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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Train logic....

Often on a train ride home I find I have multiple options as to what route I take. The number of routes I could possibly take numbers in the double digits and it usually depends on which train comes first. During rush hour anyway, any route will take about thirty to forty minutes. In cases where it's late at night and the number of stops, whether the train is stopping at local stops and whether or not it's actually running on its regular route, all come in to play, often it makes sense almost immediately which one is the best way to go. But sometimes I find myself debating what could get me home faster, if I actually have the time to engage in such ridiculous analytical exercises. Picture it: I'm on the F and the train is stopped at the Jay Street/Metro Tech stop in Downtown Brooklyn for a seemingly indefinite period of time (probably more like 3 minutes). Here, I could forego the waiting, get up and switch to the R up the stairs and down the hall. Or, I could stay on the train until 4th Avenue/9th Street and switch to the R there. I'm debating whether I'll end up waiting for the train longer at Jay Street or at 9th Street and then I'm wondering if the R train is even stopping at Jay Street (it is the weekend, though probably not late enough on a Friday night for the service changes to be in effect). If I get up and check, I risk missing both trains and having to wait for the next F. If I stay on the F until 9th Street, then I'm at least walking distance from home should the R train fail me entirely or if I end up missing the connection and don't feel like waiting longer. A unique aspect of the R train stop at 4th Avenue/9th Street is that it takes me the same amount of time to walk home as it does to wait for another train when I've just missed one late at night. Just about. So, I end up staying on the train at Jay Street and getting off at 9th Street for the R train. And wouldn't you know it? I just miss the R train at 9th Street. Maybe I could have caught that same R train if I had gotten off at Jay Street? Or maybe I would have just missed it there too and had to wait the same 10 minutes.

So you see, to some degree, such speculative calculating is seemingly useless especially when you factor in the amount of time it actually saves. It's usually zero time though it might be 5 to 10 minutes. Maybe I find it fun because while it may not save time it certainly kills time and on the off chance that it does save me time it gives me a boost of confidence like I have beaten the system that screws me over so regularly. It is also good to know these things when considering whether or not to even bother with trying an alternate route that isn't dictated by which train arrives first. After all, in this case, the distance in number of stops between Jay Street and 9th Street is the same on the R train as it is on the F train (at least it will be when they open up Smith/9th Sts again).

And then I deal with ironies like the fact that the route that is shortest for me from home to work, in terms of number of stops, requires that I take 3 trains, while the route that takes the fewest train connections nears the most possible stops it could take me to get to work.

Either way, whether thinking like this can make my dealings with the MTA more efficient or not, it certainly does make good practice at time management in every other aspect of my life. I use the same kind of logic in the name of productivity when deciding what to work on while at home and what to save for while I'm on the train or at work in my downtime. It doesn't make much sense to answer emails at home or blog at home when I have work to accomplish that I could only do with the equipment I have here at home. I can't exactly bring my MIDI keyboard to work so I can compose on my break. Nor can I practice piano or write songs on the guitar (or do laundry for that matter). I can, however, mix things on my laptop, write blog entries and answer emails from my phone or laptop while at work or in transit.

That's not what I'm doing now. No, I'm actually blogging at home after a thundery, rainy commute home and debating, as always, what to start working on next. I have to play piano at church on Sunday, so I'll practice a little bit and I feel like I may be able to accomplish some VO stuff tonight but ultimately, I'm just planning for the week. I'm planning on starting to take a look at a few pieces that I've left unfinished and seeing what sparks the most inspiration to decide what I'll work on next there. I'm still waiting for a friend to find me lyrics for the choral piece, so there's almost no reason to start work on it yet. I'm excited because, beyond all that, on Thursday, I'm shooting down to Philly for half a day to record some guitar tracks for Lacy's new album. After that, I fly to NC for a little visit to the family. When I get back is when I'll really get to dive into my new projects. For now, I think I'd better get to practicing...

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