Saturday, May 19, 2007

A night owl show

Filled in for Martha last at WFMU from 2 to 6 am, now archived for your anytime pleasure. Martha is WFMU's only DJ/professional botanist, & she's been very patient with me when I've babbled on to her about the only cactus native to New Jersey & my other observations of local flora & fauna, of which I understand little. I just look at stuff & sometimes take pictures.

Overnights are the best radio slots. I'm a night owl & have no trouble pushing myself to 6 am. If I think it'll be a task, I take a short nap early in the evening & grab a coffee on the way. The trip back home is the discombobulating part, especially when sunrise is early & the first train I can catch out of Newark is at 7:30 Saturday morning & I try to sleep for a few hours through the sound of lawn mowers & weed whackers. I can play lots of long cuts, an entire symphony if I'm in the mood, & I feel a kinship with small hours listeners, a few of whom are willing to ride along wherever I'm going & send me e mails afterward. Then there's the guy who heard me play Santana once 15 years ago & called many times for years afterward whenever I was on in the middle of the night requesting a long live jam. He finally gave up.

When I arrived at WFMU last night, I discovered I'd forgotten to pack my CD wallets. My talkover music, the entire first set, & some other lengthy tracks were at home, so much for a leisurely browse through the music library. Fortunately, the new bin held a number of good new jazz releases I might not have otherwise played.

This morning, PATH was running trains on one track on no apparent fixed schedule. The route from Jersey City to Newark included a slow side trip through the Harrison yards. NJ Transit was running a diesel on the Long Branch Local due to overhead wire problems outside of Newark. The train got halfway to Newark Airport, halted for 10 minutes, then began backing toward Penn Station. "This can't be good," I muttered to no one in particular. I was exhausted, & now had to consider taking a bus to Elizabeth. I felt myself becoming agitated. The train stopped again, moved forward switching to another track. It was only 15 minutes late but the entire trip home felt like hours. My apartment, windows closed all night, was stunk up with whatever awful seasoning the Jamaicans underneath meuse, or maybe they were boiling a goat's head. I had to turn on a window fan. A lawn mover sputtered to life. Thank heavens for Ambien.


Little Contrarian and rode a train on Saturday to visit the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. NJT was installing new high-level platforms in South Amboy and had de-electrified the catenary on the North Jersey Coast Line, so we had to ride a diesel train to Newark and then change for a waiting electric train to continue our journey. It was not pretty to watch a few hundred people who have never set foot in Newark navigate the stairs to change trains, but my son called it "an adventure" and thought that it was quite fun.
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