Archive for ‘From da Bus’

February 15, 2008

From da Bus: Love Transportation No. 20


Shortly after boarding the bus Thursday night I was approached by a woman sitting behind me and to the right. She leaned toward me and said “hey!” through the headphone in my left ear.

I paused my music to see what she wanted, slightly annoyed and startled. She said she liked my haircut and asked if she could take a picture of it. That flattered me on an otherwise stale Valentine’s Day. I didn’t even know what my hair looked like by then. I had worked out at lunch, and walked to the bus stop.

I struck an “On da Bus” pose and she snapped a shot with her camera-phone. Then told her I got it cut at Hair Mechanix. For those ten minutes I felt like a model with my two-week old hair-do.

February 6, 2008

A day without deodorant is like a day without sunshine.

p35.jpgI haven’t been able to solve the case of the missing deodorant stick. Mr. Body Odor Muter disappeared a couple days ago and I can’t figure out where he went. I haven’t traveled recently, not even to the parents’ house.

So I tried to go without and just mask any natural fumes with an extra squirt of cologne. But I am pretty scent-conscious and I was definitely making an effort of catching a whiff of my natural scent…which I did. It smelled like 9 out of 10 guys on the bus. Therefore, I had to make an emergency run to the grocery store and pick up a back-up stick. Problem is it’s a solid. It’s made by the same company so I just hope it will get me through the week. I will be turning my room upside down to find that fugitive gel stick.

January 14, 2008



I feel like recently I’ve used every mode of transportation available, except for horse, boat and spaceship. It’s very relaxing to have others do the navigating for you. With someone else in front of the wheel, I was able to focus my attention on things other than speed limits, gas gauges, check engine lights and potholes. There was definitely a lot to observe on my trip from Portland to Tacoma and back.

The first thing I noticed was how laid-back and hassle-free traveling by train is. There are no security checkpoints, and seating assignments are made at the gate. I didn’t have to take my shoes or my belt off.

Laura and I sat across from two brothers from Jefferson, Oregon. One was a 10th grader, the quieter one was in 8th grade. They were both shy at first, but I made the mistake of asking how much his bistro car pizza was and how it tasted. Once I broke the ice, he was more than willing to speak his mind during the entire train ride, specifically on movies and his favorites subject in school, history. Luckily, Laura and I had refreshments in the form of Black Butte Porter and Bud Light. We also got to sample some of the fine bistro car cuisine for ourselves. She got the microwaved quiche, and I settled for the microwaved hot dog. Yum, yum!

On the way back we didn’t have to face any talkers (the kids said they were taking an earlier train back down). Instead, Laura and I were able to relax and watch Across the Universe, a decent flick that featured Beatles’ songs. It made Laura choke up at the end, but it just made me chuckle.

Overall, the train ride was an enjoyable experience, and I will definitely utilize it’s convenience again. I will just plan on taking and earlier train so that I can enjoy the scenery.

Some other things I saw:

– At least 5-10 cuties on each train. One that caught my eye was drinking wine at the bar in the bistro car.

– A geo-engineer writing up a memorandum about some slope he checked out.

– Amtrak employees with really cool hats.

January 10, 2008

All Aboard!


As the John Denver song goes: “I’m leavin’ on a jet train/but I’ll be back in two day-eee-yays.”

Yes, tomorrow I will travel by train for the first time, and as you can tell from the picture above, I’m all set! I’ve learned a lot about trains over the years, from Thomas the Train, to Mr. Rogers and the Neighborhood Trolley, to The Little Engine That Could (still my favorite book to this day), to the movie Throw Mama From The Train with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal, to the band Train who performs a song about my mom, Virginia.

But I don’t think any of those ever went to the magical land of Tacoma, Washington. If they did, I certainly wasn’t on one. That’s the destination. There I will be visiting my friends Nichole and Matt, who moved there last summer. It won’t just be me. My good friend from high school, Laura, is the one who got the ball rolling. She is continuing on to Seattle to visit some friends. We’ll be meeting up in Seattle on Saturday to hang out with our other friend Patrick.

It has the potential to be a blast. I’ve only been to Sea-Tac Airport and Safeco Field, but I have yet to explore Seattle. Hopefully Matt will not be a blouse and get over his cold. And hopefully all the other Amtrak passengers will keep their hands to themselves, except for Laura.

I’ll to post a special From Da Train entry when I get back to Portland.¬† There’s sure to be some interesting things to report from the tracks.


(Have you been noticing that I’ve been ending a lot of my entry titles with exclamation points? I think it’s because I do a lot of e-mail yelling.)

December 20, 2007




The other night I had to take the bus home after a Blazer game. I got the MAX at the Rose Garden and got off between 3rd and 4th Street to catch my normal bus. It was rainy, so I sat on the bench in the shelter. Of course, no one else wanted any part in sitting next to me, or even under the shelter. I guess it’s because I look so suspicious with my hood on.The other night I had to take the bus home after a Blazer game. I got the MAX at the Rose Garden and got off between 3rd and 4th Street to catch my normal bus. It was rainy, so I sat on the bench in the shelter. Of course, no one else wanted any part in sitting next to me, or even under the shelter. I guess it’s because I look so suspicious with my hood on.

Finally, a large gentleman got under the shelter. His main objective was checking the bus schedule; staying dry was just a bonus. He smelled like bologna and Fritos, a combination I have smelled before.

As I raised my head to see whose scent that was, a flash of light whisked through my line of sight like a shooting star. But it wasn’t a piece of space debris burning up in the atmosphere, oh no, it was a cigarette butt, and it landed two feet in front of me. It was from the hootrats standing¬† by the building. I thanked them with a stare.

More and more people gathered around and under the bus shelter, including one guy who stood right in front of me, and over the extinguished cancer straw. He asked another man standing beside me if he could use his phone “to call Tri-Met and check on the time.” The “connected” man gave him a funny look and replied, “it’ll be here.” I almost chimed in with a studio audience “Ooooo!” or a little “fight, fight, fight!” chant, but I just stayed quiet.

December 13, 2007



-I left my iPod at the ‘rents. Thus, I was without entertainment and my first line of defense against chatty weirdos.

-Since I had nothing to plug my ears with, I overheard two grown men talking about dark chocolate.

-Then last night, a man and a woman were faintly talking about snow storms and mutual friends. I was in between them and I could hardly hear a damn thing. I think my ears are shot.

-But sometimes people communicate with just a stare; so headphones or no headphones, I could tell exactly what this person was saying with her eyes. She was sitting alone with a small lunch box in her lap and a large shopping bag in between her seat and the open seat next to her. Another woman boarded the bus, and with plenty of available seats to choose from, she opted for the one next to the first woman. She moved the bag with a slight hesitation to communicate the inconvenience, and when she could see the unwanted neighbor didn’t notice, she sighed and followed that with a long stare. It was filled with anger and disbelief. It really said everything, and I heard it all. Unfortunately, it wasn’t loud enough for the woman right next to her to hear.

December 6, 2007




This week I encountered a lot of interesting characters on the bus. A couple of them happened to be the drivers.On a foggy Thursday morning, as we crossed the Morrison bridge into downtown Portland, the bus driver exclaimed, “I shouldn’t have watched Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’ last night.” That got a surprisingly energetic reaction from the passengers, considering it was so early in the morning.

My driver on Wednesday night wasn’t afraid to drive and entertain either. He reeled off a half-dozen jokes. Three of the funnies had to do with President Bush, which the democratic crowd enjoyed.

As more people boarded the bus, the jokes got less political, but arguably more riske. One was about three surgeons in a bar, and right before I got off there was an epic joke about an American in Shetland having a sexy party with one of the natives. But my favorite was definitely the recycled ha-ha that went something like this:

“I got home and my wife said ‘take off my blouse.’ So I did. Then she said, ‘take off my skirt.’ So I did.¬† Finally she said, ‘don’t you ever wear my clothes again!'” Ha! Knee slapper!

Guy with parrot hat bragging about his hat collection.

This morning we also had a guy with a stuffed parrot hat. No a real parrot, but a plush, colorful parrot that was about a foot tall. He wasn’t all there, but that didn’t stop him from striking up a convo with one of the girls next to him. He proceeded to tell her that he was a bell ringer (I guessing for the Salvation Army) and his collection of plush animal hats bring in a lot of donations. Whatever works for you buddy. Somebody needs to put the parrot and the Cuckoo back in the cage.

November 26, 2007



From Portland en route to San Francisco I discovered the upbeat track “Hi-Speed Soul” by Nada Surf from the album Let Go.

There were two newly recruited soldiers on that first flight.

I was also able to watch The Office on that plane, as it was the only one with TV monitors.

On the plane from Frisco to PDX one of our flight attendants looked like Hiro from Heroes.

My dad sit next to a girl that almost got sick.

Out of four separate flights, I was only offered a bag of pretzels on one.

I only hit my head once.

I witnessed no Mile-High Club meetings.

November 16, 2007



– A pair of Coors Light pajama pants, worn by an adult male.

– A “Fuck Work” sticker on a guitar case that I did not agree with entirely.

– A chapter in a book called “Pooping.”

– The Friday sports section of the Oregonian was waiting for this grieving Duck fan when he got on the bus this morning.

November 1, 2007



This week I’ve decided to provide you with a diagram that illustrates how to effectively catch the attention of a bus operator in a departing bus.


Diagram 1
If you run up to a departing bus and stop at the door, it’s likely that the operator will not see you in his or her periphral vision and speed away.


Diagram 2
Instead of running up to the door of the bus and risking the chance of being unseen, run ahead of the bus and into the operator’s line of sight.