A tall, lanky white guy got on at our stop as well, and he took the seat across from mine, opened Our Game by John Le Carre, and began reading. He looked like a cross between a soldier and a geek, albeit about 30% soldier, 70% geek.
At a subsequent stop, Becky, who works at the K&W in Cameron Village boarded the bus. I haven't arbitrarily named this person Becky, nor have I just made up her place of employment. In the center bottom of her necktie—which was fairly wide—she'd pinned her name tag.
At the next stop, several more people boarded, and I thought, "Wow, the bus is crowded this morning." And then I remembered that I was on the 7:15 bus instead of the 8:15, and that's when the people in "the service industry" tend to be up and on their way to work.
Logorrhea boarded at this stop, and she was followed by a lady who had to fold a stroller before boarding. She juggled the folded stroller in one hand and a huge black purse in the other, which she sort of propped up on the fare machine while she dug way deep in it for each coin—one coin in the slot, dove into the deep, fished around, found another coin, came up from the deep, dropped in that coin. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Needless to say, she'd've never made it as a boy scout, because she was: 1) well, female, and 2) not prepared.
Back on our way, I heard snippets of a conversation from the back, one of whose voice—let me put a look of surprise on your face—was Logorrhea's.
"I'm goin' get my nails done today."
"Don't let that skinny Chinese man rip you off. He charges you too much."
"Yeah, that little fat Chinese man is so much better."
And then later about somebody else, "Is he overweight?" followed by, "He got sugar in his blood?"
We had our standing Friday 10:30 - 11:45 Student E-mail Initiative meeting, for which I take the minutes. It was actually a very fun meeting—for a welcomed change—and it had two classic lines in it that were worth capturing.
Backstory: The official e-mail system for faculty and staff at NC State is called WolfWise, and it's a customized version of Novell's GroupWise product, and just about everyone abhors it. It has a lot of problems, and we get tons of complaints about it either being too slow or down.
With that said, one of the folks in the room shared this recent exchange, saying, "I was in a meeting the other day and I mentioned that I've been on GroupWise for 15 years now, to which the guy sitting next to me uttered under his breath, 'Well, 14 years if you factor in the outages.'" Hysterical.
Another backstory: Also during this meeting, at one point someone (a guy) mentioned that an idea occurred to him in the shower a couple of weeks ago, and someone else (a lady) said, "TMI!" On and off throughout the rest of the meeting, that person's shower was joked about.
We finished today's meeting two minutes early, which is absolutely unheard of as we usually run about ten minutes over. I made the comment, "Wow. We're done two minutes early," to which someone quipped, "Well, ten minutes early if you factor out all the time we talked about that shower." Too funny.
I left the office in time to catch the 12:30 city bus back to my house, and standing at the bus stop in front of the credit union, a guy walked up to me and said, "When's the bus coming?"
"It's supposed to be here at 12:30," I said, noting that it was about 12:25 at that time.
He told me he was catching the bus over to the $1.50 movie to see the 1:00 showing of Avatar. He went on to introduce himself as Kenneth, and between that time and the time he got off the bus (after taking the seat in front of me), he pretty much told me his life story, which consisted mainly of driving a truck.
"I've trained drivers from all over the world to drive trucks. You name a country, I've trained someone from it. There are some things I just won't tolerate while driving: 1) Doing crack cocaine, 2) Doing heroin or LSD or any of those hallucinatory drugs, and 3) Drinking. Now marijuana, I smoked marijuana every day on a three-day gig across country. I don't have a problem with that. You know why?"
I wanted to say, "Uh, because you do it?" but being as astute as I am, I sensed that that wasn't where he was going with the question.
"Because I ain't never seen anyone get in an accident from smoking weed while they were driving a truck. I've seen accidents, and I mean bad ones, of people who'd been doing all those other things before they crashed."
In the midst of this conversation, the most extraordinary thing happened. A lady approached on a bicycle, wearing a helmet, and she stopped putting one foot on the ground to balance herself and she said to me, "Excuse me."
I thought she was going to ask me a question about the bus, as the bus does have a bike rack on which you can mount your bike if you take it.
"Yes?" I responded.
And she stunned me by asking, "Are you the guy who blogs about riding the bus?" She might have even used the word buscapade, but I was so caught off guard that I can't recall it exactly, as I was immediately thinking in succession, "Oh my god. Who could this be? Have I talked about her in my blog? Was it bad? How in the world did she know it was me? What is she going to do to me?"
She turned out to be a reader of my blog—obviously. I asked her if she was the person who commented on my blog some time last year, on an entry in which I commented back asking her if I knew her, and to which she had effectively answered, "No. I'm just a fellow bus rider who enjoys your bus stories, and I stay kind of anonymous on the the Internet."
Then I asked her if she'd commented on my blog again earlier this week, as one of the comments on Monday made me think it might be the same person who made the above comment last year. And, yes, she was the author of that first comment on Monday's entry.
She told me that she catches her bus "right over there," pointing to the stop on the other corner of the intersection of Hillsborough and Brooks, at which several (the university's Wolfline, the city's CAT, and the regional TTA) buses stop.
It was all a very cool encounter—certainly out of the ordinary, and a day-maker. Nice to meet you, Ann, and thanks for reading and commenting. And for coming up to me and introducing yourself to me!
After dropping Kenneth off at the intersection of Method and Western so he could walk down the street to the movie theater, the bus crossed Western and three stops later I got off at my stop, grabbed my car, and met Sarah and Anna at Cup A Joe Mission Valley, where they were fascinated by the story of my encounter, and from where I worked until leaving at about 2:40.
I picked up my friend Jen at her house in Cary and dropped her off at Terminal 2 for her American Airlines flight to Boston, where over the weekend she's visiting with her brother and enjoying Boston, and where on Monday and Tuesday, she'll be attending An Event Apart.
I met Anna at 10:00 in front of Flex, where we parked and then walked over to The Borough for some drinks. Phil ended up joining us, and a fun night ensued. At one point "Rico" sat down next to Anna and started chatting her up. Turns out she'd met him last year in November when a subset of Salon went to see the early drag show at Legends.
An inside joke aside: His name wasn't Rico. He wasn't a showgirl. And he wasn't Lola Falana.
Rico interrupted me smack dab in the middle of a sentence at least three different times when I was talking to Anna, only to talk about himself and to earn the adjective of boor. By the time it was all said—to Anna—and done, he'd disclosed that he was bisexual, enjoying the physical attraction of men, but able to satisfy his emotional needs only from women. He eventually left, heading toward the gay bars on Hargett, undoubtedly putting his emotional needs aside for the evening.
Anna, Phil, and I made our way over to Flex, where there were maybe 20 people in the place, one being the DJ, spinning tunes with a spiked greenish-yellow mohawk whose spikes must have been 8-10 inches long—and I don't mean Internet inches, I mean real inches. The three of us played an untold number of games of Word Dojo, as we kept being "Wieners" and scoring free games due to our high scores.
We ended the night at The Diner, where we ate al fresco overlooking Glenwood Avenue and the teeming revelers.