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to travel on an exploding train…

July 24, 2006 Leave a comment

when i was 16, i went on a ‘teen tour’ (summer 1994) where a bunch of kids boarded a coach bus and toured and camped the western US. it was pretty amazing to see how beautiful and incredibly large this country is, especially at such a young age. this post is not about that summer.

a few wks after we had all returned home, one kid called a reunion at his parents’ house in the hamptons. hoo-ha. it was the first time that i traveled unsupervised, so it was pretty exciting (also the fact that we were going to party on the beach in the hamptons). it was only a 2 hour train ride on the LIRR, but i was going by myself, so it was extra cool. of course my mom was overprotective and worried something would happen.

i boarded the train at valley stream, i believe, b/c i’d have had to switch at jamaica if i had left from cedarhurst. everything was moving along swimmingly, the train was chugging along, i was staring out the window and thinking about seeing my friends, when all of a sudden a woman opened the door and rushed in from the next car over. she ran past me, but i didn’t think anything of it b/c people move between cars all the time. then a conductor came back with her and went into the car from whence came the woman. a minute later he returned and fetched a second conductor. at this point i obviously knew something was up. as they stood next to me in the aisle, they conversed somewhat intensely for a moment about making an emergency stop – say what?! that’s when i noticed smoke starting to come in through the open door. then fireball exploded under the train.

flames shot out from under the train and licked the windows. smoke poured out leaving a trail of black soot in its wake. i’m pretty sure i saw something fly out from under the train. that was pretty much all the conductors needed to see. they pulled the cord, we screeched to a halt, and they herded everyone to the far end of the train. fire trucks rushed to the scene and fireman ran down the tracks to extinguish the train. we had to deboard the train right on the tracks and walk a little bit to get to the babylon station, where we were rescued 2 hours later by an alternate train which finally go us to the hamptons.

Categories: memories

train explosion

December 8, 2005 Leave a comment

when i was 16, i went on a ‘teen tour’ (summer 1994) where a bunch of kids boarded a coach bus and toured and camped the western US. it was pretty amazing to see how beautiful and incredibly large this country is, especially at such a young age. this post is not about that summer.

a few wks after we had all returned home, one kid called a reunion at his parents’ house in the hamptons. hoo-ha. it was the first time that i traveled unsupervised, so it was pretty exciting (also the fact that we were going to party on the beach in the hamptons). it was only a 2 hour train ride on the LIRR, but i was going by myself, so it was extra cool. of course my mom was overprotective and worried something would happen.

i boarded the train at valley stream, i believe, b/c i’d have had to switch at jamaica if i had left from cedarhurst. everything was moving along swimmingly, the train was chugging along, i was staring out the window and thinking about seeing my friends, when all of a sudden a woman opened the door and rushed in from the next car over. she ran past me, but i didn’t think anything of it b/c people move between cars all the time. then a conductor came back with her and went into the car from whence came the woman. a minute later he returned and fetched a second conductor. at this point i obviously knew something was up. as they stood next to me in the aisle, they conversed somewhat intensely for a moment about making an emergency stop – say what?! that’s when i noticed smoke starting to come in through the open door. then fireball exploded under the train.

flames shot out from under the train and licked the windows. smoke poured out leaving a trail of black soot in its wake. i’m pretty sure i saw something fly out from under the train. that was pretty much all the conductors needed to see. they pulled the cord, we screeched to a halt, and they herded everyone to the far end of the train. fire trucks rushed to the scene and fireman ran down the tracks to extinguish the train. we had to deboard the train right on the tracks and walk a little bit to get to the babylon station, where we were rescued 2 hours later by an alternate train which finally go us to the hamptons.

Categories: memories

a gem of joy that surfaced from studio today, thou…

October 1, 2004 Leave a comment

a gem of joy that surfaced from studio today, though, was my discovery of a new term – urban coral. i’m very proud that i created this term. it has so many branches available for exploration. who knows what urban coral is? it will describe so many things! coral lives in a state of delicate equilibrium; it is varied and beautiful; it is always unique; it should not be disturbed, but if it is, a new coral will evolve amidst the debris of the old; it may not be taken away from its home – if it does, it may either die or be irrevocably altered, and the same goes for the reef from which it was taken. the beauty of coral should be captured in your mind, and taken with you from place to place. it is a jewel to be marveled and interacted with, but not destroyed.

and so i’ve bought my first cool URL, http://www.urbancoral.com, which at some date unbeknownst to me will become the hub of all my online activies. my 2 journals (this one, and my other one on architectural musings), as well as my portfolio will be located there. i will also explore just what it is that urban coral means.

so i’m not really sure why i remembered this today…

September 22, 2004 Leave a comment

so i’m not really sure why i remembered this today, but its one of those random memories that show up out of nowhere. it’s a pretty distinct memory, and i knew as it occurred that i would always remember it – b/c as it happened it actually felt like a memory. i felt like i was in the wonder years – i could just hear the old fred savage (or me) voicing over how that day at camp i took a shower after dinner, put my sunglasses on, and strolled over to the tetherball courts. it felt like a memory b/c the sunglasses seemed foggy around the edges – just like on tv. it turned out they had just fallen into a bowl of peas at dinner.

Categories: memories

Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?!

June 11, 2004 Leave a comment

i love finding old songs from my past – like old cheesy childhood songs. but i’m talking about good pop songs by one-hit wonders – these songs are really just fun to listen to. what prompted this? WHO’S JOHNNY? by El DeBarge, which you may all remember from the movie Short Circuit. My associated memories w/ this song include roller skating at Hot Skates birthday parties (a memory also particularly linked w/ the Ghostbusters theme song).

Now, why the video for Who’s Johnny? was filmed in a courtroom is a little beyond me. Apparently the song is a pop love song, the video is about a convict, and the it’s in a movie about a smack-talking robot. go figure.

Categories: haha, memories, music

on Vaio, Reagan, and hot water.

June 11, 2004 Leave a comment

and, as i’m waiting for my lovely little bitch computer – i love you, laptop, i really do, but you have so many freakin problems – to complete it’s virus scan, i think i’ll post again w/ a few tidbits that have occurred in the past day or so.

watched reagan’s funeral on nbc this morn. also on cbs, abc, and fox – the wb graciously didn’t interrupt their scheduled jerry springer marathon. i was 10 yrs old by the time reagan left office, so i remember growing up w/ reagan in office. i’m not particularly political, so i won’t bash him for this policy or that – despite some of them being pretty screwy. but i definitely liked him as a person from afar. i don’t think it’s hard to agree w/ all this schmaltzy ‘reagan was a good person, i love him’ stuff. he really did exude an amiability that none of the presidents since have displayed. the former canadian PM eulogy and british PM thatcher’s eulogy i thought were particularly eloquent. i didn’t feel that either of the Bush eulogies really displayed any warmth – at least the elder bush didn’t seem to, despite his getting choked up. the younger bush had some good speech writers on this one, but that didn’t seem to help the fact that he’s an imbecile and can’t speak in public anyway.

went to a forum on solar hot water heating yesterday, hoping it would impart some knowledge useful for the solarD house. it didn’t. as a matter of fact, it seemed like a hippie gathering. the first guy to speak was from a company called AET. no joke – this guy spoke as if he were an eighth grader giving his very first public appearance before the US Congress. he stammered, he faultered, he sweated bullets, he repeated himself, and he didn’t say ANYTHING about his company’s products. the only thing i learned was that AET believed strongly in using drain-back systems (which means that when the outdoor temp goes below freezing, or the water quality is bad, the system detects it and stops circulating and heating water). well, any solar hot water system that is in an area where either of these items might be an issue should have something like this installed, so AET isn’t bringing anything revolutionary to the market. really, this guy spoke for 20 minutes and said nothing. then the second guy to speak actually could speak in front of crowds. unfortunately, he too said absolutely nothing about HIS company’s product. his speech was a brief history in solar hot water heating dating back to 1890, and a pat on the back that solar hot water heating will save the environment. i got up and left at that point.

jeeps are ‘safe’

March 29, 2004 1 comment

several of you who actually know me may be aware of my jeep crash ‘incident’. it goes something like this: senior year of high school, some years ago now, it snowed a lot. the white shit just wouldn’t stop falling. so one night, the eve of a friend’s departure to study abroad for a few months as i remember, i convinced my parents that letting me drive the jeep would be safer since it had just snowed a fresh foot. of course we all know that a jeep isn’t safer if you drive like an idiot, but hey, i was a responsible kid, right? so after the big going away dinner party, at which two in attendance got into the most ridiculous fight (followed w/ taunts such as “i’ll kick your ass” “oh yeah? i’m gonna call my brother, and his friends are gonna kick your ass” “oh yeah, well i’m gonna call yun-soo and he’s gonna get his asian gang to slash your face!”), i decided it would be fun to take the jeep off-roading through the fresh snow on the parking lot at north woodmere park. 2 friends, who for their sake shall remain nameless, rode w/ me and in fact videotaped the fateful event that snowy eve. all prepped, tape rolling, we inserted the indiana jones cd. the music starts, and your cue is to now download the video and let it speak for itself. mind you – there is no dubbing, no syncing, all audio you hear is how it occurred.


Categories: haha, memories, NY, weather

i is angry!!

March 16, 2004 Leave a comment

finally, some rest from an exhausting weekend. friday nite after studio, we went to the austin ballet. immediately thereafter drove straight to dallas, arriving at 1:30a (working off of 4 hours sleep the nite before). woke up at 7a to catch a 10a flight to NY, w/ stopover in chicago. upon arrival in NY, quickly rode back to parents’ house, showered, drove into the city to meet girlfriend’s dad, w/ whom we ate dinner (my parents also drove out for dinner). old roommate, who happens to be in NY at the same time, joins us for desert, and then a ride downtown to a bar where high school friend is having bday party. roughly 1:30a by this time, resulting in major overload and crash, time to sleep. drop off old roommate at his cousin’s, drop off other friend at his car, drive home, but accidentally get on the queensborough bridge instead of going up town and taking the triboro bridge. instense need to urinate begins to build. construction on queensborough results in 2 minute drive becoming 30 minute drive. turn around, go uptown, take triboro, to grand central to van wyck to nassau expressway, down rockaway turnpike, left on broadway, get home, and pee until the following morning.

sunday reestablished my belief in the evils of the five towns and long island. following a sloth like morning of recuperating, cindy and i walked into town. i became the boyfriend tag-along for what quite possibly could have become a shopping trip. we stopped at ann taylor, and cindy tried on a dress. i went to the mirror by the changing area to look at the dress she tried on, but the manager informed me that men aren’t allowed in the back, b/c women are changing. well they’re not changing out in the fucking open! that’s why they have changing rooms you craggy old bitch! cindy can come to the front to show me, but i can’t go back. i have my theory for this sales practice, but sorry, i’m not sharing it.

we then walked around town a bit, got a carvel ice cream cone, and i introduced to cindy to cookiepuss and fudgie the whale.


fudgie

cookiepuss

anyone who wants to make a joke out of that fuck off. they’re ice cream cakes, and are well known to anyone in the NY metro area. even the simpsons spoofed them. anyway, while there, there was a family getting ice cream. the parents had to be 24-25. the grandparents were there too. the children were probably 3-4, and there were about 3-4 of them. they were lying on the ground, being loud and whiney, generally pains in the ass. did the parents chastise them? no. did the grandparents chastise them? no. did the grandparents advise the parents how to deal w/ the kids? no. that’s b/c it’s a statewide epidemic. these people, and these are well off, educated people, have absolutely no regard for public space, personal space, or image in public. they are a materialistic, selfish group, who would argue against these identifications to the death. that’s b/c these villifications are the public face they put on to everyone outside their community. to everyone w/in their community, they are angels, caring and giving. actually, a lot of the behavior crosses boundaries, it’s just that w/in the community everyone does it, so you can’t get aggravated. anyway, the kids are screaming and running around out of control in carvel, the parents take 5 damn minutes to make one order, and we’re sucking it up. this is the behaviour prevalent throughout the five towns – a different monster altogether from the jappy behaviour that characterizes long island. we took a walk to starbucks afterwards – there are no other places to get coffee in town – and cindy held open the door for a woman on her cell phone. no thank you in reply. the cashier is leaning against the register, angry at life for making her an ugly bitch, and barely acknowledges our order. no have a nice day, no thank you (which, generally, i don’t require, but at least some cordial acknowledgement that i placed an order). i asked her to turn the volume down a bit b/c i was reading, but she didn’t ‘have the power’ to do that. what?! are you joking? turning the volume down is outside your job responsibility to keep the customer happy? well, does anyone here have that power? the manager does, he’s that guy over there. of course, i run into an old high school friend on my way to the manager, and by the time i’m done, he’s gone. i ask another schlock behind the register to turn down the volume – sure, no problem. volume is down in 2 minutes. that girl was such a bitch!

enough about the five towns. yesterday we explored brooklyn. i’ve never been there before, and obviously neither has cindy. it was really nice – we discovered park slope, brooklyn heights, really nice neighborhoods. great places to move into when graduations are complete. yeah, they’re really expensive, but we can sell our souls for a few years to gather the cash. we found this restaurant under the brooklyn bridge called ‘river cafe’, which was funny b/c we had heard about it from cindy’s mom. now, cindy’s mom is a southern belle, prim and proper, and has never really travelled outside of the areas she’s lived in. sure, she’s done some international travel, but hasn’t really seen much of the US, and is darn gullible to boot. so she was in a cab in dallas, and was talking to the guy about cindy and my trip to NY, as well as her husband’s trip to NY on the same weekend (he had a medical conference to attend). the cabbie proceeds to explain how he’s not a dallas cabbie full time – nooooo, he has a string of cabs in NY and dallas (b/c the dallas cab market is about to be deregulated and he’s gonna make $$$). he only spends about a week driving a cab in dallas and spends the rest in NY in his park ave. apartment w/ his brother. he also happens to have a Ph.d, but won’t say in what. this sounds highly plausible. so when he lists off some restaurants to visit, its not unreasonable to take it w/ a grain of salt. a BIG grain of salt. so we payed no mind to the suggestion of dining at a restaurant below the brooklyn bridge. it should be noted, that we found the idea of a restaurant existing below the brooklyn bridge to be highly likely, we just weren’t going to take this guy’s work for anything. but, lo and behold, as we came to the brooklyn bridge promenade for an amazing view of the city, we found the ‘river cafe’. it had an amazing view, and an amazingly expensive menu. about $90 per person. so we just had some drinks, but you can imagine what the bill was. $$$. we then went back into manhattan to eat at the 2nd ave. deli. now, the 2nd ave. deli is a big piece of NY kosher deli culture. it’s been around 50 years, and is kind of THE kosher deli. i’ve never been there, but yesterday was it’s 50th anniversary, and they were serving food at 1954 prices. who can not eat there when a pastrami sandwich costs 50 cents?! that would have to be us – there was a 5 hour line wrapping around the block to get some cheap deli food. so we had pizza, another NY favorite.

we then quickly met up w/ a friend i used to work w/ at the now defunct iBeam communications at her new apartment. we drank some wine, talked for a while, and then headed back to penn station, got home to cedarhurst, and walked home at 11:30p. it was a very nice day, and we slept most of today away – b/c it’s fucking snowing!!!!!

Categories: frustration, life, memories, NY