Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Maroon 5 'Songs About Jane'
All right… Lets begin with my MySpace page.
Andria has the top spot this week on my friend’s list. I have rotated the stock for freshness and she will shine gloriously in that top spot until Sunday morning.
If you’re interested in knowing why I rotate the stock, please refer to last month’s entries from the archives.
I have also changed my profile picture since it’s the first of the month. Last month, it was a photo of Calvert DeForest (AKA Larry Bud Melman) in honor of his passing away. This month I toyed with the idea of honoring Don Ho, but figured it best not to do so. If I start honoring all the dead, then I’ll never get to the good and funny ones.
Drop on by my little MySpace page and check out the new profile pic. I must confess, I lifted it from Jeff Kay’s website. It’s GOLD, baby!
On Monday I had to report for jury duty. A duty that most don’t like doing and they try to get out of it. Me? I love the fact that I can perform a special civic duty even though chances are good that I’ll just end up sitting around for hours on end.
The first time that I served was back in the late 80’s. I sat there reading a book until about 11am. We were told that we were excused from duty and I had to go in to work. My employer, Peaches Music & Video, would pay me for the hours missed as long as I turned over the check from my service. I felt completely ripped off because I didn’t even get a full day.
The second time was right about the time AC/DC’s ‘Bonfire’ box set was released. I can’t remember the year, but I wanted that box set and didn’t have the “disposable” income to purchase it.
I was working for Capitol Records at the time and they had a wonderful jury duty policy. Not only would they pay me as if it were a vacation day… I could keep any monies paid out for my service.
Well… Since I didn’t really enjoy my time spent at work, I was praying like a death row inmate that I would get picked for a jury. And hopefully, it would be a very long trial.
I thought that serving as a juror on a trial would be interesting and very exciting. I thought there would be lots of posing and slamming of gavels. I thought I would hear “order in the court, order in the court” directed at the disbelieving gallery of spectators at least a dozen times. I thought people would try to bribe me.
It wasn’t exciting at all.
I got picked for a trial that involved rape, molestation, and indecent liberties involving a minor. You would think that it would be interesting, but it was as exciting as watching a test pattern on TV.
For those of you born after 24 hour television became common place… This is a test pattern or as it’s commonly called “color bars”.
The trial lasted 3 days and I was stuck with a group of the dumbest people alive. They seemed intelligent, but they had no idea how the judicial system worked.
One college girl really wanted to be the jury foreman and since none of us cared about the position, we agreed to let her “have at it”. In hindsight, that was a bad move. Since she didn’t agree about some of charges brought against the defendant, she felt it necessary to have them dropped or lessened.
I spoke up… “The District Attorney determines the charges and it’s our job to find him guilty or not guilty for each of them. We cannot change the charges. We listen to each side and determine guilt or innocence.”
“We’re going to ask the judge anyway,” she said with a sassy and knowing tone.
The bailiff paraded us back out to the jury box and the judge asked the foreman what the question was… I felt so embarrassed to be stuck with an idiot speaking for us.
The bailiffs knew me because my dad was one of them too. The story about our moron foreman got around and he asked me later why we would ask something stupid like that. He just shook his head as I explained the deal with the young lady.
The judge told her, almost word for word, what I had said before in the jury room. After that, she wouldn’t make eye contact with me unless I spoke directly to her.
We found the guy guilty of indecent liberties and not guilty on everything else. The judge told us that we could stick around for sentencing. Everyone on the jury did so but me. For some reason, I didn’t really want to. I didn’t want to see either side erupt with emotions. I didn’t want to see the girl or her mother outraged that all the charges didn’t come back guilty. I didn’t want to see the man’s family go into shock or start wailing because he was going to be immediately escorted out to prison. I took the stairs and left.
I made $36 for my performing my civic duty and with my small funds set aside, that made it just enough to score the AC/DC box set.
I only made $12 yesterday for sitting around and reading Stephen King’s Cell.
I got parked about 8 am and made my way to the jury room about 8:15. I found a nice seat away from the main crowd gathered on the popular side of the room. By 8:45, the place was filling up and eventually a woman sat beside me.
She was an attractive woman and perhaps a few years older than me. She seemed incredibly shy and kept her head down as she sent and received messages on her cell phone. She pulled out a snack and a bottle of water from her purse. And she ate the snack like a scared little girl huddled in a closet and hiding from a lurking killer in a horror movie. Strange.
In the row in front of me… “Mr. Clay Aiken!” He’s second from the right.
“Mr. Aiken” was planning some kind of party, but I wasn’t paying attention. He kept distracting me with his constant hair flipping and grooming. I was so bored that I actually timed his routine to find out the frequency of his habit. With three times noted, he would play with his hair approximately every 2 minutes.
I tried to grab a picture of him in action, but I think the blonde to his left was getting the drop on me and I could be called out. The only one I got of him messing with his “do” came out blurry because he suddenly moved his head when the shudder closed. The bastard.
Another interesting fact about “Mr. Aiken”… When he talked to the women, his voice was overly effeminate and almost literally on fire. If ya know what I mean…
But when he spoke to the men, his voice toughened up a bit. I found out later that his Latin name was “Chameleon Vox”. I had no idea that is was part of his defense mechanisms. He was truly an interesting creature.
30 people were finally picked for a jury right before lunch time and that included the lady seated next to me. After she loosened up and spoke to me, I found out that she also wanted to be chosen for a jury. We were probably the only 2 there who actually wanted and felt honored to serve in a civic capacity. I wished her luck and they shuffled out to Courtroom 3-A.
After lunch, I switched to the other jurors waiting room where 2 televisions blared with afternoon entertainment… World’s Scariest Police Chases and some talk show with a blonde haired pretty boy. I think his name was “Greg”.
The chairs in that room were more comfortable and I snagged one of the couches in the back.
I had to get away from one particular guy who reported for duty wearing a blue plaid shirt, a pair of shorts, and sandals. Yeah! The doucheketeer was wearing sandals! One joker even showed up in a T-shirt and stained basketball warm-up pants.
Does no one respect the calling anymore?
One of the jurors laying on the couch in back of the room had a great idea… Sleeping. I put my book aside, laid down, and shut my eyes. Just as I could feel the Sandman taking hold, it was time for another round of “Lets See Who’s On The Last Jury”.
My name was called out third and we were told to report to Courtroom 3-B.
We sat and sat until the judge came out. He sat down and shuffled through papers. He moved his computer mouse around and tapped on his keyboard. Nothing was happening. Then two well dressed lawyer types walked up to the other lawyer types that were seated at the prosecution’s table. They chatted. The bailiffs stared at walls. The only noise came from outside the courtroom. Absolutely nothing was going on. I leaned over to the woman next to me and said… “New this fall on NBC… Law & Order: Bored Silly.”
She didn’t even crack a smile.
After 10 minutes of nothing… The judge addressed us and explained that the defendant took the plea bargain and our services weren’t going to be needed in that courtroom. Since he had a prepared speech that he doles out for every jury, he decided that he’ll give it to us anyways… It was a quick history lesson on the Magna Carte.
Then he told us that we could stick around and watch the sentencing portion of the program. I left thinking that since it was the last trial of the day, soon we could be excused.
Those of us who left reported back to the jury room and the lady running the joint told us that it wouldn’t take long to be dismissed for the day. We waited and waited for about 30 minutes until she tracked down someone who would get back to her. Then it was another 10 minutes until that person gave her the “release” orders. We all ran out of there like we had heard gunfire.
I really don’t know what I’m going to do with the money I made yesterday. It’s only $12, but I feel that I should continue the tradition of ‘Bonfire’. Maybe I will go purchase an AC/DC CD with Bon Scott that I don’t have…
You know… It’s the only one that I don’t have with Bon Scott as the lead singer. Perhaps this will break the cycle and I’ll never have to serve again.
But wait… I don’t have this one either.
I’d better pick them both up.