Dec 31


This is my annual repost of my entry from December 24, 2001, from my time as a street cop. I am reposting it because I want people to read it. (I had planned on reposting it on Christmas Eve but was distracted by other things, like being sick.)

Please please please don’t drink and drive.


We were on a minor “keep the peace” call when the 5-car accident was put out on the radio. It was on a state highway which meant that the State Troopers would handle the report, but Troop is notoriously short-staffed and we always go out to help on large accidents like that.

Ambulances were already leaving the scene by the time we pulled up. It was nothing but a maelstrom of flashing lights and twisted metal with still more ambulances loading victims and the sound of generators and jaws of life screaming over shouted voices. It was not five cars on top of each other, but one here, two there and then another two over there. We parked where we could and ran up, past a smashed Mercedes and up to the first of the fire engines. I found the trooper–a friend of mine–and he already had the tight, controlled look on his normally smiling face that told me that this was a bad scene. I asked him what he needed us to do. “Find witnesses,” he told me. “And then see if you can get registration and insurance info out of the cars.” He walked quickly with me past a crumpled truck in the ditch that had already been ripped apart by the extrication devices, toward the other end of the scene where two cars rested at crazy angles to the road. “But don’t go in that one just yet,” he said, gesturing at a yellow Nissan. “That’s where the F is.” I looked over at the car and only now noticed the blue emergency blanket draped over the passenger seat, and looking closer I could see part of a knee protruding from beneath it. “That the only one?” I asked. “So far,” he replied. He looked around slowly. “Can you say… Clusterfuck?”

We had to close the highway and other units arrived to help with traffic control. I was glad to be on the inside of the scene and not having to deal with the stupid people who could not understand why we were inconveniencing them and making them take an extra ten minutes to drive around. How could we be so thoughtless! I saw a woman in a long black coat walking up, a terrible fear on her face as she looked to a small silver car that lay next to the Nissan with the blue blanket. I walked up to her and asked her what she needed. “My daughter,” she barely managed to get out. “Was in one of the cars.” “Which car?” I asked. “The Honda.” I ran back to the paramedic to find out the condition of the victims from the silver car and was told that the girls were just being loaded up. I went back to the woman; she seized my hand as soon as I approached. Her hands were warm and I felt a silly sense of guilt because the temperature had dropped and my hands were freezing. “She’s hurt,” I told her. “She’s going to be fine. They’re about to transport her now. Come with me.” But all she could do for a moment was grip my arms tightly. “She’s going to be fine,” I repeated. Then she nodded quickly and wrapped her warm arm through mine and walked with me to the ambulance.

The last of the ambulances left and it grew a bit quieter with the extrication devices off. Now it was down to gathering information, taking pictures, and trying to determine just what happened. The trooper came up to me and asked me to see if I could find the bumper from the Mercedes, and after a brief search through mud and blood and scattered debris we found it, in pieces, further back on the road. The trooper came up and examined the trajectories and then looked at the gouge marks in the pavement. “Well, we know what happened now,” he said with a sigh. “Was it the drunk driver?” I asked. He nodded. “Motherfucker,” I said. He nodded.

The coroner arrived and we stood in a scattered quiet group around the Nissan as the blue blanket was pulled away. Now we could see the unnatural position of the body, the head thrown back, the arm with too many joints, the torso wedged far too tightly between the crushed-in door and the center console. We could see the school ID on the ground next to the car, and the youthful face that matched it. The coroner made her notes and the body was removed and zipped up inside the black bag on the ground.

The trooper touched me on the shoulder. “The family is at the hospital. We’re going to make notification. Will you stand by for the wreckers?”

I watched him drive off, not envying him one bit the task of having to tell a mother that her son was dead.

Merry fucking christmas.

Dec 30

Baby tossing

The day care was closed today because of the holiday weekend, therefore today was a day for baby tossing. That is, Jack took her to work for the morning, then he tossed her off to me for the afternoon. Anna was, of course, in total CUTE mode the whole time. She always plays well to an audience.

The tummy is beginning to feel better. Dunno if it’s because of the Prevacid, or because whatever was wrong with it is resolving, but at this point I really don’t give a shit. I’m just glad to be feeling better.

I see that some people are posting year-end writing stats. Mine are kinda lame, and I’m placing a good measure of blame on the fucking hurricane. Everything creative came screeching to a halt and I’m only now getting back into the groove.



9 new stories written

1 40-page novel synopsis/outline (collab)

1 novel proposal package

~10 novel chapters (collab)

16 stories in various stages of progress

Sales and marketing:

38 story submissions

1 sale

1 strong nibble on novel proposal

Next year I would (obviously) like to make more sales, and I’d also like to finish up at least ten stories. However, I also want to make some serious headway on various novel projects.

Hopefully 2006 will have fewer upheavals and it will be possible for that to happen.

Dec 29

Adventures in medicine

As loyal readers will know, I’ve been battling some stomach problems for the past week and a half. This past Monday I finally caved in to my husband and went to the doctor. I couldn’t get in to see my usual guy, but Jack was able to get an appointment for me with his doctor, who also works in the same group as mine.

I have to backtrack ever so slightly to a phone call I received from my sister, who commented on my symptoms and suggested that it could possibly be my gall bladder, and it might be prudent to have it checked out. (My sister, by the way, is a doctor, and her husband is a doctor.)

Cut back to the doctor visit. The nurse came in and took my vitals and asked me what was wrong, at which time I gave my 20 second precis of what I’d been going through with my stomach, and then added that I thought that it might be my gall bladder.

A few minutes later the doctor walks in and says, “So, it’s Doctor Rowland now?”

It threw me for a minute, and I said something like, “Uh, no, my sister is Sherry.” Then he did a bit of a doubletake and said, “Wait, your sister really is a doctor?”

And that’s when I began to realize that his first statement to me was meant to be a crack about me “self-diagnosing” by suggesting the gall bladder bit. However, I was still somewhat taken aback, and didn’t really get a chance to form a suitable response as he then dove into the examination. Finally he sat at the table typing something into the computer, and I said,”This is bothering me mostly because I just don’t have stomach problems.”

And he turned to look at me and said, “Well, you do now.”

It wasn’t until he left the room that I began to get mad. What kind of arrogant… Oh, never mind. He’s a dick, and the more I tell people about what happened, the more weird stories I hear about this guy that confirm my intent to never ever return to that practice.

At any rate, though, Dr. Dickhead did order a blood test and an ultrasound, and when I was finally able to get the results of those (after repeated phone calls over the course of three days) it was determined that my gall bladder seemed to be in pretty decent shape.

Meanwhile, I’m still hurting in the mornings and evenings, and my sister managed to get an appointment for me with a different internist who, she assured me, would be “wonderful.”

And she was right. I had to drive to Slidell, but I was finally able to talk to a doctor about all of the crap I’ve been going through and for how long, and we had a decent dialogue about what some of the possibilities were. He ordered some more bloodwork, referred me to a gastroenterologist (good god.. spelling?), gave me some mega-antacids, and told me to come back in a week. Anyway, at the very least I felt like he was taking me seriously. I don’t go to the doctor very often–I know that there ain’t a damn thing that they can do for viruses, and I don’t generally get sick in non-virusy ways. And I like to think I’m not a wimp, so if I’m crying from pain, it’s probably pretty intense. And even if all of this stomach shit turns out to be nothing, at least I’ll feel better knowing that I had it checked out. After all, I’m getting up into that age where things stop working for inexplicable reasons.

Dec 28


Four years ago on this night, I had my first date with Jack. He took me to a lovely Italian restaurant in Pontchatoula, then took me dancing, then out to the lakefront where we sat and talked for a long time, and then we went back to his apartment… where his ex-girlfriend was waiting in his bedroom for him.

Needless to say, he didn’t get any action that night. From either of us. :)

Fortunately, I decided to go out with him again (since, up until that point at his apartment I’d had a really wonderful time with him!)

About six weeks later he asked me to marry him. About three months later we moved in together. And six months and sixteen days after we first went out, we got married. A few months after that we decided to try having a baby. In January I found out that I was pregnant. In February we lost that baby. In August I found out that I was pregnant again. The next April Anna arrived.

It’s been a pretty awesome run with this guy. The past four years have had their ups and downs, but in all the time we’ve been together, Jack has never once said a deliberately hurtful thing to me. He does his very best to support me and my dreams, he utterly dotes on Anna, and he’s a darn good partner to go through life with.

I sure do love this man.

(The funny thing is that we usually forget to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but we always remember the anniversary of our first date, and that has become the important date to us.)

Dec 27

Requiem in Pace

It was bound to happen eventually. Max loved being outside, and would dash out the door the instant we opened it. He was the King Cat of the neighborhood, and everyone knew him. He loved to sit at the edge of the field next to our house when the kids would play football. The kids would come by between plays and pet him, then dash off to continue the game. He would sit at the busstop with the kids waiting to go to school, and he had a number of houses where he made his daily visits. And he was always waiting for me when I came home from work, and he always came back at night to spend the night where it was warm and dry. He was cuddly and sweet, and thoroughly mellow.

One of the neighbors came by today, after finding Max on the highway. She’d wrapped him in paper and was crying as she handed him over to Jack.

Sigh. He was such a cool cat.

Dec 26

Boxing day

Anna shows her nurturing side.


Jack made some phone calls early this morning and managed to get an appointment with the doctor for my stupid gut. After the doctor made a stupid snarky comment–or perhaps an extremely lame attempt to make a joke–he finally ordered some bloodwork and an ultrasound. (I’ll go into the stupid snarky comment in more detail tomorrow. That will probably take an entire entry. Suffice it to say for now that I have no intention of ever returning to that doctor.)

So, I have an ultrasound at 7am tomorrow, and I’m not allowed to eat or drink anything (including water) for eight hours prior. Also the results of my bloodwork will be back tomorrow, so hopefully by tomorrow afternoon I’ll have a clue as to what is wrong with me. I’m actually feeling a bit better everyday, though I still get some really weird indigestion in the evenings.

So, after I finished up at the doctor I went and picked up my mother then headed over to my sister’s house for a Boxing Day get-together. It was a good time, and there was a ton of food, and Anna was in Total Cute Mode. We were given loads of leftovers when we left, so we won’t have to shop for food for at least a week.

Back to work tomorrow. I need to get the homicide report done this week so that I can focus on my computer cases that are getting backed up. And then, in another week, I go back on call. Sheesh.

Dec 25

That whole christmas thing

We had a very pleasant christmas here, and Anna seemed to enjoy the whole presents concept.

Anna got a couple of babydolls, which she absolutely ADORES and has been doting on all day.

And I got what any geeky sf person would love. My own robot!

My stomach is still tender and weird, though it’s getting a bit better every day. At least it’s about a thousand times better than it was on Tuesday when I was in such friggin agony. I’ve pretty much decided that it’s either my gall bladder or an ulcer. Sigh.

In the meantime, Robby is merrily buzzing around scooping up all of my dreck.

Dec 24

Or maybe not a bug?

Or maybe it’s my gallbladder. A Doctor In The Family theorizes that perhaps the intense pain I was experiencing was the passing of a stone. Anyway, it’s slowly getting better, though I’m still pretty uncomfortable, and it’s worse in the evenings. But I have an appointment with my doctor for next wednesday. My biggest goal right now is to NOT be in the hospital for Christmas.

Like I FUCKING have time for this. Blah. At least I got the house ready for Kelly to move in yesterday. And my Christmas shopping is done. But being out of work for a couple of weeks because of gallbladder surgery would be a seriously BAD THING right now. We have one tech who just quit, one who is pregnant, and one who is going to the Academy in two weeks–which is why I was trained to do crime scenes. It’s only going to be four of us rotating call for the next three months, and I think my Captain might stroke out if I have to be out of work for any length of time.

Dec 22

Appetite slowly returneth


That made for an extrememly upleasant week. Not that I didn’t already have enough to deal with.

There wasn’t really much nausea… and the umm… lower end of the intestinal tract was acting up, but not outrageously. No, the worst part was that this shit fucking hurt.

Holy crap. I mean, I like to think that I’m not a big wimp about pain. After I had my c-section I only used about half of my percocet prescription. I mean, I have a black belt. I’ve broken bones large and small. I’ve had over seventy stitches for non-surgery-related incidents. I’ve been smacked in the face hard. I’ve even been friggin stabbed, fer chrissakes.

But this shit fucking hurt. Felt like weasels trying to claw out of my stomach. Monday I felt lousy but I toughed it out and went to work since it was the last day of the pay period–the pay period where I’d already racked up nearly 40 hours of overtime. (And, if I called in sick I would only get straight time for eight hours of that overtime.) All I can say is Thank God I have a couch in my office..

Tuesday I could barely get out of bed. I stumbled around in a semi-fetal position to help get Jack ready for work and get the kid dressed, and once I had them both packed off I collapsed on the couch. That night I took a percocet (one of the ones left over from my c-section.) That allowed me to get a whole three hours of sleep. I toosed and turned the rest of the night. (Shoulda taken another damn percocet.)

Wednesday I felt a bit better and went back to work. Again, spent much of the day working from the couch in my office. That night the weasels returned to trying to claw their way out. Took another percocet, then one more right before bed.

Finally woke up Thursday (yeah, today) feeling faintly human. Heck, I even ate real food! A little bit, anyway. :)

Didn’t go to work today, either, but that was because I spent the day over in Slidell doing last-minute fixups and cleanups to the house that Kelly will be moving into tomorrow. I didn’t get everything done, but I got enough done that it won’t be awful for her to move in. (The biggest thing was getting the heater fixed!)

So, my tummy is still kinda tender, but I think I will not have to resort to chemical assistance to get to sleep tonight.

Oh, and I still have done essentially NO Christmas shopping.


Dec 20

The reason I haven’t been posting

Stomach flu

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