Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guitar man

Coming soon: Ten dating adventures. Taking applications now. Anybody who's never gone 100 mph with the top down need not apply. At this point, you just need to keep up.



Preview.....
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where can I buy a man around here?

(Stolen from the internet)
Friday night I went to a bachelor auction that was put on by a local group of young professionals who are advocates of Planned Parenthood. They do all kinds of fun events and fundraisers.

I'll say up front I did not go to buy a man. I went to support a couple of friends who were being auctioned off and to support Planned Parenthood. Most of the bachelors were young -- in their 20's -- and I'm no cougar.

Here's how the auction works. A woman nominates a guy to be in the auction, and she then becomes his handler, for want of a better word. It takes a lot of balls for these guys to let themselves be auctioned off in public, so their handlers stick with them at the auction and help them introduce themselves to potential buyers -- a little hand-holding for those who need it. It also seems less creepy for a man who wants a woman to spend money on him to be introduced by another woman.

Each man comes with a date package, many donated by local businesses or non-profits. For example, some of the date packages were a day at the local Oktoberfest, dinner at a nice restaurant, a Pilates class, dance lessons, a football game. The date package for one of my friends was a professional massage, a trip to a salon, dinner at an upscale downtown restaurant, a salsa lesson, and dessert at another upscale restaurant. He went out and gathered some great sponsors. Other date packages were much smaller -- just dinner. But still nice. And one was a private airplane ride to another city for dinner and dessert back at the hanger afterwards. A whole range depending on the bachelor.

Lots of publicity led up to the auction. Some bachelors were interviewed in a promotional video or on a local TV show. There were photos and Q/A's on the group's website and Facebook pages. Some of the bachelors did a lot of personal promotion to sell tickets.

The event was held in a private club at the top of the tallest building in the city -- 29 stories high with walls of windows on every side. In addition to a panoramic view of the city, we were treated to a slow misty fog creeping in, lit by blue strikes of lightning and later rain running down the windows. It was worth the price of a ticket to spend an evening sipping wine in the spell of that view

Through a rain-drenched window


Our tickets in bought us light hors d'ourves and a cash bar. A well dressed crowd mingled with the bachelors and their handlers. One single male friend who attended just to support the cause said he'd never seen so many pretty single women in one place.

The bidding was silent, on individual date boards created for each bachelor. But two hosts also brought the men on stage in groups of 5 or 6 to be interviewed for the crowd. See what I mean about needing courage to do this? I give kudos to every one of them.

I have to admit, it was a lot of fun being solicited by charming young men who wanted me to bid on them. No, it wasn't personal. It was all for the cause, but that's what made it fun. Like I said, I didn't go to buy a bachelor. Most of them were too young for me, and I would have felt silly going up on stage at the end of the night and claiming my purchased young date.

But I certainly didn't mind those young men flirting with me and trying to get me to bid. One handsome state trooper with very strong thighs -- he insisted I feel them -- offered to put his handcuffs on me. Silly him. I let him think that's how it would go if we went on a date.

Another bachelor who wasn't quite as young offered to .... well, I don't want to bore you with the flirting. I have a point to make.

There were plenty of young women (and a few older ones) there who came to bid, and bid they did.

And that's where my perspective completely changed.

I assumed most of the women who came were there to bid on dates because they found the man attractive and wanted to share his date package with him. I'm so naive! Women are far more cunning than that, far more calculating.

A lot happens in the lady's room, am I right? It's no secret that's where the real truth comes out. One woman about my age, whom I had met in the elevator on the way up, told me as I was peeing that she'd bid on the airplane date package (he was the oldest of the bachelors), but didn't win him/it. Here's a synopsis of the rest of the conversation.

She said, "I really wish I'd won that plane ride."
"It looked like a fun date package," I said. "Very romantic."
"Oh, that's not why I wanted it," she said. "I have family in that city. I wanted to go see them."
"Seems like an expensive way to visit your family," I said. I admit I was taken aback. I'd never consider taking my family on a date.
"If I'd won it, it wouldn't have cost as much as driving, and it would be a lot faster than driving," she said.
I stared at her as I washed my hands. "So, you were just buying the plane ticket? If you had won the bid? Not the date?"
"Sure," she said, and she looked at me as if I were a little bit slow. "I really wish I'd gotten in the last bid."

I realized then that I hadn't even considered buying the package and not the man. But she wasn't the only one who did. And fuck me, I'm a woman. I should have figured this out for myself.

One young woman told me she bought her best friend, whose date package was expensive tickets to a wild masked ball next month, another much bigger fundraiser. She paid less for the date package than they would have paid for two tickets otherwise. And who knows ? Maybe her best friend was more than a best friend. It wouldn't be hard to stretch the definition of "single" just enough to get into the auction. (Not saying that happened. Just saying it could.)

Another guy was disappointed to learn he and his date package had been purchased by a married woman. He suspected she would take her husband on the date instead of going with him. He was disappointed because he was looking forward to showing some lucky woman a great time.

A group of several women bought one bachelor. I don't remember what his date package was. If it was a dinner, I wonder if they expected to share one entree. I hope he wasn't looking for the girl of his dreams. (This is the third year for this auction. Two dates turned into committed couples, and one turned into a marriage with a child. One of the goals really is to bring single people together, ideally not just for one date.)

I just never would have thought of buying the package and not the man, although I suppose I should have. In the elevator on the way up with 4 other women, we were talking about the imaginary man we'd like to buy, and I said I'd definitely bid on a handyman. I thought I was joking, but I'm telling you now, that's a date package that would sell.

I suspect the men thought they were being bid on because of their charm and good looks too. Some of them made slightly risque comments from the stage, jokes that assumed the women bidding would want sex. And I said to the friend I went with, "A couple of them have forgotten they're talking to women. Women don't buy sex."

It's true. Women will buy sexy, although this auction shows it's not a priority, but we don't buy sex. There's a difference.

If anything points out a couple of glaring differences between men and women, it's this auction. Here's why.

First, women are obviously more practical than men.

Second, I can't imagine a bachelorette auction. Hell, the word bachelorette isn't even in spell check. Too many people would be appalled by the idea of selling women in an auction to men. And oh my god, it's easy to see why for so many reasons. (I'm going to be general here, so if you're a man who doesn't fall into the stereotype, good for you. If you're single, email me please.)


1. Men expect sex when they buy a woman. Let's just put that one out there first.

2. If men are buying women, they aren't looking at date packages. They're looking at the woman's package. Men want to buy young, sexy, beautiful women. A woman the age of the oldest bachelor, the one with the airplane, probably wouldn't sell, even if she did own a plane. And she certainly wouldn't bring in the highest bid of the auction like he and his package did. No matter how old or decrepit most men get, they still think they deserve a young, beautiful woman, especially if they're paying for her.

3.  Men expect sex when they buy a woman.


4. Most women wouldn't think they were worth auctioning. And can you imagine women being taken around with their handlers to flirt with potential buyers? We call that pimping, don't we?

5. Most men expect sex when they buy a woman.

6. Most men expect sex when they buy a woman.


Does that sound harsh? I'd be happy to entertain differing opinions, but I'm going with the general here and I know I'm right. Yes, I know plenty of men who might be able to control their baser instincts at a bachelorette auction, but I have enough experience in the world to know a lot wouldn't.

Have you ever noticed the difference between how men approach a strip club and how women do? I noticed this years ago when I was a kid, when Phil Donahue first interviewed strippers on his show.

Even in that venue -- which was not a club -- most of the men in the audience looked at the women strippers differently. They obviously wanted her. They were hyper-focused on her, like hunters. Like she was something to be acquired and devoured. It's a solitary look -- as if in his mind, it's just him and her.

Women, on the other hand, treat male strippers like entertainment, not a conquest. They laugh and yell and, yes, treat the men like meat. But not meat they're going to take home with them. Hell, we don't even care if the guys are gay as long as they give us a good show and we can laugh with our girlfriends and have a good time.

OK, the men at the auction weren't strippers, and the women there didn't treat them like sex objects. I think a few of the men wouldn't have minded that though. In fact, that's another difference between men and women. Most men would be glad if the women at the auction saw them as big old packages of sex.

Change the sexes though, and the whole thing would feel quite different -- if you could even persuade any women to participate.

(I'm not saying I can't imagine a man buying a woman -- even one he wouldn't have sex with -- just because she came with a pair of football tickets. Dinner, no. But football tickets, hell yes.)

Like most of my posts, this has gotten quite long. And yet, a significant number of readers have berated me for not writing for a while; some have even threatened me in public. You asked for it. Aren't you sorry now?

Too bad. I have one more thing to say.

The bottom line is that this auction was for a good cause. All of the proceeds went to Planned Parenthood, an organization that does a shit-ton of good all over this country. And we should all support their sexual health advocacy. The assholes who try to make us believe Planned Parenthood is nothing but an abortion clinic should be spanked and sent to bed without supper. I get so sick of their lies.

As for the businesses that donated the date packages, they got what they paid for too: lots of good publicity throughout the advertising campaign and at the auction. And they'll probably get some new customers too. It's a win for them no matter who uses the packages. (Too bad about the woman who doesn't get to see her family. She's on her own unless the woman who bought the package is willing to let her tag along.)


Yum?
Will I go back to the bachelor auction next year? Hell, yes. I may even nominate somebody and agree to help promote him. It was fun getting dressed up, mingling and meeting new people in a spectacular setting, having my perceptions turned upside down. And let me repeat what I heard so often Friday night: It's for a good cause.

Besides I came home with a handful of chocolate-flavored condoms in my purse. The last time that happened .... well, that's another story.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dead Bug

Apologies in advance. I'm not really feeling the writing tonight. My muse Dolores has been distracted by flying insects, and all she's giving me is this photo tonight. It doesn't even have a title. It's just a dead bug.




I've been writing a lot the past few weeks. I'm sure we can all use a break.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Salted Caramel

I spent much of the day cooking a big pan of lasagna and an apple pie to serve with vanilla bean ice cream and salted caramel sauce. Drake's birthday was the first week of August, but this is the first time he's been home so we celebrated tonight. I bought him handcuffs and a belt holster. I hope he plays with them responsibly.



I haven't shared a recipe here in a while, so it's time again. Lasagna is too easy. Everybody can make that, although I've heard some people use sauce from a jar. I don't judge. Really, I don't .... use sauce from a jar, I mean. Even with homemade sauce, I think lasagna is one of those things most people know how to make without a recipe. It's time consuming, but not hard.

What's even easier is the salted caramel sauce, but I don't think most people know how to make it. So here's the recipe I used. You can throw some butter in too if you like, but it's pretty good this way.

Salted Caramel


Put a cup of water in a saucepan. Set it on the stove burner. Pour 2 cups of sugar into the middle without getting any on the sides of the pan.  Cook it on med high heat without stirring it even once until it turns golden brown. It takes 20-30 minutes. Don't fucking stir it. (It's chemistry.)

In the meantime, warm up some heavy cream in the microwave for 45 seconds or so. When the sugar mixture changes, pour the cream into it in a thin stream, whisking it madly the whole time. It will bubble up and try to crawl up your arm. Don't be afraid and don't call the police. And don't scrape the sides of the pan or you'll end up with crystals.

Bring it back to a boil if it isn't already bubbling. Then take it off the heat. Stir in some coarse salt. I used about half a teaspoon. Taste it after it cools and see if you want more. If you want less, bring that first batch to me and start over.

Cool the sauce. It will thicken more as it cools. You can use this sauce on ice cream, cake, pie, or pancakes. The consensus around my house is that it's pretty damn good eaten straight off your finger.

I don't have photos. It looks like caramel sauce, although the batch I made tonight was kind of light. You could probably use evaporated milk if you didn't have cream. I haven't tried it, but it couldn't hurt to try if that's what you have in your pantry. I'd definitely throw in some butter though. You can't go wrong with butter.

That's it. If you try it, let me know how you like it.
 

Friday, September 7, 2012

She's in the home

My son Drake and his girlfriend Montana are home for the weekend. They're both working at a nursing home and going to college full time. Drake works in the kitchen, and Montana is a nurses aide.

They were telling me about some of the patients on the dementia ward where Montana works. One is very polite. Even though she doesn't know what's going on, she always says something like, "Oh, aren't you sweet for doing that."

Another is paranoid. When Drake brings her a cup of coffee she says, "You put something in that. I know you put something in that. It's poisoned."

"No, it's just coffee," he'll say. "Nothing in this cup but coffee."

"No, you put something in it. It's poison."

"Really, it's just coffee. But I can get you another cup. Shall I get a fresh cup?"

"No, it won't matter if you do. It's all got something in it." She doesn't trust anybody.

I said my daughter Elvira and I have an agreement. She's going to take care of business if I ever get like that. I said, "I don't think you could do it, Drake, but Elvira will be able to. She'll smother me with a pillow or something and nobody will know."

Drake said, "I don't know, Mom. She's got a kid now. I'm not sure she can do it. Teen Elvira could have done it, but maybe not adult Elvira."

"Teen Elvira did try to smother me several times. Nobody would believe me. Besides, just make her change my diaper one time and she'll smother me with the diaper. She won't even bother with a pillow," I insisted.

"No," Drake said. "She won't be able to do it. She'll just get a big box, write 'home' on the side of it, stick you in it, and set you down somewhere. When people ask where you are, she'll say, 'In the home.'"

Shit. I'm afraid he's right. I'm going to live out my life in a big box with "home" written on it, probably in purple glitter paint. There are worse things than having somebody put poison in your coffee.

You know where to find me.

 

Say what?

I was still in bed this morning, struggling through an extended nightmare about not being prepared for Thanksgiving dinner, when the little guitar riff that tells me I've got a text message went off. I woke up, grabbed my phone, slid the ring up to unlock it, clicked on my texts and read this: "I'm glad we became friends. Just wanted you to know that." I'll admit a tear slid down my temple and into my ear.

A dozen unexpected words on my little Droid screen that probably took him less than 30 seconds to key into his phone .... a dozen words. A gift that stuck with me the rest of the day.

***
I should have stopped there and done something useful like vacuuming or sweeping up glass in the alley. The next thing I read was a couple of comments on a friend's Facebook status from a guy who called me stupid and a fool. Several times a fool. It was surprisingly aggressive.

Once again, it couldn't have taken him long to fling his cruel words at me, a stranger. Maybe 30 seconds and those words, his intention to body-slam me in public, were there for a lot of people to see. Oh, he really showed me!

It's so easy to be an asshole, isn't it? This guy doesn't know me, and he never will. Yet somehow he found time in his precious day to insult me several times.

I don't engage with that kind of shit though. I wrote something witty and cutting .... then I deleted it and the rest of my comments and moved on. Some people like anonymous word wars. I don't. I prefer to remember I'm dealing with a real person, not just some letters on a screen.

The worse insult though is that this guy wasn't even clever. There's no fun to be had in trading insults with a rhetortard who has nothing in his bowl of Alphabits except a couple of tired ad hominem attacks.

The truth is, this guy didn't bother me all that much, and it's because I didn't engage. If I had, I might have had a funny couple of screen shots to share here along with some bitterly amusing sarcasm, but I'd rather floss my teeth or mow the lawn or masturbate with a carrot.

***
A while later, I saw a third message -- a passive aggressive, drive-by punch in the gut. Again, it probably took less than a minute to write, and then quite a bit longer to gloat over.

Again, it's the kind of message I neither understand nor want to engage with, so I won't do it here. When somebody tosses razor blades out to see if any will stick instead of engaging in honest communication in private, it's best to doctor your own wounds and move on.

***
Three different messages in a short period of time. None of them took much physical effort or time to write. Only one of them inspired me. Only one of them reminded me what I want to offer to the people I care about, and to the people I want to care about me. Only one was important.

It takes the same amount of time to put a tear in a friend's ear smile on a friend's face as it does to jab at someone. This post is to remind me how powerful words can be. If I have 30 seconds*, this is what I want to write in that time:



I'm glad we became friends too. Thank you.


*If I have a minute or longer, I'll probably write about vaginas. Or cookies. Just being honest.
 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Crayons and Foo Fighters




I'm so glad it's wordless Wednesday so I can just post a photo of clever, biting crayon color names and not write about ..... well, about anything. I was going to write about loyalty when I got home tonight, but I'm confused about that -- the people I expect it from don't show up, and the people who owe me nothing are right there. Maybe I'll write about that tomorrow.

If I were to write about tonight -- just this night -- I'd have to write about how I fucked up, and about how hard it is to be single after so many years of spousalhood .... but, no, I can't write about that. Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Or I might just share this song by the Foo Fighters, which I learned to play the other day, and which Chicken Grrrrl and I added to our set list. It seems so fitting tonight.

So take your pick: razor-sharp crayon color names or Dave Grohl, who is a fucking genius, and the Foo Fighters. Or both. And if you've got something to say about loyalty or being single, please .... take the stage.

And just as a follow-up to yesterday's post: I did not come on my bike today due to the threat of rain.
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I bike for cookies

My Christmas list is getting longer, and it's only September. This t-shirt goes at the top of the list though, and I have very good reasons for wanting it. OK, only one reason. First, here's the t-shirt.

(http://www.etsy.com/listing/107365386/bike-shirt-i-came-on-my-bike-today)*
 And if you read this article, "No Sex Necessary: Women have orgasms at the Gym....," I'm sure you'll make the connection. If I get this shirt, I'll be out there having orgasms while I ride my bike! W00t!

Oh, don't really read the article. It's kind of stupid. It's about a study somebody did with a terribly small sample of women who get their cookies through working out. That's right. Exercise can cause orgasms. In women. Some women. Some very lucky women. Some women I would probably hate if I knew them, the bitches, because this is even worse than being a skinny bitch. This is being a cookies-at-will bitch.

Get this: 19% of the women who reported having exergasms said it happened while they were on a bike! ON A BIKE! I had no idea this was possible.

I want a bikookie. I want a cyclegasm. I want to come on my bike, and I'm not talking about arriving. The only problem is that it hasn't ever happened.

So you know that saying that goes something like, "Did that; got the t-shirt"? Maybe it works in reverse! Maybe I could get the t-shirt first and then the "did that" part would just spontaneously happen. Got the t-shirt; orgasmed on my bike.



The only downfall -- if you could even say there is one -- is that some of these women said they felt embarrassed when it happened. I can imagine if it happened at the gym, among a bunch of muscle-bound weight lifters, it could be embarrassing. Maybe. Like I'd fucking care.

But it's not the same as if it happened to a man, right? That would be so obvious, even I'm embarrassed thinking about it, and I've never gotten a hard-on at the gym. I don't think I've ever seen a man get a hard-on at the gym, and I would notice.

No, I wouldn't be embarrassed at all. I'd just time the "aahh's" to coincide with whatever I was doing. Situps for example. 10 .... mmmm .... 11 .... aah ..... 12 ... ah ah ..... 13 ..... ah ah AH ...... 14 AAAHHH .... 15 ..... mmmmm .....16 ....fuck 16. Even if one of those muscle-heads figured out what was going on, I can't imagine he'd mind, although there could be a rush for the showers.

But on a bicycle, nobody would have to know. Out there on the bike trail, it's often just me and the geese and the people I zip past going 17 mph the other direction. And passing going the same direction? "Coming up on your left!" I'd be yards away before they heard me scream.

So, the bottom line is that I need this t-shirt. And I think Christmas might be too late. I need it now, before cold weather sets in. I need it now while I'm looking at my bike leaned up against the fireplace over there looking all sexy and ready and thinking about taking it to bed with me tonight.


Tell the truth (you can be anonymous here): Have you ever experienced exercise-induced orgasms?


*Same disclaimer as always: I don't get paid for writing about products. It really is all about my Christmas list and cookies.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inside the fortune cookie

A bunch of us were out at our favorite bourbon bar tonight -- although none of us were drinking bourbon. Several orders of Chinese food crowded the big table we'd commandeered in the back of the bar. Everybody was getting full, and the meal was down to the fortune cookies.

Smooth Jazz opened his cookie and  ..... nothing. Not even a blank slip of paper. Nothing. He crushed his cookie in his hand and dumped the crumbs into a paper bag in frustration. What a disappointment! You get to the end of the meal, and there's not a fucking fortune to set you off into the future? Fortune cookies are about the fortune, right? The future. What the fuck are you supposed to do with no fortune?

Several other people broke open their cookies. Alex's new girlfriend read hers first.


No shit, that's the exact piece of paper that was inside her cookie. "Some fortune cookies contain no fortune."

It's true. I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately -- loss and the acceptance of loss, inevitability versus the effort to maintain, love versus convenience -- for various reasons, both because of events in my own life and because of stories others have told me. The empty cookie and this fortune seemed especially poignant, especially relevant.

Some fortune cookies contain no fortune. No matter how much we want to find a happy, optimistic slip of silver-lined, hope-filled destiny inside, there really is nothing there.

And all our expectations, even our fervent beliefs, can't change the fact that nothing is inside that cookie. Or that nothing ever was. Our faith that something was in there doesn't change a thing if nothing is there.

Sometimes we'll eat the cookie and be happy enough for a dry bit of hard, sweet biscuit. It's better than nothing. Other times we say "fuck it," crumble the cookie and toss it in the trash. The cookie without the fortune just isn't enough. Sometimes a cookie needs to try a whole lot harder than that.

These days, I'm with Smooth Jazz: If there's no fortune in the cookie, I don't want the fucking cookie. From now on, I only eat the cookie with the fortune in it. I've cracked open enough empty cookies and ignored their deficiencies; I'm looking for the fortunate one.

Or maybe I just need to write my own fortune and forget those dry, tasteless cookies.

If you could write your own fortune cookie, what would you write? I know what I'd write, but I'm a little afraid to put it out there tonight. Vulnerability and all that. Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'll be the judge of that

I received a notice in the mail last week summoning me to jury duty the end of this month. I've always wanted to serve, fulfill my civic duty. This is the fourth time I've received the notice. Twice the case was settled before it went to court; the other time I had to show up for a drunk driving case, but I was too far down the list to be chosen. They gave me $10 for childcare and sent me home before noon. Pretty disappointing.

If it's a duty, that means I should do it at least once, right? I want to experience justice from the jury box just to see what it's like. Or at least ..... I think I do. When I really think about it, I realize being a juror could be awfully stressful, or traumatic, or even dangerous.

12 Angry Men

My mom was a juror once for a Hell's Angels trial. They had beaten somebody with a chain, and maybe he died -- I admit I'm fuzzy on the details. Because people where the crime allegedly happened were so afraid of the gang, the venue was changed to our little courthouse. I was so young I only vaguely remember lots of motorcycles roaring around town. I don't remember my mom talking about being afraid or anything. Then again, she's not really afraid of anything except feathers, bird feet, and spiders. Other people are more scared of her than she is of them.

I would not have wanted to be on a jury that convicted the Son's of Anarchy Hell's Angels. I'd be terrified they'd come back and rape and murder my entire family, especially back then.  I wonder if my mom thought about that as she sat in the courtroom. Could make a person a little jumpy for a while, convicting members of an outlaw biker gang.

Kim Coates (Tig) --  I love me a bad boy.

Then again, what if one of them looked like my SoA crush, Tig? How sexy would that be? I'd have to persuade my fellow jurors to let the love of my life go free, so I could hop on the back of his hog and ride off into the sunset with my arms and legs wrapped around him. Probably not the best life plan, but it could happen. ...... I'm just going to fantasize about that for a while.....

Oh, yeah, I'm ready to be on a jury now.
***
The first time I was ever in a courtroom, I was about 12 and my dad was on the jury. The driver of a rock truck had been driving on the wrong side of the road coming over a hill and crashed into a woman and her teenage daughter. The mother died in her daughter's arms. The truck driver had been at a bar where he consumed several drinks. It was an obvious verdict.

I went and watched the trial with my best friend. It was awful to hear the daughter's testimony, to watch her cry as she described the crash and her mom's death, but it wasn't unbearable. I thought about how many times I had ridden in cars with adults who had been drinking for hours. People didn't make a big deal about drunk driving then .... until a mother died in her daughter's arms.

From the testimony I heard, I wouldn't have had any problem convicting that guy of vehicular homicide. My dad didn't either, although he probably knew everybody involved in the accident. He probably knew if the truck driver's family would be left without a bread-winner. He surely knew the hole the mother's death left in her family. He wouldn't have talked about such things with me though.

Being on that jury did not change my dad's drinking and driving behaviors a bit.
***
LtColEx was on a jury once too, only it was for a court martial. In this case, three officers heard the case and decided whether a sergeant who had murdered his stepfather should be convicted in a military court.

The guy was as big a bad-ass as any Hell's Angel. He'd waited for his stepfather and murdered him with a shotgun. I think there was a stand-off after that. I don't remember all the details, but it was a shocking crime.

LtColEx had no doubt the guy had done it. None at all. He wanted to convict and get it over with. The other two officers believed he'd done it too .... but they didn't want to convict him. They were afraid of him, afraid he was crazy enough to come back and get revenge if he ever got out. It took a while for LtColEx to persuade them to do the right thing. I was shocked they didn't have more courage. Air Force officers.


So far, the guy hasn't come gunning for LtColEx. I have to admit though, I was kind of worried for a while. If two Air Force officers were afraid to convict the guy, he was probably pretty scary.
***
When I told Alex I might be on a jury, he told me about the time he served. It was a baby death, and he had a hard time convicting because the evidence was circumstantial, not strong enough to persuade him without a doubt of the man's guilt. He still isn't happy with the outcome.

This is my biggest fear about being on a jury -- no, not that the outcome will be ambiguous. I really hope it's not a case in which a child was hurt or killed. A defense attorney would be batshit crazy to sit me on a jury for a case like that. As I've written before, I'd have no trouble treating someone who hurt a child like a Thanksgiving turkey.

But I don't want to see the evidence. I'd have nightmares. I'd probably break down in the courtroom and cry. I wouldn't be able to tolerate the details, not if it involved a child.

In most cases, I'm not bothered by blood or wounds or anything medical. I could do open heart surgery right here in my parlor with a popsicle stick and my spaghetti tongs, but I can't see a child being hurt or the evidence of a child having been hurt. It would haunt me for the rest of my life. I couldn't be objective.
***
A lawyer friend posted this story about the Drew Peterson jury showing up every day in court wearing coordinated clothing. It's bizarre. What could convince 12 people to behave that way?

Smooth Jazz and I chewed on this one for quite a while tonight, and we just couldn't make sense of it. First, there's no way I would wear either yellow or a football jersey in public. Not happening.

Yet something or someone persuaded the entire jury for this case to come dressed alike every day. Did the gruesome photos make them insane? Or are they being threatened in some way? Or has this entire fucking country decided life is one big reality TV show?

At the bottom of my summons I'm told to "Please use good judgment and report for jury duty properly dressed. Shorts, tee shirts and tank tops are INAPPROPRIATE ATTIRE."

I'm not sure how my clothing affects my ability to render a fair decision, but apparently there are rules.
***
I do want to sit on a jury ..... and I don't. I've known people who've been on juries for horrible crimes, and they were traumatized, damaged; they have nightmares. It might make for great writing fodder .... in between appointments with a crisis counselor. I can guarantee it wouldn't make me wear yellow though. That's a fucking deal-breaker.


Do you have a jury story? If you're called, are you eager to do it? Or do you try to get out of it?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Another Saturday night....

Enough people encouraged me that I am going to make a commitment to post every day in September too. Fuck me for being a masochist. But tonight I hope you'll forgive me if I cop out. I've been writing all evening to a friend who asked me for the story of a post I wrote in April. I spent several hours writing the history, the rational, behind that letter. I appreciate that he asked, and it's good sometimes to go back and see if anything has really changed.

Not much has, at least as it concerns the situations that inspired that letter. It was a reminder why some people have left my life and why I have to be OK with their absence, so I didn't expect anything and that's what I got. However, the sentiments I shared are still true.

******

It's late now, but I still need to practice some music for the gigs Chicken Grrrl and I have coming up in October. She refuses to learn to play the guitar and I can't sing like she can and I'm the great enabler, so much as it pains my fingertips and the muscles in my forearms (damn you, barre chords), I will turn now from writing to playing my guitar.

What should you be doing right now?