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~Wednesday~  Another uncomfortably high-humidity morning boarding a bus with no air circulating whatsoever. During my short 10-15 minute ride, one person fanned himself with a magazine, one lady got up and took two CAT Bus Route pamphlets out of the rack and used those to fan herself, and the guy sitting across from me opened one of the small slotted windows above his seat.

This particular bus driver—yes, it's her again—obviously: 1) Just doesn't get hot, and 2) Is completely unaware of (or doesn't care about) anybody on the bus but herself. I am seriously considering either trying to make the 7:45 bus (which is going to be hard for me) or exclusively riding the Wolfline bus until the weather gets cooler.

One problem with the Wolfline bus is that the one that serves my area is not in service starting Monday, August 9, until school starts back up on August 17. That sucks.

In other yenta news, a man boarded this morning with three children, which is notable in and of itself, but what caught my attention was that he had on dress clothes—a white button-down shirt and pin-striped black suit pants—with which he wore black tennis shoes (more dressy than white ones, at least) and anklet-length blue socks. I probably wouldn't have even noticed his shoes and socks, but because when he sat down his pants raised up high enough to show leg with those short socks on, it caught my attention.

A man sitting in the front of the right center-facing seat took a phone call, and although I was about four seats back and on the other side of the bus, I could hear that he had an "island" accent.

Passing my old credit union stop, I noted that, nope, no CAT Method 12 bus stop sign has been erected yet.

I was delighted to learn that my friend Myra is back on campus with a new job for the Shelton Leadership Center over in the McKimmon Center off Western Boulevard. I saw a Facebook status update to that effect, and I e-mailed her about having to get together for lunch soon. She wrote back, and in the course of it, wrote this affirmation:

I've been reading your blog—fantastic as always. You manage to make me laugh and think about life all at the same time. I'm so sorry to hear about all the losses you and your family have experienced recently. I'm always impressed at the poignancy with which you capture those moments.

I took the bus over to the campus student center to make a donation to Stop Hunger Now by giving them what I might spend on a lunch somewhere to eat one of the pre-packaged meals that the organization distributes to try and address hunger issues around the world.

There was a man sitting across from me who had the bushiest eyebrows in history—I'm quite sure they intertwined with his eyelashes in a couple of places, and he was one of those people who keep their mouth open all the time. No self-awareness. He kept moving and turning his head (bastard!), so I could only manage this shot, which illustrates the mouth issue, but not the eyebrow issue.

I'm a little ambivalent about the Stop Hunger Now event, as I only had about 30 minutes, and I thought I was going to go in, give my $10 donation, and eat a quick meal. Instead what happened was that the food wasn't quite ready, and they gave a presentation about the problem of world hunger and about the organization Stop Hunger Now.

Don't get me wrong. I'm obviously interested in the problem of world hunger and I love the organization that did this and why they were doing it. I just hadn't planned the time that it ended up taking to do this, and I had to be back to my office for a 1:00 meeting. I do think this two-minute video they showed is worth watching:

Dancing was an absolute tragedy tonight, so much so that I'm thinking about taking "a sabbatical" from it myself (à la Carl) starting next Wednesday.

Neither Carl nor Bill were there tonight, and the place was dead early in the evening. At the bar to get my first drink, a guy to the right of me was pleading with Jim, the bartender, saying, "Just one more. I'm not driving man. I walked here." He didn't seem drunk to me, but I was wrong about that.

About ten minutes later, the guy fell off a barstool he was sitting on and hit his head on the cement floor. Jim came over just to make sure he was still alive, and the guy kept saying, "I'm all right. I'm all right," as he got himself up. Once he did, Jim asked him to leave.

Later on, I went up for my second drink, and it was still empty in the place, and Jim said, "I just threw somebody else out of here."

"You did?" I asked, surprised, as I hadn't noticed anyone come in drunk or loud or anything.

Jim said, "Yeah. It's this guy who comes in here all the time, but he never buys anything. I asked him, 'You gonna buy anything tonight?' and he said, 'No,' so I said, 'Get out, then.' I ride two hours to come here and bartend on Wednesday night. I live in Wilmington. I can't come all the way here and not make any tip money."

I was just speechless, and I thought, "This place is fucked up." Gotta make some kind of decision before next Wednesday.

I had an exchange on a friend's blog about obituaries, which ended up in my digging up two of my most favorites. Long-time readers will already be familiar with these, so you're done here for today. :-)

Dolores Aguilar
1929 - Aug. 7, 2008

Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.


Raleigh News and Observer, July 2, 2005

Dorothy Gibson Cully

ON JUNE 3, 2005 at 10:45 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee, Dorothy Gibson Cully, 86, died peacefully, while in the loving care of her two favorite children, Barbara and David. All of her breath leaked out. The mother of four children, grandmother to 11, great-grandmother to nine, devoted wife for 56 years to the late Ralph Chester Cully and a true friend to many, Dot had been active as a volunteer in the Catholic Church and other community charities for much of the past 25 years.

She was born the second child of six in 1919 as Frances Dorothy Gibson, daughter to Kathleen Heard Gibson and Calvin Hooper Gibson, an inventor best known as the first person since the Middle Ages to calculate the arcane lead-to-gold formula. Unable to actually prove this complex theory scientifically, and frustrated by the cruel conspiracy of the so-called "scientific community" working against his efforts, he ultimately stuck his head in a heated gas oven with a golden delicious apple propped in his mouth. Miraculously, the apple was saved for the evening dessert. Calvin was not.

Native Marylanders and long time Baltimore, Kent Island and Ocean City residents, Ralph and Dot later resided in Lakeland, Florida and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Several years after Ralph's death, Dot moved to Raleigh in 2001, where she lived with her son, David.

At the time of her death, Dot was visiting her daughter, Carol in Memphis. Carol and her husband, Ron, away from home attending a "very important conference" at a posh Florida resort, rushed home 10 days later after learning of the death. Dot's other children, dutifully at their mother's side helping with the normal last minute arrangements - hospice notification, funeral parlor notice, revising the last will, etc. - happily picked up the considerable slack of the absent former heiress.

Dot is warmly remembered as a generous, spiritually strong, resourceful, tolerant and smart woman, who was always ready to help and never judged others or their shortcomings. Dot always found time to knit sweaters, sew quilts and send written notes to the family children, all while working a full time job, volunteering as Girl Scout leader and donating considerable time to local charities and the neighborhood Catholic Church.

Dot graduated from Eastern High School at 15, worked in Baltimore full time from 1934 to 1979, beginning as a factory worker at Cross & Blackwell and retiring after 30 years as property manager and controller for a Baltimore conglomerate, Housing Engineering Company, all while raising four children, two of who are fairly normal.

An Irishwoman proud of and curious about her heritage, she was a voracious reader of historical novels, particularly those about the glories and trials of Ireland. Dot also loved to travel, her favorite destination being Eire's auld sod, where she dreamed of the magic, mystery and legend of the Emerald Isle.

Dot Cully is survived by her sisters, Ginny Torrico in Virginia, Marian Lee in Florida and Eileen Adams in Baltimore; her brother, Russell Gibson of Fallston, Maryland; her children, Barbara Frost of Ocean City, Maryland, Carol Meroney of Memphis, Tennessee, David Cully of Raleigh, North Carolina and Stephen Cully of Baltimore, Maryland.

Contributions to the Wake County (NC) Hospice Services are welcomed. Opinions about the details of this obit are not, since Mom would have liked it this way.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Wolfline vacation
I hate the 'no service' weeks, too! Just a reminder that YOU are not Wolfline's customer. They are interested in serving students (or perhaps more accurately the parents). Staff are at the bottom of the barrel as far as they are concerned. It shows in their scheduling, in their routing and in their response to questions/problems.

Maybe they take next week off to get their stuff together? Hope so. In the meantime, I feel your pain.

They gave me a surprise last week--they closed a stop I usually use. The driver said she wasn't letting me off because the stop I requested was closed. Whah? Turns out they put a stop not far away that is really a better location for a number of reasons. Why didn't she say the stop was moved? I thought I was looking at a 1/2 mile hike! For the next few days, when I board the bus with that same driver, I'd tease her with "Did you move my stop again today?"

No email alert, no service notice on the real time map and the real time map still shows the old stop. (They did manage to put up a sign at the new stop, so they're ahead of CAT on that front!)


Aug. 7th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: Wolfline vacation

Ann, you crack me up with your vitriol for the Wolfline. My experience is just the opposite of yours when it comes to them. Of course there are one or two doozies driving them, but overall my experiences have been good. At least they run the air-conditioning!

I guess my view is affected by the fact that I have always thought of them as "students first," so that's my expectation and they rarely disappoint me. :-)

Too funny about your CAT bus stop. As you say, at least you got a new sign. I love that the new stop works out better for you—like my missing the Brooks/Hillsborough stop only to discover that the Clark/Gardner stop is better for me! YAY!

Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend!
Aug. 9th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Wolfline vacation
Ahh, 'tis a contempt borne of long experience, my friend.

Perhaps it's a sunnier world when you work on Central Campus. For those of us who work out at Centennial (aka The Back Forty), it's another story. Thus the bike! LOL
Aug. 7th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Those obits are astonishing, each in its turn. I've never been a collector of things, but this makes for a tempting potential obsession. Once again, you've enriched my life, John. :-)

Aug. 7th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: Wow...

Why thank you, Anna! These two in particular go against several if not most of the normal communicative purposes of the obituary as a genre. It'll probably come as no surprise to you that I did a paper on the obituary genre while in Swarts' class, and received an A+ on it, no less. Eight main communicative purposes that I listed in my analysis included:

  1. Inform

  2. Educate

  3. Honor

  4. Commemorate

  5. Thank caregivers

  6. Provide closure

  7. Create public record

  8. Create community

Well maybe there's some of most of them going on, but the KIND of informing that's going on and the KIND of educating, for example is a little askew. :-)

Anyhow, you can read The Obituary - A Genre Analysis if you're interested.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and affirming, my friend!

Edited at 2010-08-07 03:07 am (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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