Just to let you all know that I am alive and (fairly) well (if you don't count my mental health!)...
Took last week as a "vacation" from work. And that was interrupted by jury duty - the jury duty from Hell, as it turned out. Details later.
Got a bit done for packing up, and after all, that was my intent. So much house to pack up, and getting down to the nitty gritty crap that does take time to go through. Decided that I just did NOT have the time to parse thru all the vinyl albums that my late spouse left for me to manage. Please take this comment in the humorous mode that I offer it: If he was not already dead, I would kill him! Yes, I have come far enough to say that and laugh about it. Who knew this journey could be accompanied by laughter and humor?
A friend of mine (yes, A, I am talking about you!) and I have a sort of "gallows" sense of humor about departed spouses. I think it is one of the reasons that we enjoy each others' company so much!
What was I talking about? Oh, right - the albums. There is a chain of stores (in Texas, not sure about other areas) called Halfprice Books. They buy used books, and also albums. I toted the seemingly unending volume of albums there, in two batches, one on Monday past, and the rest on Friday. There were enough albums to fill 7 - 9 produce crates (yes, they were stored in those wooden crates, the kind that peaches come into the stores in) pretty well. And I got the grand total of $275. Not a lot of coin, but the object was to NOT have to tote them back to MN with me. Plus, I really provided the staff with endless opportunities to make comments. For example: There was an old Rolling Stones album called Sticky Fingers (and I am NOT going there, folks). It was manufactured with an actual working zipper on the cover, and the staff at HPB said that they had never seen this album with the zipper still intact!
In the immortal words of Rod Stewart - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? (the vehicle, folks!)
Got myself some new - new to ME - wheels. Replaced my '97 Honda Accord with a newer '06 Toyota Rav4. I just LOVE this car - I find myself making up little errands that I just have to run, just to get behind the wheel of this beautiful blue baby. I got a really good deal on it - it was a leased vehicle, recently returned, had only 28K miles on it. Upholstery and so on appears to be in good condition. Lotsa room in the cargo area, which will be great when Nancy drives her blue baby up to MN in July. I wish I was hitting the road NOW.
Jury duty - Nancy probably should have been a no-show for this one on Tuesday. Got a notice that tells you to phone after 5 pm the night before your scheduled jury date. And of course the message told me (and others) to report the next morning before 8:30 am. Okay. Showed up, parked the car, checked in. They didn't get rolling until around 9. Then a bailiff talked, the judge talked and we saw a film about doing our civic duty. Cripes, just like a civic class back in high school. We were told that they needed folks for 3, maybe 4 juries. Around about 10 or 10:30, 60 names were called and mine was one of them. We lined up in numerical order (as called) and played follow the leader from the jury assembly building to the court house. Regressed from high school to grade school, now. Except where we had to have our carry-on (oops, this was NOT an airport), er, carry-IN stuff scanned. We went into a courtroom, where more stuff was said (blah, blah, blah). The judge explained that we could go right into the voir dire (where they ask the prospective jury members various questions) or we could go to lunch and start after lunch. So we ended up with an hour-and-a-half lunch break in this pretty small town. Went to a Mexican restaurant that I had been to before, when I had been on the jury for a child molestation case. And ate. And then called my sis and we wasted some time just chatting.
Back in the courtroom. Turned out that this was the 3rd DUI charge against a guy in his early 40's. So he had opted for a jury trial, in the hopes (I am guessing) of keeping his job and so on, as opposed to the mandatory jail time that a "third strike" carries and the job loss that would follow. All I can tell you is that almost everyone in that courtroom had pretty strong feelings, one way or another. I think I could have been an impartial juror, even given my spouse's drinking. You are supposed to decide, based on the evidence presented, after all. From 1:15 until about 4:30 or 5, questions were asked, both by the lawyers and by the 60 potential jurists. Then they sent us up to the 3rd floor to an empty courtroom. And then small groups were summoned: jurors number 2, 3 and 7 (example). They would go down the elevator, and eventually would return to our little queue of antsy waitees. (My word, probably not proper at all - but this IS my blog.) Yes, I took my turn in the rounds of additional questions. Around 7:15 or so, we were summoned back to the courtroom. And 12 names were announced, letting the rest of us leave at 7:30. Long, long day. Eleven hours.
Remember that we were told that there was a need for 3, maybe 4 juries? One of the women in our group of 60, had a friend who was waiting for jury selection, too. And we found out that they let ALL of the rest of the remaining people leave, about 5 minutes after we walked over to the courthouse. Damn.