Friday, April 19, 2013

The Thrill That is Jury Duty

So I’ve been on jury duty for the past week and I’ve learned several things. Oh, nothing about our actual jurisprudence system other than waiting to be selected as a juror is a long and tediously boring process. 

I was never called, you see.  So that meant I had an awful lot of time on my hands to find something to do.  In a room filled with a whole lot of other people who also had an awful lot of time on their hands. 

But it gave me the opportunity to read. For hours at a stretch.  I always thought would be a heavenly way to spend a few days, but it’s not.  You want to know why?  Because reading for hours at a stretch on my iPad makes my vision go blurry.  And, given my really crappy so-far-from-20-20-vision-it’s-not-funny eyesight, seeing blurry WITH my glasses is not a good thing.  I tend to run into walls as it is.  With blurry vision, I could end up in a ditch.

But despite all that, I started and finished two books in two days.  And yesterday morning, as I was nearing the last fifty or so pages of the second book, my eyes started watering.  A lot. That should have been a clue that my eyes had had enough and I should PUT THE IPAD AWAY.  Did I listen?  Even when I was giving myself that order in capital letters?  Nooooo. I kept telling myself that I ONLY had fifty pages to go. 

So I finished my book while constantly wiping my eyes.  My fellow not-called-to-serve-on-a-jury mates must have thought I was reading either a really sad and sappy book – or I was so incredibly bored with this waiting around stuff, I was getting teary-eyed.

Not only that, but then when they called our lunch break, I had to hoof it over to the office.  Which, by my calculation, was about 12 miles away.  And, okay, so it’s really only a few blocks away, but it seemed like 12 miles.  Especially because (a) I was toting a very large and heavy tote bag containing my umbrella, iPad, laptop, this week’s copy of People magazine AND purse, and (b) my eyes were watering the whole way.

I was waiting for someone to either ask me if I was okay or hand me a tissue.  Neither happened, but considering where I was coming from, all sorts of teary-eyed folks have probably been spotted walking away from the courthouse. And, since I wasn’t in handcuffs or police custody and was wearing my big red “Juror” badge, they must have gone with the “bored” conclusion.

Nevertheless, I finally made it to the office, where I feverishly worked until it was time to get back to the courthouse. A person can get a LOT of work done when she is completely focused on work and work alone. No time to read my horoscope. No time to check on my emails. No time to eat lunch.


Jury duty really wasn’t all that much fun for me. Working so close to the courthouse downtown definitely had its disadvantages. Like being ordered to come into the office “every minute" I wasn’t at the courthouse. That’s a lot of hoofing it back and forth to the office. I may have developed heel calluses. And blisters. Blisters occurred the first day because I made the grievous error of wearing cute shoes as opposed to good walking shoes. Naturally, I did not make that mistake again.

The other thing I noticed during this week of jury duty and the subsequent treks back and forth from the courthouse to the office was, while walking may be good exercise, it makes a mess of one’s coif.  My hair was never in such dire need of styling products as it was this week.  And the worst thing was, by the time I got back to the jury holding pen, er, waiting room, I’d forgotten about the windy journey. Later, I would walk into the restroom and gasp at how wild and crazy my hair looked.  And I don’t generally carry a comb or brush in my purse.  Or even a big, floppy hat to cover the mess.

It’s no wonder people avoided me.  They must’ve thought I was a crazy lady who evidently didn’t own a brush.

Ah well. I should feel good that I performed my civic duty.  And I earned a few extra bucks for the week.  Well, unless you factor in the costs for parking, snacks and drinks that I wouldn’t have spent simply working in my own office.  Yeah, let’s not factor in those costs lest I determine I actually lost money to serve on jury duty.

So it was an interesting experience.  But I confess that I hope the computer skips over my name and address the next time I’m eligible to be selected for jury duty. However, should my name be pulled and I’m once again picked for jury duty service, I will remember to bring two things: 1) A brush, and 2) A book. A REAL book. My fellow jurors – and my eyes – will thank me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kitty WrestleMania 2013

So Twinks and Jinx have taken over our Jacuzzi bathtub as their personal wrestling ring.  They hop in there in the morning while I’m brushing my teeth and proceed to tackle each other in the hopes of being crowned Kitty Champion of the World.  Or, at very least, Kitty Champion of the House.

Oh, it starts out innocently enough with the first cat to stake out a ringside seat in the tub watching me as I apply moisturizer and roll on some Arrid Extra Dry. But then the other one saunters into the bathroom acting like she is merely checking my progress and making sure I’m on schedule. Then suddenly she takes a flying leap into the tub and lands on top of the other one with a resounding “thud.”

And then Kitty WrestleMania 2013 ensues.

If I haven’t yet retrieved my glasses from my nightstand, I can only hear the jangling and twinkling of the bells on their collars as they roll around in the spacious tub.  If I look over at them, I can only see a blurry tangle of black and white fur.  Since they’re both black and white cats, it’s sort of hard to tell who is winning. 

This morning Twinks was the aggressor, although that is not always the case. Some mornings Jinx gives as good a she gets.

If I’m awake enough, I find it amusing. I start a running dialogue in my head:

“Laaadddiiiees and Gentlemennnnn!  In this corner, wearing the purple jewel-encrusted collar and weighing in at 11 pounds, 1 ounce, is Jinky-‘Killer-is-My-Middle-Name’-Jinx. And in this corner, wearing the sparkly hot pink collar and weighing in at 10 lbs 5 ounces, is Twinkle-‘Don’t-let-the-sissy-name-fool-you’-Belle.”

Once in a while, they act all innocent and lie down together and give each other a bath. Yeah, like they’re fooling me. This display of sisterly affection lasts all of 2.3 seconds before one of them has the other in a headlock.

I used to chastise them and tell them it was not the proper way for female kitties to behave, but these admonishments fell upon deaf ears. Perhaps they are getting back at me for forcing them to wear sparkly collars with heart-shaped nametags?  Or maybe if I’d only named them Spike and Zeus they wouldn’t need to prove how tough they are?

I don’t know.  But I can only assume since no feline ears are bitten during these WrestleMania bouts and no limping occurs afterwards, human intervention has not yet become necessary. It’d be hard to tell if one of ‘em was sporting a black eye, though.

Photo from kittenhood. So it's not a newly developed skill.
Ah well. I suppose no harm is being done.  And they apparently have the Kitty version of ADHD because they never seem to make it to Round 2. One of them invariably has to stop to take a nap, while the other one decides that she’s starving and MUST be fed. Now.

So I guess I’ll continue to allow Kitty WrestleMania 2013 to continue. But if I’m supposed to name a winner, I guess I’d better start leaving my glasses on the counter in the bathroom.  We wouldn’t, after all, want to hear any accusations of
it being faked, now, would we?!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Return of The Spelling and Grammar Queen

I recently blogged about “Anonymous” who comments on my blogs. It’s mostly a bunch of nonsensical words strung together with the ultimate goal of getting me (or my readers) to click on their link. “Anonymous” is either one very determined spammer – or a conglomerate of spammers hiding behind the name Anonymous.

Either way, I don’t much care, although it can get a tiny bit annoying with their daily comments clogging up my email.

Except today.  Today, they struck me right in the heart.  They indicated that my blog was “rife with spelling errors” and that they “found it very troublesome.” 

Oh, the nerve! 

Now, I cannot say with 100% certainty that I have never made a spelling error in any of my blogs. Were I so inclined, I could go back and read through them and I would find an errant typo here and there. Despite my attempts, I’m not perfect. (Shocker, I know…) But I am wayyyyy better at grammar, spelling and word usage than many of the blogs I’ve read. And I’m far and away better than little ol’ Anonymous who is now just being a big meanie.

I really shouldn’t care one way or another what Anonymous writes to try to get me to open their link. Most of the time I chuckle and/or roll my eyes when I read either their comment or the name of their website or link. 

So why in the world did I get all bristly when I read their comment this time?

I suppose it’s because I do think of myself as The Spelling and Grammar Queen.  I have co-workers who intercom me just to ask how to spell a word or how to use a word properly in a sentence or what color chartreuse is.  I’m not sure why they assume I’m an expert on that last thing, other than I’m a girl and girls know that sort of stuff. Or perhaps it’s simply because I have an ability to match my clothes to my jewelry. 

Ooh.  Maybe I should be called The Queen of All Things.

Yeah, on second thought, that’s not such a good idea. Why?  Because I am definitely not the Queen of Navigation, for example. Not unless you want me to get you hopelessly lost. Or Algebra. I never could find that stinkin’ X.

And I could never be the Queen of Plumbing, either, as recently evidenced by the fact that we had a leak around our toilet and I had no idea how to fix it. The best I could do was throw some towels on the floor to sop up the leak so as to prevent the water from rotting the flooring underneath the commode and causing the toilet to crash through the floor. Well, that’s what I imagined would happen unless we immediately called a professional plumber. But for all I know, the guy we hired may have tightened a single bolt and then spent the next hour texting friends and telling them how he was making a fortune off another Plumbing-Challenged customer.

So maybe I should stick to being the Spelling and Grammar Queen. Stay with what I know.  And maybe I can also be the Color Expert. After all, I know what color chartreuse is AND I know how to spell it. 

Take that Anonymous. 

You big meanie.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Still Just a Coupla Fools

Today – April Fool’s Day – marks the 5th anniversary of my first date with Vince.

Yeah, I know. It was a peculiar day to choose for our first date. Maybe the thought crossed our minds that if it didn’t work out, we’d have funny stories to tell about how we went out on this bad date on April Fool’s Day.

That’s the story we tell, anyway. Actually, since we’d met “online,” and we’d spent so many weeks emailing, IM-ing and talking to each other on the phone, we didn’t want to delay our first real get-together – even if it meant that ever after we’d have to call ourselves a couple of fools.

Oh, but the story I like to tell? That it took Vince so many tries before I finally agreed to go out on a date with him, he didn’t want to let another day slip away before we met in person so he stuck with April Fool’s Day. Either that, or he didn’t want to give me a chance to back out of it.

Obviously, no one backed out. And it has been five wonderful years. But it seems like we met just yesterday. I truly can’t fathom that we’ve been together this long, which begs the inevitable question, Where has the time gone?
When I examine where we were five years ago and where we are now, it seems that a significant amount of time would have to have passed because a lot has changed. In the past five years, we’ve gotten engaged and then married. We’ve moved, we've changed jobs (well, one of us has, anyway). We’ve taken vacations and have attended weddings together. We’ve celebrated our birthdays and anniversaries as well as friend and family birthdays and anniversaries. We’ve taken about a zillion pictures of trips and get-togethers and parties and holidays and “just-because” photos that prove that five years has passed.

We’re both driving different cars than we were five years ago. And we’ve experienced the untimely passing of our washer and dryer.

Oh, and we’ve experienced job loss and the loss of a beloved pet. But we gained two new pets who have taken up residence in our hearts. We’ve had to visit loved ones in the hospital and we’ve had to attend funerals. But we’ve also visited the hospital to meet new babies.

These are all the things that make up a life. One thing builds upon another and one day passes into the next and – suddenly – five years have gone by.

If we’re lucky, those things that build a life turn out to be more happy than sad. More good than bad. And, for the most part, Vince and I have been truly blessed with a good life together.

So if we're a couple of April Fools, then we're happy ones. Happy Anniversary, my love. I'm looking forward to the next five, too.