Nikita and the Lawdog

Ages bring some changes with our relationships with authority figures.  Teachers who were feared and the living incarnation of knowledge eternal now stare at us across from the conference table looking plainly mortal.  Parents whose rules made no sense, were unreasonable and just didn’t get us are relatable and so much more erudite than we could have imagined.  Looking back the law and I have not always clearly understood each other.

Sunny day in high school comes to mind.  Rushing to work as at that time I was always late and I am now much to annoyance of many always early.  Listening to the Smashing Pumpkins and Portishead driving my dad’s baby blue 1987 Nissan pick up truck all was well.  A couple of cars passed by me on the left at a higher speed and I decided that I would follow along on the path they had blazed.  Miles and miles without a care in the world until I noticed the police car behind me and I pulled one lane over as he was still a ways behind me.   Disco ball lights went off and immediately started pulling over to the right edge of the road until I was in the break down lane.  Fox had prepared me for this moment with Cops.

Officer exited the car and slowly approached mine.  Ten and two, roll down your windows and put your hands on the steering wheel to put the cop at ease.  Resisting the urge to vomit I sat until he finally was at my window.  “Why did you pull over?’ he asked.  Stupider words could not have come out of my mouth.  “Because I was speeding” I said.  Never did it cross my mind that he had clocked someone else and so I hung myself with my own words.  He gave me the ticket without mercy for my naiveté.   Telling dad was the worse, first he couldn’t stop laughing and he told me then to cry next time.

Roommates suck.  Never had one until I divorced and at 26 this reality was quickly made plain.  My roommate loved to watch Family Food, smoke, be louder than a toddler and was the anti-matter to my matter.  Waking up in the night a stranger opened my bedroom door scarred as I was I told him I had to work in the morning and couldn’t join them downstairs drinking.  Inconsiderate as she and her friends were this was not normal.  He closed the door and went downstairs.  Quick as I could I locked my door, put on my shoes and called my then boyfriend to tell him I was on the way over.  Front door slammed I rushed downstairs to lock the door and saw my roommate asleep on the couch.  “Who the *#)@_@^*!*^#  was that?” I screamed.  She didn’t know so she screamed.  The door handle shook as he tried to come back in.  We ran upstairs and barricaded us in her room while I called the cops.

Cops pulled into our apartment complex before the intruder got out of the parking lot.  It was her boyfriend the ex-carnies’ brother trying to rob us at his suggestion.  Though they refused to tranquilize her I felt protected and served.  A.D.A needs a punch in the face though as they pleaded it down to a misdemeanor.   Anyway this improved the limited perspective I had of the cops.

So, on my page I have a list of things describing me and this goes into one of them.  Loving science fiction I was following this short lived series The Lost Room starring Kevin Pollack.  Reminiscent of Friday the Thirteenth the series I was hooked.  Early in the evening I met a friend around the corner for lunch.  Conversation drifts and the hour faded before I realized if I didn’t get a move on it I was going to miss my show.  At that time I had no DVR so I had to hurry.  Hurry I did, right past a cop, at night without my lights full on.  Dinner was a mile away and I was now just a half mile from home.

Ahhh, what the hell was I thinking?  Ten and two, windows down and music is turned off.  Waiting and waiting, less than five minutes.  Just get it over! Cop walks up and see’s me with my black frame glasses, hair pulled back into an explosion of frizz and I don’t give a damn and a look of AHHH!  “Why were you speeding” he asked.  Again I uttered the dumbest thing I could have.  “There’s a show on Sci-Fi I don’t want to miss” I blurted.  He let me off with a warning and I got to see my show.  What happened?  I had been given mercy without a plea while I looked like the living dead.

Birthdays celebrations aren’t as suitable as we get older and most of the time they just are a bit lamer and more depressing when you’re portioning out the cake because everybody is watching their weight/cholesterol/ blood sugar.  Our friend James had a birthday a few weeks back and frankly things have just been awful lately so when he asked us to join him for a cocktail and to play some pool we jumped.  Boy drank himself under the table.

Getting to his car though he insisted on his competence to drive while standing in the sick he just ejected into the parking lot.  After some quick thinking on my husband’s part and slow wits on James we got the keys from him and took off to get him some food and let him sleep in the car until we figured where he was sleeping.  Waking up now and then he made demands for cigarettes and I really wanted to get food into him so I stopped at the United Dairy Farmers on campus.  Bad move as it was a madhouse I told Jon to stay in the car and not worry I would run in and get some food, beverage and the cigarettes and be right back out.  He was to act as a buffer should James wake up and try to get out of the car as there was a collection of police parked and gathered on foot behind us.  One step out and he could get in trouble with public intoxication.

Jon was worried about me so he was halfway between the car and UDF when I came out.  James was passed out.  Pulling out of the lot in front of the police I went the wrong way one a one way street.  Looking the patrolmen right in the eye I told him “I’m too old for this shit”.  He asked “Why are you down here then?”  And I explained that it was for a friend’s birthday party.  Looking at me at as much as my ego hates to say it, seeing woman over thirty, he accepted me at my word.  Two officers cleared the pedestrian traffic so I could get on my way.

Relationships change over time.  In my youth I feared the police because of little exposure to them and honestly, watching way too many episodes of cops with my brother.  Don’t judge me, we lived in a suburb, how could know if the Fresh Prince was lying to us about the dangers of the street?  As a thirty-two year old woman with the whole family, children and scouting thing going on the cops see me as no threat and unless given other cause will actually cut me a break.  At this age I see them less as an authority because I realize that their authority is anchored in a badge which can be taken away.


Knowledge Hogs

Done well technical documentation can reduce calls to the support desk, ease user frustration and empower novices to build their skills with confidence through trial and error.  Not all documentation is equal as I have learned in the last week.  Rather spontaneously I decided that I would build a website of my own to host my WordPress blog.  Why? Because the counter balance to my creativity is my deeply analytical side.  Consequently this week I contemplated a journey to California to air my grievances.

So I register a domain name and find a hosting service as recommended by WordPress in their documentation which assures me that I can mix and match hosting and domain services.  As a novice I should have verified my assumption but ahead instead I charged.  Nothing elaborate, just connect the host to the domain, right? My first two years of college were at DeVry University where I studied programming so I’d like to feel that I had a clue.  The site with my domain name was easy to work with.  There were just two name servers I had to input and the rest was a formality.  Having a good dose of false confidence I proceeded forward.

ARRRRGGHHH!!!!  The hosting site was an example of minimalism.  Anyone knowing me though would know though when choosing the site I went off of three things first that WordPress recommended them, second the super cool name and lastly cool animal logo.  While I was great at programming and even taken to dreaming in code while in school at DeVry I ultimately decided to finish my studies in a school with the humanities and liberal arts, who would have guessed?  At least Indiana Jones had the guy telling him that he chose wisely in the search for the Holy Grail.  I had the technical documentation written by a bitter helpdesk staffer.

Word to the wise, if you’re hosting provider hides its phone number for technical questions DO NOT CLICK THE SHINY BUTTON!  My eagerness proved my downfall.  Choppy sentences referring to other sites greeted me at the FAQ’s.  Troubleshooting tips were absent so were if then statements for first time users.  Emails to the help desk asking for my server IP address were replied to with “We don’t understand what you’re asking for”.  It wasn’t until I found a site online where I could enter my site address and it spit out in a nanosecond what my IP was that I became a bit peeved.  Everything about the provider assured me that they in no uncertain terms hated beginners to this endeavor and sought to crush them with their indifference.

Not being deterred I transferred my site to another provider and it’s near operational now!  Being a beginner I am a lot of things and a hard worker and researcher is a couple of them.  As the internet was used mostly by academics in its founding so that they could share knowledge and keep the phone bills down it surprises me that the transfer of knowledge between a provider and their customer could exist in such a sorry state so many years later.  It’s not just an internet thing.  Knowledge has become a commodity jealously guarded and prices are quickly set.  America is not as innovative a country as it could be as the price and guarding of knowledge create barriers to collaboration.  Taking one man’s idea or as price is set, product, and infusing with it the abilities, insights, experiences and determination of a collective effort can change the world, like the creation of the internet.

Wrong Way Wedding

Whenever the word wedding or marriage is uttered word associations and expectations run wild.  Oddly enough as a woman I am pretty immune to all of the expectations of a cultural with David’s Bridal around the corner and bride magazines flaunting the thousands that could be spent on the dress alone.  Doing it your own way, on a budget and throwing all convention out the window is sure to leave everybody in your family cheated of the ideal wedding they planned since birth.  However treating it more like a picnic and less like the Queens coronation lets a girl enjoy the process.

Dress, you need a dress or something of the sort.  Forget the bridal stores and keep it real and pick out a dress that you could, gasp, wear again!   Best friend and I went to the massive mall between her house and mine.  Three hours later, counting the lunch, we had a dress.  Found at Macy’s for a total cost of forty dollars.  Dress of my dreams was a white dress with a full tea length skirt empire waist with an intricate black embroidered piece at the waist.  Dress done.

Sentiments lead me wanting to be married in one of the two locations of our first date.  He said no to the dive dinner/bar where we finally met after weeks of talking and then Indie Theater was also ruled out.  Friends of ours suggested a park near their house it was secluded, small and had intricate little garden areas throughout.  No cost so long as our party was less than twenty five.  We didn’t even book the site as our ceremony was to be about ten minutes’ tops and then a few pictures.

The Honorable Ann B. Long, ordained earlier that month online, performed our ceremony.  Friend of both of ours she wasn’t a hired gun doing it only for money nor was she a church official from let’s be honest, a church we do not attend.  Payment for services, adopted a sea turtle at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in her name.  They sent her “adoption” papers and immediately she claimed ownership rights but that really is another story.

Pictures and video were purchased with pleading and a flask.  Both artist traveled from Cleveland and brought each another friend.  Our video could be entered in Scandinavian film festivals I’m sure.  There is one segment in which the videographer is being “chased” downhill by his camera on its death tripod on wheels.  Pictures were taken with stealth.  So we crashed the ceremony site at the park and were met by the park ranger who wished us luck and informed us that pictures could only be taken on the site of the ceremony and no where else.  In Benny Hill fashion we ran around the park and took posed pictures while someone was always looking out for Ranger Danger.  Word to the wise, golf carts are amazingly quiet these days.

Champagne in mini bottles for toasting was brought in the iced down saddle bag of a Harley.  Ranger was on to us but we were quicker moved by the whole adventure of the thing.  Comfest was the site of our reception in Victorian Village.  Setting up a blanket for the music as base camp we then took off in small groups to secure food and beverage.  No cake, table linens, centerpieces, dance floor, gifts or open bar.  Barefoot in the grass with my love nothing else mattered.

Both Mom’s are still feeling somewhat robbed of the wedding they wanted for us.  Keep in mind that from the beginning we knew that we were going to be footing the bill entirely ourselves.  His Mom saw it coming and doesn’t dwell on it.  My Mom was hoping that traditional middle in the road sort of thing would be brought out in me.  Wedding cost less than five hundred dollars including our wedding night hotel room.  There was a very loose plan and everything else was spontaneous and without any time constraints.  Looking back it was perfect and everything I wanted but was unable to articulate.  Enjoy your wedding the devil really is in the details.

Some pictures…

Lead in the candy

Import Alerts

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This information cannot get any freer and yet it seems lost on the internet until Dateline again finds it for us with one of their sound bites.  Biting into candy might be something you want to consider after looking at the Import Refusal Report by Industry for September.  Biggest offender for the month? Candy without chocolate.

Columbus art hiding in the Ravari Room


Art found at Ravari Room

Bold and simple.  Wood board with stained grained.  Images in black are burnt into the wood.  Hard to describe the feelings invoked and yet its familiar.

Colossal Chimes

First location

First location

Greeting all passers by, children, mailmen and anyone with an eye for detail from a moving car are the wind chimes my Mom gave us as a housewarming gift. Nothing too unusual right? Neighbors all around us have chimes either wood or metal with some decorative frame. Their chimes are maybe a foot or two long at the very most and while quite pleasant lack the distinction of being wrapped, packed and shipped from my Mom’s home in Florida.

Five bamboo shoots with an angled cut at the bottom. Oh yeah, its also six feet long. UPS has brought some unusual boxes to our door. Jon likes to buy things online for the car so it’s been an envelope of stickers for his wagon or a transmission on pallets for the Focus. This one took the UPS guy and me both by surprise.

Huge brown box in the front living room was a surprise from Mom. Opening the box were all sorts of things. Books, toys for kids, clothes for me, purses and a whole collection of the thrift store finds that I love so much. Popcorn Styrofoam tossed in all directions revealed the behemoth wind chime. It was out of control and a present to Jon.

After coming home to find his gift he jumped back for a minute, smiled wildly and went to hang it from the front porch. As the weather warmed even the front porch was not big enough for the chimes. Anyone using the two chairs situation near the chimes to the left of the front door was risking a bamboo beating. Now they are hanging from the large dogwood to the right of the front door.

Who has the biggest chimes in the neighborhood? Jon does. Who is a gift giving genius? Mom.

Confront Your Closet

My closet was out of control.  Ties were laying askew atop a pair of jeans while some shoes were visible underneath the coax cable, socks and discarded jeans in which I could still not yet fit.  Between you and I, I have not moved seriously to clean it since we moved into the house in February.  It’s a shame as it started so well.

At one point my closet had order.  Beautiful with short sleeve shirts seperated from full sleeves and collarless shirts having a place all of their own.  Shoes neat and distinguishable from the scarves and belts.  Aunt Linda slaved for hours putting my closet together from the collection of boxes hurled in the master bedroom.  Twenty years in the Navy endowed her with an organizational prowess and ability to delegate that ensures that with each visit to your home she leaves it better.

She hasn’t seen the closet.  Mortification would be instantaneous.  So I did laundry all day yesterday and now I am finally done.  In between loads of laundry I worked on the order of the closet.  I realize why I hadn’t touched it.  Bad clothing choices starred at me while an army of profesional clothes I haven’t been able to hoist myself into were casting accusational glares.

I am Nikita and I have a lot of clothes.  Three more pounds and everything will fit.  Really, there are more than two pair of jeans and a collection of hoodies and t-shirts.  Lord grant me the patience to clean this closet and accept that I really, really seriously do not need any more shoes.