Monday, July 28, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago



Good morning.

On the popular 7:30AM into the City.

I have frequently mentioned the Sadaam Hussein look alike. He’s here today. His henna colored, perfectly combed hair shimmers with a purple-brown sheen. Pressed navy blue suit, striped shirt, dark blue tie with a metallic lighter blue paisley print. I can’t see his shoes, but I bet they are mirror-shined.

He has no hair on his chin, but Saddam has a perfect, full, trimmed mustache that fills the space under his nose and spans, perfectly, the length of his mouth from tip to tip. It is trimmed at a thirty degree angle from the inside edge of each nostril to the tip of the mouth, creating a beautiful perfect trapezoid that provides the man with his obvious leadership mojo. Add the CHiPs sunglasses and one can’t help but see a man who exudes “despotic wannabe”.

In fact, as the passengers from the very very nice town (before traveling express into the City) boarded, a mousy Mrs. Landingham like woman, who is evidently a nurse or a practitioner, was about to sit down. When she looked over to see who her bench-partner was, she stepped back for a second and asked politely if the seat was taken, in deference to the gentleman’s obvious station. To show her respect for his personal space, the large but mostly empty carpet bag purse she carries has been strategically placed between the plastic and structural steel handle of the bench and her right hip.

Our bald Ben Kingsley-Bradley Cooper amalgam is back, sitting in the other jump seat. Blue sneakers with a gray zigzag, day-glo orange shoelaces and a neon green sole cover the man’s feet. Faded blue jeans and a gray shorts sleeve top. He is reading a hard cover book. I presume it is the next installment of the popular science-fiction novel that everyone is talking about. I’m still a little taken aback by the sneakers. Too gaudy, even for me.

Also here are Ryan Gosling, JJ Abrams, John McEnroe, Jon Favreau, and Betty Davis. All are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe Travels.

Friday, July 25, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago




Good morning.

I’m on the 7:50AM into the City. I just missed the 7:30AM.
I decided to visit old stomping grounds and sit in the front quiet car in my old jump seat. Lots of old faces and lots of new faces here! First, some observations.

There must be a regular commuter or two who sit in this seat, because now there is a butt shaped indenture of a large person, which are at least three sizes larger than my own bottom. I have to secure myself with my right leg to the floor or I will slide into the handsome, Desi Andre Agassi looking fellow sitting next to me. Its like a gravity well! I’m on a old ride at a dilapidated theme park!

By the way, the aforementioned gentleman is tall. To maintain his personal space, he has to spread his legs. This seems to have pleased the, again Desi, middle-aged woman, who reminds me of Roger on What’s Happening. She was first quite nervous but then, after a coy smile to herself, she closed her eyes and is taking a travel nap, no doubt engaging in her own “50 Shades of Tumeric” moment.

Jacqueline Kennedy is back. She’s had her child and, through dedication and training, is almost back to her pre-baby weight and shape. Her hair is done up in a bun, exposing her graceful, unadorned neck. She’s got a lot of Rachel Weisz about her.

Also here are Ron Little, Bud Abbott, Robin Wright, and Humpty from Digital Underground. All are armed.

Happy Friday. Happy Birthday Anu! Happy Birthday AP!
Safe travels.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago


Good morning.

On the 6:55AM into the City. I got a good night’s sleep and decided to get in early. 

I am sitting in the rear quiet car, except that this train, though an express, does not seem to fall under the Railway Authority’s rules about a Quiet Car. But, nobody is striking up a conversation. Socialization? Habit? For my psychology and psychiatry friends, this would be an interesting model to study “group behavior”.

I am meeting a headhunter soon. I am looking to see what other organizations or companies would desire my skill set. I have to effectively communicate my skill set on paper. One would think I’d be an expert at upselling my credentials, but at this level of career move, it is best to bring in an expert.

I’m looking around. There is a woman who reminds me of a school teacher. Very June Cleaver. Early HRC-FLOTUS first term hairstyle. Red hair with streaks of gray. She’s wearing a blue shirt and black slacks. Her black Cardigan is tied at the arms around her neck in a perfect double-Windsor knot. Pumps.

For the trip into the City, she has pulled out her leather bound personal organizer – analog not digital – and an engraved ball point pen. She is finishing her personal accounting for the week, outlining in her calendar when a check needs to be sent, what checks have already cleared and crossing off the number of days left in her NaKnitCroMo – National Knit or Crochet Month – project. She’s knitting Christmas sweaters for her 14 grandchildren.

Her sitting poise is straight out of finishing school! During the day, she’s a divorce lawyer.

Also here are an overweight Jeremy Piven, Danny Bonaduce with a beard, Mongo from the Oceans movies, and a female Don Zimmer. All are armed.

Happy Tuesday. Safe travels.

Monday, July 21, 2014 – Homeward Bound – #trainspottingChicago


Good afternoon.
On the 3:18PM out of the City.

A couple of threads going on today. A slow day.
I have to let staff go at the end of the week. Not fun for anybody.

I’m listening to “DeLaSoul is Dead” while I write this and I travel home. I am currently in the middle of a huge Frank Zappa binge. I just finished “Uncle Meat” last night. However, due to a computer reconstruction project, I have not had the opportunity to “rip” my CD’s so I can share the Zappa collection to my iCrackerBot. My DeLaSoul complete discography is on my iCrackerBot, and I might as well listen to genius hip-hop instead of the genius-genius of FZ.

I’m noticing the musical “hooks” that FZ used repeatedly during the late 60’s-early 70’s iterations of the Mothers of Invention. For example, a hook in the melody of “What is the Ugliest Part of Your Body” from Absolutely Free is easily identified in the “Dog Breath Variations” from Uncle Meat. Now, unless you were a Zappaphile, this bit of my brain dump doesn’t matter to you and you have since stopped reading. Go with Frank, with my vegetable blessings.

See, the very geeky, blonde, young, spikey-haired, cargo shorted, plaid short sleeved, hot-spot enabled Alan Cummings looking fellow sitting in the seat in the jumpseat (across from me) looks like a Zappaphile and would understand the musical thread linking Absolutely Free, Lumpy Gravy and Uncle Meat. For the other Zappaphiles still reading this, I am betting you folks are thinking “Hey, TC, what happened to Freak Out, yo?”. I KNOW! Alan Cummings would react the same way if I told him I did NOT start my Zappa journey with Freak Out from 1967(?), going straight to Absolutely Free and (rightly so) Lumpy Gravy. If you were wondering? – outstanding albums! Musical, cacophonous, genius.

Anyway, Alan has a WIFI connected to micro-USB to his iPaperTab device, poking at it with the finger skills of a concert pianist.

Oh, yeah. I may need to find new work soon. For everyone’s sake.

Also here are Donna Shelayla, Studs Terkel, Rosemary Clooney, a tall and handsome Seth Rogan, and Barney Rubble. All are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.

Friday, July 11, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago


Good morning.
I am on the 7:20AM into the City.

The blonde from two days ago, who is an accountant and has a lawyer for a partner, is here. She was wearing a black one piece which was very flattering. I just saw her today and realized that she’s pregnant. This explains her vibrance, as I’ve noticed that pregnant women have a glow that’s different than non-pregnant women. Or, perhaps I am of an age where I notice these things?

Cooper-Kingsley is here, in front of me. Faded, almost white jeans; polo-like, neck-buttoned, collared t-shirt with a corporate logo that is at least two sizes too big for his frame. He is on the last third of the GoT softcover. Orange cover with gold lettering. As I am unfamiliar with the text (for now), I am guessing it is the first book.

He hasn’t shaved. His scruff is brown with stubbles of gray. The veins and connective tissue of his neck protrude as he winces to the presumably graphic images of war and regicidal/fratricidal intrigue coming from the text. The man is sinewy.

Also here are Gerard Butler, the Singapore accountant from Dark Knight, William F. Buckley Jr., and Justin Bieber. All are armed.

Happy Friday. Safe travels.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago



Good morning.
On the 7:20AM into the City.

We just picked up the Pretty People from the Really Nice Town, one stop over, before going express into the City.

I don’t watch much television. I just don’t have the time anymore. I do recall that one basic cable channel was producing a series of programs called “Real Housewives of (enter American City/State here)“. I do believe I see a fan of the program sitting one seat over across the aisle.

Our artificially tanned co-commuter has platinum blonde, shoulder length hair, recently and expertly styled. She stands at roughly 5′-2″ tall (5′-6″ in heels). Black slacks, black heels, black half sleeve sweater blouse. She reminds me of a blonde Holly Hunter. The onyx bead necklace is a nice touch. What makes it Real Housewives material is the zebra print vest. Loud and proud. I believe in one commercial for the program, a RH was wearing a similar print as she threw a flute of champaign at her fellow RH and proceeded to – what’s the phrase? Ahh, yes – “open up a can of whoopass” on her. The zebra print in the commercial was the only thing unstained in the frame.

Our commuter – let’s call her Dolly – Dolly is an award winning real estate agent who made her money selling homes to people who couldn’t afford them. After peaking in 2008, she got out of the business, reinvested her money in makeup and online retail stores, and has been living the Cougar life. She is also recently divorced (no ring) but kept everything. To celebrate her freedom from a loveless marriage, she got a beautifully executed nose job and cellulite removal procedure. She’s off to the Magnificent Mile to shop, lunch, drink Chardonnay, cry with fellow Oprah fans about bygone days of the Oprah Show, and scope out single lawyers in their late-50’s.

Also here are Pat Sajack, Saddam Hussain’s body double, Adam Savage, and Cooper-Kingsley. All are armed.

Happy Thursday. Safe travels.

Wednesday July 9, 2014 – Homeward Bound – trainspottingChicago



Good afternoon.

On the 5:00PM express out of the City. Two stops. I am purposely in the front Quiet Car because I need some quiet.

I am fifteen minutes early. A goblin looking woman sat down two seats in front of me. She has straw colored (and, by the looks of it, textured) thin hair. A horrible cut, done by a relative or a neighbor and not by a professional. Her porcine features are exacerbated by pock marks from a battle with Chicken Pox in which there was no defined winner.

Just now, a witch sat down. I’m serious. Gray and gold hair strewn shoulder length all over the place. A gaunt stretched face with crags and crevices in every wrinkle, hiding moles and other dermal aberrations. She is wearing a hideous green blouse print that should have been phased out of existence after punk and new wave music took over in the 1980’s. She refuses to smile. She actually sported a toothy grimace as she searched for her ten-ride pass. Her teeth are like crooked yellowed gravestones, barely attached to her gum line by sinews of exposed roots.

I fear for my life, as I may be traveling with D&D NPC’s. I left my chain mail at the dry cleaners, leaving me with an armor class of -1. 

Also here are Dr. Booker T. Washington, Esparanza Spaulding, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Agent Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Indian Soccer Team. All are heavily armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe Travels.