It was a few minutes before five o’clock yesterday at work when we had a power outage. I was on the phone talking to my co-worker about prices when the last one we heard from each other was a scream. We were both surprised at the sudden void of light.
By the time this gets fixed, it will be time to go home, I figured. So I decided to go.
Looking at my watch – 5:02PM, I can catch the subway at 5:05PM and still make it to the Metrolink Express Train to San Bernardino! Yipee!
Delighted at the thought of it, I couldn’t sit still in the train. I was already thinking how surprised my family would be when they see me with still some daylight left.
But it didn’t last long. By the time, I saw the sign when I got onto the freeway and it read: BEAR VALLEY RD -70mins, I thought, Uh-oh something’s up!
I exited at Sierra Ave and went onto Glen Helen Parkway, parallel to the 15 fwy., then went back onto the I-15N.
This is what awaited me! A long line of traffic!
Suddenly my feet were feeling hot, so I took my shoes off, and always keeping a pair of flip flops with me in the car, I put them on instead.
A little after the Kenwood exit…..
I saw a couple of CHP (California Highway Patrol) cars on the shoulder and a couple of fire trucks as well.
Pretty soon after, traffic cleared until just before the Summit. Then it slowed again.
There’s someone old and wise who once said, “Nothing cures the blues than a nice slice of cake.”
Left work early day before yesterday to meet a close friend from college who’s visiting from the Philippines.
We then agreed to meet at LA Live! because it’s close to my workplace and because I haven’t been there myself, it may be a place worth seeing.
Upon recommendation of a co-worker, my friend and I agreed to meet at Lucky Strike. It’s a bowling lane AND a restaurant. I don’t bowl (not really). In my almost 38years of life, as far as I recall, I’ve probably bowled three times! Once probably during my elementary days as I recall my Dad likes to bowl with my teachers. There is a BIG probability that I played at least once (though I do not remember). Second was during my hubby’s birthday (this I know for sure). Third, when my son pined for bowling. First time he tried it, he liked it.
As far as my friend’s bowling frequencies go, I am pretty sure she doesn’t bowl that often either. I chose the place because it has an activity we can choose to play later on, PLUS I was told they have good food (read: chicken wings).
Upon leaving work, I head down to the subway train on Pershing Square. Instead of heading home to Union Station, I ventured to the opposite side to 7th St/Metro Center which was the next stop. Two lines travel on this rail up to Wilshire/Vermont St. Beyond this is where they separate ways. Purple Line goes all the way to Wilshire/Western. Red Line goes to North Hollywood.
Since both lines stop at 7th St/Metro Center, I do not care which line I get on to. It’s just the next stop anyway. How hard could that be?
Walked up the stairs to 7th St/Figueroa where I saw the Bank of America on my left. Walked straight along Figueroa for about 3-4 blocks. I haven’t walked these roads in a looong time. I used to know them for I have lived in Koreatown in Los Angeles for about 10years and also when I used to go to the Public Library here too.
Anyways, so we met! She was with her boyfriend and her sister. Last time we saw each other was 2010 when she last visited the US.
It was Happy Hour at Lucky Strike but I wasn’t really up for alcoholic drinks. I have a massive headache for two days now and it just won’t leave me alone. But I cast it aside, who wants a headache anyway when you have a friend from the Philippines visiting?
We ordered then we took pictures and caught up with each other’s lives.
Ordered food – completely forgetting the chicken wings!!!!
By the time I realized I should be getting home, it was almost 5:30PM. I thought I’d get on the 6:20pm train, I think I still got time to chat.
After Lucky Strike (we didn’t bowl), we went outside to explore and take pictures.
Austin Mahone is here!
No I don’t know him. But a million tweens do!
Soon, it was time to go. They walked with me back to the train station and bade goodbye.
Til we see each other again, my friend!
And so my journey continues. Got on the subway to Union Station at 6:14pm with only 6minutes to spare. Got off Union Station and ran to the platform. Too late. Doors closed and was getting ready to leave. 😦 Next one is at 7:20pm.
While we were back at LA Live, my phone had died. So now with an hour to spare and no phone to distract me, I took out my diary and began to write.
Train came and was able to charge my phone again. Yipee! Seemed like a long time. Without checking my phone and letting hubby know I’ll be late felt like I sinned.
Got off at my stop. Got in my car and was on my way to meet CP (Cajon Pass). My friend reminded me of my crush in college whom we’ve nicknamed, CP. Short for Chess Plaza, a place where we always SPOT him. Now I have a new love?
Ahh! The journey home felt like a prelude to what winter’s commute will bring. Glanced at the time, 9:10pm. It was already dark, with 2 LEFT LANES CLOSED and everybody trying to change lanes while avoiding getting stuck staring at a truck’s behind.
I dread when winter comes. With snow coloring the picture, God forgive me for all the French words I’ll be uttering!
I am a particularly energetic person. Nothing can wear me down. I remember when I was 18, my friend and I danced til morning – literally. Yeah, I forgot I was 18 then!
Fast forward almost 20 years later, a trip to the grocery with kids tagging along feels like I’ve just climbed Mount Everest. Juggling a pizza box while carrying a two-year-old and carrying the groceries from the garage into the house is a struggle. Wait, that was my hubby last night! But I know how that feels like. Your arms suddenly went jelly.
My whole body was jelly! After what seemed like a long drive yesterday from the traffic on the Cajon Pass, I just want to go to sleep. And I did. After typing up my entry yesterday in the train to work, I slept. After staring into a lot of cars and the road of stillness, I am exhausted. The best way to revive me is sleep. Zzzzz
Somebody asked me, “Why would you post a lorry update on the Cajon Pass? You don’t even drive a truck.”
Because my dear, with the ongoing construction, that would mean one LESS lane!!!
— And more traffic! 😉
Have you ever gone people-watching?
Have you ever wondered what they’re like in real life?
Or even while driving, ever wonder what the connection is between the driver and the car they drive?
I see almost the same people everyday ride the train and their cars. Don’t you think cars are an extension of its owner?
Since I can’t do a litmus test on them (excluding those with personalized plates – they’re a dead giveaway), I just guess and make up stories about them.
My parallel universe of them.
In California, the standard format of a license plate is:
A number anywhere from 1 to 9
Then a combination of 3 letters from A to Z
and combination of 3 numbers from 0 to 9
If I put an x on a plate, that means it’s unknown or can’t remember.
So, let’s start.
Have you spied on your next-door neighbor’s car’s license plates?
1LUUxxx – Maybe he’s got incontinence problems?
What about that guy in the train who’s always in a hurry? 4JFFxxx – Jiffy Jeff ? I don’t even know if his real name is Jeff. But whenever I see him, I call him Jiffy Jeff in my head.
There’s another guy who likes to save people (he’s helped me one time when my phone got stuck underneath the seat and couldn’t get to it!)
His plate is: 5AVExxx
I almost always park my car near his. I thought if there’s trouble, he can save me. Maybe. He’s got an angelic face! And a JESUS sticker…?
There’s another lady I know personally whose plates are 2PRTxxx – Yes, she is PRETTY inside out.
What about this? 5CYJxxx
It’s a red, shiny sports car. A 7ft tall (at least that’s what I think he is) guy in impeccable suit?
It’s RED CYANIDE JOHN – Deadly, hazardous, corrosive. Too intimidating. Maybe an attorney? Hmmm?
I wonder what other people think of me driving my husband’s car? 5LPRxxx – SLIPPER Lady? Cos I always wear slippers when driving?
What about if it’s my husband’s driving? SLURPER? Oh yes, he loves his wine and beer!
What about that guy who nearly “CHARGED” my car from behind? Remembered his plates – still imprinted in my head.
Figures. He’s DAFT. Seven times.
Sadly, most of the time, it’s true.
Being a creature of habit, I found it hard to deviate from what I’m used to. For several years of driving from home to Fontana station to ride the Metrolink to Union Station and back, I decided to give it a try. I caved in to follow my fellow commuters’ / friends’ advice. I started driving to Rancho Cucamonga, 10miles further, just last March.
First time I passed my usual exit at Sierra, I felt anxious. Several scenarios popped up in my head. What if this was a mistake? I had just bought my monthly pass and I have to live with my mistake for a month.
I could hear my husband’s voice saying I’ll be OK. I prepared ahead of time by doing a “dry run”. I went on google maps and went turn by turn, checking and mentally remembering the street names I will see along the way, making sure I won’t get lost after the fwy exit. Thank these technology geeks who made this possible.
With shaking knees, I made it! My train is at 7:29am. I even got to the station the same time I normally get to Fontana of about 7:15am.
Sure enough, they were right. It is 10miles further than Fontana but takes just about the same amount of time to get to the station in Fontana. WOW. Because it’s closer to Union Station too, train’s monthly ticket costs $40 less too! Ka-ching! I’m already liking it!
But nothing good lasts, sad to say, in this case.
Just last night going home after a catastrophic day at work (funny how technology can backfire as well), there was a green paper flappping on my windshield.
They’re taking away my $30! Blasted city! Not much consolation being a resident, either. They’re charging $25 for residents of Rancho Cucamonga. Plus a bunch of other “rules” and a threatening line that “Police will be given a list of license plates with valid permits”. Really?! Police have enough on their plate already to catch the really bad guys. I wonder if a fine will be imposed or tow your car off the lot if caught with no permit. Hmm?
No wonder, lately, there’s always someone in security uniform with a clipboard in hand at the station. Probably counting people getting off the train as against the number of cars in the lot. I should’ve known something’s up.
Imagine how much money they could be making on this? There are about 25 spaces in a row and about 12 rows (25×12= 300 cars) and that’s just in Lot 1. There are 2 lots.
Here’s a picture of the Rancho Cucamonga station (at least a part of it):
The station is huuuge! It has beautiful, tall palm trees, bike racks, even charging stations for electric cars. I agree with the paid permit, somehow. I would like a lit, clean, safe, secure place to park my car. Bonus features are retail stalls for coffee and snacks.
But I guess that would be asking for too much 😉
bridgezilla, cajon crawl, cajon pass, cajon pass commute, cajon pass commuter, cajon pass update, commute on the cajon pass, I-15, I-15N traffic, news, ranchero bridge, ranchero bridge hesperia, victorville, work commute
orteM (Metro spelled backwards)
Writing and posting after a long-winded, deathly commute!
A week after the burning and collapse of the Ranchero Bridge and, nolens volens, closing of the I-15 fwy, I am relieved it is finally open again.
Though the fwy is wide open, every time I see the bridge, I feel sad for all the hard work the workers have put in. Construction was coming along nicely, traffic was flowing smoothly, even during construction, and just like that – it’s gone.
According to the reports I’ve read, bridge could not be salvaged and ’twas a total loss 😦
But, that’s life! With every setback comes renewed strength and willpower. One just comes back stronger.
Not me. I was soo ready to call it quits after the I-15 fwy was shut down. After many years of commuting up and down the Cajon Pass and traveling about 85 miles (85 x 1.6 = 136.8 kms) everyday, 5 days a week, it just wear me down – to the bone.
After much thought and after a revived inspiration from an unlikely, serendipitous source, I was back again. This time even catching the earlier train.
With BNSF’s derailment yesterday, Metrolink trains are 5-10 minutes delayed. I can deal with that.
Meanwhile, let me enjoy my cucumber to refresh me in the morning.
Good day to everyone!
Another experience to file under ‘Resiliency”