August 13th, 2010

A 35-year blast from the past, a wallet "feature," the Transportation Office, & an expiring farecard

~Friday~  At the bus stop this morning, my BlackBerry notified me that "Miss Wood" had confirmed our friendship on Facebook. Miss Wood (who is now very Mrs. Wood, complete with children and grandchildren) was one of my high school math teachers, and my friend Mike Manuel from high school "recommended" that I friend her a couple of days ago, and I had. After she confirmed our friendship, I read her profile (of course!) and then we had this short, affirming exchange:

Well if it ain't my old high school math teacher! And you don't even have Lejeune High School listed in your CV. :-) I went on to get a Bachelor's degree in Math with a Computer Science Option (from ECU in 1980) and in Dec of 2007, I got my Master's degree in Technical Communication! From things here it looks like life... has, and is, treating you well. Yay!

To which she replied:

Well I have just now fixed my info and added Camp LeJeune to my previous schools!! I still remembered some of you but thought I would probably not even be remembered by now!! You are one of those I remember well b/c I just loved you and thought you were not only a great student but a wonderful person also!! So glad to hear from you!!!

You just never know how people remember you. I would never had guessed she thought that back then. I spent most of my time in high school trying desperately to hide who I really was, or so it seemed. Warmed heart.

On the bus, Library Man was reading what I at first thought was the sports section of the local Raleigh paper, the News & Observer. However, after turning several pages, I saw a couple of pictures in it in color, and I thought, "I can't believe there are sports pictures in color in the N&O," especially since it slowly (or relatively swiftly, really) has been laying people off over the past couple of years as, like all other major newspapers, its readership declines.

So, I did what any good yenta would do, I leaned forward for a closer look, and I saw in the upper left hand corner that it was actually the Davie County Enterprise Record.

In general, I have loved this little wallet that I bought several months ago now, but the one thing that has really annoyed me is this silver bar down the middle of it, which I just assumed was there to reinforce the bend in the wallet. What's annoyed me about it is that it makes it hard to reach in the areas behind those four slots that hold cards, where I have just a couple of other cards that I don't use often.

Well, after that little close call last week when my two twenty dollar bills fell out of my wallet unbeknownst to me, that little bar became a little more interesting to me and all of a sudden—Voilà!—it occurred to me what it was for! Yay!

Both my officemate and my manager were out today, so it was a quiet day in the office. Yay!

I begged out of Salon's Kaffee Klatch today, as once again with the limited bus service, I would have been unable to get over there and back without spending an inordinate amount of time. Instead during lunch, I wanted to go to the campus transportation office, as my free bus fare card expires on Sunday, and I won't be able to ride the bus on Monday without the new one. On July 27th, I ordered my new card online, and to-date it hasn't arrived in the mail. They said it would take 7-10 days. It's been 17. Who's counting? I am.

Again, there are only three buses running until next Tuesday, so I boarded the #8 Southeast Loop, which took me over to the gym. I got off there and waited only about five minutes for the #7 Wolflink Shuttle, which took me to the Admin Buildings, where the Transportation Office is.

I waited in line to find out that they weren't giving out replacement cards to those people to whom cards have already been mailed even if they haven't arrived yet. "They should come tomorrow," the clerk said.

"And if they don't? I won't be able to ride the bus on Monday if it doesn't come tomorrow, and that's my only way to work," I exaggerated.

"Well, we're open on Sunday, so you can come in here on Sunday if you haven't gotten the one in the mail, and we'll give you another one then."

Needless to say, I wasn't very happy about this, but the first person I talked to there really did try to get an "exception" made for me, and it was the higher up muckety-mucks who weren't having it. They explained to me that they actually vend out the issuing and renewing of these cards to a company in Arkansas and that company had put the cards in the mail on Tuesday. Which, if true, it is believable that they'll arrive today or tomorrow.

While I was there, I also asked them who owned the bus stop shelter at Gardner and Hillsborough, which is the one where I catch the city bus home, and at which the university bus, the city bus, and the Triangle regional bus all make a stop. That's the stop at which the open-door-practicing was going on yesterday, and I reported the broken glass all around the ground (albeit swept up into a pile) from a shattered glass on the right side of the shelter. They determined that it was the City of Raleigh who owned it and they actually put in a call to ask them to come take care of it.

Although it was pretty quiet in the office today, I just wasn't able to get to everything I wanted to get done today, the biggest being starting something on hiring a new intern for our office, which Jen wanted me to do while she was out this week. I hate that I didn't get to it. Don't like letting her down.

When I walked out to the bus stop to catch the 5:30 city bus home, a man was there with pliers trying to take off one of the signs at the stop. There are three signs there, one each for the Wolfline (university), the CAT (city) bus, and the Triangle Transit (regional) bus. He was trying to remove the Triangle Transit sign, as evidently it doesn't stop there any more. (Right, Ann?!?)

I mentioned that I'd been into the Transportation Office today to ask about cleaning up the glass, which I pointed to when I referred to it, and he said, "Yeah, I know. I work in the office. I know they called the city on it," and then added casually as if it wouldn't be earth-shattering news to me, "Don't know if they'll replace it, though, because we're moving this stop."

"Huh??? This stop that's two feet from my building? The stop we've just returned to after being away from for a year? This stop???" the voices in my head exploded.

"Yeah, we're going to move it up there by the Fed-Ex building."

"Oh darn! My building's right there," I said, thinking that he meant up past the Federal Credit Union, back up at Brooks Avenue, even though I know that's a state credit union.

"Well, it's only a couple more feet," he said. And then it dawned on me that he was talking about the Fed-Ex/Kinko place, which really is just a few feet up the street.

"Good," I said, "At least maybe we'll stop getting solicited by the Baptists then." The Baptist Student Union is right there at that stop, too, and on occasion they come out trying to give you one of their "Get Saved Now" cards as if it's on sale—"Special saving for you, this week only."

I got home to find this in my mailbox. The pictures on the left are of the front and back of the new one. The ones on the right are the expired ones after a year of wear and tear.

I stayed in tonight, napped for about 2.5 hours, and then got up and was up until about 2:00 in the morning.