I recently had the pleasure of being Summoned for Federal Jury. Yes, pleasure.
I’m not going to lie, going in I was torn between wanting to be sequestered and not wanting to go at all.
Since I do not know another soul in my inner circle that has been called for such a special duty, off I went. Not sure how I hit this lottery, but I’m glad I did.
As you know, Federal Courthouses have very intense security systems in place. I thought this was due to things like terrorism, however, now I’m not so sure. It’s all about the power of the wand.
On day one I put my belongings into the designated bucket, walked through the metal detector, and heard the Marshall say, “Whoa I was expecting sparks when you came through!” Of course, I thought he was referring to my dazzling personality …. he was not.
You’re required to serve for two days, so on day two I wore less dazzle.
This time, I was given the once over with the wand, instructed to sit in a chair, and had my boots felt up so thoroughly I felt dirty, weirdly satisfied and craving a cigarette. No dinner. No number.
Federal jury duty is indeed the country club of Civic Duty. There was a spread of food, drinks, carpeting on the floor, comfortable chairs, and cozy sitting areas. White collar crime is where it’s at!!
First up was the premier of a 5 Star video on the importance of our service. It was narrated by a local news anchor, along with words of wisdom from some senior judges. Oscar worthy … really.
Next, Carol the court clerk explained all the details of being paid for our time. We would be reimbursed for everything under the sun and then some in addition to our guaranteed $45.00 per day. Cha-ching!
I did not get selected on day one which meant I sat, waited and was bored out of my mind. I should have brought a bigger book!
What’s a bored girl to do? Walk the halls of course.
This is where I came across the FBI’s list of the 10 Most Wanted criminals in the country. FYI: The longer you look at these photos the more you will think “I know him!”
As I was standing there trying to determine if #6 was actually the guy who lives down the street, I heard “Hey are you looking to wrangle some of them in?”
Me: “That depends on what you mean by wrangle.”
We both laughed and I spent way too long wondering if this guy always used words like “wrangled.”
A small group gathered in one of the sitting areas. We introduced ourselves and became fast friends. It was like a cocktail party without the cocktails on the government’s dime.
Our group was a very mixed crew coming as far as 2 hours away to Philadelphia locals like myself. My absolute favorite juror was a woman from a wealthy Philadelphia suburb named Nina. Interesting and unintentionally hilarious were her traits.
It was about 12:45 or so when she realized we hadn’t had lunch. This is when she revealed she informed Carol the court clerk earlier that she is accustomed to eating lunch at 11:30. I burst into laughter assuming she was kidding … she was not.
After my awkward “oh I thought you were kidding apology ” I gracefully informed her that Carol is wearing a cow neck and a hair mane from the 80’s … she doesn’t care when you eat. Nina was not having it.
We all watched as Nina marched right over to remind Carol that it was long past her lunch time. This is when belief met disbelief…I’m still laughing.
The only one in our group to be chosen to serve was Tom a/k/a #79. He was a “survivalist” from a small town in upstate Pennsylvania. Think Rambo.
He wore head to toe camouflage gear both days, was able to profess love for his grand babies and describe how to break a neck without missing a beat. Intrigued is an understatement.
As for the rest of us a/k/a #’s 31, 43, 77, & 92, well, we went to a much needed lunch, exchanged emails and hugged our goodbyes.
Good energy is contagious … Enjoy the Ride!
Originally Posted On: Uncle Spike’s Adventures
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Here’s how to add your support to our message of peace:
1) Publish the following statement on your own blog
2) Post a link to Twitter (#BloggersUniteForPeace) and/or Facebook
3) Reblog this post or any post that replicates this statement
4) Request to be added to the signatory list below by adding a comment or mailing email@example.com
5) Add an image Widget using this image URL and link to this post
Out in the real world I try my best to spread this message everywhere I go via my license plate. Some days are easier than others.
Driving around with this message on a daily basis carries a huge responsibility. It forces me to control my urge to get angry at other drivers, even when they deserve it. It reminds me to be courteous; mindful and respectful of those around me.
Believe me when I tell you these are not easy tasks to accomplish! Living in a world where everything is moving at the speed of light, patience are sparse and tempers run high make it challenging at best, but I try and that is a start. Trying and succeeding are not the same.
“True peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples. None of us, no nation, no citizen, is free from some responsibility for this.” Quakers in Britain in 1943
So fellow bloggers stand together for Peace and … Enjoy the Ride!
It’s been a while since I’ve paused to do what I love so much, but better late than never folks. I bet you’re all wondering what the hell I’ve been up to over these past few months. Sadly the answer is NOT traveling the world with my lottery winnings in tow.
The biggest thing that has happened to us over the past few months is we have broken our ties with CABLE TELEVISION. That’s right people I am living the Antenna Life a/k/a Clean Livin’. Yes, I did say “no cable” and “antenna” in November of 2105.
This relationship came to erupt end when my son accidentally changed our plan via the remote when he was trying to order a movie. You know what prevents this from happening …. wearing your GLASSES.
Within minutes, I called our new server Verizon Fios to alert them of the accident. Of course, I acted as if my son were a toddler playing with the remote opposed to the 20-year old ordering some god forsaken movie in the middle of the day, but that didn’t seem to matter. He could have been legally blind, randomly hitting buttons and zero fucks would still be given!
This is when I was informed that our plan was no longer available. In less than an hour our plan disappeared? Yes. Apparently that’s how our plan rolled. I had no idea we had the playah of cable plans, the plan that jumped from one customer to the next without looking back.
After several calls to rectify this is a civil manner we were calmly told “there is NOTHING we can do.” Really? In 2015, there is N O T H I N G that can be done? Not a single button could be pushed to rectify an accidental incident for a new customer … nada! Alrighty then ….
Have you ever gone from calm, cool and collected to cursing like Tony Montana? I have.
scare the crap out of you bore you with the ugly details of these negotiations, just know they ended with more money in my pocket each month and a new pair of boots on my feet to prove it!
Leaving the 21st century wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be … for us. My son’s response was “Whew! I got out just in time!” and my daughter responded with “I think I just saw a dinosaur walk by.” They think we have lost our minds, but they weren’t paying the bill so we don’t care.
No fears people we do have a Smart TV that allows us an occasional re-entry into the current century via Netflix. But I must say, we’ve been enjoying the calmness of outdated sitcoms much much more than anything from this century. Less violence goes a long way, especially at bedtime.
I’ve been hooked on the original reality show The Munsters for weeks now. The Kardashians have nothing on this story line! Lilly and Herman recently had an awful argument, but no worries Grandpa and that hideous character Marilyn worked diligently to get them to make up. Do you see how deep I’m in? I’ll leave my other addiction, My Favorite Martian, for another post. I’m crushing hard on Bill Bixby … really hard.
Enjoy the Ride! Even if it’s in reverse, way back to the 70’s when we enjoyed life at a slower pace and weren’t polarized by fear, negativity and Donald Trump on a daily basis.
For centuries women have had to endure inappropriate Neanderthal comments from the opposite sex … a/k/a men.
Simmer down guys there is no reason to get the torches ready. I’m not talking about ALL men here, just those creatures who sadly try their best to give you all a bad name. True fact!
Recently there has been a stir about street harassment from some very outspoken young women. Oh how I wish I was one of them back in the 80’s.
When I worked in Center City Philadelphia, as a young lamb just entering the slaughter known as the working world, I experienced a group of Neanderthals. Young, naïve and right to the wolves.
It was a beautiful spring day waaaaaaay back in 1989 when I left the confines of my office for that hour of peace called lunch. I remember this like it was yesterday because of the outfit I was wearing.
I recently purchased a coral colored straight skirt with a thin gold chain belt; a cream-colored blouse and chunky gold necklace. It was new, sophisticated and never worn again after it debuted that beautiful spring day.
Never is my wildest imagination did I think this outfit would cause such a stir among the construction workers, but you just never know what will provoke a crew of Neanderthals. Do not feed the animals!
Me: Sitting in the courtyard just enjoying the beauty of the day.
Construction workers: “Hey Creamsicle”
Me: Oblivious just chillin in the sun.
Construction workers: “Creamsicle! How bout a lick?”
Me: Curious, but still oblivious to what or who they were talking to.
Construction workers: “I love that creamy middle Creamsicle”
Me: Then the lightbulb F I N A L L Y went off and I realized … I am Creamsicle!
Have you ever seen a creamsicle run? Well, you missed that boat folks.
I couldn’t get back to my office fast enough, with a slew of emotions in tow. Is it possible feel ashamed, embarrassed, confused, pissed-off and somewhat flattered all at the same time? Yes, in fact it is thank you very much.
Having it happen to me is one thing, but hearing my cub tell me about the “old creep” who was hitting on her … Oh, this is a game changer. Suddenly putting a hit out on someone seems completely reasonable.
She innocently helped a Neanderthal to his car with his purchases. Why? Because he had a walker and was struggling. My little cub was just being kind.
As she is loading his car he said: “Thanks for your help, but it would be better if you were wearing a bikini.”
My daughter, who was still in shock when she returned home, couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that this crippled man; who was old like her father, could say something “sooooo gross.” Why is the sky blue?
This is when I filled her in on the fact that it doesn’t matter if a man is old, young, crippled or on his fucking death-bed. They will continue to make inappropriate remarks to women … drum roll please … Until The Coffin Lid Closes!
Speak up and …. Enjoy the RIde!
New year new attitude … right? Lord knows I’m doing my best to get my Buddha groove in motion, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Correction: It would be very easy if other people weren’t on the planet.
I was grooving like no ones business while I was home enjoying days 1 through 4 of this fabulous new year, but going back to work on the 5th made things slightly more challenging. Breathe …. just breathe is my new go to for sanity.
You see this glorious change in attitude comes on the heels of me taking some MUCH needed time off over the holidays to refill my happiness tank. People, especially those in my workplace, have been siphoning the happy out of me for months. I was running on fumes at the most joyous time of the year!
My attitude leading up to my 2 weeks of freedom consisted of being too old, too tired and way too sober for the shit that I was enduring for a paycheck. It’s safe to say FIRE was coming from my heels as I headed to my car on December 18th!
As soon as I got home I put my angry eyes away, shoved the last gram of fucks I had to give down the garbage disposal and enjoyed my family, friends and fur babies over 14 days. All good things must come to an end and this is no different, but I was ready.
Monday was the first day back to my normal routine, but I prepared myself for whatever negativity came my way. I filled my tank with premium happiness; my zen shield was running on full power; and I focused all my energy on building a new attitude. Those first 10 minutes across the threshold were blissful, absolutely blissful.
As I quietly made it through the day I focused on accepting the Oscar for best actress in a dramatic series. The Oscar goes to Lisa for her role in “The Employee Who No Longer Gives A Fuck.” The red carpet, paparazzi and hobnobbing were all crystal clear as the clock clicked away throughout the day.
That evening I attended a meditation class. Another step in a positive direction. I had no idea what to expect considering my ADHD squirrel attention span kicks in when I’m forced to think about nothing. Is that even possible?
Please note my dear friend joined me for this venture. Our friends at the gym refer to us as Lucy & Ethel, which you must keep in mind.
I went in without expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised by the peace that filled me the second I entered the room. The lighting, warmth and company were collectively welcoming me into the space. Lucy and I were both in need of this peace after our day and we settled right into mood.
Ahhhhh … there we were getting our much-needed peace on when suddenly there was a knock at the door. The door locked at 8 sharp according to the website, however the instructor let this
bull man through the door. He was the poster child for the term “Bull in a china closet.”
Peace scooted out as soon as the bull arrived walking head-on into the chimes, which sounded like a marching band. This was the start of the snickering between Lucy & Ethel. The bull then “settled” in to the class with the grace of an elephant settling into a Smart Car. Comical was an understatement.
This incident, followed by some deep diaphragm breathing, was not good timing for Lucy, Ethel and their immature sense of humor. Just hearing the instructor say “it’s ok to laugh, these sounds are silly” made it that much harder to control the snickering.
After what seemed like the longest 45 minutes of my life, I decided mediation was something I need to explore further … with or without the bull.
Enjoy the Ride … let your inner peace ride shotgun!
This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.
After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought.
Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!
As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.
Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.
Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet?
Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm.
What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Rocky Run here in Philly. It was a 5k or a 10k run or Ralk. I just made that up because that’s what I did. The festivities started where else but at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky ran those beautiful steps giving everyone hope that the underdog can make it to the top with nothing more than determination.
My dear partner in crime a/k/a the Lucy to my Ethel signed us up for this event for several reasons, the first being the big fat medal you get when it’s over. Sad, but true. Little did we know we would be getting so much more out of this experience.
All 7,000 participants were broken down into corals based on their run time. The folks in the front of the line were hardcore wearing all the proper running gear, that they no doubt wear every single day of their lives. Let’s just say things started to look differently as we headed to our coral at the back of the line.
We went from a sea of Nike logos to a middle-aged man dressed as “Hulk Hogan” holding a model of Rocky made of balloons in a few small steps. I seriously debated having my corneas burned after this site.
I was suddenly back in grade school when our math groups divided us by using the names of flowers. Row one was filled with roses, while me and the rest of the dandelions sat in row six. Those Catholic schools really knew how to make us feel like shit! I think it’s safe to say that Sister Mary Make Me Feel Like Shit underestimated the resilience of a dandelion …. just try to get rid on one in your yard, I dare ya!
We stood in our coral of racing misfits eyeing up our “competition” and confirmed that there was NO WAY the Louie Anderson look-alike was crossing that finish line before Lucy & Ethel. Game on!
The Eye of the Tiger was playing over the speakers and we were off running, only to be stopped in our tracks by a huge crack on the running path …. oh yes, the crack of Hulk Hogan’s ASS was right, dare I say…. in FRONT of us! Once the nausea passed we blew past him determined to leave him in our dust.
You can all thank Lucy for this photo. It wasn’t easy for her to capture the essence of the moment while moving in a crowd of running people. All in the name of “what NOT to wear” for a list a mile freaking long!
Once we left that crack in the road behind us we were able to see the true beauty of our city. The race went along Boathouse Row, which just happens to be one of my favorite city landmarks. It is located on the east bank of the Schuykill River and home of social and rowing clubs, each having their own history. They are gorgeous day and night.
This entire area oozes with architecture genius that put the skyscrapers in the background to shame. Structures such as the Fairmount Water Works and The Philadelphia Art Museum are certainly a thing of the past. Another reminder that change is everywhere.
We finished in less than an hour and that included several stops along the way for pictures, laughing and of course … trying not to pee our pants on this very cold morning. 50 year-old female problems.
We celebrated with free protein bars and water before heading over to tackle those famous museum steps like Rocky! When in Rome ….
It was a morning filled with a bit of everything, especially some much-needed soul feeding.
- Belly laughter with a friend
- Ralking among the beauty of my city
- 15,000 steps on my Garmin before 10:00 a.m.; and
- Feeling like a CHAMPION were the perfect way to Enjoy the Ride!
The Daily Post has a great subject line No Time To Waste.
Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.
Over the years I’ve heard this wonderful “Life is too short” line many times. But it’s not every day that a seasoned life liver crosses your path and hits you up with valuable words to live by. This happened back in my crazed mother of young children trying to “do it all” days. Ugh …. I think I just got a chill.
I was at the playground with my little angels when a grandmotherly type woman approached me. Apparently she recognized that I was dressed in stress from head to toe when she started a very important conversation. She obviously recognized this look.
This lovely woman began asking me about my children and motherhood in general. After listening to my ramblings about the pressures of having an endless messy house, she calmly stated: “Life is too short to worry about dust bunnies, you’ll have plenty of time to clean when your kids are grown.” Who was this woman of wisdom dressed in grandmother clothing? Gandhi? …. Yoda?
I often think about her wise words and pass them along to other young mothers on the brink of exploding from trying to DO IT ALL. She was so right!
Now that my kids are at an age were my needs no longer include pushing strollers, holding hands or driving from A to B and back again, I do have plenty of time to worry about those dust bunnies. But guess what? Now I’m at an age where a heard of full-grown dust kangaroos could hop over me and I wouldn’t care. Talk about a silver lining!
How would you fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.”
Save the Dust Bunnies and Enjoy the Ride!
This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore. Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know.
I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah! Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang.
The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors! Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of our Words.
That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers.
This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.”
My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science.
Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.
I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!
Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride!
As I was driving into work one morning, listening to one of my many favorite morning radio shows “The Preston & Steve Show” on 93.3 WMMR here in Philly. I say “many” because I am beyond a channel changer while driving. But this show certainly has a way of making my ride a little brighter as I head to the
salt mines office every day.
This particular morning there was a discussion on a new book titled “Carsick” by John Waters. It’s a wonderful entertaining story about John’s decision to hitchhike across the country. As the DJ’s were discussing excerpts from the book, listeners were calling in to tell their personal stories about a time when they had no other choice but to hitch a ride. I found this all very intriguing.
Lucky for me John was making his rounds promoting his tale and I was able to catch an interview with him on the Bill Maher Show. I ordered the audio version right smack in the middle of the interview!
I must say I have never listened to a book before, because I am a traditional girl who enjoys her books written on paper, but since I have a 30-40 minute ride to the gym every day, I thought this would be a good way to pass the time and avoid my OCD channel changing … Mission accomplished John!
Many of you may already know that the then 66 year-old Baltimore film director John Waters decided to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore Maryland to his home in San Francisco. Crazy or living life?
Just the idea of such a journey in 2014, when the world seems so humanly disconnected, had me completely fascinated. I’m not sure why since I never had a wish to hitchhike … especially since most hitchhikers are usually portrayed as serial murders and frankly I’m a scardy cat. However, John did point out that most serial killers are looking for 20-year-old hookers and that did make me feel much safer.
The excitement as I put the first CD into the player was admittedly a tad over the top, but who cares … I just wanted to hear all the details of this journey … one CD at a time.
After listening to at least 2 CD’s I started to think …. “why haven’t I heard about any of this on the news?”
Well, the answer to that million dollar question was found when I decided to read up on the details of the book. Something I usually do before I hit the “Add to cart” button. This is where I learned I that the first half of the book was John’s fictional version of his trip. Let me just say If anyone has some swamp land they want to get rid of … I’m your girl.
First up are the fictional good and bad rides; followed by the real rides that got him to San Francisco. 3 books for the price of 1!
If you’ve ever seen or read any of John’s past work you are well aware that his imagination reaches a level that most people cannot even fathom and he does not hold back in the fictional version of his journey. Some might think it was over the top, others (like myself) might think … hey, you never know.
John wouldn’t be John without adding some exaggerated lewdness to the first half of the book. Hey, he isn’t known as the “Pope of Trash” for his portrayal of sunshine and butterflies. There were times when I think I might have blushed, cringed and laughed behind the wheel as I listened to him tell his fictional tale, but it didn’t stop me.
His words just confirmed that if anyone in this world was going to have sex with an Alien; be given a magical asshole for three hours that would fix a flat and sing duets with Connie Frances … well, it would be John Waters.
After all the crazy antics of the fictional adventures, I heard the words “The Real Thing” and I found myself so engrossed that I was driving in circles just to finish a chapter. It was worth every ounce of fuel … even at $3.67 a gallon!
I couldn’t help but imagine myself as one of those dashboard hula girls eavesdropping on every ride. Best seat in the house.
Does all of this make me want to manicure my thumb and hit the highway? Not one bit. It does however urge me to head into each day with my wit, optimism and belief that not every stranger is a serial killer … some are just out there to Enjoy the Ride … just like me.