Friday, December 29, 2006


LHM and I examine the woman's driver's license picture. She had a broad smile that reached all the way to her pretty gray eyes.

"It's hard to believe that they're the same person," LHM says.

"That person is gone," I say softly. "There's no way we're going to get a visual ID on her, though, that's for sure. Let's hope we can find a dentist with some good x-rays on file."

I return to the living room and mentally walk through just how we are going to remove the body. Fortunately, she's wearing jeans. That will give us some traction. Her upper body is bare but for a thin cotton tank top, though, and that poses a problem.

"I'm afraid that the joints in her shoulders won't hold if we put too much pressure on them," I say. "I don't think lifting her down to the floor is an option."

"You mean you're afraid she'll fall apart?" LHM asks.

"Yeah. Her body has been decomposing for a month and the connective tissues are likely to be very fragile."

"Great. On that note, I'm going to go get the cot."

"Can you grab a sheet or a couple of towels, too? It will provide more resistance when we grasp the upper torso."

While LHM is getting the cot, I examine the body more closely. She was about 130 lbs, though bloating makes it hard to accurately determine weight. No evidence of trauma, though it's virtually impossible to tell with the body in this state. I see no tattoos or scars. Clumps of dirty brown hair are beginning to slough off the scalp as the folicles deteriorate and soften. I use the corner of her shirt to push down her jaw so I can see inside her mouth. Her tongue is black and swollen and it obscures my view.

I sit back on my heals and huff in frustration as LHM returns with the cot. "There is no point in doing this right now," I say. "I'll finish when we get back to the morgue. There's hardly anything left to work with, anyway. She's so far along that I don't even know if tox will give us answers."

LHM has some bad news, too. "No towels and no sheets."

I roll my eyes. Of course not. "It's my own fault. I should have made sure the van was restocked before we left."

"Maybe we can use the shower curtain in the bathroom," LHM suggests.

I shake my head. "No. It's plastic. We'd be back to the same wet noodle scenario again."

I walk into the bedroom and find a wadded up old sheet on the floor. "This will do."

We place the body bag at the foot of the couch and I ask LHM to hold onto the feet and make sure they don't move as I guide the rest of the body down to the floor. I use the sheet to grasp the arms. I slowly lift them over the head and listen as the joints pop in the socket. "No," I say, shaking my head. "This isn't going to work. I'm afraid we're going to break her." I stand back and reassess the situation.

"What if we tip the couch and let her roll off?" LHM suggests.

I consider...imagining the poor woman spilling off the couch and landing in the body bag with a thud. So little dignity for what was once a human being. But at the same time, it would be worse to tear her arms off and I didn't have any better ideas.

"Okay. Let's do it." I take the cushion from off the floor and place it approximately where I think she will land. LHM goes to one end of the couch and tips it up on it's side. The body begins to slide forward slightly, making a slurping sound as it separates from the couch. I hear LHM gag and look up at him. He wretches again before setting the couch down and quickly walking to the open window for fresher air.

"Oh..." he says, as he turns back into the room and begins to pace. "Sorry," he gives me a quick glance and a smile. "I forgot to breath from my mouth. The smell was just so strong when we started to move her..."

I watch him as he regains control. "Are you okay?" I ask.

"Yeah. I just needed a second. I'm fine. Let's finish this." He sounds determined as he walks back to the end of the couch and tips it again.

This time he angles sharply enough that she falls forward and tumbles onto the cushion before rolling onto her back. She is half in the bag already and it doesn't take much more for me to slide her in position. We place the first body bag inside another one because the outside of the first is covered in decomp fluid. Then we load her into the van and are on the way back to the morgue 10 minutes later.

"So," I say as I drive away from the apartment complex, "what did you think?"

Having just finished spraying himself down with Fabreeze, LHM is now pumping half a bottle of hand sanitizer into his palm. "What do I think? I think I'd rather do the dead rats." he says.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


"Your transport guy said that you wanted something?" Jonas is standing in the doorway with his sleeve covering his nose and mouth.

"Yeah. I have some questions. First, who was the last person to see her alive?"

"The sister. She said she talked to her a couple of weeks ago, but she wasn't exactly sure of the date."

"We need to get the date of death down more precisely. Did you check the mailbox yet? Postmark dates on mail that wasn't picked up can narrow it down."

"No. We didn't find any keys."

Yeah. I bet you didn't look very hard, either. "Okay. Also, I noticed there are 59 messages on the answering machine. One of your guys need to check those and mark the date of the earliest call.

"I'll send in a uniform. Anything else?"

"Yeah. Do you have a social security number?"

"No. We didn't find a wallet, either."

I sigh. "Okay, thanks."

Jonas is gone before I finish my sentence.

LHM walks through the doorway a few seconds later with flood light and camera in hand.

"We need to find this woman's wallet and keys." I take the light and walk into the kitchen before flipping the switch. The details of the room reveal themselves in technicolor splendor. The sworm of flies blanketing the liquified bananas on top of the refrigerator. The pot of mystery soup on the stove layered with a crusty pinkish brown film. The dirty dishes in the sink. The mop propped in a bucket full of filthy sludge water.

"Ugh." I say as I pull on some gloves. I open cupboards and find at least 50 or 60 bottles of herbal supplements. I checked the dates on them. Most were new. A few in the back were expired. "We need to take all this in. Maybe a few of these pills she was taking reacted with one another and gave her a heart attack or a stroke or something."

LHM give me a look. "Yeah, it can't be good for a person to take a handful of supplements every day."

LHM is referencing the 13 pills I take every morning. I roll my eyes. "I don't take herbs, I take a few phytonutrients, fish oil, a multivitamin, Vit D, and potassium. All this stuff is weirdo powdered mushroom cap and hogwart root extract and bark of willow..." I make a show of dismissing him, but can't help feeling uneasy. I make a silent vow to revisit this later when I'm not in the middle of investigating a death scene.

I try to pull open the refigerator door and the flies lift off the rotten fruit and decent on me like a cloud. I wave my hand above my head to shoo them away. "The door is stuck. Hold on." I hand LHM the light and try again. I prop my foot against the counter top and pull. There is a loud tearing sound as the seal finally breaks.

I wipe my forearm over my brow and then peer inside. An unopened bottle of milk. Desicated fruit and veggies. Mustard. I pick up the milk and look at the sell by date. Three weeks prior. "About how many days before the sell by date do stores usually stock milk?"

"I dunno. About a week?" LHM guesses.

"Yeah. That sounds about right. I think she's been here for more than two weeks. Let's go take a look at the body."

We walk back into the living room. The decedent's flesh is almost black in color. Her lips are swollen and her tongue is protruding from her mouth. Her eyes bulge from their sockets. Purge from her nose and mouth ooze down the side of her face and neck and into her hairline. It looks like clotted black jelly. Bubbles of putrid liquid are under the flesh of her legs and back where her body is touching the fabric of the couch. "Her skin is slipping," I point out to LHM.

"Charming." He replies. "It's all slimy underneath." He directs the light to the puddles of fatty fluid that are soaked into the cushions.

"Yeah. That, my friend, is adipocere. Basically, when a person dies the fat in their body liquifies." I grab his hand and switch the focus of the light back to the head. "Look there." I point. "Maggots." Two kinds of tiny white worms crawl in and out of an opening in the flesh behind the decedent's ear.

"The little thin ones are the same as on the bananas in the kitchen." LHM observes. "And look," he shines the light on a tiny black tubular structure attached to the couch cushion. "It's a pupal case. That means that we're talking at least two generations of flies. At least three weeks."

I look up at him and smile. "I almost forgot you were an entomology geek. You could really come in handy, you know." I reach out and touch the exposed flesh on the torso. Leathery. Dry. The hands are fisted. I look closer. Hard. Mummified. "It's going to be tough pulling prints off of her."

I get up and lead LHM into the bedroom. A bible lay on the bed along with an empty dinner plate with a fork and steak knife. The UV lights are off. No plants are under them. Packets of vegetable and fruit seeds are on a nightstand along with a carbon copy of a lease renewal dated and signed November 20. I rummage through a pile of dirty clothes behind the door and find a jacket with...tah-dah!...keys and a wallet. And a receipt dated November 22.

A uniform cop walks in and tells me that he just finished listening to the answering machine and the first message was from November 24.

"Okay," I say. "I'm going to estimate the date of death to be the evening of November 22nd or 23rd, then. A month."

More later...


We pull into the apartment complex and park. Cops are loitering on the sidewalk outside the building.

"Okay," I say. "Grab a couple of pairs of gloves. Those heavy duty ones. You seriously DON'T want gloves to break when you're moving a decomp. We'll bring the body bag in after I do the investigation, so don't bother with that yet."

"Don't you have HAZMAT suits or something for this?" LHM asks.

"There are paper jumpsuits in the back and booties to slip over your shoes, if you like. We've also got face shields and respirators if you think you'll need them."

"Are you using one?" LHM asks.

I smile at him. "Booties, yes, but I have yet to wear one of the jumpsuits or use a respirator in the years I've been doing this. That would have to be a hell of a messy scene. Also, I need to smell it."

"Smell the scene?" he raises an eyebrow at me.

"Yeah. Smells can provide clues, too. For example, what if the dead guy in question actually killed somebody and stuffed them in the storage unit outside the apartment before taking their own life? Being able to smell two sources of decomp would be rather important. And certain odors like 'nutty' or 'sweet' can point to a poisoning. That sort of thing."

"Yeah, well I don't think we're going to encounter anything as pleasant as 'nutty' or 'sweet' tonight." LHM mutters as he slips out the passenger side of the van.

I walk to the front door of the apartment building with LHM behind me. After a few introductions, I turn to Detective Jonas and get the jist of what they have so far. The decedent is a 40-year-old white female. She lived alone in the apartment and was a factory worker at a local mill. Nobody at work seemed to miss her when she didn't show up for a month. Her boss said that she was pretty unreliable and he figured she just quit without bothering to tell anybody. Her sister said that she'd tried calling several times but it was normal for the decedent to ignore phone calls, so she wasn't worried. "This chick was a serious health and fitness nut, too." Detective Jonas said. "The cupboards are full of herbal supplement shit and she's got huge drums of protein powder on the cabinets."

"Where did she workout?" I was hoping maybe I could interview people at her gym, but also wondered if she went to mine and I might know her.

"I don't think she had a gym. There's workout equipment in the dinette where a kitchen table should be, so I'm pretty sure she worked out at home. Also, there were UV lights in her bedroom where she grew her own organic vegetables. And this is the weirdest thing of all...she's got three or four huge fish tanks full of water but without fish in them."

"Huh," I say. "The UV lights make me think she was growing weed. Any history of drug arrests?"

"Nah. I thought that too at first but I couldn't find anything that would point to her growing pot. She was too concerned with eating clean."

"Hmm. If that's true then maybe the tanks of water were because she was planning on buying baby fish and raising them for her own consumption," I say half to myself.

"Crazy." Jonas said simply. He ran a hand over his bald head and pulled his scarf more tightly around his neck. "It's damn cold tonight."

I give him a sideways glance as I open the front door of the building. A strong smell of decomp wafts out along with warm, moist air. "You're welcome to come in here with us if you like."

LHM and I step into the hallway and walk a few paces. I look behind us at the closing door. "Yeah, I didn't think so."

I walk to the open apartment door and am hit by wave after wave of putrid air. My eyes begin to water. "Breath through your mouth," I say over my shoulder.

"Already on that," LHM mutters.

I see the blue glow of a television casting ghostly shadows over the rest of the room. A dark figure is sprawled on the couch. I flip the light switch but nothing happens. I walk in a bit further and try to turn on a floor lamp by the wall. Again. Nothing. "No lights. But there's electricity because the TV is on."

"Maybe the bulbs burned out." LHM suggested. "The lights were probably on when she died."

"Yeah. Probably." I look around as my eyes try to adjust to the light. One of the couch cushions and the television remote are on the floor. She was struggling for breath, maybe. Or thrashing with pain. I look over at LHM. His face is neutral as his eyes scan the room and light ever so briefly on the body before skimming back to the other details of the scene. It's going to take me a while to learn to read this man that I married. I decide that the best thing to do is to keep him busy.

"Honey, can you please go out to the van and get the flood light? It's in the box between the two front seats. I also need the digital camera. And can you ask Jonas to get in here? I need to ask him some questions."

"I'm sure he'll love that," LHM chuckles. "Anything else?"

I give him kiss on the cheek. "I'll let you know."

LHM walks out of the apartment and I turn back to the scene.

More later...


I call dispatch and they give me the address of the decedent.

"So, Clara, can you tell me anything?" I ask.

"Oh..." Clara chuckles. "You're gonna love this one. Been there for at least two weeks."

I groan. I'm the queen of decomps.

"Two weeks? Didn't she have anybody who cared enough to check on her?"

I get the phone number of the lead detective and hang up. While I'm dialing Detective Jonas, I look over my shoulder at LHM and he gives me an encouraging smile.

Detective Jonas answers on the first ring. "Hey!" Jonas sounds chipper. "I haven't seen you in a while! Where've you been, Sunshine?"

"I was on my honeymoon in paradise. You know...far far from here." I smile as I sit back in my chair.

"Isn't that a song? Honeymoon in Paradise?" Jonas asks.

"No. I think it's a low-budget 80's porn flick, actually, but thanks for asking. So, what's up with the decomp?"

Jonas proceeds to tell me about a 40-year-old woman that hasn't been seen for at least two weeks. The apartment complex manager, Zed, called the decedent's sister and the cops that morning because fellow residents were complaining of the smell. After forcing entry, they found her slumped on the couch in an advanced stage of decomposition.

"Any suspicion of foul play?" I ask?

"No. The apartment manager said he propped some mail up on the door two weeks ago and it hasn't moved. All the doors and windows were locked from the inside. I haven't taken a good look at the body, mind you. The smell is just so bad. Do you have anybody to help you move her when you get here? I can't go back in there."

I pull the phone from my ear and look at the reciever in disgust. Big baby. "Don't worry about it," I say and hang up.

I look over at LHM again as he happily continues to work on the desk...completely oblivious to what I'm about to ask of him. Poor, man. He had no idea what he was getting into when he married me.

"Hey, uh, honey?" He looks over at me. So innocent, I think to myself. Like a lamb before the slaughter. "Whatcha doin'?" I cock my head to the side and flutter my eyelashes at him in what I hope is an irrisistably provocative way.

"I'm doing exactly what I've been doing for the past hour." He puts the screw driver down on the floor next to him. "And you can stop flapping your eyes at me. I don't know why you think pretending your going into a grand mal seizure will make me want to help you more. I'll do it, but you seriously owe me."

I jump up from the chair and give him a huge hug. What a guy. I can't believe I was seriously considering demasculinizing him not 10 minutes ago. "Thank you, honey! It's just that the stupid cops are being big babies and refuse to go into the apartment."

"Yeah. I gathered that. Let me go put my crappiest clothes on. I hope this doesn't wreck my sneakers."

While we drive to the scene I coach LHM on how to avoid barfing from the smell. I also tell him to stand back and let me do the talking. "You're the brawn, darlin'. Strong and silent. Like a bouncer only you have to get your hands a little dirty. And don't tell anybody you're my husband."

"Whatever you say." LHM sits back and looks out the window for a moment before turning back to me. "I've had to clean dead rats out of an attic once before and that was pretty horrible. I can't imagine this is any worse than that."

You have no idea. I smile at him encouragingly. "I've never done dead rat before, so you'll have to let me know if it's different."

More later.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


1:06 p.m.

I can't believe I double posted. I AM rusty...

It's Wednesday night and I am on call for the first time since getting back from my honeymoon. You would think I'd be refreshed and excited to be back to work, but instead I'm crabby and irritated. It's raining outside and only a few days before Christmas. It could at least snow if I have to live in the Arctic tundra, I think as I read a magazine and pout in my office chair.

I look over at LHM. He is sitting on the floor trying to put a computer desk together...or I should say re-put it together.

It was originally my project and after 3 hours of nailing, drilling, and screwing, I tightened the last screw and stood back. I called LHM over to join me in admiring my work when he pointed out that one of the bottom shelf panels had somehow allegedly been screwed on backwards so that the lovely particle board side was showing.

"Oh, for hell's sake!" I threw my arms up in frustration. "I'll have to take the whole top and three sides apart to fix that!"

Pause. I looked at the desk again.

"It's fine the way it is," I said finally. "I'll just stack some books on it and nobody will be the wiser."

LHM, somehow not sensing my level of hostility and the danger he was placing himself in, chose that moment to grasp my shoulder conspiratorially, crack a wide (stupid) grin, and offer to fix the desk himself since..."Honey, everyone knows that men are better at this sort of thing, anyway."

I was debating the pros and cons of ruining his chance at fathering offspring when my pager went off.

More later...

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while. I just got back from a very, very long honeymoon with LHM and was incommunicado for the entire trip. It was lovely, but I'm glad to be home with my internet and cell phone again.

I missed you all! And I have a very interesting ME story to tell from last week, but first I have to fix a leak under the sink.

More later today!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while. I just got back from a very, very long honeymoon with LHM and was incommunicado for the entire trip. It was lovely, but I'm glad to be home with my internet and cell phone again.

I missed you all! And I have a very interesting ME story to tell from last week, but first I have to fix a leak under the sink.

More later today!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just me and a few random kids at the Grand Canyon


12:23 a.m.

I can't sleep.

I can't write.

I have a deadline looming and am stuck, stuck, stuck.

Why is it that when my life was hard and I was alone it was easier for me to write? Or do I just need to let things settle down before I can focus again?

I'm very frustrated.

I guess the best thing to do is just (as a good friend of mine recently told me) WRITE. Although his suggestion was to drink a bottle of wine first...

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I am standing in a room at the ICU of a local hospital. A nurse in blue scrubs walks in with a pink satin-covered hat box.

"Here you go," she says and places the box on a counter top before leaving the room and shutting the curtain.

I turn from the body on the bed and walk over to the box. My initial thought of "What the hell were they thinking?" is quickly replaced by appreciation for the compassion of those who would prepare this makeshift coffin. I slip the cover off and look at the tiny baby inside. The OR staff washed her and laid her on a bed of white cloth. Her little arms are crossed over her chest and a towel covers the lower half of her body. A six-month-old fetus. She's red because there is no fat under her skin, but other than that she looks perfect.

I sigh and place the lid back on the box. Then I return to her mother. A 25-year-old woman with long, stringy dark hair. Huge bandages cover her abdomen where an emergency c-section was performed the night before. There are scrapes on her knees and dirt under her fingernails. I also notice dirt on the bottoms of her feet where she must have been walking around barefoot. I take photographs.

Nurse Katie walks in and begins telling me the story. Beth, the mother, came into the ER last night in excruciating pain. She was having contractions and her cervix was dilated 3cm. The doc couldn't detect any fetal heart beat. Beth told the ER staff that she'd done cocaine two days before. Before she lost consciousness, she kept saying, "I'm so sorry, Jake. I'm scared." Jake is her 18-month-old son.

Beth was rushed into surgery but it was too late. The baby had died when the placenta separated from the wall of the uterus. This was a direct result of the cocaine use. The OR staff couldn't stop the bleeding and Beth died on the operating table.

After several hours of interviewing family...friends...doctors...I somehow get through this case and go home. I sit out on the porch in my backyard, overcome by sadness. I think about the little boy, Jake, who lost his mother. I think about how Beth's friend said she was curled up with him napping on the couch the day before. I try to reconcile the loving mother with the woman that, according to witnesses, purposely tried to abort her fetus by overdosing on cocaine.

I am hurting inside and I call LHM to talk. He listens quietly and after a minute says, "Well, Polly, if you think we should try to adopt Jake I'll support you. We could make a good home for him."

I am touched that he would even contemplate such a thing. I smile and say gently, "It's not like taking in a stray puppy, you know."

After worrying over the whole thing for another few hours, I call Peter, the friend who is watching Jake. We talk for a long, long time. He tells me more about Beth. She was kicked out of her apartment a few weeks ago for not paying the rent. She and Jake were living in a homeless shelter when Peter took them in. Peter got her a job, a new car, and an apartment. You see, he and Beth had been best friends since high school. "She was there for me at a really bad time in my life and I told her I would always be there for her." He was trying to help her get her life back on track. "If you'd only known her five years ago," he says. "She was such an amazing person."

I ask about Jake and what would become of him. Peter's voice cracks and he tells me that he will adopt Jake and raise him as his own. "I'm a single guy and I've never had kids before, but I have a good job and I'll make sure this little guy has a wonderful life. Besides," he says, "when he smiles he looks just like Beth. How could I not love him?"

Monday, July 17, 2006


7:17 a.m.

I have been drinking my tea chilled lately. (Summer and all.) I take a pitcher out of the fridge and fill a 64oz mug. It's hot in SoCal. And I'm sunburned. My knees are red and scabbed. My face is on fire and my eyes are puffy. Yesterday I went to the beach and was riding waves on the body board for hours. I came within inches of creaming a toddler on two occasions as I rode up on shore. The same kid. Instead of just stearing the board by leaning left or right, however, I panicked (both times) and slid off the back of the board, using my knees to skid to a stop in front of the little girl with the blond curls. She was so tiny I thought I might break her, so I sacrificed my knees. The second time this happened, she looked down at me, stuck out her tongue, and ran off to her mother who was snearing at me from under an umbrella further up the beach. If it weren't for the thrill of salt water mixing into my wounds and sending rivulets of blood down to my ankles, I might have cared. I sighed. Time to hang up the board for the day. It's bad enough to be riding in the water on top of a device that is shaped approximately like a harbor seal, but to mix blood in with that might be less than wise.

Anyway, I am now paying for my day of fun and sun on the beach. LHM walks into the kitchen and stops at the entrance. He's about to leave for work.

I smile at him, peck him on the cheek and say, "Too late now. You already married me." I pat him on the shoulder and hobble back toward the bedroom before saying under my breath, "Sucker."

I hear him yell from the other room some smart aleck comment about false advertising before he slams the back door.

I lay there in silence. Nothing to do. I am on my "honeymoon" and won't be back home for a month. I consider the events of the past month or two. I no longer work for the PI firm. They decided to bring all of the regional positions Boston. Since I wouldn't be able to relocate, I decided that Hell, Inc. sucked anyway and I was better off sticking with one job, my death investigator gig. One job? I mean...what am I going to do with myself with all of this extra time?

So, then LHM proposed to me. (Over the phone, although I think I've forgiven him for that at this point.) He is selling his business, and will leave everything he's worked for over the past seven years to move to Chicago and start a new life with me there. We will start out own PI firm. A family business. You "Hart to Hart".

Saturday, May 20, 2006


8:45 p.m.

I'm looking for the webcam... I thought it would be fun to broadcast from the field. Can I even do that?


12:15 p.m.

I'm sitting in my bedroom surrounded by half-packed boxes. I'm in the process of moving into a house nearby and the question that I keep asking myself is: How did I accumulate so much clothing in the course of three years? My walk-in closet is like an archaeological dig. Layer upon layer of clothes. Sometimes I find an artifact from bygone days...A picture with Olga when we went out clubbing in Chicago. A high-heeled silver shoe that I wore to a formal dance with an exboyfriend... Curiously, I found a lot of female sanitary devices (unused, thank goodness) and enough loose change to buy a weeks-worth of groceries.

The task is daunting and as I look around I come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is put it off until the last minute. We'll see how that works for me.

I'm getting ready to go on a surveillance up in Green Bay (go Packers) tomorrow. It's one day and should be pretty straightforward. The subject lives on a farm and I'm bracing myself for a long day of rolling by the house so as to avoid suspicion.

Last week I went to Boston for our bi-annual supervisor meeting. There, I met my new supervisor for Florida. This man, it turns out, is perhaps the biggest jackass known to man. His incompetence amazes me. I told Corp two days after he was hired that he wouldn't work out. Now he's in his death throws and I guess it's got him crabby. I called him yesterday afternoon to get some information the office was asking for.

"Bozo," I say, "I need to get a status on the eight late cases from your area that didn't come in yesterday."

Bozo huffs like a beligerant teenager. "Okay."

"We'll start with the Brandy case."


I clench my fist. Patience, Polly. "You know..the three day surveillance that was run nearly a week ago by your Miami investigator? The one that I haven't recieved one update on yet? The one I've been asking you for since Monday?"

Bozo starts to raise his voice. "I sent an email to the investigator. It might have come in already." He huffs again. "Listen, I'm driving right now. Let me pull over and I'll call you back."

"That's fine. Get your files together and turn on your computer so I can get this status report up to Corp within the hour."

He hangs up. I loosen my death-grip on the phone and play a quick game of Spider Solitaire as a healthy alternative to swearing like a sailor and throwing something.

Ten minutes later, Bozo calls me back. With narry a hello, he starts in... "Okay, I got the report from the 10th but I sent it back for revision because the investigator didn't describe the residence."

"All right. When did you get the update?"

"The 11th."

"Okay. So, that was over a week ago. Have you followed up with the investigator? And what about the updates for the 11th and 12th?"

Bozo's voice raises another dicibel. "I don't know. I've been up since 3:30 this morning and it's going to take me 2 hours to get back home. I'm tired and..."

I interrupt. I've had it. I have listened to him whine for the past three weeks with excuse after excuse for his half-assery.

"All right. You need to stop with the crying to me about waking up early and commuting and how much work it is, Bozo. I was a supervisor and I had to do the same thing... It's part of the job. If it's too much, quit. Otherwise, suck it up."

[Yelling and swearing from Bozo] I hold the phone away from my ear.

"Bozo, please don't raise your voice to me." I say calmly. "I have never done that to you and I expect you to treat me with the same respect."

[Yet more yelling and swearing from Bozo]

Aaaand...he hangs up.

I sit back in my chair and sigh. Well, that went well.

I call Corp and speak to Satan's number 2 man.

"Bozo had another temper tantrum. When are you going to fire him? What did I do to make you hate me so much?"

"His area is a mess. He's almost out. Just let him dig his own grave."

I hang up. Right. Let him dig his own grave. I smile. Well, I might as well make this fun...

I call Bozo back. "Hi, Bozo. How's it going? So where were we? Oh, yeah... Brandy.."

Thursday, May 04, 2006


10:28 a.m.

Thanks for all the nice birthday wishes, bloglit! I got called out to a death at 2am this morning and I kept writing my birth year down instead of 2006. I think I'm already getting senile.

It's PollyMom's birthday today, too, by the way. I remember back when I was a kid Mom used to let me stay home from school on our b-day and we'd spend it shopping or doing some other girl thing together. That's where I learned the fine art of playing hookie.

So, not wanting to break tradition, I'm going out to lunch with Pippie from the ME's office this afternoon. And after I've pigged out sufficiently, I'm driving up to MN so that Mom and I can celebrate our birthday together. I'm not sure I'll get there in time for shopping, but at least there'll be cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!

Friday, April 21, 2006


11:28 a.m.

Right now I'm sitting in a holding room on the set of a TV show called, Desire. I'm not sure what the show is about, but I just finished "acting" as a civilian on a scene where the stars of the show are being booked at a police station for having public sex. (I was just talking on the phone...fully clothed...sickos.)

More later...

Sunday, April 16, 2006


And that Jeremy is pretty darn bright. I think I have enough here to send him more than ears...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

4/15/06c Jeremy is on a roll...

10:42 p.m.

I'd offer Jeremy more of my chocolate bunny, but I'm not sure how much is going to be left. Jelly beans okay?

It was a ceiling fan! The following clue was stick to one of the blades: I hide things. A lot of things right behind me. But if you look really really close, I look just like you!

Figured that one out pretty quickly. It was the mirrored medicine cabinet in the bathroom. That clue said: The Danes, the Geats, and the Swedes. I'm the very first of the English reads.

Huh. Wish I'd paid closer attention in English Lit class...

Any ideas?

4/15/06b And the winner is...

1:08 p.m.

JEREMY!! It WAS a door mat. I'll send you my Easter bunny's luck rabbit feet.

You guys are great! Though LHM says I'm cheating getting help from my bloglit. The way I figure it...we're talking about chocolate here!

Okay, I'm stuck on another one so perhaps I can ask for a bit more advice.

Under the door mat was a clue that said: 99% of the time I don't even have any gloves. I figured that one out pretty quick. It was in the glove compartment of LHM's car.

The next clue said: I'm hot and wet. Which is probably why I've been a woman's best friend since the 1950's.

That one was pretty simple. It was in the dishwasher. The next clue is sick and twisted and I'm sort of afraid to find out what it means. It says: Suck. Blow. Suck. Blow. *Click* Now I'm light-headed.

4/15/06 And the winner is....

Cap'n Bob!!!!! You Rock! I'll send you the ears from my chocolate bunny when I finally find it.


It was a bed. The people who use a bed the most remember it the least...because they're sleeping! Of course, I argued with LHM that beds aren't just for sleeping anymore...


The clue from under the bed was: We run all day just to get back where we started. Just two good friends who are constantly parted. That one was easy, too. It was behind the clock on LHM's wall. The hands of a clock run all day and are constantly parted.

The clue behind the clock was: Sit up. Lie down. Sit up. Lie down. Where I'm broken, the next clue is found. This one took me a minute or ten, but I figured out it was the futon in LHM's office...which is broken. Good thing he gets to sleep on it and not me.

The next clue has me stuck again. And I have less than 24 hours before Easter.

Here it is: I never thought you were dirty until I met your two friends. Now everytime I see them, they use me and leave me that much dirtier.

I know...I keep telling LHM I don't have friends like that anymore.

Friday, April 14, 2006

4/14/06 HELP

9:51 p.m.
Okay, bloglit. I need your help. And this involves chocolate, so what you can for me.

I just got into California a few hours ago to spend the Easter holiday with LHM. He picked me up from the airport and there was a rolled up envelope in the car door. I didn't pay much attention to it until I read who it was addressed to:

Baby Cakes
69 Bet Your Sweet Ass Lane
San Diego, CA

Huh. If somebody is sending letters to LHM at 69 Sweet Ass Lane I want to know about I can find her and dispatch her with impunity. (Don't worry. I wouldn't really dispatch her with impunity. I just said that because there are so few opportunities to use that phrase in context.)

Anyway, I pulled the envelope out of the door handle and unrolled it. I turned it over and there was a note on the back that said, "Open when you are ready for Easter!!"

Hmm. Delay gratification, or go for the chocolate Easter Bunny goodness now.

I tore open the envelope and found a clue inside. It said, "Well, baby, I knew you couldn't wait. So the first clue is hidden with LHM and three heads of state."

I figured that one out. It was hidden in LHM's wallet with his money. The second clue was, "No matter where you go, I know where you are, which is good..because your next clue is hiding in a place that doesn't exist anymore."

I figured that one out, too. It was hidden on the globe in LHM's living room..stuck on the Soviet Union..which doesn't exist anymore. The third clue said " *JUMP* My life is hanging by a thread. One small shake and I'd be dead. Not up, nor down, nor left, look right! I have a stud to keep me warm at night."

That one was easy. There's a picture of a gargoyle jumping off the edge of a castle in LHM's house. The clue was stuck to the back on the right side.

And this brings me to why I'm writing. I'm going to need some help with the next one(and probably a few more..there are seven left)

The fourth clue says this: "The people who use me the most remember using me the least."

Other than mind altering drugs (and I checked his house to no avail) I can't think of what that might be. Does anybody out there in the blogosphere have any bright ideas?

Sunday, April 09, 2006


9:26 a.m.
It was stormy with high winds all yesterday afternoon and evening. This morning the sky is blue and beautiful, but the wind is still up. I wish I had a body board. The waves are high and crashing up over the dunes.

When I drove out from the airport Friday afternoon I was surprised to see that it's springtime here. The azalea bushes were flowering and I almost crashed my car when I saw huge vines of blooming wisteria braiding their way up tree trunks along I-64. I love wisteria. It takes 10 years for it to reach maturity and bloom the first time. It reminds me of the rewards of patience...which is something I need to be reminded of from time to time.

My case has been somewhat disappointing. None of my witnesses are willing to talk. I have spent two days taking photographs of the scene, timing the cycling of streetlights, and diagraming the intersection. I've dropped by houses unannounced. I've tried calling and leaving notes at the door. I guess nobody wants to put themselves out there.

When I knocked on the first door, I could here a male voice inside speaking urgently and quietly. I knocked again. No answer. Huh. I leave a card in the door and am just getting into my car when a woman peeks her head out. She looks afraid and won't meet my eyes. I walk over and ask her if my witness is there. She says that she's never heard of him and that she lives alone. I thank her and get back into my car. I wonder who the man was inside. I wonder who she was more afraid of...him or me.

The second house is just down the street. There are two kids playing on bikes in front of the house. They stop and stare at me when I pull into the drive. I smile and a little girl tentatively waves. Three or four dinosaur cars are parked in the yard where grass used to be. I see a teenaged woman open the front door before I even get out of my car. I ask her if my witness is there. She says she's not home right now. The girl uses her leg to block a diapered toddler from scampering out of the open doorway and into the yard. I give her my card and ask if she'd please have the witness call me. The kids on bikes continue to stare as I pull out into the street. I wink at the little girl and she smiles as I drive away.

I drive a couple of miles to get to the third witnesses house. But I never get the chance to knock on her door. As I drive down the street trying to find the house, I notice two men stop what they're doing and stare after me. I look in the rearview mirror as I pass and they are still watching my car. Oh, well. No doubt I do stand out. Let them stare. I find my witness's house a hundred yards or so down the street and just get out of my car after making notes describing the residence when the two men come up and angrily ask what I'm doing here. I am surprised at the anger and back into my car as they come closer. One of them asks me if I have a boyfriend. I am about to tell him about all of my boyfriends and all of the many venereal diseases that I carry when a cop pulls up. The men walk away as if the confrontation never happened. Oh, hell. That was close. I take a deep breath as the cop calls me over to his car.

"Hey! What in hell's name are you doing out here? Don't you know this is a bad neighborhood?"

I look around at the gutted cars, trash, and broken down shacks that line the street. "Yes", I say simply. "I'm working."

He shakes his head impatiently and says, "Get out of here. Now."

I am slightly irritated at his tone, but I decide that it would be better to comply then go to jail for suggesting that instead he kiss my ass. Now.

Besides, he might just have a point.

So, I spent the rest of the day knocking on doors and not getting answers.

I should be disappointed but it's hard to do so as I rub more sunscreen on the bridge of my nose and lie back in the warm sand.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Virginia Beach

The view from the dunes outside my hotel.


7:23 a.m.

I'm at the airport waiting to board my flight to Virginia. Traffic was stop and go through Chicago and it was a nail-biter the whole way thinking I might miss plane. Which is much better than being a nose-picker. Which is what the guy in the SUV next to me was being the entire length of Interstate 294. Sigh. I wonder why it is that so many people live under the illusion that their vehicle windows are opaque?

The gate attendant just told us that our flight is delayed until 8:15am. All that rushing around and I could have slept in for a half hour. Go figure. Maybe I'll go get a Cinnabon.

This trip to Virginia should be very interesting. I'm conducting a traffic fatality investigation over the weekend. It's supposed to be a full 30 hours of work packed into two days so the corporate office has relieved me of my regional supervisory duties this weekend. Hooray!!! I feel like a little kid at recess. What should I do first?

Well... of course, I will blog.

More later...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


jane said...
dude... where'd the booby polly pic go? that's what i looked at daily to cheer me up. er, wait....

12:14 PM

Yeah. The parents just got back from their winter travels and Mom checked my blog.

I love my mom and so I'm going to try to avoid causing future heart attacks by refraining from posting pictures of myself at unfortunate camera angles.

Friday, March 24, 2006


5:03 p.m.
I am currently blogging from a grassy knoll on the side of a road in a very, very ritzy part of San Diego. Across the street there are a bunch of trailers lined up, several cop cars, and a particular trailer that reminds me of a chuck wagon-type kitchen because people keep going over there and getting food.

Which reminds me, I’m hungry.

I'm surprised how easy it was to sneak into the staging area for Veronica Mars with LHM. After we parked LHM's car a van came up and loaded three or four of us in. Nobody asked me who I was playing or anything. Probably because I am a private detective who is used to slipping seamlessly into any given situation without notice. Uh, yeah. That must be it.

There are a bunch of fake cops wandering around and a pretty young woman with short dark hair in a pair of pink silk pajamas and slippers just came over to me and asked what internet service provider I use on my laptop because she can’t get service out here. She’s either one of the main characters of the show or a complete nut job. I’ll have to ask LHM later.

LHM just got out of the dressing room. He’s wearing a brown cop uniform. Reow! I’m a sucker for a man in uniform. Unfortunately, he’s pretending not to notice me so that I don’t get kicked out.

Oh, dear. LHM is talking to the stage manager guy and pointing to me. This cannot be good. LHM walks over and I half expect him to tell me I’m going to have to leave, but instead he says that the stage manager is going to let me hang around in the staging area but that I can’t go to the set (the set is a huge mansion a block away). Cool!

So, I walk across the street and join a bunch of extras that are dressed like bomb squad and cops and firemen. They seem like a pretty nice bunch of guys. One is woman who is, I guess, what you would call a professional extra. She does at least one show a week. LHM and all the other cops are bussed over to the props truck and I am left with the bomb squad. There is an Hispanic guy who is between jobs right now but used to work for the county. He asks me if I'm an actor. I laugh and tell him what I really do. He asks me for a job. Another guy is Special Ops with the Marine Corp and does the acting thing for fun. He is a black guy and we had a good laugh when he told me that next week he gets to play an Iraqi insurgent on another show. “I don’t know,” he says, “I’m happy for the job but I’ve never seen a black Iraqi before.”

"It's okay," I say. "Maybe they're planning on making you a woman and you'll be in a burka."

LHM comes back with fake gun, radios, leather holster, etc... Then the stage manager comes over and tells the guys that it’s time for them to get in the truck and head to the mansion. Bummer. This is going to be a boring couple of hours. But, to my surprise, he comes to me and says, “I’ll probably get fired for this, but you can come along to the house.” Hooray!

So now I am in an enormous mansion full of strapping men in uniform. Can life get any better, I ask you? There are fire trucks and cop cars all positioned outside in the driveway. LHM disappeared. He's exploring the mansion. I got depressed and stopped looking around after I peaked in the master bathroom and saw that it's bigger than my house.

After about an hour, I heard someone yell loudly from the other room, "Break for lunch!" Lunch? It's 8:00 p.m.! But then again, who am I to turn down free food? So me and the boys are bussed back down to the staging area and I am walking through a lovely buffet when an assistant director comes up to me and says, "We were wondering if you would do an “eye shot” when we get back to the house. Just come find me and I'll show you were to go."

I look at LHM. He shrugs. “Sure,” I say.

The assistant director walks away I lean in and whisper to LHM, “What the hell’s an eye shot?”

LHM shrugs. “I don’t know.”

Great. A lot of good you are. I ask the professional extra and she tells me that an eye shot is just where I stand there so that they can get camera angles and lighting in place for when the real actor comes in. I sigh in relief. Cool! I can do that! A monkey could do that!

So, they just called us back to the van and we are headed back to the house when the stage manager says, “You know, you’re very lucky to be here. We’ve had other people bring friends and I have had to tell them to go home. But you seem like a very nice girl.” LHM leans in and whispers, "Yeah. And that little tank top and skirt can't hurt, either."

We get back to the house again and everything has moved outdoors in the driveway. Now that it's gotten dark, the cops and firemen get to play. It is very cold and I am seriously regretting the little tank top. The stage manage comes over and hands me his jacket. He's dressed like a bomb squad guy because one of the extras didn't show up. "Here. You can use this. You look cold." Aw. Gee, thanks.

I sit on the steps of the house and watch in fascination. Turns out the girl in the pajamas wasn't a crazy after all. Hey! Is that Steve Guttenberg out there in that bathrobe? I loved him in Three Men and A Baby!

It's now 10:00 p.m. They just wrapped up the outside scenes and everybody is moving inside. We finally get to go back. I have to walk through the house to get back to my stuff. Steve Guttenberg is in the living room and they are getting set up to rehearse a scene. He sees me coming and smiles and says, "Aren't you cold?" I think to myself, Why, yes, Mr. Guttenberg. I'm freezing my ass off! But instead, I just say, "It was a lot warmer when I got dressed this morning."

Then the director yells for everybody who isn't in the scene to clear out. I scurry off to the back room and gather my things before walking outside with the rest of the boys.

Anyway, I’ve got to wrap this up because LHM just told me he's going to have to frisk me.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


1:20 p.m.,

Well, I'm sitting in LHM's car waiting for him to get out of the electronics store. See, he bought this computer game and found that his video card wasn't allowing all the graphics so decided to go buy a new card. But the new card wouldn't work. So he took it back because he figured it was defective. But then the replacement wouldn't work either. So now he's going to buy a more expensive card because, hell, if it's more expensive it's got to work, right? If the expensive card doesn't work then he's going to get more power supply... Which will be even more expensive.

And all to play a computer game.

Men are funny.

Anyway, tonight LHM is going to be playing an extra on Veronica Mars. He gets to be a cop. I'm going to be his groupie. I'll be blogging live from the set this evening.

P.S. MAN, it's hot in SoCal right now. :-P

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


9:11 p.m.
Right now LHM is looking over my shoulder as I write. Stop it! Go back to dreaming about past episodes of “Lost”. He keeps telling me that when we crash he wants me to call him John Locke. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about but he keeps laughing to himself every time he says it. I’m going to have to watch that show sometime.

I’m in a plane over the Rocky Mountains right now. As we were taking off about an hour ago the flight attendants performed a field experiment. The hypothesis was that the bag of peanuts would sail down the aisle faster than the pretzels. Pretzels won. LHM owes me 10 bucks. I love Southwest.

All right, here’s my latest ME story. It’s Saturday morning. I am just returning from releasing a body to a funeral home when my pager goes off in my pocket….again. Perfect timing, guys. You couldn’t hit me ten minutes earlier while I was still at the morgue.

I call dispatch and am directed to respond to a residence out in the county. A young woman, about 15-years-old, was found dead by her mother this morning. Dispatch can’t give me any details, but I’m assuming that it’s a drug or alcohol OD since it was St. Patrick’s Day yesterday.

I pick up the van at the MEO and head out. There are miles and miles of farmland once you cross to the west side of I-94. Stubborn patches of snow lay in patches on the fallow fields and a thin fog hovers over the trees. It’s really a beautiful morning and my mind registers this, though I am not able to fully appreciate it. I’m too distracted going over what needs to be done when I arrive at the residence. I am tense because I know that this will be a difficult scene. The girl was so young and her death was unexpected. Her family will be shocked and highly emotional. I need to be prepared.

I arrive at the home 20 minutes later. There are several men out in the yard. I note the stark faces as I pull in and get out of the van. A man about 40-years-old walks over. I introduce myself and tell him I’m from the Medical Examiner’s office. I tell him I’m sorry.

“I need to talk to you about this,” he says with barely controlled anger. “My daughter will not be taken away in that truck. You need to tell them to bring an ambulance. I’ve done that once and I won’t do it again.”

I’m not sure what he’s talking about so I sidestep the issue by telling him that I will need to go inside to speak to the officer in charge.

I walk through the front door and the situation is no better. Women are gathered in the living room, sobbing and holding each other. I hate walking in on scenes like this. I feel very acutely that I am an intruder at a very personal, horrible time. I give another general introduction, explain to the people in the room who I represent and what I’ll be doing before moving quickly to the side of the waiting detective. Det. Brown and I exchange a few words in hushed tones before he takes me to a small bedroom off the kitchen.

“So, what’s the story?” I ask. “Dispatch didn’t tell me anything but that it was a 15-year-old girl.”

Det. Brown opens the door and steps in with me. The room is sweltering hot, at least 90 degrees, and there is a small television on in the corner. I scan the room as Brown speaks. A teenage romance novel on a nightstand. A formal gown in the closet. My heart aches for this girl who will never see her first prom.

“Seems that the girl suffers from migraine headaches. She’s had problems with it for a couple of years. Her mother took her to the ER on Wednesday night because the pain was so bad and she was throwing up. She was given a couple of prescriptions and sent home. Over the next two days she just kept throwing up. Couldn’t keep anything down. There’s a bag of vomit there on the floor next to the bed.”

I look into the corner at the bag. “I’m taking the puke and the prescriptions with me.” I say as I bend down and mark the bag with a date.

“They’re all yours,” Brown says. “There’s another bag of vomit from the day before outside by the front stoop.”

I’m not sure why these people would save barf, but I am grateful. It will be analyzed for any clues as to what happened to the girl.

“Did she drink alcohol, do drugs…anything like that?” I asked.

“She had a tox screen back last year and tested positive for barbs, opiates, all sorts of shit.”

My mind starts going over the possibilities. Maybe she got a bad batch of drugs.

“Did they run tox at the ER?”

“Yes. She was clean.”

Hmmm. Okay. So she wasn’t hyped up on goofballs…at least none that your average, everyday drug screen will test for. She wasn’t out partying over the past few days. She’s got a history of migraine headaches but has been otherwise healthy.

“What did she drink or eat over the past few days?”

“She had water and tea on Thursday, but didn’t keep it down. On Friday she had water, a spoonful of warm jello and a cracker.”

“How many times did she vomit?”

“On Thursday, about 10 times. On Friday, 8 times.”

Nothing the girl ate or drank over the past couple of days contained any electrolytes. Meanwhile, she was throwing up everything she consumed and becoming more and more dehydrated.

“Do you know what her labs were like at the ER? How were her electrolyte levels?”

Detective Brown looks at me and raises an eyebrow. “How the hell should I know? Do I look like a doctor?”

I sigh. No. You look like a horse’s ass.

I make a mental note to call the ER as soon as I get out of here. Right now I need to examine the body.

I turn my attention to the small figure on the bed. She’s petite, maybe 105 lbs. Her hair is long and dark and tangled around her head. She’s got dark circles under her eyes. Her head is drawn back and her eyelids are partially open. She is wearing a tank top and pajama bottoms. There are three EKG leads on her chest and abdomen where Rescue checked her vitals.

“Did Rescue move her at all?” I need to know if this was the position she’d been found in.

“No. They were careful not to move her. They made no attempt at resuscitation.”

And I can see why. I pull on a pair of latex gloves and place my palm on her torso. Cool. I move my hand to her arm. Cooler. I try unsuccessfully to open one of her hands. They are closed tightly and won’t budge. I move to her elbow joint. Same thing. Her jaw is also tightly clenched. Rigor mortis is full. She’s been dead for at least 10 hours.

“When was she last seen alive?”

“Mom was staying up with her, rubbing her back and talking to her. She left the room at 0200 hours. She came in to check on her again at 0400 hours. And she found her in the same position at 0830 hours.”

Huh. It’s now 1030 hours. Even if she died at 0200 that’s only 8 hours…too soon for rigor to be full. I consider. The room is so hot, though. Heat accelerates the decomposition process and can cause rigor to present more quickly than normal.

I work my way down her body…documenting scars, tattoos, cuts, bruises. When I get to her feet I stop. Her toes are pointed straight out. I’ve never seen that before. I take photographs and bag up the meds and the puke. I pull out a syringe and pop the cap off the needle. I look back at Det. Brown. “How’s your stomach?” He turns away when he sees the needle puncture the left eyeball and draw out vitreous fluid. I deposit the milky thick fluid into a vial and label it. Vitreous is an excellent measure of electrolyte levels at the time of death but it must be drawn as soon as possible to give an accurate reading.

Before I leave the room I close the girls eyes and cover her with a blanket.

Det. Brown meets me outside the door and brings me to a separate room where he has the mother waiting to be interviewed. We’ve barely finished the first sentence when the girl’s father walked in. “Carl,” the woman says quietly in a warning voice. “Carl, just be calm. Please, Carl.” The man’s eyes are a little wild and I remember our conversation outside about the van.

“I want to see my daughter,” he says almost as a challenge. My heart sinks. I know that people need that closure, but it is so traumatic and I hate witnessing it.

I glance over to Det. Brown who is standing in the doorway and nod.

“That’s fine. Take all the time you need.”

I lead the man and his wife to the back bedroom. They walk past me and I close the door so they can have a private moment. A few seconds later I hear the man yell, “Angel! Oh, angel, no!” I hear the woman sobbing. I watch the faces of the other officers. I can see the same bleak countenance on all of them that I am sure is reflected in my own. It’s a feeling of complete impotence.

Several minutes later I am sitting with the mother again. She is alone this time and as she speaks to me I can’t help but admire her strength. I can see how shocked she is. She tells me her story. I listen carefully and take notes. After we have finished, I am about to get up to leave when she touches my sleeve.

“What do you think happened? Was it her heart?”

“Well, I don’t know for sure yet. We’re going to have to perform an autopsy and run some other tests before I can give you a definitive answer, but it seems that her chemistry might have been off because of her illness.”

“You mean that she was dehydrated? You mean that if I’d brought her back to the hospital she would have been okay?” The woman’s face has paled and her hands begin shaking.

I touch her arm and look her in the eye before saying, “No. You did everything right. You brought her to the ER the day before and they sent you home. You gave her the medicine prescribed and did your best to keep food and water inside of her. Don’t you worry about that.”

She visibly calms and I squeeze her arm as I stand up to leave.

I am lying, of course. It’s a lie I’ve had to tell several times over the years. And it’s one I’ll probably tell again.

Monday, March 20, 2006



Long time no blog!!

For those of you who didn't know, I've had some pretty serious personal issues come up over the past couple of months that have made it difficult for me to blog.

To say the least. Ahem.

But I'm back and I have a pretty interesting dead guy story for you all that I plan on punching out this evening while I'm on a plane.

Just as a side note...I was riding in a car with some random five-year-old when a guy pulled out in front of me. Now, believe it or not, I've been known to swear like a sailor in the past and for some reason when I get behind the wheel of a car that tendency is raised to the level of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Anyway, this guy pulls out in front of me and I shake my fist and yell, "Screw you, buddy!" (Which I thought was pretty tame considering I had a random five-year-old with me.)

So the random five-year-old sits there a second and says, "That guy was a jerk. You SHOULD screw him!"

All right. Thanks for your patience, my friends.

More later...

Monday, February 20, 2006


12:21 p.m.

Hey there, bloglit! Just a quick note to let you know I'm still alive. I know I've been neglecting you. I just sent LHM back home to Cali. He's jsut a really big distraction.


Anyway, I'm on call at the ME's office every night this week, so I should have some pretty good stories for you.

One funny thing:

I sent Pippie up to do an interview on Monday and she ended up getting caught in a blizzard. She was on the freeway and traffic was at a stand-still for hours. I got a call from her at about noon informing me she wasn't there yet and she had to pee really bad.

"Do you have a bucket?"


"Sheesh, girl! Have I taught you nothing? What about a Burger King cup or something?"

"Hey! I DO have a Burger King cup!" She said excitedly.

"Just be careful not to spill. Trust me on this."

I hung up the phone feeling a little jealous that I wasn't stuck in a blizzard peeing in a cup among voyeuristic truckers.

I'm weird that way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


9:28 a.m.

This morning I got a call from Pippie. As I'd mentioned before, she's working cases for me on occasion as well as being a coworker at the MEO. She's currently on a surveillance north of here and was checking in.

"So, Polly, I found your blog this morning."

Silence. Oh, fudge.

"That picture of you is hot."

More silence. " did you find my blog?"

"Well, hell, girl. I'm a detective!"

Damn. That's true, you are. " understand... Please don't tell anybody at the office!"

"Aw, don't worry about it. Your secret's safe with me...for now. But you better go in quick and change all the mean things you said about me or I might change my mind."

"I never said anything mean about you! I just talked about when you stuck the giant Hershey's Kiss in your sweater and pretended it was an accessory nipple."

"Huh. You realize that you're mine, now. I own you. Which reminds me...there's this really nice watch I found at the Outlet Mall the other day. It would be a great gift for Pippie Day."

"You're birthday is coming up?"

"No. Pippie Day."


So, bloglit. I am now Pippie's slave...cabana boy...French maid...

I'm sure she won't take advantage.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Hi, Bloglit.

I've been informed by many sources that y'all haven't been able to post comments since Friday. (And here I thought you didn't love me anymore.) I lost a couple of entries I tried to post in that time, too.

So, this morning I smacked the side of the monitor a few times and I'm hoping the problem is fixed. Please comment if you can. If not, email me and I'll try yelling expletives at the rotten thing. I'm sure that will work.


Sunday, January 22, 2006


11:23 p.m.

Well, I'm packing again. I don't know why I bother UNpacking, really...I travel so much. I am heading out to California tomorrow on yet another visit to see LHM. I am especially looking forward to this visit because his parents will be there.

Apparently, LHM's mother has been reading my blog for some time now. And despite the frequent cussing, general irreverence, and the occasional photograph of myself dressed like a dominatrix or a high priced whore (Vegas), she still wants to meet me! How about that?!

I told my father and the first thing he said was, "Uh-oh. Well, maybe they'll like you anyway." Hehe. When I told my mother her immediate reaction was, "Oh, Polly. You've got to stop swearing so much on that blog! I thought you made a New Year's resolution?"

"Yeah, Mom," I answer. "I made a New Year's resolution that everytime I swore I would give a quarter to the Salvation be collected next Christmas."

"So... How are you doing?"

"Well," I say, "so far I owe them a full car payment and part of a month's worth of groceries. I feel good about it, though, Mom. This way I get to swear and some kid gets shoes and a warm meal. I mean, if I stop swearing now, it's like I'm taking the food right out of that kid's mouth! Really...what kind of cold-hearted jerk would I be? See! Right there! I could have called myself an 'ass' instead of a 'jerk' and that kid might be able to afford those braces he's always wanted. I feel so guilty..."

Saturday, January 21, 2006


11:41 a.m.

Dearest Bloglit,

From this point forward, I am going to start moderating comments on my blog. This means that your comments may not show up immediately after you post them because I will have to review and approve their content before allowing them for public viewing.

Please don't let that discourage you from posting, my friends. I love to hear from all of you and would be very sad not to get your feedback.

I only take this course of action because there have been a few harassing, threatening comments of late that have served no purpose other than to piss me off. So for those choosing to make such comments, I have a brief message that I think makes my point quite well...

YOU SUCK! And you will NOT have a voice on my blog. Why? Because my blog is not a democracy.

Have a nice day!

Polly PI...princess of the blog.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


10:01 a.m.


I have added a few more pills to my daily supplement regimen. (Not that 13 wasn't enough already)

In addition to the:
Alpha lipoic Acid
Fish Oil
Green tea extract
Grape seed extract
Ester C
And Calcium

I have now added:
Vitamin D
and Acetyl L-Carnitine

I need all of these supplements because I can no longer afford to buy food.


8:17 a.m.

I wake up when my alarm goes off at 6am this morning. I kick my feet over the edge of the bed and step down on something strange that is definitely not the floor. I look down. My dumbbells. What are they doing out here? Was I exercising in my sleep? "Hmph." I kick them back under the bed where they belong. Along with an old banana peel and an empty cake box.

I throw on my robe and slippers and shuffle out toward the kitchen, passing by Baby Jesus and his pals in the nativity scene that I still haven't put away since Christmas. I wave.

I glance over at the Christmas tree...needles scattered in a pretty round carpet around the base. I consider (briefly) getting my act together and throwing it away before I start a fire from the friction of my shuffling slippers one morning. Instead, I yawn and turn away. I do not see the Christmas decorations. Reality is what I make of it. Mind over matter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


This one is from Ms. Muffett. She started as a supervisor when I did and met me at the training in Boston. Ms. Muffett was demoted back to a regular investigator a few months later. Recently, she ran a case for me (for one of my supervisors, JD) down in Florida. As you'll note in the following transcript from her report, she was picked up by the Subject and for some mysterious reason, continued on her surveillance. Again, stuff in brackets is what I'm thinking.



AT 1:00 p.m.; Investigator notes that Krenshaw County Police came out. Someone in the complex had called and reported a suspicious vehicle in the complex. The officer then went to Subject’s apartment and spoke with Subject. [YOU JUST GOT PICKED UP!!]

AT 1:40 p.m.; Investigator observed Subject getting into his vehicle and leaving the complex. Investigator initiated mobile surveillance. [WHAT THE HELL? DIDN'T YOU USED TO BE A SUPERVISOR? WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE?!]



It appears that Ms. Muffett was picked up by the Subject...that the Subject was the one that called the cops on her. If that is the case then she should have bagged out immediately and called the office. Please call me.


To make a long story short, I made Ms. Muffett close out the case effective immediately. She was not happy about this. JD was asked by Ms. Muffett to forward the below message to me. JD felt very uncomfortable because he thought it would hurt my feelings.

RE: 687654B, Concha, GG................I do not feel that I was picked up by the Subject on this case yesterday. I feel that your Regional Supervisor made an incorrect decision on this case by not having me go back today. I was a Supervisor for a long time, and have enough sense to make a decision as to whether my cover was blown or not. [THERE IS A REASON YOU WERE DEMOTED, HONEY.] In my opinion, your Regional Supervisor made a very bad decision. Had I thought otherwise, I would have called the office immediately!!!!! I resent your Regional Supervisor implying that I did not know how to make the correct decision. Please pass this along to her as "I WANT HER TO READ THIS". She became a Supervisor about the same time that I did, and I don't feel that she has anymore experience in this field than do I.


Hi, JD.

How does it feel to be the messenger boy? Could you please pass the below paragraph on to your investigator? And don't takes a lot more than that to ruffle my feathers. I understand that she's upset and I don't mind being the target. That's what I get paid the big bucks for. ;-)

In this line of work we are constantly making judgement calls. It's part of the job. But as an investigator, Ms. Muffett is not authorized to make the decision whether to stay on cases when there is even a small possibility of compromise. That burden goes to the Regional Supervisor and the Office Case Manager. In this case, a police officer approached her vehicle. He told her that somebody had called him about a stranger in the area. Then he immediately went to Subject's residence to speak with him. I don't think it's too far of a stretch to say that the Subject probably made the phone call and so was aware of the investigator's presence. At that point, Ms. Muffett should have departed the area and called the office, per company policy.


Nicely said!!!

Now go kick the garbage can....and have a good night....I'll talk to ya in the morning sometime....I promise not to call early unless the sky falls in......all's quiet here. I think everybody's gone to bed.



Good morning, bloglit!

I thought it would be fun to go over a couple of pieces of hate mail I've gotten from investigators recently. This first one is from Butch. He's been with the company for about a month. Butch ran a three day case and I had to send each of his reports back to him 4 or 5 times. This was beginning to get on my nerves a bit, so I sent him the below email. Little did I know he was such a sensitive man. (Please note that the comments in brackets reflect what I was thinking, not what I wrote.)



I need you to fix the neighborhood canvass. Again, I need a separate entry for each person that you approached. I need a description of the person, the residence, and what you asked them as well as their response. Please get this back to me before noon. [YOU WON'T] I should not have to ask you so many times. All you need to do is read the emails I send you and follow the instruction I give. [A MONKEY COULD DO THAT.]

Also, I think that you should reword the following report entry. It may be construed wrong.

"At 8:14 a.m., Investigator returns to residence and notes that Subject has a community driveway and the green Dodge Truck was most likely from the neighbors behind."




And again, I need you to include both the report AND the expense sheet in the email. [YOU WON'T.]



I am learning, I can't read a manual and magically know how to write a perfect report. I think that it's pretty ridicoulous to expect a person to know how to do everything prefect.

Had I known that addresses and descriptions were necessary when no answers were forthcoming, I would have gotten them. [YES, IF ONLY I'D TOLD YOU 3 or 4 TIMES... OH, WAIT! I DID!]

I would understand you criticism if I had been doing this for a while and was consistently not getting things right. [IT'S BEEN A MONTH.] But frankly if this is the way I'm going to be treated I don't think I need to continue. [TIME TO REQUEST A NEW INVESTIGATOR IN COLORADO.]

I am very frustrated with being maligned. [BABY.] You may get new investigators that know everything when they first start but I'm not one of them. Your criticizing me for not knowing something I have never learned is a bit much.

What's frustrating is that I just started to feel like I was getting some of these things down, starting to get the feel of how to do things the best way, and then I get the email from you saying I basically suck.


Friday, January 13, 2006


7:17 a.m.

"You should see this!" I say into the reciever. "There's a t-shirt for sale here that says, 'Tell Your Boobs To Stop Staring At My Eyes'." I giggle.

"Why would anybody buy a shirt like that?" LHM asks in disgust. "How tacky."

"Yeah!" I say, "What kind of a person, indeed!" I place the t-shirt on the checkout counter and wink at the cashier. (Sorry, Dad. If you're reading this then Father's Day won't be much of a surprise this year.)

I gather my purchases and head back to my room to go over reports for the night. I am especially anxious to read Fish's. He called me on the radio early this afternoon all in a tissy. "Polly! This Subject I'm following... His car is on fire! He's speeding down the road toward his house! I'll call you back!"

Well, there's something you don't see everyday.

A half hour later Fish radios me again. "Man, I've been doing this for 11 years and I've never seen anything like that before. It's almost as good as when the old homeless guy threw poo at my car." I consider asking him about the homeless poo experience, but think better of it.

"Anyway, the guy rushed home, ran at top speed into the house, and came back with a bucket of water. His limp miraculously disappeared, too, by the way."

Now, what are the chances of that? Of all the days that the guy would be under surveillance, it would be the day that he was required to test his supposed disability under extreme circumstances. Karma? I'd like to think so.

Anyway, I'm set up on a rural road here in Almost Canada. It's nearly 8am and still dark. The area is flat and barren with a few pine trees dotting the landscape. This is crazy. Why would anybody live out here voluntarily?

And I have no place to hide. There are no trees tall enough and thick enough to provide significant cover on the tundra.

I suppose I could dress up like a moose. Blend in. Go casually graze on the bushes under the Subject's bedroom window...


It's 7am. Still pitch dark outside. The moose (meese? mooses?) are looking at me funny.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'M LOST. But at least there's a nice view.

View from the other side of Lake Michigan.

Stuck in Chicago traffic

It's times like these when I wish I'd gone for that on-board rocket launcher option.


Look! A picture of luggage! Posted by Picasa


1:17 a.m.

Tomorrow morning I leave for a glorious adventure in northern Michigan! In the middle of January!


What? Don't look at me like that. I've been itching for a road trip for ages. Too many months cooped up in front of my PC.

I've got my digital camera, my guitar in the trunk, my bucket, and my laptop revved up and ready to go.

It's going to be a long drive and I'll be sure to take lots of pics and blog along the way. Right now I'm going to download some music for the road.

I bet those people at the BP station missed me...

Monday, January 09, 2006


8:18 a.m.

After I get home from releasing the suicide, I tackle some PI work that has started to pile up when I was gone. Several hours of travel requests, investigator phone calls, and case reviews later, I'm eating my cat curry when my beeper goes off again. I look at the display. It says: "Please call Droi..." That's it.

Errg. I hate it when they try to text messages to me. They never come through all the way. I've told them 400 times to just send the phone number and I'll call them back. I call dispatch.

"Dispatch, Rollins."

"Yes, this is Polly from the ME's office. Did you guys paged me? I couldn't tell because the text didn't come thr..." She cuts me off.

"Oh. Yeah. Hold on."

Several cuss words and a short conversation with the supervisor later, I am calling the emergency room at one of the local hospitals. The ER nurse tells me she's got a 65-year-old male who collapsed after going for a jog this afternoon. The nurse said the decedent was in the garage and fell on the corner of a set of concrete stairs. The fall was not witnessed. "Polly, I've never seen a face split open like this. It looks like somebody took an axe to this guy's face... Right down the midline. I can't imagine anybody sustaining an injury like this from a simple fall."

Oh, great. Now I have images of the wife taking a frying pan to his face. But I'll come back to that later. First thing's first.

"Does he have a medical history?"

"Not recent. The last time he saw his doctor was 2 years ago. He was diagnosed with hypertension, but he refused to take medication for it. I already talked to Doctor Morris and he refuses to sign the death certificate."

I sigh. Doesn't look like I'm getting out of bringing this one in. Besides, I want to check out that facial laceration. It's got my spidey sense tingling.

"Is the family still there?"

"Yes. The wife is here and a son."

"Okay. Please ask them to stay. I want to question the wife. Oh...and how big is this guy?"

"Big. Maybe 6'5" and 375 lbs."


I pick up the van at the ME's office and drive around to the back of the hospital...where the morgue is located. I am concerned enough about the facial injuries that I shove several paper sacks in my satchel...just in case I'm suspicious enough of foul play that I need to bag the hands for trace. I hop out of the truck and two security guards are waiting for me in black dress pants and red blazers with gold embroidered lettering on the breast pocket. I love this hospital that way. They are so accommodating. I feel like the bellhop just met me at the door of a fancy hotel. One of them takes the cot to the morgue while the other escorts me to the ER.

There are several nurses and doctors gathered around the nurses station when I get there. They are listening intently to a cop who is telling them a story in hushed tones. I wait for a moment, but when it becomes clear that nobody is going to help me, I walk closer to get the nearest nurse's attention. The cop who is talking looks at me just then and stops his story. He gives me a big smile. "Polly! I haven't seen you since we moved that decomp the other day!" It's Officer Wink. I greet him and we chat for a few minutes while the nurses and doctors dispurse... Story time is over, I guess.

One of Wink's partners comes over and chats with us. After the introductions he says, "Yeah. Wink told me how you caught him trying to take a picture of your butt at that decomp scene." They giggle like a couple of 12-year-olds. I roll my eyes. Cops. We are interrupted by Charles, the nurse assigned to my Dead Guy's case. He tells me that the body is in Room 5 and the family has all had a chance to see him.

I ask Charles to take me to the body first. I want to examine that wound before talking to the wife.

I walk into the room. Dead Guy is covered in a sheet from head to toe. A small wooden cross has been laid on his chest. The chaplain must have been here. I glove up, remove the cross, and pull back the sheet. Oh, for crying out loud. The way that nurse was talking, I was expecting the man's face to have been practically cloven in two. This is a nasty laceration, but it certainly is within the realm of possiblity if he hit a concrete stair at just the right angle. I can feel myself relax. No spousal homicide today. That's good.

More later...

Sunday, January 08, 2006


6:30 p.m.

The doorbell rings and I run down the stairs with check in hand.

"Hey. You ordered Chinese, lady?"

It's the delivery boy from The Bamboo Palace. They have great curry.

I pay for my food and hurry upstairs to the kitchen. I transfer the contents of my little white box to a plate heaping with rice. Mmmm...I take a big whiff of steam and smile. I could eat a horse. Or a cat. I don't really care as long as it's in curry sauce.

I take a bite while standing over the sink and am chewing away happily when I hear a loud buzzing sound in the other room. It's dispatch paging me. Oh, fudge. I whimper a little and look down at my food. Looks like Fluffy died in vain. I shovel one more bite in my mouth and head to my bedroom.

This shift has been hectic. It all started at 7am when I was called by a funeral home to release a body from the morgue. That took me a half hour or so and I was just heading home when I saw an ambulance pull out of the station near my home. Great. Probably a DOA. Happens all the time in the morning. I was right. Ten minutes later I got the page. I went to the scene and pronounced. It was an unremarkable situation. The decedent was an 80-year-old man who lived alone. His son tried to call him yetserday and got no answer. Son then drove by the house this morning and noticed that the garage door was open. That's when he knew something was wrong. Dad never left the garage door open all night. Son walked in and found his father face down on the floor by the couch. Dad had a host of health problems and nobody was exactly surprised. This was a natural. Not an ME case. I kicked it to the family doctor and released to a funeral home.

A couple of hours later I got a call from one of the local hospital ERs. Another old guy. Another natural. I declined ME jurisdiction and didn't even have to go pronounce since the ER doctor obliged.

Then I got called by a funeral home regarding a local police officer who committed suicide on a high school football field last night. "Oh, really?" I said. "I wasn't aware." My shift didn't start until midnight, so it's possible it came in earlier and I wasn't informed.

"Yeah," Mort from Pearly Gates Funeral Home said. "I would like to know how she looks so I can tell the family whether there will be an open casket or not."


"Well, since I live five minutes from the office, why don't I head over there and check for you?"

"Would you? That would be so nice! You're such a nice girl."

Yeah. Plus I want to see the woman. The name sounds familiar. I think maybe I was out on a scene with her once.

I drive over to the MEO and notice Dr. Frank's truck out front. It's 2pm on a Saturday. That woman works all the time. It's like all she does is work. She should just relax sometimes and turn off her phone and...


So I walk in through the front door. "Hello?"

Dr. Frank greets me. She's in her office writing a lecture she's giving at a big symposium on Monday. I see a Powerpoint presentation on her computer screen and the word "Cirrhosis" emblazoned across the slide with bulleted points underneath it.

"Hey, Doc. Does Cory Shelly ring a bell to you? I got a call from a funeral home a few minutes ago asking me if she's viewable."

Dr. Frank turns in her seat and faces me. "Yeah. That was a sad case. So young. She was a local cop. Yesterday night she called into dispatch and gave them a ten code...10-45 or something like that...It's supposed to mean you're going off duty. Only she wasn't supposed to be off until the next morning. Anyway, dispatch couldn't really understand what she said and thought it was a different an armed robbery or they sent a whole bunch of cars and shit out there. Only it was too late. She shot herself through the side of the head."

I imagine the woman, still in uniform, sitting on the bleachers of a dark football field at night. What kind of dispair would have driven her to that?

Dr. Frank goes on, "I posted her yesterday. She should be viewable if they're good at putting craniums back together. Her face was pretty much okay. Go ahead and tell them they can pick her up."

We chat for a while longer before I call Mort back and tell him he can come get the body.

I walk down to the morgue, glove up, grab the cooler key from on top of the door frame, and pull the door open. There's a loud click and a hiss. Inside I can hear air whooshing from the ventilation system. Even so, it smells stale. I walk in and scan the toe tags for Dpty. Shelly.

I pull her out of the cooler and into the bay area where Mort will soon be arriving in his Suburban. I unzip the bag and immediately note there are loose stitches of waxed cord running up and down her arms, legs, and torso. She was harvested for tissue and organs. Her head is bagged. I tuck the white plastic up so that I can see her face. I sigh. I do recognize her. Back when I had my kidney infection and I had to run that motorcycle case. She was the rookie cop that came in with the body and almost started to cry when she was describing the scene to me. Oh, hell.

Her eyes have been harvested so her lids are closed on concave orbits. I can see tell-tale "raccoon eyes"...bruising in and around the eye sockets. Raccoon eyes are a direct result of the enormous pressure that is expelled when a bullet penetrates the brain at close range. Her skin is pale and her dark hair is tangled in around her face like a mass of seaweed.

I shake my head. I pull the bag back down on her head.

As I drive home I keep envisioning the young woman with the clear, kind eyes telling me about the motorcycle accident scene. Trying to be professional. Trying to be a cop.

More later....this was a long day...

Friday, January 06, 2006


2:24 p.m.


Everything I touch has turned to monkey poo today.

It started out last night when an investigator called me (at 9pm) to tell me his car wasn't out of the shop yet..."I was waiting and then they just closed so now I can't leave for my case I'm supposed to start that's 400 miles away in San Antonio at 6am tomorrow."

Then, I was reviewing a report from South Carolina. The investigator USED to be a supervisor for my company but was relieved of her duties. I think I know why, now. The report said that the cops came out and questioned her on her surviellance and then the cop went to the CLAIMANT'S house and talked to them. So..clearly she got picked up. But did she call her supervisor? No. Did she immediately break off? No. She stayed on him for two more hours AND EVEN ENGAGED IN A MOBILE SURVIELLANCE ON HIM. Bloody hell.

So, I went to bed.

I woke up this morning to find that a case that was started yesterday was supposed to have been scheduled from 3:30pm to 11:30pm. I reminded my supervisor 4 times before he found somebody to run the case to schedule it properly. My supervisor scheduled it for 6am-4pm. And I'M the jerk because I didn't catch it while reviewing his assignment. It's just that I review 10 to 20 assignment schedules a day and it slipped by. So now we have to rerun the first day.

Then, Fish was running a case and his video camera blew up. He had to leave and get a new camera.

After that, Joe...remember Joe? My absent-minded former boss? He screwed up the video on a couple of cases he ran last week and then messed up some dates and times in his report, so I had to spank him for that.

Not to mention yesterday. I was renegotiating my contract and my boss...being the wonderful man that he is...called me and said, "You either take what we're offering or you're fired. Tell me now." He knows I've got a few very good little reasons for remaining where I am for the time being otherwise I would have told him to shove his job up his ass. Which I will do as SOON as I find another one.

And now I'm late for the dentist. I'm kind of looking forward to the drill. At least I don't have to answer the phone for an hour or so.

Polly PI playing as Elvira Lynn Fection (with...ahem...Space Invaders in the background)

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


3:44 p.m.

I am standing in front of the mirror in the guest bathroom at LHM's house. It's New Year's Eve and we're getting ready to go out for a nice steak (medium rare, of course) dinner. We are running late, so I call to LHM asking how much more time he needs.

"Hey!" I yell.


I narrow my eyes. It's awfully quiet out there. Too quiet. I shrug. Maybe he's busy seeing a man about a horse. I turn back to the mirror and just finish powdering my nose when I hear a loud pop and feel a sharp sting in my left buttock.

"Ouch!" I jump and look up at the doorway. LHM is standing there with a grin on his face and the toy shotgun I bought him for a How To Host A Murder party we went to the other night. (He was Elias Truis Teeth, a young gun slinger, and I was Elvira Lynn Fection, the owner and maddam of the local brothel. I'll post a picture or two later.)

"Damn it!" I kick off my heels and start chasing him around the house. "This is the fourth time you've shot me in the ass with that thing! Now prepare to be kicked in yours!"

Unfortunately, I'm a rather small woman and in a wrestling match with a 6'3" tall man, fingernails and teeth can only do so much. I have no choice but to pull out the big guns. I collapse.

"My arm! Oh, it hurts! You hurt me!" I curl into a ball and craddle my arm. LHM lets me go and immediately asks me if I'm okay. I gasp a few more times before springing into action.

Ha. Men. So easy.

Unfortunately, the surprise attack only really works if you are intent on truly disabling somebody. So because I was kind and figured LHM might want to have children someday, I ended up in a headlock in my fancy dress until I said "uncle". Serves me right for not fighting dirty. Dirtier.

In other news:

Jose quit a couple of days after Christmas. So now I am acting supervisor for his area in addition to my other duties. Pile it on, babies. More weight.

I got my new contract, which was a joke, as expected. I countered this morning and have been waiting all day to see if I'll get what I asked for.

I am going to go run a couple of cases in Michigan next week...that is if they accept my counter-offer. It'll be fun to get out there on the road again. It's surprising how much I miss sitting in my truck blogging all day.

I haven't taken off my robe in 3 days. Maybe I'll get dressed tomorrow just for lips and tickles. I'm starting to feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

All work and no play makes Polly a dull girl.