Monday, July 20, 2009

Now exclusively blogging at Meg In The Kitchen.

Thanks for your readership, friendship and support. Now on to my new adventure!

Friday, May 1, 2009

In other words, downtown is going to be a huge mess this weekend.

Here are the Capital Area Transit detours for downtown for the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd.

DETOURS
Friday, 5/1/09 – Sunday 5/3/09
4th Annual World Beer Tasting Festival

Street Closure - 200 Block of East Martin St. between Blount and Person St. and the 200 block of South Person St. between Martin and Hargett Streets. These streets will be closed from 9:00 am 5/1/09 until 5:00 pm 5/03/09.

#5 # 22 #32- Biltmore Hills, State Street, Sanderford Rd.

O/B – From MSS, take Blount St., LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on Person St., RIGHT on Martin St., resume route.
I/B – None.

#18 #35 – Worthdale, Poole Road

O/B – From MSS, take Blount St., LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on Person St., RIGHT on Martin St., resume route.
I/B – From Hargett St., LEFT on East St., RIGHT on Davie St., RIGHT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St. to MSS.

#13 – Chavis Heights

O/B – From MSS, take Blount St., LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on Person St., RIGHT on Martin St., resume route.
I/B – From Person St., LEFT on Davie St., RIGHT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St. to MSS.

R-LINE – After 6:30 pm, you will not be able to do the alternate evening route down Martin St. to Person St., so stay straight on Wilmington St. You will be able to make the other evening alternate route down by Harrington St.

DETOURS
Saturday, 5/2/09
2009 AIDS Fundraising Awareness Walk/Ride
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Street Closure – The walkers will enter on Wilmington St. from Halifax Mall, proceed north and loop around the Archdale Bldg. onto Salisbury St., proceed south on Salisbury , turn left on Morgan St., left on Person St., proceed north on Person St., and the 1 mile participants will turn left on Lane St. and return back to Halifax Mall. The 3 mile walkers will continue north on Person St., turn left onto Peace St., left onto Blount St., right on Edenton St., right on Wilmington St. back to Halifax Mall.

#1 Capital Blvd.
O/B – From MSS, LEFT on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St. which becomes Capital Blvd, resume route.
I/B – Take Capital Blvd. straight to downtown which it becomes Dawson St., Left on Martin St. to MSS.

#2 Falls of Neuse
O/B – From MSS, LEFT on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., resume route.
I/B – From Morgan St., RIGHT onto Dawson St., LEFT onto Martin St. to MSS.

#3 Glascock
O/B – From MSS, RIGHT on Hargett St., RIGHT on Blount, LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on East St., LEFT on Franklin St., RIGHT on Person St., RIGHT on Glascock St., resume route.
I/B – From Bennett St., LEFT on Glascock St., RIGHT on Raleigh Blvd., RIGHT on New Bern Ave., LEFT on East St., RIGHT on Davie St., RIGHT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St. to MSS.

#4 Rex Hospital
O/B – From MSS, LEFT on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., resume route.
I/B – From Morgan St., RIGHT onto Dawson St., LEFT onto Martin St. to MSS.


#6 Crabtree Valley
O/B – From MSS, LEFT on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., resume route.
I/B – From Morgan St., RIGHT onto Dawson St., LEFT onto Martin St. to MSS.

#10 Longview
O/B – From MSS, RIGHT on Hargett St., RIGHT on Blount St., LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on East St., resume route.
I/B – From Lane St., LEFT on East St., RIGHT on Davie St., RIGHT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St., to MSS.

#12 Method
O/B – From MSS, straight on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., RIGHT on St. Mary’s St., LEFT onto Peace St., resume route.
I/B – From Peace St., RIGHT on St. Mary’s St., LEFT on Morgan St., RIGHT on Dawson St., LEFT on Martin St. to MSS.

#15 Wake Medical
O/B – From MSS, RIGHT on Hargett St., RIGHT on Blount St., LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on East St., RIGHT on New Bern Avenue, resume route.
I/B – From Edenton St., LEFT on East St., RIGHT on Davie St., RIGHT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St. to MSS.

#16 Oberlin Road
O/B – From MSS, LEFT on Hargett St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., resume route.
I/B – From Morgan St., RIGHT onto Dawson St., LEFT onto Martin St. to MSS.

R-LINE – At 3:00 pm,detour from RCC will be RIGHT on Lenoir St., RIGHT on McDowell St., LEFT on Edenton St., RIGHT on Harrington St., LEFT on West St., resume regular route back to RCC. This should only last until 4:00 pm.

DETOURS
Saturday, 5/2/09
Annual Community Appreciation Festival
6:00 am – 4:00 pm

Street Closure - 300 Block and 400 Block of East Hargett St., between Person St. and South East St. The 100 block of S. Bloodworth St. from Morson to Hargett St., and the 200 block of S. Bloodworth St., Martin St., to Hargett St.

#35 Poole Road
O/B – From MSS, take Blount, LEFT on Davie St., LEFT on Person St., RIGHT on Martin St., resume route.
I/B – From Hargett St., Left on East Street, Right on Martin St., to MSS.

DETOURS
Saturday, 5/2/09
Fallen Firefighters Parade
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Street Closure - The assembly area will be in the 700-900 blocks of Hillsborough St. and the 100-500 blocks of St. Mary’s St. At 10:00 am, the parade route will start on Hillsborough St. to Dawson St. Left on Dawson St. and proceeding south to Nash Square, left onto Martin St. and circle Nash Square park back to Hargett St. where the parade will end. Festivities will keep Hargett St. closed until 4:00 pm.

#2 Falls of Neuse
O/B – From Wilmington St., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on Glenwood Ave., resume route.
I/B – From Glenwood Ave., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on Salisbury St., LEFT on Martin St., to MSS.

#4 Rex Hospital
O/B – From Wilmington St., LEFT on Peace St., to Clark Avenue, from Clark Ave., LEFT on Enterprise St., RIGHT on Hillsborough St., resume route.
I/B – From Morgan St., RIGHT onto Harrington St., LEFT onto Davie St., LEFT on Wilmington St., RIGHT on Martin St. to MSS.

#6 Crabtree Valley
O/B – From Wilmington St., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on Glenwood Ave., resume route.
I/B – From Glenwood Ave., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on Salisbury St., LEFT on Martin St., to MSS.

#8 Northclift
O/B – From Wilmington St., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on St. Mary’s St., resume route.
I/B – From St. Mary’s St., LEFT on Peace St., RIGHT on West St., LEFT on Jones St., resume regular route to MSS.

#11 Avent Ferry
O/B – From MSS take yellow zone out onto Blount St., take Blount St., RIGHT on Lenoir St., resume route.
I/B – None.

#16 Oberlin Road
O/B – From Wilmington St., LEFT on Peace St., resume route.
I/B – From Peace St., RIGHT on Salisbury St., LEFT on Martin St. to MSS.

R-Line – At 10:00 am, the parade will begin, from Glenwood Ave., LEFT on Jones St., RIGHT on Salisbury St., back to RCC. If Jones St. turn is too hard to make, from West St., stay straight down West St., LEFT on Jones St., RIGHT on Salisbury St. back to RCC.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nah nah nah nah hey hey...goooood bye!

Today is the last day I am riding the bus. I am out of passes, so rather than spend the money, I am just going to drive the next two days.

I am sad that I will not be riding the Triangle Transit buses regularly anymore. I will miss my bus drivers and the wacky passengers that have become a beloved part of my routine. I will continue to ride the bus around town but it will not be the same.

Today I am wearing a short denim skirt under which my knee brace is quite visible. Amy Number One was chatting with me this morning, asking if I ate yogurt last Tuesday. She noticed the brace on my knee and asked me what it was. I told her I had to wear it because I got hurt. She wanted to know when it would get better. I told after I had surgery next week. She looked positively terrified, to which I responded with, "it's okay. It is very easy to fix and I will be back on my feet in no time." We talked more and she wanted to know if I would be there on Friday. I finally told her that today was the last day I would be riding the bus. She looked very sad. I told her I would miss her very much. She asked me if I would be here next week. I again explained I would not. I told her why. In retrospect, I should have told her I am going back to school rather than my job is ending. She was quiet for a moment and then said, "I am sad because I am going to miss you, Meg." She asked me if I would come back and visit. I just might do that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chapel Hill bus driver pleads no contest

On November 4, 2008 I posted links to two stories from the local news about a fatal bus accident in Chapel Hill. A bus hit a pedestrian, Valerie Hughes, who died the following day. In the second story, this was reported:

"According to police records, the Chapel Hill Police Department has investigated 10 wrecks since 2001 – not including last week's – in which Orr was involved. He was at fault in most of the wrecks. Nine of them were in a town vehicle."

In today's story linked below, he was given a 45 day suspended sentence, 100 hours of community service, loses his license for a year, and may be required to speak about his experience. Are you kidding me? Nine wrecks in government vehicles, most of which were his fault, he kills someone, and that's it? Two and a half weeks of washing police cars and he might have to talk about it? Damn. Maybe I'm just being harsh, maybe it's because I've been hit so many times, but that doesn't seem like justice to me.

Chapel Hill bus driver was sentenced

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Art On The Move

I am beginning to realize, with a great deal of surprise, that Raleigh and the Greater Triangle area is a good place for artists. Real, honest to goodness, working artists. I still have trouble seeing this area (and North Carolina as a whole) as anything other than a hick town, small, conservative, small minded. In recent years, I have come to see that it is possible to be an artist here and actually make a living. Now that might entail teaching classes on the side, but that's still art, right? For example, we have First Friday. All of the galleries and museums stay open a little later, offer wine and crackers, hire live music and Downtown Raleigh turns into a big ol' party even on the coldest of nights. First Friday is remarkably kid-friendly too!

We also have loads of local businesses that show artwork. These could be restaurants, coffee shops, you name it. We have a number of artist's collective studio spaces, like Artspace and Antfarm Studios. There was the Red Wolf Ramble, which was a collection of wolf statues all over town, painted by local artists. The NC State mascot is the wolf, for those who don't know.

We also have Art On The Move. The city art's commission and CAT choose twelve original designs by local artists to decorate the sides of twelve CAT buses for six months. I'm happy to say that two of my favorite local artists have been chosen, Anna Podris and Paul Friedrich. I know Anna has had a design on a bus previously, and would take a stab that Paul has too since he's so well known. A big congratualtions to all of the artists! I will do my best to get to Artsplosure to photograph the unveiling of the new buses on May 16th.

Art On The Move

Paul Friedrich's Etsy Shop

Anna Podris's website (I love her owls! I've only gotten to meet her once and she's fabulous!)

Keith Norval (Anna's husband. I took his printmaking class. I love this guy.)

Okay, I have to add this one too. Blue Owl, an encaustic painting by Anna. It's even more spectacular in person. I love this one with all my heart and hope someone will buy it for me someday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A brief aside, knitting related sad news.

I don't know if there are any knitters who read this blog. If so, please pop on over to Mason Dixon Knitting to pay your respects to dear Kay who's husband, Peter, passed away on Saturday. If you're read the book or the blog, you know how wonderful those women are and how their warm chatty writing style makes them feel like your cool knitter aunts.

Mason Dixon Knitting

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How funny are we?

I had dinner with my friend, E, on Thursday night. Since we were going down to Jibarra in the warehouse district, I took the R Line. The ride down was uneventful. The ride home, however, was quite something else.

I get on the bus and sit down. Innocent enough. Two guys come running over and jump on the bus. They are the stereotypical North Raleigh, or Cary, suburbia kind of folks that give me hives. They are joking that the bus driver should close the doors and drive off. What seemed like an hour later, their women get on the bus. One couple was married, one was not and they were going bar hooping that night. Because they're cool like that. The girlfriend (who looked about 10 years younger than her boyfriend) is talking about some guy in her office who uses her Kleenex to blow his nose. She is trying very unsuccessfully to mimic in both noise and gesture an elephant honking his trunk. She was so stupid, it was painful to listen to her. Then, her boyfriend and the wife of the other couple begin making fun of her. They were obviously making fun of how stupid she was, but naturally she completely missed it. At first, I'm looking at the guy and thinking, "do you really want to deal with this for the rest of your life?" and then when he opened his mouth, I was quietly asking her the same thing. I believe they are truly meant for each other and a couple good divorce lawyers. At one point the wife turns to the husband and says, "how funny are we? We're riding a bus!" Yeah, seriously, you crack me up. Then the married couple starts wigging out about the babysitter with the crazy strict parents. The discussion turns to who should go home and relieve Brittney of her duties and who should continue to par-tay with the stupid girl and her boyfriend. The husband lost. Wife went to get her crunk on and hubby stayed on the bus. These are super classy folks.

One stop later, three black folks get on the bus. Each of them are carrying a few bags. The two guys hop on the easily and head to the back. The woman gets on with some difficulty and sits across from me and Husband who was a couple seats over. It was crystal clear that she was high as a kite. Higher, if possible. She was with the guys, but didn't sit with them. She announces to the bus that she was released from federal prison two hours ago and that she served five years. She also says she's headed back to New Jersey, where she's from. Husband engages her in conversation. He asks her if she's happy to be out. If you guessed she said "yes" then you guessed correctly. He's asking her lots of questions that, frankly, aren't any of his damn business, such as, how did she end up in a federal prison here if she's from New Jersey and some such questions. I don't remember the entire conversation word for word because I was busy not making eye contact.

Husband then says to Ex-Con, are you ready for this?....
"But you have to admit that it's nice down here, right?" To which she replies, "I AIN'T GOT TO ADMIT SHIT. OKAY? I AIN'T GOT TO ADMIT GODDAMN SHIT." Yes, she was shouting. Husband then backpedals a little with this zingy comeback, "But I mean like the weather. It's a lot nicer than it is in New Jersey, right?" Never before have I thought I was going to be shanked on a bus. The bus driver chimes in and tells her to watch her language. She apologized and calmed down, thankfully. Seriously, she's so high, she can barely speak. While I am busy not making eye contact and trying to keep an eye out for any flying shivs, I am thinking about how inappropriate it is for Husband to ask this woman if she thinks it nicer here than NJ. I mean, chances are good that she's only been here while in federal prison, which means that she's spent nearly all of her time confined to a tiny cell, eating horrible food, being told when to pee, and maybe, just maybe getting an hour a day outside. She could have been anywhere.

The saga continues when Husband, who has never been on the R Line before, tries to tell Ex-Con where to get off to go to the Greyhound station. He was off by three stops. So glad I wasn't around for that one. As she was leaving, she almost forgot one of her bags. I told her, she picked it up and shook my hand and Husband's and god blessed us. With any luck she's back in New Jersey right now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The S Word

I mentioned in my last post that I'm having knee surgery. Many of you have sent warm, kind and concerned thoughts which are so much appreciated. I thought I'd take a second and give you the 411. "That means information, people." (Any Monk fans in the house?)

At the end of January, I slipped and fell on a rubber mat that was turned upside down. Luckily, this happened at work. This means I don't have to pay for anything and I'll ultimately get reimbursed for my time. It also means this whole process has been dragged out 17 times longer than if I had to pay for this. All I'll say about that is...if you have to get hurt at work, don't do it in North Carolina.

It turns out that when I fell I tore my medial meniscus. I've had ice, compression, heat, NSAIDS, a cortisone injection, yoga, physical therapy, x-rays, an MRI and a glucosamine/condrointon supplement (when I can remember to take it). You name it, I've tried it. No dice. Nothing has worked. I'm still in a lot of pain, can't walk far, biking and running are out of the question, and I'm still wearing a knee brace. Without the brace, I feel things moving in ways most unnatural.

At my last doctor's appointment, it was decided that surgery was the next step. It will be arthroscopic surgery and should take about 20 minutes or so. They will go in and look around, take pictures and cut out the torn piece of cartilage. I'll be laid up for a few days and on crutches for a few more. They expect me to be as good as new in 4-5 months. Sadly, my hopes of a robotic knee transplant have been crushed. Perhaps next time. I do however get souvenir photos of the inside of my knee, which is a nice touch. I wonder if they do t-shirts too? "I went to Blue Ridge Surgical Center and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

The surgery is scheduled for May 7. My mom will come stay for a few days. It will then be up to Elvis to care for me. I have three weeks to teach him how to open the fridge and turn on the oven. If that fails, I am certain a few friends will come over to feed me if absolutely necessary.

I appreciate the well wishes. I assure you I will be fine. My 89 year old grandmother always says, "you just don't die as easily as you think you do." In the past 9 years, she's had breast cancer and mastectomy, a broken hip and replacement, an exploding gall bladder, and recently 5 staples in the back of her noggin from a fall. She's never been in the hospital for more than 3 weeks. So, I think she'd know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So good, I had to post it twice.

I work with a girl, T., she about 28 or 29. As a coworker, she's merely okay, but as a person, she is a very sweet, soft spoken girl. She has a son, J., who is about 10 or 11. If I have extra goodies, I'll give them to her to pass on to J. because I know he'll eat them. I also do it because T. doesn't cook or bake and really, every kid needs a freshly baked cookie every now and again. I've also passed on goodies that neither she nor he have tried before and have yet to find something that they don't like. I think the last thing I shared with them was red velvet cupcakes. I've only met J. once or twice in the past. He's a super cute, super sweet kid. T is doing an amazing job as a single mother and I have no doubt that J will turn into a fine man someday.

Two mornings ago, T comes up to me and tells me that her son has just learned how to make those slice and bake Toll House cookies and he's going to make some for me. Yesterday, she tells me that J wants me to know that he didn't make the cookies the night before because he had to watch the wrestling draft and he hoped I would understand. I told her to tell him I would have done the same thing. This morning when I got to work, T hands me a little plastic baggie with 4 chocolate chip cookies. I almost cried. Seriously. He made me cookies because I am always sending things home for him.

I was late this morning because I had a doctor's appointment. I found out that I have to have knee surgery in a week or two. Getting cookies that J baked especially for me made my day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mobile TV on the R line

WRAL, Raleigh partner on nation's first mobile DTV venture.

“Once again, Raleigh is unveiling a technology first,” Mayor Charles Meeker said in a statement. “We are proud to be the pilot to offer mobile digital television to the riders of the Downtown Circulator.

“We salute WRAL for being pioneers in mobile digital television as they were in high definition television,” Meeker said. “We look forward to the day when all of Raleigh’s CAT buses will offer this means of information and relaxation. It’s just another reason to take a CAT bus wherever you go.”

I like Mayor Meeker. I really do. He just announced he's running for reelection, for a fifth two year term. I think he's done a great job in this city in the revitilization of Downtown, in improving public transportation, dealing with the crazy drought we had last year, and recognizing that perhaps Raleigh is growing too fast. I will proudly vote for him for another term.

I have mixed feelings about bringing television into the buses. On one hand, I think it's great bringing information to a certain bus riding population that might not be otherwise exposed to this kind of news. On the other hand, my daily commute to RTP is great when it's silent. In the morning, I don't want to hear a lot of chatter and more often than not, and with the exception of Amy Number One wanting to know if I have my notebook and a pencil, the bus is quiet.

I was also hoping that the R Line would use the monitors to announce the next stop since it can be a little hard to tell where you are, especially at night. I guess I'll have to take a spin and see what's its all about before I make up my mind.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reply hazy. Try again.

Every so often I see this guy in the morning. He looks like he's maybe 40-ish. He's pretty big, not in the chubby sense, but he's tall and has a big frame. He occasionally picks up my second bus in the mornings. He uses a cane, well, in theory he uses a cane. I've only seen him carry it because he has a bike with him. The bike is a BMX bike, like the one my 10th grade boyfriend had. Most of this is borderline odd....I think you'd have to see a picture. What tips this into the "weirdo" category is his choice of helmet. Now, most people choose to wear, say, a bike helmet. Not this guy. The last time I saw him he was wearing a hockey helmet. A full on hockey goalie helmet with the wire face mask. This morning, he chose a different helmet. A batting helmet. Fer reals, people. Could I make this up? A batting helmet, covering one ear. I'm waiting for him to bust out with the football helmet one of these days.

There was a terribly attractive Indian guy at my bus stop this morning. He was a little confused as to where he should go and when he should get there, so I was more than happy to oblige. We chatted a bit. He was very nice. As (someone else's-not mine) luck would have it, he was waiting for the bus this afternoon too. He thanked me again for helping him. We chatted some more. He was seriously cute. No moustache too! My Magic 8 Ball very quickly told me that I will see him again, however it's being quite vague on exactly how many children we'll have. I can't believe my Magic 8 Ball would leave me hanging.

Oh, I almost forgot. I saw Ma this afternoon also. She gave me a big giant hello and a fistful of Thai melon candy. I ate one to be polite...you see, I hate melon. This was really good! She complimented the baby sweater I'm knitting for my cousin Stacey with a big thumbs up. I swear she is just as cute as a button. She also told me she's from Thailand when I asked her abut the candy. Interesting. The plot thickens.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Today's Horoscope for Libra

"You know your own shortcomings better than anyone else, but this doesn't mean you want to hear about them from an associate at work or a family member at home. There's no need for you to be reminded about your failures, especially when you are working hard to remedy them. If you are the recipient of unsolicited advice now, just smile and say "thanks," because a discussion could quickly turn into an unproductive argument."


You have no idea.

Pinus taeda, or my nemesis Pine Pollen

Pinus taeda, or the Loblolly pine, is a tall, skinny pine tree native to the coastal Southeastern United States. It is known for growing quickly, stopping erosion, producing a fine timber, and, every year around this time, blanketing the entire Southeast in a fine yellowish green dusty pollen. Yes, ladies and gentleman, it's Pollen Season and it's disgusting.

Observe:

That's the pollen floating on top of a puddle on the sidewalk.

All over the bench.



Seriously, this shiznit gets everywhere. You wash your car and an hour later, it's covered. It sticks to bushes, sidewalks, windows, anything. Almost everyone who was not born into a family who's been in the South for at least 12 generations is allergic to it. Like me. I have lived in the South for 17 years now and every year during pollen season I feel like I have a horrible cold for weeks on end. Forget opening my windows, because it'll come in through the screen and blanket my living room. A few years ago, in my old apartment, I had a backyard. My cat Truman got out while I was watering plants and started to roll around on the stoop. When he stood up, he was that evil greenish color, covered in pollen. We immediately went inside and gave him a good, long scrubbing. I was home yesterday in the morning and felt fine. I went to the grocery store by bus. By the time I got to the shopping center with the Kroger, my eyes were watery, I was super sneezy, and my throat was scratchy. Only last year with the wicked drought were my allergies not so bad.

I am going to stay inside until June, leaving only so long as I'm wearing one of those Hazmat suits with it's own air system.



If you lived in North Carolina, you'd understand.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ha ha, joke's on you. And by you, I mean me.

I hate the first day of April. I hate it more than Friday the Thirteenth, which historically speaking, is always a good day for me. April Fool's Day just sucks. First of all, I hate practical jokes with all my heart. I am certain this comes from being the freak in school that was always picked on and/or made to look/feel like a loser. I hate practical jokes. They serve only to embarrass or humiliate the butt of said joke. Practical jokes are mean.

My day starts with the bus I wanted not showing up. The next bus was late, as usual. Once it pulled into the platform, and before anyone could get off the bus, the dispatcher began releasing all of the waiting buses. I had to run to catch my bus. Did I mention I had torn cartilage in my knee? I get to work and immediately start icing it down. Then my physical therapist (for the knee) calls wanting to know why I'm not there. I tell her because my appointment is tomorrow. She advises me that no, indeed it is this morning. Luckily she can fit me in tomorrow, when I thought I was supposed to be there. Then The Perfume Ladies (a/k/a our field HR folks) showed up. They all wear way too much perfume and invariably give me a headache. They gave me a headache. The day spiraled rapidly downward from there and did not resurface until I picked up some Chinese food after work. Later, Elvis entertained me by getting a Kleenex box stuck on his head. I appreciated his kind gesture.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Humble Pie to wish a friend bon voyage on his latest month long trip to China.


And now for something completely different...
By the way, the Jimmy Dean commercials make me infinitely happy. My readers outside the US (or the South for that matter) may not be familiar with them. Poke around on the web for them. The star of the ad campaign is a guy dressed up like the Sun. He works in an office with a giant window and his coworkers are the Moon, Fog, Cloud, Rainbow, etc. Here's another one. Seriously, they crack me up. (What? Stop looking at me like that!)

*****Just to add insult to injury, I found out I had two very flat bike tires as I was heading to meet my friends this evening. Very very flat tires. *sigh* I give up.

Friday, March 27, 2009

This is why you should always wear a helmet.

Gary Busey rode my bus today. He needed to get from RTP to Rex Hospital. The driver suggested he could walk from the District Drive Park and Ride...okaaaaay. It's POURING out, with tornado warnings, oh and there are no sidewalks on a very congested road. She also suggested he ride to Moore Square and catch the Number 4. I agreed. He asked me at one point how far Rex was from the Park and Ride. I guessed about a mile or so, but suggested that today wasn't the best day to try that out. He then started to talk to the bus driver. He commended Robin on how well she handled the brakes and how well she could steer. I think she was touched he noticed. He went on to explain that he had been riding the Triangle Transit buses for A WHOLE WEEK so he really knows what he's talking about. An expert indeed. He announced that he was very unhappy with most of Robin's colleagues and that they really don't know how to drive. When my stop arrived, he thanked me for keeping him alive and dry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At least I wasn't driving.

Forgive me if I fall asleep while I'm typing this. I don't mean to be rude, really. I just had a busy night. Work is getting crazy since it's time to start hiring Easter bunnies.

I went to a new (to me, not new in general) Asian market on Monday. I took lots of photos or lots of weird stuff. I will post all about this In The Kitchen tomorrow, so stay tuned. To get to said Asian market, I had to take the Number 7. The Number 7 bus goes by the Hood, rather than through it, but still there are some real characters who ride that bus. I'm happy to report that not much happened that was news worthy. If by not much you mean:

-the woman breast feeding in front of God and everyone (only my closest female friends, and now everyone with a computer and an internet connection, know that breast feeding freaks me out...it's totally irrational, I know)

-the woman carrying several broken down cardboard boxes

-the three guys with backpacks and sleeping bags who looked (and smelled) like they could use a shower with lots of soap

-the eight year old who was alone and had his bike with him (he was too little to put it on the rack, the driver had to do it for him)

-the man holding the 3 year old girl who was rocking back and forth shouting "MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA" trying to get his attention while he talked to a passenger

-and the two men and one woman who screamed at the bus driver that she best stop the bus so they could get off

then no. Not much happened.

Tune in tomorrow for pictures of "food" and a review of the Asian market In The Kitchen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This post has no title.

I had to drive to work three times this week. I hated every minute of it.

On Wednesday, I had a MRI at 7:30 in the morning. It was supposed to be for my knee, and eventually was, however getting to that point was difficult. Since it's a work injury, So And So has to call Someone Else who has to call me to set up an appointment for The Third Guy, but only after What's Her Name sends over the paperwork and approval for whatever I need. As you can imagine, there was a breakdown in communication. Someone Else called me to set up an appointment to do an MRI of my shoulder. Twice. My shoulder is just fine, thank you very much. My knee is not. The MRI turned out to be not such a big deal, thankfully. They set up the appointment for the morning after they called to set up the appointment. As I was doing some reading on their website, sometimes the patient needs an IV to inject some stuff that makes things show up better. I'm not really sure what this stuff is. I have a pretty strong needle phobia, and allergies to latex, and several drugs. I had no one to ask questions about what would happen, etc, so needless to say the last thing on my mind was being stuffed into a tube. As it turns out, the place I went to had an MRI machine that was like a donut with a table. I went in feet first, no IV, and got to listen to Foghat. That machine was really freakin' noisy. It all worked out well. May I never have to do that again.

On Thursday, I had to go to the DMV. There is a special place in Hell reserved for all those who work at the DMV. That's all I'll say about that.

This morning, I had my first physical therapy appointment. I'll go twice weekly, which means I'll have to drive to work on those days. Dammit. PT was good. I'm in the capable hands of Stephanie. As she was showing me some of the exercises I have to do, she asked me to roll over onto my other side to compare the flexibility in both knees. As I am rolling over, I nearly fell off the table. She had to catch me. I am so cool. Seriously, like ballerina graceful.

I hate to drive. I really hate to drive. A lot.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gloom, doom, and five days of heavy rain.

It's been raining for four days. And when I say rain, I mean pouring. It's going to rain tomorrow. We can expect a nice day on Wednesday and more rain on Thursday. I don't usually mind rain, but seriously. Enough is enough.

1. Rain causes earthworms to come up out of the dirt at the office park. They squirm and float in the puddles, where they die and rot making the office complex smell like the docks at low tide.

2. When said earthworms die and the rain dries up, the worms shrivel up on the warm side walk which is equally gross.

3. I haven't seen the sun since last Thursday. It has been cold and grey.

4. I made matzo ball soup for dinner tonight. Matzo ball soup makes everything better.

5. Rain makes everyone stir crazy. Even kittens that have never gone outside.

6. All I want to do is sit around in my flannel pjs and drink tea.

7. Last night's Iron Chef America episode was awesome. It will be on again on Thursday at 9 PM.

8. This much rain is what it takes to flood Crabtree Valley Mall. Good thing the Apple, Bare Escentuals and Sephora stores are all on the second floor. Oooh, Williams-Sonoma is on the second floor too. Excellent.

9. Five days of 100% humidity is not good for my hair.

10. We've received 2 inches of rain in the past 4 days.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hillsborough Street Renaissance Festival

The Hillsborough Street Renaissance Festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 14 from Noon to 10 PM. The street will be closed from Gardner St to Logan Court. Since they will need to set up, expect that portion of Hillsborough Street to be closed all day.

No, it doesn't involve jousting or men wearing tights. It's a celebration to kick off the changes planned for Hillsborough Street over the next year and a half. If you live in Raleigh, do take the time to click on that link and especially watch the video of the changes planned. It's going to be cool, but man that's going to be a mess until it's finished! (Click on downloads->additional files->traffic simulation flyover video Aug 2007)

There will be music, food and fun as we would expect from any self-respecting street festival. There will be an eco-friendly fashion show, an alternative fuel vehicle showcase, and a Kid Zone. They are claiming to have a fraternity, sorority and business BBQ cook off. I am still awaiting confirmation to see if they are going to barbecue actual fraternity boys. I'll keep you updated on that one.

The event is free, but tickets appear to be required for certain parts, like the sorority girl barbecue and the fashion show. Keep in mind also that this is the same day as the Raleigh St Patty's Day Parade. The parade begins at Noon also then ends with a party in Moore Square Park where the townsfolk gets their Irish on with the homeless people.

Basically, what we're looking at here , from a public transit standpoint, is a big ol' mess downtown on Saturday. If you have to take the bus anywhere on Saturday, and I suggest you do NOT, go first to the City's transit website to check the Announcements and Detours, which includes street closures and bus detours. A better solution would be to just join the party, any party, that you might stumble across on Saturday.

The weather on Saturday looks crappy at best. So, bundle up and carry an umbrella.

Monday, March 9, 2009

At the risk of sounding like a Crazy Cat Lady...

Seriously, how cute is he? Those whiskers are ridiculous.


Save the date!

David Kinch of Manresa will battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America on March 15 at 9 PM. Why should this matter any more than any other ICA episode? Because this is my brother's boss, that's why. My brother started his second internship in July of 2008 at Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos, California. It's one of the few restaurants in the US to be awarded two Michelin Stars and four Mobil Stars. After having dinner there, it somehow doesn't seem like enough.

This episode was filmed just before my brother arrived, so alas, Lil Brotha will not be there. Perhaps next time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

In this economy....

I have a back up plan. In case this whole culinary school thing doesn't work out. I can tell there's someone out there that understands me, because I found this WikiHow today.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go practice my hobo symbols.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March comes in like a polar bear and out like a lamb. Or something like that.



Would you trust this guy? What is he? Like, the Doogie Howser of weather? C'mon. people! He's apparently a weather guy for News 14, but for reals, y'all, HE LOOKS LIKE HE'S TWELVE YEARS OLD!!!!!!!




And so it is. I go to be at my normal time with nary a flake in the sky and hope and pray I wake to find 7 inches of the white fluffy stuff dumped on my fair city. Cross your fingers, peeps.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Bachelor, Vareigated Yarn, and The Shameless Plug.

Yesterday morning, I was sitting in front of Amy Number One. She talked to me for a few minutes, as usual. Suddenly, she leans forward and grabs the back of my hand to try to pinch me. All she got was mitten, so it didn't hurt.

Moi: Hey! Amy, don't do that!
Amy: I won't try to pinch you anymore.
M: You shouldn't pinch anyone. That's not nice!
A: I won't pinch anyone anymore. I'm sorry, Meg.
M: Thank you, Amy. It's okay.
A: Please forgive me, Meg. I'm sorry.
M: I forgive you, Amy.
A: I'm a nice person. Meg, I'm sorry.
M: I think you're a nice person.

And so it went. She apologized a hundred more times. I forgave her a hundred more times.

This morning, I got on the bus and sat in the seat next to her.

Amy: I'm not going to pinch you anymore.
Me: I appreciate that, Amy.
A: I'm a nice person.
M: I think so.
A: I want people to like me.

She had her word search book open.

A: Bachelor. asking me what it means.
M: A bachelor is a man who is not married.
A: A groom.
M: No, a groom is a man who just got married.
A: A husband.
M: A man is a bachelor first then he becomes a groom then he becomes a husband.

I pulled out a scarf I'm knitting.
A: What are you making?
M: A scarf.
A: For who?
M: It's for me.
A: What color is it going to be?
M: It's a bunch of different colors. There's brown, orange, blue and green.
A: Variegated. what??! where did that word come from??!
M: Exactly. I start putting scarf away.
A: Are you going to work on it when we get to RTP?
M: No, because I have to go to work. I'll work on it later.

Brief pause. Act II.

A: I'm a nice person.

A: What other kinds of things do you make?
M: I make lots of stuff. Sometimes it's for me and sometimes it's for other people.
A: My birthday is October 18.
M: Mine is October 5.
A: Are you going to make me something for my birthday?
M: I might. But if I do, I can't tell you because presents are supposed to be a surprise.
A: I didn't ask.
M: Okay.
A: I will not ask people for presents anymore. I'm a nice person.

Technically, she didn't ask me for a present. She asked if I was going to make her a present.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oh, sure. He looks all sweet and innocent.



I took Elvis to the vet this morning for a second check up on the ear mite issue. He needed another squirt of medicine in his ears. He really is a happy cat. The vet's office was busy this morning...by the way, I love that my vet is open on Saturdays. We sat in the lobby for a few minutes with several BIG dogs. Elvis was totally cool. He was sniffing noses and making friends like he was at a cocktail party, through the mesh side of the carrier, of course. They had a room for us and we waited. Elvis is an investigator. He must check out everything. And I mean everything. We waited for about 10 minutes in a different room than last time. He thoroughly scoped out the Purple Room and found it to his satisfaction, mostly.

He climbed up on the table and was facing me. I was sitting in a chair, with my back to the wall. All of a sudden, Elvis' eyes get huge. He stands up, arches his back and makes ALL of his fur stand on end. He's looking at the wall above my head. I stand up and turn around to see what the threat is. It's a picture of a cat peeking around a wall on a poster for some kind of medication. I pick him up and bring him closer to the poster. He starts hissing and when he's close enough, the claws come out and he starts swinging. He picked a fight with a picture of a cat. I put him back on the table, but this went on for a good five minutes. No joke. He has lost his mind. There were other pictures on the wall, but this was the only one that was life size. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. We saw a nurse today, so as I was laving, I told the vet and his wife, who runs the practice, who laughed just as hard.

Tough Guy weighed in at a whopping 5.06 pounds today. Look out! He's dangerous. Especially if you're two dimentional.

Monday, February 16, 2009

iTunesU

By this point, it's been well established that I am a nerd. I am okay with this. Clearly you are too since you keep coming back to read this blog. So, that said...

I think by this point, we're all pretty familiar with iTunes, right? Download music and movies, tv shows, music videos and games to play on our computer, iPod or iPhone. Last night, I was poking around on iTunes and happened to come across iTunesU. Colleges and universities can upload lectures either in audio or video format, which are then made free to the public, whether students or not. I knew that such a thing was possible, but didn't pay that much attention to it.

Last night, I found an eighteen part lecture on Astrobiology and Space Exploration with Professor Lynn Rothschild at Stanford University. I am in the process of downloading it right now. Last night, I went to bed two hours later than planned because I sucked into the first lecture with Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA. It was so fascinating.

Also at Stanford, I found a ten part lecture series on Charles Darwin. I am also downloading a lecture given by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and a lecture by Peter Singer on animal equality. I'm guessing not many of you will know Peter Singer. He is widely considered one of the greatest modern philosophers and the father of the animal rights movement. In the mid 70s, he wrote a book called Animal Liberation. To say that book had a profound effect on me is an understatement. I also listened to a little bit of his lecture last night as well.

I would highly recommend you look into this. It seems as though almost every topic at almost every university is represented. You're sure to find something you'll like.

If you build it, they will come.

WRAL, a local tv station, reports that the Downtown Circulator is up and running.

I will take a ride one night this week and this weekend, which I will report here naturally.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

No energy to blog.

Hey, y'all, I'm still around. On top of getting laid off, having a bum knee and everything else, looks like this cold I've had off and on for about a month has turned into a sinus infection. I've got some antibiotics and lots of OJ, hopefully I'll be good as new. I've been going to bed around 8 o'clock every night. Elvis is not happy with me. I'm either at work or here sleeping, then i'm in bed at sundown. He's a little stir crazy.

Just wanted to let you know I'll be back soon. I've just had no energy to type.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Big developments on the Bus, folks.

I've been keeping something from you, dear readers. I was keeping a secret until I knew for sure, so as to not jinx myself and my good fortune.

I found out yesterday I was accepted into culinary school. Whoopie! Seriosuly, I am thrilled. It's a baking and pastry program here and I start in May. I'd like to invite you to visit my other blog, Meg In The Kitchen, for a long and rambling post with all the juicy details.

As you all know by now, I was laid off last Friday. My last day will be May 1. This also mean that will be my last day of bus riding with all the crazies you know and love. I will still keep this blog active after that and occasionally post since I will still ride public transportation. During the summer I will transition over to the other blog to report on my culinary adventures and invite you all to come along.

I just wanted to give you all a heads up, just incase anyone suffers from separation anxiety. You'll be okay. We'll get through it together.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Krispy Kreme Challenge 2008, the trailer

The Krispy Kreme Challenge

Overall, I enjoy living in my neighborhood. I can walk all over downtown, I'm close to all the bus lines, and there is no shortage of bars and restaurants around. I get to see lots of parades go by. Sometimes, I wish I didn't live in this neighborhood. Tomorrow will be one of those days. The Krispy Kreme Challenge goes down and back up Hillsborough Street. Somehow I missed this last year. I am not looking forward to 5,000 people vomiting outside my apartment tomorrow. I am deciding if I will take pictures, or even venture outside until the City hoses down the streets. I'm about a mile from the Bell Tower, so it could be ugly.

By the way, y'all can watch it on ESPN in HD.

[edit] I just looked on their website and am happy to report that they are running through the northern end of my neighborhood. Yay! I think I'll walk over with a cup of tea after all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Megan and Irony have ended their relationship.

I've been around. I swear. It's just been a tough week.

Last Wednesday, I fell as I was leaving work. I slipped outside and landed on my left knee. Hard. It still hurts a lot. I filed a worker's comp claim Thursday morning and went to the urgent care Thursday afternoon. It still hurts a lot. When I went back to the UC for a follow up, the doctor treated me like I'm totally faking. She gave me 800mg of ibuprofin to take every three hours. Since I value my liver and kidneys, I've opted to deal with the pain and only take one of those a day. I go to an orthopedic clinic on Friday. The irony is it was my turn to handle worker's comp. Sigh.

On Friday, I was told I'm losing my job on May 1st. Yes, I am noting the irony of losing my job on May Day. I had another conversation about this yesterday, which did not go so well. I don't feel like going into it here, but I'm pretty angry about the situation.

On Saturday, I took His Highness to the vet. He had earmites and worms. Ah, the joys of adopting a shelter kitty. We got treatment for both in the vet's office. He is doing well. He weighs in at a whopping 4.5 pounds. I was advised that my flyweight prize fighter is too skinny. Partly because he's so damn active, partly because he's still growing, and maybe the worm issue might play a part too. He's a good eater. He ate a black bean tonight, just one. We're not worried right now that he's too skinny.

Alright, I'm tired. The dishes aren't going to wash themselves. I'll be back soon. Love to you all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

TGIF, or Amy, Chapstick and stickers.

I sat in front of Amy Number One this morning. I heard her chattering to herself with different voices. From what I heard and what I could Google, it sounds like she was replaying an episode of Veggie Tales. She decided to strike up a conversation with me this morning. I had my headphones on, so she leaned over, got about two inches from my face and yelled at me. Surprisingly, she adjusted her tone of voice when I took out my earphones.

A: Did you put Chapstick on your lips?
M: a little surprised Yes, I did. I'm fanatical about using lipbalm. I hate when my lips are dry.
A: I used Chapstick on my lips. she starts rubbing her lips
M: Not knowing what else to say It's good to use Chapstick when in the winter when it's cold outside.
A: Are you going to be here in the afternoon?
M: I will but I ride a different bus than you in the afternoon.
A: Were you here yesterday?
M: I was.
A: Did you have Chapstick with you yesterday?
M: I did. I always carry it with me.
A: Were you here Wednesday?
M: I was here Wednesday.
A: Were you here Tuesday?
M: I was, but I was a little late. I overslept.
A: Were you here Monday?
M: No. I stayed home on Monday because I had a cold.
A: Are you going to be here on Monday?
M: Yes, I will.
A: Do you have any stickers?
M: No. I don't think I have any stickers at home either. Do you like stickers?
A: I like stickers. What's your name?
M: I thought we'd been through this already. Meg.
A: Meg what?
M: Pilarski
A: What?
M: Pilarski.
A: Spell it.
M: P-I-L-A-R-S-K-I
A: Spell it again.
M: P-I-L-A-R-S-K-I
A: P-A-R...
M: P-I-L-A-R-S-K-I
A: spelling it with me P-I-L-A-R-S-K-I
At this point, she sits back. At one minutes intervals, she sits up and tries to spell my last name again. After three tries, she gets it and looks very pleased with herself.

About three minutes later, she sits up again.
A: Meg, am I behaving like I am supposed to?
M: Yes, Amy, you're very good.
A: I'm not going to make mouse noises anymore.
M: Oh, okay. Are you not supposed to make mouse noises?
A: Only children make mouse noises. I'm sitting like a lady. She sort of alludes to the bitchy bus driver telling her all of this.
A: A few minutes later I'm being a good girl.
M: You're always good Amy.

I have to run to Target and the craft store anyway this weekend, but I think I might pick up some stickers for her. I also want to ask her on Monday who told her that only children make mouse noises. It's one thing for this bus driver to ask her to not ring the bell while we're on I-40. It's quite another if she's telling Amy she has to sit like a lady.l

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tag!

I've been tagged by Linda, a new blog friend.

Make a list of things you can see without getting up: I had planned on doing this from home, because the office just isn't that exciting, however...corporate holiday schedule, list of names and phone numbers I call frequently, calendar, Terrible Towel, monitor, CPU, phone and tray of pens, highlighters, stapler, and miscellaneous office paraphernalia.

What were you like when you were five? Really weird. I'd talk to anyone and I had imaginary cats.

What are you wearing now? Nothing. What are you wearing? ;) Just kidding, people. I'm wearing my uniform. Black t-shirt, black cardigan, jeans, black shoes, lime green scarf. Otherwise people wouldn't recognize me.

What story/book/novel have you read over and over again in your life? Assuming you mean fiction, The Count of Monte Cristo, Vanity Fair and Crime and Punishment.

What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? Dante's The Divine Comedy and Descartes's Discourse On The Method. Yes, I really do read this stuff. There's not much thinking to be done at work these days, so I need something a little meaty lest my brain turn to jello.

Do you nap a lot? I love a nap. If I don't get at least one on the weekend, I feel like my weekend was wasted.

Who was the last person you hugged? My mom, I think. Over Christmas. I'm not a touchy feely person, really.

What’s your current fandom/obsession/addiction? Fandom: NCIS. I love this show. I'm watching the current season and trying to get caught up on past seasons. Obsession: sewing.

What was the last thing you ate today? A giant salad from Lilly's Pizza. I ordered it last night for lunch today.

What was the last thing you said aloud? "Certainly, if you can hold on for just a moment." I am at work, after all.

What websites do you always visit when you go online? Email, Facebook, Blogger dashboard, NY Times Online, then any new posts on the bazillion blogs I read.

What was the last thing you bought? A new cotton scarf in Chapel Hill. If you want me to be literal about it, pizza and a salad.

What are you listening to right now? Two coworkers discussing someone's pension paperwork, my boss just sneezed three times, a secretary is on a conference call, another coworker talking about his Hungry Man lunch. I hate open offices.

What movie are (or were!) you most excited to show your kids? No kids. If I did have kids, it would be anything and everything by Pixar. I would avoid Disney like the plague. I am convinced that Disney and Walmart are going to be the decline of Western Civilization. You heard it here first!

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Depends. Either the ability to stop time-I'm frequently late- or the ability to be invisible-how much fun would that be?

What is your favorite weather, and why? Either 60 and sunny with leaves falling all around me or 15 and snowy. I like cold.

What time do you usually get up? I don't sleep well, so the answer would be 4 or 5-ish, then 6:40 during the week. On the weekends, 4 or 5-ish, 6:30-ish then 8-ish.

What is your most challenging goal right now? Being patient. I'm waiting to hear when I'll get laid off. I've also applied to a baking and pastry program and I'm waiting to hear. I can't make any decisions about my life beyond the next 5 months right now and it's killing me.

Say something to the person who tagged you: Linda tagged me. I don't know her well at the moment. I have enjoyed reading her blog and look forward to getting some time soon to read her older posts.

If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? An old (like 18th or 19th century) apartment in Paris. The kind with a fireplace in every room, giant ceilings, French doors and parquet floors, and a nice big terrace. Located above a patisserie in a very hip neighborhood, naturally.

Favorite vacation spot? I'm not sure I have one. I like to travel to new places.

What is your favorite children’s book? Anything by Shel Silverstein. Grimm's Fairy Tales were good too.

Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: Potato Chips. I can't help it. I have a weakness for almond croissants too.

If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be? I have a very long list. The answer would depend on where it would be. If I'm going back in time, an ancient Greek philosopher would be cool. If they are coming over for tea, maybe Jane Austen or Edgar Allen Poe, but I'd really have to clean first.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I have been tagged.

However, I am tired. I am full of Lilly's Pizza. Super Duper, if you're interested. Mr Kitty is freaking out. Currently, Elvis is spinning in circles biting his tail. And last but not least, there's a new episode of NCIS on. I shall respond to my tag tomorrow. I promise. Because I like Linda. She's cool.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Please don't make me come up with a title for this post.

Today was the kind of day that makes me never want to leave the house again. I can just hear you now.

"Oh, no, Meg. What happened?"

Well, since you asked...wait, go get a drink,a glass of red wine perhaps, and sit in a comfy chair. Ready? Right. Oh, and this first part is a wee graphic. Deal with it. Most of you are moms anyway.

I woke up around 3:15 this morning to the smell of cat poo. Someone had to use the litter box. It occurred to me that maybe it was a little too...stinky. Being the good kitty mommy I am, I got up, turned on a light, lifted up his tail. He was a mess. Did I mention he was sitting my my dresser? I picked him up and went into the bathroom only to realize, he missed the litter box. First things first, I gave him a bath. This kitty HATES water. And by hates, I mean he clawed the hell out of my arms. Right now, I look totally Emo. While I was giving him his bath at 3:30 AM, he was squirming, clawing, meowing, squawking, and generally protesting. As soon as the bath was over, I wrapped the soaking wet kitty in a towel like a burrito. Instantly, kitty burrito became calm and began purring. It was amazing. He didn't want to get out of the towel. Crazy. The snuggling was short-lived as I needed to clean up and Swiffer my bathroom floor, hallway, bedroom floor and dresser. Did I mention it was now 3:45 AM? Yup. When I was done, I got back into bed, when wet kitty decided he needed to snuggle more. This was nice, however not conducive to sleep.

I called in sick this morning, planning on sleeping since, to add insult to injury, I have a cold. Due to something beeping at the church next door, I only got about an hour sleep. Turns out they are doing work on the stone, sandblasting or something. I decided to get up and go run an errand in Hillsborough. I thought I'd take the bus.

Famous last words.

I caught the bus at 9:40-ish at my usual bus stop. When we got to the stop across from NCSU, there was a woman standing on the curb. She was waving as frantically as someone on a deserted island waiting to be rescued. Never mind the bus is supposed to stop there no matter what. She begins to motion to the woman sitting on the bench minding her own business as though without her help the bus won't stop. The woman on the bench just sits there. She is a regular rider and knows the bus will stop. This frantic woman, lets call her

::quick aside:: while Googling cast away looking for famous people on deserted islands and I ran into this. Before you click, I shall warn you, it's, uh, shall we say...racy? Click here if you dare.

Okay, so this Crazy Lady acts like she's climbing the north face of Everest as she's climbing the bus steps. She has with her a GIANT plastic mug with a Hardee's Racing logo on it and a big straw poking out, that I'd wager should not have been that brown. She also has a tote bag with her, and from the way she carried it, smart money would say she was carrying an anvil. She immediately sits down without putting money into the fare box. She asks the woman behind her if she can hold the gross Hardee's mug. She digs through the anvil bag and pulls out a few ones. She waits for a red light to stand up and put her money in the box. We have a green light and the old man driving the bus proceeds very slowly. I mean, like 2 MPH. Crazy Lady acts like she's going ass over tea kettle down the steps. She can't get the last dollar bill in and begins coaxing it. "C'mon, baby. Baby, you can do it." And so on. She's got this loud voice and she's a little manic. She sits down and begins talking to the bus driver in her "Outdoor Voice," you folks with kids know what I mean. She starts bitching about the out of service TTA bus that went by about 10 minutes before. She's acting like it was the last bus on Earth and repeats herself five or six times. She's very concerned about this bus not stopping for her and is convinced that the old man bus driver both cares and will personally be responsible for correcting the error. She then digs into the anvil bag again and pulls out her cell phone. Again using her Outdoor Voice, she makes a call begging someone at UNC Hospital to wait for her. She then goes into this long, manic rant about having to walk down Brooks Ave and a bus that refused to stop for her, etc. etc. etc. Again, she repeats herself five or six times. I'm sensing a little OCD. Who's with me? Meanwhile, the super-polite woman behind her is still holding the gross Hardee's mug. Just as I'm about to say something to her about Nice Lady still holding her drink, she turns around and tells her she is almost done.

We get to the outlet mall by the airport, when Crazy Lady tells the bus driver to stop. She's again frantic as she tells him there is a guy on the other side of the street waiting for the bus. What does the bus driver do? He stops. For someone on the other side of the street. This is one driver I thankfully don't see very often. He drives really slow, so we're already about 10 minutes behind at this point. Anyway, the driver stops and opens the door and waits like he's got no place to be. Crazy Lady stands up and indicates she's going to go tell this guy that he needs to hurry up. Luckily this guy comes along and the driver asks him where he's going. The wayward passenger says he's going to Page Road. A conversation ensues about where to stand and which bus to take and so on, but we're still not moving. Finally we're start moving and now Crazy Lady is all worried about us being late. Really, she's worried about this now? The driver claims he asked dispatch to wait. Crazy Lady goes into this Clockwork Orangian loop of "I pray they hold the bus." By some act of I don't know which deity, they held a few of the buses.

I get on the Chapel Hill bus. The driver is the guy who drives my second morning bus. I really like him. I tell him I'm not sure where to catch the 420 bus. As he's telling me, Crazy Lady walks up behind me. Lucky me, she's going to Chapel Hill too. I interrupt him to say, "this lady is fucking nuts. Good luck!" To which he laughs. He tells me where to go and I go sit way in the back of the bus, far away from her. She sets her stuff on the seat and tells the driver she has to use the loo. She holds us up for another five minutes because she has to whatever in the port o'potty. He was a little pissed. I had my head phones on so I couldn't hear him, but she repeated several times that she was sorry but she had to go and she couldn't help it and it wasn't her fault.

Finally, we're on our way. I get to Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and find the stop for the 420 Hillsborough bus. Three of us get on this little orange shuttle bus and a black guy walks up to the bus door and asks the driver, a black woman, where this bus goes. She tells him Hillsborough. He wants to know how much to ride this bus. She tells him $2. He's wants to know if that's a round trip. He can't believe a round trip is $4. She tells him he can get a $4 day pass online. He says okay and starts to step back. He steps up again before she can close the doors. He asks her, "What's Hillsborough like?" Since she's surprised by his question she mistakenly asks, "what?" He goes off..."I mean, you know, what's Hillsborough like?" "It's okay," she replies. "What's there to do in Hillsborough," he wants to know. She tries to tell him she has to go. Now he wants to know if there are a lot of black people in Hillsborough. Are there more black people than in Chapel Hill? Which city has the most black people? The worst part is that she's entertaining his questions. Finally, she tells him she has to go and closes the doors. We're off.

The ride to Hillsborough from Chapel Hill should only take 30 minutes. It takes almost an hour. I arrive at the stop at the court house just before noon. This being the South, I was afraid the court house would be closed for lunch. Luckily, they appear to be open. Sherrif Barney Fife is at the entrance, presumably for security, and asks me if he can help me. I tell him I'm here to pay a ticket and need to talk to someone. He tells me that he doesn't think anyone can help me. They are moving and all the records are packed up in boxes. Dear god, don't tell me they don't use computers!!!!!! He tells me to walk two blocks up the street and I'll see "Clerk of Courts" on a storefront. I swear they only thing this guy needed to complete the image was a good coon dog asleep at his feel.

I walk two blocks north to what turns out to be "the other side of town." I found the Clerk of Courts office. Surprisingly, it was empty except for a few people behind the counter. I give them my name, they look me up and tell me how much I owe. I walk across the street to the Bank of America ATM (gasp! technology!) walk back to the office, pay my fine, get my receipts and I'm done. Fifteen minutes tops.

Since the bus driver takes a lunch break and doesn't run until 1 o'clock, and because I haven't eaten anything by this point, I go get some lunch. I decided on a little place called Tupelo's, since everything else but the Bandido's was closed. I had an awesome sandwich which I swear was the highlight of the day. It was a BLT on pumpernickel, except that the "T" was actually fried green tomatoes. Okay, living in the South does have certain advantages. Once I was finished, I had to go to the patisserie. On King Street, there is a real French patisserie, run by a real French dude. Two shops down is a Cup A Joe coffee shop. In between? A bait and tackle shop. I kid you not. I got my blueberry turnover and Earl Grey tea, opted to forego the nightcrawlers on this trip, and walked to the police station to catch the bus.

The ride back was significantly less interesting, but took just as long since there was a lot of traffic. The Chapel Hill buses go across the UNC campus, which takes forever since there are students galore milling about. While I was waiting in Chapel Hill for the bus I popped in Light Years and bought myself a new scarf and walked across the street to Sugarland for a red velvet cupcake. Like I said, living in the South isn't all bad.

I didn't get home until 4. By that time, I was tired, cranky, and just wanted to be home. By the time I got home, I was fairly certain that, if I had to speak to another person, either flames would shoot out my mouth, or pea soup as my head spun around. Essentially, it took me four and a half hours to run a fifteen minute errand. There's not enough red velvet cake in the world to make that better.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Now, that's cold.

Couple sought in bus stop robberies.

I just have one question. Does his neck say "Map Town?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hey, hey, hey!

Now that we have the change we need, and I have recruited one more follower (cue evil laugh), it's time to get back to bus riding.

Bigman was there today, in all his pathological glory. He was wearing a red fleece pullover and a white collared shirt. If it weren't for the khaki pants, I swear it was this guy. He was, as usual, rocking back and forth, adding imaginary numbers, and so on, and so on, and so on. At some point, I noticed his hands. Dude get manicured. I hate that his nails look better than mine. No, I won't get close enough to take a picture of his hands, so don't even ask. It makes me wonder if he gets pedicures too. No, wait, I just threw up a little. Nevermind. What was funny, or sad depending on how you look at it, I prefer funny because that's just who I am...anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so, he was on his usual throne. There were three people who sat in the seat next to him, all of whom moved rather abruptly once The Bigman Show started.

In other news, Elvis lost a tooth tonight. He's four months old, right in prime teething time for kittens. He was kind enough to spit it out on the sofa for me. Thanks, buddy. Then he tried to eat it again. Now I'm all paranoid he'll swallow all the others and I'll have to spend thousands on gastrointestinal repair. And because I know you're dying to see it, here's Elvis's tooth. With a dime for reference, rather than a quarter, because it's so tiny.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update!

I just found out that Mr Luke Song of Detroit made Aretha's hat and it was only $179!!!! I found his website, which does not have Aretha's hat unfortunately. Now most of these beauties aren't all that suited to wear outside the local AME church, but they are all really cool. I especially like the second one, the olive green cloche.

Does anyone know where I can get this hat?

Seriously, y'all know I would totally wear this hat on the bus. I want one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is the way a President should speak.

In case you missed it, here is a link to President Obama's Inaugural Address, with both text and video.

My President

Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America. I, like so many others, never thought I would see this historic event so early in my life. I never thought two key Southern states would have given their Electoral votes to a democrat, let alone a black man. I look forward to the next four years, to progress and to the positive changes the United States needs. Thank you, Mr. Obama, and godspeed.




Ps. Michelle, I love the outfit you were wearing this morning!

Snow day!

My building

Hillsborough Street

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let it snow!

Raleigh is gearing up for snow. It looks like we will get at least a few inches tomorrow. Personally, I'm hoping for a foot. In years past, we expected to get a few inches and ended up with almost two feet. I'm hoping this will happen again.

Zelma, I'll holla if I need your mad snow shoveling skills.

A just and lasting peace.

"With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

-final paragraph of the second inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln, 1865.

The prize we sought is won.

By Walt Whitman, published 1865, inspired by the assasination of Abraham Lincoln.

193. O Captain! My Captain!



1

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

2

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead.

3

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Goin' for the Six Pack!

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers on their latest AFC championship! They head to the Super Bowl in two weeks to beat the Arizona Cardinals.

Read more about it here, here, and here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Long live The King.

Meet my new furry friend. I was the fourth or fifth person to submit an application to adopt him from 2 Paws Up Rescue. I was told on Christmas Eve my application was the only one approved to adopt him. Due to a nasty eye infection, it was about three weeks before he could come home. I picked him up today around 12:30. About five minutes after we got home, he was napping on my bed. He's been following me around the apartment. His fur is bunny rabbit soft and miraculously he doesn't seem to shed. I'm not sure if he's stopped purring since I brought him home. This super mellow cat loves to be held. He is about four months old and weighs about 6 pounds.

While he was laying on the sofa, I asked him if I could call him Elvis. He stood up, meowed, and licked my nose. Elvis it is! And he's a keeper!

Hello. My name is Elvis.

Why, thank you. I will make myself comfortable.

Smell my paw and guess where I've been. Go ahead. Guess.

I think he's moved in.

Welcome home Whats-his-name!

The kitten just arrived! Pictures coming soon! He still doesn't have a name.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

James, revisited.

Last Thursday, I went to Wake Tech to speak with the head of the culinary department, but that's a story for another day. I got to take one of the shuttles to campus. Turns out that the bus I was on was one of the two new electric buses the city just bought to become the Downtown Circulator. The buses are so cool. Most of the seats in the front are sideways and it has a small tv in the front. Riding sideways usually makes me sick, but this was a very smooth ride. Ironic that I take public transportation so often when I get vertigo at the drop of a hat. Anyway, a gazillion 18 year olds and I pile onto this bus and head to campus. When my meeting finished, I went to wait for the bus to take me back to downtown. Guess who came over to catch the bus? James. Remember James? In this post, I talked about seeing James and his menagerie of paper buses. Due to the number of people who take the Wake Tech bus, they run two buses all day. The first bus that arrived was one of the old red and white Wolfline buses the city bought from NCSU. James declares to me and the other passenger waiting, "I am not getting on that bus." I asked him why not. He responded simply, "because its ugly." He correctly sensed I was not satisfied and went on to deliver a laundry list of reasons why the city needed to give up that bus. He delightfully advised me the bus was made by the Blue Bird Corporation in such and such year, it has a propensity to break down more often that the others, it rattles, etc. etc. etc. His final argument as to why CAT should retire permanently that bus...because he's been telling them to. Upon completion of his soliloquy, I said, "hey, I know you. I mean, I don't really know you, but I've seen you before," to which he started grinning like Rupert Grint being seen in public for the first time after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's worldwide release! I get the impression he thought he was a local celebrity. Naturally, I got on the electric bus with him as I was not ready to end my observation. After all, I have readers to think of. This guy is a bus fanatic. He stood in the front and gabbed with the driver the whole time. I was even able to get a photo for you. I asked him where he got the paper buses. He told me paperbuses.com. I looked on the site and can't find what he has, but it's a cool site anyway. Maybe he belongs to the Yahoo Group.

I have to say that I found James to be a very intelligent young man, very well spoken and rather quirky. I rather enjoyed my conversation with him and hope to engage him in a transit related conversation in the future.

James, in his natural habitat. We found the subject to be most gentle, willing to interact with us. It appears he does not spook easily and was eager to display his plumage of paper and school glue.



By the way, I just joined the Paper Bus Yahoo Group and will keep you posted!

How long are you going to live?

Good news, peeps. You can expect Meg On The Bus to be around for a long, long time. I took this quiz on the Interweb and it looks like I'm going to live to be 88.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kinky Jones said I could compete next week, if I wanted to.

If you find yourself in Austin on a Thursday and you need some cash fast, check this place out.

I shall refrain from making jokes about it being loaded.

This one's for Kristina.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Looks like all that book learnin' paid off.

On the ride home tonight, I sat across the aisle from Dancing Queen. I saw that she was reading a book, but didn't pay much attention to what book. I looked over again, because, let's face it, I'm damn nosy. The writing was in Arabic script. At first and based on previous eavesdropped conversations, I thought she was faking it. Not wanting to disappoint you, I kept watching her. I think I am going out on a limb here and give her the benefit of the doubt. I think she might be able to read it for reals. She was at least turning the pages in the right direction and holding the book right side up.

It's a start.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How To Tip Of The Day: How to win friends and influence people!

Wiki-How never ceases to amaze me. There is no shortage of odd, questionable or just flat out bizarre "how to" tips on that website. For example, there's How To Be Feminine. Turns out it doesn't involve wearing a lot of pink. Looks like I got that one wrong! Another personal favorite is How To Live A Double Life. You may now call me Rodolfo Weatherwax. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to put on my fake moustache.

Certainly one of my biggest concerns about Wiki-Anything is its "For The People, By The People" spirit. As in, anyone with internet access can edit it or post an article. It is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that The Internets are not as exclusive a club as they used to be. Alas. What are you going to do? Move to the Montana wilderness and type my blog on a manual typewriter, perhaps?

Another concern that I have with the wacky Wiki-How articles is that people take them so seriously. For example, we have How To Choose The Right Bottled Water. Jeez, I sure hope I don't get it wrong.

I thought you might be interested in this article I found this morning on my Google Homepage. How To Talk To Strangers is important stuff here, people. It'll help you get over those feelings of loneliness and loserdom.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Say my name, bitch! Say it! *cracking whip noise*

Okay, time to come clean. Against my better judgement, I, um, well, I kind of, uh, ahem, signedupforeharmonyagain. I am such a loser. Unless it actually works out okay, in which case...YAY! I do have to say, this time I've only been matched with one Indian dude. He didn't even have a moustache. I can't believe it.

sigh

Dr. Neil seems to think I would be compatible with Terry, 42, Hillsborough, NC, among other people. In your profile, one of the questions is "what are you most passionate about?" Here is part of Terry's response to that question.

"I am also passionate and can be quite adventuresome and intense when it comes to sexuality and the boudoir."

Say what? Like chain-me-to-a-water-pipe-in-the-basement-with-a-ball-gag-in-my-mouth adventurous? Like my-nipples-hooked-up-to-your-jumper-cables intense? Cuz, I'm not sure that's what Dr Neil had in mind when he asked you that question. Just sayin' is all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go break Terry's heart.


Kiss the boot of shiny, shiny leather
Shiny leather in the dark
Tongue of thongs, the belt that does await you
Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart

Severin, severin, speak so slightly
Severin, down on your bended knee
Taste the whip, in love not given lightly
Taste the whip, now plead for me

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Is it safe?

I went to the dentist today. I hate going to the dentist. I had my teeth cleaned in November for the first time in seven years. That's how much I hate going to the dentist. I had to get two fillings on the left side, in the back. Because it had been so long since my last visit, I had sort of forgotten what getting a filling entails.

But first, I digress. I hate needles. A lot. Now, I can deal with getting a shot, because it's generally quick and the needle is small. Having blood drawn is a whole nother ballgame, as they say here in the South. The needles are larger, I can feel them in my vein, and it takes a lot longer. I was 17 when I went away to college. I, like every other new coed in the history of higher education, had to get a physical. That physical included blood work. My mom took me to an urgent care because I didn't have a doctor at the time. I was so upset at the prospect of getting blood drawn that I cried. Hard. The doctor came in, and in his best bedside manner, sat down next to me on the table to talk to me. In his most "I'm really concerned that you'd be better off in a mental institution than a university" voice asked me what was wrong. Was everything okay? Was there something the blood work might reveal that I didn't want my mom to know? He actually did not believe me that I was that needle-phobic. He finally let it go, but I don't think he was convinced.

Here we are back in present time. I still have big time needle-phobia, or belonephobia (your SAT word for the day). I'm in my dentist office. Let me tell you about my dentist. Dr Patterson. I randomly picked him because his office is near where I live and on a bus line. I also picked him because I read For Better of For Worse and the father, Dr. Patterson, was a dentist. I figured, with the same name, he has to be a good guy. To my surprise, my dentist was quite young, around my age probably. And HOT.

So, here I am in the office of Hottie-Pants, DDS, laying back in this lounge chair when he sticks this Q-tip(tm) in mouth. It tastes like pina colada at first and it's supposed to numb my mouth a little. The pina colada taste quickly wears off to taste like medicine. Gross! He removes the Q-tip(tm) from my mouth and tells me he's going to give me a shot to numb my mouth. Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis? Determined not to cry in what is only my second meeting with Hottie-Pants, DDS, I was quite composed. Yes, both my heart rate and blood pressure rose to record highs, I squeaked a little, but I didn't cry. I believe I felt my throat closing up a little, but I didn't cry. He tells me to chill for five minutes and he'll be back. When he returns, I starts poking in my mouth to see if the Novocaine has kicked in. It did not. In an effort to recreate that pivotal scene in Marathon Man, he sticks another needle in my mouth, which is pried open by two people as far as it will go in every direction possible. For those of you that don't remember, getting Novocaine is not like getting a flu shot. They have to go kind of slowly when giving you the shot and they have to be sure they hit several key nerves. Uh huh. Yeah. This time, I fought back tears. I think I freaked him out a little. After the second shot, he waited a few more minutes for it to kick in. We talked about the weather and the new surgery wing of the hospital across the street. Again he poked around in my mouth to see if I could feel it. I could. I told him I could not. He removed an old filling and gave me two new ones fairly quickly. When he was done, he asked me how it was and if I could feel anything. At that point, I told him I could still feel a little pain but told him I couldn't because I didn't want another needle in my mouth. He looked upset, like he felt bad. I tried to tell him I had a high threshold for pain so it was okay. He still looked like he felt bad.

The left half of my mouth was numb for the better part of the day. I came home and slept for two hours. Since my mouth was still pretty numb, I heated up some refried beans. I ate squishy foods until pretty late in a vain attempt to not bite my tongue. Unfortunately, I bit my tongue about three times, without knowing it. My mouth still hurts a little.

The best part is that I have to go back next month for two more fillings on the other side. Oh. Joy.