Wednesday, August 20, 2014 – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

On the bright and cheery 7:30AM into the City. I started typing this post a little late. I was watching John Oliver’s segment about Ferguson, MO from his show Last Week Standing on my iCrackerBot. Illuminating.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ferguson, MO …: http://youtu.be/KUdHIatS36A

Denise Crosby is here. The Star Trek: The Next Generation alumna   has let herself go. The one sitting before me is more than a few replicators past a healthy weight. The sedentary security chief is listening to music or watching a video on her own iCrackerBot. She has hung her vinyl coated, fashionably retro white and black striped purse on the fold away coat hook next to the top of the window well. She smiles with a twinkle escaping her CHiPs sunglasses as she watches John Oliver’s segment about Ferguson, MO.

Also here is a very buffed Fred Armisen of SNL and Portlandia fame. Our bald-cut fellow is in a tailored gray suit, white starched shirt and silver power tie. He has no attaché case. He’s on his iCrackerBot, listening to voice mails.

His shoes need shining. He is a tall fellow – I’m guessing 5′-11″ or so – who is a bit of a slob. His posture is horrible as he slouches in the jump seat, periodically propping his unshined shoes on the unoccupied seat. He has a bit of a gut, which accentuates his lazy demeanor despite the sharp clothes. He’s drinking a yellowish liquid out of a plastic water bottle – a screw top bottle, not a thermos style bottle. I first thought he was holding a urine sample for a drug test until he started chugging from it. Hmph.

Also here are Mike Singletary, Jeff Bezos, George Takei, and Michael Brown’s aunt. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe travels.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

On the bright and cheery 7:30AM into the City. I started typing this post a little late. I was watching John Oliver’s segment about Ferguson, MO from his show Last Week Standing on my iCrackerBot. Illuminating.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ferguson, MO …: http://youtu.be/KUdHIatS36A

Denise Crosby is here. The Star Trek: The Next Generation alumna   has let herself go. The one sitting before me is more than a few replicators past a healthy weight. The sedentary security chief is listening to music or watching a video on her own iCrackerBot. She has hung her vinyl coated, fashionably retro white and black striped purse on the fold away coat hook next to the top of the window well. She smiles with a twinkle escaping her CHiPs sunglasses as she watches John Oliver’s segment about Ferguson, MO.

Also here is a very buffed Fred Armisen of SNL and Portlandia fame. Our bald-cut fellow is in a tailored gray suit, white starched shirt and silver power tie. He has no attaché case. He’s on his iCrackerBot, listening to voice mails.

His shoes need shining. He is a tall fellow – I’m guessing 5′-11″ or so – who is a bit of a slob. His posture is horrible as he slouches in the jump seat, periodically propping his unshined shoes on the unoccupied seat. He has a bit of a gut, which accentuates his lazy demeanor despite the sharp clothes. He’s drinking a yellowish liquid out of a plastic water bottle – a screw top bottle, not a thermos style bottle. I first thought he was holding a urine sample for a drug test until he started chugging from it. Hmph.

Also here are Mike Singletary, Jeff Bezos, George Takei, and Michael Brown’s aunt. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe travels.

Monday, August 19, 2014 – inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

On the misty 7:30AM into the City. Its a gray day. I hope this isn’t some Shakespearian portend of incoming gloom, because I am a little busy with cleaning up the last gloom and doom.

I am still reeling from the death of my sump pump and the subsequent water logging my basement took last week. With a new sump system and a now dry-but-musty concrete basement, my wife and I are thinking about possibilities. I will need the next few weekends to repair and prime drywalls and purge old tchotchkis and outmoded technologies. Then, repair, then plan for what to do with the space.

Well, enough about my sinking ship.

There is a woman sitting five rows from me, my side, that has caught my eye. She reminds me a bit of Linda Hamilton from the first Terminator movie. She is not unattractive,  she is also not someone that would immediately turn heads. Blonde hair, straight, shoulder length. Long fingers. Mid to late forties. Frown lines. Slightly masculine jawline. Little to no makeup.

She looks battle worn. Tired. Resigned to the life she leads. She has a cocked smile as she reads a book she brought with her on the train. I can only see her head, so I can’t necessarily delve into any more details about her. She’s not wearing any jewelry on her right hand. Given the color of her eyebrows, its highly possible the blonde color is a dye job.

Every woman. The dispatch attendant for a taxi service. A tired office assistant. A stressed out junior attorney that didn’t quite climb the ranks. A divorcee? Who knows?

Contrast to her is a very tall gentleman who reminds me of Eric Cantor. I know he is tall because he is sitting at ninety degree angles at his knees and waist. His head is mere centimeters below the dystopian fluorescent lighting housing of the train car.
Baby blue shirt, silver-gray tie. Nice shoulders for his height. He visits the club three nights a week to work out and drink before going home to the wife and kids. Power broker. No emotion at all from this fellow. I want to guess Wharton School grad, but Kellogg is closer. A nose like Dick York.

Also here are Mike Singletary, Jim Cramer, Ming the Merciless, the bald Bradley Cooper-Ben Kingsley amalgam, and a Slytherin sixth year. All are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.

August 13, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

On the 7:30AM into the City. In the front Quiet Car, mainly because I missed the 7:18AM and had enough time to walk the extra fifteen-hundred feet to the east part of the platform.

I’ve been resigned to the frustratingly mundane. The sump pumps in the basement failed and the recent Midwest rainfall ended up in my basement. We did all the basic things, like remo e the standing water as much as we could with a shop-vac, move the valuable musical instruments to the garage, and rent a carpet cleaner Devi e to pull out the heaviest water logged areas of the carpeted area. We called in a plumber and an emergency cleanup service. They are doing outstanding work. We also called our insurance company. They kindly let me know that we did not add the “Sump/Sewer” rider to our home policy and none of this is their problem. How nice. So, I hightailed it back to work, because the cost of cleanup will run about one month’s worth of net pay.That does not include remediating the space with something more water resistant, like tile or concrete paint. I’ll worry about that later.

Well, enough about my woes. Al Madrigal is here. The Senior Latino Correspondent from the Daily Show is seated about ten seats back. His handsome jawline is accented by a well trimmed beard that connects to his widow-peaked shirt cropped black hair at the sideburns. His glasses give Al a very academic look, but the plaid shirt ruins the look.

A quick statistic – since I started writing today’s entry, at least twelve commuters, within my line of sight, picked their nose in public like second-graders. One or two were seriously inspecting the results of their labor.

Kathy Bates is here. The blonde, overweight administrator is in a black Cardigan sweater. Her shoulder length hair is down and around her head in an homage to Rachel from the third season of Friends. She is tapping away at her iCrackerBot, no doubt firing off a memo to terminate staff before Labor Day.

Also here are Taye Diggs, Lou Reed, Ron Kittle, Pam Dawber, and Sam Neill. All are armed.

RIP Robin Williams. If you are feeling blue, make it a point to reach out or seek help.

Happy Wednesday. Safe Travels.

Friday, August 8, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

Good morning.

On the 7:30AM into the City.

I’m scheduling my week for next week and am pleased that I’ll be bringing my sons into the City. We will be heading to the Museum of Science and Industry, where we are members, and participate in a three hour robotics class. Perfect for two nine year olds in the midst of Summer Vacation ennui.

Also, through they have just learned to ride their bikes, and are full on pedalheads now, with the scars and scrapes as evidence, a day of new science discovery is a nice start to the week.

I’m, as usual, in the rear quiet car. There is a Chinese woman who is in her late-forties and in fantastic shape. She is wearing a gorgeous one piece business outfit. White, thigh high skirt, white semi transparent hose, comfortable yet elegant flats. She is a mid level manager or executive. Ignoring the large blue sign facing her and above my head, she proceeded to take a phone call and in a high pitched yet gutteral Mandarin dialect, proceeded to direct the caller to, I presume, fire a bunch of factory staff and dump the defective product into the Yangzhou River.

Now she’s taking a phone call in English. Rescheduling an appointment. Taking an equipment order. The militant quiet car lady in the back, who reminds me of Toby Ziegler’s lawyer in the fifth season of The West Wing, broke rank and yelled, at the top of her lungs “THIS IS THE QUIET CAR!”

Now, Mata Hari is on her third phone call, again in Manadarin. Everyone is starting to get annoyed. I don’t have the heart to tell people what to do. And, reminding her of the Quiet Car rules would only interrupt the play unfolding before me!

Lou Dobbs is here. Its Friday, so the veteran newsman and current moral compass for Wall Street is without a tie. He’s reading a physical copy of Money or Forbes magazine, but is secretly hiding a copy of “High Times” in the centerfold. Heh! The big hippie!

Also here are Bebe Neuworth, Wanda Sykes, Jeremy Piven and Ton Loc. All are armed.

Happy Friday. Safe travels.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

On the 7:30AM into the City. The train is just pulling into the very, very nice town station to pick up the pretty people before running express to Downtown.

A young lady sat down three seats from me. She reminds me of Angelina Jolie from Girl Interrupted. No makeup. She’s wearing a sea-green colored one piece summer dress that works for her long, slim, barely legal body. This is accented by a beige, hand knit Cardigan looking sweater.

Her long full brown hair flops over each ear like a half-open curtain. She periodically tucks the right side of her hair curtain back. It is at this point one can make the comparison to the falls actress. Our young lady has that duck-faced-pout that is emblematic of the movie star. The eyes are also similar , but our co-commuter’s nose has a bit of a button at the end of the graceful slope. This button nose adds a bit of a Scarlet Johansson to the facial features. Heh. There’s a bit of a dimple to her chin.

Summer student? Possibly. Intern? Also, possible. I am not good at guessing age, but I don’t think she’s quite done with college yet. Maybe she’s headed to the beach for some dog-day summer fun.

Also here are Peter Segal, Oscar De La Hoya, four guys who all look like Joe Besser, and Saddam Hussein’s body double. All are armed.

Happy Tuesday. Safe travels.

Monday, August 4, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

I’m on the 7:50AM into the City, and I don’t want to be here. Don’t get me wrong, the co-commuters in the front Quiet Car are an interesting lot, but I’d rather be home.

Today is my wife’s birthday. Now, she is working from home, and she has two sons doting on her as best as they can, but I would have liked to have stayed. In a mad scheduling mix-up, I was home on Friday and need today to catch up with work. I may leave early.
I have a small chocolate icing topped white angel food cake to purchase before I get home. It’s her favorite.

There is a four year old child sitting five seats back who is invisible to me, but is the only voice that can cut through the thrum of the engine and the periodic friction of the wheels. His name is Phillip.

Unfortunately for Phillip, we are in the front Quiet Car, and much like a classic Bill Cosby skit about toddlers and airplanes, the commuters around Phillip are ready to kill him. The father, a blonde, Rick Moranis looking fellow in brown camp shorts, white calf high gym socks and a canary yellow T-shirt, neatly tucked into the shorts, with an innocuous camp logo, has given up any pretenses about being able to keep Phillip from voicing every single thought – in the loudest, shrillest voice that most of these folks have experienced in many many years. The bespectacled father is putting on a stoic face and engaging the boy, by way of example, with whispers and a kind word.

Also here are General Norman Schwarzkopf, Rosie Perez, Lando’s Copilot in the Battle of Endor, Roy Orbison, and Charles Barkley. All are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.