April 2nd, 2005


"No wonder I couldn't find it...it's where it's supposed to be!"

(This is what I get for suddenly being organized and tidy!)


Had book club tonight. We had one new member, a published book author no less, plus the usual crew (minus one important contributor whom we all missed and hope she'll be able to join us next time around). We discussed Flannery O'Connor's posthumously published collection of stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge. The stories lend themselves well to discussion, both as a set and individually. I think we all enjoyed reading and sharing our thoughts about these stories and O'Connor herself.

Alas, I was in for an adventure of my own after book club. (And lest y'all think this is my attempt at an April Fool's thing, check the timestamp.) During book club I received a call from someone who identified himself as a Medford police officer. He asked me if I was the owner of a white pickup truck and asked me to verify the license plate number and the identity of the driver. I had lent my truck to briganski so he could move some of his stuff out of treacle_well's apartment. He got pulled over because aparently the registration sticker isn't on my plate for some reason. My registration is current, of course (which running the plates would reveal), but the officer decided to pull briganski over anyway and ask for license and registration. The officer called me to confirm that the truck wasn't stolen. However, briganski's driver's license is expired, so my truck was towed. Since briganski still hasn't been paid and hasn't paid his March rent, guess who paid the towing fee. I had no choice: I have to drive to South Weymouth on Saturday and into Boston on Sunday, so I can't be carless.

After I recovered my truck, I drove down to the police station to file a complaint. After all, the officer called me to verify information about my truck and then told me he was "all set." If he had also mentioned that briganski's license was expired, I could have asked JC or Scory to drive me to wherever the truck was in order to avoid the tow, and I could have been there within 4 minutes. I sat and talked with the lieutenant at the station about this. He very politely explained that I have no grounds for a complaint because the officer followed standard procedure. I didn't fight it further because I realized, having worked in a couple of police stations, that he was absolutely right, as frustrating as that is. However, I did discover a huge scratch on the right side of the car, starting at the back of the right fender and extending back to the first foot or two of the truck bed. I will go back to the station Saturday afternoon with briganski (he needs to be there because the truck was in his possession for 40 minutes or so) to file a report testifying that the scratch was not there before the truck was handed over to the towing service. I doubt anything will come of it, but that won't stop me from lodging my complaint.

<sigh> So much for a nice relaxing evening. And now I wonder if I'll ever see my $110 again (or any of the other money briganski owes me). I'll survive without it, but losing that money makes things a little tighter than I'd like for the next few weeks.

(no subject)

I helped briganski move the last of his stuff out of treacle_well's apartment this afternoon. (And before any of you ask how I can continue to help him out like this, let me say that I'm doing this as much for treacle_well's peace of mind as anything else. I'm not going to let him drive my truck again, and without that he has no way of getting his stuff out.) As we're driving away, the radio plays "Don't Worry, Be Happy," which immediately struck me as appropriate to briganski's situation. But I had no idea how! When McFerrin sings, "Your landlord says your rent is late," briganski and I both laughed out loud.
Rainy Day

(no subject)

I just read that the Pope died today. We've all seen it coming for several days, and I thought I was fairly indifferent to it. So, I'm surprised to find that the news has affected me so.

I consider myself critical of John Paul II's papacy. I hearken for another John XXIII, who ushered in progressive reform in Catholicism. I'm one who found John Paul II's archconservatism maddening at times. Nonetheless, Karol Wojtyla was a remarkable man, and his tenure at the head of the Catholic Church was almost as impressive. For all the negative, he did a lot of good.

There is a story that most Catholics know, at least though who attend church often enough to have heard a homily on this. It's about a young Jewish woman who had been imprisoned in a concentration camp in Poland during World War II. When the Russians liberated the camp, the survivors needed to get to a train to carry them to safety. But this woman was too weak to walk. A young seminarian found her, fed her, and then picked her up and carried her through the snow a few miles to the train, all the while talking to her about grief and the struggle for life. His name is indelibly engraved in her memory: Karol Wojtyla. You can read about this story here.

I know most of you are not Catholic and even more of you are very opposed to what this pope represented. Still, I encourage you to read one of the many obituaries about him, to learn a little bit more about this remarkable man. Here is the BBC's obituary and an article about his papacy's legacy.