Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bus Rides and Inspiration



I took the bus yesterday...for the first time in a long time.  I mean, I took the bus to work and back home....let me back up a bit.....

I am back to my morning ritual after a long few weeks of moving, backaches, slight constipation, confusion in life, and the occasional, albeit minor, nervous breakdown...but all of this has made me better and stronger of course and full of more ideas and inspiration.  Some of the inspiration is new and some of it is an attempt to rekindle the older ideas, like the one man show....which if all goes per plan, should be up in spring of this year....Nita will for sure be a task master and not let me slack off and make excuses, which i love and need.  So back to the bus.....

Working for the city has some perks.  Besides the fabulous grey cube and worn out chairs (we actually may get some new ones, which is very exciting indeed) and the too many sweets and donuts, there is an all expense bus pass for the City of Boulder.  In a city like Boulder, this is actually a pretty cool thing to have as there are buses everywhere all day...well almost, but more on that later.  In the past year or so, i didn't have much need for it as we lived smack in the middle of downtown and could walk and ride our bikes anywhere...now that we are living in the sticks (not really, but there is a large hill and its cold) the bus is a viable option.  Also, with Nita teaching and on a different schedule, we both can't possibly plan our days around who has the car when.  Enter the bus....

I am 37 years old and grew up in LA....you don't ride the bus there for a number of reasons, some bad, some just because you don't.  Here, it is a part of the culture, much like my shoveling of the snow....still feeling lame on that one.  I had to sit down and actually research the times and locations and routes of the myriad of stops and starts...the time table was like the worst math word problem I remember having as a kid, but I was able to finally get some understanding of the timing.

The Skip comes by our new place on the 7's (bus lingo for timing)...which is pretty good and the walk to the bus stop is a mere 75 yards give or take a touchdown.  I walked out yesterday feeling like a kid on an adventure and stood in the somewhat cool air with anticipation....when the bus came i was the only one on it for a few minutes and managed to strike up a quick conversation by asking the simple question, "so, how do I get to 30th from here?"  Well this awesome driver not only answered my question, but for the rest of the ride spoke to me about all the tricks and trades of the routes here...he even told me I could catch a "Deadhead" back to the depot since I work for the city...huh?

A Deadhead is a bus no longer in service with a one way route back to the depot...i could, if i wanted, catch a ride on the Deadhead which would drop me off in front of my work as it so happens to be right next to the bus depot...I think i will reserve this option for the James Bond moment that will for sure appear when it is needed....

I also learned about the airport bus that would only cost me five dollars with my pass....now that is a bargain...

anyhow, the bus....I hopped off my first bus, The Skip, walked a block, and got on the Jump...confusing I know...this took me a few minutes and that dropped me off at Starbucks...well, sort of...but damn if the whole excursion took me 30 minutes...it was so easy...i got a little car sick cause I suck, but i had fun...no stress, no gas, no nasty post environmental guilt...it was great!  and on the bus, i observed all sorts of people, which got me thinking about my one man show....this is the inspiration part in case you were wondering....so the bus is a venue for some inspiration and for some relaxation....

now the ride home was a different story and I will keep this brief.  After 10PM, the busses only run on the 30's (see the lingo again?)  which means I froze my ass off twice while waiting for the two new busses...not including the third bus that I got on by mistake and had to jump off and run back to the other bus that would take me to the final stop of the day....and at that time of night, there is a whole different crowd.  Not a good or bad one, but just an interesting slice of society...the late night workers which includes me....mostly men...some quiet, some chatty but all wanting to get home and get warm....


The bus is a bit of a contradiction...on one hand you feel responsible and resourceful and kind of like a kid...on the other hand, more so at night, you feel a bit downtrodden...maybe it was just me, but it felt a bit like the march of the penguins...is that what I want to say?  I think...I'll stew on it if you will....

I like the bus.  I will take it today again and maybe see the same faces....but I may call Nita for a ride home....

Love and Understanding.