The Menendez Brothers

I recently watched the Law & Order Menendez Brothers treatment on TV.  This is a case that has fascinated me for years.  Two well-to-do brothers kill their parents in cold blood. I’m really conflicted about it.

Are they murderers?  Were they abused?  Did they really fear for their lives?  A picture perfect family.  Right?

Unfortunately, there is no good answer.  I think, like OJ, there has been too much publicity about all this.  Too many movies made, too much conjecture.

Unlike OJ, they did confess.  I almost wonder at what in the world they were thinking, after the murders, the way they acted and spent money on lavish lifestyles.  Did they think they were above the law?  Or smarter than the law?  Or did they just not think?

Everyone always looks to Erik as the weak one, the one that broke, that one that confessed.  I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for him.  Lyle seemed to be made of sterner stuff.  But regardless, however much you hate your parents, can you picture yourself waltzing into the den with shotguns and murdering your parents?  It seems maybe there SHOULD have been another answer.  Someone that could have helped them, protected them.

As a frame of reference, I think back to OJ, I personally never doubted his guilt.  Never gave him an ounce of sympathy.  He was violent, he was abuser.  He murdered out of jealousy and rage.  I’m just glad he did end up going to jail eventually, albeit not for murder.

The Menendez brothers?  I think it was a rash decision, that went very wrong.  They were still fairly young, perhaps not mature enough to understand the full ramifications of their actions.

So.  The brothers go to jail for life.  OJ is a free man today.  The brothers killed out of fear.  OJ killed out of rage.  Maybe.


So many, so very many people have come out lately to say #MeToo, about being sexually harassed or abused.  Seems like they are coming out of the woodwork.

And it’s not just women.  It’s men too.  And it’s not just Hollywood.  While this latest movement may have been sparked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it has quickly spread to many areas of life, including the music industry, sciences, academia and of course, politics.  Let’s face it, this problem has existed forever.  It is only now, in this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. that this kind of movement can go viral overnight.  It only took ONE BRAVE PERSON to bust this out of its shell, and grow into #MeToo.

To me, it boiled down to people in a position of power over me.  People that held your career in their hands, or your reputation, or simply your life.  I grew up in an era of respecting your elders and not questioning authority.  If someone straddled the line of impropriety, we figured that was the way it was.  If someone crossed the line, we were too scared to push them back.

Luckily for me, it was more a question of sexual harassment than of actual abuse.  I have been harassed by more than one superior.  Made to feel uncomfortable.  Made to feel I’d better toe the line.  Made to feel that my job was on the line.  In fact, I left a great job at a great company because of it, and regret it to this day.

Now, those of you that know me well know that I am not a shrinking violet and I will speak up, sometimes to my detriment, about most anything that bothers me.  But back in the day, fresh out of college, and onto the working world?  Not really.  I was afraid of authority.  I was intimidated by men of power.  There were very few women of power.  The glass ceiling was still very low.

Today, I would raze them a new asshole.  Today, I am a grumpy old lady with nothing left to lose.  But today, if I had a child, I would hope that I had instilled enough of moral compass in them that they would know when things where going south.  That they would speak up and protect themselves by any means necessary.  I applaud this new #MeToo movement, and hope that it exposes enough that people will think twice before abusing their next victim.  No more hiding behind “power”.

P.S.  I’ve just GOT to get on a soapbox about one thing.  Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail, was on tape BRAGGING about sexually harassing people, grabbing them by the pussy etc.  Billy Bush, the TV Reporter, who was just asking the questions, got fired and his career was ruined.  Donald Trump was elected President.  Trump has as many, if not more, allegations against him as Weinstein.  But he claims this is all fake news.  The POLITICIANS, Democrats and Republicans alike, need to keep throwing these allegations at him and hope they stick.  But I doubt that will ever happen.  Trump has too much power.  In his own words he could shoot someone and still be elected.  But I am heartened to see that more and more Republicans are leaving their elected offices like rats fleeing a sinking ship.  We can only hope.


Treated like so much chattel

Interesting word, chattel.  I wasn’t sure if it was the right word to use.  I’ve heard and read it bantered about.  I always pictured it as meaning someone herded along.

Per Merriam Webster Dictionary, here is what they say:

Definition of chattel

1:an item of tangible movable or immovable property except real estate and things (such as buildings) connected with real property


  • slaveholders who were determined to hold on to their human chattel


Recently I experienced the unique opportunity to be treated like chattel.  I was going to Florida, and was trying to get the best flight for my condition (really bad back, like 4 herniated disks and 2 micro disectomies, repaired not once but twice over the spring and summer).  I guess I am still recuperating.  I have good days and bad days.

Flying in and out of O’Hare and Orlando or anywhere is a nightmare for someone like me, who can’t walk very far all at once.  A short jaunt, sure.  A long one?  Pack a lunch.

So for the past few trips, I fly “disabled”.  Meaning a wheelchair picks me up at check-in, and takes me to my gate.  A wheelchair picks me up at my destination and takes me to the pick-up area.  It also means skipping the long security lines, and wheelchairs have their own special check through.

The first time, I flew American both ways, to Ft. Lauderdale.  It was such a blessing.  The man at O’Hare insisting upon staying with me in the chair until it was boarding time, and then he wheeled me right up to the plane door.  He also stopped along the way to the gate for me to use the restroom, and also get a bottle of water and snack pack for the plane.  Obviously he got a good tip.

In Florida, a wheelchair was waiting for me when I got off the plane, and took me right out to cousin who was waiting curbside.  Perfect.  He got a good tip too.  Worth every penny, not having to struggle along, with a bad back and luggage etc.

Same great service from Ft. Lauderdale back to Chicago with American.

The second time I flew, to Tampa, I flew United out and American back.  There was no wheelchair waiting for me at United, and I had to walk a distance to get to the “wheelchair assistance” room.  Then I had to wait for someone to come get me.  They took a long time getting me through security.  As I was now running out of time, I didn’t dare ask them to stop along the way for anything, and just had them dump me out at the gate.  He got a fair tip.

Arriving in Tampa, more problems with United.  They didn’t have a wheelchair waiting for me off the plane.  I had to wait, and was upset because my friend was already there to pick me up.  Finally got moving and met up with my friend inside the terminal.  Eh.

Flying home on American, I wanted to kiss them right on the mouth.  Once again perfect service.  Always ready and waiting.

This last time I flew to Orlando, on United both ways.  I REALLY wanted to fly American, but the flight times weren’t as good.  So I crossed my fingers.

Flying out, a waiting game again.  Luckily I had anticipated this and left plenty of time before the flight.  I waved them off as soon as I got to the gate, and then walked myself and my luggage to the restroom and the kiosk to get my water and snack pack.

Again more waiting at the gate in Orlando.  My poor old Aunt and Uncle outside waiting and waiting for me.  But, eh, better than hurting myself walking all that way.

Now back to Chicago.  Oh good Lord.  Landing in Chicago, no wheelchair again.  Down the tunnel I walked and then I was told to go sit on one of those big cart like things you see people riding around on inside the airport.  The cart was full, and I was told to step up this high step and sit on the back bench seat.  My carry-on was thrown next to me.  The cart took off at full speed, and I almost fell sideways out of the cart.  One of the people told the driver to slow down, and he slammed the cart to a stop, walked back by me, buckled me into a seatbelt I hadn’t known was there, and then took off madcap again.  Along the way he dropped people off here and there.  I had told him to drop me off at the upper level doors for United.  He pulled up, pointed down a long hallway and said, go there and then take a right.  Really?  This was my handicapped wheelchair ride?  Treated like so much chattel?  This guy got zero tip.  Nada.  Zilch.

Now I understand how cattle feel.  Or slaves.  Or any other group of people that get herded around, taken who knows where, with no say in the matter.  Just pushed and shoved where they wanted to take you.  I seriously felt used and abused.  It wasn’t a good feeling.

I was a little mad/sad about the whole thing, but then got home and quickly forgot about it.  Until now, lol.  No, actually, I have been thinking about it, and I do think that United needs to hear from an unsatisfied customer like myself, and the exact reasons and circumstances that cause me to be an unsatisfied customer.  People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not like so much chattel.

Knock Knock Knocking on my Door

Sometimes a knock at the door is a good thing.  Someone has come to visit!  Or it is the groceries!  Or a neighbor bringing tomatoes!

Sometimes a knock at the door is a scary thing.  Yesterday was Halloween. I didn’t have any trick or treaters last night, but I got home late after my infusion, and haven’t had any kids stop by in years. I had just gotten home and was in my bedroom changing when I heard this very loud and sharp rapping on my front door. My heart stuttered, and I gasped out loud, because the sound was so intrusive, especially to someone who lives alone.  My cats scattered, and I quickly locked myself in my bedroom and got my gun out of my safe, and stayed there shaking for like a half hour, because I was afraid to come out! I was thinking that little kids can’t knock that loud, maybe it was an adult with them, I sure hope it was a neighbor trick or treating!  We don’t have many kids in the neighborhood, and a lot of summer houses too, so I don’t even buy candy anymore.  My bedroom looked out at the back of my house, not the front, so I couldn’t look and see if anyone was there.

I do have a legit reason for being scared, but I thought the reason was no longer one to worry about.  I think the attack in NY yesterday made it come to the forefront again for me.

Because that is what it is all about.  I cannot go into details, but let’s just say that lone wolf terrorists that have been radicalized here are something I need to worry about.  And it happens more frequently, it seems.  Around the world, not just here, in the USA.

It really got me to thinking.  I am scared, yes.  But dammit, I am angry.  Angry that people like that even exist.  Angry that people die, and will continue die.  Angry that I have to make lifestyle changes.  Angry that I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with my heart thumping so loud, straining to hear the tiniest sound.  Was that a knock I heard?  A footstep?  Why did the cats wake up?  What are they hearing?

I have a gun. I only got it because the FBI told me to. (Again, I can’t go into details).  However, it only gives me a false sense of security.  I keep it locked up in a safe.  Most likely if someone broke into my house and wanted to kill me I would never have a chance to even get it.  That’s fine with me.  I don’t know if I could pull the trigger and kill someone anyway.  It’s a huge thing to do.  But I digress.

Over the winter something similar happened.  One night, very late, I was awakened by rapping on my door, very loud, insistently.  Never stopped.  Just kept knocking.  It took me a minute to get my bearings and get up out of my bed because of my bad back.  I stumbled down the hallway, eyes slit, and peeked around the corner to look at the front door.  There were flashing lights and spotlights shining everywhere.  I could not see who was knocking because of it.  But I could tell they were using a flashlight, or bat to knock.  I called out, “Who is it?”  They responded with “Police, open up immediately!”  I replied, “Why are you here, what do you want?”  They said they needed to talk to me and to open the door or they would break it down.  I was so scared.  Was it really the police?  I thought about going back to the bedroom to get my gun, but figured they would just shoot me if they saw a gun.  So I went down the stairs and opened the door.  They shone their big flashlights in my face, blinding me.  They asked me whose car was in my driveway.  I was confused at first, because I always park in the garage.  Then I remembered, I had told my neighbor that his friend who was living with them could park there.  So I told them that.  They asked me the name of the owner of the car.  I did not know.  By this time, I was shaking from fear and the cold, and crying.  They got a call on their radio then, and literally turned around and walked away without another word.

Now I was angry. My fight or flight adrenaline had now changed to fight. How dare they scare the shit out of an innocent citizen with no explanation or “sorry to wake you in the middle of the night”.  I am a single woman, living alone.  I slammed the front door shut, locked up, and then went upstairs to look out my big bay window.  There were squad cars at the house kitty corner from me, and police walking around yards etc.

I knew the grand kid of that homeowner was always in trouble.  In fact, at the time, I thought he was in jail, as per usual.  He was always getting caught doing something wrong. So I figured he was in trouble, again.

The next morning when I went out to go to work, the kid was outside, talking to some policeman or detective.  I glared at them, and the kid hollered over, “Sorry for the disturbance last night, I woke up last night to find somebody trying to steal my guns, can you believe that?”  I said, unbelievable, and then said to the policeman, I was very scared and upset last night, and the officers that were pounding on my door were very rude.  I have reasons that the Lake County Sheriff’s office is well aware of for being scared.  Obviously that was overlooked last night.

The policeman then apologized.   I went to work.  When I got home, I didn’t see the kid anymore.  In fact, I haven’t seen him in awhile.  I’m sure he stole those guns or something like that.  I hope he doesn’t come back.  And let me just say that typically the police/sheriffs/detectives/agents that I have had dealings with are the BEST.  So grateful to ALL our first responders.

Luckily the rest of my neighborhood is wonderful.  The people that live around me always look out for me.  They are very good to me.

Just don’t go knock knock knocking at my door!