Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Duty


So quick story. I was summoned for jury duty service right before my MOrlando vacation, so I postponed it to this past week.

Including this one, I have been summoned 4 times total. My first was in Pomona, which incidentally also came about before my first ever Florida trip. That time, I got called into the courthouse, but simply sat in the selection pool and never made it to the jury box. Luckily I was excused and enjoyed Florida.

The second and third summons were from Norwalk. For both those times, I called in to find out if I had to actually show up, but they never needed me. So I was automatically excused at the end of the week.

This time, it was back to Pomona. So I called in last week on Friday night and told not to report Monday. Called Monday night and told not to report Tuesday. Called Tuesday night and told not to report Wednesday. Things were looking good.

Lakers Finals excitement was heating up and I drew up plans for co-workers to watch the game at the heart of the Lakers, LA Live (next to Staples Center). I invited all the people and then on Thursday morning drove the hour drive from Corona to Los Angeles.

Listening to the radio, a report comes in about Rhianna and some legal issue and it pops into my head: I DIDN'T CALL LAST NIGHT!

Figuring I'd be excused for yet another day (what are the chances?), I calmed myself and asked Timotei to dial the jury hotline. He put me on speakerphone.

"Please report for jury duty at 8:00AM."

My head sank as low beneath my shoulders as they've ever sank before. I was devastated, annoyed, angry, shocked, hungry, pissed. Of all days! OF ALL EFFING DAYS!

Already in Los Angeles, I dropped Timotei off at work and had one hour to race back to Pomona. Luckily there was no traffic, so I flew down the 60 in 15 minutes (record time). Had plenty of time to take a dump and jump on their internet to tweet about my so-far shizzy morning (not at the same time of course).

My group was not called down to the courtroom until after lunch. When we finally got called in, the first group of 18 out of our selection pool of 55 were called for questioning. I was not among them. The rest of the day consisted of telling us about the case (robbery and attempted murder charges) and talking to the prospective jurors.

I've just learned one of my biggest pet peeves. People lying their asses off to try to get out of serving jury duty. You know the judge has heard all the excuses in the book, but people still dish them out. Scared of retaliation. Forty year old trauma from shotgun incident. Friend of a friend's home invasion robbery scare. Guilty bias of "if he was arrested he must be guilty." Obessive Compulsive Disorder has triggered paranoia. Auditing profession has geared my instincts to latch on to guilty-first verdict.

My eyes were tired from rolling over so much. But long first half of the story short, the attorneys hadn't even began tossing jurors off the trial, so proceedings were postponed till the next day.

That night I drove back to Los Angeles to meet up with the co-workers for what became the BEST Laker game ever! Lakers down by 5 in the last minute. Gasol puts down 2. Fish throws an amazing 3 to tie the game with 4 seconds remaining. Lakers win in overtime! Yardhouse was insane.

Next morning, my voice was gone from all the screaming and I was coughing up a lung. Dragged my ass out of bed and drove to the courthouse. They start the day's proceedings half an hour late.

But we just picked it back up where we left off. Attorneys on both sides tossed jurors out and they called more to replace them. Three times they called more jurors to the jury box and lucky as I am, my juror ID was never called! Could this be a repeat of the previous Pomona summons?

From 9:30AM to 11:45AM, we heard excuse after excuse and finally the attorneys were both satisfied. At the end, there were only around 15 of us left unchosen, unwanted, and giddy. After giving the final jury a round of applause for their service, we were excused! I dodged it again!

Truth be told, I wouldn't have minded serving this time. The judge was really funny and nice and the attorneys were charming. But I figure attorneys want to win over the jury in the first place, so they would always try to charm the pants off the jurors.

Anyway, after being excused, I got a $5 haircut from a nearby Hair Styling School and then ate a beautiful lunch at the Pomona Bakery Co.

So in the end, the Lakers are about to win their 15th Championship title, Kobe about to win his fourth ring, Phil Jackson about to win his 10th coaching championship, and I just avoided jury duty four straight times in 10 years.

Continuing my lucky jury duty streak,


Friday, June 05, 2009

Frakk-Filled Friday

I had a bad morning this morning. And all the Twitterverse knows about it. But the thing I've found about Twitter is that everyone wants to say something, but no one ever cares to listen. And not sure if trends have changed, but conversations don't work like that.

In any case, texting tweets to Twitter doesn't work as it should. Sometimes tweets went through and sometimes they were all out of order. Useless. So I'm going to tell the story as it should have been told.

It all started with a knock. Timotei knocked on my bedroom door at 5:38AM. We are supposed to leave the house at 5:40AM to make it to the train station in time. His knock woke me up. So, since I couldn't get ready in 2 minutes, I dropped him off at the train station and tweeted this once I returned home:

Piece of crap cell phone alarm didn't go off. Going into work late today. Oh well. #badstarttoafridayunnecessaryhashtaggingwantadonutyumyum

Little did I know it was National Donut Day today. I was just craving a donut. On Fridays, because we only have to work 5.5 hours, someone brings in donuts or other treat each week.

So I got a bit more rest, caught up on some tweets, thought about working out, but didn't, got ready and left at 8:00AM for the last train into Los Angeles at 8:30AM.

I got to the train station with plenty of time to spare and waited with a handful of people. And we waited. The train was 15 minutes late before the security guard announced to us that the train was cancelled, but not to fret because buses had been called to pick us up.

Because today was my turn to stay late to cover phones at work, I didn't need to clock in until 11:00AM, so I was fine with the bus. Everyone else on the platform left. And because it was cold, I decided to go to the car and read my newspaper. I also then tweeted this:

Damn @metrolink cancelled my train. At least they called some buses in. Even later in to work. #badcontinuationofbadfridaystillwantdonutyum

After about half an hour of waiting warm in the car, I had a thought. What if the security guard thinks that no one is waiting for the buses anymore since the platform is clear? Panicked, I gathered my things and ran ran ran back to the platform and showed that I was in fact still waiting for the damn bus. Upon arriving at the platform, a scrolling text alert stated that my train was delayed at least an hour (I thought it was downright cancelled) and that buses had been called in.

So in the cold, I pulled out the Jumble from the paper and focused on completing it. And I did. And when I looked up, a gleam caught the corner of my eye.

THE BUS! Seriously, what the hell? It was in the opposite corner from where I was! So I ran ran ran to the bus and hopped aboard. There were five other folks already on the bus, with me and one other woman boarding at my station. I took a seat and immediately noticed a teenager chatting with a loudish Latino man. So I popped in my earphones and hunkered down for the long ride. Then I tweeted this:

SHIT! Almost missed bus cuz I was doing morning Jumble w/ iPod playing. Completely distracted. But I'm on my way. Can taste that donut now.

My initial frustration with the bus came when it became apparent that we would be taking the side streets all the way to Downtown Los Angeles. The reality set in that we'd be stopping at each of the train's stops to pick up more passengers. But the greatest annoyance came when we were stopped at a stop light and railroad gates came down. I then tweeted this:

WTF? That was my train! It passed us cuz we're taking the effing side streets!

So apparently I could have just waited five more minutes for the train to arrive. But instead, I was stuck on a slow moving Pomona-bound autobus.

Seriously WTF? #FML F this shitty Friday! How could Friday do this to me?! Is a donut seriously too much to ask? I'm dying here! #FuckFriday

Jebus. I'm on the Pomona scenic route. Beautiful town... Heaben help me.

Because the train was operating again, no one was at the Pomona station to board the bus. And then, thankfully, it was a straight shot to Union Station.

Finally on the freeway to find TRAFFIC on the 10 at 10:10! Say it with me: #FML!

In the carpool lane, but now it's raining, so all forget how to drive. The loudest most gregarious Mexican man is making drive unbearable.

The Latino Loudmouth was truly annoying. After the kid got off at Pomona, he was searching for his next victim to yammer off too. Sensing this, I pushed the iPod earbuds further into my ear canal and feigned sleep as best I could. And it worked! He bypassed me and went to bug the driver.

At last, at 11:00AM, we pulled into Union Station. The shuttle I usually take ends service at 8:30AM, so I needed a Dash bus to get to the office. And of course, this happened:

FINALLY at Union Station and just missed a Dash bus. I gotta pee bad and it's sprinkling. Has anyone ever had a worse Friday morning? #FML

The Dash takes about 30 minutes to get to the office. It's only going across town, but because it has to stop at each block, it sucks a doozie. So in the end, I was late to work. But here's what happened next:

FINALLY at my desk and WTF? Bagels?? Are you kidding me??? ARGHH!!!!! #FridayFail

It was the morning that would never end. By the way, I never did receive any sort of donut. But to satisfy my sweet tooth, I bought a Venti Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino. That hit the spot. Right on my love handles.

A pink toast to better days,