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~Monday~  I left my house at 8:14, was at the bus stop at 8:15, and the bus arrived at 8:20. That's the kind of timing I like when it's in the 30s in the morning. There were only three other people already on when I boarded, and I was kind of surprised when the bus didn't stop at the next stop, where it's supposed to sync to the schedule until 8:25.

A rather abrupt stop at the traffic light at Kaplan and Gorman sent a three-quarters full soda bottle on the floor flying up to the front of the bus and down the steps to the door. It was a yellowish-green bottle, which made me think it was either Mountain Dew or Sierra Mist, and it started from the floor of the empty seat between the two people to my right.

The lady in the front seat turned around to the guy two seats behind her, who was heads down writing in a notepad, and said to him, "Is that your bottle?"

He looked up and said, "Huh?"

"Soda bottle," she grunted.

"Nope," he said.

At the next stop, a lady boarding the bus picked up the bottle and put it in the trash can by the driver's seat.

With hopes dashed of a ride in free of a loud cellphone conversation, the man who'd said, "Nope" and sitting across from me made a call and started screaming into his phone:

"HI. I'M CALLING ABOUT THE ROOM FOR RENT. [pause] I'M IN A PLACE NOW, BUT IT'S NOT IDEAL. [pause] SO, HOW MUCH IS IT PER WEEK? [pause] OH, OK. WELL, WHEN SHOULD I CALL YOU BACK, LIKE BETWEEN WHEN AND WHEN?"

Click. Dial.

"HI. I'M CALLING ABOUT THE ROOM FOR RENT. [pause] "OK, THANKS."

Click. Dial.

"HI. I'M CALLING ABOUT THE ROOM FOR RENT. [pause] YES, I'M A TEACHER. A TEACHER. [pause] SPANISH. [pause] SPANISH! [pause] WELL, I'M LOOKING FOR A JOB RIGHT NOW. [pause] OH, A LOT OF PLACES. I'VE TAUGHT IN CALIFORNIA, IN ENGLAND, AND IN SPAIN. I'VE LIVED ALL OVER. [pause] OH YEAH? I'VE BEEN IN INDIA TWICE. [pause] WELL, WHEN COULD I SEE IT? [pause] I COULD COME TODAY. THIS AFTERNOON. [pause] I'D LIKE TO SEE IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. [pause] NOW? YES, OK. TELL ME WHERE IT IS. [pause] I'M ON THE BUS. I'M ON THE BUS. I'M ON THE BUS!

Oh! Look at the time. My stop. Thank the eavesdropping gods for small favors.

That last screaming sequence about being on the bus and saying it louder each time reminded me so much of this video (relevant content starts at 30 seconds into it) that my friend, Dan, posted in a comment several weeks ago:



Having previously been a landlord for many years, there are several warning signs in that room-for-rent conversation, at least one of which makes me think I should re-examine my biases:

  • Renting "by the week" (read: not planning to stay long, as well as saying something about the place for rent)

  • Looking for a job (read: unemployed now)

  • Lived all over (read: can't keep a job or flees when the going gets tough)

  • Riding the bus (read: you can't afford a car, but you can pay the rent, right?)



At our last salon meeting, we talked about the kind of gifts we like to get. You may or may not have read my answer, or may or may not remember it if you did, so here's what it was: Gift cards first and foremost (generic, bookstores, movie theaters, amazon.com, restaurants) or a meal (or drinks) out with one or two friends.

To that end, and for convenience, I have "beefed up" my amazon.com wishlist. As noted in the comment area of the gift cards, the amount is not important; I just had to choose one in order to add it to the list. The items are (supposed to be) sorted in priority order. Also, it's not important to me that any of these things come from amazon.com. I'm all about the best deal.



Under the category of article headline drama comes this one: Raleigh man charged after child found sitting on gun. Inside the article, as Paul Harvey would say, was the rest of the story: "Police say Atwater had a loaded 9 mm handgun under a couch cushion where his girlfriend’s child was sitting when officers went to the home on Sunday." While technically accurate, that headline is definitely misleading in its attempt as a hook. Hey, my blog post headings often resemble that remark.

And in the irony category, we have this communiqué from one of our facilities guys, and sometimes reader of this very blog:

Subject: [Building] furnace update

The company that produces the part needed to repair our furnace had a fire at their manufacturing plant and is currently unable to supply the part. That company is checking with their competitors to see if a part can be found for us.

At this point, there is no estimated time for our furnace to get turned back on. Therefore, dress accordingly.

[A]lan



This is so interesting to me, and it's beautifully illustrated:




I have a cold and my health gradually deteriorated throughout the day. My boss was nice in offering me four cough drops with vitamin C in them, as well as allowing me to work from home tomorrow. I'm thankful for that. As I'm sure my co-workers are, to have me out of the vicinity of their immune system.

This evening, I made up the other half of that Hoo-Mee Chow Mein leftover from yesterday, and this time, I opened one of the four new boxes that my mom gave me at Thanksgiving to taste the noodles to see if they were any different. OMG. Those noodles in the package I tasted yesterday definitely were rancid. I immediately put the other three new boxes in the freezer to keep those noodles fresh, and I'll use them within the next three-to-four months.

I really wanted to go to the gym tonight, but I just wasn't feeling up to it. I lay down at around 6:00 and woke up at around 7:30. I had crazy dreams and my feet were absolutely freezing when I woke up, even under the sheets and two blankets.

I had nice, long instant message conversations with both Robert and Joe, as well as made some moves in the several online Scrabble games I have going on through Facebook.

I went up to bed at around 10:30 and read a little more of The Help. I got a message from Sharon, one of our other Mostly Social Book Club members, letting all of us know that she's finished the book. Wow. She read it much faster than I've been able to so far. Not that it's a competition.

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