Over the years I have grown very soft in the transportation department. When I was a kid I would ride my bike everywhere. It didn't matter how far I had to go, I simply hopped on my bike and went. Thirty five years later, I still do the same thing, except now it's my car. My bike is in a heap in the garage, collecting dust.
If I need to go to the local Raley's grocery store, even though it's in walking distance, I take the car. If I want to rent a movie, I go to the local Blockbuster Video store, and again, I jump in the car to drive two blocks. Or Vic's Ice Cream, over on 7th Avenue (a mere four blocks away) - yep, you guessed it - I hop in the car to buy the ice cream cone.
Last Wednesday, my wife reminded me that we were going to another California Lectures event that evening at the Crest Theater. Renowned author T.C. Boyle was the scheduled speaker. Boyle has received several literary awards such as the PEN Faulkner Award Winner and National Book Award Finalist. Boyle was on tour to promote his latest book, "Tooth and Claw". It promised to be a fun evening.
The event started at 7:30PM. My wife had a meeting across town that ended at 7:00PM. Rather than taking two cars downtown, I decided to take the Light Rail
and meet my wife at the Theater. I have never taken Sacramento's Light Rail. But I was game. Imagine - I was going to forsake my car and travel via Light Rail! My wife was somewhat skeptical. I was going to walk to the Light Rail station and then ride the train to the stop in front of the Crest Theater. "What has gotten into you?" she asked.
So at 6:00PM, I set off for the Light Rail. I put the dogs in the backyard, locked the gate, and headed down the street. All of a sudden, my overweight cat Orange Julius was following me on the sidewalk. "Well, this is not good," I thought. So I turned around and went back to the house to put Orange Julius inside.
I set off for the second time, hustling over to the Light Rail stop on Freeport Boulevard, not wanting to be late for T.C. Boyle. I walked past McClatchy High School, tripping over the uneven sidewalk, and almost doing a facial right in front of the school. Good thing there were no witnesses! I journeyed on to the the Light Rail stop where off in the distance I could see the oncoming train. The train approached the stop and I boarded, looking for the conductor to purchase my ticket, only to find out tickets were purchased on the platform from the machine prior to boarding.
Realizing my mistake, and not wanting to be caught riding the Light Rail without the proper fare, I began to panic. I plotted my exit. I wanted to get off as quickly as possible in order to minimize the chance of the Light Rail personnel finding out my dilemma. How were they going to believe me when I told them I thought you paid when you got on the train? After all, surely that's how the bus system works, right? After a couple of stops, we approached the 16th Street station. I decided to get off at this stop and walk the rest of the way to the Crest Theater. As the train approached the station, the Conductor announced that we should have our tickets ready for the ticket taker as we left the train.
"Oh no! I'm busted!" I thought, as the train slowed to a stop. I quickly jumped off the train and passed by the ticket taker without detection as he was busy checking other passengers' tickets. I reached the exit and walked onto 16th Street, escaping the potential embarassment of riding without a ticket.
I headed off towards the Crest Theatre on K Street. Along the way I happened to bump into my daughter Rebekah and her boyfriend Brian, walking their dog Cosmo. They were quite surprised to see me walking down 16th Street (they live nearby on Q Street). I explained my situation to them and they were rather amused at my Light Rail ride. I carried on towards my final destination. The Sacramento night lights were awesome. I happened to have my camera with me, as I was planning to take a picture of the Crest Theater's neon lighted facade. I was amazed at what I found while walking, rather than driving. The rest of my journey is documented by these photo shots. Oh, by the way, T.C. Boyle was great!
No time to stop for dinner at MaJong's, Mason Wong's fun new restaurant at the Park Complex! I must press on to the Theater!
I like Mason's motto displayed outside The Park Complex - I will endeavor to live up to it!
Randy Paragary's newest restaurant, Spataro's, must wait for another night. I have a show to see!
No Randy, not here either. The show, the show...I'll eat after the show!
Almost time for the show! But I have time for a quick beer...Oh, right next door!
Ah, the Pyramid Ale tastes great. I think I'll try the hefeweizen next time!
And now it's time for the show!!!!