Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bustrations: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Heart

So today on the bus...

visual: Hot pink lululemon athletica racerback peeks beneath this incredible new half jacket I picked up from this amazing store....lululemon athletica in Beverly Hills. Rocking the UGG boots this morning with black capris and my green sunglasses, I wait for the bus.

So, I was going to start this post about honesty and the bus system. I was going to take the lid off my bus glorification I seem to have found and all the goodness of the Rapid 720 that I speak to daily, and tell you that some times the bus can be a pain.. That honesty piece would have been the flip side of my snob-ness. The revelations of bus frustrations. Or the title of the blog that was: "Bustrations". (I truly get a life kick out of word combinations. I do not know what that is about, but lucky for you, this amazing gentlemen in a full three-piece suit with a red tie that matched his red handkerchief and a rain tracker hat saved the blog day!).

Just to note, there are some pressing things about not having a car and riding the bus that I ponder at times. Like how long it takes me to get somewhere with the leaving the house early to walk the 15 minutes to the bus stop, to wait for the bus, to play stop-and-go down Wilshire. Or, when the bus is late. I mean, I know it happens but it really puts a kink in my schedule. Or, when you just want to listen to the radio and sing at the top of your lungs with the windows rolled down. Obviously, there are some rants here. But like I said, we won't go there.

Bustrations relieved.

So, I get on the bus this evening. It is my third trip of the day. Heading back to Beverly Hills for lululemon's Zumba donation class for Haiti. A beautiful event that I will most definitely shake my tailfeather for. I insert my cash and coin and enter a very full-to-the-brim evening ride. So crowded, I choose to stand near the first exit and hold on for dear life.

I have my green sunglasses on, as the sun is still peeking out before dusk and stare out the double doors. Hoping they stay shut as I somewhat lean against them! An older gentleman departs from his coveted seat and comes to stand next to me. He is smiling. I am momentarily creeped out by how close he is standing next to me, but I smile back anyways. He giggles a little under his white beard and rain tracker hat (see photo) atop his classy suit and Club Monaco bag. An interesting combination for an interesting man.

I stare forward. Like I said, I am adding to my "Bustrations" blog and writing my complaints silently in my head and am not looking for a life altering bus ride at this time. Oh damn, he caught my eyes again. How does he do that? I have sunglasses on. He smiles and says, "Hello".

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Out of my head of bus complaints and into my heart of love and chance bus interactions.....

"Hi there". I smile. He is somehow exuding this amazing energy. The bus starts to shake and bump. There is this part of Wilshire Boulevard that is absolutely a mess and you feel like an earthquake is taking place - but it is really just the road rocking the shocks of the bus (or lack there of).

He laughs. It is the most amazing laugh. Deep and drawn out, as if it takes his whole being. Seriously, like Santa Clause. It was almost eerie with the white beard, red cheeks, red tie and happiness glow. He leans in and reveals, "this is my favorite part of the ride. I feel like I am surfing!".

I laugh, too. I immediately envision those holiday cards at Christmas time with fat Santa on a surfboard yelling "Hang Ten this Christmas!". I, on the other hand, respond, "Oh I just hate this part. I feel like the bus is going to fall apart and it is so loud!".

One can tell he is very intelligent. He speaks with intention and has an incredible ability to hold eye contact. Blue eyes. He is rather lean and has really nice posture. He assures me that the bus will not be falling apart on us and to just roll with it.

So, I do.

Anyways, we get to conversing. I will note, he was a close talker. If anyone has seen the Seinfeld episode, he did get so close to my face while talking to me. And along his favorite bumpy part, I had to catch him. Not once, but twice. Like, literally had to grab his hand and catch him from falling backwards. I was like, dude - hold on to the handle! Thinking he must not be too radical on a surfboard.

We continue talking about the bus. Life. Jobs. Weather. Surfing. People. Happiness.

Did you know: The Rapid buses have a satellite signal that when they arrive at a traffic light - it can turn 15 seconds faster for the Rapid Buses? No? I did not know that either!


As he told me this, I was getting suspicious. Bus knowledge. Three piece suit. What the heck is he doing on the bus. His name was J.W., I believe. He had earlier pulled out a gold pen from his breast pocket with his name engraved on it. So, now I am thrown for a loop.

We share job information. You guys, I am not kidding when I tell you I think this was the owner of on the bus with me. The web owner or creator or something. I am not kidding. He lives in Beverly Hills. Collaborated on the city's bus system. Does not own a cell phone or a land line! Just rides the bus because he does not like to drive and takes all his meetings through his attorney or at a coffee shop with friends. WHAT? What!

Okay, I know I am all over the place with this story. But maybe, just maybe, you are getting an idea of how I felt on the bus. Clean, nicely dressed, Santa Clause-like personality, older gentleman close-talker that might or might not own and is sharing some new business ploy with me.

I mean, I am flabbergasted.

I remove my sunglasses and share with him that he is one of the reasons I do not wear my iPod on the bus. I love people interaction, strange and short possibilities for greatness on a 17 minutes ride. I share my life goals and get real with this J.W.. I tell him about customer service and authentic guest experience and how the retail floor can transcend into one's personal life. I share my ideas about people in LA and how we are so scared to reach out and just hug one another. I tell him some of my brilliant bus ideas. I think he gets a kick out of all this - he laughed that deep laugh quite a bit.

I truly wish I could have recorded a) how slow he spoke to me. b) his laugh. c) his amazing outlook on life - without a cell phone! If we are living in the past here, I would also have loved a picture of his outfit and his smile with these massive blue eyes that shined with his white hair under the rain hat and big beard!

You know, I ramble because I cannot put into words what it felt like departing. We hugged and I thanked him for sharing with me today. I told him to come see me at my place of work right down the way. He walked his way and I walked mine. Crossing Beverly Drive, I literally laugh out loud. Did that just happen? What an interaction to close my bustrating day!

You never know what you are going to get in life? Who is waiting for you on the bus each day? Who will leave you in awe of life and catch you off guard?

What you get to learn though is this:

One man's bumpy ride on the bus is a surfboard on the waves. While those same bumps on the road are another's fear of bus failure.

One woman's blackberry is her life source of communication, while another man's coffee shop is his life of interaction.

One day of frustrations on the bus can lead to an amazing and all too consuming conversation.


A plethora of beautiful chance meetings.

Just have to get out of your head and into your heart.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beverly Hills Dress Code

So today on the bus...

visual: My green lululemon Cozy Up Jacket above my black leggings and dark brown UGG boots, offset with hot pink legwarmers and my heavy, magenta patent leather gym bag await my bus adventure today.

Sunday mornings at the bus stop are always pretty low key. People are still sleeping or not up and at 'em at 7:00am. I rush into the 711 Convenient Store to grab my extra bold coffee. I rush out right when the bus arrives.

Five quarters inserted and I talk weather with my bus driver. He is a younger gentleman and we share our love that the sun is back in town and the rain has finally passed. I inquire about his bus driving hours to find that his morning shift starts at 5:30am. Thus, he has to be up at 4:00am to make it to work on time. Shoot! I thought I was tired today. I make sure he is alert and head back to my seat.

Like I said, Sunday mornings are slow and I sit in the high perched seats and sprawl my stuff everywhere. The bus continues it trek down Wilshire today and I am making incredible time.

I look around and notice the sleepy eyes on the bus. I make eye contact with an older gentleman in a suit jacket and blue baseball cap. He has white chest hair peeking from all angles of his button down shirt. It is somehow endearing. Weird.

A smooth ride and I am already at my stop. No interactions and here I go! Yelling thanks to the bus driver, I depart to my 90210 place of work. I think, what a quite ride today.

Now, while waiting at my crosswalk, the aforementioned older gentleman comes up beside. He is giving off this amazing cheerful energy and says immediately that he loves my outfit and asks where I am going. I smile and tell him I have to work today. Making that dollar! He responds that he is going to church and proceeds to tell me about his outfit:

"You know, when you come to Beverly Hills, you have to look good [he pulls the collar on his suit jacket]. I had to put on this jacket today just so the cops don't give me the run-around. I once wore a t-shirt and walked by the cops and I thought they were going to come after me. Really, they were giving me the glare. So from now on, I know the code and to dress it up".

I laugh. He is amazing. The old school blue baseball cap with the black suit jacket and button down. And I am not even kidding about this white as snow chest hair visible from all areas of the collar. He has thick glasses and just smiles the whole conversation.

He travels from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills to visit this church every Sunday. I am sure there are Protestant churches in Santa Monica, but he is bored and just needs a spice of life. Or, he just wants to dress up and loves the story of Beverly Hills, what a thrill lifestyle.

He walks my way and he shares about our generation, homeless people and how important it is to stay healthy. He tells me he was a Marine and lived in a time where kids smoked and drank much more than they do now. I bet he was a teacher at some point. In our one sidewalk block of interaction, he is trying to convey about eighteen messages. Very professor mixed with a beautiful grandpa-esque style.

His name was Ed and he was 82 years old. I mean, he looked great and moved pretty quick for his age. He was out of breathe after we departed ways, but he was so very sweet.

We shook hands at the corner and I walked towards work thinking about Ed's view of Beverly Hills. How he felt he had to get fancy to walk the streets and his quick teachings while walking with me. I do not know what I got from it, if not more than just warmth in my heart for this older man. The authentic connection and happiness shared. And goodness me, that gnarly chest hair. But, he definitely started my morning off right with a huge smile and his wise 'teachings'.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

So today on the bus....

visual: Rockin' classy black today, I wait for the bus in black lululemon athletica groove pants, a matching black jacket and a red tank underneath. My purple backpack weighed down calls for my lean on the navy blue beach cruiser.

Its been a long day at work. The weather in LA has been really gnarly. I am talking a downpour at 10:00am and then all out sunshine by 3:00pm. How do you even dress for this weather? I am so used to flip flops and tank tops, no matter the season. And go figure, I gave my HOT PINK rain boots to Goodwill just three months ago.

I wait for the bus to close out the day. Happy the rain has stopped and counting my quarters in my jacket. I think about my busy week last week, my choice of happiness and my intention to really slow it down and seek that quality and balance.

The bus finally arrives! Here I go again with my bike. I put my sustainable coffee cup on the sidewalk. Kickstand down. Rush to pull down the gate.Get my bike from sidewalk. Heave-ho, up it goes on to the front. What a pill! The front handle bars spin around and the basket is going crazy. I look up and wave to the bus driver. He smiles. I get that damn thing situated up there, grab my coffee cup and jump through the double doors. I thank him for his patience and he is chuckling a bit.

He tells me, "I would have helped, but the last time I did that, some lady just yelled at me!".

I smile at his sweet, chubby face and ask him why. He informs me that this woman just went nuts on him because he offered his help and she went all sexist remarks, asking him if he thought she couldn't do it on her own and that she didn't need him. Later she went home and burned all her bras, too. I am so sure.

I inform him that I do appreciate women that can hold their own and stand for that strength. I am one of them. But come on, I take all the help I can get. That bike's heavy. I remind him not to let one hard up feminist shape the reality of another!

He laughs and I sit down for the ride. A more silent crowd later this evening and not as many people as usual. I daydream all the way and finally we arrive at my stop. I rush to the front to get my bike and to tell the bus driver thank you!

He is out of his seat and already up front getting my bike off the rack for me. He sets it down lightly on the sidewalk and tips his hat.

I am in awe. I thank him so much and half hug him! No joke, that bike is really heavy. I mean, I can handle it. But hey, I am down to take a helping hand from my friends.

He jumps back into the drivers seat and rushes away down Wilshire. Now, I know I shared that I have been super busy the past couple weeks and missing all the inspirational greatness that happens in my life daily. And here it is. He got out of the drivers seat to help me. I just think that is amazing.

And who I was when I stepped on the bus was just thinking about my intentions and choosing happiness. And look at that, he helped me do just that. Right then and there.

That sweet, chubby-faced bus driver just made my evening with a bike lift. A randmon act of ultimate kindess.

Take help when help is available. People love helping others. It gives them a sense of purpose, a sense of being. I get so wrapped up in my ego some times. No, I don't need this or that. I am independent and can do it on my own! I don't need a ride in the pouring rain. I don't need a hug when the day has really gotten the best of me. When in honesty, I do. I'll take that ride. I'll take that hug. Yes, lift that heavy bike for me, please! And, thank you so very much.

Those random acts of kindess.

Make my world go around.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eclectic, Crazy and Creepy

So today on the bus....

visual: A Purple Blob bounds towards the bus this morning, and that purple blog is me. Are you ready for this? lululemon athletica purple denim leggings peek beneath a purple plaid rain coat today. Only to be matched by the bright purple jacket, carrying my deeper purple yoga mat and a purple umbrella. Yes. Its true. I top the ensemble with my navy blue fitted LA Dodgers hat and end with bright blue Haviana flip flops.

I can explain the outfit. You see, it has been crazy rainy in LA. And now that I live here, I do not even know how to begin to dress for precipitation in any form. So my running jacket from lululemon is purple plaid, water resistant and wind resistant. No brainer, that is being worn. However, tonight I have an 80's dance workout class in Silverlake, so the purple denim is an absolute must! In getting ready this morning, I did not even ponder the two items being put on together. So here I am, at the bus stop, screaming purple.

I look around and my marketing brain clicks on a billboard image. I am standing with about ten people at the bus stop. A slight drizzle coming down. Each person is wearing a black trench coat of some sort. No joke, every passenger-in-waiting is in black. Then, standing in the middle is this beacon of purple plaid. I am a lululemon advertisement. Right here in real life, for your viewing pleasure.

Anyways, the rain is such a pain. We all keep looking and searching for our bus. The rain really slows LA down. People can't drive, obviously people cannot dress (case in point).... Finally, the puddles start to tidal wave and here comes our bus.

I jump in the ocean of black raincoats and smile at my bus driver. I thank him for driving carefully in all this rainy mess and find a seat next to an older gentleman wearing a mix of a black Cowboy hat and Australian Bush Hat. I lean over to him in all my purple greatness and let him know that his hat reminds me of my home in Texas.

He smiles and we embark on conversation. The normal where you from, what do you do, where you going.... He smiles and is very serene while sitting on the bus. His black leather vest and jeans are some what hipster and he has a slight smell of alcohol that I cannot quite pick out.

He tells me he is a musician works in a bar in Venice and his name is Don. Of course, hipster outfit. Alcohol smell. He had been up partying all night and says he is on his way home! Did I mention it was a Tuesday morning?

I laugh. Don informs me that Jack Daniels was a good friend to him last night and that I should come party some time. He was a beautiful mixture of eclectic, crazy and creepy all at the same time. What a thrill at 7:00am on a Tuesday.

He departed a couple stops after meeting and we bid our good byes. I tell him to rock on and he laughs. I am sure I will run into him again.

Isn't it funny when meeting people. You really have no idea where they just were or even where they are going. Don had gotten on the bus to head home after a long evening of who knows what. I say sex, drugs and alcohol - just because it sounds cool and he is rockstar in his own right. And here I am, sober as a doornail heading to my place of work all decked in purple and really looking forward to this 80's dance session later that evening.

All you can really do, is enjoy the moment. Enjoy the interaction. For all that it might be worth.

A hipster, rocking out, probably-still-drunk-from-the-evening-before party animal meets a responsible, 80's obsessed, purple has to be her favorite color blogger.

And, a beautiful connection.

We laughed. Smiled. And shared. Really, what else would I ever need from the bus?

Life is grand.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Flip The Snobby Switch

So today on the bus....

visual: Groggy and absolutely exhausted eyes seek for my bus today in my lululemon lite gray Feel Good sweatpants that really do feel so good and a long sleeve bright blue v-neck. My hair, still curly from the previous evening, is everywhere and my purple backpack feels so heavy. I wait.

It is a really nice morning and there is quite a collection of people already at my bus stop this morning. Always a good sign, as I have not missed the bus! I ponder a bold blend of coffee from the 711 Convenient store. Should I make a dash for it? YES!

I rush in. Fill up my sustainable cup and pay as quickly as possible. They only charged me .99 cents because it was refill in my cup. AMAZING! I run back out. Still no bus. Sheesh, all that rush. So, I lean and wait.

A familiar face appears and stands beside me. My resident 711 homeless man, Anthony is here today. He gives me the normal up and down look, sizing up my outfit today. Ugh, why does he have to do that? I tell him good morning. He looks up. I think he is all too surprised I remember his name. We chat about the past couple weeks and he tells me how nice I look. I'm in sweatpants, he is funny.

He proceeds to interrupt our great conversation and asks me for money. I tell him again that I ride the bus and need these quarters for my transportation. He knows all this. I explained it last time. So then, he asks for my number. Yes, he is trying to get my digits at the bus stop in front of 711.

My snobby mind rushes to, "Is this your life? Is this really happening?".

I have to wonder if he owns a phone. He did not whip one out to enter my contact information. And what is he thinking? I immediately say no.

He markets himself well. Telling me we could hang out. He has some great contacts if I need to network and I could help him find some jobs here and there.

I flip the snobby switch and my inspiring self latches to goal setting and ask him what he wants to do, what type of job and his goals. He brushes me off and informs me he doesn't want a real job, per se. More just clean up stuff here and there. "So, can I have your number?", he asks again.

I roll my eyes and tell him no phone number. I reach down in my pocket and find a lingering dime. I give it to him. I say, "Look Anthony. You are not getting my phone number. However, I can promise that I will bring you a dime every time I see you. A dime, every time. Deal? And I will keep my ears to the ground for job opportunities if you promise to keep looking for a job, a real job?". He takes the dime reluctantly and say okay. He wishes me a beautiful day and heads back to his post by the entrance.

Oh Anthony. What in heaven's name was he thinking asking for my number? Guess he has nothing to lose.

You would think at all the parties I have attended and the bars I frequent with the lululemon ladies, that some of the guys could take a tip from Anthony on how to get a number from any of the single girls in this town.

Anyways, I flipped the snobby switch and will be carrying five quarters and a dime from now on.

The things I do for goal setting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Too Much Chittavritti

So today on the bus....

visual: The cool evening breeze called for an old favorite, the avocado green lululemon jacket, my fitted LA Dodgers hat that I some times feel really cool wearing and grey leggings and royal blue flip flops wait for the bus with my navy blue beach cruising bike.

I am having one those weeks where I have over-committed to absolutely everything I could squeeze on my daily planner. Dance show this night, wine with the ladies at my apartment that night, yoga class that day.... And, I am realizing that they all sound wonderful when I say 'yes' to each and every activity, but then the week creeps up and I am just utterly exhausted from this bus to that carpool, from bike to bus again.

As my brain moves in constant motion, I sit on the bus in silence. My best friend, Erin from Indiana calls the Blackberry, a friend I hold so near and dear to my heart. Erin, not the Blackberry. With my busy schedule, where do I fit in my phone conversation and girl talk needs? Right here, right now, on the bus.

Alas, we are chatting and chatting. And, I realize that because I am so busy, I am not able to be inspiring. At all. Not on the phone with Erin or on the bus with my bus friends. Unable to even distinguish the choice of happiness or live in each moment, I am too busy thinking about the moment to come later this evening, or tomorrow morning and on to that next evening already. Who am I being for anyone? For myself?

In yoga, they call this "chittavritti". Now, I share this with you because I think it is all too fun to try and pronounce it. And, it means in our Western World, 'mind chatter'. Well, let me tell you, I have a whole lot of chittavritti going on. And, it is really effecting my entire being.

I have not met anyone on the bus in the past couple days. Am I being uninspiring? I am so busy going here and getting there, I do not even make time to say 'hi' or smile at any of my passenger friends. I do not make the time to allow someone to inspire me and make my day or the rest of my week.

The infamous t0-do list, combined with this chittavritti and the "I don't have time..." excuse is really rocking my core right now. Where is my balance? Am I living my BEST life possible? I have set the weekly intention for balance and quality. I will leave days open. Not say 'yes' to absolutely everything. And make time to just breathe, clear the mind chatter, and do enjoy the ride.

Clear the chittavritti. Ask yourself: Are you living your BEST life today?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


So today at my bus stop....

visual: Black lululemon athletica groove pants with a reflective band lay over my TOMS shoes which truck down Barrington towards my yoga class. My purple plaid jacket that is the perfect weight for this breezey California evening matches my purple backpack and purple yoga mat, topped with my hot pink headband rush happily onward....

While waiting at my bus stop, I decide to switch it up and walk to my yoga class this evening. Google Maps for my Blackberry informed me that the walk is roughly 31 minutes and I have just enough time. I am so fond of the bus that some times I forget about my bike and even my own willing and able legs.

So, I head towards the cross walk. As I am waiting for my WALK sign, a gentleman is walking towards me from the opposite direction. He is a younger fellow with crazy curly hair and an unbottoned flannel. However, he is just yelling at the top of his lungs. I cannot make out what he is saying as his voice is stretching to its final limits. Moments pass and he is within feet of my waiting space and he literally stops in front of a red Mini Cooper waiting at the red light on our corner and screams:


Oh goodness me. Here I am with my purple plaid jacket, hot pink headband, yoga mat strapped to my backpack, Blackberry in hand and a smile, what am I expecting here? Do I look frail? Is he going to yell at me? Is he going to freak out? Should I be scared?

To my surprise, he stands next to me quietly and still. I think to myself, maybe it is just Tourette Syndrome. I try to switch my mentality and exude loving energy, but I feel the fear is still winning.

Then, he begins to look my direction. And he moves his head in a way you would see a puppet slowly turn his head in a horror film. "This is it", I say to myself. "He is going to yell or do something awful"! I just want to get to yoga class. Breathe. Stretch. Breathe. He makes eye contact with me and in a low almost whisper, he states, "This is my city, get out now". And he turns away.

I reassure him that I will and stare at the crosswalk sign, conjuring it to remove that orange hand and change immediately to that white lit up person who appears to be walking.

Thank God this running couple approaches the corner. They are doing that standing jog thing, where people keep running while standing in place. I always feel that looks so awkward. But, he does the same thing to them! The creepy head turn and whispering request to depart from HIS city.

As we finally get the go-ahead to walk, he is bounding across the crosswalk, yelling at the cars waiting at the red light. Flailing his arms and pointing fingers to windshields as he screams:


He turns the opposite direction from my path to the yoga studio and I sigh in relief.

I get to thinking about this experience. Can you actually imagine if Los Angeles was your city and you wanted everyone to "get out"? How boring. And lonely. And sad.

I have come to believe that where you live is really made up of whatevery you want it to be and who you want to spend your time with. I am so amazed daily when I wake up to the sunshine, 70 degrees in January, and the mountains and ocean reminding me of something bigger than myself. However, this is just weather and my deeper meaning of nature. The people in my life really are what make Los Angeles my city, my home.

Hikes, yoga classes, and wine glasses, trendy scenes, coffee fiends, and goal setting....LA is my home because my friends and co-workers all make it amazing.

I am so very grateful for you, you and you that make my LA exactly what it is and should be in my life.

So next time I am crossing the intersection with my friends and friends-to-be in LA, I will scream:


And for you, owner of the city you reside in, who makes your city a home?

Remind them how amazing they are to you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Aussies Did Not Look Like This When I Was There...

So today on the bus....

visual: Electric orange lululemon athletica racerback and black groove pants roll the bike on the front of the bus today. With my high ponytail, green glasses and UGG boots in 70 degree weather, I am the epitome of LA right now waiting for my bus.

I rode my beach cruiser all the way down to Santa Monica today for some yoga on the beach with a best friend of mine, Leigh Golden. She is an amazing yoga instructor and really just a zesty human being. We had a grand time and it made for quite the most lovely morning. So grateful for my ridiculous sunshine in January, a beautiful beach and mountains in the background. How can I ever have a bad day?

As I depart my dear yoga friend, I roll my bike down to my bus stop. As I know the bike ride is uphill back to Beverly Hills, I am all too glad that the Rapid 720 comes all the way down to the beach. I leave early to give time for traffic, delays and random bus adventure.

And happy I am that I left early...

While waiting at my bus stop propped up on my navy blue beach cruiser and gushing on my cellular device, a crew of young Australian boys depart a different bus to wait at my stop. Now, I studied in the land down under for six months, and let me tell you all a little something, Aussies did NOT look like this where I was staying. I tell my Midwest love I will call him back, hang up immediately and eavesdrop.

They were staring at the bus signs that are so damn confusing and conversing with one another in that amazing accent. The friendly local I am, I wave one over and ask where they want to be going.

"Thanks mate. Lookin' for Rodeo Drive"?

I melt. Something about accents, they get me every time. I tell them to just follow my lead, I work in Beverly Hills near Rodeo. I dance a little inside knowing they will be riding with me. I am such a nerd. But really, what a treat! Beautiful men. With accents! Sometimes the Metro really shows up in for me in more than just transportation.

Speaking of, the bus arrives and we all line up. I load my bike on the front trying to look cool yet knowing it is merely impossible with the weight of the bike and all the performance anxiety! I do alright. Sweating in my UGG boots, I thank my bus driver and sit near my Australian mates.

We get to talking about their visit to LA, life and upcoming travels. So get this, these five boys had all quit their jobs. Just up and quit. Flew in last night for a pit stop in Los Angeles for three days, then heading to the Grand Canyon next, Vegas afterwards, and finally landing down to South America for six months!

My mouth dropped. Why are Australians so cool? They really travel, live without fear and just experience life! I take a mental note of my jealousy of their cool factor and life adventure-ness, silently pondering if just maybe I should add that into my life goals.

Anyways, they ask me about Hollywood and the Walk of Stars. I chuckle inside thinking about my first trip to LA and all the tourist stuff my family and I did. Hell, I got my first prom dress on Rodeo Drive and thought I was the cat's meow because of it. How different my LA home is from what any outsider would come to experience now. I know the secrets like hiking Runyon Canyon, the pancakes at Griddle Cafe, the difference between a jog and a jog on the beach boardwalk and the amazing happy hour(s) at Cabo Cantina. Hello, it is a 2 for 1 deal until 8pm.

Nonetheless, I am helpful and break out the Blackberry google maps application and get them public transit directions from Rodeo Drive straight to Hollywood Boulevard. Every day I am still in awe of this incredible technology, I write them directions and they all thank me "heaps".

We approach the 90210 zip code and I pull the stop request chord. We all depart together and I wish them well and send them along to Rodeo Drive and Hollywood Boulevard.

What a fun bus ride with such cute Australian boys. I know that one day they will help some work out clad girl who is traveling and lost in her own life adventures.

Who knows, maybe it will be me!

Traveling the World. One bus ride at a time.

A Bus Musical, "Snob On A Bus, The Busical"

So today on the bus...

visual: Going for comfort I choose a loose lululemon athletica Still Pant in the a shade of what one might see as a darker blue and another as a deep purple partnered with a sea foam tank and my bright blue Puma tennis shoes, I stare through my green stunner shades for the bus.

I was hitting my bus stops just right for a good two weeks. In that, I mean a bus would show up within two minutes of my arrival. But lately, I have been just about twenty steps behind, every time. Same thing this morning, I saw the bus cross the intersection and I am two crosswalks away. What is that?

I approach my bus stop and take a seat on the bench. For some odd reason, I feel so rushed this morning. As my 'to do' list runs over and over in my head, I tap my Puma clad foot nervously and search down Wilshire. I knock out a couple phone calls and there it is, shiny and red. Phew!

I jump on and have been choosing to stand lately near the first rear entrance. I get a thrill in staring out the double doors while we are moving. It seems like it should be so against the rules, but its not.

So, I'm standing at my post and all of the sudden the bus is jam-packed. I have to move all the way to the back rear entrance. Some larger man with a huge suitcase decided to maneuver on in to my spot, as if I was not even there. I start singing Mister Cellophane from the musical, Chicago, in my head:

Mister cellophane
Should have been my name!
Mister cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there! "

Thank God I don't sing out loud. Disaster.

Anyways, so I am moving to the back and it is one hell of a walk. The bus is already moving and I am swaying between different railings and loop holes hanging from the ceiling to finally swing around to my post in the back. I must have looked like a monkey, a gymnast on rings and a stripper swinging around a pole, all by the time I had gotten to the back. Crazy.

A cute older woman with Adidas capris (or pedal pushers, as my Grandma calls them) and a large brimmed gardening hat is sitting near me all a fluster. When you watch movies, you really only see these huge brims on caps when the scene has the character gardening, thus she was rocking a gardening hat. She asks me about all the stops and I gladly let her know that her exit is coming up in the next three and I will let her know when to stand.

The wheels on the bus go round and round and I let her know its almost time for her to depart. Now, she must have taken a good three minutes to come stand beside me by the back exit. She stood up slowly out of her chair, swayed back and forth, back and forth, and then in one sudden movement, she leaps to stand next to me. A whole different ensemble than my previous monkey-gymnast-stripper pole moves. She was more like a turtle standing up, then a drunk man and a fawn in a meadow.

Now, I get to thinking with a creative stream of consciousness, if I were to ever write a bus musical, "Snob On A Bus, The Busical", I would have such the most wonderful time choreographing the dance scenes of passengers on the bus whilst moving. One of my best friends, Matty would have to do some research and really choreograph and star in the whole thing. Dancing is definitely not my genius. I am bringing back the Cabbage Patch dance if that gives you any notion.

I would also star my friend that dances in New York, Sarita Moore as the main lead. She is tall and muscular and could really capture every single one of these movements.

A Broadway hit in the making: starring movements of the monkeys, turtles, fawn and well, strippers. Now that is a hit! You have to see it today. Jump on a bus! Tickets only $1.25!

Blog writing, hmmmph. Broadway, here I come....on the bus, of course!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sister Patty and Her Party Bus

So late night on the bus...

visual: Casual California evening attire for dinner, drinks and a little dancing call for actual denim jeans, a leopard print baggy yet all too trendy sweater and ... wait for it ... black high heels and a beaded headband run to the bus in the early hours after a fun-filled evening.

My best friend came to visit this past week. He is quite the character and we always find a good time wherever we go. Best part, he was so completely down to ride the bus all over town with me and I was all too excited to share my bus adventures with him!

So, this evening we went out to dinner in Venice at a great little spot. After some delicious entrees and one too many bottles of wine, my dear friend and I make it down to a birthday shin dig to dance away the evening. We were carpooling with said best friend's family and they dropped us off at our location in Santa Monica, knowing we would be in safe hands taking the bus back home. We drink, dance, carry on as happy people do for the rest of the evening.

Well, 1:30am rolls around and our departure time has arrived. Our friends are scattered. Some here. Some there. We announce our bus carriage is waiting and a couple other friends are riding with us. An all out party continuation on the best bus in the World, the Metro 720.

We stumble to the stop and wave down the bus as it nearly passes us by! We all jump on and insert our $1.25. I would love to say we entered quietly and found our seats home on this wonderful, sober ride - but that is not the case.

The party was not over for us.

We sit right down in front and have a good time with our bus driver. She was a firecracker just laughing at us and calling us all idiots. She had red lipstick and a voice that carried. I told her I thought she was awesome and wanted to submit her to the Metro bus services to be a candidate for the award for best late night bus driver. She got a kick out of that one. I have submitted her badge number and given her praises for patience and FUN!

She declined in telling me her name and thus somehow in my state of red wine consumption and dance hall delirium, she was deemed 'Patricia'. And then she became our SISTER PATTY! What a riot, she was hootin and hollering by now. Sister Patty, the lovely bus driver who took got us all safely home.

Now, if you do recall my Metro Christmas list, I did have on there that the Metro is like an all out party bus with good times and good friends. Also, I had a question about bus security. As I often see the Metro Police cars driving around, but never any Metro Police People on my bus. Ever.

What do you know if at the fourth stop, a larger security gentleman joined us on the bus.

Now, whether he was there for our protection or heading home after a long evening of security, I do not know. I check it off my wish list, regardless.

I was so happy. In that moment. With my dear friends riding my favorite bus.

Now, I know Sister Patty had a good time. All my friends had a great time. And the bus served this community well, as none of us on that bus had gotten behind the wheel of a car or handles of a bike and endangered the life of ourselves or another.

I thank the LA Metro for running at such later hours. Providing fun bus drivers like Sister Patty, security and safe rides.

I thank my friends for being just fun and choosing the bus route to get home safely. I am so lucky to have best friends that can experience public transit in a way that most never will.

I cherish this evening.

Oh. And last but not least, I apologize for the passengers in the back of the bus looking at us like we were crazy! I cherish you, too.

Have fun! Love life! Be happy in every moment!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grandma On the Bus! A Friend On the Bus!

Part I

So today on the bus....

visual: Bringing back the 80's, I rock my luluelmon athletica purple denim leggings, a bright blue v-neck long sleeve and royal blue Haviana sandals. My green shades add a splash of color up top, with my cumbersome backpack and yoga mat strapped on and my hair is whisked back in some high ponytail mess. Beach cruiser in hand, I wait for the bus.

I took myself on a breakfast date this morning. I figured it would be nice to sit at a lovely little coffee shop outside the bus stop and just sip a nice latte and start my day right. Well, it always sounds good in theory. But, I get so bored. So I pull out my to do list. And then I whip out the cellular device, its hits me.


I dial up my Grandparents on the speed dial on my phone. I have about thirty minutes to kill before I need to be heading for the bus. Let's catch up with one of my best friends.

So Grandma and I chat and catch up. She is having coffee in the comfort of her home that is covered in snow. Thus, we seemingly have a little coffee date going on, me in California and she in Indiana. Fast forward a half hour and I am waiting for the bus, cell phone clenched between the ear and shoulder, and beach cruiser leaning into my right hand. Yes, Grandma is still on the phone. She is a talker and I love it.

I am at a bus stop a couple blocks from my usual post, as the aforementioned cute coffee shop is a little bike ride from home. My 720 Rapid Metro arrives and I interrupt Grandma and tell her I have to put my bike on the front of the bus. I haven't done this in a while, so I am a bit out of practice. Grandma goes directly to my heart, as in I throw my phone down my sports bra and tell her to just hang on a moment. I throw down the kickstand and run to the front. Unleash the gate down and grab the bike. Now, I do not know if any of you have every picked up a beach cruiser. Well, they are heavy! This isn't a light nothing weight road bike, we are talking bike with basket and huge handle bars. I pick it up and all the sudden the front wheel does a complete turn. I'm in hell. I almost fall over, the back wheel is in its place while the front wheel is just messing up this entire process. I start to sweat. Great! Sweat is going to get on my phone! I re-focus, turn the wheel around, give a thumbs up to the bus driver and jump on.

Phew. "Grandma, you still there?"

Of course she is.

Now, as you all know, I am not a huge advocate of phone talkers on the cell phone. How can I have an authentic connection with a bus passenger while yapping away on the Blackberry?

However, when it comes to Grandma, all rules go out the window.

And I figure, if people knew I was talking to her, they would be okay with it. She makes me smile and you can tell I am beaming over her topics of conversation: family gossip, church meetings and fresh baked pies, her treadmill she thinks is broken but totally is not, my grandpa, sports, the past holiday and her favorite presents, a potential trip to Palm Desert, engagements, .... I mean anything and everything, we covered it.

As we end the conversation half way through my bus ride, I feel confident that I did not bother anyone sitting near me. I enjoyed my conversation and really do feel that being on the bus allowed me to completely be present and listen to Grandma, versus if I were driving probably on a low gas tank (as I have admitted, I am a terrible driver), worrying about a speeding ticket or cell phone while driving ticket, and paying attention to the road only half the time and the other half to my firecracker of a Grandma.

See! There are so many advantages of riding the bus. To name a few:

Going green and saving the Earth.

Saving your hard-earned money.

Meeting great people and making their day.

Connecting with family.

So, get on the bus and call Grandma!

Part II

So tonight on the bus...

visual: Bringing back the 80's, I am still rocking my luluelmon athletica purple denim leggings, a bright blue v-neck long sleeve and royal blue Haviana sandals. I carry my cumbersome backpack and yoga mat strapped to it and my hair is now tied back with a matching purple headband trying to maintain the disheveled high ponytail mess after a long day's work. Beach cruiser in hand, rolling toward the bus home.

The ride home this evening is very special. My fellow lululemon colleague, Jenna is riding the bus home with me. We live near one another and thus the Rapid 720 is our mode of transportation this eve. A friend on the bus!

After a long day of work, we mosey along down the street to the bus stop. Seeing the big red flash rush across the intersection, we rush to jump on, waiving and flailing our arms as we are crossing the street near the stop. I am pushing my beach cruiser as fast as my flip flopped feet can go. We get to the front of the bus and to my dismay, oh no, the bike rack is about to be full. There are two spaces available and a man in his helmet and blinking lights is filling the last spot. Noooo! Jenna looks to the bus driver, "can she bring it on the bus??"

I feel like we are in a movie. So much drama. Running to the bus. Over-dramatic flailing movements, our body language screaming, "Don't leave us here in Beverly Hills!". A quick rush of emotion as the spaces are full for my bike that MUST make it home. We look to the bus driver with a scared and almost begging request. And we wait for her response...on pins and needles, as if this answer will make or break our entire day! Jenna is an actress, you know.

The bus driver is a shorter woman who seems so small in her huge, lifted bus chair, over-sized steering wheel and bus driving vest. She smiles and says there is a space in the back that you can lift the seats up and hold the bike in the open space. My face lights up! Bike on the bus? I can just lift it on with me? No fear of the gate on the front falling off? I am delighted. I run my bike to the back and lift it on. What a new experience.

Jenna holds the bike as I head to the front and pay my quarters. I thank the bus driver ever so graciously, as I thought I was going to have to wait the ten to twelves minutes for the next bus. I ask the rules of bikes on the bus. She informs me that it has to do with the time of day, passenger capacity, safety, and bus driver permission.

Good to know.

So, I ride along in the back of the bus with Jenna and my bike. What a great day. First of all, a friend on the bus. This never happens! And then the bikes gets to come with me! Its like when people find out they can bring their beloved dog with them in the retail store and they don't have to chain them to a meter outside, a weight is lifted. This is how I feel about my bike.

Frosting on this cake of a bus ride!

So, now you know, when the bike rack is full up front, there is available space in back. All you have to do is ask. Just remember, time of day, passenger allowance, safety and bus driver permission.

I know I would have just waved the bus on and waited for the bus. Thank you Jenna asked for me! As they say, "that's what friends are for".

So, essentially, I got to ride the bus to and fro today with friends on the bus. The first bus I rode connectiong with Grandma, as if she were right next to me in the comfort of my favorite bus. And the bus home, I rode with my dear friend, Jenna (well, and if you consider your bike a friend. I believe I do).

So, get on the bus and invite all your friends!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Different Level of Beauty

So today on the bus....
visual: Cozy and warm in my very bright and favorite lululemon athletica avocado green jacket with the brightest of blue hip pants topped with an orange-red tank is my outfit today. Hair pinned back in quite a mess and tapping my green and navy blue Nikes, I wait for the bus.
The sun sneaks slowly into sight to wish me a very early 'Good Morning' as I speed walk towards Wilshire Boulevard. Damn, there it goes! My beloved Rapid 720 bus rushes right across the intersection as I am about two minutes too late to make that one! Just two blocks from the bus stop. It is almost mean when I can see it pick everyone up as I am stuck at the crosswalk.
I take the just-missed-the-bus opportunity to fill my sustainable coffee cup with a convenient cup of coffee from the 711 store behind my stop. I apologize to the man asking for change clad in a yellow button down and dark jeans leaning near his belongings and asking for money right at the entrance. Spare change is my means of transportation!
Anyways, so, I got a new sustainable mug from The Paper Source in Beverly Hills last week. It is really snazzy! It is all porcelain and actually looks just like a paper Starbucks to-go coffee cup - yet mine is eco-friendly AND reusable! (see image). I fill it up with a bold blend and two amaretto creams and head back out to my stop. I had somehow got the urge to pull out a dollar for my friend at the entrance, but he was not standing there. His loss.

As I am enjoying my warm cup of java, the man from the 711 entrance must of felt my kindness energy and comes up behind me and almost startles me. He waves a crisp dollar bill around and asks if I have change. Smart man - of course I have change, I am a bus rider! I explain that I do not have enough for both me and him to get to and from work. I smile and then glance for my bus that is nowhere in sight. I question the snobby snub I could give him right now, or I could speak with him and be the possibility of love for another human being. He looks me up and down and comments on my bright clothing, "Damn girl, you have a lot of colors on! You look very nice." I thank him, give him that chance, and share with him that I rarely wear black and colors just seem more fun. He chuckles and I see that he is missing his front four teeth. Somehow, it makes the smile better! He leans against the bus post behind me and continues the up and down looks. I smile, disregarding the degradation...maybe he enjoys the clothing design or color combination, I tell myself in a search-for-a-positive type of thinking. I tell him that the yellow button down is a nice look for him. He smiles, making actual eye contact and opens up a bit.
We embark in conversation and talk about the holidays that had recently passed and wish one another a happy new year. He had been "here, there and everywhere" for the holidays. I respond, "me too!". He went to Downtown LA and also had dinner at the Civic Center in Santa Monica, said he had a real nice time. I shared about my Grandma's house and New Year's Eve parties. His "here,there and everywhere" were a bit different than mine. But that really didn't matter - just sharing holiday love. We finally introduce ourselves, Anthony is his name. He asks where I am going and I think to myself that he might actually ride with me as I inform him that my place of work was in Beverly Hills at lululemon athletica. He assures me that he hangs out in the area often and maybe our paths will cross again, but not today. I smile. One more up and down look and he shares, "You sure are pretty". I tell him that it must be the colors, they make me so happy! He laughs and we bid one other good bye as he walks back to his post by the entrance at the 711.

Just a note, I do not know the stigma I have about homeless people. I always feel a very specific and combined feeling of guilt, fear and danger that I ultimately have to get over. Why is that an automatic response? Anthony - although I could have done without the up and down looks - was a very kind, energetic and talkative man. Just probably wanted an authentic conversation with someone who smiled back, teeth or no teeth.
My interaction with him triggers a conversation this past week; I write for LA Yoga Magazine and I had interviewed a gentleman from Santa Barbara, Anthony Carroccio. (Weird, his name was Anthony, too). He is the founder of Organic Soup Kitchen, serving organic and wholesome meals for individuals and families in need ( Only in California, I think to myself, is there an organic soup kitchen. As I am talking to him over the phone and just eating up his East Coast accent, he informs me of something all too relative. He shares, "You know, these people I talk to and serve food to, they are no different from you and me. They are smart and wonderful and very talented. They just hit a bump along the road somewhere. Really, just the same as you and me...". I think about this statement as I had just shared an authentic connection with my bus stop Anthony with his four missing teeth and life outside of 711 Convenient Store. He is a human being, just like me. We can communicate and share seven minutes of our lives with one another while I wait for my bus.
No fear.
No danger.
No guilt.
Just love. And my heart opens a bit in this realization.

My bus finally arrives and I jump on with this new way of thinking. Not too many passengers on the bus when the sun is waking up, so I sit in front and think about social stereotypes; a common theme as of late.
A few stop along the way a nice gentlemen sits down across from me with his messenger bag and black leather coat. He has the smile and this we are going to have a conversation look in his eyes, which I wonder if that is exactly how I look every day on the bus. Talk to me! Inspire me! Somebody!
So, I say hello and he smiles and say hi back. And he jumps into all sorts of questions. Where I work, where I am from and how very bright my outfit is. He speaks very quickly and tells me of his past, his days in my home state of Texas, how he works for a gas and energy firm in Beverly Hills, and that he is happy with his life in LA. His name is Lonnie and we shake hands from across the bus. I think, what a cool picture if captured. The photos could be called "Authentic Connection in Transit". I digress with a burst of creativity. So, as we shake, I lean across the aisle, look him in the eyes and tell him it is a pleasure to talk with him. And then, he tells me how pretty I look today!
I mean, I must have done something different with my hair. Did I put on eyeliner today? This early? Not possible. I smile and thank him.
I recall an interview with Drew Barrymore I read in People Magazine when I was younger. One that I truly believe and one that I have never forgotten:
"I just think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness. If somebody walks in the room and they're drop-dead gorgeous and sexy, it's really fun to look at. But if someone is giving of their spirit and they make you laugh and feel good, that's a whole other level of beauty. " (People, Vol. 67, No. 18)
Thus, I inform dear Lonnie, " I am just happy. Happy people are beautiful. You are beautiful!". He looks at me a little strange. Oh, did I got too deep, am I the uber happy, intense girl on the bus that smiles too much"? He chuckles and agrees. I nod and pull my tab for my departure. I wish his beautiful, happy face well and thank my bus driver.

A little hop in my step as Anthony and Lonnie had just made my day, I feel truly beautiful walking across the street to work! And, I thought I was having a really bad hair day. I mean, I knew the outfit was a bit loud. And man, was I tired being up before the sun! But none of that matters, I became a mirror and reflected my authentic happiness. Just as my dudes did off and on the bus today!
An authentic connection.
Happiness shared.
Make someone laugh. Smile. Choose happiness. Be that whole other level of beauty today!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009: Snobbery Recap

I wanted to share with you my 2009 learnings from last year's life of a Snob On A Bus:

1) Reach out and touch someone! Hug, high five, hold hands, kiss .... just share the love.

2) Who talks about the weather with strangers? Let's set some goals together!

3) Get over yourself! Someone cannot be judging you while they are sleeping.

4) You do not have to speak with the same language to communice. Try smiles and laughter.

5) After taking your beachcruiser bike off the front of the bus gate, please place gate upright beore the bus driver can yell at you.

6) If your bus stop shares different bus lines and you want to get on that bus, you better wave it down.

7) You can be that change you want to see in the world.

8) Why waste time caring what other people think? Go ahead, pick your nose on the bus!

9) Be the possibility of love for ALL people.

10) If the Bus reads WESTWOOD in the neon letters above, it stops in Westwood and it is the LAST STOP. Wait for the bus with the right location.

11) Stereotypes Schmeroshtypes! Be open.

12) However, Midwesterners really do have that feel-good vibe. You just know!

13) GO GREEN! Try the bus!

14) Make a Choice. Right Now. 2010 will be the BEST year. Done!

15) Are you listening to me? How are you listening? Listen with an open heart.

16) When expectations are not met, communicate!

17) Life can catch you off guard. Keep on ridin' that bus of life.

18) Very, very OLD men just love me. Period.

19) Give thanks where THANKS is due. Send that email, provide feedback, thank your mom...

20) My family is my saving grace. Always. And thank you family for being that.

21) I never dreamed I would have a Metro Christmas List. Life is funny.

22) I have a bus preference, Rapid 720 baby! A new found Bus Snobbery.

23) I enjoy the bus. Who knew?

24) Set Goals. Create your future. Live with Intention. Welcome 2010!

Happy New Year to ALL from this Snob On A Bus' heart to your heart.

I wish you health, wealth, happiness, love and a beautiful and very green future.