December 2, 2001
News From Home

It looks like they've finally caught The Green River Killer.

Jaymi left a message on our answering machine Friday night with the news. I stood there, when we got home from work that evening, listening to her message over and over again ("I got my birthday package today -- oh, and it looks like they've caught The Green River Killer -- call me OK?") ... and I was literally open-mouthed in shock. Not because they've actually caught the killer after all this time -- you always like to think that the bad guy is gonna get it in the end in the end -- but because this was the very first *I* was hearing about it.

Why the hell wasn't this ALL OVER the news??

A day or two later, of course, the arrest finally started getting some national attention. This is a pretty sensational story, after all: 49 women dead or missing, most of them young prostitutes or runaways, and the murderer somehow managed to elude capture all these years. At the time the murders were taking place -- in the early to mid-1980's -- I was a young wife and mother, living just a few blocks from the area where most of the bodies were being found. (As a matter of fact I went to high school with one of the young women who was murdered, and some of the victims were found near the park where I learned to ride my bike as a kid.)  So this was one of those crimes that held more than passing personal interest ... and this is why I was so astonished that I hadn't somehow managed to catch a mention of it in The Tribune or on KRON News 4 or as a headline on the AOL Welcome screen. I didn't even get one of those annoying little Yahoo News! reminders in my e-mail box.

I guess I forget, sometimes, that things that are news in TicTac don't exactly burn up the airwaves here in the Bay Area ... and vice versa.

That's what happens when you live a bazillion miles from your hometown.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

And speaking of living a bazillion miles from your hometown ... I've been an honorary California Grrrl for exactly three years this weekend.

It was three years ago Saturday that David and I tossed all of my earthly belongings into the back of a rented U-Haul and drove from Oregon City to Alameda ... over the Siskyous, in a blinding rainstorm ... to officially begin the Living-In-Sin portion of our relationship. Today I look back on that decision  --  the decision to pack up everything I own and move to another state with a man I met in an AOL chat room [for ... ahem ... the second time in a year] --  as one of the bravest, riskiest, stoopidest, smartest things I've ever done in my life. It had disaster written all over it. We could have slid off the top of the mountain in our rickety U-Haul and crashed. We could have run out of money in Roseburg, Oregon and wound up washing dishes at Subway. We could have moved me into The Castle and realized that we couldn't stand each other.

(I could have discovered that he's one of those guys who gets all pissy about teabags in the kitchen sink.)

But instead, it's turned out pretty darned OK so far. Even if there isn't a Taco Time for miles. Even if it RAINS a lot more in California than it's supposed to.

And even if I do have to work a little harder at getting news from home.

tell 'em secra sent you

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