My area

I just love how Hill Rock describes its crimes in the weekly crime report area of the local (really local) rag.

Recent submissions:

Officers on patrol Dec. 9 observed two local pharmaceutical peddlers hawking their wares in the frigid weather on the Hill Rock  side of <removed> Avenue. This being a big no-no, the dedicated officer left his vehicle and gave chase to the scoundrels. The bad guys had a head start, however, and left the officer in their dust as they disappeared in between houses to the east.

This being a big no-no?  gave chase to the scoundrels? left the officer in their dust? Granted I’m easily amused but that is just not what you’d normally expect from the police blotter. So much personality!

Here’s another one:

…officers on patrol caught several capricious youths standing around in the middle of the 600 block of <same street as above!>. It seemed that the kids were up to no good, so the officers advised them to move on before they could pull any shenanigans.

Shenanigans?! I guess it must have been Officer Seamus O’Brien on duty that night.


What I’ve learned in the last couple months of under-employment:

1. I forgot how much I love staying up late at night reading 500 page thrillers/mysteries/what have yous.

2. Here’s how my trash company does its pickup: The people (2 guys) take turns driving. One person drives, the other rides. They stop every few houses, look in each can and if possible just remove bags from the can.

If there’s a lot of loose / messy stuff: they give house dirty look and wheel plastic “trash can” to truck and dump it manually.

If too heavy they use the lift to dump it  (in which case they appear to curse the house because this decreases productivity).

3. A lot of people in my ‘hood come home for lunch. Some because they have dogs but others, I guess, live close enough and just eat at home. That’s what I’d do when gas was cheap and I worked close enough.

4. I get so cold sitting most of the day, even though I’m wearing thick socks, long underwear, putting space heater next to me (safe, oil-filled so don’t have to worry unless there’s an electrical problem in which case I’m screwed), I still am cold.

Once I take the dog for a walk, which is never always appealing, but never more so than when it’s effing freezing out there. Once I get up and move around for awhile though, I’m warm for the rest of the night. Just thought you’d like to know.

5. I don’t have a solid routine yet, but I have taken advantage of my sitcheattion to revert to my old (preferred) habit of going to sleep by midnight and waking at 8 or so. Would love to sleep wayyyy later but I’m afraid to get into that habit.   <–That’s an old note. Have gotten to sleep no earlier than midnight (at least) for weeks now. And getting 9-10 hours of sleep/night (most nights). It might is going to be difficult to re-acclimate to job-time.

6. I need more human contact that I realized.  I always knew working from home 1 day/week was beneficial from a productivity perspective, but every day? Couldn’t do it. This is the longest I’ve not worked since I started working – gulp – 30 years ago.

I miss Roberto’s infectious laugh (and his candy jar), catching up on the scoop with Rhett, having Pat walk by and say “Nerdmen” (a variation of my last name that I’ve heard all my life but since he called everyone by their last name this was not an insult), and having Rob to complain to or bounce something off of  (or him doing the same to me).

7. My neighbors had their kids/spouses/grandkids/animals in town for about 2 weeks. TWO of the daughter’s family dogs (they brought 3 and left some at home) escaped twice that I saw.

I even saw one in the act of escaping. Did best to reassure neighbors that I really DO NOT sit and look at their house all day to see what’s going on. I think they believe me.

8. Think the people up the street are having baby because today one of ’em drove home a Mom Mobile-type of car, pulled into garage for about a minute.

Couple hours later, guy followed the woman home in his car, and she put the (already-tested) Mom Mobile in the garage. The pregnancy thing is just a theory so far, but if past performance is a predictor of future behavior…

Since they don’t talk to their neighbors will find out if / when she pops.

9. What the hell has happened to all my mechanical pencils? I have had some of the same ones for years and now they’re gone…? Having no other idea I’ll have to blame this one on the cats.

10. This house is so damn small in the winter. I only allow myself in each room for part of the day. So once job hunting is over for day I don’t use that room for rest of day. Same with other 3 rooms. It averages to 6 hours per room per day (with less in kitchen and more in bath and bedroom).

11. If I ever mention having watched daytime tv during the day, call me right away and invite me over because this is an indicator something is terribly wrong…

12. I started taking part of one day a week to do something fun that I couldn’t do if I were working. Went to the zoo one day and saw the baby tigers and a leopard with a hair ball. Spent another watching taped shows at inappropriate times of the day, another with my cousin and her suweeet baby.

I’ve also stripped and painted some windows, painted chest of drawers, vacuumed excessively, and gotten rid of some clutter, but that’s just catch up stuff I really needed to do.

Next dreaded – task – that – will – seem – appealing – compared – with – job – hunting: recaulking bathroom tub. Have been evading that one for 15+ years.

13. To get to their houses, the 3 newest couples in the ‘hood keep driving wrong way down our one way street . Not saying I’ve never done it mind you, but only when I’m in a big hurry and I don’t think I’ll get caught.

Almost every new person does it a lot the first few months they live here and then they stop. Not sure why they stop. Are they getting threatened “talked to”? Or do they simply feel the neighborhood’s eyes burning into their souls? Or could it be the rocks being tossed through their windows? Not sure…

14. I’m SO glad this is happening in the winter and not summer or spring. Every semi-nice day has been a test of my ability to concentrate. If it were spring I’d be outside doing anything other than job-hunting.

A couple of weeks ago I even dragged my office-type chair out to the front porch to sit in the sunshine and warmth and pretend I was here:


and not here.

15. My next door neighbor is retired and that woman is the busiest person I know. Let that be a lesson…

You’re welcome.


**Gladys is a reference to Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor in the old tv show, Bewitched. who knew everything that was going on in the neighborhood. Formerly a synonym for “nosy neighbor,” but now highly regarded as a one person “neighborhood watch group.”

…Without the aid of pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs or alcohol I went to bed at 9:30 Fri. night and slept until 11:30 Saturday morning, with just a little time “in the conscious world” to feed, medicate, and let my dog and neighbor dog out. I was tie-tie.

…My fiber intake has decreased over last couple of weeks. Since I’ve previously discussed my increases (example here) I thought you should know the current state of affairs. Don’t worry, it hasn’t caused any – uh – problems yet and I promise I’m not going to provide daily poop updates.

…I’m breaking a big rule that you don’t talk about looking for a job, but “marie/y hungry” is not a pretty picture, and I’m getting a little frantic. You may know that I work (thru a contracting co.) at the Everywhere Company, which recently “combined with” the Many Other Places Company to become the Holy Crap It’s a Huge Mega Company.

Long story short, they’re in cost-cutting mode, and my job is one of the costs they’re cutting (performance, results, team builder, “plays well with others,” customer satisfaction all aside). I saw the writing on the wall this summer (here) and have been looking since July. Have gotten some great interviews and 2nd interviews but no offer yet.

I have a new so-far-so-good pimp staffing firm now (another drama I’ll skip), and want to stay with them as long as I’m in <The City I Don’t Hate But Don’t Love>. I’m loyal to a fault (and I mean literally to a fault, as this loyalty has bitten me several times) but I have 5 weeks before I go on unemployment for the 1st time in my 30 year working life.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, burn any bridges, hack anyone off or be rude, butcha know I gotta eat. I really want my new staffing co. to come through for me, but I’d be stupid to put my whole stomach in one party’s hands. (Can you tell I’m talking myself into this as much as explaining it to you?) Again: “marie/y hungry” is not pretty. Plus it’s such a great time of year to be looking for a job…

So: if you point me in the direction that leads me to a new job in the same field and it pays close to or more than what I earn now, besides knowing you’ll get big time karma points, the prize I can offer for this contest (Omar: this IS a contest. Let me know and I’ll send you my LinkedIn URL) is that whoever helps me get some more interviews will be eliminated from the “I will house Marie/y and her 3 animals if necessary” list.

Need I say that that is worth more than any superficial prize? Yes? Well okay if you live nearby or I’m coming to visit you I’ll take you to dinner at a nice restaurant too, okay?

…product I wish I’d thought of: the Stayball. It’s a ball (obvously) that you can (among other things) use as a chair. Get it? It STAYBALLizes you. It’s a bonus that the sand in it prevents it from rolling around when you’re not sitting on it. No more tripping over the “it’s coming after me” ball after I step away from it.


…”living the dream”: Here are photos from May (selecting just “the right” already-gnawed on bone)


and the other day when I decided to finally throw them out but then decided they’d make a good picture:


In the intervening time I’ve thrown away countless (really – countless) other bones and given a big bag of the long ones to my sister to stuff (for her dog) but I’ve also switched to the small bones (trying to save $$) and my dog has now lost 3 lbs!

People might think I’m weird but I prefer to think of myself as “different,” someone who “thinks outside the box” and isn’t constrained (too much) by societal norms. Okay, re-reading this I’ll just admit what the neighbors and my friends/fam already know: I am weird albeit in a fun, lovable way.

…Compliment of the week: My physical therapist said I have excellent body mechanics. That means I bend well and properly (although obviously not well enough or I wouldn’t be seeing her).

…Today’s Words of Wisdom: Don’t buy a bag of baked BBQ Baked Lays without just admitting right off that you will eat the whole thing in one sitting. You’re just kidding yourself otherwise.

Police were called because a woman reported that her daughter “was leaving her mangy mutt of a dog at her house.”

So they go there and the daughter said she didn’t want to take the dog with her because the “seat belt on the passenger side was not working, so legally she could not transport the dog.

The officers advised her that it would be ok to have the dog sit in the back seat without a seat belt.

They further advised (her) that in case she was stopped for not having the dog buckled up, they would clear it with the officers who stopped her.”

— part of a continuing series of news snippets to keep you informed what life is really like out there*

Police were called to name of store because a teenage boy kept opening different boxes. He told the cops he was opening them to see what was inside.

“The young man appeared surprised when officers informed him that the item’s picture was displayed on the outside of the box.

Another rocket scientist in the making, police said.”


*Click on the “The crime beat” category for more.

Recently in Hill Rock, police were called to a restaurant because a man was “painting unsolicited pictures of women.”

When they told him to leave he said “I can paint anyone, anywhere I want to.”

Per the newspaper, “The artist was escorted to a quiet cell to reflect on his next painting.”

Ok well, I thought it was funny.

Our local weekly newspaper (although how it can be called a newspaper but only come out once a week defies logic) does a weekly roundup of “crimes” and police calls for several local ‘burbs.

There’s one ‘burb in particular — I’ll call it Hill Rock to maintain its anonymity — whose beat reporter and/or whose cops are hiLARious.

I’ve talked about it before (see Crime in the ‘hood!) but have been collecting it weekly since then. Since I have accumulated so many I’ll just post one or 2 when I am too lazy to come up with something myself my creativity is at a lull.

So, in no particular order…

1. Police were called about someone “‘hopping around like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest,’ police said. Officers found a local man just having fun, and told him to leave the area. The man was last seen skipping down the school’s driveway.”

2. Police were called about someone going door to door “to practice a speech…Officers arrived quickly to speak to the great orator. The man…was advised that if he was soliciting he would need a city permit. The man said he would never solicit…”

3. Yet…they were called back shortly about the same guy, who was now a block away. “The officer questioned the resident and learned the subject was trying to sell magazines. He was arrested…and treated to the accommodations of the ‘gray bar hotel.'”

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