sistawendy: (weirded out)
Party weekends like Pride leave me with a messy apartment. I can't not clean it at the earliest opportunity, which is how I spent all my non-work waking hours yesterday. My apartment is spiffy, and I am at peace. Am I hausfrau* material, or what?

But before I could finish cleaning, I had to take the bus home. As I got up to get off, I spotted my neighbor B. He asked how Pride weekend was for me. I said, "It was..." and racked my brain for the right words.
"The end of the game," said some skinny blond dude next to us as he looked at me intently.
"The end of the game?" I didn't quite believe my ears.
"The end of the game."
Mercifully, the doors opened right then and B and I got off without our interlocutor. "I don't know what he meant by that," I said, "and I'm not sure I want to."
"Yeah," said B, "I noticed him earlier. He's on something, and I'm pretty sure I know what." It isn't hard to guess: meth. You see, my bus spends most of its route on an ugly arterial that runs the length of Seattle's lily white north end, with one concentration of substance abusers downtown, another one at the far end of its trip, and relatively more tech industry stiffs like B & me in between**.

From the Dept. of Happy Thotz, when the Tickler bailed on Pride she said we should make plans. You know I don't sleep on that stuff; we have a hot date planned for Saturday.

*I once referred to myself as a hausfrau in front of my first queer kiss. She told me that her mother did the same. Holy Oedipal Lesbian, Batman!
**I speak of Lake Union, Queen Anne, Fremont, Wallingford, Phinney, Green Lake, and (south?) Greenwood.
sistawendy: (flirty hippy)
This has been the weekend of minor things going wrong, and Just Dealing With Them:
  1. M'boy needed my help to close his savings account that we opened when he was a minor. I ended up leaving my driver's license in the bank branch at the other end of Seattle, near Ex's. Good thing my passport is valid: I used it to get into the Mercury last night. (More about which shortly.) I got to try out Lyft for the first time too - I nuked Uber for awful labor practices and its support of 45.
  2. My bathroom sink backed up right before I needed to put on makeup for said trip to the Mercury. Drāno works great if you let it work overnight. Ahem.
  3. I didn't have time to put sheets on my bed before I left last night.
  4. Right before I left for dinner with [personal profile] m_cobweb & co. I found out that I have a flat tire. Luckily, m'boy won't be using the car until at least Tuesday, and truth be told he can cope without it.
  5. Stuff broke at work last night. I was on call, but I was also on a date. I didn't get alerted, so somebody else found the problem and took care of it. I'm not sure whether that's bad or not.
Speaking of that date I keep alluding to, I took Brown Eyes to the Mercury for date #2. She hadn't been since about 2001. It was all pretty lovely: we have gabfests when we're together, and I introduced her to gimlets. There was ahem. (Hey, at least we did our making out off the dance floor.) We went back to her place, which is a mother-in-law apartment in a house owned by an old lesbian artist on Beacon Hill. (The exterior of the house and especially the back yard, by the way, look fantastic.) There were some really good times had, but not a lot of sleep. I confess to feeling a little pang of 'Awww' when she mentioned how much she likes living alone, but I fink she freaky and I like her a lot. We have... much in common.

Oh yeah: she drove me home to the north end, and took me out to Blue Star for a badly needed and quite tasty breakfast. That's right: I walked into a breakfast joint in Wallingford wearing a sheer top, corset, short skirt, red fishnets, and Fluevog heels with leather laces up the back. No makeup, though, because what Brown Eyes didn't kiss off me I'd removed. I did notice one white-bearded gent giving me a good stare.

Did my usual morning workout, got my apartment put back together, and crashed. Was late for [personal profile] m_cobweb, about which I'm not proud. However, the owner of the late, lamented Night Kitchen was there. I got to tell her about how a bunch of us ate there the first night of my new life as a woman. She loved that story. She also drove me home (!) when she found out I would have otherwise had a really long bus ride.* I kind of wondered what she was doing after the Night Kitchen closed, and the answer is, embarking on a tech career. I wish her all happiness; she brought much happiness to her customers, including me.

*The 41 from Lake City, near Seattle's northeast corner, all the way downtown, and thence to an E, which goes back north up the middle to my place. Stoopit, right? About the only east-west routes in the north end are the ones going to the UW, and they don't intersect with the 41.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Dinner at Cafe Ibex with the Tickler: not-bad Ethiopian food with some dishes I'd never had before, but I think I like Meskel better. Also, the service isn't great. We were the only non-Ethiopians in the joint, which didn't start to get at all busy until about 2100.

Then dancing with the Tickler last night at a big, crowded, super hippy night thrown by the Ents in Tents crew. This show had some of the best decor and other visuals I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. There were quite a few vendors selling some really nice things, too. The DJs, though? Distinctly meh, even if the Tickler liked them more than I did. Eye candy? Quite good. Happiness is having someone you can be a dirty old woman with. Not that dirty, though: when we got back to her place, her tummy started to rebel. Aw.

Bus happiness: when you get on a bus that takes you all the way from West Seattle through downtown to the north end, changing route numbers along the way, so you don't have to change buses. Aw, yeah.

Shortly after I got home, I had a work situation that lasted about three hours. Moral: automated provisioning is a good thing, so do it early in your project's history.

Met with Grenade. We have... plans for each other. Artistic plans. More or less.

I've been so all over the place this weekend that I haven't worked out, not even a walk around the lake. Time to get back on the horse tomorrow.
sistawendy: (taco madonna)
And what, you may ask, is Objective Charlie Bravo? I went down to Macy's on the bus* and picked up a few 38C bras, all of which fit me better than the 38B that I walked in with and that I'm still wearing.

Years ago - I think it was at least two years ago, anyway - no less an authority on boobs than [personal profile] staxxy prophesied that I would eventually make it to a C cup. If she gave me a time frame, I don't remember it; she's probably too smart to do that anyway. I must admit to a certain impatience with the pace of my breast growth, and maybe even some doubt as to where it would end up, but it isn't that common for trans women to get as big as I have without resorting to knife work.

OK, I don't want to go up any more cup sizes. B for believable, C for convenient. Having said that, it'll probably happen.
What did I do for MLK day? I didn't march, but I borrowed another of the volumes of March that I got for m'boy, who has to his credit read all of them. Time for me to catch up. It's a bite out of a perspective sandwich: I'd forgotten, if I ever knew, how much physical harm folks in the civil rights movement endured. Even more respect to Rep. John Lewis for keeping his faith in humanity.

*The E and the 40. The E was so delayed coming back that I walked the thirty blocks in almost exactly the time it would have taken on the bus. Bad Metro! Bad!
sistawendy: (smartass hester)
Last night's bus-to-train-to-bus trip to and from a party in the south end of Seattle - I live in the north end - inspired me to write a little mass transit personal history. That's right: to the best of my recollection, here's every bus route I've ever taken in the Seattle area. I used King County Metro to fill in gaps in my memory. Unless otherwise specified, "downtown" means downtown Seattle.

1 - It goes up the steep south slope of Queen Anne Hill, a.k.a. the Counterbalance after the old trolley, but I just used it to bop around downtown.
2 - From downtown to party with friends in the Central District (CD).
3 - To get off Queen Anne Hill and go to work, where I parked during the Super Bowl victory parade.
4 - From downtown to party with friends in the CD.
5 - Goes down Phinney Ridge near my lake place to downtown. Also good for getting my legs waxed in Fremont, or to dates in the numerous bars & restaurants.
[I wish I'd taken the 6 before it was discontinued in 1999. It mostly went around Green Lake, so I had no need of it at the time. It sounds like a useless route so it should be gone, but what a lovely trip that must have been.]
7 - Back in my day, whippersnapper, it went from the UW, down Broadway, then through downtown all the way to the south end. They've amputated the north end of the 7 and replaced it with the 49, which is of course 7 squared. I can't help but wonder if Metro has some mathematically inclined punsters working for them.
8 - Part of this route goes near Lambert House, but I also jumped on it with m'boy near the Seattle Center.
9 - Probably? It goes on Broadway, so it's likely.
10 - Used to go right to Lambert House, and still goes pretty close. These days I mainly take it between Lambert House and Capitol Hill station.
11 - Goes near Lambert House. Before the train I would take the 10, 11, or 43 from 4th & Pike, depending on which one came first, how big a hurry I was in, and whether any cute women got on.
12 - The bus to Dr. Leather Bear.
16 - Discontinued. Green Lake-Wallingford-downtown, so I took it to get my hair cut and probably to dates in Wallingford.
17 - Discontinued. Went from downtown to Ballard. I lived in Ballard with Ex during the mid '90s.
21 - Goes from downtown to the Tickler's in West Seattle.
26 - Downtown to Fremont via the Fremont Bridge, which unlike the Aurora Bridge is a drawbridge and therefore slower. I remember taking this at least once when an accident shut down Aurora.
28 - I needed to get closer to home in Ballard, so I jumped on this one.
29 - Another Queen Anne route. I think I've taken this.
32 - Goes up Elliot past the old CSPC.
40 - Goes from downtown up Dexter through Fremont through Ballard. Good for errands in the north end.
41 - Maybe I've taken it in the tunnel downtown, but no further. For you non-Seattle folks, there's a tunnel for buses and light rail trains that runs underneath downtown, mostly underneath 3rd Ave. ETA 14-Nov-2016: Took this one all the way to Lake City for a little clubbing action.
43 - Another one to Lambert House. It used to go between Downtown, Capitol Hill, the UW and Ballard, but I think the UW-Ballard leg became the 44.
44 - Today's UW-Wallingford-Ballard route. Much Younger Woman's place is near this route.
45 - Green Lake to the UW, where there's now a train station. 'Nuff said.
47 - Goes up Capitol Hill. Duh.
48 - From the CD, about 10 blocks from Lambert House, to the UW. It used to go all the way to Green Lake; that segment of the route is now the 45. There's a song about it!
49 - Goes up Capitol Hill right to the Siberian Siren's. My bus of choice for that before the train.
50 - If I need to go between Ex's & Othello station, maybe I can catch this. It's infrequent & nearly empty, which is reflective of the rich neighborhoods it goes through.
55 - I think I took this to or from [ profile] nerdvana once.
60 - Another Broadway bus, so it's likely.
62 - The replacement for the 16, so yeah.
66 - Downtown to Northgate, for shopping with the Siberian Siren!
70-74 - All routes between downtown and the UW. I lived on these when I was in school. The 74 express goes right to Much Younger Woman's.
82 - A night bus that goes from downtown and winds its way through Wallingford and Green Lake before eventually going more or less near my place. Colorful!
101 - Another tunnel-only bus for me.
106 - Took it to the party in the south end last night.
107 - Took it from the party in the south end last night.
124 - Took it to the body shop where they took the poor Sanctimobile last week. It goes to Georgetown, where artists (used to?) do their thing and where there's fun to be had.
194 - Discontinued. Took this to the airport once, I think, in the pre RapidRide days. Or was that electrolysis? Goes way south, down 99.
221 - Downtown Redmond to Crossroads Mall and points south in Bellevue. Yup.
230 - Discontinued. Crossroads to downtown Bellevue if I remember correctly. Just getting around the east side, which by the way really sucks on the bus after 1900.
234 - Kirkland to Bellevue. I only took this one a few times because ew, Bellevue.
238 - Totem Lake to south Kirkland. Errands.
245 - My regular commute for much of my Microsoft days. Kirkland to Crossroads to south Bellevue.
248 - A newer route through Kirkland. I took it once to run errands.
251 - Discontinued. It was my regular commute route twice, once in the early '90s and later when I lived in Kirkland, pre-Microsoft. Back in the day, it went way out to east Redmond and crossed the 520 bridge. It also wasn't heavily used and drivers would go like bats out of hell all over the east side.
254 - Discontinued. My old backup east side commute route. In the mid-2000s in downtown Redmond I saw a small metal sign indicating the 254's route, affixed to a utility pole, bearing the original Metro logo from the 1970s. I'm sure the removal effort missed it. I kind of want it.
255 - Still a workhorse for Kirkland to downtown Seattle. I used to take it with m'boy to the end of the line, then get weird ramen at the Seattle Uwajimaya. He rides it to & from school now.
271 - Downtown Bellevue to the UW. I think I took this one once or twice? I definitely wasn't a regular rider.
358 - Discontinued. My old commute route from here at my lake place to downtown. Good: the stop was maybe thirty feet from my front door. Bad: the damn thing filled up at least once a week. Worse: a driver was once shot to death on the bus, leaving the bus hanging partway off the Aurora Bridge. That's when they changed the route number from 359 to 358. I wish I were making that up, but I'm not. The 358 was notorious among drivers for being a sort of hazing experience for new drivers. It has been replaced by the RapidRide E line.
[Route numbers in the 500s are Sound Transit express buses.]
540 - Redmond to the UW. I've taken this for long lunches with [ profile] intrepid_reason.
545 - Redmond to downtown. I've taken this one to Pride parades, and met other queers on it.
550 - Bellevue to downtown. I've taken this to Emerald City Comicon with my son.
560 - Bellevue to the airport. Ex just couldn't believe I didn't mind taking this to the airport, but really, the ST buses are pretty comfy with their plush seats.
594 - Electrolysis in Tacoma.
[I've discovered, thanks to an old & buggy version of Metro's arrival screen software, that the RapidRide routes are internally known by route numbers in the 670s. RapidRide A is 671, and so on. I'll use their external names, but in internal order.]
RapidRide A - On 99 well south of Seattle. I've taken this from the airport train station to Norwescon.
RapidRide B - Bellevue-Microsoft-downtown Redmond. A former backup commute line.
RapidRide C - Downtown to West Seattle. I've taken this to the Tickler, and possibly to [ profile] aaminahlefae's.
RapidRide D - Downtown to Ballard. I've taken this to the CSPC or to see friends, but it didn't exist when I lived in Ballard.
RapidRide E - My usual commute bus, the replacement for the 358. Fairly colorful, but usually dependable.

Each route has its own personality. The E is full of dour commuters, sharing a bus uneasily with the mentally ill and homeless of the far north end. The 5 often features women who are either drop-dead stylish or going to & from yoga. The 45 is full of college kids. The 545 is full of Microsoftees with their laptops open. The 10 is almost as young as the UW routes, but queerer.

I've alluded to the route numbering system, so I might as well tell you all I know: the single- and perhaps lower double-digit routes are the old trolley lines, maybe tweaked in a few places. These days they are trolley buses. That's right: some buses in Seattle are powered by electrified cables above the streets.
  • The single- and double-digit routes don't stray too far from central Seattle.
  • Numbers in the 100s run to or exclusively in the area south of downtown.
  • Numbers in the 200s are east.
  • 300s are north.
  • There is no west because that's Puget Sound, Vashon Island being served by 100s.
  • 400s are run by Snohomish county's Community Transit and therefore go way the hell up north.
  • The 500s are, as I mentioned, the long-haul express buses run by Sound Transit, the same agency that runs the light rail & commuter trains.
  • The 600s are (Shhh!) the RapidRides, so called because of their fancy card readers at stops and streamlined routes.
  • There are a few 800s in the stupidly rich parts of the east side which are apparently used as buses to private schools.
  • I believe the 900s are Dial-A-Ride for the disabled.
I may have some kind of mass transit mania, but I will resist any attempt to cure it.

ETA: I keep remembering more routes, so I have to add them. Have to.
ETAA: I can't believe I forgot the 245!
sistawendy: (angry cartoon)
There's this crazy, old Chinese lady who regularly rides the E line downtown with me in the late mornings. She never shuts up. Between her accent and her age, I hardly ever catch a complete sentence coming from her, so she's usually just barely tolerable. The subjects of her rants are usually, I think, related to federal economic policy; she often has a copy of the Wall Street Journal with her. Today, and not for the first time, I heard her call homosexuality unnatural.

Waddaya do? Well, as luck would have it, she gets off at the same stop as I do, now that StartupCo has moved its offices a few blocks south. Right after we got off, here's how the conversation went, if you can call it that:

Me: Ma'am, what were you saying about gay people?
COCL: [Giggles.]
Me: I'm gay!
COCL: [Giggles.]
Me: You need to stop with the homophobic rants. [Storms off and goes to work.]

So was this the right thing to do? If I complain to the driver, what are the chances that they'll do anything? Or have I finally become one of the crazies on the bus?
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Yesterday's adventure was to get from my hotel to Amoeba Music, just steps from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, without any taxi or other car. So, that meant taking SamTrans (i.e. San Mateo county's buses) to CalTrain to BART to Muni to get there.

I got on the Muni 71 going the wrong way at first and ended up waiting forever for the one going in the right direction. I didn't mind too much, though, because it was a beautiful, sunny day and I was on Market St. in San Francisco. I got to check out what people were wearing. Trends: crazy tight pants, lots of leggings, chunky-shafted boots, sweater dresses. I saw one woman (?) older than I am ride a bicycle helmetless down the double yellow line in a red velvet miniskirt and heels. That's what I love about San Francisco.

What I don't love about San Francisco is aggressive panhandlers and other two-legged nuisances. They didn't bother me personally, but that was a matter of luck. I can tell they're a problem that a tourist town like San Francisco can ill afford.

Public transit has a last-mile problem, definitely in the Bay area, and everywhere else in my opinion. CalTrain & BART are dreams of spaciousness, frequency, and swiftness, but if you're at all off the beaten track (even Haight Street in San Francisco?!) then frequency of service will be far too poor for anybody but a fanatical tourist like me. Never mind the sardine scene that is Muni.

What to do about it? A quick look at my beloved King County Metro's expenses seems to indicate that automating driving & maintenance would be the biggest win.
Why am I sleepy right now? Because Mom texted me from her BlackBerry at 0645 this morning Pacific time, thinking she was emailing me. And who taught her how to text from her BlackBerry? Need you ask? In all fairness to Mom, by default BlackBerry unifies all text & email messages in one view, and unlike Windows Phone 7 it doesn't have an obvious way to get to the separate kinds of messages. That's more convenient in some senses, but it could (and did) confuse somebody who was new to the technology.

I just washed a bunch of undies & socks. I brought more than one pair of undies per day of my (non-hospital) stay, but I was bleeding so much when I got out of the hospital that it wasn't enough.
Tomorrow I'll be visiting N, who was the best man at my wedding, in dowtown San Mateo; [ profile] trystbat, whom I met at a wedding, in Palo Alto; and college chum H and her hubby D back here in Foster City. I'll be getting a CalTrain day pass and flogging the hell out of it. Mmu hu hwaugh huh hah ha!

ETA: Picked up at Amoeba: The Knife, Neon Indian, and the KLF.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
Bump #1: I sent work mail with the new name on it. Nobody seems to have noticed. It may have had something to do with my being en femme on the bus at the time. Dr. Shrink has encouraged me to do more everyday stuff that way so I get used to it, which leads me to...

Bump #2: I'm not used to doing everyday stuff alone en femme yet. I get nervous, have trouble stringing words together, and talk quieter. Sheesh, this was just the Bellevue Pacific Fabrics and the only people there at 8:40 were the two biddies who worked there. Can anybody explain to me why the eastbound 230 is so crowded at 9:30?

Bump #3: And why was I there so close to closing time? Because I'm carless and bus service on the east side really sucks after about 7:30. Three hours round trip travel time, four buses, and twenty blocks of walking. (I think I'll be getting lower-heeled boots sooner than I'd planned.) Der Plan, now that the Sanctimobile is paid off, is for me to get it and for Nibs to get a new-to-us car. She wants a Leaf, but we'll see how the budget works out.
I've seen a bunch of the It Gets Better videos on YouTube. The best? This one by a young lady who goes by untitledsymphony.

I don't really feel qualified to talk to kids about bullying. I'm not out yet, and I never contemplated self-harm. I hid so well I even fooled myself, for a long time. The one thing I would say to the kids is, don't do what I did either. It caused a lot of needless pain to a lot of people.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
usual 15 minutes. < tonight's 90 minutes < 150 minutes when it snowed the other day

In fairness to Metro & Sound transit, I chose dryness over speed and passed up two other routes that don't go as close to the Abbey. Commuting by bus: an exercise in tradeoffs that is a metaphor for life itself.
sistawendy: (lizzy)
number of minutes early I saw my bus leave on a reroute: 5

usual commute time: 15 minutes each way
tonight's commute: 150 minutes, of which
spent waiting in the cold: 60 minutes

people in my bus shelter: about 10

number of Metro or Sound Transit buses at my stop from 6 to 7 p.m. tonight: 2
number usually arriving there then: over 10

fabulous Metro drivers who walked to my stop looking for passengers: at least 1. (There may have been more, but the first one was for my route.)

average speed: 2 mph. Pedestrians passed us until we got over the Redmond Way viaduct.
pages read: 20
phone calls to or from the Abbey: 5

police cars stopped on Redmond Way: 1
cars abandoned going uphill (my way) on Redmond Way: a few dozen
cars abandoned going downhill on Redmond way: fewer than ten

jackknifed articulated buses on Redmond Way: 1
chained-up buses: 0
sistawendy: (Default)
Well, I almost got killed on the way to the bus this morning. I pressed the button for the flashing crosswalk lights (yay Kirkland and its gobs of municipal cash) and the side of traffic nearest me stops. I start running because I'm running late and high on adrenalin, hoping the other side will stop. It doesn't. Thanks to the ice on the street, I slip and fall to my knees while trying to stop. Some shaven-headed piece of white trash manages to avoid hitting me by feet, honks, and keeps going. There's now a hole in the pants I was wearing, I'm limping around the Abbey, and yes, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.

By the way, I'm pretty sure I missed the bus. And why? Because I took this picture of the sun shining through the fog and my neighbors' firs. )
It was just too cool to pass up.

This certainly has been my week to fuck up, hasn't it? I hope my legs will let me club this weekend.


sistawendy: (Default)

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