Tag Archives: public transportation

MONDAY.

6 Aug

O Monday, you slay me.

This day did not begin on the right foot. I spent a lovely weekend in New Jersey, enjoying the great invention of air conditioning and getting slaughtered in tennis by my sister. I was at peace. I was tan. My hair looked nice. These are all things that would make me wake up on Monday morning and say, “Let’s do this, week!” But instead, I think we can all deduce what happened: NEW JERSEY TRANSIT RUINED MY VIBES. AND MY HAIR. …I’m still tan, so at least there’s that.

I had to wake up at 6:30 AM to make a bus that was LATE. Then I had to sit in a seat whose fan wasn’t working. Then my blackberry died. Then my ipod died. Then my SOUL died because just as quickly as we were motoring along the highway, we came to a complete stop…and stayed that way for a half hour. Then it was the slow, agonizing crawl through the roundabout towards the entrance of the tunnel. Then it was the claustrophobia-inducing idling inside the tunnel. And then it was the complete mayhem of getting off the bus into the crush of the ten billion other people making their way through Port Authority.

At this point, I needed to be at work in thirty minutes. Already experiencing the manic flash-backs from my commuting days, I had no time to go back to my apartment and mentally reset for my day. So to add to my already traumatic morning, I had to go into the Port Authority Bus Terminal bathroom to change my clothes and put on my makeup! Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

Then it was the mad-rush to work, which made me mad-sweaty, which meant my hair was mad-frizzy and I was just mad.  The only thing that alleviated my desire to mad-ly punch someone in the neck was that synchronized swimming is on today. Those ladies can kick!

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Joy to the World!

27 Dec

What a lovely weekend! Christmas was great this year, mostly because I wasn’t comatose! Last year, I worked the overnight shift at my old job on Christmas Eve and Christmas night, and spent the time in between napping and feeling miserable about life. This year though, I enjoyed our yearly Christmas Eve party, sang Christmas carols at our family sing-a-long, and indulged in holiday french toast and Bloody Mary’s (not at the same time…that would be gross). All and all, the mood this year was rather jovial!

I was in a particularly joyful mood at the start and end of my little Christmas break because Santa was in an especially giving mood and decided to grant me two Christmas miracles to ring in the season. The first was that it only took me an hour and a half to get home the other night. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect on the Thursday before Christmas, and the Port Authority did not disappoint. There were pigeons flying around INSIDE while I was waiting for the bus, and a half-naked crazy person was passed out on a bench I happened to be standing directly in front of. That place is literally the 10th circle of hell. When I finally got on the bus, it was only after practically inhaling a dose of lung cancer from all the bus fumes! But amazingly, we zipped out of the tunnel and onto the parkway and I was eating dinner with my sister and making sugar cookie dough before 7:30! So thank you Santa, for restoring my sanity another day.

The second Christmas miracle occurred yesterday, when my parents drove me back to my apartment. Last week, the place was topping out at at least 90 degrees, and I finally called my landlord in a heatstroke-induced rage and begged him to send a plumber to fix it. On Thursday morning, one finally appeared like a wise man sent to Jesus, equipped with a two-foot long wrench to turn my radiator off. When I walked in yesterday and didn’t see a mirage in the corner, I knew joy had come to the world.

The Jerk on the Bus

5 Oct

This morning, there was a HUGE jerk on the bus….and for once it wasn’t me! I kid….I usually keep my pent-up frustrations inside before exploding into rage once I get to my car, perpetually stewing until I get home and unload on my poor parents. But I digress.

Usually the bus is scheduled to leave at 8:52, and usually, it does not. That’s just the way of the world I suppose. While those spare minutes are often the difference between squeezing past traffic and being stuck in it for an additional twenty minutes, bus drivers don’t typically think in this manner. It doesn’t phase them to hold up 30 people because one person is fumbling with their dollar coins to pay for their ticket, when another bus is just 10 minutes away. It doesn’t occur to these bus drivers that the schedule was made for a reason–to get people places on time. I can probably count on one single hand the number of times my bus has left on time, and it’s been the times when I’m running a minute or two late. Ah, life.

But this morning, at 8:51, the guy sitting next to me looked at his watch, and loudly shouted “Hey drivah, what time does this bus leave?” The bus driver answered that it left at 8:52. “Well that time is it now drivah?” this jerkface squawked. After looking at the clock, the bus driver said it was, in fact, 8:52. “Well whatta we doing here then, drivah?” To which everyone did a collective groan and eye-roll at his rudeness, before the bus driver pulled silently away.

Granted, it was 8:52, and the bus should’ve been leaving. But being rude and obnoxious is just not necessary. Plus, it set the tone for the rest of the ride. A woman two seats in front of me sat up and snapped at the woman behind her to “shut her damn phone off.” This original jerk made it acceptable to be hostile. But listen pal, if you don’t expect to leave late, sit in traffic, deal with obnoxious passengers talking on their phones, constantly jerk to a stop, sustaining whiplash several times in a single ride, pull in at 900 different gates, and idle for a few minutes before getting off the bus, THEN DON’T TAKE NEW JERSEY TRANSIT.

Vacating My Vacation

30 Aug

After a relaxing six days of lounging on the beach, tanning by the pool, soaking up the sun, and flouncing in the waves, I returned from vacation only to get an ear infection, a 2nd degree blistering sunburn on my lower lip, and O YEA: There was a HURRICANE this weekend! All of this has led me to believe I should just stay on vacation, forever.

While both the ear infection and the blistering sunburn were painful, the prospect of me getting to work on Monday morning caused excruciating stress pains. Visions of a pleasant, albeit long, commute back to the city were quickly dashed when pretty much every imaginable road leading out of my town was shut down. I left at 7 am, hoping to catch a bus, only to find out buses were disabled, parking lots were flooded, and the “detour” was a U-turn back the way I came! Despite my valiant effort, I aborted my mission and spent my morning trolling the aisles of Wal-Mart restocking my underwear drawer. When there’s nothing else to do….buy underwear?

Unfortunately, the flood waters have yet to recede, and are just  devastating  enough to cripple any mode of mass transportation within an acceptable radius of my house. So I hopped in the car this morning at 7 am, sat in traffic til 8:45, made it to a mall with an operating park in ride, sat in more traffic going over the bridge, took a subway down to work, and kissed the floor that I made it in less than 3 hours. Four minutes shy of three hours, if you must know.

Now, I am officially a refugee, and will be spending the next few nights on my friend’s couch. Thank god (again) for my fabulous, wonderful, life-saving friends. Otherwise I’d be renting a mule, which is honestly the 2nd most practical choice at this juncture.

Things That Also Take Two and a Half Hours

22 Mar

I’ve been working at my new job for almost a month, and have thus far been unsuccessful is getting in and out of the city in less than 2 1/2 hours. There was that one solitary day when I was home in an easy one hour, 52 minutes and 47 seconds (who’s counting??), but that was because I stayed at work until almost 10 pm, and only had to sit at seven traffic lights instead of the typical 14.

This got me thinking about other things that are NOT a daily, one way commute that would also take up that kind of time:

  • Driving from New York to Philadelphia
  • Watching any of the Oscar nominated movies from this year
  • Running a marathon (if I was a professional athlete)
  • Running half of a marathon (if I decided to run one)
  • Seeing a Broadway show
  • Cooking a gourmet, three-course meal
  • Going out for a gourmet, three-course meal
  • Riding the subway from the Bronx to the bottom of Manhattan and back
  • Taking an advanced seminar class at a university
  • Driving across Rhode Island 4 times
  • Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge up to Columbus Circle
  • Flying from New York to Paris on a supersonic jet
  • Facebook stalking

Wow. Of course, maybe on a daily basis I wouldn’t be flying to Paris on a supersonic jet, but the fact that it takes THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AS IT DOES FOR ME TO GET TO WORK IN THE MORNING is a bit mind-boggling.

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Thought

1 Mar

On my first day of work, New Jersey Transit Bus 193 actually got into New York City on time. Despite the fact we were at the tail end of rush hour and I actually needed to be somewhere, the bus whizzed past cars and other trucks in A BUS LANE. Yes, in the mornings, there is a separate lane for buses.  In my joyous delirium, a thought popped up in my head:

“Wow,” thought I. “This bus lane is really great. Maybe commuting everyday at peak times won’t be so bad after all.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the dumbest thought that has ever entered into my brain. Trust me, I think about a lot of dumb things, so for this thought to have such a classification means something! Since that one pain-free commute, I’ve sat in traffic leaving the city at 6:30, 7:00 and 8:30 pm, had to take a train into the city after a four car pileup shut the Lincoln Tunnel down, followed a dump truck 12 miles down a deserted road at the end of an 11 hour day,  ran for the bus after leaving more than an hour in advance, sat in traffic due to accidents on rainy and non-rainy days, and haven’t made it to work or home in less than two and a half hours.

I just started work six days ago.

Commuting totally sucks. Of course, this is not a new sentiment from me, but for one shining moment, I saw myself actually being able to handle the daily commute without facing a complete emotional breakdown. Now…I’m not so sure. I finally feel happy when it comes to my working situation, so would it be that hard to give me an easier commute? With the entire tri-state area transit system rallying against me, it will never be that easy.

A Pant-uation

5 Feb

New York is a really great city. But it’s not so great when you’re unprepared to stay for the next three days. With one pair of leggings and no hairbrush.

Let me explain–last night,  I went out for dinner with my friends and then out for a birthday party. It was the first time I had been outside in three days, out of pajamas for god-knows-how much longer, and out on the town in weeks. I had a great time and stayed over my friend’s house before getting brunch and then heading into work for my 4-12 shift, where I am now.

I assumed I’d be able to take a 12:30 am bus back to my car in New Jersey tonight, get some sleep, change into better shoes and warmer clothes and be back here again for my Sunday shift. But New Jersey Transit, in their seemingly never-ending campaign to make my life a living hell, cancelled their 12:30 bus service. So now I’m stuck here until Monday morning.

This was obviously something I didn’t plan on, otherwise I would’ve brought more than ONE PAIR OF PANTS. I wore the pants last night, I’m wearing them today, and will continue to wear them to work, to bed, to meals, back to work, back to bed, and then finally home.

Plus, it’s raining out today and my ONE PAIR of shoes and socks is now sopping wet. I also lost my hairbrush, ran out of mouthwash, don’t have my phone charger and am basically a HOT MESS. O yea, and I’m going to Barcelona on Monday and have a boat-load of stuff to do.

WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME NEW JERSEY TRANSIT????? I NEED TO GO HOME. I NEED NEW PANTS.

I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be kind of awkward.