Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wipe out!!

Wow. Somehow (and I'm baffled how) when my reporter went to log the media for our story today (we shoot on P2 cards, kind of like your digital camera card but bigger) she accidentally wiped out the card. Nothing. Nada. Which was a major bummer, not only because we (obviously) couldn't put the story together for the five o'clock news, but because we had to go reshoot it.

To the interviewee: "Ummm... hi.... remember us? The news crew from early that tormented your two-year-old daughter with the giant news camera? Yeah. Well, we'd like to come back and do it all again."

Embarrassing? Nah. My reporter had to make the call! But seriously. Trying to videotape a two-year old is like trying to wash a car with a mad-cat as a rag. It's really tough. Don't get me wrong, this kid was adorable, but she was past due for her nap and didn't want to do anything I wanted her to do. After much chasing (and a whole bunch of cookies--for her, not me) I finally got enough shots to tell the story. We interviewed the mom and headed out. While I lunched, my reporter sat down to log the material. And that was when it happened. Poof! All our hard work gone.

But it was important to tell this story, which was why we went back. It was about adoption, and what happens when the birth father decides he wants to keep the child.

Two years ago, an Orange County woman got a call from the agency she was working with that a birth mother had chosen her from the web data base as the person she wanted to adopt her yet-to-be-born daughter. Stacy was elated. She'd been trying for ten years to have a child, with no luck. After splitting with her husband, she decided to adopt on her own. Two weeks later, she was flying to Ohio to pick up her new daughter. The birth-mother claimed the father wasn't in the picture and that the child was a product of a one night stand.

But that wasn't the case.

She knew the birth-father, in fact, had two other children with him. But he was an abusive man. The mother wanted the baby out of the cycle of violence. Problem was, Stacy had already taken the child back to Orange County. She'd fallen in love with little Vanessa (a name she chose while flying out to pick her up). She couldn't imagine giving this child up.

Two years later, she's still fighting the battle. She refuses to give up her child. Taking a two year old away from the only mother she's ever known would be devastating to both.

It's an incredibly tough situation, because legally, Stacy can't be Vanessa mother until the father gives up his rights, and he refuses to do so. It would be one thing if he was an upstanding citizen, but he has four other children who he does not have custody of, and has a history of domestic abuse.

If you're interested in Stacy and Vanessa's story, check out the website. Hopefully tomorrow, all the news gods will be with us and we can air the story without any more problems.

Ahhh... technology. Remember the good old days with tape?

Until tomorrow...

Later gators

Monday, June 28, 2010

Responsibility... and taking it.

Okay. So you're a girl. You have two small kids, ages 2 and 5, and you start dating some dude. He's really good to you. Takes care of things. Finds you an apartment in a house after you get laid off. Gives you advice on how to take care of your kids. Do you listen even if he tells you to tie them up and give them only two glasses of water a day and nothing else???

Come on!

That was my story today (last Friday's too). Twenty-five year old chick arrested for child abuse after her landlord (who also lives in the house) reported her. Turns out the chick's boyfriend sent her 850 texts explaining how to discipline her kids. 850 TEXTS!!! Seriously? Is he a thirteen year old girl?? No! Even better. He's a behavior technician employed by a school to help mentally disabled children. What the hell is wrong with this guy? Oh! But it gets better! He's also married and has two kids. The name he gave the girlfriend? Not his real name. Mr. Double-Life. What a scumbag, eh?

So then here's the question: Who is more at fault? The man who directed her what to do? Or the woman who did it?

We've got to take responsibility for our own decisions. According to the girl's family, her children are her life. She's never been abusive in any way until "Angelo" came into her life. But if her children truly were her life, why would she listen to a man instructing her to hurt them? It makes no sense. Much as she and her family might like to blame it all on him, ultimately she chained her children to their beds and starved them.

According to officers,  the 2-year-old had severe bruising to his face, forehead and cheek and dry, cracked, bloody lips and bruising that appeared to be at varying stages. The 5-year-old had swollen arms and was extremely dehydrated. Both boys had bruises and knots on their heads. Both boys were taken to a hospital to be treated for dehydration, malnutrition and injuries. The boys, whose ribs were showing through their skin, are expected to recover.


Venting over. Tomorrow is another news day, hopefully one with something a little more uplifting. If you're lookin' for some fun, check out my blog on our latest Winslow trip here.

Until then...

Later gators

Friday, June 25, 2010


Yes. I am still alive, despite the death of my blog. I've said it before; I'll say it again: been majorly slackin' on all writing fronts. Facebook has been the only writing I've done, but that can hardly be called writing. Sometimes it's good to step away and let the brain relax for a while. My novel Motor Dolls needs a major overhaul, and I wasn't quite in the frame of mind to do it. I'm still not sure I am, but the story is creeping back into my head, so it must mean something, right?

So what have I been up to? All kinds of stuff, mostly motorcycle and car related.

Let's see... got these way cool ABC Bones leathers, circa 1960-something.

Had a swell weekend in Santa Barbara for my bff's (?0) birthday.

Spent the weekend at the Queen Mary for the Ink N Iron show.

Did a moto-trip to Winslow to check on the Motor Palace, taking as much of old Route 66 as possible. There's something really cool about spending a bunch of consecutive hours on a motorcycle riding through the desert. We did it in one shot on the way back, nearly twelve hours, although it didn't feel like it. Amazingly, we both felt great when we got back to the OC.

My '48 Ford is coming along. All of the mechanical is done, so now we're moving along to the cosmetics. I've decided to bead blast all the paint off, clear coat the bare metal, and pinstripe the heck out of it. The bed is blasted. This weekend I hope to get the frame and drive shaft painted. Charles is finishing the exhaust. Hopefully we're inching closer to the day I can drive her again.

The yet-to-be-named all girls car club has a name! The Gasoline Girls. We'll be meeting again next week at my shop, and each girl will give an oral history on her car--which is great. It's forced me to  get to know my truck on a deeper level. The theory behind the assignment is so that when someone comes up to us at a car show and asks a question, we'll be able to "wow!" them with our answers. After all, we're not just pretty faces!


Yeah, uhh.... the usual. Some great days with fun stories, some depressing days. Over the last few weeks I've done everything from a local Glee club winning worldwide awards to a murder suicide where a man shot his two year old multiple times (he survived), shot at his five year old (and missed), killed his wife and then himself.  See? The full spectrum.

So, you ask, "Are you getting to back to it?" I think so. I make no promises (to myself). If the inspiration hits, then I'll be here. But I do seriously want to get my writing mojo back. Anyone seen it? If so, send it packin' back my way.

Thanks for listenin'.

Later gators!