Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Metro Journal: June 29

Business park kitty committee meeting
Walking to the bus stop tonight, I interrupted a late meeting of the Business Park Kitteh Committeh. They looked annoyed.
I've been working in Burbank for almost three months now, and my bus-riding experience has been a mixed bag. Let's compare to my commute to my last job, in Hollywood.

  • Fewer drunks on the bus
  • Fewer tourists to trip over at the bus stops
  • No premieres of stupid movies along the bus route to make it really late
  • The two viable lines (94/794) don't run nearly as often as the 180/181/780, especially after about 6PM.
  • The route the bus takes isn't as direct as the Hollywood lines were, so the trip takes a fair bit longer relative to driving, and that's if I don't miss a connection
  • The route just isn't quite as, well, interesting
Out of sheer pig-headedness, and a reminder of how much I hate other drivers when I do drive, I muddle through.

Anyway, tonight I hoofed it to my stop. I had to take the 794, but it was so late in the evening, I would have had to wait another 30 minutes for the next bus, a 94. The two lines take the same route, but the 794, being a Rapid, doesn't stop as often. But unlike the 180/181 vs. the 780, the 794 doesn't actually get me there that much faster, because it has to sit and wait at the same set of stop lights through downtown Burbank, and get stuck in the same traffic on the perpetually-under-construction San Fernando Road as the Local. Plus the 94 stops several blocks closer to work, and while I could use the exercise, I'm always worried about somehow mistiming and missing the bus in the evenings, when the next bus may come in 5 minutes or not for half an hour. Of course, walking to the 794 stop means I can also take a 94, whereas waiting at the closer 94 stop means I'm locked in.

Anyway, I got there well ahead of time. I was standing around, playing with my new phone. A woman walked up to the stop and asked if I'd seen the 165 go by. I said I'd been there about 5 minutes and hadn't. Then I decided to use my fancy superpowers. Using the Google Maps app, which now has a feature where it will tell you when the next buses are due when you select a transit stop, I told her the next 165 should be there in 10 minutes. She marveled. I basked.

My bus came right then and I got in. I sat at the back, on the aisle-facing seats. This YMD1 sat down across from me and opens the window above him. Even though the bus is freezing because the AC actively blowing cold air back there. If he was too warm, he should have taken off his jacket. If he was too cold, it wasn't actually any warmer outside. Yeah, anyway. He was the type of moron who has the volume on his mp3 player jacked up so high, everyone in a 5-seat radius can hear it coming out his earbuds. It sounded like really crappy dance music, too. Then he paused the player, called up a friend, said he was at his mom's for two days, listened a second, then told his friend to call him back when his phone is recharged. (That's the story I would usually tell my mother when I wanted to get her off the phone. "Oops, Mom, the phone's beeping at me. The battery's out of juice. Talk to you lat..." Click.)

I just made the connecting 780. After a few minutes, I glanced out the window. The SUV in the lane next to us had a vanity license plate that read "COEDDIE." So, of course, I had to try to parse it. Here are the possibilities I came up with:
  • Co-Eddie. Like the driver is associated with some person named Eddie.
  • Co-ed-die, as in "like a female student at a unisex institution of higher learning."2
  • Co-ed Die! As in, "that female student at a unisex institution of higher learning stole my boyfriend and I curse her soul!"
The SUV stopped even with me at a light. The passenger, tapping on her txting device, was definitely a female of about college age, but while I could see the driver was female, I couldn't really get a sense of her age, relationship to the passenger, likelihood to ax-murder a bunch of sorority sisters, etc.

1Young Male Dumbass
2My father liked to relate how, when he was at Georgia Tech around 1960, they referred to them as "co-odds."

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