Thursday, March 29, 2007

Notes on a list, and a new project.

So I contributed to my friend's column this week (and next week) at DeadOn (it's a group of Deadspin commenters writing about pop culture) about music made by women in the 90s (thus the thoughts about it earlier in this blog).

-Part I of the list was mostly compiled by the time I got involved. My main input on this part of the list was insisting that he mention Elastica stole their song from Wire and suggesting that including Veruca Salt without the Breeders was kinda insane, since Veruca Salt lifted the Breeder's deal wholesale.
-I do like "Connection" and some Veruca Salt well enough, though.
-My suggestions for Part II (and maybe III?) of the list included Liz Phair, P.J. Harvey, Throwing Muses, Cibo Matto, Bjork, Luscious Jackson, and a number of other folks I've now forgotten. I know a song from one of these will be in Part II, because I wrote the blurb for it.

Now onto far less exciting matters: Mass Transit! In case you don't live in Chicago: the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority, though I usually replace the first word with "Clusterf***") will be drastically reducing capacity on one of the most-navigated portions of its track for the next few years, with the intent of making the several stations along this corridor shiny, new, and capable of carrying more people around. This starts next week; the CTA has been using the slogan "Leave Early, Leave Late, Alternate" to encourage people to avoid peak transit times or take the bus. Nobody in Chicago thinks this is going to work.

So I will be running a series of tests of this slogan. It will be hard for me to leave late, since I have to be at work at 8, but I can do the other two.

Clusterf*** Transit Authority Experiment
Hypothesis: The CTA is completely screwed, and it's going to take forever to get anywhere no matter what you do.

Trial 1, "Leave Early".
According to the CTA's own maps, transit from my apartment (nearest to the currently-closed Montrose Brown line stop; three blocks from Damen Brown line stop) should take about 30 minutes. I decide to leave my apartment around 5:55 am, figuring that if I do manage to make it downtown in 30 minutes, I can just go to the gym.

The construction that is supposed to substantially increase travel times has not yet begun; this is just an intial trial before the whole mess starts on 4/2/07.

According to the CTA's travel planner, I should get on the 6:12 am Brown line train, transfer at Belmont to the 6:22 am Red line train, and arrive at Grand and State at 6:36 am. Plenty of time for cardio!

6:05: I see what may be the 6:04 southbound Brown line pass as I enter the station. Note that I should try to catch this train in the future.
6:28: Next southbound Brown line arrives at Damen. Two northbound trains had arrived in the interim.
6:35: Brown line arrives at Belmont, which is faster than estimated by CTA trip planner. Two stations between Damen and Belmont are currently closed, with another closing soon; this could explain the accelerated time.
6:55: Southbound Red line train finally arrives. Multiple trains from almost all the other lines pass by during this time.
7:15: I arrive at Grand and State (20 minutes instead of CTA's predicted 16 on the Red; brief delay at Chicago stop). Just enough time to do 10 minutes of pilates and then go to work.

So far, not so great. I figure 6:05 is earlier than rush, right?