Project Optimism: So, I Lost My Phone

funny-lost-phone-silent-modeFriday after improv, a couple of us went out to karaoke. Since two hours is never enough karaoke, I missed the 1:40 train. So, I was forced to hang out and drink until 4am. Tough times.

Flash forward: I wake up at 5:21 am in Huntington. The train is sitting in the station, empty. Any true Long Islander can tell you what that’s like, and also what happens next: you hear the “Beep Beep Beep” of death, the doors close and you have to frantically fly around the train trying to find a conductor to let you off before you end up at the yard.

This knowledge in mind, I jumped up and fled the train. This was when I lost my phone.

[Read more...]

Coming Out Irish

Over a year ago, my mom’s friend Aunt Kath did an ancestry search on our family and found out something shocking: we’re Irish.

me with red hair. maybe I should’ve guessed.

[Read more...]

Alice On The Edge

Another guest post from Alice, my commiserator in commuting…

While living at home has provided some good stepfather/daughter bonding I think I’m letting the commute slowly kill me. First there are the specifics of the LIRR trains themselves. The new ones aren’t awful but the old ones, which seem to be showing up much more frequently and which Jill has discussed here are the worst.

About a month ago I found myself on one where, and this is just my best guess at what happened though the gentleman sitting next to me concurred at the time, the toilet in the bathroom exploded. I did what any sane person with an olfactory sense would do and rushed to the next car at Jamaica, but of course it was packed. And then the doors wouldn’t close and as the prior post described there is a piercing noise that occurs when they go to shut them.

B&T crowd, for sure

B&T crowd, for sure

Another fun fact of this system is that the trains very rarely get you where you need to be when they’re supposed to, regardless of how many times you hear the auto tone voice say “the 7:32 is operating on time.”

Part two of the commuting equation is the people. Now I’ll admit that a few times my faith in humanity has been restored by someone giving me their seat (and no I don’t look pregnant from suburban weight gain) or moved so me and a companion can sit together; but more often they’re pretty much assholes.

There is the guy that shushed Jill and I on a morning train a couple weeks ago. Seriously, like we were in a library, and also like we didn’t know who he was even though he was sitting in front of us. And for the record we were speaking in normal voices about innocuous things.

There are the ones that scream into their cell phones for an hour – I’ve heard all about insurance problems, health issues, bad dates…And of course the ones with no concept of personal space, which is exacerbated when drunk – I’ve been encountering them more and more with the late hours I’ve been at the office. So, I need to figure something out before I become an angry person yelling at innocent young women during rush hour.

…after Alice wrote this, I received the following text from her:

“Gum on arm rest – I hate people”

So that pretty much sums it up.

Jay Z Speaks

I never really gave an update on the amazing Jay Z concert I saw a couple weeks ago at the Barclay’s Center. Here’s the short version.

Tom and I took the drunk train in. Since the LIRR is always awesome, our train from Huntington was late to Jamaica so our transfer left without us. While waiting for the next train, I bought a Grolsch, which opened with the sound of a champagne cork popping and all the drunks around us cheered. Tom was drinking coffee like a nerd.

paper bag = class

The concert was, as I tweeted, a religious experience.

Then Tom and I luckily just made the 11:55 train. But when we got to Jamaica we realized that there wasn’t a train to Huntington for over an hour so obviously I fell asleep while waiting for it.

Blah blah, another LIRR story. Really, I just wanted to pass on some advice from Jay Z. 

He referenced the media having reported his owning only a small percentage of the Nets and gave some words of wisdom ending with…

“Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments.”

Church! Then he launched into “99 Problems” which, in case you forgot, is awesome.

Got any wise words from a random source?

Becoming Bridge & Tunnel

Let me start by saying that the drunk train as immortalized by How I Met Your Mother’s episode “The Drunk Train” is completely a thing.

HIMYM reps NYC (even if it’s filmed in LA)

I try not to go into the city on the weekends. Let’s face it: at a certain point, even going into Manhattan from Brooklyn became a chore. But a couple times recently, I had the occasion to take the drunk train.

The most recent time was this past weekend. Rachel and I decided to be young and give in to excitedly jump on our friend Rae’s invitation to go dancing.

Oh and since the LIRR is awesome, when we got to Huntington Station, we found out there were no trains from Huntington and had to take a shuttle to Hicksville. We rolled with it but the old man on the bus with us was pissed.

kind of like this… or something

Usually I’d go for beer but, this time, my trank (train-drank) was 5 Hour Energy, which just barely lasted until we got home about 5 hours and 15 minutes later. I blame my work/commuting schedule for conditioning me to get tired early, therefore making me drink harmful caffeinated beverages when I should be drinking alcohol.

We met Rae at Culture Club. This is where I crossed the line into Bridge & Tunnel.

For those of you that aren’t from here, Bridge & Tunnel (B&T) is a term we snobby New Yorkers use to refer to those overdressed drunks who are bussed (train’d) in on the weekends from such God forsaken places as New Jersey or (heaven forbid!) Long Island. B&T bars are the last place you want to be seen. And I’m pretty sure Culture Club is B&T Mecca.

Culture Club

So, why did I go? 
Was it the $25 cover? (No, I’m not joking.)
Was it the $13 drinks? (Includes a plastic souvenir cup.)
Was it the crowd? (A unique mix of bachelorette parties, middle-aged women, and a few creepy guys trying their odds with either of the above.)

The truth is: I secretly think Culture Club is fun. Bombshell.


But… ok??

1- The 80s room is akin to singing into your hairbrush with your girlfriends at a sleepover.
2- The 90s-00s room lets me relive my high school and college dance party days.
3- Plus, thanks to the high female-male ratio, I can mostly avoid the creeps. Except for those that came with my friends (*ahem* Rae).

That said, it bears repeating… $25 cover. Therefore, never again. Never. Um, maybe just except for a bachelorette party or something but that’s it, I swear.

First Week Commuting

A Journal.

Day 1: Did you know that it’s dark out at 6am? 

yeah, I was really tired but that’s a window 
(with a Christmas candle in it because my mom thinks they’re for year-round)

“The first day isn’t that bad. It’s the second day that makes you want to die…” Alice warns.

Evening – get a ride home with Daddy. Would have been faster to take the train.

Day 2: Did you know it’s cold and rainy at 6am? (sometimes)

Umbrella? Check. Coat and boots? Packed: whereabouts unknown.

Evening - resist the urge to buy beer on the platform.

Queens hotspot

Day 3: Did you know that it’s even darker at 5:30am? 

Leave the house at 6:35 to be at work at 8:30.

Evening – train home smells like a urinal cake, which is preferable to alternatives.

Day 4: Snoozed 3 times.

Complete thought: Penn Station is bad for your mental and physical health.

Evening – take the 7 train the wrong way one stop. Sounds about right.

Day 5: Don’t act like your’e doing me any favors, Friday.

Just can’t get excited about Friday today; it was too hard-earned.

Evening – train cancelled. Do not resist the urge to buy a beer.

But first have to go to this ATM that will definitely not steal my identity.

watch the happy dancing guy :) nothing shady

You heard it here first: the cheapest beer in NYC is at the Hunters Point LIRR station.

I sprung for an imported

these are my people now

Upshot: I survived the week.