A girl sitting across from me had on a bright red shirt that said "BRITTANY" across her ample chest, and at first I thought (although hoped not) that it alluded to Brittany Spears. Staring at her chest, I mean reading a little closer, I saw that it referred to The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship.
A young, married guy with nice biceps, but otherwise unremarkable, sat next to me reading The Great Hunt by Robert Jordon with a bookmark sticking out of it that advertised the Durham County Library.
We had our weekly Student E-mail Initiative Meeting, which would pretty much be more accurately described these days as the Google Student E-mail Implementation Meeting, from 10:30-11:45.
Early this morning, in anticipation of this meeting, I created my first survey using Google Docs, taking the initial stab at one we're going to send out to the just over 6,000 students (out of about 28,000) who have already migrated to Google Apps @ NC State.
I took a most inefficient—and therefore most frustrating—bus ride over to the Avent Ferry Shopping Center to meet Sarah, Anna, and Kim for a Friday Salon Coffee Klatch. \O/ I took the #5 Varsity Wolfline bus over to Carmichael Rec Center, where I wanted to catch the #1 Avent Ferry or the #8 Southeast Loop over to the shopping center.
I arrived at Carmichael at 11:25 and the only bus that was there was the CAT (city bus) #11c Buck Jones Cat Connector, and the bus driver was standing outside the bus.
I said, "This bus goes up Avent Ferry, right?" about 99% sure that it did.
"Yes," she said. "The new driver will be here in just a minute."
I was hesitant to get on the bus, because once you're on, you can't see out of the back of the bus to see if another one of the buses going up Avent Ferry pulls up, so I asked before getting on, "What time is this bus supposed to leave?"
"11:15," she said noting a time ten minutes ago. I actually took this as a good sign, as it meant as soon as the bus driver got on, s/he would pull out, so I got on.
About two minutes later, the new extremely obese driver arrived on another CAT Connector (van), and made his way onto the bus. As he worked his way into the seat, the Wolfline #1 Avent Ferry bus pulled, which had evidently pulled up and loaded, pulled out ahead of us, which annoyed the hell out of me.
In the meantime, the bus driver is having a conversation with a buddy who is sitting in the front seat close to him, still trying to get the seat belt around his girth, looking up into various review mirrors, in absolutely no rush to depart on an already 15-minute behind schedule route. Then the bus shook violently and stalled out.
For some reason still unfathomable to me, he unbuckled his seat belt to start it back up, which of course meant more time to re-buckle it after the bus started back up. More talking with the bud. More looking in various mirrors. And as I thought, "I could already be in Cup A Joe Mission Valley with the salon members if I'd've gotten on that #1 Avent Ferry bus, he finally inched the bus forward.
Have I mentioned that I am not a patient person?
Robert and I attended The Monti tonight, which this time was held in the Carrboro ArtsCenter. The previous times we've gone, it's been at Alivia's Bistro in Durham.
We got to Carrboro at around 6:00 and had dinner at The Station, which is basically across the street from the ArtsCenter, and where I had their grilled cheese sandwich with a side salad. Robert had their BLT with a side salad. Our waiter was totally pitted out, deep green and growing underarm sweat stains on a green shirt. Not a good look—much worse than my head and hand sweat at Night Owl service last night.
All five storytellers were good last night, but to me, one stood out miles beyond the others. Tonight's theme was Mother & Fathers and these were the five storytellers:
Vanessa Woods talked about Bonobo monkeys, as she did in her story from a previous Monti we attended, but a different story of course; Jesse Kalisher talked about taking his little kids—who don't eat candy—Trick or Treating; Tara Lake talked about her cousin's wedding and its profound effect on her (on herself, not on the cousin); Michael Malone talked about the influence his mother was (and his father wasn't) on his entire life; and Elizabeth Edwards told a story about things her mother and father, but particularly her father, did through their lives.
Of course, since Elizabeth is a celebrity of sorts, an article entitled Elizabeth Edwards Shares Story was published in the local newspaper.
The thing that was extraordinary about Tara Lake's story was that she brought the audience at once from a humorous place to an exceptionally, emotionally poignant one, which is extremely powerful in storytelling. She told her story right before the intermission, and during the break I went up to her, shook her hand, looked her in the eye, and said, "Thank you for the gift of that story."
Robert spent the night with me and after working on a Indy crossword for just a bit, and then we conked out. First thing in the morning, Robert took me to a different kind of very emotionally poignant place.