Saturday, December 01, 2007

Long Train Runnin'

When I was in high school in 3rd period Rock Band, for some reason our teacher, Mr. Pinto, wanted to do this Doobie Brothers song. But he didn't have any guys that could sing that high -- so he had me, an alto "rocking it out."

ROCKING IT OUT?! HA! I'm a musical theatre Old School R&B Earth, Wind and Fire chick, what did I know about ROCK? What was I even doing in the class anyway, except that we did a lot of Commodores and disco too (hahaha).

And here are the first words:

Down around the corner
A half a mile from here
You see them old trains runnin'
And you watch them disappear
Without love
Where would you be now
Without love
You know I saw Miss Lucy
Down along the tracks
She lost her home and her family
And she won't be comin' back
Without love
Where would you be now
Without love

WTF? Lucy WHO? I had no idea what the heck I was singing about, and I'd never been on a train except for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

But all that's changed... as I just got back from a quick 24-hour day in San Diego to see my niece's piano/vocal recital (YAY KIRA!). And I took the train, good old AMTRAK, from Burbank to Solana Beach. May I just say: PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS?! You know, because I spend so much time in my apartment and alone, I just like to get out to a mall or a bookstore to be around humanity... alone in a crowd is good sometimes.

But TRAIN IDIOTS are not the same kind of people as mall rats or bookstore lurkers!

I find a perfect seat on the coast side of the train, ready to stare at the beautiful cloud-ridden sun set onto the ocean... and the woman behind me is playing some TV show on her laptop AT FULL BLAST. Before I settle in I ask her if she could turn it down and she says, "Then I won't be able to hear it." "You don't have headsets?" "No." "I'll move then" and I did. IDIOT! How can you think that's all right that you blast your f*cking show for the whole car to have to listen and watch? There oughta be a law.

Then at one of my last stops a lady walks in with a cute little two-year-old on her shoulders in pink onesy and a slightly hacked-up bob haircut, then proceeds to nick the girl's head on the luggage rack above when she tries to take her off her shoulders. Ouch. But this doesn't make the girl cry... this girl wants DADDY. Which I guess is her word for CANDY. Because Mama kept YELLING at her saying, "No! No way are you getting any more candy! NO WAY! Tomorrow!" Which makes Little Girl yelp even more, and me cringe... please, I've only got two more stops, don't make me get up and move -- or smack your ass.

Little Girl wasn't having it and kept screaming for DADDY -- so to make her shut up, Mama Idiot smacks her on the bottom hard twice: "No candy!" Which of course give her desired effect -- more howling. To which Mama explains to the entire car, "It's way past her bedtime -- and she's only two and she wants EVERYTHING." Explains everything right? Idiot. Two seconds later Mama gives her the DADDY anyway, with the proviso that "That's all you get tonight or else." Baby hushes up, Mama looks for some kind of audience validation -- and finding none, gets on the cell phone so we can ALL hear about her weekend hell.

I got my luggage and stood downstairs for my stop. How come nincompoops like that get to have kids but I don't?!?!?!

Actually, I do have to correct myself... I told my brother at the recital intermission that Someone Upstairs must've been looking out for the children of the world because if I had had them, I would've worked them to their musical bone -- much worse than Father Osmond or Joe Jackson... so, hm... guess it all works out, huh?

And as I walked to my car at the Burbank train station, I did think I got payback for my mean streak coming out on the train to Solana Beach the day before. I was on a crowded, Friday afternoon commuter and I was sitting in a window seat. I had already planned on getting a little snack in the cafe car (my big adventure for the week) when an older "granola-type" lady sat next to me. I "profiled" her right away: vegetarian, cat-lover and never touched hair-dye Birkenstock-wearing gal. Nice enough, smiled, read the paper.

Uh-oh. I wanted a hot dog something fierce, but I knew the cafe car would be too crowded to eat in there so I'd have to bring it back and probably disgust her to death with all the meat by-products that so deliciously make up my wonderful microwaved hot dog doused in mustard and relish.

But I didn't care! Well, I sort of didn't... the whole 10 minutes in line I kept trying to make it okay to just get potato chips for my salt fix... but finally I told myself to F*CK IT! I'm a grown woman and I can eat what I want wherever I want and it's not against the law to eat pork/beef hot dogs in trains otherwise they wouldn't sell them, right? And if she doesn't like it, she can find some other place to sit -- or stand -- or just suck it up. Wow, I'm a big girl on campus, now aren't I?

One bite, and it took her about two-and-a-half seconds to move across the aisle -- she was lucky enough that a seat opened up. And that made my hot dog taste lousy.

Who's the idiot now?