Preparing for the worst

"Paranoia, paranoia. Everybody's trying to get me..." sung Harvey Danger in 1998. I was ending my freshman year of high school and I was pissed. Someone had just stolen my cell phone. Earlier in the school year someone had stolen my Nike gym shoes. Those punks weren't just jackin' my stuff, they were jackin' my swagger.

Fast-forward to today. I (fortunately) haven't had much else stolen since then except for that time when Wesley and I were robbed on a night train somewhere in Slovakia. Still, the same song plays in my head... "Paranoia, paranoia..." That's what being a homeowner does to you, I guess. It makes you I-need-pills paranoid.

When I was in high school, even in college, I didn't care much about the security of my possessions. That's probably because I didn't own much and what I owned was inexpensive and easily replaceable. How much could a Walkman cost? More importantly, I wasn't entirely responsible for my possessions. My parents were. They'd make sure the windows were shut and the doors were locked. They would make sure the garage door would close all the way. They would spot me the cash to replace what was lost or stolen. In college, I was sure that my possessions (like my health) were covered under my parents' insurance. I was carefree.

Now I'm in charge of/own just about everything, and that means I have to worry about everything. Are the cameras insured? Are the windows locked? Did the garage door shut?

My concerns were only reaffirmed by The Stranger's "Burglary Boom" article. If burglaries are up 49 percent year over year in West Seattle, Tacoma's got to be in the triple digits.

Lucky for me I have two Crime Stoppers for roommates. Amanda can hear sonar, I swear. Sergio undermines that whole scenario of "getting robbed while you're at work" because he only works out of the house about every two weeks.

Until we break the budget for an alarm system, we're about as safe as we can get, and I know that. I actually expect that we'll deal with some kind of theft no matter where we live because it happens to everyone and the state of the economy lends to increased crime.

For now, I'll just float in my paranoia and keep the doors locked.