Things Consumed

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Comical plea for sympathy

  A tall woman was rambling loudly to a captive audience of one - the bus driver - about her health problems. She had some developmental issue, from the sound of it, but also a growth disorder of some kind, which made me pay additional attention because I've known people who thought they had that.

Her plea for sympathy went off track when she said, "You know that stuff that Wolverine has in his bones? I have that."

There's some sort of mutant-public transit endorsement there, but I don't want to use it.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM

Friday, September 04, 2009

Labor Day Weekend: BART all night

  Not that I don't already spend too much time on BART, but if YOUR weekend adventures keep you out later than Cinderella during the Bay Bridge closure, do not fret: BART - BART runs all night during the Labor Day weekend Bay Bridge closure:
BART runs all night during the Labor Day weekend Bay Bridge closure
Trains run overnight every hour to 14 stations September 4th - September 7th.
Not that cars-turned-into-pumpkins are ever a bad thing, but those won't be celebrated properly until October.


posted by Arlene (Beth)8:57 PM

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


  People speak freely about all sorts of things on public transit. There are many reasons for this. There is the misleading feeling of anonymity in the big city; obliviousness; and a desperate need for transit riders to keep ME entertained while I run my errands.

I admit that I periodically enjoy having intensely silly, joke-filled conversations with friends on transit, just to watch the people around me desperately suppressing their laughter.

Two favorite recent conversations:

-a girl was speaking in the vaguest possible terms about what she was eating for dinner, mystifying her friend with statements that ended in questions: 'That little brown stuff? It's like pasta? But maybe it's not pasta? You know, that crap that vegans eat!'

-two young guys, one of whom was quiet, had his friend outlining what he wants for his quiet friend in a girl. There was a lively discussion about hair color (conclusion: brunette), and then all sorts of colorful requirements, including that the lucky brunette must be "sexual, but she keeps that [expletive] private!" and "talkative, but not someone who talks because she is afraid of silence." Part of the reason this was great was because the boy who was in need of a girl was so quiet, while his friend got more and more detailed about her characteristics, none of which were physical beyond her hair color... I was reluctant to get off the streetcar when we reached my stop, because I wanted the complete profile of this engaging, ideal, virtual girl.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:52 PM

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Even my transit system uses Twitter

  I spend entirely too much time commuting. My employer moved to the East Bay, at considerable distance from a BART Station, and so I now spend between an hour and an hour and forty-five minutes of my day traveling to and fro.

Much of that time, I spend on BART.

I look at the schedules on my phone, and was amused to notice that BART has a blog. BART - Seen and heard on BART this week: LARP, cable guy, nuns, rats, unicycle ( is more amusing than you would expect a blog by a transit system to be. This is because BART is actually searching Twitter (, the text-message-distribution-list service, for content from riders.

I know what you are thinking: you are thinking, "I search Twitter all the time for content about my transit system, and now someone else is doing that for me? How convenient!" Yes, I know. It really is great. Someone else is out there, looking for gems like:
Sounds like there's a frog on this bart train. If someone's missing a frog w/a working knowledge of public transit, it's the fremont train.
But wait, there is MORE! Bart has its OWN TWITTER FEED, to which you can subscribe or follow more subtly on the web. It Is True!

I'll give you some time to calm down and absorb all of this now.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:36 AM

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Modernity beeps: I answer.

I upgraded to OS X Leopard last night, watched the introductory video (which was, as so many things Mac does, targeted directly at me: the guy in the demo appealed to my demographic perfectly, from the glasses, to the haircut, to fit-but-not-too-fit, down to even the subtle hint of gray in his hair - the perfect balance between 'hot' and 'might steal your favorite books'), and activated my iPhone.

Yes. I caved. My very first wireless phone is an iPhone. Apple finally persuaded me that the technology was worth it.

Those of you who call me regularly were e-mailed the number earlier today. Those of you who don't, drop me a line, and we'll connect.

Yes, it was absolutely practical from my own home block, when I logged into and learned that the next bus was hiding over the hill, just two minutes away, and so I should stay put and let it catch up. I [heart]

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posted by Arlene (Beth)8:21 PM

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