Monday, June 30, 2008

My Civic Duty

Yes, I was chosen to be on a jury last week. I was potential juror #10, and ended up being actual Juror #6.

Lucky me.

Actually, it wasn't that bad, and I (almost) actually enjoyed the experience.

The defendant was standing trial for possession of cocaine with intent to sell, plus domestic violence. *shudder* Fortunately, the domestic violence was dropped due to the girlfriend and the witness refusing to testify.

According to the jury, this was an easy open-and-shut case: he wasn't guilty.

Although, he surely wasn't innocent.

The fact of the matter is that the prosecution just didn't do its job. It couldn't prove anything; everything was simply speculation.

The defense must have known this beforehand; it only called one witness: the defendant.

We got the case after lunch, and after listening (and listening, and listening) to the closing arguments and rules and stipulations, we were finally sent back to deliberate.

Our presiding juror (i.e. foreman) was great (and no, it wasn't me). We deliberated for about an hour, though it didn't really need to take us that long. I think we just liked talking about everything.

When we finally took a vote, it was 11-1. We needed to be unanimous. The one juror who held out was only doing so emotionally: she couldn't stomach the fact that anyone having anything to do with drugs would be allowed on the streets because of us. I think most of us just looked at her aghast. We had to reexplain over and over and over that our job was not to pass judgment on his choices, only on whether the prosecution had cast reasonable doubt. It didn't; therefore, the defendant was not guilty.

She finally capitulated, though said she'd regret it for the rest of her life. Whatever. We didn't badger her or cajole her. In fact, we were very polite and understanding with her; we just had to remind her (again and again) what our job was: to look at the facts and evidence, and only the facts and evidence.

Thankfully, we were home by 5:00 pm. After a 30 minute drive, because, of course, the county seat couldn't possibly be in the biggest town in the county. Oh, no. That would be way too convenient.

Well, for me, at least. It would be highly inconvenient for most of the rest of the county.

Overall, though, it was a good experience. And though I'm not eager to do it again, I wouldn't mind one bit being called in another 10 years or so.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

Back in March I was making fun of Prince Charming because he had jury duty.

In fact, I couldn't stop laughing that he actually got chosen to be on a jury.

Well, guess what happened to me this morning...

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Wall

On Saturday we took the girls to visit the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall at the fairgrounds here in Moses Lake.

It was quite impressive, even after having seen the original, full-sized memorial in Washington, DC.

Sleeping Beauty walking around in front of the Wall.

The most difficult part was explaining the concept of war to Cinderella and trying to wrap her four-year-old mind around the fact that each of the names represented someone who had (most likely) died during the war. For the most part, she got it.

There were also some vehicles from the local National Guard post out here, and they were open for the Wall visitors to explore. For Cinderella, this broke up some of the solemnity of the evening, but that was okay. She probably needed something like that after all our talking about guns and dying.

Prince Charming and Cinderella inside a tank, or armored personnel carrier, or whatever it's called.

We talked to some very nice people and tried to ignore some very rude people talking loudly on cell phones. Cinderella talked to a vet who told her he ate bugs in the jungle after his rations ran out. She was pretty grossed out by this and couldn't figure out why he didn't just get some more food from the grocery store.

Even though we spent quite a bit of time chasing Sleeping Beauty and making sure Cinderella didn't walk into anyone (she doesn't really watch where she's going), it was a memorable evening.

If We Could But Harness the Power...

...of a pregnant woman's bladder, I'm convinced we would never have to worry about drought again.


You moms know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the ability of our pregnant bladders to collect enough urine to cause us to have to visit the bathroom 2-3 times a night, when we've only swallowed 1-2 tablespoons of water before bed.

I know, I know, water retention, blah, blah, blah. But you're not really going to tell me that I retained THAT much water in the first three months of my pregnancy to merit me visiting the bathroom that often at night for the last month.

No, there's something else going on.

Drought prevention. I think we're on to something, ladies...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dear Construction Workers in My Backyard,

Thank you for building a new school out here. Our old ones are way overcrowded and are beginning to look run down. I appreciate your willingness and hard work in bringing my little town something this necessary and needed.

I do, however, have a few minor complaints. Your hard work and diligence are much appreciated, but do you have to start working at 7:00 in the morning? I suppose 7:00 isn't so bad, but do you have to start prepping the equipment at 6:45? Can't that wait until 7:00?

Also, your hard work has most definitely earned you at least an hour for lunch; I don't begrudge you this. In fact, I think you've earned an even longer lunch break, say, three hours? How does that sound? You could take off for lunch at 12:00 and come back at 3:00? Does that work for you? My not-really-a-baby-anymore would appreciate this greatly, too. You see, she likes to nap at this time and her mother is exhausted from her only sleeping 1.5 hours a day during the week. She needs at least 2 hours, if not 3. So, I think a longer lunch would benefit everyone, don't you? That way you could do more of your work in the coolness of the late afternoon/early evening. That would feel better, right?

Thank you Mr. Water Truck Driver! Your efforts to reduce the amount of dust in the air around my neighborhood have been duly noted. I think I will recommend to the city that you receive a medal for doing your part to preserve the air quality around Moses Lake. They probably won't listen to me, but it's the thought that counts, right? Anyway, please be aware that at least one person out here appreciates you and your commitment.

Again, thank you one and all. It will be nice to one day have something else to look at beyond my backyard besides sagebrush, skunks, and anthills. You are all doing a wonderful job! Keep it up and please, for the love of all that is holy and righteous, HURRY UP AND FINISH MOVING DIRT AND ROCKS!

Your appreciative neighbor,

The Queen I Am Not

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Backyard Construction

You are all way too smart!

Yes, indeed, there is a school being built in my backyard. An elementary school, to be precise. And it is supposed to open (fingers crossed) in time for Cinderella to begin Kindergarten.

AND Prince Charming has (finally) said he's willing to teach there, if the new principal will hire him.


Can you imagine walking half a block to get to work every day? I can't, but Prince Charming will be able to, assuming he can get the job.

The worst part about this whole thing is that, except for my neighbors to the north, there are no houses between us and the school. There is only a big, empty, tumbleweed-filled lot behind us. Fortunately, we have a good, solid fence.

Today, we have two diggers working. I can't see that much is being done, though. They're mostly just moving dirt around and finding rocks.

Here's the water truck. This poor driver. All he does all day is drive back and forth, back and forth, spraying water on the dirt so the dust doesn't fly everywhere.

Look at that pile of rocks! That's nothing, compared to the pile they had a few days ago.

Here's the rest of the equipment. You can see the corner of my property and the highly effective, three-foot-high construction fence. This is not all good, people; not all good.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Front to Back

There are exciting things springing up in both my front yard and my backyard.

These are from my front yard:

They smell heavenly!

This is going on in my backyard:

Any guesses as to what's going on? Here's a hint: I live in a strictly residential neighborhood, but this has nothing to do with housing.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Two Weeks Later

Sleeping Beauty has been officially weaned for two weeks now.

No more nursing bras.

No more teeth rubbing tender spots.

No more cuddling at nap and bedtime.

No more sleeping in my arms.

No more baby.

She is officially a "big girl" now; and while I love her new status, I miss the moments together that nursing gave us.

I suppose I shouldn't be too sad about this. I'll be doing it again six months from now.

One year on, six months off, one year on again.

Oh, dear. What have I gotten myself into?

On the upside, she's also officially sleeping through the night consistently. But let's not tell her. It'll be our little secret, okay?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Thought Getting Older Meant Growing Up

Yesterday, I got a zit. On my lip.

How does one get a zit on one's lip? For that matter, how does one get rid of a zit on one's lip? It hurts like the dickens! I can't even apply chapstick without causing myself pain.

This sucks!

I don't remember suffering from acne as a high schooler. Maybe it was because puberty hit me really late. Maybe I was just too busy to notice, but I don't remember it being a plague. Or a social detriment.

Not that I was very social in high school.

In college, my skin started to get a bit more oily, but I think it was mostly the change in weather (yes, Bellingham has quite different weather than Seattle). That and I gained some weight. Not much, but possibly enough to set my hormones out of whack.

Now that I'm "grown up," I've had more zits than ever before. Not a lot, but enough to be a nuisance. Okay, so I rarely have more than three at a time, but still. That's three too many.

Especially when you're 30 years old and should have grown out of this phase by now.

Zits sucks.

Especially ones on your lips.

Most especially the ones on your lips that are situated right in the very middle of your upper lip.

Highly attractive.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back from...Wherever

I'm baaaack!

Did you miss me?

Don't answer that...

A few weeks ago we were having some internet troubs. For 7 days we had no internet access. No blogging, no Goggle reader, no email, no news, and *shudder* no weather report.

Nothing. Nothing at all.

On day 5 (days 3 and 4 were the weekend) I finally called my internet provider to get the low down on why I had no internet access. I was told work crews were in the area updating and replacing equipment and they would be done the next day.

Okay. I bought that. It explained the work crews I was seeing in the neighborhood. It also explained why I couldn't piggyback onto my neighbor's networks. Not that I'd ever actually do that... Okay, so I've tried several times, but they're all password protected.

Anyway, day 6 came and went, and still no access. I told myself to wait one more day, just in case everything wasn't finished in 2 days. It wouldn't be the first time our provider had underestimated the time needed to fix/replace things.


Prince Charming finally took matters into his own hands. He called our internet provider and they told us to contact the manufacturer of our wireless router, just in case there was a problem on that end. So, before calling, Prince Charming decided to take a closer look at the router.

That's when he noticed it: the little warning light all lit up, nice and pretty.

Our router was finished. And, of course, not under warranty anymore.

(In all fairness to myself, the warning light doesn't look like a warning light. It's the same color as the other lights and is buried amongst the other lights.)

So, a few more days went by as we decided what to do about replacing it. In the meantime, we moved our desktop onto the floor in our bedroom so we could hook it up to the modem via the ethernet cable.

Let me tell you: sitting on your bottom on the floor in your bedroom is not the most comfortable position to begin with. Now, add a 3-4 month pregnant body into the equation and you will understand why I haven't been posting or commenting much lately.

Not good times.

A few days ago, and $300 later, we finally got our replacement wireless router. We didn't go with just any router. Oh no. That would be too easy. We got Apple's Time Capsule, which Prince Charming has been drooling over for months. It's an external hard drive plus wireless router, all in one. And, if you have Leopard, it automatically backs up everything.

We don't have Leopard. Yet.

That's next on our list.