Top Ten Reasons You Could Use a Life Coach

I know, I know, sometimes even I giggle when I see the term “life coach”. It is kinda funny. And that’s okay. Until I went through the training, even I didn’t understand the value of a coach. I did understand the mission, but man, has life gotten so hard, we need coaches? Well, yes.

Think of coaches as being a lot like a personal trainer.

Using your goals, your motivation, and your priorities, coaches use our ability to help you create a plan that works for you. We clarify, question, and hold you accountable for the change, but the change is truly owned by you. Still not sure? Let’s see how others have used coaches.

You might need a coach to:

1 Improve or change your career – you like what you do but you know you can do more. More in a way that helps you earn more or manage your time better or change the arc of your career. Having someone help you clarify what you truly want and how to make it happen is huge. This is often something your company will pay for (but know, regardless of who pays, your sessions are 100% confidential, nothing is shared with anyone else but you).

2 Restore work-life balance – time management and seeking opportunities for happiness is a common problem. We’ll work to align your priorities with your values and then identify ways to change your schedule to accommodate the things you value most.

3 Change how you parent – so often parents are working and going fast and sometimes miss the little things that kids crave. Those cravings change with age and being tuned-in to a communication style that allows for them to have a voice and influence the family can be powerful. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, being aligned with them can fundamentally improve your relationship.

4 Increase satisfaction in your relationship(s) – if you’re struggling in your marriage, romantic relationship, with your parents or co-workers, looking at your communication style and how you interact can release new strategies for being heard. We work to help you get what you want from your relationships.

5 Get a grip on finances – often one person in a relationship handles the money. That can leave the other with no idea how money is prioritized, used and invested. Or young adults leave home without any real understanding of how money works and they struggle to figure out how to match priorities with spending. I can help you establish a plan that aligns with your goals.

6 Move through a transition – a new job, a new home, a new baby, a new relationship or even the loss of someone important, any time there’s a significant transition, it’s easy to feel lost as part of the process. We’ll work to establish your priorities so that you protect what matters most to you as you move through the change.

7 Plan for a long-term goal – from buying a home to planning a dream vacation to paying for college, reaching a long-term goal requires planning. We’ll break it down into manageable steps, so you see progress and feel motivated to keep working toward your goal.

8 Have someone hold you accountable – this works how you need it to work. Need to report back weekly on how you’ve done during the week; all good. Want to send photos as you make progress so there’s proof of your work; done. How accountability works best for you is a secret sauce of coaching. We’ll work together to make sure you don’t feel burdened, but you do feel responsible.

9 Add someone to your team (personal advocate) – maybe one of the hardest parts of adulting is being expected to do everything by yourself. That’s nuts. We know things are easier to do with support. With a coach, you’ll have someone on your side that’s 100% behind you. It’s maybe been one of the most frequent “wow” moments clients have. There’s another whole brain there to help figure things out.

10 Align your life with your values – this one has been incredibly important to me. After DeAngelo was caught, I felt like I needed to do more with my life. I wanted to align my work with my value around helping others succeed. That’s how I decided to become a life coach. Sometimes life is so noisy and busy, we get sidetracked. If you’re feeling that way, we’ll work together to re-clarify your values and then identify ways to start living them in daily life.

I don’t need a coach right now, but boy, I sure know someone who does.

Oh, I have a list of friends who I think could use a coach. In fact, my daughter, who’s just 20, is a great candidate. She is sometimes overwhelmed at what it takes to be an adult and then her priorities get messed up and she ends up forgetting to do something important because she thinks it was essential. It’s perfectly okay to refer someone.

It’s even okay to pay for someone else. But please know, it doesn’t matter who pays, the client being coached is entitled to confidentiality. The best example here is a parent, paying for a child – even a minor – will not have access to the things discussed during coaching unless the client chooses to share. If your minor child wants you to attend coaching with her or him, that’s fine, a coaching session can have more than one person. We’ll discuss the rules of engagement before we begin.

Still not sure? That’s easy. Schedule a complimentary consultation.

Honestly, you owe it to yourself to meet me and see if we are a match. We’ll have the meeting on Zoom (preferred) video conferencing. We can also use just the phone if you’re video-phobic! But the video makes it rather nice and I love seeing your facial expressions!

Court Date: August 22, 2019 | DeAngelo Withers Away

I spent the day with the HBO folks yesterday. They are really great people and I was impressed with their thoughtfulness in the questions they asked and the insight they seem to have about  the crimes and the people involved. I finally had to sign an agreement to keep my yap shut, so I can’t say more about it until they are ready to release. Let’s just say, I have a good feeling about this. 

We knew today was going to be nothing. We were warned it would be nothing. I’ll be damned if the whole thing wasn’t done “in the blink of an eye” according to my mom, who was my guest this time. I think Melanie clocked it at one minute. But I think I can slow it down a bit to at least provide the color commentary.

Starting out on the right foot: the lawyers for the prosecution actually took a moment and spoke to us today.

For me, this was huge. It was the Sacramento and Tulare County folks, and they had us come in a little early and did something we truly appreciated. They explained a little about what’s going on behind the scenes and set our expectations for what’s coming next. Some of it was confidential (you’d be proud of me, I checked), but what I can share is that they are about two-thirds of the way through discovery; they need to provide the last batch to the defense and they are working to do that in an orderly manner so it keeps things moving.

We won’t meet again until January 22, but it sounds like things will begin to move forward in the new year. I’m not talking about a trial, in California we have something called a preliminary hearing that allows the judge to determine if there’s enough evidence to have a trial. I think I’m the only survivor to have already been through one of these in Ventura in 1982. For those of you that know, that was the Joe Alsip hearing. While I don’t have information on a preliminary hearing, we all know that’s coming at some point – we’re hoping it’s soon. At a minimum, it seems the attorneys realized what happened last time was not cool and a little expectation setting can go a long way.

A great question, an even better answer.

One of the survivors asked if, like in the Jeffrey Epstein case, was it possible that IF there was some sort of deal, would they need to ask us about it first. It was a great question and it got the attention of the lawyers in the room. They said, first, California law prohibits that kind of behavior – negotiating a plea agreement without involving the victims – and in no way was that even on the table. I don’t know if they realized it, but they all had the most satisfying look of confidence on their faces.

Who’s running the show here? Where’s “our” bailiff?!

The courtroom was significantly different (again) this time. The practice of letting us come in early was restored; we got to sit where we wanted. That was great. The lawyers from both sides came in and immediately starting talking with one another. The media snaked their way to the front right side of the room (we always see that angle of DeAngelo on TV as a result), and then the public was allowed to come in to take the few, remaining seats. The hub-bub of conversation and energy was high. All of us were catching up with one another. Finally a bailiff asked us to settle down and we were like an 8th grade class that heard the teacher, but really just kept talking at a lower volume. I need to be clear that “us” was every darn person in the room, not just those in the gallery. It was kinda cool but not particularly court-like.

We waited to hear the smack of a gavel or the commanding voice of our usual bailiff (who was missed) telling us to come to order, that court was in session. But none of that happened! Instead, suddenly DeAngelo emerged from the hallway door and entered the cage. He looked emaciated. Let slow down here on this point, because the TV coverage isn’t really showing what we could see. He is thin. Extremely thin. Maybe 100 pounds all in at this point. There is skin sagging on the back of his neck that looks like excess skin from his halcyon days of knocking back beer and eating roast. He was in chains: the kind that go around his waist and include cuffs for his hands. The chains dripped down his backside about 20 inches; that’s how much slack there was. His waist was tiny. His pants were barely staying up.

He stood in the cage, attentive but looking almost a little confused. I’m not saying he was, but he didn’t have that little edge in his face that we are used to seeing. The judge immediately continued the case to January 22, 2020, and DeAngelo stayed for a few moments to talk with his lawyer. We stayed seated until we were adjourned, maybe another three minutes, and then DeAngelo was escorted out and we were released.

After the hearing, we made our way to Carol Daly’s house.

Of course I managed to find the cameras after the hearing. Brandi from KCRA has always been very easy to talk with and she asked me to stop by on my way out (she was my court seat mate). She did a nice piece for the evening news. I talked with a couple other reporters and then I excitedly grabbed mom and we made our way to Carol’s house.

I don’t know why I was so excited to have my mom meet Carol, but she’s like a hero to me. Not only is she one of the kindest and generous women I’ve ever met, but she did so much good in her career that changed the way rape was investigated. I continue to be amazed at her generosity of opening her home to us and feeding us to boot! Only this time, the food was a gift from her cousin! Apparently her family knows about what’s been happening here, and follows the case, and he wanted to do something nice for us. I’m not surprised at all that she comes from good people.

If you didn’t notice the photo for this blog, it’s a picture of Carol with my mom. It makes me smile.

Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO

Today I got my hands dirty planting some tomatoes and strawberries with the hope they will flourish. I used to be a great gardener, but the teen years and work pushed my avocation to the side. Well baby, I’m back. I read a beautiful quote from Virginia Woolf this morning (and good lord no, I don’t wake up on Saturdays and read classic literature! I was at Starbucks and it was on a cup). It said, “I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” We all need spring.

Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO
Oh sure I quote Woolf, but the reality is I take a photo of the Robin Williams quote.

Survivors, an incredible garden and HBO.

With court ending so oddly, we were a little bit all over the place (that’s probably just my perspective, we tend to squad and I’m a notorious loner until I get to a place). After the Orange County energy left, I wrapped up talking to a few reporters before I hit the road. You guys know I love journalism and I really enjoy talking with them about the case and what they are hearing.

We met at the same home with the incredibly manicured and curated garden we visited last fall. The garden has all these little mini-garden vignettes and I could play there all day. In fact, let me take this moment to announce I’m seeking a husband that loves gardening, photography and animals. Take that universe – I’ve officially put it out there. The overall effect of this lush place is calm.

Outside the front door, there was a sign posted by HBO. I had been told they would be there but at no point did they talk about filming. Based on that, I made a poor assumption: I didn’t realize they were coming to film. Duh. Some of the survivors had already been interviewed by HBO. I have not. I’ve met with the writer and a few other folks have called, but that’s about it. I’ve been constantly advocating for a female point of view on the story, but let’s face it: it’s entertainment and they need to produce something that will sell. I stupidly thought they were there for background and research.

Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO
This was the sign they had right outside the front door.

HBO hosted a late lunch for us, and it was lovely.

There were tables set up with flower arrangements that made the event seem much more formal. I immediately noticed the camera and HBO folks everywhere and I quickly figured out we weren’t going to be able to talk freely. When I walked in, the camera crew was with a couple I didn’t recognize. I later learned they were Bob and Gay, a still married couple, and this was their first time joining us. They did not go to court. They were basically putting their toe in the water but, HBO interviewed them, so you’ll learn more about them when the film comes out.

Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO
Tables arranged in the backyard looked lovely.
Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO
The cameras were on! The first thing I saw when I walked in.

I mentioned Bob before. I really felt connected to him since he is a lawyer who survived an attack. He was mellow and warm, and you could see the rapport that exists between him and his wife. For me, having them there was very meaningful.

Unintended consequences might be featured on HBO.

As I mentioned in another blog, we didn’t know what was going to happen in court that day and we really didn’t know why we were treated differently. As a result, that was much of the conversation. We talked about how most of the chairs in the courtroom were taken and why weren’t allowed in first (like normal) and that there was so much media there. It’s so funny how habit works because that’s how our expectations were set – by what’s happened before. Not being able to sit together threw us for a bit of a loop. It was much of our discussion at the lunch. I’m thinking HBO must have recorded a lot of that conversation.

We didn’t stay all that long. The incredible Carol Daly once again made her delicious ice cream and we got to play with a chocolate lab puppy that’s a new resident at the house. Overall, the vibe was so off on Wednesday, that’s why I needed time to sort out my thoughts. I’ve always been so protective of our privacy and now, as we all should have known, we’ve hit a pivot.

From politics to monetization, we are all making the best decisions we can.

The other thing that’s starting to be more apparent, is how each of us is moving through our “personal journey”. I know that’s a hackneyed term, but you get what I mean. I write and (sometimes) podcast. I’m trying to figure out if I can monetize my website, but honestly, it’s not very important to me. I’m much more interested in my readers and how we can possibly help one another heal.

Some of us have agents and are interested in doing speaking. I think that’s awesome. I suspect we’ll all hear more about this going forward and I hope the community will support folks as they venture out. Screw DeAngelo. If survivors can get something positive from this – so be it. I trust this group can handle our individuality along with our common cause.


Post-Court Gathering | Golden State Killer Survivors and HBO

Couldn’t resist adding this pic – I got out of the car, started walking inside the hotel and I heard something. Never let the turkeys get you down! This is at the Marriott compound near Cal Expo. I suspect the high rivers have pushed them out.

Court Date | April 10, 2019 – One Year Later, DeAngelo Earns the Death Penalty as Possible Consequence

It’s nearly 8pm and I am swimming in a hot mess of feelings. I might not even be able to write everything tonight because I need sleep and a chance to form my thoughts. Today had a lot of surprises and some of them are really bothering me. Don’t worry. I’ll explain. But I first need to clarify my thoughts. Meanwhile, I can knock out some of the basic, non-controversial stuff. Let’s do this! 

First, a paragraph about the Planned Parenthood Capitol Advocacy Day.

It was a great way to start the day. I’ve always supported Planned Parenthood because I know they serve people who truly need help. I have to say, I don’t even think I had a clue about how focused they are on protecting our right to healthcare. Talk about woke! Setting aside abortions (because I don’t want to trigger anyone), the outreach, education and accessibility this organization is providing blew my mind. I need to do some research to make sure what I heard is true, so I’m going to write more about this later. All I can say is you should not be afraid of this organization. It’s truly worth our support. Couple photos below.

Court was different today. Survivors took a back seat to politics.

Didn’t expect to type that sentence. I guess I will walk right into one of the weird things that happened today. Typically, we survivors meet on the corner with Victim Services and we walk in together ahead of everyone. It’s happened that way every other time. Today our squad was the last to enter (but still ahead of general public whom I’m not sure ever get in). We entered the courtroom to be greeted by a wall of media – typically it’s been a pool camera and sound guy. The first nearly three rows of the gallery were filled with people in dark clothing (that’s the uniform lawyers wear). We ended up having to find seats where we could and that kept us from sitting together. This sounds worse than it was. Let’s say this is how it felt: crowded, staged and for the first time, we had a different role. But then, it seems only one survivor knew what was going to happen today. [This is an intentional cliff hanger because I need to do just a bit of research before I open my big yap. If what I’m thinking is true, I’m pretty angry.]

DeAngelo is doing great on Keto. Absolutely no visible body fat.

Imagine a packed courtroom, media piled on top of each other to your right. A dozen lawyers for the prosecution and two for the defense. The room is silenced promptly at 1:30 and a different judge walks in! No adorable Judge Sweet. But it’s all good. We quietly wait to get started and then I realize, DeAngelo hasn’t arrived yet. The bailiff is peeking through a cracked door waiting – for what I think is – an elevator to deliver DeAngelo to the hallway that’s just outside the cage. We wait for a little bit (not that long but it’s noticeable since we’re all quiet) and then he walks in.

He looks exactly the same and yet smaller and more frail. Frail in that he seems to have finally lost all body fat. He has no butt. His arms were much smaller (circumference). He still stands at parade-rest with his mouth looking like it’s hanging open (I’m not able to see him from the front so until I watch a television report, I can’t tell if it was actually open). He remains unremarkable.

New judge (I’m too lazy to get up and get my notes right now to find his name); new judge is great and immediately denies the defense motion to once again prevent the media from participating. This is going to be DeAngelo’s lawyer’s pro forma motion every time. Then, in an unexpected move, the judge said, we are here today for an announcement. (We are? I thought we were just here to check on how discovery was going?) At that point, the different district attorneys got up and announced they were going to pursue the death penalty. It was a dramatic moment and I didn’t realize that this is how things work – that it’s done in an announcement. I guess it usually happens much later in the process. Since our case is a horse of a different color, this is how they did it. I’ll admit, even though I oppose the death penalty, it was incredibly satisfying to have them say it county by county so that DeAngelo could hear it.

After the announcement, we were done. Hearing dismissed.

I have so much more to say…but I need to sleep first.We did get together afterward, and I want to talk about that too! Thank you for all the support. I do read your comments and messages and I love the squad on Twitter.

I just got off the phone with a reporter friend and I think I might break some news tomorrow.

Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
Seconds before this shot, this poor man feel into the brick box behind him. He bounced up and smiled for the camera! Look at that tree.
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
I’ve never been at something with rally signs before.
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
The guy on the right looking at me for the win! I believe he wasn’t allowed to eat lunch until after this shot.
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
Jennifer Newsom, First Partner, and Dr. Leana Wen. Both women were brilliant, informed and measured. I have now followed both on Twitter. Smart women.
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
I am honestly ashamed I hadn’t thought of this before. The homeless don’t go to the bathroom and open the cupboard when they get their period. What do they do? Welcome to the Homeless Period Project. These kits are shared with women who need them.
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol 2019
I am smitten with this building. Its gorgeous and it reminds me of my dad. Smells like law inside. Please note the palm tree. The wind was unpleasant!

Another Court Date for DeAngelo in Sacramento Tomorrow

Now that Katie lives up here, it makes it just a bit more awesome coming north for another courtroom performance. Today, I spent the afternoon helping two Gen Z’s create resumes and think about what work environments would suit them and what won’t (like, let’s not hand Katie a try of cocktails, it won’t end well). She and her roommate need to get working. I believe they are clear on the concept after this visit.

Here’s the rundown on what’s planned in the next 24 hours, based on the Jen Carole calendar.

  • DeAngelo Hearing – happens at 1:30pm PT and we have been told it will be short. Ventura mentioned to me he might enter a plea, but he doesn’t have to. No plea is assumed to be not-guilty. The other thing they will cover is the progress being made during discovery – across all six jurisdictions.
  • Post-Court Gathering – we’ll be heading down to a survivor’s home to catch-up with one another after the hearing. HBO is going to join (I think) as they continue to develop the story for the docudrama. I’ll learn more about this tomorrow. I know you guys want scoop and I do too!
  • Take my survey – please! I’ve been thinking about this case and you wonderful folks who actually care. I’d like to understand more about you in the aggregate – as I find the fascination with true crime to be amazing. Here’s the link to the survey – will take about three minutes. I’ll share the results in an upcoming blog.
  • Planned Parenthood Advocacy Day – since I’m in town and never get a chance to support women’s health, I’m going to spend the morning with the advocates from around the state heading to the Capitol tomorrow morning. Since I will spend the afternoon with women who have been to hell and back, it feels like a nice bookend to do something pro-woman, pro-health. The event goes on all day and I believe it’s not too late to come down tomorrow. The details are in the image below (I made it clickable, so click away!).
Planned Parenthood Affiliate Advocacy Day April 2019

Court Date December 6 | Legal Representation for Joseph DeAngelo

You know that feeling when you are leaving for a short stay away from home and you know you forgot something, but you’ll be damned if you can figure out what it is you’re missing? That was me leaving for Sacramento on Weds. I knew something was missing. I knew it. But what. Turns out the butt part was the key to the question. I can now proudly say, I’ve worn the same underwear for three days. Yep. I’m bad ass. No seriously. So, so bad.

I had a sense this hearing might set off a lot of the feels,but I was not ready for the intensity of those feels. We didn’t cover a lot, it was over in about 20 minutes and yet, in that small window of time, things were said that forced me to keep my mouth closed. But let’s take this from the top,shall we?

The project cost of trying this case is estimated (so far) at $20+ million.

That story broke earlier this week as all the attorneys from all the jurisdictions were meeting this week prior to the hearing. According to SF Gate:

While the current estimate is more than $20 million, it is impossible at this point to accurately estimate all costs. We anticipate the complexities of the case, including 40 years of evidence, to greatly affect the final cost,” said Natasha Drane of the county’s office of Governmental Relations and Legislation…The $20 million estimate includes the prosecution anddefense of DeAngelo, Drane said. He’s been represented by a public defender since his arrest in April. Read more…

Guys, this has me so upset it’s crazy. Not only did this man ruins lives and take our loved ones from us – and let’s not even think about our individual costs for therapy, moving, replacing things, protecting ourselves and then the sunk costs of hunting him, investigating him, investigating each crime – and now, going forward, this piece of human trash is going to cost California another 20 million at least!?! That sound you hear is me screaming, maybe if you close the window, I won’t sound so loud. I will be writing about this more. Stand by.

We all meet Victor Hayes.

I had known he was out there because of his interviews, and I had heard him say he was going to be in the courthouse but maybe not going into the courtroom. I wanted to meet him. This time, I finally got smart and booked a hotel downtown, so I could walk to court. Good plan, poorly executed. I ended up getting to the jail late (still there, not areal courthouse yet, but don’t tell Judge Sweet I said it wasn’t real). I missed my Victim’s Services squad, so I bumbled-in on my own. And there was Victor!I introduced myself and we had a brief talk. All I can say is that he’s still very angry. I am so glad he was there, and he ended up coming inside the courtroom.I didn’t get to talk with him afterward, but that was a huge step and hopefully,it’s the beginning of his healing journey. (OMG that sounds like some crunchy California thing to say, but I mean it, you must start somewhere.)

Judge Sweet breaks it down and I lose it.

Court started at 1:38pm. As you might imagine, it was packed.First two rows were lawyers from everywhere; prosecution (a ton!) and defense(three or four, not sure about one of them). Right side, all of us, and we were three rows deep. And then, of course, the media and some other regulars who are watching this case. I promised I would wear my ugly Christmas sweater, scored at the Walmart in Vermont last year, and I did. Because of my giant sequined Santa,my newest DA person from Ventura, Cheryl M. Temple, Chief Deputy District Attorney, found me very easily! We came in through the back of Dept 61 again this time, and there she was, this bright, happy face waiting to find someone in an ugly sweater. BAM! No confusion. I spent some time with her afterward and Ventura is good to go!

The first piece of business, after some introductions, was the defense motion to remove the press. The judge, who I am crushing on just a bit, was very good about explaining the request and citing the law he used to deny the defense request. His biggest reason for denying the request is he believes it’sin the public interest to show that law enforcement is doing all it should to protect the rights of all of us in these proceedings. It’s a matter of public trust and Judge Sweet wants this process to be trusted. He also said these proceedings are being followed all over the world, and that was another reason why the media needed to see what’s happening. I’m screwing this up – he said it so well– but it was a good explanation of the factors he weighed in making his decision.

They then set the date for the next hearing: April 10, 1:30 pm.

Want fries with that?

I mean if the meal is free, why not? The business we were thereto conduct was to determine if DeAngelo has the means to pay for his own defense. Since the last hearing in August, the defense had to complete a financial statement that explains DeAngelo’s assets. This document is kept confidential. It is sealed and given to the judge (who must then store it in his private hutch?) and it is kept sealed unless there is reason to believe it contains information that contradicts what the judge was being told.

The defense determined DeAngelo cannot afford his own attorney.I am sure I’ve knocked you all over with that analysis. I mean DUH. We all expected this.

But what the judge said and how he said it, is what got me.Judge Sweet calmly said something like, “Yeah, you can’t afford an attorney.You have multiple counts of murder and most with special circumstances, I mean there’s no way you could afford to pay for that.” He delivered that almost with a smile – it could have been incredulity and I missed it. And it wasn’t flip. It was just too pleasant. Because when he said it, I wanted to shout, “Oh hell no!”, because of DNA, I’m already sold. He’s guilty. I wanted to shout but instead, I shoved my mouth onto my arm, so I didn’t misbehave. Our bailiff is tough, and I don’t doubt she could drop me in seconds.

The section of the Penal Code that explains how this works, is 987 (c):

(c) In order to assist the court in determining whether a defendant is able to employ counsel in any case, the court may require a defendant to file a financial statement or other financial information under penalty of perjury with the court or, in its discretion, order a defendant to appear before a county officer designated by the court to make an inquiry into the ability of the defendant to employ his or her own counsel. If a county officer is designated, the county officer shall provide to the court a written recommendation and the reason or reasons in support of the recommendation. The determination by the court shall be made on the record. Except as provided in Section 1214 , the financial statement or other financial information obtained from the defendant shall be confidential and privileged and shall not be admissible in evidence in any criminal proceeding except the prosecution of an alleged offense of perjury based upon false material contained in the financial statement. The financial statement shall be made available to the prosecution only for purposes of investigation of an alleged offense of perjury based upon false material contained in the financial statement at the conclusion of the proceedings for which the financial statement was required to be submitted. The financial statement and other financial information obtained from the defendant shall not be confidential and privileged in a proceeding under Section 987.8 .

Judge Sweet also explained that after the case, if he has any assets left, he will be asked to cover whatever costs he can. I suppose he can make and sell fishing lures to the other inmates.

Surprise! I have an opinion.

This one is based a lot on feelings and maybe a little too much on principle. I can’t help it, but my brain automatically has this beacon for fairness. As I listen to the resources we are going to spend on this piece of human excrement, ignoring all the sunk costs, I get upset. There are men and woman in lock-up today, who can’t afford an attorney, but they don’t all these special perks. In fact, they get overworked, committed lawyers who believe people have a right to representation. I don’t know what caseloads are like in Sacramento, but based on the size of the jail? I bet there aren’t near enough.

This is taxpayer money. My money. Your money.

We want this to work if someone is innocent. It’s what makes our democracy strong. Bankrupting someone who has been charged wrongly isn’t a good thing. But we got us a horse of a different color here. All rules are not created equal and sometimes, there needs to be a different paradigm for outliers. Just knowing he’d forfeit all his assets with one conviction would be enough for me.

I also think this creates a rather weird dynamic: if you commit a crime, just be sure to go big because then you’ll get a free ride as you fight for your freedom.

And then there’s DeAngelo’s exclusive power to not screw us all again: he could confess. But this man, even for the benefit of his family, doesn’t seem inclined to clean up the mess he made. Nope, our mouth-breathing defect isn’t talking. The word is, still no visitors.

Some things are precious. Our survivor (and friends) community.

Most of us met one another just under six months ago. It doesn’t feel like that. I don’t know folks well, but there’s this underlying trust and affection that binds us together and it’s a wonderful feeling. Seeing one another, hugs, quick updates on little life things events and now, a wonderful tradition of getting together afterwards to talk about what just happened and then how things are proceeding on a meta level. We even talk about– with affection – those who aren’t with us in person (like Debbie and Shelly and Sunny).

Carol Daly provided the location and some grub (including her delicious homemade ice cream I went on about last summer). She shared some stories about her early days on the case and every time I spend more time with her, I just love her a bit more. She is one incredible woman. And while Hot for Holes is delicious to watch, Carol deserves some of the adoration as well. Just an amazing woman.

I also want to give a shout out to all the online support as well. I am still grateful and appreciative of all the folks who provide support via social media. This arrest happened when my life was already in free fall. Folks online have been amazing on a daily basis. I feel like I have friends all over who just make sure I’m okay. I also know you guys are amazing support for the other survivors as well. Just – LOVE!

Sacramento did not disappoint.

Meanwhile, the weather this week was amazeballs. Glorious coolness with plenty of sunshine and fall leaves. I love Sac in the fall. In early fell on my booty kicking a huge pile of leaves. Seeing the horses in the rose garden was a highlight along with our portable menorah.

I mean so many colors! 
And Sacramento has so much artwork! This was after court. I think I coveted the martini.
Our hotel in background, these CHP Clydesdales were getting some exercise. 
This sums it up. Christmas and Hanukkah. Boxed Cabernet (bad). Chocolate (bad). Hotel (good) – thank you again Marriott.

View from the Left – The Upside of a Trump Presidency

I’m up early because it’s hard to sleep these days.

Work is fantastic and home life is good, but I’m constantly thinking about what’s happening to our country. As I lay awake, I realized, there has been something good that’s happened within our family and it extends to several of my friendships. We’re talking again. In a meaningful, purposeful way.

News of the day.

Growing up, Katie and I had this routine of coming together and I would always say, “Okay, news of the day,” and that would trigger her sharing highlights from her day and me mine. It was like our own little BuzzFeed. Headlines, stories, gossip, me sharing works stories, she’d share school stories, it didn’t matter it was how we connected. Then she got older and got a phone, then a car and honestly, finding time to talk became harder.

And then Trump decided to run for President.

We started connecting again. It started slowly because surely this was comedy and there he said funny things and made little sense. But when he won, it changed everything. It was time to talk and talk we did. I’ve spent the last month (is it a month yet?) talking with her every night explaining what’s been happening, how government works and what we can do to effect change. At the same time, she’s become (for her age) a voracious consumer of information, attenuating to headlines and going deep to really understand what’s true and what’s hyperbole or propaganda (the real words for fake news).

Oh yeah, I suppose we qualify as “the liberal elite”.

As a liberal elite family – I believe we qualify because we live in California, I have a master’s degree and she’s already in college – we are fiercely American. We believe in human rights, civil rights, democracy, freedom and a global economy. Katie’s traveled to more countries than I have and she’s interested in a career in journalism (I couldn’t be more proud, I think The Fourth Estate may well save us in the end).

While I fear what might happen to us based on the actions of the Trump Administration, I couldn’t be more grateful for the unintended consequence: we’ve put down our phones, come out of our homes, come together with our families, friends and community to stand up for what truly does make America great.

Mr. Trump, I fear your slogan, “Make America Great Again” is going to be your epitaph. It’s what we’ll all say after you and Bannon and anyone who rules by fear and intimidation are gone from office. Thank God it’s over, let’s make America great again.

How To For Beginners: Curate Twitter to Help You Stay Woke

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Twitter is the new water cooler: the best place to learn things you might otherwise miss in the chaos that is 2017. So for those of you new to this kind of media, here’s a quick primer to help you get started and curate a twitter feed that you’ll find interesting.

1. Get a Twitter account. I recommend grabbing a handle (name) that won’t embarrass if Stephen Colbert happens to read your tweet on his show. I like the mobile apps (iPhone, Android) but you can also consumer tweets on the web.

2. Complete your profile. Say as much or as little as you want about yourself. This is VERY public so use your discretion. Add a photo – it doesn’t have to be of you – because that, and your profile, helps folks know you are not a bot.

3. Start following people. And this is really the crux of this post. How you curate who you follow is how you’ll get the best information possible. There’s a ton of garbage, opinion and untrue stuff (I refuse to call it fake news – there’s just no such thing) on Twitter. You have to use your brain to evaluate it. But if you start with this list and approach, it will be a tiny bit easier. Here’s goes (and please comment below with your finds – let’s build a great list!).

About Hashtags.

This is the secret sauce of Twitter. When something is trending (see Explore page on the mobile app and Moments on web, you’ll see a hash for it. If you click that, you’ll see all the tweets about that topic that have used the hash. Know at that point, you will see raw tweets with emotion, flawed information, true information and everything in between. It’s good content but it’s super fresh so thoughtfulness isn’t necessarily the priority. Sharing is. Use hashtags if you’re live, in it or have an opinion on it.

Who to follow to get started.

@RealDonaldTrump – yes, follow him. God forbid he gets some real followers, not just bots.

@BarackObama – 44, he’ll be back.

@SenWarren – she’s often where the action is and is ruthless about fact checking.

@BreitbartNews – All Right, all the time.

@theHill  – skews conservative but good source of news.

@NYTimes – yeah, they are still in business. AND considered to be fair and balanced by those who evaluate the media (because that still matters).

@20committee – John Schindler, security columnist.

@W.JefferyBrown – journalist who oversees journalism.

@CNNPolitics – tweets factoids about politics.

@DailyCaller – conservative reporting that’s on the far right offering sensational click bait.

@SenJohnMcain – because someone has to speak up to stop American sanctioned torture.

@BBCHamedani – BBC reporter currently being detained by Homeland Security. I’m not kidding.

@WashingtonPost – because they get scoop.

@Voxdotcom – highly regarded as truly fair and balanced.

@JakeTapper – because he’s naming things and not putting up with #altfacts.

@CaseyNewton – if you are a Silicon Valley follower; offers political POV as well.

@RMac18 – reporter at Forbes, boasts 99% real news!

@KeithOlberman – because there should be some fun on your twitter feed (nuff said).

@FoxNews – offering a point of view.

@Moorehn – seasoned reporter who provides insights into the “why” of things.

@DavidMDrucker – senior correspondent on Capitol Hill.

@SeanSpicer – because, well, just because.

@RyanLizza – professor, writer, thinker.

@wikileaks – so you can see first hand how the game of leaking works.

@PaulKrugman – Nobel Laureate, author, thinker.

@JournalismAssoc – judge for yourself if journalists are truthful or not.

@Reuters – there’s a world out there beyond us, we need to know all things.

@JeremyCorbyn – from the UK, the current Labour Party leader.

@IamJohnOliver – because perspective and humor matter.

@StephenAtHome – Colbert with a touch of humor.

Okay, that’s a start. Hopefully folks will add more to the comments section – from various points of view. The point here isn’t about where you stand, it’s about sharing information, finding sources to check and double check what’s true and standing up for what you believe in.

You’ll notice when you follow someone, you’ll be served other people to follow as an option (this is especially true on the mobile app). Slow down and look those over and see if they interest you. It’s super easy to follow and unfollow.

ALSO, one last important tip: drill down. Don’t accept the tweet at face value, If it’s a retweet, drill down to the source. In all cases, check the link (another reason mobile is better because less chance of getting a virus). Your goal is to get to the source and then evaluate if it for truth.

Post more good stuff below. #helpAmericansthinkagain

Teen Driving: How We Shot Ourselves in the Head in California

At some point – and I could go figure out when this happened but it pretty much doesn’t matter – we took Driver’s Education out of our schools. Stupidest move ever.

If you aren’t aware, here’s how our kids learn to drive today.

1. They take an online course to get a certificate. This is a joke because it can be gamed and passed really easily. So the only kids learning at this point are the ones who are earnest and naive.

2. They study for their learner’s permit, this is the written test at the DMV. Again. super easy. There are so many videos and online tests you are really in trouble if you can’t memorize enough to pass the test.

3. Immediately, upon obtaining the learner’s permit, they have to take one hour (of six hours total!) of driving instruction from a licensed driving instructor. After their first hour, they can start driving with you, their licensed adult over age 25.

4. They drive with you – or a reasonable facsimile. (There’s a whole blog here to be written about who gets to drive with the learner based on temperament, skill and tolerance for anxiety and bickering. Pisces were born for the job. For everyone else, this is why we drink.)

Step 4 is very important and here’s why.

You know when you scream asshole at that person who blew through the yield sign causing you to slam on your brakes? Or the sonofabitch who cut you off on the freeway after they tailgated you for the last three miles? Or dipshit who thinks 30 miles per hour is too fast and so they serve as an illegal pace car for everyone else. Or the person who is on their phone or eating or doing their make-up or parked badly or …. you get the point. THAT’s who’s teaching our next generation to drive. Seriously. Bad drivers are responsible for future drivers. Think about that.

5. They log five more hours with their professional driving teacher. We supposedly had the best person from the shabby mix in Santa Cruz. Her advice, “Katie should park closer to the curb.” She also told my kid I had painted my license plate so traffic cameras couldn’t record my information. Um yeah, no. They are just old. Why would she say something so stupid? She also said don’t go to the Watsonville DMV – more bad advice. They turnsed out to be the nicest people at the most positive DMV I’ve ever been to! I love those people (and I’ve been back with another kid and just as nice)!

6. They take their driving test. And an amazing amount of them are passing on first try. It’s an eight minute test; typically with one “gotcha” that we all know about because we talk to the people who’ve recently taken the test. And there you go. Instant driver.

Only here’s the thing. This is so stupid.

They have no common understanding. In the olden days, when we had driver’s ed, we all learned the same things. We all knew the rules, the consequences and there was agreement among all teens on how things worked. That’s just gone. Gone, gone, gone.

Now their skills depend now on how parents interpret the rules. Kids are 100% learning by example so if you use your cell in the car, guess that they do. If you swear at other drivers (oops, me), guess what they do. That tailgating that’s your bad habit? It’s theirs too. They can’t even support each other because they don’t have a common understanding.

They have no collective sense of consequences. They all have heard us tell them what can go wrong, but I’m convinced their sense of immortality causes them to dismiss it as soon as they hear it. But remember when we watched hours of car wrecks and stupidity – together – so at least it was recorded in our brains? They get none of that. We attended a workshop put on by the CHP – it was good – but I could see it just wash over the kids. Because they only saw it once; in one 90 minute class.

Adaptation to change is left to our interpretation. I’m convinced driving is harder today than its ever been and as adults, we’ve adapted accordingly (but not uniformly or with any training). More cars. More poorly trained drivers. Complex dashboards, Cell phones. I don’t think we’ve done a great job but at least we have driving experience on our side. These kids could actually use four months of class time to understand all this complexity, and instead, we’ve eliminated it.

And then there’s the gift of provisional driving. They aren’t supposed to drive with other kids for the first year of their license. This is a corollary misdemeanor from what I can figure out. Corollary because they aren’t stopped for having kids in the car. They have to be stopped for some other offense and then get cited for the provisional driver violation. I think some lawmaker thought this law would cut down on teen accidents. Maybe it has (you can review the study – it honestly looks like too many variables are co-mingled to really get to an answer).

The truth is – at night, I want my daughter to have someone else with her when she drives. I like the extra pair of eyes on the road and a buddy to keep her safe as she walks to the football game or store.I spent a lot of time letting her drive with friends in the car during permit time because I wanted her to learn how to ignore them and focus on driving. Fingers crossed she grokked it.

So what’s my recommendation?

We need to put drivers ed back in school. I can’t figure out why our insurance companies aren’t paying for this (if we want to play follow the money). They have the means and it would save them big bucks ultimately to have these kids all on the same page.

Then I say keep the provisional driver stuff but allow one other person in the car because we might actually get more compliance. Teens don’t do stuff alone. Make a law that instantly turns them into violators is nuts.

Finally – and I know this will shock everyone – when a teen goes through drivers ed, use that time to refresh parent’s driving skills (maybe they get $50 discount on insurance for attending a refresher course). We will still be sitting next to them during the permit months. Wouldn’t it be good if we were reminded of all the things we’ve forgotten since we started driving? Who goes first at a four-way stop? Are you allowed to pass a bicyclist on the right if you have to cross a double yellow on the left? Can you have liquor in the car if you aren’t drinking it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. It’s been a hot button for me. Please let me know what you think!

The Joys of Midlife: A Kid that Can Drive and Three Things…

Katie is finally a junior and this summer she got her license. That means I don’t have to drive her around anymore. That means I am free. The result, I’m trying new things and having some adult fun once again. And, in my 53rd year, I’ve discovered three things that are keeping me very happy.
What is the secret you ask? Why let me share. My three things.

1. Improv. I started in January at a Saturday drop in class at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz. Offered by The Fun Institute (that’s Santa Cruz code for Cliffordand Dixie), I met a great group of adults who come together to play and fail publicly (and with conviction dammit – go hard!). The experience had been great.

Since starting the class, I’ve attended a number of workshops and an on-going practice group that’s invited me to be in my first public performance (coming this November). The best thing I have learned from improv is saying “yes”. I’ll have more to say about this soon – but just know saying “yes” is probably one of the coolest things you can do – for anyone including yourself.

2. Medical marijuana.Like any 50 year old woman, I have my fair share of anxiety and trouble falling asleep. There’s nothing more coveted than a worry free night a pure slumber. And yet, it’s often illusive for so many reasons. I have the kids to thank (blame) for trying this next generation of marijuana. I have to stay, it’s amazing.

With just a tiny edible, I can get a good night’s sleep, or, if I take CBD, my brain stays clear but anxiety fades away. Perfect for non-profit board meetings. I mean you just don’t care with some CBD on-board. It makes collaboration a breeze and because you don’t care, you aren’t likely to sign up for some dumb committee. I encourage you to go get your cannabis card and throw your prescriptions away.

3. Heated car seats. Until April 15th, I was driving a 2003 Honda CR-V. Great car but it started to fall apart during Spring Break as we traveled to the Grand Canyon. Katie was supposed to drive her when she got her license, but we both came home knowing it was time for Goldie (our name for her) to move on.

I impulsively bought a 2008 BMX X3 and it has heated seats! These have changed my life. I can get in the car, after a long day working at the computer, drive to the store with the air conditioning on and my seat on high. Suddenly the seat radiates heat into my back and butt, relaxing my muscles and making me feel oh-so-good.

I’m starting to realize what this second half of life is all about. Being chill. Trying new things. Not moving with urgency but instead bumbling and fumbling along, laughing and taking time because that’s the one thing we can’t see to get more of.