March 30, 2007

The Commute

Thursday evening, Our heroine waits at a bus stop on Van Ness and Geary. She has on a small backpack and is carrying a large full duffel bag. A very crowded 49 bus arrives. Immediately in front of our heroine, a man talking on his cell phone boards the bus. Immediately behind her, an impatient woman boards. Our heroine attempts to move toward the back of the bus, following Man on Cell. Man on Cell is distracted and moves very slowly.

Impatient Woman (trying to move through solid wall of humans): EXCUSE ME!

Our Heroine: (blocked by Man on Cell and wall of human flesh) I can’t move yet.

They maneuver about 1/3 into the bus. Impatient woman shoves Our Heroine trying to pass (which is impossible).

Impatient Woman: EXCUSE ME!

Our Heroine (resigned, monotone): I. Cant. Move. Yet.

Impatient Woman shoves against Our Heroine again.

Our Heroine (resigned, monotone): PLEASE. Do. Not. Shove. Me.

Man on Cell finally forces himself into the back portion of the bus, stopping short in the middle of the aisle. Our Heroine must force her way around him, with her large duffel pummeling those near. She makes it to a stepwell and moves out of the aisle so that Impatient Woman can finally pass, which she does. Also in the stepwell is a Fat Stinky Bum. Our Heroine distracts herself from the stench of Fat Stinky Bum by turning up the music in hear headphones.

Fat Stinky Bum: Do you have the time?

Our Heroine (taking out an earphone): What? I’ll have to check. (She reaches for her cell phone, moving her large duffel out of her way precariously) 5:25.

Fat Stinky Bum: Thanks (he continues to talk unintelligibly, but Our Heroine has replaced the earphone. He may or may not be touching himself inappropriately.)

At the next stop many people disembark and Our Heroine moves farther toward the back of the bus. A man stands and offers his seat.

Our Heroine: (With disbelief) Uh… thanks.

She sits in the aisle seat. There is another Bum in the seat next to her.

Bum #2: I kinda stink (he gestures at his open tallboy of St. Ides and at himself, covered in malt liquor).

Our Heroine: OK.

Bum #2: Just thought you might want to know, I kinda smell!

Our Heroine: Yah. That’s fine. So does that guy. (She points to Fat Stinky Bum).

Bum #2: (Offended) Don’t compare me to him!

Our Heroine: Look, it’s the bus, everyone stinks.

Bum #2: Well I just wanted to warn you!

Our Heroine: Yes. I don’t care.

Fat Stinky Bum makes his way toward Our Heroine and Bum #2; he points at Bum #2 and attempts to engage him in conversation about male liquor. Fat Stinky Bum and Bum #2 begin having an argument over Our Heroine and other passengers. Finally at Market Street, both bums disembark. Our Heroine sighs with relief, and an unassuming Asian Man takes the vacated seat next to her.


Posted by allison at 12:57 PM

March 27, 2007

Sunglass Success

The Manager of the Sunglass Hut downtown called me on Saturday to say he was forwarded my letter, and to apologize. Apparently that clerk is no longer with the company (for other reasons) and he has a replacement pair of glasses in that same style waiting for me to pick up.

He was very nice, and I think I'll go pick them up now. Thanks for being cool Sunglass Hut!

Posted by allison at 04:22 PM

March 21, 2007

My Latest

I've been writing letters lately when I'm annoyed or well, just whenever. This is the latest that I sent in response to the author of this article in the Chron: Robbers Relish iPod Craze.

As a side note, I just walked home down Franklin St. for the first time since early August. It was fine, though I did keep my iPod turned off and hidden, and I did walk down the other side of the street and felt the need to be hyper aware of my surroundings. But, still, I did it and it was just fine.

To: John Coté:
Subject: Ipod Robbery in re Michael Rodriguez etc

Dear John:

I write to you not just because my iPod was stolen, though I was mugged last August on Franklin Street in bright daylight during rush hour while using black after-market headphones and carrying my iPod concealed in a pocket (I'd been followed). But because I was concerned to read about 15 year old Michael Rodriquez who is still too afraid to open an iPod he got for Christmas.

The man who mugged me cut my throat, so I understand Michael's fear. In the months following my encounter I spent many hours researching stress response and PTSD. I also took advantage of the State's Victim Services and Compensation Programs, which provide reimbursement for medical expenses including counseling. I would guess that Michael's experience may not have qualified as a "violent crime" making him ineligible for the program, but that does not mean the post traumatic stress he is suffering isn't very real and very important to treat. That a 15 year old should continue to feel so traumatized that he cannot even take a new iPod out of the box months later (it took me a week to open the box of the iPod my friends gave me after mine was stolen and another 2 weeks to begin using it) is heart wrenching for me.

I encourage you to take this as a jumping off point to write an article to follow on PTSD and the problems that people like Michael face. It is certainly important to raise peoples' awareness to the possibility of iPod theft, but we all know that nice, expensive toys are often stolen. It seems to me that a more important story is what happens to some victims after the fact. The effects of PSTD are insidious and can harm relationships, school, and work. You don't need to have your throat cut to suffer them either.

I consider myself recovered and carry my new iPod with me every day (though I now conceal it in an interior coat pocket and use only one earbud). I still feel the effects of PTSD on occasion, and probably will for a long time. I hope you'll consider following up on your story.

Thanks for your attention,

Posted by allison at 02:44 PM

March 16, 2007

Today's Important News

2 Men Die in Cliff Fall, Train Crash
(03-16) 11:58 PDT Iaeger, W.Va. (AP) --

A van carrying two men plunged off a cliff, throwing it into the path of a freight train that came through soon afterward.

N.M. Man Arrested on 28th DWI Charge
(03-16) 15:10 PDT Albuquerque, N.M. (AP) --

Joseph Brill, 53, was driving on a revoked license when deputies saw him park in a driveway in a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood and fall out of his pickup truck Wednesday evening. He smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, according to a criminal complaint.
Deputies said they tried to give Brill a field sobriety test but he could not complete the test. He then refused to give a breath test.

Deputies also found an open container of beer in his truck.

At the time of his arrest, he was on parole for two of the convictions, according to records.

Posted by allison at 03:55 PM

March 14, 2007

Expensive Sunglasses and a Bad Experience

To Whom It May Concern:

On February 18, 2007 I went to the Sunglass Hut store, specifically: Sunshade #5133 at 188 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. I purchased a new pair of Revo sunglasses. I am pleased with my new purchase, however while I was there I asked the sales clerk if she could tighten another previously purchased pair of Revo sunglasses (2508 302/K2 51018 135).

Unfortunately when she attempted to tighten the screws, the right arm of the glasses broke at the temple. I was shocked, but the sales clerk appeared unconcerned. She looked to see if there was a replacement pair on site and finding none, assured me that I could take the broken glasses to any Lenscrafters where they would quickly and easily repair them (I assumed at my own cost which I found somewhat upsetting as I had not been the one to break my sunglasses). As the glasses are otherwise in very good condition, I decided I would visit a glasses store that does repairs, pay to have them fixed, and forget about the unpleasant experience.

I brought the broken sunglasses to a reputable shop near my home and was told immediately upon inspection that there was nothing they could do, the glasses were irreparable unless a replacement part were ordered.

Needless to say I am not pleased with this situation. I will endeavor to contact the appropriate department to see if my glasses can be repaired.

Over the years I have purchased at least four pair of Revo sunglasses at Sunglass Hut stores. My oldest pair has been with me in six countries, extremes of weather and altitude, and was worn during activities from snowboarding to whitewater rafting (on category five rapids), while battered, they are now over ten years old, and still in one piece. That a far more recent pair should be snapped in two by a sales clerk in your store without so much as a sincere apology is frustrating to say the least. I will certainly hesitate before making another purchase at Sunglass Hut.

Posted by allison at 03:28 PM

March 12, 2007


I turned off comments. Maybe without the prospect of THOUSANDS of comment spams it wont be so daunting to post more often. MAYBE!

Posted by allison at 03:14 PM