Friday, February 6, 2009

Metro Journal: Feb 6 Wet

I had a dentist appointment in the morning, and they had plumbers to come do work in my building most of the day, so I figured I would just spend as much of the day as far from my apartment as possible. First I went to the post office, where I finally mailed the belated Xmas gifts for my mother and Max (The Artist Formerly Known As Colleen. Don't ask, because then I'd have to ask.)

ts ps1

Hint: if you're going to knit a sweater for your mother for Xmas, don't start on the 20th of December, unless you plan to give it to her for Xmas the following year. Or over a month late, anyway.

I knew enough to bring an umbrella, although it wasn't raining while I was walking to the post office. That was good, since I was carrying the two packages. But a minute after I went out to wait for the bus, it started drizzling, and within a minute was raining in earnest. That would have been fine, except the wind was blowing, so the rain was coming at an angle. I had my Doc Martens on, which do a pretty good job of keeping my feet dry, but my jeans below the knee got soaked.1

I took the 780, bought a Day Pass as I no longer get monthly passes at work, and got off the bus at Brand. It was still over 1½ hours until my appointment, so I went to a coffee shop, got a chai, and read my book awhile, and watched the rain. I got antsy after about an hour, so I went outside. I had planned to take a Beeline up to the cross street for the dentist's office, but the next one wasn't going to come for about 15 minutes. (Glendale had just put in new shelters around the Galleria, and this one even had an LED sign telling you the Beeline schedule for buses for that stop.) I ended up walking the half mile or so to the dentist's. It was only sort of drizzling and I was antsy.2 I got there about half an hour early, just prepared to wait, but they'd had a cancellation and could see me immediately. Bonus! So they did the deep steam-cleaning or something.

After that, I walked all the way back to Brand and Broadway to catch the 794 to go downtown. I had to run the last half block to catch one, so I wouldn't have to wait another 20 or so minutes. They only added this line last June, and it doesn't run on weekends, so I had never taken it before.

I got off at Hill and 1st, then walked the half mile or so to Little Tokyo to hit Kinokuniya Bookstore again. I'd been there last October, but after joining the Japanese Knitting and Crochet group on Ravelry, I had seen some more books I wanted to look for.

sistercities It had stopped raining again, but the sky was still really overcast. I tried to take a picture of Japanese tourists taking a picture of the faux signpost to Los Angeles' Sister Cities, but my crappy phone camera didn't do a good job from across the street.

Onizuka After scoring big at Kinokuniya3, I got a cup of coffee and loitered around the shopping center a bit. It's on a block-long street named Astronaut Ellison Onizuka St, after the Japanese-American astronaut who died in the Challenger explosion. They have a statue of the Challenger dedicated to him in the small plaza.

I walked back up (and I mean up as in "uphill") 1st to Hill. The Civic Center Red Line station is at the same corner where I got off the 794. To kill more time, I figured I would take the Red Line to Union Station, get on the Gold Line to Pasadena, and take the 780 west to my regular stop. From the station entrance, you can see the top of the Walt Disney Concert Hall off in the distance, but as the hall is the same steel grey as the sky was, you can't really make it out in my picture. It's a pretty mural, though.
Civic Center Red Line Station
The smell as you descend into the actual station grows rather, um, unwelcoming. The station itself is very non-descript, unlike, say, the Vine Red Line Station, with its film-equipment motif, or the Chinatown Gold Line Station with its faux pagoda roof and dragon statues.

Some rather skanky guy on the train kept staring at me. I was grateful that he didn't approach, but I had to wonder why all the guys who come on to me on public transportation end up being skanky. I am not skanky. I don't think I have clothes that could even put me in the neighborhood of skanky, unless I tried to wedge myself into stuff I was wearing 16 years ago. I mean, the label may say it's the same size as I wear now, but my ass begs to differ.4

Union Station was the next (and last) stop, so I got off and went to the Gold Line. The next train was waiting, although it didn't leave for several more minutes. I called my mother and told her Spoon seemed to like yarn with mohair content, so maybe I should get him a pet goat.

I forgot there was the stupid Fair Oaks stop, so I got off at the Del Mar Station and had to hoof it about half a mile uphill on Arroyo to Colorado. At least it still wasn't raining. I had to walk a few blocks to the next 780 stop, though, and I just missed the bus. I decided to keep walking, half window shopping, half thinking there was another stop not too far. I ended up walking way uphill, past the Norton Simon, over the 210, all the way to Orange Grove. Fortunately a 780 showed up about 2 minutes later.

After I got off the 780 and had started walking home, it started to rain again. Oh, well. I noticed that the fabric was no longer anchored on one of the umbrella spokes, and there was a small hole on top, no doubt the source of occasional drops I had been feeling. My mother had gotten it as swag at a conference, which means it had an embarrassing logo, so for cheap swag, it did last a couple years in the desert.

1 They didn't even dry out until I got home 6 hours later and actually hung them over my towel warmer for awhile.
2 Not having somewhere to be every day has started giving me cabin fever.
3 See separate post.
4 It's called vanity sizing.

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