Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An injured knee

It's never really happened to me before. There was my first (and only) season of track in high school when I got shin splints (because I was out of shape) and a legitimate case of tendonitis in college. But now I actually have an injury that's keeping me from running. My knee really hurt two weeks ago after a long run, and I haven't run since. I've been to a PT who's drawn lines on my legs with green marker, taped my ankle, watched me run on a treadmill, given me new stretches to do, and put little foam strips on my insoles to create a makeshift othotic for my shoes. He said I could try a 2-mile run this morning (I laughed at him; I was ready to do 6!), and about a mile in I had to walk. No, scratch that, it was painful from the beginning. I guess my knee hasn't recovered as well as I thought it did. For now I'll go back to putting in time on the stepper at the gym, but I've read about as much of OK! magazine as I can stomach, so I hope that with the corrections and stretches and shoe modification I can be back on the road for good, really soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Observations from my seat on the bus

I am soo not used to public transportation, except for my stint in Spain, but even then I mostly walked. After a couple of weeks as a consistent King County Metro passenger, though, I think I am getting the hang of it. I no longer arrive at the bus stop (right outside our door) 10 minutes early, and I have learned to look quite bored when other people get on the bus (though I am secretly checking out people's outfits/eyeing the colorful vagrants and hoping they will not sit next to me). I have definitely learned the benefits of riding the 2 Express home during the 5:00 rush. And I always get off feeling dirty, with the need wash my hands immediately after arriving at my destination.

Something that initially shocked me was the patience of the drivers with people asking "do you stop at the library?" or "how far down 3rd do you go?" Most of them take the time to explain the route to passengers. I'm surprised at how many people do ask (something I felt too stupid to do; if it wasn't going the right way, I'd just shut up, kick myself, and get off at the next stop). And almost everyone--every single person--says thanks to the driver as they get off. Seattleites may not be friendly but they sure are polite. (Something I've actually heard more than once).

The funniest part so far, though, has been the bus drivers. The majority of them simply announce the stops and mind their own business. But I've ridden with a few drivers, particularly on my way home from downtown, who are really chatty, or announce every possible attraction (Seattle Center, Post Office, the liquor store, Lloyd's BBQ, Metropolitan Market, etc) at a given stop. One guy did this with the air of a circus ringleader, and it was annoying; my bus driver today was actually really funny about it. He also made fun of people who can't swipe their montly passes correctly and the woman who complained that she'd have to walk four blocks to Safeway. On Friday the driver, a woman, was kicking butt and taking names as she consistently slammed on her horn if a taxi or another car was idling in front of the stop; another woman driver honked back at a car who honked at her, I presume because he was being cut off. As I driver this is my biggest grievance against the bus system: they certainly pull out in front of cars with way too little margin when leaving stops. But up to now I've only been riding the bus once when it actually hit someone.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Whatever you say

On my way back to the bus after work today a guy stood on the corner with a sign that read, "My father was killed by ningas need money for karate lessons." Now that I've been downtown consistently for the last week, I've realized that not all the street people are mean: sometimes just loony.

I still bought some mace.