Tuesday, May 24, 2022


Ten years ago, the day of the Sandy Hook shooting happened to coincide with the day of my oldest son's Christmas pageant at his elementary school.  He was in kindergarten.

As I recall, the early reports that came in that afternoon had reported a shooting at a school with two dead -- maybe one of them was the shooter.  Sadly, a shooting at a school was not an unusual report -- at least, not initially.  Shortly before my wife and I left our house to go to the pageant, there was an update.  Twenty-six people were killed -- the majority of them young children.

The pageant was filled with elementary school kids, filled with excitement to be doing a play but in all honesty, probably more excited about the impending break.  It was impossible not to compare their ages to the ages of the children of Sandy Hook.  The parents in the auditorium had forced smiles as their kids ran around, oblivious to the tragedies of the world.  

Before the program began, the principal spoke and asked for a moment of silence for the day's event -- her words carefully worded so as not to clue any of the children in on the unspeakable tragedy that had happened earlier.  Many of the kids chattered on through the moment of silence, unaware of what it was for or what it represented.  I assume that all parents were thinking the same type of thoughts that I was. 

What if that happened at my kid's school? 

A horrible thought that one immediately pushes out of his head -- only to have it return a few seconds later.  I don't know how parents who have lost children survive.  The mere thought of it wrecks me.

Tonight was my youngest son's closing ceremony for his Little League baseball season.  He made the All-Star Team!  He was so excited.  We were so excited.

And again, we filed into an auditorium filled with kids, oblivious to the day's events.  Again, a speaker held a moment of silence using words ambiguous enough to keep reality away from the hyper children in the room.  Again, the parents looked at each other with forced smiles.  Again, I assumed the parents in the room thought the same type of thoughts I was having.

Every day, I drive my kids to school.  My oldest still hasn't gotten his driver's license, which I'm secretly happy about.  I'm still trying to soak up even the smallest moments where he still needs me.  But every morning, when I drop them off at their respective schools, I tell them I love them.  

And I keep trying to push out those horrible thoughts.

What if that happened at my kid's school?  

It's at the back of my mind every time they get out of my car and go into the care of somebody else who isn't me.

Every. Damn. Time.

This is the world we live in and it is a very dark place.  Especially on days like today.  And that day in December ten years ago.  And the multitude of days in between.  And the days before Sandy Hook.  And without a doubt, the days that are bound to come.

Is gun control the answer?  I'm not here to debate that.  It certainly wouldn't hurt, but I doubt it would be a cure-all by any stretch of the imagination.  I will say that the politicians who speed to the podium to instantly absolve guns from any level of culpability make me want to vomit.

Offering thoughts and prayers has become so overused that it has become insulting.  

The reality is there are no answers in the face of tragedy.  Today, the pain is fresh.  Tomorrow, the pain may be just a slight bit less than the day before.  At some point, maybe it will settle into just a tolerable level of numbness.

I have no solutions.  I just have thoughts and prayers.  My thoughts are of those who lost their lives and their families and loved ones.

My prayers are that it never happens to my children.

I've said the same prayer every day since they were born.

It's all I know to do anymore.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Fun in Misdemeanor Court

E-Mail # 1 dated May 5th -- Me to Prosecutors, CLO and Court Coordinator:  Hello.  My client is on the docket for a (6 month) PTI completion on May 16th.  I believe she is in full compliance.  Would it be possible to dismiss her case prior to that date so that she does not have to miss work?  Thanks.


E-Mail # 2 dated May 12th --  Me to Prosecutors, CLO, and Court Coordinator:  Hello.  Just following up here.  My client is on the docket for a (6 month) PTI completion on May 16th.  I believe she is in full compliance.  Would it be possible to dismiss her case prior to that date so that she does not have to miss work?  Thanks.

E-Mail Response from Chief on May 12th --  Reply to all -- Hello.  Not sure if you e-mailed certificates of completion (of required courses) to another chief, but I do not have them.  Could you forward them to me and I will dismiss?

E-Mail # 3 on May 12th --  Reply to all -- My client said she gave them to her supervision officer, but if you don't have them, I will get them and send them to you.

E-Mail Response from Probation Supervisor on May 12th -- Reply to all --  I received the certificates of completion and I will send them to the chief.

E-Mail # 4 on May 13th --  Reply to all -- Thank you.  Will my client need to appear in person on Monday or will the case be dismissed off docket?

E-Mail Response from Probation Supervisor on May 13th --  Reply to all -- I don't know if your client has to be there or not.  Chief, can you please advise?



ME:  Good morning, did you dismiss my client's case?

CHIEF (pulling up my client's case on computer):  Did you send me the paperwork?

ME:  No, the probation supervisor . . .

CHIEF:  You need to calm down!

ME:  Um, I am calm.

CHIEF:  You never sent me the contract.

ME:  Wait.  What?  The PTI contract?

CHIEF:  Calm down.

ME:  I am calm, but why would I have sent you the PTI contract?

CHIEF:  It is not in my e-mails.

ME:  Well, you weren't chief when we signed up six months ago, so it wouldn't be in your e-mails.

CHIEF:  I meant the certificates of completion of the courses.  Did you send those?

ME:  No, the . . .

CHIEF: If you didn't send them to me, how will I know if she did the courses.

ME:  Well, the super--

CHIEF:  You need to send me the certificates and I am not seeing any e-mail from you.

ME:  It wouldn't be from me, the supervisor . . .

CHIEF:  No e-mail from you.

ME:  Can I talk?


ME:  The e-mail would be from the probation supervisor.  He sent you an e-mail saying that he had them.  

CHIEF LOOKS AT E-MAIL:  Well, the standard procedure for a PTI is that you send me the certificate of completion.

ME:  That has never been my experience in the past.

CHIEF:  That's standard procedure.

MISDEMEANOR TWO:  Yeah, that's how we always do it.

CHIEF:  I'll dismiss it this time, but in the future you need to send the certificates to me.

ME:  Whatever.

MISDEMEANOR TWO:  And if you are done talking, I need my chair back.

Episode Seven: The Voters Awaken - A One Act -Sci-Fi Play

SCENE:  The Death Star orbits over Downtown Houston. [INTERIOR] The Imperial Council Chambers. EMPRESS OGG sits at the head of a long table ...