Saturday, February 05, 2005
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
This post is an actual story that one of my friends from the train told me. This actually happened to him. The fact this story is completely true makes it that much funnier. To protect the innocent we will call him "Artist guy". As his name implies, Artist guy is an artist. He works for one of the cartoon studios in southern california. I could tell you which one, but that would be like name dropping, which of course I only reserve to impress people in person. But I digress, while Artist guy is very well, artistic, he admits that his mechanical talents are not at the same level as his artistic ones. So when his Dad comes to visit from somewhere back east, some city that's windy. His Dad helps him take care of all of his home and auto repairs, as well as helping him organize his tools and such.
Well one day Artistic guy got home pretty late, 2am or so, and after pulling into his garage, he turns the key to turn the car off. He pulls the key, and opens the door, but, the car is still running. So he looks at the car, and looks in the key in hand, and goes, that's not right. So in a little bit of a panic he calls roadside service. Of course, they ask if he was stuck on the side of the road, of which he wasn't, so they said "Sorry, we can't help you." So, he switches to plan a2, he calls the Auto Club, but, pretty much gets the same response from them. Well, now it's about 3am, however it's 5am where his Dad lives. So he calls his Dad and of course his Dad knows just what to do.
Artistic Guy: Dad, My car keeps running, I turned it off and have the keys in my hand, but its still going.
Artistic Guy's Dad: Okay, so what you'll need to do is disconnect the battery.
Artistic Guy: How do I do that?
Artistic Guy's Dad: Don't worry, I will talk you through it. First, you're going to need your cresent wrench.
Artistic Guy: Do I have a cresent wrench?
Artistic Guy's Dad: Yeah, it's in the second drawer on the left in the kitchen, right next to the screwdrivers.
Artistic Guy: Oh, I do! Cool, okay I got it.
Artistic Guy's Dad: Now you'll need some gloves.
Artistic Guy: Do I have any gloves?
Artistic Guy's Dad: Yes, They are in the second floor bathroom in the cabinet under the sink.
Artistic Guy: How do you know this?
Artistic Guy's Dad: I'm a Dad, I'm suppose to know these things, now lets go out to the car disconnect the battery.
Artistic Guy: (Going out to the garage, and reaches inside and pops the hood) Okay, I got the hood open.
Artistic Guy's Dad: Umm, the battery in your car is in the trunk.
Artistic Guy:(Opens the trunk) Okay, at the trunk.
Artistic Guy's Dad: Now take the battery cover off, and you'll see two terminals, one with a plus sign and another with a minus sign. You have to take one of them off. (Artistic Guy reaches for the plus sign terminal) you want to take off the minus sign on.
Artist Guy: (taking the terminal off the battery and the car stops running) Hey, it stopped! Thanks Dad.
Monday, January 31, 2005
"Whatca Readin?" This is how Tom and I would start most of our conversations. I was thinking about this today at his memorial. I was thinking about the first time we started chatting with each other, and it was about reading. I was on his train heading towards downtown and I was reading "Essential Chaucer", The Canterbury Tales, to be exact when he asked me what I was reading. So I told him, and share a line I had just read that I thought was brillant. It was easy to tell that Tom loved books. Tom always read great books. He would tell me about books he just got, or when the next book fair in glendale or pasadena was going to be. Pretty soon we started lending each other books. It was really nice, because I would love what he recommended and loaned me and he would love what I gave him to read. It was so nice to just sit on the train and talk about how Kerouac described food so well that you could see it and taste it. Or how Orwell described being "down and out" so well that you could feel it. Tom turned me on to so many great books, that I would always carry a note book with me to write down the titles of what he recommended. He loved the fact that he could read at his midday break for 2 to 4 hours. I remember him saying, "The only thing beter than reading is reading on company time".
At his memorial, there were at least 500 people. It was so packed that a couple hundred of us had to stand in the church courtyard for the service. It was nice to hear people tell stories about Tom, and how he had shown them kindness or generousity in his own special way. They told about how he loved to have water fights with his Grandkids, and how even the house was not a safe zone. It was obvious the people that truly knew him, because they couldn't get through their tale without having to pause and collect themselves. Every metrolink conductor I had ever met or seen as well as the Glendale, Fire Department and Police Department were there. It was nice to see such a large turn out for such a very ni, that I thought so highly of.
I remember how the train would pull into the station, and I would see Tom, hanging out of the car as i was pulling up, and I'd wave, and he would always waved back before the train had stopped just to let you know he was happy to see you. I'd get on the train, and after hearing him announce the that the train was departing he come over to his station to which I would sit next to and in is Olkahoma draw, ask "Whatca Readin?". I'm really going to miss hearing him ask that, and I am really going to miss him. Oh, by the way, I am starting to read James Joyce's Ulyesses, Tom recommended it.