October 31, 2007

October 26, 2007

The Skull still rolls

My buddy Hammer asked for a skull update.

The skull is holding up well even in this rain. The rain makes it glisten which makes it look even cooler. I often look around to see if anyone has noticed and oddly enough there aren’t many that have but here are a few of the reactions that I’ve caught:

  • While at a stoplight a car to my right looked over and noticed it and kept inching up to get a better look.


  • Ra's son, who’s almost 3, did just what I expected and walked up to the parked car and poked at it. Her older son, who’s 5, wanted to me to pick him up from school so his friends could see it.


  • When dropping Mini Red off at school some of the kids noticed. They were poking each other and pointing at my car. It was fun to watch their reactions.


  • Several people in my apartment building have mentioned it. They all say the same thing, “Do you have a… skull… on your car?”


  • At Family Dinner Night this week Mom said, “What is your fascination with skulls? I can’t believe you put one on your car!

    People put wreaths on their cars for Christmas… I decided to put a skull on my car for Halloween.”

    Oh! It’s for Halloween?”

    Evidently, she thought it was a permanent fixture.


  • The best so far is when I was driving into a high security facility. I noticed the guard was laughing as I pulled up so I said, “Hey, are you checkin out my decoration?”

    He laughed and said, “That’s cool!”

    I replied with a straight face and somewhat of a low voice, “It’s my ex husband.”


  • I fear I’m on a list somewhere now.

    October 25, 2007

    His Phoenix was Flaming

    An article in the LA Times states J.K Rowling “had always imagined one of the main characters in the "Harry Potter" series -- Albus Dumbledore -- to be gay.”

    WTF?!?!

    Does his sexual orientation really matter? It sounds to me like the LA Times was in need of something to fill space on their pages and latched onto something Rowling might have said in passing. They go into great detail pulling out all the clues in the series confirming that Rowling wrote Dumbledore with his homosexuality in mind.

    They interviewed the Head of the Harry Potter Alliance. I can’t believe such an organization exists. This head guy, Andrew Slack, point out seven clues that indicate Dumbledore’s sexual orientation. I find them a bit far fetched but I think my favorite is when they said, “Albus Dumbledore" is an anagram of "Male bods rule, bud!"

    Well that’s a bit of a reach wouldn’t you say?

    For the full article: Seven clues that 'Potter's' Dumbledore was gay

    October 24, 2007

    Blaze of Devastation: A chance to help

    I’m back! Everything is crazy busy lately and I have pictures from the Taste of Georgetown and this past weekend in Chicago. I will get to it eventually but Mini Red, work and school have to come first.

    While in Chicago I kept my ear to the ground about these fires in San Diego. My company has an office there and one person has been on my mind… Danean. I remember one year when the fires were blazing and she said she could see them from her back door. So naturally I was concerned she might be in the way of these fires.

    Unfortunately, she was in the way but her family is safe. She sent a message yesterday:

    “The kids, my mom and I are staying with friends in a kid friendly place and Lance and the dogs are staying in a dog friendly place. We will reunite when we moved into our "temporary" housing for the next year while we rebuild.

    The insurance company is being really responsive so far and so many of our friends in town have given us housing options. Having so much local support really makes everything seem manageable. I just make my list each night and check off the items during the day as I finish them.

    Thanks for all the support and the kind words.”

    Brace yourselves the photos are devastating.
    Before:
    After:
    When she evacuated, she had to leave her house with almost nothing. Because they have to stay off the roads, she is not really able to shop. Below is a list of items that she needs.

  • Clothes for her son, size 4T
  • Clothes for her daughter, size 2T or 3T
  • Toys (they especially like plastic animals)
  • DVD's

  • If you would like to help out please email me so we can coordinate something.

    October 12, 2007

    The head has been mounted!

    No I'm not talking about porn! The skull has been mounted on the car. I love it since it's kinda subtle.

    I first took photos in the garage but it may have been too dark.

    I forgot my camera this morning so I used my cell to take photos in the daylight when I was dropping Mini Red off at her bus stop this morning. You can even see her in the car.

    As you can tell I took a schlew of pictures to, hopefully, get the idea.

    If you see me in your travels around the Metro area drop me an email and let me know. No one seemed to notice the skull on my travels home yesterday or in to work today.

    October 11, 2007

    I gots to go

    I can't live in this building for much longer. The new manager is bullheaded and sits in her office like an Ice Queen, perched slothlike like on her throne, and helps no one. I swear she is there to keep us tenants miserable and everytime we go to her she throws up her hands as if they are a wall and tells us she can't help. I have been a good tenant and have gotten nothing but crap for it.

    Everytime a new person moves into an apartment on my floor comcast unplugs my cable. When I called them they tell me they can't come out til Saturday but I just found out the office in my building is no longer open on Saturday. WTF! Now I have to wait til Monday for them to plug the fucker in.

    Plus the evil building manager won't let me have access to the room to plug it back in myself. I don't normally raise my voice with people but this woman brings it out in me. Living there is becoming torture.

    My only option for the TV is comcast. Direct TV won't work because of the trees and Verizon tells me that when FIOS was coming around the neighborhood my building must have said no. My only other option for internet is DSL and I can't go from highspeed to DSL. Ugh!

    Comcast SUCKS!!!! Plus I am stuck in the middle of this fucking monarchy they have in Montgomery County.

    Montgomery County needs Cox!

    I'm going to either need to buy a place (that I can't afford) or move to Denver for this new project.

    This redhead is currently PISSED OFF!

    October 5, 2007

    How to save money when traveling

    I have a wedding to go to this weekend and it's gonna be fun.

    This is the wedding of a former co-worker, Tran, and he's the one that showed me Blogger and got me blogging. He is also the first person to refer to me as a MILF.

    All the young'uns were gathered in the office one day and I said something, I don't remember what. I think he was suprised at my age I would say whatever it is I said. He turned around and said, "Red! You're a MILF aren't you?"

    He and his Wife-To-Be have been together for a long time and they suit each other perfectly. Tran is always doing funny videos and even got WTB into it.

    Here comes the Bride:
    video

    Expect to see more of "The Tran Files" in future posts.

    October 3, 2007

    It's been five years and look at how we've changed


    The other day I was pumping gas when I saw this car move from the gas pump over to vacuuming her car. I get gas at this station all the time and have no problem with that but I could never bring myself to vacuum my car here. I would rather go two blocks down and do it.

    Why?

    Because five years ago, October 3rd, at 9:58 am, in what was to be the fourth killing of the morning, 25-year-old Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera was fatally shot while vacuuming her mini van. The rampage didn’t subside til later that evening leaving 5 dead and thus begins the terror of the Beltway Sniper. In realty it wasn’t the beginning but it was the deadliest day of this reign of terror.

    Fear struck so many around the Beltway and even further out. By the end of the day I couldn’t help but think this was like a bad movie profiling some serial killer on the loose. It was all so surreal and I just had that thought a year prior during 9/11. Wasn’t 9/11 enough?

    People were terrified. The schools were locked down and the kids couldn’t play outside. Instead they were inside practicing what to do for code blue and code red alerts. When did our lives become like the move “Red Dawn”? These things didn’t happen here, especially around DC. It wasn’t really IN DC but all around it in the rural areas and primarily at gas stations. It changed the way we lived our lives and not just for those three weeks of terror but forever.

    During those three weeks we all became very aware of our surroundings and every step was carefully planned out. One night I was coming back from a friend’s house in Frederick. Gas was getting low but I didn’t want to stop anywhere unfamiliar or rural. I was living in Bethesda at the time and there were two gas stations near me. As I was driving home I reviewed all the logistics of each gas station in my mind. I decided on the gas station that was surrounded by tall buildings since the other one had easy view of one rural street where someone could hide. People would weave when getting gas so as not to be a sitting duck.

    White vans/cargo trucks became a thing to be feared. Whenever I would see one I would look for the orange sticker on the back indicating this white van/truck had been checked and cleared. How crazy is that? There was even a day that traffic got bad and people feared putting children on their school buses for fear of being picked off by the sniper while sitting in traffic. Mini Red’s Dad and I even discussed all of this and feared her red hair would make her a target on the play ground. We knew our thoughts were crazy but we had to be sure to keep her safe no matter what. Underneath, though, we all thought it would never be directed at a child until that day the 13 year old was shot walking into school. That was the most fearful day out of those three weeks because this meant they would stop at nothing not even a child. Thank goodness that child was being watched over by his aunt who saved his life.

    At the time I was working on a base that was secured and I hated going to work and having to trust the bus and the school to keep Mini Red safe. The buses changed their routine and how they dropped the kids off. The kid’s route from the bus to the school was blocked and all schools were surrounded by police.

    I think we all just wanted to hide inside but that would have given them more power. I hid one day… I just couldn’t bear it and I couldn’t let Mini Red out of my sight. I used that day to gather my wits to then forge forward.

    There came a day when I needed gas again. I couldn’t leave Mini Red home alone since she was too young and I didn’t dare take her to a gas station with me. I called my Mom and she suggested I have Mini Red lay down on the floor in the back of the car while I pumped gas. I just couldn’t have Mini Red do that and feared that would scare her so Mom offered to keep her and I ran an errand for her in return. As I headed down the road I saw The Guardian Angels pumping gas at the Shell Station where Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera was shot. I decided that is where I would go for gas after running Mom’s errand. By the time I got back and was heading to that gas station I saw The Guardian Angels leaving. Damn! I couldn’t cross three lanes in time to go to the other station so I went to that Shell. I was terrified but collected myself with the theory that “lightening never strikes twice…” I pulled up to the pump facing the vacuum machine where it all happened. I got out and started the gas pumping and quickly got back in the car and slumped down. I was looking straight ahead into the darkness from where the shot came that kill Lori Ann. Suddenly, the pumping of the gas stopped with a big CLUNK and scared the crap outta me. I was lucky I didn’t pee my pants.

    A few days later John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were captured at a rest stop up in Middletown, MD. I swear you could feel the pressure lift off the DC Metro area and there was a collective sigh of relief from us all. It was over! But was it really? We were scared to let our guard down even after finding out how they did it with the hole in the trunk of the car. Even after figuring out how many they had killed across the country. It took quite some time to let our guard down and to this day I can’t even think about vacuuming my car at that Shell station.

    First through third grade for Mini Red began with traumatic events and we saw the world change and more than just Mini Red growing up. First grade there was 9/11, Second grade was The Sniper and Third grade was Hurricane Isabella. By the time she started fourth grade I was holding my breath for fear of what would happen that year.

    Those three weeks felt more like three months and it’s hard to believe that was five years ago. The world is a much different place now. The war has been fought here and we have felt terror on our own turf. We have felt it from an enemy abroad and the enemy within and both are equally terrifying. Our guards are still up and our skin is thicker but it doesn’t seem to be over yet and each day brings something new to guard against and a new way to protect ourselves.