Trains, rains, and how we all feel

There really is nothing more poetic than commuting in a monsoon. Everyone is dashing around, trying to pretend it’s not really a big deal, but if you happen to get roped into conversation with anyone, it’s all you can think to talk about.

Anywho, sorry for the gap in posting. Monday I had nothing to say, Tuesday I forgot my phone so I missed out on my train ride writing time, and yesterday my bus never showed up (Yup.) so I worked from home and didn’t really have time for personal writing. (Though I did get to go for a run and eat lunch with the fiance…so, not all bad!)

Commuting is a weird experience. I’ll be honest, most of the time I dislike it, though using it as blogging time has given it more purpose. But the really interesting thing is studying the culture. Because commuters are a different culture than people who drive ten minutes to work each morning. They have their own set of laws, values, and etiquette.

One time the fiance and I went out in the city with our friends Bryan, Craig, and James. James is also a commuter, so when the ticket collector came around on the train ride home, James and I pulled out our monthly passes while everyone handed over their single-ride tickets.

At this point, Craig pipes up, “Do you guys feel better.than us because you have monthly passes?”

James quickly said no, but I said, “Yes. Well, not better but stronger. I think I’m stronger than you.” I was kind of joking, but also kind of serious.

Because commuting can suck. You’re at the mercy of a system than often proves itself unreliable, you have to operate on someone else’s schedule, and in general the whole process can be largely uncomfortable. You have to learn to be comfortable with this discomfort, and that takes a certain amount of mental strength.

Or at the very least, a really awesome book.

Of course, I can’t complain too much. I have a job, and I’m living somewhere that makes me very happy (well, the people there make me very happy anyway).

Now if only I could dry out my jeans, we would be in business.

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Just dreaming

I’ve been having the most vivid dreams lately.

Which is interesting because it’s crazy to see whet my subconscious can conjure up, but weird because when I dream about something moderately mundane, I sort of think it’s a memory of something that actually happened until I think over the logistics. (“Really, Justine? You had a conversation with your mother where she showed you a giant diamond she was going to smash into little diamonds for your wedding band? How’d you get to Iowa? Where’d she get a diamond the size of a fist? Where did your mom learn about diamond cutting? Hmm?)

Plus, it has been a while since I’ve had an out-and-out nightmare (not counting the “show up somewhere naked on accident” kind), and I did the other night. I was trapped in a haunted basement library with some other people, and I was the only one who could pry the elevator open with my bare hands. (In hindsight, that’s obviously a mental mashup of those Devil trailers and what it’s like when you almost get shut out of the subway.)

I guess I had started assuming that nightmares and really intense dreams were kid stuff, especially since I haven’t really remembered a dream in a while. Or maybe my circadian clock has just adjusted so I wake at the height of REM. (Although we all know that is not conducive to waking refreshed…thanks a million, brain.)

At least I haven’t had any wedding dreams/nightmares yet. (Although the fiance has…usually involving “accidentally” getting married months before our date.)

Which I guess just goes to show that dreams aren’t really anything to worry about. Although getting married soon would be nice. As would that giant diamond.

Taste of the season

Hello, lovelies! It’s the first day of fall!

And if I could wish you one thing for this glorious season, it would be that you spend it having fun with friends and family and eating these:

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PUMPKIN SPICE HERSHEY KISSES!!!

Seriously, you guys. You haven’t lived until you’ve had one. In the words of my coworker Anja, “It’s like I have fall in my mouth!”

And who doesn’t want that?

Monsters Inc.

Writing a blog is a really precarious thing if you’re at all concerned with coming off pretentious or self-absorbed. Because, let’s face it, the entire practice is conducted under the assumptions that a) the Blogger has something interesting/entertaining to say, and b) people care.

My friend Craig does this hilarious thing called the Me Monster whenever anyone, even innocently, turns a conversation back to themselves. Example:

Person A: So I’m having a really difficult time with this class. I don’t get it and the teachers-
Person B: I loved that class! I got an A! The teacher loved me!

At this point Craig will start repeating, “I, me, my, MY, ME MY I!!!” with increasing volume while starting to beat his chest and flailing his arms like King Kong (it really is hilarious…I’ll see if I can get it on video) until Person B pipes down.

The point is, I have a lot of would-have-been post corpses sitting in my drafts folder because halfway through writing, I just stared at the words and thought, “Who cares?”

And now I can’t help the tiny Me Monster editor who sits in my brain, reading over every draft, poised to snap at the slightest symptom of ego. (He wears a green visor and smokes a cigar, in case you were wondering.)

I guess it’s pretty fortunate that most of my readers know me personally, so they do at least care on principle. For the rest of you…well, say something funny and maybe you’ll get quoted or something.

Bag Lady

You know how sometimes people say that someone has “a lot of baggage”? As in, they seem to be carrying a lot of mental or emotional weight. Well, in my world, the baggage is much more literal.

I’m a big purse girl. And it’s not like I just love the look or weight of a giant bag — my big purse is entirely necessary to my lifestyle.

My male friends tend to tease me about it, but I really don’t have any other choice. I get up quite early in the morning, and then I won’t see my home again for well over 12 hours. Which means, if there is anything I need throughout the day, it must be brought with me. Heck, if there is anything I might need at any point during the day, it had better be tucked in that oversized pocket book swinging from my shoulder or I’m out of luck.

Tuesdays are the worst because I go straight from work to the meeting. Right now my bag contains the following:

Wallet, five books for the meeting tonight, a sandwich, two granola bars, a yogurt, a pair of high heels, a letter from my dad with a wedding check I need to take to the bank, a hairbrush, a toiletrie bag, a mini notepad, and an assortment of pens, highlighters, and gum.

The entire bag is smaller than 2×2 feet.

What I’m saying is, the world can bring it; I’m prepared.