
EB: Jogging.
Jack: Who else is out at this hour?
EB: Almost exclusively women who look like me. God help us if the pervert community ever gets wind of morning jogging.

So that is what I TELL myself, but I also know for a fact that there is a homeless man who sleeps under a bridge I have to run over. I know this because, while he is still asleep when I start out, he is ALWAYS just waking up and shaking out his sleeping bag when I’m on my way home. We made eye contact last time I ran. Obviously, this is how I’m going to die.

At least now I’ve told someone? If I disappear on a morning jog, it was probably the homeless man under the bridge on W******* Avenue over S****** Highway. [Ed. note: See? I’m too paranoid to even tell you the roads near where I run!]

…I’m probably not helping your crazy paranoia, am I?

From: Annie
To: Me

ummm….i almost turned around this morning because there were two weird looking people just standing in the street ahead of us……
 
…….kids with backpacks waiting for the bus…….

From: Me
To: Annie

I just chortled out loud imagining that. Mostly because, this morning, when I was driving to the train station, these two girls walking to their bus stop passed in front of my car, and one made a point of waving at me until I waved back. It wouldn’t have been weird if she hadn’t been, like, 13. All I could think was, “WHAT IS SHE UP TO?”

This is why we’re friends. (Also, I’m for sure blogging this.)

I finally finished the book. (It was Gone Girl, by the way.)

I can recommend it. I wasn’t crazy about the ending, but it still suited the story and I don’t think I would have been happier with the other ways it could have ended, so…I really liked it.

The point is, I’m back to needing distractions on the train. (Side note: I’m reading Vonnegut right now, but I have the other two-thirds of my bridesmaid gift, an Amazon gift card to fill my Kindle, to spend, so I’m extremely interested in book recommendations right you know. You know, kind of like I always am.)

Speaking of the train, I’ve been a little nervous to say this aloud for fear of drawing the wrath of the commuting gods upon my head, but I haven’t even minded taking it lately. Like, at all.

I mean, sure, it’s kind of a bummer if I stay in the city for the evening because there are only local trains to my stop, complete with about 20 local stops, and sometimes I get to Penn about 12 minutes before my train and have to stand around for a while, but in general, I’ve been trying to really appreciate my train time.

It’s definitely one of those “you don’t know what you have until it’s lost” kind of things because I didn’t realized how much I accomplished on the train until I had to start driving to work again. Now, I get so much reading done, I catch up on news on my phone, and I am very up-to-date one what my friends do on Facebook and Instagram.

If you ask me, that’s a much better use of time than listening to the radio and silently cursing the guy who just cut into my lane without signaling.

Plus, the chance of getting in another car accident is slim to none.

Of course, I think a big part of my new-found zen is that I know the situation is temporary. Joey and I are planning to move closer to the city in the spring, so the LIRR will (once again) not be my problem.

It’s easier to deal with anything when you know it has an expiration date.

But for now, I’m staying positive. I’m appreciating my time to read and blog and surf the Internet.

You know, until the first snowstorm of the year cancels the first train on my line and I’m forced to deal with Everything That Is Wrong With The World.

Fingers crossed for global warming.

Guess what! I somehow managed to get ready in record time this morning, leaving me a few minutes to crank out a post. Hooray!

Obviously, I’ve been pretty busy lately. But it’s in a really good way.

The new job is (so far) everything I hoped it would be. I’m having fun, but I’m still challenged and (obviously) not bored. Here’s hoping it lasts.

Of course, a fun, challenging, not boring job means I’m not exactly sitting at my desk writing blog posts for you lovely people. Here’s an idea what my new life is like.

6:00 a.m. – Wake up and go for a run.

6:45 – Home to shower and get ready for the day. Ideally I’d have packed my lunch and anything I need to take with me the night before. I’d also have thought about what I want to wear on the run, so that decision goes quicker.

7:43 – Train, where I’ll either read or (ha!) blog.

9:00-6:00 – WORK.

6:30 – Train, more reading.

7:40 – Home. If I haven’t run that morning, I’ll go to the gym, but I prefer the morning workouts until it gets too cold.

As you can see by the above schedule, anything extra either has to be crammed into the evening hours (also knows as the only time Joey and I can spend together) or on the weekends. And since pretty much every weekend this month has been jam-packed with activities…not that much has gotten done around the apartment.

Although it is still super awesome that Joey takes care of dinner. It’s much more relaxing to walk in the door and be able to relax and eat good food than to have to immediately start doing something.

So I still have curtains and a couple of pillows to sew, and I need to switch a couple of rugs around, and the whole place could probably do with a good scrub.

But I’m happy with my new life. I feel like myself again.

ANYWAY. Enough about me. How have y’all been?

Guess what, you guys. Or, more correctly, guess where, you guys.

What I’m trying to say (in my personally perfected awkward way) is that I’m writing to you from the train on my way to my new job in the city.

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Hooray! (Side note: Did you ever think there would come a day when I would be happy to be on the train? Me either.)

It’s funny how thing change while you’re away. For one, the LIRR has added something called “quiet cars,” which I understand, but apparently you can’t even have electronic devices displayed when you’re sitting in them. Which I guess means you can’t even play Cut the Rope with the sound effects on mute? Because even knowing technology exists would ruin the quiet for those passengers? So, basically, “quiet cars” is a bit of a misnomer and these cars should be called “Amish cars.”

Also, the WordPress app is a billion times better, and it wasn’t even that bad to begin with. (It is also entirely possible the app was just always this good for iPhone users. In which case… DESCRIMINATION!!!

Other than that, though, so far things are pretty much how I remember them.

In an effort to keeps self from getting burnt out on the train (until we can move closer to the city in April…more on that later), I’ve decided to put The Happiness Project in full effect and focus on the things my train time allows me to do better or more often than I could without train time. (Lest we see a return in the much-beloved-yet-also-feared Commuter Justine.)

For one…blogging! I’m kind of assuminghoping that my new job will keep me much busier during the day, so blogging will actually have to be done outside of work. Like, say, when I’m sitting on a train for an hour each way.

For another, reading! After I stopped taking the train, my personally reading took a nose dive. I have a book I need to review next month for the BlogHer Book Club that I can’t wait to get into now that I have the time.

Plus, obviously, I have a lot more time to dedicate to checking up on Twitter and Instagram (@justinelorelle, BTW) and Words with Friends. So keep up the posts, people!

Anyway. I’m super nervousexcited to start the new gig. I could barely sleep last night (so, yeah, feeling a wee bit tired today).

Can’t wait to tell you all how it goes!

Here’s a quick breakdown of my weekend.

1. The boots had their inaugural stroll on the first snowy day on the Island. And let me tell you. They lived up to the hype.

2. The same day, I went into the city to see two people. (It was really cold and made me not miss standing on that platform all the more.

3. My first appointment of the day was brunch with my new friend Berna. She had actually found me through this here blog and wanted to chat about some things (the first meeting of its kind for me), but we also found out beforehand that we have several mutual friends. (Don’t worry, parents, I’m not meeting total randos just because they like my blog.)

4. My second appointment was to meet up with Erin for a quick perusal of Forever 21, followed up with coffee, soup, and cookies. It was lovely, per usual.

5. That night, our friend’s dad’s band was playing at a semi-nearby bar, so we went to watch. It. Was. Adorable. Plus, they actually rocked, so good times were had all around. (They play The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and it’s awesome. If you don’t like that song…I have nothing more to say to you.)

6. I recently joined the BlogHer Book Club, and the first book I’m going to review is The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, so I read that this weekend as well. Naturally, I have plenty of thoughts, but I (and the other reviewers) won’t be sharing them until February 8th. Stay tuned!

In other news, we have a giveaway winner! And it is…Melanie S.! Ilene of Much Love, illy will be contacting you soon about your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations, Melanie!

Anyone else have fun weekend plans to share? Seems only fitting for a Monday morning.