Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Answer #163 - Who needs a blog when you've got the Sheriff's Log?

This is the true-to-life Sheriff's Log from the Brown County Democrat, Nashville, Indiana. Thanks, Michael Redman, for the heads-up!

 July 19, 10:40 a.m.:  911 caller on Sweetwater Trail requests an officer in reference to flashbacks.
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July 19, 10:19 a.m.:  911 caller on Wells Drive advises her neighbor is in her car in the back seat wanting a ride for vodka and cigs.

July 17, 6:43 p.m.:  Caller on Center Lake Drive advises she has a dead deer in her driveway. She is requesting an officer to help her with it. 6:59 p.m. Officer advises the deer is handled.

July 15, 8:09 p.m.:  Caller on Center Lake Road reports two foxes running wild and being aggressive.

July 14, 4:08 p.m.:  Caller reports a teal Pontiac speeding westbound on State Road 46 East. Vehicle is passing on double yellow with oncoming traffic. 4:25 p.m. Officer advises it is a military man trying to get to Bedford regarding one of his men involved in a traffic fatality. Officer advised him to slow down and make it there safe.

July 13, 7:08 p.m.:  Caller on Three Notch Road advises an officer broke his front door last night and he wants it fixed right now. Caller wanted dispatch to send the maintenance man there to fix it. Dispatch advised caller to talk to the sheriff in the morning.

July 13, 3:11 p.m.:  911 caller on Center Lake Road advises her 18-year-old son is turning green and passing out.

July 13, 10:27 a.m.:  Officer advises he is stopping a vehicle on Helmsburg Road. 10:32 a.m. Officer advises he is out of his vehicle regarding a field sobriety test. 10:36 a.m. Officer requests Poison Control called for a hot pink pill with no name. Poison Control advises it's a 25 mg Benadryl.
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July 13, 6:31 a.m.:  911 caller on Albert Johnson Road advises when she woke up someone was looking in her window. She went outside and screamed to get off her property and then shot a gun into the air.

July 12, 8:17 a.m.:  911 caller on Three Notch Road advises that his mother hit him in the face with a stick, then said to others that she didn't hit him, but she did hit him and kicked him out. 

July 11, 2:08 p.m.:  Caller advises that a blue ninja-style motorcycle driver has a blue headband and is speeding westbound from town on State Road 46 West.

July 11, 12:06 a.m.:  911 caller advises there is a four-door Chevy Blazer rolling down the big hill on Nineveh Road just outside Cordry.

July 10, 12:40 p.m. :  Officer is out of his vehicle on Owl Drive regarding a noise complaint. 12:53 p.m. Officer advises they refuse to turn it down unless the neighbor does. 1:15 p.m. 911 caller on Owl Drive is complaining about noise from across the cove.

July 9, 4:46 p.m.:  911 caller reports the driver of a dark gray Toyota 4x4 extended cab threw out a can that hit a bicyclist in the head on Clay Lick Road past the camp where they keep the horses. A passenger of the Toyota also threw out a beer can that missed the bicyclist.

July 9, 11:09 a.m.:  Caller on Sunset Drive, her son's residence, requests to speak to an officer regarding a snake in the house.
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July 8, 7:45 p.m.:  Caller wants an officer to call his 17-year-old daughter and tell her to come home. Officer advises we can't do that.

July 7, 10:17 p.m.:  911 call is a misdial. Owner was trying out a new cell phone. It works.

July 6, 5:33 p.m.:  Caller reports an animal with a broken leg under the bridge on Old State Road 46 at Clay Lick Road. He doesn't want it to be shot, though. Dispatch gave him phone number for South Region. 7:19 p.m. Same caller reports an injured animal that needs shot on Old State Road 46 by Clay Lick.

July 6, 4:52 p.m.:  Caller on Lick Creek Road reports a blue van selling vacuums, two scruffy looking guys. They didn't seem like salesmen.

July 6, 2:14 p.m. :  Caller on Bean Blossom Road reports two cars stolen. They had to be towed because they don't run. 2:33 p.m. Caller advises to disregard; the cars are still there and the neighbor was mistaken.

July 5, 9:01 p.m.:  Caller on Ritter Road reports a dark green minivan with a man and a woman trying to give away free Windex. Caller is afraid they are scoping houses out.

July 4, 5:25 p.m.:  Officer advises subjects put a smoke bomb into the tree to get rid of ants and now the tree has caught on fire.
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July 4, 9:10 a.m.:  911 caller reports as he was driving his vehicle eastbound on State Road 46 West, approximately a half-mile from town, a dirt ball hit him in the head via his open driver's side window. No injury, no damage to vehicle; caller just wants it logged.

July 4, 12:44 a.m.:  Officer is out with one male subject at the courthouse. 12:46 a.m. Officer advises the subject is sitting on the courthouse lawn guarding his car.

July 3, 9:34 a.m.:  911 caller is a 72-year-old male who advises he is confused and needs help. Sweetwater Drive. 9:56 a.m. Officer advised that he fixed the subject on Sweetwater drive a bowl of cereal and the subject is fine now.

July 2, 11:17 a.m.:  Truck 14 is arriving at the state park regarding a 36-year-old male fallen off tricycle.
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July 2, 6:31 a.m.:  911 caller on Lanam Ridge wants a female removed from his front porch. He is afraid to tell her to go away. Never mind; he thinks she is leaving.

June 30, 5:36 a.m.:  911 caller reports part of a desk sitting on the center line of State Road 46 West just west of Belmont.

June 30, 2:22 a.m.:  911 caller on Buffalo Drive decided he didn't need 911 and would not say what was going on and hung up on dispatcher. No answer upon call back. 2:26 am. Officer is on his way to Buffalo Drive. 2:29 a.m. Dispatch finally reached 911 caller and he advised one of his children called 911 because they do that sometimes. Officer is still on his way. 2:32 a.m. Officer is arriving at the scene; occupants won't answer the door. 2:48 a.m. Officer advises it appears that three friends had a disagreement and one was sporting a fresh black eye. They all assured the officer that everything was fine.

June 29, 3:15 p.m.:  Caller on Upper Salt Creek Road advises she needs a theft report for an 8x10 barn stolen from Beechtree Road two and a half weeks ago.

June 26, 4:38 p.m.:  911 caller on Eagle Drive reports four boats; one has a female involved in sexual activity. 4:54 p.m. Officer will be across cove to observe.

June 26, 10:36 a.m.:  911 caller reports a goose loose in the middle of State Road 46 East one block east of winery.

June 24, 12:30 p.m.:  911 caller on West Main Street advises there are purses on the rooftop of the church behind his residence.

June 23, 1:16 a.m.:  Officer will be out of car at shelter house behind fire station; advises they were just getting Cokes.

June 22, 11:49 a.m.:  Caller on Old State Road 46 reports her daughter invites kids over that she doesn't want in her house. Dispatch advised her they are not breaking the law and we can't make them leave.
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June 19, 5:27 p.m.:  911 caller advises an elderly gentleman is caught in the flood water. Subject is in an S10 truck with water up to the windows, refusing to leave his vehicle. Subject is dry, but has been there approximately one hour. 

June 18, 9:11 a.m.:  911 caller reports she stopped at a yard sale and a car hit hers and then left. It's a small black car with an elderly lady with a hat on heading down Salt Creek Road.

June 16, 3:43 p.m.:  Caller reports a golf cart vs. electric car at music festival.

June 15, 7:01 p.m.:  911 caller on Oak Ridge Road advises a woman is stoned in her yard and she wants her removed. 7:25 p.m. 911 caller on Oak Ridge Road advises the woman is on her front porch. Caller advises to disregard her call. A funnel cloud went over the house and they put the woman in the basement.

June 14, 8:20 p.m.:  911 caller advises he will be in the bathtub if a tornado strikes.
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June 13, 4:37 p.m.:  911 caller reports a car on blocks partially in the road, 1800 block of Hornettown Road.

June 13, 12:45 a.m.:  Abandoned 911 call. On call back, female subject advises her uncle is lost. Lost signal again. On call back, she found her uncle; he was hiding.

June 12, 8:20 p.m.:  Woman on West Lost Branch Road calls regarding gun shots on neighboring land (possible terrorist). Dispatch advised caller that unless they are on her property or shooting at her that it is not illegal.

June 11, 7:55 a.m.:  Caller from hospital requests welfare check on a nurse that did not show up for work today. 8:10 a.m. Officer advises the woman overslept.

June 10, 9:43 p.m.:  911 caller on North Drive Greenbrier Lake advises that the residence down the street on West Shore Drive is being gassed and gas is escaping from the tent and she is concerned and wants someone to check it out.

June 10, 5:33 p.m.:  Female caller reports someone has dumped an entire truck load of trash on Carmel Ridge Road near the iron gates; requests an officer to check it out.

June 9, 8:18 p.m.:  Church advises of a child with a fishing hook in his knee.

June 9, 1 p.m.:  911 caller on Oak Ridge Road advises she needs someone to call her ex and retrieve her cell phone for her. 1:19 p.m. Dispatch made eight attempts to call back the woman on Oak Ridge Road with no answer.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Answer #162 - Here, Kitty Kitty!

Having been gone for a week's touring, the answering machine is flashing the number 22 at me.
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22 messages.

I'm averse to listening.  A couple of steps will be required, should I choose to walk that path. Among them, writing down what I hear. The hard part comes, however, in the acting upon what I hear.  Someone will invariably want me to do something.

I don't want to do something.  I want to do nothing.  It's just not in my genetic make-up to do nothing.  Hence, if I avoid listening, I avoid the compulsion to act on the information.

Also, my cat, Jezebel, seems to be missing. Go to fullsize image  The cross-eyed, toothless cat that I drug with me from Florida to Indiana, and for whom everyday is a puzzling and fuzzy adventure.  I'd worry more about this had she not gone missing before.  Generally I find her in the basement in a pile of wrapping paper or air filters.  I'm hoping this will be that kind of day.  The kind with a happy ending.  Otherwise, I'll need to panic, and then start running the long movie-ola of her cat life, and look at old pictures with a bottle of cheap red wine and a box of tissues.

Pathetic? Yes.  

Probable? Possibly.  When all else fails, I tend to revert to drama.  Also somewhat compulsively.

Two poets have written me in 24 hours.  I think this is a strong indication that it might be a good time to think about writing.  I heard a couple of great writers over the weekend in Canada.  Sparks were flying between my ears briefly - and then, like fireflies, they were gone.  Might have been the cramped constraints of the backseat, traveling between Ontario and Indiana.  Might have been the lack of sleep after a week-long run.  Might have been the triple-shot latte I had in Detroit.

Regardless, there it is. 22.  Flashing.
A pile of thank you cards to write, 3 new books to read
(Dave Eggars The Wild Things is calling...), Go to fullsize image
the gentle but slightly abrasive susurration of cicadas riding neuron sparks in the vacuous gray that holds the walnut shape of my brain.. and a missing cat.

Ah, well then.  Here, Kitty Kitty!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Answer #161 - In stiletto heels, we wait

The special occasions…

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Those days that we’re expected to do something wonderful, magical, amazing…

New Year’s Eve is one of them.

Every year, I expect to do something wonderful, magical, amazing.. I expect to hear the ringing of a bell and the sure knowledge that an angel has gotten its wings as the ball drops and the stars rise.

Birthdays, anniversaries.. hell, all the holidays.

Expectations of magic and wonder.

And yet, when we don’t expect it, that’s when magic and wonder happen.  When we’re not looking. When we’re blind-sided by the bright spotlight of Chance and Circumstance meeting on a dance floor somewhere.

She wears stiletto heels, Chance that is. Because she’s flirty and unpredictable. She runs hot and cold, but when she shows up, Josie and Betty Lou both avert their eyes.
They can’t touch her.

Circumstance, well, he’s steady… has a great day job – wears comfortable shoes, even if they’re more than likely Italian – and oh, when Chance walks in, they lock eyes and… well, suffice it to say that they’re responsible for the miraculous and immediate birth of the twin sprites – Magic and Wonder.

And there they are, unexpected. After that, they’re free spirits – can’t be cajoled into making an appearance by any living human, no matter the occasion. No, Magic and Wonder walk the world, looking for the space between night and day - only their parents can command an appearance.

And no amount of wishing will make it so.

No.. we wait in anxious hope, don’t we?

While the stars twinkle, and the red circle on the calendar recedes into the pink of twilight…

We wait. Maybe this year..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Answer #160 - This Earth, this Realm, this Michigan

Greetings from Michigan

Shakespeare never graced the shores of this lake.

Well, assuming Shakespeare was Shakespeare, and not an Indian Maiden tour guide for wayward explorers who penned soliloquies between river bends… there’s been so much speculation as to his/her true identity…

But probably not, no, Shakespeare was most likely never here.

Still.. it’s a glorious countryside here in the MidWest – which lends itself to art, unhampered by pretention or frippery. And somehow, maybe this wide open and fertile landscape has bred into its inhabitants and immigrants an openess that is unprecedented in other U.S. regions, and for varying reasons. Still, it’s unboundaried by age or economics. A kind of pervasive humility levels all playing fields, and for that reason, you rarely know who you might be talking to.

Pretention gets doors quietly and politely shut in your face. But forever. More or less.

We’re walking down the thin strip of beach on the western shore of Lake Michigan, just outside of Douglas. It’s beautiful and about 77 degrees, though the humidity is tougher than the wind can tickle.

We’re passing a group of teenagers and a mom - adorning beach chairs and sunglasses, surrounded by chattering sea gulls.

Where are we that there are there seagulls on a lake? I ask Adventure Boy.

Gulls aren’t that smart. Sea. Lake. Both one syllable. They can't spell so they don't know the difference.


I’m smiling at the kids surrounded by gulls.

A bright-eyed, long-haired 17(?)-year old smiles big:

We’re feeding ‘em spicy chex mix! – and then he laughs.

The mom chimes in, And they love it!

And we don’t know them and they don’t know us.. and my first inclination is to worry about spice in the tummy of a gull, until I remember what incredible pestilence connoisseurs gulls are and I stop worrying.

And my second inclination is to laugh with them. 

We don’t know them and they don’t know us. But we’re in the MidWest, all of us, right here, right now, together, in the company of acrobatic birds, the sun and waves. What more do you need to know? 

And the gulls snap up beak fulls of chex mix and sand and I walk with Adventure Boy another mile or so until it’s time to get on the road again.  When we pass the group, the chex mix and gulls are gone.

They cleaned us out!  Kid says.  Now they're fishing, as he points to the sky above the lake and the circling, diving gulls.

Next show – Ann Arbor.

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Michigan.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Answer #159 - A letter from the cliff

Dear Sir,
In response to your admonition - I'm wearing nothing close to rose-colored glasses. Quite the antithesis. Left, Right, no difference... it's become nothing more than a sensationalist summer camp (ala Lord of the Flies), replete with media censoring, big money spin-doctoring, and bile spitting back and forth.  We entertain ourselves, I think with this nice diversion while the new corporate Gods eat us whole.  Sadly, I've got no fight left in me for this, nor rose-colored glasses.  Maybe you'll get what you want, and the Right will get back in power, and then it'll all be... better?

But the fact is, a vote for Obama wasn't in all cases at all a vote against the man 'you folks' put in power.  A generation of children is looking at an impending implosion - and not much to hold onto.  While you argue the Constitution (and stubborn, hostile bombast doesn't mean you've won.. sometimes just means people get tired of beating their heads against a brick wall), they can see clearly that we're an organism on the brink.  Global warming or not.

He looked like hope - an intelligent leader, a constitutional scholar, a change. A chance. Maybe it's easier to see us as whiny elitists, maybe it's easier to see us children with our fingers in our ears singing, 'la la la la la la if I click my heels three times...'  Fact is, it's just not true of the majority.

There are crackpots on both sides. There are idiots on both sides. There are bloody battles being waged on-line and sensationalist bastards selling books on both sides.  Ignorance breeds evil.  It's pervasive on both sides - ignorance. Ignorance breeds civil war. Could be the death of us if we're not careful.. propagating like mold. You indignantly see us as hapless hippies hastening the end of freedom (the government should be the father-figure none of us got), we indignantly see you as the small-minded redneck proponents of the annihilation of civil rights (as long as it's wearing red, white and blue and has hands folded in prayer, it must be true)  And fact is, feeding the beast of righteous-indignation is nothing more than that. But 110 days from now, be careful what you wish for. If I thought for 5 seconds that, in the hands of the Right we'd suddenly be the dream land you'd like us to think Obama has single-handedly obliterated, I'd vote along with you.  And I'd buy all the bridges in Brooklyn...and swim in tea...or oil, as the case may be..

But I've come to believe, lately, that the only real hope there is lies somehow in the realm of love - and respect in all things. So I read between the angry lines - and think on what you write.  Because the truth, as always, lies somewhere in the Middle. And maybe we'll survive ourselves long enough to find a way out of the quagmire without rose-colored glasses.   I want America to be the dream it once dreamed it was - and not built on the blood and bones of smaller, less funded nations. I want something to believe in that's based in intelligent choice and decency - not just the cloak of it or the pretty, winking picture of it. But more than all of that, I want to survive this time, as we stand on either side of a cliff's edge, Lemmings deciding whether or not to jump into the sluttish and rutted sea.  
Will we jump?

Nothing good will come of the hostility and insult. Nothing. Only more of the same. The only real hope there is lies somewhere in the realm of love - and respect in all things.

Which is all I offer you this morning.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Answer #158 - Maybe I'll abandon the order of things

I had the great fortune of having dinner last night with one of the most celebrated living Korean poets, Moon Chung-hee.  A warm and lovely woman, I felt at home, instantly.

I knew of her work because of a friend, and the English translators have done such a beautiful job, I can only assume.  Though I lived in Korea a year, I (obviously) don't read Hangul - so I have the translated version of her poetry collection, Windflower and the poem A Goodbye to a Butterfly -

In the shadow
of my building

a butterfly 
whose yellow wings
embraced the skies
lies in decay, sinless.

How you have struggled
and suffered 
to preserve
your golden wings.

to the earth
is beautiful.

Do you know denying it
is dreadful? Do you know things
of vinyl and plastic
tumbling about the earth?

A warm body 
of the sun
destined to dissolve
is beauty.

the vanishing
of your lived body
bursts my heart.

- sparked a song that hasn't made it's way fully into form, but echoes the idea that the beauty of the natural world exceeds what humans can conjure, here between two voids in the short and fragile life and waking minutes we live.

And who knows what will come of it?  Still, it was a nice thing, when the spark flashed in my brain and the white noise gave way to a whisper.

This is no ballroom gown
Just some old thing I found
a silken threaded, ordinary ordinary brown

The yellow dust on your sleeve
fell from the legs of a bee
fell from a fast moving, ordinary thing

And all the ballroom glitter,
silver glitter falling through the air
will only line the shiny beds of mice, somewhere

There is no light that you'll describe to me 
that's better than the light I see. 
Don't bother.
A million swords have drawn, 
it's flashed upon the blades
- was there, and then was gone -
Don't sing it - move on.

A million manacles have bound the innocent
and in that same light did glint anyway, anyway

So there are lighted perils
and there are shiny perils
and pretty things are everywhere - 
and flashing on the sharp glass, there

I have reckoned all of this
will, by and by, into light pass
but with your hand upon my hip
In brown, I think I'll dance
Just now, I think I'll dance.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Answer #157 - When the dogs started howling outside the door

True life tales from the Occasional You're On Fire 4th of July Blow-Out

I'm Jerry's brother, he said, from just across the way.

He drove up in his lawn tractor onto the long gravel drive, pulling a two-wheeled trailer wagon behind him.
He was a diminutive version of David Crosby,with straggly long gray hair and a green, dime-store glass of what I assumed to be straight whiskey in his hand. He had a passenger - a woman of roughly the same age dressed in faded black t-shirt and shorts, sprawled in the wagon.

I don't know Jerry, I said, where does he live? In the background, the party guests chatted over the music and the boys in the yard threw firecrackers into the woods.

He lives just behind you - yonder.  We's just driving around to see what's going on in the neighborhood.

Cool, I said, though we don't live in a neighborhood and can only see one neighbor, who recently ruined my little Ponderosa by moving his modular onto a patch of ground directly across the road from me.  Said neighbor, incidentally, has a white dog named Kilo and nipple rings.  I've put two and two together.  Though, admittedly, he seems pretty nice and his yard his kept considerably neater than mine - even with the electric fence that keeps Kilo in and Trespassers out.

Well,  you're welcome to come in, I offered, as I smiled at his passenger, who was sporting a surgical mask.

I got allergies, she said, as she pulled the mask aside and then carefully replaced it, explaining the mask.

I smiled at her.  I think I smiled. It was the way she was sprawled - it was the sprawl of it. She had a pillow under her head and blinked up at me, prone in the trailer, but completely relaxed. In the lawn trailer.  She never sat up.  Not even when he turned the tractor around, heading back down the driveway, and sat on the seat, looking back at me.  She stayed sprawled, hands folded on her chest, blinking.   

At what point did she decide to lay down in the trailer and be driven to points unknown - to see what was happening somewhere else?

Come on, I said.  There's horseshoes, though I wasn't entirely sure if he'd pass out on the lawn or what the woman might say when and if she sat up.  He nodded and held a hand up - a half-wave, an acknowledgment. He felt out of place, I know, but he wasn't.  He really wasn't.  Others had arrived in cars, sure, but plenty of them could've had glasses of straight whiskey at the time.  Despite appearances, things are never what they seem.  And his story was one I wanted to hear.  But he drove off when I turned away, probably tooling down the road at 10 miles an hour, to find a different party with more interesting people.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Answer #156 - Joel Washington

Had lunch in town today with my brother at the Village Deli.  Their motto is EAT AND GET OUT. We more or less did.

Coming out of the restaurant, I ran into Joel Washington, a friend and one of the talented painters in Bloomington.  He just did a commissioned portrait of Quincy Jones and presented it to him at the IU School of Music.  He has a show running currently in Bangkok.  I have a painting of his in my house.

Then I walked around the square to the Wandering Turtle and bought some thank you cards and a      Hmong Heart for a friend.                     

This is Jaime -  it's her store.   At least one of Joel's pieces is always in the Turtle. Jaime has a new store manager who just graduated with a degree in Music Business.  It's probable that I will get to know her better because I could use an education in music business and she was nice.

I walked across the street to Scholar's Inn Bakehouse and bought two loaves of bread - one day old.  Day old is 1/2 price.

Then I went to Big Red Liquors and picked up a bottle of Primitivo.

Adventure Boy and I are having dinner tonight with our good friend, Steve, and I've been instructed to bring bread and wine, my two favorite things.  He only looks like this at Halloween, though, and is generally in the company of an upright bass.  He'll tour with us in Michigan and Canada this month.  Say hello if you see him. He's very friendly.

After dinner, we will see a show at the Indiana Theatre, now called the Buskirk-Chumley.  We'll see Amjad Ali Khan   Carrie Newcomer and  
                                                 Tangamente as part of a World Music festival called The Lotus Festival.
  Who'll design this year's Lotus Poster, you ask?

This year, Joel Washington.  Can't wait to see it. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Answer #155 - Deep Fried Oreos

The GPS lied and cost me an extra hour on the way to Holiday World this morning.

Still, it was worth it. 

Holiday World is located in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Think I'm kidding?  I'm not. This is one more reason that I can't leave Indiana.

I'm writing today from Halloween Land in Holiday World, where rides are named names like The Goblin and Hallow-Chair...  I'm heartened by many things: Happy families of all sorts and economic placements; smiling kids snapping mental pictures of highlights of kid life, for recall and embellishment later; but mostly, I'm heartened by my selflessness in agreeing to get in a car and drive this distance to sit on a bench and watch pasty Midwesterners (my tribe) walk by on the way to another cup of free soda.

All the water and soda at Holiday World is free.  I brought my own coffee, though.

"What's in that bag?", the nice white-haired lady asked me at the gate.

"Coffee, a laptop, some chips, some carrots."


"Er.. well, I'm mostly just here with other folks and I thought I'd sit somewhere and get some work done.  No rest for the wicked!"

(hesitantly) "Well... (eyeing the green picnic tote suspiciously) okay I guess."

"Honest,  I won't try to sell anybody my carrot sticks - how could I compete with the deep fried oreos? ha-ha.. heh.."

(nice lady's not laughing but still eyeing the bag, silently)

"Well.. guess I'll get in there then.  Bye!"  I say, cheerfully, and wishing there were something illegal or at least sellable in my bag.  There's not.

I sip my coffee and soy milk concoction in the shade.  The breeze is cool - the 77 degrees are perfect... and maybe, just maybe, I'll ride the Legend.