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~Monday~  The 8:15 city bus arrived at 8:26. Who's keeping track? I had just dialed the CAT line and had been instructed to "Press 1 to continue in English," when screaming sirens came up so fast and so close that I couldn't hear anything on the other end of the line, so I hung up.

A police car came and went followed by an EMS truck, both with their siren blaring and both driving like a bat out of hell. Shortly behind it, the CAT bus pulled up—sans siren and creeping like a willow tree root.

At the Conifer and Gorman stop, a lady boarded and put her child in a seat before walking back up to pay her fare. By the time she did, the bus was moving again and the driver put his hand out to stop her from coming "forward of the white line while the bus was in motion." He took her money from her and asked her to sit down.

At the next stop three or four people got on and I thought he was going to put her money in the fare machine once all of them paid. But instead, he rolled forward, and then while he was driving he attempted to put her two bills in the slot, which of course was on the side away from him, facing the door, since that's where people come in and put in their money.

I watched how long his eyes stayed off the road and on that machine, and two times I saw him come up on the curb very closely before looking back to the road and moving back into the center of the lane. I thought, "Well it's nice that you stopped that one lady from putting her life at risk to risk the lives of everyone else on the bus. How thoughtful.

A passenger sat in the front right seat and chatted on and off with the driver. As we approached the Gorman and Hillsborough intersection, the driver said to the guy, "Yeah, people are crazy, man. I was doing the Hillsborough Street-to-the-State Fair route last night (for which it's a $4 round-trip ticket) and people got on the bus with a twenty, and when they went to put it in the machine, I put my hand over the slot and said, 'I can't give you no change for that,' and they said, 'I don't care. I just want to get to the fair.'"

Obviously, a fair fare to the fair is of no concern to some people.



At lunch time today, I attended an Alternative Service Break Advisors Roundtable, which provided an opportunity for three student leaders to share with all of the advisors the kind of things that they find helpful in an advisor.

I couldn't have been more pleased that one of the student leaders was the student leader for our trip to the Gulf Coast. She was very articulate, and it gave the three of us—our other advisor of our trip was there, too—a chance to learn more about each other's styles and what works—and doesn't work—for the three of us in terms of leadership style.



On the bus ride home, at the stop at Beryl Road, a lady boarded who had obviously won a big stuffed animal at the fair. Temporary Alice said to her as she walked by, "Somebody was a winner! Is that a teddy bear, or something else?"

"It's a teddy bear," the lady answer and it was obvious—at least to me—that that was about all she cared to say about it.

"How'd you win it?" Temporary Alice badgered.

"Playing darts," the woman said rather softly.

"HOW?" Temporary Alice said.

"Playing darts," the lady said just slightly louder.

Word Search Lady—who is Temporary Alice's daughter and who was sitting across from Temporary Alice in the seat in front of me—had been deep into her word search puzzle during this exchange, and about a minute later, she looked up and seeing the lady said, "How'd you win that teddy bear?"

Temporary Alice barked at her, "She said she won it playing darts, honey."



Tonight was Salon XV, which was held at Mitch's Tavern with—in addition to myself—Brad, Sarah, and Anna attending.

As I passed the Global Village coffee shop coming up on Mitch's, I mused about their advertised special of, "Hot Hot Chocolate," entertaining these thoughts:

  1. Does that mean hot as in spicy and then hot as in temperature hot chocolate? If so, then I think Spicy Hot Chocolate would have been a less ambiguous choice.

  2. Or, does that mean doubly hot in temperature hot chocolate?

  3. And, in either case, shouldn't the paired adjective comma rule be invoked to make it "Hot, Hot Chocolate?"

I was the first one to arrive for Salon, and the cute bearish waiter at Mitch's—who's served us several times in the past—said, "Is the rest of the crew coming tonight?" I assured him that they were, and I ordered a bourbon and Diet Coke.

Here's tonight's agenda, with my responses included. We carried forward two items, which I've removed from the list below—one since it was Kim's item and she couldn't make this meeting, and the other an item of Anna's for which she hadn't brought the necessary "props" or "accoutrement."


Salon XV
Monday, October 18, 2010
Mitch’s Tavern


  1. Charitable causes gift-giving strategy. Do you have one? If so, what is it? [John]

    I hate, hate, hate (such a strong word) "capital giving campaigns" in the workplace, which is what spawned this agenda item, as it's that time of year again working for the state. Personally, I avoid them like the plague—no matter how much they badger me about them, or how many e-mails I get reminding me that I can still win a howling animal pin if I participate this week.

    I prefer a "big fish in a little pond" approach to giving over a "little fish in a big pond" approach. Three of my favorite charities: David Lohse Memorial Scholarship Fund and Love Wins Ministry. I also like to help compelling individual situations, the most recent being the Spawnwatch. I totally buy the posit that, "People give to individuals, not to organizations." [MS (Joe Trostel), AIDS (the rider), Cyndra Fyore (Deanna & Patty)]

  2. How long can you legitimately contract for? Microsoft Word actually marks I'd've (as does the Ning editor) as not being a word. Can you contract, I would have not as "I'd'ven't? [John]

    I can't find any rule that states a limit. Most say that a contraction is the shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of internal letters.

    According to Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, "Also among that the list [of contractions that should be avoided] are [those] such as "could’ve,” “should’ve,” “would’ve,” “might’ve,” and “must’ve,” because they encourage people to believe the proper pronunciations are “could of” and “must of,” which are incorrect. This reason elicited quite the collective groan of the membership.

    Other contractions to consider avoiding include “what’d,” “that’ve,” and “when’re” because they “land with a thud.”

    I guess we sort of agreed that "until it gets awkward" or "hard to pronounce" was a good rule of thumb.

    1. Expectations at poetry readings [Anna]

      I have always been completely confounded by poetry, so my expectation at a poetry meeting would be that there would be good food or good company (or short of that, eye candy) there to otherwise engage me.

    2. When you go to a bar what attributes do you appreciate in a bartender, and what kind of things don't you appreciate? I'm specifically thinking of being in a hotel (The Yarrow) bar in a city (Park City) you're not from, but it can easily be generalized. :-) [John]

      1. Knowledgeable about drinks, at least about the one(s) I want to order
      2. Know what my drink is by the time I order my third one and start pouring it as I approach—if they can do it on the second drink they're assured of good tips all night long
      3. Don't let me have to get their attention to order (i.e., if they are chit-chatting with other patrons sitting at the bar, or god forbid if they are doing anything on their smartphone, watching a TV, or anything else that shouldn't take precedence over serving a customer)
      4. Sense if I'm interested in chit-chatting a little, particularly if the bar is dead
      5. If engaging in a conversation with a group I'm with, give equal time (or at least eye contact) to everyone in the group
      6. Recognize fairly quickly that the stronger they make my drink, the better tipper I'm going to be
      7. In the rare occasions when I order water, or just a soft drink, give it to me free

      8. Foods you eat and love in one context (e.g., a holiday or event) but never have at any other time, even though you might think you'd like to. For example, every Thanksgiving I wonder why, given how much I love turkey, I never make (or buy) it in, say, February. [Anna]

        Most of the crap at the State Fair, particularly putting vinegar on French Fries instead of ketchup. Also, only eating Portuguese food at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but mostly that's because my sister is the one keeping the Portuguese cooking tradition going in our family.

      9. The most horrifying communication deliverable you've seen at work, and how you console yourself. If that's even possible. Sigh. [Anna]

        The blog of one of the leaders. I console myself by not reading it as much as I would if it were done well. If there were an anti-cringe pill, maybe I could read it more after gulping down one of those.

      10. John to share his opera mindmaps at Anna's request [Anna]

        They're all in my blog, with the tag mindmaps. I brought printed copies of them tonight to share. I try to draw them from the synopsis provided by the venue putting on the opera, but if they don't provide one or I think I might be able to draw something more easily from a different synopsis, I'll do a Google search on the synopses of the particular opera. I can't draw worth of beans, so I often have to Google an image of something (e.g., a cannon) and look at it while I try to draw it. I bring the mindmap to the opera, and usually with my friend Mary, we do "air checks" (i.e., make a check mark in the air) whenever something in the mindmap happens on stage.

      11. Kim's wedding report—including John in first class and missed connections [Sarah]

        It's all in my Saturday, October 9, 2010 blog entry. I've been meaning to capture this most delicious comeback to people who are complaining or whining to a bride on her wedding day: "I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time on my special day."

      12. Brad's Brazil Report: Tell us all, Mick-a Jagger [Sarah]

        Pictures shared and kisses told. 'Nuff said.

      13. Holidays: excited, overwhelmed, indifferent? [Sarah]

        Meh. Glad that my sister hosts both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Glad to see my sister, her husband, and my parents for a day. Glad to come back to my routine at the end of the day. Hate shopping. Love that my mom gives us a hundred bucks to spend on ourselves and surprise her with what she bought us. Love having the week off between Christmas and New Year's Day.


      As always, it was a fun, fun night, with lots of laughs, thoughtful consideration at times, and bawdiness whenever possible. Love salon.

      Comments

      ( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
      (Anonymous)
      Oct. 20th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
      love YOU!
      So glad that Salon continues to be a source of happiness for our little group.

      Sarah
      dailyafirmation
      Oct. 20th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
      Re: love YOU!

      It most certainly does! Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend!
      ( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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