Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Access London: Phantom of the Opera & Her Majesty's Theatre - Par...

Access London: Phantom of the Opera & Her Majesty's Theatre - Par...: "The next couple of posts from Access London are on Her Majesty's Theatre and the phenomenon that is The Phantom of the Opera. This first p..."

Get a Life and Quite Pranking

When one has elderly and chronically ill parents, one can't help but tense up when the phone rings late at night, especially after midnight. Such was the situation last night. The husband had just gone to bed, I was working on my fanfiction when the phone rang. There's that 'WTF?' moment where you feel your insides turn into ice just before you lift the receiver and utter what you hope is an unconcerned greeting.

I have a chronically mentally ill birth mother whom I've been out of contact with for the past three years after she pulled a late night/early morning scare on us. It's not a situation I like; this is the person who carried me for nine months for cryin' out loud! As much as I love my birth mother, however, a person has to survive. The cost of bein' with her, of carin' about her, is to lose my soul. That's too high of a price. I maintain physical and emotional distance in order to maintain my own sanity. So judge me as you wish.

My husband's mother and my father are both cancer survivors; his mom is doin' well, which we are grateful for; my father has his up and down moments. Lately, he's havin' another bout of gastrointestinal distress - we're not sure if it's a medicinal reaction or a virus. Either way, he's getting weak again, and when you're a three hour drive from one or 16 hours drive from the other, you rely on the telephone to keep in contact and check on them.

And you hope that the phone doesn't ring in the wee small hours of the night/morning.

Well, early this morning (or late last night, depending on your point of view), the phones in the house rang, causing my internal organs to flash freeze. I picked up the receiver after the first ring and uttered a casual greeting.

The voice on the other end was strange. Female, adult, and of a different ethnic make up than myself, my husband's family, or any of the people who would call us concerning our parents. That made me more edgy.

The young woman didn't state her name; but stated she'd just arrived at her mother's house, our neighbor, and was locked out. "Mama said she gave you a key. May I come in and get it?"

'WTF?' While we're on speakin' terms with all our neighbors, we've certainly not exchanged keys with any of 'em! My bull - shit detector went into overdrive. I peeked out the side window to the one neighbor's house; but no car sat in the driveway there. There was no evidence that a car was sitting out in front of my house. The ethnicity of the caller's dialect made me pretty certain the caller was the offspring of the people across the street nor on our other side (the people across the street's kids still live at home, as to the people on the other side of us).

Though it was a struggle not to allow the caller to know I was honked off at her, I played along. "What house number does your mom live at, darlin'?"
"It's cold, lady! Why won't you come to the door with the key so I can get inside?" was her reply, voice weepy and teeth chattering. If you consider 30 degrees cold. Well, I do consider it cold, but not physically threatening cold.
"Because you're not tellin' me information I need, darlin'. Besides, I don't have anyone else's keys. What's your mom's name? What's your name?"
"Aren't you ________? And isn't this telephone number __________?"
Oh - kay. That's scary! Our telephone number is unlisted and has been for years, and it's not on the www for all and sundry to get. The little voice in my head is still chanting the warning call. There's been too many incidents on the news about homeowners being taken in by what appeared to be a legitimate request for help and getting themselves beaten and robbed.
There's an old sayin' about being fooled. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. There won't be a third time. I wasn't goin' to go for first.
Since the husband was still sound asleep, I was on my own on this one. Now I could've denied she had the right number and person, but I didn't. "Well, you're one up on me, darlin'. You know me, but I still don't know you."
Still using that cryin', wheedlin' tone of voice - sounding pitifully cold and tired in the hopes I'd feel like a total asshole and do the nice (but assinine!) thing any human would do, she asked me again to let her come in and get warm.
"Tell y'all what, darlin'. You tell me your mom's name, give me her telephone number, I'll call and verify what you're tellin' me on my other line."
"You're not being very nice! I'm cold, and tired, and you're supposed to have the key for me!"
Oh, she's good, all right. Damn near academy award winning. And I wasn't buyin' it.
"Sorry, darlin'. This is my offer, take it or leave it. Either tell me your name, your mom's name and a telephone number where I can call her, or you can sit outside and freeze yer tail off. You've got 10 seconds."
Weepin', wailin', gnashin' of teeth. Sniffle, snot, huffin', and puffin', "Th-three, one , s-seven," then there's a pause.
"C'mon, darlin'. The rest of it?"
Noise in the background. Male voice. "Forget it. That fuckin' bitch ain't fallin' for it! Let's get outta here!"
The phone went dead.
We have Caller ID, but the only phone that has a display, the display quit workin'. I called auto callback, which announced the last call's arrival time, and that it was a private number. Another warning sign. I pressed the request to call the number, and got a fast busy signal. In the telephone repair biz, we called that a reorder signal. Meaning there was some kind of line trouble.
I called the operator, explained what had happened. The operator put me to the repair center which was closed. Smooth move, AT&T.
I hate callin' the cops for stupid shit, but felt that they needed to know, even though this was the first time in five years that anything like this had happened. The dispatcher took the information and said an officer would be out in a couple of hours to take a report.
"I'll be up. I'm a night owl."
The dispatcher laughed and replied. "So am I."
"Just tell the officer to be sure to announce he's police. I have a baseball bat and ain't afraid of usin' it."
She laughed and said she'd pass it along.
Two hours later, the cop rang the doorbell. We don't have a spy hole; nor an outer locked door; just the front, solid wood door. The front windows don't get a person a good way to see who's at the door. But I've grown adept at standing in front of the entrance and keeping my foot in the door so it can't be pushed back easily. Before even unlockin' it, I asked "IMPD?"
"Yes, ma'am."
I opened the door and there stood the black uniform of the local police officer. "Good mornin' sir. Please come in."
He stood in the entrance and took the report from me, providing me with a card with the case number and other information. Dude, our large black cat who resembles a baby black panther, came up to the officer and sniffed his leg. The officer was impressed with his size.
"I apologize for callin' y'all about somethin' so stupid when there's more important shit goin' on."
The officer didn't let me continue with the apology. "No, ma'am. You did the right thing in calling. It's getting so we can't dismiss anything as trivial, and the phone company won't put a trace on your line without a case number, which I'll give you in a minute."
"Well, the story just seemed fulla holes from the get go, and when I heard the male voice in the background, it made me a little perturbed."
"Well, there aren't fresh signs of a car having been out in front of your house. It's possible this was just a prank. However, it could've been an attempt to gain illicit entry. You were smart not to fall for it."
He also suggested we look into getting a peep hole installed in the door, and that he would sit out front for a bit to make the report, just in case they called again. I then tried the automatic call back for him, and got the same result as before. Private number, time called, and the reorder signal.
So I get to call AT&T repair and see whether they're gonna comply with the request. And hope to Hell that it'll be a long time before the next late night/early morning phone call comes in.
Frankly, I hope it never comes. In a perfect world, it won't come. But this world isn't perfect. Bad news comes at night. Always has.
Bad news doesn't need any help from idiotic pranksters - or worse, lazy dumb asses who think the haves owe them for what they don't have (and don't have the balls to get out and EARN) - with scarin' the shit outta a body in the wee small hours.
Get a life, assholes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Long time, no blog. But I'm back

Hello, it's me. I've thought about you for a long, long time! Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine. (Well, that pic isn't of me, it's my cyber look). Thanks to Todd Rundgren for those opening words.

Yes, it's been awhile since I've used this old blog spot of mine. After discovering FB and notes, I tended to post my thoughts about life, the universe, and everything in the notes file. Which is find for the 300 or so people I have on my friends list. What about the rest of the world?

So, I decided to come back to the blogosphere, posting my rants, raves, and 'mewsings' of things going on around me. Contrary to the opiion of a disgruntled few, I am not so totally Sons of Anachy centric that all my posts are gonna be about that. Surprisingly, there is more to life than a tee vee show.
Oh, yes I did say that.
Since the last time I've posted here, many things have happened. We got the house and moved in; we've been married 16 years now, and we lost T'Pring (our then eldest furbaby in 2004) to cancer, and Jean - Luc, our eldest boy, to kidney failure. We adopted two fosters, Clio the Bengal and Toots the Siamese. Toots died a few months after Jean - Luc in 2009. We adoped two more furbabies, Cutie Pie and Calvin. We have six cats right now. Three girls (two black and the begal) and three boys (1 black, 1 lynx siamese, 1 grey stripe).
I've had and lost a few jobs snce 2008; two insurance claims jobs went by the wayside. Never did get anyway with the former telecommunications job and the union tryin' to get me reinstated; the position moved out of the state!
The husband is back in retail management, and is doing well. He's a very patient man, puttin' up with my fangirl behavior for two certain Scottish actors (Gerard Butler and Tommy Flanagan) and a Canadian named Kim Coates. I write in fanfiction in my free time, and if you go my Google homepage, (look up lowecat), you'll find the link to, where I write as wanderingchat.
(the backstory on that penname is this; when I started back into fanfiction after a long hiatus, I plunged in with Phantom of the Opera fanafic. My favorite song from the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical is 'Wandering Child'. Since my cyber name is 'Cat', the French word is 'chat' so 'waneringchat' was born).
You can also find me on twitter, facebook, and you tube. My interests are varied. I'll be reposting some of my FB notes on this blog.
Check out the blogs I follow; they make for interesting reading.