Monday, April 18, 2011

Why I'm happy to still have my vintage dumbphone, and other link-related musings

- Once again, David Carr says it best. (And, to give people some credit, maybe this is why so many are glued to their tiny screens. I know this feeling well, but I have it mostly in terms of real-world experiences I'm afraid to miss. Surrender, Dorothys!)

- Speaking of experiences, had this opportunity been available to me at 18, I wonder if I would have had the guts to apply . . . and study and live in my birthplace.

Not sent from my 6-year-old flip-phone,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Just another man-ic Friday

As I eat my Friday lunch and TGIF, I wanted to share some food for thought with you.

I was skeptical when I read their titles, and I think some of the ideas about marketing to men are dumb (but perhaps still necessary at this point in society), but overall I found these two articles to be quite excellent. (. . . If a bit "duh"-inducing; I mean, this is what feminism is and always has been about--equal opportunities to break the limits in both genders.)

Macho libre,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A hard-boiled blog post: The Thrilling Conclusion . . . or is it?

Then on April 3, at 8:45 am, I get this email from the hubby:

Alleged Kidnapper Arrested on Roof of Malden Center Building

4/2/2011 11:45 pm: Police have taken down the yellow tape and allowed residents of 160 Pleasant Street back into the building. Several residents said they saw police in the building as early as 10 a.m. this morning, and they were allowed to exit and enter the building until at least 7 p.m.. After that, however, police locked the facility down, leaving many out in the cold.

“I was in the building earlier tonight when my wife said the FBI were outside and surrounding the building,” said 160 Pleasant Street resident Justin Hall. “ We called Channel Five to ask if they knew what was going on and they said someone had been kidnapped and taken into the building but then escaped.”

Hall said he was upset that police and building management apparently knew but did not tell residents that a potentially dangerous individual was inside the residential complex.

“I am so irate right now if they knew about this first thing this morning but didn’t tell the residents.”

4/3/2011 12:10 am: The FBI, SWAT, Malden Police, K-9 units and officers from several area police departments have arrested a man accused of kidnapping a Providence man and taking him into 160 Pleasant Street.

The suspect was found on the roof of the building and arrested, according to police. He’s been taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police confirmed he had kidnapped a Providence man and taken him into Malden. Officers declined to provide further details on the incident or the arrest.

The search of the building took approximately six hours, according to police.

MALDEN, Mass. -- State police, FBI agents and a SWAT team searched an apartment complex in Malden where an alleged kidnapping victim was found Saturday.

According to police, a 20-year-old man said he was kidnapped in Providence Saturday and then taken by force that apartment complex. He said he escaped his kidnapper, ran to the apartment complex lobby and called police.

It appeared police were searching for someone in the building. Police were not letting anyone in that apartment building Saturday night; Anyone who left the building was forced to show identification. The building was not evacuated.

Residents said investigators took pictures on the second floor. K-9 units were seen entering the building.

It was not known what officials were searching for as of Saturday night. Residents at the apartment complex said the area was normally quiet.

“We’ve lived here for almost three years and have never had any activities like that,” said one woman.

FBI agents have not released any information about the alleged kidnapper. They said the victim was safe.

The investigation continues and so far no arrests have been made.
----------- -

April 4, 8:03am

Monday, April 4, 2011

A hard-boiled blog post

Here is a guest post (well, actually e-mails that I am turning into a post) by my husband, who is (sometimes infuriatingly) good at so many things--and one of them turns out to be writing narrative nonfiction.

While I was in London this past weekend having what I thought was an exciting time, it turns out the real action was back at home . . .

Saturday, April 2, 8:47pm

So, earlier today, I heard walkie-talkies in the hallway. It sounded like people were looking for someone. I figured someone had locked themselves out and the maintenance people were looking around.

Just now, Froupie and I were sitting on the couch studying when we hear a dog outside the door. Maybe one of our neighbors has gotten a dog and is bringing it home. The dog seems very agitated, and Froupie gets progressively more concerned. The dog gets more worked up and now it sounds like someone is torturing the poor thing. Then I hear walkie talkies right outside our door and the dog starts scratching at things.

Froupie jumps off and heads to the bedroom. I go to the door and and look through the peephole and I finally see what's been going on all day.

There are police officers with a police dog outside our door. The dog is scratching at the door of our neighbor across the hall. They knock on her door.

"Police. Let us in."

I worry about what the dog is smelling. Drugs? Not our neighbor. Dead body? My heart sinks. Poor girl. Dying so far from home with no friends to notice her passing. Maybe her lab people finally got worried after she hadn't shown up for a week and called the police.

The door opens slowly and an Asian woman comes out. I can't make her out through the peephole, but I think it's our neighbor.

She bends at the waist. I'm momentarily confused until I realize she had opened the door holding her slippers and has dropped them down and is now putting them on.

Meanwhile, the police ask her several times if she's alone. She assures them that she is, but the police seem unconvinced.

They walk in with their dog and with their guns drawn. I notice that someone who looks like Dennis [our building manager] is with them. He stays outside and again asks her if anyone has come into her apartment.

By now, Froupie has gained some courage and comes out and sits under the dining table.

Maybe the guy had sneaked in and she wasn't even aware of it. Maybe it's an undocumented relative. Who knows?

I step away from the door, worried that there could be a shoot-out and I may get hit by a stray bullet.

I hear them walk out of her apartment and move their search down the hall.

I worry that someone might have sneaked in to our place while I was letting Froupie wander outside earlier with the door open. I do a full search of the place, with the phone in my hand just in case. No one is here.

Then I worry that the police and the dog may come into our place and scare Froupie. Plus, the bathroom is a mess and, if the guy is Dennis, Froupie will be discovered. I can't do anything about the last two, but I can clean up.

So, the bathroom is a little cleaner now.

Providence, Mass. police investigating kidnapping

By NBC 10 News
Published: April 02, 2011

Providence Police as well as Malden, Mass. police are investigating a kidnapping early Saturday morning at the Regency Plaza.

Officials say a person was kidnapped and taken by force to Malden at about 2 a.m. The victim was found at 160 Pleasant St. according to Malden police.

According to police a second victim was involved in the incident but was not taken from the Regency Plaza.

Officials say no arrests have been made in the case. Malden police as well as Providence, state and the FBI Task Force is investigating the incident.

Saturday, April 2, 9:35pm

The laundry has been put away. The bed has been made. I hear voices down the hall and I know our apartment is next. I'm rushing to hang my pants, but can't find a hanger. I quickly fold them and leave them on your vanity chair.

I hear a key turning in our door and then a knock. It's an older man in a fireman's outfit, asking if he can come in. I say sure. He has a kind face and a smile.

A lady cop follows. Short hair and a muscular build. They're standing outside our door, waiting for something. I hear the dog from up the hall.

"Blood! Come here," she yells.

She asks for confirmation that they can come in. I say sure, but that I have a cat, who'll be scared of the dog.

The fireman laughs. She doesn't see the humor and keeps looking at me, trying to size me up. Does she think I'm their suspect?

She turns and motions down the hall with her hand to her partners.

"The cat won't run out?" asks the fireman.

"We have permission to search this unit," she yells down the hall.

"No. He's been hiding under the bed since all this started," I answer.

He laughs. "They're just finishing up another unit," says the fireman.

A few seconds later, the guy that looked like Dennis through the peep hole comes over. He's wearing a sweater with a police badge at the neck. He asks me again if they can come in. I stand out of the way and let them in. He and another male cop come in. No guns drawn this time. Just flashlights. I turn to make sure the dog isn't coming in, but Blood and the lady cop have disappeared.

They do a pretty cursory search. One of them opens and closes the laundry room door, walks into the bathroom with his flashlight, then into the office.

The other one, Dennis's double, goes into our room.

The one who went into the office is now out. It didn't take that long. I wonder if he really looked around that much.

"Has anyone has come knocking on your door?" he asks. "Have you seen or heard anyone running frantically down the hall?"

I tell them I just heard commotion from them earlier, but that no one had come knocking.

Dennis's twin is now done with our room and heads straight toward me with his Blackberry facing out.

I see a picture of an Asian guy. I see his name: Hui X...? I can't make out the rest of the name. He looks like a young guy. Kind of nerdy. A little awkward.

"If this guy or anyone comes knocking on your door, asking to be let in... Anyone with a sob story," he says.

I complete his sentence with a question: "I'll call 911?"

"You call 911," he confirms.

I feel like I'm a pro at this cop stuff because I knew that I should call 911. A second later I feel stupid for feeling like a pro.

They leave. I close the door and lock it. Froupie is still scared under the bed, but I'm finally relaxed. I was worried about Dennis seeing Froupie and the cops seeing a messy apartment. But that's over now. However, there may or may not be an Asian kidnapper on the loose, and I'm still not entirely convinced he's not in the apartment.

I search again. This time looking under the sinks and the cupboards. I look in the little AC inlet. No one is here.

I'm going to put on "Psych" and iron my shirts.

Then I'll have a drink and put a bunch of chairs behind our apartment door before going to sleep.

TOMORROW: The conclusion to our mystery . . .