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~Tuesday~ I met my goal of getting more sleep and not rushing in the morning today. I was at the city bus stop at 8:16, and the bus arrived at 8:22. The driver was one of the steam heat drivers from earlier in the fall, but surprisingly, it was a rather comfortable temperature on the bus in spite of it being more cold than warm outside.

When I first took a seat, the lady across from me was stand-crouching in her seat, looking a little like a jockey on a horse. I thought she was in the process of sitting down, but she stayed like that even as the bus began to move. Then I thought maybe her back was out or something and she couldn't sit down, but suddenly she did. Dunno.

Walking to my building from the bus stop, I snapped this picture, which shows the beginning of the construction of the new sheltered bus stop that's going to be on Hillsborough Street in the block between Gardner Street and Brooks Avenue. If the foundation is any indication, it's going to be nice and big.

I had a productive staff meeting with my boss, and a busy work day that followed.

During the day, Dr. Chander's office called to ask me about rescheduling a procedure that I was going to have done in December, but canceled.

I said, "Yes, I'd like to reschedule it, but I just want to schedule the procedure. I don't want to come in for an office visit before the procedure, as 1) I'm not a new patient of yours, and 2) I already know all about the procedure as I had the same procedure done by your office five years ago. I feel like an office visit is just an attempt to get more money out of me."

"Okay, did you want to have the procedure done in our Raleigh office or in our Cary office?" she asked totally glossing over what I just said, which made it all the more obvious that that's exactly what that office visit would have been in my case. It's very annoying—and an integral part of the health care nightmare of this country—that they weren't forthcoming by saying something like, "Since you've already had this procedure done once in our office, an office visit is optional."

While waiting for the 5:00 city bus home, I had a conversation with a man—who I'd guess was probably in his mid-to-late 40s—that lasted about ten minutes, and even at the very end of it, I couldn't be sure of the rhetorical purpose of the exchange. That is to say, he asked me some questions about a pamphlet, and I don't know if he:

  1. Totally believed it.

  2. Didn't know what to believe and was trying to see if I would confirm or refute some of his beliefs.

  3. Didn't know what to believe and wanted to know what I believed.

  4. Didn't believe it, but wanted to see if I did.

  5. Didn't believe it and wanted me to confirm how implausible it all was.
He showed me the title of the pamphlet, which was, "The End of the World is Almost Here! Holy God Will Bring Judgment Day on May 21, 2011." I immediately thought of a picture I'd seen posted on Facebook this morning taken by my friend—and photographer extraordinaire—AbbyLadyBug:

familyradio.com caravan project van photo by AbbyLadyBug

The man said to me indicating the pamphlet, "Can you believe I found this on the city bus?"

What I wanted to say was, "Why yes I can. The city bus system has a thriving black market (no pun intended) for souls, as evidenced by the many, many ads I've seen for various churches during my now 2¼ years of riding the city bus," but all I said was, "Actually, no I'm not surprised," and then I told him about the truck above.

"Really?" he said. And the thing about all of his responses was that I couldn't tell if they were full of wonder, or sarcastic, or what. Hence the assessment of an ambiguous rhetorical purpose of the exchange.

Then he repeated the date out loud adding, "Do you believe that? Can they be that accurate?" But before I could respond, he went on, "The date's possible. They say our calendar is off by a year," which I resisted interrupting with, "And who is this they?"

He continued, "So there was that 2012 date by the Mayan calendar, but if our calendar is off by a year then that puts it into this year, so it's possible." Again, he wasn't saying this sarcastically or even in a questioning way. It was as if he was just wondering about it all out loud. "The Mayans had a much more accurate calendar than we do," he added.

I laughed, and said clearly sarcastically, "Imagine that. Someone else having something better than what we have."

Without acknowledging my comment in any way, not even with a smile, he picked back up, "So this guy (and I assumed he was referring to the leader of the group that published this pamphlet) has made a very definite statement about a very definite date; he's sure of it. The world is going to end on May 21st."

To which I said, again with a little laugh in my voice, "Yeah, well reporters will be requesting interviews with him on the 22nd; you can be sure of that."

"Really?" he asked, and it came across as if he thought I was stating a fact, as opposed to just ruminating about what would probably be a natural progression of things. It seems obvious to me that if someone predicts the end of the world on a particular date, the media will certainly follow-up with him on the day after to see "what went wrong," assuming he was wrong, of course. Or perhaps, this day and age the question might be, "How's that end of the world date of yesterday working out for you?" Of course, if he's right, then the question is moot. But I digress...

And then the guy said, "The astronomers say that in 2012 all of the planets and the galaxies and the asteroids are going to line up. Do you think they could be that accurate?"

At this point, I just guffawed saying, "The weathermen can't even accurately predict the weather for the next 3 days," although I'm sure astronomers everywhere would take offense at my comparing their knowledge domain with that of weathermen's.

And then I added, "I just take all that stuff with a grain of salt, since we have absolutely no control over any of it anyway. If it happens it happens, I don't care. I've had a good life, and I'm ready to go at any time. I mean I don't want to go, but if it's time, I'm not going to be kicking and screaming on the way out. I'm ready."

And then I asked him, "Are you ready?" and immediately regretted asking. I thought, "Oh boy, that question has the potential to spark the type of discussion I don't want to have with this man right now, or ever, truth be told."

"Ah, there's the #12," I said indicating our bus coming up the street. He went on in front of me and mercifully took the very front seat, around which there were no other empty seats, and I went all the way to the back of the bus, as no one—black, white, or gay, seemed to be hoping I'd take the seat next to them.

Later at home, while writing up this blog entry, I visited that familyradio.com website just to see what all that mess was about, and I think this is probably an electronic copy of the pamphlet that guy had. I was surprised, although I suppose I shouldn't have been, to learn that I'm playing a major role in the upcoming climax in May, as outlined in another of their pamphlets: Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End.

On a much lighter topic, evidently Will Smith's 9-year-old daughter, Willow Smith, has a rap song out called, "Whip My Hair." "GloZell" breaks it down for us!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
I hope you got a good look at this fellow and committed him to memory.
That way, when and if you see him after 22 May, you can ask him about this....
Jan. 5th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)

Assuming that we'll both be in the same place on the 22nd, I should be able to recognize him. :-)
Jan. 5th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
Who Knew?
So the Gay Agenda includes ushering in the end of the world? You folks are busy.
Jan. 5th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Who Knew?

Indeed. Miles to go before I burn. And miles to go before I burn.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 5th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)

See what you're missing? :-)
Jan. 5th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Interesting that they have people shilling for this nonsense at bus stops. I wonder if he has a paid job as a shill? Or maybe he's a "believer" and is doing this as his outreach to the nonbelievers.

I commend you on your conduct. Several of the things he said would have caused me to guffaw. In fact, almost everything he said that you reported would have made me laugh if some stranger said it to me, because it's all so patently wrong.

And darn it, I would have loved to know the answer when you asked him if he was ready to go.
Jan. 5th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)

That you inferred that this man was a shill from what I wrote is very interesting. That's certainly a word that I never associated with him during the interaction. Words like bewildered, searching, and concerned are more in line of the vibes I got from him.

Great, more ambiguity. :-) Thanks for reading and commenting, Dan!
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
That is my experience with people of his ilk. They act all bewildered and searching and credulous, in order to evoke the same mood in you. If you react to their shtick with concern and/or bewilderment, they know they have "a live one" and they go in for the kill.

If you had reacted as I would have, with open scorn and derision, he would have turned on you with the brimstone and hellfire routine and told you in no uncertain terms that you were bound for perdition, etc. etc.

Yeah, whatever.

FYI, I'm the guy who is delighted when the missionaries knock on the door clutching their copies of The Watchtower so I can invite them in and discuss scripture. "Why yes, boys, let's talk about the tissue of lies you've got there and why it's wrong! Would you prefer coffee or tea?"
Jan. 6th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
p.s. - I ended up subscribing to Glozell's videos on youtube. She is absolutely hilarious! Excellent find.
Jan. 6th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)

I've looked at some of her other ones, too, and agree!
Jan. 6th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Gimme (a) shelter
That's gonna be MY bus stop! Hooray!

We're bumping up on two years at a 'temporary' stop so it's going to be great. Even though I will greatly enjoy having a place to sit (and not get attacked by fire ants), I'm still pissed that it has taken this long. It's not like it was a surprise that the H'borough St project got finished or anything.

I must ride a classier bus than y'all. I never find church books. In fact, tonight I found a BlackBerry wedged in my seat!

Jan. 6th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Gimme (a) shelter

Yay, we'll be sharing a bus stop! What time (for the most part) will you be there for your return home in the afternoons?

Well, I've never found church "books," per se; it's always been ads up behind the glass case behind the driver—either as a flyer or a postcard stuck up under there.

You found a BlackBerry!?!?!? What did you do with it?
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Gimme (a) shelter
Gave the BB to the driver and told him where on the bus it was. Figured the owner would be calling for it pretty soon. They have a lost and found at the transfer station in RTP.

I usually catch the bus at ~5.45. But it varies with my work schedule or if I'm downtown for meetings or whatnot.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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