Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Bus Project

My bus adventure the other day has made me curious about the character of the various bus routes around Charlottesville. I am going to ride each of Charlottesville's bus routes, start to finish to see if there's anything behind my theory that a bus route can have a personality.  This isn't just a blog stunt.  I really am curious.  It might all be a waste of time, but if there's anything amusing to share, I will put it here.

I Express Therefore I Am.

I heard the cell phone receiving a text at 06:45 the other day.  "Wow, it's early," I thought, "This might be important," so I got out of bed and wandered all over the house to find the phone and discovered that one of Jon's friends felt the urgent need to communicate to us that

Expression is.


Because it was There.

Seamus, for reasons that even he can not explain, used a glue gun to thoroughly seal the nozzle to my bottle of dishwashing soap.

I (Hate) "Veggies"

At Whole Foods, the cashier threw away one of my excessively tattered reusable bags and told  I could just take another one to replace it on my way out.  These bags aren't free so I felt a little funny helping myself, but no one said anything.  I realized that the new bag had a Whole Foods logo on it, so at least I was providing them with free advertising, and I felt less guilty.  But when really looked at the bag, I saw with horror that in huge letters it says, "I (HEART) VEGGIES."  The two most irritating words in the English language are "panties" and "veggies."  I can see why some people might need to construct a coy nickname for underpants, but why do we do the same for vegetables?   If we can say "artichoke," "cauliflower," "habanero," "chimichanga," and "Chateauneuf du pape," can't we say "vegetable?" 

In Which My Coat Closet Creates a Moral Dilemma

We started gutting the coat closet this weekend.  It had a low ceiling of unfinished drywall, concealing the real ceiling, that also is the underside of our stair landing. By poking into the space with sticks, we determined that there was quite a significant difference between the heights of the false ceiling and the real one.  I thought, "I can suspend charming wire baskets from that ceiling and from now on, all our mittens will be organized.  How wonderful!"  So Jon duly yanked down the drywall and we discovered--wait for it--that our house had once been on fire.  The underside of the stair landing and the beam that supports it are charred to shit, the beam in particular.  A previous owner nailed a new support beam alongside the charred one and covered the whole thing up with drywall. The total burned area includes the risers and stair treads for the first few steps and extends down the walls on either side.  It is only the beam, I think, that is structurally compromised.  When I think of all the heavy furniture that we muscled up those stairs and pivoted on the landing, right over that beam! 

The most likely cause of the fire is the closet light bulb which must have been left on and ignited the coats.  I'm guessing the fire happened thirty years ago, based on the aged appearance of the drywall and despite it's remote occurrence, it's disconcerting.  Also,  we are now faced with the choice of either covering it up for the sake of preserving our chances of ever selling this house, or to leave the ceiling exposed.  I suppose the most satisfactory ( but also most expensive) solution is to put in a new stair landing.  This house has so many eccentricities, it is already a tough sell, but history of a fire is a serious flaw that makes even my problem of the ten-ton machine blocking the basement doorway seem small in comparison. 

Not to mention that I can't hang charming metal baskets in which to organize my mittens from floor boards that have been burnt to a crisp.


  1. I am looking forward to your series on the bus routes. I'm a regular rider of Route 4, but it's important to note that there will be changes coming in the next few years. Here's a story I wrote last week.

  2. Thanks Sean. I like your article, and I know the number 4 route well because it's the only one that can reliably get me to UVA by 7:00am.

  3. What a bummer about your steps--but amazing that you never knew!
    This whole post made me laugh, from bus personalities to glue-gunned-dish-soap to (heart)-ing "veggies." Your fatuous observations charm me.