Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Price is Right Out of My Reach

In a few weeks a bunch of my friends are going to the Price is Right in LA. My friend Zach Tobacco brilliantly arranged this and put it all together. I am unbelievably jealous. I was just in LA a few weeks ago and can't afford another trip so soon afterwards. I will post stories about their exploits so that I can live vicariously and can pretend I was there. If anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket to LA I will love you forever and post a picture of you on my blog. Who can pass that up? Anyone? No? Too bad.

In other news, my friend Jen MacNeil is doing a project wherein she does something she has never done before every day for a year and then writes about it here. Which is pretty cool. She asked for a list of things she should do, so I sent her the following NY-centric list. Most things on the list are things I myself have never done. A few are things I have done and think are definitely worth doing. I would like to do all of them at some point in the next few months:

Hang out on the roof garden at the Met
Have tea at the Algonquin Hotel
Walk across the BK Bridge (or some other bridge that you haven't already
Go the Bx Zoo
Sail around Manhattan on a boat
Take a hip hop class
See ballet at Lincoln Center
Watch videos at the NY Library for the Performing Arts
Go to the Museum of Natural History and lie down under the big blue whale
Go to the Hayden Planetarium
Go to one of those free meditation classes
Go to the free movie at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Lincoln Square
Go to the Scientology center and watch their weird free movie
Take the water taxi from the Bklyn Bridge to Manhattan
Take the Staten Island Ferry
Eat at a restaurant/drink at a bar on Staten Island

Speaking of cool blogs etc.: If you haven't read Chris Gethard's blog, you should. Read it cover to cover (or post to post, as the case may be). He is a natural and hilarious storyteller, and is part of my inspiration for trying to become a better storyteller about my own experiences on this here journal. He is the cat's meow meow. (Sidenote: I am taking a great improv class with Chris at the moment which is filled with Ridic-amazing improvisors. So much fun.)

Now on to today's edition of Me Blathering About Past Experiences:

I have ridden the Greyhound bus line across the country twice.

For reasons too varied and uninteresting to explain here I have had to take the bus back and forth across the country twice, from San Francisco to New York and back again. Sleeping on a bus in an upright seat as you tour middle America is quite an experience. You never fully sleep, you only eat Burger King and McDonald's, and you shower at sinks in truck stops for four fun-filled days. It is a pretty cost effective way to see a lot of the country: I will never forget the incredible beauty of Salt Lake City and the crazy canyons in Nevada and Utah, or standing in the middle of the Mojave Desert at a Burger King and feeling like it was the middle of nowhere. You also see the worst: Pulling into Gary, Indiana at 2 in the morning was like being on the set of a post-apocalyptic Terminator movie -- smokestacks shooting fire, grit, grime, garbage. Fairly amazing in a depressing way. Below are other highlights from the two trips I have taken:

On one trip a large black woman was on the bus. She had on these weird flowy purple robes and had hair that stood straight up from her head--she sort of looked like a cross between Miss Cleo and Don King. She had a glittery scarf wrapped around her updo and carried a long black cane. For three of the four days she sat on the bus rocking back and forth, making weird arm and finger movements and chanting to herself. She was scary. On the second day she got up to use the lou in the back. Someone had fallen asleep and had his legs out in the aisle. She stopped and stared at his legs. For a full two minutes. Finally someone said "Well if you are not going to step over his legs, just wake him up." She did so. By taking her cane and hitting him full force over the head. He woke up and moved his legs and she continued her journey without saying a word. A few more instances like this happened and I spent the whole trip sleeping with one eye open as a result. The bus driver told me that she was a "regular", meaning that she apparently spent all of her time riding Greyhound buses, proving that there are indeed professional crazies on bus lines.

On another trip I was traveling from New York to San Francisco. As I waited for the bus to arrive at the Port Authority, a young lady named Betty went down the line introducing herself. Betty was sweet, and perky, and weighed approximately 250 pounds. She wore a snoopy sweatshirt, and pink sweatpants, and bottle-bottom glasses that sat upon her round featureless face, and wore a ponytail that sat square on the top of her head, secured by a scrunchie. This all gave her the appearance of being mildly retarded, which she wasn't. She was, however, very excited about this trip. She wanted to know everyone's name and where they were going. I prayed that her destination would be Chicago or Nebraska, but it turned out that she was going to Sacramento which meant an entire bus ride with Bubbly Betty.

Once on the bus, Betty wasted no time making friends with a crew of drunken biker types (bikers that ride buses, apparently) and they loudly and bawdily told dirty jokes, naughty limericks, talked about porn, and generally treated the bus like a pool room sans pool or jukeboxes. About a third of the way through the trip, Betty decided to rectify the lack of jukebox and stood up in front of the bus and announced that she was having a wonderful time and as it was so close the the holidays, she thought it would be a lovely idea if we all sang Christmas Carols together. (It was December.) I responded with "You've Got to Be Kidding," however the rest of the bus responded "Yay!" and I endured three days of Christmas Carols sang by a bus of slightly retarded off-key busriders. I vaguely remember two Jewish girls getting upset and complaining to the bus driver because they felt this was anti-Jewish harrassment. A bit of a stretch.

The other thing I remember about that particular trip is that I managed to keep the seat next to me free for two whole days. I think I perfected giving people the evil eye as they got on the bus. Finally, around Ohio, there was only one seat left on the bus, so clearly my leg-stretching days were over. A woman got on the bus and sat next to me. She was very mousy -- brown hair, big glasses, all brown drab clothes. We chatted about where she was going, which turned out to be Oregon, and what she was doing, which turned out to be living on an ashram and growing organic vegetables. She was very quiet and shy and seemed to be a sort of nervous type. As were talking, Betty and her Bawdy Boozy Buccaneers burst into song and then started shouting dirty jokes at one another. My seat mate turned to me and said, very seriously "You know what? (pause) The psychic energy on this bus is really dense." Indeed.


Blogger Michelle said...

If you go to the Mormon Center on 65th Street to see the film and get the tour, under no circumstances should you sign the guest book with your real information.

- Learned the Hard Way

10:19 PM  

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