Friday, October 3, 2008

Metro Journal: A Good-Bad Day

For reasons I won't go into here, a situation at work has become intolerable. I had expected and needed, returning after my bereavement leave, to find the same absurd, but familiar, circus. Instead they added a fourth ring to it and threw the whole thing out of balance. So call this a mental health day, because not going to work was the only way I had a chance of keeping mine. (Pending some kind of resolution or accommodation, this very well may not be the last.)

I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled in Pasadena in the morning, so I decided I needed to shove myself out of my mopedom and, after the appointment, take the Gold Line into downtown Los Angeles to go to this big Japanese bookstore I'd been wanting to visit for a couple weeks. (See the soon-to-follow Knittin' Crap entry where I'll go into detail.)

I took the 780 in the opposite direction of work (yay!) into Pasadena. After my appointment, I walked up Lake (and I mean up, as in uphill) to the Gold Line station, which is situated between the two directions of the 210.

The past couple of weeks, the weather here has been Absurdly Hot, as in the 90s, if not hotter. Yesterday the high around here was about 90, after close to 100 the day before, but it dropped to the mid 70s today. If it hadn't, I would have postponed this adventure. So it was mid-morning, sunny but temperate, with a nice breeze.

The Gold Line was not very crowded at this hour, even going into downtown. A pair of Japanese tourists, complete with guide books and camera bags, sat across the aisle from me.

I rode to the end of the line, Union Station. I had looked oh-so-closely at the maps prior to leaving, but I still got turned around and went out the wrong end of the very long station. Fortunately, there was a map posted outside, so I went back in and walked all the way to the other end.

The walk to the Japanese mall looked... shorter... on my monitor.

View Larger Map

There were actually a lot of tourists around. There's an old firehouse I hadn't known about on Los Angeles St., which is open to the public, complete with cute couples taking each other's picture in the front.

I walked past City Hall (which was actually a block away from Los Angeles Street), the police headquarters, a couple of courthouses, and then I was there!

Unfortunately, the store had a huge selection of manga, which doesn't much interest me but is a magnet for a certain obnoxious brand of American geek.

Anyway, after spending forever there, I bought my books and then went to a curry place in the same mall. Yum.

I knew the 84/68 stopped right around that corner and then goes to within .25 miles of my home, but I couldn't remember exactly which corner. So I started walking around. I found the stop where the 68 becomes the 84 and actually could have gotten on the bus at that moment if I had been with it, but I wasn't, so I didn't, so I got to wait about 15 minutes. The stop was on the same block as City Hall, and right next to a closed off area, which seemed to be the roof for a subterranean structure; I'd guess parking. A small white cat with lots of light grey areas walked around some of the shrubbery and air-conditioner units. Strays tug at my heartstrings sometimes. This one had a slightly scuffed face, probably from living outside, and couldn't be more than a year old, if that. The cat walked around the shrubs and then went through the bars into the also-shrubby roof area, wandering (patrolling?) around.

The bus came. I got on and read most of the way. My stop was the end of the line.

I really needed this day.

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