I amused myself earlier today:

Other than that, the day was pretty much uneventful. I had a lousier than expected morning commute, when the subway station at Hunterspoint Avenue just wasn’t running at all, and I followed a mass exodus a few blocks to catch the E train. (That gets me in relatively close to the office, but a few blocks more, again, than my regular commute into Grand Central.) Then the evening commute was mildly awful again, when a bunch of trains (including mine) were canceled and combined with others. The train was packed, up and down the aisles, but I read my book and was only about ten minutes later than I usually am. Would that I could only say that I’d never had worse commutes.



So apparently there won’t be a Long Island Railroad strike next week after all. The governor has stepped in and forced the two sides, the MTA and the union — neither of which I’m especially sympathetic to — to reach a settlement. I don’t know that this qualifies as the eleventh hour, but it’s easily the ninth and some change. And while there might have been some fun in having an excuse to work from home even more, I’m really glad the strike has been averted.

I didn’t know it had been averted until I got home this evening, since I spent nearly all of my day in a training session on how to improve presentation skills. It went surprisingly well, given how little I enjoy public speaking and actually giving presentations — both of which I had to do at the session — and I think as near as it’s possible to enjoy that sort of thing, I did. And hey, they bought us lunch.

This evening, I’m just sort of decompressing. I’ve been writing some this week, and I poked a little at the story again tonight, but I’m mostly just taking it easy. It was a surprisingly non-stressful day — well, not horribly stressful or anything — but it was all surprisingly tiring.

Oh, but that sink up above got fixed, so that’s good too.



The weather this morning was just awful, a wall of humidity that didn’t really let up until the afternoon when the sky exploded with rain. Luckily that let up before it was time for me to leave. The rain is supposed to keep up, off and on, until the weekend, but I’ll take that over mugginess that weighs on you like a heavy chain.

Meanwhile, it seems increasingly likely that the Long Island Railroad will go on strike starting next week. Talks between the MTA and the union have reportedly collapsed, and as early as Sunday service may be shut down completely. That will make getting to work mighty difficult for me, since the New York subway only goes as far as Queens, not where I live. If I can get a ride there in the morning, say to Jamaica, I can hopefully catch the subway then into Manhattan. That’ll likely add a chunk of time to my daily commute — and god knows how many other people will be trying to do the same thing — but it would be better than trying to take a bus to Jamaica from somewhere closer to home. (Just for kicks, I looked into that, how long a bus ride plus subway would take me, and it looks like the answer is about two to three hours, each way. So, you know, no thanks.)

I hope I won’t have to do that, or at least not much. There’s still a small chance the strike won’t happen, and my boss is okay with me working from home most days if I need to. (That’s basically the best the MTA can suggest commuters do right now.) I may have to go into the office on Tuesday, thanks to a couple of face-to-face meetings, but that might be the most of it. Right now, I’m just waiting to see.

It’s not like I haven’t survived terrible commutes in the past. After Hurricane Sandy, it took a long time for the LIRR to get back on its (never entirely stable) feet. So we’ll see what happens.

Not having to venture out into wall of humidity each day might not be the worst thing that could happen.

Some week

It snowed all night, and by the end of it, sometime late this morning, I think we had about the foot of snow that they were predicting all this week.

My office was still open today, however. There’s always less accumulation of snow in the city, and mass transit was running, or claimed to be. Last night, before the first flake had even fallen, the Long Island Railroad was promising to be on a weekend schedule first thing Friday morning. What that means, basically, is fewer trains and longer gaps between them, and at my station it means only one train every hour.

If the 7:28 train hadn’t first been held, and then cancelled, I probably would have made it into Manhattan this morning. It wasn’t a lot of fun getting to the station, with the snow still falling and largely unplowed, and with the wind whipping against me the entire way there. But it’s only a couple of blocks, and I’m made it with plenty of time to spare. And the station platform had actually been shoveled and cleared, by a crew still working on the opposite side, which is actually an improvement over winter storms of the recent past.

Maybe next year the trains can be running, too. Then again, maybe I’m just a dreamer.

Because the 7:28 train was cancelled, and there wouldn’t be another train for another hour. I didn’t much feel like hanging around to wait for it, and even heading back home, then back again to the station, seemed like a dumb idea. What if the 8:28 train was also cancelled? What if it didn’t stop snowing? What if the Long Island Railroad continued its long tradition of collapsing under even the slightest amount of bad weather?

So I texted my boss. I’d planned for this by taking my computer home with me last night, at her suggestion, and she was amenable to my working from home. Which, except for the typical sluggishness of the network connection — and a lunch break spent helping my father to clear snow from the driveway and path — was pretty much the same as it would have been from the office.

It’s been kind of a weird week. Because yesterday was my first day back since mid-December, it felt a whole lot like Monday, separate from the other days this week that preceded it. And today felt much like a Tuesday, except it wasn’t, and it felt a little like a snow day, except it wasn’t, and I’m still not entirely convinced that what today was, was a Friday.

But apparently it was. Next week ought to be a little more normal, working from home again on Monday, then back in the office for the standard four days.

It will be good to actually get back to my regular routine.