Thursday, October 13, 2016

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

In Latin, this translates to always where under where" which only makes sense if you don't think about the actual definitions. I'm not sure why, but this is one of the only things I remember from middle school Latin and if you asked me what else I remember, I'm not sure I would have much to say (other than Mr. St. Clair was a fabulous teacher!).

Last night at our Citizen Police Academy class, we heard from the Forensics unit. As you might expect, actual CSIs and crime labs are very different than the television versions. Officers don't wear high heels or dress clothes, and getting DNA back from the lab can take a month or more, and that's on the quick end! The Evanston Police Department now uses a crime lab in Vernon Hills where the turn-around time is on the quicker end. In Chicago, it can often take more than a year, at which point it may be too late to file charges against someone. The implications here are enormous and extremely disturbing.

In addition to investigating all sorts of major and minor crimes, the Forensics Unit is called to investigate any death in Evanston outside of a hospital, nursing home or hospice setting. Yesterday, they spent the day investigating a man who had been dead for several weeks and because of the temperature/humidity factors in his apartment was essentially mummified.

The officer told us that in many non-violent death cases, they find many of the bodies in bed and naked. She said, "If I leave you with anything tonight, I ask you, please, wear underwear to bed!"

Semper ubi sub ubi!

Friday, October 07, 2016

The Reunion

On Tuesday, for a variety of reasons, I found myself driving slowly down the small street behind a Whole Foods in a community about 10 miles away from home. As I pulled around toward the parking lot, I stopped for a pedestrian crossing in front of me (um... it's possible I almost ran into her, but that's not relevant for these purposes). She looked like a typical suburban soccer mom: black leggings, a black jacket and toting the requisite cloth bags that would hold whatever she purchased.

But she looked familiar, which I thought was odd. Not only do I not know that many people in this town, but especially on this day (Rosh HaShanah) I definitely didn't expect to see someone I knew in the store parking lot. So I looked again.

The person I thought she resembled was someone I'd lost touch with 20+ years ago. I don't often see people who just look familiar - either I know who they are or I don't.  And even if a total stranger did look familiar, I would never approach them and say (the equivalent of), "Do I know you?"  But in this case, I figured if I was wrong, I could drive away and never return.

So I rolled down my window and yelled, "Sandra?" She paused and looked around. And kept walking. And so possibly acting as a complete idiot, I tried again. "Sandra?"

And it was!

Other than now being married with two kids and living in the suburbs, she is EXACTLY the same.  Always polite, she said I was exactly the same, too.

I'd searched for her on line a few times a year, but never found her. Clearly I was not looking in the right places, and the parking lot at a suburban Whole Foods never would have made my list.

Lesson learned. Stop Googling and start looking at the grocery store.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sock Day

It's Sock Day. That's the day I need to wear socks again after a long, barefooted spring and summer. There's no particular temperature that demarcates the festivities, just a point at which a choice must be made between very cold toes and the inevitability of returning to the sock drawer.  I always try and push Sock Day as far forward as possible, but today, in 2016, today is the day.


On the upside, this brings back a whole group of shoes left alone in the closet during the spring and summer and the difficult decision of which should be chosen for this occasion.  Truth be told, it's not such a difficult choice. I don't own that many pairs of shoes and it's easy to figure out that today isn't a day for heels or tennis shoes or motorcycle boots (though I do love my boots...).

I may be wearing socks but I refuse to put on a jacket yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Long time, no writing...

It's not that I haven't been writing, I just haven't been writing here. I'm not quite sure why so I'm just going to pretend nothing much has happened in the last four years. 

Except it has. 

Immediately after my last post, I was told my job was being eliminated from an organization I'd worked with in some form for nearly my whole career. And that same day, a close friend called, needing help to navigate a serious family crisis that required every ounce of my focus and attention.  And two days later I was going to be driving halfway across the country with a friend and her 4-year old son. 

Like I said, lots to write about, and that was just three days later. 

I spent the last four years working as the interim executive director rebuilding an organization that had collapsed under the weight of their crisis. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and by far my best professional work to date. So many things to say and nothing on paper, so maybe it didn't really all happen. 

My last day was this past June 30 and it could not have been more anticlimactic.  That sentiment was short-lived.  

I spent the last two months not working, and not worrying about not working or finding the next job. It was liberating. I read. I wrote (but not here), I spent time with friends I hadn't seen in years. I finally went through my file cabinet and got rid of my notes from three years of Russian. I found the shady places at the beach. I rejoined the YMCA (and went). I signed up for community programs. I didn't watch daytime television but I did spend an entire day one weekend watching Fast and Furious 1-5. (Note to anyone who hasn't seen these yet: don't bother with 2 and 3.)

And now I'm looking for a job for the first time in nearly 25 years. I updated my LinkedIn profile, put together a decent resume, and am learning to ask for help. 

Stay tuned....