Month: April 2014

The Earthquake Kit

A brochure came in the mail about making an earthquake kit, and we considered it, figured that we could buy one that had all the necessities like bags you pooped in so it wouldn’t stink the place after a while, and I guessed I could use my USB-charged bicycle light as a flashlight, so the next item was water, and canned food, but we’re vegetarians, and inclined to eat healthy, so we had to make our own version of it. There would be beans and lentils and dehydrated vegetables, and let’s not forget a bit of curry powder of course. Wine, there had to be bottles of wine, because considering how pathetic the situation could be, you know, with no internet, no electricity, no cell phones, and as in The Road, nasty hooligans roaming the earth wanting your shopping cart, we might as well have something to enjoy for a couple of weeks before we die. The problem, we quickly figured out, we would raid the earthquake kit whenever we needed, or more likely, whenever …

On the Highway 17 Express

Some Sundays the bus to Santa Cruz, the Highway 17 Express, is crowded with students returning from a week-long break, or the Holidays, towing huge suitcases behind them. Other times it’s crowded with fun-seeking people heading for the beach. But today at the San Jose Diridon Station it is a regular kind of Sunday, and the young people informally sit on the retaining wall to make an informal kind of line. Yet they don’t hesitate to jump ahead when one didn’t react quickly enough – let’s blame cell phones on that one too. The driver greets everyone of us in the way they seem to actually enjoy their job. The bus fills up, so at the one but last stop the driver warns the guy boarding that there may not be any seats left. A fair warning, considering that some people would then ask to be refunded if they found out there’s standing room only. But if your alternative to standing in the aisle for an hour is standing at a bus stop in San …

A Penny for your Thoughts

A penny there on the path, the made-up path by non-conforming pedestrians who won’t take the official planned sidewalk, and I don’t pick it up. I would pick it up from a marble floor – someone could slip on it. It would be worth a penny. It would be useful to avoid receiving four pennies in change. The penny, having been dropped for its lack of value or a hole in a pocket, might mean something to you if you picked it up. Just don’t assume it’s supernatural that the year corresponds to a life event of someone who’s watching you from the sky. What if it doesn’t? Will you toss the coin? You can’t write to Dear Abby any more, to tell her you found a penny with no significant date on it. On second thought, an imagined message sounds better than any real message from real life. Yes, there are useful messages, every first Wednesday there’s a voice in the sky telling us the siren is just a test, otherwise we’d be asking …