Happy Leap Day! Take Cover!

29 Feb

Leap Day fascinates me. It is basically acknowledging the mismatch between our calendar system and the time that our planet actually takes to orbit the sun.

Leap Day 2012 was a good day. I took a half-day from work, and made a special dinner for myself. I can’t recall if I watched a movie or not but I probably did. I was also celebrating being in a loving, healthy relationship (or so I thought at the time) and just feeling good about life.

Leap Day 2016 has not been off to the greatest start. Last night I got home from dinner at a friend’s house to find my neighborhood swamped with Five-Oh. They were investigating a house one house away from mine, and all the lights were flashing. It put me in mind of an event that had happened before.

Read on for details on my night and why I missed watching the Oscars due a case of ‘Roaming Searchlight-Itis!’

A year ago, I came home to find a similar situation going on across the street.  12 members of Orlando’s Gang Unit were investigating an armed home invasion where shots had been fired. Subsequent days would reveal several things, that were surprising to all of us:

  • The old woman across the street was not actually renting the house, but had let her son move in. He had a criminal past and would not have passed a background check, so she rented the place for him and didn’t live there.
  • He had sublet to a friend
  • He was dealing drugs (don’t know which kind – it does matter to me, as I tend to think of it as a sliding scale. Weed should be legalized as long as it’s not the kind of weed where someone is spraying it with weird shit or adding ‘things’ to it, acid isn’t that big a deal, coke is more serious and leads to more serious crime, and meth and/or crack means it is time to move, if you can)
  • Someone decided to take either the drugs or money, and that was where the armed home invasion came in.
  • I don’t know what was fired, but I am assuming it was not something small-caliber

Apparently a gun was thrown down, a car was a crime scene, and someone escaped on a motorcycle. I was at work during all of this, and got home in time to see the yellow tape festooning everything. The good news is, the  motorcyclist was caught a day or so later for driving 45 on a sidewalk. As you do when you are wanted by the police.

My house is LITERALLY a stone’s throw from this house. If the shots had been fired toward the front, they would have gone through the walls of that house, crossed the street, and hit mine. I do have cinder block, but it’ll only stop so much. There are also some pretty big glass windows on the front of my house, and those wouldn’t stop a really determined pigeon.

So when I got home last night to flashing lights and roving deputies, I had that familiar ‘Oh god, not again’ feeling. My neighbor said something about ‘We thought we heard a shotgun!’ before scampering inside. When I got in, I put my stuff down and cuddled Herzog, who was upset over the noise, flashing lights, and helicopter that was circling overhead.

I literally couldn’t deal , so I sat down and watched Atonement, which was lovely and sad, and I tried very hard to ignore the giant searchlight occasionally sweeping through my darkened backyard and living room. The chopper circled for about 3 hours. I forgot all about the Oscars until my friend sent me a celebratory ‘Mad Max won for things!’ text, which cheered me a bit.

Today when I got up, I did it with vague ‘Well, I probably should move’ ideas circling in my head. I went through my normal routine. On the way to work, I heard a news story about ‘Find out about the parasite that infests your contact lenses and then eats your eyeball!’ and switched the station to something else. I can only deal with so much reality at any given time.

At work I tried to use the Orange County Sheriff’s site to figure out what happened, but it wasn’t helpful. I asked a coworker whose son is a deputy for any intel, and unfortunately his son wasn’t on duty last night.

So I’ll try to find out what happened!

AND, I am resolved to have a pleasant rest of my Leap Day. I can’t do much about the crime in my neighborhood (and except for the occasional car break-in or fight on a Saturday night, there isn’t much), but I CAN have a great Leap Day!

I hope you do too!


8 Responses to “Happy Leap Day! Take Cover!”

  1. Steven February 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Here’s hoping it’s not so bad that you feel like you need to move.

    • jennnanigans March 1, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      There’s been some other stuff that has made me nervous – like somebody threw a concrete block through a sliding glass door in order to break in, and the other family in my duplex had the screen on their enclosed back porch slashed – and both happened during the day, when everyone is at work.
      I bought a motion sensor light last night and I’m going to put it up this week though – hopefully that will help! :/

  2. patricksponaugle February 29, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    Hey, I hope the rest of your day improved. And Mad Max did win things!!!!!!!!!!! (Just not all the things….)

    • jennnanigans March 1, 2016 at 8:48 am #

      It did, thanks! And yes – I think it should have won for direction and best picture, but hey, six awards is nothing to sneeze at either!

  3. rnmckinnon March 2, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    I dealt with a similar living situation while in the Greek Ghetto by UCF for seven months. I usually found info on Twitter with the #ucf hashtag whenever I heard gunshots. One time a police squad with bulletproof vests and everything told me to stop walking my dog and get back inside the house. Yeah… It’s worth it to have a roommate to be able to afford living in a wonderful neighborhood.

    • jennnanigans March 2, 2016 at 8:50 am #

      Oh man! That’s intense! Glad you’re not there anymore!
      Yeah I am thinking of moving, but I’m not sure I want to move somewhere else in Orlando. I’ve lived everywhere in this town – it might be time to broaden my horizons!

  4. Vanessa Leavitt (@vrleavitt) March 3, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    Yikes!! Sounds not so fun. But yay for Mad Max! That really was a good one.


  1. In Which I Find I Really AM A Vampire | Late to the Theater - March 3, 2016

    […] been a tiring week – I’m still investigating why the police were in my neighborhood Sunday night. I’m not some curtain-twitcher on a crusade to make young men pull up their pants; rather, […]

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