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.