Thursday, January 14, 2010

Metro Journal: Jan 12 These Boots Weren't Made For Walking

I had a job interview in Santa Monica in the mid-afternoon. While Santa Monica is only about 20 road miles away, there's just no easy way to drive those 20 miles. And while it's also only two Metro Rapid buses away, the second bus sits on Santa Monica Parking Lot Blvd like everyone else. It's almost 2 hours on the best of days. Tuesday was... not such a good day. Some highlights:
  • The 704 broke down around Santa Monica and San Vicente. And by "broke down," I mean the driver's seat belt broke, and that means the bus has to stop.
  • Every other 704 is a short line which stops at Sepulveda instead of going on into Santa Monica. So, of course, the next 704 to come, about 15 minutes later, was a short line, as was the slower 4 that came a few minutes before. I got on the 704 anyways, as it would at least get me closer to where I needed to be and give me a few more options.
  • From Sepulveda, I took the Santa Monica city Big Blue Bus as it came first and I was already running late. The BBB doesn't honor Metro day passes, but I just barely had enough change for the 75 cent fare.
  • Ok, this part was my mess up. In the stress and annoyance, I got off at the wrong stop, and didn't realize it until the street that was supposed to be one block south of Santa Monica Blvd wasn't the right street. I asked someone and he said it changed names a few blocks west. By now I was truly late, wearing my knee-high boots with the 2" heel that I hadn't worn since last winter, but the buses by here were slow that time of day and I didn't have change for the BBB again, which runs by more often than Metros. I did walk back up to Santa Monica Blvd just in case, but I ended up walking the full distance, probably around 2 miles, on foot. On increasingly sore feet, actually.
  • About halfway there, the sidewalk was cordoned off with a "Sidewalk Closed" sign. Of course, the closest actual crosswalk which didn't require my trying to cross six lanes of Santa Monica Blvd without a death wish was at the other end of the block I had just come from. I couldn't see any obvious reason why the sidewalk was closed or anyone working on it, so I said, "screw it," and kept walking. When I got to the other end of the block, some construction guys were, surprise, sitting on their butts telling me they had just laid the concrete earlier that day. As I hadn't sunk in and there didn't appear to be any on my shoes, I shrugged and explained that I wasn't going to cross 6 lanes of Santa Monica Blvd traffic where there wasn't a crossing light and kept going.
  • I was quite late, but they seemed to be cool about it.
  • My buses home were actually all pretty timely and I even had a seat most of the way.
  • I picked up falafel from Zankou walking home from the last bus. I hadn't eaten since a late breakfast and I was damned hungry.
  • When I got home and took off my boots, I had a blister on one ankle and one on the ball of each foot. Two days later now, the muscles around my ankles are still killing me. I suspect it would have been much worse if I had been wearing my angry shoes, though.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the guy doing a James Brown dance impression in the crowded aisle of the eastbound 704.

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