Lately I’ve been doing a lot thinking and writing on the Muni (using my handy dandy Alphasmart!). I do my Artist’s Way endorsed morning pages, work on outlines, posts, notes…whatever needs doing. I usually read on the Muni, but given the two deadlines I have (200 page novel due 1/1/09 and non-fiction co-written book on female sexuality due 2/1/08), I’ve been really upping the writing discipline. My brain is wearing thigh high black leather boots and a corset, cracking a whip whenever I open a book (unless I’m in the bathroom or walking. Can’t write while walking), telling me to get with the program. Or else. CRACK!! And Muni time is a good 40 minutes there and 40 minutes home.
Oops…wait a sec…I have a kitten chewing on my chin and purring…
Okay, he’s finished now.
On a good day, the Muni is a wonderful place to work. On a bad day, not so much. A good day is:
1. when the person who sits next to me is relatively slender and aware they’re not alone. My rear is generous enough to take up exactly one Muni seat, no less, no more. I don’t enjoy sharing my half of the seat with someone else’s butt, elbows or any other body part. It’s even more fun when my seat mate falls asleep on me. And yes, it’s happened more than once.
2. The person next to me is not a male who can’t sit without spreading his legs as wide as possible. See above re: sharing my space. Keep your legs together, guys. Or does your package really need that much fresh air?
3. The person next to me practices good hygiene. This also goes for anyone standing in my immediate vicinity. Wash, people! Use deodorant! And leave the heavy perfumes at home; think before poisoning your fellow passengers with a noxious cloud of cloying scent.
4. The person next to or near me doesn’t have an iPod or MP3 player turned up enough to where I’m forced to share their musical tastes without being able to actually hear it clearly. It’s irritating white noise and I can only think the person connected to the headphones is going to be deaf in a very short time and then turn their damn music up even louder.
5. The person next to me has good cell-phone etiquette and keeps the volume down and the conversation short.
6. The person next to me or near me is not a crazy CHUD.
A bad Muni day is when any combination of the above occurs. It makes writing a challenge. Sometimes I overcome the irritation and forge ahead; other times I have to restrain myself from beating someone over the head with my Alpha.
Today started out as a bad day on the ride home. A group of half dozen teens trooped on board and sat two rows in front of me. Loud, hyper teens. They weren’t mean, they didn’t swear, but oh, they were loud. I tried to write for a few more minutes, but finally gave up and pulled out a book. I had a bit more success focusing on reading, but not a lot. I was working up to a really fine irritation when one of the kids stood up to let an older woman sit down. The train lurched and she fell heavily into the seat. Immediately all the kids asked if she was okay, sincerely concerned. My irritation melted away and I smiled. Five minutes later they began a rousing rendition of LION SLEEPS TONIGHT. My smile wavered, but lasted through all the choruses of ‘Weemawep aweemawep’ and beyond. I did not, however, get any writing done.
Hell, I would have joined them by the chorus!
Heh. Yes, you would have!
Your post on MUNI was great, I can only guess that’s a train or some sort of subway transportation that we here in the Ozarks aren’t aware of. But as I scanned down to the bottom, the photo of the kittens, which I’d missed earlier came into view. Cats, gotta love them. And your picture is adorable. Thanks for lightening my day.
Heh. Muni is indeed San Francisco’s street car system (and buses too) and it’s really convenient, until it breaks down.
I’m glad you liked the cat post – those two just make me smile every time I look at the pictures…
Fun post! Got several chuckles out of me – hee hee. but what’s a MUNI? Your local bus system?
I visited San Fran earlier in the summer. I think MUNI and San Francisco in general is a great place to people-watch. I guess if I lived there I would get used to it and want to spend the time writing. But, as someone who lives without much in the way of mass transportation, I would pass the time watching and developing character sketches.
Muni is our local public transportation system and includes street cars, buses and little street trains. We also have BART, which is a train/subway system more like they have in New York and London. Glad the post made you laugh!
Helen, people watching is definitely a bonus on the Muni…unless you’re trying to write at the time! 🙂 Funny thing is, when I first moved up here a few years ago, I felt the same way you did – way too much fun watching everything and everyone to write or read! I actually prefer walking whenever possible…then you can really see the city.