Notes from a commuter

11/15 11:16 pm
— I don’t know what was going on tonight. There were some people wearing Ranger’s jerseys, so I’m assuming there was a hockey game tonight, but there were also these women who were dressed like they were going to ladies’ night at some singles’ club—lots of sequins and cleavage. I don’t think that was for a hockey game.

— I missed the 10:16. I almost always miss the train I want to take home. Instead, I’m on the 11:16 and it’s packed. At least the front couple of cars are. I normally like to hit the cars in the back, but I saw a seat with a plug by it, and I took the opportunity to grab some juice. I probably could have found something closer to the rear, though.

There was a pretty good busker in Penn Station tonight. He was covering Bob Marley songs on a guitar. He played them kind of jazzy. I was considering spending $5 to buy his CD, but I didn’t. Maybe if I see him again.

— Two people asked me for change. One was a tiny, old Asian woman. She had a handful of quarters and asked me for a quarter. I said, “You look like you have a lot of quarters already!” and proceeded to fish in my pocket for a quarter to give her. The other one was this guy who I see constantly in Penn Station. He asks for change all the time. I’ve seen him when he’s not begging—he’s usually harassing women and listening to music through very expensive headphones. He’s got stylish jeans, and, like I said, I see him there all the time. I consider him a professional beggar, and since I don’t like his service, I don’t give him money. If I ever get up the nerve, I’ll tell him to grab an instrument and pretend to offer something like all the other professional beggars out there. I give the buskers money all the time. I give homeless people money or a meal more than I’d care to admit. But that dude? C’mon, man, do something to earn it. Tap dance or mumble or offer to read palms. Do something.

I’ve gotten a couple of people asking me about my necklace at work. It’s a silver sun with a round amber stone in the middle. My wife gave it to me for our anniversary. The last guy to ask about it was a customer at the Apple store, and he wanted to know if the symbol had some sort of meaning. I thought to myself that usually suns mean something about the sun, but I explained that my wife is the sun, bright, blonde and cheery, as opposed to me, cold, dark, and brooding—the moon. I don’t think the answer satisfied him, but I’m not sure what he wanted the sun to actually represent. Maybe next time, I’ll talk about the cult that I belong to.

— My new MacBook is great, but the sharp aluminum palm rest digs into my wrists when I type. Playing a game is fine, but typing this hurts.

11/16 8:40 am
— So far, Optimum WiFi service sucks. The system delivers data fine to my iPhone, but the iPhone is much smaller than the one on my MacBook, so I only get the WiFi signal on the iPhone when I’ve stopped in a station. The MacBook antenna gets the signal for a few seconds outside of the train stations, but gets a fraction of the data that my iPhone does. And then, the service logs me out almost immediately, so I have to go to a website to log in again. I have an automatic login app (DeviceScape) that will bypass most website login screens, but it doesn’t work with Optimum. Then, too, if I’ve logged in with either the iPhone or the MacBook, I can’t log in with the other, even after the service has logged me out of the first device. I get what I pay for with this, I guess.

Posted by Jonathan at 05:21 PM, 16 November 2008


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