Tag Archives: metro

Three-train Thursday

At Mt. Vernon Square, this afternoon, where I transfer to the Green Line, I let two Green Line trains pass because they were bursting at the seams. I finally got on the third train to come by. It meant a total of about 15 minute delay, but I was engrossed in The Reagan Diaries and didn’t really notice the passing time. (Packed trains were probably a result of back-to-school, plus residual fallout from a problem on the Red Line.)

When I got home, I had mail from Amtrak. As a “Select” member, they sent me two free upgrade coupons, a free “companion” coupon, and a free day’s access to Club Acela coupon. Next time I take the Acela up to NYC, I’ll be sure to make use of one or more those coupons. The rest of the mail was junk.

Still too tired (lazy) to cut the grass, but I’ve decided to do it Sunday morning, so I’m no longer stressing about it. Going to spend the evening reading, and maybe squeeze in a little writing too.

Metro delays

Just yesterday, I was telling someone how there are rarely delays on the metro lines on which I travel (yellow and green). So it should have come as no surprise that there were delays on the yellow line this morning. Twenty minute delays. I got to Mt. Vernon Square at the usual time, and then stood on the platform for 20 minutes, waiting for the next yellow line train. It meant, of course, that the train got very crowded, and that I got into the office at 6:50 instead of 6:30. Even so, it’s better than sitting in traffic in L.A. I passed the time nearly finishing Poul Anderson’s novelette, “The Man Who Came Early”.

Commuting delays

I guess this is where there were delays taking the train home this afternoon. I was only delayed about 10 minutes, but the Green line trains were sharing the same track between Columbia Heights and Fort Totten.

Take the long way home

This afternoon, for the first time since I’ve been living out here (5 years now), I screwed up and got on the wrong train coming home from work.

For those not familiar with the area and who can’t understand how this can happen, let me explain. There are two trains that come through my station at work, the Yellow line and Blue line. My train is the Yellow line. In addition to up-to-the-minute train signs on the platform, Metro has recently added this information to signs on the main level. These signs show the next three trains that are coming. When I got into the station this afternoon, it said the next train was going to be a yellow line train in 1 minute.

I was wearing sunglasses. Also, a couple of the escalators down to the platform were out of service, which meant I had to go to the farthest one. As I swiped my card, I saw a train coming into the station, and figured that was the Yellow line. The sign had said 1 minute and I figured I’d caught it when most of that minute was up. I raced down the stairs to make the train, which I did.

I was listening to my iPod so I couldn’t hear any announcements.

The train left the station. The next stop was Pentagon. At this station, I had a slight suspicion that I might have conceivably gotten onto the wrong train. So I looked at the sign as we pulled into the station (being too stubborn to pull of my earphones to hear the announcements). The sign was indicating elevator outages. I waited. And waited. The doors closed and as soon as they were closed, the sign changed back to the train status and I saw that I had, in fact, gotten onto a Blue line train.

I took a deep breath and decided not to back track. Instead, I took the long way home. I rode the Blue line 9 stops to L’Enfant, where I switched to the Green line and took that home. Even with my error, I was still in the door by 5 PM.

Still, for someone as conscious of their surroundings as me, this is pretty embarrassing. But it’s only fair that I share my embarrassments as much as my accomplishments. I don’t expect this to happen again, however*.


*Something similar happened to me when I lived in L.A. Sometime in 1995, I was driving into work and my mind was preoccupied by something. I missed the 4th street exit and ended up having to take PCH all the way to Chautauqua and then figuring out how to loop back around to Ocean in order to get to work. It happened once and it was the only time it ever happen in 8 years of driving that commute.

Derail, delay, devour

When I got down to the metro station after leaving work, there were announcements that a train had derailed near Mount Vernon Square. I go through that station and there was no way through. I had to take the Blue line the long way around to Metro Center, switch to the Red line, take that to Fort Totten, and then change the the Green line to get home. Delays were inevitable. What normally takes 35 minutes took twice that long. However, from what I understand, only three people were hurt in the accident.

I decided to treat myself to dinner after weekend full of work and so I stopped at Outback. I started with an appetizer of their cheese fries (it’s my free day so I can eat whatever I want) and a Sprite. Then I ordered a steak with broccoli, a side salad and a tall Bud Lite. I devoured my food while watching the Giants game.

After dinner I went to the grocery store. It was just after 7 PM when I finally got home. The rest of the evening was spent doing chores. I put away the groceries, collected all of the trash, did a couple of loads of laundry, packed my lunch for tomorrow, cleaned the kitchen. I also mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors, vacuumed the house and in general neatened things up.

I’m going to bed shortly. I’ve got one more load of laundry that’s in the drier and then I’m off to sleep. I’m about 100 pages through The Engines of God and I’m enjoying that as much as Chindi. The next four evenings I’m dedicating to revising a story and working on a new story. I’d like to be done with the story revisions by Thursday.

Home

I’m just home from dinner with AJ and Denisse. We went to Chevy’s and we had a nice dinner. It don’t get to see them that much and it was good to be able to spend time with them.

When I got back to the metro station tonight, my car was there, as if it had been parked there since this morning. There was no indication that anyone was annoyed with my having left it there over night. In fact, it turned out that I saved myself a little money. If I had left the metro last night, I would have paid $3.50 for parking. But because I left the metro today–a weekend–there was no charge for parking. It’s a little loophole in the system that I am sure they are aware of, and once in which I will not be taking advantage of again (I hope).

Anyway, I head back into the office tomorrow to finish up with the bug fixes. No workout tomorrow, however, since Sunday is my free day. I’m off to bed…

All the way in on the yellow line

I carried out my experiment this morning. I did not get on to the 5:06 AM green line train at PG Plaza. Instead, I waited two more minutes and along came a yellow line train. And it stopped and PG Plaza, so I got on board and road the train all the way into work. I didn’t have to switch. It was great!

Metro confusion

On Sunday, the yellow line in the DC Metro began running all the way up to Fort Totten. I normally take the green line to the yellow line to get to work. With the yellow line going to Fort Totten, that means I can switch only two stops before mine, and I can sit and ride longer before I have to switch. So this morning was the first chance I got to do it.

I was a little confused. The green line came at 5:06, as usual, to PG Plaza. But one minute behind the green line, according to the electronic boards, was a yellow line train. I figured that had to be a mistake since PG Plaza is two stops beyond Fort Totten. So I got on the green line and got off at Fort Totten to switch to the Yellow line. A minute later, at Fort Totten, the yellow line came. And there were people on it, meaning that it had, in fact, stopped at PG Plaza and West Hyattsville. If this is actually the case, it means I can now take one train all the way into work, which is incredibly convenient. The problem is, everything that has been announced say that the end of the yellow line is now Fort Totten. But that is not how the train behaved this morning.

When I got into work, I checked WMATA’s website and found this announcement, which didn’t really clarify things. And the new system maps show the yellow line terminating at Fort Totten. So what gives? People clearly got on the yellow line at PG Plaza, West Hyattsville (and probably College Park and Greenbelt too). It makes sense since Greenbelt is the end of the line and why would the train skip stations? But it has not been announced officially.

I’m so confused!

Concentration

I was reading Humans on the train ride home this evening. I take the Yellow line to Mt. Vernon Square and then switch the Green line. It is so routine for me that I can do it with my eyes closed. I have an internal sensor that tells me when I’m at my switching point, which happens to the end of the Yellow line. But today, I was so engrossed in what I was reading that I almost didn’t make it off the train on time. In the 4+ years that I have been commuting this route, I have never missed a stop by accident. Today was the closest I’ve ever come.

And besides, it is a really good book so far. I’m likely to finish it up by Friday and it will be the first book that I’ve finished in nearly 2 months!

Morning commute

A mildy interesting commute this morning for two reasons:

  1. The green line was running 8-car trains, which is pretty unusual on that line in the DC Metro.
  2. The train car in which I rode was a new “6000-series” metro car. About the only big differences I noticed (aside from it being in pristine condition) were: (a) a pair of seats had been removed from each side of the center of the train to make more room for wheelchairs; and (b) there were more digital displays of the next stop–in the center of the car as well as on the ends.

Of course, the new train is not any faster than the previous train, so I suppose the only practical improvement is that it will seem less crowded with 8 cars than with 6, but I’m not complaining. I was still able to spend the entire train ride reading Lunar Prospector, which I could never do if I was still commuting in L.A.

Crazy train

On the train this morning was a colorful character who boarded at L’Enfant Plaza. He had more or less wrapped himself in that yellow DO NOT CROSS police line tape. He was carrying an old tape recorder, connected to a Bose headset. And he was yelling. It was actually kind of funny because the whole car got quiet and was listening to this guy yell. As the train crossed the Potomic, he started yelling out, “That light post looks like your sister.” And: “And that one looks like your mama.” At one point (we are already back underground), he yelled out, “I don’t see a light post that looks like your grandma.” It was strange.

He got off at my stop, headed into the mall and disappeared.

How tired I am

I think I mentioned earlier that I woke up feeling pretty sleepy. I didn’t get to take my usual nap at work today either. So today, for the first time since November, I did not read on the train home. I decided to listen to my iPod instead. Specifically, I decided to listen to some Metallica, and I had been wanted to listen to Kill ‘Em All again for a while now. So that’s what I did. I listened to Kill ‘Em All on the trainride home.

And fell asleep.

I fell asleep, listening to a phenomenal heavy metal album, playing at obnoxiously high volume. It happened somewhere between Mount Vernon Square and U-Street. I was out like a light. There I was, waiting especially for “Whiplash” and by the time I woke up again, the song was already over. I just couldn’t believe it. To fall asleep during that album? If you’ve heard the album, you know what I’m talking about.