Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Street is a Crime Scene

My street is a crime scene this morning.

I heard a >pop!<>Then I went to bed. About 1:20 this morning I woke to a pounding on my front door - a SWAT team member stood there, complete with helmet, rifle... and told me to get dressed, I had to evacuate.

Several of my neighbors and I were herded across the street, through Daisy's backyard, around to the front of her house. We stood there for what felt like several hours (probably 10 minutes) until we were led down the main road to a waiting transit bus. For the next 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours we sat on the bus, warm and safe, and sharing what bits of information we knew, making up things to fill in the gaps.

So... my street is a crime scene. When, at last, we were allowed home, we had to walk single file and follow an officer through the evidence markers that dotted the width of the street. The man who was shot died on the way to the hospital. The woman who shot him was barricaded in her home; there was some concern about a possible hostage.

They've told us we will not be allowed to drive out of our cul-de-sac. If we want to leave, it must be on foot. I just called our secretary to have her put me in for a personal day - I can't get to work without my car. The officer I asked told me it could be noon before they are done processing the scene.

We lived in that house for five or six years, until I bought this home. This is a quiet, peaceful, street, populated mostly by retirees (mostly military), people who have lived here 30 years or more. There is only one way in, and the same way takes us back out. This feels so unreal. I even saw my short, round self on the news... but I think I'll go to bed and finish processing all of this later.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

So what's your point?

I have been catching up on my favorite blogs. My DS, his DW, and my DD, all publish blogs, and I enjoy them. Especially DS' -- it's usually the best source of information on his family. He calls at least once a week (he is a good son), but he doesn't always tell me much. I think he likes to practice his arguments on me. DS could argue a fly into suicide; he simply loves to argue. He doesnt care which side he argues, either. An argument for the sake of arguing, that's my boy. In fact, I can remember one day about 28 years ago when I stopped what I was doing and asked myself, "Why am I standing here arguing with a 3-year-old? I'm the Parent." Me? I don't argue. That is, if I am completely, absolutely certain of my position and think I can defend it, I might argue, but if I can't persuade you to my point, I quit. Frankly, I usually know when I'm right, and if others can't see that, well, I guess they aren't as smart as I am. (tongue firmly in cheek) Ok, now what I want to know is: how do I make paragraphs in my post? I think I'll ask DDIL. I think her posts have paragraphs. I love writing, you know. I write poetry and some occasional short stories, and have begun a number of novels. And the former English teacher in me also loves the mechanical conventions of writing. An acquaintance of mine who writes uses no punctuation. I told her I wouldn't read her work again until she punctuated it (really, it's impossible to follow). Her answer to that was, "When I get published I'll have an editor who will do that for me." No point in arguing with her. She'll never get published because no one can read her work.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Granddogs...Grandkids...

Grandkids, granddogs...What's the difference? Around here, not much. I have the granddogs this weekend while their family is out of town. It is just plain weird with these two. They don't know they are dogs, first of all. and they like to sleep with me (I don't mind too much, they are warm and snuggly). Francesca Elizabeth, the mini-dachsund, likes to get between the top sheet and the comforter and curl up by my feet. Heaven forbid I should move my feet! She growls and sighs with exasperation. Gracie, 80 pounds of dog with a lot of air between her ears, doesn't move at all -- unless I roll over. Then she has to get up, walk around on the bed, step on me, get down, bark at something, back on the bed, circling, until she finally can lie down again. It is exhausting trying to sleep with these two. I miss my little guy. He is with a different gramma this weekend, charming the socks off everyone there. He turned two on Thursday, a remarkable accomplishment when we remember his first day of life. Mama's uterus had ruptured, he was a month early, she was losing copious amounts of blood, he was on oxygen, and my principal didn't want to let me leave to go to the hospital. It was pretty exciting... and now he is 34 inches tall, 35 pounds, and talks like crazy. I have to be honest with the world here, and admit that I do have the top 4 grandchildren ever born. If only I could have them all here...

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Maybe we ought to pay attention to him...

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) was asked what he thought about the President. "Well," he said, "I really think he shatters the myth of white supremacy once and for all." Well, that says a lot, doesn't it? King Bush, Supreme Commander of the US of A. I think he is a lot smarter than he looks, and I think he likes to play dumb so people will discredit him... but he continues to do whatever he wants to do, and we need to be watchful. At least he can't get reelected.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Phantoms and Cable and a Quiet House, oh my!

It's been nearly a month since I tried to blog. The best I could do was a headline. I wrote Blogger several times, and always the same automated response: go look at the FAQ. Today, on a whim, I tried, and look at me! Whee! Ok, I tried to make a new paragraph, and the curser/cursor disappears. Which way is that spelled? So I had no cable all day yesterday, and the house was strangely silent. I hadn't realized how much I depend on the tv to dispell the silence. The tv gives the illusion of people present. Being alone is not a bad thing, and can be pleasant. What I don't like are those moments when I suddenly feel lonely. Well, what are you gonna do? Me? I got creative. Finished knitting a scarf, mended a quilt, began a new knit scarf, worked on xstitch, and watched the movie, Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber's version). It must be 13 years since I saw the stage version, and the movie came out in 2004. I bought it, but never watched it until last night. I'm still blown away. In fact, I watched it, spellbound, then played it again. It is a silly story. The Phantom runs around in a billowing cape that impossibly never gets in his way; he runs away from gypsies as a child, yet somehow manages to become a gifted singer as well as architect and engineer... Christine is hopelessly innocent (I believe the actress was just turning 18 during production) ... we are teased and tormented through maudlin drama and it isn't until the very end that we learn what really happened in the catacombs ... But it captivated me. I can't imagine what it must have been like to see it on the big screen, and I'm probably better off seeing it in my own living room. The music is so haunting. And lucky me, I work with a woman who spent some time as Webber's assistant: I'll be chatting her up tomorrow.