Monday, December 10, 2012

People of the bus/city: so much amazing

I had the total fantastic opportunity to bus/bike back-to-back Thursday and Friday last week. After three weeks of work travel-holiday-work travel, I was having some serious bus/bike withdrawal. Thursday was basically an insane mix of random so let me summarize the best I can. 

At the SMART bus stop, 8:10am: A woman that works at the salon right near my usual bus stop unlocks the door to say hi and to tell me she's glad I'm ok as she hasn't seen me at the bus stop in awhile. Wow.

SB 460, 8:25am: a man drinks 2 five-hour-energy drinks + an iced tea in about 1 minute. Caffeine shots + a chaser? Let's get this party started! 

SB 460, 8:35am: the following is seen in front of the DIA: 

1. A waving Santa
2. A small card table with a bunch of stuff on it
3. A police car, lights on, on the sidewalk next to the table

Um, the holidays have arrived!? 

SB 460, 8:50am: five-hour energy man stands up, spends what feels like 10 minutes fumbling with this pants and maybe puts on a belt?

Post-work, I enjoy a few cocktails with my coworker and catch the northbound 475 back up Woodward. As my stop gets closer, I move towards the front of the bus and who is there? BIG HAT, PLASTIC BAG MAN. The one that hands out sandwiches to people when he gets off the bus! I see him all the time, no matter what bus or schedule I'm running, but we've never spoken.

This guy to me is like bus-celebrity. And how it seems he lives his life? Love him. 

He turns to me and "Hi, I see you on the bus all the time. What's your name? I'm Alan. Do you have far to go? No? That's good. It's cold out there. Be safe and see you next time." 

As he steps off the bus, yes with his big hat and a few plastic bags, I have this distinct feeling that I'm truly a bus-regular. I'm so used to looking at my bus/biking through the eyes of this blog and material for it - I forget that bus/bike commuting is just kind of a norm for me now. Talking to this bus-saint Alan has me thinking all sorts of stuff. Would I still bus/bike if I didn't have the blog? Do I do weird things on the bus that someone is blogging about?! 

Too much wine. 
It's time to get home.

But does the story end here? Alas, the best is yet to come. 

I have about 1/4 of a mile left on my bike commute. Smooth sailing down this hill right by by my place and I notice man standing right in the middle of the sidewalk near the end of the hill. I get closer and I see he's holding a bag of Doritos and one of the chips up towards the sky - just kind of staring at it. I literally have to stop completely as he's blocking my way. He finally notices me, yells "OH MY GOD I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT YOU WERE THAT LIGHT", and jumps into the grass.  

One day. All of this happened in ONE DAY. 

I've missed you, people of the bus/city. Three weeks was too long for us to be apart! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This is why I'll never go into politics.

"Transit authority bill stalls after House Dems withhold votes over right-to-work"

The headline from this article:

What I really want to write: &$%#&#(*$&#(#&@#%#@@#

What I will write instead:  it's so beyond sad to me that politics has come to this. And it comes from both sides. Super important legislation that will MOVE THIS AREA FORWARD is swept aside due political games. And has to be used as a bargaining chip. 

If I were in the House as a Democrat (let's just say), I don't know if I'd be physically able to vote "no" on the Regional Transit Authority. Is democracy not voting as your constituents - the people that elected you - would vote? Aren't you called a "representative" for a reason? 

Super idealistic? Totally. Maybe I don't "understand" politics. But voting with my heart/my constituents hearts on the bill at hand without playing these types of games? C'mon people. 

We should all be embarrassed that our political system supports and encourages this kind of behavior. And as a side note - "this behavior" also includes bringing up something like "Right to Work" during a lame duck session after previously stating it wasn't a priority for your administration, Gov. Snyder. 

So until we get this *all* figured out - I'll just continue to watch the efficiency of the DDOT Woodward 53 and the SMART 450 leapfrog all over Woodward as we all watch the Regional Transit Authority fade away in the distance. We've been waiting 30+ years for this, so what's another legislative session?