Wednesday, December 3, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning. I’m on the 7:50AM into the City. The NF index is 2.

I’m sitting in the rear “quiet car” in my favorite place. The crowd is entertaining themselves with a mix of smartphone broadcast options and a fair number of printed books. Real books! Hmph. That’s so retro!

A primarily Caucasian crowd. The fellow in the way-back window seat, across the aisle, reminds me of a young Andy Garcia from the Untouchables. He’s reading a beefy novel in hardcover format.

Jacques Cousteau just sat down across the aisle and one seat over. Our famous fisherman analog is in gym shoes, a faded pair of jeans, a down black coat and a beige colored striped scarf. White, black and red stripes.

The fellow who sat next to me on the train is a Bears Fan, or at least has a Bears ski cap on to keep warm. Greg hoodie,  lack slacks, leather jacket. He’s in his early to mid fifties. His charcoal colored beard, and its a full but manscaped beard, is reminiscent of Michael Gross’s character on “Family Ties”. He removed his hat and is completely bald. Any hair that was on his head was shaved to the skin, and a faded patch of new hair now grows there like a shadow. Bearded man is a fidgety fellow. He was very keen to find a seat on the mezzanine to sit, but all those seats are full. He has an older model iCrackerBot with a fluorescent green, clear-plastic ” turtle shell” cover. His hands are very hairy. A WASP Saddam Hussain.

Also here are Taye Diggs, Rod Steiger, Ron Kittle, Chow Yun-Fat, and Paula Dean. All are armed.

Happy Holidays. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Safe travels.

Monday, November 10, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning. I’m on the 7:50AM into the City.

It’s a warm morning for early November, but the chills will come later this week. I’m in the rear quiet car. I found that I am tired of jostling with the morning scrum and fight for a seat near the front, just to race to the office. Good thing come to those who pace.

A younger, very handsome, Jeremy Irons with black hair sits across from me. He is a brooding, serious looking fellow in blue jeans a black long sleeved shirt and a black, down insulated ski vest that was haute-coulture fashion when the A-Team was a number one but on TV. The likeness to the venerated actor is uncanny. An illegitimate son? I want this guy’s autograph and a selfie.

A bald but goateed Taye Diggs is here. Our fellow is in his mid forties, dressed in black slacks, a nondescript jacket and a black attache case. He just put on a ski cap. The other awake patrons, mostly from the very very nice town train stop, are keeping an eye on him over their newspapers and iCrackerBots.

Also here are Eric Idle, Christopher Lee, Ellyn Burnstyn, Lata Mangeshkar and Mike Singletary. All are armed.

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately. As the year winds down, I will make more of an effort. I am finally caught up with work stuff that In was doing in lieu of people watching. This apology is to myself, but you get to read it.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 – Inbound – trainspottingChicago

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Good morning.

I’m on the 8:30AM into the City. This blog is coming full circle.
I started this travelogue two years ago, on advise from two dear friends of mine. One was a literary magazine editor in am past life; the other is a financial reporter. They both saw my original Facebook posts about my train rides as “Studs Terkel-ish, everyman observations” and convinced me, at a college homecoming in 2012, to move the effort to the blogosphere.

Now, I’m on a commuter train inbound to Union Station to catch a connecting Amtrak train to my Alma Mater. One of the realizations of that 2012 visit was that my wife and kids noticed a new energy from me. A spring in my step. So, since 2012, I’ve been taking a four night, three day “constitutional” every October. Today is the first day of this year’s annual pilgrimage.

I can’t help but notice that this is an off-peak, “cattle car” train, which makes more stops (every stop?) along this line. I am used to the constancy of the express trains, where once you are on, you can’t get off until the end of the line.

Sitting two seats in front of me is Conan O’Brian of talkshow fame, except that this fellow is 92 years young. His once Scotch-Irish jawline is now jowled. He didn’t shaved today, so there’s a rugged look about the wrinkles around his mouth. He is aurally fixated with his iCrackerBot, in that he is connected to the device via ear buds. He does not look inspired by the media feeding his eyes and ears, as it is evident he is watching a video.

Behind him, there is an Indo-American fellow who looks EXACTLY like Luther Vandross from the 1970’s, complete with a jet black coif of hair, a trimmed mustache and a good watch. He’s wearing a brown leather jacket. Luther Singh is asleep, his bejeweled hand in a fist so as to balance that tired, but gorgeously groomed, head in rhythmic slumber.

I will blog some more from the Amtrak. Also here are a Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Reese Witherspoon and Lou Ferrigno. All are armed.

Happy Thursday. Safe Travels.

Monday, September 29, 2014 – Homeward Bound – trainspottingChicago

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Good afternoon.

I’m on the 3:58PM out of the City.

Harvey Keitel sat across from me in the choice jump seat. He faces the path of travel. I am looking at the crowd. Though average height, about 5′-9″ or so, Harvey crouches when he sits. Gunmetal black button down shirt, jet black slacks. Black shoes. Very Monday meetings looking. He is yawning, which is horribly contagious, as I start to as well. Our man just called someone on his iCrackerBot and, how about that!, he has a Bronx drawl to his intonation, harkening back to a scene from “Serpico”.

Also here is Clive Owen, in his usual stance of being aurally and visually attached to his iCrackerBot. I am hoping he is watching episodes of Doctor Who to see if he can grab a bit part on the popular Science Fiction program. Perhaps he will guest star as a Cyberman with some wit, or a Sontaran on a diet regimen?

There is a thirty something brunette with early Courtney Cox hairdo, who reminds me of Shirley MacLane, especially around the nose and mouth. She’s not necessarily stunning,  it there is a quiet strength a out here that is alluring. Though, she could stand well to smile.

Dr. Jeckyl-Hyde is here. He is not as animated as usual because a heavy set Alice the Housekeeper looking woman sat next to him, encroaching into his space.  He fitfully, eyes closed, EFT hand holding his bead in frustration, holds back the ongoing inner debate about ISiL vs ISIS, Salutegate, and Boobs on the Ground. Its hard to watch him struggle.

Also here are Pia Zadora, General Anwar Sadat, Ed Harris, and a shorter haired Sarah Silverman. All are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe Travels.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – Homeward Bound – trainspottingChicago

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Good evening.

I’m on the, exceptionally brief, 5:22PM out of the City.

This train is an express to my very nice stop, with one prior stop to the very Very nice stop before my own. My Boss borrowed my family minivan for a thing he had to do today, but he let me drive his very very nice luxury sedan. The rules? From his house to my house last night. From my house to the very Very nice town station (for which he has a parking pass). Hop the train to work. Take care of business. Come back to the very Very nice town’s station and go back to his house to switch vehicles.

I’m on that second to last leg now.

A Seth Rogan looking ginger-haired fellow, with a full beard, is seated one seat over. Ginger-blonde, actually. A sharp nose. His claim to fame is a tweed jacket and a blue-gray plaid bow tie. This on a steel-gray plain button down cotton shirt. Already, this is an impressive feat of fashion excellence. He brings black horn rimmed glasses worthy of 1950’s rock and rollers, and high end, studio quality sound isolating headphones for his, now-antiquated iCrackerBot05.

Behind him sits a dejected Bill Nye. He is still regretting having participated in the publicly held debate regarding Creation vs Evolution. All it did was be a money maker for Ken Ham, and not a forum for reasonable discussion of what should be taught in science class. He’s still, while seated, itemizing the expense receipts for his accountants so that he doesn’t get audited by the God Fearing IRS.

A handsome North Indian couple is seated in my jump seat. Thankfully, she sits across from me, though he is rather good looking. She is curvy, but not overweight. She should smile more when she texts home to Mumbai. He is playing solitaire.
Ah, love!

Also here are Molly Ringwald, Ban Ki Moon, Don Zimmer, and the Wicked Witch of the West. All are armed.

I just decided to hire a drum teacher. I just donated money to my Alma Mater. Homecoming, here we come.

Happy Wednesday. Safe travels.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Homeward Bound – trainspottingChicago

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Good afternoon.
I’m on the 3:58PM out of the City.

I think John Cleese and Merv Griffin just sat next to me in the jump seat on this crowded train home.

The Python is in full modern-day mustachio-mode, with thinking gray hair, a gray beard, button-down tightly-patterned checkered shirt on a gray background, and black slacks that are too tight in the nether regions. He is not well endowed, or because of age and inactivity,  the whole package as ascended back into his lower torso for safekeeping.

I cannot make much of Merv except for his profile. Blonde with thinning hair, blue striped button down shirt and dark navy blue pants. Big backpack. He is napping uncomfortably, in a “Thinker” pose. His wedding ring is shiny and without blemish, connoting a late marriage or more likely a second or third marriage. Merv got freckles.

Also here are Floyd Merryweather, the Lorax, Corazon Aquino, Robert Blake, and Ari Fleischer. All are armed.

Happiness to you all.
Safe travels.

Monday, September 15, 2014 – Homeward Bound – trainspottingChicago

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Good afternoon.
I’m on the 3:58PM out of the City.

Dr. Jeckyl-Hyde is here. He is frustrated about something. He just went into a silent tirade. I can’t quite make out what’s bothering him, but it is either the recent half-measures proposed by the POTUS about ISIL in Iraq, or he is reenacting a particularly animated breakup with an office romance that happened in 1983.

He seems to be lecturing his window mirror image about how the Unites States has behaved poorly over the last decade or more, making either too rash or too timid decisions about foreign policy and US interests throughout the world.

Or, he seems to be arguing with Uniqua about a reckless dalliance with a bisexual cabaret dancer in 1983, at a time where everyone in the office pool is noticing that they are acting more and more like a married couple every day, but that Uniqua’s family, former Civil Rights activists and Black Power advocates, would not be pleased to have her bring him, a young baseball player looking pasty faced, back to Greensville, Alabama for Thanksgiving.

He stares out into the green-gray haze of the afternoon sky, through the triple glazed safety windows, reminiscing about the halcyon days of the Reagan Administration.

Three Desi IT fellows decided that they felt most comfortable. They are comparing breakfast bunch places in the Western Suburbs. One fellow is the “foodie”; the other two are misers. One goes to the nicer places for the experience. The other two are trying to get the most for their money. My wife would love this conversation. I stay quiet, with headphones in my head.

Also here are Jeffrey Dahmer, Clive Owen, Katey Segal, Will Farrell, and Harvey Keitel. The are armed.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.