A Pizza & A Battering Ram

This story made me giggle.

Jessica Gray, 19, of Eastpointe was arrested Wednesday after she and the occupants of her apartment refused to pay for a delivery of pizza, ribs, chicken, shrimp and a soda valued at $17.18, police say.

According to police, Gray answered the door when a 21-year-old, combo meal-carrying delivery man arrived at her apartment about 7 p.m.

Gray took the meal, then slammed the door and joined four other female occupants inside — ranging in age from 14 to 21 — in yelling insults and threats when he didn’t leave, police say.

“She was rough when she took it from him,” Detective Lt. Leo Borowsky told The Detroit News. “And she was large enough where he didn’t want to fight her.”

A police report says responding officers “could hear the occupants laughing and whispering inside but refusing to answer the door. The officers advised the occupants that if they refused to come to the door, it would be opened by force.”

Police then broke down the door, and the delivery man identified Gray as the person who took the meal. Police recovered rib bones, chicken bones and shrimp tails as evidence.

“We take this kind of stuff seriously. It is a crime,” Borowsky said. “These (delivery) people are on business and if you steal from them, we’re going to prosecute.”

However, I think Borowsky’s last sentence would’ve been hella funnier if he’d said “These (delivery) people are on business and if you steal from them, we’re going to knock in their door and motherfuckin’ arrest ‘em!” Here’s betting Ms. Gray’s address is boldly marked “NO DELIVERY.”

HT: ACW

Not At All Sore

So there I am, last night, driving down a road in Harford County, minding my own business, noticing the oncoming pickup trucks, when I noticed they were coming to a rather sudden stop. Then I saw the deer and slammed on my own brakes. And I missed it! Just as I started to relax, I saw the other deer.

Wham! Boom! Pow!

Into my driver’s side fender and all the way down the side of the car. Then it got knocked into the lane of oncoming traffic and the pickup went right over it. Photos possibly to come later.

Of all the mornings I wish I could sleep in …

… on the other hand, there are worse things than having your insurance adjuster call first thing in the morning. At least I know they’re on the ball. No sooner did I drop back into bed, then the body shop called. “Dude, your car is covered in deer fur!” Yes. I know. I was there, after all, when my car got covered in deer fur. Problem: they can’t do an estimate until they can get into the car, and, er, I forgot to leave the key. Solution: when I get my rental car, I’ll drop off my key to the body shop! Problem #2: rental car company 1701 can’t pick me up until 2pm. Alas!

So I don’t actually know if my car will be totaled or not. Mechanically, it still runs. The responding police advised I get a tow after seeing that my driver’s side headlight was hanging on by a literal thread. I had to force the driver’s side door to get out of the car after the accident, and the hatchback door doesn’t like staying up on its own anymore. Given the mileage, given the age, and that someone told me that if the repairs are within a third of the cost to total, the latter is the option the insurance company will take, I’m thinking that I’ll just be handed a check to replace the car. I doubt I’ll know one way or the other before the weekend.

And it would be the suck, if it is totaled. Yeah, my car’s old, and it’s got a lot of mileage, and it doesn’t fare well in impacts with deer or pickups, but I’d rather have it back then a car payment.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking that if I have to — if I really really have to — replace my baby, my top picks would be:

Toyota Matrix
/Corolla
Ford Focus
Jeep Compass
Scion tC/xD

From a price point, the Corolla is “For The Win!” From the just-as-important mileage, the Focus! Meanwhile, from a “Deer Survivability” POV, I like the Compass. You’ll note a Wrangler isn’t on the list: the mileage sucks, and until Jeep either puts out a Hybrid Wrangler or brings the vehicle up to at least a mid-twenty MPG, it’s a luxury I can do without.

I Wrecked My Car

I saw the first deer, and I braked. In fact, I braked hard. I missed the first deer, or, rather, it missed me, and all should have been dandy.

Unfortunatly, I did not see the second deer (and it seems unlikely that the second deer saw me.)

I’m fine. My car is not.

I hope the deer is dead (because otherwise it suffered a slow and angonizing death.)

God-damn deer. God-damn deer. God-damn deer.

Uncancel The Future!

Pleased to be warned of the possibility of spoilers …

futurama_anime

A momentous day in television history!

See, once upon a time, there was a great cartoon show on FOX. Actually, there were a couple cartoon shows on FOX: The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and Futurama (“IT JUST WON’T STAY DEAD!”) With the exception of Futurama, all of the other cartoon shows on FOX blew monkey goats (by which I mean they suck*).

In the case of Futurama and Family Guy, both were canceled by the fucking moronic assholes at FOX (which, by the way, stands for ‘Network Idiots’). However, thanks to the Miracle of The Modern Age, TV Shows on DVD, both shows were granted reprieves: Family Guy was brought back to television as a weekly series (I have no idea why, with the exception of the occasional brilliant parody of the best sci-fi movie series ever, that show blows monkey goats), while Futurama has been brought back as four straight-to-DVD movies, the first of which, Bender’s Big Score, was released today on DVD.

Long story short: Bender travels back in time on behalf of evil nudist aliens to rob Earth’s riches and kill Fry. There’s also a lot of small side plots — Hermes chops off his head, Leela has a romantic interest. Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of time-traveling parodoxical stuff (that really makes my head hurt, even though the Globetrotters work out the mathematical stuff.)

There’s an epic scope to this movie, particularly in the sense that a lot of major and minor characters from the show’s run return. All of the original cast returns (by which I mean the voice actors, of course!), and the opening sequence is slightly changed: every character is highlighted, and the monitor that the Planet Express crashes into is playing a scene from the series’ first episode. The FOX executives are — deservedly!!! — well bashed for being, y’know, stupid. Kitten-class ships fly into combat, The Robot Devil plays a wedding, Fry has a tattoo of Bender on his ass, Amy and Leela have a naked scene (well, and so do Zoidberg, Farnsworth** and Fry), and the good guys team up with Evil Santa to defeat a fleet of gold-plated Death Stars.

Everything turns out okay, of course. Well, I mean … ‘okay’ might not be the word. “We’re boned!” Bender says. Meanwhile, I did indeed start to tear up — just a tad — at the end. ‘Cuz I’m a sap.

I’m looking forward to getting to watch the commentary track. The commentaries on the episodes are one of the best features of the season sets — they really are, you should check ‘em out if you haven’t already.

Coming Next (probably in May): Futurama – The Beast With A Billion Backs

*Yes, even The Simpsons, which hasn’t been funny since, like, before I had double-digits in my age.

**And I’d been eating, too …

(Just as a side note, you would not imagine how disturbing it is to do a Google image search for FUTURAMA with the safe-mode turned off…)

BSG Razor

Maybe I’m tired and cranky, but here’s what I thought of the much anticipated “Battlestar Galactica: Razor”, a two-hour movie event purporting to tell the story of what happened to the Battlestar Pegasus following the Cylon sneak attack on the Twelve Colonies and the reuniting with the Galactica.

Okay. Here we go.

Blah!

It’s sort of like the Star Wars prequel films. It feels unnecessary. We know Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader, so why’d we actually have to see it on film? Pretty much just so George Lucas could have Stormtroopers in colorful armor and Jedi against green-screen backgrounds. Meanwhile, the bulk of Razor is events we’d been told about: Pegasus escaping the Yard, Cain executing her XO, the shootings of civilians on military orders. All of these were events referenced in the “Pegasus/Resurrection Ship” arc in BSG’s second season, and seeing them on screen was, to me, gratuitous.

Meanwhile, all of this is framed into what could’ve been an episode of the series proper (and is set in the latter portion of the second season — Lee has just assumed command of Pegasus, and reference is made to the episode Epiphany): a Raptor has disappeared on a research mission, and Admiral Adama transfers his flag to the newer Battlestar to oversee the rescue operation. Major Shaw, who turned into a cold hard bitch under Cain’s command, then found herself peeling potatoes in the mess, leads a rescue operation onto an ancient Cylon basestar with a tie to Admiral Adama’s past, and the old Cylon centurions (from the original series) show up and say “By your command.” In other news, Starbuck moves her “Bitch” act from Kat to Shaw, and it’s pretty much Galactica as usual, with most of the show’s regular cast making guest appearances (Tyrol, Callie, Baltar, Helo, and Dualla are absent).

I can’t admit to being much impressed. Maybe I’ll feel different when I can view the unedited DVD (December 4), with about fifteen minutes of footage not included in tonight’s broadcast. I hope so.

Meanwhile: season four premiering in March, according to the promo I saw. For those wondering about the season three DVDs, all the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing is that the season set will be released just prior to the fourth’s premier.

Thanksgivin’ (disjointed post)

1. So this was probably the biggest Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever been at. Usually, back when my dad’s folks were still alive, we’d alternate years going to the Farm, or up to Pennsylvania to my Aunt Peg’s house with my mom’s family. At the Farm, it’d be me, my sister, my folks, my grandparents, and my dad’s brother Bill and his wife. In Scranton, my family, my Aunt Peg, Grandma, Aunt Anne and her family: husband Bill, cousins Mag & Will.

1. (part two) This year, we had about twenty-plus folks in Connecticut. Me, my folks, (my sister’s in India), Aunt Peg, Grandma, Aunt Anne and her family, and from her husband’s side of the family, both of his sisters, his brother, his family, and most of their families: one husband, one wife, five cousins. Twenty-some people, total.

2. They’ve got a big house, in Connecticut. It’s actually getting a two-room extension off the back so Bill’s dad can move in (they sold his house in Olyphant), and so that they have room for Grandma when she comes to visit. It looks like it should almost be done: the foundation is in, the roof is up, the siding is in place, and the electrical looks done (all that’s left is to finish the bathroom, put up insulation and drywall, paint, and carpet.) My arrangements were to sleep on my cousin Will’s bedroom floor. Funny story: because of where the addition is going in, his window would be looking into it, so they closed it up. They’re going to put a new window in on the other wall soon, but until they do, his room is very much a cave. Anyway, the plumbers came by at way-too-fucking-early Friday morning to do something to the bathroom (probably involving plumbing) and the loud boom-boom-boom of hammers woke me up thinking Will’s bedroom was coming under artillery fire.

3. I get pressure headaches: whenever I travel over mountains, I get killer headaches. Got one the first night I was in West Virginia back in September, and, yep, my head was splitting Thursday night. Probably didn’t help that as soon as I got in to Connecticut, I took my Uncle up on his offer of a “Sam”: Sam Adams, necessary New England drinking. I followed that up with a second. All of this on top of four hours sleep (went to sleep at 1:30am Thursday morning, woke up at 5:45am to get ready for my parents to pick me up at 6:30am), a few scattered — restless! — hours in the car on the way up. No surprise: I passed right out after dinner.

4. Aunt Linda (who really isn’t my Aunt, I don’t think, as she’s Bill’s sister-in-law) made a mean sweet potato casserole, the way Grandma makes it: with marshmallows on top. It was so very good.

5. Linda’s younger daughter attends Pratt Institute, which is apparently famous for the cats which wander its campus and sit in on classes or whatever else their feline selves wish to sit in on.

6. Word Press finally has some sort of spell checker working. SWEET!

The WIRE on DVD SALE

This is my good deed of the year for any fans of HBO’s “The Wire” who are looking to fill out their DVD collections. Best Buy has ALL seasons of The Wire — including season 4, due for release on 12/4 — available for order (pre-order, in season 4’s case) for $27.49 each.

I don’t know how long the sale will last, so act quickly.

(And — I checked! — Amazon.com has seasons 1-3 for $29.99, too. So, if you miss the Best Buy sale, yeah, you’re S.O.L. for season 4. If you’re buying from Amazon, hit up the Amazon search on the side-bar por-favor).

(Oh, and Veronica Mars’ first two seasons are on sale for $15 each. Give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed.)

(No, I’m not being paid for this post. Best Buy, feel free to send me a gift-card.)

From the Far Side of NYS

In seven and a half hours, I’m hitching a ride with my parents up to the cousins’ place in Connecticut for Thanksgiving. We should get there just in time for Thanksgiving dinner, although only time will tell if Uncle Bill* (the other one!) is as excited about the Sox’s World Series Win as he was three years ago, when what started as a pre-munchin’ prayer turned into a boastful happy discussion of the Sox’s legacy. I’m bringing my laptop, several books, and a few DVDs, plus a copy of RISK, in the hope that I might be able to get a game going.

In conclusion, Happy early Thanksgiving!

*I always feel I have to specify, as I have two Uncle Bill’s: my dad’s older brother, and my mom’s brother-in-law.

UPDATE: … and because JWER’s a nitpicker, yes, both Bills are my mom’s brothers-in-law, however, one is that because she married my dad, and the other is that because he married my mom’s sister.

They’re like zombies, except they don’t want to eat your brains

There was one — ONE! — thing on my list: STAMPS. That’s it. Stamps. Forty U.S. stamps good for U.S. mail. I could’ve gone to the Post Office, but I figured the grocery store would be quicker. Stop at the customer service desk, I told myself. Five minutes, tops.

WRONG!

An HOUR. An hour to drive there, park, walk into the store, wait in line at the customer service desk, get my stamps, get back to my car, get out of the lot (totally not easy because everyone looking for a spot was too impatient to stop to let me out so they could get mine), get home.

Because I forgot the golden rule of grocery shopping the days before Thanksgiving: DON’T. Or, if you really have to get some food, do your shopping between the hours of midnight and five a.m., when, even if there’s a crowd, you usually won’t have to deal with the geriatric crowd who mill around the aisles like non-brain hunting zombies.

I mean, for chrissakes, even leaving, the blowhard behind me was just laying on his horn, as if one extra ounce of pressure could get me to accelerate into the intersection. I mean, sure, I had the green light, but did anyone tell that to the idiots who were running their red light? Of course not.

You know what I’ll be thankful for? ARMAGEDDON!

Threat at Towson University

Boy, what a horrible feeling to hear anchorwoman Sally Thorner cut in on 105.7 with her news blurbs to report an increased police presence at Towson University and police tape around Linthicum Hall. Particularly horrible when I’m at work all day with the radio my only source of news, and no further talk of anything at Towson for the rest of what was a very long day. Thankfully, coming home and pulling up CNN did not reveal any articles about “Shooting At Suburban Maryland College.” A quick trip to the Jay-Zee revealed that the increased security presence was a precaution against a threat that the administration was not specifying.

The anonymous threat forced school officials to beef up police presence throughout campus but especially around Linthicum Hall, a liberal arts classroom building.

Though they declined to discuss specifics, a spokesperson says the threat did not have a high level of credibility. Still, the school wasn’t taking chances.

“We wanted to make sure that the campus community was aware of why there was an increased police presence on campus,” said Carol Dunsworth.

As part of their precautions, the school has closed off the other entrances to Linthicum Hall–students were allowed to use only one door. Once inside, they were greeted by a lot of security.

Though classes were not canceled, many students decided to stay home. Those who did venture out were glad the school erred on the side of caution.

“I thought it might be kind of like a prank. It’s close to Thanksgiving. They just kind of want to get another day off, but there is security here, and that made me feel good that they took it seriously enough, you know, to have a presence here,” a student said.

Given the nature of the Virginia Tech shootings last spring, and the shooter’s particular course of study (an English major), is it a wonder that the imagery of police tape around Linthicum Hall fill my heart with dread? Linthicum, after all, is home to Towson’s College of Liberal Arts, the English Department has its offices on the second floor, and, indeed, following VTech, myself and many of my fellow English majors were consumed with the thoughts “What if this had happened here?”

I’m very thankful that nothing dreadful occured at Towson. I spent more time than I cared to last spring contemplating such an event.

Windy What?

I fucked up big tonight at work.

If you were to ask me, “Snay, what makes a driver fast?” I wouldn’t say “His or her ability to lay on the gas” (although, certainly a willingess to reasonably exceed the speed limit in a safe manner helps.) Rather, I would say, “An intimate knowledge of the delivery area and of the exact locations of our repeat customers’ homes, coupled with an understanding of the rush-hour traffic flow, and an ability to route oneself in one’s head, making adjustments based on unforseen traffic events.”

So tonight was actually fairly busy, a welcome change from the rest of the week. Even with seven drivers working, it was very much in-and-out-again, which is much preferable to in-and-sit-around-for-forty-minutes-waiting-for-another-delivery.

Anyhoo, around 6:30 or so, Greg assigned me a double: Ravenhurst and Windy Manor. Here was my first mistake: I didn’t double check the map to be certain I knew where the streets were. I know exactly where Ravenhurst is, I’ve been there often enough, but none of the three streets that start with ‘Windy’ are often visited by pizza guys. And, while they’re all in a relatively localized area, the key word is “localized.”

Here’s my second mistake: I don’t carry a map of the delivery area in my car (actually, I would need two as we deliver to parts of both Baltimore and Harford Counties.)

Do you need to know where this is going? Yep. First I went to Windy Hill. Nope! I didn’t even pay attention to the street sign, the guy who answered the door with a “We didn’t order pizza … did we?” tipped me off that I was on the wrong street. I paid more attention when I got to Windy Farms, and started cursing as I pulled a hard youie and called the store from my cell phone to get a location on the street.

I wound up being out of the store for forty-five minutes on a double that should’ve taken twenty-five. Thankfully, Windy Manor still tipped generously, but instead of ending the night with ten deliveries, I probably could’ve had twelve if I hadn’t taken twice as long as I did.

So endeth the lesson: check the map, because, like most men, I do hate asking for directions (even when there’s a tip on the line.)