Archive for the ‘public transportation’ Category

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NTKOG #103: The kind of ‘roided-out angerball who, when life gives her lemons, punches a fruit vendor in his big ugly face.

I am: passive; afraid of touching people ever ever ever.

I am not: one for fisticuffs. Which you can probably tell. By the fact I call them fisticuffs.

The Scene: B-Line T, going from my apartment to Harvard Ave. It’s empty for a Wednesday morning — approximately half the seats full, but I stand in the alcove by the door because I do not have far to go. There is only one other dude standing with his back to me, a few feet away, between me and the exit. Half-Asian guy, college-aged, six feet tall and buff but also bulky, like he makes it to the gym every day then rewards himself with a few hot dogs. He’s wearing one of those puffy astronaut coats and standing, inexplicably, in the middle of the aisle.

Doors open and I start to dash off the train to my bus, which is already waiting across the street, when the guy suddenly spread-eagles himself between me and my chance getting to work on time. He reaches his arms up so that one is grasping the top rail on each side of the aisle, then spreads his legs so he is in jumping-jack position. His head kind of lolls to the side.

“Excuse me,” I say. His head lolls a bit more in the other direction. “Excuse me!” I prepare to run for the other exit, blaming kids these days with their earbuds and their weird subway-riding calisthenics, except right as I turn I realize — I have a clear shot of both ears. Guy isn’t listening to music. He’s just ignoring me. I”m the kind of girl who puts up with crap like that every day but no, not right now.

“DUDE, I need to get by!” I bellow like a moose, tapping on his shoulder through the puffcoat. “You very seriously need to move RIGHT FRIGGIN’ NOW!” He starts aimlessly scratching his nose.

So, I did what any normal girl would do. I punched him.

Okay, and before y’all start making citizens arrests all up in here, two points: 1) My biceps aren’t exactly registered as lethal weapons. Before the advent of touch-screen phones, I could barely punch in a phone number. 2) It was a punch in the middle in the back of what I’d call “no, seriously, stop tickling me!” strength.

Did the trick though. The dude instantly twirled on his heel, face a grotesque mask of slowly realized rage. The second he turned, I ducked under his arm and ran off into the morning.

I swear to you, though, and you can believe this as you like, that when I looked back, I locked eyes with the middle-aged woman who had been sitting in front of him, and who had witnessed the whole thing. She stared at me for one intense second, then slowly gave me a thumbs-up.

The Verdict: Man, I haven’t punched anyone since that time I punched Muscles — excellent to brag about! Terrible thing to actually do as a human being, of course. I would obviously never do this again (even though, really, the punch in question was more akin to a strident “scuse me!” shoulder tap, and the placement more than anything is what upped it to punchitude). Still, this did make me feel kind of like a take-no-shit commuter, which is a feeling I need to harness on those days when I stand passively by while strangers sneeze in my face and take gum out of my pockets.


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NTKOG #100: The kind of self-appointed assistant deputy to public health who, when you sniffle within earshot, primly flicks you a tissue and lectures you on the dangers of backed-up nasal cavities.

I am: loath to reprimand strangers for sneezing on my neck, let alone snortin’ and snufflin’ in the privacy of their own noses.

I am not: like the total queen of hygiene, anyway. What?! Kleenex are good for a few uses if you’re desperate!

The Scene: The train, smack in the middle of cold season. All week the mellow music on my iPod has been accompanied by a sort of auditory slither — the juicy slurp of fifteen syncopated noses trying desperately to suck snot back out of view.

There’s kind of a little dance that goes along with it too, on the T. The cold-sufferer will stand there, looking pained, ’til a tiny glisten appears under one or both nostrils. First, a long discretionary snort back. A moment later, the snot starts sliming back down and two more hard sniffles in quick succession. Finally, the human mucous factory glances around, reaches up with one hand to pretend to adjust their glasses or scratch their forehead, then quickly rubs their palm across their nose, smearing a snailtrail of snot on their glove. Elegant, right?

More distracted by the sound than anything else, this week I carried a travel pack of Kleenex with me, determined to be a tissue-toting guardian angel for these noses in need. The first guy I approached was a middle-aged business man, wearing a sharp grey suit and slightly snotted leather gloves.

“Hey,” I  turned around and told him, “You want a Kleenex?” Dude looked surprised and a bit mortified, but smiled warmly and thanked me when I handed it to him. I nodded and turned quickly so I’d be out of his splash zone when the snot went flying, but — nothing.

When I turned back to face him, he was gingerly patting the tips of his nostrils with the unsoiled Kleenex. He crumpled it and shoved it in his pocket. Three seconds later: sniff. snort. herk.

DUDE, YOU HAVE A FUCKING KLEENEX! You can blow it now! You can blow it all over town!

Next girl I approached was a chick around my age, who had just discreetly wiped a semi-solid chunk of green snot onto the cover of her US Weekly as she raised it to turn the page.

“Kleenex?” “Thank you so much!” I watched out of the corner of my eye as she crumple the Kleenex, dabbed her nose with exquisite gentleness, then shoved the Kleenex in her purse. By the next stop, her dripping snot had rendered her upper lip as glossy as the picture of Brangelina she was drooling over.

A few similar experiences (“Thanks!” for nothing, apparently), and I was down to the last two Kleenex in my pack, with nary a cleared sinus cavity to my name. This time, there could be no mistakes. A grungy looking college guy, wearing a Thrice beanie and a military surplus blazer, sucked back on his snot like he was pulling off a bong.

“Dude, want a Kleenex?” I asked, smiling encouragingly. Then, so he wouldn’t feel embarrassed or alone in his infliction, I put the last Kleenex to my own nose and blew it thunderously. Dude glanced at me with grim curiosity, before putting his own Kleenex to his nose — and slowly dribbling air AROUND HIS SNOT! Dude friggin’ pretended to use the Kleenex rather than blowing his dang nose in public!

Of the nine Kleenex I gave away — to people who were having serious and visible problems with, oh, I dunno, getting snot all over their faces?! — not a single friggin’ person could get over the bodily-fluid embarrassment and just blow their stupid noses in public! These are, presumably, people who shower in locker rooms, use public restrooms. Hell, they probably even spit on the street. And you’re telling me that nose-blowing is the one do-not-cross line?!

The Verdict: A bally waste of Kleenex, I’ll tell you that much. Next time I’ll be saving them for myself.

I was beyond shocked by these results. In fact, shocked twice-over. First, dude, if a total stranger offers you a Kleenex, clearly this implies that you’re either making a serious sinus-related ruckus or are unsightly to behold. It’s like a stranger offering you gum. It’s practically impolite not to put the offering to use!

Second, and more importantly, dude, blowing your nose is just about the best thing you can do with your clothes on. I friggin’ love blowing my nose — don’t even try to front like you don’t like it too. I mean, I’m not talking about a runny nose or a stuffy nose, but, y’know, the mid-cold feeling of a nose that’s fully packed with boiling-hot mucous, then blowing it so hard that it makes you dumber. Such release!  Such a sense of accomplishment! I can scarcely look at someone suffering from allergies without sighing wistfully! And the idea of having such a juicy nose and a Kleenex in front of you and DENYING THAT OPPORTUNITY?! It’s like masturbating in a brothel.

People on the T, you continue to disappoint me.

Whoa, it’s my 100th post! And in lieu of doing something badass or celebrating, I chose to … reveal my weird nose-blowing fetish. ’cause apparently I’m that kind of girl. Also the kind of girl who totally TMIs you on this glorious TMI Thursday.

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NTKOG #94: The kind of tragic/romantic hobo envier who throws caution to the wind — and saves a couple of bucks — by stowing away on the train.

I am: law-abiding; already in possession of a monthly T pass.

I am not: a modern-day hopalong. Or else I would be publishing my memoirs now. Duh.

The Scene: T stop on the B Line in Brighton, near my house. My commute to current temp job consists of a three-stop T ride (which is actually a nice walk, for people with better time management skills than I) followed by a twenty-minute bus ride. Standing at the stop, I tucked my sacred Monthly Link Pass into a Good Vibrations bag in my purse, grabbed a random old stored value card, and prepared to board.

My brilliant scheme was to board from the middle of the car, hold my totally valueless old card up to confuse the driver, then sit pretty for three stops. First snag in the plan: the train huffed up to my face, but the middle doors didn’t budge. I smacked ’em with my purse, but they sat there, resolute, insurmountable. If anything, smacking them only made them angrier.

“Get up to the front!” growled the driver. Shit. I hopped up in front of her and began pantomiming going through my pockets in search of my hidden T Pass.

“The fare is two dollars!” she bellowed. First one pocket, then the other — I contemplated vaudeville-ishly lifting my fedora to check its lining, but I could actually hear the driver expelling hot air through her nose.

“I’m going to let you out right now,” she menaced, reaching for the lever. Just then, the train started chugging forward. She glared at me as though I were the one driving it. “Fine, but you get out at the next stop.”

To add some credibility to the thing, I continued tearing through my personal effects for the length of the ride, then — afraid of getting fined — prepared to exit through the front door after the train pulled up to the next stop.

“Where you going?” she grimaced. I told her I was getting off, just like she’d asked, and the tension washed out of her cheeks. “Get back on the train, honey. Have a good week.”

I was still smiling by the time I got to the bus stop, and my grin only upped its wattage when I saw the driver: a soft-wrinkled old grandma-type who was all but wearing a sequined cat brooch on her uniform. Absolute cake.

I politely waited for the rest of the (paying) customers to take their places on the bus and, while the bus waited through a long stop sign, stood in front of the driver and began my little pantomime.

“Can’t find your pass, hon?” she asked. I nodded with feigned befuddlement, beginning to nudge toward the aisle. She tilted her head up to me and smiled sweetly:

“Then get off my damn bus.”

Miraculously, my T pass managed to appear before she could physically push me to the street.

The Verdict: Oh hell no. Just purchase your dang subway pass. Much easier on your conscience, your heart, and your atrophied high-school acting muscles.

While I wasn’t busy with my fugitive lifestyle this week, I was writing my Wednesday post for Secret Society of List Addicts about things my Roomba does that make me want to drop it in a bathtub. Check it out!

Also: Dudes, thanks for your dozens of awesome comments on low-budget eating on yesterday’s post! I’m looking forward to trying your cheapo recipes — starting with the huge pot of lentil soup I have simmering in my slow-cooker!

And as a thank-you for being awesome dudes: anyone want a 10% Off coupon for Good Vibrations? Good for in-store or online purchase. Nothing too exciting, but they handed it to me last time I was there (as though I could love their store any more!) and I thought someone a bit less stocked-up than I might want it.

If you’re interested in saving 10% on a vibrating cock ring, or if you just want everyone who reads this to know you’re a frugal friggin’ fornicator, go ahead and leave a comment on this entry by noon tomorrow. I’ll throw the comments on random.org, choose a person, and mail out the coupon tomorrow.

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NTKOG #88: The kind of spontaneity-embracing girl who assaults public decency and public transportation mores by taking place in a group display of public pantslessness.

I am: modest; not prone to getting naked around strangers without at least a drink or two in my system. (This upcoming Thursday’s post notwithstanding).

I am not: actually wearing pants now either, since you mention it.

The Scene: Alewife T Station, around 12:40pm. No Pants Day is a national event spanning some 40 American cities, all of which featured pantsless Metro rides today; Boston’s chapter was organization by the Boston Society for Spontaneity who, it turns out, are Boston Sticklers For Punctuality. The Ex (he’s in town) and I, despite taking a cab to the Harvard Square Station in an effort to save time, missed the sign-up and registration tables.

“Damnit, we missed it,” we heard a girl hiss on the bus. “I’m wearing cute underwear for nothing! Are we just going to go home?!”

SUCCESS! Another group of girls wandered the platform dejectedly, wearing sweatpants and apparently not psyched about it; not far from them, a group of MIT boys wearing silly shirts and kneesocks, with not much in between. The Ex and I introduced ourselves and asked whether they’d like to join us and become a renegade group of no-pants. And, I mean, who could say no to an offer like that?

The first rule of No Pants Day, per its creators, is that you don’t talk about No Pants Day. You also don’t giggle, exchange significant glances, or pose for risque photos in the T you’re supposed to be pantskrieging. But apparently giggly girls didn’t get the memo, so we were less than subtle for the first few outbound stops on the Red Line train, and older folks looked at us with only wry amusement.

On the way to Park Street, though, the train filled up, and the new riders commented with some discomfort on the pantsless trend. As far as I could tell (though I was distracted, listening to music and playing Text Twist, a game so riveting that for twenty minutes I forgot I wasn’t wearing pants), reactions fell into three categories: 1) younger people who just didn’t even care about the massive pantslessness; 2) middle-aged men trying very, very hard not to look; 3) older people (especially women) who literally clutched their hearts and muttered about rapscallions.

Oh glory friggin’ be, guys, I am NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING about the last one! The Ex had the fortune of sitting next to a sixty-something woman on one train and according to all reports, she spent the entire ride glaring at his thigh, making sure not so much as a hair touched her stockings. Amazing. When I walked up and stood in front of The Ex, the lady stared at me and started muttering under her breath. Which might have something to do with the fact that, unlike the other girls on the train, it didn’t occur to me to wear boxers, so I looked like I was wearing a hot pink silk blouse, snow boots and a fedora. Period. Kind of yikes, right?

Other great pantsless occurrences: one of the giggly girls decided she was hungry, so we pantslessly stormed the Dunkin Donuts at Boylston, where a car ran a red light in the street while looking at us; I sat in a train next to a very old man who whapped my calf repeatedly with his cane to edge me away; we ended up meeting the whole group at the end, where a bunch of MIT boys took grave interest in The Ex’s London tube map boxers (how appropriate!) and Nexus One; afterwards, pantsless pub assault, where the hostess took a look at forty pantsless dudes flooding the bar, and asked only: “Shit, did you have a reservation that we lost?”

Amazing day — hard really to capture all of the magic. And so, let us put to the test that thing they say about words and pictures. you know, the one where math is involved.

Also, check out my kickass spraytan. Doesn't it look ridiculously good? Details on Thursday.

I've never had a T rider voluntarily leave so much room between us. This lady was NOT AMUSED by my pantslessness.

The pantsless look kind of seems less impressive on guys. Or on anyone with boxer shorts. Bathing suit bottoms for the win!

Stormin' Dunkin Donuts like it was Versailles or something.

Asking random people to pose for pantsless pics: not that weird on No Pants Day.

Pantslessness and cowboy boots! Now why didn't I think of that?! A slammin' combination.

Taken during the pantsless bar crawl. The Christmas-themed boxers in the middle belong to Giggly Girls.

We all felt very close to each other by the end of No Pants Day.

The Verdict: Goddamnit, guys, it’s going to be impossible to get me to keep my pants on after this. (Which if, if you’re counting, the third time I’ve disrobed on public transport for an NTKOG.) As The Ex and I were leaving the bar, I turned to him: “Wanna take our pants off again?” He thought about it for a few seconds and said, “It’s cold. Let’s do it on the way home.” Dudes. Dudes. I cannot take any responsibility for my further pantsless actions.

Also, A+++ for seeking out events with like-minded strangers (er, emphasis on strange) in this sometimes tight-laced city. I’ll definitely be checking out more Boston SOS activities. Even the ones that, lamely, do not require public nudity.

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NTKOG #82: The kind of chatty kathy who, given four hours trapped next to you on a plane, sets out to give you a detailed personal and medical history.

I am: a bitch when I travel. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, and don’t even think about stowing your coat in the overhead bin.

I am not: self-important enough to think anyone wants to hear my bidness anyway. (Except you guys. Heart.)

The Scene: Jetting back from Vegas, on a flight from Denver to my beloved Logan International. After I set up with my logic puzzle book, middle-aged couple settles in next to me. I let the woman genially elbow me in the face a few times with her snowman sweater, then get psyched for some discourse.

I ask where they’re coming from — Aspen, to visit their daughter — and she inquires as to whether I’m coming or going. “Coming home,” I tell her, “to the most beautiful city in the world, what?”

“I’m jealous,” she says. “I’d love to live in Boston! We live in Providence.” We chat for a few more oddly pleasant minutes, and I’m beginning to dread the onset of baby pictures when Snowman Sweater solves the problem by falling asleep mid-sentence.

We must have really hit it off, though, because at one point her head slumped over onto my shoulder. I even let it lay there for a second, before flinching her off. Progress!

The Verdict: I was all set to write this one off. The problem with being trapped for long periods of time with the same person: if you don’t like each other, that sucks; if you do hit it off, you have to keep on hitting ’til the end of the voyage. Can’t win with it, can’t play with it, etc.

But then! The payoff: after the plane touched down, got a text from my dear friend Physicist who had planned to drive up from Rhode Island to see me the next day. He was letting me know he couldn’t get a car; could we make alternate plans?

In a moment of warmth, I turned to my new bff. “Hey, you guys are from Rhode Island, right? I need to get to a place called Portsmouth tomorrow. Portsmouth — is that a city? Is that a thing? You have any idea how I can get there?”

And bless her, she and her husband spent the entire walk to the baggage claim plying me with potential travel routes. All of which actually turned out to be totally inaccurate. But still!

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This post is actually a little power-tagged because, regret to inform, I actually didn’t end up going out with the guy I met on the T after The Slutcracker. Bummer, right? I was really psyched!

We were supposed to go out on Wednesday, but the snag was that we couldn’t meet until 10pm (which, considering we met on public transportation, raised the sketch to perilous new levels), because I had class ’til 9:30, and Wednesday was the only night I didn’t have jam-packed.

We’d texted a bit on the night that we met — just, like, “nice to meet you!” stuff — and on Wednesday I waited with, I hate to admit, embarrassing earnestness for a follow-up text. Nothing. Finally, around 6pm, I texted him: “We still on?” and twenty minutes later he texted to say he had an early meeting the next day and going out starting at 10pm was just way too late, but “wanna go out tomorrow?” But my Thursday was already overloaded, so I texted him: “Totally booked tomorrow.”

No response.

My female friends did the right thing and tried to convince me that it was impossible he would have lost interest a few days after seeing me, and that he made an earnest attempt to reschedule, etc, etc, etc, but I mean, dudes, he’s just not that into me. It’s cool. Really, there’s nothing lost here: I picked him up in a T station, like a crazy person, and we didn’t even know anything about each other, so, y’know, no big deal.

Man, though, I had been really psyched! I’m usually cool-to-lukewarm on people when I first meet them, and can’t abide touching, so it was pretty thrilling to meet someone whom I immediately wanted to, like, rub my face on. Whatever, though. There will be other guys, not on other trains, whom I’m sure I can rub my face on in future.

Leaving for Vegas in a few hours, to spend Christmas with the fam! So, dude, if you’re a Vegas person I know irl and want to go out and have an adventure, let me know! Otherwise, see you cats on Monday with some uncharacteristic Vegas craziness.

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NTKOG #77: The kind of girl who catches your eye in public then, brazen as you please, gives you her number so you can meet again.

I am: skeptical of the whole concept of giving strangers your number. What’re you supposed to say when you call? “Hey, remember me? We met waiting in line for the restroom at the ice cream parlor?” Heck no.

I am not: even currently dating.

The Scene: The Davis Square T station, waiting for an inbound train with Anglophile and Porn Star after seeing The Slutcracker (a must-see for you Bostonians! details during a special sluts-and-hula-hoops edition of TMI Thursday!). As we walked by, I noticed a dreamy guy standing alone by the platform and shot him intense live eyes. I figured nothing would come of it, as he was too cute to even be looking at me. But. Not only did he not look away, but he wandered close to us and kept looking at me. Big-time electricity.

I pulled a standard TKOG move: started being extra charming and funny in the conversation to catch his attention. After I made a joke, he laughed, so I engaged with him. A few pleasantries, then I told him we’d just seen The Slutcracker and recommended he see it. He would, he said, but he just moved to town and doesn’t have friends yet.

TKOG: Me too! Tell you what. I can be your friend.
Davis Square Dreamboat: I’d like that.
TKOG: So what do you do? Student? Grad student?
DSD: I’m a software engineer.
TKOG: Love.

He laughed like I was joking. Um, like I’d ever joke about my love for engineers. Then — heart in my throat — I asked if he had an iPhone; he said no. “Too bad,” I told him, “or I could bump you my contact info. There’s an app for that.”

“You could just give me your number the old-fashioned way,” he said, whipping out his phone. I gave him my number, and afterwards he typed in my name without even asking me to repeat it, even though I’d only said it in passing before. My heart puddled and slid around the floor like a Capri Sun commercial. I got his number too, then the train came.

On the train, he sat across from me, then started chatting again, so I sat near him, but left a buffer seat because I hate touching. After a bit of normal exchange, he put his arm on my elbow:

DSD: So now that we’re friends, what are we going to do when I call you?
TKOG: Something exciting. We could get acupuncture together! Or indoor skydiving! [he grimaced at these] Or we could go get a drink at a bar with the periodic table on the wall?

Long story short (TOO LATE!), we’re going to Miracle of Science on Wednesday night after my writing class. You guys. You guys! I have friggin’ BUTTERFLIES! I can’t remember the last time I had butterflies. Oh em gee. One other stellar moment from the interaction on the train. We had to shout a bit to hear each other better, so I scooted a few inches closer to him on the buffer seat:

TKOG: Sorry, is this too close? Am I invading your personal space?
DSD: No! Why would you ask that?
TKOG: I just have personal space issues.
DSD: Are you usually the invader or the invadee?
TKOG: Oh, the invadee. I’m like the friggin’ Poland of personal space. I try to be respectful because I know I don’t like it when other people get in mine.
DSD: Wait, so you wouldn’t like it if I did this?

And then he put his hand on my shoulder, like kind of close to my neck and — it is a Christmas friggin’ miracle: not only did I NOT freak out, but … I liked it. It felt, I mean, electric.


The Verdict: Oh my gosh. So remember when I said I wasn’t going to date just for the sake of dating, and was going to wait to meet someone with whom lightning struck my heart at first glance, no matter how many months or years it took to find? Yeah, okay, so it apparently didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Gosh. Ever since we parted, I’ve been an all-singing, all-dancing tornado of giddiness. I’m so going to savor this feeling, so even if on Wednesday it turns out he loves Dan Brown novels and has an anime tattoo, at least I’ll have these few days to look back on fondly.

Of course this couldn’t have happened at a less convenient time in my personal/romantic life (going back to Vegas for two weeks, then The Ex is coming out to Boston to visit me), but I’d be an idiot not to pursue it. Because it turns out I am totally that kind of girl.

Also, in re: number giving: a really sweet girl who witnessed my T station pick-up started chatting with me afterwards, and we ALSO hit it off! I ended up getting her card and vowing to call her to go see some opera. And while I would usually just throw the card away, y’all know I’m actually going to do it. ROUSING SUCCESS!

Also, loves, remember you only have ’til 11:59pm tomorrow to enter MY GIVEAWAY! Get those last-minute entries in, or you’ll always regret it!

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