Stella Barra in Chicago is always packed. Last night there was a 40-minute wait for a table, so we ate at their pizza bar. After dinner, we saw Son of Saul. The night before, 45 Years. I'll share some thoughts about both in another post.
I've just returned from a police station. I saw something criminal yesterday and called to report it. The officer I spoke with on the phone told me that I should come in and make an official report. That officer and another ended up (for lack of a better word) interrogating me for what seemed like an hour. I felt incredibly uncomfortable, like they were looking at me as a suspect. The questioning veered way too far into my personal history, not germane to what I was reporting. I was tempted to stop their questioning, but then it might look like I did something wrong. It's really upsetting to do the right thing and then feel treated like a criminal.
They were also asking me repeated questions that I already answered with "I don't know, I didn't see." Then they asked "did you see X?" Still later they'd go back to the original question that I answered with "I don't know, I didn't see." This kind of questioning is Planted False Memory 101. I wanted to say that to them, but I felt like they'd just regard such an observation as defensiveness and an indication that I'd done something wrong.
When they were done, I told one of the officers that I was really uncomfortable with the way they were questioning me. He asked "why?" as if it wasn't obvious why, extending the tone of treating me like a criminal. Can they just not imagine how they make people feel? He did offer to let me speak with his supervisor, which I'm sure would accomplish nothing, and even if it would accomplish something, I wasn't looking to make problems for him. I was speaking to him as a human being suggesting he consider the implicit question: "do you realize how you just made me feel and how this might bear on whether I report a crime in the future?"
This has never happened to me before. My few previous experiences have been closer to a response of indifference from the police. I guess I'd take indifference over what just happened, though indifference has also made me feel like not bothering to report crimes or suspected crimes.
I don't often have a reason to contact the police. Maybe I've called an average of once every five years,. Three times I can think of, I contacted the police as a crime victim, but otherwise any contact initiated by me has been a matter of acting as a good citizen.
Right now, I really feel angry and humiliated. Maybe I'll change my mind, but as of now, I don't think I'll contact the police to report a crime in the future.
45 Years is the film for our February discussion group. Haven't seen it yet.
Finished A Little Life. Great book, but the descriptions of one character's cutting, wounds and scars were overboard in this 700+ page novel. Shortening the cutting descriptions by half would lop off about 50 pages. But, nonetheless, a great book. 95/100
People complain about the government website, but that's gone pretty smoothly for us during all three enrollment periods. BCBSIL is another matter. It seems they're in a muddle over our plan selection and billing. I'm on hold now with a "Customer Advocate" who is every bit as baffled as I am.
Me: Look at this.
Advocate: That's right.
Me: No. Now look at this.
Advocate: Okay... that's... um... just a minute...
Me: Not yet. Now look at this.
Advocate: Well. No... wait. I don't know why... Um... can I put you on hold while I talk to financial?
Me: Yes (waiting)
Advocate: Financial Operations is going to have to get back to you after they do a premium audit of your account. They'll call you.
Me: But we've established that Plan X is what we're enrolled in since January 1, and you overbilled by a lot for January and we paid it, and you've overbilled for February and the online record of the account shows that you owe us money, which you do, but paper invoice shows that we owe you money, but we don't. It's simply not possible because we paid more than we were charged and way more than we were supposed to be charged.
Advocate: We've sent this down the rabbit hole and someone will call you back.
(This was the condensed version. The initial wait, the discussion and the second wait added up to about hour, and we're still not done, but I made up the part about the rabbit hole.)
Next, I've got to call Comcast so they can make their third attempt to fix a problem and fail yet again. ugh.
The fatal road-rage shooting of a 19-year-old exchange student after an Arizona fender-bender has sparked heated debate on gun control — in China.
Tempe Police told NBC station KPNX that Jiang Yue, who was studying at Arizona State University, was driving home from a shopping trip with her boyfriend on Saturday when her car was rear-ended.
Holly Davis, 32, is accused of firing multiple shots into Jiang's vehicle, which then hit another car carrying five passengers. The finance major was later pronounced dead and her boyfriend, a pregnant woman and three children were among six people injured.
Downy Woodpecker. Photo by Retriever. Nice catch, R!
Shot with a Canon 7D, with Canon 300mm f2.8 vr lens with a 1.4 extender. A sharp hand-held shot is almost impossible with the lens at 300mm never mind 600mm equivalent with extender.
I should explain a bit for those unfamiliar with lens differences. This was shot with an extreme telephoto lens. It super magnifies, thus the tiniest shake while the shutter is briefly open for the exposure results in a blurry photo, so photographers usually use tripods with a shot and lens like this. Even with a steady hand, you need a lot of luck or many shots to maybe get one clean image. These lenses may have image stabilization built into the lens (or stabilization software may be built into the camera), but stabilization can only compensate a little bit on these long telephoto shots. Adding to the difficulty, these lenses are heavy and extend far out from the body of the camera, making it even more difficult to shoot while keeping a steady hand.
The higher the mm of the lens the more telephoto and magnified. By comparison, I like to shoot a wide lens 18.5 mm for street shooting or occasionally 10mm at a passenger sitting across from me in a subway car, opened up big (letting lots of light in), so I don't have to maintain a super-steady hand to get a sharp shot, but I do have to get up close to get a sharp shot.
First there was Joan Fontaine v Olivia de Havilland. Then there was Lynn v Vanessa Redgrave. I was hoping for a Rooney v Kate Mara, but not this year. Oh well. Maybe TMZ can find a way to create the appearance of sisterly combat, even if it's imaginary.