Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BUSNINJA SIGHTING (3)

I write this blog to make other people happy.  That's not the only reason I write this blog, but it's one of them.

The other day, I apparently made a whole carful of people happy, just by existing.  That made me pretty happy.

I was headed to lunch, and as I was waiting for a crosswalk to change, a car stopped next to me.  A man leaned out the window and asked, "Hey! Are you the busninja?"

I said, "Yes," because there was really no point in not saying "yes."

He said, "Heck yeah!" and a general attitude of celebration emanated from the car for several moments.

I don't really know what to do at these moments.  I waved again and rather lamely said, "That's me!"

The crosswalk changed, and we went our separate ways.  I had to contain the dopey grin that broke out on my face.  You know.  Because people would think it was creepy if someone walked down the street with a huge dopey grin on his face.

Monday, February 27, 2012

COUNTING EXERCISE

The other day I was catching the 500 back from lunch.  I think it's cool that I can do that.

When I got on the 500, so did a bus driver.  In fact, he was taking over for the previous bus driver, who was just getting off shift.  Another seven or so passengers also got on.  As the relieving bus driver was getting on, I heard him say to someone at the stop, "No, you want the 200.  This is the 500."

As he was situating his possessions around the driver's seat, one of the recently boarded passengers asked him how far down State Street the bus we were on was going.  "I don't go down State Street.  You want the 200."

She was undeterred.  "But how far do you go down State Street?"

"I turn at the light.  I'm going to Salt Lake Central.  You want the 200."

At this point, a sort of general outcry arose among some others of the recently boarded passengers: "This isn't the 200?  You're not going down State Street?"

In response to which the bus driver stood at the front of the bus and addressed the congregation directly:  "This is not the 200.  This is the 500."  He held up five fingers as he said this.  "This bus does not go down State Street.  This bus goes to Salt Lake Central.  If you're going down State Street, you need the 200."

Four people immediately got off.

The driver was just about to sit down in the seat and calmly embark when a voice came from the very back of the bus: "Wait!  This bus don't go down State Street?"

The driver didn't even turn around.  "NO!  200!"  The man got off in a hurry.

Now that the bus had been reduced down to the four people who had actually intended to catch the 500, or were too scared to admit they'd been wrong, we finally headed off to Central.

When I got off at Central, I paused and said to the driver, "You're SURE this bus doesn't go down State Street?"

He laughed politely.  I bet on the inside he probably wanted to hit me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

SCREEN CREEPER

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the jargon used in this post's title, a screen creeper is a body who looks at another body's computer screen without being invited.  Screencreepering is common in computer labs and on public transportation.

The other day, I was on the 817, and the body next to me turned on his laptop and began playing Solitaire.  This is not illegal, so I didn't object.  As he played, however, I couldn't help noticing that he kept missing valid moves.  I'm a stickler when I play Solitaire (okay, I'm a stickler about everything) about not clicking on the stack until I've exhausted every other possible move.  Apparently my traveling companion did not feel the same way.

Eventually, I forced myself to look away.  I didn't want to get bothered about a complete stranger's Solitaire playing habits, and I couldn't in good conscience offer a complete stranger hints on how to improve his Solitaire play.  So I concentrated hard on my textbook for the rest of the trip.

Friday, February 24, 2012

OH, I DON'T KNOW, ANYWHERE BUT HERE

I am, in general, a fan of the police.  I think they do a pretty good job, and frankly, I think they can pretty much park where they want.

Except, perhaps, at the bus entrance to Salt Lake Central Station.

The bus I was on baaaaarely cleared the police car, and it was going veeeeeeeeeery slowly.  I don't know if they didn't realize that forty-foot-long buses were going to have to squeeze past them every few minutes to get into the station, or if they didn't think it would matter.  All the same, friends, maybe next time you could park, oh, I don't know, anywhere but here?

Image from google.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KNOW HOW I KNOW THIS BUS IS NEW?


No ads.

Commutergirl totally called it before I did.

Bus #12001, route 41.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SPECIAL GLARES

I have a wide variety of special glares that I use on a variety of occasions.  The aim with these glares is to convey an entire sentence to the person glared at, such as:

"That's my water glass; yours is on your left, genius."

"You're preaching false doctrine from the pulpit."

"I saw you trying to cut in line."

"Don't even think about talking to me all the way to Sandy."

and my personal favorite,

"If you say one more word during this concert, I will reach behind me and rip your throat out."

Then there was the one I did the other day on the TRAX platform, at 6:25 in the morning, that said:

SIR, IF YOU DO NOT UNLOCK THIS TRAIN DOOR RIGHT NOW YOU WILL FOREVER REGRET THE DAY YOU GOT HIRED AT UTA.

At Murray Central, Blue Line train drivers have to get off for just a few seconds and dial in their route (my understanding is that they have to do this to ensure the track is lined up for them to go to Sandy, not Daybreak).  While the driver got out to dial in his route, he caught sight of me glaring at him.  We made eye contact, and I felt him jump a little bit, even from the opposite end of the platform.  When he got back on the train, the doors unlocked immediately.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CITY CREEK HARMON'S

So, I went to the City Creek Harmon's the day it opened.  The one place I go on opening day would be a grocery store . . .

It was a simple affair, really.  I left for lunch and hopped on the 500.  When it went past Harmon's, I got off.

As I walked toward the back entrance, I saw crowds of people streaming out the door.  I thought, surely there cannot be that many people here for the opening of a grocery store.

I walked in, and . . . holy nice grocery store.




Cheese!


Buffet!
I had been mistaken.  A lot of people showed up for the opening of a grocery store.  It took me about ten minutes to walk from one side of the store to the other.  I snapped pictures as I went.  Some of them are at odd angles because they were literally as I went.

I ran into one of the employees there who is a friend from high school, who married another friend from high school, and at whose wedding I played the cello.  I borrowed the cello from a former roommate, whom I did not see at Harmon's.  Oh well.

I also ran into one of my co-workers, just outside the cooking school.  I offered to take a picture of her, to which she vehemently objected, so I made her take a picture of me.  The light's not that good.  But I look like a kid in a candy store.  Or a grocery store.


My co-worker asked me how I got there.  I said, "on the bus, duh."  That probably wasn't very tactful.  But seriously, there are so many buses that go past there.  How many?  Routes 3, 6, 11, 200, 209, 220, 347, 451, 453, 454, 455, 460, 461, 462, 463, 470, 471, 472, 473, 500, 520, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 806, and 807 go right past it, and routes 2, 205, 307, 320, 519, 902, and TRAX go within a block of it.

Now, busninja, you're saying.  A lot of those routes are expresses and only run during rush hour.  (Come on, I know you're saying it.)  Well, people still take those buses at rush hour, and maybe they can do some shopping when they get off work before they go home.  And a lot of them do run all day.  Carry groceries on the bus?, you're saying.  Yes.  It happens.  I did it for years.  It works well, as long as none of the items you're carrying are too strenuous or perishable . . . I confess that the experience of shopping with a cart, something I've only started doing again since I've been married, is still a little off-putting to me.  You're insane, you're saying.  You're not normal, busninja.  Aw, c'mon, look back up at that picture of me.  Is that the face of a crazy man?  No.  It's not.  I'm fine.  I swear.

Anyway, the next time you're downtown and you have a hankering for some groceries, check Harmon's out.  And, should you want to take transit, all the better.

Friday, February 17, 2012

HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES (PART 3)

Eventually, as I stood and waited for the 830 for an unspecified amount of time, two other people approached the stop.  This is always a little vindicating.  You're not standing on a corner all by yourself anymore.  For whatever reason, that legitimizes it.

You hope it also means that the other people approaching the stop do know what time it is, and that therefore the bus will come very soon.

This was the case, tralala hooray.  The bus came very soon after the couple arrived.  When the bus pulled up, the woman said "They put a '99 on the '30? Are they TRYING to run it into the ground?"

Suddenly I felt very vindicated.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES (PART 2)

So, while I was standing at the 830 bus stop last Saturday thinking about how the other half lives for an undisclosed amount of time, there was a group of female collegians performing various innocent shenanigans in the park immediately abutting the bus stop (the park abuts the bus stop, not the other way around).

I was not watching them in particular, but occasionally they would make noise as they were getting bubbles on each other or spraying each other with silly string, or tackling each other, etc., as female collegians will.  When they made noise, I would look up from my contemplations to ascertain that frivolity, not emergency, was the cause of the noise, and inevitably one of them would see me glance up and give me that special glare that female collegians reserve for creepers.  I could feel the daggers, even from several hundred feet away.

It made me laugh, because, for one, I was not remotely interested in their innocent shenanigans--I'm pretty sure my inward analysis of temporality and the fragility of life was more than interesting enough to hold my attention until the 830 should arrive.  Also, it was funny because I'm pretty sure none of them had any idea why I happened to be standing at that corner and not moving.  I'm used to this, but it's still a bit of a surprise when people try to hold it against me.  Silly people.

Besides, if I had really wanted to creeper them, I would have walked down to the next stop and waited there.  It was much closer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WE PAUSE FOR A BRIEF MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSORS

Well, okay, to my sponsor.  I don't like to pause in the middle of a three-parter, but I would be remiss indeed if I didn't pause to thank my wife for a few things today.

Thanks for riding the bus with me.

Thanks for loving me, even when I'm thoroughly cantankerous.

Thanks for never giving up on me while we were dating, even though you probably sometimes wanted to.

Thanks for getting up and going to work every day, so I can finish school and hopefully get a good job.

Thanks for listening to me anyway when I'm talking about things you really don't care about.

Thanks for helping me eat regular meals.

Thanks for not judging me.  About anything.

Thanks.  I love being married to you.

I love you.


Monday, February 13, 2012

HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES (PART 1)

The other day, I lent commutergirl my phone.  It was necessary for her to communicate with other humans, her phone was broken, and since I was going to be on BYU campus, where there are numerous courtesy phones, all day, I let her keep it for most of the day.  Which led me to an interesting predicament.

I was standing at an 830 stop.  And I knew exactly when the 830 was supposed to come.  But I didn't know what time it was.  So I had no idea if I was bound to wait for two minutes, or twenty-seven minutes, or somewhere in between.

I have often been on the other side of this coin--knowing exactly what time it was, but without a hope as to knowledge of when the bus I was waiting for was hopefully coming.  It was interesting to see how the other half lives.

Friday, February 10, 2012

MY LATEST DRIVING EXPERIENCES

I have driven twice this week.  The first time was on Sunday.  Commutergirl told me to drive to church.  I obeyed.

If you think me driving is funny, well, I think commutergirl while I drive is pretty funny, too.



The second time was today--my boss and I went to a meeting at the Timp Garage, and, well, I drove back (he offered for me to drive three times.  I finally agreed the third time).  All the way to downtown Salt Lake.  Yes, on the freeway.



When we got back to the office, I asked my boss if I had scared him. He said no. He may have been lying.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

THERE'S SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T USE TO SEE

I snapped this picture at BYU the other day.  I knew this had happened, but I still jumped a little when I saw it.


Cool.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOUSE (PART 2)


After work, as commutergirl had judiciously suggested, I headed to UTA's lost and found downtown.  And found what I had lost.

Phew.

My driver's license (you HAVE one of those?), debit card, temple recommend, and apartment key (YAY!!!) were all there.  Interestingly enough, the about $15 I had stashed in there no longer was.

Thank goodness for low-tech thieves who eventually return wallets anyway.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOUSE (PART 1)


It was a bad morning.  I had spent most of the night awake.  Insomnia rules.

I squared my shoulders when my alarm went off (no small feat, as I was sprawled out on the living room floor), and nevertheless prepared myself for my day.  Everything was actually fine, until I got out the door and realized I didn't have my wallet.

See, my wallet contains the keycard for the pedestrian gate into and out of our apartment complex.   You can't get the big gate to open unless you're a car.

So, I returned to my apartment and searched frantically for my wallet.  It was nowhere to be found.  Poor commutergirl.  I didn't make her morning any nicer by grumpily stamping about the apartment looking for the dratted thing.

Eventually I despaired of ever finding it and was pretty sure I had lost it forever.  I went back out to the gate and waited for a car to come by so the gate would swing open.  As I stood there, I listened to the roar of cars on the freeway, loud even at 6:15 a.m. and even a mile away.  I thought about how most people never think about how loud the freeway is.

Then I heard the sound that was music to my ears--a car starting.  I never thought I'd say that.

Forever later, the car actually swung into view, and I exited the gate behind it.

Work actually wasn't too bad.  Taking a nap instead of lunch definitely helped.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

Saturday, February 4, 2012

SO WE BOUGHT A CAR

No, not April fool's this time.  We actually bought a car.

We are now the proud owners of a celery-green 2005 Ford Taurus.  It's shiny.  When we find our actual camera I'll share some pictures.

Lest you now accuse me of being a traitor, let me remind you that I said WE, not EYE.  Commutergirl had a car when I met her.  Actually she still has it (we're a two-car household!  I'm not sure I can handle this . . .).  We'll be selling it soon -- anybody need a car?

Lest you still think I'm a traitor, commutergirl (not even me) told the lady at the used car place that we're only going to use this car to go to Idaho and such--"we take the bus most places," was her exact quote.  The car lady looked at us absolutely blankly when she said that.

(tee hee)

Since this new car is automatic, I will be expected to drive it from time to time.  Yes, I technically still know how to drive (watch out, world!).  However, I would not really expect the frequency of my transit usage to diminish.  I know some people say that when they get a car, and then eventually end up driving everywhere.  Lest you now accuse me of being such a person, let me gently remind you that when I was single, I usually turned down rides from people because I preferred taking the bus.  And I haven't stopped preferring that.  But since the bus doesn't go to Idaho or national parks or the emergency room in the middle of the night or anywhere at all on President's Day, etc., it will be necessary for me to drive it from time to time.






But I won't enjoy it.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

WHY THE RUSH?

The other day I was standing at Murray Central (5200 South.  Please hold your child's hand when boarding and exiting the train) and the Red Line showed up.  A woman got off the train and started running all the way down the platform.

Toward what, I'm not sure.  Usually when people run at TRAX stations, it's to catch a bus that's about to leave.  But she was running away from the only bus that sat idling at the station.  And the FrontRunner station isn't open yet, so she couldn't have been running for that.

In any case, she ran all the way down the platform.  Maybe she was running for the hospital.  In which case I sure hope it wasn't serious.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I RODE AN '11 SKI BUS


I didn't take any pictures of the inside while I was on it, because people sometimes think it's creepy when someone gets on a bus and takes pictures of them.  They don't know the pictures are not actually of them.  But then, I don't feel like explaining, either.  So we compromise.

But I did take a picture of the outside.  No bystanders involved.

Also includes cool mountain design on the side.
 
The bus was fine on the inside--it appears that Gillig (the manufacturer) has abandoned the idea of forward-facing seats in favor of room for skis.  There's quite a bit of room for people and skis in the front half of the bus, in addition to actual places for your skis to sit.  And really wide back doors, so you don't end up scraping your skis across half the doorframe.  True to expectations, the bus powered right up the hill before the Transit Center--I would expect nothing less of a ski bus.  Oh, and the rear lights flash irregularly while the bus is parked.  I tried to discern a pattern between slow and fast flashes while I contemplated the bus from inside another bus at the Transit Center, but I couldn't.

So anyway, I rode an '11 ski bus.