Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Metro Journal: May 28 National Bad Day Day?

On the 780, the guy who was sitting behind me was talking on his phone to someone, recounting how he had had a car accident the day before, so he was riding the bus. He asked the person what would happen to his car insurance, since this was his second accident in 6 months. Seems this time the bumper (not sure if it was front or rear) got completely broken off, so they would have to weld it back on. He was waiting for the estimate, but was guessing $2500. Anyway, apparently he's already paying $1020 every 6 months for the insurance on his Ford Focus. I didn't turn to look at him, but he sounded like he was maybe in his late 20s or early 30s, although, well, hard to tell, but that sounds like an awful lot to me. I guess the person on the other end said his premium would likely double. He didn't sound too happy about that. He said maybe he could afford $1500. Um, get used to riding the bus, buddy.

While I was waiting for the 207, some guy was walking down the sidewalk asking where the DMV is. It used to be at that corner, but there had been a sign up for a long time saying they had moved to some other location. I guess the sign is gone now, and, well, I'm waiting at a bus stop. Why the hell would I memorize the location of the DMV?

On the 207, I see a car that has been pulled over at the northwest corner of Western & Fountain. Then one that was pulled over on the southwest corner of Western & Fountain. Further down Western I see another police car and motorcycle. Wow.

(Sometime last year while I was waiting for the morning DASH at Hollywood and Argyle, an LAPD officer (Hollywood is just a district of the city of Los Angeles, although I think I said that already) pulled over a car at the stop. While she was writing down license plate information, two giggly young Japanese tourists with their cameras out walked up to her and asked if they could take her picture while she was writing the ticket. She agreed. I often wonder if that was the high point of their visit to the U.S.)

Did I mention my nerves this morning were still more shot than Dick Cheney's hunting companion's face?

I got some better news this afternoon, so I was less cranky. The porn shop on Western which has "Got Porn" on one side of their sign now has "Honk If Your A Zombie" on the other side. I'm guessing a lot of Harvard English majors don't end up working in porn shops in Hollywood, or the signs might use better grammar.

The 780 at Hollywood & Western left while I was waiting for the crossing light. Oh, well. Then, right next to the sign, I realize there was a man handing out copies of the Watchtower in various languages. He was talking to two people so he wasn't pouncing on other potential converts, but a woman walks up and, lo and behold, actually asks if he has a copy in English. I was floored.

As I've mentioned before, though, during the evening rush, this line, which is supposed to run every 15 minutes or so, can go anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes between buses. I phoned my Aunt Mary (is there anyone who doesn't have an aunt named Mary?) but the next 780 was there in about 5 minutes. And since it was so close behind the last one, it was more empty than not.

The woman behind me, who had seemed relatively normal in the second I glanced at her before sitting down, started making these kind of grunting noises. I began to wonder if she should have honked at that porn shop and whether she was considering what sauce to use when she ate my brains, but then she said, "Hang on a second." She was just on her cell phone, apparently grunting her agreement as the other person nattered on. Then she switched to another call. Eventually she told that person she had lost her phone on another bus. (Pause.)

"You did? What did they say?" (Pause) "Call me back."

I started to wonder if the person on the other end had called the other phone and this woman was asking what the person who answered that phone had said. Anyway, she switched back to the other call after leaving that person holding for about 5 minutes. She switched between a couple other calls along the way.

I was knitting since I had a seat to myself and I was still too spaced to concentrate on the rather dense 18th century horror novel I've been trying to read. The author randomly capitalizes words even more than I do. It's simple knitting, so I just stared out the window, noticing things, like the ducks swimming in the Los Angeles Drainage Ditch, er, River, and the small health food shop in Atwater Village which has not the normal single L.A. County health rating sign posted in the window, but two of them, side by side. The Department of Public Health inspects restaurants, or any place that serves prepared food, and then assigns a letter grade based on their score. The establishment is required to display the letter in their front window. I don't know why this place would have two, but it looks pretty bad when a health food store ends up with a 'B'.

We caught up to the previous 780 in the left turn lane from Los Feliz to Central. We even ended up passing them. I just don't understand how that works. I did also notice that that bus was significantly more crowded than ours was.

Unfortunately, this is prematurely to be the last entry. I leave town tomorrow for a family emergency.

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