Sprint M2M Sponsored a 5K to Honor Connor Lynch & I Just Cried

11.4.13

I’ve spent the last six months working very closely with Sprint M2M (machine to machine). In addition to a zillion other devices there are OBD2 diagnostic devices that run on the Sprint M2M network. These devices plug into the diagnostic port of your vehicle and share information with the vehicle owner.

Because I am surrounded by parenting bloggers we’ve been talking about how you can use these devices which run on the network to disable text messaging in your vehicle while it is in motion. There are many other things that the OBD2 devices can do locate your car (yes I lose mine regularly), unlock your car (if I admit to two dumb things am I loser?), let you know if it’s being driven recklessly, diagnose engine issues and more. We’ve stayed with the most eye catching of the features which is the text messaging.

When a local event came up I knew that Sprint M2M would be the perfect sponsor. Connor Lynch was 16 years old when he was struck and killed by another teen driver. My neighborhood was understandably devastated. Connor’s mother is that lady that everyone knows and loves. This amazing family took the most unimaginable tragedy and turned it around, they established the Connor Lynch Foundation and help to educate runners, cyclists, pedestrians and young drivers. Sprint M2M is the perfect supporter in every way.

I thought it would be easy.

Connor’s Grandmother belongs to the same tennis club as I do. Periodically I get a call to fill in as a fourth for doubles. This is when I remind the club that I hate doubles and when they tell me which group it is I grab my racket and go. These ladies may have teenage grandchildren but they were all but born with rackets in their hands and I have yet to outplay any of them. These ladies are unflappable on the court and you’re about to see that Bobbi is unflappable off the court too. As I started to introduce her I said, “This is Bobbi she was, is.” And then I burst into tears because I didn’t know the word for a lady who lost her grandson. Maybe there is no word because there’s nothing awful enough to describe it.

The 5k was great. It raised money for the foundation and it brought our community together again to support a family that everyone loves. Thanks so much to Captain Ivan Minsal from the LAPD & Willie Garson who almost missed the start of the run because we were yakking with him.

Sprint is working very hard to remind folks to put down their devices when they drive. For new drivers and for those of us who could use an extra layer of help you can get an OBD2 device from your insurance agent if you just ask for one. There’s more information on the Sprint blog too.

Golf and Previlean and Mermaid Tails… or are these tales?

07.12.12

This morning only Alexander went to camp because sometime around April Jane told me that she was, “too old for camp” and didn’t want to go this year. Of course I called and asked if she could be a CIT, they said, “yes” and Jane explained that she wasn’t old enough to be a CIT.

She’s neither fish nor foul at age 13.

In the first minutes of June Jane begged me to sign her up for camp. Tough luck, only half the days she wanted were available so today she’s hanging out with friends instead of having Halloween in July. Of course this means she didn’t leave the house until after 10am and at 10am I had the Previlean Twitter Chat. I’d also forgotten about the insurance inspector that was coming to the house. He was supposed to be here before 10 but arrived after so I had to tweet and scream for him. It was all sorts of awesome.

I particularly liked the part where my daughter forgot her swimsuit and now poor Lisa had to buy her one and I’ve got to pay her back. I swear that kid is going to be impersonating Cinderella for the next few days.

After the chat I had to run off for a board meeting with VTAC. VTAC is Valley Traffic Advisory Council and I’m not 100% sure that I can communicate their message well, so here’s an about page. My friend Alex seems to think it’s a good idea and so far I know we’ve raised money for car seats for families who can’t afford to replace worn ones, memorials for fallen officers and training for LAPD detectives. Next month I’ll know more, I guess I’ll know more every month. Mark your calendars for October 5th, you’ll be golfing with me. I’m a horrendous golfer but I’m enthusiastic and I’ll totally let you drive the cart.

After the VTAC meeting I was able to squeeze in for acupuncture. It’s incredible relief and it’s oddly humid today so instead of suckling a tramadol I spent 45 minutes with a few well placed needles and I feel like a new woman. I haven’t needed a pain pill since I found Marin. I’m a total skeptic but whatever hocus poke-us that woman is doing seems to work. I picked up Alexander and he’s (predictably) exhausted so we’re just sort of laying all over each other on the sofa while he does the playstation and I blog.

Of course Jessica Randazza found the one thing I absolutely MUST HAVE.

 

Don’t Dress Like a Cholo and Other Things

03.23.12

It’s hard to ignore the slaying of Trayvon Martin. It’s all over the news in every city in America. That the internet and the 24 hour news cycle has made the world smaller is sometimes a good thing. It won’t bring this child back, but perhaps it will spare others.

There was this perfect storm of gun laws and racism that conspired to kill Trayvon. As both a parent and a handgun owner I am disturbed. Florida allows citizens to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they face harm. My understanding is that in California you can use deadly force inside your home. I can’t shoot you on my front lawn… even if… even if… I might be wrong, I’m not a lawyer and I’m also not planning on shooting anyone on my front lawn. In Los Angeles you cannot walk down the street armed without a permit. This is a good thing. We don’t have to fend off hungry bears here.

When I learned to drive my parents taught me the rules of the road and my father taught me the rules of getting pulled over. “Keep your hands on the wheel.” He said, “Don’t be cute and don’t be clever. Take your ticket and say, ‘yes sir, no sir’.” He reminded me that because we were white kids we could drive through places like Beverly Hills and told us about people who were routinely incarcerated during traffic stops, their blackness scared the police. This was all during the reign of Daryl F. Gates, not our city’s finest years.

When we were teens my brother drove a Dodge Dart. He loved that car, it had three on the tree and not much of a starter. It leaked oil onto the cobblestone streets of my mother’s gated community and I’m pretty sure that leak made him love it just a little more. My brother also has black hair and like everyone in the family drives a little too fast. He was late for school one morning and got pulled over on PCH. After issuing the ticket and noting the Bel Air address the officer told my teenage brother that if he didn’t want to get pulled over he should stop looking like a Cholo.

A ticket is nothing. Really.

Something has to change and I suspect it will. I’m an optimist about this because I don’t believe that I live in a country where we go around shooting kids. I won’t believe that.

Worldwide there’s an epidemic of hate and there’s been a massacre in Toulouse. A woman has lost her husband and her two sons to a madman’s bullets. There’s always the sense that “they’d” like to get the Jews. I don’t know who “they” is but they’re always shooting at our kids and our husbands. I wish they’d stop.

I think we’re all culpable though. We talk about bullies and fairness and toss around buzzwords that make you feel like you’ve done something. I’m not seeing people really stand up and say, “It’s never okay to dehumanize another group.”

There’s nothing inherently threatening about a 17 year old black person. Not unless someone told you there is.

Jane is About to be Grounded for the Rest of Her LIFE

03.7.12

Earlier this week I got an email. Here is the exact text:

Hi!
Just letting you know that Jane volunteered for the 6:45-7:30 shift at the pancake breakfast.  If this is a problem, please let know!
I’ll leave the front gate popped open so people can get into the school.
See you then!

What am I supposed to say? Perhaps, “Listen if you want Jane on your doorstep before 7am may I suggest a sleepover at school?” Or maybe, “Sorry, that’s when we milk the cows.”?

After setting three alarm clocks last night I woke up late this morning. Clocks in my room and each of the kids’ rooms had failed. More likely I’d failed at setting them properly. At 6.05 Mr G tapped me awake whispering, “Don’t you have to get Jane to school early today?” I flew out of bed and woke the kids, threw my hair in a ponytail and got them to school on time. Cow milking time that is.

We had a nice breakfast with kids and parents from the school and I ran home to make myself presentable. I was home for 30 minutes and then ran to the school we’ve applied Alexander to for 6th grade.

There were a lot of parents there and only a few spots for admissions. The head of school gave a spiel and then there were questions. Lots and lots of questions from the parents. Most of the questions were about admissions and financial aid, which seemed weird and like a total waste of time because the applications were due months ago and acceptance letters will be mailed in a few weeks. Either you’ll get in or you won’t, either you’ll get financial aid or you won’t. I wanted to know more about the academics and I swear I almost dropped on one knee and proposed to the headmaster when he went on a tangent about self esteem being a crock of shit (my expletive not his) and went on to explain that kids need to be challenged but then you have to back off a little too. It’s like a dream come true and if Alexander doesn’t get in I think I’ll be crushed.

Conversely if Alexander does get in I think I’ll be petrified.

After the admissions event I had exactly 25 spare minutes to walk the dog and run to the LAPD. There’s a non profit that supports the LAPD traffic division and I was invited to one of their meetings. I thought it was weird that Alex invited me to attend and suggested I text him when I get there. I go to meetings all the time. I don’t need hand holding… I was wrong.

Luckily I parked my car and arrived at the same time as Alex because we walked in to a giant room of uniformed officers and a few detectives. To say I was intimidated is a gross understatement. I was having a pretty good hair day (my friend Jeannie asserts that our power lies in our hair) and I realized in that setting it didn’t make me look better but rather more hopelessly suburban. At least I’m out of the station wagon.

The meeting was interesting but brief. It’s scheduled to be two hours but I could only stay for one because I had to bring Alexander to the eye doctor for his two month post operative exam. The results were as I suspected, wait and watch, but probably another surgery. If I hadn’t have been so fucking tired I might have cried. So I guess I won’t punish Jane for volunteering at that ungodly hour.

We left the surgeon’s office, ran to get Jane from school, returned home for smoothies and homework (just 20 minutes of it mercifully) and then I ran kids to soccer and tennis. I’m home, hitting publish and then running to get my kids. They should be smelly and tired.

I know I am.

Trusting Ourselves and the People Around Us (Updated With Lolita Carrico’s Sentencing Information)

10.5.11

Sometime in the past few years a grifter by the name of Lolita Carrico entered my life. An honest to goodness con-artist with a story that would make the producers over at Dateline slobber. In the past three months, there have been phone calls from a half dozen people owed money, law enforcement, and ex-spouses. In the past week, it has come to my attention that the FBI is sniffing around, that law enforcement and judges are pissed that this person is on the streets.

There was an arrest followed by a few days in jail and then there was a large sum of cash produced which released this person from some of the fraud charges against them. Some people will get some of their money back, though surely not all. While our lovely neighborhood grifter was languishing in the LA County Jail the non-custodial parent worked the phones in an attempt to locate their children. I passed along the phone numbers that I had available to me.

This makes me a villain.

I’m really frustrated and angry. I’m angry with myself for allowing someone into my life that my husband didn’t like. When we met this person he was suspicious of the stories, the houses, and the cars. He stayed away, I ignored a few signs (and a bounced check to my favorite dog trainer ever) and proceeded to let this person into my life.

I would hear stories about the spouse and dutifully retell them to Mr. G. in an attempt to explain why there was only one parent. He would nod and say, “There are two sides to every story.”

Why don’t I listen to my husband?

A housekeeper wasn’t paid for several weeks. She showed up at my door weeping. I loaned her money but distanced myself ever so slightly from the friendship.

There were websites devoted to the frauds this person perpetrated online. This person was able to make them go away. New and similar complaints are popping up.

Two women I know and respect are collectively owed more than ten thousand dollars by Lolita Carrico.

But still, I’m the villain.

I’m sad that a few people will exit my life because of this. It’s clear that at least one person will no longer speak to me or to my husband. I’m not crushed by this because I fully expect that the full story will come out when more victims of the fraud come forward. I also expect that this person isn’t finished with stealing from people, from businesses, and from marriages (yes there appears to be one spouse in his/her crosshairs that’s facilitating real estate scams, lending money and behaving rather flirtatiously).

Only the most sophisticated liar could find a way to convince a community that I was somehow responsible for their children ending up with the other parent. Logic tells us that the nine felonies pending and last year’s arrest for similar criminal activities are what made a judge think the children belonged somewhere else.

I’m not even sure why I feel compelled to blog about this. I’ve held this person’s secrets for a very long time. Bankruptcy, repossessed cars, bounced checks, swindled employees…. maybe my secret keeping is what allows a con like this to be successful? This person was so good in garnering my sympathy that I suspended all good sense for the better part of two years. I turned a blind eye to signs that no one else would have missed.

What infuriates me about this most of all isn’t that I’ll lose friends that I care about. I know I will and that’s a risk I took when I did the right thing for those children. I didn’t remove children from a house. I didn’t track anyone down. I gavenon-custodialial parent (who incidentally was the only parent not in jail and remains the only parent not on probation) a phone number to call. If the children were “taken away” it was by a judge AND by the felonious parent’s actions, not by anyone else’s.

The thing about losing these friends? I think they’re being taken for a ride as I was.

I’m stunned that something so otherworldly has entered my life. I feel like I opened my front door and laid out a welcome mat for evil. The most upsetting part of all is that I feel like I can’t trust my own instincts. That sucks.

UPDATE: Today (May 28, 2013) Lolita Carrico was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in state prison. According to someone who was at the courthouse it was a probation violation for forgery. She had continued her old antics of writing checks on closed accounts, renting furniture and never returning it… the usual. There was a line of witnesses but the judge stopped it and sentenced her They say she’ll likely end up serving a year or so in LA County Jail and there are new charges pending. The judge said, “You had a sweetheart jail and you messed up.” My assumption is that this refers to the two convictions for 476A(A) of the California Penal Code that she was convicted of on September 30, 2011 and not the four counts of the same that were either dismissed or not prosecuted on Februray 7, 2012.

People are commenting on this story and feeling badly for the kids. I am relieved for the kids. They’ve been moving in and out of houses every few weeks for years now. They’ve been driving in stolen cars and living with a mother who is paranoid that the world is out to get her. I think a year (oh how I wish it actually would be 2 years and 8 months) without their mother’s criminal influence will be good for them. And I say that as someone who had come to love those children.

SECOND UPDATE: I never tried to kill her dog. That I even have to write that sentence is ludicrous.

MORE UPDATES:

2015 Criminal Conviction court documents: Criminal Case Summary Lolita Carrico 2015

2011 Criminal Conviction court documents: Criminal Case Summary 2011 Lolita Carrico

Didn’t show up to court when Unlimited Reprographics tried to collect their debt.

Kenny Tan represented Lolita Carrico when Brian Kim was evicting her in 2008 and 2009. In May of 2009 a bench warrant was ordered and bail set at $7,689 after Lolita failed to appear in court when Kenny Tan then sued her.

Still not paying rent launching new websites – be careful with ShesSporty.com 

Civil Court cases in Los Angeles only:

2/25/02 Stanley Mosk Courthouse case number 02M04741
Buckingham Nannies v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,890 plus fees.

06/16/2004 Stanley Mosk Courthouse case number 04M09774
Food Fedish v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,022.32 plus fees.

09/29/2005 Inglewood Courthouse case number 05W02092
Midway Rent a Car v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $922.80 plus fees.
     Running Total:   $2,791.48
10/14/2005 Stanley Mosk Courthouse Case Number: 05M16836
BILL ROBERTSON & SONS VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $179.73 plus fees.
12/19/2005 Stanley Mosk Courthouse case number 05U14805
Park La Brea v Lolita Carrico – Unlawful Detainer – dismissed without prejudice

01/18/2006 Stanley Mosk Courthouse Case Number: 06M00167
CONTINENTAL CURRENCY SERVICES, VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $2,500
01/19/2006 Stanley Mosk Courthouse Case Number: 06M00727
CONTINENTAL CURRENCY SERVICES VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $1,669.78 plus costs.
01/24/2006 Inglewood Courthouse Case Number: 06SX0130
ZIVICH, ELAINE VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $5,000.00 plus costs.
     Running Total:    $12,140.99
01/26/2006 Stanley Mosk Courthouse case number 06K00896
LA Commercial Group Inc v Modern Mom, Lolita Carrico. Bench warrant issued 4/20/2007 Judgment satisfied 3/2/2009

01/31/2007 Inglewood Courthouse case number 07C00254
The Reagan Group v Modern Mom, Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $22,646.92 plus interest.
08/31/2007 Stanley Mosk Courthouse case number 07M11515
Robert Michaelis v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $7,483.75 plus fees.
10/16/2007 Stanley Mosk Courthouse Case Number: BC379151
WACHOVIA BANK NA VS MODERN MOM INC ET AL. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $35,783.85.
     Running Total: $78,055.51
12/03/2007 Stanley Mosk Courthouse Case Number: BS112247
BROOKS PIERCE MCLENDON HUMPHREY & LEONARD LLP VS LOLITA CARRICO. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $30,606.00

06/09/2008 Burbank Courthouse Case Number: EC042725
BRIAN KIM VS. LOLITA CARRICO evictionSara Hutter v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,822.00 plus fees.
10/10/2008 Van Nuys Courthouse West Case Number: 08E13260
BROOK FURNITURE RENTAL INC. VS MODERN MOM INC. Judgment entered for plaintiff, no dollar amount shown.
10/31/2008 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 08V08664
HUTTER, SARA VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico amount unknown
12/10/2008 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 08V11083
Timothy Gordon DBA A Better Way to Move v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $2909.15 plus fees.

02/04/2009 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 09V00735
Garcia Home Services v Lolita Carrico. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $175.00 plus costs.
04/10/2009 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 09B02210
BG Hortense LLC v Lolita Carrico. Bench warrant issued 05/21/2010
10/02/2009 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 09V06786
GO JUNK FREE AMERICA!, INC. VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,785.00 plus costs.
Running Total: $115,352.66 plus fees and interest

02/26/2010 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 10V01530
HORIZON FOODS VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,555.00 plus costs.
09/01/2010 Alhambra Courthouse Case Number: 10SG1797
SMGM CORP VS CARRICO, LOLITA J. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $2,501.07
10/22/2010 Beverly Hills Courthouse case number 10C04510
ROSENBERG & KOFFMAN, VS CARRICO,LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $7,478.33 plus fees and costs.
11/19/2010 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 10V07678
TOWN & COUNTRY EVENT RENTALS INC. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $2,409.08 plus costs.
12/01/2010 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 10V07794
INVISIBLE FENCE WEST COAST VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,514.00 plus costs.
12/28/2010 Van Nuys Courthouse East Case Number: 10V08116
YOUNGBLOOD, ADRIAN VS CARRICO, LOLITA J. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $835.00

02/03/2011 Van Nuys Courthouse East Case Number: 11V00725
GRAYR, VICTOR VS CARRICO, LOLITA J. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico in the amount of $1,381.64
5/4/2011 Van Nuys Courthouse East case number 11V02732
24 MOVING VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $2,877.25 plus costs.

12/18/2013 Van Nuys Courthouse West case number 13V10028
FOUR PAWS DAY CARE INC. VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $1,103.75 plus costs.

02/03/2015 Santa Monica Courthouse Case Number: 15R00660
SCOTT PROPERTIES GROUP, INC. VS CARRICO, LOLITA. Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $16,342.00 plus the return of property
09/09/2015 Santa Monica Courthouse Case Number: 15R04715
KLEIN, ALLYSON VS CARRICO, LOLITA Judgment entered against Lolita Carrico for $12,850.00 plus the return of property

As of 2015, Lolita Carrico had judgments against her in the amount of at least $166,199.78 plus fees in Los Angeles plus multiple evictions.