Nancy and me, on the road again.
February 16-22, 2005
A lot of the bus, a lot of Monday Nights (on the bus!), Nancy, Sharon, murals, and tea, and More.
I’m almost home, having just taken the suitcases out to the garage, run laundry, for the ba-zillionth time got up the mud the cat drug in, etc. Who else do you know who needs four days to unpack?
Not ‘being home’ did not stop me from going to a great pre-Oscar double feature with Marsha at the Promenade, catching a mess of nominations we had missed. Both Being Julia and Hotel Rwanda were much better than I feared so that was good. I do adore the movies.
Sandy took this picture a while ago, at the same time I took the picture of her below. Don’t I look like just the cutest little teddy bear?
February 17, 2005
This is the second day of the trip but first we need to Meet The Donalds! Here’s Nancy, baby Charlie and sweet Josh and Kelly.
On Saturday Lucas and Betsy had a delightful party for Xander’s third birthday. Three Years Old! Congratulations Xander King!!
Betsy fixed my shoulder. I was thinking how probably Betsy could fix anything. Then just now, as I was putting this together, in a blinding flash I saw that what Desda does is a lot like what Betsy does, but in a language that shares no common vocabulary. Desda can fix my shoulder too.
You can check out Desda’s website and see what I mean.
Sunday I did my Japanese lesson because Hana had been gone for a couple of weeks and I’m leaving on Wednesday for Northern Cal. I have to keep studying because I would miss Hana too much if I quit!
Tai’s grandfather made the scroll on the left and the one on the right is Tai’s first big caligraphy project. Omedetoo gozaimasu Tai-san.
Monday was a big day on the road. Lona asked me how much extra time I spent traveling these days and I’m guessing 30-90 minutes per day. What a bargin. Not only am I enjoying the process, I’m saving $49 per month in gym fees. And those 30-90 minutes per day is a great workout!
I did my first run on the #14 to Roger and Sandy’s house. No problemo, except it stops running in the very early evening so we’re not talking dinner and a show. We walked to lunch, walked to the little gift shop around the corner and then walked back.
In the middle of the day in the middle of the week…
At some point they’ll run out of colors. The green one is Culver City which is a pretty small system. The red one is the MTA Metro Rapid (which everyone calls ‘Rapido’). I heard they could control the signals, holding a green for their approach. And of course, Big Blue.
The is a true picture. I was walking from the Commuter Express to Marija’s at sunset and it looked just like this.
Monday night at Maxine’s for Alicia’s birthday. Happy Birthday Alicia! Maxine put on another fiesta of cosmic proportion.
A most handsome reflection of Big Blue! It’s Saturday morning and I spoke with this driver about the shots I was going to try and catch out the window on the way to Mom’s. ‘No problem, I’ll contribute!’ he says, and slows up just at the right times.
What a guy. Those date patches on his shoulder are in honor of Big Blue’s ‘Best Bus System Of The Year’ award and I’ve written to the office to get the whole story. Should be good.
The traffic part of downtown Santa Monica. At 4th and Santa Monica Blvd you can pick up/get off the #1, the #2, the #3, the #7, and maybe others.
The Santa Monica committment to public transportation really is quite admirable. Knowing that my 25 cents isn’t going to support this extensive network, now I’m curious how it happens. Another question for the Help Desk!
The icon of Santa Monica.
A Monday Night Sunday at Acapulco for a lovely Mazel Tov brunch for Angela, and we invited Darryl too. Ladies, was this the first time a man sat through a whole Monday Night event?!?
And another Monday – OOOPS no picture of Marija’s and Ljubie’s birthday party!
I spent the night at Marsha’s again and her car trouble lead to a new adventure! Tom dropped us at the subway in North Hollywood. Wow. I’m reminded again, those subway stations are Hot.
Mom in pre-op for her cataract surgery. Note the marking over her right eye. ‘Yes’. A friendly reminder to the surgery staff…
It all turned out fine although she had complaints of pain and a not sufficently attentive doctor. She really really wanted the surgery and is very happy to have had it done despite her complaints.
Rush hour, on the Bus. I did the crossword, looked over some kanji and shot some photos. Pretty cool, no?
There is where I am NOT.
Bill came by to look at the vacancy and then we had burgers and a couple of Perfect black-and-tan.
I think I won’t have to do a dang thing and I am Happy Happy Happy. OK, I could get plenty more money but then I’d have to do plenty more work and hey, I’m Retired!
Since the 1st I’ve met Joe for lunch near the office, gone to Mom’s and to the movies, gone to the library, etc.. Just regular life.
I rode the evening homeless express where guys ride around with all their stuff yelling at no one, seeming not particularly desperate, and quite mad, and I rode the afternoon school express where kids try to get by without paying, generally act up, and torment the drivers.
But no pictures! I need to figure out a rap so I can ask my fellow riders if I may take their picture. So far I have not had it in me to try it even once.
Heading into Beverly Hills on the MTA #20, a very useful route up Wilshire into downtown, with a nice frequent schedule.
Today Nancy, Sharon, and I went to Little Tokyo for an adventure, arrived early and drove around for a while. They actually run Grey Line Tours through this artist’s loft area, the re-en-livening of an old industrial district, to look at the murals.
These things are dang amazing yet gang/taggers deface even these. The tagging really does smack you upside the head when you see it, which is probably the point.
More. I need to travel around with a ladder…
Nancy found a three line mention in the LA Times about this Zen Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo where you can take tea ceremony classes and that will let you watch if you want.
The Zenshuji Soto Temple in Little Tokyo.
The teachers were amazed that nine people showed up as visitors all because of that small write-up.
It was a wonderful experience and a bargain at five bucks. Sharon is doing that sitting on your heels move and we learned how to stand up from this position without using our hands! It was a revelation!!
The two women were very different. The senior was from Japan and very much the traditional teacher. The other woman was born in the US and the teacher made jokes about her Japanese.
The younger woman did most of the work while the older one narrated the formalities of making the tea.
I think the narration could have been more informative but overall the whole group was very satisfied and happy.
After we had our tea the teacher stayed around for a while answering questions and telling stories giving the experience a real human face.
We ate the plate lunch special at Aiko’s place and Nancy did a little shopping. The weather was perfection itself.
Cousin Nancy and Cousin Sharon at the end of a lovely day.
This is about my first Monday Night adventure with Public Transportation.
Let’s talk numbers. The computer said I could get the 573 at the corner of Wilshire and Glendon. The 573 travels to Granada Hills very near Marija’s house and there is one every fifteen or twenty minutes during rush hour.
BUT I scoured all eight sidewalks at all four corners of Wilshire and Glendon and there was no evidence of the 573. Finally, after stomping around Westwood like a crazy person and eventually getting on the 761 thinking to at least get into the valley, I spotted the 573 at Gayley and Le Conte.
The 761 driver gave me back my transfer and let me hop off.
I asked the 573 driver if there was a stop at Wilshire and Glendon. ‘Sure’ he said. ‘Wait’ I said. Then a woman sitting in the front row said ‘oh, the stop is marked for the 534, you just need to know the 573 stops with the 534.’ Right.
All that aside, it was one cushy ride! These Commuter Express buses are a wholly different experience and apparently operated separately from MTA since the five MTA drivers I stopped during my search all had no idea about the 573. They’re white, not red like the other express buses, and they only run during rush hours, but, wow, very cush.
With my transfer from Big Blue #2 I made the whole trip for Twenty Five Cents.
The women have gathered their purses to make a contribution to the Envelope of Delights for Sunday’s party. We did enjoy another fabulouso evening of food and festivity.
After reading the news of my pending grandmotherhood Lourdes wrote me this GReeeen with envy I’m-jealous-I’m-jealous email and then this very Monday morning she learned that she TOO would be a grandmother and NOW she’s very Happy for me. Congratulations Lourdes!
I spent the night at Marsha’s and then drove in with her to downtown. That was plenty good fun (I watched movies on her tv all night long…). She dropped me at the Big Blue #10 which goes direct to Santa Monica Blvd and 20th. My new front door.
Yummy yummy! Bill and Ken and I continue our monthly Tuesday night dinner. Here’s what Bill said when I said I’d be taking the bus home:
‘You must think I’m crazy that I’ll drop you off at 9:00 pm, at night, in the middle of freekin no where. Momma didn’t raise that kind of boy.’
Which points up the perhaps inevitable ride mooching scenario. I’m working on that one – attempting to avoid even the appearance of Ride Mooching but also attempting not to be belligerent or stupid. Tricky!