Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bus Report #255

It's been a pretty boring MUNI week so far, no interesting conversations to over hear, no people to make up stories about.

Things felt more interesting this morning, though.

First off, I was surprised, yet delighted, to see the handsome South Asian chef get on at his usual stop. He didn't see me but I sure saw him. He wasn't dressed in chef wear (maybe he got a new job? Who knows...) and his thick, curly hair floated in a cloud around his head.
He got off at a stop a few before mine, but it was nice to see him anyway.

At Fillmore I waited with the teen girl and a couple other people who were not regulars.
The bus came, and it was our new-ish 22 driver. She's no nonsense and won't let anyone get on through the back. Ever. At Mission she even stands out front the bus and watches to make sure no one gets on in through the back. Then she gets back on and lets everyone board in the front door.
I like her.

QSAM got on, and didn't sit in a spot where he could stare at me. Which was a nice change.

The man who looks familiar from the back got on. After seeing him almost every day in the morning, he is starting to actually be familiar to me... from the front.

We passed by the Pigeon Man of the Mission at 16th and Albion as he fed the pigeons. I was glad to see him. I worry about him when I don't see him for a long time.

I got out the bus at my usual stop and got my coffee. As I passed by the new market, Emiliano came by on his skateboard.
He was wearing a green felt fedora with a speckled feather stuck in the hatband. It was a bold statement, the hat, worn as it was with his light blue flannel and his washed-out jeans.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bus Report #254

The smiley bus driver picked us up on Geary and delivered us safely to Fillmore.
The teen girl and I only had to wait a couple of minutes for the 22 Fillmore. It threw me off a little, since usually we have a longer wait.
Then, to make things even better, Carmen was on the bus and she had saved me a seat! I hadn't seen her in months, maybe since June, so it was nice to catch up. All is well in her world. We chatted in our usual mix of Spanish, English and Spanglish.
The little first grader and her mom were sitting in front of us and the little girl kept turning around and staring at us.
Maybe she couldn't understand why I was speaking in Spanish when I look so... English-speaking.

The man who looks familiar from the back still looks familiar, but I don't know who he is.

At Safeway they had McIntosh apples, for the first time this season. I bought three.

I saw Emiliano skateboarding in circles at 16th and Potrero.
I saw Emiliano wipe out while skateboarding in circles at 16th and Potrero, and then he shrugged his shoulders in an apology to the person in the car he almost plowed in to.
The light changed and Emiliano whizzed by me on his board.
He wasn't going very fast so I caught up with him a block later.
He was standing outside the coffee shop on his board with his coffee. He was wearing a baseball cap instead of his Team Zissou hat.

A 22 Fillmore passed by. One of the sewing ladies was on it and she looked out the window at me. She smiled and I smiled back.

The new Whole Foods is still a wonder to me. It's so nice looking from the outside, and in the early morning it is mostly empty except for employees stocking shelves and preparing food.
Two people were sitting in the cafe part. A hulking security guard stood at attention at the front door.

I have a good feeling about today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bus Report #253

Last night I ran to catch a 38L to get home. Two women were blocking the stepwell, so I politely asked if I could get by. One of them, who was holding a Banzai tree, graciously moved. The other woman sucked her teeth at me and gave me a mean look.
I shouldered by her and stood in the back where there was PLENTY of room.
At the next stop, an older man tried to get by her. Her huge backpack smashed into him as he maneuvered to get past. She yelled, "Come on, man, cut that shit out!"
He said, "You could take your backpack off."
She turned around and went off on him. "You better not mess with me or I'll cut you I swear I will."
Good lord. I rolled my eyes at the people sitting across from me. They rolled theirs back at me.
The man should have just ignored her. If he had, I would have liked him, but instead, he said, "I'd like to see you try."
Which just set her off again.
Finally the two of them calmed down. He sat in the back. She continued to block the stepwell and be rude to everyone who got on.
I noticed she was wearing a student ID around her neck. She goes to The Academy of Art, the school that advertises on TV with some of the worst ads I've ever seen.
That made me feel good. I am a mean, mean person.
And that is okay.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bus Report #252

Last night I went to wait for the 10 Townsend and I saw Ebony, for the first time in over a month.
"Hey, stranger," I said.
"It's you!" she exclaimed. "Where have you been? I was getting ready to come find you."
I laughed, because I had been wondering where she was, too.
"I guess we just keep missing each other," I said.
We caught up on all of each other's news. She is such a sweetheart.

Not much news to report for today. This morning I rode the 38 with the teenager who likes to sit near me, the odd couple that only ever takes the bus 1 stop (regardless of where they catch it), and a guy who I see on the 10 all the time who I forget lives out near me.

On the 22 I had my own seat in the back for a while, which was nice.
Quit Staring At Me got a prime staring at me seat, and so he spent much of the ride, well, staring at me. I stared back. It didn't dissuade him.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bus Report #251

Amazing bus luck this weekend.
Yesterday I went to Brews by the Bay with a bunch of friends.
We took the 38 Geary to the 47 Van Ness. It was a Sunday but even so our total transit time was 30 minutes.
Good stuff.
Much later, after a lovely afternoon of drinking and catching the sun on a historic military ship, we found ourselves on Lombard needing to get home.

We split into groups, with 3 people taking the 22 Fillmore and the rest of us waiting for a 43 Masonic or a 28 going out to the Richmond.

Next bus lied to us, but only by about 5 minutes.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bus Report #250

The weather report this morning mentioned that, due to fires somewhere nearby (Santa somewhere…) it would be hazy and smoky today.

When I went outside to catch the bus, it was definitely hazy, with a hint of smoke in the air.

The weather report had neglected to mention how grapefruit-red the sun was.

It was so red, it was alarming. Set against a grey sky, it was beautiful.

This week on MUNI has been a test of patience. I am not sure why it’s been so horrendous, but my commute seems to take an extra 10-20 minutes in the morning and an extra 15-25 minutes in the afternoon. I don’t think they are running any more buses than they were in the summer (i.e., when school was out and the city was devoid of college students and public school kids). If they ARE running more buses, I’d like to know on what lines.

Also, I think some stops along the 38 line may have changed. The other day I was waiting for a 38 or a 38L at Geary and 36th. Next Bus promised I’d have my pick of buses but the 4-and-7 minute wait time came and went with no buses. Finally, a 38L came in to view. I waited for it to stop, but he cruised on by. Jerk. I re-checked the stop and it says that the 38L stops there, so I don’t know what his problem was.

Along with all the complaints, there were a few bright spots this week.

I saw the dreadlocked dental technician for the first time in weeks. He looked older, but it might have been due to his old-man glasses, thick, square, gold frames with very shiny lenses.

I got a good seat on the 10 Townsend last night, and was surprised to see BT get on at the next stop. It’s been months since I last saw him.

My 38 wasn’t too spectacular last night, but it was oddly empty and our driver drove fast and ignored a few stops. I got back to the neighborhood early enough to go to a few shops and walk home slowly.

Green Apple is having insane sales at their warehouse store in the old Busvans building. You should all go.

The busker who sits out front Toy Boat was playing his guitar last night. After seeing the film Once, I have a new-found respect for him and his music, which is actually pretty nice.

The French café across the street from me is under new management, which makes me sad. Everyone went there for the wacky French ladies that worked there, not for the menu or atmosphere. I’ll miss those ladies. I’ll worry about their sister, who seems to have gone crazy this past year. I hope whatever they are doing now, they are together and taking care of her.