Jury of Peers

 

 

The other night I dreamed I was my friend, Betro. She was the victim of a hit-and-run donkey-butt recently, and she’s recovering from the physical injuries. She’s also dealing with the financial injury, as her car has been laid to rest and now must be replaced. As I understand it, Betro stopped for a red light and the aforementioned donkey-butt behind her actually sped up and crashed into her stopped car. Said donkey-butt then floored it around her and jumped on the freeway, leaving the scene. (Y’all have got to know that I may be typing “donkey-butt” but I’m thinking much worse.)

 

Anyhoo, Betro is doing her best to deal with all this. And she’s in a lot of pain. The whole situation sucks, and she’s on my mind a lot lately. Maybe that’s why I dreamed I was her. In court. Facing down the donkey-butt himself. But the dream wasn’t giving me any triumphant scenes of righteous justice. In my dream, I (Betro) was being grilled by the defense attorney about my driving habits. Do I drink and drive? Do I do drugs and drive? I was honestly able to answer each of those questions with a firm “no.” But that defense attorney just kept attacking me (Betro). At some point in the dream, I looked at the judge and said, “Your honor, do I have to keep answering the same questions over and over again, and endure this verbal attack, when I’m clearly not the one on trial?” I’d love to tell you what the judge said, but that’s when I woke. That dream was finished.

 

After I’d had my coffee, memories of the dream led me to recall the one and only time I’ve actually sat on a jury. It was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life. Some dude slapped a traffic cop, there was even a witness, but the “jury of peers” I was hog-tied to decided they just couldn’t trust a cop. (They didn’t comprehend that they were also not trusting the witness, but we’re talking about 11 idiots here, friends.) We were hopelessly dead-locked, and then one of the idiot jurors said that if we ended in a hung jury, we’d all have to start jury duty over again. A couple of us tried telling the rest that no, we would not have to start all over, but it was too late. That false statement inspired a bunch of the idiots to change their minds on the verdict. And that was when I’d had enough. I called for the bailiff and said I was done with this group and that something had to give. The judge – through the bailiff – ordered me to write out my misgivings and then I passed that on. All 12 of us were called in to speak with the judge, where we were told we would not have to start jury duty all over again, no matter the trial’s outcome. And that we were charged with giving an honest verdict. But it was too late. Those idiots had already decided to reward the asshole who slapped a cop. A hung jury it was.

 

After the verdict was delivered, the judge invited all 12 jurors into his chambers for a discussion. One-by-one, he asked each juror how the experience had been. I was the last to be asked for my opinion. I looked at the 11 idiots in the room and then at the judge and said, “This was the biggest waste of my time – ever. I cannot believe these people are allowed to make decisions about a person’s innocence or guilt. I pray to God I don’t ever need a jury, because not one of these people is my peer. I am beyond disappointed.”

 

Well, the jurors were stunned into silence. I mean, can you blame them? I had basically called them idiots without saying as much. And the judge, I don’t think he thought I’d be that honest. But I was, so there you go.

 

By the way, Mister has a hilarious, put-it-all-out-there jury duty story, too. But you’ll have to get that one from him.

 

In the meantime, I’m hoping my friend Betro gets better. And that her pain and suffering ease. I’m not worried about her legal road ahead. She’ll prevail. And if she does end up having to go to court, she’ll be just fine.

 

After all, I’ve already disaster-proofed the courtroom for her. Word.

What The What?

 

 

Remember that little guy pictured above? I found him outside my front door. And I liked him.

 

Cut to yesterday. I walked into the kitchen and there on the rug was a 4-inch version of that outside lizard dude. I did not like him so much.

 

I stood there a minute or two, trying to figure out what to do. I was next to a cupboard with pie tins, so I grabbed one and went after the little dude. He was super fast, I tell you! But I was faster. Or bigger. Or something. Anyhoo, I managed to get the pie tin over him. Then I slid an empty, flattened cereal box beneath the pie tin and lifted the whole she-bang. I walked straight out the front door and let that lizard dude loose on the grass.

 

Maybe he’ll grow up big and strong like that little guy above. Maybe he’ll hang outside the front door, too. I’m cool with that. But for cry-eye, please don’t let him sneak back in the house. I nearly had a spell!

FFL

 

 

Well, hell. After years of being badgered about it, I think I’ll finally join a Fantasy Football League. I’m working out my draft picks right now…

 

That is so not true, y’all. I mean, who on this planet would be badgering me to join a FFL in the first place?

That Was Unexpected

 

 

Earlier this week, Mister and I woke to find water in our rumpus room. You may not be aware of this, but water does not belong in our rumpus room. Turned out our water heater had bitten the dust.

 

I didn’t freak out. Maybe I’m really growing up, because I am surprised by this, y’all. We just grabbed some towels, cleaned up the mess, made some calls and took care of bid-ness. Go figure.

 

I continue to be amazed by the moments in life where I just deal with it. No drama. No frenzy. Just bang it out and move on. I didn’t know I had it in me to do that, but clearly, I do.

 

All is well now, and Mister and I are back to warm showers. (We will not be joining a Polar Bear Club any time soon, thank-you-very-much.) That scene was barely a blip on the radar. If this is growing up, I hope to stay on the path. Calm is a beautiful thing.

Ink

 

 

Fellow Rock Camp volunteers gathered this week for a get-together and it was sweet. As some of us only see one another during camp itself, we relish any opportunities we have for face-to-face time.

 

One of our tribe had some new ink to share, as shown above. 3 gals were nursing injuries. One took a break from being in the studio with Jason Mraz (along with 3 others who couldn’t be there that night), where they’re frantically trying to finish a recording. And one is prepping for a cross-country move.

 

Our little group is no different from you and your friends: a lot of life is happening. And because our self-selective membership tends to the positive side of things, we give each other major support. Even when it means saying goodbye to one of the fold.

 

So to Jen, Beth and DT, please continue to lovingly care for yourselves and allow your bodies to heal.

 

To Officer Becky, Principal Mona, Mai and Chaska, keep tearing it up in the studio (and in life), and spread your arms wide for life’s blessings.

 

To E-Flow, you will be missed more than you know. Take care of yourself and trust that you’re going to be okay. Warm wishes and heartfelt prayers surround you.

 

To Misty, the ink is beautiful. Just like you.

All at Sea

 

 

This is an abstract painting I did a while back, and I love it. I’m working on a much smaller companion piece now. Fingers are definitely crossed.

 

Something about this painting brings me peace. Something about it makes me smile. I can’t explain it, but I don’t have to. That’s what makes it art.

Monkey Tits

 

 

 

I don’t know why this photo makes me smile, but it does. And as I head into the end of this week, I appreciate that.

 

It’s Thursday, friends. For most of us, only one more day until the weekend. I guess that means whatever we want it to mean. For me, it’s a chance to tackle some jobs. Maybe make a trek to a new restaurant. Get together with friends.

 

I look forward to all of it. And to this day and whatever it may hold.

Well, How Did I Get Here?

 

 

 

Have you ever looked at old photographs and thought about the faces and events shown? I found myself doing just that the other day. The first thing I thought about was how divorce has ripped the images in two. Then I realized some of the faces have passed on to the great beyond.

 

Then I caught sight of myself, and I hardly recognized me. I don’t know how I got from then to now, or there to here. And while there’s no great mystery tugging at my curiosity bone, I do wonder. When I look at those photos, beyond trying to remember what all those people were like, I try to remember feelings. Sometimes I can. Most of the time, however, I cannot. Life just happens, whether or not I’m taking notes.

 

After a while, I gave up looking through the old photos. That batch of pics was a downer, really. And that’s okay. New photos are being taken all the time. New memories are being made. Some of these about-to-be memories will be torn apart some day – by divorce, by death, by life. But I don’t want to think about that right now. Right now I just want to live today to the best of my ability. All the while, saying “cheese.”

Where I Learned to Eat

 

 

I’ve always liked food. Always. But I’ve not always had the most sophisticated palate. Or the most expansive.

 

But somewhere along the line, I learned to eat. Well. And as I sat down to a summer meal of panzanella salad and fig bites, I realized that plate of food looked a lot like something I might have eaten at the home of our buddy, Jack Daniels.

 

Jack’s mama – Carole – really taught me a lot about how to eat well. An awesome cook, she welcomed me into her kitchen on more than one occasion. Good food and good company were always on the menu. Carole cared about ingredients and it showed on the plate. Her food was colorful and delicious. I didn’t get it at the time, but I was terribly inspired by her mastery of food.

 

Mister’s parents also played an important role in my food-loving evolution. They taught me to be open to all ethnicities and to variety. In their company I have tried and devoured more fantastic meals than I can count. And we ain’t done yet!

 

I continue to learn about food. Gratefully. Fortunately, Mister is right there with me when it comes to eats. I’m a lucky gal that way. And when I mentioned to him that our dinner reminded me of Carole Daniels, he smiled and agreed. Then we made a toast – to her.

 

I wonder what that gal’s been cooking up lately. Something good, I bet.

P90-X – Check!

 

 

Well, I can hardly believe it, but Mister and I wrapped up our 3 full months of P90-X this past weekend. We did it. We actually did it!

 

In the beginning, I hoped to skinny-down. That didn’t happen, sadly. In fact, I weigh the exact same amount as when I started. If I were to focus intently on this, I’d be pretty bummed. But I don’t focus intently on it, because other benefits were gained. Benefits I hadn’t foreseen. You know, things like feeling stronger. And ease of movement. Increased stamina. Health.

 

I wish I could convey just how great I feel, physically. I’m amazed. When I went in for a physical recently, the nurse freaked out at how low my pulse was. I told her it was lower than usual because I’d done major cardio that morning. She was still concerned. When I saw my doctor, he didn’t seem worried at all, as he’s known I’ve been on this major exercise train. Finally, I asked just what my pulse had been. He answered: 58. Okay, that is pretty danged low. P90-X, y’all.

 

I haven’t gotten skinny, but I have gotten toned. My arms and shoulders are about the best they’ve ever been. And though I’m not wearing a smaller size, I am sporting a healthy swagger. And knowing I’m healthier somehow prevents me from judging myself harshly. For reals. When I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I don’t zero-in on this flaw or that. I generally respect what I see. I know I’ve worked hard and I know how very strong my body has become. And respecting myself is such a gift. I certainly didn’t see that one coming. Wow.

 

So now Mister and I are figuring out how to move forward in some sort of maintenance mode. Both of us actually like exercise (yes, we’re very ill), so we want to continue to take care of ourselves. We don’t have any answers yet, but we’ll get there.

 

For the truth is, we can do it. We can figure it out. We can follow through with our plan. I mean, come on! We just finished 13 weeks – 91 days – of intense, dedicated exercise. Honestly, I feel like I can do just about anything now. All I have to do is decide.