Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ode to Bus

(On a side note, the title to this post just reminded me of the time I played "Ode to Joy" at a piano festival. I forgot to play the middle part of the song -- it seemed awfully short to me when I had finished, and I was puzzled until I figured out my mistake. I still got a Superior. Woot.)

I spent three of the past five weekdays riding the bus to work while my car was having some body damage repaired. There's some things about riding the bus that I've always liked:

I like the interesting people you meet on the bus. On the first evening ride home I met Elsa, a ninety-year-old Chilean "who still dances." She lives with her son in Provo, but rides the bus to Orem every day to volunteer at an assisted living place. She's 90 and volunteers to help old people! She's probably older than a lot of the people she's assisting. She's in good health "because she keeps busy." I hope to get old like Elsa.

And I didn't meet, but observed, a pregnant lady riding the bus with her two young daughters. She was very much pregnant but not at all grouchy or "look-at-me-it's-so-hard." She was reading the signs in the bus to her daughters then interpreting them: "No offensive language -- that means you don't say mean things. No vandalism -- that means no writing on the seats." At the end of their ride, she helped up the youngest daughter so she could "pull the line" to signal a stop. I like good moms who enjoy just being moms.

Oh, and the BYU road maintenance crew needs to think a little more when they do things. Riding the 830 up past the Wilk one morning, we encountered heavy conage. Bookending every single, freshly painted, white, lane-dividing line were two small orange cones. So there was no way to change lanes. Our bus driver had changed lanes just prior to the cone derby and thus found himself stuck in the left lane as we approached a stop. Luckily, there was no one at the stop and no one wanted to get off... but good heavens, painting crew! Take the lane-changing out of a double lane road and you've broken the system.

I also like that the bus is slow -- that you have to wait for it and that it takes forever to get anywhere. I'm not being sarcastic. There's something good in not getting exactly what you want when you want it -- of having to wait for something. And there's something... relaxing about just getting there when you get there. Reminds me of my mission.

And lastly, I like that you have to walk more than 20 feet to get to work when riding the bus. Every day after work, walking beyond the parking lot to the wild unknown, I would follow a dog down the sidewalk. And you too, if you were to walk that way, would follow the same dog. As far as I know, he only made the trip once, but he chose to do it soon after the sidewalk makers had done their job thereby leaving his footprints in the slabs.

And this is funny:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Miserables and Angel's Landing

I spent the past weekend with my roommates and Amanda and Val and my grandparents in St. George. And we had a blast! My grandparents fed us like kings (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa) and the weather was great.

Oh, but before I begin... I dedicate this post, or rather, the pictures in this post to Martha, who mentioned here that one of the things that "blows her mind" is "people who take pictures to make it look like they're having tons of fun. it's one thing to document your trip, quite another to take a trillion pics of big-grin-right-in-the-lens. get over yourself." Knowing that before going down, I made a special effort to "document" the trip.

Here's my comrades and me on the shuttle to the bottom of the mountain:

Here's me part way up the mountain (I'm the one looking at the camera).

Here's another part way up (I'm the one occupying the right half of the picture).

Here's Scout Point (where you stop if you're afraid of heights)

Practicing lightning avoidance. I wish the pictures could do some sort of justice to how pretty it is up there.

Another shot of me (I'm near the bottom part of the picture. The mountain is behind me.)

And finally on our way to Tuacahn to see Les Miserables (that's my head in the middle obscuring the view of Tuacahn)

And I loved Les Miserables! That was my first time ever seeing any sort of production of the story. I've heard the music all my life, but I'd never seen it. Because the Tuacahn is outdoors, they could do cool things like have horses, pigs and goats, fireworks and a cannon. The pit orchestra was great and all of the performers sang and acted very well. It was quite a moving play.