Thank You Dear Stranger

Tuesday’s aren’t my favorite day of the week.  It still feels a bit like a Monday, it’s a day short of mid-week, and it feels like there’s a reallllly long time till the weekend.  Then this morning I get to the station just in the nick of time to jump on the train, with the result there are very few seats left.  So yeah, Tuesdays suck.

Because of the dearth of seats I was forced to look for one upstairs.  I don’t like riding on the upper level of the train, I’m not sure why.  But this morning I’m glad I did because I got to see you, Dear Stranger and that made my Tuesday so much better.  On my way past you I caught a glimpse of the screen on your tablet and saw a few people wearing brightly colored garments which might have been uniforms.  While I can’t claim to recognize the specific program you were watching, I recognized the style I guess you could call it.  The brief look I had reminded me of the old BBC show Red Dwarf or something from a similar time period or genre.

I took the seat across from you and for several minutes I tried leaning my head back and closing my eyes, earbuds streaming my playlist to drown out the recorded PSAs and neighboring conversation.  One of the problems with being on the tall side is that seats designed for the average person aren’t all that user friendly.  In order to properly make use of the headrest I find myself slouching, which necessitates stretching my legs beyond my approved area.  Eventually I gave up and sat up straight.  Pulling out my own electronic device, I took my turn at Trivia Crack, blowing a really easy question and bouncing the first game back to my brother before picking up another crown in the game with my gal pal and then missing the very next question.  Switching to Solitaire City I glanced out the window while the game loaded.  With the sun still in hiding the glass was so reflective I caught sight of you shaking in your seat.  It took a second but I realized you were laughing and it made me smile.

Turning back to my phone, I played a few hands of solitaire and listened glumly as they announced the train would be delayed just outside Seattle.  “Let’s call it ‘freight interference’” the guy said.  Really?  You’ve just informed a train full of commuters they’re going to be late for work.  Does it matter what you call it?

Again and again my eyes were drawn to you, whether your reflection in the glass or your in-person face across the table from me.  You wore an almost perpetual smile and every now and then you would shake with laughter at something you saw on screen.  And every single time it made me smile.

So thank you Dear Stranger.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my Tuesday so much better than it might have been.  I hope your Tuesday is as nice as you’ve made mine.


The Things You See

I imagine other people see some strange things on their daily commutes.  But can anyone out there say they’ve seen two flying outhouses?  Not one, but TWO!  I can say that.  This morning on the bus ride up from the train station I spied two port-a-potties swinging from one of the construction cranes across from my block.  My first thought was that I was seeing things but the way my twisted brain works, I quickly wondered whether anyone was inside.  Wouldn’t that be an E-ticket ride?  (If you’re too young to know what an E-ticket ride is than go ask Uncle Google.)

On my walk down to the station in the afternoon I pass a few skyscrapers, a YMCA, an independent gym, as well as City Hall and one of the courthouses.  Not to mention one of the ubiquitous Starbucks (yes only one).  The courthouse borders sort of an alley and across the alley is a tiny park which is usually populated by a lot of homeless people.  And pigeons.  During the summer months the scent of burning marijuana often drifts out from the park’s inhabitants and I’ve been known to speculate just how slow I’d have to walk to get a contact high.  Then I found myself wondering about the pigeons flocking through the park after scraps.  On my walk to the train the other day the birds seemed particularly numerous – covering most of the sidewalk – and they hardly moved when I and the other pedestrians strode through.  So  what do you think?  Are they getting high?  Or are they hanging out waiting for the munchies to hit the humans so they can gather up what’s left?

Inquiring minds want to know.


This morning started off as work mornings usually do – the alarms went off.  Yes, alarmS.  If both aren’t set I’m likely to oversleep, making me late, causing me to lose out on a parking space and thus requiring me to return home, wake JD and make him drop me off.  But, thankfully, the second alarm went off at 5 and I was up and running.

Bonus!  It’s Friday!

The train into Seattle wasn’t standing room only which allowed me to continue reading the paperback I’ve been hooked on for a few days.  I’m crossing my fingers I finish it at lunch so I don’t have to carry it back home again.

But none of that is what I wanted to talk about today.

Once the train arrived in the downtown station everyone bolted for the stairs or the elevator.  I usually choose the elevator because of my knees.  As a result, I stand up and wait by the door before we enter the station in order to be sure I can get to the elevator before it’s full.  I don’t think I’ll be doing that any more.

This morning I took my customary corner so my backpack would fit into the space and be out of the way.  For some reason the elevator regulars insist on cramming in as many people as possible.  This usually doesn’t bother me; with earbuds in and my tunes playing I can close my eyes and pretend I’m alone.  Ignore the person stepping on your toes!  Hold your breath, the perfume will be gone soon!  Today, however, after we were packed in like sardines and the door slid closed we just sat there.

I looked over to be sure someone had pushed the button; unnecessary since Esther was with us and she never forgets.  But still we sat.  They tried opening the doors with no success.  Esther started pressing the alarm bell, hoping one of the people in line would press the button outside and the doors would open.  They remained steadfastly closed.  Next, Esther picked up the emergency phone and waited to be connected.  It rang and rang.  The woman directly in front of me began talking about her mild claustrophobia and said she wished there was more air.  About then someone outside got the message to us that help was on the way, but I was imagining the claustrophobe losing it and … well, I don’t know what.  What do claustrophobes do when they lose it?

In the end we were only stuck there a few minutes, though as you can imagine it felt longer.  As I said earlier, I believe I’ll avoid the elevator in the future.  Or possibly wait until the line is shorter (proving the elevator is actually working).  I’m usually early to work anyway; it’s not like I HAVE to be on that first car up.

Here’s the only way I’d want to be stuck on an elevator.  (WARNING:  This vid is a bit on the raunchy side.  Although it contains no real nudity, it does include provocative scenes so if you’re uncomfortable with that, do not watch it.  You have been warned.)  For everyone else – enjoy!

Part 3

It’s come to my attention that I never finished this saga.  No, no one inquired about it, I was just browsing my earlier posts to confirm whether I’d mentioned something in one and realized during my review that I left this incomplete.  Sigh.

This happened some time ago and if you were around here back then you may know that not long after we lost our ancient Lab-mix, Roscoe.  I imagine that’s part of what kept me from revisiting this.  In any event, these are the highlights of the rest of that night.

I did make the last train out of town with time to spare – hallelujah!  It isn’t that I don’t like the bus, it just takes longer and it was already late enough I was whining silently about not being able to change out of work clothes into something more comfortable.  When I arrived home the rep from BathFitter was with JD in the master bath checking it out.  He greeted me pleasantly enough and proceeded to take some measurements before launching to his spiel.

He spread across our coffee table a book with photographs of different shower/bath styles and pulled out a sample of the material they use.  After we perused the selection and noted which choices we liked, he had us watch a video on his laptop while he worked up the estimate.  Are you sitting down?  Take into consideration that we’re conservative by nature.  We didn’t opt for the priciest anything!  Simplicity all the way!  The new shower was going to cost us over six grand!  Even this long afterward I’m feeling a touch lightheaded at that amount.

Granted, their manufacturing methods and lifetime warranty are very attractive.  The easy to clean aspect was right up my alley.  But we’re talking only the freakin’ shower people!  Only. The. Shower.  No bathtub.  No new toilet or vanity or floor.  Just! The! Shower!


By the time he left we were starving, it was long past the dinner hour.  We said screw it and went to our favorite haunt where I may have had an alcoholic beverage (or three).  At work the next day I’m certain I resembled a zombie but it was totally worth it.  So ended the day from hell.

At least now it won’t be bugging me that I never finished this.  Thanks for bearing with me.