Category Archives: Month 10 – July 2013

All posts from July 2013

July 24, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

Good morning. On the 7:25AM into the City. In my continued effort to increase my sampling size, I have positioned myself in the fourth car from the back. As this is a thirteen car express train, this sample set should be interesting. The early birds hang out here. These are the folks who’s jobs are not time sensitive, or who are early to work and are not rushed. One would think that these folks are lazy or slow by their overall temperment. I think the opposite. These folks are more relaxed and less edgy than the rushed crowd populating the front two cars.

The passengers from the next stop over – I call them the pretty-people stop, just boarded. There is an attractive blonde wearing a neon-yellow blouse under a black zipper-sweater sitting four eeats away across the aisle A 90210 extra. The jawline is perfect. She has an ovwl face with a short chinline perpendicular to the ground. The jaw angles back at a near-perfect 60○ angle (120○ from the other side) with the corner of her chin as the vertex of the angle. Her skin is tan – natural, not machine or chemically induced. She is wearing CHiPs sunglasses. No real story here. Perhaps she only inspires me to stare, but not to read further in? Hmph.

Sheryl Crow is sitting up top four seats back. Jhe got out of the shower an hour ago and her hair is still wet. White blouse under a brown sweater. Her handbag matches the blouse. She gives off an aura of self-confidence, real or feigned. She’s looking out the window as she listens to her iCrackerbot. Her hands are crossed, suggesting she is prtective of her space. Or, maybe I’m a little too presumptive this morning.

Cardinal Richelieu is seated in the next sear over in my line-of-site. Today, His Eminence is dressed in a tailored navy blue suit, a blue shirt, and a tastefully contrasting tie. Our Richelieu has given up the religious clergy for the legal one. He is most definitely a lawyer, partner level, specilizing in corporate governance and regulation. His goatee is sonperfectly trimmed he must have used a ruler to dimension the facial coif. He is on his tablet editing his latest book “Screwing Everyone and Getting Away With It For Dummies.” The pre-publication sales are already through the roof!

Also here are Adam Sadler, a female Howard Stern, Ice Cube, ans Sam Waterston. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe Travels.

July 25, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good morning. On the, early to rise, 7:00AM into the City. A very crowded train. I always thought the 7-8AM express trains (there are three) were jam packed. I never realized how intrepid area workers are, such that the pre-dawn and at-dawn express services are SRO!

In my continued effort to be familiar with riders in every car, I am sitting in the jumpseat of the third car from the front. The second car from the front is the “quiet car”, which I have described in earlier posts.

So the gentleman in front of me, who’s name is prominently displayed on his security badge hanging from a retractable lanyard attached to the zipper of his laptop backpack, is a tall blonde, forced former high school varsity football running back looking fellow. He easily could be in an insurance ad where the generally content middle American couple is talking to their agent about updating their policy in the comfort of their Colonial style living room, with coffee and homemade cookies on the center table. He is handsome, late forties to early fifties. Prominent forehead. Thinning hair parted Clark Kent style on his left. His first kid is on his way to college; His baby-girl will be a junior this year an learning to drive, adding streaks of grey to his blonde hair. He shouldn’t be in IT. He should be a poster-boy for big agri-business.

There is a fellow who looks like Bob Edwards, the well known radio personality, who was RIF’ed by NPR about ten years ago for two younger on-air voices. He is in town to record some shows for his satellite radio show “Bob Edwards Weekend”. His long, crenelated face, speaks of decades of stories he’s been involved. Our fellow is iDongled and listening to the real Bob Edward’s podcasts.

Also here are Monica Seles, Gordon Lightfoot, a Good fella, Patrick Fitzgerald, my brother’s father in law, and Amanda Plummer. All are armed.

Happy Thursday. Happy birthday to a few of my faithful followers and to my little sister. Safe travels.

July 24, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good morning. On the 7:25AM into the City. In my continued effort to increase my sampling size, I have positioned myself in the fourth car from the back. As this is a thirteen car express train, this sample set should be interesting. The early birds hang out here. These are the folks who’s jobs are not time sensitive, or who are early to work and are not rushed. One would think that these folks are lazy or slow by their overall temperment. I think the opposite. These folks are more relaxed and less edgy than the rushed crowd populating the front two cars.

The passengers from the next stop over – I call them the pretty-people stop, just boarded. There is an attractive blonde wearing a neon-yellow blouse under a black zipper-sweater sitting four eeats away across the aisle A 90210 extra. The jawline is perfect. She has an ovwl face with a short chinline perpendicular to the ground. The jaw angles back at a near-perfect 60○ angle (120○ from the other side) with the corner of her chin as the vertex of the angle. Her skin is tan – natural, not machine or chemically induced. She is wearing CHiPs sunglasses. No real story here. Perhaps she only inspires me to stare, but not to read further in? Hmph.

Sheryl Crow is sitting up top four seats back. Jhe got out of the shower an hour ago and her hair is still wet. White blouse under a brown sweater. Her handbag matches the blouse. She gives off an aura of self-confidence, real or feigned. She’s looking out the window as she listens to her iCrackerbot. Her hands are crossed, suggesting she is prtective of her space. Or, maybe I’m a little too presumptive this morning.

Cardinal Richelieu is seated in the next sear over in my line-of-site. Today, His Eminence is dressed in a tailored navy blue suit, a blue shirt, and a tastefully contrasting tie. Our Richelieu has given up the religious clergy for the legal one. He is most definitely a lawyer, partner level, specilizing in corporate governance and regulation. His goatee is sonperfectly trimmed he must have used a ruler to dimension the facial coif. He is on his tablet editing his latest book “Screwing Everyone and Getting Away With It For Dummies.” The pre-publication sales are already through the roof!

Also here are Adam Sadler, a female Howard Stern, Ice Cube, and Sam Waterston. All are armed.

Happy Wednesday. Safe Travels.

July 22, 2013 – Homeward Bound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good afternoon. On the, roller coaster-y, 3:55PM. I’ve got “All Things Considered” on the headphones.

I finished the submittal and sent it to the printers for processing about two hours from now. If all things go well, that may well be the last submittal I will ever need to process for my current company. More on that later.

Let’s talk about something else. A living embodiment of a Ken doll (Barbie ‘s perpetual male alter ego), sitting two seats back. The teen idol is looking forlornly out the window at the passing train yard. The perfectly coiffed, pouty mouthed, clear skinned, just-post-teen boy toy glances over at me with unexpressive interest, as if he is posing for my mental camera. It is quite possible that he has no interest in the plastic belle Barbie. This stud may be bi-curious? His interest in me piques until he realizes that my interest in him is academic and not interpersonal. He goes back to his ennui staring, A&F model worthy pose out the triple glazed safety window.

Benched War Correspondent is here. Resting, or more likely fomenting a low level tolerance for stupid. Instead of being assigned to follow up on the deposition of Mohammad Morssey and the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, he was assigned to be on a computer which had a direct link to the maternity ward security cameras to observe the birth of the Half Blood Prince that has been bestowed upon Great Britain. He holds his temple in disgust. He was old-school. He was in a waiting room , smoking no less, when his children (now mid-twenties) were born. Today, he was privy to parts of Lady Kate that he is hoping to forget. In adding insult to injury, unbeknown to the Pulitzer nominee, his new production assistant has a separate jump drive of snapshots of the Royal Canal, and has already made a SuhWEET deal with the Guardian and other Murdock-Owned rags for enough money for the little voyeur to retire at twenty-five.

Also here are Clive Owen, Porkins of Gold-Team, Clair Danes and Alexi Giannoulias. All of em are armed to the teeth.

Happy Monday. God Save (us from) The Queen.

July 22, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good morning. I am on the 7:15AM into the City. I am at the final leg of the submittal process for a long, drawn out project I am involved.  I have to send files to the printing service well before lunch son they can do their magic and create the packages. J wanted it done on Friday. Alas, that was not to be.

Enough about my silliness. In my endeavor to “mix it up” a bit and get to know other traincars, I am seated four cars back from the engine and two cars away from my usual seat on the morning quiet car. What a difference fifty rows make!

Angela Bassett is here. The renowned actress and advocate is two rows back, across the aisle along the window. She is resting her eyes. Her nubian-queen power simply radiates from her aura. I don’t see how her neighbor, an ex-hippie grandma from Wisconsin, isn’t in awe of the energy – at rest, mind you – that this woman obviously possesses.

Colin Meany, the Irish actor who played Miles O’Brien on Star Trek-TNG and DS-9, is here. He is sitting up-top, working on an electronic device in his lap. His pinstriped, white cotton, button down shirt puts him at project manager level for a financial firm in the banking district of the City. He is using his device to manipulate some escoteric market (the guar gum market or tapioca futures) to his corporation’s advantage. Compared to the fines of getting caught, which are peanuts to the bottom line, this is far more profitable. The Corporation has built in a stop-loss program as a contingency, and conveniently passed the cost of carry onto the high-priced investors and fund managers, in case the Government comes calling.  He’s just doing his job.

Also here are John Wilkes Booth, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Mary-Louise Parker, a young Billy Bob Thornton, and Greta Van Sustren. All are heavily armed.

Happy Monday. Safe travels.

July 19, 2013 – Homeward Bound -#trainspotting#Chicago

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Good evening. On the 5:45PM out of the City.

I was waylaid at the office due to submittals owed to a client on Monday. I host a monthly, local meetup, comprised mostly of fellow college alumni, their friends and others considered to be “Good Eggs.”  Unfortunately, due to the work-related delay, as well as my mother being acutely ill, I had to be absent for the meetup. I presume others of the group will have had the presence of mind to be the beacon by which all the crowd gathers. I hope more than four show up this time.

Anyway, I am on the 5:45PM. I bumped into an old college mate, who takes the local version of the same train line. We chatted for a few minutes and I trundled on my merry way to reach the front car, far end jumpseat (with my back to the engine). Mom, missing the meetup, submittal incomplete. All in all, an unresolved Friday.

The couple in the other jumpseat are talking about the weather. They both are finance people working for one of the “too big to fail” banks. She, dressed in an attractive sun dress and having the features of Aegean or Mediterranean stock, is a newly minted CPA and a member of a special “group” within the Organization. They fly the group in specially chartered jets, it seems.

He, a Peter Sagal looking mid-level, mid-six-figure executive, today wearing a baby-blue polo shirt with horizontal stripes, is non-plussed by the private-jet reference. He is offering to take her home in his car instead of her taking her bike. There’s something happening there.

This must be the bankers’ berth or something, because a troika of mid-to-upper level bankers from another TBTF bank (all wearing blue button down cotton, in this heatwave no less!) are chatting about IT infrastructure and the impact on their high priced clientele. Its FRIDAY, fellas. At least have cold beers under your jackets! And who in their right mind wears a black suitcoat and slacks in 106○F? By the way, they created their own special “jumpseat” so they can kvetch about the 10,000 new access points that need to ve released and if those seats can be phased over a period of time, or are the stakeholders requiring the new access to be released immediately?

The absolute strangest trio are seated two rows up from the IT crowd. The leader of the group is the old white fellow who is a dead wringer for President Harry S. Truman. The other two are African American. I cannot see the gentleman who’s back is to me, but he’s the shoulder breath and cueball head of Chi McBride. Oh, the older fellow is sitting along the window behind President Truman. He looks like a present-day Desmond Tutu, and just happens to be wearing blue.

Also here is an offensively-named Ashiana pilot,  Phillip Seymour Hoffman, two Narnians, That Guy, and a 295lb Benicio Del Toro. All are armed.

Happy Friday. Safe Travels.

July 19, 2013 – Inbound – #trainspotting#Chicago

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Good morning. On the, convalescent, 6:55PM into the City.

My mom is ill with an acute infection and had to be admitted to the hospital yesterday evening. I am decidedly distracted, which is cutting into the submittals due today for printing and the ongoing birthday celebrations of my children, for which my wife and life partner would rather have me home for, to be the in-house child-whisperer and goofball responsible adult. I want to be completely present and available for all events and for everyone’s needs, but that’s not happening.

I can’t help but sympathize with the underlying premise of that not-so-well-received movie with Michael Keaton and Andie McDowell about him cloning himself. Assuming the same outcome, I’d rather not try.

So, I just barely caught this train. Had to jump in the middle, so I am out of a regular comfort zone of the morning quiet car. For a non-quiet car, these folks are very quiet.

As a reminder to first-time readers, the train authority that runs the commuter service, on the insistence of riders and with lots of market research, has had a policy in place called “quiet cars” for over two years now. During rush hour,  and only on the express trains, the second cars from either end of a thirteen-car run are deemed “quiet cars”, where through the use of social engineering, everyone in those cars refrains from loud music, loud chatter with co-commuters, and the dreaded one-sided cell phone conversations.

The most entertaining part of my commute is sitting in the morning quiet car and watching some poor neophyte, unaware of the power of quiet car vigilantism, shamed into submission, not unlike a pre-teen being reigned in by an overpowering, guilt-armed mother. It’s truly amazing, and like a well made thriller or Holocaust documentary, horrifying to watch. Never forget.

Well, as previously stated, I’m not on the quiet car today. Justin Bieber is sitting five seats back across the aisle. Sunglassed , iDongled and clean shaven, the maligned pop star idol is wearing a black sweater-shirt and grey slacks. In a chance for redemption, he’s back in the City to get a Blackhawks tattoo on his right arm while listening to all eight of Bill Clinton’s SOTU speeches. Penance.

Tim Tebow is here. The god-fearing QB-for-JC is wearing a purple polo shirt with horizontal stripes and “thin jeans”, which makes him look decidedly metero-sexual. Has he finally renounced his Almighty for redemption with his LGBT(etc) brothers and sisters? Is he headed to Boystown to meet up with some boys? I don’t know, but that image will stay with me for a few hours.

Also here are Maz Jabrani, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Molly Shannon of SNL. All are armed.

Happy Friday. Safe Travels.