We work together just fine!

***This is a guest post from the Head Honcho at BetheRain about what it’s like to work with me, how we deal with world views and differences, and a fix for societal plights we face today. Awesome read, I highly recommend it! GW***

Grace Winterwood has been tasked with looking at life, and the inevitable politics that enslave it, as are the rest of us. I am not here to comment on my colleague’s personal views nor whether I agree or disagree with her opinions. The point of this writing is how we co-exist as intelligent human beings with differing viewpoints in our close-knit work environment.

Daily issues consume us all. No matter where you reside, American politics affect you one way or another. This is our destiny or plight- depending on your outlook. There is no escape, no matter how hard one may try. The United States of America has decided they are the go-to resource for the world’s problems. But do we create more problems than we solve?

In our instant case (to borrow the legal term) we are mainly concerned with localized viewpoints. Even as outspoken advocates for the rights of others, our viewpoints do not always synch. This is a problem not only for us as collaborative people but us as a society. Or is it?

We, as a country, are deeply divided. This fact has been apparent since the hanging chads and the highly-contested elections of some member of the Bush family. I’m not here to bore you with my opinion on those elections or administrations.

The issues we keep coming back to (as a writing team) are essentially non-political. Yes, Trump installed Jeff Sessions (an admitted racist) as Attorney General. Yes, Trump wanted, at one time to build a wall. We, as humans, are forced to react and we do so in real time. It’s not as easy as it looks, there is a process of vetting articles. There is also the fact that we try to veer away from politics on our collaborative website: www.betherain.org.

World views and issues arise daily. None of us has any control of that process. What we DO have control of is the way we intake and let any new information guide our individual mantras. For example, the issues in North Korea are universal. Everyone agrees this is an aggressive State with issues that need to be addressed.

Our own election process has been called into question and proof is emerging that Russia was indeed involved to “some extent” in the 2016 US election.

Personally, I have as much distaste for Hillary Clinton as I do Donald Trump. This is not a political commentary, however. Grace has been a lighthouse in the storm. The country has been torn and remains torn over issues we have not seen raised since the 60’s. Grace is a conservative. I am a liberal. At least this is the quick label we would need at a corporate or national event.

We work together for one reason. We want to help people. In doing so it makes no sense to let individual viewpoints or political views to enter the conversation. I challenge other workplaces to adopt our open discussion policy. We have actually figured out the solution to racism if anyone cares to listen…


Singing the Blues

The reporting-got-me-crazy-new-puppy-got-me-sleepy blues. For the past, what, 2 months or so I have been up to my eyeballs in coverage for a journal I write for. It’s a really cool place to write, and we generate some hella good articles (BetheRain). I’m a conservative, the head honcho is…not. Not sure what he is exactly, an independative, maybe. And then there’s a British guy. Which can lead to some funny as hell conversations at times. Anyway, I’ve been covering the #freedanielholtzclaw thing, and I’m totally absorbed. It seems like I can barely come up for air, much less sleep. Things are, well, things around here. So naturally I thought it would be a brilliant idea to add a puppy to the mix.

An adorable, lovable, warm, fuzzy 4 month old puppy. Named Annabelle. You know about that possessed Raggedy Anne doll named Annabelle, right? Yeah. So on day one, she made the trip from Georgia, she was shy and reserved and worn out from all the new experiences. Day 2 she discovered that when she potties outside she gets a treat. This led to a record number of potty trips. She’d go make the peepees, come inside and 20 minutes later, go make the poopies. All day long. Needless to say, on Day 3 the upset tummy hit. Then it was a solid 24 hours of making the poopies every 20 minutes regardless. Treats were withheld at this time. And food. And sitting on the furniture. And sleep

I’m happy to report that the upset tummy is resolved, treats are strictly regulated, and I now have a toddler in her terrible two’s running around on 4 legs. This, this, this animal gets into everything. Ev.Er.Y.Thing. Nothing is sacred. She destroys remote controls, shoes, brooms, mops, furniture, fireplaces, plastic bags, bras, and panties with equal joyous abandon. And this little shit is lightning fast when she wants to be. If she’s got a remote, you can’t catch her. You just have to stalk her until she tires out, and hope for the best. She is also fond of dragging the outside to the inside. I have swept up enough grass, leaves, pecans, twigs and rocks to make my own forest. And she has a foot fetish. She doesn’t care if you wear shoes or not, your feet are fair game to her. In an effort to not step on her head, I twisted my foot this morning, and now it’s very Shrek-looking and Shrek-feeling. Just when you are ready to lose your mind, she crawls onto your lap and bathes you in cute puppy kisses and head butts. How can you stay mad at that?

By fishing the damn toilet paper out of her mouth while she’s doing it, that’s how. She rouses me bright and early every morning to go make the peepees and the poopies. I’m grateful for that, because cleaning up peepees and poopies is not my favorite thing. But once she is up, she’s UP for a good 5 or 6 hours, jetting around like she’s got a rocket up her butt, daring you to catch up. ***SPOILER ALERT*** You never do. Finally around lunch time, I give in to stress and put her in her kennel for an hour or two, so I can get some peace. She barks and whines for 3 minutes like she’s dying, then lays down and takes a nap. God, what a FABULOUS idea. I think I will too.

The house is quiet, the demon spawn is quiet, and I am just about asleep. It’s at this precise time that my cell phone develops a life of it’s own. I’ve got messages flooding in, calls flooding in, Twitter decides to update my feed, and Facebook sends me every message I have gotten. Ever. This goes on for an hour or two. Then, oddly, as I release the demon spawn Annabelle from captivity, my phone goes quiet. This is now what my days ae like. Every day. ***SPOILER ALERT*** This is also the bedtime routine. So I am back to stalking the dog, while trying to research and/or write without killing myself or Annabelle. Have you ever tried to talk to an attorney while prying a puppy off your foot? I have. The man thinks I’m an idiot now, and possibly mildly retarded. But here she comes again with kisses and head butts. And toilet paper. God Bless It, Annabelle, where the FUCK are you getting all this toilet paper from, you little shit? Pardon me, I have to run, trip, go…I have to find the toilet paper source. Have a great day!

Solar Eclipse Wait

While I am sitting here waiting on the eclipse, I decided to wow you with more of my droll writing abilities and insights. Actually, I woke up this morning with ancient civilizations on my brain. Can you imagine the fear and awe they must have felt during a solar eclipse? The sky going dark in the middle of the day must have just been terrifying. How many spiritual men called it an omen from the gods? It makes me thankful that we have the science to understand it now, because at the moment, STATUES. So if we didn’t understand the science of the eclipse, could you imagine the effect it would have on societal change now?

On the other hand, I wonder if it would change the awe I feel when I witness an event like this. I guarantee you a bunch of witches reputations were MADE during an eclipse in ancient times. Think about it. It’s a normal day, it starts getting dark, and the local witch starts doing witchy stuff to restore it. BOOM! Suddenly, she’s (or he’s) a miracle worker, and she’s got it made for the rest of her life. Unless she’s accused of causing the eclipse to start with. Then she may wind up dead, but with serious street cred.

Ok, well the partial totality is over here in Alabama, and even though it didn’t get dark, it was still pretty awesome to witness. The bugs were all convinced it was dusk, as the mosquito bites all over my legs will attest. Plus they all got noisy and started singing like mad. They are still going, but getting quieter since it is slowly getting brighter outside again. The best I can describe it is that the sunlight got very weak looking. There were long shadows from the trees and the sky looked sort of wavery, if you know what I mean. The pictures I took show the sky going from a bright blue to a muddy grey color. I was just grateful the clouds cooperated for us here. And thanks to technology I was able to watch totality on television, and herself got to see the corona of the sun. I don’t know why getting to see it in real time is different than seeing pictures, but it is somehow.

I think I am going to choose to see it as a good omen. Lord knows we could use some goodness in the world today.

It’s been a while…

It’s been hella crazy around here since I started on my new writing project and I have sorely neglected my blog. Yesterday after I submitted another article, I noticed, I mean really noticed, how piled up my desk has gotten. I shoveled it off, and then I realized it was a theme that carried throughout my whole house. Feeling accomplished after clearing my workspace up, I bustled off to the living room to play some Diablo 3 with Herself. C’mon, you didn’t seriously think I was going to say I spent the rest of the day cleaning? Have you met me??

Sadly, today is cleaning day. I’m saying sadly because I hate housework like I hate people that abandon puppies. But I love being able to walk through the house without throwing up a little in the back of my mouth. It’s a conundrum for sure. The urge to not vomit is stronger than the loathing for housework, so there it is. A Saturday spent making my house smell like someone farted Fabuloso from front to back.  Fabuloso is the next best thing to a house full of scented candles. I am shockingly low on scented candles as it turns out. That alone is almost unheard of. I always have candles. Always. Anyhow, I digress.

First, I’ll run through all my usual stall tactics. Like writing this blog post. I’ll need a shower before I can clean the house. It gets hot in here, so I’ll need to wear shorts, and therefore I need to shave my legs. I cannot clean with furry legs. It just isn’t the done thing here in the deep south. And I did notice this wood carved box I got for my makeup. I never got around to painting it, so I’ll probably knock that out first too. What?! It’ll be too hot outside later to do it, and plus this will allow plenty of time for the paint to dry. And I do need to water the plants. If you read about the scary orange hair incident, you know about my hose pipe in the back yard, and understand the direct impact that has on showering. I’m sure other things will pop up as well.

Also don’t forget that as a freelancer, self promotion is key, so interspersed throughout any activity is promotional activity on social media. Yes, yes I am one of those that retweets obnoxiously in the hope that people will actually read my articles. That’s a bold face lie. I don’t care if they read them, I want people to PAY me for them. At the moment though, I’m settling for people reading them. After it’s all said and done, I’ll spend about 2 hours max on housework, and that’s only if I sweep and mop the entire house. I still hate it though, and it’s still 2 hours I could spend on something else.

You know, I would really love to repaint my desk…

It Happens In Batches

I know, most of you would rather read about my orange hair (which has settled into a meh shade of light brown now), my adventures with air conditioning, or big old bullet holes in my house. Tough. I follow several cases, and report on a few from time to time. Reporting is a lot different than speculating, though, or ranting. Sometimes that needs to be done here. Not to mention, I’ve got some editors that don’t always feel the cases I follow and report on are always relevant. Relevant is a buzz word they use to tell me I need to crank out an article on Trump, Putin, or the ever popular reality t.v. subculture. Some days I can do it. Some days, I get the same meh feeling as I have about my hair at the moment. Today is one of those days. By rights, I should write this as an article on BN, which is where I do my Avery/Dassey coverage, but, by rights they should have paid me on time, so…

Today, the word came down that the state has prevailed and the entire 7th circuit will review the appeal. While this isn’t exactly happy news, I’m hoping there is an actual method to their madness. This follows on the heals of the state appointing a special prosecutor on both Avery and Dassey’s cases. ***DISCLAIMER – Never EVER confuse my Google searches with a law degree. I don’t have one*** Having said that, I was concerned after doing a few googley-type things. I cannot figure out, for the life of me, why they would assign a special prosecutor to a case that is closed. Brendan’s case was at the federal level because of the habeas ruling. His state case was closed. The timing is definitely curious, but I don’t know what it could mean.

As far as the 7th circuit, I am hoping that they are doing this with an eye to setting a firm precedent on juvenile interrogations and confessions. As far as I can tell there really isn’t one. Which is disturbing in and of itself. I truly don’t want to believe that enough judges feel the habeas ruling was incorrect. That would spell disaster for any type of precedence-setting we hope to see. I would like to see Brendan Dassey prevail.  I can’t even begin to speculate what the 7th circuit will decide. I can’t even speculate for the reason they are granting the en banc review. All I can do is what I have been doing, which is researching the case, reporting or blogging, and hoping to make a little bit of a difference in the world.  Let’s hope the next batch of news out of these cases are good news.

I can only wind up with orange hair so many times to keep you amused, after all.


Stricter Idiot Control

Some jackwagon decided to piss me off last night. I have just started working for another news aggregation service, and I was struggling through my first article for them. The article itself wasn’t a struggle, but learning their platform was trying my patience. Not to mention, the article was about Daniel Holtzclaw and I was trying to make sure it didn’t wind up buried as a useless op-ed piece that nobody would read. So take note…go learn about Daniel Holtzclaw. But then, come back and finish reading this. Actually, you know what? I’ll post some links to information about Daniel Holtzclaw at the end of this post. Two birds, one post.

So anyway, I had been battling WordPress on this article, then battling AP Images, then Pixlr. It was not a great night for me, and I just wanted to get it published and go to bed. Finally, I hit publish, minus any tags, and apparently with image issues that my editor hit me with at the crack of dawn this morning. I shut everything down, and stretched out on my bed. My daughter came in to say goodnight and went to her room. And then we were hit with stupidity.
It sounded like something heavy had fallen over in the house. That’s what it sounded like. What it was though, was some idiot shooting into the house. Yes, with a real gun, and real bullets. Causing real big holes. It didn’t even remotely sound like a gunshot. Or several, because according to my neighbors, they heard several. Just a loud crash. Well, now I know what a .45 sounds like when it punches a hole through 2 walls.

My initial reaction was messed up, too. I was seriously pissed because it shredded the blinds and got glass everywhere. I still get pissed looking at the blinds, because it looks trashy.  Like I’ve got a rabid cat, or mad coked out ferret running loose in here. I have neither of those things, by the way. The “holy hell that could have killed someone” reaction didn’t hit for a couple of hours.  It was definitely there by about 2 in the morning, though, when I heard every single noise for a 4 block radius. By 3 a.m. my mind was playing tricks on me and I was hearing crap that wasn’t there. I finally dozed off about 6 this morning, and my alarm went off at 7 so I could get the trash out for pick up.

I’m a strong advocate for the right to bear arms. I’m also a strong advocate of being educated in firearm safety and use. The general consensus is that it was some teenage gangsta-wannabe, who had no idea what he was actually doing. His parents need to be punched in the neck for not educating him, and not keeping up with what kind of crap he’s doing, if that’s the case. In the light of day, it’s a simple matter to be pissed off. Once it gets dark and quiet again, I expect the fear to come. I felt safe in my home before this. I don’t feel safe now, I feel violated. Whoever shot that gun took that from me. Nobody should have to live this way. Stricter gun control will not fix that. We need stricter idiot control. Because that gun wasn’t randomly going down the road shooting; there was an idiot behind it, pulling the trigger. Last time I checked, criminals and idiots don’t pay much attention to the law anyway, so stricter gun control wouldn’t really affect them.

And now, as promised, links to learn about Daniel Holtzclaw;


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Hot Egg Farts In My Hair, Day 2

Well, after the scary orange-turned funky ombre hair thing, I used One ‘n Only Color Fix on my hair yesterday to try and find a happy medium between scary orange and funky ombre. What I found was tan. It levelled out my hair to a uniform tan. I’ve never seen tan hair before yesterday. It was kind of interesting. It did make the silver grey roots less noticeable. But tan is a hair color for coloring books in kindergarten, so I knew I wasn’t done. The lady at Sally beauty supply told me to do the second treatment, that it could conceivably remove the remaining color. So here I sit, my head wrapped in a plastic bag of ass, trying to get rid of the tan.

A few things to note, if you are trying this yourself. The instructions call for 20 minutes. I left it in for about an hour. And rinsing, dear GOD at the rinsing. I think I rinsed and washed and rinsed again about as long as I left it in my hair. How long do you rinse? Until you can’t feel, or smell the stuff in your hair anymore, plus 20 minutes. I rinsed until my hair squeaked, then I washed in Head and Shoulders shampoo, rinsed until squeaky again, washed with a purple shampoo for tone, rinsed until squeaky again, piled on gobs of conditioner, rinsed until squeaky again, and finally put in a leave-in conditioner. I did not use the third bottle in the box, as I wasn’t sure I had gotten it all out. If you don’t rinse it all out, bottle #3 will re-oxidize your hair color and make it dark again. Or something like that. Anyway, I didn’t use it. I also didn’t even towel dry my hair, as it was very moisture starved by this point. I sat around and dripped for a good 30-45 minutes. And gloried in my tan hair for the rest of the evening.

Today, it’s been in my hair and stinking up my house for 32 minutes so far. I’ll check it in  another half hour and go from there.  Yep, I’m taking the risk so you don’t have to! But I draw the line at pictures or videos, sorry.