Archive for December, 2007

Into the Jury Room

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Finally we can break our silence. The 12 of us are in an exclusive club, and for the past two weeks we’ve been hearing things that beg and plead for discussion. Yet up until now we were strictly forbidden from uttering a word to anyone about what we’ve heard in the courtroom. The wait was almost over.

It was Thursday afternoon before Thanksgiving week and I can tell you all of us were hoping deliberations wouldn’t last beyond the end of the next day. Still, until we got into the jury room and started talking, it was hard to tell how long it would take to reach a verdict.

It was interesting to get into the room and sit around the table and really look all the other jurors in the face for the first time. We also re-introduced ourselves and made little name tents so we would know who we were talking to. They were all faces we knew well, but I only knew one or two of their names.

Foreperson Selected – I won’t lie; I think I would make a good foreman. However, as soon as we got into the room, one woman asked “does the foreperson get to read the verdict? If so, I’d like to do it. I’d just like to be able to say that I read the verdict.” The belief in the room was that the foreperson did read the verdict and a couple of people said they had no problem with this woman serving as foreperson. So without much of a formal vote, she was selected. In retrospect I have one piece of advice should you ever need to select a foreperson – do not select someone whom you know likes to talk. Select someone who likes to listen. This woman had to state her opinion after everyone spoke, and really looked for every opportunity possible to talk rather than keep order among the group.

Approaching the Verdict – While there was so much to talk about, we quickly agreed that the first thing we should discuss was her alibi. If we believed her alibi, then there was no reason to discuss the individual charges against her since she couldn’t have even been at the scene on the night of the incident. We went around the room and each person said whether they believed the alibi or not. When this initial vote was done, the count was 10 to 2.

No Spoiler – If I tell you any more here, I’ll start to give away the verdict. In case anyone is reading this retrospectively, I’m not going to put the rest of the story and the verdict on this page. If you want to read all the posts that make up the back story before you get to the verdict, just click on “jury duty” on the right hand column under Categories. If you’re ready to hear the rest of the story, click on “The Verdict” on the right under Pages.

Next Post: The only remaining part of my story of jury duty will show up soon on the right hand column under “pages.” Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll continue to post various B.S. about what’s going on in my life, so check back once in a while if you want to know what’s up with me. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

When you see me, please tell me my skin looks fantastic

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Why? Because I just spent $97 on skin care products. If you know me this may seem out of character. It is – I hate all forms of lotion. This isn’t a post to explain how great a product is, it’s a post to tell you P.T. Barnum was wright – “there’s a sucker born every minute,” in this case me.

I would have been happier if I didn’t even have to go to the mall today, but I just got into Atlanta after visiting my sister in Texas. She gave me a pair of jeans from the Gap for an early Christmas present. I got to ATL and went to put them on only to find they had left the security sensor on the clothes. I called the Atlanta Gap and they sounded like they’d take the sensor off even though I didn’t have a receipt, and they did – thanks Gap.

I was on my way out of the mall and a woman from one of the little island stores in the middle of the mall got my attention. I know – rule one is say “no thanks” and keep walking. I don’t know what caused this lapse in judgment, but it occurred. I paused and she pounced.

Her island store was, you guessed it, skin care products. I’m pretty much done with my Christmas shopping, so I didn’t even need anything for my sister or my mother. Within 60 seconds she 1) told me I was good looking, 2) found out I don’t have a girlfriend (and am not gay), 3) told me she could tell I work out, 4) asked how old I was and acted surprised when I told her. Uh oh, she now has a lot of information to work with. Within another 60 seconds she was holding my hand, dumping some crystals into it, and massaging it. I’m in trouble. If the roles were reversed and a guy was trying to say these things to a woman, it would be the cheesiest thing ever. But they weren’t, and the world is very different when those roles aren’t reversed.

She wasn’t even that cute.  She was undoubtedly flirting with me, and she had an Eastern European accent, but she wasn’t even that cute. It didn’t matter. She raves about the crystals and the minerals and how they’re from Japan and they’re great for your skin and muscles and blood flow.  Then she breaks out a tub of what looks like lotion. A-ha! I can honestly tell her I have always hated lotion. Maybe she’ll make me buy the crystals, but I am NOT buying lotion. But this isn’t lotion she tells me; it’s body butter. Lotions have oils, blah blah blah. I standing firm with my “no lotion” stance, and I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

She changes gears and goes to a face-care product – asks if I ever use any. Nope, no I don’t, never – no room for a sale here.  She then tells me she can tell my ancestors are from Europe because I have patches of red on my face and that’s rosacea – a problem that Europeans often have. Let me tell you I know she is so full of shit with this line of logic. #1 I don’t have rosacea.  I don’t even have any patches of red on my face beyond what’s normal since it’s cold outside, #2 that’s not how you can tell my ancestors are European, it’s my CAUCASIAN-ness. But it’s Christmas, and in the Christmas spirit what good would it do to call her out on her BS? The Christmas spirit is at least half of why I stopped in the first place. I’ll just let her keep talking.

So she had told me the price of the crystals and the price of the butter – about $40 each. But she wants me to take care of my face. That’s what’s important to her, so if I buy the face crap (that I only have to use once a week, and which is a full year’s supply) for $89, she’ll give me the other two things for free.  For FREE!!

Thank you, but NO no. I KNOW I won’t use it. I’m too lazy. I’m sure I won’t use it, and I see right through your pricing shenanigans.  You say $80, I say $40 and you say $89.  All for crap I don’t want!?! That’s not how it works lady!  I’ll buy the crystals and try to give them to someone for Christmas, but I don’t even have anyone to give them to.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details – I got played. I got owned, or pwned, or whatever new term I’m not up to speed on.   I spent the $97 (after tax) and now I have three containers of CRAP that I am NEVER going to use!! On top of that, my hands feel all lotiony and they fucking stink. I hate perfumy smells, and this crap won’t wash off!!!!!

Yes, this is embarrassing. I tell you, the internet, only so that you may learn from my mistakes. However, to make myself feel better, I can’t look at this as just a stupid purchase decision wherein I lost $97 and came out with stinky slimy hands. No, I always try to look at the bright side, and to me that $97 bought me the following:

  • An expensive reminder to NEVER stop walking when solicited by… well really anyone offering anything. Just keep walking dude.  I think this lesson should hold for around 5 years. When you look at it as just under $20 per year, that’s still a terrible deal but maybe slightly less terrible.
  • An expensive reminder why I don’t like strip clubs. I definitely like seeing women in various degrees of undress. Still I think there are a number of reasons why I don’t like strip clubs, any one of which should be good enough to keep me away. The one at play here is the fear that under the right circumstances I could leave a strip club having lost everything I own. Safer to just not go in there at all – just say no.
  • A motivation to come up with a better exit strategy should I find myself in this situation again (suggestions welcome).
  • Finally, hopefully, fantastic looking skin (which must come from the one application I received at the mall, because really I’m never going to use this stuff).

The only saving grace is that Googled the stuff and at least it does seem like I got a great deal!

So please, the next time you see me – be sure to comment on the smooth and supple texture of my handshake and the radiant glow of my cheeks. Please?

What do you think?

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I’m almost done with my tale of jury duty. I know I have a few people who actually read this. Given what you’ve read so far, what do you think? And if you feel inclined to comment on your answer, please don’t hold back.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.