Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Outside my window are evergreens. During the day it was nerve-settling to look outside and see the branches hanging low with perfectly-soft white snow.

School closed early, so I was supposed to get homework done. Didn't happen. I'm freaking out about how little kanji I know compared to my classmates.

Good thing I had the snow outside to calm me down.

*Title stolen off a friend's Gchat status.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Overheard on Inauguration

Scary Evangelist: Just going to church is not enough. Just being a good person is not enough. You must accept that you are a sinner, you are dirty, you are a sinner in the eyes of Our Lord...

some distance away:
Middle-Aged Woman 1: Should I flash my tits at him?
Middle-Aged Woman 2: He'd probably like that. I bet he's got a big ol' box of porn at home.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baltimore to Washington DC: The Cheapest Carless Transit

Baltimore light rail goes to BWI, and from BWI you can get a bus to the Metro. I always knew this, but I never tried it until today.

Light rail ticket: $1.60.
B30 Bus from BWI to Greenbelt Metro Station: $3.00 with Smartrip ($3.10 cash).

One-way cost: $4.60 + Metro ride.
Time you should allocate: at least 3 hours.

Obviously, this is not the most efficient way to get from Baltimore to DC. The most efficient way is by car, which takes a little over an hour. The next most efficient way is to get someone to give you a ride to Penn Station and then take the MARC ($7-14) or an Amtrak train ($27 or $87) to Union Station. But it is the cheapest* way to go without a car, as far as I know.

Anecdotal portion:
Today, I got on the light rail at the Timonium stop, which is the 2nd-northernmost stop on the line. I got the 10:29, which was the one that went all the way to BWI. (Important: LOOK to see the final destination on the front car. Not all trains terminate at BWI.)

I arrived at BWI at 11:48, just missing the 11:40 B30 bus. (At BWI, the B30 picks up both at the BWI Business District light rail stop and at the terminal. In winter, I recommend taking the light rail all the way to the terminal, so you can warm up inside.) The B30 stop was just around the corner from where I got off the light rail.

The B30 picked me up at 12:10. I got to Greenbelt by 12:36. I was on a Green Line train by 12:37, although it waited five minutes before leaving. I was in my home in Silver Spring by 1:20.

I was lucky; the total trip could have been much longer if the B30 had been late or if the light rail had had more single-tracking. But I had no agenda for today, so it worked for me.

Things you'll need:
Light rail schedule.
B30 bus schedule. (PDF)
Patience/a book/music.

*You may notice that Districted will become a "cheap blog" in the coming months. Sorry?

1/17/09 5:28 - edited, with thanks to the Abbot.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Charge: Positive

I'm much better than I was during the Holistidays, but I still have a cough. +

I was up late reading Memoirs of a Geisha. I know, you probably thought I had read it long ago. I guess I was waiting for the hype to die down. It's not the greatest book ever written, but it's good. And it's good to be reading a book for fun again. +

I woke up early to do my linguistics homework, then I biked & Metroed to UMD. I saw my Asian History TA from last semester at the library. I asked if his family had made it through the red tape and finally arrived in the US; he said they had. +

I rocked the first midterm. +

Biking home, I was yelled at on the very stretch of road where I'd had my near-VH. I was in the left lane, preparing for a left turn, and an Asian guy yelled something about "...the RIGHT!" -

But I responded a lot better than before. I said "I'M TURNING LEFT." +

But then I added, "FUCK YOU." -

At home, while getting ready to go out again, I listened to twelve minutes of the scientifically-most-annoying song ever. -

The Red Line was shut down; apparently there was a crack between Dupont and Woodley. --

I went to the station attendants and asked for a refund, since the train hadn't moved in 15 minutes and I was going to switch to a bus. The younger attendant started saying "We can't do that; you'll have to call." I said, "Why can't you? I've been sitting there for 15 minutes." The older attendant then said, "We'll let you out without swiping your card, just tell the next station manager what happened." +

(Walking to the bus, I pondered why you can't just get a refund instantly. Can't smartrip cards be "smart" enough to know when you exit from the same place you entered? Peeves me off.) -

I quickly caught the S4 bus. +

My cell phone was dying, and I needed to stay in touch with my friend, who was supposed to give me shirts. -

I tricked my phone into believing it had more of a charge, and found out that my friend was locked in traffic. I got off the bus at L and started walking towards him. But L Street was blocked completely by cop cars and a long stretch of police tape. I called my friend back and told him he was not going to get through. While he was on the phone, I went up to three firemen, one of whom said I couldn't even walk through on the sidewalk. I asked him what was the matter. Eventually another one said, "A package." -

I walked to my friend, who was stuck in his car. I got my shirts and I talked to him and his wife as they inched along L. ++++

Then I went to Thai Kingdom, where I was scheduled to meet up with four other Japanese speakers for some speaking practice. I was early. I didn't hear from anyone until 50 minutes later. -

Finally, one member showed up: my ex-girlfriend. But the funny thing is, just then a horde of Japanese people came in, maybe 30 or so, but they were in a different party. They sat just far enough away that I couldn't eavesdrop on them. (no charge, just funny)

The spicy eggplant with fried tofu is really good at Thai Kingdom. +

I got a lot of Japanese practice, more than I'd been getting for the past two weeks. And the interaction with my ex went smoothly. +

After dinner, I was able to talk my way into getting back onto the Metro without getting charged. +

Got home, found my roommate and her boyfriend watching The Notebook. My roommie was saying something about the artwork on the wall: "There are three red circles, no, there are four red circles." I said, "But there are five lights." She said, "What?" Her boyfriend said, "No, there are FOUR LIGHTS!" We derailed the romantic vibe with a lot of Star Trek talk. +

Blogging on Districted for the first time since feeling better: +

Overall charge +5