Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm thankful for the memories.

I think it's time to give a shout out to my former afternoon bus driver, who gave me some of my best bus material which I have not yet published. Kelly has heard the stories in person, and occasionally asks, "Have you blogged about her yet?" Really that just tells me he's not reading my blog on a regular basis -- thanks babe. Anyway, here goes: The first time I walked on the afternoon 22, I got the sense my bus driver hated everyone on her bus at the moment, including me. She looked at me with careless eyes and gave off a distinct impression that you do NOT mess with her, or her 3-inch claws might come out. (I'm not kidding about the fingernails.) I wasn't super intimidated by her, but I did squeak out a "Hi" with a hesitant smile to go with. A few more weeks of that and finally I got a "Hi, howyadoin'" in return. We bonded.... One afternoon not long after, the bus pulled over to pick me up and not a single person was in it. Truly a strange sight on the 22. I walked on and before I could even say "Hi" bus driver goes, "Must be your lucky day." I replied, "Must be. How'd this happen?" Not really expecting a response, she continued speaking with a thick drawl: "Weeell. It's been a straaange day. First I had to kick some kids off the bus because they was graffiti-ing in the back. Then I had to kick some old man off the bus because he was drinkin' beer like it was Pepsi!!" This was the most I had ever heard her speak and I was humored by all the attitude spilling out. "People just crazy today, I tell you what." My lone ridership lasted just one stop that day, but the stories about my first afternoon bus driver go a little further. To be continued...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stick to the Bus

I drove to work this morning. I got out of my car and the world welcomed me with a loud hissing sound. My front tire was leaking, and fast! (Thanks to the one sharp rock in the gravel parking lot.) Fortunately Firestone is just a couple blocks away so I made a snap decision to drive there while I still had air in my tire. By the time I got there, it was dead flat. Strangely enough, the last time I drove my car into work, my car battery died and I had to get a jump before heading home. I'm starting to think the bus gods are sending me a message -- stick to the bus. I hate to admit I wish I rode the 22 today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bus Time Blues

I'm so annoyed today. I'm annoyed that I'm off my game after a week of driving in, and dreading my bus ride more than usual. I'm annoyed that I walked out to my bus stop at 4 p.m., in the dark. (Does Daylight Saving Time really have to end?) I'm annoyed for the man that keeps twitching in front of me. I'm not annoyed at him; I'm sympathetic that he so obviously has a mild case of Tourettes. He keeps popping his jaw and occasionally cocks his head to the side in one big twitch. He covers his mouth when he has to blurt out a sound, and it happens more frequently when he becomes irritated that the bus is not moving. I'm with you, dude! I'm irritated the bus isn't moving! I'm annoyed we've hit every single red light on our route. I'm annoyed the woman in the scooter seat takes ten minutes to parallel park her vehicle in the disabled seating section. I mean she really goes back and forth 12 times and one full circle before she gets it. I see the bus driver getting irritated now. I'm annoyed by THAT SMELL! Does it ever go away?? Can I buy the driver a few tree fresheners, maybe? Like 12 dozen, perhaps? I'm annoyed by the grown man who frequents my bus wearing belly shirts. I'm terribly annoyed that the student driver vehicle easily passes us on the freeway. Really? And I'm even more annoyed when we catch up to the student driver only to find out it's an off-duty instructor who is texting while driving -- no lie. I'm just annoyed...but I feel some relief after spouting my frustrations. *Sigh*

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Smiling All the Way to Work

My carpooler hubby Kelly is out of town so I am driving myself in to work every day this week! It is GLORIOUS, tho the bus blog may suffer a little because of it. Sorry! (Or fill in the blanks and send me your public transportation stories if you have 'em.)

Election Day

Every day my co-worker, Jenna, and I walk down to the nearest grocery store, just a few blocks from work along the route of the 22. Occasionally, we run into bus 22 patrons off the bus, like the guy who stopped a bus in the middle of the street to air punch the front windshield. A few weeks ago, we walked past a guy lying on a sidewalk bench. As we approached, he started barking and growling at us. I wasn't phased but Jenna now refuses to walk alone to the store if I'm not there to walk with her. Today is election day, and as we walk to the store, we notice someone coming toward us on a bike with a huge American flag attached to the back. As he/she gets closer (I can't tell the gender) it becomes clear the person is wearing retro pilot goggles with helmet, a feathered boa around the neck and hot pink sweatpants with a Barack Obama sign and pennants trailing in the wind. Wow. All I can say is anyone who thinks it is not okay to wear any of that in public (regardless of party affiliation), please vote today.