Fashion Police Sighting

The bus is always a great place for fashion police sightings, but none are really worth repeating. This morning, though, I saw something that I can’t help but share.

A woman got on the bus – she was older than Mom (so late 50s early 60s) but her age wore on her – she looked like my grandmother (either one). She was a rather big-boned woman, not delicate or frail in the least. She had big blond hair, an interesting choice for a woman clearly not “youthful.” Her toenails were painted pink, and she had cute shoes (though probably higher heels than someone of her age should have worn). I couldn’t tell you what kind of a top she was wearing; I was so taken back by her skirt. It was white and black floral, not a bad choice, one of those flowy ones – not pleated, not pencil, but fluid, the kind you have to be careful about wearing on a windy day lest you want everyone to see your undies. First of all, it was about six inches too short – just below mid-calf, and she didn’t have great legs to show off. Secondly, and here’s the kicker, she decided it was OK to go bare-legged, to not wear nylons. We’re talking about 60-year-old legs. Veins, liver spots, cellulite, the whole nine yards. It was incredibly unattractive. She probably could have pulled off the short skirt if she had worn some nice, controlling nylons. But no.

I may have to start going to the gym, just to avoid looking like that in 30 years. Of course, the women in my family have great legs, so maybe I don’t have much to worry about.

Random Things from the Last Few Days

Tuesday the bus home was packed. People were standing EVERYWHERE. I left a few minutes earlier than usual (and lately I’ve been leaving later and later), so this was new to me. There were no empty seats when I got on (as in, no 2-benches that had no one in them), so I grabbed a seat up front. The next stop more people piled on, and there are, at this point, only a handful of available seats. Maybe there were people standing by this point, I’m not sure. The lady next to me, though, was the rudest person on the bus (and this reflects the several pelvic areas that were in my face throughout the ride).

Here’s the seating at the front of the bus:

I’m the smiley-face. Those circles are poles, in case you were wondering. There was a guy sitting next to me, reading, in seat D. Rude Lady was sitting in B, but she was turned diagonally so that part of her butt (let’s be honest/vulgar – nearly a whole cheek) was sitting on C. After another stop, more people got on, and at this point, I’m feeling guilty for having a seat when there are so many people standing. But not guilty enough to give my seat up. I notice Rude Lady has picked up her bag, which was apparently sitting on seat A, so that someone could sit there. If you’ve been counting, she was taking up THREE seats, while there were probably a dozen people standing around. She still doesn’t straighten herself out, so she’s now taking up two spaces. This doesn’t change, and I at last get off the bus (a stop early).

Another bus story. I get on the bus yesterday morning, heading to work, and it’s kinda full. Not really full, but there’s a person on every bench, so I’m going to have to find someone to sit next to. I start walking down the aisle, and notice that all of these people with potential empty seats next to them have placed their book bags on those seats. So I have to ask someone to move theirs so I can sit down. Furthermore, this lady is sitting in front of me in the aisle seat, with her book bag next to the window, which is just not cool. If you’re going to ride the bus, you’re just going to have to get used to other people being in your personal space and sharing. Or don’t ride the bus.

Last bus story. Yesterday going home, some guy was sitting in the back singing along with whatever was on his headphones. Badly. At one point, a lady in front of me clapped, as to give him the idea that we could all hear him. People were looking around, clearly aggravated (or at least annoyed) at this… acoustical intrusion on our senses.

I’ve been trying to use up my minutes on my cell plan (they expire Saturday), but it’s too hard – I have nearly 200 left! I only get 300 a month (plus unlimited nights and weekends). I’d pay for less, but then I wouldn’t get unlimited nights and weekends, and I need those. On the plus side, Liz called me last night and I could talk to her from inside my home. Amazing.

Last night, for a few moments, I turned into pond scum. So the people at Church don’t know I’m leaving yet – it’s not public knowledge. Last night, I was talking to the woman from whom I’m borrowing the car. Her son (whose car it really is) comes back from his freshman year at Purdue on Mother’s Day weekend, and she was thinking he would want his car back. I had been planning on this and figuring out arrangements for the rest of May. I asked her if I could keep it until the Wednesday after, which she said was fine. I made sure she knew how grateful I was for her family’s generosity and how it was such a blessing to me and an answer to prayer, blah blah blah. She told me that if her son got good enough grades, they were talking about getting him a better car, so I might “luck into” that one. I tried to ignore this, since I don’t really want a car after I stop working at Church – I can’t afford the insurance and gas, and I don’t really need it in the cities. The she started talking about how it was a win-win situation for her. They got to get the extra car out of their driveway, and they got to keep a youth pastor. Now I feel like crap. I so wanted to tell her, but it’s just not time yet. This has been something she’s said multiple times – how glad she is that I’m there, or that since the committee has stopped searching for an associate pastor it means job security for me, or whatever.

I might be telling the adults volunteers next week. It’s time, I think. And then the kids the week after.

I’ve been living in anticipation of May since January, and now that it’s almost here, I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Wha???

It’s frickin’ 74 degrees outside! The sky is white – not a trace of blue or sun like this morning. They’re saying it’s supposed to rain; apparently it was very muggy at lunch. I was outside just now and it’s not bad. It’s windy, which makes me smile because it blows my hair about and reminds me that my hair is long enough to be blown about. (Geez, you’d think I was a cancer survivor who’d gone through chemo and lost all my hair, the way I go on about it.)

Did I mention the bus drove past me this morning? I’d been waiting at the stop for about 20 minutes, just a minute or two after the last bus had gone by. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I was listening to some good music and the weather was nice, so it wasn’t a horrible way to spend 20 minutes. I saw the bus coming, I waited under the sign like I always do, and I watched the bus drive past, not even slowing. There was some gesturing on my part, and halfway down the block the bus pulled over and waited for me. I didn’t run – not my fault the bus didn’t stop where I was. I did not thank my driver when I got on or off the bus. She was not a driver I’d seen before, and she drove the bus like it was a car – inching up on people, jerking the breaks around, etc. She didn’t drive terribly fast like some of them do, but I don’t know which is worse.

This morning (and into the afternoon) I wrote up my 100 Things That Make Me Smile. That put me in a very good mood. It also put me in a remembering mood, which I’d kind of already been in anyways. My favorite past loves have been… I’m not sure that haunting is the right word… checking on dictionary.com’s thesaurus… sojourning with me lately. Perhaps it’s that spring thing.

Mom will be in town for the next few days – she’s driving up tomorrow. (Hence the hair coloring this morning.)

I can’t figure out how to change the clock on my phone to reflect Daylight Savings – I’ve done this several times before, but can’t get it today.

Friday I wrote my resignation letter to the church. Short, simple, to the point. Had to print it twice – the first time it was dated April 1st, and I thought to be safe that I should change that. Turned it in before leaving on the overnight. No one said anything on Sunday, but I’m expecting Personnel will want to talk to me tonight at Committee Meetings. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was, writing the letter and then turning it in. Nonetheless, the countdown has begun.

I may not be starting school in June – I think all that’s missing to make my application complete is my $30 check, but I don’t have that until next paycheck, the 15th. That’ll be a whole month past the suggested deadline. Who knows, though. An extra three months to find the money won’t be that bad, and a summer off might be nice.

Amanda and I are going to the Rock on Friday night, since my plans with Mom got bumped to Saturday. We’ll be meeting Summer Crush there, and he’s asked us to go out afterward. I will be choosing to believe (and wrongly so, I might add) that he is asking me to go out – I take what I can get, right?

I’m looking for some more songs to put on my “Cowboys’ CD – any suggestions? Here’s all I have so far:

  • Cowboy Guarantee by Jessica Andrews, and
  • The Cowboy in Me by Tim McGraw

That doesn’t make for much of a mix disc, now does it?

One More Thing for Today

I forgot to mention earlier that since it was so peaceful upon walking to the bus, I almost didn’t put my headphones on. However, when I did, I was rewarded with this great song that took me back to junior high dances. Oh, how silly we were in the late 80’s. So, for all of you who are about my age, take a trip down memory lane and enjoy Techtronic – Pump Up The Jam [link removed].

Defining Today

If I had to pick a theme for today, it would be, “Missing Buses.” This morning I was a block away from my stop when I saw the bus rumble by. So I waited 20 minutes for the next one. Upon leaving work, I nearly experienced the same thing, but the bus just decided to sit there for a while, so I didn’t miss it after all. Of course, now I’m sitting here listening to someone half-cough once every 3-4 seconds. I’ve ridden with them before and wanted to kill them that time too.

Sweaters

Well, as cold as -9 degrees Fahrenheit is (with a wind chill of 25 to 30 below zero), it is sunny today, and for that I am thankful. We still don’t have snow. We’re not likely, and neither is Chicago, so it seems I will not be having a White Christmas. However, I don’t think that I’ve had very many white Christmases, so I won’t be missing too much.

Apparently, since we’re working on a skeleton staff today, they decided not to heat the building. It’s freezing in here! My fingers are cold, my coffee chilled long before I could finish all of it, and I’m afraid for Sequel over the long weekend. He’s a tropical fish, after all. I hope he’ll be OK.

Conveniently, I get to leave in a little over 90 minutes to go get my massage. I’ve never had one before, and am a little nervous, but thought it was worth it to pamper myself before the holidays. I’m not especially tense, but that right shoulder with the chronic muscle pain is bothering me. Winters are generally worse on my back, just because any time I spend with my muscles tense (as in waiting for the bus, warming up the car) is bad and aggravates the problem. HMOs don’t really cover chronic problems, and they’re not really interested in letting me go to a chiropractor once a month for the rest of my life. So, a massage it is.

I’m also nervous about leaving the kitties home alone. I feel so bad – at least they don’t know what Christmas is, because then it would be especially cruel to leave them all alone. As it is, they’re pretty oblivious. The upstairs neighbor can check in on them Saturday night, and Melissa is back on Sunday, so they should be well taken care of. It’s a good thing Mom has a cat, though. I will miss mine terribly. It’s worse now that they’re really mine, and not shared with Amanda.

This will probably be my last post until next week. Mom has dial-up, so I probably won’t be posting (and if I do, it’ll be short) while I’m at home.

I keep running through the list of things to do tonight. I’ve already printed my boarding pass and gotten cash from the ATM. My PDA is charged, but I need to remember to grab the charger to bring with. The headphones are already in my purse. I need to finish packing, lay out clothes for tomorrow, find a book to read, re-paint my nails, and get to sleep early (I’m worried about the 5:14 bus ride). Wish me luck!

Dream Experts

I’m drinking a hazelnut mocha from Starbucks in memory of the two Ferrero Rocher chocolates I had for breakfast (so that’s how she keeps her girlish figure!).

I’ve been having… well, not nightmares exactly, because I’m not waking up in terror or sweating or screaming… bad dreams lately. Apparently I’m a little stressed and don’t know it. A couple of nights ago, I dream that a co-worker confessed his “love” for me and I had to let him down (which was very reminiscent of a similar situation I lived through in college, but that’s a story for another time).

Then I dreamt that it was Saturday afternoon and I realized that I hadn’t made the last of my recruiting phone calls for bell-ringing for the Salvation Army. First I thought it was OK, until I realized that my first time slot, from 10:00-12:00 had already long passed, which caused me to think I was a failure.

Finally, I dreamt that I was on the bus in the morning, and as usual, I was running about half an hour late, which was fine until I realized that it was Christmas Eve and I was going to the airport, and being half an hour late would not work very well.

So… dream analysis? Is it I feel that my life is out of control? Or that I’m missing out on stuff? Or I’m under-achieving? Or does it mean something entirely different?

The Bus

This morning, at the Western Avenue stop, a boy (ahem! excuse me, man), who I can honestly describe as pretty, got on the bus. Pretty as in Ashton Kutcher on That 70’s Show. Seriously, “prettier” than most of the women I know. Now, don’t be offended if you’re one of my women friends. I still love you and think you’re beautiful. But I don’t think you’re understanding this man’s physical appearance.

Mom’s visit

Mom drove into town Thursday for a conference and to visit her daughters. We had a good time. Thursday night I took her to youth group, but no kids showed up, so that was disappointing. She did meet Pastor B though.

Friday morning I was a mess. I sent her off to the U of M on the city bus system. I was quite worried all morning. Carried my cell phone with me everywhere, waiting for her call from a pay phone. But it all went off without a hitch, so it had been needless to worry. Liz came over and we went to the Italian Pie Shoppe. Good food, good conversation. Then we watched Barefoot In The Park, Mom and I on my twin bed, Liz in my one chair. She was invited to join us several times, but ended up going home. We were all sleepy. Good movie, though. Newlyweds should watch it.

Saturday Mom went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with the people she was at the conference with. It was a gorgeous day, so when I finally got out of bed and showered, I walked to Nina’s Cafe for a vanilla mocha, which always makes the day even better. Mom came home and we went for a long walk. Down to the St Paul Central Library, then a few blocks out of our way to see my old and new office buildings (just the outsides). We took the bus to Grand Ave and went shopping at the Yarnery for her birthday present. She was very good about it all.

Then we drove (in separate cars) out to Alison’s house, for dinner and Christmas photo taking. I left early enough to get plenty of sleep. Sunday was Church and then leaf-raking with the kids for a few hours. We’re going next weekend too.

Shopping, shopping, shopping – I actually have money right now! Of course, I’m going to try to buy a car, but still, I couldn’t resist buying something for myself that wasn’t shampoo or spaghetti sauce. Cost Plus was having a fabulous sale, so I bought a huge print of a painting and a frame. It’s hanging over my bed and it looks wonderful. Now I just have to find a chandelier-type candle thing to hang from the ceiling in front of the window. There’s a hook there just begging to be used.

That’s it for today. I’m debating whether or not I’ll go to a meeting at Church tonight. I’m leaning towards not.

Walking to Work

Its getting increasingly harder to walk to work. After yesterday morning’s fiasco came the walking home experience, which involved high gusting winds and RAIN. Then this morning I leave the house to find out that it’s winter again. Who knew? Not prepared for this (as in no long underwear, no ear warmer, and I shaved my legs this morning, which was silly, because it would have been an extra layer of protection), I braved it out in the 9 degree weather (with wind chill around 17 below). Starbucks saved me (the light at the end of the tunnel) and provided a place for my legs to thaw. I am not looking forward to the walk home, although I hear the wind chill is now up to about 8 below.

I take solace knowing that others join me in this plight.

St. Paul Curling Club

This morning I was walking to work, and as I passed the St. Paul Curling Club, I slipped and fell on the ice. Pants dirty. Bruised knee. Oh yeah, and chin too. My jaw hurts a little. Convenient that my jaw caught most of my weight on the fall….. 2 Aleve and some coffee later… this still hasn’t fixed things. I sense a bad day today.

Walking To Work

Today I walked to work. As the crow flies, it’s only 2-3 miles, with one large hill (downhill on the way there, thankfully) that I’m sure adds something to the distance.

And the logical question is, why did I walk to work today?

Let’s back up a bit. I take the bus to work, in downtown St Paul, from the Selby-Dale neighborhood. It’s an enjoyable bus ride, about 6-10 minutes, and the bus stop is no more than 2 blocks from home or work on either end. We’ve got the Metropass program at work, so it’s cheaper than driving and parking (and paying for gas, etc). So I only use my car for church and errands.

But last week the bus drivers went on strike. No more free transportation (OK, not free, but they take it out of my paycheck before I even see the money, so, kinda free). No more carefree, stress-free mornings on the bus (except when that weird-smelling lady sits next to you, or the guy who tried to pick you up once is riding again today….). Now, I’m driving. Not only am I driving, but in order to park in the cheapest spot possible (although yesterday I did see a lot that was $1/day, but I didn’t believe it) for $2/day, it’s a good 10-15 minute walk from the parking lot to my building. And it takes probably 10-15 minutes to drive to the parking lot. So instead of it taking 10 minutes to get to work, it now takes 30, and costs more (they’re still taking the MetroPass $$ out of our paychecks until the strike is over, and then we can request a refund), and is infinitely more frustrating. Yesterday one of my co-workers who lives farther from downtown mentioned that he’s been walking, as he is vehemently opposed to commuting, for ecological reasons etc. I realized that I agreed with him on that point, also having a distaste for commuting, and also loving the environment (although not enough to rid my life of plastic completely). And, I got it in my head that I should walk to work.

So I did. It only took 45 minutes, and I had my Walkman, and my ear-warmers, and I took out the trash, stopped by the ATM, and got coffee and a muffin, all within that time. I even forgot to walk briskly, so as to get to work quicker, because I was enjoying myself so much. Almost forgot that I was going to work, it was such a lovely stroll.

However, we will see how I feel about the “stroll” home. Uphill. Up the Cathedral Hill. I sense pain already. (The other foreseeable problem is good walking shoes that look appropriate with work clothes.)

There was a good article in yesterday’s Star Tribune [link removed] about the bus strike.

Also, if you would like to get involved, my bus driver friend tells me the thing to do is to write the Governor and request he make the bus driver’s “essential employees,” which would require them to work under their old contract while in dispute. Everyone wins that way. Well, sort of. As much as anyone can win in this situation.