Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Metro Journal: Sept 16 Hard Tops

First off, I felt a lot better today. The head pain has subsided to a dull ache, at least if I don't touch my forehead or make any exaggerated facial expressions. Of course, while my mother did tell me that, if I couldn't say something nice, I shouldn't say anything at all1, she never said anything about facial expressions.2

I had that job interview in West Hollywood this afternoon. I just missed my short-cut bus to the 780. It has gotten hot again here, not the kind of weather you want to walk in in the middle of the day, but as I was walking slowly towards the stop, I saw the Beeline drive by, meaning it would loop around in a few minutes and intersect the 780 at Central. Of course, once we got to the stop, which is actually a block post Central, I got to watch the 780 pull away while I was waiting for the crossing light. Crap. Fortunately I had left plenty of buffer room. I still had to sit and wait 15 minutes for the next one, though. While I was there, someone came and asked if she had missed the 780. I told her it should be another minute or two, because I had just missed the last one 13 minutes ago.

On the 780, about the time we were crossing the L.A. Drainage Ditch, the woman in front of me turned around and asked if it was the 780. I nodded. Hint #1 was that it wasn't stopping every two blocks.

I changed buses at Santa Monica and Fairfax. I needed either the 4 or the 704, but it was still at least 10 minutes before either came. It was a 4, but the route is so busy that both lines use the 60' accordion buses. A man sat next to me and politely started telling me about an on-line radio station that has changed his life. Now, he never said anything about religion, but he was Talking That Talk. He encouraged me to visit it and to tell my friends! Tell my family! (I kept my word and just checked out the home page, and sure enough, it's some guy pushing some Christian DIY denomination.)

Going back I took the 704. I needed to go downtown to Little Tokyo to pick up some stuff for swap packages. (See separate post.) It's a long enough distance from West Hollywood to the closest Red Line station that the 4 would have taken a very long time. One of those visibly and olfactorily unkempt persons sat across the aisle from me. Joy.

By now it was late afternoon and the temperature outside was comfortable. I walked to Little Tokyo, got some seriously かわいい3 stuff. It was a little after 5:30, but I knew I should eat. (I think one of the contributory factors to my face-plant episode was not eating consistently or properly.) I always eat at Curry House when I'm there, so I thought I'd check out the other places. There was a place that seemed to put beef on everything. There was a noodle house that said on the menu they put pork in all their ramen broth. I don't eat mammals, so that was out. There was a place called "Tofu Village," which sounded like it would be safe, but from the display menu, it looks like, whether or not there's tofu in their dishes, there's also either pork of beef. There were a couple restaurants, including a sushi place, that weren't open yet. Curry House it was. As I usually get the chicken katsu, I decided to try to branch out a bit. I ordered the curry udon. They brought this enormous, steaming hot pot out. Wow. I had to wait awhile and eat very slowly, and I'm pretty sure I looked like a dork doing it too,4 but it was really good. Still, the katsu is really good, too, and easier to eat. Oh, and as it was still so early, the restaurant, which gets really crowded after about 7, was mostly empty, so I got to hear these two middle-aged guys two tables away discussing a movie script. It sounded... stupid. The screenwriter was trying to defend the rather sadistic aspects by saying that's why people go to movies. Yeah, I didn't quite get it, either.

After I ate, I got some sweets at Marukai, then walked back to Hill and 1st to catch the 794. It was about 7 by then. I sat to wait. And wait. A woman asked me if the 794 was still running and I said I was pretty sure it was, because I was waiting for it. We both passed on a 94. Finally, around 7:30, just as I had resolved to get on the next bus, even if it was the Chatsworth Express, a 794 came. Phew.

I got off at Los Feliz and went across the street to wait at the 180/181/780 stop. I didn't care which came first; they would all get me mostly home, and I wasn't sure if the 780 was still running anyway. It was and came first. I stepped around one of those extremely annoying people who stand at the front so they can talk to the driver, thus making it even more of an obstacle course for people trying to get on. The guy was in his early 20s, wearing a dress shirt and pants. He was talking to the driver about the "church" he worked at, doing counselling. Even though I was several rows back, he had a high, clear voice that carried. He kept asking the driver about areas of his life where he might have problems. I had a sinking feeling.... wait for it.... wait for it... Yes, he dropped the 'S' bomb. Scientology. I was too tired and too close to home and also lacking elbow room, so it just wasn't convenient to pull out my headphones, but I was grimacing in psychic pain, which, of course, made me wince in physical pain because of my swollen forehead.

I walked the last half mile home. I must be a hard top and not a convertible, because when I got home, I was still a devout agnostic.

1She might have said it, but that doesn't mean I always take her advice.
2Not that I would have paid any attention if she did.
3kawaii - Japanese for "cute"
4Hey, the ramen-Western film Tampopo shows lots of noodle slurpage going on!

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