Dec 8

Another early day

My day started at 4:30am again today, this time because of the Child who suddenly and loudly decided that she was tired of being alone in her crib. She had done the same thing at 12:30am, but at that time I had been a bit more firm, and had managed to convince her that yes, she really could continue to sleep in her crib and not in he big bed with mommy and daddy. But at 4:30 I wasn’t in the mood to take half an hour to convince her of that again, so into the big bed she came.

At some point next week I think we’re going to have to go shop for a big girl bed for her. She can climb into her crib now, which leads me to believe that she is certainly capable of climbing out of it, even though she has not yet done so. She’s also capable of opening doors. Yes, she’s a 19 month old tall freak of nature.

Life has not really slowed down anywhere else. Mom is back from Kenya, and had her surgery this morning. I’m going to head over to Slidell this afternoon to check on her, and also to measure the rooms in my rental house so that I can figure out how much carpet I need to buy. There’s still so much to DO. This weekend is probably going to be a painting weekend: walls and floors. And then hopefully next week I can get the carpet put in. My sister told me about these nifty carpet squares that you can install yourself, i.e. you don’t have to take time off of work to schedule a carpet installer (even if you could find one.)

Then, of course, there’s the fact that my workload at my job has completely DOUBLED. I’m on call this week and training to be a crime scene tech, and am STILL the computer forensics exmainer and video analyst. I’ve had six calls already since Monday morning (which translates as six reports and six analyses) and I still have three days left of call.

Oh, and let’s not forget the lovely fact that CHRISTMAS IS IN TWO AND A HALF WEEKS! Holy shit. I have done absolutely nothing for the holidays. We don’t even have a tree yet. This is insane.

Dec 7

Can I stop yet?

My day started at 4:30am when the phone rang and I was called out to another business burglary. I don’t think I’ve slowed down at all since then. As soon as I finished the processing of the scene, I dashed home and got a real shower (which I am sure my coworkers appreciate) then dashed on in to work to hurry and finish (ok, start and finish) some photo enhancements that I’d promised the DA’s office I’d have done last week. Printed those pictures out, then began the report from the burglary. Got halfway through that before taking a quick break for lunch, then just as I was getting back to the office, I got called out to another death scene on the other side of the parish. Sheesh. Fortunately that one was quick and easy, no foul-play suspected, so I took a bunch of pictures, then dug out and drove back to the other side of the parish to the lab. Walked in the door and got pounced on by our ballistics expert who needed a ride to the motor pool. I quickly drove him over, dropped him off, went back to the lab, and finally actually made it upstairs to my office. At which point I realized that I only had about half an hour left until I could go home, so I decided to put off writing the reports until tomorrow. So there.

Gah. Four more days of being on call. At least I got most of a full night’s sleep last night. Being woken up at 4:30am isn;t so bad when you usually get up at 5am.


Today’s APOD is a really cool one.


No rest for the wicked. I just had a detective drop off a video for enhancement, related to a recent homicide, which makes it a top priority. [groan]

Dec 7

It’s never too early to get your children interested in physical fitness

Anna pumps up.

Dec 6

My captain should be careful what he asks for

He called me in to the office to tell me that the report I just submitted on the processing of a scene with an unclassified death (turned out to be a natural death–no foul play) needed a bit more detail and “punching up.”

I went back to my office, and five minutes later sent him this:
Cold air slapped at my cheeks and wormed its way inside my jacket as I stepped out of the van. I kicked at a pile of pine straw as I waited for my partner to retrieve the camera from the back of the van. He was stalling. We both were. We didn’t want to face what was inside the house.
“You ready?”
“Yeah. You?”
We were both lying to ourselves, but sometimes that’s what you have to do to get the job done.
Gravel crunched beneath the tread of our boots, echoing loudly in the still morning air. We walked slowly even though the chill air was already numbing fingers and noses. The deputies by the house watched our approach, their expressions grim and somber.
I exhaled as I entered, not wanting to breathe in the taint of death any sooner than I had to. The warm air wrapped around us, drawing us further in like quicksand. Noise assailed us: the wails of the grieving mother, the incessant yapping of the two small dogs, the crackle of the police radio. I grimly blocked it all out and focused on the detective.
He was pale under the brim of his ball cap. “Upstairs,” he said, voice breaking slightly. I pitied him. He’d been here for over an hour already.
I climbed the steps, treading cautiously over creaking boards and rotting carpet. The miasma of decay grew stronger as we climbed, until it surrounded us mercilessly at the top of the stairs. I tried to breathe through my mouth, still feeling as if I was swallowing a sordid morsel of rot in the air with each breath.
He lay on his back in the bed, arms up over his head, eyes open, and a trickle of blood and saliva oozinng from the corner of his mouth. An olive-drab shirt was pulled up to reveal the mottled white and red lividity on his stomach. A soiled comforter shielded his privates from the prying stares of the world. And in the corner stood the Angel of Death, cackling in triumph at his victory.


He laughed his ass off, posted it on the bulletin board, then asked me, “If I provide the stories, will you write the books?”

Oh man.. hahaha

Dec 6

It will be better after the first

That’s what I keep telling myself, that is. There’s just SO much going on this month that I feel like I’m treading as hard as I can just to stay afloat. I have the ongoing renovations at the other house which need to be done in no more than two weeks. I’m getting a crash-course in crime scene processing and am rotating into the call-out schedule along with the other techs, due to the crime lab suddenly being very shorthanded–which eats into my time to work on the house. And then there’s the mother with the broken hip that just adds a bit more fun and excitement to the whole mix. Gah. Plus the usual wife-and-mother duties. My house is a disaster area.

I can’t really complain too much about the work situation even though it is eating up enormous quantities of time, since it can’t help but advance my career to get that training under my belt. And, of course, I get paid overtime every time I get called out. But, man, the timing on it sucks ass. Oh, yeah, and I also need to sit down and study for the sergeants exam that’s coming up in January.

::beating head against wall::

Dec 5

Mom update

The latest word is that she’s being flown back today/tomorrow. In fact, she is probably in the air even as I type this. She’s scheduled for air ambulance from Mombaso to Kilimanjaro, then KLM to Amsterdam, Northwest to Memphis then New Orleans, then regular ambulance to the hospital over here. The trip insurance even covers a nurse to fly with her and attend to her, which is good since she is stretcher-bound. I believe she’ll be arriving at the hospital at some time tomorrow evening.

Will post more updates as I receive them.

Dec 5

Starting to fade

My energy level, that is.

Saturday was spent ripping carpet up in the other house and removing tack strips. It took longer to do the tack strips than the carpet, and I’m just increibly grateful that Kelly (the future tenant) came over to help me out. By the time I got home many hours later I was sore, exhausted, and filthy.

Sunday was a lot better and I managed to recharge quite a bit. In the afternoon I went over to the local B&N and met Andy Fox, author of Fat White Vampire Blues Andy’s from New Orleans, and he and his family evacauted for the storm. He’s made several posts about his experiences on the Night Shade discussion forum on these two threads. It’s pretty interesting reading.

Anyway, Andy’s a super nice guy and we chatted for close to an hour while we took turns chasing after our respective monsters.. er, I mean kids. He told me about a writers’ group in the New Orleans area that sounds like it could be really useful to me, so I’m definitely going to check that out.

Jack and I didn’t do anything all that strenuous the rest of the day–watched Desperate Housewives, and then Grey’s Anatomy. Then, like the old farts we are, we went to bed.

My call week started at midnight this morning, and at 3:30 AM I got called out to a business burglary. [groan]. It only took an hour or so to process the scene, but of course by then there’s no way to go back to bed, especially since I have to be at work at 7am. I had just finished writing the report on the burglary when a call came out for an unclassified death. That took up the rest of the morning, and as soon as I got back I headed to lunch. Ate way too much, and now, between the full stomach and the dearth of sleep, my energy level is sinking like a stone. Hopefully tonight people will decide that it’s too cold and wet to commit burglaries or die and they’ll let me get some sleep.

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