Aug 9, 2010

Getting there

I hate the act of getting from point A to point B. It's just so bothersome. Especially if there are factors involved that are totally out of one's control. Traffic, weather delays, equipment problems, lost luggage...whatever. It just sucks.

Case in point.

On Saturday morning, while all the cool kids were hanging at BlogHer, I headed into NYC to attend a baseball statistics and analysis event hosted by the kids at FanGraphs.  At heart, I'm really just a baseball geek...okay?  And it was really very interesting and informative, if you're into that kind of thing.  But this is about my trip into the city that day, not the baseball stuff.

I live about an hour east of NYC on Long Island and the most convenient way to get into the city is via the Long Island Rail Road.  Driving in on a Saturday morning is probably more direct, but I try to avoid driving into the city when I don't really have to.  So I decided on the train this Saturday.  A 7:03AM train that would get me into the city in plenty of time to take a leisurely stroll up to 59th Street where the event was being held starting at 9AM.  I love the city on summer mornings. It's usually not too warm and there is no one around.  Great for stretching the legs and taking in the city while enjoying a cup of coffee.

The lovely and talented Gia offered to drop me off at the station, which is about 7-10 minutes from our home, so I wouldn't need to leave my car there.  I was heading out east later in the day to my sister's house for a pool hangout/party and I could just take the LIRR out there where Gia was already going to be, so it just seemed logical to me to leave the car at home.  No sense in bringing two cars out east, right?

Well, and this is hard to believe, I was almost late to the 7:03AM train because of a bull frog.  Yeah.  We were running exactly on time when the car in front of us stopped in the middle of the road for reasons we couldn't understand.  Then the driver got out and held up a finger for us to wait a moment.  Puzzled, we looked as he hurried to the front of his car to shoo a bull frog, the biggest fucking bullfrog I have ever seen, across the road.  It was actually kinda sweet, but something we didn't really have time for.  After he got moving again, we made it to the station with about 1 minute to go.  I grabbed my ticket from the machine and hurried up the stairs and across the track to the train that I was sure was going to leave just as I got there.

It didn't.  It didn't leave at all.  The train was canceled.  What?  They can DO that?  Apparently they can.  You see, there was some track work being done overnight and one of the workers cut a power line that is needed to make the choo-choo run about 15 miles down the tracks.  Crap.  The next train, due to be on-time, was set to leave at 7:36AM.  Fine.  I was gonna have to haul ass to get uptown by 9AM from Penn Station instead of enjoying my leisurely stroll.  Stinks, but what are you gonna do?  I've hardly ever had a problem with the LIRR before, so I guess it was just a random crazy event.

But right before I got on the 7:36AM train, I heard from an LIRR employee that there may be additional delays down the line.  Maybe an additional 45 minutes to an hour!  But he really had no idea.  So I stood there with one foot on the train and one foot on the platform.  Do I take my chances with the train or do I grab a taxi back home and just drive into the city?  I'd probably be late to the event if I chose the latter, but it looked like I was gonna be late either way.  So, grudgingly, I stepped on the train.

I think I would have been fine if I just KNEW what was going on.  But the updates we got were sparse and incomplete.  Maybe delays up ahead, maybe nothing.  No one knew.  Or they knew and they just weren't saying.  So I let my buddy, who was meeting me at the event, know that I was probably going to be late and that I would meet him and his son inside.

Turns out there was a delay, but it wasn't as long as I feared...even if it was long enough to make me late to the event.  It didn't help matters we had another delay when we pulled into Jamaica station.  I look out the window and I see an NYPD officer heading to the car behind me with his hand on his gun.  Apparently, there as a crazy drunk dude (at 8:45AM!) in the next car and he was being...well, a crazy drunk dude.  He needed to be escorted off.  What else could possibly go wrong?  A swarm of locust?

But I made it to the event...finally.  A half-hour late, but I made it to the event.  After the delay for the crazy drunk dude, I just decided to mellow out and take it all in stride.  I didn't hurry.  I grabbed some coffee.  And I found my way to the subway, not even stressing one bit when it took 10 minutes for the right one to show up.

Bull frogs, equipment failure and a crazy drunk dude weren't going to ruin my day.

Except that they kinda did for a while.

Oh, and that dude across the way from me on the train who sat on the aisle with your bag next to you leaving the window seat open who grumbled when a woman asked to get to that window seat and then you grudgingly stood up so she could wrestle past you instead of just sliding over for her?  Yeah...fuck you!

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. I should have just driven.


badgerdaddy said...

Wow... Don't ever catch a train in England, I think your head would explode. It's like that here every fucking day.

Mrs. Hall said...

Who's a grumpykins??


Mrs. Hall said...

@BD-that's funny!

Verdant Earl said...

badg - Every train gets you where you are going an hour and a half late? No wonder you needed our help in WWII. ;)

Holly - Yeah, what of it!?! ;)

RW said...

Of course if it had been a gathering of old-school Strat-O-Matic players I'd have just run the damn thing over.

Slyde said...

You were at a baseball math class?


the only way that story could get any gayer is if you attended a boardgaming convention..

sybil law said...

Whaaat?! Shitty public transport?! No way!!
(Glad you made it!)

Verdant Earl said...

RW - I have a friend who is the biggest Strat geek around. Actually, he went with me to the FanGraphs event.

Slyde - Did you wear a costume to the World Boardgaming Championships? Did you partake in some cosplay?

Sybil - Go figure!

RW said...

Since '64 myself.

Verdant Earl said...

RW - Wow. Created right here on LI, but you knew that, right? I played for a handful of years, but we could just never keep a league together. Been doing Fantasy Baseball since around 1989 instead. There is an on-line game called Diamond Mind that is similar and something I'm kinda interested in, but I just don't have the time right now. Le sigh.

RW said...

Yeah i think they started in Great Neck.

Slyde said...

fyi, but libo runs a strat baseball league.

join us....

Nej said...

Frog, drunk guy, train delays....they say it comes in threes, right? :-)