Monday, August 25, 2008

Metro Journal: August 25 We Have A Winner

...For Biggest Total Dumbass.

So, I had to go to the post office this morning to mail my zombie assassin. I had only figured out where the main branch in Glendale was a few months ago, after literally having passed by on a regular basis for years. I went to my regular stop and saw both a 180 or 181 and a 780 stop and then leave before I could cross the street. Crap. Oh, well. Another local came about 5-10 minutes later, and a local was actually better because it would stop closer to the post office.

When we got to the Glendale Blvd stop, over a dozen people were waiting. And, of course, one of the first to get on was this numbskull who had no idea how much the fare was and didn't have his wallet out and must have put every dollar bill he owned through the dryer 90 times. Usually if you have a pass, you can flash it at the driver and get around the machine hog, but the guy behind this machine hog also apparently needed to pay cash. And was about as clueful and prepared as the guy in front of him, and was buying a day pass, which required trying to tease even more bills into the machine.

We were there forever.

The post office was a couple of stops later. It's one of those huge, old fashioned stone buildings with metal grillwork everywhere. It also opens at 8:30, earlier than the one at my bus stop. I got there about 8:35, and.... there was no line at the window! Yay!

I like this post office.

After I left, I walked the three blocks or so to the 780 stop at Brand and Broadway. I sat down to wait. A 181 was there, and a number of people were getting on, so it was stopped for a couple of minutes. Some dumbass therefore decides to make a right turn right in front of it into a parking garage. Except that was the moment the bus put the left signal on to merge into traffic.

You may recall my earlier introduction of Bus Person Car. The only rule is that Bus Always Wins. So, just don't be a dumbass and try to make a right hand turn in front of a stopped bus, because buses generally don't stay stopped long, Bus Always Wins, and even if you don't actually get hit, I tell all my blog readers (all 3 of them) that you're a dumbass. If you do get hit, I tell the police officer who shows up to take statements from witnesses that you're a Total Dumbass, and then I tell my blog readers.

Well, this dumbass didn't get hit. But he really would have deserved it.

I had to wait a bit for the next 780. When it came, Deputy Wiegel was driving! If you've ever watched Reno 911, you too would recognize her, if not just from the face, the first time she started hollering instructions at people. This was maybe the 3rd or 4th time I'd been on her bus.

Walking down the aisle, I found myself... stepping over a golden retriever sitting only halfway under a seat. This scene seemed familiar... After I sat down, I saw the woman over the golden retriever speaking sign language into the hand of the man next to her, who also had a white walking stick in his hand. Then a woman across the aisle got closer and began speaking sign language, although why she had to get closer, I'm not sure. Anyway, long-time readers may remember this dog.

The rest of the trip was not very exciting, although, even though the stop between Central and San Fernando on Los Feliz has been moved to the corner of Central and Los Feliz because of roadwork, and even though they actually posted a sign when the roadwork started noting the stop change, all this over a week ago, there were still confused-looking people standing at the regular, closed stop as we went by. Um, the bus is supposed to, what, drive over the open trench? Stop in the middle of the only open lane while a bunch of people file over the aforementioned open trench?

In spite of all this, a relatively productive weekend and a pleasant post office experience had left me in a reasonably good mood, at least for a Monday morning. Then I got to work, and my relative cheeriness was made asunder by two co-irkers-from-hell. Ugh.

I got out of work later in the evening than usual. I was 90% sure that I had either missed the last DASH, since I got out there the time last DASH was supposed to (but never) came, which does not mean that I missed the last DASH on the schedule; just the last one that generally bothers to stop. So I walked to Western, and just as I got to Western... the northbound DASH appears in the turn lane. Oh, well.

The last stop for the northbound 207 is at the northwest corner of Western and Hollywood, which means that, to get to both the Red Line station and the stop for the eastbound buses (like mine), you have to cross both Hollywood Blvd and Western. This is, quite simply, the Intersection from Hell. It's like a nexus for dumbass drivers. They get drawn there from the far corners of the globe. Well, seriously, it's Hollywood. There are a lot of tourists. That said, I'm pretty sure most of the worst dumbasses are home-grown.

Last Friday, I had crossed Western first, and a lot of us were waiting to cross Hollywood. So, six billion people (yes, almost everyone on the planet) were waiting to cross. The light changes and there were go. Except total dumbass decides to start her left turn. And, of course, impeded by curb-to-curb pedestrians, she had to sit there blocking traffic. Dumbass. And then she parked, yes, parked her car in the bus lane. Asshole. So she could go run into the bank at that corner. Which wasn't going to close for about another two hours. Where is the goddamned tow truck when you need it? I seriously think they should allow cow-catchers on buses so they can butt assholes who stopped their cars in the bus lane. Seriously.

The northbound direction of Western has a protected left-turn lane at Hollywood. I'm not sure about southbound, but there generally isn't nearly as much traffic coming from that direction. At any rate, as we were all getting off the 207 and getting to the intersection, both directions were red for pedestrians. A 757 (those double-long accordion buses) was making a left turn, although I think the light was already mostly changed when it started. Which didn't stop the woman behind it from also turning. And, um, when a double-long bus is in front of you, you don't really have the excuse that you were already in the intersection. The light and walk sign had already changed by this point, so we start walking across Hollywood Blvd. Except, even though the southbound cars on Western have also already started entering the intersection, a major dumbass starts a left turn. He could not have even started moving when the light had turned yellow. So, he blocks the left southbound lane, because cars in the right lane were already in the intersection. And even if they had stopped to let the asshole through, um, hello, people in the intersection here! He couldn't even finish the turn and finally stop blocking traffic until the light had turned.

What a fucking asshole. He therefore wins Biggest Total Dumbass on the Planet!

Except the trip didn't get much better. The 780, when it finally came, was full-to-bursting, even once people had gotten off, and a dozen others were still waiting to get on. I couldn't deal, so I deemed it less painful to wait 15 minutes for the next one that try to get on. Almost as soon as I sat down, a 180 or 181 came. Normally, I might have waited the 15 minutes for the next 780, but I was in a "bird in the hand" mood, and this bus was well under half full. I sat down, stuck my enormous backpack in the seat next to me, and started to work on my squares blanket. (I'm almost done with the squares!) I just couldn't deal with people. I did keep an eye open to make sure the bus wasn't filling up so much that it would require a seat, but that didn't happen until we got well into Glendale. So I stuck the backpack on my lap... and a man carrying a toddler sat down. And apparently the only word the girl could say was, "Daddy!" But she made sure to say it at every pitch and volume at her command. It seems he had gotten on with his wife and slightly older daughter, so when people sitting near them at the front got off, he moved. And then at the next stop, Animal Print Woman got on. I've seen her often on the bus. She is probably nearing 50, her hair is frosted, and she is prone to wearing, yes, animal prints. And she sat next to me. But she also got off at the following stop.

After I got off the bus, I went into the post office to check my box for zombie assassins. Instead, there was only the September issue of Scientific American, which means I am now 3.5 issues behind. As I was walking toward the door, an older man standing in front of the usually-broken stamp machines called out to me, so I walked over. His English wasn't very good; most likely he was Armenian. He held out a $10 bill and pointed to one of the selection samples, I guessed to ask me if that was enough. The stamps he wanted, Liberty Forever Stamps, were $8.40 for the pack, so I nodded. He motioned for me to stay while he fed in the bill. Apparently he needed me to press the buttons - C4. Armenian does actually use a totally different alphabet, you know, and the buttons were so old it was hard for me to make them out. So I pressed the buttons, the machine spit out some stamps and some change, and the man thanked me in at least two languages. I smiled, told him he was welcome, and left. However, his wife was standing outside, and she thanked me, too.

Well, whaddya know.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Knittin' Crap: Cuteness Mail Bomb #2

(I just know I'm going to show up on some watchlist with that entry title.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Knittin' Crap: My Obituary

Time of death: Approximately 8:15 Thursday morning
Where: at the box holder package pick up window
Whodunnit: The Emerald Warrior
Instrument of death:
I was lying there, on the post office floor. And the janitor hadn't gotten a chance to mop it yet. Ew.

I duly reported my death to the appropriate authorities, then put myself on the zombie waiting list. I have just received the dossier for my head-to-head opponent. The first one whose lethal amigurumi arrives at the target's door survives.

Time to get sharpen my crochet hook and get to work.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Other: Welcome to the Whiteboard Jungle (Plus special Knittin' Crap extra!)

For reasons better left unexplained, my group at work somehow ended up with animal versions of ourselves on the giant whiteboard in Mr Bob's cubicle. No one was allowed to choose their own animal, except for Bob, but he chose the animal we would have chosen for him anyway.

For reasons better left unexplained, I ended up drawing most of the animals.
Trust me; I am not very good. For reasons left unexplained to me, I was elected a frog. Dan-the-invisible-giant-rabbit
chose it, then drew a frog which was so bad, a pre-schooler would have been ashamed of it. So I drew my own frog.

Hansen is the only person not in our group who has an official portrait.
(He drew a doubly-aprocryphal animal for someone else; doubly both because we did not sanction it and the person chose her own animal.) Hansen is the meerkat. Hansen is the meerkat always popping up in our cubicles and driving us nuts. Don't get us wrong; we love Hansen. As long as he is bugging someone in some other group. Hansen's alter ego is a gnat; he's also buzzing around, driving you nuts, and it's impossible to swat him away.

I did make a pleasant discovery earlier this week. The incredible limbless ninja
I made from the book Creepy Cute Crochet doubles as Hansen repellent! I was showing it around, realized I hadn't gotten all the Spoon-supplied white cat hairs off, and picked one off. Hansen, ever-present, jumped back.

He's allergic to cat fur.

Ninja pattern from Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Knittin' Crap: Smackdown Update!

Somehow I'm still alive. My target had already killed her target, who had already killed her target, so I've sent email and am waiting for that person's target dossier.

I did have a scare. I used my post office box as my mailing address since it's larger than my home box and, if a package doesn't fit and I get a slip, much easier to make pick ups than the post office which handles delivery for my home, because the post office is right next to my bus stop. (The post office with my box is .5 miles away. The post office that delivers to my home and where I have to pick up packages that don't fit in my box is 1.6 miles away, and a nasty drive, with no parking, at that.)

Wednesday I got off the bus after work and checked my box... and there was a yellow package notice! Aaaaagh!!!! I hadn't ordered anything! There was nothing else it could be, other than my death knell!

When I went to pick up the package in the morning, it was a book that had been backordered from my book club. Oh.

Other: You Know Your Mother Misses You...

... when she can't figure out the DVD player.
Let's talk today or tomorrow. I need you to tell me how to use the DVD player in the family room..... Love, Mom

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Knittin' Crap: It's Smackdown Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess who didn't have paper for her printer. Well, it forced me to "recycle" the backs of all those test sheets I keep around because I can't really throw them out.

I'm getting ready to rumble!

Crap. I have to patch a work server in 40 minutes. That better not take long.

UPDATE: 12:22PM. This is the pattern I'm using. There were two choices. The other one was super cute, too, but looked like more work. I'm taking a break and icing down my crochet hook hand. I've finished the head (the biggest piece) and have started the body. Between starting over twice to change hooks (I started with a G, thought the gauge was too loose, moved to an F, where the gauge was definitely too tight, then went back to the G, which is actually all right), patching our nameserver, and not being a morning person, I still might have this done on time to put in the mail today. (I'm hoping my assassin hasn't found my blog... hmm...)

UPDATE: 2:21PM. Waylaid by injury! Well, actually, I have an unpleasant headache. The belated breakfast I ate and the Excedrin should help. The post office on Vermont in Los Feliz is open until 4, and I could probably get it done and there in time, but, but I'm not going to push it. It will have to wait until Monday morning. I guess I just don't have that killer instinct.

UPDATE: I finished around 6PM.