Wednesday, October 22

An audience? No thanks.

Playing cell phone Tetris has become one of my favorite LIRR time-killers. Few if any other riders notice my playing, as best I can tell, in part because the game’s sound is shut off and in part because most riders are in a sort of bubble and oblivious to their surroundings. Today, however, was a rare exception. The shuttle was actually three or four minutes early at Medford, which resulting in a mad dash from my car up the stairs to the platform. Unnecessary, as it turned out, because the train waited at the platform until the scheduled departure time. Once at Ronkonkoma I got the 6:52 to Flatbush Avenue as usual. A woman in her mid- to late-20’s sat next to me at Central Islip. She had a somewhat odd build, broad-beamed and with an incipient double chin, but not actually overweight, just somewhat chubby. She also was an inquisitive sort, because she kept looking at my game of cell phone Tetris. I don’t mean occasional furtive glances. She’d look intently for 15 or 20 seconds, look away for a minute or two, and then start looking at the game again. I had no idea why she was so intrigued with a game that doesn’t have particularly interesting graphics and appears on a tiny phone screen. After a while I started thinking that maybe I should say something to her (“Cool game, huh?”), but couldn’t figure out how to phrase it properly. Besides, she was wearing earphones, as was I. The thought also occurred to me that perhaps she was flirting with me, but I quickly discarded that notion: she must’ve seen my wedding band (she had one too), and if that were her motive she wouldn’t have been wearing the earphones. Finally, after about 15 minutes, she lost interest in my games and began fiddling with her Black Berry. Whether it was the unusual scrutiny or just a regression to the mean after my recent record score, but none of my games this morning were any good. We got to Flatbush on time, though the wait for a 5 train to Fulton was rather longer than usual for that line, close to five minutes, and then we were delayed for a while (no announcement, of course) outside Borough Hall station.

Whatever subway annoyances the morning presented were nothing compared to the idiocy I had to face in the afternoon. While I waited only a few minutes for an A train at Broadway-Nassau, the heavy crowding on the platform made it clear that considerable time had elapsed since the prior train. It should go without saying that the train was monstrously crowded. I spent much of the time with someone’s backpack jammed into my side, a backpack that contained hard-cornered objects (probably books) that dug right into me. On my other side, a man’s hideously distended, LIRR-style abdomen was squished up against me with a Santa Claus bowlful-of-jelly consistency. To make matters worse, the train crawled along at a very slow speed for much of the way to Penn, and the dwell times were endless. I wasn’t timing the ride, but my guess is that it took more than twice the usual time. About the only saving grace was that the 5:41 to Ronkonkoma was delay-free, and the average-sized older man who sat next to me got off at Hicksville. Oh, one more thing, my games of cell phone Tetris weren’t any better than they’d been in the morning. But at least no one was watching.

Gym: a quick session, just a 2-mile run on the treadmill at 5.6 mph. This gave me 6.5 miles for the week, plus anything I might do tomorrow, meeting my 6-mile weekly quota.

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 3:44 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Women and Tetris … once that game became a standard feature on every Mac and PC, the ladies got hooked. I remember seeing some sort of scan indicating how many synapses were firing in the brain when a man plays Tetris, but I wonder if there isn’t some difference for women. I had one female friend tell me that after she finished a marathon session, she would see shapes falling everywhere for the next hour or so. Reading a book was impossible, because she was filling in the gaps between words.

  2. Interesting … it’s known that men’s and women’s brains don’t always operate in precisely the same manner, it could be that something about Tetris emphasizes these differences. Perhaps the pattern recognition that’s at the center of the game is something for which women are inherently better suited?

  3. right bro, without gym and cardio we would look bad, feel bad and live shortly bad so take decision to take care of your look and health today.

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