The amount of driving I did this week between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara left me pretty fried by Saturday. I had lots of time on the 101 Freeway to spend thinking about stuff and not enough time to actually get anything written down.
That was a hell of a bullet hole in the window at the Pismo Beach Denny's. Can you imagine what those bullets did to the victims?
I have to move on to other assignments, but this bit of random violence wins for being one of the most senseless acts I've ever seen.
That was Thursday. I got home at around 11:00pm and crashed as soon as I got in the bed.
Too soon after I went to sleep (passed out?), I woke up and dragged myself out of bed. Dellis and I worked out at the gym and I had a few minutes to putter around the house.
I went to work and hoped for an easy day. If not an "easy" day, then at least an assignment in town.
If you ever wonder how I developed a calm and mellow attitude working in the middle of chaos and mayhem, just know that "hoping" for something to happen is always the kiss of death in news.
So, it wasn't a big surprise, that things didn't quite work out like I wanted (like, not at all). There I was, minding my own business on the lot at the station and got the call to swap out of my microwave van and gear up a SAT truck.
The story? A high-speed pursuit had taken place in Santa Barbara and the suspect was in a stand-off.
Forget getting home on time, I was hitting the road again back to Santa Barbara.
By the time I'd fought my way through the Friday-afternoon-Los Angeles-freeway-traffic and the Santa Barbara-Friday-afternoon-wanted-suspect/law enforcement-freeway-closure-traffic, the suspect was dead.
It hadn't been determined if he died at the hands of law enforcement or if he took his own life.
Let me back up here just for a moment. I wanted to mention how nice it was for the few miles of freeway that I experienced past the closure point. There wasn't another car to be seen on the road in either direction. With the freeway closed because of the active crime scene, many cars had to wait or turn back.
I can only imagine how frustrating it might have been for all the drivers who weren't news media. I could see them in my review mirror and I have to admit. It always gives me a wicked little thrill when I'm waved through and other cars aren't.
Anyway, the suspect was dead at the scene and I set up on the side of the closed Highway. I may be smiling, but it was cold and windy out along the road.
We wrapped up our last liveshot during the 11:00pm newscast. That put me back at the station around 2:00am and I finally made it home at almost 3:00am.
Not much more I can say. I slept in on Saturday. After I got up, I managed to wash one of our cars before the expected rains. The car really needed it and I needed to do something normal. All the driving and strange hours this week have left me a little worn out.
I took it easy the rest of Saturday. Had a couple of beers late in the day that were vacation souvenirs from my fellow photographer Scott Mackie.
There are lots of little details that for the sake of time don't get included in the posts on my blog. I don't get to go into details about the generator pretty much conking out during the last liveshot. I don't get a chance to talk about the lack of food to be found near the crime scene (or me pigging out on junk food on the drive home).
It might be a given that I missed being at home, but all this is just a part of the week that I had. Life moves forward.
As much as it took out of me, I wouldn't trade my week and I'm still looking forward to the next one. I'm smiling to myself as I write this because time is going to ease the difficult memories and I have a great one that I'm sure I'll hang onto.
As I'd been warned, one beer was definitely better than the other. That's okay, because both were greatly appreciated and both beers were way better than I'd been led to expect.
I can't help but feel there's a life metaphor swimming around in there somewhere. I'm going to have some more beer and try to fish it out later.