Category Archives: random thoughts

Commuting Fun

Commuting from northern new jersey to new york city is always a… challenge. I often have to be somewhere (i.e. a rehearsal) at a specific time, so making train connections is critical. I frequently tell people that if it weren’t for NJ Transit, i’d be in jail for committing road rage-induced murder. Of course, NJT isn’t perfect, but some days, it’s just abysmal. Take yesterday, for
example.

On rehearsal days, I leave work between 5:10 and 5:15 to catch a 5:47 train out of Hoboken. Percussion ensemble starts at 7. I arrived at the PATH World Trade Center station around 5:22. When I arrived, people were already waiting, which means I didn’t just miss a train. Three or four minutes later, the train shows up, loads, and takes off. i should still make my connection; the ride is usually around 12 minutes.

Until the PATH train stopped.

For at least 5 minutes.

No announcement, no indication at all what was going on. As we sat in a dark tunnel, I started
getting antsy, frequently checking my phone for the time. We arrive, finally, around 5:49, obviously missing my train. I’m now pissed and anxious, as this rehearsal is one of our last. The next train home isn’t until 6:18, and I have all our music and some instruments there with my car. S made her train, but it would take too long for her to go home, pick me up, and then drive home. The only solution is a cab. Twenty-five bucks, a rather aggressive cab ride (i’ve never seen anyone hug the inner curb so tightly) and a lot of frustration later, everything worked out. But, the extra stress and overly buttery slice of pizza scarfed down on the train were quite unnecessary.

The Alaska Experiment

Is anyone watching this show on the Discovery Channel? Kind of amusing that there’s a couple from NJ on it, not very far from Casa de Fast One. Basically, it’s a reality show set in, um, Alaska.

Four groups of people have to find their lodging, then figure out how to survive the harsh winter. All of the groups have to find wood, water, and food, the last of which seems to be the most difficult part. No vegetarians here, folks. The coastal group (aside: this couple from NJ was dating five months when they started their expedition. Five. Months. I can’t imagine this is going to end well, or in matrimony…) tried to trap salmon, without much luck. The others have to shoot moose and climb a mountain to shoot goats.

Over the course of the hour, I said to S at least twice that this is not something we are ever, ever going to try.

How to feel old

  1. Book your marching band for the opening of a two-day rock concert.
  2. Peruse list of over 100 bands; find you are familiar with maybe 10.
  3. Meet with organizers night before said concert. Meet a band manager who may be barely old enough to legally purchase alcohol.
  4. Have said band (Say Anything) march with your band, with no clue who these kids are.
  5. Wear Chuck Taylors to concert solely on asphalt. Enjoy pain in feet for two days afterward.
  6. Have one of your alumni assistants ask if you are going to dye your goatee to get rid of the grey.
  7. Notice many kids who are way too young to be that drunk.
  8. Refuse to stand on line and pay $7.75 for a plastic bottle of Bud/Coors/Miller Lite, even if you are parched and at a concert.
  9. Notice that the people your age at the concert are hanging back from the crowd; they’re waiting for their kids.
  10. Realize that although it’s grey and low-50s temps, while you are layered with clothing, most people are wearing t-shirts and no jackets.
  11. See girls crowd surfing and being pulled over the fence by security guards; double-check that they’re not one of your band members.
  12. Notice that even though there are food, drink, and beer vendors, there is litter everywhere and very few garbage cans.
  13. Plan to see several bands in succession that you actually know. Stay for two (Less than Jake and MXPX).