Monday, May 25, 2009

Catching a Thief- part 2

An older gentleman in his 60's happened to be on the sidewalk near the path to which the thief was heading and I hollered disparately for him to stop him. The older gentleman froze and turned slowly around to watched us both run by but came swiftly behind the chase. The man holding still some of the woman's belongings turned to look at me gaining on him both of us now having run into another car port. He scrambled with his hands to receive something that he was holding and for a brief second it crossed my mind that he might be going for a weapon. Before I got a chance to find out I jumped on him, knocking him to the concrete which caused him to let go of the things he was carrying. In the tussle I discovered that the man was bigger than me by a few inches but I was fighting with every ounce of my being to keep him on the ground. We went several rounds of me holding him face down on the ground, my knee on the back of his knee my arm pressed on the back of his neck shouting at him to stay down, however this man was carried by the strength of flight. He had probably spent much of his life running and he was as determined to get away, as I was to catching him. He was very strong and could counter against my weight upon him but he was also disoriented and lacked coordination which helped me to wheel him around and knock him off his feet. As I held him down I noticed that his shirt had been pulled off in the scuffle and he smelled strongly of one who hadn't bathed in weeks. He slurred his words in mumbling pleads that he didn't do anything. I felt for a while that people were around me watching but I couldn't see them, to risk taking my eyes off of this man. By the third time I pinned the guy to the ground I looked around in a sweaty panic and yelled at them to help me hold him down, that he had punched a woman in the face, that he had robbed her, but I didn't know who I was addressing. The man on the ground yelped in pain and I turned to see the older man finish binding the man's ankles together with his belt. Two girls were there, one ran to the curb to flag a police car down, one guy had laid down a golf club and was helping to pin down the man's legs. Another gentleman took my place and was trying to calm down the guy with a reasonable and level tone of voice quite opposite to my own which was filled with yelling and swearing out of anger I felt. In a moment a taller guy, who was once there and left, returned with a pair of red handcuffs and several of us worked together to cuff the man on the ground. Soon, after the police pulled in and neighbors were giving congratulations to one another for our efforts, I was pointed out for my part and was asked to stay behind to make a statement. Worried about Sam and Isabella waiting for me, I asked the policeman if we could drive up the hill to meet them and I took a short ride in the squad car. Sam didn't seem the least surprised by what happened but had made silent prayers to herself while I was gone while Isabella spent her time weaving a braid of grass. This is a true story and after much personal debate I decided I should write it down in case I might ever forget it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chasing a Thief- Part 1

Recently, I met a situation that was both jarring and extraordinary. Sam, Isabella and I were coming home from a dinner out and were merely a block from home when we heard yells or screams of a woman in distress. The sounds were somewhat muffled but were familiar to a domestic dispute sometimes heard when a couple is arguing. However, there was a tone that drew us in with curiosity and worry towards its source. I followed the shouts through two apartment buildings and in my hurried steps I could hear more distinctly the pleas for help as I drew closer. I made my way to the back of a building where a broad fence seperated me from a car port where the tumult was taking place. I had to step up to a ledge to see over the fence and I heard people shouting from the surrounding apartments to call 911. In view I saw a woman stagger out of a car from the drivers side, her face splattered with blood that ran from her nose to her blouse. She stumbled in a confused sort of way holding on to the wall closest to her to steady herself and with a panicked and dazed look in her eyes she continued to call out for help until finally fainting to the ground. Almost at the same instant, a dark African American male came out of the passengers side of the car holding a large brownish purse and started to flee towards the exit of the car port. A man yelled out of one of the apartments that the police would get him and I myself yelled that I could see clearly who he was. Two residents standing at the car port entrance in the position to stop the man, as their was no other escape, hastily moved aside to let the criminal pass. As he ran by them I yelled for them to stop the thief but to no avail, however they began to chase him. I quickly pulled away a wide slat of fence and slid my way into the car port to also take pursuit. I ran out to the street just as the man flipped himself over a fence into a gated complex which put a halt to the two pursuers but I was enraged and determined to catch him. I ran around and down the block with the idea that I could cut him off en route to the next block over by taking a short cut through two buildings before getting to the corner. However this was to no avail as I came to a dead end. I could hear him rustling through yards and barriers ahead though I couldn't see him. I decided quickly to make my way back out the way I came and then head him off at the next street and with adrenaline now pumping I was clear to the corner in seconds. Turning the corner up the street I could see him running out of nowhere across the street and I chased after him.

to be continued....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A day on the farm

Today, I awoke feeling somewhat gloomy having had an odd sleep full of heavy thoughts leaning towards the existential. Our apartment has a darkness to it, even in the sunniest hours of the day and the thing that brough me up was visiting the patio to greet the day. The bird feed, manly consisting of black oil sunflower seeds, has to be cleaned up regularly as it becomes quite a mess regularly. I am so delighted however to have our bird friends, especially the Titmouse which now has become my favorite character of all with its pointed little feathers at the top of its head and its black bead like eyes. After being outside for a while we all went out to a historic farm in Fremont, only 30 or so minutes away. We were able to get a free tour of the Victorian farmhouse there which was once owned by the Peterson family since the mid 1800's. I of course asked Sam to let me know if she could see any spirits, knowing that my wife has a knack for such a thing, and I was ready with my camera for any photo opportunities. Our tour guide was an elderly woman dressed in the garb of late 1800's era who appeared to get more winded as the tour progressed throughout the house. Many of the rooms contained smells of the past, of old scents that still resonanted from a time before, and the smell of clothes and objects in slow decay. Most of all the kitchen still contained a smoky odor that probably still clung deep into the walls and the bowels of the stove and furnace. I was surprised to find that in the late 1800's the recipe for a cake might call for the oven to be set for 5 seconds, which referred to how long one could keep their hand in the oven to check the temperature as there was no other way of knowing how hot it was. If one could have their hand in the oven longer then the oven wasn't hot enough, whereas less seconds meant that the oven was too hot. Anyway, I was amazed at how different life must have been like at that time. I took pictures of things that I found fasinating, one of which of a little grumpy girl who maybe didn't want her picture to be taken, of old toys that were bought for the museum house, and of various rooms. Oh and I almost forgot, there were music boxes all over the house. Elaborate but delicate works of art but in fine working order, some full of loud orchestral sounds, another haunting and indistinct like music being played backwards. When we went outside, we visited the chickens, goats, sheep and cows. I picked up a chicken for Isabella to hold and she became addicted to grabbing them up herself.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A definitively better day than yesterday. We have just enjoyed chocolate chip cookies hot from the oven and before that a nice dinner enjoyed on our little patio. Our birds have continued to come and I have used a bird book to identify our visitors as House Sparrows, House Finch (red chest and head males) Titmouses, and Junkos (funny names but pretty birds). Just a few days ago I pointed out to Isabella a tiny little House Sparrow that was poking its head far into the cylindrical tube feeder. The tiny bird implusively jumped through the hole and right into the verticle tube and found itself in a dilemma. He was stuck in the tube and was flapping around inside frantically at first but then set to eat the food beneath its feet. I waited to intervene and watched the bird finally find its way out to freedom.
Anyway, I have run to the store earlier to get some Mothers Day gift things. Sam is now 34 weeks pregnant and I am planning to Henna tattoo her big round beautiful belly and when she is really big later I will do a plaster and gauze casting of her torso as a keepsake or personal artifact. This latter project will be an excellent thing to hang up in our living space. We have begun getting rid of things in the process of our future move to Canada. I will have to leave many of my rocks behind that have gathered for the few years that I have been here. I will be giving them out to students for having finished their behavior sticker charts as prizes. Isabella has gotten rid of 5 grocery bags worth of books already. We are slimming down and getting to the essential things to make our travel lighter. I must be off,, Isabella needs to be tucked into bed.
I will put in our first pictures of Jude in the womb taken around 5 months.