31 October 2005


I think this might be a new-to-the-blog bus. Forgot to dive before I started this post. They all look the same now - I need something really unusual to spark my memory. Regular driver was there and many regular riders. Low key ride and dolly boy was not back - I knew it! No one can haul a furniture dolly around on a bus day after day after day. Whew!

Back of the bus engaged in a small amount of Monday morning review of football weekend talk. Was actually kind of funny listening to them describe the Cardinals - lowered the bar to a new level; it's a business, not a sport; they are paid to play, not to win; makes participation in professional sports almost accessible to the common man (that last one really cracks me up). Mike and I had a good football weekend - ASU and Bengals both won. They weren't pretty victories, but the mark is in the correct column and that's what matters most.ASU isn't home again until the day after Thanksgiving - guess I can go to the studio and get stuff done for a change.

Had an email exchange with Dave that prompted three haikus:

A brownie picnic --
Moments of chocolate bliss
spent under the stars.

Tiny crescent moon
Smile barely lights my way;
A new day begins.

In the cool night air
The cigarette smoke wanders;
She knows where he is.

Almost prolific - never have figured out where these things come from - don't do them for months on end and one day everything I think is in the 5, 7, 5 meter of a haiku. Wonder if I was a Japanese writer in a former life and he/she is trying to get out occasionally? Only explanation I can think of. Didn't say mine were good, but they are almost accurate. Should put a mention of the season in - difficult in Arizona as all seasons kind of blend together. I'll work on it the next time the haiku bug attacks my brain.

27 October 2005

#I don't know

Completely forgot to look at the bus number this morning. Got on and started stitching on my t-shirt project and lost track of time and place - sort of... Was stitching along and some guy got on the bus with a furniture dolly. I've seen some larger items carried onto the bus - even toted a few myself - but this was one strange thing. Wonder if he planned to haul something back on the dolly on the bus? Should have asked.

Anyway, he was one of those people who don't know a stranger and immediately engaged me in conversation. Asked me what kind of sewing I was doing. He wasn't rude or even obnoxious - just unable to sit quietly on the bus and wait for his stop. I knew he wasn't really interested in the sewing, just wanted a conversation and the sewing was the opener. I told him it was resist for screen printing and that actually silenced him for a moment. Not sure if he was thinking about it, totally confused, whatever. Gave him no detail, but certainly gave him pause for some kind of reflection. He then started talking and I tried to be pleasant while speaking as little as possible. He was quite good at going on by himself, but every now and then asked me a very pointed question to bring me back into his discourse. The timing was good as I finished my line of stitching just as I needed to pull the cord for the stop. I folded the shirt, put it in my backpack and stood up for the stop. The guy talked the entire time and was hollering "have a good day!" as I stepped off the bus.

I realized as I walked toward work that the bus ride seemed to take about 5 minutes - fastest ride I've ever experienced. Not sure if it was the sewing or artfully dodging conversation - it was just plain fast. Think I'll try sewing again to see if it was the culprit. Pretty sure that guy won't repeat - how many times can you take a large dolly on the bus?

26 October 2005


This is a repeat bus, but I don't remember its configuration being so different - seemed a little elongated this am - perhaps my brain wasn't at full capacity and it just seemed the bus was longer because the brain was shorter. Who knows?

This was right up there with one of the all time most boring rides ever. Could hardly keep my eyes open. Many regulars, many new - regular driver wasn't there and I'm beginning to think that does impact the flavor of the ride. Finally, toward the end, the bike guy and the flu guy began discussing global economics - wish I'd been sitting just a tad closer. There was an extremely large young man sitting next to me and I think his physical size blocked some of the bike guy's conversation. His words went in and out of focus, while I could hear the flu guy very clearly - he was catty cornered across from me - sound waves didn't have to go through the massive body to my left. Either that or waxy buildup in the left ear - again, who knows? Their conversation made me realize I need to find a reliable, unbiased (ha!) news source and get back in the loop. I'm so sick of the fear-pandering, blood-lust of the news media (print and video alike) - they let W be elected - fie on them! Perhaps the Hindu Times or the London Times - need to get off this continent to learn what's going on in the world. Wow - did I just get almost politically active in this blog? Time to retreat.

25 October 2005


This is a new craft. Made a full-scale archive dive and found no reference to #4134 - lots of 4100 buses, but no 34. Seemed clean and fall fresh - well vacuumed, etc. Merry maids would be proud.

Today's bus ride was totally and completely "normal" - regular riders chatting in the back, regular riders getting on and off at their usual stops - absolutely, positively boringly normal. Didn't realize how much I looked forward to the odd or quirky event that is the real guts to this blog. Don't want too much adrenaline, just something to chew and reflect upon. Today provided nothing. All familiar faces doing their standard routine. Even the engineering guy got on and engaged in the conversation without shutting it down or steering it to parts unknown and unwanted. How dull can that be when you can't count on the local color to contribute -- color, that is.

Oh well, it was kind of neat - just before my stop the computer lady voice announced, "Arizona State University", and four of us got off, scattering in multiple directions. As I walked east on Gammage Parkway, the sunrise silhouettes of the buildings and ever-present palm trees reminded me that I do live and work and play in Arizona now - hits me like a whack-a-mole punch every now and then.

24 October 2005


Once again I'm just too preoccupied to archive dive to see if this is a repeater. Nice bus, nothing special or weird. Regular driver was not there. Pretty sure Monday is one of his semi-regular days off. Wonder if there are substitute drivers? Like the guy today - does he have a regular route and once or twice a week subs on other routes? Does our regular guy sub on other routes? Might have to discourse with him about how these things work. Geez I ask too many questions.

Back of the bus sounded like a wannabe version of ESPN's sports center. Not exactly Monday morning quarterbacking, just lots of re-hashes of all the football games from yesterday. Fun to listen to, although not nearly as articulate and "clever" as ESPN - more like a "reality" sports center. About halfway through the ride this ASU student gets on (he's the one who asked about my tackle box and told another lady about an "excellent book on prayer"). He's familiar with the backseaters and always immediately joins the conversation. However, he never talks sports, it's always about engineering topics. Today he announced some grant that became available and started using terms like "electron compositor" and "rigorous polynomials" - in seconds, he was the only one talking and the whole bus became eerily silent. I didn't have the nerve to look to the back (fear of laughter on my part) as I could envision the slack jaws and glazed stares of the people who had, just moments before, been happily reviewing the sports news of the weekend. This guy came in and in his own special "flux capacitor" way, took the air completely out of the moment. One of the riders engaged him in conversation and slowly the others built back up their own sports talk. I'm pretty sure this guy has no clue what a damper he is to basic bus chatter and no one would ever tell him. Next time, I've just got to look at their faces to see if they are as I envision. Maybe, though, I should just let the visualization linger - could be far more entertaining than reality. Rigorous polynomials? What the .....???? Whew - it's a lot for the 6am Monday bus.

20 October 2005


Pretty sure this is a repeater craft, but don't feel like archive diving today. As lively and full as the bus has been the last two days, it was quiet and boring today. Just a nice complement of regulars who remain stoic and still. Even the driver was low key. I really think it's that move toward the end of the week. I mean, we all are riding the 6 am bus. I get up at 4 am to make this happen and must assume others are rising fairly early, too. I don't stay up too late, but we're not looking at 8 or more hours of pillow talk here. I really think by the end of the week, we are sliding toward exhaustion and only the weekend pulls us back up to full energy. Maybe I should starting rating the bus energy level every day and then compare levels by weekday. Sheesh, I sound like a blasted researcher - gotta get a new job.

19 October 2005


Well crum - forgot to note the bus number today - had to carry my big duffel bag and a canvas and Dave was studying psychology - too many distractions. Not to mention it was 62 degrees and my little sweater didn't begin to keep me warm. Of course, the bus was on the late side today, so there was much hopping around the bus stop trying to keep the blood flowing - it was a discombobulated beginning to the day. No wonder I forgot to look for the number.

It was crowded again but didn't quite reach standing room. The 6am 66 has become the route of choice it appears. A young woman sitting next to me admired my purse. I've seen her on many trips and today she commented on the uniqueness of my bag. It's the leather one I bought at the Notting Hill street flea market in London and has a decidedly British flavor. I've had several comments on it. Keep this up and we'll all be doing lunch sometime.

The loud talking woman from yesterday was back on today. She and the driver were engaged in animated discussion from the second she got on the bus. She has a loud voice and with the Appalachian drawl, she's hard to miss. He's a talker, too, so they make quite a pair. Lots of very abrupt starts and stops. Hard to believe he's distracted by her conversation, but who knows? Remember, he had some erratic driving during the Tempe parade detour discussion - and what about that topic involves serious spans of attention? I really shouldn't comment, having never driven a bus. Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

18 October 2005


Definitely a new-to-the-blog bus today. Had crisp edges - maybe pretty new to the fleet. Holy moly was it a strange day on the bus. It started out fairly regular - usual beginning riders with one new addition. Each stop kept adding people until we were at SRO - simply unbelievable! This was the 6am bus - most people can't stand at that hour of the day, but the seats were full and the middle packed with people. What's going on in the universe?

A woman got on early (so she had the seat behind the driver) with a serious Tennessee/Kentucky accent - she would talk to anyone within earshot and some who weren't. Going on about her son and new daughter-in-law and new baby staying with her and her ex-husband (sleeping on the couch! of course!). After she regaled several people with the story, she whips out her cell phone (which I believe are really not a permitted use on the bus) and tells the story all over again to the unidentified person on the phone. I was two people away from her and could hear not only her, but the person to whom she was talking. Way too much activity for a 6 am bus. She started the phone conversation telling the person she was having a hot flash and just dying of the heat. This announcement went throughout the bus and even brought the conversation of the regulars in back to a screeching halt. TMI, TMI, TMI ... later in the conversation she said, "I know, Mama" so we all then knew who owned the loud voice on the other side of the conversation. It lasted almost the whole trip and I was struggling not to laugh. Wonder if she heard someone else conversing similarly if she would feel intruded upon? Probably listen with a seriously big ear and even offer comments, no doubt. Talk about center of the universe. Kind of a tilty start to the day.

17 October 2005


I lost track and forgot to cull the archives to see if #4123 is new to the blog. Feels new, but the gray cells are weak and I just don't recall. I don't think I've been on it before - I noticed handicap stickers on two windows where the seats lift up to accomodate wheelchairs and scooters. They stuck in my mind and I think I would have recalled them from before. It's the little things, you know.

Today was strange from the get go. First of all, Dave and I were together on the bus. Never had a co-rider so that was distracting. The bus got to the stop very early - I thought it was the 92 and shocked to see it was 66. Had to scramble around to get my card out. Then, we got to the stop on Baseline in front of McDonald's and the driver announced we were about 10 minutes ahead of schedule (really ?!?!?!?!) and if anyone wanted to get something from McDonald's, there would be time. He, of course, proceeded directly into MickeyD's. So we finally get going and a man pulls the cord for a stop and the driver went past it - the guy had to yell and the driver finally pulled over. Then, he was between "official" stops and stopped the bus to ask a woman who periodically rides if she wanted on ... apparently she said no as she didn't join us. I think the driver has more than a passenger/driver interest in this woman, so he's on the lookout for her. Might be nice to date a bus driver - always have a ride. Anyway, the rest of the trip to my stop was uneventful, but it felt like the universe had suffered a slight axial tilt - things just weren't as usual in an odd way. Be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

14 October 2005


Another new unit today - at least I think so. I didn't do an archive dive to verify, but the number is not familiar. Very fresh - no undercover Febreezing needed for this craft. Regular driver wasn't there and this was another one of those playing statue days. No noise. Absolute silence except for the computer lady voice announcing the cross streets and transfer lines. It was almost like a Twilight Zone episode - would have thought I had lost hearing if it wasn't for the computer lady. I guess the Friday morning bus is bound to be a compilation of tired people. I'm usually happy that it's Friday, end of the week, but I can feel my energy level has lowered as the week progressed. Perhaps I'm not alone. I wouldn't want to say we were a bunch of zombies, but damn near.

13 October 2005


So where has she been, you ask? Took a week off to get ready for my solo gallery exhibition - needed to do real driving. I've hauled a lot of stuff on the bus, but a whole show's worth was pushing the limit. Missed the bus, although this past Sunday, the whole fam (Ralphie, Jennifer, GramGram, Marie, Leweezy and me) took the bus to ASU to see the gallery. It was hilarious and I'm pretty sure the driver and other passengers breathed a huge sigh of relief when we got off. At one point Sarah and Mike were exchanging the sounds of French animals that they were taught by Miss Houck. Somehow, according to Miss H, a pig in France makes a different noise than a pig in the United States. It was a fascinating conversation and held us and the rest of the bus in awe.

It was revealed on the ride home that this was Liza's first ever bus trip - what's up with that? Poor thing was deprived of one of life's most interesting pleasures. I think she enjoyed the event for the most part - probably wondering if marrying into this family was such a wise decision. I know we appeared to be good-hearted people, but she didn't know about oddities like bus rides and French animal noises. Come to think of it, though .... I believe the idea to ride the bus was hers!!!!!!

This morning we had #4131 - new to the blog, not new to the fleet. It was in keeping with the other buses in the 4130 class - good, solid craft. Driver greeted me warmly and seemed almost speechless when I explained about the show. Not sure if it was my explanation or presence. Wish the latter, but figure the former. Was a very, very quiet ride this morning until the end. Had my tackle box that I use to hold needles, floss, etc., and some guy asked me if I liked to fish. I said yes, but this wasn't full of fishing tackle. I popped it open and he saw the threads and went, ooooohhhhhh ..... crafts! I could have beaned him. He asked if I was a teacher (there goes that gray hair thing) and I said no, an ASU art student. He said he was an ASU student, too. As I got off the bus he told me to have a fun day with my ASU art. He's a little off center, and I think a little bit christian. Oh well, makes a bus story and that's what this blog is all about.