Thursday, December 18, 2008

# Holiday Office Karoke Party.

Killed "push it" by Salt n Pepa. Stayed true to the barley, no liquor and no ass making out of myself. Fun was had had by all, and in true office party tradition everyone got wacky. But not over the top.

The gargely chortles of my Tom Waits-esque back up singing was in full effect.

# 6:30 @ 7:30, Push it, push it real good.

Just hopped aboard the 6:30am chariot at 7:32am. A giant accident happened on route 80 west bound at exit 12, the exit right before mine. We shall see when I get into work.

Any other day if the bus is more than 15 minutes late I'm in my car and driving in, but tonight I have our company holiday party and it'll be a late night and driving home is not an option. Karaoke is the official theme of this year's form of workplace humiliation.I have my song all picked out, dance routine choreographed and the costume is bedazzled, took a sick day off work to get all those sequins attached. It will be stunning, a sight and performance not to be forgotten. Salt N' Pepa's Push It is the anthem of choice. It will be epic, the things workplace legends are made of.

Can you feel that tingly electricity in the air? I do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

# Free Snow

1st real snow commute of the year. Snow is free. And when you are a kid you sometimes get a free day off school. I wouldn't know about such luxuries, having grown up in Southern California.

When I get to the city I'm going to listen to Chris Anderson speak about his next new business hype. The subject of his new book that he's pre-promoting is the idea and tactic of "free". The longest tail has lead him to free. I'll go listen to what he has to say and eat his "free" donuts.

I'll report back afterward how free will free us all.

I get free food, not a free day, snow does not stop the mighty wheels of commerce, only elementary school learning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

# Soylent Green PA.

Monday morning, climb aboard the trusty steed, and it's empty, only 4 people on the bus. My stop is the last stop, and only stop in NJ before rolling straight into the NYC, their are 5 other stops before mine all in PA starting in Scranton.

I think all the old PA steel mills have been converted into food processing plants, that crank out soylent green, or maybe the PA variety is more a rust color. It's the only logical explanation for my empty Monday morning bus.

Friday, December 12, 2008

# Simpler.

Cold, dark, wet.

Get ass out of bed go to work on a bus.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

# Simple.

Get on the bus go home.

Suck it.

That's all I got.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

# Back of the Bus

ah, stretch out, relax, make yourself comfortable. Not the normal whining of my bus ride to work, but today is different. I have the entire 3 back seats to myself, it's almost like staying in bed an extra hour and ten minutes. I fell asleep, snoozed and woke up inside the warm comfort of the womb-like Lincoln Tunnel and popped out the Manhattan side like a new born baby. No slap on the butt, only the sweet diesel fumes of Port Authority.

Monday, December 8, 2008

# Only 17

One of the lamest guilty pleasure, big hair band songs " Seventeen" and the lamest early morning temperature so far this year, 17.

Damn is 17 cold, even for the 11 minutes I stood waiting for my Monday morning Chariot. 17 degrees hurts almost as much as the song. At least it's possible to get warm and forget the cold of 17, but the Winger tune of 17 can stick in your brain and torture you, for who knows how long.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

# Worst ACF Ride to Date.

It all happened last night, started out innocent enough.

Met my Buddy Mike after work down in Tribeca near his new job. Hung out at Tribeca Tavern for awhile then my fatal decision occurred. Let's stay out a little later and catch the 11pm bus home instead of the 9pm. At the time it seemed like no big deal, get home a little late but nothing drastic.

We go up to Port 41 for a few drinks. A quiet night, very tame except for the working girl who wanted to sit in the booth with us, gave her the cold shoulder and she moved on. Then some old timer junkie overhears us mention California, and he proceeds to give us a firsthand description on how amazing Mexican Black Tar is compared to the crap he gets here in NYC. After the critical analysis of east coast vs. west coast illicit pharmacology. We walk across the street and go to the bus gate.

"Sorry, bus is full" the driver tells us. We convince the driver to let us stand, we're the 1st stop. He says ok and we stand up riding home not optimal, but not bad. We get to our exit on Route 80 and it's closed for construction. We pass it go an extra 15 miles and back to our exit from the eastbound side of 80 get off the bus. Finally.

Now I realize I need to drive Mike back east on 80 back to Dover train station where his car is. An extra 40 miles. Then I'm back on 80 with the closed exit again, another 15 or so more miles.

To complete a usual 59 mile trip I spent 115 miles and an extra 2 hours.

Head hit pillow at 2am, alarm rang at the usual 5:40am and rode the ACF again back to NYC.

Next time we plan on investing a little more time in logistics. Seat of the pants planning did not play out so well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

# German Grafitti by Blu

An amazing creation in patience in Berlin. Blu.

Monday, December 1, 2008

# Morning French Confusion

Each morning when I exit the ACF in the lower intestine of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, my ears are filled with French. Not the French of highfalutin cinema, or sophisticated snobbery.

Nope. The other French.

The lower basement is empty except for one long line of verbal confusion. The bus leaving to go to Montreal, our back bacon eating, Molson drinking, hockey obsessed brethren to the north. Why is it so much fun to make fun of Canadiens? They just feel like the little brother you could pick on and tease. The line to board the polar express is always chattering with that goofy sound of France's ugly step child.

The PABT really is the UN of low culture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

* Empty Bus.

The day before Thanksgiving and the Wednesday morning ride on the ACF to the city. The bus is empty maybe 10 fellow passengers on the 55 seat land yacht, and the roads are as much a ghost town as the inside of the bus.

Coming home from work it'll be the exact opposite situation. Today being the most traveled day of the year. Everyone needs to get "home" for the all-american gluttony fest. No ACF ride home for me today, will be rolling home in my wife's car battling the traffic to get to a pre-thanksgiving family dinner, just to repeat the gastrointestinal workout the next day, kind of a dress rehearsal of gluttony. Maybe the goal should be to get fat enough to attain the status of getting my own seat each day, to repulse others to not have to sit next to the fat guy.

I can hang on to my dreams, no matter how hard anyone tries to take them away, I'll always have my dreams.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

* The .01%

I have missed a few days of entries to the ACF blog of retarded observations.


Because every entry I have written about has been about the thing, event or person that is out of the ordinary. The past few days have been painfully numb with blandness, to the point that I have no idea what has happened in the past 5 or 6 trips on the Chariot. Maybe this is good, maybe this is the pinnacle of commuter enlightenment, the closest thing to being transported from one location to another unaware of the trip.

I write about that one nail head in the floor that sticks up, that you tear your sock on, not the hundreds of other nails doing their job holding down the floorboards as they should.

That one nail that is waiting for the hammer to smack it back down into conformity. I write about that one freak nail, the tiny percentage that is slightly oblique, that just doesn't fit in. Is this a mirror of my own struggle to not fit in, just like everyone else? Probably.

Maybe it's good to celebrate the bland, to go for the bronze, to strive for mediocrity. It's what 99.9% of life is for most of us. Movies, TV, magazines and newspapers are for that .01% of people we trick ourselves into thinking is normal.

Just another day on the bus, nothing more nothing less, and that's ok.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

* 5 Minute Dialog With Ralph Kramden.

Just witnessed a man have a very heated and animated conversation with Ralph Kramden. The man was telling how he was going to be right back and that he would not leave Ralph out in this bitter cold. He went on to inform him that soon he'd be ready, real ready, for what I had no idea but it sounded as if it had been in the works for quite some time.

Ralph Kramden is the life sized statue of Jackie Gleason's famous bus driver character from The Honeymooners. He stands proud and tall at the south entrance of Port Authority on 8th Ave and 40th street, directly across from the New York Times building. I like to think of him as the patron saint of bus drivers.

He'll listen if you have something on your mind.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

* Pussycat Dolls, Iron Workers & Port 41

Get to the PABT a little early and decide to go to Port 41 for a soothing barley beverage, it's a freezin 38 degrees. I toss open the door of the skankiest watering hole in all of Manhattan and what do I behold?

Ten or more burly as all hell Union Iron Workers dancing their asses off to the Pussycat Dolls blasting on the juke box. What a sight. And they know all the words, the Dominican Barmaid is shaking her money maker in full effect, this only whips the union dudes into a frenzy. They will not stop dancing, they are madmen possessed by the hypnotic pussycat dolls infectious beats.
I down 2 Bud drafts in record time and climb aboard the ACF homeward bound with that "when I grow up!" Song bouncing back and forth inside my noggin.

* Blocking the Box

Almost in the bus terminal and a foot Cop bangs on the the bus door as we are waiting to pull inside the entrance, the driver opens the door and the cop yells at him that he'll be getting a summons by mail. She asks for the Driver's name he says "Brian and then some last name that has a s-k-y on the end. Brian the Driver is pissed yells back at the cop "how can I not stop part way in the intersection with all the construction happening"?

Now I know the Driver's name he doesn't have one of those fancy name plates above his seat the way E. Camara did, I don't think he has the same level of pride and commitment to his job as E. did.

Monday, November 17, 2008

* Overheard Quotes.

Walking from the subway to Port Authority the guy walking in front of me says to his buddy "There's all the people that do stupid things that get fired anyways" speaking of the 20,000 CitiGroup employees getting axed today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

* High Stakes Driver.

Eavesdropping on the guy's conversation in the seat in front of me. I think he drives probably the largest payloads in the city. He works for Sotheby's and drives a box truck that hauls all the items to be auctioned from the warehouse to the showroom. I can only imagine the art work this guy has taxied around Manhattan.

* Ocular Hygiene in Port Authority

Waiting in line at Port Authority and a guy behind me bends down, places his contact lenses on the floor, squirts some eye juice in his eyes, picks up the lenses from the basement Port Authority floor and jams them in his eyes and let's out a relieving "ahhhh that's better".

Effing freak.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

* Eat The Miles Away.

Just hopped on the 9pm Chariot headed out west to Jersey.

Sometimes a fellow ACF riding compadre gets a powerful hankerin' for some vittles. My Chariot riding pardners now how to chow down in a most serious way. Two rows in front of me the infectious aroma of Popeye's Fried chicken is wafting back, this woman is no stranger to its crispy golden goodness. Damn she even has the mashed potatoes with the little bits of pork floating in the gravy, she's killin me. That is one righteous meal I'm coveting.

Meanwhile across the aisle the woman is on her 3rd Aunt Amie's Pretzel dipping each and every bite meticulously in cream cheese. Pizza, Chinese food, and unidentified things in stained tupperware containers are being devoured. Tonight it's like a bouncing rolling mall food court on wheels.

I'm just as guilty of my fave of the seven deadly sins; gluttony. Yesterday I bought a whole package of four fat-assed brownies from Mrs. Race's food stand in Union Square and did not share one bite with my co-workers. Yup I'm keeping up with all my fellow Piggy McPig-Pigs on the ACF.

* "Deer cost me 1,900 bucks".

The older suit wearing guy who never speaks, turns around in line waiting for the pre-sunrise ACF and says "Hit a damn deer with my PT Cruiser and it's gonna cost me $1,900 bucks". That's it, then just turns back around starring forward looking for the bus to show up.

This guy strikes me as odd, he never is carrying anything, no bag of any sort, just hands in his pockets travels 50 miles to NYC and back. I have never seen him on the return trip.

The quiet deer killers, they're the ones that can crack at any moment.

Monday, November 10, 2008

* FDM Small Talk.

Today was another 1st. I exchanged small talk with FDM (Feather Duster Man) He was hanging out near my gate and started chatting with me completly unsolicited. "Good days work and going home" he says. I agree, and I tell him he's the only thing that keeps this place together. He let's me know it's the truth with a wink and a asalamalaykum my brutha. He's back to his effortless glide up and down the escalators, keeping the fabric of the Port Authority Bus Terminal from breaking down, and anarchy from sweeping the basement bowels of this underworld. He is a Superhero with a feather duster. I admire his sense of purpose and dedication to tidyness down here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

* Where Did I leave The... ?

Bed, TV, Table and Toilet?

I was walking from the subway to my office and came across this oddity. A bed, TV, table and toilet, just sitting in the cross walk in Union Square. You could write a million stories on what happened for these items to be abandoned in such a public place.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

* I Just Don't Get It?

Arrived at the bus stop a wee bit behind schedule by maybe 8 minutes. That tiny window of time at this ungodly hour of the morning can be the deal breaker of just getting to work nice and calm or becoming an internalized volcano on the verge of blowing.

This morning I'm 9 or 10 people back in line, shivering in the parking lot awaiting the chariot. I've already started the lava bubbling with the inevitable knowledge that I'll have half an ass cheek on the seat and rubbing up against some typical obese blob for 50 snail-paced miles into NYC.

The ACF pulls up, the people in line ahead of me wedge themselves between Fatty McFat-Fats at the vary front of the bus, and now I'm up to choose my seat. I look 3/4 of the way back in the bus and see 3 sets of unoccupied seats. 3 pairs of seats with no one in them, a frickin miracle. I take one pair, nice and comfy all for myself, and start wondering what the hell is wrong with the 10 or so people in line that were ahead of me, why did they not want to be comfortable?

Are they Sheeple?

I am truely vexed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

* He's Back.

E. Camara the ACF driver is back at the helm. I have no idea where he was for the past few months, maybe a different route down to Philly, not sure. It' great to see him back and with no speed limiting buzzer and a new bus on top of it all.

Yup This whole "change" thing is really starting off on the right foot.

* Exhale, and Go to Work

It's over. The country can let out a collective exhale. Go to work if you have a job. It worked out how I wanted. Now let's see the man walk the walk. The first time in over 8 years I actually feel proud to say I'm American with a capital "A".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

* The Vote that Counts vs. Count the Votes.

As Uncle Joe Stalin said: “It’s not he who votes that counts, it’s he who counts the votes.”

* 1st, Number One, Numero Uno!

Election day, and I was the 1st in line to vote at my polling place. Had to vote before jumping aboard my chariot, or no chance of doing my civic duty.

Climbed on the bus and there were only 4 people on from all the PA stops before mine. I hope it is because all those PA folks are voting and taking a later bus.

Such a tactile sense of electricity in the air today, it is NOT an ordinary day. I keep looking out the window to try and see the difference, I look out the high bus windows down into cars and trucks looking for something. You cannot see any difference but you can sense something is happening. A sort of collective gasp of the entire population holding it's breath, wanting to exhale but can't until we all learn the outcome.

Just have to wait and hope it all rolls smoothly with resolution. The worst would be not knowing what happened before going to sleep tonight.
The Jersey Hwys are empty and calm, NOT an ordinary day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

* Fall Back

The first day of going to work since the setting back of the clocks. It's light out when I'm standing in the the Panther Valley 7-Eleven parking lot at 6:30am. No more sunrises over industrial Jersey. Now it's back to starring into the glare, squinty eyed.

It's the day before election day, and I still have not shaved. My self imposed rule is; no shaving until we know who the next President is. It better not end up like 2000, or I'm going to have to join ZZ Top. It's starting to bug me when I sleep, Trying to hold out.

Please America, choose a President in a timely fashion.

To be able to vote tomorrow before work I need to wake up at 5am, get to the polling place in Allamuchy before 6am, vote, and catch the 6:30am ACF to the city. There had better not be a line to vote, or I'm screwed. I can't be growing this stupid beard for nothing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

- Undecided?

Not Commute related, but with less than 4 days left until the election I came across this:

from the current issue of The New Yorker (October 27, 2008 - page 43),
David Sedaris writing in "Shouts and Murmurs".

'I don't know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. "Who are they?" the news anchors ask. "And how might they determine the outcome of this election?"

Then you'll see this man or woman -- someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. "Well, Charlie," they say, "I've gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can't seem to make up my mind!" Some insist that there's very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they're with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.'

Thursday, October 30, 2008

- New Distraction, Moving Pictures!

A co-worker (he commutes from Westport, CT to NYC) hooked me up with the HBO series "The Wire" the first 3 seasons as MP4s.

I'm new to this visual portion of the iPod, just never got around to it. I've been wanting to get into this show for quiet some time. My spanish speaking instruction will have to take a back seat to these newfangled talking, moving pictures. Shout out to ol' Eadweard Muybridge.

Rolling down the Hwy watching the TeeVee. This is living.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

- It Was Bound to Happen.

Rollin through Jersey on the homeward bound ACF. The bus is the most empty I have ever seen. It's dark, warm, comfy, I fall asleep to the native Spanish speakers of my espanol instructions for how to board de avion, and I'm out like a light.

I'm jolted out of snoozville by a route 80 crater. Why is the left side of my face wet? Yes I did it, I drooled. No public embarrassment, just quiet patheticness.

On the the road to de-evolution to becoming a full blown ACF Native. I feel as if I've earned some sort of sad merit badge. Just another rite of passage.

Viva de ACF!

- Cold, Wet, Sloppy Slush.

Standing in a 7-Eleven parking lot in 35 degrees, 30mph winds in a gloppy mix of rain and a slurpee like substance blowing almost horizontal. The ACF is late of course, so me and 6 other fools are standing here just taking whatever the weather smacks us in the face with.

20 minutes ago I was all toasty warm snoozing in bed, my current condition could not be more different.

Now inside the warm cacoon of the ACF we're rolling slow and safe on the slipperiness.

Monday, October 27, 2008

- Rural NJ Home Life infects NYC

Not directly on topic of commuting between the rural and the metropolitan life but personally connected to my world.

In my little town in the northwest corner of New Jersey we have a local farm stand, Race Farm owned and operated by the Race family for who knows how many generations. During the weekend we went apple and pumpkin picking and we were speaking with the Matriarch of the
Race tribe, Mrs Race. I found out she runs a farm stand in Union Square every Monday right across from the Coffee Shop, she went on to tell us her brownies were voted "best in the Union Square market".

My office is exactly opposite her stand, I went down and said hello to her Grandkids who run the NYC satellite of Mrs. Race's fresh produce empire.

So make sure you buy all your fresh veggies from the Race family, and don't forget about her brownies, they are the best.

Raining cats and dogs, supposed to be worse tomorrow, soggy rolling on the ACF in the AM. Will have a full report of every nugget of minutia.
Adios, Be_are_why.

Friday, October 24, 2008

- 9pm Friday Bus Home.

I thinking this is the 1st time I've taken this later bus on a Friday night. A very different crowd and mood from the usual school night ride home. It is a lively crowd, no one is sleeping, everyone is talking, people are eating complete dinners, A big crew of Union type dudes are pounding tall-boys. You would think the ACF was headed for Atlantic City. The bus is in full party effect.

It's a nice change of pace. Fiesta de autobus!

- Sunrise Over Newark.

Seeing the sunrise over Newark makes me homesick for California.

The sun makes amazing colors reflecting through all the billowing smoke stacks from the southeast of Newark. The Jersey towns of Kearny, Harrison, Bayonne all contribute with their oil refineries and factories to make the sunrise a hue saturated event.

The NJ sunrise, is so similar to the sunsets of California. The smog would hang out off the coast in the Pacific and reflect back the classic SoCal postcard worthy sunset.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

- 1st Official Cold Day.

The very accurate thermometer in my truck read the first degree of frozen, 32 degrees. I drove to the bus stop and stood outside shivering until the warm cozy ACF arrived and rescued me from frostbite.

It's time to find my real winter coat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

- A Rare Breed in These Here Parts.

The Renzo Piano designed new New York Times building is directly across 8th Ave. from the Port Authority. The HQ for the old gray lady has had a serious make-over, she is stunning.

As I walked towards the new architectural gem, I could see a small crowd of picketers at the entrance. I'm always curious as to what people will walk around in circles and scream, chant and holler for. I must admit I once was a Union scab working in a rubber mill for over a year. When I approached I saw my 1st example of McCain/Palin supporters in NYC. They were very well dressed middle-aged women and men that looked like every other bland office drone. The throngs of people pouring past them for the most part ignored them, but I noticed two Union worker guys fly that middle digit in their honor.

Time to hop aboard the ACF and roll back home.

- Slept to NYC

Stayed up too late last night getting caught up watching True Blood episodes.

Slept almost the entire ride to the big city.

Gotta wake up and get on the subway to Union Square to the office.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

- ACF Motor Voter Registration.

Waiting in line to board the chariot in the bowels of the Port Authority. A feisty older woman was working all the bus lines that were headed to Pennsylvania. She was relentless, asking every passenger if they wanted to vote via absentee ballot, knowing us commuters leave before the polls open and get home after closing. After the driver let us all board the voter lady boarded the bus and double checked she didn't miss a single person. She got off and went to the next bus.

Note: I photographed the above poster next door to my office building in Union Square.

Good to see NYCer's making sure PA has access to democracy.

E. Pluribis Unum & asalamalaykum compadres.

- Slow Down You're Going Too Fast !

Some guy way in the back of the bus is hollering "slow down" everyone is yelling back at him "shut up!" Slow down guy goes up front and yells at the driver. Now the driver is trying to radio another bus to take this guy off. Ridiculous. The other bus radios back and says no way. Slow down guy will not shut up, screaming at times, people are just laughing at him now. He's on the verge of loosing it.

Only a few more miles until the tunnel, he's still whining, that the Driver is unsafe, we're going maybe 40mph in the bus lane.

At least we made good time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

- Public Execution on Sacred Symbol of Freedom Site.

Slightly oblique to the typical subject matter of whining about bus riding.

Our most famous symbol of freedom and gracious French gift, Lady Liberty welcoming all us immigrants, did not start out as such a glorious locale.

The island where the Statue of Liberty stands was originally known as Bledsoe's Island and was the site of one of the most grizzly displays of public execution.

Albert W. Hicks was a notorious river pirate up and down the East and Hudson Rivers during the mid 1800's. Some of his buddies got him really drunk and took him off the coast of Staten Island to find his stash. Hicks sobered up and butchered them all cutting off fingers for trophies after he killed them all with an axe. He said the devil possessed him, after he was caught with a photo of one of the murdered men and the fingers.

Hicks was one of those larger than life gangsters of NY that had been untouchable for years.

He was hung on Friday the 13th on a platform on the island with a rowdy party crowd of over 10,000 watching from all manner of boats offshore. He hung for 3 minutes kicking and screaming at the end of his rope, as the crowds cheered and played music and partied. His body was buried in a cemetery on Canal street, and within hours was stolen and sold to NYU med students for a few dollars.

We planted that graceful French lady on this site to be our external symbol of freedom to the world.

Not the usual bus riding commentary, but tangentially connected to my NYC/NJ gestalt.

- Slow Moving Monday.

Monday morning and I've been on the bus one hour and have traveled a whopping distance of 15 miles. Not the way to start the week.

I'm living a Clash song right now.

"Never mind that it's time for the bus
We got to work - an' you're one of us
Clocks go slow in a place of work
Minutes drag and the hours jerk".

And I'm just trying to GET to work. Yes Mondays rock alright.

RIP Joe Strummer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

- Fountains of Wayne?

At the interchange of NJ Route 46 and Interstate 80 is Fountains of Wayne. Where in typical garish Jersey fashion is displayed every imaginable cast concrete lawn ornament. If you live in suburban NJ and have need to externally proclaim your status on the block, you go hog wild at Fountains of Wayne and impress the hell out of the neighbors. Gnomes, cherubs, fountains and fierce animals all made out of gray concrete will be your legacy as the pyramids were to the Pharaohs.

And why did that poppy band choose this as their ironically cool moniker?

- Hero of the ACF

This post is about events that happened last night on the ride home.

With a belly full of Go Go Curry I settled into the ride home, reading a book and listening to Spanish lessons on my iPod. Not paying attention the the assumed regular route back home.

(Port Authority, Lincoln Tunnel, Route 3 north, Route 46 west, Interstate 80 west, Exit 19, Panther Valley.)

I was sitting toward the back of the bus, and the guy across the aisle says "that's the 2nd time I've seen that fertilizer store". I turned my Espanol off and paid attention because I have never seen a "fertilizer store" and why did he see it twice?

I look up and see we are in Wayne NJ on Route 23, not anywhere we should be going.People are getting angry yelling at the Driver. I know where we are at and it's wrong. The guy across the aisle says "there is the fertilizer store again" now we have passed it 3 times.

I mumble out loud where we should be going and how to get there. An older woman behind me yells at me, and tells me to go up and tell the Driver what to do.

Moment of truth, be a complaining bystander or make a difference. I do it, I march to the front of the bus and sit on the stair next to the driver and he says "do you know where we are?" I get him back on 46 and then 80 west. I walk back to my seat a hero.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

- Go Go = Five, Five.

On 38th almost at 8th Ave, just one very short block from the Port Authority is one of my all time fave food joints.

Go Go Curry. I had enough time to grab some dinner, and had almost forgotten about this gem. It's Japanese curry over deep fried chicken cutlet and rice, you will be transported to a dirty back alley Osaka curry house.(And - I've been to countless curry dives all over Nippon) It's really that good and that authentic. The only odd wrinkle or asset depending on your point of view is that GO GO Curry is a shrine to Hideki Matsui, number 55 on the Yankees.

The word "GO" in Japanese means the number "5". So the translation is "Five Five Curry" They open at 10:55am and close at 9:55pm, anytime Matsui hits a home run and you are eating you get some free food of the month.

If you have a bit of time before catching your ACF out of Port Authority eat at Go Go Curry for under $10 bucks it will not dissapoint.

Make sure not to chew gum afterwards your, pungent curry breath will up your odds for not having to sit next to someone, it did the trick tonight.

- Last Nights Debate

God bless this great nation of ours.

I fell asleep on the bus ride into the big city this morning. I dreamt of last night's debate and the cape crusader was there in my hazy, bouncing sleepy state.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

- Rolling Bacteria Filled Cylinder.

Coughing, hacking, phlegm gargling aluminum sided diesel propelled tube of communicable disease. The ACF is.

I'm not at all a germ-a-phobe. I eat things that drop on the floor, and don't worry much at all about germs. I don't clean my bathrooms at home in the nude and then jump in the shower. But today it seems 54 of the 55 ACF riders are one collective beast of repulsive nose blowing snot factory.

If I make it through this mine field of influenza it'll be a miracle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

- Odd Sight in Port Authority Bathroom.

No it's not that naughty, but strange. You know those street performer dudes that paint themselves all silver? Every major city has a few. I had just finished my slice that I inhaled and needed a place to throw my oil-stained paper plate. I see the garbage can just inside the restroom, I go in dump my rubbish and as I turn around I see him. Silverman is removing his trademark reflectiveness in the sink. Everything is silver, the floor, the walls, the counter, he looked like he had been at it for hours.

As I take it all in and walk out I see FDM (Feather Duster Man) going in, by the never before seen pissed off look in his eye, he knew what was going on. I caught the distinct vibe from Mr. FDM that this was not silverman's first time making his colossal mess.

On the ACF and rolling through the tunnel back to the farm life of Jersey.

- 3/4 for the cost of a whole.

Only have 3/4 of a seat this morning, can only use one hand to type, my imposed seat mate takes my other .25 percent of my seat with her rotundness.

Her squeaky pleather jacket rubs my right arm and hip with every bump the NJ highways throw at the ACF. So very much friction, I hope we do not combuste in a blaze of fiery glory.

The fat have inherited the bus seats of the earth. They are so very much more equal than the rest of us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

- Columbus Day & Cheap Gas.

No traffic going into the big city, and smooth sailing on the rebound back to Jersey. The cheapest gas prices in the country, NJ is proudly flying the below $3.00 a gallon banner, I've passed many stations with $2.95 proudly displayed.

At least that's a small bone to be thrown for the highest property taxes in the union. Also the market bounced back up in the correct direction.

The bus is only half full, I think I'll hit the publish button and try and catch a few z's on the balance of the ride home.

Friday, October 10, 2008

- Friday Night Revelry.

I had a half hour to kill before getting on my bus and went and had a quick drink at Port 41 next to the bus terminal. I walk in 20 union iron workers are singing kid rock songs at the top of there lungs. Then 4 airborne soldiers walk in they are so young, shipping out to Iraq tonight all the Union dudes start buying them drinks 3 more kid rock songs play on the jukebox and the soldiers know all the lyrics they were screaming it was great. A sense of perverse pride was had by all.

Left the bar mid song and listened to the sweet sound of america trail off behind me as I walked across 41st Street to climb aboard the final ACF of the week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

- Under Appreciated View.

At night leaving the city, when you exit the Lincoln Tunnel on the Jersey side twisting around the helix is when you see it. You look back at Manhattan's vertical array of twinkling lights, it's breathtaking. Every time I experience this sight I have an instant sense of pride, I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the satisfied look back at the delicate buzzing hive, and you feel that you did your small part to keep "that" hive alive one more day.

Sappy I know, but it's real, with zero percent irony. Just a solid sense of un-hip comfort in your own skin, it defines you and you sleep good to wake up and do it all over.

I never had any idea how much I could love being a Calif. Ex-pat in the NYC/NJ world.

- Hungry, dirty, horny, sorry.

Yom Kippur today, and the bus and the highway are empty. I stretch out and relax with no one next to me. Us " goyim" as we are referred to are on our way to work. Just another day for the un-chosen folk.

Prohibitions traditionally observed. (Mishnah tractate Yoma 8:1):
  1. No Eating and drinking
  2. No Wearing leather shoes
  3. No Bathing/washing
  4. No Anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions
  5. No Sexual relations

Total abstention from food and drink usually begins 30 minutes before sundown (called tosefet Yom Kippur, lit. "Addition to Yom Kippur"), and ends after nightfall the following day. Although the fast is required of all healthy adults, it is waived in the case of certain medical conditions. Virtually all Jewish holidays involve a ritual feast, but since Yom Kippur involves fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur, after the Mincha afternoon prayer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

- Bathroom Weave Accident.

Riding the 9pm chariot home and needed to do the unheard of, oh it's not that bad. I used the rolling, sloshing bucket of blue toxic-ness. (The bathroom) No biggie just the garden variety bladder buster relief.

Everything went as planned, but upon leaving the rolling latrine I was making my way back to my seat in complete darkness up the aisle, and right as I'm plopping myself into my seat, I accidentally smack the mile-high hair weave of the woman seated in front of me. It wobbled back and forth but defied gravity. I said I was sorry, and she said "It's alright sugar"

Close call.

- Same. Same. Different. Bounce.

Same AM time: 6:30am
Same Driver: New No-Name Guy
Different Bus: #583 in place of the usual #553

Bouncing like a bucking bronco on meth. My ass has actually been airborne more than 5 times. Banging shoulders with the the blanketed heap next to me non-stop. She? does not budge or acknowledge a thing.

Ass Chariot of Bounce. Hope this is not the new norm.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

- R. Kelly, like it or not!

A middle-aged man two rows behind me is listening to the same R. Kelly song over and over. I have my headphones on and I can still hear the juvenile urination king loud and clear.

I am amazed by him, he loves it. He cannot get enough R. Kelly. Sam Ashe Dude is sitting directly in front of him reading a AC/DC biography. He is a much more tolerant man than I could ever be. He reads about Angus and his band mates with no headphones on. I imagine he is reading the part of their story when Bon Scott drinks himself to death. Sam Ashe Dude just takes the sonic urination without being phased in the least. He is christ like in his acceptance of others, a rare trait.

- Lucky Seats.

I hit the ACF seat jackpot this morning. I scored the triple seat at the back of the bus all to myself. Stretched out in lazy-boy strata-lounger bliss. Feet up maximum deluxe luxury.

Today's ride to NYC was like riding a bed to work. Something is very right with the world today.

Click on the ad to your left, and help a Brutha out. Mahalo nui loa, and mahalo very much.

Monday, October 6, 2008

- So Bored I'll Grow a Beard.

I'm gonna do it! I've thought long and hard, these desperate times call for desperate actions. I'm going to grow a beard to insure this great nation of ours makes the correct choice on November 4th.

I will not shave until the results of the Presidential election are known. This, in my infinite wisdom will absolutely insure that Barrack Obama will become the next President of this ransacked United States.

How could a plan so perfect, so simple not work? Spending as much time as I do rolling on the highways with true Americans has convinced me of the purity of this noble endeavor. Or just rattled my brain enough that I think this just might work.

I would love to challenge anyone to disprove this follicle act for change. change is as easy as just saying no to your razor.

Note: Thank you Ron English for the above illustration.

- ACF Snooze Posture.

There are two general categories of sleeping on the herky jerky ACF ride to NYC.

The Lean Back:
This choice of motion bound sleep tends to be the noisiest. The hardcore snorer assumes this position. Head tipped back, mouth gaping open sawing logs. The Leaned back reclining posture is the most safe for staying in the same position during your rolling snooze.

The Forward Slump:
This is how I spent the first two thirds of this morning's ride. Slumped forward with your chin in your chest, the side to side motion is your worst enemy. You are not nearly as stable. I have seen many an accidental act of intimacy between strangers. Hard-Assed Union workers nuzzling each others shoulders, female office workers spooning the Bukowski type drunk dude.

This morning in my slumped state I cuddled a very tall bald man with terminal dandruff. I'll brush off the snow storm on my right shoulder when I get in Port Authority.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

- The Big VP Showdown.

Palin is shockingly ignorant but at the same time rigidly opinionated, something which usually goes together. When shown for what she is, she turns the charm on in order to get her way regardless, and when that STILL doesn’t work, it’s all somebody else’s fault... Bush too got away with that sort of mindset, promoting paranoid fantasy over recorded fact, using lies and smears to ram his own self-glorifying agenda down people’s throats and playing innocent when there are “unforeseen” deadly consequences for other people.

All for the higher glory of what they call “God”, and/or “freedom”, but what rational people call the triumphantly inflated narcissistic SELF.

{ the above was copy & pasted from todays NY Times }

I can't wait to get off the ACF tonight and hurry home and see the big show. It's the same level of excitement as waiting for a WWF pay-perview to begin.

But sadly it's for real, I really wish Vince McMahon was scripting this.

- Staring into the Sun

Sitting in the very front seat of the ACF, the sun has just revealed it's glaring self over the eastern horizon, the direction the bus travels. We drive directly at the fiery ball. The driver is sans sunglasses and refuses to use the sun visor, he just squints and barrels headlong forward towards the burning mass.

I do not get the romantic fascination with the sunrise. The sunrise signals my pathetic plight of having to wake up early. Never seeing a sunrise is true luxury. The sunset is the pay-off for a productive day, I get that romantic notion. But that ball of fire rising in the east every work day is nature's most obnoxious alarm clock. I know it's a new beginning, the genesis and all that, I don't buy it.

Passing through Newark now and the Driver refuses to put on his sunglasses sitting next to him, he will beat that glaring blob, he will out glare it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

- Chauvinistic Ramble

I'm on the 9pm bus tonight, before climbing aboard the trusty stead I had a quick pint at Port 41. As I watch the financial world crumble on the flat screen behind the bar a very sweaty guy with a large Macy's shopping bag full of zippo lighters asks if I want 2 for 9 bucks. I look them over and tell him sure, knowing full well he won't have the single to make change for my 10 dollar bill. That's cool it's part of the game.

There are a few physical items that just exude manliness, and the shiny weight, and clicking sound of a zippo is very close to the top of that list.
Other items on that list would include:
-Browning stack barrel 12 gauge shotgun
-1961 Triumph Bonneville
-Stainless steal Rolex Daytona
-Laphroaig single malt
and many more.

It's time to get off the bus now,