Tag Archives: living the life

Fully embracing the role

After 11 years without a car, I have made a purchase that will enhance my bus cred by an order of magnitude–at least. For bus chicks of a certain generation (OGs—OB’s?—like my grandma), it is the most basic tool for shopping, one you wouldn’t think of living without.

I, on the other hand, have made do with backpacks, stroller compartments, biweekly produce delivery, and a lot of schlepping. I have carried so many heavy bags over the years that I am certain to develop some kind of condition in the future.

I digress.

I passed this beauty on my walk home from work every day for weeks. Eventually, its call was too strong for me to resist. Fellow bus chicks, behold.

new shopping cart

I have a new cart!

new shopping cart

And it transforms!










Of course what got me was the seat. (A built-in bus bench? Yes, please!). But, as it turns out, the seat is actually the part I don’t like about it. It’s rare that I use the bus to shop for groceries (I stick to the store within walking distance), so I don’t get to use it much. And, when I tilt the cart to pull it, the seat comes loose and drags on the sidewalk. (Looks like I’ll be “securing” it with duct tape until I can find a suitable Velcro strap.)

On the other hand…

new shopping cart

Transporting Father’s Day pie to Paw Paw









The world is new.

The wisdom of bus ladies

When I was pregnant with Chicklet, folks I met on buses and at stops regularly inquired about the gender of my bus-bundle-to-be. Some of them (almost always middle-aged to older women) were sure they already knew. “It’s a girl,” they announced confidently, almost to a woman. “I can tell because of the way you’re carrying/how tired you look/the curl in your hair.” (OK, they didn’t mention my hair, but I’m pretty sure my fingernails came up a time or two.) Back then, I knew they were right (since I’d chosen to find out Chicklet’s gender) and was duly impressed by their powers. How do they do that?*

Nerd and I have chosen not to find out the gender of Bus Baby #2, and, for some reason, I haven’t been getting as many (really, any) bus-based gender predictions. Or, at least, I hadn’t. Last Friday, as Chicklet and I were waiting to board the 8**, we moved aside to let a middle-aged bus lady off. She took one look at us and exclaimed, “Oh wow! A baby boy!” I was confused at first, since Chicket is a girl (though she was wearing a raincoat with a hood) and not really a baby anymore, until the woman put her hand on my belly and gave it a vigorous rub. “How wonderful,” she said. “Now you’ll have one of each.”

And so, it seems, it is settled. The power of the bus lady cannot be denied.

Guess this’ll narrow down our name options.

*I need to know, since, in the not-too-distant future, I will be a middle-aged bus lady.
**Have I mentioned how much I love that the 8 runs every day now? Sunday afternoon cravings for greasy fries (and tartar!) from Dick’s can finally be indulged.

Happy birthday, Chicklet!

In her first year of life, my child has ridden the following routes:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 36, 41, 44, 48, 54, 55, 56, 60, 66, 70, 74, 134, 150, 174, 194, 230, 255, 358, 545, 550, 554, 590–not to mention the Monorail, Puyallup Fair shuttle, Elliott Bay Water Taxi, Detroit People Mover, Amtrak, Portland Streetcar, and a few Portland bus routes.

Chicklet at 50 weeks

How I know Chicklet is a true BCiT:

Yesterday, we met my friend Kelley and her baby daughter Evan for our weekly walk/lunch at Green Lake. After lunch, I took a credit card out of my wallet to pay our bill. Chicklet, in her custom of naming everything she sees, pointed at the card and announced (with great enthusiasm), “Buhpash!”*

And then there was this morning, when we three headed downtown on the 27 (eventual destination: Seattle Children’s Theater). As soon as we sat down, Chicklet reached for my bag. “Bik!”** she demanded. “Bik! Bik!”


Chicklet on Halloween
Our seasoned bus rider, celebrating Halloween at Daddy’s office (48 + 545) party

*Bus pass

My 48 ride home

The bus is late and crowded, so I am forced to sit in the very back.

To my left: Two dudes rolling joints, counting change, and discussing the relative fluid levels in their lighters.

To my right: A young woman talking on a cell phone, apparently to another young woman who is taking care of her child. She alternates between coaching the caretaker in the fine art of potty training (Ask him if he wants to go poo-poo.), giving orders to the child over the speaker (Darrell, I’m not playing–you’d better eat that sandwich!), and gossiping.

To my far right: A mailman in short shorts, showing way too much thigh for February (OK, ever) reading a car-racing magazine.

Folks with car commutes: What you got?

Super Bowl Sunday (aka Original Bus Chick’s birfday) was a 1070

Last year, Bus Nerd and I spent Super Bowl Sunday in Detroit with our friends, Tosha and Keith. (The fact that they watched the game at Ford Field and we watched it at a bar across the street from the stadium is a minor detail.) This year, we spent the day at Tosha and Keith’s house in Kirkland.

It was worth the six-bus round trip (there: 4 + 255 + 254, back: 254 + 255 + 48)–even the transfer at Montlake on the way home–just to see Prince do his thing. (It doesn’t get better than “Purple Rain” in the rain.) The icing on the cake: victory for the Colts. Despite my mild distaste for Peyton Manning, and despite the fact that we were watching at the home of a Chicago native, I was pulling for Tony Dungy’s boys.

Then again, when your friends feed you fried fish, potato salad, chicken wings, and brownies with ice cream, does it really matter who wins the game?

Weather weary

I was planning to use this evening’s post to write about all the snow-related bus craziness that has occurred in the last 24 hours, but I am easily bored with weather news and can’t bring myself to spend much time on the subject. As we all know, Seattle is hilly and not equipped to de-ice roads especially efficiently. This makes it difficult for folks to get around, in cars and on buses (even on foot), when it snows. Though I’d much rather ride than drive in bad weather (OK, in any weather), I will say that there are several ways the folks at Metro/Sound Transit could have prepared and responded more effectively than they did. I didn’t experience any problems firsthand, though–only vicariously, through Bus Nerd and a few friends. My own bus travel has been surprisingly painless (with working heat and everything!), considering the conditions. If anyone else has a good bus story from yesterday or today, feel free to share (I’m hoping Bus Nerd will), but I don’t have much in the way of snow talk.

P.S. – In case the cold continues, Metro’s adverse weather page has some useful information.

Bus Chick returns … merchandise

Sometimes, despite meticulous measuring, a bus-based couple buys two cabinet organizers that don’t quite fit into the cabinets that need organizing, and that couple must return said cabinet organizers to the store where they bought them. Fortunately, Saturday is a lower-ridership day for the 48, which means there’s plenty of room for bus-riding couples and their unwanted Rev-a-Shelf purchases. Unfortunately, empty 48s sometimes run ahead of schedule, which means that they arrive at stops slightly earlier than expected.

As if yesterday’s walk with the boxes wasn’t enough of a workout.

The things she carried, part III

This afternoon, Bus Nerd and I took advantage of the empty buses (weekday schedule, not many people working) and headed down to Lowe’s to purchase some home-organization equipment. (Lowe’s is across the street from McDonald’s, so we got off at the same stop as the little girl from today’s earlier post. But I digress.) There were only three other people on the bus we took home, which meant there was plenty of room for the enormous boxes we had carried the two plus blocks from the Lowe’s exit to the closest northbound stop.

And they wonder why bus chicks have such toned biceps.

The things she carried, part II

‘Bout to get on the 4 (Thanksgiving = holiday schedule in the middle of the week) to head over and kick it with the fam. I don’t have time write anything new (not that anyone’s reading today), so I thought I’d share last year’s Thanksgiving post (with a few minor edits) from my “old” blog:

Back when I lived in Houston, I spent several holidays in Baytown, Texas with my friend Monique. Baytown is about an hour east of the Big City on I-10 and is mostly known for its oil refineries and cheap gas–hardly bus-chick friendly. Still, I loved spending time with Monique’s family. Their daily contact and generations of history in the same state was exactly what I, a college student far from her own roots, needed. And it didn’t hurt that Miss Rachel (aka Moni’s grandmother) could cook as well as any human being ever to walk this earth.

My first holiday with my Moni’s family (Thanksgiving during my junior year) was also the first year I ate friend turkey. For those who don’t know, fried turkey is not breaded and cooked in individual pieces the way fried chicken is. It is injected with special seasonings and then deep-fried whole, so it comes out unbelievably flavorful and moist. It is so much better than traditional Thanksgiving turkey that once you’ve had it, you simply can’t go back. For the past 12 Thanksgivings, I’ve done my best not to.

Luckily, since I’ve moved back to Seattle, there have always been a handful of restaurants that will prepare fried turkeys for those of us who don’t have the skills, equipment, or fire-extinguishing capabilities to do it ourselves. I have been buying turkeys from Catfish Corner for a several years now, picking them up the day before and reheating them on Thanksgiving. This process has worked well for me every year but one.

Last year, I picked up my turkey when it was still just-fried warm. As I stood outside waiting for the 3 in the November cold, a wonderfully fragrant steam seeped through the plastic covering into the night air. Unfortunately, that steam kept right on escaping when I got on the bus, and although I sat in the front near the driver, everyone, including the people in the very back, could smell it. Folks started craning their necks to peer into my pan and calling to each other, “Mmm, mmm, mmm! That sure does smell good!” When we got to Harborview, a man drinking directly from a bottle of cough syrup sat next to me and asked if he could have a leg. Three nurses caught a whiff and started discussing their cooking plans for the evening. That 10-minute ride was excruciating for this painfully shy bus chick, who prefers to observe–not be the subject of–bus-wide discussions.

But oh, how I am wishing for those excruciating 10 minutes now! Today, I went to Catfish Corner to order a fried turkey only to be informed that they are not making them this year. Bus Nerd suggested we get a deep fryer and make one ourselves.

Is it too late to buy a ticket to Houston?