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June 16th, 2009

~Tuesday~ Rain falls, tempers rise: a buscapade.

I woke up to the sound of torrential rain. A quick peek between blind slats at the rippling stream of water running along the pavement of the downhill parking area in front of my townhouse confirmed what I already knew.

By the time I left for the bus stop, the rain had eased up a little, but in my estimate still qualified as "pouring." This is the first time since I started riding the bus mid-September 2008 that it has rained this hard while I waited at the bus stop. I mused about how funny it kind of is that people walk around with this little piece of portable ceiling over them—mine being the short, black, retractable, trigger-sprung Totes brand.

At about the third stop after I got on, this "ceilingless" lady got on who was soaked to the bone marrow. Boarding, she showed a sopped, limp one dollar bill to the driver indicating that she had it, but that she knew it wouldn't be accepted by the fare machine because it was so wet.

She had on a rain poncho, which was glistening wet and totally sticking to her underclothes, and her drenched backpack leaked onto her seat before she sat down—in the seat in front of mine.

The bus driver looked at her in the rear view mirror and asked the wrong question at the wrong time in the wrong tone, "You don't have another dollar bill?"

The lady went absolutely berserk, screaming, "DO YOU SEE WHAT I LOOK LIKE? NO, I DON'T HAVE NO DRY DOLLAR. EVERYTHING ON MY BODY IS SOAKED THROUGH. EVEN MY SOCKS ARE FULL OF WATER! I CAN GIVE YOU THIS DOLLAR AND YOU CAN HOLD ONTO IT OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT."

The bus driver was a little taken aback, but she didn't respond. I opened my wallet, took out a one, and presenting it to her over the seatback between us said, "Wanna swap me for a dry one?"

"Thank you. I hope this one will eventually dry," she said handing me hers and taking mine, and then she walked up to the fare machine to deposit it. "Transfer, please," she said to the driver so that she'd get the right kind of ticket.



Two work meetings today—one our weekly department meeting, and the other a project team meeting for a project that's winding down. My favorite kind of project.



I got to the gym at about 7:00, where I was able to do 150 ab crunches—halfway between Sunday's 225 and yesterday's 75.

After that, I did 45 minutes on the elliptical machine, for a 773-calorie-burning workout. During that, I listened to another episode of This American Life. I just love that program. This one was all about the classified ads:

Classifieds

In this show we take the classifieds from one Sunday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times and one edition of the local alternative weekly Chicago Reader, and fill a program with stories that come from the ads. Through the jobs offered, the missed connections, the crap that people sell each other and the musicians' ads we get a portrait of a whole city.

From a "Wedding Dress for sale, never worn"; to "Agoraphobics in Motion, A.I.M. meet weekly"; to a stolen Shitzu named Ises, whose owner was going to breed with his poodle to make a Shidoodle; to someone calling up 5 people with classified ads saying they want to join a band and pulling them all together into a studio for one day to record a song; to a man whose attempt at winning a lost lover back places a classified ad that says, "Joyce, I don't need another housekeeper"; to a man whose marriage has broken up and who is starting his life over by buying people's stuff in the classifieds—stuff that they're selling to leave a life behind. 

Listen here...



I met Joe out at Flex at 9:30, where it was ridiculously hot even though the outside temperature was fairly mild. The air-conditioning wasn't working, and after trying to move the fan, it stopped working.

Richard (the bartender) brought the other fan out from the back and we pointed it right on the pool table, where me, Joe, and Paul played about four games of cut-throat.



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