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Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Friday Fun! (PSA: Never Run for the Bus. Ever.)

April 20, 2012 10 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

So today was the 100 year anniversary of Yankee/Red Sox rivalry.  This is totally awesome, but the game was at 3pm when I was at work. ALAS I commute right through Kenmore (where Fenway Park is), just about when the games that start at 3 tend to get over.  Knowing this, I decided to walk from my lovely place of employment to Kenmore where I would hopefully be able to catch a bus home.

So there I was.  Walking along.  Listening to one of my all-time favorite songs “Sexy and I Know It,” when in the distance I saw that my bus was boarding.  My natural Bostonian inclination was to sprint for the bus.

Wrong. Decision.

I have no idea what happened.  Maybe my feet slid around in my shoes because of my nylons.  Maybe the sidewalk was uneven.  Maybe I am just an incredibly klutzy mess. Regardless, I tripped my feet up and went flying a couple of feet (I am not exaggerating) onto my hands and knees. But mostly my knees.

Immediately an incredibly sweet young lady about my age stopped to see if I was ok.  I thought I was, since, well, adrenaline had kicked in.  But when I tried to get up, it hurt.  Three more people stopped, including two BU students and a fabulous southern gentleman who was a tourist in my city.  They gave me water and tissues for the blood.  One identified herself as a medical student and pointed out that I needed stitches.  I argued that I was fine and poked me knee, at which point one of the girls almost passed out.

It turns out what I was poking was my own “subcutaneous fat.”  Trust me.  It hurt a LOT later when the adrenaline wore off.

These awesome strangers convinced me to go to the ER to get stitched up.  They flagged down a cab, gave him directions, and one of them almost insisted on coming with me, although I managed to argue that I would be fine, it was just stitches.

At the ER, they plopped me into a wheelchair and everyone basically glanced at me and said “Oh honey,” accompanied by a head shake.

I told the nurse that the Red Sox had wiped out worse than me.  *snort*

So I got 4 stitches, which was an entirely new experience.  It felt…..weird.  You’re numb so it doesn’t hurt, but you still feel *things* dragging along underneath your skin.

Also, they told me I can’t do anything rough on my knee for 10 to 14 days.  No spinning, running, squats, etc…. *sighs*  What’s a fitspo gal to do?

On a serious note though, major thank yous to the strangers who stopped to help me.  This single lady seriously appreciates it.  Especially since I  was adrenaline high and may not have had the foresight to drag my butt to the ER on my own.  You guys were great, and I wish I had some iota of an idea as to who you are.  People could easily have laughed at the gal going flying across the sidewalk running to catch the bus.  Instead you stopped and helped, and that is seriously awesome.

Friday Fun! (Creepy Sprouts Guy Update)

January 7, 2011 6 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  It’s been a long week for me what with being sick and all.  I’m afraid I’ve been rather dull this week, so I thought why not update you all on Creepy Sprouts Guy?

I got on the bus a morning about a week or so ago and was floored to see Creepy Sprouts Guy sitting in one of the two-person seats and not eating sprouts.  I know.  Shocker, right?  He was instead eating pine nuts.  At least, they looked like pine nuts.  Personally, I think that’s kind of an expensive breakfast, but whatever.

I carefully situated myself in one of the sideways-facing seats for optimal viewing.  Would someone sit next to Creepy Sprouts Guy now that he was eating pine nuts?  What’s creeping people out about him?  Him or the sprouts?  Well, sure enough, two stops later a 20-something, most likely grad student, woman plopped in the seat next to him.  Creepy Sprouts Guy responded by giving her a look of shock and horror that I’ve only seen replicated in zombie movies when a non-zombie sees a zombie flailing itself at the window.

How DARE someone sit next to Creepy Sprouts Guy?!

Jesus, it was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud.

The next day, Creepy Sprouts Guy was back to eating sprouts and being left alone.

People, the mystery has been solved!  Creepy Sprouts Guy eats sprouts to get a seat alone on the bus.

Friday Fun! (Creepy Sprouts Guy)

December 17, 2010 9 comments

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to the new readers who found me through the Mental Illness Awareness Reading Challenge I’m hosting for 2011!

When you take the same public transit to work every day at the same time, you start to get to know the people on your route.  Generally, not through actual names, but you recognize them and their behaviors, and if you’re an Amanda, you start to give them appropriate nick-names.  Stargate Chick. (She wears an SG-1 patch on her jacket. No, I am not kidding). Hot Scrubs Guy (Um, nuff said?)  Fast-talking Latinas (They always talk to each other really excitedly in Spanish, and I am *dying* to know what they talk about every morning).  The most interesting by far though is Creepy Sprouts Guy.

Creepy Sprouts Guy wasn’t always on my route, and I didn’t notice him when he first appeared.  One day I got on the bus and spotted an empty aisle seat in one of those two seat sections.  I walked toward it and just as I was about to sit, I realized that the guy sitting in the window seat had one of those boxes of sprouts in his lap.  But it was open.  And he was eating them.  By the handful.  Without even thinking I went from ass about to sit to ass quickly standing up and walked to the back of the bus and stood holding the bar.  I wondered if I was over-reacting.  I mean, it’s not that odd to eat sprouts directly from the container on the bus, is it?  Wait.  I couldn’t even think that with a straight face.  I mean, you’re not even supposed to eat on the bus, let alone eat sprouts straight from the container.  Maybe he was running late, and it was the only thing in his fridge, I attempted to rationalize.  A couple stops later, I noticed an older gentleman coming onto the bus.  He headed for the empty seat next to Creepy Sprouts Guy and did the exact same start to sit but then change to standing mid-sit move that I had done a couple of stops earlier.  Clearly the creep-factor was not just impacting me.  By the time we got to my stop, the bus was almost entirely full and still not a single person was willing to sit next to Creepy Sprouts Guy.

The next day I got on the bus and saw the same guy.  And people?  He was eating sprouts. Again!  Intrigued now, I’ve been quietly sneaking glances at him every day.  He’ll put his sprouts in the seat next to him and just grab them by the handful, eating while staring out the window or reading a book.  He’s freakishly skinny.  Like, I can see his collarbones and wrist bones through his winter clothing skinny.  I want to walk up to him, grab the sprouts, and inform him that maybe a bagel would be a better breakfast choice.  He’ll deliberately move his sprouts away if he sees someone needing a seat, but no one will sit next to him.  I can’t explain just what is so creepy about the sprouts eating.  It might be the way he does it.  Slowly.  Deliberately.  As if he’s eating the best cake in the world and the rest of us are clearly stupid for not partaking in it as well.

Then, as if he wasn’t already odd enough, in recent weeks right when our bus gets to a certain bridge, he pulls out one of those old-school combs with the wide-set teeth and combs his hair that’s so blond it’s almost white.  This wouldn’t be so odd, but he has a really short haircut, and the hair clearly doesn’t need to be combed.  He’ll give a few slow, deliberate motions as we cross the bridge, then as soon as we’re over the bridge, he puts the comb away and goes back to eating his sprouts.

My confusion and fascination over his behavior is reaching the point where I just might have to attempt to strike up a conversation with him.  Although I have yet to think up an opener besides, “Morning! Nice day for a bunch of sprouts, eh?”

Friday Fun! (Graduation and Strategizing Season)

December 10, 2010 8 comments

This week I finally finished all of my graduate work not only for the semester, but ever!  My MLIS will be officially awarded in January, but as of this week, I don’t ever have to do homework or go to class again!  I am so excited, not only to finally be done, but to officially be a professional librarian.  🙂  Not to mention that I’ll have more time for reading and writing for fun, hehe.

In other news, the winter cold has finally hit Boston.  I am so glad I managed to find a nice, cheap pair of warm boots just in time.  My pair from last winter fell completely apart by the end of the season.  I blame salt and all the walking I do all the time.  Thus we have entered what I refer to as the strategizing season.  Bostonians start walking that line between looking cute/fashionable and actually being warm.  There of course is a whole urban dweller look to being warm though.  The multiple layers.  The knee-high boots for the ladies.  The various versions of gloves that still let you use your smartphones and iPods.  My personal favorites are the commuter gloves that you let fold back the fingertip of the glove to use your smartphone, but glomits (fingerless gloves with a mitten flap you can fold back) seem to be the most popular on the bus.  Personally, I currently have two pairs of fingerless gloves.  I need to get the commuter gloves.  My fingers can’t take it.

Then there’s the how to stay warm at the bus stop strategies.  There’s the stationary dancers who hop from foot to foot.  The leaners who attempt to block the wind by leaning against something.  This strategy makes sense at bus stops with a shelter.  At ones without a shelter though, they wind up leaning against a telephone pole, and I honestly think any warmth they feel is psychosomatic.  Then there’s the stoic crowd that I’m generally a part of.  We stand there firmly in one place either staring the direction the bus is supposed to come from glaring at it or employing the watched pot never boils concept and looking the opposite direction.

But it’s not just the commute that’s cold.  If you have to pay for your own heat, your apartment tends to be not as warm as one would like either.  The layering employed for the commute gets extended inside, only the coat is replaced with a sweatshirt in an attempt to trick yourself into thinking that your apartment is actually a bit warmer than outside.  At least there’s no wind inside.  Personally, I acquired an electric blanket to put at the bottom of my pile of blankets.  This means that I’ve been winding up in bed earlier and earlier every night.  Since the tv isn’t in there, this means a lot more reading is occurring.  I’ve also heard of other strategies, such as running the oven, doing jumping jacks, drinking tea repeatedly, running the hot water in the shower, etc…  Ah, winter.  How we’ve missed you.

I actually don’t mind the cold that much.  I’ve lived in New England my whole life, so I’m used to it.  I do, however, think it’s a travesty when it occurs without snow.  I love snow! You hear that, weather?  If it’s this cold out, you may as well make it snow….

Friday Fun! (Biking, Gardening, Wii)

Hello my lovely readers!   I hope your week treated you all well.  It’s finally feeling like summer around here.  You would think the summery weather would mean timely buses, but no.  The T has made me late just as much as it did in the winter.  I take this as a sign that I need to speed up project Amanda bikes to work.  Last weekend, I attempted the route with my gal pals Nina and E.  It turned out I was only able to make it 8 of the 12 miles.  I’m going to have to work up to it.  In spirit of that, I’ve been planning on biking to my bus connection to start building up the muscles. 🙂  I had  yet to do it this week, partly because of rain and partly because I realized I need to figure out something to wear under my skirts while on the bike.  However!  I am determined to bike at least 3 days next week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I transplanted my seedlings, which are now plants, into their permanent containers last weekend.  The containers are a bunch of different vibrant colors, and they really brighten up the kitchen!  Now I just need to start my strawberry plants, transplant my flower into a hanging basket, and start either onion or spinach (I have yet to decide which).  It’s all lots of fun, and I can’t wait to see the produce I (hopefully) get in the end!

I played Kirby for the first time this week, and I now get the appeal of that odd little pink blob.  It’s a lot of fun!  I also downloaded one of the super marios (he’s in a castle and goes into paintings….) onto my Wii.  It’s one I didn’t really ever play as a kid, so it’s all-new to me.  It’s a lot like a predecessor of Mario Galaxy, so it’s a bunch of fun.  Of course, I can’t wait to try the new Galaxy when it comes out next week!

I hope you all have lovely weekends.  I know I’ll be seeing at least a few of you tomorrow at malibtweetup4!  Yay!

Overprotected

There is a distinct socioeconomic difference between two parts of the MBTA system:  the commuter rail and the bus.  The commuter rail consists mostly of middle to upper class, white collar, white Americans.  The bus is, well, everyone else.  Suffice it to say, when I ride the bus, which is often, I’m generally in the statistical minority.  In fact, the other night I was the only white person on an almost full bus, as well as the only woman besides the bus driver.  I’m perfectly comfortable riding both, although I must admit, I generally get better stories from riding the bus.  The other night I overheard a hooker planning out her evening on her cell phone.  I digress, back to my point.  I can’t help but notice some distinct differences between the two groups of riders.

When I commute from my abode in the morning, I take the commuter rail.  When I commute from my man’s abode, I take the bus system.  Every morning that I take the commuter rail, there is a white teenage boy on my train car.  He’s probably about 15, clearly on his way to some sort of prep school.  His mother makes him wait in her car with her until the train is pulling up, then she waits to pull away until he is on the train.  He’s often pushy to the other passengers, never respectful to older men and women.

Every morning that I ride the bus, I wind up waiting for a bus connection.  A black boy, who’s probably about 8 years old, almost always is waiting with me.  He’s got his backpack on and breakfast in one hand.  I’m not entirely certain why he’s taking public transit instead of the school bus to school, but there you have it.  He waits for the bus alone.  He rides the bus alone.  He hits the stop request tape himself to make sure the bus driver stops at his stop.  He often reads a magazine on the bus and is always quiet and respectful.

Clearly, whoever the 8 year old’s mother is, she trusts him to get his own butt to school in the morning and to do it safely.  She (or somebody) taught him how to be respectful in public.  Conversely, the 15 year old’s mother doesn’t trust him to get to the train himself, or even to get on it in the morning.  She’s probably tried to teach him to be respectful in public, but the lesson clearly hasn’t sunk in.

An 8 year old is behaving more maturely than a 15 year old.  I can’t help but think that people rise to the expectations you put out.  Now, maybe the 15 year old’s mother tried to give him more responsibility, and he failed so she feels she can’t trust him anymore.  I seriously doubt it though.  What I’ve seen among the middle to upper-class in Boston is a distinct overprotection that leads to a lack of maturity among their children.  Mommy and daddy might think they’re protecting their kids by always having an adult there every second of the day watching, but what that really communicates to the kid is “Mom and Dad don’t trust me,” and “If they don’t think I can handle this on my own, I must not be able to.”

I know some people are probably upset reading about an 8 year old taking the transit system alone.  However, it’s the morning commute.  It’s not like it’s 10pm at night or something.  Nobody can protect someone else perfectly.  Random bad shit happens to kids; it’s a fact of life.  Isn’t it better to teach kids to be self-reliant?  The 8 year old’s mother has clearly taught him valuable life skills.  He can handle getting himself places without her help.  Imagine how much more confident he’ll be when it comes to things like choosing a college in the future.  Since his mother trusts him, he trusts himself.  I doubt the 15 year old will take any agency in such important life decisions.  If he can’t be trusted to do something as simple as his morning commute on his own, how could he possibly make more important decisions on his own?

I know there’s some risk involved in the 8 year old commuting on his own, but I firmly believe that the overall life lesson he’s getting far outweighs any risk.  People don’t grow, mature, or self-actualize if they’re never challenged.  If life is rosy and easy, there’s no reason to.  When these middle to upper-class parents think they’re protecting their kids, they’re really sabotaging their future.  It’s too bad they can’t see it.