I spent both yesterday (Wednesday) and today’s morning (Thursday) sequestered at jury duty at the New York Supreme Courthouse downtown. It was not fun, but it was a novel experience and by that virtue alone I managed to have a good time.
Trial by Journal
I was called once, sent to the jury box and spoke a little bit about myself, answering questions from a sheet of paper in a narrative form. Ultimately, I was excused from the trial and that was the furthest towards being a juror I got. I spoke to several other people, all of them women and all of the older than I am, during my time at the courthouse. One of the women I spoke with, a graduate student studying neuroscience, was selected for the same case that I was excused for.
A few folks have asked me why I wasn’t selected. I can only say that I don’t really know, and I’m not really concerned with the matter. If I had to hazard a guess, however, I’d say that it’s because very few people know what to make of me when they hear me present about myself.
Case in point, during the voir dire (French for “see and say,” the part of juror selection where you speak a bit about yourself), plenty of folks turned their heads at me in surprise. First, when I mentioned that
I have completed neither college nor high school, again when I said
I am barely making a living doing web consultancy work, building, maintaining, and developing web sites for clients, and finally when I mentioned that
My brother was mugged once and had his glasses stolen.
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And yes, we were under oath. The only semi-direct question I was ever asked was by the (very creepy looking) defense attorney who said,
Mr. Moscovitz, you have no prior jury experience, and I answered a very plain,
No, I have not.
So why didn’t they pick me? Who the hell knows. They didn’t pick a bunch of other people either, so perhaps they didn’t like my hair for all I know.
What I do know is that I am supposed to be compensated for my time with eighty dollars from the State of New York sometime in the next eight to twelve weeks. Even better, I spent the vast majority of my time reading my tech books and working on my web site. If I could keep getting paid forty dollars a day to do that, I’d volunteer for jury service! (Um, provided I don’t actually get selected to sit on a case.)
Some New Furniture
Anyway, that is that, as they say, and it was certainly an educational experience. On Wednesday afternoon, after we were released for the day I went to see my father who offered to buy me some cheap cabinets. I have two of them now, each with four shelves, one white and one black, leaning against the wall waiting to be assembled.
He also bought me a demented laundry hamper (its legs are twisted out of shape and for all I know it’s almost broken already) and a toaster oven. I’m looking forward to utilizing the toaster oven, but I don’t know exactly what for yet. First comes groceries, then comes toasteries, then comes the maymay with the dinner…cabbage?
Random Thoughts and Impulsive Musings
Bah, I’m tired. I’m pretty much convinced I have DSPS (an acronym for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome), a condition which basically fucks with your ability to get to sleep at any reasonable hour, despite exhaustion. This is very different from insomnia, which never really rung true for me.
Supporting a Friend
Another noteworthy point to mention is that an acquaitance from the Bipolar Disorder Meetup Group (who is quickly becoming a friend) called me Wednesday night at around nine o’clock. I could instantly tell that something was wrong. She told me she needed to talk to
another bipolar, someone who won’t think I’m just totally crazy, y’know and I happily obliged.
We spoke for a half hour about mood swings and triggers and other people’s perceptions and ways to deal with it all. In fact, I wish I would have recorded that conversation because it would have made a great podcast. Which reminds me, I should learn more about podcasting.
More Website Donations
On another front, my father donated an incredible fifty dollars to my web site fund through my PayPal donation form. He said, part jokingly, that he was so embarassed not to have been the first contributor that he put in extra cash. (See how great your donation was, Chris?)
Last and probably least, I keep getting weird mail addresse to various different people in my inbox. It started off a week after I moved in here with a single, small letter. Then there were two letters, then three and a magazine, and it has continued to grow until now I’m getting a full-sized cardboard box that I’m somewhat leery of touching.
Which also reminds me: Find out how to forward mail. I don’t want to keep getting this stuff because I keep hoping it’s for me and then it’s not. The only mail I get are bills, which is more than a little depressing.
Photos of The Gates and More
And on that note here are a few recent photos fresh off the compact flash card.