Friday, December 3, 2010

A first...and hopefully a last

Dental hygiene never seemed so gag worthy as today...when I saw someone flossing their teeth on the L. Oooooh sick.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's the most wonderful?!?!?! time of the year.

All the heat lamps are on at each train platform. The appearance of down parkas has become the norm. The forecast mentions a chance of snow...and we're all reminded just how depressing it is to head to work in the dark.

Tis the season where I take the bus four blocks to the train because I'm too cold to walk the extra seven minutes.

It's the time of year where I sit much closer than is socially accepted no matter how crowded the train is, just to steal a little bit of warmth from my neighbor. Creepy, I know, but I seek to present you with an honest account of my CTA dealings at all times.

Pretty soon, we'll all be huddled around a heat lamp on the platform trying to avoid the cold, dark morning and remember winter doesn't last forever...just through March. Sometimes April. It's Chicago. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winter Goals

My goal is to see at least one person wearing a Snuggie on the L this winter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holy Crowds, CTA

I was reminded today how people don't actually know how to be aware of the space around them. I don't feel like I take up a significant amount of space when I'm standing...though I'm generally offered much less space than I'd like. Today I got pushed over a few times. It was weird...I'm not awake enough on my train ride in to stand my ground. Literally. I pretty much fell over.

Aside from the reminder that gravity is my enemy, I got to see this lady who annoys me to DEATH but is my favorite character of all time. I'm not sure if I've written about her before, but if I haven't, I've certainly meant to.

She is about a foot shorter than I am, never, ever smiles, and is the most aggressive CTA rider I've ever seen. In five years I've not seen anyone like this. She uses her height to her advantage and sneaks through the crowd to get right up to the front of the line to board the train, standing in the direct middle of where the doors will open. No one can get off until she gets on, and no one can get on with her, even though there is room enough for two people to board at once normally. She then plants herself as close to the doors as possible, stopping all traffic flow...because she has to be the first off the train at her stop.

It's sooooooo entertaining to watch but really irritating, too, because seriously, we're all getting on a train that has standing room only. There's not really a better standing spot. And the train isn't going to leave without you, lady. The conductor is onto you and your crazy skillz. Your determination is admirable.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Overheard on the subway

"Did you accidentally kill someone?"

Well, this is disconcerting.

My stop wasn't even next.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hippo Hats and Christina Applegate

For two days in a row, the CTA has loved me dearly. Anytime I need a bus or train, I walk up just at the perfect time to catch one. There has always been a seat or a perfect place to stand,  and it's been a leisurely and uneventful ride. Sad for my blogging, but happy for me. The CTA loves me...and that kind of freaks me out. A lot. It's like the CTA is buttering me up for something TERRIBLE. Oh man.

Today there was an old man wearing a hat with an airbrushed picture of a hippo on it. I loved that hat.

There was a lady who got on the train who looked like Christina Applegate a little. I assume she was with her mother, who also looked a little like Ms. Applegate. The daughter kept glaring at everyone around her, and at one point she grabbed her mom's hand and pointed out that she needed a manicure.

At least, that's what I assumed she said. I was at the other end of the train car, making up their conversation in my head. Maybe that's not normal to do? Oh well. Normal is relative, I suppose.

This is a side note, and only commuter related because it took place at Starbucks. I was standing in line trying not to tap my foot (I have to coach myself on acceptable behavior sometimes). The lady in front of me was ordering her beverage, and at the same time, was rearranging the gift cards that sit out front of the register. I don't think she realized she was doing it...just...compulsively rearranging these cards over and over and over again. It was strange. And now I will always think of that any time I purchase a gift card for anyone at Starbucks. "I wonder how many people have rearranged this?"

Also noteworthy: The sign on the subway for the Disney store. Their slogan: "Adventure awaits you." Someone wrote under the slogan  "in prison, so pay your taxes."

I think a valuable lesson can be learned by all. Pay your taxes. Wear a hippo hat. And, make sure to point out how desperately your mother needs a manicure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hats and Eyelash Curlers

Wearing a hat that says "American GrassFed Beef" kind of stands out in Chicago. You were an odd man, sir.

It doesn't matter that I'm a woman and have used an eyelash curler before...they are a terrifying instrument and never cease to horrify me whenever I see one being used...on the subway...with a cell phone as a mirror. My goodness, woman, get up five minutes earlier and curl your eyelashes at home. You're freakin us all out here!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It was a race

Car vs. Bike

Guess who won?

It's Chicago and King Daley (whoops. Mayor Daley) wants us all to know how bicycle friendly we are.

The bike beat us.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I don't really want to know

...why I saw a pair of men's underwear laying on the sidewalk today on the way to the train.

I just...don't...want to think about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'd like to request we ride express.

The subway was stalled for a total of 97 seconds yesterday.

This aggravated one passenger in particular.

The next time the doors opened, he stepped off the train and approached the driver.

"I'd like to request we ride express, as I am already late due to your delay."

Riding express would require skipping six other stops in the mean time.

The driver politely declined, the passenger remained disgruntled, and I was thoroughly amused.

I didn't know I was on HIS timetable today. Funny.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blind as a Bat

Eh. I didn't ride the CTA this morning, but I did hang out on the Kennedy expressway for a bit.

On the ride into work this morning, I kept asking Nathan if he could see ok to drive. It was horribly fuzzy out. Then I realized not only is "fuzzy" not an actual weather condition, but I also didn't have my contacts in. I think Nathan shook his head at me and told me to close my eyes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gum Chewers

It is socially unacceptable to put your hand next to someone's chin and say "Spit out your gum, now, please."

I reminded myself of how socially unacceptable this was when the gum chomper next to me was determined to drive me off the train.

There are worse things, I suppose...but gum chomping at 7am is pretty bad. If it's loud enough to be heard in a crowded are chewing too loud.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Overheard on the subway...

"So are you still doing the lawyer thing?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm still a lawyer. Have four kids now, too."
"Wow. Four? I have a son. He's 7. or 8. 8. Yeah. He's 8."
"My beautiful little girl is 12 now. More like...evil and angsty. That's gonna be fun."

hahahahahahaha. Ahhh dads. Speaking the truth.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Well, CTA, You Win.

You win the Rudeness Awards.
I am so disappointed in humanity today. It's so sad.

This morning, everyone on the CTA wins the Rudeness Award.
To the bus driver who called a passenger an idiot:
You, sir, win the Rudeness Award for Rude and Inappropriate Responses While on the Job.
(poor man must have pulled the emergency stop handle or something-I didn't quite see-which, is dangerous and you are not supposed to do, but it sounded like he didn't quite understand you are supposed to pull the cord by the window not the red handle above the door. He was very confused and stammered an apology before getting off the bus after the driver yelled "WHY DID YOU DO THAT, YOU IDIOT?" First of all, it is NEVER, EVER ok to call anyone a name, especially in public, and even though we seem to think in our culture that we are entitled to raise our voices anytime we please, it is selfish and rude). So congratulations bus driver. You are horrible.

To the four men directly facing a pregnant woman while seated:
You with the Rudeness Award for Didn't Your Mother Raise You Better Than That?
She had two large bags with her and was clearly pregnant. Not in the "if I offer her a seat will she be offended because she thinks I'm calling her fat?" way, but in the "if you're not pregnant, then you are hiding a basketball under your dress" way. Gentlemen, offer your seats. Guess what, even if she wasn't pregnant, it is still polite to offer your seat to a lady, especially if she has luggage with her. Your kindness would not go unnoticed and anyone who would be offended by that politeness should be disregarded and it be understood that they are not the norm. It is simply polite. And you four were looking straight at her. There is no way you couldn't have seen that she needed a seat. Come on men, step up.

To the two very tall men who felt it necessary to stretch their legs out across the aisle on the purple line:
You two win the Rudeness Award for This Is Not Your Living Room.
I know you are tall. I know you have long legs. But you need to move them so that people can properly board and exit the train.

To the exit blockers:
You win the Rudeness Award for Refusing To Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
You cause people to push and shove and raise their voices so they can get off the train thus perpetuating the trend of rudeness and the need for Rudeness Awards, just because you have forgotten to take a quick look around to see if anyone might need to get past you when you are STANDING IN FRONT OF THE DOORS.

To the truck that blew the stop sign while I was in the crosswalk:
You win the Rudeness Award for Failing to Follow the Traffic Laws.
Do they not apply to you? Do you feel it is ok to speed up when you see a pedestrian?

This year's Rudeness Award Ceremony will be conducted at Clark and Lake, as we all stand on the escalators and block the turn styles while gobs and gobs of people try to make it onto the Blue Line. I find it only fitting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

66, you are a joke

Today there were two of you, one right behind the other. The first was FULL. The second nearly passed me by, then honked the horn because I apparently didn't board the bus fast enough.

Dear Bus Driver,
I cannot board your bus until the doors are open. Don't be a jerk.

Then the Blue Line proclaimed its undying love to me today by taking much, much longer than usual. I guess the Blue Line missed me.

Oh CTA. Relationships take work. I feel I do most of it in this one, though.
Like sitting next to the smelly people.
I'll be glad when it's freezing. It acts like deodorant for those who don't actually wear it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


The last couple of days I have noticed a trend. People who stand directly in the middle of the aisle, of the platform, of the sidewalk. They are walking towards you. They make eye contact. They knowwww you are walking in their direction. They fake left, they dodge right and then...they STAND. They stand and look at you all irritated when you try to redirect and almost run into them.

Also I heard someone refer to a third party in their phone conversation (which they were yelling into their cell phone) as "Baby Doll." That was her name. Baby Doll.

The bus had to shut off the ignition and turn it back on again--happens on occasion. The person screaming into their cell phone also screamed: "The bus died. I'm about to walk." The second the bus turned off.

I was about to walk because she was screaming into her cell phone. Manners people. Manners.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This Just In:

The Chicago River is infested with alligators.

By infested I mean they found alligator #2 and have been trying to catch it.

While I doubt anyone really wants to swim in that green mess of a river....just, uh, watch out for gators??

Friday, August 20, 2010

I don't ride my bicycle

Because I am afraid I would be injured or done away with by my loving CTA.

Riding home last week on my beloved bus, I unsuspectingly took an empty seat. Innocuous enough. It was a pretty full bus, but it was the little punks who think they can't MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS that were making it so full. I sat down, and the weird guy next to me said "Why stand when you can sit, right?" Right you are, Weirdy. Right you are. He continued to awkwardly look at me periodically...and then got off of the bus one block before my street. That doesn't make me uncomfortable at all. I just love when I learn weird people live in my neighborhood.

As you have probably noticed...the things that weird me out are probably just every day occurrences that I happen to over dramatize. So what? My life is far more entertaining this way.

This morning I was in a car (*gasp!* I will write my apology letter to the CTA and the environment later [ha. al gore. ha]. But considering the CTA and I have a very unhealthy and co dependent relationship, I don't feel the least bit guilty about it) and I saw a gentleman waiting for a bus. I use the term "gentleman" loosely.

He was probably 21, nice looking, khaki shorts, polo...nothing too out of the ordinary....until I saw him pulling at a wedgie (classy, I know. I shudder to type that word...wedgie...but there's really no other way to put it, and the story simply must be told) and noticed he was wearing white socks with his adidas athletic sandals. Ohmygoodnesswholetyououtofthehouselikethat????

Poor guy. Probably thought I was staring at him for totally different reasons.

A special thank you to Postcards for letting me chill out on their blogroll. I'm not tech savvy enough to make it really evident that I'm following them as a blogger, so here is a plug for them as a thank you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dirty looks

I've said this before. I don't like drive-by-parenting...and I don't like dirty looks on the train.
I was being herded through the Loop with the cattle headed toward the Metra. Everyone is headed the same direction, except the one very tall gentleman in the fedora playing the clarinet. That was odd, but lovely. Good job, my friend. Well done.

As I head to the platform, I see the cattle, erm, passengers are waiting patiently (read: swearing, pushing, and shoving. Their kindergarten teachers would be so mortified) for the train. It was a minute or two late, so once it got there the cattle, erm, passengers spontaneously morphed into a swarm of bees and began loading the train. Despite my undying love for crowded, hot, and sticky train platforms in the middle of summer, I navigated my way to a less crowded car.

Thank you, beautiful man who sat next to me for the first eight stops. You were pleasant to sit next to, even if we both were listening to our iPods.

I selected my playlist for the ride, and at some point, some children made their way to the seat behind me and were playing their nintendo something or other (I don't know what the kids call them these days...we had a SEGA genesis growing up and that's about as cool as we got). I noticed the lady in front of me was quite disturbed there were children in this car. "Can they not see this is the ADULTS ONLY car? Did their mother not teach them children should be neither seen nor heard?" she mumbled under her breath. (Ok that is not true, but doesn't it make you hate her anyway? I knowwwww she was thinking it).

I must have been pressing too hard on the seat in front of me with my knees. I've got long legs. It's not my fault. Anyway, I barely brushed the seat in front of me and the lady immediately spun her head around exorcist style and gave me a look that could kill anyone in a twenty mile radius. As she turned back around and I tried to keep from imagining the ways I could irritate her further, Mr. Beautiful next to me started cracking up as soon as he saw me laugh at the lady ahead. Thank you, Mr. Beautiful, for laughing with me through this awkward and unnecessary interaction.

It's nothing a little Cake can't fix. The band, not the tasty treat.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just because you can...

...Doesn't mean you should.

Riding the bus last night to meet some friends for dinner, I innocently turn my head to look at the back of the bus, because I like to be aware of my surroundings.

I accidentally make eye contact with a stranger (I try not to...)

He winked at me.

Awkward. Uncomfortable. Heart racing (not in the "I'm so flattered!" way, in the "I'm gonna die, I just know it." way). Breaths shortening. Anxiety rising.

My stop is up.

He follows me off the bus.

I pull out my cell phone. "Jon! Either you or your wife needs to let me in your apartment NOW. Please. Just. Be. There. Right. Now. Thanks."

Crisis averted.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I can't believe I just saw that!

I saw a gentleman on the bus today. He was wearing a jean jacket vest. I call it a jean jacket vest because it was clear it used to be a jean jacket, but he had modified it to fit his personality by cutting off the sleeves. He had full tattoo sleeves. He also had a mullet like I had never seen before. A mullet...complete with dreadlocks. Kill me now.

There is a girl that rides my bus every morning. She needs to set her alarm for five minutes earlier. I wouldn't normally comment on people who rush or run late because I am perpetually five minutes late everywhere I go, but this is a little ridiculous. She runs like mad up to the bus, often flagging it down in between stops. She then THROWS her giant handbag on the floor of the bus, crouches down to dig for her wallet, then tries to steady herself while the bus pulls away and she searches for her CTA card. She then walks down the aisle, plops into a seat breathing heavily with her mouth open, and proceeds to put on way too much makeup to look natural. She really stresses me out. Just watching the ordeal every morning sends me into a slight panic.

Speaking of slight panic...I switched my route around again because I am just as easily bored as I am entertained. When I go to switch lines, there are always two ladies outside the station handing out Red Eye papers. I say "handing out" when I really mean hurling them at people or standing directly in front of them forcing them to take a red eye paper with them. Now, I enjoy the publication as much as the next girl, but at 7:15 in the morning, I can't handle someone shoving a paper into my hands while I'm digging for my CTA card. Listen, you scary ladies, I'll take a red eye when I get off at my stop. You freak me out too much. Good luck.

Last but not least....I saw a man today whose pants were not covering what they were supposed to cover. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thank you for medicating

Do you remember this gentleman?
Guess who made a surprise appearance on the 76 bus this morning?
He assured me he had taken his medication this morning.
How delightful.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

To the gentleman next to me

It really weirds me out that you were pulling out your beard. That is all. Good night, sir.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rocking out to your own soundtrack

Today, this adorable dude on the bus decided he was going to have his very own dance party. He had his headphones in and it went a little something like this:
"So I put my hands up
They're playing my song,
And the butterflies fly away
Noddin' my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,
And I got my hands up,
They're playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party on the CTA
Yeah, It's a party on the CTA"

Just sayin' my aware of your surroundings...
or...I'm glad you're that confident in yourself. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010


She said, as the conductor announced we would be standing for two or three minutes. She doesn't have time to wait two or three minutes on the train. I feel sorry for her, she must never get a break. It's two minutes.

Today was awesome band t shirt day. I saw someone wearing a Pedro the Lion shirt this morning and thought, "This is great! I love that band! No one really knows them anymore!" and then, just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I saw someone wearing a shirt that said "The Decemberists." Amazing. That just doesn't happen.

Today as I took a rare seat on the train on my way into work this morning, I noticed a raisin on my seat. How happy I was that I noticed the raisin...that would have been a tragic. . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In my list of reasons for not riding the bus at 10am on a Wednesday:

The following conversation took place between a man...and himself.

"Sometimes the medication I'm on makes me drowsy. I can't take naps. Napping isn't good. It throws off your sleep schedule. My father used to take naps on Sundays after dinner. It's not good to go to sleep with your belly full. It all turns to fat. All these people eat big meals and then go to sleep. Nothing but blubber. BLUBBER! Before you know it you're as big as a house. Please don't hit me in the face!"

That's about as much context as I can give you, it was that priceless.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I could have reported about myself

On Sunday there was quite a long wait for the Blue I had just stopped at CVS and bought some new nailpolish, I made use of the time.

The girl painting her nails at the (insert Blue Line stop of your choice) on Sunday? That was me. I'm not ashamed of it one bit.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I still don't know how to inform somebody of the status of their unzipped zipper.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I spotted my lovely friend in the same train car that I was in on my way home from work.
Our conversation via text message across the crowded car was priceless, and went as follows:

Me:The guy in the white shirt to your left is a total looker
A:The one who is trying to elbow my eye out? Duuuuuude. Watch it.
Me:Hot, but dumb? 
A:Nope. Flat buns.

A:Not butt. But dumb. Disregard me.
A:He's much to fidgety
Me: Bahahaha he just picked his nose. Also, someone stepped on my sandal resulting in bare foot on the subway. Resisting panic. . .
A: Breathe in. Breathe out. Namaste.
Me: Aaaand he caught me smiling. Little does he know, he's my next blog.
A: Nose picker, you will not be missed.
Me: Best blue line ride in a long time. 
A: Our powers combined, me thinks.
Me: For sure. It's amazing the whole transit system hasn't exploded. our wordless magnetism that beckons the strange is pretty powerful.

It also might be foot freak out day on the L. I accidentally bumped somebody's leg with my foot today as I was getting ready to get up from my seat. I was wearing flip flops...he was wearing shorts. Bare foot+bare leg=a whole lot of neurotic freak outs that had to be stifled as I ran out of the train car so I wouldn't have to think about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cattle and gum chewers

The urge to say "mmmmoooooo" strikes me in overwhelming capacity occasionally at Clark and Lake. I can only move as quickly as the person in front of me, so please, stop crowding me. You make me nervous. I realize odd thing stress me out. Someone right on my heels at the escalator is one of those things.

Also, at risk of sounding like your mother or 2nd grade teacher, allow me to ask you something.
"Where did you get that gum? Why are you chewing it like a cow? Were you born in a barn? Did you know it is very, very rude to chew with your mouth open, even if it is chewing gum?"

Grossity-gross gross. I have this problem with sounds. Loud chewing is one of those. The others include clicking noises, smacking (i.e. chewing with your mouth open), "fat" noises (you would know it if you heard sounds like something akin to what a vat of mayonnaise would sound like if it could speak, or stirring a pot of macaroni and cheese) and nail clipping. I encounter all of these on the train. I AM NOT NEUROTIC. Ok. I know that I am. But it's an endearing sort of crazy. I don't expect people to cater to these tendencies, I'm only letting you see a brief glimpse of things that make me shudder.

All that to say....PLEASE stop smacking your gum. //end rant that exposes my bent towards psychosis. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Intentional, Or Typo?

A tattoo I saw this morning on my way into work:
"In loving memory of Boobie."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Man Space

I'm a little tired of dudes taking up one and a half seats. It's like a snuggle fest on the train every day. In the winter I was fine with this...I know it's a tad creepy, but seriously, Chicago winters are brutal and I'll take extra warmth wherever I can find it. Pretty soon though our temps are going to top out at 80 and 90 degrees, and I don't want to smell test everyone's deodorant just because some dude has decided to be selfish with the seats.

Like today, for example.

I haven't ever sat that close to somebody I wasn't dating.

Does this mean we're dating now, random Blue Line stranger? Because if it does, I'm really, really confused.

Ok that makes no sense at all, but I'm trying to make a point. Putting your red eye on the seat next to you does not work like those jerkfaces who take up four parking spots at Target because they don't want their nice new Escalade or whatever you kids are driving these days to get a lil scratch on it. You can't claim two for you and one for your newspaper...

Also, last week a gentleman told me he was the ugliest king of the mountain, and then asked me to join his club. I'm still baffled as to how I should have responded. . . But it was the highlight of my commuting experience!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Missed Connections

Occasionally I browse the "Missed Connections" files on Craig's List. Good old fashioned stalking never hurt anyone, right? I mean, MC is a place for people to profess their undying love and allow themselves to think for a moment that their very own missed connection peruses these files in hopes of finding that one person who stared at them inappropriately in Starbucks the other day, because clearly, it's a moment worthy of a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie remake.

Get real.

Although today, I felt as though I was becoming someone's missed connection on my way home.

Here is what I expect to find later tonight on MC.

"Brown line-loop-m4w
I saw you as you got on the train at (insert stop here). Our eyes met. You looked away quickly, but then gave me a half smile. I know you are probably shy, but I think we have something.
You were wearing (lavish compliment describing my amazing coat that I love) and carrying your (bold color description) handbag. You have lovely (exotic description of my eye color) and your hair reminded me of (strange reference to an obscure actress's hairstyle). I'm sure you were just getting off of work, we are all ready for the weekend.

You'll probably never read this, but I'd like to see your smile again. Message me and tell me what I was wearing. I know it's the beginning of true love."

Then you'll see:
"Re: Brown line-loop
I saw you too. I didn't sit next to you on purpose. You weren't bad looking or anything, but I didn't like your insistent eye contact and full smile. I half smiled because I didn't want to be rude. I'm buying a new coat now, and will no longer carry that handbag. You're in luck because this weekend I'm visiting my eye doctor and getting colored contacts. I plan to stop by the hair salon immediately after. I was getting off of work, but I'm changing my hours, my place of employment, and my route. Yes, we are all ready for the weekend.

I only read this for entertainment. If I see your smile again, I'll have nightmares. I don't remember what you were wearing because I'm not creepy. It's not true love, I don't love you.

Have a great weekend!"

Yeah. I'm pretty sure it would go a little something like that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get rid of those sideburns.

Mutton chops haven't been in for a very long time, so get rid of those sideburns please.

That means you, strange person with hair down to your elbows and really awkward sideburns. I don't understand why you kept looking my direction. I only made eye contact to remind you that I was not afraid of you, not because I wanted you to ask for my number. Thank you, though, for not asking for my number.

And yes, I saw you look through the window after you got off the train, and you still creeped me out. Ugh. You live in my neighborhood too. Awesome. Awesome.

Get rid of the sideburns. No one can take you seriously.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I can't believe I forgot to mention...

Dear Mr. Fitness Man:
Don't worry. I see you. You in your cut off tshirt with the name of your gym across the front. You carrying your gym bag and wearing adidas running pants. You and your shiny white sneakers.

Mr. Fitness Man. I see you are trying to flex your biceps as you walk past. That's ok, but that's not the distraction. The distraction, my dear sir, is that you just spit in front of me.

That really grosses me out. It doesn't make you more manly, or cool. It spreads diseases and your mother would be ashamed of you.

I wish I could repeat to you the conversation I overheard today on the train, but it goes against my own moral code to relay the information. Let's just say it was crazy and shocking.

Today the train was already crowded before 7am. I am also having problems with my CTA card again. I think they just don't like me...but it could be that I'm too non-confrontational to speak up. Lamesauce. (Yes, I know that phrase is lame, but I've started using it a lot, get used to it).

There was a gentleman on the Blue line this morning with a cup of coffee in hand. That didn't strike me as abnormal, but what did tip me off to his slight lack of social awareness when we made eye contact and he got all bug eyed. It was weird, and I think maybe he had way too much caffeine already, or I had not enough caffeine at all, but, sir, your bug eyed glances were not welcome.

The advantage to speaking another language or two other than English is that you can understand multiple conversations when people think you're clueless. I enjoy this. It's mildly unethical, and most certainly rude, but I do enjoy a little eavesdropping now and again.

Today the ratio of normal to crazy was very disproportionate. Very. In favor of the crazies.

In other news....yesterday I saw the Pirate man again. I really wanted to stay on the train so I could stare at him...but again, that's rude, and really creepy, and I needed to get home.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today I saw a girl carrying a duffel bag that weighed as much as she did, a pillow, and a smaller messenger bag. I felt really bad for her.

I did not feel bad for the guy wearing the crocheted Pikachu ski cap. No sympathy. That was your own choice, man.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A breakup letter (apologies in advance for taking this too far)

Dear CTA,
I'm not sure we can be together anymore. After the way you've been treating me the last few days, I have to seriously reconsider my options.

Your customers have been standing on my feet, as though I'm invisible, and yet, you do nothing.

You send me letters scolding me for my behavior. It's not like I'm cheating on you, CTA, you didn't recognize my card. It's not nice of you to fly off the handle like that.

You are becoming more and more unreliable, your hygiene is questionable, and don't get me started on your dreams to be a roller coaster. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll lose my breakfast before I get to Damen.

All of that I thought I could live with. "I'll give you another chance, these cutbacks are tough on everyone. It will just take getting used to," I said. We've had four years together, CTA. Four years of my life where the majority of my travel has been with you. I can't help but think you've forgotten all we've been through. I really was hoping for the best, CTA. I had faith in you, faith in my tax dollars, and faith in the city of Chicago that truly, you would be a better CTA in time. I even filled out my census forms for you.

CTA, I was prepared to give you chance after chance. This evening though, when I really needed you, you weren't there.

You left me out in the cold for nearly an hour. It was during rush hour, when service is not supposed to be noticeably less frequent. You drove past me twice. Surely there was room for ONE more person, just one more, but no, you chose to ignore me. What's worse is there was no alternative other than to wait on you. My only other choice would have been to walk for fifteen minutes, then go back down to the loop, only to come back another 4 miles west and walk another fifteen minutes until I finally got home. Surely you didn't want me to do that...did you? You ignored me!

I take that back. You didn't ignore me. I did hear the horn on the bus beep twice as it sped past me. Thanks for the shout out, CTA. That's not salt in the wound at all.

I don't think I've ever cried over waiting for a bus, and I like to think I'm not one of "those" girls who cries every time something doesn't go their way...but you know what CTA? Congratulations. You made me cry tonight, and that is where I draw the line.You don't even care. The tears were wasted...and frozen in this stupid weather.

CTA, I wish I could make a clean break. I wish I didn't have to rely on you. CTA, I wish you were better for me. I've come to trust you, to rely on you, to enjoy time spent with you. The fact is CTA, I can't go through with this break up letter. I need you.

I'd like to think you need me, I'll go on believing that for now.

Yours truly (and reluctantly),

Scolded by the CTA

We all know how I feel about drive by parenting...but the CTA has stepped it up a notch.

Yesterday I talked about how the gate locked up on me and I had to run my card through twice. Not a big deal...or so I thought. I received this email from the CTA about my card, and a feature I apparently activated, along with a strong reprimand (or so I read into it, because it makes things more fun that way).

" You recently used the passback feature of Chicago Card Plus. This feature allowed your Chicago Card Plus card to pay the fares of up to seven customers at the same time. The pre-tax dollars reloaded to your account, however, are meant to be used by you only during your commute to and from work. If you would like to continue to use the passback feature you must assign a credit card to your account."

Snooty emphasis to be placed on the phrase "The pre-tax dollars reloaded to your account, however..." Ok. Duh. I know. Blah blah blah it's only for me. I am not nice enough to pay my friends' fares anyhow. How about this:

"You recently forced me to inadvertently use a feature on my Chicago Card Plus that I did not know existed. I do not desire to pay the fares of up to seven customers at the same time. The pre-tax dollars reloaded to my account are, in fact, used for my commute to and from work. I would not like to use the passback feature. I expect my monthly pass to offer me unlimited transit throughout the month, and I would prefer not to get alarmist emails scolding me for using your rail system. Stop eating my money, get your turnstiles working, and we won't have this problem ever again."

I'm going to start drafting my breakup letter to the CTA. Then I'm going to move to Milwaukee.

(Like that's ever going to happen. I'm definitely addicted to the dysfunctional CTA relationship).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A little bit about me

This morning, the card reader didn't read my card...but it beeped like it I tried to walk forward...and slammed into a locked turnstile. Thanks for the bruise.

Someone decided they had to stand where I was standing. When you picture this...picture someone looking at the spot where I am standing, ignoring all other space around them, and then choosing to be as close to where I am standing as possible without actually standing on my feet. And he had some weird nasty post nasal drip thing going on so he was literally sniffling IN MY EAR. EEEEEEK! Poor me.

Then I tripped up the escalator.

I just want you all to know I am not exempt from the mockery in these pages. I can mock myself as well.

Today I saw a girl crocheting a scarf. Go her.
I saw a man carrying a folding chair on a suitcase with him. That was strange.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A list of why

Why do college boys always have the worst hygiene?
Why does Axe body spray insist on marketing itself as a shower alternative?
Why was there a bumper on the sidewalk next to someone's flower garden?
Why are there so many lawn gnomes in my neighborhood?
Why is Tuesday the worst day to ride the L?
Why do people forget their manners so quickly when it comes to exiting the train?
Why did no one offer the poor guy with the cast on his leg a seat?
Why is it so cold?
Why are there crocuses blooming next to poinsettias?
Why were the poinsettias plastic?
Why does this person have plastic poinsettias?
Why is the half french braid girl friends with unibrow dude?
Why do I not know what Lady Gaga REALLY looks like?
Why is there a bright orange desk decorated with an old printer doubling as a flower vase on the roof next to a platform?
Oh CTA, so many unanswered questions.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Teal socks are in!

They are! They are! (Though I will never wear them).

Someone was wearing 80s style high top sneakers (ahem, Zach Morris) and sunglasses I swear I've seen Usher wear. Nevermind that this was not only in the subway, but also before the sun was actually up. Fashion statement made.

Today's soundtrack was brought to us by the 19 year old with impending hearing loss in the near future standing by the door.

I am not impressed by men who remove their shoes on the train, nor am I impressed by men with far too much hair product in their hair and their collared shirts unbuttoned just enough to see a cascade of chest hair. Way too early in the morning for that.

I do not envy the lady who had to bring her cello on the train with her this morning. That would stress me out.

My stop smelled like chocolate this morning. Thank you, Blommer Chocolate Factory for spreading your goodness throughout the downtown area. What a way to start a Friday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I see the same two high school girls every morning. One member of the pair always has a french braid in her hair...only it looks like she got tired of braiding halfway through. I suppose it would be more appropriate to say she has half a french braid in her hair.

On channel 5 news this morning (which I watch religiously because I definitely have a minor crush on one of the morning news anchors, and the weather man is quirky yet lovable--like your uncle at thanksgiving dinner), one of the headlines was "CTA plans to save money by cleaning buses less often."

Tomorrow's headline will read "Purell sales in Chicago skyrocket after population gets grossed out by bus sanitation." Ew, CTA, ew. Blech.

How does one politely inform a fellow CTA rider that their zipper on their pants isn't zipped up? It's an awkward situation for all. How did you happen to notice the zipper? Who are you anyway? Where can I zip my zipper discreetly? There is no comfortable answer to this.

I think I mentioned a lady a while back who has grown children and is now going back to school. Her husband invented something for KitchenAid but she stayed home for the kids, etc. etc. She's in culinary school now. She carries knives with her everywhere. That's unsettling.

Spring is here for the next couple days at least. The NBC 5 weatherman says it's supposed to snow this weekend but I won't let that steal my joy. Commuting in warm weather is much more enjoyable...even if the buses aren't cleaned as often anymore. (Shudder).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The soundtrack of the CTA

When I am not listening to other people's conversations (discreetly of course), or to the operator remind us not to try and board as the doors are closing, I try to play "name that tune" with people's headphones. After I get past the initial sadness for them that they will lose their hearing by the time they are 40, I silently thank them for playing their music loud enough for me to enjoy.

I'm pretty sure I heard Tilly and the Wall yesterday, which shocks me. Excellent taste, my unsuspecting music provider, excellent taste!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maybe I'm a little OCD

Good morning, Chicago. It's actually a beautiful (but chilly) day, and I'm happy for that.

Remember a while back when I spoke about drive by parenting? Reread if you must...
It happened again this morning, only I was an innocent bystander unable to express my sympathy for the poor kid who was parented.

It was crowded, of course, and this kid who is no more than 13 or 14 was standing on the train trying to let more people on but also trying to keep his spot. Apparently his foot was too close to the door or something, because a man from the other side of the partition yelled "DON'T PUT YOUR FOOT THERE!"

Awwwww. That was completely unnecessary. Poor thing.
The worst part was that the man then looked around at all the riders who were now eying him in shock, rolled his eyes, shrugged and acted as if he was perfectly justified and we should all be agreeing with his anger. Wow. Relax.

In other news, I'm certain my OCD has kicked back in. My newest frustration? People who breathe with their mouths open on the train in close proximity to me.

Take for example this morning, when some dude breathed his nasty morning breath all over my hand through the first two stops. I moved and was fine for a couple of minutes...until he moved...and resumed breathing on my hand.

It just really grossed me out. I'm sorry if that's weird.

Side note: Dear girl who was standing on the super narrow escalators this morning. I hope it made you self conscious that so many people were trying to get around you this morning. It's ok to stand on an escalator when it is wide enough for two lanes of traffic, but when it's only wide enough for one at one of the busiest stops in the Loop, maybe...just should take the elevator instead? Kthanks.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm all for St. Patrick's Day and the parade (which was today, for those of you who live in a dark corner of the world that has absolutely no fun ever and didn't know that was the deal today). It was cold. And rainy. And this crazy dude tried to pick a fight with the person standing in front of him because he once stood where this new person was now standing blah blah blah it was dumb (not the parade, the almost fight. Awkward).

That's not what I'm here to discuss.

I'm talking about the sea of green on the blue line today. The group of 17 year olds wearing shamrocks on their faces and giggling like...well...17 year olds.

Oh, I'm also talking about the GIANT GREEN PONCHO.

I'm all for celebrating. It's fun. But to the wearer of the green poncho--don't you think you went a little overboard?

Probably not...I later saw a man wearing a glittered shamrock headband.

All in all it was a pretty fantastic day to peoplewatch on the CTA.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Blue Line and My Own Suspicion

I love the smell of the Blue Line in the morning (not).

This morning as I boarded my train, there was standing room only--which is pretty normal and doesn't bother me at all. As I find a place to plant my feet, I settle in for a normal morning commute. Nothing different about that.

A man sitting in the seat next to where I was standing looked up at me and offered me his seat. I was stunned. This was so polite! It's a Monday morning! Bless his little commuter heart, what a gentleman. As I sat though, I grew suspicious about his motives.

Perhaps he was just being considerate and his mother raised him right.
Perhaps he thought I was elderly (most likely not).
*Gasp* Perhaps he thought I was an expectant mother!!!!! (Ohhhh I hope that's not the case....)
No, no, it can't be any of these things.
Then it dawned on me....
The train smelled particularly strong...maybe the seat he was sitting in was the source! Oh no. What a way for my Monday to start.

Cautiously I placed my hand on the seat trying to determine if I should move.

As it turns out...I have an overactive imagination and he really was just being kind. Go figure.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you, Casimir Pulaski

Though I'm not entirely certain what you did (I should look it up in Wikipedia...I will eventually), I really appreciate what you're doing for me today (as it really is all about me...shudder...I'm not that self-centered, I promise). Commute took 15 minutes less. Most importantly...there was no line at Starbucks. Thank you, Casimir Pulaski.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nuggets of wisdom

Two things:
Do NOT make eye contact with the person talking to their self. Do NOT pass go, and do NOT collect $200.

CTA time is like dog years. Multiply your minutes by seven....or something like that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lies. All lies. (Standard text messaging fees apply).

CTA Bustracker, you are a liar. You fill me with hope that I've timed my route just perfectly in the morning, and then pull the rug out from under me when I hit "refresh." Do not tell me my bus will be here in ten minutes if it really is going to show up in four.

Lies lies lies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fashion Forward

Before I begin: there is one time when it is o.k. to have a backpack. When that back pack is actually a child carrier and your child is the cutest little kid I've ever seen, it's totally acceptable.

O.k. I have to tell you about the fashion show on the bus today.
Two girls. 80s rock star hair. side was short, the other was long and it was hot pink. It was amazing.

Also, a lady wearing a fur coat and fur hat. I actually thought the hat was part of her hair and I gasped audibly...then I realized it was a hat. Didn't change my reaction.

Finally (and at first I didn't realize how odd this was, because in my hometown, people shop at Farm and Fleet and that's totally acceptable attire for going out...) a man in a one piece snow suit...that was hunting camouflaged. Didn't know there were so many deer on the CTA????

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday with Marlo Thomas

First, the bus driver smiled and said "Hi" this morning. Mission. Accomplished.

There was a man on the bus today having a very lively conversation with himself. He talked about girls who drive sexy cars (like a Sierra pick up truck...not kidding). He talked about all the pretty girls on the bus. He also talked about Marlo Thomas, rattling off a stream of facts about her.

I just looked her up on Wikipedia. He was right on with everything he said. Soooo Random.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sorry to be polite...

I really miss "my" bus driver. She was nice. She said good morning. She was really cheerful and I looked forward to riding her bus.

Lately (save this morning, because it was a different bus) the bus driver will not even make eye contact with me let alone smile.

What's a girl to do?

Smile bigger and cheerier. I'll either win by getting him to say good morning to me...or annoy him so badly that he doesn't let me on the bus. Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"I hope that's not all you got her for Valentine's day!"

Riding the bus this morning, the driver said "Happy Valentine's Day" to me. Awww. How sweet. He talked to himself as he drove though, which took away a little bit of the warm fuzzies...

A gentleman who had obviously done some of his grocery shopping this morning was on the bus. A lady boarded and commented, "Toilet paper!" (He had a large package of tp with him...) As if that weren't crazy enough...she proceeded to say "I just LOVE toilet paper."


She followed it with "I hope that's not all you bought her for Valentine's day!"

Two stops later she left. But she LOVES toilet paper...


Sometimes, I use the CTA as a place to "window shop."

Tonight I saw a really great handbag and a pair of shoes I simply cannot live without, all thanks to the CTA.

Don't worry, by "cannot live without" I mean "I think those are really cute!" not "I think I'll take those from the people who actually own them."

Didn't want to confuse anyone. I'm not the one they make the "See something, say something" posters about. I PROMISE.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Buy a shovel...or a pair of skates

I have learned many valuable things this winter. I would like to share them with you.

1. Wearing a coat that could double as a sleeping bag is brilliant, no matter how ugly it makes you feel.
2. Long underwear. Enough said.
3. Some bus drivers are nicer than others.
4. When the CTA said they were going to cut schedules...they meant it.
5. CTA updates by text are convenient, but bring out the neurotic tendencies in me.
6. When it snows in Chicago, it REALLY snows.
7. Chicago does not value clearing the roads
8. Sometimes, a snowbank that looks harmless enough will soak you clear up to your knees.
9. Have I mentioned Chicago doesn't plow?
10. If the sidewalks aren't cleared soon, they are going to ice over until March. I'm investing in some skates.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Family Reunion

First of all, a PSA for the CTA riders:
If you're wearing a backpack BE SELF AWARE. Don't hit people in the face. They won't say anything, but they'll blog about it later.
//end PSA.

"Excuse me, sir?" The lady sitting in the very first seat on the bus said as she tugged on his coat.

He was a very tall man, bundled up for the 12 degree weather (At least it's double digits today). "Yes?" He was a little confused, and like most CTA riders, didn't really plan on engaging in conversation with strangers on the bus.

"You look just like my brother!" She exclaimed, over and over. "You look just like my brother, Adam. You look just like my brother. I'm going to see him in a week. Bye!"

Strange enough.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You think your life is bad?

I carried a gallon of milk home tonight in this ridiculous snow. The bus was a little bit crowded...some lady with pink hair tried to push me out of my seat...things like that. I was throwing myself a little pity party (my boots soaked through, my mascara was running, I looked pitiful, etc. etc. boo hoo hoo) until..........

I saw a man get on the bus carrying three bowling balls.

He wins.

I will never whine about the commute again. Things could be worse.

2 Days After the CTA Apocalypse

Two days after what sounded like the CTA is my recap.

(I will need to preface with this: The last time I lived in a city other than Chicago was outside the United States. The public transit system changed frequently. "Why, however did they handle it?" you might ask. I will tell you.

Everyone went on strike. The city stopped moving, and you just didn't get very far if you had to rely on public transportation.

My perspective might be a little different on these CTA cuts...because...well...everything still runs, however inconvenient the schedule may be.)

Sunday was a little boring. By boring I mean...waiting for forever for the bus was really boring. At least there was sun.

Monday I left ten minutes early after hovering over Bus Tracker while I got ready for work. I arrived at work early, and even had a place to sit on the bus and train. I thought to myself "This won't be so bad."

I boarded the train Monday evening and everything was as normal as could be. (Normal is relative, this you should all know already). I even exited the train to walk right up to the bus I needed! That NEVER happens! "Maybe the CTA is working in my favor and now LOVES me," I thought.

Then I actually boarded the bus. It was the most awkward bus I'd seen. It had one bench seat facing opposite of everything else. It was the only seat, and the standing room was crowded, so I took it.

Big. Mistake.

I wound up staring at about six people with no good place to look. It was unfortunate. I turned so I was facing the aisle, and just when I thought things couldn't get any more uncomfortable...

...The man next to me put his arm around my shoulder.

I took the next available seat immediately.

Ew. Ew. Ew.

This morning I heard on the news that CTA was recommending we leave 45-60 minutes early for our commute.

I don't get up in time to leave that early. I left ten minutes early.

The bus was packed before 7, which wouldn't be an issue if I hadn't: (multiple choice question to follow...)
a)Given up caffeine this week
b)been hit in the face with an elbow
c)been hit in the face in a backpack
d)been hit in the face with an umbrella
e)all of the above

For those of you who also suffer from option "a" the correct answer to the multiple choice problem is e)all of the above.


Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ahoy, Mateys!


He had a silver hoop earring in his ear.
A gigantic black marble ring on his ring finger.
Small wire rimmed glasses.
A Colonel Sanders style beard and mustache. (You remember my mild obsession of mustaches, right?)
A bandana on his head.
A peg leg.

Ok the last two were made up...but the first part of that list was unembellished and I thought I was going to be caught staring. It was just too good to be true. A pirate!!

"A pirate!" Sang the guy next to me. Yes. Next to me. Sang. He was reading out of two books: The First Book of Tenor Solos and The Operatic Anthology. And as he read, he read aloud, singing softly. Understudy? Wannabe? Or did I just sit next to the next great opera singer of our time? I may never know, as at times I find myself terribly uncultured. I do, after all, find commuting to be good entertainment.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Now, a catalog of readers on public transportation (non-exhaustive, of course).

Red Eye Readers: It's convenient. It's free. It's snarky. It reports on the Jonas Brothers and Obama, covering a wide spectrum of celebs we all hate to admit we love. A majority of readers on CTA belong in the RER category. The crosswords make me feel smart, the Sudoku puzzle sometimes makes me want to cry, but overall this is the category I fall into as well. 

Wall Street Journal Readers (and readers of other prestigious publications) : We get it. You work in the Loop, probably live in a random North Suburb, and consider the commute ample time to catch up on work emails and other various office related activities. You also have a crackberry of sorts. 

Smart Phone Readers: I don't know what you're reading...but you're probably posting on Facebook or Twitter about the weird girl next to you who is trying to figure out what you're reading. Sorry about that. 

Kindle Readers: They are cool, really cool, but I'm just not sold. I really like paper. Does that make me anti-environment? I hope not. I just like simplicity sometimes. 

Chicken Soup Readers: These people read inspirational stories for their soul---not religious literature of any sort, but quaint little anecdotes about people's lives that make them feel better about their own. 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Readers: They read books with provocative and slightly confusing titles. They make me want to go right out and read exactly what they are reading because they are cool and I want to be just like them (yes, this still works even though high school was years ago). Typically these readers look like Urban Outfitters models and have fingerless gloves.

Bestseller Readers: They belong to Oprah's book club. Enough said. 

The "I don't care what you think; I'm reading it because I enjoy it" Readers: The best kind. Go you. Keep up the good work. Read good books, it's good for you. 

Twilight Readers: I cannot even comment on it. Most of them are women nearing middle age. Ok. That's all. I can't comment anymore on it. 

People Readers: Me. Well. People watcher.

I think I might start compiling a list of book titles I see on the train and bus. I might even be inspired to finish the copy of Brave New World sitting on my desk. Don't get me wrong, I love to read. I'm actually always looking for new books...which is why I'm going to start taking unintentional recommendations from the good patrons of the CTA. 

Happy commuting!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The CTA is gonna change in a week...

And here's how I feel about it:

A typical morning starts with my 7am trip to the bus, and then connecting to the Brown Line about a half an hour later. I just have to mention this: I absolutely love the driver; I want to put her on my Christmas card list. She is quite possibly the nicest, most considerate CTA worker I’ve ever seen, and at 7 in the morning, too! I’m worried I won’t get to ride her bus anymore after the route schedule changes.  Sorry for sounding so sappy, but you CTA riders know how rare a find this is!

I am actually concerned about is the cattle car/sardine can situation on the L. Unfortunately, everyone in Chicago seems to start work at the same time. Equally as unfortunate, everyone seems to end work at the same time. I feel like we are already a lot like cattle going through the turnstiles…and then sardines being packed into the L.

The other day it actually did work to my benefit: it was a particularly bumpy ride that day, but elbow room was so tight I didn’t lose my balance at all! I suppose it’s all in your perspective. 

Really though, if it is already packed during those times, less frequent service is only going to make it more frustrating.  I don’t want to see riders being edgy and frustrated and then the workers in turn being edgy and frustrated, crowded transportation is stressful enough.

The buses are already crowded. A perfect example: the other day I was carrying a bag of groceries and a gallon of milk. The bus was definitely at capacity and so crowded that I felt extremely inconsiderate for trying to get home with my extra baggage. I had no choice other than to brave the crowded bus or wait another 20 minutes in the 11 degree weather. I boarded, and offered sympathetic looks and sincere apologies to those I bumped in the face with the gallon of milk. (Really, truly, I am still sorry).

It will be interesting to see how things change in the coming weeks. I am one of the few who actually enjoys taking public transportation (so many strange things happen on the CTA that you can’t make these stories up!) I’m assuming I will have to leave my house earlier, wait for an emptier Brown Line car, and run to my office to make it by 8am on the dot, or will have to switch routes all together. I really don’t want to leave my house before 7. It’s cold. And dark. And early. Please don't fail me now, CTA

(This post can also be found later today at )

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I always like the cozy CTA rides.

I have this, well, problem. I call it a "problem" because even though it's comedic and usually isn't offensive, sometimes it does not work to my benefit.

I communicate entirely way too much through facial expression.

No words are necessary for people to know exactly what I am thinking. So, when I was waiting for the bus at peak rush hour and saw that it was actually "Sardine hour" I thought "I will not give angry glares, I will not express my frustration. This is not anyone's fault, it's just Chicago right after work. This is my life...."

Apparently my pep talk didn't work. I climbed on the bus, and the bus driver started laughing at me right away. "It's ok, I get to run express now, we're at CA-PA-CI-TY." He kept going on and on about how crowded the bus was until I started laughing. "See, now she's cracking up over here." You are correct sir, now I'm cracking up. You've actually made my evening. Thank you, new favorite bus driver.

In other sardine related news...sometimes the sardine factor works to my benefit on particularly crowded days. I may not have a place to sit or even a bar to hold onto, but I'm packed so tightly in a sea of people that it doesn't quite matter. I'm not going anywhere for several stops.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I am almost certain someone was rocking out to some Andrew Lloyd Weber* this morning. Oh, the musical variety that is the soundtrack of the CTA.

Also, I might do all my Christmas shopping for 2010 at this site here:
Yes please, I want a T-shirt of my favorite bus route!

Last, no matter what the context, when I hear the phrase "We have the bus all to ourselves!" I really want to throw myself under it.

Happy commuting!

*Slightly unrelated, but I tend to get Andrew Lloyd Weber and Frank Lloyd Wright mixed up. Very embarrassing. I double checked before actually posting this.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buses and why the CTA hates me.

Today was a balmy 11 degrees as I left for work. I'm starting a new transit route, so I left a little early to allow for some extra time in case the bus to train commute didn't go as smoothly as planned.

Sometimes, the CTA just hates me, and leaving to allow extra time means you allow extra time to FREEZE.

Bundle up, it will be a cold wait.