Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bus Report #400

As seen on the bus lately...
Many, many Obama shirts and buttons on the bus (22 Fillmore, 33 Stanyan, 38 Geary) yesterday. Someone had a Michelle Obama shirt which was pretty neat, and everyone was talking about it.
"I got it in Oakland," the boy said. "I guess that's why I haven't seen anyone else in it here in SF."
A crowd of college freshman girls lamented that fact and continued to gush over his shirt.

Early mornings on the 22 Fillmore with:
Catfish face man
Roche Bobois guy
Cor-O-Van guy

On my way home from downtown last week (Can't remember what from...Volunteer gig? Meeting?) I sat in the back of a crowded 38 Geary. People had on headphones, read newspapers, books, and played with their igadgets. The odd thing was, everyone had a smile on their face.
At one point, a man lumbered back to the only empty seat, holding his hand out in front of him and trying to wipe it clean with a tissue. He had a disgusted look on his face. A girl was sitting across from him, headphones on and seemingly staring off into oblivion. She reached into her purse and took out a handi wipe, and offered it to him. The man sitting next to her, a youngish guy with curly brown hair and matching beard, stylish jacket and tie, jeans and dressy brown sneakers smiled at the exchange. I smiled at him.
The man across from me sneezed into his copy of the Chron. I said, "bless you," to him.
He lowered his paper, and smiled.
The guy with the handi wipe thanked the girl, who was back to her zombied state. He told the man with the beard that he liked his shoes. More smiles all around.
It was funny, everyone so laid back and friendly on a late night 38. But I liked it.

In honor of my 400th post, I'll award a $5 gift certificate to Toy Boat Dessert Cafe to someone who can send me the best tale of MUNI-related kindness by this Friday. You can email it to me or post it in the comments. Leave your email so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bus Report #399

Two easy commutes... I think it's the world paying be back for the badness of last week.
Last night I walked out to Harrison and 16th after a meeting. It was almost 8 PM, I was cold and tired. Next Bus claimed I'd be 22 and 33-less for at least another 20 minutes for either bus.
Moments later, a 33 coasted to a stop in front of me. The driver was a guy I've had many times as my chauffeur on the 33. Middle-aged, thick glasses, a beret.
I got a seat towards the back and put on my headphones.
The bus was almost empty, just a few construction workers and older folks, people clutching shopping bags from Safeway and Ross.
We barely stopped to pick up passengers, it was lovely.
I was home in 40 minutes.
Today I decided to take the 1 California down to Polk Street to restock my Earl Grey supply with some tea from You Say Tomato and to restock my soul with some tea (but some made FOR me, not BY me), lunch and friendly faces at Leland Tea Company .
The bus was just letting people out when I got to the stop. I sat in the back, in a front-facing seat across from a mom and her little boy, and her baby who was swaddled in a lot of layers of clothing.
The little boy soon fell asleep against his mom's side.
A couple got on a few stops later, the guy hit me in the head with his messenger bag. He did not notice. It didn't hurt, it was just a surprise and shook me out of my lull.
At Polk I had to 'excuse me excuse me' quite a bit to get out of the bus, but it wasn't bad.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bus Report #398

Random thoughts from this morning's commute...

Lots of regulars on the bus...
Earplug guy
Annoying day laborer guy and his equally loud and annoying friends
Serious sewing lady
Elderly gentleman with briefcase
Frog lady
Mean woman who works at Arch (she sat next to me, but was not mean, for once)

A girl had a bag with her astrological sign printed on it. Over and over, so it read: Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer. It made me feel weird.

I like when two buses pass each other going in opposite directions, and the people on my bus stare at the people on the other bus, who in turn stare at us.

Should I really be able to listen to two and a half episodes of Marketplace during my morning commute? I don't think so. At 30 minutes an episode, that's a long morning.

At Peet's, everyone had fresh haircuts and hairstyles, and even though there were a lot of us waiting around, it was still just as friendly and neighborly as ever.

Stopped at the garage to chat with George. His day doesn't start until 7:30 but he confessed he gets to work at 6:30 so he can have some George-only time. I told him, I do the same thing. Except I'm not named George.

Gorgeous leaves on the ground as I walked up the hill... Some really striking deep red almost brown colors... I wanted to take them all with me but it wasn't practical.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bus Report #397

MUNI-ical Chairs - Or - How people are weird on MUNI

I've always had terrible, terrible luck picking short, quick lines at the store. It's a huge problem sometimes, and mind-boggling that after so much time I still have such a bad nose for line-choosing.
BUT, I have great MUNI seat choosing luck.
I can always spot the double seat where the person in the window seat is about to get up, so I can slide in. I can always work my way to the back of a crowded 38 and get a seat, not a problem. It's very rare that I will change seats during my commute. I think the only things that get me out of my seat are giving it up to someone elderly, handicapped or with kids, or if my seat mate is scratching themself, playing with their hair or nail clipping.
Tonight, my 22 was a MUNI-ical chairs game extraordinaire.
People in rear-facing seats moved to front-facing seats.
People in front-facing seats moved across the aisle to different front-facing seats.
People in the front of the bus took seats in the back.
People in double seats moved to single seats.
One guy moved three times (back of the bus to front-facing, front-facing to front of the bus, front of the bus to single seat.)
Mayhem, I tell you.

On my way to work this morning, I saw one of my favorite AM 22 drivers, going in the opposite direction. I waved at him and he waved back. Nice man.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bus Report #396

Tonight I ran to catch the 22 home. I have to give a shout out to our driver, but I don't know his name. So for now I'll just say, he's great, he always waits for me to cross the street, he's friendly and courteous and a great driver. I mean, this guy seems to have good luck with timed lights, can load and off-load passengers quickly, the whole package.
Damn, he's good.
So he did his usual excellent job, depositing me at Sutter at 5:35 PM, which is just so, so FAST compared to other drivers.
I waited for a 2 or a 4, whichever was going to come first. Next Bus said the 2 had 18 minutes and the 4 had 25 minutes.
About 3 minutes later the 4 showed up. Next Bus still said 20 minutes.
I got out at 4th and walked up to Clement to run some errands. I got sidetracked and ended up poking around in the Green Apple bins longer than I should have. Eh, no big deal. By the way, they're having some good sales on calendars and bargain books and CDs and DVDs, check it out.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Bus Report #395

Everyone is back from vacation.
My bus this morning was full of regulars:
The Catfish Face Man
The Neck Tattoo Lady
The Earplug Guy
All the rude postal workers
All the kids from Mission, Everett, ISA and other schools along our route.
No problems getting to or from work. I made sure to NOT take the 10 downtown after work. No need to have a repeat of last Monday.

On the ride home, I noticed that a lot of us were reading. I was rereading Bone by Fae Myenne Ng (an excellent book about San Francisco, newly re-released in conjunction with the publication of her new book, go get it now!).
The intense woman who gets on and off at Treat was still reading Middlesex.
Someone next to me (who reeked of cigarettes and the perfume she wore to mask them) was reading a cheesy sci fi book from the 70s (you know the type... you can find them in the Green Apple bargain bins).
In front of us, another passenger looked like they were studying out of a heavy textbook.
I caught a glimpse of someone else reading the new David Sedaris.
Literary bunch, I thought. A bit out of character for the 22, but nice.