Jury duty was a bust. I never left the first jury selection room. I was in the last group called; by then it was 11:15. At 11:30 they excused us for lunch until 1:15. At 1:40, they told us that they were going to wait until tomorrow for that last case, so they would choose jurors from tomorrow's crop. We collected our $9 checks and filed out. Some highlights:
- I got a lot of manuscript work done. (Between preemptive pee breaks. I would blame this on pregnancy, but unfortunately it's par for the course for me.)
- A fellow juror smiled at me at the security line, and later in the selection room. Made me wonder if she's just a friendly person or if she's seen my blog. I don't have that many readers, but a few people have surprised me by telling me they read my blog.
- I am grateful that they make us check cell phones before we enter the gathering room. Imagine overhearing 200 half-conversations in close quarters. Plus all those annoying ring tones.
- Breakfast choices were banana bread, apple cinnamon cake and—I love it when we go with the stereotypes—soft pretzels.
- Question #2 on the form is "Do you have any religious, moral or ethical beliefs that would prevent you from sitting in judgment in a criminal case and rendering a fair verdict?" How should I answer that? If I believe the death penalty is unfair (which I do), then deciding not to sentence with the death penalty in a criminal case would, to me, be a fair verdict.
- While I'm on the topic, here is a great quote about the death penalty:
“My main objection to the death penalty isn’t about trying to save anybody on death row. It’s about, ‘If this is a democracy and the government kills somebody, then I’m killing somebody.’ I object to the damage that it does to my spirit.”
STEVE EARLE, singer/songwriter, The Progressive (Feb. 2003)
- The welcoming judge, in her brief speech thanking us for doing this important civic duty and showing up despite the bad weather, said, "since it's Valentine's Day, I'll also tell you that in my time here I've seen a couple of romances bloom among jurors." At that, a guy behind me said "bet their spouses didn't appreciate that!"
- During my Reading Terminal lunch, I recalled a conversation with one of our Southern California publisher's marketing reps when she was in Philly for a conference.
her: So, the Amish people at Reading Terminal are, like, really Amish?
me: Um, yeah . . . [?]
her: They're not just people dressed up to look Amish?
me: You could always try tugging on their beards and saying "C'mon, it's fake! Gotcha!"
Shmooie's daycare was closed, so the boys had a snow day. When I got home I was greeted with tales of shoveling the walk, coming in for hot cocoa, braving the one-block walk to the punk coffee house to buy beans and spend Shmoo's pocket money (HPR's aunt and uncle sent Shmoo $1 in a Valentine card; Shmoo chose 2 cookies), and many indoor hijinks.
Shmooie took a nap in his big-boy bed for the second time, without incident, so we put him to bed there last night (first time trying it at night). He slept well. In fact, he woke up a good half hour later than normal. I'm not going to be careless enough to do a parenting victory dance, but this bodes well.