Monthly Archives: August 2011

The End of an Era

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The End of an Era

Riding the bus into the sunset. Or maybe away from the sunset. I can't tell.

This post marks the end of my car-less era.  I went exactly 5 weeks — exactly — without stepping foot on the gas pedal, and I can’t handle another day.

I will definitely ride the bus again, but I will certainly not depend solely on it.

Lots has changed, I have learned more than I anticipated, I see life differently, and I saved a butt-load of money.  But, I’m ready to get back to normal life.

I said, “No, no, no.”

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I said, “No, no, no.”

A man walked up to me and began making small chat with me.  He was several years older than me (read: about 20…), so I assumed it was harmless.  Lesson learned, never a good idea to make assumptions.  He eventually began to curb the small chat.

Lonely island creeping out a girl.

No. Please. Don't do the creep.

Do you smoke?  No.

Are you married?  No.

Do you have a boyfriend?  No.

Can I be your boyfriend?  No.

<<sigh>>

Him: Why not?

Me:  I don’t want a boyfriend.

Him: Nah…. You don’t want a BLACK boyfriend.

<<sigh>>

Me: No… I don’t want ANY boyfriend…

Him: Why not?

Me: I value my independence.

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Riddle us a riddle, you’re the bus driver.

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Riddle us a riddle, you’re the bus driver.

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of the bus driver who drives the route from my apartment to my work.  He found out I taught math, and so, he had a GREAT math riddle to share with me.  He was sure I wouldn’t get it, but I did.  And I thought it was an awesome riddle.  It might even be a good extra credit question to start the kids off on their first day back to school this coming semester.  :)

Can YOU get it?  Put your answer…. below!  I posted the correct answer BELOW the video, so you don’t accidentally see it!

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For some reason, this song is just screaming at me.  :)  

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Hey, little girl…

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Hey, little girl…
Cool lookin' dude reaching for something inside his jacket. Looks like he's saying: Yeah, I got da money.

Hey, little girl... I got what you need...

What would you do if the stranger sitting across from you on the bus suddenly handed you a package and told you to take it?  Today, I chose to engage him to figure out what was going on.  I got nowhere.

I had been riding the bus for almost a half hour sitting across from this guy.  He was missing an eye (not relevant to the story, but perhaps an interesting detail).  We had not exchanged a single word the entire trip.  Then, he suddenly offered me the bag he was holding.  It was a pink, cloth bag with handles, and it had polka dots on it.  Not to be sexist, but it was a strange style of bag for an adult man to be carrying.

Of course, I didn’t take the bag, but my interest had been piqued, “What’s inside?”

“It’s a brand new laptop.”  He said this as if I had asked a silly or obvious question.  I just looked at him blankly.

“What, you don’t believe me?”  Mmm…. no….  So, he opened it up and showed me.  Truth be told, there was, what appeared to be, a brand new laptop.  No power cables, no booklets.  Just the laptop and the dingy, pink bag.

So, at that point, what would you think?  A man has just offered you a brand new laptop.  On the bus.  For no reason.  I think there’s one thought that has crossed everyone’s mind:  “So…. is it yours??”

“Of course it’s mine!  She thinks it’s not mine!  Ha!”  Although he was answering my questions, none of my questions were actually being answered.  “So…. why are you trying to get rid of it?”

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10 Bus stops that make you stop.

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10 Bus stops that make you stop.

The bus and train stops where I live leave much to be desired.  They are boring.  They are uncomfortable.  They are uninspiring.  They are a long way from satisfying.

I went on a high-speed quest to find the world’s 10 most tempting bus stops, and here is what I found.  You can click on each picture to be taken to the source page for a full story of each.  Enjoy!

A bus stop adorned with flowers, vines, and potted plants.  A lady sits inside on a cushioned seat.

Moroccan Bus Stop, Cornwall, U.K. This lady got tired of vandals destroying her bus stop, so she gave it a make-over.

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Entrapment at the bus stop.

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Entrapment at the bus stop.

A story recently appeared in the news sphere that has disturbed me deeply.  A mother and her three children in Marietta, Georgia, arrived at the bus stop across the street from their apartment.  While crossing the street, her four year-old child was hit and killed by a car.  The man who killed her child, Jerry Guy, served six months in jail and is on five years of probation.

But, she was charged with and convicted of second-degree vehicular homicide — because she was jaywalking. You can see the full story below.

I believe this case illustrates the entrapment the city uses against the underprivileged.  Read below for my argument.

For the moment, we will put aside a few of the facts.  The man who killed A.J. Nelson had been drinking and was on pain medications.  He was partially blind in one eye.  The accident happened at night. This was his third hit-and-run accident.   The jury who convicted her was not a jury of her peers: they all reported that they had never had to use public transportation or walk along a busy street.  But, forget about all of that for right now.

Let’s talk about the bus stop issues involved.

Raquel Nelson and her family had to cross a busy four-lane street to get to their apartment.  The nearest crosswalk was almost half a mile away and required that they cross other side streets that were not well-lit.  The preferred route is obvious.  However, prosecutors have insisted that passengers should ride to the nearest crosswalk before de-busing.  That’s what the city intended when it designed the transit system, right?

An understanding of how bus stops work is necessary.  With little exception, bus stops are always paired: one on each side of the street.  The most obvious reason for this is so that you can get off at your destination, no matter the direction of travel.  But, is this what the city had in mind when designing the system?  Or did they expect their passengers to ride to the nearest crosswalk and cross there?  Let’s investigate.

I, too, live in a set of apartments along a busy boulevard — six lanes separate me from my couch at the end of the day.  I gathered images from around my home to share with you.

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