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:
- Totally believed it.
- Didn't know what to believe and was trying to see if I would confirm or refute some of his beliefs.
- Didn't know what to believe and wanted to know what I believed.
- Didn't believe it, but wanted to see if I did.
- Didn't believe it and wanted me to confirm how implausible it all was.
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!