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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ear Buds


Ear buds. Let’s talk about those. Shall we? I don’t wear ear buds in public. EVER! I had read somewhere that muggers, rapists and so on target women with ear buds in because they don’t hear them coming and aren’t prepared once they attack. Therefore they can’t defend themselves. There were many muggings like this in the Cambridge area last year so I decided ear buds aren’t for me while commuting or in the city.

Ok, so enough about why I don’t wear them and let’s talk about people that do wear them. The other day I hopped on the T and saw a guy that delivers our prospectuses. From two feet away I say “Good Morning! How are you?” He says “Good! Good! How are you?” I say “Good! You have a busy day ahead of you?” and he nods and looks up at the ceiling. I realize he has ear buds in. So, I am guessing that his response was “canned” and he probably wasn’t expecting me to have a follow up question. Did he even turn his music off/down? I don’t know! Perhaps next time I will respond “I’m Sh*tty.” And see if I get a different response. Ear bud wearers: Do you just keep listening to music while getting through small talk with acquaintances?

Here’s the other end of the spectrum. Yesterday on the train, I sat with a friend and we were talking about our weekends and some giggly, funny things. A woman in front of us (Actually it was Miss Fancy Spandex Pants) was wearing ear buds but every time we said something funny, she’d turn around and smile at us. Um, weird! Ear bud wearers: Do you just put them in and don’t play anything to avoid conversation and/or to eaves drop?

And then you have the polite guy who, when he sees you coming, he removes his ear buds out of his ears completely so that you know you have his full attention. I am pretty sure that would be the appropriate thing to do. However, I don’t do the ear bud thing so maybe I just don’t get the etiquette behind it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Behind the Scenes Tour of South Station

Picture Courtesy of BosGuy

Last Wednesday I had a craving for Cheese Boy. Since I wanted a change of scenery, I decided to head to the one in South Station instead of the new one on Washington. I ordered my grilled cheese and as I was walking out of the building I noticed a sign advertising tours of South Station! I checked out the sign for further details. The tour was at 1pm on Thursday. I made a mental note and decided that I’d come back the following day for the tour on my break. Thursday tours are only during the summer and South Station will be doing tours on the first Saturday of every month at 1pm.Did I mention these tours are Gratis? For more info click here: http://www.south-station.net/events/south-station-tours

When I arrived at the station the next day for the tour, I was one of four people in the group to tour. I was the youngest and I was the only girl (aside from our tour guide). We started out the tour by hearing how the station got its start! There was a grand opening on New Year’s Eve December 31st, 1898. The first day of operation was New Year’s Day 1899. Think about that: This station has been operating in 3 different centuries!

After hearing about the grand opening, which was a phenomenal story and Linda, our tour guide told it best so I’ll let you visit and hear it from her, we were brought over to a wall with various china. Before the lovely T-Shirt, souvenirs consisted of spoons, soap dishes, plates and bowls with a beautiful picture of the station on it. Our tour guide has found some of these on her own searches and a prized soap dish she found and bid on and won on E-Bay!

We then get to go outside and cross the street to see the full fa├žade of the station. We are told about the huge eagle that sits atop the station, the original clock that still has to be hand wound, how horse and buggy used to be able to enter the station to bring you to the tracks and last but not least how there used to be a track from South Station to North Station!! Yup, you read right! There was a track connecting the two stations. It was there and had been destroyed during the molasses explosion and reconstructed. However, in the 30’s the track was taken down. Who wants to see that track put back in now days? I can think of many tourists that I have over heard complaining on the orange line that would like that direct track back in.

From there, we were escorted down the escalators to see various Bonds that were blown up and hung on the wall. Back in those days people bought bonds. Now-a-days, when you buy stock, you see it on your computer screen. You don’t get a fancy bond to show you your stake in a company.

We are told fun anecdotes about the station before moving on to one of my favorite parts of the tour. If you aren’t on the tour, you most likely will never see how amazing the original ceiling once was! They were able to keep the original ceiling in the Acela Business Class Lounge. Therefore, if you aren’t traveling the Acela in first class, then you don’t have access to it. This ceiling was amazing. The entire station was once like that. However, due to storms and upkeep, most of it was replaced with a less “grandiose” ceiling similar to ones found in warehouses.  

In the Acela Lounge, we got to sit and listen for a little while about various World War stories and how many troops came through the station. It was neat to be taken back in time for a moment. When you visit a train station, you don’t realize the history that comes with it.

As we wrapped up the tour, the tour guide had one more surprise for us, She took us to the very end of track 13. It’s a vantage point rarely seen. From there, we saw the back of the eagle we started out the tour with in the front of the building! I thought this was very cool to have that sneak peek and from what I hear, they may be building over the tracks so that view may be no longer in the future so if you have a chance, check it out because it’s pretty neat.

So, if you are in Boston on a first Saturday of the month at 1pm, stop by South Station for a tour with Linda and tell her that “Girl About The Train” sent you! ;)



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Glasses Fly off Face

OK, now for today’s real post!

This morning I didn’t meet up with my fellow “Charlie’s Angel” and since I have a blister on my foot, I decided to take the T to the office instead of walk. As I am heading down to the platform, I see that the train is already there. Perfect timing! People were filing on. I see my usual entry is packed so I go one car down and there is room. Another guy piles in behind me. He turns around and sees his friend can’t make it. His friend screams “It’s ok! Go!”

The guy on the train starts to walk off of the train and as he does, the doors close slamming him on both sides of the face and throwing his glasses off of him. The guy still on the platform miraculously catches them so they A. don’t slam on the platform and shatter and B. don’t slip in the gap in between the platform and the train.

Now, separated from his glasses, he makes sure the doors stay open so he can get off the train. He hops on the platform, the doors close behind him and we were off. He is reunited with his glasses and his friend and the rest of us were on our way without too much delay.

Butterflies and Unicorns

Pictrues Courtesy of FanPop

Recently, I got a comment on here about how terrible of a person I am. I just want to set the record straight here. Clearly this blog is for entertainment purposes. Most of my posts are written pre-coffee. I am an overly nice person in real life and in fact, my husband yelled at me the other day for being “too nice” because people tend to “walk all over me”!

This blog is a way for me to vent because it blows my mind what people do in public spaces. I sit there and usually don’t say anything! I think I have only snapped ONCE in two and a half years of being a train commuter, on someone on the T and that was the other day when I seriously thought I was going to miss my stop because they were too stupid to move out of the way of the ONLY door that lets people off the train.

Clearly I am irritated that I have to sit with people that smell like cat piss, peppers, curry, onions, salami, hang-over-smell and so on. Clearly, I hate when people pluck their f*cking eyebrows next to me and dispose of them…on me! Clearly, I hate it when people have troughs of popcorn and spray it everywhere and get popcorn grease on my suede jacket and ruin it. However, I bite my tongue though because I am TOO NICE! This blog is my outlet and so many of you click on this blog because you can relate and I appreciate that you continue to see what I have to say!

It is obvious that I’d rather hop in my new Barbie Jeep and head into the city with my radio blasting and the top down. However, the traffic is horrendous and the price of parking is outrageous. So, in order to have spending money and get in and out of the city at a reasonable time, I have chosen to take the train with the good and the bad. Mostly it’s good but there are times that it’s bad and those times, get posted on my blog.

I have had some heart touching moments on the train. I write about those too. The blind leading the blind. A blind man took a visiting college student and showed her were to go! He made a great point, if he didn’t know where he was going he’d be lost in the dark! The violins at North Station in the winter time are great! I love them. The fact that I have made friends on the train and am now considered by fellow train riders “Charlie’s Angels”. However, I’d say 95% of the time, this blog is complaining. It’s sarcastic. It’s my outlet that fellow train commuters can relate to.

If you don’t take the train, you probably think I am a whiney b*tch. Or, you don’t believe me that people actually do this sh*t in public. Ohhh, but they do and that’s why I can write about it. You can’t make this sh*t up! You just can’t!

So, to those of you who read my blog and can relate to my silly experiences and can laugh at them: Thanks! I appreciate the love!

To those of you who think that I am an awful person: Life (and public transit) isn’t always butterflies and unicorns and when it’s not, I am going to point it out.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pole Leaner


Sure, you can lean your entire body on the only pole to hold on to on the T during rush hour. I don’t mind pretending that I am a surfer in order to keep my balance and hoping that the driver doesn’t slam the breaks. No problem buddy! You just keep on leaning while the rest of us surf, reach for the ceiling and assume second ballet position in order to stand. As long as you’re comfy and upright, it’s all that matters…right?

WRONG! At the second stop, after the driver slammed the breaks and I went flying at the guy in front of me who was stretched upward with his palm on the ceiling for support, I decided this pole leaner had to move. After people “rearranged” themselves because of the stop, I snuck my hand on the pole to hold on. The pole leaner looked at me as if I was the one in his personal space. I just glared and he moved over a few inches and got the hint.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We're the Charlies Angels and PS- Get Off Your Phone

I have never seen this before. It is a total reversal. Last night I got on the train with my usual girlfriend posse (We have now been deemed by various random people as “Charlie’s Angels” which, hey… I’ll take it! So clearly we are a blond, redhead and brunette trio). Any-who, as we are getting on the train, we pick up another friend, we sit somewhat staggered and three of us have aisle seats. We get into our usual conversation about what is going on in each of our lives when out of nowhere, the girl, who is on a cell phone, on the inside of a seat taps our friend and says something to the effect of “Excuse me I can’t even hear myself think!”

She then grabs her bag and moves hastily as if WE are the ones in the wrong! Um, no! We are normal people chit chatting to people in front of us. We aren’t going to sit with people we know and twiddle our thumbs until we get off the train. Not gonna happen! AND PS: since when did being on the phone trump talking to people live-in-person on the train? Pretty sure it didn’t! However, our friends ride got a little more comfy after she left and he got the entire seat to himself!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hurry Up and Wait!

Ok, this morning I sit in a three seater next to this woman that seems to be mumbling to herself. I don’t judge. I just open my book and sip my coffee. She seems to mumble all the way from North Billerica to North Station. We finally arrive in North Station. We just get over the bridge and are almost to our bay. I am still reading and sipping my coffee. We have a good minute before I have to pack up and get off the train. The woman already has her newspaper folded up and her purse on her shoulder. She stands up and says “Excuse me!” I look to my left. The line of people waiting to get out of the train is just about at our seat. I haven’t even put away my things yet but this woman is rushing me to let her out of our seat only to go stand in the aisle right next to our seat. I look at her and say “Just a minute.” Usually, when people want to be let out I just hoist my stuff up, let them out and sit back down.  However, that just didn’t make sense to me since she was gaining about 6 inches in the line. Instead of letting her out, I put my things away and zip up my bag and collect my things. As I am doing this she is huffing and puffing and really showing me how much she is annoyed. Jesus lady, we are all going to the same place and it doesn’t matter if you are in the aisle or behind me, you will get there at about the same time as if I didn’t put my sh*t away, let you out, you’d be standing, I sit back down, put my things away and then…stand up and walk out RIGHT BEHIND YOU! CHILL LADY!!

Because she is huffing and puffing, I decide I am going to take my time. By taking my time, it doesn’t sacrifice our spot in line. It just delays her from standing in the aisle. I walk down the aisle and she is right behind me. She is still huffing and puffing. Once we get on the platform she is trying to go around me. I see her out of the corner of my eye as she approaches my side. Each time she tries to pass me, just to f*ck with her because now I’m annoyed, I step right in front of her and walk slow. She tries to get around me on the other side too. Step in front of her again. Had she said to me “I am late to a meeting, do you mind letting me go?” while we were in the seat or whatever, I would have gladly let her go. However, when someone huffs and puffs at me like they are the big bad wolf, then, I’m gonna f*ck with you just for sh*ts and giggles! Especially when coffee hasn’t kicked in, I am bored and I have a pounding headache. A girl has to do, what a girl has to do to entertain herself in the morning!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stranded?

I was having a great day. We were playing “Write various Massachusetts town names down and make the new guy from the Midwest pronounce them”. It’s a fun game! Pea-Body, Wor-Ces-Ter, Glou-Cest-er… good times!

Then I get the email from the MBTA. Due to an accident the Orange line is experiences several delays! I keep getting the updates as the delays keep getting more serious. Awesome! It is torrential down pouring with a flash flood warning and I have to traipse an eighth of a mile to North Station. GREAT! I have already, kinda-sorta wrapped my head around this when I get another update from the MBTA. The Lowell line is delayed due to “police action”! GREAAAAT! That’s just lovely!

So, who thinks I am getting home at a reasonable time tonight?

Happy Friday Everyone!    

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Was the Irritated B*tch Today

This morning was a dreary, chilly morning. Instead of walking I decide to take the T. I head down to the platform and wait for the next train at North Station. The next train pulls in but it packed so I wait for the next one.

The next train comes 4 minutes later and I board the train. I notice a gramma, mother and son trio blocking the door on the other side of the train. That’s the door I have to get out of at State. I don’t think too much of it as most people with strollers know to get the hell out of the way when people are disembarking the train.

Haymarket comes and goes and then we arrive at State. I make my way towards the door and they just stand there! They now have the kid out of the stroller so the mom is holding the son that is trying to walk off the train (the only one doing the right thing here) and gramma is standing there holding the stroller and watching like a hawk their 500-bagilion pack of Huggies that is also blocking the door. I do my normal “Excuse me.” In my polite tone and they stare at me blankly. “I need to get off the train.” They still stare at me blankly and now I am pissed. These doors are gonna close soon and I will be stuck on the T one more stop and then I’ll either have to get off at another stop and take the T back to State or I’d have to walk…which was what I was trying to avoid in the first place!

My tone now changes. I am now irritated at these f*cking idiots “YOU NEED TO GET OFF, LET ME OFF AND GET BACK ON!” The mom and son get off but leave their 500 pack of f*cking Huggies in my way. I am wearing a pencil skirt so it’s not like I can just leap over it. My legs can’t spread out enough to climb over. Pencil skirts are hot but try leaping over things and it’s all over and I wasn’t about to take a spill on the train platform for everyone to see and for my freshly cleaned outfit to get filthy!

I stare at the 500 pack of Huggies. “I NEED TO GET OFF!!!!!” I scream at them. Now people behind me are getting mad. “YOU NEED TO MOVE.” Someone screams behind me. The gramma kicks the 500 pack of Huggies off the train and I plow through along with the rest of the people behind me. “Thank youuuuuuuuu” I say as I whiz by the mom and son not even sure if they even speak English at this point.

So, people…when you are on the train, I don’t care (actually no one cares) if you have a stroller or a baby. You move! You get the f*ck out of the way of a door that is THE ONLY DOOR THAT LETS PEOPLE OFF!!!!!! And also, when you purchase things that are monstrosities, like a 500-bagilion pack of Huggies, for instance, be smart enough to not take it on a rush hour train, or if your kid is out of the stroller, throw it in there. It’s common sense people! I have brought large items on the train before but I certainly did not make it anyone else’s problem.

So, what have we learned from today’s train etiquette lesson?
·         Get the f*ck out of the way
·         Don’t carry 500-bagilion packs of Huggies on rush hour trains

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Take the Freakin' Stairs!

Let’s talk about elevator etiquette shall we? Today since our front desk assistant was out of the office, I had the pleasure of running down to get our mail. We get an email stating that the mail person will be on the premises for the next twenty minutes and that we can head down stairs. Well, it is in the basement so I don’t get to take the fancy-shmancy elevator that our lovely building provides us that only stops on specified floors from the allotted elevator bank AND did I mention it will only accept a three floor max per elevator ride. I love them! Instead of these elevators, I have to take the freight elevator to obtain the mail. Since it is the freight elevator, it stops on whatever floor it needs to. I really don’t mind. I get it. Everyone is making a mad dash to the mail room. However, the one floor-ers! YES! These people legit press the button to go down one floor! REALLY? Are you that lazy? It’s not like you’re at the mall and you have a stroller! Take your able bodied self down the stairs one flight. It’s really not that hard! I promise and you’ll burn off that donut you snagged in the break room a little quicker. I’d also like to point out that this person got on at floor 7 and got off at floor 6. No one else got on. No one else got off. It was just her. So, had this person not hopped on for one floor, we would have whizzed right on by those floors. PS the freight elevator takes foreverrrrrr to open and close its doors. OH, and did I mention there is an operator in the elevator. He presses the button for you and sits there with his fan and his iphone. Not sure why he needs to be there but he is and to make himself feel important, he pushes EXTRA buttons like “stay open” and we sit there for no reason. Soooo, my friends, if you are in an office building and you need to go ONE FLOOR, take the freakin’ stairs! That is all.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Go Pluck Yourself

I don’t consider myself a germ-a-phobe at all. I have come to the realization that there are germs around me at all times on public transit and there isn’t much I can do about it aside from wash my hands when I get to the office and wash my hands when I get home. I have anti-bac in my purse for really sticky situations. I do have limitations though. And today I found one of them.

The woman next to me decided she needed to pluck her eyebrows AND her MUSTACHE while next to me. It wasn’t as if she was carefully disposing of her little tiny hairs in a napkin after plucking them either. She was doing the pluck and release…as in released them in to the air and they were taken to where ever they landed. I was gagging.

I looked over at her with my “Are you serious?” look.  She seemed to think this was perfectly normal. I slammed my book for two reasons. 1. Because I didn’t want tiny hairs in my book and then be stuck there for all of eternity. 2. I am wearing a swishy dress today from Talbots. The skirt on it is great for “twirling” (if I was 10…I think people would look at me funny if I just started twirling in the middle of the street or at the office). Since the skirt is great for twirling, it was a little spread out on the seat. I grabbed the sides and pulled them in while looking at her. She kept going.

I looked around to see if there was an open seat. The seat in front of me was a three seater and only had two men sitting in it. I was kinda hopeful but then I over hear them talking about sacrificing a goat for religious purposes. Nope! Not goin’ there. I look further and we are getting too close to North Station for empty seats so I stay next to the incessant plucker and continue gagging.

For those of you who seem to think that the train is public space turned into private space, it’s not! Here’s a rule of thumb to go by: If you can’t be seen at a restaurant doing what it is you are doing…then DON’T DO IT!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Need a Dollar So I Can Pee

This week actually HAS been boring on the train. No crazy people. Nothing interesting to report. It seems that everyone is on their best behavior (Or they have figured out who I am and are being good around me so I don’t blog about them). So, I will revert to last week in New Orleans. It has nothing to do with the train but it was interesting to observe their society.

Tipping…everyone had their hand out in New Orleans. Everyone wanted a tip…for doing NOTHING or for doing unwanted things for us! Some homeless guy told me that he takes contributions for petting his homeless dog after I stupidly just pet his homeless dog sitting in the guy’s bicycle basket. Another homeless guy tried pedaling mardi gras beads. When I decline the beads he asks me if I’m racistIt was so awkward and of course when I told him that I wasn’t racist and that I simply didn’t want the beads he started yelling in his drunken stooper. I reached for my pepper spray in my purse before just walking away.

Another night on the way to dinner a woman in a chef’s apron, holding a 40 ounce beer in a paper bag approached my husband about his shoes. She looked like she was taking a break from a restaurant. “I bet I can tell you where you bought your shoes!” she says. My husband, thinking she was just on a break plays along. “Ya, where did I get my shoes?” she starts mumbling about how she isn’t going to say what brand they are but she can tell him what state he bought the shoes in. She kneels on the sidewalk next to his feet. He is wearing brown leather flip flops. She takes out an Axe spray bottle from her apron. The Axe label is missing and she has some sort of concoction in there. She starts spraying my husband’s feet. She starts telling us how she is legit because her kids are playing down the block or some sh*t. I look down at my husband’s sandals. She just sprayed the “thong” part of his sandal and it’s showing water marks now. I look at my husband and he rolls his eyes. It took her all of thirty seconds to complete this leather ruining- Axe-polish-shoe-shine. She stands up. “I want $5 and $5.” And holds her hand out. “I am pretty sure you ruined my shoes. How about $1 and $1?” my husband says (PS they are ruined). She rolls her eyes, grabs the money out of his hand, swigs her beer and stalks off.

After all that though, this tipping experience takes the cake! We go to a Jazz bar on Frenchman. I go in to the bathroom not realizing that there is an attendant. I go into the stall and since I am about 6 feet with my heels on and the stall door is short, I can see the attendant just standing there until I sit. Awkward! I hate that! Then I realize that all I have are 20’s. This girl wasn’t getting a 20 for squirting my hand with soap and handing me a paper towel. NO WAY! After I dry my hands I say to her “I’m going to make some change. I will be right back.” She looks at me confused and throws her hand out and points to her jar “Ma’am! You tip! I need a tip!” I look at her with my jaw dropped. What the heck? Didn’t I JUST tell her I was going to make change and be right back? Maybe she doesn’t speak English? I am also floored that someone can demand a tip! I repeat myself slowly as if maybe if I slow down my words she’ll get it “Maaaking Channnge. Be right baaaack.”

I run out of the bathroom and to my husband. “Give me a dollar! Please!” I demand. The music is loud. “What?” he screams. “GIVE ME A DOLLAR!” I cry. I look up and this woman has followed me. She is keeping her distance but is staring me down and giving me the crazy eyes with her arms folded. “Oh, you have an attendant in your bathroom too.” He says.

“Yes! Thanks for the warning.” I say back. Also, keep in mind that this place isn’t a classy place. It’s kind of a hipster dive so having an attendant in the bathroom seemed a little out of place. He reaches into his pocket and gets me a dollar. I look back at the attendant that is still staring me down but now she is tapping her foot. UNREAL!

I grab the dollar out of my husband’s hand ran over to her and hand it to her. She grabs the dollar out of my hand (PS I have now researched this, proper etiquette for tipping a bathroom attendant is $1). She turns around and storms off back to the bathroom. It was kinda early in the night and so I decided that I’d nurse my martini because I didn’t want to have to pee again in the presence of that b*tch where she could potentially cast some voodoo spell on me or something.

That night we were out late. The trolley wasn’t running anymore. It was a mile and a half back to the hotel. I walked that mile and a half as quickly as I possibly could because I had to pee…soooo bad but hey, having to pee versus getting a voodoo hex cast on you while you’re peeing. Which would you choose?

Later in the week we went to another bar that had attendants. Since my husband’s bladder is weaker than mine or maybe because I was sipping 1 cosmo per every 3 beers he had…either way, he peed first. He comes out of the bathroom and says “FYI, There is an attendant in there.” I didn’t have to go but I kept it in the back of my mind to request a dollar from him before I head to the ladies room. I still only had 20’s. I am the queen of swiping my credit card. (Points! Cha-Ching! Rack ‘em up!)

The band at this place was playing some 90’s old school stuff and some top 40’s too. The crowd was really into them. Toward the end of a song I scream over to my husband “I need a dollar so I can pee!” That my friend is when the music took a brief hiatus and the people around me stared at me…not in a voodoo hex kinda way. In a “that’s hilarious” kinda way. Ya know…we’re laughing with you! My husband dies laughing. “That’s one for the books! Who would have thought you’d ever say anything like that?” he says.

Yup, that was one for the books alright and I learned my lesson. Carry some damn ones. You never know when you’ll have to pee!