I did the most patriotic thing a civilian can do

According to the video they showed at the beginning of jury duty selection on Friday, serving on a jury is the most patriotic thing a civilian can do. I guess it must rank right above voting, wearing a flag lapel pin, and watching FOX News.

Since I didn’t get chosen for the jury, I guess that makes me a somewhat patriotic person who was chosen last for the PE volleyball game. Or something like that.

Here’s my other thoughts on my two-day service:

1. Reporting for jury selection was surprisingly efficient. The bailiff who conducted it had a sense of humor, didn’t talk down to us, and spoke to us with respect. I was pleasantly surprised.

2. I was wonderfully amused by the “welcome to jury duty” educational video. They pulled all sorts of movie and TV courtroom clips… I was in vintage Law & Order heaven.

3. I was randomly selected to serve on the same day as one of my friends from church. Sitting through jury selection is a lot more fun when you have someone else to talk to. And it’s a lot more fun when you bring a copy of US Weekly.

4. After my name was called, I was assigned to a panel of 24 people and asked to fill out an information sheet for my judge. Questions included “What’s your favorite television show” (The Bachelor, The Middle… so obviously they must think I’m extremely smart). “Have you ever been the victim of a crime” (the guy next to me, wearing his finest gang gear, wrote in “House got shot at”). And… ar

5. Our jury panel got called back Monday for the voir dire process. And guess who the defense attorney was… look familiar?

Yep, it’s the lady from the billboards.


And the leg hiked up in the skirt… I don’t even have words…

6. After a lecture on Friday by the bailiff about the importance of being early to court, our judge/attorneys made us wait in the hall for over an hour past our start time (plus I had gotten there 30 minutes early out of fear of being late). Nobody bothered to stick their head out and let us know that we’d have to wait… for an hour. Nobody apologized once we started for keeping us sitting on wooden benches in the hallway for an hour with no updates. It would have been nice for someone to at least acknowledge that we’re valued enough to let us know to expect a delay, so I could know if I have time to run to the bathroom or go grab a soda from one of the machines.

7. The prosecuting attorneys were probably my age younger than me. And did a terrible job in voir dire. They would ask questions in such a way that none of us could really understand what they were asking. They were poor communicators.

8. The defense attorney was quite intense. She scared me a little. She memorized all of the jurors’ names and every time I heard “Don’t you agree, Mrs. Right?” I would wince a little, as if I was the one on the stand. It was kind of like high school when you hoped the teacher wouldn’t call on you in class. She lectured us on how DWI arrests, if left undefended, could lead to tyranny in America, and that as a juror we were the bedrock of freedom (or something to that effect), and how only 1 in every 100 DWIs leads to death, so we shouldn’t choose to trade our freedom for safety.

9. It turns out that a baptist minister’s wife who happens to be related to a cop isn’t a very attractive juror for a DWI case. Imagine that.

10. I made $40 for my two days of service… just enough to get a deluxe pedicure at my favorite spot.

Thank you, America! It was a pleasure serving you.

Don’t do this, 2009!

Now 2009, we had an agreement. This is going to be a fantastic year, filled with fun, adventures, friends… the works.

Having my car broken into a few hours into the new year is NOT part of our agreement. This is not the tone I want to set for my new, fabulous year. 
At least you made it better by gifting me with a stupid robber for me to laugh at. Because really, risking your life and jail time in order to steal a bag full of KNITTING SUPPLIES is a bit sophomoric. Moronic. I’m irked that in that bag was the blanket that I have been knitting for more than a YEAR. But I’m so very thankful that my asinine imbecile of a thief only got that. He (or she?) didn’t take anything of real value (except for the HUNDREDS of hours I spent knitting that beautiful blanket!), nobody was hurt, and he didn’t break into my house. Maybe he needed that blanket. Maybe my theif is a serial knitter who has to resort to thievery to placate the raging desire burning in his heart to get his next knitting fix.
Yes, I bet that’s it.
So 2009, this is strike one. You’d better be on your best behavior from now on, because I’ll be watching you like a hawk. I know you can do better, and I still have high expectations for you. Don’t let me down.