Thursday, April 30, 2009

The voices of my co-workers...

are driving me nuts today.


Nothing else much to report, except that I shall be a bit busy during the next three days: flute choir, a quartet rehearsal, show, party, show, family, show. In between that stuff I would like to eat, read, do some laundry, cuddle up with Patrick and/or a kitty or two, practice my part to "The Magic Flute In 5 Minutes," and other music I have to work on, and maybe vacuum the whole house. I'm not ambitious, I just miss my weekend days of lying around watching TV (marathons of shows like "Make Me A Supermodel" or catching the movie "Sneakers" on Encore! I can't believe that came out in 1992! Poor dead River Phoenix. I liked him so much).

In anticipation of the long commute to Culver City tonight, I went to Chipotle with a young co-worker of mine, Alex, and picked up a burrito bol for another co-worker, and a great big steak burrito for me. Hmmm. Now I'm sitting here, planning my next move vis-à-vis some filing I'm finally doing at work. I ran out of these things and with the budget what it is, it's not likely that I'll get more, unless I buy them myself.

The only other exciting thing going on is the fact that I bought a Snickers bar about 44 minutes ago and have been patiently waiting for it to be 3 o'clock so that I can eat it. I'm not sure about the signficiance of the time, I only know that I'm pacing myself.

3 minutes to go.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Got a call today from my doctor's office

Remember the second opinion my doctor decided my teeny tiny mole needed?

(The first opinion was "benign," and I was cool with that, of course, and everything was fine until he was all, "we sent it to another pathologist for a second opinion, however," and then I talked to my friend Bo who also had a thing removed only his was not benign but he appears to be all good and scar-free now, which he thought he wasn't [scar-free] but then again he doesn't even remember when this happened [!]; I made him show me his chest in the parking lot one night before the show, and how weird must that have looked, luckily Jessica and her friend pulled up after he, you know, lowered his shirt; anyway, I thought that if this guy, Mr. Healthy [he is so not Mr. Healthy], had a Bad One [mole], why should I be let off all scot-free, and does "scot-free" have a hyphen? Or is it scott free? I just hope I too am scar-free eventually, but I'm sure that's much too much to ask.)

Anyway. So I'm walking around the mall today and I get a call from a number I don't recognize. (Why does Kaiser call you from one number and then tell you to call back to the 800 number? Wouldn't it be much faster and more efficient to just give me a direct number already?) I didn't pick up. I mean, would you? So I listen to the message they left, and call them back, and 20 minutes later (heart pounding, "what if the first results were wrong, I mean, it is Kaiser" minutes), the nurse or whoever she was said, "Hey, your results were benign." And me, standing in the shoe section, looking at all the ugly shoes, I go, "Cool. Thank you," and then I hung up.

Cool as a fucking cucumber.

Right on.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Robert Downey Jr. is my God (not really)

(If you saw "The Soloist" this weekend then you know what I am talking about.)

Yesterday, Patrick took me to see "The Soloist." The title of today's post was going to be "No one changes anything by playing it safe," which is lifted straight from the movie's website: I had no idea this was the tag line for the movie. Totally ridiculous. I liked the movie and I loved Robert Downey, Jr.!

Flute choir members will remember that I often spoke disparagingly of Steve Lopez and his columns on Nathaniel Ayers in the early days of this story - I wasn't very familiar with his columns, and so I thought of Steve Lopez like one thinks of Andy Rooney: he was kind of annoying and always there.

Eventually I started reading him a little more closely, found him to be more entertaining and interesting (and less like Andy Rooney) than I originally thought, and went and re-read all the Nathaniel Ayers columns. Watching the movie made me want to work on writing more, and to play my own instrument, which I am so lucky to have and lucky to have opportunities to play and blessed to be able to play at all, let alone fairly well (when I practice).

To see how important it is to Mr. Ayers to practice though he lives on the street, the desire he has to be "good again" - that was powerful stuff for me, the laziest musician in the world. I'm going to try not to take it all for granted anymore.

(I will admit right off the bat that this is not a very well-written post. Nor have I pulled out my flute since seeing the movie yesterday. But I was inspired to do a couple of other things I've been putting off, and that's a step in the right direction.)

When the flute choir played its annual holiday concert at Lamp Village a couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to see, meet, and play with Mr. Ayers. Steve Lopez may have been in the audience as well, but since he doesn't look like Robert Downey, Jr., I didn't notice him.

These concerts were started when one of our members did some architectural work there, and somehow a connection was made. It's one of the nicest concerts we do - the audience is a lot of fun (I especially enjoy the sing-along portion. They don't all always sing out, but sometimes there's one or two people who really go for it). When we saw that Mr. Ayers had joined the audience, he was asked if he would like to play with us. He did. It wasn't what any of us expected. I think maybe he was messing with us a little. He left soon after he played, but we all saw him again as we were leaving, and we smiled and waved at him.

I heard the review of the movie on KPCC on Friday (I think the reviewers that day were Jean Oppenheimer and the very annoying Claudia Puig; or maybe it's Jean that's annoying... one of those ladies speaks slowly and calmly, the other one chatters and interrupts and drives me insane). I thought that their review was silly. They mostly commented on the "psychedelic" portion of the movie that is used to demonstrate what Mr. Ayers (or maybe it's Mr. Lopez; it doesn't have to be specific to Mr. Ayers) might be feeling or seeing in his mind while listening to music, and neither of them liked it. I thought it was abstract and effective. Maybe they see fields of clover, stands of cows and flowing streams when they listen to music. Who can say what another person feels when they listen to music and whether or not it's correct or believable? I thought it worked. It wasn't a Pink Floyd laser show (which I like as well but haven't seen since the early 90s!). They also commented on how playing a mentally ill person almost always guarantees the actor for an Academy Award nomination. I thought this was kind of silly for them to bring up, especially since they didn't seem that impressed with Jamie Foxx's performance; it also felt a little insulting to Mr. Ayers, who is a real person, obviously.

However, the reason I started writing this today was to talk about Robert Downey, Jr., not about the reviews.

Steve Lopez is portrayed as kind of a slob, with a strange penchant for goofy hats and pratfalls into lots of urine, kind of an unlikeable guy except that he is likable... I fell in love with Robert Downey, Jr. He has beautiful eyes! Watching him onscreen and liking him so much reminded me of how I feel watching shows at City Garage. I like those actors, too. Some of them I know very well, and some of them I know as well as I know Robert Downey, Jr. (i.e., not at all), but onstage (or onscreen) they all make me feel something. I like that. Feeling stuff is good. I didn't go to the theater on Sunday so that we could go to our nephew's First Holy Communion and join his family for church (afterwards we had lunch and celebrated our wedding anniversary by going to the movies); I'm glad I got to spend the day with my family and Patrick, but I did miss seeing the show. I'm attached to it now.

I think that's a good thing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A walk, a big lunch, a bus ride, another bus ride, and a great show

Today was jam-packed with excitement!

Earlier in the week, I'd made plans with my friend Andrea for lunch at our favorite place: Souplantation. This morning when I woke up, I decided to walk over there.

I researched my route carefully, using Google Maps and, and decided that my best best was... straight down Bellflower and up Candlewood, exactly the route I would take had I been driving. I need to pay better attention next time, because various sections of Bellflower are lacking in sidewalk (what's up with that, Long Beach/Lakewood?).

It is 3.1 miles from my house to the nearest Souplantation, and according to MapWalk, a person of my size should be able to walk that distance in 1 hour, 1 minute (why the one minute, I wonder?), burning 344 calories for his/her efforts.

I left about 15 minutes early so that I could hit the ATM that is luckily on the way, and set off, dressed like a 9 year old on the first day of school (sneakers, last year's J. Crew cargos, a t-shirt, a denim jacket and my awesome canvas backpack from Powell's bookstore). I forgot to pay close attention to the time, but I believe it took me 1 hour, 6 minutes to get there, which is fine, because I do walk a bit slower than most people (I had a slow Tom Petty song in my head for most of the way, but switched to Colonel Bogey's March when I thought I might not be on time to meet Andrea).

I was, however, on time - five minutes early, I think, and our lunch was fun and exciting and she even demonstrated a wrist wrestling move on me (but only after I told her that I struggle to open jelly jars, and made her promise not to break my arm).

Afterwards, it was my plan to take the bus home - I had to be at the theater tonight, and I was afraid the one hour, one minute walk home would wipe me out too much. Plus I wanted to have some time to hang out before I had to leave, and according to, if I planned it right, I could be home in 15 minutes. Also, I've never ridden the bus in Long Beach before, and thought it would be fun.

However, I did not plan it right. For one thing, I decided to go to Lens Crafters and check out a new pair of glasses. That took longer than I expected. Then, apparently the buses in Long Beach/Lakewood run on a once an hour schedule (!), so I had to wait for the bus I wanted (the 93, headed "Downtown").

I'm not exactly a habitual bus rider, unless I'm in another town (Portland had great buses, as does San Francisco!), but after finishing up at Lens Crafters, I stuck to my plan and went to sit on the bus stop. I had brought my iPod and a book and my cell phone but I didn't really do any of those things. I sat on the bus stop and waited.

And waited.
And waited.
And waited.

Two other buses passed in the time I was sitting there (both the same number, apparently going to the same place, and they arrived within seconds of each other). Nobody else joined me at the bus stop.

Finally a bus with the correct number arrived, and I, in my haste to get home and off that damn bus bench, hopped on. I should've paid more attention to the sign on the bus itself, but because I was sitting on what I thought was the right side of the street (and I was sitting on the right side of the street), I assumed that the bus I was on was heading in the right direction.

A few turns and a couple of blocks later, I realized that I wasn't going in the right direction. Instead of panicking, I eavesdropped on another man's conversation with the bus driver about the next stop, decided that it would work for me to get off there as well, and so, I did.

I crossed the street, found another bus stop, and called the local number to the LB Transit people. I verified that I was indeed waiting for the right bus, and then I asked the woman I was speaking to when the next bus was due to arrive.

This is when things got tricky.

She said, "Oh! That bus just passed three minutes ago! There won't be another one for an hour!"


What the hell kind of service is that? One freaking bus an hour? And by now it was quite late: I needed to be on the road for Santa Monica at the very latest by 6:15. It was now 5:45. I had no idea when the bus was coming or how long it would take to get to my stop, and I also had to walk a bit to my house from the stop...

She put me on hold so she could verify the exact location of the bus at that very moment, and I contemplated my options (oh, and while I was on hold, some crazy guy with a whole collection of ugly golden crosses approached me and asked if I wanted one. I shook my head no, and then he asked me if I pray. I didn't hear his question at first, and I said "I don't know." He got very angry at me at that point and was all, "What do you mean, you don't know!" Finally he went away):

1. Patrick had left from work to pick up his friend so they could go hear their other friend's band play. He was probably already in West LA. Not a chance he could help.

2. I could call a cab.

3. I could commandeer one of those Long Beach Dash vans that chauffeur old people.

Finally the woman came back on, and said that the bus I needed was 3 minutes late. She told me that he was at the major street directly to the north of me, and that he was headed in my direction. I thanked her, hung up the phone, and about 30 seconds later, up pulled the right bus.

Notes for next time: pay closer attention to the bus I'm boarding; bring a map; don't cut it so close.

Oh, and have a better answer on hand for crazy cross-wielding dudes.


I did make it on time to Santa Monica, even found a good parking spot, and got to see The Bourgeois Gentilhomme again. Great show! Closes in just a couple of weeks!

Yet another reason for you to come to Santa Monica

City Garage Theatre: now serving snacks. I'm in big trouble now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Multimedia message

Teaching my iPod a lesson...

I had to sit down and have a stern lecture with my iPod yesterday. And when I said "I had to do it," I mean, I had to do it. Left unchecked, if I just listened to the music it thought I should, I'd be in a mental institution today. And while that might provide for some good stories, it's not my idea of a good time.

Here's our conversation, below.

(Please note: I had synced my iPod moments prior to the time of our little talk, and he seemed a bit out of breath. I had forgotten that I had been listening to the two versions I own of the R.E.M. song "Radio Free Europe" on the way home [from Murmur and Eponymous. I like the more upbeat "original hib-tone recording" but other than a snappier tempo, both songs are identical, down to the tiny little drum solo Bill takes in what is probably the third to last measure of the whole song.]. Anyway, I hit "shuffle" after "Science Fiction/Elsie". And yes, my iPod is male. I have not named him. And the first person to email in and tell me what "hib-tone" means gets a mention in my next post. Thank you for playing.)

Me: Dude.

iPod: [Time display. Charging.]

Me: What's up with all the sad songs lately?

iPod: [Time display. Charging.]

Me: Is there something you're trying to tell me, with all the breakup songs?

iPod: [Time display. Charging.]

Me: [Presses play]

iPod: [Song playing: "Scenario," by A Tribe Called Quest]

Me: Look, man, just because I'm trying to make a point here, you can't disprove the past by playing something fun and upbeat now.

iPod: "And wow how now wow how now Brown cow
We're ill till the skill gets down"

Me: Yes, I wish Q-Tip had more to say in that song, too, iPod, but come on-

iPod: [Song playing: "School," by Nirvana]

Me: Wow, this song is a lot simpler than I remember - but lookit, iPod, now you're just getting defensive.

iPod: "You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again
You're in high school again"

Me: It is funny - all this time I thought he was saying "No resist," not "No recess." What the hell was I thinking? Was Kurt even a Star Trek fan? Boy, all these years I had that so wrong.

iPod: [Song playing: "Science Fiction," by Divinyls]

Me: You know, it really pissed me off that stupid iTunes tagged all these songs incorrectly. This isn't "Science Fiction" at all. I think it's "Elsie." The real "Science Fiction" is a terrific song. But look, quit trying to change the subject, you-

iPod: [Christina Amphlett is making strange noises in this song that almost sound like she's vomiting.]

Me: I don't know how I feel about that sound she's making, but boy the band sounds great right here. But come on, dude, I'm serious. Oh, damn, I just hit play, not shuffle. These songs are playing in alpha order, and that's not right. Left to your own devices I'm sure you'd be playing something like "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" or something. For the past week it's been practically nothing but "You Don't Love Me"-type songs. Just because I'm trying to talk to you about it, now you're all-

iPod: [Song playing: "Peanuts," by the Police]

Me: Hey, now you're kissing my ass because you know that's a Stewart Copeland song-

iPod: "Oh, no
Try to liberate me
I say, oh, no
Stay and irritate me
I said, oh, no
Try to elevate me
I said, oh, no
Just a fallen hero"

Me: I always love how Stewart's songs are so self-deprecating. The guy's anti-ego is super attractive to me. I wonder if in real life he was bumbling and awkward? A guy that cute and talented? I kind of doubt it. He married, what? Three times? I don't think that kind of humor works when girls do it. Whatever. Listen... what the hell were we talking about?

Oh, yeah. "Whispering Pines" is at least partly about Jesus...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sentencing, and, my iPod is trying to kill me

I found out this morning that on Friday, the defendant (is it necessary for me to continue to call him "the defendant"? We found the guy guilty of murder. Is it not appropriate to refer to him as "the murderer"? Or "the convicted murderer"?) in the case that I was a juror on received his sentencing:

52 years to life, not eligible for parole until 2060.

That's a really long time. I hope that while in prison he learns something about himself, but who knows.

I also found out that he had no family in the courtroom during the sentencing. Not surprising, and I'm not sorry for him, and maybe it's what he deserves, but still: that's sad. A couple of people from the victim's family were in the courtroom for the sentencing. I wonder how they felt? The murder was 8 years ago. How would I feel? Stunned, I guess.


Weekend recap:

On Friday, I drove down to Culver City and played flute quartets with Patty, Tim and Judy. I had a fun time, and it was a good opportunity to play my flute since the flute choir concert several weeks ago. Perhaps not fair to them to have waited that long, but it was fine. Afterwards, I tested out the GPS thing my dad has loaned me to get myself home. Traffic was bad at that time of day (I left Culver City at 4:30) so I got off the freeway at, I think, Crenshaw. GPS lady had me home... in an hour. About the same amount of time it would've taken on the 405, I think, but I did get to see how the cities of Carson and Long Beach merge way up there at Long Beach Boulevard.

Yes, I am trying to put a positive spin on this story.

When I got home at 5:30, Patrick informed me that he wanted to go to the movies. I didn't have to be at the theater Friday, so we were FREE. He wanted to see "Anvil! The Story of Anvil." I'd heard a few positive reviews, so I was up for it. I'm glad we went - what a great movie! Part Spinal Tap, part "Pride and Prejudice" (not really, though I suppose if I took the time to examine both stories I would find similarities!), it was a very sweet movie. Steve "Lips" Kudlow is my new hero.

On Saturday, we took Patrick's mom to Catalina for a wedding (her great-niece, I guess?). We haven't been back since our trip with Chris and Monica early last year, and it was a beautiful day to go to Catalina. Adeline enjoyed seeing her sister and family, and we got a nice day out. We didn't stay overnight, so it was a tiny bit rushed toward the end, but don't worry - though we thought we might not get dinner, we did indeed eat well. And the open bar was nice, too (note to self: gin & tonic good; gin & tonic followed by vodka tonic? bad).

Sunday we drove back down to Culver City for lunch with my parents, who haven't seen us in weeks and were probably wondering if we were alive. We were. Then off to the theater for a performance of "The School For Wives," a quiet ride home with Bo, and to bed. Sunday was the hottest day of the year so far, and so I had a hard time sleeping. I came this close to getting up and going into the living room to watch TV, but I decided to stay in bed and toss and turn instead. I'm sure Patrick was pleased with that decision.

In other news I am trying to not allow my iPod to be my life's soundtrack. I think it might be trying to kill me. All by itself, it has decided to play only songs about disappointment and thwarted love, and you know what? Dear friends, these topics do not apply. Or, I won't let them. I'll be making an adjustment or setting up some new happy playlists soon. (I'm pretty sure no one is breaking up with me. Or if so, I'm not aware of it). Stay tuned.

Examples (heard today while at lunch, in opposite order for no reason):

I need some more music. Or a better theme. Definitely a better theme. On Friday night after the movie, Patrick had me listening to Corrosion of Conformity, and was surprised to find that I liked it (it must've been the influence of "Anvil"). I have some of their music to upload to my iPod, and I think that's just what the doctor ordered: some nice hardcore metal. Or I could start with their early albums and go all out punk/thrash...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank you!

Hey, so I'm not sure if it's because of Facebook or the quality of my writing (just kidding) or what, but my goofy little blog appears to have attracted way more readers during the first three months of 2009 than ever before.

Not that I'm keeping track or anything.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I know I sometimes use way too many words to tell a story about my upset stomach or whatever, and that your time on the Internet is valuable (all those people searching for "Keshia Knight Pulliam" on Yahoo! attest to that), so I really appreciate you for stopping by. Keep visiting and I'll try to keep it interesting.


Tonight we went to the movies and saw "Anvil! The Story of Anvil." We loved it. What a fun, funny, touching movie about a couple of guys who never gave up. Steve "Lips" Kudlow seems like the sweetest man in metal. We were both touched. And now I gotta get to bed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holy mole-y

So obviously the whole world has been waiting with bated breath for the results of my recent teeny tiny shave biopsy of a teeny tiny mole. You can all exhale, because I heard from the doctor's office today. I actually got an email from the doctor, and a phone call from the nurse. Kaiser is so punctual with the email system they have now: I really like it. And the nurse was just as nice on the phone as she was for my "procedure." What's that? I should get to the point?

Here's what the doctor said:

RE: Shave biopsy performed on 4/10/09

To: Irene
From: Dr. Rossi
Received: 4/15/09 1:53 PM


The biopsy was negative, my nurse may call you. The pathologist sent it to an outside pathologist for a second opinion, however.

I'm not sure how I feel about him ending a sentence with, however, however. I'm blaming the socks for the sketchy grammar. Or maybe he was wearing a Jerry Garcia tie. But: a second opinion? Surely that's just standard operating procedure, no cause for alarm. Instead I will imagine my little mole riding around town, seeing the sights, meeting new people... I'm kind of amazed that there was even enough (what? specimen?) stuff for a second (dissection?) viewing. It was that tiny. I was looking at an old profile photo (the picture was probably taken in 2006, when I was thinner and cuter and had longer hair), and the now-missing mole was barely visible. I never realized before just how cute it was. I'll have to grow another one, I guess.

Anyway. In other news, my cousins have once again invited us to their beautiful home for the annual family reunion in Aptos (near Santa Cruz), and I'm really excited, because it means a trip to San Jose and Falafel Drive-In. I'm not sure how I'll be feeling in August, but right now the thought of having a banana milkshake in less than 4 months makes me very happy, indeed. I need something to look forward to!

Finally: I've been talking with a friend about something that's been very much on my mind but absent from the many other personal topics I discuss on this blog. It's kind of a crazy fantasy, to tell you the truth, but I'm a bit stuck, right now, because that's all it is: fantasy. Never gonna happen. Thinking about it and the finality of it is totally bringing me down, perhaps noticeably. And this friend (wise, mysterious, nameless, sexless friend!) told me that the way through this blockage is that I have to figure out what I want to happen next and start fantasizing about that. So. I have been trying to figure out what I want to happen next, and the truth is, figuring this out isn't making me any happier (because reality is fierce and I am a bunny rabbit). I feel a bit like I'm having a temporary lapse of insanity. I feel a bit like I am finally possibly getting to the point where I can let this stupid fantasy go and get a grip. And that, my friends, kind of sucks.

On the other hand, not worrying/annoying Patrick and moving on to something positive, well, that would be a good thing. I'm going to look forward to that.

Yes. Cryptic today = me. Next year I will read this and hopefully wonder what the hell I was talking about.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Short fuse

Tonight, I was telling the following story to Patrick. When I got to the "punch line" he made the comment, though he was laughing, "You have a very short fuse today."

Today I went to lunch with a group of ladies I don't normally lunch with.

While eating their frozen yogurt, one of them decided to tell a story about her niece who works at a yogurt shop. She started with, "My niece works at a yogurt shop!" And then she had to stop, because she couldn't remember the name. She took about 20 minutes trying to remember the name of the yogurt shop. She finally gave up. There was no follow up statement.

I'm telling Patrick this story, right? (Oh, and we were on our way to WalMart, so you know I was already pissed off.) And my punchline was, "Thank you for telling me such a fascinating story, lady!"

I'm grumpy. It makes me snotty. And I'm not talking about sinuses.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

About the new banner

It may disappear at any given moment.

It may be assigned to Patrick for making better (this is my first draft; he's an expert, I am a dilettante in this as well as many other things).

I am aware that it takes a long time to load the page, and I apologize (especially to you guys).


Updated at 5:34 Monday morning:

Here's Patrick's first draft. It's definitely getting closer to what I want.


Updated at 5:50 Tuesday morning:

Here you go!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mole removal requires a bandage

(Photo taken in the Mobil drive-thru car wash, which explains why it looks like it's snowing outside.)

How is it that whenever I take a self-portrait I always manage to get a view of the inside of my nose?

Friday, April 10, 2009


So. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that one of my mole friends had changed on me.

It really wasn't surprising; this happens to me often with friends. How does that old Pioneer Girls song go? ...Some are silver and the others gold?

Anyway, the change I noticed: this mole, on the visible plane of my chest, rather small (the mole), appeared to have scabbed over or fallen off and then scabbed over. One day in the shower I noticed it wasn't there anymore. Well. It was there, it just wasn't recognizable for it's old mole-y self.

I noted it, forgot about it, and went about my business.

Then, during jury duty, bratty-but-somehow-sweet-at-the-same-time Juror No. 5 was talking to her crush, B1, also known as Juror No. 2 (sailboat man) about his skin. Admittedly, Juror No. 2 was white. Guy looked like he was pretty familiar with the ins and outs of sunscreen application. But then Juror No. 5 (who is probably in her mid 20s) revealed that she's had several instances of skin cancer, and because of this, has had multiple moles removed. Before she got a little long-winded and I tuned her out to talk to Juror No. 1 to discuss headjoints and stringed instruments (I am sort of familiar with one of these subjects), I asked her what was it about her moles that prompted her to see the doctor. She said, "They would change. And I don't mess around with moles." She didn't look at mine or anything but she said if I thought it was weird looking, I should get it looked at.

Anyway, her advice was sound. And slightly ominous. I promised her (she made me do it) that I would get my weird mole checked out, and because I don't break promises made to practical strangers, I did, today, at Kaiser.

I saw Dr. Rossi this morning. Dr. Rossi's assistant, Nurse Perez, was very sweet and took good care of me before Dr. Rossi entered the examination room. Dr. Rossi had some killer, M.C. Escher-inspired socks on. Before he came in, I was reading a 4-year old copy of Smithsonian magazine article about the painted dogs of Africa. Pretty cool, those dogs. I thought, Oh, he'll look at it, tell me it's fine, and send me on my way. Right? Wrong.

Dr. Rossi looked at it, told me it was fine, and then goes, "So. Why don't we just get rid of it?"

I said, "What?"

He said, "Sure, we'll do what's called a shave biopsy, and you'll be out of here in 10 minutes."

I said, "Will it hurt?"

He said, "We'll give you a little local anesthetic."

(I thought, "Will that hurt?")

I said, "Will it be gone forever?"

He said (probably wondering why I asked that question, but I actually like my moles. When they behave), "Yes."

I said, "Will there be a permanent scar?"

He said, "Well, no, probably not."

I said, "Okay, man, let's do it!"

(So I probably didn't call him "man." But those were some cool socks.)

Dr. Rossi had me sign a paper (and made what I think was a joke: he told me to "go ahead and ignore the sentence in there about death and dying"), left the room to catch up on another patient, and Nurse Perez came in and escorted me to the "little surgery room." Now, I'm thinking, is it little because of the smallness of the surgery, or because of the size of the room...? But I went with her anyway, clutching my death and dying paperwork and old Smithsonian magazine.

Once in there I kept my clothes on, put on a gown to protect my green cotton sweater (?), sat down, and continued reading about the wild African dogs. Nurse Perez set up a tray for the doctor, and then she left me in there for awhile until Dr. Rossi came back. He covered my sweater up even further (they were very careful of this old J. Crew sweater, which I never wear because it's a particularly bright shade of green) with a towel or something, and Nurse Perez attached some kind of very cold patch to my belly area (she told me it was the ground for the machine they used to cauterize the wound afterwards but it's all very unclear to me, because I stopped looking at anything lower than the ceiling at some point; probably the point when I saw the big ol' needle in Dr. Rossi's hand).

He shot me up full of anesthetic (well, in that one area), did his thing with the shaving of the mole, plopped it in a little jar full of some kind of liquid (I'm pretty sure it wasn't embalming fluid) and set it aside. Then after he let me bleed for awhile while Nurse Perez fumbled to turn on the cauterizing machine (I have no idea what this machine is really called and if what it does is actually cauterizing, but it sounds good, no?), he zapped me with the little pen-like thing. This part hurt the most. I felt like I had been shocked, which, when you think about it, I suppose I had. Nurse Perez made a lame joke about smelling burnt meat, but I actually didn't smell anything, maybe because the ouch of the procedure had dulled my ability to smell. Then she told me that they also use that machine after childbirth, which, woah, talk about ouch!

After Dr. Rossi left, Nurse Perez showed me my mole in the jar. He had told me that it was a small mole, about 3 mm. And it was, small. But seeing a small but significant chunk of my own personal skin floating around in a jar? Weirdness.

He was right, though, because I never felt him cutting it out. Or off.

In three or four days I will receive a letter or telephone call about the mole itself. Dr. Rossi is pretty sure it's benign, and I am too. Still. Better to know than to wonder, right?

Afterwards, I went out to my car, and found that the asshat who'd parked their giant SUV next to me (tail in, and I hate it when people park like that) had hit my car's front fender, causing my door to groan every time I opened it, I was pissed for a second. No note, no nothing. But then I remembered the Ford dealership where my insurance sent me four years ago when someone at work hit my car (someone responsible, who left a note and insurance information) and I had a good experience, so after calling Patrick, who didn't know about the biopsy or the car until that very moment, and who, frankly, was more concerned about the car (he said, when I told him it would take them three days before I'd hear anything about it, "you mean, so it can hatch?"), I went over there. I couldn't remember the name but I did remember where they're located.

I asked for an estimate, and the guy who wrote it up was super nice. The estimate was for $1100 dollars. Then he goes, you know what? Let's go look at it again. We did, he took it to the back where they did something to it in five minutes, told me there was no charge, and sent me on my way.

Pacific Ford, on Cherry, in Long Beach. Go there. They will treat you right.

Now I have a medium-sized bandage on my medium-sized chest, and I feel fine. Weird-ish, but really, that's pretty normal, if you think about it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

That machine tricked me - !

Yesterday, a co-worker, who has more reason to wander the buildings where we work than I do, showed me where a Coke machine is located. I was pretty excited about her discovery.

In our building, on our floor, we have a snack machine (stocked with cookies, candy bars, chips, baked chips, candy and other items starting with "C," and, oddly, frosted strawberry PopTarts*) and a Pepsi machine, but seriously, what kind of freaks drink Pepsi? My co-workers, I suppose. Well, just proof that there's no accounting for taste. The Pepsis dispensed from that machine are in bottles, and while I might consider drinking a Diet Pepsi now and again out of sheer desperation, everybody knows I don't drink any soda out of bottles (unless they're glass bottles and shaplier than I am). Disgusting! I prefer that tasty nickel-plated aluminum flavor. But I digress.

So. Knowing my fondness for Coke products, yesterday this co-worker took me for a walk halfway around the world for a can of Coke (irony of ironies: I didn't buy one, and merely watched her transact with the machine). Truthfully, "halfway around the world" is a gross overstatement: it wasn't that far. Wouldn't you walk 0.29 miles for a frosty cold Diet Coke? And, thanks to, I found that I can actually burn 28 calories on the round trip trek. But again: I digress.

Today, when it was getting near to lunch time, I gathered up the three quarters I had tipped out of the Martinelli's bottle at home, considered changing my shoes (but didn't), told my other co-worker where I was going, and bopped (I did, I bopped! I had "Walking On Sunshine" in my head and everything!) over to the other building, where the Cokes are.

("The other building," by the way, is used by mechanics and that type of worker. There are broken down vehicles on lifts and air hoses and things. And looky-loo mechanics. Next time I will change my shoes. And wear a jacket.)

I got over there, and I'm pretty sure I had a recognizable expression of glee on my face. Diet Coke, o Diet Coke, soon you will be mine... and then I noticed the red light on the machine. No, the machine wasn't broken: it had plenty of Coke products inside. It just didn't want my 3rd quarter. It wanted a nickel and a dime. A nickel and a dime I didn't have. I tried to talk it into just taking the extra quarter and keeping the dime it would owe me in change, but there was no reasoning with this stupid machine. Rather than make a profit, it chose to withhold it's goods. A very unsound business decision if you ask me, but there was no arguing allowed.

A man, standing at the snack machine to the left of the Coke machine (buying frosted strawberry PopTarts, no doubt), walked away just as I thought about asking him for change, but asking an old, possibly pre-diabetic dude for change for a quarter seemed extreme all of a sudden. Did I really need this?

The answer was "no." I put my change back in my pocket, eyeballed right back at the mechanics eyeballing me, and walked away with my head held high. Until tomorrow, you dastardly machine! Diet Coke? You will be mine.

*I used to love PopTarts. Strawberry PopTarts were the only acceptable breakfast when I was a teenager, living at home (unless my dad or my brother Andy was making chorizo and hash browns. My dad makes the best hash browns, ever). Then I grew up and moved away, and started shopping for myself and my husband (possession of husband not proof of being "grown up"). Patrick mocked my choice of breakfast ("PopTarts are good even cold!" I argued, but still, he continued to make fun of me. That sweet man does have a mischievous streak-!), so I started buying bananas, Special K bars, cereal, etc. I moved on. Then one day I was in the market, and I was all, fuck it! If I want PopTarts, then for pity's sake (I never say "for pity's sake" in real life but I like the way it feels in my head when I say it while I'm writing something) I'm getting PopTarts! Except now? Apparently all PopTarts are frosted. And that frosting is totally disgusting and inedible.

Way to ruin a totally cool thing, Kellogg's.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What are words for?


Did you notice that I posted three separate items yesterday?

Three (well, at least 2) separate, rather long, tedious and um, long, items?

Today I am not going to do that. And I apologize for hitting you with the jury duty novel in process. No end was in sight so I just stopped writing after awhile. I know you, my loyal readers, were expecting a pithy or at least whimsical wrap-up, which I neglected to provide. When I come up with one I'll let you know.

Though, there was one thing I forgot to mention:

In the courtroom, during the first day or two of hearing witness testimony, I was curious about the defendant. I may have looked in his general direction once or twice, and I may have caught his eye on those occasions. Never, in my whole entire life have I actually been happy to be crosseyed. ("Are you looking at me, or...?")

Anyway, instead of telling you more boring stories, allow me to present you with the following full-strength Coca Cola induced statement that popped into my brain a few moments ago. From my brain to your eyes to your brain:

"Scanning other peoples' shoddily completed work on a slow-ass, noisy all-in-one printer straight out of 2004 for three hours sucks."

See ya.

P.S. Today's title refers to the Missing Persons song "Words." Patrick and I watched some bits and pieces of the "US Festival" last night, and I particularly enjoyed their performance. Dale Bozzio's outfit was spectacular (she made me want to go to the gym. And stop eating. And dye my hair blue), and Terry managed to look like he could swallow the drums whole (he looked like he needed a meal or two). I was very impressed. I also enjoyed seeing the Divinyls again. I sense some downloading in my future.

I am in big trouble.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Traffic sucks

As if you needed proof.

Some stuff about jury duty

So, I know I said I wasn't sure what I would say about the case I was assigned to while on jury duty for the past seven days, or when or how many details, and I still don't know if it's interesting or if I can make it interesting, but follows are some emails I sent during the whole thing. No, not from the courtroom or the jury room, and yes, I obeyed the judges admonition to not discuss the trial!

At the end, a (short?) synopsis of what I've been actually saying to people (surprise, surprise: I do actually speak to some people. Yes, I have functioning vocal chords!), as well as some reflection about the experience itself.

From: Irene
To: Renee
Date: Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 1:24 PM
Subject: Mystery!

Hi, Renee! How are you? I am a total dork... I'm on jury duty with someone from [a department I worked at in 2006, where Renee still works] and I can't remember his name and I'm too embarrassed to ask. I should know this! Hope you have a good day!

From: Renee
To: Irene
Date: Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 1:34 PM
Subject: RE: Mystery!

We didn't have too many men, so this should be easy. I'm thinking it's either R. or E. So has there just been awkward glances between the two of you (ha, ha)?

From: Irene
To: Renee
Date: Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 5:33 PM
Subject: RE: Mystery!

Hi, Renee! Thank you!! I was going crazy. I thought it was R. but I didn't want to make a mistake. He recognized me, and then I put 2 and 2 together... took me a while, but I'm so bad with names. We even had lunch at Subway together today and I'm all, what is this guy's NAME?? Anyway, thank YOU! Hope you're having a good day!

From: Renee
To: Irene
Date: Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 8:28 AM
Subject: RE: Mystery!

That is so funny Irene! I can't believe you survived an entire lunch without knowing his name. I don't think I would've been able to focus on the conversation.

Take care Irene and have a good weekend!


From: Irene
To: Sarah
Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 9:03 PM
Subject: Jury duty is over!

Howdy! So my jury duty is finally done! What an experience. Interesting frustrating enlightening... And over. When we left last night I was really worried that we wouldn't be able to agree [on a verdict]. We were debating [which specific charge to go with]. One of the jurors was unconvinced; another was pretty sure she wouldn't change her mind. All of the back and forth discussion was upsetting to me, though I respected everyone. It was just hard! Anyway. How was your week? Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Well better go. I'm at the theater and I have a cue coming up...

Sent from Gmail for mobile

{Message from Sarah with stuff that's personal to her and not for mass consumption.}

From: Irene
To: Sarah
Date: Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 11:15 AM
Subject: RE: Jury duty is over!

Hey, there,


[REDACTED] We found out later that it was [REDACTED] but they couldn't tell us that in court. We saw all kinds of grisly things: autopsy photos, morgue reports, heard testimony from the girlfriend of the dead guy [REDACTED]. She was terrified of the defendant and cried a lot on the stand. One of the other jurors saw her say (mouth) to someone, when we were leaving the room "He's staring at me!" meaning, the defendant. It was interesting and disturbing. There was also a lot of drug use among all the people around him, and the defendant was known to do meth and heroin. After the murder, [REDACTED].

We found him guilty of [REDACTED]. His sentencing is in two weeks, and thank God I'm not a part of that. I think the judge finds the sentence? Or maybe another jury? We also found out later that while he was mostly calm in the courtroom while we were there, when we were gone, he was very violent and spoke out a lot and cussed the judge. During the whole trial they had at least 3 armed cops in the courtroom, and during the sentencing, there were at least 7. It was kinda scary. [REDACTED]


So I guess I'm not hiding the fact that this was a murder trial. I don't know why I couldn't have been put on a nice little welfare fraud case or something! Here are the major points that I seem to make each time I talk to people about this:

The lawyers

The Deputy DA whose case this was, was fantastic. He was organized, calm, acted interested in the witnesses, and was very polite. Afterwards, we met with him in the hallway and he answered a lot of questions. He was great.

The defense attorney was a whole different story. Now, we found out later that he didn't have much to work with. This was evident during the trial, but at first we thought it was because he was kind of incompetent. He had a hard time forming questions. He was a bit patronizing toward us, and toward the witnesses. He wore bad suits. He had a very pasty complexion. He made a joke, at the beginning of the trial, about all the women on the jury being in love with him (!). He made another highly inappropriate comment that I won't share here.

The defendant

He seemed calm while we were in the courtroom; we found out later that this was an act. He was violent, verbally abusive toward the judge and others in the courtroom. He required about 7 armed guards when the verdict was read but he didn't (thankfully) do anything while we were in the room. We found out later that after we left, he cussed out the judge, his lawyer, and various other people; the judge wouldn't allow him in the courtroom after that. A very bad guy all around. I'm sorry that a life was taken by this guy. I feel that he got what he deserved. I hope I never, ever meet anyone like him.

The trial

The trial itself was fascinating. Seeing the way the lawyers worked and how the DA put together the case was totally interesting. Also, the DA had a very cool overhead projector that didn't need transparencies. However, it wasn't his presentation or his presentation devices that convinced us - we were impressed by the evidence and the witnesses. I guess, like everyone else, I have a little bit of the voyeur in me (haven't I mentioned that I like to snoop?), because it was totally interesting to see photos of someone else's home, of people I don't know, to hear them tell their stories under oath (though some of them quite clearly did not wish to be there) and to see what they were like. The judge was calm, fair, and described to us lots of complex legal stuff in a mostly easy-to-understand manner. He stopped a few witnesses and asked them to slow down or allow the lawyer to finish his question before answering, and he did this out of concern for his court reporter, who he was extremely solicitous of. The court reporter's job seems really interesting, and I was totally curious about how she gets every bit of every word spoken in that courtroom down. When we started deliberating, one of the first things we did was to request a "read-back" of testimony from a man we all considered to be the most important witness. We requested it at 4 p.m. one afternoon, and by the time we were assembled the next day in the courtroom, it was ready for us. She took the witness stand and read it to us, complete with the "ums" and "uhs" and it was just as interesting the second time around. It took about an hour to hear all of it.

The jurors

Deliberations allowed me to really get to know those 11 other people. During the trial itself, I mostly at lunch by myself (at Chipotle or Subway), I think some of them got together but I didn't, except for my lunch with R. In the courtroom, I was seated, obviously, between Jurors No. 8 and 10. No. 8 was a lady I sat next to in the gallery while we were waiting for our numbers to be called: we thought it was a little funny we were both chosen! Here's what I remember about the 11 other jurors:

Juror No. 1: T1, male, probably around 50. I forget what T1 does for a living, but he's a professional bass player, married to a flutist. We talked flutes quite a bit. He knew more about his wife's flute than Patrick knows about mine! We sat next to each other in the jury room, and talked quite a bit during breaks. He was reading a John Jakes novel (not during anything trial-related). Fun guy, showed me photos of the group he plays with and invited me to contact him about concert information. I liked him a lot.

Juror No. 2: B1, also male, probably in his 60s. A retired schoolteacher, B1 taught chemistry and math. He was very smart, and cautious about stating a firm opinion until the very end (as we all did, but he was extra cautious). He also is sailboat enthusiast. A good-looking 60-something! Yes, I guess I like those older men. White hair and a very youthful personality, wore a baseball cap every day (which he removed in the courtroom and the jury room). Juror No. 5 seemed to bond with him. He was our go-to guy for information about guns and technical things.

Juror No. 3: B2, an older lady, probably in her 60s. She dresses like my mom: favors pastel colors, all denim outfits, with embroidered details, and carries a quilted purse. B2's a Speech therapist, and works with children. She took many, many notes during the trial (we all did), and stated, when deliberations started, that she "listens by writing." She could stand to just listen a bit more. Juror No. 5, during deliberations, frequently asked her (and one highly memorable time, told her quite forcefully) to be quiet. Teller of long-winded, silly jokes.

Juror No. 4: E1, another lady. Probably in her early 50s. She has terrific hair: sort of Liz Taylor meets Liza Minelli. Black, shot through with gray, coiffed very purposefully in a very vertical style. She was very sweet, a great listener, and shared a few surprising personal things from her own family that paralleled some of the things we heard during the trial. Sympathetic and fair.

Juror No. 5: E2, a young woman. Probably not 30 yet. Thin, pretty, curly hair. Very opinionated but at the same time, unfamiliar with many things we discussed, both related to and unrelated to the task at hand (example: she didn't know who Joey Bishop was or about Monty Python). It was hard to take her seriously sometimes. Worked in some kind of investment business. Originally from Orange County. She noticed B1's sweater had microscopic sailboats on it during the first day of deliberation and may have scored an invitation to go for a sail with him and his wife. She stated several times that she had zero experience with guns, drugs or the life the people involved in this case appeared to lead. Most of us didn't either; these comments from her irritated me. She was obviously sheltered. But! Fun to talk to about other things.

Juror No. 6: B3. Our foreperson. She's an engineer, blond, probably in her early 40s. B3 told me several times that she thought I was a lot younger than I am! I surprised her by knowing about, among other things, Joey Bishop and Monty Python. She was a great foreperson until the last day of deliberations, when she introduced a topic none of us had questioned (for good reason: it was about something a guy we all agreed was a liar had written in a statement, about something he said the guy said to him. It was never brought up in court, and she totally opened a can of worms we didn't need. Totally not an issue for any of us but she wanted to talk about it for an hour). This bugged the hell out of me.

Juror No. 7: K, mother of 5. Very deliberate when she spoke, took great notes. I sat next to her and T1 in the jury room, and could tell that she's a very kind, very thoughtful person. She always let others speak, she never interrupted (like E1) she always acknowledged what you had said, and she didn't act like she knew everything (like E2). Also shared some interesting personal stuff with us.

Juror No. 8: J1, hip lady! J1 is probably in her 60s, too. She had a totally interesting voice, and I later found out that she's originally from that town in New York where the shooting happened on Friday. I liked sitting next to her in the jury box: even though we didn't talk at all while in the courtroom, she had a calming presence. She invited me to lunch with her and the other ladies during the last few days, and I actually accepted. If you know me at all, you know that I rarely eat lunch with people, and never with people I hardly know. She didn't know (or acted like she didn't know) what NPR is, and I thought that was funny, but she was really nice.

Juror No. 9: Yours truly.

Juror No. 10: T2. T2 was probably somewhere between 40 and 45, a blond woman, very professional. Very interested in details and in discussing details. Also timelines: she was very interested in timelines. Because the event we were concerned with happened over 8 years ago, and these people were vague, at best, with respect to the exact time something happened, this fascination with timelines was pretty much a dead end. Tended to get sidetracked by speculation. She did inspire my one great comment during deliberation: she was trying to backtrack to what the guy was thinking by examining his known behavior after the event. I have to admit I got frustrated with this line of discussion, and I said: "We have to consider the event as three separate moments in time: before, during, and after. Time only flows in one direction." It didn't shut her up, which was fine, but she acknowledged that we were never going to be able to extrapolate from any actions other than those we knew about (I think I also used the word "extrapolate" during this discussion) and eventually she gave up trying to work it out that way. She and I had a lot of interesting back and forth in the jury room, and she was fun to talk to during breaks, too.

Juror No. 11: J2. Birdlike older woman, with short, fluffy white hair. Probably in her 60s or 70s. Retired teacher. Could be sharp with comments. Was the one to ask if E2 knew who Joey Bishop was, then threw it to me when E2 didn't know. Funny: after our verdict was prepared and we were waiting for the bailiff, she told us one very funny, slightly inappropriate joke that had us all practically on the floor. Of course I can't remember it now.

Juror No. 12: R1. Very quiet, late 30s or early 40s, male. Never joined us for lunch. Finally heard his voice in the jury room. Tentative, questioning, seemed intimidated by the process. Me, too, buddy. On Thursday, we took an informal vote to see where we all stood, and he was the one dissenter. Scared the hell out of me, because it was the end of the day and I was afraid that overnight we would all change our minds. The next day, after B3's long discussion about the issue no one cared about, he asked us if anyone had changed their mind. No one answered. Finally, I asked him, "Have you changed your mind?" Because really, if we had changed our minds, we were all screwed. No one wanted a hung jury. We wanted to agree. On Friday morning all of us looked like we hadn't slept. I personally took it hard Thursday night, and was anxious about coming to a conclusion.

Alternate Juror No. 1: V. V was probably in her late 40s. I'll be honest: my first impression of her was "Librarian." Or possibly, "Lesbian." Turned out I was totally wrong. I have no idea what she does for a living, though we did exchange cards (we all did). She told me she was a big athlete until she injured her knee (softball, volleyball).

Alternate Juror No. 2: R2. This is the guy I used to work with.


During deliberations, the alternate jurors had to report to the 6th floor juror holding tank, I mean, room. They missed out on all the fun. Deliberations started Wednesday morning. We talked about everything for two whole days, and only at the very end of the day on Thursday did we start to talk about what we might be thinking about the charges. It was interesting that everyone had such great notes. The judge told us at the beginning of the trial that taking notes was fine, but to make sure you didn't miss something - eye contact, or other physical observations - while we were taking notes. Besides taking down the things that were important to me, I also made notations about demeanor, the defendant's actions, the people in the gallery, and questions I wanted to ask later. We got to take our notebooks home with us at the end of the trial, but they were to remain in the courtroom the rest of the time.

All things must pass

On February 28, 2009, our friend Reva died. She was a volunteer at the Culver City Library, where Patrick worked for many years. She also worked there when I worked there as a teenager in high school. At the memorial for her that we attended yesterday, someone said she had volunteered at that library for three decades. I had no idea she had been there that long.

She was 88 years old when she passed away. The last time I saw her was in October, when we had lunch with a bunch of Patrick's old co-workers for Reva's birthday. Her health took a pretty major downturn after that, and while Patrick talked to her on the telephone, we didn't make it out to visit her. I'm pretty sure she understands.

I still wish we had gone.

Reva was a great lady. I had no idea she was 88, though she did have many health problems and had had them the whole time I knew her. Somehow she seemed kind of ageless, though she was on oxygen, used a walker, and later, a wheelchair. She had a full-time caretaker. But she lived in her own condo, and as far as I could tell, was bright and lively as always. Patrick was her own special computer guru; he built her machine and he taught her all about her computer. She would call him up or he would go to her house, and the two of them had a special appreciation for each other. When her family at the memorial found out who he was, they all said, "Ah! This is the Patrick!"

I just did a google search for her name, and found a question she had posted on a gardening newsgroup about geraniums, another question she posted elsewhere about powdered milk, and yet another question about needlepoint. How many 88 year olds do you know using newsgroups? And she started way back in the 90s when this stuff was new to most of us. She and I both loved to read, and when Patrick would go to her condo to work on her computer, a couple of times I accompanied him and oohed and aahed over her collection of books. She gave me many suggestions and recommendations (most notably, the Jasper Fford "Tuesday Next" novels, which are a lot of fun).

She touched a lot of lives, and though we were not as close with her as most of the people I met yesterday, I feel very lucky to have known her.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Isn't it a pity

(Title of today's post refers to a George Harrison song. Back to the Beatles theme? Maybe. I'm using it because of this part:

Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn't it a pity)

My trial was wrapped up today, and I am so glad. It was rough, jury duty, and I'm pretty sure I could write all about it now if I wanted to (the judge said something about us waiting 90 days to write our books), or maybe I can't, I don't really remember. It doesn't matter, because I'm not going to write about it, not here, anyway. Nothing case-specific, for sure.

I will say that the jurors went through a lot, we were all pretty much stressed out, and I wasn't the only one who was a mess last night. Patrick took me out for hot fudge sundaes and french fries last night, and eating all that crap and getting out of the house, well, in a funny way it helped, a lot. We had to make a hard decision, but we did, and it's over, and on April 17 the guy will be sentenced, and I'm very much glad that I will have no part in that portion of this experience.

It's over. I'm sleeping in tomorrow and maybe sneaking off for a massage or facial or something as a reward. I deserve it, no?

Tonight I'm off to the theater for The Bourgeois Gentilhomme at City Garage, and I hope to see you there, either on Fridays for this show, or Saturday or Sunday for The School For Wives.

See you later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In limbo

This is my sixth day of jury duty (not in a row: we were off Tuesday, so I went to work). I go back tomorrow, hopefully the last day.

You may have noticed I haven't generated a lot of content this week.

Or maybe you haven't noticed.

Anyway, either way: I haven't generated a lot of content this week. To tell the truth, I'm tired. Jury duty is tiring. Sitting there is tiring. Looking at what we've been given to look at is tiring. Listening is tiring. Participating in discussions is tiring. No, it's not coal mining or getting shot at or deep-sea diving or brain surgery; I'm just a bit worn out. It's nothing a nice long nap and/or soak in the tub and/or nice cold beer won't cure. But the end result is: I'm tired.

The other thing on my mind is something that happened on Sunday night. I think I might've made a big mistake. Or, it's possible it wasn't a mistake at all: I said something either I needed to say, damn the consequences, or I said something I never should've said and the consequences are damning me. I just haven't heard anything, either way, so right now I'm kind of in limbo. That silence is punishment enough.

It's not related to my trial, and I could talk about it if I wanted to, but. I don't want to. So, hello, limbo.

Does any of that make sense? I didn't think so.