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2005-03-18 - 11:25 a.m.

Poor Pathetic Me

Hooray! My husband called me from China this morning! And only one week and 4 days before I get to be less of a pathetic loser!* It was odd -- I was dreaming about being in China with him. We were swimming in the ocean (Blech, salt water. Almost as bad as chlorinated water. Yes, am spoiled Great Lakes snob) and I was freaking out that I might lose my engagement ring. Then the phone rang and my train of thought went:
....what is that noise?....but I'm sleeping....Ack! It's an emergency! Someone's in the hospital!....oh, it's probably my husband because of the 14 hour time difference....Yay! Probably my husband!....oh no! What if the answering machine comes on?....

But I was successfully about to reach the phone, and talked for 10 minutes about how he's seen more pagodas than he ever needed to see but it's really cool there. And apparently the Mongolian whore bar he went to with a friend is a big tourist attraction because everyone he has met has asked him if he got to go.

I held the phone up to the dog's ear, and his head snapped around like he was sure his Cool Owner was standing right behind him. Then I felt bad, like I had been teasing the poor dog who has no concept of telephone technology.

And then I got off the phone and cried a little be because I'm pathetic. I do think I've been doing fairly well though! I cried when I dropped him off at our friends' place who were taking him to the airport a bit (okay, the entire drive from Wicker Park to Bridgeport), and then didn't again until I got to talk to him on the phone a week later. That's not too terrible, right?

*What with the sitting around every night watching nerdy shows and playing on the computer while the dog whines at me.

Stories from the CTA

This morning was pretty pleasant. I didn't have to wait too long for the bus. The el came pretty quickly after I got up on the platform. I got a seat on the el even though Halsted is that second to last stop before the Loop! It was thrilling.

But the best part of the morning were the two people sitting in the little row behind me. Right before we got to the Library stop, I heard an older white woman with an orange knitted winter hat say, "Excuse me," in a very clear, loud-ish (for public transit) voice. I was a little surprised because the normal course of action when stuck on the inside seat is to gather your stuff together and just mumble, "'Scuse me." But then she went on to say, "I didn't want to have to wake you! I'm sorry!" Oh. That's why it had to be loud-ish. The older black man stood to let her out and smiled at her, then sat back down. Two stops later I heard *snore snore SNORE snore*. I hope he woke up in time to get off at the right stop...

Due to the Lack of Anything Interesting in My Life

I now present you with a story from long ago. Entitled, "Umm... No, sir." or "How I Got Out of Jury Duty By Making a Fool of Myself."

I got sick on a Friday. Came home from work, felt miserable, declined the offer of doing fun stuff that night, and slept pretty much all day on Saturday and Sunday. Monday came around, and I got up, walked toward the shower to get ready for work, and nearly fainted in the kitchen. I then turned around, walked toward the computer, emailed work that I would be missing that day, and went back to bed. I was starting to get concerned because I had been summoned to jury duty on Tuesday. I'm actually would have been interested in serving because of the potential for Seeing the Legal System in Action and Doing My Duty and such. But Tuesday rolled around and I was feeling none better.

I rolled out of bed and tried to put myself together. I packed cough drops (it was one of those colds where if you start coughing you can't stop. EVER), cold medicine, tissues, water, and a few books. I drove over to the courthouse at 26th & California, went through the metal detectors without anything being confiscated (a big step!), drew number 13 (that's a lucky number for me. Am freak) and took a seat in the big room. In this room, you sit waiting to be called by the number you're holding and you watch a horrible movie about What It Means To Be A Juror.

So, I watched the horrible movie, sat, had a coughing fit, sat, read, sat, and so on. Then the woman in charge came in and called number 13. I was fairly thrilled as I knew the only way I was going to get home to my bed without waiting the whole day was to get dismissed. I was also a little apprehensive as I was not so sure that the judge was going to dismiss me after the horrible movie. It had made serving on a jury sound much more important than personal health.

The twenty or so people who also held number 13 walked to the courtroom in a double line, overseen by a policewoman who was very emphatic about how the double line MUST BE KEPT NEAT. Down the elevators, through the lobby, back up some different elevators, and into a real jury room. Through my sick fog, I was pretty fascinated. Little notes were scratched into the table making me wonder what vandal was on which jury, and it was a pretty cool place to see in reality (read, not Law & Order). We sat there for what seemed like an hour, then the policewoman came in and told us to line up in the order she called our names. I immediately got a massive coughing fit. One where I couldn't breathe, tears were running down my face, snot was running out of my nose, and I didn't have enough tissues to compensate.

We walked into the jury box in order and took our seats. A REAL defendant was even in the room! If I could have stopped coughing, I would have thought it was really cool. The judge waited until we were all seated and called my name. "*COUGH*Yes?" I answered. The judge (wonderful, blessed man!) said, "Are you not feeling well?" "Not *COUGH* particularly, sir *COUGH COUGH*," I said. "You're excused. Pick up your check your way out," he said.

*Bells sounded, light shown down from the sky, angels sang in the distance*

No, that part didn't happen. But I was really happy. The judge cared! He didn't want me to have to Do My Duty with a cold! (Or, which is more likely, he just didn't want the entire courtroom to come down with what must have sounded like whooping cough)

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