I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been busy. Okay, maybe the better word is obsessed. Hubby sent me a link to listen to live feed for Oakland police and dispatch, like a police scanner, only it’s free and on the internet. Here’s the link. Knock yourself out. Of course, you may have no interest since you don’t live here, and then, you may be like me – unable to tear yourself away. Here are some of the Oakland police codes. I found out a few things while listening and one of them is Fruitvale and International is a hotbed of violent, weird, and spectacular crimes. The Fruitvale BART station is in the middle of a bad mess.

In other mess, someone has been calling the house phone all afternoon. This is not someone I know well, or they would know I don’t answer that phone. Ever. If you want to talk to me, leave a message or call my cell. By their persistence, I think they really want something, but rules are rules, and my rule is I never answer that phone. I’ll wait until Hubby gets home. He’ll answer it, AND yell, “I don’t understand why you won’t answer the house phone.”

I’ll answer him with “Hey Bud, yours is not to question why.”

Next subject…my volunteer jobs. I have three of them, but maybe two. The third one is so sporadic, I hardly count it. The two main volunteer jobs include the one at the hospital and the one working the desk at the Yoga studio. Both places decided I need to do better, better as in the hospital wants me to wear a uniform, consisting of black pants, a white shirt, and their bloody apron. The Yoga studio sent a list of four things they want me to do every time I work the desk. I’m not going to do them, so I may down a volunteer job. As far as the hospital dress requirements, I bought a couple of white shirts from Target at $8 a piece. I have some black jeans I can wear. If they outlaw the jeans, I’m through. I’m not buying any more crap to go some place and work like a dog for free. It doesn’t make sense. And the apron? Last time I wore it, I accidentally dipped the strings in the toilet and peed on them when I had to use the ladies room. Not doing that again. The apron is a no go.

Last night, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, watching Road House. Why had I never seen that movie? Maybe I had and forgotten. The advantages of senility.

I got a piece published in The Monthly magazine. I wish I could say I did it all on my little lonesome, but one of the editors is one of my writing teachers. I think I had an edge. They are going to pay me a $100. My pen name is Wichita Sims. Why? Because if you had my real first name, you would invent another name for yourself too.

And finally the fourth of July. Fireworks are officially outlawed in Oakland but honest to God, if they shot off any more than they did, they would have exploded the whole city. On the third of July, I heard an unusual amount of ruckus outside my house on the front lawn. I could hear it above the vacuum. I figured it was some neighborhood kids planting fireworks in my yard. I put on my scary old woman face and looked out the front blinds. It was the kids two doors down, playing in the grass, all three of them, only the third one was naked as a jaybird. I closed the blinds and went back to vacuuming.

14 Responses to “10-4”

  1. You are volunteering! So why on earth won’t they provide you with a uniform.
    I laughed at you peeing on the apron strings. That so sounds like something I would do. Oh, did I just share that!
    I cant’ believe you have a scary old woman face!
    Now I want to know your name although I really like Witchita, I imagine it would be shortened to Witchy! Then of course some loon would add their own ending… like poo! I still think it works ok, I mean it works for Whinne (the) doesn’t it?
    Congrats on the published piece! Good work!

    • I have a variety of scary faces I practice. One is my “don’t mess with me look” I wear on the bus. I’ve even had a rider say, “Why do you look so mean?” Yeah. Ride Oakland city bus during the day looking like a nice person and see where it gets you.

      Oh boy if anyone shortens the name to Witchy, I’ll be looking for another name again. I picked Wichita because I thought no one could mess with it but apparently that is not true.

  2. Really good post. The police link is super. I could get hooked on it. I know of a few places that have volunteers and they get their smocks or whatever from the folks where they volunteer. Seems like the only way to do it if you want to keep them.

    That short story was great. Good job and glad to see them include it.

    The Oakland fireworks probably included more than a couple of real guns. Keep yor ear on the scanner

  3. Thanks, Steve.

    I have worked other volunteer jobs too and they bought our shirts and then made an agreement about the pants. I don’t like white shirts. I don’t buy them because I am a pig pen. They simply get ruined. When these two go that I just bought, I’ll probably turn in my badge and call it quits. It doesn’t make sense since I am always in the stock room or unloading the dock AND I’m allergic to bleach, so whatever gets on the white shirt, stays.

    I’m sure your right about the gunfire on the fourth. I totally forgot about how that goes around here. And people still shoot them in the air for “celebration.”

  4. I’m tellin’ ya! That refusal to answer the phone thing, I got it. Yep, I refuse to answer the land line, you wanna talk to me you have to leave a message, and I may or may not call you back. I think I caught it from years and years of answering phones at work, I just refuse to answer any more — it drives significant other nuts, he answers the phone like his life depends on it. All my peeps are not phone people, when we talk we talk face-to-face, and all my peeps don’t chit chat just for the sake of talking, we talk when we have important things to talk about. I love email, it’s a way to keep in touch without having to use a phone, and people who just chat on the phone for hours on end usually don’t want to type the constant chatter that fills their phone calls, they can’t type that fast.

    Congrats on the published piece, I enjoyed it, but I always enjoy anything you write, that’s why you’re on my blog “favorites list.” You make me smile, think, remember, laugh, and snort stuff out my nose, my kinda of people.

    I listened to the police scanner, but there is so much silence in between the stuff I don’t understand or can’t hear, am I doin’ something wrong?

    As for your nom de plume, it sounds manly.

    Oh yeah, I almost left out a comment about your “mean face.” I have one too, I don’t know when I perfected it, but I got one that works.

    • HA! Too funny about the lan line. I’m glad to see we both agree it’s not to be acknowledged.

      Thanks for the congrats. It looks better in print. They put tiny frogs all over it.

      If there is a lot of silence, it could be you picked up Napa instead of Oakland. I did that once and started thinking that the crime was all gone. Then when I went back to the main screen I saw I had clicked on Napa. Usually so much is going on they step on each other’s traffic.

      Everyone needs a mean face. Comes in handy.

  5. Oh man I’m hooked on the police scanner! Coooooooool!

  6. The police scanner is AWESOME! As soon as I started it up in iTunes, I got…

    Dispatch – Parole officer armed with a gun at the front door.
    Police Unit – Can we get a description of the parole officer?

    Yet they stay so calm and matter-of-fact.

    No surprise that Fruitvale and International are a hotbed of police activity, and I’m with everyone else on the volunteer uniforms.

    I do have a couple of questions about the naked kid. How old was he? Was he little, like 3 or 4, or was he old, like 20-25? If he was old, was he in good shape? 🙂

    • Dang Rene, that is the best one yet – an armed parole officer with a gun at the front door. Wonder how that worked out?

      The naked kid was 2. In fact, her dad was out there with her and her two brothers who had their clothes on. I have no idea why she was buck naked in my front yard. It’s one of those neighborhood things I supposed. I had to get back to vacuuming.

      • I finally read your short story. It’s very entertaining! Did you really date, marry and divorce your accountant? Is it Little Dog?

      • I really did and though he was a small man, he wasn’t the little dog. The husband this time is 6′ 5″.

  7. Oh yeah. Haven’t had time to read the story, but congrats on being published! Will read it and get back to you later.

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