New Places, New Faces

April 8, 2008

I’m currently sitting in the Albany, NY train station. I’m about to embark on the second leg of my train journey from Maine to Texas (technically just from Boston to Texas…I took the bus from Lewiston to Boston).

High points of the journey so far:

1. This new kind of train. The journey from Boston to Albany was on some different model of train than the one that goes from Boston to D.C. Major differences include more leg room and the result of that–farther away and bizarrely lower tray tables. However, the best major difference is the foot rest. In addition to the normal bus/train foot rest, this train had a fold-out foot rest from the bottom of your seat so you can basically turn your seat into a recliner. I think it must be a train designed for long, overnight train rides. Anyway, I ended up opening the one next to me so that I could sit diagonally from my slightly reclined chair and use my tray table for my coffee, my computer as a lap desk and the other foot rest to get the perfect leg position for pretty much the perfect angle. It was pretty awesome, and VERY good for my productivity, since I still have a paper to finish.

2. Yuengling. Yuengling is one of my all-time favorite beers; however, I’ve had to live with the fact that it’s really only available in the Mid-Atlantic region, and thus a treat I only get when visiting D.C. or somewhere similar. But this lovely train had bottles of Yuengling in the dining car. It was a most pleasant surprise. I think I made it an hour and half (maybe two) before buying one. Though expensive, it was pretty excellent.

3. The man in the aisle across from me. The man in the aisle across from me for most of the ride had pretty much the best handlebar mustache I’ve ever seen. I tried to take a cell phone picture for my friend Tom but I couldn’t get a good angle without it being obvious. But it was the greatest thing ever. As was his outfit of mesh shorts, a t-shirt and jacket, a racecar/Bud Light hat and headphones. Oh, how I wish I could have known what he was listening to on his MP3 player.

4. Not having a seat buddy. Though in general, I’m a pretty social person, I really love not having seat buddies on trains. I love being able to stretch out, and, more importantly, I need to–or else the arthritis starts acting up. One of the reasons I hate flying (besides the whole up-in-the-air-thing) is the havoc it wreaked on my knee-and that was before the second surgery. The complete and utter lack of leg room combined with all the pressure changes makes my knee a very cranky knee. This is also one of the reasons I dislike the bus as well. My old lady knee needs its space

Those are the highlights thus far. Low points include realizing I forgot the four journal articles I printed out yesterday for my paper in an attempt to be together and realizing that I never gave a professor a bunch of stuff she needed to write me a recommendation, primarily because I forgot I was applying to the program and I forgot the deadline. I also forgot to sign my graduation papers, so those are going to have to wait too. But forgetting the journal articles was especially frustrating because I was trying SO HARD to remember them. Also frustrating was losing my grey Converse at some point last night between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., so I had to wear my boat shoes instead, which just don’t work as well. And they have tons of sand in them. And I’m wearing them with my Wesuit sweatsuit right now with socks, so I look really dumb. A pink trimmed sock, a purple trimmed sock, boat shoes and giant black sweatpants with red lettering. Never a good look.

Alright. I’m off to the gift shop.