Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The life of a driver Part 2

Falling in love on the job.

did you know that 27 percent of the loves of my life were all bus drivers. Does that mean that 27 percent of the men i am attracted to have CDLs or is it that i fell in love with these men because we were in the same place at the same time? Or is it that I love a man in uniform.

This will be more of a reflective piece about the good times i have had as a bus driver. In fact let's go back to the beginning. I became a driver in order to chase loves. My best friend Shawn was a driver for Mesa Public Schools, and wanted me to meet a fellow co-worker named Louie. He said, the best way for that to happen is for me to get a job as a driver. It sounded good to me, so down I went to Broadway and Center Street to sign my self up to drive.

I became a driver, and met Louie, but loves did not happen. However later i fell in love with a driver named Reggie, traveled to Europe with Jeff, met the mechanics son Rusty rekindled a high school friendship with Reid and turned it into love, had 4 non-recipricated crushes and basically flirted with some football/soccer/band/orchestra/academic decathalon coaches (hey i drove for 3 and a half years).

Now, there is something about the stresses and joys of being a bus driver... that makes one want to fall in love. Now I am not the only one. My best friend Jamie had similar luck at love during her bus driver days. There is a certain closeness and respect that develops between all drivers. Sometimes that respect blossoms into a crush. To all the other peeps, who know that I speak the truth... just smile in your heart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Life of a driver Part 1 of 3 (a series)

Bus drivers on the loose. We gotta go to the Fairbanks Princess Lodge and pick up people from Kansas and Omaha and England.

Princess drivers on the loose. WE gotta check the coach toilet to see if it is charged up. We gotta do a break test and wear a grey vest.

Don't forget your CRUISE pin... Courtesy Respect Unfailing in Service Excellence. Don't forget to smile and wave non-stop, even if they forget to tip you.

this started out as a song.... but it sucks. This is what drivers look like after a Riverboat Break, when it is time to take the peeps to down town lunch.

This was my dream to be a driver/guide in Alaska.Good Luck to everyone out there. What ever your dreams are, and remember sometimes you get what you want and you think, "why the hell did I want to do this in the first place".... just saying.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A small request....

Today after a long day of driving and a short stack of tip money (so what else is new, it's the economy right?) I called first my mom to check in with my biggest supporter, next called Jimmy. My brother who is always my very logical, clear headed and disciplined supporter. Spoke with Rita my little sister, mostly about baby Olivia and my driving route. I called all these family members not necessarily to vent about the short stack, but to somehow feel more like myself. It slowly worked.

Next I called Dan, my best friend here in AK yet, he was out with friends. So I decided to call an old pal Jamie. Her husband picked up, she was in the room, but tired, and we ended up chatting for a good hour. I like chatting with Brad. When I hang up I always feel a bit lifted, a bit better about myself. Brad and I talked about Blogs, and about married friends, and about our plans to make monies. Brad said, he wanted me to blog about what is going on here, about the adventures. And what makes me, The Born Again Barbie, Fantastic. Hmm.

This weekend was interesting. I ended up spending a bit of time with other drivers and employees down in Copper. A friend of mine and I were sitting next to each other during a poker game. At one point, he said, "man, it always begins so promising and ends up so bad"....I laughed and said, "just like my relationships". He said, "you just gotta love yourself first". I turned and said, "getting all Dr. Phill on me". He smiled and said, "just saying".

You know I have sort of got sucked into this bus driving thing, letting the bad aspects effect me, more then I should. When I joke about the tips being small, it's not that they are that bad, I just seem to be comparing myself to the other drivers. I question, "what am I doing wrong? why are so many getting off the coach without giving me a dime, when others rarely get stiffed?" And then because I am just a bit lonely and still out of my comfort zone... the money has become my only validation". How sick is that, letting my guests who don't even know me, who I will never interact with again, define how I feel about myself (even if just for a small time). And worse yet, have me question and over analyze my self. I guess it just comes back to the old Laurel lesson, 'Stop Comparing Yourself to Others'.

Basically comparing myself to the other drivers, to all of skinnier, younger, richer, luckier, ____er woman out there, to all my friends who have made there 'Families Can Be Forever' dreams come true, has caused me nothing but heartache, bitterness and self doubt. Now that is not what I am about. And I definitely do not want to stay here in Blar Land. So this is the "why Jodi is so great list" or in other words why I Love being Jodi.

1. I laugh too loud in movies but it is endearing.
2. If I loved you once, I will love you forever.
3. I got curly hair that is wild and unruly.
4. I have a great style, well I used to before my princess uniform. I will have great style again.
5. I still believe I will change this world for the good.
6. I can teach an amazing lesson on Adverbs and hyperbole.
7. I have attended single's ward for 10 years, Rick's college and have lived in Mesa Az and am still going strong.
8. No bus accidents in over 4+ years of combined CDL driving.
9. I have more endurance than anyone I know...just lack the discipline (working on it).
10. My eyes are pretty, my fingers are long, my smile is like a the joker, my nose is like my dad's, my eyebrows are too little, my toes are like long fingers and yet.... It all looks great together.
11. I am honest to a fault.
12. I am learning more about politics, and have strong opinions and love talking about the changes needed in our government.
13. I joined ASU kayak club, simply so that the 2000 dollars I spent on kayak equipment/clothing would not go to waste... now I enjoy it.
14. I see the good in people, and would never hurt, manipulate or use anyone (at least not purposely)
15. I can make friends with anyone, and my close friends are the coolest people in town (like attracts like).
16. I am the funniest person I know, and I love, love, love when other people get it. But if they don't it's ok, because I know it's true.
17. I am a really good kisser, and I love, love, love when they get that, but if they don't, it's ok, because I know it's true ( i have had lot's of different teachers...30 and never married will do that to you).
18. I can teach a dang powerful Sunday School lesson.
19. No one, gives a testimony with as much originality or heart, like I can.
20. I am going to be the best aunt in the world, well at least to Olivia i will be.

So that is it. That is the 'Why I love being Jodi' list. I feel better already. Sometimes, I just want me the universe and all of you to know, I honestly don't just feel sorry for myself. I really do love being me, and wouldn't trade places with anyone.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jodi in her Alaska Element...

One of my crazy friends on the driving circuit... doesn't my hair look cute and long?
This is me with my sweet coach #142. I love this baby. But notice the silver headband... i wear this every day with my princess uniform, bling and bling (silver bus and silver headbands equals tips galore)
This kid is Aaron. When I am on the highway we always stop at a lodge in Paxon, with this cutie greeting the bus. Usually bike tricks are in full effect.

Here I am with all the candy I got at the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival Parade. I am pretty stoked to say the least... I love free treats.
Just on the deck of a whale watching excursion on the 4th of July....it was a beautiful day but I was a little lonely, i miss family on July 4th.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I promise to post sooo many cool pictures from my recent adventure. So far we have spent a day in Denali National Park, hiking around and trying to see Grizzly bears. I finally saw a bear and it was so close. Awesome. Also I have camped out and peed in the woods. I went sea kayaking on Byers lake. I ate Crab Au Grautin and loved it. Went and explored Talkeetna (a climbing town with a tourist problem). Went on a jet boat trip. Got to stay two nights in the McKinley Princess Lodge and enjoy the hot tubs there and have spent alot of time hanging out with my friends Ashley (happy birthday girl) and her husband Joe, Valerie, Karen and Dan. Overall it has been fun and the only problem is I am sick (green mucus and all). Anyways, four more days and three nights are left of our adventure. Today we are going to the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival and tomorrow we will be on a glacier exploring/canoeing trip. I hope I start to feel a bit better and will stop sniffling and coughing.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

14 to 41... start blind, end up dumb.


the current I

I think: more about politics than i ever have before
I know: i don't look 25 anymore
I want: to fall in love, get married and start a family
I have: a lot of idealism still swimming around my head
I wish: i was more disciplined
I hate: feeling like I am owned by my current employer
I miss: my mom and dad
I fear: he will never find me
I feel: chubs cause i keep eating peanut butter cups
I hear: the washing machine
I smell: popcorn and dirt
I crave: good hamburgers and Crunch N Munch
I search: for truth
I wonder: if I will be as good at law as I think I will be
I regret: any hurt i may have caused anyone, unless it helped them in some obscure/random way
I love: foot rubs and back scratchers
I care: about the 'have nots'
I always: wear my hear curly now that someone stole my straightner
I am not: rawsome
I believe: in love
I dance: like no one is watching, or just like a long limbed, uncoordinated white girl
I sing: along to rap and country 
I dont always: think things through before i do/say them
I fight: the urge to google peoples names
I write: too much personal stuff on my blog, and then i regret it and erase the blog, but the damage has been done 
I lose: respect for our government the more i learn how things really are
I win: a few hands at facebook poker, but mostly i am broke
I never: want to drive a bus again after this summer, unless it is a VW Bus (that would be OK)
I listen: to a lot of podcasts lately
I can usually be found: on my air mattress reading, or on a bus 
I am scared: i wasted too much time
I need: more patience
I am happy about: the 4th of JULY... i love America
I tag: anyone who has seen me cry or has heard me say something that made you feel uncomfortable during testimony meeting. You know who you are. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Adventures on the road....

This is Mt. Denali. This is the big one. Some people come to the interior of Alaska simply to see this baby. I don't think they are coming simply to see Fairbanks (but i could be wrong). It was cool to pull over to the side of the road and see this monster. Obviously i was in my sexy sexy bus driver outfit, which includes a fleece vest and my black strechy pants I bought at Goodwill. Anyways, what a sight.

Lately they have been cutting down on our hours. This is my 5th day off. I am not that excited about having so many days off, but it is cool to be able to sleep in and read a lot. The problem with having 5 days off and no car is that I can't go anywhere cool. I have some friends and we are thinking about taking the days off next week (after I get back from the Highway trip, 6 days) and going on a huge adventure. We have a few mountain ranges we want to check out. Either the Brooks range which is up in the north or the Wrangle-St. Elias range which is just southeast of where we are. Either way, I have sort of stopped agonizing over the lack of money (not that plentiful due to the Economy and less tourists than was initially projected for) and have just decided to go with it, hopefully having more adventures.

My friend is now planning his adventures for after the season. I am a bit envious for his freedom. I would love to travel and see the world from a terra tryke or spend time again in Central America maybe Antigua Guatemala or somewhere in Beliz. However, I have to put that adventure seeking side away or at least funnel into my new adventure side...that of law student.

I can't wait to start school again. I am flying home on the 12th of Aug. and will spend a few days with my family especially with baby Olivia. Also Willy my 21 year old brother will be home from BYU so we can all be together as a family. I am already making lists of restaurants I want to eat at, how many times I will go to last chance and the friends I will definitely want to see. I hope that I can also find a kayak/bike rack for the Element. Yes I am loving my time in AK but I can't wait for life in Moscow. And that will be a new adventure for sure.