Tuesday, December 30, 2008

woop woop woop geek alert woop woop woop

"Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess." Rene Descartes, from Discourse On The Method, published 1637.

Peeps, if you're luck enough to have an iPhone, you need to download Stanza. It's a free app, and you pay for the ebooks you download. (It's similar to the Amazon Kindle, but it's missing a few features like a built-in dictionary.) Since most of the geek stuff I read is old and in the public domain, it's free. Yay Nerd Lit!

With Stanza, you get access to a huge catalog. Once you've downloaded your books, you can flip through the covers like you can flip through cd covers on iTunes. The downloads seem to be really fast. I downloaded both the Stanza app and Northanger Abbey while riding the bus down Hillsborough Street. (I had to restrain myself from the "YES!" and fist pumping outburst when I finished that download.) In fact, I've been downloading stuff as I've been typing. I've downloaded more that I could carry out of the used bookstore.

I am thrilled to see I can download books in other languages as well. To find books, I can search by author, subject, or even by book lists. I just found a list called "Banned Books" that begins with Sons and Lovers. If you're so inclined, you can even download magazines and newspapers.

Y'all remember I was a lit major, right?

I can't describe to you how impressed I am with this application. In the span of 30 minutes, I've been able to download 16 books. Tomorrow morning on my way to work, I will be able to choose from a number of fantastic books. I will never be bored again! Oh and next time I run into Dancing Queen and her sycophant friend, I can bust out the Stanza and go, "No, really. It's Kafka. See? Here it is!"

Because I know y'all are on the edge of your seats waiting to hear what I downloaded....

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Vanity Fair by Thackery

Discourse On The Method by Descartes (seriously? I get to read this on my iPhone? sweet!)

The Time Machine by HG Wells (they start you with that one

Les Trois Mousquetaires by Dumas (my favorite writer, and this one is in French!)

On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James

Washington Square by Henry James

Candide by Voltaire

A Room With A View by EM Forester

Dead Souls by Gogol

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (I said he was my favorite. and I lost my copy)

The Divine Comedy by Dante (no, really, I did.)

sound of crickets chirping
Guys? Anyone still there? Hey! Where'd ya go?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rear Window, or Mutual of Omaha Presents: Bigman Photo Safari!

As I've reported previously, Bigman will do things like violently rock back and forth in his seat, use his finger to add up invisible numbers on an invisible chalkboard, and conduct the symphony of voices in his head. A couple weeks ago, I was brazen enough to photograph this for you. "Why," you ask? "Why not," says I! That, and I love you. Consider this your belated Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift from me, lovies.

Here he is rocking back and forth. He was moving so quickly, it was hard to photograph.

Here he is conducting to his Walkman.

Bigman balances his checkbook?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz navidad!

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Ladies and gentleman, I am happy to tell you that I got a call this morning at 9:20 AM that my application to adopt Cupid was approved! Woo hoo! They had received three or four other applications to adopt him, and they liked mine the best. They need to talk to my landlord first to finalize it, but then he's all mine.

I found out that he's actually only somewhere around three months old. Maybe 14 weeks or so. Oh, and I also found out he's actually a long haired cat! I didn't realize that, not that it matters. So, to recap...my two qualifications were a cat that wasn't a kitten and that didn't look like Truman. Ah well, what are you going to do?

My mom and I stopped by Petco this afternoon, where she bought Little What's His Name two cute little bowls and a few toys.

Now I need names, people, names. Keep thinking and suggesting names.

Here's where we are:
Groove Holmes
Phil Collins
Barry Manalow
Barry Gibb
Chet Baker (I just thought of that one)
Hairy Truman (Har har. Thanks, Dad.)

He's from Harnett County. Those of you not from North Carolina, think Deliverance. I would welcome redneck names too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I took a big bag of chocolate chip cookies to the TTA staff yesterday morning. At the end of baking them, I had enough for two big cookies. I took one for lunch, and naturally gave my girl Amy the hook up to. She was walking towards me while I was giving them to the TTA guy, so I said, "and I have one for Amy too. Would you like a chocolate chip cookie, Amy?" She said yes, pulled it out of the waxed paper baggie and shoved the baggie back at me. She started eating it as she was getting on the waiting room bus. This morning as I got on the bus she asked me, "Did you give me cookies yesterday?" I said yes and asked her if she liked it. She said she did and thanked me. She then asked me if I had any more cookies. I told her I did not. I told her I gave them to the bus drivers. She was bummed.

Hey, Baby. Come here often?

I had to stop by the airport outlet mall again tonight. Naturally, I stopped by AniMall to check out the kitties. A new group, 2 Paws Up, had their cats there. In a very large cage, sat Baby and Cupid.

Blog readers, meet Baby. Baby, my blog readers.

And I'd like to introduce you to Cupid. Cupid, this is everyone.

They were in a giant condo together. So I climbed in and started playing. I am a little indignant that no one asked if I was up for adoption. (I'm clean, housebroken and friendly. What gives?) I'd estimate Baby to be about a year old. When I went to pet Cupid, Baby stuck his arm out of the cage to grab mine. He was really playful. He stuck me as more of a spazz than Cupid. Cupid seemed a little sleepy when I got there. He also seemed a little uncoordinated. Once he got up, I realized he is probably 6 months old at the most. The guy working at AniMall said he'd had a long day. When I climbed in the cat condo and started playing, he perked right up and joined in. What really got me is that Cupid likes to be held, which is unusual for a young boy cat. When I picked him up a couple times, he just sat there in that snuggly way. It was nice. Once he was awake, he was walking around meowing, looking to play and get attention. What's funny is that Cupid is tiny. Truman was huge. He was only about 14 pounds at his largest, but he was really long. Long legs, long body, long tail.

The irony is that one qualification I had in a new cat was that it wasn't anything like Truman. Have you seen Truman?

Yes, he's wearing a candy necklace. It was his idea. I swear. Anyway, so much for the "nothing like my former cat" thing, right? What are you gonna do?


I filled out an application to adopt Cupid. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, any name suggestions? I'm stumped. So far, we have Steve McQueen.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Music feeds the soul.

A very dear friend of mine is an outrageously talented musician. He's added new music to his My Space page. You should check it out.

Ben Jordan and the Heathens

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kennywood's open!*

As I was coming home from North Hills this afternoon, I noticed the young man sitting across from me. He was young, maybe early 20s, short brown hair. He had a Five Guys hat and red t-shirt. There was nothing terribly remarkable about him, except for the giant hole in his jeans below the zipper. I could tell he was wearing olive green and white boxers. He either didn't notice or didn't care. I suspect it was a bit of both. He was going through the bus schedules. I think he took one of each.

*To those of you not from Pittsburgh, Kennywood is a small theme park in the city. The mascot is Kenny Kangaroo. School districts will close for a "picnic day" at Kennywood each spring. Everyone from the school district goes. They have wooden roller coasters. It's a really cool park. The phrase "Kennywood's open" has nothing to do with the park. Uttering that phrase to anyone who grew up within an hour or two drive of Pittsburgh will cause them to immediately examine the zipper on their pants. No joke. My brother was in a class with a 58 year young guy from the Pittsburgh side of West Virginia. This guy apparently came to class one day with his fly down. My brother said to him, "Kennywood's open." This guy immediately turned around, zipped him pants and no one was any the wiser. True story, people.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Funny, they didn't mention this on Tuesday.

Here's a depressing article on the rapid demise of my company.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This morning, a woman was sitting in front of Amy Number One. Because she was talking to another lady across from her, she was sitting sideways. She was holding a white plastic grocery bag and a candy cane. Amy stuck up a rather shameless, yet hilarious conversation with her.

Amy: What do you have in the bag?

Miss Nona: Presents for people

Amy: Do you have any more candy canes?

Miss Nona: Yes.

Amy: Can I have a candy cane?

Miss Nona: Yes, you can. hands Amy candy cane

Amy: Can you get it started for me?

Miss Nona: laughing Yes. peels plastic off candy cane and hands it back to her
Amy: What's your name?

Miss Nona: Miss Nona

Amy: Miss Nona. Thank you. breaks candy and puts half of it in her mouth

Amy: Do you have any more presents in there?

Miss Nona: Yes, but they really are for other people.

Amy: disappointed Oh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I guess you're wondering why I called this meeting today.

The HR department had a meeting at work on Monday to discuss the topic of the companywide meeting that was held on Tuesday. This is why it's good to be in HR...you find out everything the day before. The topic of the meetings happened to be the significant downsizing of our company as the result of closing a line of business. This time it impacts what we call "Shared Services." This is what you might call IT. And Finance. And HR. And Accounts Payable. And Accounts Receivable. And and and and. You get my point. The line of business closes at the end of March. Another reason it's good to be a part of HR? Someone has to lay off all the people, turn off the lights and lock the doors. This means I would expect to lose my job around mid-April. We were notified that we'll know where we stand by the end of January. I fully expect to be told in January I'm losing my job.

Maybe I'm in shock, maybe I was expecting this, maybe I don't care, but to tell you the truth what upsets me the most right now is that I will not be able to adopt PJ and Snoopy right now. If they were younger, I'd do it. The fact that they are almost 10 worries me about potential health problems. The cancer ordeal with Truman cost me almost $3,000. If I can't guarantee my current salary, it worries me. I have to remind myself that they are in a foster home and thus good hands.

I have plans. I have long term plans and I have short term plans. Some of these plans I am not yet ready to tell you about. Some of these plans are still in the works. Overall, I am not that worried. I can take care of myself. Would I like to have more money in savings? Oh yes, although I would probably say that even if I had oodles of cash in savings. My rent and bills are minimal. There are tons of restaurants around, so if I have to wait tables, I can. I mean, getting mad isn't going to give back to my company the $35 mil we lost and the $9 mil we were supposed to have made this year. (Seriously. I can't wrap my mind around that.)

In short, I'm cool, baby. I'm cool.

Weird Al, The Early Years

Whith muchh thatnks to Andrew for bringin this too my attension.

(and because Andrew is being a monday morning quarterback, I'm adding extra typos just for him. Love you Andrew!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

I know I said I was taking a break, but this is too good to pass up.

I was just on Facebook, where it was suggested to me that I friend someone named Alan Palmer because we both live in Raleigh. I looked at the picture and, y'all fo shizzle, it's MSG. I haven't seen him on the bus or around town recently. Turns out he knows a few of my friends. He aparently has his Facebook profile set to be viewed by people in his networks as well as his friends. I've been reading up on him. Oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!!!!

Here's his My Space page, if you want to check it out. I can't right now, since I'm at work, so I have no idea what's on it.

This has totally made my day.

On a serious note, I got some shitty work news that I need some time to process. I still have a job, tho. For now. I'll be back soon, unless anymore bus riders are on Facebook.

We now take a moment for a word from our sponsors.

Hey, y'all! Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to take a few days off. See you soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Meet Snoopy and PJ.

I stopped by the outlet mall near the airport on my way home from work. I needed to go bra shopping and in my opinion, there's no better place to go bra shopping than the Hanes/Bali/something outlet. I've been wearing the same style of bra for as long as I can remember. You can buy it at Macy's for $30 each, or you can go to the outlet where they are normally $20 each except today. They were 3 for $14 each. 'Nuff said, am I right ladies?

Here I am wandering the deserted corridors of the Prime Outles at Morrisville, conveniently locate in the flight path of the RDU International Airport, when I spy AniMall. I was afraid it was a pet store. I am happy to report I was wrong. Best Friends Pet Adoption has rented the space to show off adoptable critters, sell toys and solicit donations. Today, there were about 5 cats chillin' out, looking cute. Being the sucker I am, I went in to say hi. Before I go on, let me give you a little history.

When I was 23 and completely broke, I brought home two 5 week old kittens, Rocky and Truman. They were the only two kittens in the litter of a coworker and could fit in the palm of one hand. Their parents were brother and sister and they were born in a trailer park and I swear I am not making that up. The coworker, Lisa, I think, and her husband lived in the trailer park. She was a server in the restaurant where I worked. She and her husband had a two week honeymoon in Egypt. Lisa got her nails done every couple weeks. They did not have enough money, or so she claimed, to get her cats fixed. I knew that if she kept Rocky and Truman, they wouldn't get them fixed either. One thing I can do well is sweet talk someone into doing something they might not want to do and in the end, have them totally excited about it. I think I missed my calling for used car sales. Not to worry, I use my powers for good. I promise. Even though I was a stupid and irresponsible 23, I talked Lisa into giving me the kittens. I knew I could give them a better home. And that I did.

When Rocky and Truman were six, about to turn 7, I was living in Durham. The day started like any other, as they say. I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, Rocky was rolling around on the floor rubbing on my feet like she usually did. I went to work and got home about an hour later than normal. When I got home, I found Rocky on the living room floor, in shock. She was ice cold, panting and very floppy. My roommate came home about 15 minutes later and we sped off to the emergency vet. At midnight that night, I had to make the decision to put her to sleep. It was determined that she passed a blood clot to her lungs as a result of complications of a heart murmer. She couldn't see. All of her fluid counts were the opposite of what they should have been. She wasn't going to get better anytime soon, if ever. She wasn't going to be able to come home anytime soon, if ever again. The vet suggested it was the right thing to do.

Almost two years ago, Truman had his teeth cleaned. He had to have a couple teeth pulled. The one on the bottom healed okay, but the one on top was not healing at all. He had another surgery to fix the hole in his mouth, which turned out to be in vain. He had another couple teeth pulled on the top, but it still wasn't healing. One night while eating crunchy food pellets, he snapped his big fang tooth in half. Leah and Ian rushed a hysterical me and a bloody Truman to another emergency vet. They tried to tell me it would be about $2500 to $5000 to get to the bottom of it. They said it could be bad teeth, something else, or cancer. I took him home and made him comfortable and took him in to see his regular vet in the morning. They gave him an emergency surgery that afternoon after an EKG that diagnosed a small heart murmer. The vet removed the cracked fang and gave me a referral for the NCSU Vet School. We received the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, a very common feline cancer with a very grim prognosis. This had been going on for about 6 months at this point and Truman had had 4 surgeries after the initial teeth cleaning. I decided that it was time to bring him home and make him comfortable. He had had enough poking and prodding for a lifetime. I was told he would have a few more weeks. He hung on for about a month after that. I decided it was time to let him go when I realized he has lost his sight.

Recently, I have begun to think about adopting another cat or two. Tonight I met Snoopy and PJ. They are 10 year old brothers currently in foster care, doing their second tour of duty in AniMall. They are super-sweet and lovey. I spent much time talking to and scratching them. I like them a lot. I think they like me too. The drawbacks? Well, they are almost 10. This means illness and medical bills loom on the horizon. I have always had a stronger allergic reaction to orange cats than to others, but that's why the good lord invented Zyrtec, right? Oh, and did I mention these boys are HUGE? As in almost 20 pounds each huge? Yup. Am I ready to bring home 40 pounds of cat? Is anyone?

I have some thinking to do, about finances, allergies, emotions. I think the time is right. To be honest, there's something about Snoopy that reminds me of Truman, in a good way. Maybe the Monkey Man is trying to tell me something.

I'm setting up a blog poll. To adopt or not to adopt, that is the question.

The Great Cookie Swap '08

Jeez, peeps! Chill! I had to work today then go bra shopping then go cat "shopping." Yes, cat "shopping," which some might call foreshadowing. If you people an be patient for, like, two minutes, I'll get to that shortly. But first...the Cookie Swap. Inquiring minds want to know.

Since the hostess is such a good friend, the plan was to go over early to help set up. Alas, due to a comedy of errors that only happens when I am in a hurry, I was one of the last to arrive after 7 PM.

I baked my little heart out this week and ended up taking 10 dozen cookies to the swap. I think there were about 25 people there, and the largest, craziest, best cookie assortment ever. It was at the new home of my best pals Leah, Jake and Ian. Jake and Ian being boys, made themselves scarce for the evening. A cookie swap is typically a housewifey type event, however there were a few men at this event. The idea is that you make homemade cookies. Store bought are NOT welcome! Some folks ask you to bring a certain amount, like 3 or 4 dozen, Leah just asked you to bring what you want. At some point in the evening, you "swap" and take home as many as you brought. I did not do that. I've been baking since Sunday, which means I've had cookies for dinner since Sunday. I brought home a dinner plate of goodies.

Some folks took home a few more than they brought, some a few less. This is a very casual event. The cookies that were left have been donated to Interact, a local shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This is a wonderful organization and we were all thrilled to donate homemade cookies to them. Oh, I almost forgot, the size of the cookie matters. Last year, for example, I made tiny madelines, a/k/a My Labor Of Love. I put two of each in paper cups, since two were about equal to a regular sized cookie. Amanda made cupcakes that were so pretty and, if I might say so, darn tasty. (Again, were a casual cookie swapin' bunch.) Therefore, her cupcakes were worth a couple cookies.

I will talk to Leah about posting more pictures here of the swap, if it's okay with her. Overall, this is such a fun party. Folks arrive by 7, leave by 9, snack on hors d'oevres like cocktail weenies, homemade cheese ball, crackers with cream cheese and my pepper jelly. We had some wine and cocktails. I remember my mom going to cookie swaps when she was my age. So, gather you lady friends, get a-bakin' and a-swapin'.

I'm posing my cookie recipes on Meg In The Kitchen in the morning.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy day blues

It's pouring outside. There's a four car pile up on I-40 that has traffic so backed up it holding people up on the roads surrounding I-40. I have a cookie swap to get to in an hour and ten minutes. I'm listening to some Miles Davis to keep me calm. And now the bus just made a horrific metallic rattling noise. Twice. I am never getting to my cookie swap. I baked 10 dozen cookies in vain.

I heard some interesting scuttlebutt from the guy behind me. A DATA bus hit a car and killed two people this afternoon. I'll look for more on that later.

On my first bus tonight, Sam was driving a craptacular beat-down bus with no radio, no fare box and lights that gave a show mimicing the finest Parisian disco, which I am pretty sure means it didn't have an alternator either. Sam was driving the "parts bus" because his boss was mad at him for complaining to HR about something. Sam has a bum knee and has had surgery on it. He has a handicap tag for his car that he only uses when his knee hurts. His boss told him he couldn't park in the handicapped spaces, even though he has a tag. He went to HR about that. Good for him. He also went to his HR lady to talk about going on FMLA because his wife needs treatment for her arthritis once a month and can't do it alone. The HR lady told him he shouldn't go on FMLA for it because that's wasting it, which is bad. Just bad. She should not have an opinion whatsoever. I talked to him about it a little tonight, but I'll need to print up some information for him to educate him on what it is and what his rights are. Unless he really really misunderstood what she was saying, which I sincerely hope it the case, it sounds like this lady is on crack.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Truth is stranger than fiction.

There's a girl I see on the bus from time to time. She lives a few blocks away, and I'm afraid to say I think she works at Cisco. She's a complete dipstick. For the first week or two she took the bus, she'd wait on the wrong side of the street. (I couldn't make this up.) She tries to dress funky, like she shops at thrift stores, but her style is almost lack of style. I don't think she wears what she does ironically, if that makes any sense. She always has her headphones on and if she is waiting for the bus, she dances. To be honest, Dancing Queen is quite beautiful, especially if she'd put some effort into her hair. She looks like she's of some mixed ethnicity, so she's got this great natural spiral curl to her hair which I covet, but it usually looks like she could stand a comb and a little product. She also rolls her own cigarettes. I watched her do it the other morning and it was all I could do to not laugh. She really kind of sucked at it.

She was on the bus tonight sitting in front of me. A friend of hers got on the bus at the airport mall and sat behind her. He looked like your Standard Issue Hippie Stoner, even down to the stink of patchouli. She, of course, was wearing her signature scent...trying too hard. I was the jerk yammering away on her cell phone about cookies for most of their conversation. When I hung up, I was more than happy to listen to them talking. About books. Literature in fact. They somehow got on the topic of classic literature. Dancing Queen said she liked Dostoyevsky, which got my attention. She stated she "loved" Notes From Underground the way I proclaimed my love of horses on fifth grade. Really? While I agree that it's inspired, brilliant even, if you've ever actually read it, I mean really read it, I think you'll find that the first existential novel infuriating, maybe a little difficult. She said she loved how metaphorical he was. Dostoyevsky was many things, but metaphorical he was not. Philosophical, perhaps, but not really metaphorical. But I digress. She then goes on to say that she loved his other "book" called The Metamorphosis. She then realizes that he didn't actually write that. It went something like this:

DQ: Wait, did he write that?

Hippie Stoner: Yeah, I don't remember. I don't think so.

Me, silently: You mean Kafka?

DQ: Um, it wasn't Tolstoy.

HS: blank stare

Me: Wrong country. Wrong century.

DQ: Oh, I don't remember who wrote that.

Me: KAFKA! It was Kafka. Dostoyevsky died before Kafka was born! KAF. KA.

HS: Oh, it was Kafka, I think.

DQ: Oh right. Yeah, man, I, like, love how metaphorical it is. How it's a metaphor for...something stupid I didn't catch. Something like a metaphor for his life? It doesn't matter anyway.

HS and Me, still silently, in unison: It's not metaphorical at all. He really does turn into a roach.

DQ: really confused, tilted head Really? dramatic pause I love fiction.

HS: I love fiction too.

Me, still quiet as a mouse: Me too!

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Freaky, isn't it?

Babushko was at my bus stop this morning. Normally when he sees me he walks over to me, says hello, then starts his "nicest lady" broken record. Not this morning. I said hello to him like I always do and he replied. He then walked away and would speak to me except when the bus came, when he said, "ladies first."

And then I found this....

Today's horoscope for Libra, as always from Tarot.com:
"You might want to assist someone today because you have a special skill that would be of help. But others may not necessarily want you to get involved. It's not important for you to understand what motivates anyone else. Try not to take rejection personally now; you have plenty to do, so just get busy with your own work."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Excellent news for the DATA

DATA, or Durham Area Transit Association, is sort of the red-headed step child of the transit groups in this area. The buses are beat down, they almost never run on time, and they are mad skeery. People get shot on DATA buses. Fo shizzle.

A friend sent me this article, which is a ray of hope on the Bull City, City of Medicine, or Tobacco Town, whichever you prefer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I think I'm thawing out.

I left my office at 5 o'clock as usual. My bus did not arrive at 5:04 like its supposed to. Instead, it arrived at 5:40. After three calls to the customer service and dispatch folks. Seems my bus driver got lost. When it's your job to drive a bus....how in blazes do you get lost? Especially when your route takes you out of the Transfer Center and all you do to get back is turn right repeatedly. Oh, and behind your seat is a rack of schedules with little maps on them. Oh, and you have a radio to communicate with the dispatchers who can tell you where to go. Oh, and you have a clipboard with the route on it with directions and the times. How. Do. You. Get. LOST!!!!!!!!!!! Did I mention it was 40 degrees out? (I know you Wisconsin and Sweden peoples will mock my 40 degrees, but that's cold for here!)

On my second bus, there was a new hottie. I think I might have seen him before. Tall, rugged Indian dude with a bicycle. Yum! Which got me thinking about the time I did eHarmony...shut up...and for about two solid months, they were only setting me up with Indian guys with giant moustaches. Apparently, I would make a good Indian wife. I can cook Indian food quite well and have no doubt I'd be hot in a sari. It's just the moustache thing I can't get past. This guy didn't have one. Thankfully. Which made me forget all about being late.

Gotta go bake cookies! Later, y'all.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

So maybe this Hulio thing won't work out after all.

This just kills me. I had to laugh at this one.

Today's Horoscope for Libra:

Your desires for a playful and loving romance are intensified now. But even if someone is on your radar screen, he or she could be too busy to slow down for love -- even if it's the real thing. Don't put all your eggs in an illusory basket of love, for today's transits are also setting the stage for artistic creation. Planning isn't necessary; spontaneous self-expression works best.

As always, from Tarot.com.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Business in the front, party in the back.

There's a guy I've seen around the TTA bus platforms in the mornings. He gets on the 105 to Raleigh which brings me to RTP. He's Asian, I think, a little short (for a dude) and stocky. He always wears jeans, a black t-shirt (man after my own heart) usually with some metal band on it, and a jacket. In the warmer months, he'll wear a denim jacket, thus completing the look I like to call "The Canadian Tuxedo." In the cooler months, he wears a black leather jacket. I've saved the best for last. His hair? He's got a mullet. Really. His hair is straight and black, short in the front, long in the back. It sticks up a bit on top. It is truly a respectable rocker mullet from 1987. There's something about this guy, whom I'll now refer to as Hulio, that's oddly appealing.

As I've said before, the TTA changed their bus routes recently and my second bus in the morning makes a few extra stops. Imagine my surprise when this morning, when we pull up to the IBM 500 building to find Hulio waiting to get on the bus. It appears he works overnight for IBM. Perhaps I shall be seeing more of Hulio in the near future. Hear me now, believe me later. If he shows up wearing a Dokken t-shirt, I'm going to propose to him. (Don't judge! What do you expect from a girl with 24 imaginary cats?)

(Perhaps my fellow Laugh-A-Lot and Get High School alumni might remember Hulio. Those who do, should know that I am using this reference, or nod if you will, with all the love in the world.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My work here is done!

On my way home tonight, The Other Amy was on the bus. Turns out she's one of the TTA planners, which explains why I haven't seen her recently. If you all remember, Amy Number One loves her. I told TO Amy what happened yesterday morning. She was upset about it too. She understands, and from what she said tonight, knows more about Amy #1's condition. Apparently, she's autistic, which explains a lot. TO Amy said her mother came with her on Monday, which was the first day of the new changes. She said that even with her mom with her, Amy #1 was getting agitated.

The Other Amy is going to investigate who the driver is and talk to her with the Customer Service Trainer. It's nice that someone else has Amy #1's back too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

meg in the kitchen?

Hey y'all...I just wanted to let you know I started a new blog here. I need a place to write down all of these recipes bouncing around in my head.

Foxy, there's a recipe for you and your bumper crop of eggs!


And now we resume your regularly scheduled programming.

I might have mentioned that the TTA was changing things around. They moved the Transfer Center and had to redo the bus routes and schedules. They also changed drivers. I'll write more about that later. My first bus is still the 105, but I catch it about 10 minutes later in the morning. I figured I might not see the same people. To be honest here, I was worried I wasn't going to see Amy Number One anymore. Aside from being good blog fodder, she's grown on me. I like Amy. I miss her when she's not on the bus. Luckily, she's there. We have a new driver whom I suspect got her bus driver training in the public school system. She shouts at people to sit down white the bus is moving. She's driving a new bus, with eight hand loops in the front so you have something to hold onto if you have to stand. I don't know what she's going to do when the bus is full.

I think I hate this woman already and it's only day two. This morning, she pulled into the transfer center and stopped short of the platform to let the dispatcher get on and direct her where to go. A bunch of people started to stand up and get ready to leave, including Amy. The dispatcher was standing in the door and wouldn't let her out. The driver is yelling that nobody is going anywhere and we all need to sit down. Amy is in the front of the bus, obviously agitated. I can imaging that she knew she was supposed to get off the bus but was confused as to why she wasn't allowed to get off. The driver raises her voice at her and says, "you need to sit down, ma'am," with all the head shaking diva attitude you'd expect to see on the Mo Po Show. Amy looked like she was going to cry, and she's saying, "where do I go? Why can't I get off?" I called to her and said "Amy, it's okay, come sit down," which she did and when she was sitting in the seat in front of me again, I told her the driver needed to pull up to the curb before we could get off. She calmed down a little. When the driver finally stopped and let us off, she said "good bye, Amy. Have a nice day" as Amy was getting off the bus.

This upset me on so many levels. I sincerely hope she does not ever talk to Amy like that again. Amy obviously has some sort of developmental delay. She can get around on the bus by herself, but she doesn't recognize that the driver needs to pull up to the curb. She just knows she where she needs to be to get on her second bus. There is no need to talk to her like a 4 year old, but there is also no need to raise your voice to her or speak harshly to her. She doesn't understand and she was obviously upset. The fact that she's treating us like a bunch of middle schoolers, is also ridiculous. If her driving is so crazy that we'll get hurt if we stand up while the bus is in motion, then perhaps she should consider a career change.

(Add number 21 to yesterday's list. I am a fiercely loyal friend and will stick up for the little guy if that little guy doesn't have a voice of their own.)

I think you all may have rightfully inferred by now that I was that weird kid in your elementary school class. Not the weird paste-eating kid, but the weird kid who had imaginary cats and wore funky clothes.

(Add number 22. I didn't have an imaginary friend. I had two imaginary cats, Chuck and JoAnn, who had twenty-two imaginary kittens. I would yell at people if they were about to sit on them. Seriously.)

I was also the only one who was friends with Jane in elementary school. Jane lived a couple blocks up the street and was in my class. I think we might have walked to school together. Jane had Downs Syndrome. The kids in our class would tell her to lift her dress up and show off her underpants, which she did happily since she didn't know any better. The kiss of death for me was when I became her sworn defender. Meh. I didn't care. They all hated me (and Chuck and JoAnn) anyway, and Jane was cool. I remember being invited to her birthday party. My mom crocheted her a clown puppet for her gift. I was the only one at the party who didn't have some sort of developmental delay. I remember the party was a lot of fun. I'd like to think that Amy is somebody's Jane and that someone out there has Jane's back now. If this woman is anything other than sugar, spice and unicorns to Amy again, I'm going to the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. One day only!

It has come to my attention that there are a lot of people who read this blog, most of whom lurk. That's cool though, cuz there's nothing hotter than an eStalker. I know you are all dying to know "who is Meg On The Bus? What makes her tick? Her blog is so riveting, certainly she is just as interesting."

Here's the four one one on Ol' Meg.

1. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Williamsburg, Virginia (yes, the Colonial Capital. No, I didn't live under the Big Bad Wolf.)

2. I love infomercials. I get completely sucked in and must buy whatever they are hawking. I usually don't buy anything but my four favorite words are "as seen on TV." My dream job is to be a QVC host.

3. I speak Spanish fluently, French mostly fluently, and enough Italian to get around in a kitchen. I know a few phrases in Japanese that make me a polite dinner guest. I occasionally dream in Spanish and French.

4. I have a BA in Spanish Literature. If I had known how useless my degree would be, I'd have studied philosophy instead.

5. I have read every Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love them all.

6. I love old movies, particularly Film Noir. My favorite studio is RKO Radio Pictures, my favorite directors are Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. I have been getting into silent films recently.

7. I am teaching myself to fiddle. I still suck, but I'm getting better.

8. I have a skull and crossbones tattooed on my right arm. I got it six years ago.

9. My favorites bands are T Rex, Yo La Tengo, and Led Zeppelin.

10. My deep, dark secret is that I love the Grateful Dead and saw them several times in the early 90s. There. I said it. I'm out.

11. I knit left handed even though I am right handed.

12. The only crafty hobby I can't do is basket-weaving. It pisses me off to no end.

13. I am a very strong swimmer. When I was swimming regularly (I know, I know), I could swim a mile in 40 minutes.

14. I have one brother who lives in California. I have a half-brother and half-sister that I haven't seen in sixteen years. I believe they live in Pittsburgh. (It's complicated.) I miss them all.

15. I love to bake. I am an excellent bread baker.

16. My goal for 2009 is to finally get through Rage Against The Machine's Recommended Reading List.

17. I prefer to live in old apartments. Since moving out of my parents house, I have only lived in one "new" apartment building. The beige carpet and white walls made me crazy. Other than that, all of my apartment buildings were built before my parents were born. I love the huge windows, hardwood floors, art deco architecture and radiators. I have to sacrifice a dishwasher and large kitchen, but it's worth it.

18. My favorite color is red.

19. My family's nickname for me is Lizzie.

20. I collect antique cameras, cheesy plastic snowglobes and Matryoshka. I have two friends who decided long ago that I should collect Hello Kitty and Elvis stuff. Most of the Hello Kitty and Elvis stuff I have, I recieved from them.

I can't believe so many people are actually reading this schlock. Feel free to delurk, leave a comment and say hi. (Or Hola. Or Bon jour. Or Ciao.) I'm happy you're here!

It's past my bedtime, so if you'll excuse me....

Ever try Burt's Bees Lip Balm?

You know the sparkly kind? It's great, isn't it? It's minty and has sparles in it. My favorite is "raisin." I swear it's the perfect red lipstick. Now, have you ever tried it as a fabric softener? No? Well, don't. I'm not sure the company would recommend it either. I'm doing laundry right now. I pulled my second load from the dryer and was thinking to myself, "does my laundry smell...minty? No, it couldn't. Wait...is that...? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!" Pink, sparkly spots on two pillow cases, one (favorite) long sleeve t-shirt (don't mess with my t-shirts), two tank tops, and something else that went right back in the washer.

I need a maid. Or a butler. Or both.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Letter to all the bus drivers in the Triangle area.

Dear Transit Operators,

Hi! I want to thank you all for the normally stellar job you all do. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but winter is coming. It was cold today. Very cold. You were late today. All of you. Very late. I spent a total of an hour and forty minutes waiting for the buses. Tomorrow morning, the forecast is 29 degrees. I would appreciate it if you all could be on time tomorrow. I don't ever want to wait that long for a bus again.


How do ya think the deer felt, asshole?

I came across this today on the local news channels website. Fifteen seconds of hell? Remind me again why I read the news. Please.

Am I being punked?

Today's Horoscope for Libra

You are very optimistic about your family today, for it seems like things are looking up as your key planet Venus aligns with confident Jupiter. But over-confidence can be tricky because it encourages you to ride roughshod over people's feelings without even realizing what you are doing. As always, it's a smart idea to seek balance instead of running from one extreme to the next. Don't forget to ask others how they are feeling too.
By Rick Levine

Uh, so...how are you guys today?