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.