March 29th, 2006

Yo Flips Out

Everybody Must Get Stoned

Sure, I can laugh about it NOW. At the time, though, I honestly thought someone had taken a shot at me -- but then I couldn't understand WHY. If someone was pissed off about my "ImpeachBush.org" bumper sticker, then why was the point of impact my windshield?

Sorry, apparently I've gone all Tarentino on you. Let me back up.

Today was my monthly day off from work. Normally I like to make a long weekend of it, but things at work are crazy busy thanks to assorted vacations, sick people, and just the usual cycles these things go through.

I had some VERY tentative plans to see Audra, but she wasn't having a good day and wasn't up for driving over. I normally would have gone to Hayward, but decided that I should be a good self care bear and not over load the day. I had to remind myself I had been sick on Sunday. Roni came home from a day of laundry and shopping with Kim to find me still in bed at 3 PM, and feverish. Other than complete and utter exhaustion, which was odd considering I had just gotten 10 hours of sleep overnight, the fever was the only symptom.

The yummy chicken and dumplings that Roni had already planned on cooking helped. A lot.

Anyway, it seemed an extra day of mostly resting would be a good idea. I did have to leave around 2:30 to pick Kim up from work, but I otherwise could spend the day doing a few chores, watching "Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex" (because I felt like trying something new. Not bad, though I obviously have much catching up to do), and even having lunch, which I sometimes forget when I'm home alone all day.

I was on TIME, damn it. Punctual, even though I didn't need to be anal about being there exactly on time. I took the same route I always did: The Webster Tube out of Alameda through Oakland, left at 14th st. for most of the rest of the trip.

It was just before I hit Mandela Parkway (which, sad to say, should tell you what part of town I was in*) when I heard a load "BANG" and felt something hit the car. Like I was saying, I thought someone was shooting at me, but then I noticed the broken glass was sans actual bullet hole.

When describing this to my Mom later, the equation was clear -- no gun. Someone was throwing rocks. They weren't in a vehicle, and were probably sparsely armed. Which meant I was better armed than they were, between Large Marge and a claw hammer**. So I threw a U and drove back.

Sure enough I actually saw the little prickless wonders on the roof of this truly ancient warehouse, boarded and abandoned. The had their hoods up and they were wearing dust masks (the stocking cap of the new millennium!)... and they actually tried throwing MORE rocks at me as I approached. Except it was readily apparent that they weren't using steroids, and they didn't even come close. My theory (as they were both black, in a tough black neighborhood) is they didn't think a white boy would actually come back.

News flash: I grew up in a LOT tougher neighborhood than this relative paradise y'all think is a ghetto.

So I dialed 911... and got put on hold.

Remember, that used to be a joke in the '70's -- as in "like THAT would ever happen".

I wound up talking to Oakland PD, and they said they would send a car. I called Kim to let her know I would be late, and THEN my insurance company (TIP: always keep your car insurance company on speed dial). Over the next hour as I waited for the patrol car, I got everything in order with State Farm, they hooked me up with a mobile glass repair, set up an appointment with said windshield mavens (next Monday was the soonest they could do it), called Roni to let her know I was okay, and just generally blew off as much steam as possible (which included intermittently screaming imprecations at the undoubtedly long absconded miscreants).

What made the whole thing a lot easier to bear is that I needed to replace the windshield anyway. One of the "stars" from the near miss last May 23rd had cracked across the lower half of the glass -- the only reason I hadn't done it already was... well...

To be honest, I didn't KNOW why I hadn't taken care of it before now.

But it worked out. It would have sucked ass (and not in a good way) to have this happen through a newly installed shield.

Yeah, I'm counting my blessings. For one thing, the brick could have nailed me on the DRIVER side, which would have challenged even MY driving reflexes. Worse, Roni, Kim, or any number of other people could have been sitting in that seat.

If someone had been, I would have hunted these future Darwin Award winners down and done things with the claw side of the hammer involving various orifices in their bodies. I don't care what the color of your skin is, you do something to hurt people I care about, I will react badly. No, strike that -- fuck with me and my STUFF all you want, and I'll react badly. Hurt people I care about, and I go bugfuck psycho.

Ah well, As I commented to Kim I want to take a picture of the damage, because it would make a KILLER LJ icon (caption: "Aw, Shit.") -- how's THAT for making lemonade?

* Chris Rock has a great bit involving any neighborhood with a "Martin Luther King" drive, and the irony that a man of peace would have a road named after him that would be the location of so much violence. Sad to say it's not looking so good for Mandela's name on a street sign.

** You may wonder what I was doing with a claw hammer under the front seat of my car. Ironically, it was in the event I found myself in a flash flood like a certain local radio reporter, or made a wrong turn into the Alameda estuary and had to... you guessed it! Break the glass in case of emergency.
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YohanNun

V is For Very Good

So, I meant to post this Saturday, but allowed myself to succumb to the demons of illness.

Go see "V for Vendetta". It's really, REALLY good. The fact that it's done pretty well at the box office is a bad sign for the Shrub and company -- even a year ago it might have been in poor taste to remind us all the only difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is which side gets to tell the tale.

Without going into too much detail (no spoilers!) there is so much going on that I suspect I'll need to see it again to catch all the allusions and references. For example, the Boston Tea Party is actually mentioned early in the picture with no small sense of the ironic, as is a memorial to a school struck by a terrorist bio-weapon is a bronze sculpture of a group of children playing "ring around the rosie" (google it)... the list is endless.

Do NOT go to this movie expecting a non-stop action parade. This movie asks hard questions about the nature of violent protest, torture, and (ultimately) conspiracy theories. You should see this film before considering the possibilities put forth in this post by fae_struck. Bluntly, I wouldn't put it past the bandits allegedly running this country to pull a stunt similar to the one in the movie, with an eye on the booby prize.
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