A Day In The Life

I don’t think it’s a secret that I commute to work every day. I wrote about it a few times on my blog, but Twitter is where I spit out random thoughts during my rides home. I use ” #MetraTravels” in my tweets if you want to follow it!!! The people are fairly interesting – especially if I’m taking a late train home. Anyway, I’ve had many people ask me what my day is like since I do travel to get to work. So, naturally, I decided to write a post about it. 🙂

(Prior to Nov 6th, 2014)

5:15am: The dreaded alarm. I try (key word “try”) to wake up Josh. He isn’t a morning person. Many people aren’t. I’m definitely not judging him! Okay fine, maybe I am a little!

5:20am: Josh is sleeping again. He needs a lot of coaxing to get out of bed. Usually after five minutes, I can convince him to get moving and into the shower.

5:45am: I refuse to get my butt out of bed until Josh is out of the shower. Why? Well, he forgets I need to use the bathroom and locks the door behind him. Trust me, babe, no boogie man is up this early in the morning… He finally gets out around this time, and then I get out of bed and begrudgingly find work clothes.

6:00am: Josh and I hop into the car and head to Great Lakes.

6:46am: Since Josh works at the Naval base, he drops me off at the Great Lakes metra station. He could drop me off in Kenosha, but I’d rather spend the extra time with him in the morning. Besides, the train that he would drop me off at in Kenosha is the same one that arrives at this time, so I might as well enjoy sitting in a car for part of the way instead of on those uncomfortable metra seats!

8:02am: My train arrives downtown at Oglivie.

8:15am: Some mornings, I will go and work out at the gym across the street – FFC. The mornings I don’t go to the gym, I’ll sit in Starbuck and drink coffee and do some reading/writing. Or I’ll go bother the friends I have on a different floor.

9:30am: Start work

6:00pm: End of shift

6:30pm: I work only two blocks away from the train station, so I can leisurely walk on over to Oglivie to catch my train. I usually fall asleep before we even leave the station!

7:57pm: Arrive back in Kenosha. Josh is always waiting for me with a smile on his face. 🙂

8:30pm: Josh and I have been kinda bad at planning out dinners lately. So we have to visit Festival almost every day to buy something to make for dinner. Most of the employees know who we are… that’s how often we are there! Is it acceptable to be a regular at the grocery store??

10:00: After dinner, Josh and I will watch some TV and relax, except bed time rolls around very quickly!! Around this time, I try to convince Josh that I need to go to bed, but he convinces me to watch another episode of “Chicago Fire.”

Super thrilling, I know!! I told you my life wasn’t as exciting as you all thought! 🙂 I am very excited to announce, though, that my hours at work have finally shifted!! So – the quick version: I get downtown at 8:02, run over to Starbucks – it’s a must so don’t judge me – then I start work at 8:15, end at 4:45, RUN over to the train station, depart Oglivie at 5:03, and arrive home to my lovely boyfriend at 6:27pm.

Most people say that they couldn’t handle commuting every single day. I absolutely LOVE Chicago and I love working here. I get asked if I miss living here: No I don’t. I do NOT miss the high rent. Working down here is all I need to get my fill of Chicago. Sure, hanging out for happy hour and wandering downtown after work can be fun, but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way right now.

xoxo
megs

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Saved By The Conductor

It was a slow afternoon in the office. Pretty standard these days. Whenever a customer calls, I get super excited for human interaction, even though the majority of the time customers call only when something is wrong. This particular customer though was very friendly. And very chatty. She told me about her kids and how she doesn’t understand technology. I reassured her that I’d be her go-to. After I hung up with her, I looked over at the time. “4:03,’ I thought to myself, “Sweet. My train leaves in ten minutes.” Then there was that pause. That realization of, “SHiT MY TRAIN LEAVES IN TEN MINUTES!” The excitement to the end of my work day quickly turned into panic. If I miss the 4:13 train, the next one isn’t for another hour. And instead of a forty-five minute train ride, it would be an hour and twenty minutes. I fumbled with my keyboard, frantically trying to log off my computer. Only Murphy could have predicted this would happen. I shoved my wallet and phone into my purse, clocked out, then ran.
 
I refused to miss that train.
 
Oglivie is three blocks from where I work. Three city blocks. And now it was 4:08.
 
Accumulated on the first intersection stood tourist unsure of their whereabouts. A group of five young people pointing in different directions, yelling at each other, trying to find a location I could only guess was either Union Station or Oglivie. They needed a bar, though.
 
4:10.
 
The light changed, and I ran down two blocks to the second intersection, only to get caught by the light. I thought about jetting across the street until I glanced to my right to notice a CTA bus running a red light. Typical.
 
4:11.
 
I still had to cross the street, run up the stairs, and get to my train. This might not end well. See, the thing about the Metra: if you are not on the train at 4:12 and 59 seconds, you miss the train. 4:13 means doors closed and moving. On the dot. No excuses. Play like a champion? 4:13 and 1 second? You’re late. Bye bye choo choo train, and hello to waiting an hour for the next one.
 
As soon as the light changed to yellow, i bolted, pushed through the revolving doors which I’m terrified to get stuck in (because they just randomly stop, I know. Makes total sense), as I’m pushing through the door, I see “4:12” on the clock inside Oglivie.
 
CRAP.
 
I run through the station, up the escalator, yelling “ON THE LEFT” Seriously, I do not understand why people stand on the left side of escalators.  Slow pokes on the right please. I push through another set of revolving doors, run down three tracks over to “Track 13.” The conductor standing in the vestibule of the train recognizes me and yells “hurry up!” I  ran into the last car of the train as the doors close behind me. I pull out my phone to see it change from 4:12 to 4:13.
 
“Close one today.” He smiled, then gave me a high five.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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This week’s photo challenge (found here) required an unusual POV. Photography is, and never will be, my strong suit. Today however, appears to be quite the opposite. I promise this was nothing but an accident. A coworker needed to make a trip to Chase – a trip I make almost daily, as the gym I work out at is across the street. It was like any other trip I’ve made: running across the street trying not to get hit by buses or taxis. My mother would kill me if she knew how unsafe I was crossing roads. Apparently, I learned nothing as a child. I waited for her in the waiting area, looked out the window and…. LIGHT BULB… snapped this photo. I would really like to know what I looked like on the security camera: crouching down and awkwardly adjusting in my chair. I’m sure I made someone laugh. I’m a wee bit proud if it, I must say. Although, admittedly, black and white makes everything look better. But that’s just my opinion.
Happy Friday.

Check out my fellow bloggers. I love their posts:
http://judichow.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/weekly-photo-challenge-unusual-pov/
http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/wordpress-photo-challenge-unusual-pov/
http://icezine.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/an-unusual-pov-weekly-photo-challenge/

Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Phoneopraphy Challenge: Share a picture that reveals your neighborhood:

Sweet Home Chicago: Forget the lions and tigers and bears and welcome to crazy CTA drivers, even crazier taxi drivers, and pedestrians that run out in the middle of the streets. It’s a concrete jungle.

Chicago Skyline

Panorama of the Chicago skyline taken with my Samsung Galaxy 3s on a dinner cruise. 🙂

Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world. — Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 

All Grown Up

Daily Writing Prompt: All Grown Up: When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

The light bulb flickered above my head. Flashes of adult decisions loomed nearby. I refused to screw the light bulb in tighter because if I did, the beam of light would be constant. And then I’d be an adult. Making adult decisions every day instead of just moments in time when the light flickered, and I pretended to be an adult, for just a moment in time, and then I regressed back to naiveté.

Who really wants to grow up? Doesn’t everyone want to be a Toys ‘R Us kid?

Even after I moved from out of my Mom’s house to Chicago, I still didn’t feel as adult-like as I should. The opportunities to blow entire paychecks here are endless: concerts, museums, tours, wine tastings, fancy restaurants, Blackhawks and Bulls games, Navy Pier, dinner and architectural cruises, beaches Sears Tower (yes, it will always be the Sears Tower for me. Deal with it), parks, operas, Millennium Park, too many stores down the Magnificent Mile, and way too many options to get drunk at way too many bars. And this is just the start.

In order to enjoy Chicago and the copious amounts of activities, how could I be an adult? The longer I stayed here in Chicago, the more I untwisted my light bulb: making fewer and fewer adult decisions.

Then, out of no where, a year passed. An entire year–365 days, 525,949 minutes of my life–gone. The most gratifying part: I wasn’t broke:

I paid my cable bills.
I paid my rent.
I paid my medical bills.
I paid my insurance.
I paid my electric bills.
I paid for my bus passes.
I paid my cell phone bills.
Never late.
Always early.

I bought a new phone. Because I wanted to be like the cool kids.
I bought groceries… and wasted more that I should have. My mom would be disappointed.
I bought too many take out dinners. How am I not fat?
I bought new clothes. What? I had nothing to wear!
I bought a ticket to a three-day music festival in summer. I hope I remember most of it!
I bought more wine that I am willing to admit. I swear I’m not an alcoholic.
I bought new books. That I still need to read.
I bought more candles than I need. And didn’t burn down my apartment!
I bought a plan ticket to Boston. Is it April yet?

I researched neighborhoods to move into in March.
I found a new roommate. (And a new apartment!)
I mastered the public transportation system.
I joined a Writer’s Group.
I volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters.
I didn’t die crossing busy Chicago streets in rush hour traffic.
I filed my own taxes.
I kept my job.

So. Wait. HOLD THE PHONE!
I AM an adult? When did that happen?

//Frantically tries to unscrew the light bulb.//

I kept twisting and turning that bulb. Just hoping. Praying. (Wait, I don’t pray.) That the light would flicker again. That I would be able to not care about keeping my life in order. Yet, all along, I WAS somehow subconsciously making good decisions.

Look Mom! I’m an adult!

My Thoughts On The Teacher Strike

PLEASE READ THIS IN ENTIRETY BEFORE POSTING ANY COMMENTS:

Yes, it does require caps because most people don’t follow directions.

I am by no means degrading teachers.

Let that sink in.

I am by no means degrading teachers.

Many of my friends teach; my sister teaches. My teachers gave me my education. My teachers helped develop my skills. My teachers made me love writing so much that I started a blog that, because of YOUR teachers, you can read. Most teachers put up with more shit than they need to on a regular basis. (Most) Teachers do not receive the benefits they deserve.

I live in America. I’m proud to be an American. I’m grateful that we live in a nation where we are free to voice our opinions. We are allowed to form strikes. We’re allowed to say, “I don’t believe what you believe.”

This post is by no means saying “I don’t agree with the strike.” In fact, just to make this very clear, I support our teachers. 100%. But here’s what I don’t support:

(Please note, this is a collective “you,” and not necessarily aimed at anyone specifically, but if per chance a teacher in Chicago who walked around downtown with signs today stumbles upon my blog, then, yes, “you” inspired this.)

For the purpose of this post, it doesn’t matter the reason behind the strike; this emphasis is on how people choose to present themselves. If you’re holding a sign, waving it in front of my face, and yelling at me, I will not be happy. That immediately turns me off. You could be holding a sign saying “Unicorns are real” or “I believe in [insert religion].” Do not try to beckon me with your sign. First of all, you have no idea what I believe. You do not know me. You do not know my background. Why ridicule the people around you. I SUPPORT YOUR CAUSE, GOD DAMNIT!! These tactics turn me off to listening. And yes, I do support my teachers, but I cannot recall my teachers telling me that it is okay to wave a sign near other people’s faces, practically stabbing their flesh. I remember my teachers demonstrating respect. I remember the patience. I remember the professionalism. It is not unreasonable of me to be upset and annoyed. I should not need to bust out karate moves in order to not get slashed in the eyeball by some sign. You teachers are professionals. Act like it.

My second point, which seems far less miniscule as the first especially to non-Chicago commuters, why are you preaching to people on the red line? Do you not understand the majority of people who ride the red line? It’s a joke. The red line is the worst place to try and tell anyone your beliefs. To reiterate, someone could be holding a sign that says, “I believe pigs can fly” and it wouldn’t matter. (Wait. Shit. Swine Flu. Bad example). My point is, know your audience. Go on strike where it makes sense to be heard. Anyone from Chicago can attest to this. The red line, for a lack of a better literary term, sucks.

Last, I understand the reason behind this strike. I sympathize with your anger. What I do not understand is this: just because I choose not to sit and listen to you does not mean I do not support you. Sometimes people have long days at work and just want to go home, eat, and relax. And remember, many people who walked by you have worse jobs than you do. All I ask for is respect.
I really should have titled this piece, “Rules for Protesting,” but the teachers marching around downtown caused the production of this post.

To every teacher: thank you.
To all the teachers who protested: Be respectful. Don’t get a bad reputation because you forgot I’m a person, too.