Thursday, October 28, 2010

Toni Keller

Okay, I have a lot of blogging built up inside that is just pushing and shoving its way, itching to get out.  And I will be working on posts that I've promised such as one on "Sister Wives" (oh the many words of horror to be written....), but...

Let's get this first thing out there, well, first.  As I've mentioned before, my undergraduate degree is from a state university in Illinois called northern illinois university.  it has a pretty good law school and a kick-ass business school (like top in the nation), but other than that, not a lot of folks know much about it.  a couple of years ago on valentine's day, it got some notorious mention because it was the site of a school shooting/massacre.  my fucking heart almost stopped that day; my brother was undergrad there at the time. fortunately for us (and not at all to make light of the lives that WERE lost that day), he was not injured.  however, the psychological stress and damage that occurred in the lives of the students who were in class or on campus that day lives on.  my brother was on his way to a building very near the shooter and found himself hiding in yet another building, running and confused in between, and generally part of the chaos that had ensued in the blink of an eye.  i am not doing the situation justice, but that is because that isn't what this particular post is about tonight.

no, tonight is about toni keller, a freshman at niu who went missing two weeks ago and is now presumed deceased, murdered actually.  we the public, we the alumni, the "we" who are her family and friends, and any other "we" you can name among us ... WE do not have any accurate information about what happened to her.  here is what i personally know from reading and researching and watching news shows.  if there is more, and certainly if there are inaccuracies, do comment or email:
**remains thought to be toni's but which remain unidentified at this time were found two days or less after she went missing by dekalb / niu police (i shall lump them together, because they seem to be working as one, and i don't know which body has provided which evidence, info, etc.) ; however, police did not make this information public until a few days AGO.

**police have now released the information that the unidentified remains were found among other evidence that was "consistent with materials" said to be on toni's person when she was last seen.

**for the week or so between the finding of remains and the providing of this information to the public, niu/dekalb police made no statement to indicate to students and others that homicide was a possibility or that their efforts (putting up fliers, etc) might be in vain... let alone the fact that they might need to take extra precautions in light of a possible right-next-to-campus murder.  

**in fact, during that time period, police encouraged students and other volunteers to continue their efforts at notifying the community of the missing student, doing what they could to find information on her whereabouts, and other activities that were in vain and could also be dangerous in light of what police knew. i could on about the facts like that, but it's really been a murky fuck-up.  it's like the keystone cops up there.  dekalb is a farm town, a small town for sure, with the college life being the main "culture" outside of the rural.  i am not in any way slamming the rural life; after all, i'm a midwesterner, born and bred, and I respect the back-breaking, financially perilous work that farmers do (although i'm pleased to report that i've known some IL farmers who have been quite wealthy and NOT from selling off to retail or whatever, but i digress...).

what i'm saying is that i'm sure what the police and niu are doing and have already done was for the sake of "public relations and image."  and when i make an accusation like saying they're "keystone cops," oh, yes, i realize it's an old stereotype of rural, small-town cops.  i said it, wrote it, because it's the truth.  they have made me so ashamed, so so so disgusted and angry and ASHAMED to be any part of them, alumni, resident of the state, whatever.  not to mention the fact that i come from a family THICK with police officers, police support staff such as 911 operators, and attorneys.  i know about "P.R." in cases like this, ok?  i understand that the police can't "tip their hand" to the murderer and all that shit.  and you know what?  they could have handled this 1,000% better and more appropriately and still done their jobs.  so i sure hope i don't hear them come out later, with any "hindsight is 20/20" bullshit, because that's horsecrap.  and hey, horse crap, they should know about out there.  ha.  dig.

seriously now.  tonight the news is that there is a "person of interest" which we all know means a person who will be a suspect once we are sure we have the evidence (or the right guy).  keeping consistent with prior form, the police have not said where, only that this p.o.i. is being held in another state (indiana?  florida?  hawaii?) where he committed some crimes.  extradition is said to be "pending."  ohhh lawd.  will the state in question even extradite this guy????  is anyone from dekalb/niu going out to speak to him or question him?  does anyone know what they're doing with a suspect (oops, person of interest) in these circumstances?  because, oh, by the way, they don't accept help from other police departments from what i'm told.

there's a lot more to say, the kind of information swirling in my head that i really should make an outline of, and then write it in an appropriate form, like a legal research paper or whatever, a legal opinion essay more realistically.  people don't think you know what you're talking about when you just spout off, i realize, but i know what i'm talking about, believe me.  or don't.  i could give a shit.  the main thing tonight is that i hope and pray someone somewhere (a police officer, ideally) is ON the person who did this horrible crime to this poor girl (IF it turns out the remains are hers and this is what happened to her, which is not certain but seems very likely, sadly).  also, my prayers and i know that prayers of students and alumni all over the community are with her family, who are the newest victims in all of this:  at least we can hope toni is at peace somewhere now...


Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Rambling (Stream o' Consciousness)

hooooo...ohhhkay.  as you might have guessed (or hell, maybe not), i've been wanting to write more frequently in this blog, and dammit, i'm going to do it, i AM doing it... also, i've been wanting to write a little bit differently, maybe with a different level of openness, different authenticity, whatever, MORE of all that.  this sounds silly when i say it (write it, whatever) to y'all, but what i'm about to try and describe is so true for me at this exact point in my life:

i don't know whether this is common throughout creative writing classes in the whole u.s. or the world over, but my writing education steeped me in the training of how to use what's commonly referred to as stream-of-consciousness writing.  i was taught to do this as a form of journaling, brainstorming, getting past writer's block and basically any other time that i needed to get my feelings or the "junk" that is blocking them onto paper.  it doesn't always work for me, but usually it does, pretty damn well.

another way that this might work -- and i say might only because it's a method i was reading about literally only 2 or 3 days ago and thus haven't tried it yet for myself -- is to write your feelings or thoughts or (this was the specific exercise suggested in the book i was reading) the answers to specific questions you ask yourself about your life, your future.  but the catch is you  write the answers down using your non-dominant hand!  so, yes, folks, to do it properly, it requires a good old-fashioned pen-and-paper i suppose.  but you could always transfer what you wrote onto the computer if you wish to journal it and keep it for future reference.  the author who was explaining this method had a fairly lengthy chapter about why and how this works and why it's worth it doing and practicing (he went so far as to suggest you might eventually even get in touch with your sixth sense, psychic abilities, etc.. but i'm not going to go there for now, not for this post.  ask me about the book if you are interested in knowing all about the specifics, k?).

so, i suppose i'm being extremely verbose just to tell my readers that i'm going to try and write in a more casual format for awhile now.  you know what it is?  probably my big fat ego! i'm an educated and sometimes-professional writer/editor, and probably what it comes down to is the fact that i can't bear to write a blog without punctuation and all that shite without EXPLAINING.  ahhh well.  at least i know myself.  somewhat.  and truly, i often feel that writing is one of the only "gifts" or talents or whatever that i have, one of the only shots i have at being in a career or successful or something like that (this is usually how i feel more when i'm being overly emotional rather than reasonable and planning my life logically).  so this is whence and why i get this way, act this way ... am i just so insufferable?  

well, here's part 2 of my whole "thing."  i've been working on a separate blog, also written in casual format like this.  i've been practicing and sort of exploring where i truly want it to take me, what kinds of things i truly want to write about and how they differ from what i write here.  now i'm going to try the same thing here, and maybe the two will become one.  if they don't, then i have a problem with this one, and it is that i don't feel comfortable being open here.  i can guess a number of reasons for that, but i'm not going to worry about it yet.  i'm going to push myself to create an open journalistic/memoir blog here, just like i set out to do in the beginning.  for the time being, i'll use my private one to try out ideas, to write rough drafts, etc.  

i've gotten flak over the years, in addition to openly-confused questions, from all sorts of people online, as well as those who know me in "real" life; they want to know why we bloggers (those who write blogs as personal expressions, as records or diaries of our lives anyway) feel compelled to share our struggles, our mistakes, even our illegal activities at times, with the world.  some people have become hostile toward me, expressed hateful opinions toward others who blog in this manner, because they don't understand, don't approve, whatever.  

it's not that i owe anyone a fucking explanation, because i know that i don't, please believe.  in fact, i am damn unapologetic about most of my life (except ignoring punctuation and such, teehee), even or especially when it flies in the face of supposed social mores.  but oh, i suppose now i'm getting into what should be my next post, or some subsequent one.  people have a problem with my blogging about real life, my personal life, my issues, concerns, feelings, anger, etc.  because you know, what if you are a person in my "real" life, and what if i'm mad at you?  what if i hate something you've done?  what if i'm just flat out annoyed with you right now?  what if i hate your fucking stupid taste in music?  what if you pissed me off with a "typical" comment this week and i didn't say anything and i want to brood about it right here on my blog before i address it with you?  ya know?

well, this is the type of thing i've been trying to settle in my mind, sort out, write out, divvy up with my left hand as guide, etc.  and for the record, those examples of petty arguments, anger, irritations, etc. were NOT specific events going on right now toward any specific people in my life right now, so don't even go there, people who know me!!!!!  what i'm saying is this, and i suppose that for some folks out there reading, it might be one of the most important parts of this post:

i have decided that i am not going to censor myself in writing endeavors; thus, reading or not reading this is all up to you, and perhaps whatever i write does not affect your life to the point of affecting any real change in your emotional status, etc.  and that's great.  because the bigger my audience, be they raging lunatics or adoring fans, the happier this writer blogger girl is.  

that is all for now.