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.

Oh, and it’s also very cold outside

I woke up 40 minutes early this morning to write 3 pages, in what took about 10 or 15 minutes. Then I went to the train station 10 minutes early for the 7:20 train. One minute after I arrived, the 7:01 pulled into the station, 11 minutes late. I figured I’d get on that rather than wait for who knows how long. I arrived in Manhattan 15 minutes early, at the tail end of the lamest math non-problem ever.

I didn’t love getting up early this morning, but I did it, and I scribbled my three longhand pages. Because it really does seems to be helping. I wrote another page of my story this evening. For me, for this story, a page is damn good. I don’t want to suggest that it’s a page of all gold, or that the words weren’t still all hard-earned. Writing three, free-flowing, stream-of-consciousness pages every morning isn’t remaking me as a writer. But it does seem to be helping me past what’s always been my biggest obstacle: editing as I go. I know I can get three pages out, and knowing that has been helping me not get so hung up on each and every word.

I mean, nobody has to see a first draft.

Well, depending on when I finish this story and what I do with it, I might like to submit it to the Online Writing Workshop. I haven’t completely got a handle on what’s going on, but it’s certainly some kind of horror.

Well, nobody’s going to see that notebook of morning pages. I think I can guarantee that.

This evening, I had a ticket to see Selected Shorts, a night of Junot Diaz and Karen Russell’s stories, but I didn’t really want to go, as much as I’ve enjoyed both of their work, and Selected Shorts as a whole. I thought, rather than not get home until 11 or 12 o’clock, I’d come home and write. And I’m glad I did. I’m sorry to be out the $28, but…oh look, this is turning into a math problem again.

Time, I think, for me to turn in.

Thursday, all day long

This evening, I had these vague plans to go to a local bar with co-workers after work that fell through, either because the plans themselves fell through and nobody was going, or because I just wasn’t interested enough to inquire if the invite from last week was still operational. I hung around until five, finishing the review analysis I was hoping I would finish yesterday, but as I watched one co-worker after another say goodnight and say nothing of the bar, I decided I would probably just go home. I could have checked, since the place is right around the corner, but I really didn’t want to stay out all evening drinking. Two for one happy hour appeals to my wallet, but less to the part of me the drank too much at the office holiday party. I’m not worried about embarrassing myself, just physically feeling like I don’t want to do a lot of drinking. Particularly on a Thursday.

Do you know it was Thursday all day today? There ought to be a law.

So instead of a couple of drinks with co-workers, I went home. And let me tell you, the difference between New York mass transit at 4:30 and 5 o’clock is the difference between purgatory and hell.

I came home and had some scrambled eggs for dinner, did some writing — with some real momentum, if not necessarily word count — and played Portal. Did I mention that I downloaded Portal 1 and 2 again recently? The game’s easier the second time around, but it’s still enough of a challenge — and very funny — that it’s still a lot of fun to play.

So that was my Thursday. I’m sure some other things happened along the way, but those are the highlights, such as they are. “Such as they are” is about the closest I come to highlights, I’m afraid.

Still, tomorrow’s Friday, and then it’s a three-day weekend. Which is very nice.

The cake, though, is still a lie.

Autumn is the new summer

If you’d told me that, near the end of the first week of October, I’d still be complaining about it’s being summer…well, I’m not sure I’d have believed you. But the weather has been ridiculous this whole week, disgustingly humid and with temperatures in the high seventies or higher.

I have the air conditioner on high as I type this.

Again, it’s October 5th. I was kind of hoping we’d have some kind of fall.

Meanwhile, the Long Island Railroad isn’t making the commute through that nasty humidity any easier. This morning, they told us all to move up the stairs and across to the opposite platform, when my train was running late, only to have that train stop on the original platform instead. This evening, I got to Penn Station only to discover crowds of people emptying out of my evening train. “I don’t know,” somebody said. “They told us to get off.” The train opposite us was going to the yards, not taking any passengers, so it’s possible there was a mix-up. Or it’s possible the LIRR was just being its usual self.

But it’s not all bad. I was finally able to launch Kaleidotrope’s autumn issue, with lots of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, poems, art, and horoscopes for your reading delight. Check it out, won’t you?

“The trash washes up to shore even in this landlocked place.”

I spent most of today picking up trash in Riverbank State Park in uptown Manhattan.

Why did I do this? you may very well be asking yourself. Well, it was all part of our company’s “volunteer days,” which is either a new policy or one I’ve never heard of in my just shy of eight years working there. We get one day off a year to volunteer at local programs and charities, and this was one of three options we were given.

It was gorgeous weather for it — my one regret is that my phone (and its camera) died on me before I could take any pictures — but I am now surprisingly tired and a little achy. And if I never see another bottle cap in my life… But it was actually nice. We worked from ten to three, with a generous break for lunch, and hopefully helped keep one of the city’s parks a little cleaner.