Monday, February 28, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO PEDESTRIAN (14)

Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

There is a very limited list of things you can do while you are crossing the street:

- You can walk (I suggest this)
- You can run (not if it's icy)
- You can talk (I do this all the time)
- You can sing (but only if it's musical theater, and you need to sing it as loudly and nasally as possible)
- You can caper about and gesticulate wildly, if that's your thing (but only if you don't mind getting stared at)

Notice how the foregoing list does NOT include stopping in the middle and tying your shoe. That is NOT good idea. Don't do it. Especially if my roommate is barreling down the street toward you. He drives fast. You're a stationary target. Don't do it!

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Sunday, February 27, 2011

APPARENTLY I'M JUST AS BAD AS THE REST OF THEM

So, the other night when I was waiting for the 831 at Wal-Mart, there was a man already waiting for the bus when I walked up to the stop. He asked me the time. I looked. "It's 3:55." And then we both said "Five minutes!"

We bus people are, actually, all the same.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

SOMETIMES THE 833 IS JUST AS FAST AS A CAR

On our way to the aforementioned symphonic engagement, we were trying to get to the inconveniently-located freeway from BYU, and it just so happened that we ended up right behind the 833. Commutergirl said, "We've got to go a different way." So we did.

Interestingly enough, when we neared the freeway, we were stopped at the intersection of Center and 500 West. Guess which bus pulled up right beside us. Yep. The 833.

It was dark, which was good, because she couldn't see me smirking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SMART PEOPLE

(2/1/2011)

So, last weekend commutergirl and I went to the symphony. We're so cultured.

As we were driving up to Salt Lake, she asked me, "Can we just pull into a TRAX station and park there, so we don't have to park downtown?"

I said, "It's close, but we can probably make it."

We parked at 1300 South and anxiously awaited the train. We figured we'd have about four minutes to get inside Abravanel Hall once we got off the train. Enough time to, say, walk briskly through the lobby and immediately enter the hall.

I'm used to living on the edge like this. I'm the busninja, for crying out loud. But I was very vindicated to see, when we got off the train, a whole bunch of people wearing nice clothes also get off, who were obviously also planning to walk briskly across the lobby and into the hall. I'm glad to know there are so many smart people in Salt Lake. Gives me hope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (29)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

Commutergirl and I are nice people. Which is why it pains me to have to address you so. But really, it's your fault. We went to catch the 850 the other day, and you had pulled up right in front of the bus stop. Poor sap, you probably don't even know a bus goes down State Street, let alone that it stops right where you wanted to park. I guess I can forgive you for that.

But parking in front of a fire hydrant? The one next to the bus stop? I mean, really. The driver's ed test does have a minimum passing score, you know. You must know someone. Otherwise I don't know how you could have passed.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I DO OTHER THINGS, TOO

Some people are apparently under the impression that I ride the bus all day and don't do much else. They wonder if I am known for anything else. I most certainly am!

- I buy a bag of trail mix every day and eat it for lunch. Every day. I am well enough known for this that if I don't eat trail mix one day, or eat a different kind of trail mix, people notice.
- I always leave things behind. Gloves, books, gym shorts at the bank, all the time.
- I'm known as the guy who plays the piano for Music 111 at BYU. At least, I'll have done it 14 times by the end of this semester. I went to a party the other night, and there were four people at the party, completely independently of each other, whom I had played for in 111 at some point.
- I'm known as someone who tells witty stories. I can talk your ear off, if you let me (for your sake, you probably shouldn't do this very often). People used to invite me over for storytime.
-I'm apparently also famous for goodnight hugs. I didn't realize this until the other day someone in my ward said she heard everyone else had gotten a famous goodnight hug, and she didn't, so she felt left out. So I gave her, and many other people, a goodnight hug that night. The tradition has persisted such that people reclaim me when they don't get one.
- I also write a blog. Duh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

DEAR STUPID PROVO PEDESTRIAN (13)

Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

When you are crossing University Parkway, just because you can see the other side doesn't necessarily mean that you should head for the other side when you feel like it. I know the crosswalk takes a long time, but you should probably wait for it, so you don't get run over.

Also, you should probably not anticipate the crosswalk changing, because it might not be for you when it changes. This is why, as you began to stride confidently across the street, you had to suddenly turn around and come right back, because instead of a little green man, you saw a turn arrow. Cars turning left can still run you over.

Undeterred, you tried it again, only to be confronted with a turn arrow for the cross street. And, guess what? You had to turn around again. Learn from that repeated experience, please.

Also, smoking is very bad for your health. And smoking right next to me makes me not like you very much.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TWITTER CHAT ABOUT BUS RATE HIKE

I just got emailed this article about how UTA is hosting a Twitter chat about their proposed bus fare increases. You can read about the bus fare increase here. Under the current proposal, basic adult fare will rise from $2 to $2.50 by 2013. An adult monthly pass will go from $67 to $83.75. UTA also proposes to expand the scope of the Horizon discount card, and to raise the fuel surcharge threshold from $3 to $4 (meaning that they will not raise the price due to fuel costs until diesel costs $4 a gallon).

Is this fair? Does this proposal accurately reflect the changing costs of running a bus company? I'll leave that up to you.

Tweet UTA (@rideuta) tomorrow (Thursday) from 11 am to 12 noon.

All comments, via email, snail mail, or Twitter, will become part of the public record.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TEN MINUTES FLAT

Yesterday, as I often do, I rode the bus to Wal-Mart. I got to UVU on the 830 at 10:44. I then:

- Walked across University Parkway and down the muddy hill and all the way across the vast parking lot
- Bought groceries from both ends of the store
- Wandered back and forth several times trying to find which aisle contained strawberry jam
- Waited in the check-out line
- Asked the bagger to bag my milk
- Walked back outside

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to the 831 at 11:00. I had already resigned myself to walk back up the muddy hill to get back to the 830. But when I checked my watch, it was only 10:54. I had done all of that in ten minutes flat.

I am awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

BIG BUBBLE


The other day I was waiting for the 830, which I don't wait for as often as I wait for the 831, but I do wait for it fairly oftenly.

Another man walked up to the bus stop.  There wasn't much room at the stop, so he backed up.  WAAAAAY up.  He spent the rest of his time waiting for the bus a good thirty feet away from me.  Only when the bus pulled up did he begin to again approximate the position of the stop.

I'm sure I showered that morning.  He must have just had a really big bubble.  So why is he riding the bus, then?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

UNINTENTIONALLY CREEPY ADVERTISEMENTS

A thousand thanks to Marcus for the pictures!

So I was on the 830 today with said Marcus, and we were commenting about how the ad on the particular bus we were on (#10065, for the curious) looks perfectly innocuous from outside:


But from the inside, it looks like this:


We both agreed this was creepy, and I lamented that I (not having a smart phone) never seemed to have my camera on me when I was riding this particular bus (#10065, in case you forgot).  To which Marcus responded, "I could take a picture!"  Which he did.  Aren't friends great?  Now you all can see the creepy bus ad.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

WAL-MART

I like Wal-Mart.

But Wal-Mart is the only place I know of where people get to be Dear Stupid Provo Driver and Dear Stupid Provo Pedestrian at the same time.

There are no sidewalks leading up to Wal-Mart. You either have to climb up a steep grassy/snowy hill (from the 831), or clamber down a muddy one (from the 811, 830, or 862, since they only stop at UVU). Once you get up or down the hill, you are faced with the Wal-Mart parking lot, which is a fascinating case study in self-centeredness. One moment a person will be honking at the stupid person who just had to cross in front of them when they're trying to park; the next they will be throwing their hands up in disbelief as ANOTHER car doesn't stop for them so they can cross the parking lot into the store. Nobody seems to remember that they were just in a car, or that they were just walking across the parking lot.

Good thing I'm above all that. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SOMETIMES THE 831 IS FASTER THAN A CAR (PART 2)

Another time when I went to Wal-Mart, I was standing at the bus stop to return home. The southbound 831 stop at Wal-Mart is not particularly appealing looking, and I probably had a look of stalwart determination on my face (I was actually probably just squinting against the sun to see if the bus was coming). A friend of mine who happened to be in the parking lot behind the bus stop shouted at me, which startled me, but then he offered me a ride, which I was okay with.

I got in his car, and he proceeded to take exactly the same route as the 831 for the next several blocks (the 831 never goes anywhere in a straight line), except that our car journey was even more convoluted than the bus route, because he was dropping other people off (he's nice like that), and we pulled into two apartment parking lots on the way.

As we pulled onto University Parkway, I mentioned that we had taken an even less-direct route than the 831. This genuinely surprised him and his other friend in the car, which amused me. But we also got to tell stories about the bus, which was fun.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SOMETIMES THE 831 IS FASTER THAN A CAR (PART 1)

One happy night I was at Institute with some friends, eating refreshments after the lesson was over. Amidst the general scene of joviality I suddenly stood up and announced, "I've gotta go; I've got a bus to catch."

Since I lived about two blocks away, one of my friends asked me "Where are you going?"

I said, "To Wal-Mart." This caused an unexpected display of consternation on her part. "How can you go to Wal-Mart at a time like this? On the BUS! How are you getting back?"

I mentioned there would be a bus back. She was undeterred. "What if you miss it?" "I won't miss it." "You can't go." "I've done this many times before." "I'm not letting you go."

At this point, a couple of other friends began to take her side, so I eventually caved. "Ok, ok, you can take me." Sheesh.

So then we had to wait for everyone to finish eating. And then we had to walk down to the house of the particular friend whose car had been chosen for this mission. We had to wait while the car was scraped off (it was winter). I'm pretty sure at least one person had to primp before we left.

As we pulled out of the driveway, I looked at the time on the car clock. It was 9:14 p.m. In other words, the time the 831 would have gotten to Wal-Mart, had I caught it as I had originally intended.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I LEFT MY GYM SHORTS AT THE BANK

Sometimes, riding the bus gets you into pretty unusual situations, ones you could never have foreseen.

The other day I took the bus to the gym. It being cold and unwelcoming outside, I brought my gym shorts along with me instead of wearing them to the gym. It not yet being 5:00 p.m., I also decided to visit the bank, since the bank is across the street from the Transit Center. I went to the gym first; as I was reflecting on my successful fitness experience, I wandered into the bank lobby and idly set down my shorts as I filled out my deposit slip.

My experience at the bank was, honestly, pretty pedestrian (no pun intended), until, as I was on the bus back home, I realized that I had left my gym shorts on the counter, in the middle of the bank. This never would have happened if I had a) had a car and b) left my gym shorts in it while I went to the bank. Sometimes my life is random . . .

I went back the next day and asked the lady at the window "Did you guys by any chance pick up some gym shorts yesterday?" She laughed and laughed. She did say yes, though, and returned me my gym shorts.

I said, "I'm glad I could brighten your day." We parted on good terms. That particular teller has said hi to me when I come to the bank ever since.

Friday, February 4, 2011

SLUG BUS

SLUG BUS

(1/17/2011)

I invented a new game today. I'm really proud of myself. It's called "Slug Bus."

See, I was in the car with my roommates, and they were playing Slug Bug. The game was going rather well, but I wasn't really participating. I'm not all that into cars . . .

Then the dude who was driving hit me. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I said "I'm going to play 'Slug Bus' from now on." So the next time I saw a bus, I started hitting him on the arm and saying "What number is it, huh? What number is it?"

He said, "Um, 802."

"Higher."

"809?"

"Higher."

"810."

"Higher."

"813?"

"Seventeen higher."

"831."

"One lower."

"830!"

"Yes."

I stopped hitting him. It was fun. I'm going to play "Slug Bus" more often from now on.

P.S. Commutergirl told me later that I can ask her what number the bus is, but I cannot hit her in the arm. She did guess correctly when I asked her what bus went by. I didn't hit her.

P.P.S. One of my roommates has since figured out that Sunday is a good day to play Slug Bug with me, since the bus isn't running through BYU at all. Aack! My secret weakness!!!

P.P.P.S. Commutergirl has recently informed me, so I thought I should tell you, that she ALWAYS gets the number of the bus right. So there.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WHY DOES THIS ANNOY ME?

(1/18/2010)

Can someone tell me why it annoys me when people tell me when the bus is going to come? Tonight I was at the BYU bus stop and a woman asked me the time. I said, "It's 8:06," because it was. She said "Okay." Then, because people who initiate conversations with you at bus stops are incapable of not conversing with you, she asked "What bus are you waiting for?" I said "The 830," because I was, in fact, waiting for the 830.

Then she had to go and say it. "It'll be here in a couple of minutes."

I guess this annoys me because I feel like people who wait at bus stops generally know when the bus they are waiting for is coming (exception: me in Salt Lake County. But I know how often it comes, so I usually know about how long I have to wait). I wouldn't have run up to the bus stop with backpack and gym clothes in tow, then unceremoniously shoved said gym clothes into said backpack if I didn't think the bus was coming in a couple of minutes. You know the bus is coming, why shouldn't I?

Maybe I just have a complex.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HELPFUL GRAFFITI

I have written on this blog before about the occasional visit of ugly writing to my bus stop. The graffiti there is usually amusing, so I feel justified in blogging about it.

The other day, though, a new set of words appeared on the side of the bus shelter, which, though still tasteless, are at least civically minded.

Someone has written "831 to BYU" on the side of the bus stop.

I think this is terribly useful. It's very confusing that the 831 Northbound heads south on University Ave., and vice versa. It's very confusing to have to get on a bus heading south that says Northbound to get to UVU, which is north of where you are standing. It's very confusing that the other bus that stops at this stop, the 811, heads north on its way to UVU. I have had to answer people's questions about it several times, and sometimes they don't believe me. I don't enjoy that. So, I think it's a good idea to tell people which side of the street takes you to which place.

I just think maybe it should be an actual SIGN.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CODAZO

I am tall and lanky. I am known for accidentally hitting people with my elbows. Like commutergirl, for example.

I was a little surprised, then, the other day on the 831, when the girl in front of me kept elbowing me.

Let me explain.

Some of you know how the seats are oriented inside your typical UTA bus. For the rest of you, allow me to tell you that some of the seats face forward, and some of them face sideways, into the aisle. I was sitting in one of the aisle seats. The girl in front of me kept reaching into her backpack, innocently enough, I'm sure, but every time she reached into it, she elbowed me in the shoulder.

I was amused by this, so I didn't move, to see if it kept happening. It happened two more times. And she got off at the stop after the one I got on at. I honestly wonder what she thought was going on.