Track Tales

This isn’t Kansas, but I do have a cousin named Dorothy…

August 8th, 2007 by Conductor


Hoo boy. What a week this was.

Monday, August 6th, 2007. My department moves offices from our digs on the 2nd floor to the 30th floor. I’ll miss the windows more than anything. The end of my day is spent moving my stuff upstairs and purging stuff I don’t need. Not fun, but necessary.
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007. I got home, and decided I didn’t feel like driving in to work the next day, so back to the Subway for me! This was not to be.
Wednesday, August 8th 2007. The thunderstorm was loud enough to wake me up briefly sometime between 4:30am and 6:30am. Thankfully, I fell back asleep fairly quickly (I think).
An F2 tornado in Brooklyn, two and half inches of rain fell in about one hour, and basically 95 percent of the MTA rail system came to a soggy, waterlogged halt, and stayed halted for the next several hours.

Then I woke up, knowing none of this had happened, only that it had rained during the night. Still didn’t feel like driving, so I clicked onto 1010wins.com so I could check for any major transit disruptions. I say major, because it has to be pretty significant to get reported; 30 minute delays often get unreported, and they almost never look at a subway map to make the connection that a problem with an uptown 3 train at Clark Street will affect not only the 3, but the 2 and if it’s long enough a delay, the 4 and 5 trains as well. That’s mostly the MTA’s fault, since they know where every single train is at all times, and can tell instantly if theres any kind of delay simply by noticing that a train is not moving when it should be. They could, and should make this data available to the public online, but they won’t do it because it would illustrate just how lousy the system is running much of the time.

Anyway, instead of seeing some minor delays, I see headlines of suspected tornadoes, massive flooding, and a link to the MTA’s web page listing which lines have been affected by the storm. This is bad. Why? Because it means there’s too many affected lines to list on the 1010WINS website. So I click, and they may as well have just posted this:
“Sorry folks, nothing’s really running and the trains that are running won’t get you where you need to go. If you manage to get on a bus, or own a bike, motorcycle or scooter, good on ya! Otherwise, just stay home. Oh, and don’t bother asking those people in MTA uniforms that will be standing around everywhere anything. While we agree they should be actively assisting the people paying their salaries in finding alternate routes, even if that just means telling you ‘Oh, don’t bother going down to the subway since it’s not running and won’t be until maybe tonight. Try the buses or walking instead.’ they are mainly a bunch of unionized slackers who pretty much show up to collect a paycheck while doing as little as humanly possible and will never do anything outside of their job description to help someone unless it’ll get them a promotion to a nigh un-fireable management position, where they get to wear a suit and tie and do jack shit for even more money. Sweet gig, huh? Umm… anyway, we’d apologize for the inconvenience, but we’ve got to to go plan the next fare hike/service cut package to screw you even more.”

The Gothamist has a pretty interesting time line of things.
From what I heard on the news, one woman was killed in a car accident as a result; what’s doubly tragic about that is that the idiot responsible for the crash didn’t have a valid license, and probably paid someone to take his drivers test for him. He probably won’t go to jail, and I’d be surprised if he even had to pay a significant fine.


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Off track…

August 5th, 2007 by Conductor


Had the strangest dream last night/this morning. Weird enough that I feel compelled to write about it before the memory fades.
It was about someone I haven’t seen or spoken to in at least 10 years, possibly 16 years.

Honestly, I can’t even say I’ve thought about this person in that time span, until this dream.

We were classmates in grade school and Junior high. We weren’t really close, but I think when you spend 6 or 7 of your formative years in a classroom with basically the same 25 – 30 people, you get to know them, at least a little bit.

But I digress.

Anyway, the exact details are somewhat fuzzy, but I distinctly recall that she was getting married soon (in the dream anyway), and we’d met and I think were catching up and doing the whole old friends thing. she had her hair down, which is something she pretty much never did back in school. I seemed to be genuinely happy for her and supportive, which I’d like to think is how I would react in reality. Another odd thing is that the whole dream was in shadows; there weren’t any lights on to speak of, and it seemed overcast and dim outside, very much like when a big thunderstorm rolls in but right before the rain starts.

Towards the end of the dream I think I was trying to figure out what to give her as a gift, when I either noticed or was informed she was still into dance – something I have no actual recollection of her doing back in school – although the uniforms weren’t really dance friendly. In fact, I think they may be the reason I’ve never rented a car from Avis. Those red jackets bring back memories – some good, but some I’d rather remain filed away forever.
Thinking about it now though, she did have a slight build so it’s possible she did dance. Meanwhile back in the dream, for some reason I’d probably have to dig way deeper into my subconscious than I care to anytime soon, I decided a really big gift certificate from a dancewear shop would be perfect. Now, the only thing I can think of in my life that would tie into that is that I work about a block from a Capezio Dancewear shop. I know this because of the very large, very bright neon Capezio signs in the windows, and the fact that they have racks of leotards and ballet shoes and posters of people wearing those in the windows.(Broadway and 51st for those familiar with the area) That and going to high school, college and working in that neighborhood over the past… 20 years come September.

Damn. 20 years? Subway fares have more than doubled in that time, while service seems much worse now. (Ha! A transit reference makes it into the post.)
Well, now that I’m totally bummed and weirded out by this dream, I’ll end this.

I’m hoping that this dream isn’t some kind of bad omen, but I never dream about the people I went to school with, and while she’s not the last person I’d expect to meet up with in a dream, she’s up there for sure. Not in a bad way, just not one I’d expect to have a one on one conversation with. In a flashback type dream with the rest of the class sure, but no just her.
Hopefully, she’s already happily married or at least happily single, happy being the main goal, and that she’s alive and well.

On that one-in-a-million chance she or someone who knows both of us happens to read this, I hope you’re doing ok Laura.


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