Friday, February 26, 2010

The Bus In a Snow Globe...Shake and Settle

So today on the bus...

visual: Brown herringbone lululemon Groove Pants, a hot pink fleece pullover and my neon vans wait for the bus today. I am plugged into my music machine, a green iPod shuffle that matches my bright green aviator-esque shades searching down Wilshire Blvd for my red shuttle to work.

It is a cooler day and I appreciate the crisp feeling in the air after a nice rain. We get into summer so fast in LA, I remind myself to marvel in the amazing colorful long sleeves and pullovers I have, while I still can!

My best friend had uploaded her music library to my iPod and I am just jamming walking to my bus stop. Old 80's jams and upbeat tunes usually rock my jogs - thus my iPod is full of them! As I approach the bus, I am intrigued by all the people with their headphones in or cell phones readily available in hand. No one is tapping their foot or dancing, but we all are tuned ... out, so it seems!

NOTE: I did an insane yoga class this morning. My mind is already in a haze as my body is still in cool-down mode from the heat of the class, deep movements and overall stress release.

The bus approaches and I tuck the headphones in my fleece. I drop in my quarters and acknowledge my bus driver - who also seemed a bit zoned out. Comforting.

It is the late morning, so my bus is rather full and there is good energy in here. I decide to run a little experiment. I am going to be that iPod-listening-bus-rider. I am going to plug in and zone out from people. See what all the fuss is about. What I miss and who I might overlook.

My hypothesis here is that I will miss all the action. Be literally tuned out from the reality and amazing happenings that occur daily on the bus. I will step off with a sense of failure and truly feel as if I have ignored the World.

So, I begin to relax into my seat and enjoy the ride. I find I am more observant and aware of the entire bus. I have my tunes in the background. I can see an older gentleman sharing conversation with a younger female student sitting behind him. I focus on the woman on her cell phone up front; she is on the phone yet literally reading her book at the same time! And the crew of friends that just walked on laughing and smiling over common interests.

It is almost my own meditation - as if I have my bus in a snow globe. Every bus stop, it shakes and the snow falls to grab my music-injected attention.

How interesting! I close my eyes and smile. I imagine myself in the snow globe and someone seeing me. Eyes closed, comfortable and smiling with my tunes in my ears. Maybe they smile. Maybe they change the song to find a happy place. What possibility am I for others - even when I am not directly connecting with them?

Oh, I am getting somewhere with this iPod project!

The indirection connection I am feeling with the entire bus is somewhat magical. Most buses are so silent, but today the 720 is rocking life. Friends in this corner, conversations here, multi-taskers there. Maybe it is my yoga buzz from earlier, but I am zenned out in the middle of Los Angeles on public transit, yet completely present and aware of my surroundings.

How is that?

Me? The busy body. I move and shake at all times....a mover and shaker! However, I found a peace of mind in one of the more crazier spaces in my life.

All along, I hypothesized I would be that typical ignore-the-people passenger. What I experienced was bus bliss! I found a different form of bus bliss! By tuning out, I literally tuned in to everything around me.

I step off the bus so happy. So light. Or maybe the yoga hippie life of Southern CA is getting to me - but whatever it is, I feel great!

I ponder this action in life. When you have so much going on and you are a mile a minute, if we step back, smile and drop any expectations - we might get a better and bigger picture of what is actually going on.

Appreciate it.

And let the snow globe of life keep shaking and settling....shaking and settling.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bus Transfers, My Civic Duty, and Real Connections

So today on the bus....

visual: Bright green avocado-colored lululemon jacket over a pair of gray, uncomfortable dress slacks, my purple backpack and my neon Vans rush down the block in the early morning hours. Jury Duty called and it is my civic duty to answer...for the bus I wait, to make the hour trek downtown.

My blackberry google application reads 1 hour and 12 minutes for my bus trip from Brentwood to the Criminal Justice Center in Downtown LA. I get to take my bus, the 720 and then transfer to a number of options listed.

If you will recall, I do not transfer. I never have transferred. And, today is the big day!

I trek to the bus before the sun is up. I wait at my normal stop in front of my 711 Convenient Store. The bus arrives right on time and I take a deep breathe for the long route ahead of me. I jump on, pay my toll and wish my bus rider a good morning. He has slicked back hair, a black jacket and a black and white herringbone scarf around his neck. He looked great and so suave. I let him know he has some great style.

The bus is quite empty, so I pull out the phone to see what my next stop is and what bus I should transfer to. I have no idea, so I approach my fancy bus driver for guidance.

He is the most helpful man in the World. He informs me that I will get off at Broadway and which bus to take thereafter. He even goes as far to say, "Don't worry, I will let you know which stop".

Sigh. I go back to my seat up front to sit comfortably and ride easy.

Not too much commotion on this bus this morning. Before 7am, not many people are out for a great conversation, much less awake. It is interesting going through the different neighborhoods. Observing Brentwood to Westwood, from Beverly Hills to Hollywood into Downtown; LA is full of such different pockets of life.

As we dive deeper into Downtown, my classy bus driver shouts that this is my stop and that I should head to the local bus 45. I thank him and exit his bus.

I google how far it is to actually walk to my final destination and it read 1 mile - I figure I have the time and I will save some change. The neon Vans start walking.

Alas, those neon Vans walked the wrong way. I have zero sense of direction. ZERO! Even with the Blackberry GPS, a flaw I have acknowledged fully and accepted. Another perk to riding the bus, I am not driving. It is really a perk for the World and everyone on the road.

So, I make the executive decision to wait the 2 minutes for this local bus number 45. I wonder if this bus is only .75 cents? I peek around downtown as I wait, which is rather disheartening. Our downtown in the city of Angels needs some real work. I love the streets with the tall buildings, rushing traffic on one way streets, and the somewhat older architecture. However, it definitely does not live up to the Petula Clark song, "The lights are much brighter there, You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go, Downtown, things'll be great when you're Downtown, no finer place for sure, Downtown, everything's waiting for you". Come one LA, pick up your game!

The number 45 arrives and I jump on. I ask, "how much?" and my driver responds, "$1.25".

Shucks, to go one mile!? I let go of another five quarters and jump on my transfer. A step of triumph as I step into the smaller bus - I find my seat up front. After a couple stops, it is one of those buses that stops EVERY other block, I ponder if I really could have walked faster. Then again, I am in no rush whatsoever to play the waiting game at Jury Duty, so I just ride.

An older and very obese woman with a walker flags down the bus. She is groaning and moaning with every single step. She almost goes in to a full on wail as she sits down in the seats across from me. I stand up to help her with her walker and she gives me an acknowledgement moan. The entire ride she is grasping her shirt at her heart and just reeks of pain. I literally fear she is going to have a heart attack on this bus. I smile at her and ask if she is alright? She starts speaking to me about something I definitely cannot understand and then looks forward to our approaching stop.

She pulls the tab with the utmost of effort - my same stop, as I was just wondering if I should call the hospital for her. She walkers off the bus groaning and moaning and moves slowly on her way.

I rush off to Jury Duty after my one hour and 17 minutes of bus travels, including one transfer. I feel accomplished and rather impressed with myself and the bus system. I am on time and it was somewhat easy to transfer with the help of my drivers!

....Jury Duty. Civic Duty Served. Lengthy Case. Rescheduled. Back to Bus....

On the way home, I am ready this time, bring on the two buses, 1 transfer, and over an hour of public transit travel. An LA Police Office points me in the right direction to my first bus. I wait at the stop and upon bus arrival, I inform the driver where I need to go. She is a larger woman full of knowledge. There are detours, different bus routes, and options for transfers - and she goes into a full on explanation about what each will entail. Impressive, but not answering my question. I finally ask her in the nicest of ways, "will this get me to the 720 stop on 5th and Grand?".

She says yes and helps me the entire way. Another amazing bus driver getting me home. I do appreciate it and I thank her when I exit to my transfer. Really, these bus drivers rocked the house today. Kudos to Metro HR, kudos!

I cross the crosswalk to the recognizable sign for the Rapid 720 bus stop. I wait for the hour ride home in 5pm traffic, feeling okay about having just rescheduled my Jury Duty to April. The bus arrives, is packed and I jump on. There are men in seats with buckets of flowers to sell, a guy closer to the back with a basket of umbrellas for sale as there is the smell of rain in the air, and some loud iPods blaring out of people's ears as I pass through to the back of the bus.

I find an open seat next to a young woman and sit with my backpack in my lap. I am so far from my normal route that as we are trucking along , I do not recognize anything at all. I lean over and ask the young girl if she knows what cross street we are on and she says nothing and stares out the window. Oh, okay.

So, we sit in silence until her departure. As she exits, a wonderful old man with a large hat, crunched shoulders and hearing aids leans down and sits next to me.

I am in the midst of powering through a couple work emails, as I have been out of commission for the past couple of hours and my previous bus friend was in no talking mood. I finally put the phone down and look up to the older gentleman. I greet him and ask him how he is doing.

He looks over slowly and responds that he is great. He points to my Blackberry and says, "I don't know how to even work one of those things".

I tell him he is lucky! I some times forget that these should NOT be attached to one's bodies and I had to put it down so I could even focus and speak with him. He smiles and explains that he does not even own a cell phone. I return his smile and ask him how he knows where to meet people or how he connects with his friends daily?

He smirks and points to us both and says, "we are connecting right now. Just like this".

A rush of warmth rushes through me and I tell him, "You are very right, sir".

He chuckles, pointing to his hearing aids and says, "I can't hear a damn thing anyways. Cell phone would be a waste on me".

I laugh with him and we connect. We truly connect.

I come to my stop and wish him well. We shake hands and I rush off into Beverly Hills towards my work.

A long day of bus travel, I look back on past events. My amazing bus drivers that got me exactly where I needed to be. My first experience transferring and it not being bad, at all (minus the added fare cost). The obese woman with the almost-heart attack to my non-talkative bus-mate, followed directly by the lovely old man with no cell phone and hearing aids. My civic duty that I half served and will have to do my adventure bus trek back and forth again in the near future.

And finally, how if we just put the Blackberry away, remove the iPod and quit the emails for a moment, then and only then can we really truly connect.

What a day. On the bus. What a day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

So today on the bus....

visual: I do not match today. Purple plaid jacket atop a pair of heathered blue lululemon Feel Good pants and royal blue Havianas flip flops on bottom and green aviator-esque sunglasses on top - I am a vision. It is Sunday morning and I just grabbed what was there...

You all know the days where you just feel a little off. I am sure you can tell by my outfit, I just missed the mark today. So, I am waiting for my bus and sipping through my sustainable coffee mug and shuddering. I tried to brew my own coffee this morning. Terrible decision. I make the right call and pour it out into the street, where it belongs.

711 is calling my name with their posters marketing these Breakfast Burrito Rolls. 2 for $2, what a steal! Knowing it is probably the worst decision, I turn to take advantage of this morning special. Oh yes, people. I did. Two breakfast rollers. You know the case with the hot dogs that roll all the live long day. Yes, these are rolling in the case right next to those hot dogs.

I know, I really know.

So I get my cardboard case full of artery clog and future stomach pain (see photo to right) and head back to the my stop right as the bus is approaching. The doors open up and I greet my bus driver with a large hello for Sunday. I think I startled him. He says hi back, takes one glance at the 711 Convenient breakfast box in my hands and looks up smiling, "Breakfast of Champions today, huh?".

I literally laugh out loud. And, I cannot stop. I tell him that these new burritos were calling my name today and it happened. It happened! I scold myself in front of him, using my full name as if I am really in trouble this time.

He is laughing too as I sit in the front seats and crack open the box. I snicker a bit longer knowing for sure that my bus driver has NO idea that I not only have one of these gnarly breakfast burrito rollers in the box, but there are 2! I ponder sharing with him, but that fades.

I am smiling the whole way there. The last couple of bites of burrito number 2, I pull into the town of regret. I knew I didn't need that second one! It wasn't near as good as the first one. What was I thinking? My stomach starts to rumble and I shake my head.

As I pull for my stop and jump off the bus stop, I wave bye and smile at my driver. He recalls my full name from my scolding and acknowledges me.

I head to the store to open shop. I start to figure that with all the walking I do to and from the bus stops, that second burrito was totally fine. I look up to the front of my store, pondering a real cup of good coffee - and there is my old bus friend. The man I think created He came to say 'hi'. How lovely.

We chat a moment and I thank him for saying hello this morning. He is heading to Santa Monica to breathe in the ocean air. I love that and momentarily wish I could just bail and ride the bus down West and hear his deep, lingering Santa Claus laughs. But alas, I must elevate the World to greatness at lululemon athletica Beverly Hills today! We exchange hugs and he says he will return.

And that was my morning. Laughing with my bus driver. Sitting on the bus eating 711 burritos out of my cardboard box o' calories, and my gentlemen friend clad in a suit to wish me a good morning at work.

Now that makes life easy like Sunday morning.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Her Favorite Color Was Purple, Too!

So today on the bus...

visual: A chillier morning called for my purple plaid jacket and my dark denim leggings. Yes, denim workout leggings from lululemon and they are awesome. With my bright blue Havianas flip flops and green sunglasses, I await the bus perched high on the green bench at my stop.

I am on my way home today from a radical yoga workshop. I wait for the bus while gabbing away with my amazing Mother on my phone. We are talking about life and communication issues and really getting down deep with eachother. I love when that happens, middle of Saturday morning - just waiting on the bus while Mom and I elevate our lives to greatness. Its good stuff, hell - it is great stuff!

As my bus approaches, we are in the heat of the conversation. "Mom. Mom. Mother! I have to pause you and say hello to my bus driver", I place the phone in my pocket and insert my crisp dollar and shiny quarter into the machine and say hello to my bus driver. I give him a shoulder knock and tell him that people are always so distracted on these cellular phones and that acknowledgement for those getting me home is necessary. He half smiles and shrugs.

I take Mom out of my pocket and allow her to continue as I head to the very back of my somewhat crowded bus. Ever since meeting that gentleman I think created, I have had this amazing affinity for standing near the double doors and pretending I am surfing down Wilshire Boulevard on the bus. And to think, I have never surfed in the ocean in LA! A surf snob in my own right!

So yes, my Mom is reaching her conclusion of life being simple and beautiful and not to be taken seriously and all of a sudden this little girls starts belting out Ol' McDonald Had A Farm in the middle of the bus. As if we were her American Idol judges and life was her stage! I ask my Mom to listen, and say that is the beauty of life. Singing your heart out on the bus while sitting on your mother's lap on a sunny day and being happy. There it is, Mom. There it is. I can hear my mother smile over the phone and we promise to call one another later. Being best friends with your Mom is such a cool phenomenon - try it!

We hang up and I continue to watch my young singer-t0-be just jumping around. She is literally crawling all over her Mom's lap, smiling and laughing. She had to be four years old, which I really think is the best age. And honestly, the Mom seemed so happy, as well. How could she not be with the company of sunshine she brought along? It really is the mother/daughter loving energy. I can feel it exuding from them.

The bus comes to a stop and people exit the seats next to them. I immediately jump off my bus of a surf board and sit down next to them. I look at the young girl through my big green sunglasses and I thank her for singing to the bus, complimenting her beautiful voice.

She is surprisingly shy and holds on tight to her Mother's leg. They both thank me and smile at one another. The little girl, after a moment of deep thought, inches closer to me and away from the safety lock she had on her Mother. She climbs up into the seat next to me and smiles. She has on these amazing boots with a cute lite blue skirt. I lean in, "I just love those boots. YOU are so fashion forward, you know? And these colors you are wearing, well, you should be in a magazine!".

She screeches with delight and looks to her Mom for approval. Her Mom says she is always best dressed and winks from under her herringbone hat.

Sidenote: I love herringbone and feel that there really should be more of it in the World. I then glance down at my loud plaid jacket and laugh at myself.

Anyways, my new friend comments on the purple plaid jacket and purple backpack I am rocking today. Purple is her favorite color, too! Immediate bond. We then spend some time in education mode talking about what colors make a different color. i.e. Red and Blue make Purple, Yellow and Blue make Green...etc. We high five at the end of the colors game. I then show her some pictures on my Blackberry of the yoga class I went to. Her eyes get wide as she sees the crazy tricks we did (Note: I took a yogaFLIGHT workshop at my store this morning. Think flying in airplane on the bottom of someones feet as a kid - for grown ups in yoga form!).

The pair's stop is one before mine and as they prepare for departure, we introduce eachother to one another. Jasmine and Shandra were their names. I look up to the Mother, shake her hand and let her know they are very special. Jasmine chimes in that she is going to see her Daddy at the hospital. The Veterans' Hospital is right up the block. I remind her to sing for him, because she has a beautiful voice. She is ear to ear with her little teeth and those corn rows. They leave and she flashes me one last smile before hopping off the bus.

It truly is amazing, the innocence of a child that leaves one uplifted and so happy. Jasmine's contagious energy kept me smiling ear to ear the whole rest of the way home. She hadn't a care in the World on the bus today. Just singing and laughing and talking about our favorite colors. I am reminded yet again not to take life too seriously. Just be present and happy right now. Be open and let the peace of a child change your mood, change your day, or change your life.

Jasmine and her Mom probably had no idea that they had touched, moved and inspired me to come sit by them. In that moment, I got to tell them. I immediately let them know how wonderful they were. What if people did that every day? What if I did that every day, every time, every bus ride?

I pull the line for my stop and sigh with gratitude. The bus! It gets me every time if I am open to it! I shuffle to the exit and shoot my bus driver a wave and thank you. He waves back with a smile.

I start walking home and put my iPod in my ears. I find myself singing out loud and clapping my hands on the sidewalk. Look at me, light as a child inside and out.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Make The Choice to Have A Great Day

So today on the bus...

visual: Purple-ish blue lululemon athletica Still Pants, a more relaxed fit pair - as I cannot wear the tight spandex every day - matched with a grey long sleeve, a neon green tank peeking out the bottom, as I layer for the early morning chill. With my fitted LA Dodgers cap and bright green aviator-influenced sunglasses, I rock back and forth on my royal blue flip flops waiting for the bus.

I actually had been offered 2 rides this morning but opted to go find a bus adventure. In stepping on the Rapid 720, I thank my driver and find a seat right up front in between two older gentlemen. I won't miss a thing up here and I am ready for some action.

We rush through a couple stops and I got nothing thus far. Just enjoying the moment here.

"Approaching Westwood" rings through the bus with the mechanical women's voice above on the speaker system. A line of people begin to pour through the double doors.

A familiar face sits down across from me. I cannot pinpoint where I have met him, nor do I know if it was a pleasant conversation or not. Why my mind even wanders to a negative possibility, I do not know.

He looks across the way a couple times. Remembering, remembering....

"You work for an athletic clothing company right?", he asks.

In shock with his memory, I answer yes and smile. He reminds me that we have met before and says his name is Lonnie.

Ahhhhh yes, Lonnie. Sweet Lonnie who works for the oil company in Beverly Hills yet used to live in Texas. Yes, I am there now. We exchange our previous bus rendezvous and ask each other how the other is doing and so on and so forth.

He is so friendly and I immediately re-connect.

We get to talking about the past couple weeks. I tell him I caught that nasty head cold going around and he shares that he banged up his right heel of his foot somehow and that it "hurts like hell". Talk about the weather and the chilly air that has blown through. Nothing compared to the rest of the nation, we retort to one another.

He has those kind eyes. And they are kind of droopy in the most endearing way. We have a moment of silence and I look out the front window. I turn back to him and ask, "So Lonnie, are you going to have a great day?".

He scratches his navy blue beanie atop his head and answers, "We will see. Maybe. There are some obstacles, you know?".

I respond, "I don't know. You either choose to make it a great day or you don't".

He stares back and cracks a smile. "I hear ya, I hear ya".

"Well I hope you hear me. Or else I am just talking to thin air over here!", I respond with a little sass and a smile.

He eats it up and we both agree to have a great day today. As I pull my tab to exit, I shake his hand. He looks up from his seat and tells me, "I will remember what you told me today. And, I have all the confidence in you and that you will have a great day".

I smile, agree, and thank him. I remind him to make the choice, and with that, I wave bye to the bus driver and exit.

I some times forget how fun it is to challenge people. I challenged Lonnie to have a great day. What a trip. Nobody could ever truly be upset with someone for encouraging them to have a great day. And that is what we have to remember. It is essentially about standing for people's greatness.

I am so happy he spoke up and recalled our previous bus meeting. I hope Lonnie had a great day. I know I did.

Stand for the greatness of people. Challenge someone to have a great day today.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Giving Bus

So today on the bus....

visual: Black lululemon athletica scoop neck tank over my bright green running shorts with a black jacket to match the top, and my green Nikes rushing to the corner bus stop - I multi-task while jogging, digging in my purple backpack for quarters, nickels dimes, dollars and coming up short.

Here is one problem I have with the bus system. Some times, just some times, I do not have change. I have used all my quarters and am out the door before I realize that major part of the bus - the fare! That need for exact change. I knew when I left this morning, that clanking of quarters was missing in my shorts pocket!

On days like these, I am usually scrambling to find an ATM to get the green. THEN, I am going to have to rush to a space that will throw me change for a $20 dollar bill. It goes like this, "Oh hi, can I get a cookie? And for my change, can I get four 1's and four quarters as part of it? Thanks so much".

What a mess.

Here is today. I search for the neon green ATM sign near the vicinity of my bus stop. Once targeted, I rush to it and go through all the normal operations. Card, Pin, dollar amount. Why can I only get dollar amounts in increments of 20? I would love to choose the quarter roll button! Regardless, I grab my money from the ATM and head towards Starbucks across the way from my stop for the cookie (usually oatmeal raisin, they really are delicious). Now, it is a rarity that I turn the corner and the bus is just waiting there. But today, of course it was there. My bus had just stopped at the corner to my left. Right as I am about to cross to the right to get to that cookie at the coffee shop. I am short on time, so I go for it, I jump on and ask the driver if he has any change for a $20 dollar bill? He shakes his head with a demanding "no" and says, "Ask them" as he points to the back of the bus.

Sheesh. I contemplate the cookie and the long wait for another bus.

I step further on through the bus entrance and I look to the sea of people sitting on my bus and give a small, very unlike me, yell, "Hey, ummm, does anyone have change for a $20 dollar bill?"

A couple people in front say no, others just look around. Then, this wonderful gentleman to my left stands up and digs in his light colored jeans pocket. He says, "Well hun, I don't have change for that $20 bill right there, but I do have these" as he is counting out five quarters in his hand amidst the pennies and other nickel and dimes.

I am in shock. Giving up his beloved quarters. I ask him, "are you sure?". As I hear that Edgar Winter song play in my head, "Come on and take a FREE RIDE", he places the quarters in the machine for me. (listen:

He smiles and does the whole pay it forward speech. I am so appreciative. I offer him the three nickels I found at the bottom of my backpack earlier. He scoffs and tells me to put those away!

His name is Will and he has a great sense of humor. I sit down next to him and his opening line is, "You wanna know the weird thing about the bus? Nobody talks to anyone. They just stare and sit there and some times, they even block the open seat next to them. Ensuring no social contact!".

I laugh out loud. A hearty laugh. "Will! I think the exact same thing!". Seriously, exact same train of thought has been announced on this blog and in my head countless times.

We then talk about our bus history. We share stories and talk about how smart we feel because we don't sit in traffic anymore like all these goofs, have gone green and save a dollar bill or two. We just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride home. It is so funny to share this with someone who agrees in the exact same way. Makes you feel good. Its all about feeling smart.

And, he had paid for my ride. I still cannot get over it. I think how much I covet my quarters when someone asks me for money. I am always thinking to myself, NOT the quarters! And he just stood up and passed them out. I take a cue from Will.

Give. Just give.

I think back to one of my favorite children's books of all time, The Giving Tree. You know the one with the green cover, by Shel Silverstein (see photo to right). The book is essentially about a beautiful friendship between a young boy and an apple tree. The tree gives and gives to the boy as he grows up - anything he needs that the tree can offer, he gives (branch swings for play, wood for a boat, a stump to rest upon...). The tree gives with only one expectation, to see the boy happy. What an incredible concept. Just as Will had given me those five quarters, all he expected was me to do something nice in return for another. Not even for him.

I know I am going a little deep with this five quarter instance. But, it is so fitting. So many people do things and act in a way expecting reciprocity. But the truth of the matter is, when you are just giving, the enjoyment in the action is actually that much more enjoyable!

Will gave. He just gave me five quarters. We then enjoyed each other's company for the rest of the ride and it was a beautiful thing. I think I am still in shock that someone stood up. But even so, let's try this. Giving without any expectation.

Feels good. Feels right.

I stand up to depart to my stop home. I lean down and thank Will with one of those hugs that has a tight squeeze. It is the I-really-mean-it-squeeze. I ponder for a moment that I really hug more people now that I ride the bus. I will save that for another day, another blog, another story. For now, I thank him and my bus driver and jump off the bus.

I rode the Giving Bus today! A beautiful story.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bus Camouflage and No Seatbelts?

So today on the bus...

visual: Oh you are in for this, so today I decided to go bright. I rocked the lululemon athletica color Mac and Cheese. Yes, bright yellow leggings with my brand new Vans Classic Slip On sneakers in the textured colors of bright purple, bright blue and lime green. Yes, you are reading this right. Green sunglasses offset the orange-red long sleeve and that bus smile, as I wait on Wilshire Boulevard.

What a day. I am exhausted after a full morning. I have already done a ballet barre class that rocked my bum in ways I did not know was possible, followed by a gnarly Cross Fit workout before approaching the bus today. The endorphins are running rampant!

My bus arrives in somewhat good time and I jump on to greet my bus driver. She is decked out in these colorful bus-driving gloves with the fingers cut out. I, of course, comment on her snazzy style and she thanks me.

I take my seat and I look around at my sleepy passengers. I place my purple backpack aside and just enjoy the ride.

Now, I know I have told you guys about the insane 80's print on the seats of the bus. Who is the Metro stylist? Well, well, well, wouldn't you know it, today I matched it. Oh yes, bus camouflage brought to you by this lululemon athletica clad bus snob! I was worried someone might sit on me! I had the yellow pants and the orange-red top. How in the World could this be? I chuckle to myself, it is almost unreal! (See bus seats below...)

Once I think I am past myself matching the bus, I begin to ponder: why does the bus not have seat belts? Really, why not? It is the law to buckle up in the car, but on the bus with, at times, over 50 people riding - all in the hands of one bus driver. I question the logic here. I do not sign a waiver on the bus. There are no signs saying if we crash, Metro Rapid 720 is not responsible. It is rather interesting.

This is LA with all the traffic and crazy dreamers on the road! Hell, I sign waivers before entering a gentle yoga flow in this city!

Answers! I need answers!

In case you have forgotten, yes, yes I did match the seats today on the bus. I did!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Find a New Reason, A New Way of Living

So today on the bus...

visual: I am very yogi today with my organic cotton purple long sleeve and lululemon hip pants in dark grey. I somehow perfectly coordinated my outfit with my purple backpack, purple yoga mat, green sunglasses and green Nikes. Not on purpose. But, it looked pretty good, I must say.

I am walking towards the bus today to attend a yoga class with a focus on arm balances and the level 2/3 written beside the class. Now, I am not a level 2/3. I am level 1 or maybe level .5 - still learning the ways of yoga and all the stretching and breathing and meditating. Its not simple. Regardless, I am walking up to the bus stop, about a block away from the stop and there is my Rapid 720 barreling up Wilshire heading West right on time.

Damn! I am not even across the street yet. Oh yes, I take off in a full sprint. Backpack flopping around with my yoga mat weighing me down. Arm flailing. My sustainable water bottle flies out of my backpack and into the street. Great! I pull some kind of Peyton Manning step move and squat, grab water bottle, back to sprint, bus entrance. I make it. Sweating and out of breathe. But I make it.

My bus driver is a larger African American woman with a large gap between her teeth. She laughs at me as I throw my hand in the air and yell, "I made it!". Like Rocky at the end of his stair climb, but me at my bus double doors!

She gives me the once-over and asks me if purple and green are my favorite colors. I look down and see my amazing coordination. "Why yes, yes they are". She laughs again and I look for my seat. She is friendly.

Bus got me there right on time. I thank her and hurry down to class. Ahh, Santa Monica. I just love being this close to the ocean, you can just smell it in the air.

Anyways, class was great. And yes, the class was ridiculously hard and yes, I almost passed out at the end in resting pose. Level 2/3 is no joke. You should have seen what some of the characters in there could do!

Sweaty and disheveled from the added levels of intensity, I walk a bit slower back to my bus stop heading East to get home and shower. Waiting and waiting, the bus arrives and the double doors open.

Wouldn't you know, it was the same gapped-tooth woman driving the bus! I am in shock and so excited. I think I lit up. I NEVER get the same bus driver - especially a nice one who admires my outfit! I tell her about yoga class and thank her again for taking me where I need to go.

Now, I see that you are reading this like what is the big deal. But, to me, seeing the same bus driver twice in one round trip is quite the treat. Its like seeing a friend at the airport. Or, to me it is. So, I ponder this new found appreciation for the small things in my life. I mean, who really gets excited about the same bus driver. I literally told her, "OMG, I never get the same driver in the same roundtrip! Best day ever!" (HIGH FIVE). She loved it and I loved it! Why not, right? Why the heck not?

It is a new way of living, this bus trip. A new reason to be happy and excited every day on public transport - and I shout it out and try to dream again.

Thus, I leave you with my new found theme song for my bus life from The Cloud Room.


The Cloud Room

Hey Now Now

Hey now now, they'll find you when you're sleeping now now

they'll reach in and grab what you're dreamin' now now

cut it up and slip it back in, and I know, and I know, and I know it

Hey now now, the smallest things are crushing me now

the crush crush crush is so comforting now

did the earth just slam in the sun, and I know, and I know, and I know it

won't undo their past by walking and talking backwards

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we breathe it in and try to dream again

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we breathe it in and try to dream again

Hey now now, they'll find you when you're sleeping, now nowt

they'll reach in and grab what you're dreamin', now now

cut it up and slip it back in and I know, and I know, and I know it

Hey now now, the smallest things are crushing me now

the crush crush crush is so comforting now

did the earth just slam in the sun, and I know, and I know, and I know it

won't undo their past by walking and talking backwards

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we shout it out and try to dream again

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we shout it out and try to dream again

la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la lalalalaaaaa

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we breathe it in and try to dream again

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we shout it in and try to dream again

Hey now now, we're goin' down down

and we ride the bus there and pay the bus fare

or we find a new reason, a new way of living

and we shout it in and try to dream again