Monday, September 04, 2006

News You Can Use To Crawl Into a Hole

Maybe it was the clouds, and I'm out of psychological practice dealing with longer-term cloudiness after living now in the desert for over a decade. Or maybe it was one of those "personal" reasons I wouldn't write in a blog entry in a million, billion years. Whatever the reason, I did my best to avoid humanity this weekend, choosing instead to repeatedly fail in fixing things around the house, pathologically watch the commentary track by David O. Russell to "Three Kings", and morbidly listen to John Cage, Steve Riech and Richard Buckner records on Rhapsody.

It was only this morning that I could switch to Elvis Costello singing "Lipstick Vogue" and scream the lyrics along with Mr. McManus and the Attractions. Needless to say, the weekend might have altogether different if I had just started with Costello/Attractions "This Year's Model" (one of the greatest albums of all time IMHO) instead of John Cage, but I also remember way back to Saturday morning and reading something in the Seattle Times (oh, Seattle, where I once lived and where clouds and melancholy are the incense and Eucharist of the State Religion) that immediately seemed to put me into a 48-hour humanity lock-down.

The story was about an ex-husband stalking his ex-wife using state-of-the-psycho technology. Or, as Times columnist Nicole Brodeur (who can move to the ABQ Journal any second she wants) put it:

"Robert Peak, 46, embedded himself into his estranged wife's very existence by hiding a GPS system in the dashboard of her Toyota Land Cruiser. Beside it, he installed a cellphone that didn't ring, but still picked up when he called. He could hear every conversation she had in the vehicle. He also installed spyware on her computer so he could hack into her e-mail."

So naturally the psycho starts showing up at restaurants where his Ex is having dinner, at friends' homes, and even calls the cops just before the Ex did to let them know his Ex is crazy and will soon be calling with bogus information.

So I'm reading this twisted story of a twisted guy twisting technology (which, for some reason, as a blogger upsets me even more than the story already had me upset), when I come across a little tidbit deep in the story....


"On Aug. 14, Robert Peak pleaded guilty to felony stalking, and was sentenced to eight months in King County Jail and four months of work release. He was given credit for 152 days, so he will be out in a few months."


Okay, you messed up and read the paragraph. Now, before it's too late, do not think about that "eight months" reference. Not even for a second. Stop, shake your head and think about Labor Day, or the tomatoes you grew in your garden this year or Elvis Costello's funny glasses, or cuddly baby ducks or anything.


Okay, I tried to warn you. You not only read it, but have thought about the "eight months" thing long enough to realize that the psycho dude has made his Ex's life a hi-tech living Hell for all this time, and he's getting out in a few months. That this woman is gonna be counting down days to this psycho's release like her own version of Death Row, while, in New Mexico, the penalty for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is up to a year in jail. Not to mention how *&%$@$* twisted someone has to be to put a GPS, etc. in somebody else's car/house/life, and that such a person is probably not the sort of person a community wants out in "a few months".

Sorry to go all Nancy Grace here, but this story left me in a Nancy Grace fugue state, and it hasn't been pretty. I only hope that the returning ABQ sunshine, the return of work for most of us tomorrow and the little piddly warning messages above will prevent readers from slipping into their own 48 hour psychological bender.

As for me, I'm not taking any chances. I'm listening to Elvis Costello and the Attractions at full volume all day long this Labor Day.

"I've been on tenterhooks
ending in dirty looks,
list'ning to the Muzak,
thinking 'bout this 'n' that.
She said that's that.
I don't wanna chitter-chat.
Turn it down a little bit
or turn it down flat.

Pump it up when you don't really need it.
Pump it up until you can feel it."

--"Pump it Up", This Year's Model,
Elvis Costello & the Attractions

P.S.: Yeah. I know "This Year's Model" is actually a pretty darn angry, bitter and depressing record. But you just can't stop screaming and dancing to it. And I don't even dance.

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