Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life During Wartime

Today was my day off, courtesy of G20 closing down a stretch of buildings on the CMU campus. I had a huge list of things to get done and I did pretty well. I got probably 80% of the Fall Weeding done--I did that first thing while it was still wet and dewy out so when it was over I was filthy, filthy dirty. After a shower I went to the cemetery to do some more research and map out my new tour. Its going to be a problematic one--3 of the folks I want to talk about are waaaaaay over there in section 19 which screws up my flow. I'm glad I took the time to go over and walk it thru.

I caught a 61 from Squirrel Hill and then the 54C from Craig Street in Oakland. As the bus neared the bridge into Polish Hill there was a wall of cops in riot gear blocking part of the road--plus a cop car blocking the bridge. Luckily that cop had a little sign language exchange with the busdriver(translation: "You need to drive over this bridge?" "Yes, sir, I do." "Wait--let me move this big black cop car out of your way.") and I made it back home. The trouble is I had to leave via that same bus route in an hour to get the kid at daycare. At this point there were a variety of eyewitness reports coming in via Facebook ("teargas at 34th and Liberty" "cops are breaking into houses looking for protesters!!!!" "overturned dumpster in street") and it became pretty obvious that the bus would not be coming by to pick me up. Luckily Mike got to leave early so we ended up having a nice earlier than usual evening together. Mike's old boss from Pulp was in town to report on G20 so the two of them went to Gooskis while Donny and I played with fingerpaint and imitated Brisbane. Donovan got so much paint on himself that I had to strip him down to his diaper. Turns out that while I was drawing water to soak his clothes in the sink, he was in the front room putting his big rubber rainboots on the wrong feet. That's quite a look with a diaper and a paintcovered torso.

Reports from the various scenes say that the majority of both the police and the protesters behaved themselves. The protesters proved me wrong by breaking some windows--I was really hoping they'd be better guests than that--but it sounds like, once the dust settled, all was well.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment in which I am, sadly, back at work.

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