Tuesday various

Monday various

A so-so snow day

I went to sleep a little early last night. Even though I didn’t think the snow would be as apocalyptically bad as some of the heavier predictions, I thought I still might want to catch an earlier than usual train into Manhattan, should there be just enough snow to screw with my morning commute, but not enough to close down my office.

And that’s exactly how much snow there was. I called our office emergency number to confirm that we hadn’t closed due to the bad weather, and then I made the executive decision to be on the 7:20 train, rather than do the sensible thing and stay in bed all morning. Walking to the train station, which is only a block and a half away, proved to be surprisingly difficult, if only because the only spots that had seen a plow or a shovel yet were in the very middle of the road. But I made it to the station with plenty of time to spare — thanks, in no small part, to a thirty-minute delay.

I have to admit, after almost forty minutes of standing out in the cold of the station platform, during which time other trains would periodically fly past, kicking up sparks on the electrified rail and flinging powdery snow in everyone’s face — while announcements no more helpful than “the 7:20 train to New York is being delayed” played on what seemed like a near-constant loop — I came very close to making another executive decision and returning home. The thought of calling into the office, taking a vacation day, and spending it by lying in bed watching TV and reading seemed altogether preferable to freezing my ass off for a train that might never arrive.

But it did, finally, around 7:50. And I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the train that empty.

We arrived at Penn Station a little less than an hour later, which, despite the slowness of the train, the occasional roughness of the ride, and a few unexpected stops, is about normal. I got into work just before 9 o’clock.

Of course, it wasn’t a particularly exciting day from that point forward. A few people had obviously decided to stay home, but otherwise it was just a normal day at the office.

Until, that is, later in the afternoon, when a rally started up directly outside our building. The Haitian Consulate is across the street from us, and today marked the one-year anniversary of last year’s terrible earthquake in Port-au-Prince. It was difficult to work with the rally going on, since even four flights up they were incredibly loud, but they were for the most part peaceful. Police barricades, which had been sitting out on the sidewalk all week, were set up for them by the NYPD. It was only when a few of the demonstrators decided to block traffic on Madison Avenue altogether that things got a little out of hand. A few of us stood at windows overlooking the street as the police arrested a few and the rally dispersed.

And to think, I almost didn’t go into work today.

After that, it was back to the average Wednesday. I didn’t run into any problems on the train ride home — nowhere near as empty as in the morning, but still much less crowded — and I even managed to finish reading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. (I might have more to say about that later, although maybe only after I’ve bought and read the next books in the trilogy. For now? I really liked it.)

Tomorrow, I have a conference I need to go to, filling in for a few hours at our sales booth at the Waldorf Astoria. So maybe I should go to sleep a little early tonight as well. Hopefully we won’t get any more snow for at least a little while.

Tuesday various

  • It goes without saying that “Arizona’s draconian new immigration law is an abomination,” right? [via]
  • In semi-related news: Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black. [via]
  • The Canadian Science Fiction Review is an interesting idea, though I’m not sure I like their chances for getting fully funded by May 15, I’m sad to say. I was also surprised to discover that On Spec, “the Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic,” isn’t an SFWA qualifying market. [via]
  • I’m an editor, and even I don’t think we should get book royalties. [via]
  • And finally, Neil Gaiman on the path not taken:

    The nearest to a real job I ever came actually, is when I was starting out as a young journalist, my father informed me—he knew that I’d starve as a journalist—he had this great idea, I could show off show homes and I could write while I wasn’t showing people around, and I sort of really didn’t want to say no because it was such a kind thing to do, and I was starving.

    So I got on a bus and I went all the way across London by bus and went to this place where I was going to meet this guy for an interview and I sat in the reception for an hour, then they said “we’re really sorry, he’s had to go home, it’s too late” and I said oh okay, and I went back across London by bus. And then I thought, well that was that. I didn’t plan on going back across London by bus, it was a ridiculous bus journey, so I never went back, and that was the nearest I ever got to having a real job.

    Imagine if that guy had shown up!