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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago


Good morning.
On the 7:20AM. Crowded train. Rear quiet car.

The lanky professor is back. A mix of Jeff Goldblum and Jesus and Conan O’Brien. Tall. Big hair. Ponytail. Goatee. The professor is dressed in a long overcoat/jacket, white shirt, tie, black slacks and black shoes. He is reading a large novel.

He is juxtaposed by a regular commuter, sitting in the seat just before him. Buttery blonde hair cut like a FLOTUS Hillary Clinton circa 1993. A curvy figure in a black one piece knee-length dress. I presume the dress is sleeveless, but it is complimented by a pink cardigan looking sweater. A dark pink purse completes this picture of suburban working woman.

I picture her as a BrynMawr or Brown graduate who became an accountant and now works for a law firm or one of the “Big Four” for steady income, while her partner (for who am I to presume her preference?) is a lawyer in her own right, working out of the home office.

OK. I have to add this. There is a fellow with huge headphones on. This is not something special, but he is also tapping away with his index fingers on his iTabletron device, which is resting on a beat-up attache case of a style that was popular during the Reagan Administration. The loud plaid shirt sleeve shirt and general scruffiness evokes an image of an upstart FM DJ who’s pirating bandwidth and broadcasting George Carlin’s back catalog as a middle finger to the FCC.

Also here are an albino zebra, Saddam Hussein’s body double, Lindsay Lohan, Bob Edwards, and 50 Cent. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe travels.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago




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

There is a fellow here that, with the right makeup, could be a perfect copy of Michael Keaton’s Betelgeuse. Our fellow is considerably older than when Keaton took on the roll. He’s got a receding hairline, the hair left is cut into a spiky mullet. He’s wearing a mid-life-crisis earring. He’s reading a book or working on a tablet. If I knew his name, and said his name three times, would he disappear?

The commuters from the nicer-town just boarded. One fellow, sitting three stops away, looks like the ’70′s version Gabe Kaplan of Welcome Back Kotter fame. Our friend has a short cropped tight curled afro, bushy black eyebrows and a mustache on a ruddy white face. He’s wearing an olive brown dark suit and tie. A friendly fellow, he tried to strike up a conversation with the Blair Brown looking woman across the aisle, who is dressed in a corporate superwoman suit-skirt. When that didn’t go anywhere, he attempted to chit chat with the Rikki Lake looking woman seated next to him along the window. After a few brief intros, both looked up at me, past my hat, at the “Quiet Car – Rush Hour Only” sign and ceased the conversation.

Has the quiet car inadvertently deprived commuters the opportunity to meet new people? Could Gabe be looking for love in all the wrong places? Questions questions questions.

Also here are Cooper-Kingsley (from yesterday), Mike Singletary, Harry Carey, and Jon Hamm. All are heavily armed.

Happy Tuesday. Safe travels.