Archive for the bus Category

Oprahfy Yourself

Posted in bus, general weirdness, idiot box on November 12, 2010 by Nada

AZ turned me on to how to Oprahfy Yourself. Follow the hyperlink and you too can Oprahfy. Actually, I look much better as Oprah than myself. No, I’m not posting the pictures because either way, regular or Oprahied, both photos are scary, and this blog is not about fright, it’s about general weirdness, as in a general store, but for weirdness.

The photo was taken on an AC Transit bus 51A line. There’s this weird little “seat” at the front of some of the newer Van Hool buses. A lot of older people with bags sit there rather than the handicrapped seats, and I do mean handicrapped. AC Transit not only bought buses from freakin’ Belgium, but they also got them with cloth seats, so now after a year or two of daily use every manner of crap is stuck in that cloth on the seats. Anyhoo, I’m imagining AC Transit went back to Belgium and paid those ya hoos to make this sign, which is ignored because a lot of the older folks don’t want to sit in what looks like poo.

And yes, when they ran the prototype of the new buses up in my hood, I begged them to reconsider first and foremost removing the cloth seats and secondly giving the business to the good ole U.S. of A. But no. Not that I’m a know-it-all (I am, of course), but honestly I think I ride AC Transit far more than anyone working there. The few old buses that are still running routes, are better than the newer Van Hools. Why? Because they were made in Detroit, and made for American roads. The Van Hools suspension has gone to mush, and they sound like they won’t make it up the next incline. Note: I said “incline,” not hill.

Finally, I got some more spam today. It was attached to the Muzak post below. It simply said, “I want it.” I was thinking about that, and you know, oddly enough I want a dial switch in my house that’s for Muzak too. I want it too.

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Transportation Flinging and Squeezing

Posted in bus, cars, Oakland, San Francisco, travel on October 27, 2009 by Nada

The Bay Bridge is closed for repairs. The best report is here with the best picture. Scary stuff, considering a steel chunk fell, taking its cable with it and whipping a few cars in the windshield. No one was seriously hurt. I was considering making some smarmy remark about the bridge’s earthquake retrofit, but I’ll just put another chocolate chip/pecan cookie in my pie hole and call it a day. I think flying steel chunks speak for themselves.

bart_businessThis picture was taken at commute time. The BART was overrun with people. The Pittsburg/Baypoint train pulled up to the platform, and people filed into the cars until they looked like sardines lined one against another in their tin can. And then for no particular reason, the train didn’t leave the station. It sat with its doors open. At the last second, this businessman danced into a car as gracefully as a prima ballerina. I was a bit jealous. How could he do that? A lady had approached the car immediately before him, thrown up her hands at its impenetrable sardine line, and blustered off skirt swirling. And me? I would have backed up and charged the car like a bull, slamming my body against the others already in the car. But the business man? He was all grace and charisma with his pressed shirt and perfect hair. He boarded. The doors closed, and he took his fellow sardines down the line with his smile.

Smithereens

Posted in bus, cars, life on August 31, 2009 by Nada

Smithereens. I like that word. It conjures up visions of meteors smashing into small planets or in my neighborhood it’s the felon fleeing police around 2am, taking out everything on the street corner – the bench with concrete sides, the bus and street signs, and the garbage receptacle.

Huey Ron’s photograph from the Remax bench back advertisement lies in jigsaw puzzle pieces all over the street. An eye is here and a lip, there. A twisted rebar concreted chunk, of what was once the bench, ends up diagonally across the intersection, leaning against the church and another steadies itself on a bus stop pole across the closest street. Cars drive through the debris, their wheels sounding like they are stepping on glass Christmas balls.

I estimate the vehicle’s speed at 90mph prior to impact. Accident reconstruction. I studied the book until my friend, Mary Tyler, pointed out there was a dead body in my favorite photo.

I call the police’s non-emergency number. When mayhem explodes in my neighborhood in the middle of the night, the police will move the larger pieces to one side, but that is all. Dispatch connects me to the City of Oakland. I vaguely recognize the woman’s voice.

“Flora, Flora, is that you?” she asks.

“No, it’s me Driver,” I say.

“I thought you were someone else,” she says.

She promises to send a street sweeper. That’s always the answer it seems. I could call in a 3 alarm fire, and the city voice on the other end of the phone would say, “I’ll send a street sweeper.”

I accept the sweeper and raise her a crew with a torch. A pole is bent, blocking the handicapped ramp. She accepts the crew with a torch and raises me a debris truck. And then she asks, “How’d this happen?”

“Meteorite. I’m pretty sure,” I say. The phone is silent. I try again. “Probably a wreck. Middle of the night. I’ve seen it before.”

The last one was a motorcyclist, racing up the hill from the cops, only there were no cops. He went headlong into the bus bench. His shrine of miniature whiskey bottles and candles lay on the place where he was killed until the middle school kids walked on them, and turned the shrine into litter. Then, I threw it all out.

Flower Stand

Posted in animal, bus, general weirdness on August 28, 2009 by Nada

Flower StandThis flower stand is in front of the San Francisco Transbay Bus Terminal. Their beauty is surrounded by grey buildings and sidewalks and punctuated by the smell of urine and unbathed homeless.
cannibalAnd then there was this fellow, a pigeon, lunching on a chicken wing. His delight was obvious, as he threw the wing in the air, stared at it, and pecked it voraciously. You would have thought he was at a 5 star restaurant, going after some free range clay oven roasted bird. I’m not sure, but I think this is pretty close to cannibalism, and I told him so. He acted like he didn’t understand English. A common problem around here. I mean there are those who genuinely don’t understand English, and then there are those who simply pretend not to. The bird was a pretender. He probably checks his bathroom mirror at night to see which head cock makes him look more puzzled.

The Yuk Bus

Posted in bus on August 14, 2009 by Nada

Hot here. Too hot for me anyway. A lot of people were complaining about the fog and cool weather prior, but not me. I’d rather have a chill in the air. I went to writing class today and the first thing the teacher said, “Isn’t the weather glorious?”

“No.” I’m not going to lie about it. Every one else was complaining about how the gray was depressing. Not me. Let me tell you how it goes in my world. It’ll be 85 degrees on the bus, and the drivers will have the baseboard heaters going full bore. I don’t know why, and there is no asking. I sat in the back today on the elevated seats to maximize the airflow from the open windows. And the back is never a good idea. If some shit is going to go down, that’s where it’s going to happen. I’ve seen fights break out, and people snatch cell phones. I’ve had kids threaten me. All in the back.

Today, I was on the 62, and the 62 goes downtown, toward China Town, so we pick up a lot of Asians that are not content to sit next to each other and talk quietly. They sit rows apart and shout at each other in nasal Cantonese like turbine engines. There is no peace on buses destined for China Town. As we bounced around the smaller neighborhoods of Oakland, we pick up two elderly visibly dirty Asian men. They do their thing and sit a couple of rows apart and yell at each other like they are both stone deaf. One of them sits in a seat right in front of me. My head hurts from the heat, the yelling, the morning, the blown MAC, the sick dog, the lack of sleep – well, you get the picture. I want the two old guys to put a cork in it, even if it means I have to taser a senior. I have an image of tasering this old guy right as he opens his mouth to scream something out. Instead of yelling though, he picks his nose and wipes it on the seat. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. I can’t stand it so I kick the back of his seat. He looks at me and wipes another booger on the seat. Did I mention the bus has cloth seats? Me staring at him and him knowing I’m staring at him doesn’t even slow down his mining for gold. By the time I get off the bus, I want to call the health department and have the whole bus condemned. I make a mental note to not sit in the back of the 62 any more for any reason, even if it means hanging from the ceiling like a bat.

Muni Smash Up

Posted in bus, YouTube on July 22, 2009 by Nada

The Muni wreck at the West Portal station. They have the date wrong. The wreck actually occurred on July 18, 2009.

Muni on Down

Posted in bus, general weirdness on July 20, 2009 by Nada

There are reasons I can’t lose any weight One of them is called a pulled pork sandwich, which I ate at the Ferry Building yesterday along with some homemade potato chips. Then, Hubby and I walked from the Ferry Building to Pier 39 and ate crab and calamari. The promenade was overrun with people, and Muni’s F line was backed up beyond belief. I counted five F Munis in a row going in the opposite direction, but none in our direction. That is some sort of record. Come to find out there had been a big Muni smash up at West Portal. It was probably the worst accident in Muni history. Of course, Hubby and I had no idea since we were across town cursing the F line for failing to pick us up. In fact, we had just sashayed through the craft fair in front of the Ferry Building and bought a T shirt with a silk screened Muni on it. I guess it’ll be a few days before I wear that around.

Anyway, we walked to Pier 39, ate some seafood and decided to catch an F for the ride back because my dogs were barking. Boarding the F is never a treat because of the tourists. I try to remind myself they bring money, and they are spending it here, but when they get on the F and ask how much is the fare when the sign is right in front of them, I want to kick them in the back with my clog. The driver told them $2, and they whipped out a $20. He told them Muni does not make change, and they had to off board and run down the street looking for someone to give them $2 quick like before the F left without them. Then, the guy in front of me with correct change couldn’t get the fare machine to ingest his bills, so the driver let everyone on for free. I kind of felt sorry for the bunch that took off down the street begging people to change their $20, but kind of not because they were tourists, and I kind of wanted to kick them in the back.

Finally, we were off and rumbling down the rails only like an F can. They are the antique line so they make an inordinate amount of creaking and groaning. We hadn’t gone 2 stops when our driver announced over the loud speaker, “Only 15 more.” I’ve never heard a driver say anything like that. I have however been passed up while waiting at a stop.

In the meantime, Hubby leaned over to me and said, “I’m going to give this pregnant woman my seat” which is all fine and good except the woman wasn’t pregnant. I gave Hubby the hairy eyeball, pleading with the Gods that he not say anything else, particularly something along the lines of, “When’s the baby due?” Soon, the woman was sitting by me, and Hubby was standing, proud that he had helped a future generation of shopping bags because that truly was all she was carrying.

And then the driver did what Muni drivers are known best for doing. He refused to pick up any more riders. He would pull up slowly to a stop, and I could see all the cheery expectant faces, waiting to board, change into bewilderment as we sped off. I wanted to scream, “psych” out the window but that would mean standing, and there was no room for that sort of foolery. We rode non-stop back to the Ferry Building with the driver merrily babbling some garbage into the loud speaker. I had to ask the pseudo pregnant woman what the driver was saying. She told me he said to protect all your valuables.