Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bus Report #186

It's a cold and frosty day out, and I love it. I was sufficiently bundled up this morning and quite cozy. My 38 Geary had maybe 10 passengers. I love when the kids are on school vacation! Silence, sweet, golden silence and plenty of seats.

I waited for the 22 Fillmore with the handsome South Asian chef and a few other people. When it came, it was pretty full, which meant sitting across from Carmen next to a fish-smelly guy messily eating sandwiches and taking up more than his fair share of the seat.
I tried to gain some seat ground by subtly pushing against his sausage thigh, until he gave in a little. He spent the whole ride hacking and coughing, eating his sandwiches (I counted three) and just being gross and smelling like fish. I was glad to get out of the bus at my usual stop.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bus Report #185

Thank you.

Someone listened and today's 22 Fillmore ride was a thick, rich, chocolatey piece of cake.
It was one of the nice drivers. The dreadlocked dental technician got his usual seat in the front, and Carmen was saving a seat for me near the back. The bus was dry, smelled okay, and was pretty empty.
I was seized with the spirit of giving and gave Carmen an orange and some Channukah candy.
Got to work early.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bus Report #184

Please make it stop.

Another hour long, wet, 22 Fillmore odyssey today. I should have known it would be a nightmare, especially since there were only 5 of us on the 38 this morning.

I spent ten minutes waiting for the 22 with the teens, the dreadlocked dental technician and the creepy security guards. When the bus came I got an aisle seat, where I was jostled and annoyed by everyone who got on after me.

At Eddy, some kids got on and did not pay their fare. The driver, a new guy I don't know, told them he would not move until they paid. Did they care? No. Did they pay? No. They borrowed transfers from some other kids and flashed them at the driver.

Had I been driving the bus, I would have put the kids off, but this new driver must not have the courage to do that yet, because the little monsters spent the rest of the ride being rude, loud, and super annoying.

At one point the driver stopped the bus again, and threatened not to move until the most recent group of fare evading kids paid their fares.

Someone in the back of the bus made a crack about how the 'Chinese' (He was not Chinese) driver did not want black kids on his bus. No, the driver doesn't want fare evaders on the bus! Hello! The fifty cents each kid isn't paying ads up, and the rest of us end up having to pay the difference when they raise the rates.

The bus was insanely crowded on top of all the drama. I cranked up the tunes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bus Report #183

Rainy season in San Francisco. Yuck.

Saturday I took a wet 38 Geary to Fillmore, where I decided to hop a cab down to the Mission. I stopped in at Roots Division to check out B's art exhibit and surrounding craft sale. Nice. I picked up a Roots Division class schedule and they have some cool offerings.
After that, I tramped down Mission to Writers With Drinks at the Make Out Room, with a quick stop at Doc's Clock for a drink and to dry off. The bartender was super friendly and the guy sitting beside me was making pretty amazing art out of torn up napkins. The only way I can describe his work (because it really was art, seriously) is to liken it to the Mexican paper cuts you see around the Day of the Dead. Very cool.
When I was sufficiently dry, I said good night to the guys and went to Writers With Drinks. Great concept, something I've been all about for a while now. Why not have writers reading onstage in front of a well-lubricated with alcohol audience? Indeed. I stayed for a couple of writers and then left. It was still too wet out for a bus so I hailed a cab.

Yesterday I had to run to catch my 22 Fillmore. The driver barely stopped for me, then she opened the door and said, loudly, "you'll have to step up."
Well, yeah, of course! I flashed my pass at her and lurched down the aisle as she took off.
I said hello to the dreadlocked dental technician and the handsome South Asian chef.
Carmen was saving me a seat.

This morning the rain was coming down in sheets. I huddled under the overhang on Fillmore with the handsome South Asian chef, some students and day laborers, and the dreadlocked dental technician.
He said, "I didn't recognize you in that cap," because I had a black hat pulled down over my hair.
I told him I was trying not to get sick(er).

The ride took a full hour today. Everyone was wet, tempers were short and I swear people's brains were just not working:
People had wet umbrellas on seats, making the seats un-sit-able.
People were crowded in the front when there was plenty of room in the back.
People kept spacing out and missing their stops, and blaming the driver. Not his fault.

The original chef, the guy who's been riding the bus for years (red hair, beard, messy outward appearance but friendly) stopped to chat with the handsome South Asian chef. It gave me a moment of thrill, hearing the two of them talking. The bus world is even smaller than you'd think.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bus Report #182

Last night I waited for the 22 at my usual stop, with the sewing ladies and the loud kids from ISA. I was spacing out when I felt someone come up behind me and start hugging me!
I turned around. It was Ramon! I haven't seen him in a month or so. We hugged, said hi, and started chattering to each other immediately. He asked if I was taking the 22. I said yes. He was, too, to return some videos at the store near Safeway.
We scored seats in the back of the bus and kept gabbing away, catching up on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's plans. Some kids got on with a boom box and started blaring some awful music, so we had to talk louder. Now everyone on that bus knows what we are up to, but that's okay.
When we got to his stop we said goodbye and he got out. I put my headphones on and listened to music the rest of the ride home.

This morning the sky was pink and peach over grey and blue. It was beautiful. It was my new favorite 38 Geary driver. She waited for me again. At Fillmore I stood with the dreadlocked dental technician and the handsome South Asian chef. Easy commute, even though the bus was crowded and I had to push my way out of it at Bryant.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not transit related, and no, I am not crazy, just sensitive

In completely un-bus-related news

I’ve been angry about this for weeks, and so heartbroken I decided to just not think about it or say anything, but I can’t take it anymore.

I am sad, sad, sad about the apparently WRONG AND POINTLESS film adaptation of my favorite book.
I only know what I have read in the paper and online, so to be honest I am still mostly in the dark about the film version of this favorite book, other than the following:
Rather WRONG AND UNINSPIRING Casting- I won’t name names, but anyone who has ever read this book would die at seeing the cast list
Bizarre re-working of the central plots and characters- waiting for more details, but the best way to ruin something is to gut the plot to death.

But seriously, that’s all I need to know. A truly good film adaptation of any beloved book should at least try to keep the plot true to the original. Hell, if they can do it for Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings, how hard can it be to faithfully adapt plain old, regular, mainstream fiction? No special effects needed! No monsters or giants! Just people!
As for what I understand to be a complete re-working of the actual plot: congratulations you just made the story pointless and something that has been done a million times. Thank you. I will never in a million years go see your stupid movie.
The world could live without this film, which is why I don’t even feel like saying what it’s called or what book it’s adapted from. If you know me, you’ll hear all about it when it hits the theaters.

Bus Report #181

This morning on my 22 Fillmore I saw Ebony. I hadn't seen her in a while so I waved her over and she sat next to me. We caught up with each other. I am amazed that she is 67 years old, because you'd never guess it. I told her this and she cracked up laughing. She went on to tell me she had a dance class last night and that it was fun. It turns out, she's been taking dance lessons for 45 years! She is a super lady.

Two Everett students got in a mini-fight on the bus and it took forever for them to push each other out the door. The driver shut the door immediately and we took off fast.

The creepy security guard who gets on at my stop in the morning sat next to me for two stops before Ebony got on. He tried to talk to me, saying things like, "Hey, you get on this bus same time as me everyday. I see you everyday."
I had my headphones on and made a point of staring out the window away from him. Ugh. I'd call security, but...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bus Report #180

This morning I was halfway across Geary, standing on the island waiting for the light to change, when my bus pulled in to the stop. My heart sank. There went my plan of coffee at Peet's, of a nice leisurely walk to work.
I noticed the driver was eyeing me. I gave her a 'please, please wait a minute' look. She smiled at me. I gave her a thumbs up.
She waited for me! Even though it meant missing the light!
I was pleased.
When I got out at Fillmore I waved a 'thanks' at her.
Got to Peet's with time to spare, walked slowly to work with my hot thermos of coffee.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bus Report #179

This weekend I had amazing bus luck everywhere I went.
Went to meet M. in Japantown. Hopped on the 2 Clement, was in Japantown right on time.
M. and I decide to go to the knitting store on Divisadero and California. We have no trouble hopping on the 1 California. The store wasn't exciting so we went over to the Clay and saw the new Pedro Almodovar film, Volver. Awesome.

Yesterday I went out to catch a 38 Geary headed out into the avenues. I noticed a lone (and potentially lonely) cast-iron frying pan sitting on top of a trash can. Just sitting there, waiting for someone to take it home and love it. I thought two things:

1: How dirty is this pan?


2: Does my cast-iron pan need a big brother?

I decided to check out the pan. It was rusty and cobwebby, like someone had found it in the basement and put it out for anyone to take. So I took it. Carried it with me on the 38 Geary to Cala Foods, carried it down Geary to the Gables and then took it home to soak in a nice hot bath in the sink.
Now I have two huge cast-irons, and they have both come with me on public transit!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bus Report #178

Back on the bus.

National Novel Writing Month is over, so I am back, to regale you with MUNI tales.
Let's see, where to start?

I took a lot of buses this week, and even the N Judah. It's been fun, gross, annoying, and rewarding all wrapped up together.

There's nothing like riding the N out to Irving Street and wandering around in an unfamiliar neighborhood. I was making a pilgrimage to Wishbone, where I bought a cute, cornflower blue Beehouse teapot.

Yesterday night my 22 Fillmore was chugging along after a too-long (five LONG minutes!)stop at the Potrero Center. The end was in sight, until....

The driver made everyone get out at McAllister! What! How can you make McAllister the last stop? Madness, I say. Especially because almost all the crime I've seen on MUNI has happened at McAllister and Fillmore. Not to mention several shootings over the past few years (let me be clear, I did not witness any of them or know any of the victims).
Anyway, so we're all waiting at McAllister and Fillmore. NextBus tells us that there is at least 10 minutes until the next 22 Fillmore.
No way was I going to wait! I crossed the street and hopped on the 5 Fulton, then transferred to the 33 Stanyan. Home in 15 minutes. Hooray for me.

This morning a really filthy, obviously drug-addicted woman came and sat next to me. She stank of stale beer and cigarettes. Her grey sweatpants were stained all over, and she was wet. I didn't want her to touch me, so I plastered myself against the window.
She spent the ride spitting into a tissue and rubbing at a non-existent spot on her hand. Spit, rub. Spit, rub. Ugh.
At one point, she nodded off and started to lean on me. I gently nudged her with my elbow. She sat up. Nodded off again. Another nudge.
She sat up, said to me, "If you're worried I'm going to fall on you, don't be, because I won't."
I just glanced at her and said, "Sure."
She nodded off again. Nudge.
I prayed (in my own, non-religious and selfish way) that she would get out at Market. Then at Valencia.
She asked me the time. I pointed to the time on the sign in the front.
Finally at Shotwell (should have guessed) she got off the bus, waving goodbye to me.