Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Off the Hook

For once, the universe smiled on me and did not stick me on a jury. And it really was luck and not anything I did. I was the very last person in my group of potential jurors, which meant that I'd only end up on the jury if they struck almost everyone ahead of me. The lawyers didn't even bother directing questions to me because I was off their radar (though I couldn't resist pointing out a fallacy in something the law student who was handling the questioning for the defense said, which I noticed led the judge to smirk). As a result, I was home by 12:30.

And there was even an upside to the day. A guy I worked with more than ten years ago was in my group. We'd gone on a really crazy business trip together and had become pretty good friends at work, but then lost touch when we both left that company at around the same time, so it was nice to reconnect (and it was very nice that he actually recognized me all those years later -- and nicer still that it wasn't because I was wearing some of the same clothes I'd worn then).

I also learned the trick to navigating the Escher-esque parking garage: get behind someone coming in through the monthly parking/employee entrance. It's one of those odd garages where you can look between levels and see that there are entire stretches of empty spaces, but you can't seem to actually reach those areas because the level you're on doesn't connect to those levels. But by getting into the magical slipstream behind people who know the proper incantation, you can cross through the dimensional barrier and reach the empty parking spaces conveniently located right by the pedestrian walkway that crosses the street.

It was rather heartening to me to see how many people in the central jury room were reading books (though I'm baffled by the people who show up for something like that with absolutely nothing to occupy them -- no newspaper, no magazine, no work, no book -- and then sit and fidget out of boredom). Terry Pratchett was well represented, as a guy a few rows in front of me was reading Good Omens and I was re-reading Monstrous Regiment.

The really nice thing is that I've already done all the things for the week that absolutely had to be done. That should free up some writing time, though I also need to start organizing tax materials.

For now, though, I could kind of use a nap, since I had to get up very early (for me) after getting to sleep rather late, thanks to a massive storm that came through just as I was getting in bed (hail on a tile roof is loud). And then I had the usual anxiety nightmares, including one in which I was on a jury for a case about television series writers being accused of ruining the show (if that was a crime, they'd need to build more jails in California). I was really conflicted because as a fan I totally saw the point, but as a writer I thought it would set a dangerous precedent.

On a more somber note, I was really saddened to learn of the death of Andy Hallett, who played the Host (Lorne) on Angel. He really added a spark to that show and created one of TV's more memorable characters. He was way too young to leave us. I think I may have to dig out one of my Angel DVDs and watch in tribute.

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