Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Jihad, the Musical
("I wanna be like Obama")
Dick Cheney was Right!
(this is an amazing video from 1994)
Ordination of Women Priests
Sideshow Bob sings HMS Pinafore
Family Stories Vlog
New on My
MY CIVIC DUTY
27 August 2007
I'm all about being a good citizen and all, but why did jury duty come up the one week Walt was going to be gone to Santa Barbara with Jeri, when I could enjoy having the house to myself again?
Besides, the lovely cool weather we have been experiencing this week was leaving and it would be in the "upper 90s" and I'd have to actually leave the house and go out into the sun, when I could sit here with my lovely fan blowing on me instead.
My call was for 1 p.m. on Monday, August 27. Ever hopeful, I called on Sunday evening and learned that I was still expected to show up and that I should call again at noon on Monday just to make double sure.
At noon, I checked and the notice had changed but, alas, there was no dismissal of the case. Instead, I had to come at 2:30 instead of 1:00. Wasn't sure what that meant, but 2:30 is such an awkward time--not enough time to get anything done before you go, except sit here and watch the clock. Worse, no time to get in my afternoon nap!
I left for court (about a 10-20 min drive) at 1:30, then worried that if I was one of the first there, I might be called first, which would mean I would almost certainly be chosen to be on the jury.
But I need not have worried. Parking was horrendous and by the time I got to the jury room, it was filled and I had to search for a seat.
(It always amazes me that when you enter a jury room it has the hushed feel of a church. Every one tiptoes and whispers.)
At the appointed time the court clerk came to sort us out into panels. One panel was to wait in the hall; our group was to wait in the room and she would give us an orientation to what was about to happen.
Her spiel had to be altered because there were "some things" (she didn't elaborate) which were unclear. But she talked with us about where to park, and where to get food and where to leave our larger valuables (like computers). She pointed out the vending machines and, ever mindful of food, I started thinking that maybe I would test out my not-quite-new but as-yet-unused Bento box and make myself a fancy lunch tomorrow.
People who had parked in 2-hour spots were nervous and the clerk kept telling them that she would "make a call" and let them know what to do, but it looked like we would be finished with the preliminaries by 4:30 anyway, so they were probably safe parked where they were.
I buried myself in my book (a new-old James Patterson that was the right size to fit into my purse) and was getting involved in the new story when I heard someone nearby starting to snore.
I jerked my head out of my book and realized, with great embarrassment, that the snorer had been me. I did what you do when you fart unintentionally. I tried to cover--gave a cough and pretended that the cough was part of what people had heard before, not a snore.
The hour got later and later and later.
Finally the door opened and a judge walked in, resplendent in his black robes.
"I'm Judge so-and-so," he said. "You're here because of me."
Then he rattled on about the case, how it was to be a 7 day case and how over the lunch time there had been motions filed, which took a long time to discuss, which was why we'd been sitting in the jury room for so long. The bottom line was that they have held the case over, which means that our job as potential jurors was now over for another year.
"So you can all go home--and it's my fault," he said, with a twinkle in his eye.
We gave him a round of applause.
As we filed out of the jury room, the mood was one of jovial camaraderie, as we people who had sat in stony silence next to each other for two hours now chatted amiably with each other as we scurried down the stairs, our relief palpable.
I sent a text message to Jeri, took a picture of myself in front of the courthouse for Flickr, and then, having suddenly developed a craving for Mexican food, stopped at Dos Coyotes to pick up a burrito for dinner (probably for two dinners, tonight and tomorrow, since they are huge).
I have fulfilled my civic duty. I completed my jury duty in a nice air conditioned room, had a brief, if embarrassing nap, and read 1/3 of a new book.
Life is good.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Happy at the Woodland Courthouse!
This is entry #2708