Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bus Report #116

I caught an early bus this morning, so I could get a December fast pass at the Potrero Safeway. For some reason, they did not get their fast passes until maybe this morning. Everyone's been talking about it.
So I caught the early bus. Had a lovely, loud talk with Carmen on the bus.
The pigeon man of the Mission was in his alley this morning, feeding the pigeons from his ever-present large sack of seed. The birds are so comfortable around him, they even sit on his shoulders and arms when he feeds them. I've seen him feeding the pigeons three days in a row so far this week. Usually, the cops hassle him at least once or twice a week to stop feeding the birds, since you're not supposed to do it.
At Safeway, I was early. Customer service does not open until 8 AM, which is annoying. I waited in line behind the Mass-Hole guy from my previous Bus Reports. He was too busy playing with his phone to notice me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not a bus report

Just wanted to say: I just 'finished' the novel for National Novel Writing Month. It is not done yet by a long shot but I just hit 50,639 words, which means I too am a winner....
Lots more work to go, but this is a pretty cool start!
Bus reports shall resume ASAP!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bus Report #115

I am in Boston for the Thanksgiving holiday. Last night I was hanging out with The Professor. We took a bus to Cambridge to hear a friend of The Professor's, a very talented singer named Rose Polenzani. We huddled together in the bus stop, trying to keep warm. Finally, a 66 Harvard Square bus drove up. We sat towards the back. At one point, we noticed a rather disgusting-looking man sitting a few seats up from us. He had a few duffel bags with him, greasy, stringy hair pulled back in a ponytail. He was creepy.
I saw him take a small cigarette lighter size container out of his pocket. he tapped it against the crook of his hand, between his thumb and forefinger, then lifted his hand to his face and sniffed deeply. He did this a couple of times.
The things you see on the bus.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Bus Report #114

When bus life and real life intersect, it's kind of weird.
I was in the Potrero Safeway with Cool Co-Worker K. (henceforth known as CCK) and the guy in line behind us was wearing a T-shirt that said: Certified Mass-hole. It had a drawing of the fine state of Massachusetts on it.
I smiled at him and said, "I'm a Mass-hole too."

And then I realized he rides the 22 with me most mornings. He gets on at Haight and usually has a skateboard with him. He always looks sleepy and a little confused. Wears sweatshirts that zip up the front and gigantic sneakers in awful colors.

He smiled back and said, "Which part?"
"Oh, I know where that is. I'm from Worcester."
I pointed at his shirt, over to the western part of the state. "I went to school over here," I said.
We segued into a discussion about the Red Sox and the Patties.
The bagger said, "You all know Billerica?"
The guy and I said, "Sure," in unison.
"I used to work out there," said the bagger.
CCK and I left, but not before I said, "goodbye, see you around," to my fellow Mass-hole.
I thought I'd see him on the bus today, but I caught a later bus and it was a different set of passengers completely.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bus Report #113

Something funny was going on this morning.
Really, really nice looking men were on the bus.
It's not a holiday or anything special so far as I can tell, but the bus was just crawling with beautiful men.
I had a particularily good-looking one sitting right in front of me. His hair was short, cropped to about an inch all around. he had a lovely looking neck.
The others, who stood within viewing distance in the front of the bus, wore watch caps and down vests. They had large backpacks on. They were smiley and chatty.
It put me in a good mood.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bus Report #112

The novel progresses and I am learning MUNI's new schedule. The two are happening at the same time. My brain is cluttered with bits and pieces of dialogue and scenes that haven't been written yet, worries about making the November 30 deadline. Yes, it's supposed to be fun, yes, it is fun, but I can't help but feel a little chained to my computer.
Still I seem to be managing okay.
I have found the perfect moment right after The California Report ends to walk out to catch the 38 Geary.
Some of the regulars have figured this out, too.
The mom with the two daughters who take the 22 with me as well.
The younger of the two Brazilian sisters, with her Barbie backpack scribbled over with 'yo amo a Adan Chalino Sanchez. Adan Chalino Sanchez' in big black letters.
The punk kid and his punk friend.
Mr. Polite.

I can usually catch an earlier 22 Fillmore if I play my cards right. Today there weren't many kids on the bus, so it was quiet. I was listening to Javier Alvarez, trying not to start singing along. Caught the eyes of a couple regular commuters and did the smile-nod-smile.
Got my coffee at the Potrero Center again, then walked the rest of the way to work while thinking about what I need to write tonight.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bus Report #111

The bus has been pretty tame lately, and I have been in an easy mood, which is why there hasn't been a bus report in a while.
Today on the 38 I sat next to the teenage boy who fancies himself a little punk. He usually wears black clothes or camo, and has a torn up vest with the inevitable band patches safety-pinned to it.
Too bad he goes to private Catholic school and has to at least partially comply with the uniform. Poor kid. He was reading a book but I couldn't tell what it was. It was old, though, probably older than him: the pages were yellow and it was pocket-size, like my ancient copy of To Kill A Mockingbird.

The 22 was full but I managed to get a seat. I sat next to one of the teenage girls and across from Carmen. We were able to chat for a couple of minutes until it was so packed I had a little boy's belly against my shoulder and someone's backpack kept hitting me in the head.
At Mission, the crowd eased a little, then the driver let people get on through the back doors and it was crazy again.
A tiny, drunk, crazy and probably homeless woman skateboarder stood next to me, ranting that people shouldn't touch her. Well, I am sure no one would have if we had had a choice!
She was getting off at Bryant, too, but did not know how the doors worked. A woman in an aquamarine coat had to show her. I jumped down the stairs (there were people blocking the stepwell) and quickly crossed the street and went to the Potrero Center for my copy of The-World's-Worst-Daily-Newspaper and a coffee.
I had started walking towards Potrero when I heard someone calling my name.
I turned around and saw Ebony, one of my oldest bus friends (duration not age!)walking towards me.
We greeted each other and companionably walked together down to work.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bus Report #110

It's a rainy morning in San Francisco, but I still managed to get to work on time. I got off the 22 Fillmore at Bryant Street, and I had to squeeze past three immovable people on my way out the back door. I will never understand why people stand in the stepwell when it's not their stop, especially when there is room in the back.
Ah, the luxury of bus travel...
My sneakers squeaked against the blacktop in the Safeway parking lot. I didn't mind: I had one of my favorite scarves wrapped around my neck and a hot cup of coffee from Peet's.
As I passed Theisen Glass, I saw a puddle of water full of large chocolate truffles. A pigeon was pecking at them.
They are doing pile-driving in the formerly-empty lot and each time the machine boomed my coffee-holding hand would jerk a little and my eyes would blink. I walked fast, and held the cup out way in front of me so I did not spill on my jeans.

Another thing:

To honor Rosa Parks, MUNI posted signs with her photo and birth and death dates in the very front of many MUNI buses. The-World's-Worst-Daily-Newspaper reports that people have been stealing the signs as souvenirs and that most of them have been taken just since the other day.
I have seen three of the posters, hanging right above the first seat on the bus. They show Rosa Parks sitting on the bus glancing out the window. They are very tasteful and reflective.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bus Report #109

On Halloween, on the 22 Fillmore, it's hard to tell who's in costume and who isn't. There were some obvious ones:
The teenage girl in the pleather devil costume, the man with the goldfish hat on.
The maybes:
The man in the top hat and spats.
The woman in the retro 60's outfit.
The kid with the band-aids all over his face.

And then there's me and Carmen, dressed for warmth and comfort and chatting about our weekends. She went up to Marin to see friends, while I went to a party and to see the Sons & Daughters at Cafe Du Nord (They were excellent, I would recommend them to anyone).
Just a warning, I might lay off the bus reports for a while, since it's National Novel Writing Month and I have signed up. The goal: from November 1 to November 30, write a 50,000 word novel. Can I do it? We'll have to see!