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;

Recent Article


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.

Orange Hair is NOT Amusing

So, among other quirky things about my house you didn’t know, is the fact that the hose pipe in the back yard connects off of my water heater. I don’t know why it does, but it does. There’s a reason I am telling you this. It’s because of the orange hair. Yes, you heard me. Orange hair. ORANGE. Not soft orange, not naturally occurring in nature orange, not attractive orange. ORANGE, like creepy clown in the sewer orange. Are we all on the same page now?

I have grey and silver hair. I have a lot of grey and silver hair. I usually dye it back to my youthful dark brown, but guys, I’ve been dyeing my hair for over 30 years, and I am sick of doing it. Since silver and grey hair is all the rage right now, I figured it would be a good time to embrace my granny hair and escape the dye trap. I wanted to do it yesterday while herself was still in the hospital because to strip color off of your hair is a smelly process. In fact, it smells like egg farts and fireplace matches.  I figured she didn’t need the aromatherapy, so with a plan in place, I left the hospital and headed for the beauty supply, where I picked up a box of maximum strength egg farts Color Oops. I bet you’re trying to figure out what this has to do with the hose pipe, huh? I’m getting to that.

So color lifter in hand, I strip to my unmentionables, and get to work on my mass of hair.  I read the directions three times to make sure I knew what I was doing. I put the stuff in my hair, put the bag on my head, and waited the requisite 20 minutes. As I was stripping out of even my unmentionables, I heard a lawn mower roar to life, but thought nothing of it, as I live in a tidy neighborhood where someone is always mowing their lawn. Rinse hair in warm water for 20 minutes, it said. Then wash it with additional 5 minute rinses for a total of 3 washes and 4 rinses. In warm water. Warm water is apparently pretty damned important. I’m 7 minutes into my first rinse when the water pressure sort of drops. O-kaaaaaay. Roughly 60 seconds later I have zero hot water. None. I stick my head out of my shower long enough to realize it’s my lawn being mowed. Well crap. It’s my friend’s very well-intentioned mother, having my yard done for me. Which includes watering my plants. With the hose pipe out back, the very one connected to my water heater.

I turn off all the cold water, hoping to persevere, and call said friend on my cell. “Tell whoever is out there to turn off the hose,” I screech. “I’m in the shower with color lifter on my hair and I have to have hot water!” Now, to be fair, I’d probably laugh a bit if I was on the receiving end of that call, but I was on the sending end, and I was NOT laughing. To give her credit, she tried. She failed, but she tried. So did I. I made it to the second wash and rinse in thoroughly cold water before just giving up. I step out of the shower, look in the mirror, and start crying. My hair is as orange as it can possibly be.  How can I go out in public like this? It’s like Sun-In gone horribly wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. A fact that provided my friend loads of amusement. The more she laughed the more the tears came. I was a wreck. I was also trapped, as I had no idea who was in my yard and I had open blinds and a towel. I ended up sitting in my closet until they left so I could get dressed.

The good thing about Color Oops is that if you don’t follow the directions to a tee, it doesn’t work. As my hair dried, it oxidized, getting darker as time went by. I ended up with a copper color on top, with a sort of an hombre down to dark brown on the ends. It’s not great, but at least it’s not orange any more. And I am very appreciative of having my yard done. But herself is home now, and so she will be on hose duty tomorrow while I try to do something to fix this. She has my permission to shoot people in the face with a bazooka if they go near the hose pipe until I am done. I’ll just put a clothes pin on her nose to deal with the smell.

Livin’ La Vida Hospital

Yes, oh yes, we are back in the hospital. It’s like a second home for vacations or something, only not fun sand and sun filled vacations. More like an antiseptic and test tube filled vacation. I swear, you know you’ve been here a lot when nurses on other floors pop in to say hello. Housekeeping too. They like us because I try to keep the room tidy.  I’ve gotten used to writing from just about anywhere in this past year. I adapt. I take what’s available and make it work. Like this…


Yes, I looked like death. She was in the hospital and looked 1000 times better than I did. What can I say. Hospital visits wear on me, and in my defense, I was sick as a dog myself when she took this picture. I was rocking a combination UTI and stomach virus. I lost 10 pounds that week, but I don’t recommend it as a diet plan. And yes, that is a bedside potty I was using as a desk. Adaptability matters, okay?

This visit is not as hard on me, as I am not quietly wishing to die. She’s having a bit of a rougher time this trip. But I am a mom with a vengeful nature, and she took that picture and posted it on Facebook for the world to see. So, in retaliation, meet my kid…


Now before you jump all over me for doing this, she is sick but recovering, and she is sleeping like a rock in this picture. As I type this she is chatting with her nurse and getting ready to take meds. I am sitting on the sofa, lablet on the potty chair, typing away. This is hospital life. May it soon be a thing of the past for her.

I think I strained my whatchamacallit

When I bought my house, I was gifted a nifty 1970’s desk that has real potential. Yes, I like kitsch. So anyway, I set up the spare bedroom as my office, a thing I have wanted since the beginning of time. A mom cave; my own space to do my writing, surfing, kibbitzing, and daydreaming. It was awesome! I had the desk, a couple of cute chairs and an occasional table, even a smallish grandfather clock. There’s a nice size window that lets in the morning sun, limiting my need for the kinda crappy overhead light. Of course, it was still springlike outside when I did this and I was filled with joy. Until summer hit and I discovered that my central AC is central non-AC. Let’s be realistic here. I just bought a house. I don’t have a spare 5 grand laying around to replace the AC. What I have is 2 small window units and a portable AC unit that has seen better days, but only cost me $40 at the local deal-n-dash. I tried, really really tried, to tough it out in my new mom cave. That window with the morning sun made that little room hotter than the 7th circle of hell by 10 a.m. I was hot, sweaty, and stuck to everything I came in contact with. It was a miserable experience. Keeping the office intact, I took my handy dandy lablet first to the living room, and ultimately to my room. No it’s not a typo. I said lablet. It’s a Surface Pro; a little more than a tablet, but not quite a laptop. Lablet. Deal with it.


I’m not a young woman anymore. I’m not old, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen my 20’s. Sitting on my bed trying to use my lablet became an exercise in constant hip and knee joint pain, not to mention the joyful feeling it gave my lower back. And since I am now doing the writing gig full time, I spend a lot of hours in front of a keyboard. Like on the order of 8-10 hours a day, depending on what I am working on. I sat on my bed because it was what there was to sit on, and it put me in close proximity of the portable AC. My entire bedroom is currently arranged around the beast, a trade off I made to avoid heat stroke on any given deep-south summer day. Not to mention the fact that it’s a lablet. It’s got a cute little purple keyboard, and a cute little kickstand, neither of which are designed to sit on the bed for hours on end to write article after article.


At any rate, it was starting to affect my productivity. I was waiting until late at night to work, and rising before the sun to work, so that I could whine about my back, hips, and knees throughout the heat of the day. When you write for a news aggregation service, you can’t always do that. So this morning, I bit the bullet and decided to move the desk into my room. Holy God, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I had forgotten how awkward and heavy that damn desk is. I swear I think it is actually made out of cleverly disguised cast iron. It is definitely a solid piece of office furniture, unlike my current desk chair, which is, yes, a lawn IMG_20170723_134411chair with a cushion and a throw I crocheted while darling daughter was in the hospital. Hey, don’t judge. It works. Being the perky little go-getter than I am (stop LAUGHING!) I rearranged my bedroom and pushed, pulled, shoved, and drug the damn desk in here. It’s where I now sit, writing this post. The jury is out on if it’s cooler and more comfortable, though. With all the moving, I think I pulled something. Something vital. My whatchamacallit. That thing. Plus I’m hot and sweaty from the rearranging. So, for today, I won’t judge. If I can actually move tomorrow, we’ll see how it works.

Consumed by Old Tragedies

Do you ever watch a show or read an article, and the subject so captivates you that you cannot let it go? I do this. All the freaking time. Of course, true crime ropes me in every time. A lesser known side of me also goes through this with tales of adventure. I love learning about people and how they achieved their dreams. Then I  learn everything I can about who they are and what they are doing. Or in the latest case, what they did. Scrolling through Netflix late one night I stumbled upon a documentary, The Summit. It tells the story of a single day in August, 2008 , when 11 people lost their lives on K2. In case you haven’t heard of K2, it is the 2nd highest mountain peak in the world,  with a record of fatalities that goes back to the very first attempt to reach the summit. They say Everest is taller, but K2 is the harder climb.

Now, I know fuck-all about mountaineering, but I was instantly captivated. Among the 11 people  that died that day, one really stood out to me; Ger Mcdonnell. Part of it, I think, was the video footage of him laughing, having fun, and enjoying his life. In still shots, it seems he was always smiling, and he had a smile that could literally light up a mountain. He was, hands down, one of the most beautiful people I think I have ever seen. I don’t mean good-looking, although he was, in fact, extremely handsome. I can’t explain it, other than he had something that just radiated out of him from within, something I don’t even think he was aware of, that made him uniquely beautiful. There were no shortage of fine looking men on that slope that day. Some lived, some didn’t. But Ger McDonnell’s death is probably the first time I have ever cried like a girl watching a documentary.

Being me, I had to go find out everything I could about Ger McDonnell, K2, mountaineering, and moral codes of conduct when you are in the death zone. I think I was trying to understand why such a life was cut so short. I was trying to understand what kind of insanity propels people up the side of a mountain that could very well kill them, in an instant if they are lucky, or over the course of hours if they aren’t. I think I have a tiny glimmer of understanding now.

The adventurous side of me thinks it might be something I’d like to try. The fat girl side of me just laughs and laughs at the notion. I’d probably be more likely to sail around the world than climb any  mountains, but I get a sense of how alive it must make you feel. I’d like to feel that kind of alive, at least once, before I die.

Anyway, the point of this post is to tell you, if you like adventure, check out the story. Not just the documentary, but the story behind it. Learn about life, death, and love through the eyes of the survivors. And, just so you know, be prepared for a good, long, girly cry for the lives lost. It’s a story that will touch you in ways you never expected. At least it did for me.