Rocky Mountain Ramblings

Buscapades: Express Yourself! November 25, 2014

Filed under: Buscapades — rovinglady @ 8:16 pm

I recently rode the #1 bus toward Federal Blvd. and got a real kick out of the social interaction between two other passengers on the line.

A woman boarded the bus and walked past me down the aisle, and a man a few rows behind me said, “There she is!”

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The woman stopped at his row, and I heard her ask him how they knew each other.

“Aren’t you Susan, who plays bass?” he asked.

“No, I don’t play any musical instruments,” she said.

It turned out they didn’t know each other, but she wasn’t afraid to make friends.

“Scoot over,” she said. “I’ll sit next to you.”

“Where are you headed?” she asked him.

“To pick up my check from the FSC,” he said.

I listened to the two of them talk about the FSC, and I wondered if they had possibly ridden the short bus together in high school. Her voice was very loud and obvious, like a child’s, and he spoke softly and gently, like a woman.

She quickly moved on to more pressing social matters, and asked him how he felt about the ruling in the controversial trial in Ferguson, MO that had been released that morning. The man said he didn’t know as much about it as he would like, and wondered if the victim had any weapons, like a knife, on him at the time he was killed.

“The end result is that he is dead with his brains blown out,” a third passenger interjected, and the Ferguson conversation stopped there.

The woman proclaimed that her back hurt and moved across the aisle to a window seat, a few rows behind me.

The man was getting off at the next stop, and as he prepared to exit he told the woman to have a great day.  As he got off the bus he said to her, “And don’t forget – have fun!”

The bus doors closed and we rolled away, and the woman snorted in sarcastic laughter.

“Hah! Fun!” she shouted, to no one in particular. “How can anyone have fun when they have a paper due? All I can think about is this paper looming over my head, not fun!”

I couldn’t help but wonder who the hell she had to write a paper for.

When we pulled up to the next stop the woman began to express a lot of excitement at something through the window.

“OMG! Look at that BABY!” she cried. “He’s sooo cute!”

The baby she was referring to was a service dog that was waiting to board the bus.  It was a very small cattle dog with two different colored eyes.

“Look at the little babyyyy! He’s so cute! Hi Baby!” She yelled toward the window.

“Hi, you precious puppy, you beautiful little baby,” she yelled down the aisle once they had boarded.

She made such a commotion over the dog that everyone turned back to look at her.  I couldn’t turn around to look because I was laughing so hard that I had tears trickling out of my eyes.

The man and his dog sat toward the front of the bus and only rode for a few stops.  The woman cooed more adorations during the ride and shouted goodbye when they exited the bus.  Neither the man nor the dog paid the woman much attention.

After I regained control from my laughter I was able to snap the above photo of the woman by pretending I wanted a selfie, and then cropping myself out.

I am grateful to have witnessed the love and kindness this woman displayed to both strangers and animals alike, and thankful for the color that she added to my day.

 

Buscapades: One Woman Gathers What Another Woman Spills September 24, 2013

Filed under: Buscapades — rovinglady @ 1:20 pm

There was almost a cat fight between the driver and a passenger on the bus from Denver to Boulder last Friday evening, and it all started because the driver got mad at a woman who littered.

I was sitting in the third row on the driver’s side when the bus pulled up to one of the last stops before Boulder along Highway 36. An older woman with tattoos on her neck was waiting to board, but before she got on she threw a piece of trash onto the ground.  

The driver, a middle-aged woman with pigtail braids named Mary, told the litterbug that there was a garbage available on the bus, but the female passenger ignored her and sat down in the front row. Mary got off the bus, picked the trash up from the ground, got back on the bus and dropped it on the woman’s lap. The litterbug did not like this.  She screamed at the bus driver, called her a “stupid ass” and said she disrespected her by throwing garbage at her.

Mary told the woman she shouldn’t have littered and the woman kept shouting, and then Mary said, “Do you wanna fight? Do you wanna fight?”

“No, I don’t want to fight,” the litterbug said, “Just drive me where I need to go.”

The bus rolled along and the litterbug called RTD customer service from her cell phone and told them her side of the story. She started shouting again, which upset Mary who was driving a busload of people, so Mary pulled over and called RTD from the bus phone.   

Mary told the litterbug she called the police and that we were going to have to sit on the side of the road until they arrived. The litterbug demanded to be let off the bus, which she was, and then we carried on the Boulder without her.

When we got to the Boulder Transit Center Mary was very disheveled and forgot to charge us all our fare.  I wanted to tell her that she didn’t disrespect the woman by putting the trash on her lap, rather the woman disrespected everyone on the bus and everyone that she shares planet Earth with by throwing it on the ground, but I didn’t.  I should have, because she may have lost her job over that incident.
I will be sure to look for her on the 16th St. Mall canvassing for Green Peace.

 

dont litter

 

Buscapades: Gem Show Miracles September 15, 2013

Filed under: Ain't Life Grand,Buscapades — rovinglady @ 6:46 pm

I had a little adventure getting to the Denver Gem and Mineral show today. I took the bus in the rain and realized as soon as I got there that I had forgotten my wallet and couldn’t even pay the admission fee. The next bus home wasn’t for 45 minutes, so I called my favorite taxi company, Union Taxi, and arranged to be picked up at the venue. 

My taxi driver was an older white man and I immediately liked him and his New York accent.  If I get in your car and “Althea” is playing, you’re going to be on my good side.  He was listening to the Grateful Dead channel on Sirius, and he asked me if I was a hooper, because I looked too young to have ever seen the Grateful Dead.  We talked about the upcoming Furthur at Red Rocks run and he said he’s been seeing The Dead for 45 years.  I told him I spent a lot of money to see Phish recently (Go, Tahoe!) so I don’t own any Furthur tickets, and he said that’s OK because it doesn’t matter what jam band I see, as long as I help keep the scene going.

Once home I debated about going back to the gem show.  I told myself I might not make the bus, I shouldn’t spend more money since I had to pay for the cab, and that it was raining out so I’d be wet when I got there.  Luckily I ignored my inner nay-sayer (fuck off, bitch,) made the next bus with minutes to spare and met my gem show miracle-maker, Ann.

Ann and I both wore ponchos, both took up two seats on the bus instead of one and both got off at the stop in front of the Expo Center.

“Are you going to the show?”  She asked me.

I affirmed.

“This weather is just terrible,” she said as we waited to cross the street. 

“I’m getting a car,” she said.  “If I had a car I could have hopped on the highway and been here a while ago, but I took the bus and it took me almost three hours to get here.”

“I hear ya, Ann.  I don’t have a car, either.  I really didn’t want to go another winter without a car, but I think I might have to,” I said. Then I told her about my escapde getting to the gem show, in an attempt to make her feel better.

“Aw, you don’t have a car, either?”  she asked.  “How much did that taxi cost you today?” 

“Fifteen dollars,” I said, and then she flashed me her wholesale license.

“You can come in with me, that way you won’t have to pay for admission,” Ann said; so I did. 

I skipped the ($6) admission fee, then ran into a friend who owns Luster Fine Minerals in Denver and told him I was looking for kyanite rings, so he got me a guest pass to the wholesale jewelry show where I ended up buying three rings (two turquois and one moonstone, didn’t find kyanite), a bracelet and a pendant (on top of the three pendants and four bracelets I bought yesterday!)
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This was my third consecutive year attending the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, and this year turquoise seemed to be my stone of choice. 

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Each year after the show I tell myself I am going to (A) take jewelry-making classes and (B) attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and maybe this year will be the year I do it! 

Then I can get my own wholesale license…

 

Buscapades: Cold Rain and Snow (?) September 11, 2013

Filed under: Buscapades — rovinglady @ 12:39 pm

I made a new friend at the bus stop this morning.  I didn’t actually get her name, but I did learn a few things about her personal life and spiritual beliefs during our brief conversation.

 She was the only other person waiting in the rain for the 7:59AM bus and she initiated conversation with me as soon as I approached.

“Excuse me, ma’am, where did you get your rain boots?” she asked.

“Target,” I said.

 “Ooohhhh!” she said, looking completely amazed by my multi-colored, polka-dot boots.

 “Oh no, I forgot my water bottle,” she said as she watched me open mine. 
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“But it’s OK.  I can drink tea.”

 I nodded.

I could tell this woman, who was pushing 70-years-old and stood the height of my collarbone, made for amusing conversation, so I jumped on the opportunity to keep it going.

“I usually bike,” I said, “but decided not to today in this rain.”

“There was a snow and rain mix earlier,” she said.  “I saw it through the window.  There was white stuff mixed with rain.  I told my husband and he didn’t believe me, but I know what a snow and rain mix looks like, and it happened.”

I didn’t believe her either, but I went along with it.

“It must have gotten pretty cold last night,” I said, thinking about the fact I had to switch to a lighter blanket in the middle of the night.

 “It sure did!” she said.  “My dog likes to sleep in bed under the covers, and he did last night.  My dog also likes toys, so I gave him Corduroy Bear and he brought that to bed with him.  Corduroy Bear is his favorite.  They slept in the bed all night long, under the covers, of course.”

 I asked what kind of dog she has and she said a Chihuahua/Siberian mix (huh!?) named Huxley, and she got him one month after her previous dog, Pugsley, passed away.

“Pugsley would be 12 now, had she survived,” she said, “but she couldn’t walk and could barely breathe.”

“Did you have to put her down?”  I asked.

“Yes, I brought her to die,” she said.  “My husband told me not to be in the room when they did it, but I went in anyway.  Nobody wants to die alone.  It’s the most pitiful tragedy in the world, to die alone.”

I looked at her eyes for signs of tears and wondered if I was going to have to hug this woman at the bus stop at 8AM, but she held strong.  Moments later, the bus came by, I got on and the writing of this Buscapade began.

 

 

 

Life in the Bike Lane: Accident #3 August 20, 2013

Filed under: Bikecapades,Buscapades,Life in the Bike Lane — rovinglady @ 8:48 am

Until 6:50 this morning I owned stitches. Six of them, on my inner right ankle, and they weren’t pretty. Either is the scar.

I acquired the sutures last Tuesday morning at the Denver Health Urgent Care/ER. I went there following a bike accident, my third bike accident in 14 months, and my second visit to the ER.

This last accident occurred at 8:45PM on the Cherry Creek Bike Trail. It was dark and it had rained, and a biker appeared out of nowhere, riding on the wrong side of the trail. Not only was he riding on the wrong side of the trail, but he didn’t have a light on the front of his bike, and our near-collision occurred around a bend in the trail, right at the spot where some design genius decided to construct huge, decorative, rock art structures that create an enormous blind spot for bikers coming from either direction.

The other biker and I saw each other at the last second and managed to avoid collision, but I slammed on my brakes, and due to the wet pavement the bike I was riding (which wasn’t mine because mine got stolen) skid, I fell and my ankle got gashed on the gears.

“Holy crap!” the other cyclist yelled, “You scared the fucking shit out of me!”

I looked up at him from the ground with the bike in between my legs and didn’t say anything.

“Are you OK?” he asked.

“Yea?” I replied, and I thought I was but I wasn’t totally sure.

After that the other bike sped off, he didn’t even help me up or wait to see if I had any injuries.

I stood up and thought about continuing to bike the four miles home, but when I looked down at my ankle there appeared to be a lot of dark liquid on it. I walked the bike four blocks back to work, cried when I saw the wound in the light and asked my co-worker to drive me to the Urgent Care/ER.

I don’t know why I went to Denver Health because I have insurance and could have gone to any ER, but I went to Denver Public Health, the only hospital facility I’m familiar with, and I waited overnight amongst the rift raft for hours for my turn to be seen.

Each time I go to Denver Health is more entertaining than the last. This time I walked in the main hospital entrance on crutches, with a garbage bag of blood hanging off my foot. The guy at the Information desk stared at me, then asked if I wanted assistance getting down the hall to the ER. A young fellow named Devin appeared with a wheelchair, which the sight of made me cry, and he wheeled me through security to admissions.

In admissions I immediately felt better when I saw the injury on the guy in line ahead of me. He had a broken wrist and it was absolutely gruesome. At least I was only dealing with a gash.

I had to wait in the admissions waiting room for at least three hours, and two cool things happened during this time. The first thing was I discovered that Denver Health ER waiting room has the best vending machine I’ve ever seen. It was like a Whole Foods snack junkie’s dream come true. Pirate’s Booty, organic gummy bears, gluten-free cookies, whole grain pita chips, coconut water, Steaz Tea, and more! I had myself a nice little dinner out of that vending machine.

The second (kind of) cool thing that happened to me was that I got hit on by a dude named Donnie. The only reason it’s cool is because I think it’s hilarious this guy hit on me in the first place, let alone in the ER waiting room. He looked like a Jay-Z wanna-be, he was on wooden crutches and he had sunglasses on despite the midnight hour and the fact we were inside. .

He crutched across the room to the vending machine I was sitting near, selected an item and then turned toward me to drop his killer line.

“Damn, where did you get such nice crutches?” he asked.

“I bought them at Wal-Greens after a previous injury,” I said. “They were $40.”

We exchanged injury stories, and then he asked if I attended Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks in July. I told him I did not.

“You have that kind of energy,” he said. “I thought you would have been there.”

He said he had the “time of his life” at Global Dance Fest on Saturday night.

“What else do you like to do for fun besides ride your bike?” he asked.

I told him I like to hike and take pictures.

He asked if I use Twitter, and I said no, so then he asked if he could give me his contact information.

I let him write his contact info down in my notebook. Turns out he goes by Donnie Trump, and he gave me two phone numbers and an e-mail address to be reached at. He noted that I was “cute and cool,” and that he hoped we could go hiking and take pictures when we’re both off crutches.

Donnie returned to his seat across the waiting room to nap, and I was finally brought into a private room around 3AM.

The gal who was assigned to my wound was Courtney, and she was a med student who arrived to Denver from Boston only one week prior. I asked her how she was adjusting to the overnight shifts and she said, “I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee.”

I was nervous, but let Courtney stitch me up in the 4AM hour as “Married With Children” played on the television overhead.

I didn’t get out of the hospital until 4:30 AM and had to call out of work the next day. I spent Tuesday on crutches, was limping by Wednesday and was back riding the bike by Monday, six days later.

I ended up having the stitches for 14 days, which I guess is long, but they are finally gone. I had to show up at the Denver Health Urgent Care/ER between 6-7AM to avoid a line, so that is what I did this morning, via bicycle.

Today Devin, who had pushed me in a wheelchair, took my vital signs and said he remembered me from my last visit. That was comforting. I’m convinced I also saw Donnie in the waiting room with his sunglasses on as I was leaving, but I didn’t stop to chat.

I was in and out very quickly on this visit, and the nurse who removed my sutures said the wound is healing nicely. She probably just said that because I commented on how ugly I think it is, but at least she was kind. The fact of the matter is I am going to have a scar, and my ankle modeling days are over. I’m supposed to keep the scar out of sunlight for six months, so if you see me with a bandana around my ankle, no, I did not join a gang, I’m just trying to help the scar heal as pretty as possible.

I am in the process of complaining to the City of Denver about the rock structure on the bike trail that creates a blind spot, so I’ll get back to you on the results of that. Until then, a modified song lyric runs through my mind, and that is, “We used to bike for silver, now we bike for life…”

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*Note* I decided not to include any photographs. If you want to see a picture of the bag of blood, my ankle about to get stitched or of the actual scar, you just let me know.

 

Buscapades: Awesome Like Sunday Morning March 10, 2013

Filed under: Buscapades — rovinglady @ 10:48 pm

Snapping this alright-photo of Denver was by far the best part of my public transit commute to work this morning. The rest of it was dictated by the bus gods, and they seemed to be in a feisty mood. I think they were trying to break my spirit, but it didn’t work, so, HAH!

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I left my house early to catch the bus and was off to a good start, daylight savings time and all. I was up, ready and out the door by 8:05 AM, which was really 7:05 AM because of the time change, and I was feeling good inside and happy with my actions.

I took a bus I’ve only taken once or twice before and I tried to pay attention for my transfer stop, but there was a road closure and the bus had to re-route, which threw both me and the driver off course. I didn’t know where we were, and the bus went right past the intersection I needed without my knowledge. It would have helped if the driver had announced the stops over the intercom like his job requires of him, but there were only two passengers on the bus, and I guess he figured it was a waste of energy to do such a task. Therefore, I rode along and watched unfamiliar street signs roll by until I got up and asked the driver if the bus was passing by Colorado Blvd (because that was the intersection I needed).

“Oh, we passed that a while ago. It’s back 15 blocks. Sorry about that,” he said.

Uhhh, ok?

Somehow I didn’t get that mad. Maybe it’s the yoga I started doing, or the Schizandra berry capsules I’ve been popping.

The driver suggested I ride on with him to his final stop where he would turn around and head back toward Colorado Blvd, and I obliged.

The bus had to sit parked for ten minutes before we turned back, and I used this opportunity to step off and hit my Cloud vape pen in the fresh morning air. I noticed that it seemed like a beautiful day was in store.

On the ride back to Colorado Blvd I made sure to pay close attention to the street signs and I even requested my stop ahead of time. The bus I was on got stuck at a red light at the Colorado Blvd intersection, and the bus I needed to catch had the green light and went barreling through the intersection. The driver of my bus laid on his horn and tried to get the Colorado Blvd bus to wait for me, but it didn’t. It pulled away from the stop as I was getting off my bus.

“Sorry,” the driver said to me again, and he gave me a transfer ticket with an extended time. I thanked him, but a few free ride tickets would have been preferred.

I had a half hour to kill on Colorado Blvd waiting for the next bus, and I tried not to get pissed, and I tried not to wonder how many people public transit has screwed over or how many of its passengers’ days have been ruined because of it. I also thought long and hard about hitch hiking and wondered if today would finally be the day I do it, but it wasn’t.

Instead I started walking, and soon found myself near the Nature and Science Museum, where I snapped the attached landscape photo of snowy Denver.

I made it to work 45 minutes late, which was annoying because if my bus route had gone as planned I would have arrived 15 minutes early, and at the rate of being 45 mins late I could have just paid a taxi to pick me up at home and drop me off at work.

Oh, well. That’s why I’m awesome, awesome like Sunday morning…!

 

Buscapades: Nice hoops! February 2, 2013

Filed under: Buscapades — rovinglady @ 10:43 am

There were two deadheads on the bus yesterday morning, at least two that had pins on their hats to prove it. 

I was reading a book on my early commute when my attention was drawn to the young girl who was sitting in a front seat, chatting with the driver the entire ride about hair salons. 

I first noticed the girl because she was wearing ski pants.  She was kicking her foot subconsciously, and her pants made a swishing sound that made me look up.  I was trying to determine if there was a lift ticket attached to her pants when it dawned on me that her feet weren’t touching the ground.

“She must be really short,” I thought, as I watched her swing her feet about freely, and I looked at the profile of the guy sitting across from her to compare.  Not only did his feet touch the floor, but his legs formed a perfect 90 degree angle that he could have balanced a dinner plate on. 

“I was going to that school,” the little-limbed girl told the driver as my eyes darted back to her, “but had to stop when my daughter was born four years ago.”

“Huh.  She’s a mother,” I thought.

“But I’m only 17,” the girl continued, “so I hope to get back in the program soon.”

I scanned her face for evidence of age, but couldn’t find any.  She could have said she was 17 or 34, and I would have believed it either way. 

I imagined her riding around town on the bus while pregnant at age 13, and looked back at the man across from her.  His back was now to me and I could see he was wearing a hat with the familiar Sancho’s Broken Arrow logo on it.  Not far from the logo was a Steal Your Face pin. 

I got slightly excited.

“Should I say something to him?” I wondered, (after all, we both had deadhead pins on our hats,) but I managed to hold it in. 

The bus arrived at my transfer stop and I walked past the tiny girl and the deadhead guy to exit.  At the same moment I tried to get off the bus a young woman carrying two small hula hoops tried to get on. 

“Sorry!” she said, and made room for me to squeeze by.

“Nice hoops!” I said, and broke into a smile.

It seemed like a grateful way to start to the day.

 

 

 

  

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