Thursday, December 6, 2012

weekly goals

I went back and looked at the last list of weekly goals I made and I'm here to report that I didn't get it all done.

So, this week I'm keeping it simple. See the mess up there in the picture? There is a bit more than is visible there but I don't have a panorama setting on my camera, and you can get enough of an idea of what's going on in the room from the picture.

To clean it up is my goal for this week. I do have other ideas floating around in my head about things I'd like to do and undoubtedly will do, but my one and only real goal for this week is to take care of this mess in that room.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

doing my civic duty

I had a summons for jury duty yesterday. And it's okay if you immediately look away or click the red "X" at this point to spare yourself some drivel on a boring topic on a Tuesday morning. It won't hurt my feelings.

I've been summoned before but I was always exempt. I had a bunch of little kids, but now that they have grown up to the point where they don't require my presence at every single moment, I can no longer claim the exemption. I don't know why Harris County wanted me for jury duty. I'm mean and cranky. I didn't want to go - not because I don't want to do my duty as a citizen but because it was all the way downtown. At 8 o'clock in the morning. There's the parking to deal with, or deciding if I should ride the bus. And then the whole downtown nightmare with its one-way streets and its Famous Last Names From Texas History street names and its down-on-their-luck men peeing in corners. (If you can help it at all, never step in a puddle downtown.)

The bus seemed like a good option because
  1. I got a free ride by showing them my jury summons. (They gave me a free pass for the ride home.)
  2. I wouldn't have to worry about parking my car in the right lot or dealing with rush hour traffic.
But then again I also wouldn't have any control at all over what time I got there or what time I might get home, or truth be told, if I ever would get home again. I also don't know how to ride the bus beyond climbing aboard. Did you know that the bus is dark inside? And that they have white stripes painted across the front aisle that make you think there is a step there when there really isn't? The stripe is there just to make sure first time bus riders try to take a step up on a flat surface. So that you'll look like an idiot in front of all the people who know what they're doing.

I just love it when that happens.

I also don't know how to make the bus stop when I want to get off short of hollering down the aisle at the bus driver. Which if you have ever ridden the bus you may have noticed that nobody else does.

So maybe I should drive my car down there? But then I still don't know if I'll get there on time (there's a particularly meaningful warning in the summons stating that they lock that doors shortly after the start time and if you aren't there you might get to pay a fine or go to jail for contempt but for sure you will have to come back another day, which is the most urgent incentive there is to show up on time.) and now I really have to worry about the one-way streets and finding my way out of there to try to get back on the freeway.

And so naturally I was feeling a lot of anxiety about the whole thing. I didn't want to go because I'm not a morning person and it was downtown. I wasn't sure I could get there on time or maybe even at all and I was nervous about the consequences that would certainly befall me if I didn't. And then what if I got selected to be on a jury and had to go back again the next day or maybe even more days than that, and hear all about some awful, terrible, sad, tragic story that started with somebody minding their own business and ended when some other dude took it upon himself to mess it up in some way for everybody, and "everybody" was now including me. It all seemed like a special kind of hell and I wanted nothing to do with it.

In the end nothing happened. I sat there chatting with the woman sitting next to me for 3 hours. (This is where I'll say that of course it was raining for the first time in months and I had to walk blocks and blocks from the bus stop to the Jury Assembly Building in the wind and pouring rain and show up to jury duty soaking, sopping wet.) My number never got called so I got released from jury duty and went home. On the bus. In my freezing cold, squishy wet shoes.