Panorama of San Bernardino

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Strange daze

Another series of strange days. Staying at home and connected only by technology, I am grateful that I have my dogs, husband and mother in law with me at home (that’s not in order of preference). Yet, I’m missing my mom who’s with my wonder twin sister Jackie in Palm Springs.

My days fly by. I love not having to wear a suit and most days, I wear a beanie, a punk rock t-shirt, pajama bottoms and funny socks. Every morning, or at least most, I force myself to wash my face and brush my teeth, but my hair is getting tangled again.

Without the need for getting dressed, I start work very early, about 6 am most days, after downing two shots of espresso with a sugar cube. My cousin Pascal got me hooked to this combo when I visited her in France, I blame you Pascal!

Some mornings, I sit outside and watch the sunrise thinking of our trip to France. It was so lovely and we took it for granted in some ways. Not being able to travel right now has impressed upon me how lucky I was to see Paris. I remember the beauty of the French countryside and the croissants! Oui! Oui!

Working from home, I am surprisingly efficient and productive. I have emails, motions, and a big side project when I get bored by the other stuff. I take a break about noon for lunch. By three or four, depending on my breaks, I’ve put in a full day.

Yesterday, I hopped on a training at noon then realized it was not until Monday. So, I went downstairs and made brownies.

My social life is me, my husband and my phone. Last night, my best friend Tracy and I connected via Face Time and drank beers. I annoyed my household watching her and her daughter Karaoke. I sang backup while listening and gave encouragement when she sang Metro by Berlin.

Today, I don’t know what to do with myself. I have to pick up a prescription and maybe some soda waters. Life has become very insular and odd. Maybe I’ll record another podcast. I have to get dressed to make a video for a San Bernardino hard book anthology that I’m in (we are doing a virtual book launch.).

As an aside and a finale, I also need to figure out what to do with the case of spam I bought.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

These Times

There are eerie, strange times. I am coping by losing myself in work (from home) by day and I am managing my nighttime with Netflix and NyQuil. The other coping mechanisms I have utilized are Reese's jumbo peanut butter cups and an ice cold Diet Coke. That reminds me, I am almost out of Diet Coke. I was so obsessed with buying canned items, cold medicine and cleaning products that I forgot the thing I need most. You know the world is ending when I forget to buy Diet Coke. I am trying not to drink alcohol, it will only make things worse. Instead, I will be watching American Idol drinking a hot tea.

Everyday brings more bad news. The good thing is that my sister Jackie picked up my mom and took her to Palm Springs after she caught my mom lunching with the seniors. My mom is very social and is obsessed with what's next on the menu. Also, she is an ornery 79 years old and does not like being told to stay home. Now, my mom and my wonder twin can chill out while my mom talks through movies and drinks cup after cup of coffee.

I am also editing my memoir for publication and I just published an article in Aljazeera on jail conditions with the virus ( and am considering a follow-up. These things keep me occupied after work hours. It is difficult to watch television because everything is horrible news or fluff and neither is comforting. Even worse, I made the mistake of watching Contagion and almost had a panic attack.

The world seems so big and yet so small right now. The run on items has created community.  We wait in lines together. Wave at one another. Smile and nod our heads. No one gets too close.

Everything is closing. Our worlds are shrinking. But then you see the news and the world seems so global and we are all linked by the virus.

I am terrified for my clients in the jails, and for my own family's health and financial well-being. Yet, I know that I am blessed. I have a job that is allowing me to work from home when I can. Courts have closed in most counties and ours are likely next. I drafted a motion for a client to be released and that will be heard today. I am crossing my fingers it is granted. I am trying to make change on both a macro level (the article) and micro level (1 client at a time) at this point. That's all I can do.

Where will this go? I do not know. But what I do know for sure is that I am here. Writing and going through this with you all. Comments appreciated. Let's keep our connections going, remotely for now.

Friday, March 13, 2020


I am stressed. Worn out. Anxious and depressed. About the virus, my clients, the world, the markets, and my family. Of course, I’m in Vegas.

It makes sense if you know me. This is our “go to” place. Where we come to decompress. Plus, it’s hubby’s birthday so I left it to him to make the call on whether to cancel. Hubby and his mom wanted to go so I said, “OK” and we piled the moms and two dogs in the Prius and we hit the road. A full car for sure.

I stayed on my phone the whole drive. I recently wrote an article on my fears regarding coronavirus in the jails for Aljazeera and it was blowing up my Twitter and Facebook. See (

Many people commented and responded to it. I was nervous before it went up, but after, I knew I had done the right thing.

I am happy to have said my piece. It is only opinion, my opinion and fears in my voice. It is no one else’s view but my own. What I do know for sure is that I was driven to write it. Sometimes, as a writer, there is a muse, a higher power, moving our pen.

This was one of those times.

It all started this last Sunday. I had returned from San Antonio after attending a writing conference and immediately got home and started writing and researching the virus. I researched jail conditions and health care and prior outbreaks of disease. I worked all night on the essay, ignoring my poor neglected husband who hadn’t seen me for four days. It was almost manic, but something in my heart was saying, you must do this.

I tweeted and posted a blurb pitching the piece. I received an immediate response from an editor. The next two days were bedlam. I worked a full day at work then ran home to edit the piece, falling asleep at midnight (my normal bedtime is 830 pm) and waking up at 4 am to be on Quatar time for more edits. It was exhausting, yet also exhilarating.

Then, by Thursday, it was live.

What it made me realize is that I can do anything. So while these are the worst of times, they are also transformative times because we see the possibilities in life.

The truth is that we are all able to create whatever we want out of our life. We are all magical creatures.

Stay safe, healthy and well my friends. This too shall pass.