Thursday, March 31, 2005

Another Selfish Rant

I'm getting tired of selfish people, I really am. I am an only child. Perhaps at age 56 that should read...I am an only adult of an even more adult mother...soon she'll be 80 and she's still a pip. Anyway, the only reason I mention my only-child status is because I understand selfishness. I truly do. I just don't think there's any place for it once you reach a certain age.

The car blinker thing still riles me. I need to have signs printed that I can snap up to my window when I see bad blinker behavior. I'm trying to work out exactly what I want my signs to say. So far, I've come up with the following...remember, I can't be completely rude or I might just get shot. I can only flash these signs when I'm in middle or upper-middle class areas, and only at cars driven by extremely suburban-looking drivers. When I'm in the city or in suspect neighborhoods, I just need to ignore bad blinker behavior. But...guess what...the worst blinker behavior is in the 'burbs. Surprise...

Did you forget something or is your rudeness intentional ?



I'm Sure you don't Mean to be Rude...or do you?

You drive like an old lady in the middle of Wisconsin...use your blinker.

Anyway, my rant today isn't about blinkers, although it did feel good to get that off my chest. It's about stupid, selfish women who STAND in the shallow end of a lane in which I'm actually trying to do laps. The routine is this: the water aerobics class finishes and the lap lane dividers go back up. It's very clear. When the class is finished, lap swimmers get to reclaim the pool. These two women were in my class. The class finished, the lanes became clearly marked once again and these two morons stood in the middle of MY lane. After ten laps I said, politely, "Would you mind moving over, I'm trying to swim some laps." They didn't answer and I really would like to think that they never heard me, but since that is flippin' impossible, I can only assume that they CHOSE to ignore me. Bitches. Anyway, I kept on swimming and then finally, when I felt rage bubbling up inside me at their selfishness, I stopped and had a little chat with them. It went something like this, all said very reasonably. "Look, I know you're busy chatting and probably didn't notice me swimming back and forth and back and forth for the last 20 mintues, and you probably never heard me politely ask you if you could scoot over, but don't you think it's a little self-centered and rude NOT to have moved for me and what is your problem...are you FUCKING NUTZ?" They still didn't answer me and still didn't move. Quite frankly, I didn't get it. But, I did a few more laps and then went into the locker room to shower. The showers were all being used so I waited where you wait and then one of these moronic women who I'd just gone [I thought] crazy on, comes out of the sauna and actually feels comfortable talking to me. She says...seriously (and I would have been pissed off for life if someone had talked to me the way I had just talked at her and I never would communicate to that person again)..."Are you waiting for a shower?" I just looked at her and said, yes. She said, "Well, I wouldn't dream of going in front of you, but give me a shout when the next one comes free, okay?" I said, "Are you nuts?" and went into the next shower. I think they really are just now I feel a little badly at speaking harshly to crazy people.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Springtime in Topanga

Topanga through a Mustard Haze Posted by Hello

It is so beautiful in Southern California this spring. Most springs are, if not beautiful, then certainly hopeful, regardless of location, but when you live in an environment that is as sensitive to rainfall as this area, spring can be pretty flat or pretty exquisite. This year is the latter. With our 65+ inches of rain this season, the wildflower season is exceptional, just exceptional.

Monday, March 28, 2005

When You Turn Your Cellphone Off, Make Sure it Really is Off

In an earlier entry, I'd gone on (ad nauseum) about drivers who don't use their blinkers. Leaving the Calabasas Swim & Tennis Club the other day, I was poised, BLINKER ON...well, just bloody obnoxious guy...on his cellphone...driving a Range Rover...would do. Would he go straight? Would he turn into the driveway of the very same club I was trying to leave? You know he was turning blinker...the sod. So...

I said something to him. He stopped and cupped one hand round his ear like he couldn't hear me (the liar). I said, "You forgot to use your blinker." Remarkably, he still couldn't hear me. So I said, "Your indicator...your blinker. Start using them." Curiously, my husband heard this entire one-sided conversation because somehow I'd accidentally hit the redial button on my cellphone.

Wild Cucumber and Wild Lupine in Topanga

Wild Cucumber Posted by Hello

Wild Lupine

First time I ever saw wild lupines was in 1989 when we (Roger, Jane, Colin and I) flew out west from Wisconsin for Roger's conference. After all bidness had passed we drove up into the Sierras and had a couple of nights in King's Canyon. It was there I saw this beautiful flower for the first time. Before that, I'd only ever seen them all neat and tidy in cultivated gardens. I've never seen an untamed cucumber, though. Guess this is what happens to 'em when you don't keep them under control.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Lunches with Barbie

Barbie is Elissa's oldest friend. They were friends in Milwaukee when they were just girls and now, courtesy of Elissa, Barbie & I are friends.

Barbie is, besides being a doll, a true foodie. That suits me to the ground because, well, I may not be a foodie but I sure as hell love eating. We've eaten in sushi restaurants in the valley and on the west side where she's taught me sushi bar etiquette and exactly what is yummy. California cuisine...we love it. Seafood, we love it. Hot, spicy food, I love it (not Barbie). Hotel dining rooms that make you feel like you're on vacation, we love 'em. And today we loved Cora's Coffee Shoppe on Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica. It's not that we're not fussy, it's just that we choose our dining spots carefully. And even though Barbie knows more about food and LA, she lets me choose restaurants, too. Today we sat outside on this little strip of concrete with a hedge of bougainvilla our privacy screen on one side and nothing between us and the parking lot on the other. And guess what, the food was so damned good that we even notice the parking lot. Last week I ate there with my friend, Betsy, and she ordered a Portuguese tuna pannini. We were served a pannini with Serano ham and a fried egg...not even remotely like tuna but it was so delish that we didn't even remember we'd ordered tuna until two days later.

Food is almost secondary when Barbie and I eat. We talk a mile a minute about our grand-
children, what we're reading, vacations, mutual friends, husbands, kids and yet again, our grandchildren. She just got back from Hawaii and I only now realized that we never got around to talking about her vacation.

So, thank you Elissa, for being a generous friend and, while I'm at it, thank you Patty Bertha for sharing your dearest old friend (Betsy).

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Take a break

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Don't you just love Icelandic Poppies? Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

President Bush FLIES POSTHASTE to the capital to sign the hastily cobbled together bill that Congress has created to save Terry Schiavo

Poor, poor Terry Schiavo. Poor, poor Michael Schiavo, her husband. And poor, poor Mr. & Mrs. Schindler, Terry Schiavo's parents. All that being said, what the hell is wrong with the government? All you right-wingers out there, listen up. You're the same ones who cry foul about government 'interference' and the over-governmenting of America. Well, please tell me what you call this? Our country is at war, isn't it? But our president has so damned much spare time and is so filled with compassion for this tragically sick woman that he is flying back to the White House to sign a bill that Congress has put together to extend her miserable life even further.

And now Randall Terry has joined the fray. If you don't know who this man is, you should. He is dangerous. I know that from personal experience. Randall Terry is either the founder or one of the founders of "Operation Rescue." He is a dangerous bully who has been barred since the late 90s from any anti-abortion activities. That he isn't in jail is nothing but a mystery to me. Randall Terry first crossed my path in the late winter of 1991/92. He had proclaimed from his bully pulpit that Milwaukee would be the focus of "Operation Rescue" activities in the spring and summer. I was and am an active member of Planned Parenthood, a wonderful organization founded by lady Republicans, many decades ago, to help with family planning issues in the slums of New York City. Planned Parenthood and Naral officials in Milwaukee were understandably concerned and were looking for volunteers just to be a "presence" around several family planning clinics that provided abortions in the City. I volunteered and so it was that I found myself on one miserably cold February day in the parking lot of a clinic. Clinic escorts were bringing patients in through the side door because Randall Terry and a busload of the faithful had blockaded the front door. Police were holding them at bay and we were still able to get the clients in. First through the door that day was a 12-year old rape victim. She and her mother had to walk and shoulder their way through a screaming throng of 'Christians' and I just remember that the young girl was crying and shaking with fear. Her mother was furious.

The day wore on and finally the last patient had walked through the door. My friend and I were chatting with a few of the clinic defense coordinators when a group of about 20 Operation Rescue fanatics came charging around the corner. We tried to get over to the side door of the clinic but a mini-van was between the door and us. Suddenly I was pushed roughly against the van by Randall Terry. With his left hand he pushed me tight up against the side mirror. It was digging into my shoulder, hard...I remember that so well. When I moved sharply to get away, he elbowed me maliciously in the small of my back. I was in two minds about running or yelling at him. I didn't run, but I looked at him hard and said, "Listen asshole. Nobody wearing a cheap, orangie/brown naugahyde jacket is going to scare me. Now fuck off." End of story. He gave me one little push, chicken-shit that he is, and walked away. Lucky me, in 1992 I got to see more of that SOB than I ever would have thought possible. I am not surprised to see his name surface again.

Mr. President, there are 14,000 residents of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation who could run out of water by August of this year. Schools and their only hospital & clinic would close. While I'm sure this is not on your front burner, I did think that since you care so deeply and passionately about the almost-dead, this may get your attention.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Les Choristes

See this film.
Les Choristes (The Choir).

A Day Away

It is now almost 24 hours since we (the jury) gave our verdict in court. My heart is still so filled with sadness for the Lee family. Mr. Lee is what is termed a 'partial' quadriplegic. After four years of intensive therapy, he has use of his arms. What he doesn't have is his dignity. He is an intelligent, alert octogenarian who walked into St. John's Hospital, after a referral from his orthopaedic doctor in Hong Kong, saw the top gun in the world for this particular 'procedure' and left St. John's one month later on a stretcher.

Were the three doctors/defendants negligent in providing medical care and treatment to Mr. Kenneth Lee on and after January 9, 2001?
The 11 other jurists,the three alternate jurors and I were filled with sadness for Mr. Lee, but we didn't feel that his situation was the result of his surgery or his after-surgical care and that is what this case was about. We, to a person, said no. It was proved to us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mr. Lee's surgery was a success and that after coming out of surgery in great condition (for a 76-year old), three days later was in intensive care, intubated, in a semi-coma and unresponsive to pinpricks or other stimuli. The final witness...the sexy witness...Dr. Andrew Woo...testified that without any shred of doubt in his mind, Mr. Lee had not one, but two strokes...infarcts of the brain and the cervical cord. He didn't waiver under intense questioning and didn't rise to the accusatory tone of the plaintiff's attorneys. He was cool, calm and wore a suit extremely well, as opposed to most of the other doctors who took the stand. Although Mr. Woo was one of Mr. Lee's treating neurologists (there are two other partners in this practice and they took hospital patient care on one week shifts), he was not being sued by the plaintiff and I never did quite understand why.

All I truly understand is that the doctors will return to their normal lives, we jurists will return to our normal lives and, unfortunately, Mr. Lee and his family will return to what has become their normal lives. One comment made by Mr. Lee on the witness stand brought tears to my eyes then and now. It was said in fluent but heavily accented English (Mr. Lee is an American citizen who moved to America in his early 20s) and it went something like this. "I am so sad for my beautiful bride of 50 years that she has now problem of me." I understood exactly what he meant...exactly.

Friday, March 18, 2005

It's Over

Jury duty is finished and I feel strangely empty. We found for the defendants and my heart broke for the plaintiffs.

The lady judge is a pip and we all have respect and admiration for her style, wit, strength and obvious intelligence. All little girls should have a day in court (field trip) where a lady judge such as this sits.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Final Arguments

Tomorrow, probably, will be my very last day with the 11 other jurors and the three alternates. Well, it'll be the last day if nine of us can reach agreement on a verdict. We have followed Judge Connor's instructions and have not discussed this case or any behaviors observed in the courtroom. Oddly, I shall miss my fellow jurors and the rhythm of the court. It became my reality for two plus weeks. It is always Judge Connor's reality. I appreciate her calm demeanor and control of her courtroom.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Horse is a Horse, of course, of course

"YOU HORSE'S ASS, YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"Hmmmmm...that's what one of the expert witnesses shouted at the defendant's attorney today. Even I knew that was out of line, but I kept a straight face and didn't dare look any direction but down. Not so the three young, girlie jurors who sit behind me. In my heart I prayed that their nervous, stacatto-outbursts of giggles would hold and not develop into some serious lack of control because I knew if that happened, I may well join them. These are very bright young women who just can't help their natural exuberance. But let's start at the beginning, WITHOUT SPILLING THE BEANS about what this trial is all about.

The plaintiffs seems to be finding some pretty interesting experts but none more so than the name-caller of today. Interestingly, considering his outburst, he actually had horse's teeth...I'm serious. They were really huge and seemed to get in the way of his tongue. He had a problem with dry mouth, too, so he was always licking his lips. I wanted to offer him an Altoids, but I'd already loaned him a pair of my reading glasses and enough's enough. Here's the reading glasses story.

He's sworn-in, takes the stand and is patting his pockets and rummaging noisly in his briefcase when the judge says, "Excuse me, sir, are you looking for something?" Turns out, he forgot his reading glasses. The judge looks up, stifles a sigh and I pipe up, "Well, curiously, I have three pairs of 2.5's in my purse. Would that be of any help?" It is unusual for me to have three pairs, certainly, but more unusual is for me to even know how many pairs I am totin'. Mr. Ed was indeed delighted to have a pair of reading glasses at his disposal since being able to read the odd exhibit was pretty important. I was happy to help out UNTIL I NOTICED HIM CHEWING on the stem of my glasses. That moron would wear them, take them off and then start chewing on them when he didn't need them. I had to literally bite my tongue and look away. I was pleased to see that one of the defendants looked pretty horrified and then glanced up at me to see if I'd noticed such a breach of etiquette. We locked eyes, then quickly looked away before we could be accused of being in cahoots or something weird like that.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Nails so Long they Curl and Other Gross Stuff

Today as I was driving home from jury duty, I saw...okay, before I can even proceed with that sentence, you have to understand that since early last week it's been impossible to just drive home from jury duty. I know I'm harping on the road conditions, but I'm telling you, I kind of feel like they rule my life right now. If I'd drawn jury duty a year ago, I would have just driven home. Santa Monica Courthouse to my home in Topanga, 25 minutes tops. The limited opening of Topanga Canyon Blvd. isn't the problem. The issue is yet ANOTHER slide (rocks & soil), this one onto Pacific Coast Hwy. It's not being cleaned up and I can only assume the reason is that it's still active. So four very busy lanes are being moved into a single lane and it now takes me at least an hour and a half to get home and about the same to get to the courthouse in the morning. That being understood, you will appreciate how I can focus on my fellow drivers since we're either not moving at all or moving so slowly. Today, driving home from the courthouse, I saw the following:

A car loaded with teenagers driving home from school with a joss stick pushed tight into a little space at the top of the passenger front window...burning...and stinking up the fine smell of car exhaust and the Pacific Ocean.

A Dodge Neon filled with three people who looked like regulars on the HBO series Carnivale. The guy sitting in the backseat had earlobes that had been stretched around these heavy rings. I don't know how long it took to get his ears like that, but it was compelling. I couldn't not look at them. The guy who delivered my firewood had the same style thing going with his ears. Their mothers must be horrified. I would be. The driver had tattoos all over his face...ALL OVER HIS FACE AND his ears and his entire shaved, bald head was tattooed to look like a soccer ball. It was a horrible look, but he seemed happy enough. The one who really freaked me out, though, was the woman sitting in the front passenger seat. She had fingernails that were at least two to three inches long and curled around on themselves. THEY WERE HORRIBLE but, again, it was tough to look away. That car full of freaks almost made me happy to be sitting in traffic.

Nick Nolte in this kind of ratty looking older BMW. Maybe it wasn't him, but it sure looked like him and I know he lives in Malibu, at least that's where he got his DUI last year.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Lottie slept all night BUT she got up SO early...for me. She asked if I'd sleep in her room (at my house) so she had one single bed and I had the other. She went to sleep at 8, I went to sleep at midnight. She started waking up at 6 AM and was ready to go by 7...which meant that I started waking up at 6 and then woke up at exactly the same time to "It's not time to sleep, Nana. Wake up." Here's what we did between 7 and 11:30 AM...non-stop.

Cereal, please. She loves those O's, so a bowlful of those got her going...big time. I asked her what she'd like for second breakfast and she quickly replied blueberry pancakes. Second breakfast would be the first for Himself and me so I was pleased she asked for something yummy.

Let's get beautiful. She quickly got her first breakfast under her belt and pulled her jammies off and her leotard, plastic high heels and pop beads on. She swanned around in that get-up while I was taking limited peeps at the Sunday papers. We put some music on and she did a little impromptu flamenco. This child is truly her mother's daughter.

I'm Hungry, Nana
. Roger & I were thinking the same thing so while Lottie pulled off her dance outfit and pulled on her outdoor clothes, I got to mixing pancake batter. It was 8 AM and I'd lost my first cup of coffee almost an hour before and still hadn't found it. I got the second cup started and 20 minutes later we're sitting down to a BIG PANCAKE BREAKFAST. Believe me, this isn't our normal routine. I knew Lottie had a birthday party at 12:30 so when she picked the first blueberry out of her pancake, popped it in her mouth, sneezed and deposited it on her clean top, I knew I could stop worrying about the state of her clothes when I delivered her to her Mom. That was a relief to get that worry out of the way.

I'll be a Nice Dinosaur, You be a Mean One
. I was trying to read the Style section of the NY Times while Roger and Lottie roared around the house, alternating mean and nice roles. It wasn't yet 9 AM. There are some aspects of parenting that one just plain doesn't miss and the energy of weekend mornings is one of them.

Hey Babu, you wanna play store? Babu, otherwise known as Roger, had the business section of the New York Times and actually thought he was going to read it. I think he thought that after playing nice dinosaur/mean dinosaur he could sit down for a few minutes. He was really wrong. Lottie had her shopping cart and it was filled with non-breakable purchases. You know, things like smoked oysters, organic mac & cheese, tomato paste and Republic of Tea tins of tea. Try the Kiwi Pear or Ginger Peach...this is seriously yummy tea and it makes good iced tea, too. This is saying something since my absolute favorite English brekkers tea is PG Tips. This is strong, serious, English tea and it is delicious (to me). Lottie is a very thorough child so, not only is she her mother's daughter, she is her father's daughter, which is a good, good thing. This little girl has a sense of thoroughness, like her Pa, and after showing Babu how to slide the groceries through the 'scanner,' she insisted on signing her credit card receipt.

Did you know I Play Soccer, Babu ? Then we went outside and kicked the kingsize ball around the garden and played Piggie in the Middle and then we checked to see if there were any worms in the swimming pool.

Let's Go for a walk up the Mountain then let's blow bubbles, okay Babu?

Babu was definitely the star on Sunday and I was happy to share.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

On the Good Ship, Lottiepop

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Lights, Camera, Action!

Lottie started tap classes...can you tell? Today she started ballet and tonight she's having a sleepover chez Nana & Babu. That's us. We sound like extras in a Bollywood movie, I know, but that's what we're called.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Inside the Jury Room

What a group. It seems to me that my jury is a little more intelligent than your average jury. Three men, the rest women, even the alternates. Stilettos to sensible shoes, it's a pretty age-diverse group and as we spend more and more time together, personalities are starting to emerge.

Some of the jurors are chattier than others. Here are some of the topics of conversation that they have initiated in the jury room:

One juror's involvement as a juror on a trial a few years ago
. It involved pimps and prostitutes and offers of blowjobs. Who knew blowjob was one word? Microsoft Word, that’s who. Okay…already this story is giving us more information than we need. Could we just call it oral sex and gl0ss over it, thank you very much? We were clearly interested in hearing about this case, but once the eighth word out of her mouth was blowjob, we changed our minds. She is about 65 years old and is clearly discomforting most of us.

Fun times trying to make your own breadcrumbs.
Then this very same woman, who by now assumes she’s the most interesting person in the Jury Room, starts laughing out loud…LOUDLY. Naturally she has to share what is so funny with ALL of us. She’s reading a recipe for bread pudding…not inherently funny, I agree. But, this recipe reminds her of something that is just SO funny, according to her. I’m not counting on it, but remain quiet and just smile…sometimes even I can be a diplomat. She tells us all, in great detail, of the time a recipe called for breadcrumbs and she thought, well, darnit, I’ll just make my own. So, she bought a loaf of white bread and put it in the Cuisinart and…oh you’ll never guess what happened…it just turned into a glutinous mass. End of story. She could barely spit out glutinous mass, she was laughing SO hard. I found it interesting that I had finally found the one person to whom your basic crappy sitcom is aimed. Stupid me, I used to think the target audience was 13 year-old girls.

A woman with very big, brassy, frizzy hair (who happens to be a psychotherapist at the VA and should get a new hairdresser) who called the Judge’s attention (at the end of Day Two) to the fact that the clocks in our courtroom were three minutes fast and that SHE set her watch and home clocks to NPR and should SHE change her watch to be the same as the court’s, even though SHE knows it’s wrong?

Mean Employees in the Main Room for all Jurors.
This very same woman complained earlier of the attitude of the workers in the Third Floor Room for all jurors. It all stemmed from her wanting to get her parking pass stamped during the afternoon break and not when we are dismissed at the end of the day. She didn’t like ‘their’ attitude. ‘They’ were unpleasant and not forthcoming or friendly. WHO GIVES A FLYING FLIP??? I mean Jesus Christ on a Bicycle, since when do government employees who aren't earning much more than minimum wage have to be pleasant? Just for the record, they were pretty nice whenever I talked to them.

Infraction, Infarction.
A couple of the attorney’s keep mispronouncing key medical terms. I can’t figure out whether it’s intentional or not. I know one thing for sure. They’ve misread this jury and trying to appear all hokey and homespun for our benefit is just a waste of time. A big waste of time.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Strip Clubs

Today, while having my lunch break from jury duty, I was reading the New Yorker, the issue that came out just before the Oscars. One article was particularly intriguing and it immediately triggered a memory of mine which made me giggle out loud which, in turn, caused another juror (different case) to turn around and look at me with suspicion, as though I were laughing at his sandwich or the magazine he was reading or his haircut. How do you tell a person you’re not even vaguely interested in talking to him just because of what he's reading. What was he reading? Well, it was an Us magazine. No, not U.S. News & World Report, but Us. What kind of man reads Us in public, even if it is free and he found it in the jury waiting room? I wouldn’t read Us in public and I’m the kind of person who devours Hello! (HOLA! in Spain) magazine but is too cheap to ever actually buy one. It must be understood, though, that I do not read these magazines in public, just in the privacy of my own house and preferably when my husband isn’t watching. He’s the kind of man who, I’m quite sure, is disappointed that I even have any interest in reading them at all. So, the man reading the Us is either so completely confidant that he doesn't gave a tinker's damn what anyone thinks of him or too dimwitted to think there's something wrong with reading Us. All that aside, I'd rather write about him than talk to him.

Anyway, the article in the New Yorker that caused me to give a muffled giggle was about going to a strip club en the 50s. While my family never went on such an outing, Francine du Plessix Gray’s family did. Not only did they go on such an outing, but HER PARENTS invited her boyfriend…something I can’t even begin to imagine. Apparently, strip clubs had been banned in Manhattan a decade earlier, but not in New Jersey. Racier families considered it an enlightened family outing.

I'm not sure if the Lubinski’s, my host family at an Anglo-French school I attended in Paris during my senior spring in high school, thought about it one way or the other. I think they just thought this was a Parisian sight not to be missed. We went to the Moulin Rouge and, while I initially felt uncomfortable with naked women swinging upside down above my head on rose-covered swings, in no time at all I was puffing on one of my 14-year old host sister's Gauloise. I couldn't stop being surprised by just about everything young Kiki did. She was remarkably cool for her tender years. It was a great trip. My host family owned a hotel not far from the Opera where I had Room 210. How cool is that?

A Citizen

I’m in the Jury waiting room trying hard to not listen to this MORONIC woman who will not stop running her mouth. The room is large and I should be able to ignore this woman but there’s a problem. She’s English. AND I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO HER. I am sort of English, but I’ll talk about that another time. I’m also sort of American. Obviously she is now an American citizen, but the simple fact that she is really (deep down) English, and not just English but VERY ENGLISH (and not in a posh way), she is THE authority on the Royals, the Beatles, Diana and, now, Camilla P-B. Whenever she gets one of her facts wrong, which is frequently, I just want to scream “SHUT UP YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, YOU STUPID COW,” but I don’t. I satisfy my impatience by writing about her.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Dinner at the Milligans

We LOVE having dinner at the Milligans. The food is always great, the chatter is always snappy and if I feel like throwing up (due to riding in the backseat of our car up and down and round and round canyon roads and passes), Betsy has an alka seltzer at the ready and I get to go and hang out in their new bathroom or on their bed with a soft blanket until I feel better. I really wanted to feel better more quickly than I did last night, but the alka seltzer eventually sorted me out just fine. Apparently not even nausea can stop me from eating a good dinner!

Lee has a great record collection and I do mean records and not CDs. Great album covers and, as long as there are no scratches, the absolute best sound.

Thanks, Milligans, for a superb night.

Pat & Tim in the Cottage, just before [sob] saying Goodbye

Pat & Tim in the Cottage Posted by Hello

Good lookers, aren't they?

Journey Proud

Tim, I don't care how big a rush you're in, Midwest Express WILL NOT let you board their flights with a towel wrapped 'round your waist. Posted by Hello

In the DEEP South, there is an expression to describe that feeling you have when you're ready to depart on a trip. It is Journey-Proud. I understand that feeling and Tim does, too. Patty and Roger aren't really Journey-Proud type folks. They're comfortable leaving at the absolute, very last minute for the airport and they can actually relax until the second they leave. Tim handled this morning's departure with great ease UNTIL PATTY actually said at 9:30 AM (and their flight is at noon and they are AT LEAST 50 minutes drive from the airport and they have to return their NEON BLUE rental car), "Do you think we have time to go to Paradise Cove and get my sunglasses?" It takes about 25 minutes to get to Paradise Cove, so that would add at least an hour to their airport trip. (Her sunglasses (and maybe Roger's cardigan that Tim gave him) are at Paradise Cove [restaurant] and have been for one whole week). Tim then pretty much said, "Get in the damn car, Pat." She opened the car door, started to chat again, and Tim let the car drift forward. He was READY to leave.

And now they're gone and I miss them, I miss them, I miss them. Five minutes after they left, Roger & I started chatting about their next visit and what we could do. We're thinking of maybe driving north. There's so much to see and do in California and so easy with friends like them. They have a curiosity and an eagerness to experience everything and that is just plain infectious.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Tales from the Courtroom...Minus Everything Pertinent to the Case because We're not allowed to talk about that

Not even to our significant others. Maybe I can't talk about the case we're judging (until it's all over), but I sure can talk about other stuff that's going on at the Courthouse. This is a case that I was absolutely, positively, 100% sure I'd be excused from. Of course I can't tell you why, but I will in a couple of weeks. Uh huh...that's right. This trial is going to last at least two weeks (we've been warned) and all I can say is that this is the closest I've felt to being in high school and totally and completely bored in class, since, well...since I was a completely and totally bored high school student. Yawning, fidgeting, straightening my legs to uncrink my knees and trying to look interested...lots of moves that I hadn't used in, um, about 40 years. FORTY YEARS??? That sounds nuts...just nuts.

Anyway, I'm not bored by the case itself. I'm bored with the amount of detail. We, the humble jury, are the judges of this case and the referee (the real judge) and the lawyers think that we need minutae. We don't need this amount of detail because we're not experts and even if we hear this stuff for two weeks, we still won't understand...truly understand the science of the case. We won't have our MDs at the end. We will still be waiters and publicists and writers and lawyers and retired old ladies and architects and media chicks and we still will be imperfect judges, but I think we'll all genuinely try hard to be even and fair...even that girl who did nothing but let out great frustrated sighs every time she wasn't rejected during the voir dire.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I think they're gonna choose me

They're acting like they like me. No matter how honestly I answer their questions, they still seem to like me. So, I have this feeling that I'm going to be picked. More later. This hanging out at the Courthouse really makes me tired. I do like the judge, though and I have the feeling that she will keep the attorneys in line.

Gone Jury Duty(ing)

It's a privilege, I know.