Thursday, August 26, 2010

bus-ing it (or not...)

I walked home from my bookbinding class today. I shouldn't have because I need to figure out the bus schedule and I live about a 45 minute walk away from campus and apparently most of the streets closest to my house don't have street lamps. Good trick, Iowa. As I was walking home and getting farther and farther away from downtown and it was getting darker and darker I made sure that I was aware of my surroundings (just like we learned in freshman year How Not To Get Raped 101) but briefly wondered if I would feel safer with a taser. But would I actually use it? If I did would I have to call the police and tell them that I tased someone and why? Would I become known as the Taser Girl and be mocked openly in the streets as I made my nightly trek home? Things to think about.

I think I finally finished unpacking and organizing my stuff today. I finished the studio, which was a big project since I never know what's the best way to organize things and I will mostly likely end up switching things around several times, but for now things pretty much have a place. I bought this great metal typewriter table at Stuff Etc yesterday for $3 (what? That's right, I said $3.) and I am a little in love with it. (You can see it in the second picture) I also created some counter space to the left of my work table with some boards I found in random rooms around the house and crates that I already had. Finally! Someplace to store things I need on hand that's not on my work table! It's funny because the table still looks pretty crazy, but it's so much better than it was AND better than my studio at home (right, Mom?).

The view from the doorway of my studio.
Don't you just LOVE the cork board?
See the typewriter table?
Isn't it perfect in every way?

I had my first bookbinding class today (Bookbinding I) and I actually learned stuff! We learned how to tear down paper, which is basically how to roughly cut down large sheets of paper to a more manageable size. We folded the paper in half then used dull kitchen knives to slit it, then folded and repeated until the pages were roughly the size we wanted. I was actually terrible at it to begin with—I kept ripping the paper instead of cutting it or going off the fold—but then I asked for some help, improved my technique and now I think I've got the hang of it. My first impulse is to go out and buy a specially made paper knife from Talas, but I will restrain myself (for you, Mom) and just use a dull kitchen knife for now, of which I have several.

One last bus story (of where I actually took the bus) and that will be all for tonight. There is a bus stop across the street from my house, just down the block a little. I checked the schedule for today, saw they came either every hour or every half hour on the :08 (or :38) and planned accordingly. The bus came, I got on, and it continued in the opposite direction of where I needed to go (but I wasn't worried because I knew this would happen: the route goes basically around the block or so then heads back into town). There were maybe 5 other people on the bus when I boarded and as we went along each of them got off one at a time until it was just me and the bus driver. At the stop where the last woman got off, the driver kept the bus stopped after she disembarked, pulled out a book and started reading. ...What? I wasn't sure what to do. Was this the end of the route? Was I expected to sit here with him just waiting for who knows how long before he decided his break was over? I decided that even though I'd given myself an hour of travel time I couldn't risk it. I mustered up my courage and asked him if this bus stopped at the Clinton Street stop, the stop I'd decided would be best for me to get off at. He thought a minute then said, "Yes." and kept reading. I paused, not sure if I should interrupt his reading a second time, then asked, "Uhm, how long do you think it will take to get there?" "From here?" he said. "About 10 minutes." And went back to reading. I felt a little like I was in the twilight zone, but after like 30 seconds or so he abruptly stopped reading and started on the route again with no explanation. The only thing I could come up with was that we were slightly ahead of schedule so he had to slow down or something. We drove past several other stops but no one else got on. Luckily, once he was driving he became a little more chatty and told me all about the stuff we were passing, including the Iowa City Bike Library which I am enchanted with (but promised my mom I would ask about using Sophia's bike before I made any kind of bike commitments) and the free campus shuttle that picks up only a little further down than the bus stop where he picked me up at. What a man! And what a lovely turn of events.

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