Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Morning Coffee...oh crap, it's AFTERNOON coffee now

I am a slug.

I was full of ambition for today. Maybe I'll get some of it back. I hope so, anyway. I decided to do more hours at the carnival, after all. Long story short, Miz Bubs, dear woman, had planned on surprising me for our anniversary by booking a Las Vegas trip for us! When I started asking about picking up more hours at the carnival she was kind of non-committal, but then she finally came out with her plan the night before our anniversary. Turns out that she wasn't really sure about the mechanics of trip planning (I go through obsessive and arcane processes involving multiple list-making, price checking and hours of online time every time we go somewhere) so she just sprang her gift on me and encouraged me to get started. SO...

We now have three nights in August booked at the fabulous Orleans Hotel & Casino, and I ended up getting an excellent airfare through United. Which was lucky and took some work, because the average airfare from Chicago to LV was up in the $250-$300 range, and even then the departure/return times weren't that great. And, thanks to the last two nights, the air and hotel is already paid for. I'm just a little groggy from working all day and then 6-11pm on Thursday, and again from 6pm-midnight last night, after going in at 8am for a 2 hour staff meeting.

I got home last night at 1am after two relatively quiet nights at the parish carnival. On Thursday night I got called racist more times in one night than I have in the previous 5 or 6 years. I got it once from a black guy who turned out to be an old Vice Lord gang member, and again from a Latino kid who was a Latin King. I got it a couple more times from some other Latin Kings as they were being escorted off the premises, but at least they kept moving while they flapped their gums. And it's funny, too, because about half of our local Kings are Assyrian, including the ones I was escorting out at the time. On a related note, the Chicago Crime Commission just came out with their new gang guide, and they're reporting what we've all seen for a few years now: gangs are migrating to the suburbs from Chicago.

It's been a while since I've been on the street, but from what I've heard from a lot of our patrol officers that's now a standard line they get the instant they approach many people of color: the old "because I'm black/because I'm Latino" line, said with a lot of theatrical throwing up of hands, f-words and angry body language. I got a taste of it the past couple nights, and I'm glad I don't deal with it on a daily basis. There's a phrase that's turned up in policing in the past few years: "NCNC" which stands for "no contact, no complaint." The less you do anything proactive and deal with the public, the less your chances of getting beefed on. Google "de-policing" and you'll find some interesting articles.

OK, I've pulled myself together and it's time to make another run to Homeowner Hell. Hopefully I'll finish the deck today.

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