Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Jury Duty Trouble

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Advice, Experiences, Thoughts

I’ve been called to jury duty before, but I’ve never had to go in until now. Unluckily for me, I drew number two and, after answering a few questions, took my place in the jury box. I’d never wanted to be on a jury, but it was also kind of exciting to sit with a group of people and decide if someone was guilty or not. Although in my case, I’d know the truth without all the arguments. At least that’s what I thought, but it wasn’t so cut and dry.

The case was about a cop whose husband had used her gun to commit suicide…only the prosecution was trying to prove that she killed her husband for the million dollar life insurance policy. Of course, I knew right off the bat she was innocent, and her lawyers presented a pretty good case for her. Throughout the trial, most of the other jurors thought she was innocent too, but once we were dismissed to deliberate, things got messy.

The jury foreman, Lance, a big guy who worked in construction, started pushing for a guilty verdict. Not only that, but he was getting mean about it. It bothered me, but I didn’t think it mattered until after lunch when we took another vote. Everyone but me had changed their not-guilty votes to guilty. That’s when I knew I was in trouble.

By this time, the jurors were tired of the whole thing and wanted to go home. It didn’t take long before everyone knew that I was the lone not-guilty voter. Lance turned his hard gaze on me, but I wasn’t about to let him bulldoze me like he had the others.

“What’s your problem?” I asked. “I know you’re pushing for a guilty verdict, but it seems like there’s more to it. It seems like it’s personal.”

He sputtered out a denial, but I’d hit a nerve and I heard him thinking about his nephew who’d been sent to prison. Surprise washed over me to learn that the defendant was the cop who’d arrested his nephew and also testified against him during the subsequent trial.

Now it all made sense, but how was I supposed to handle this without giving myself away? I stood before speaking and made sure I had everyone’s attention. “I’ve noticed how Lance has bullied all of you into a guilty verdict, but I refuse to back down. This is not the time to let someone who has a personal agenda against the cops determine the verdict of this case. We have been given a task to determine if the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After all the evidence, I can’t say that she’s guilty. How can you?”

I heard many of them thinking that I was right. They didn’t like being bullied, but Lance wasn’t about to give up so easily. He made some points, but I refuted each one of them, which also served to convince the others that I was right and there was a reasonable doubt.

But then he got in my face. “I’m not bullying anyone, but that cop’s guilty.”

“Shall we have another vote?” I asked. We all agreed, and this time everyone said not-guilty, except for Lance. He stared daggers at me, thinking that I was ruining everything. He wasn’t going to back down, so I had no choice but to reveal his secret. “I know why you’re doing this, Lance. It’s because of your nephew.” His face went slack in shock, so I continued. “It’s not going to work. If you don’t vote not-guilty, I’ll tell the judge and you’ll have to face the consequences of lying to the court. You’ll have to pay a heavy fine and you might even go to jail. Do you want that to happen?”

He glanced at the others jurors and knew it was over. With a clenched jaw, he changed his verdict, and I let out a sigh of relief, especially since I was just making that stuff up about the fine and jail time…but it could be true.

After it was all over, Lance waited for me outside the building and I had no way to avoid him. “How did you know?” he asked, more curious than angry.

“Look, I know you’re not happy about you nephew, mostly because of the pain he’s caused your sister, but I think you know deep down that he was dealing drugs and probably got what he deserved. It was just a fluke that this cop happened to be the one who arrested him, and you decided she was guilty for spite, but taking it out on her is not going to help your nephew…or your sister. Now…why don’t you go home to your wife and your baby boy, and be grateful for what you have?”

His eyes bulged and he gasped. “You? How did you…”

I shook my head. “Goodbye Lance.” I turned and walked away, hearing him swear up a storm in his mind. At least he was also thinking that I was someone to avoid in the future because I was freaky, and maybe even an alien. The alien part surprised me, but I was glad to know that he’d leave me alone.

So…that’s my story about jury duty. I sure hope I don’t have to do anything like that in the future. Although Chris did tell me that as soon as I was done, he needed my help with a case he’s working on. Yikes! With my luck, he’ll probably want me to listen to the jury during the trial and find out what they’re thinking…then figure out how to sway their votes. I really don’t want to do that, but I guess if his client is innocent, I could. But what if he’s guilty? Argh! Life was so much easier before I could read minds.

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A few weeks ago, Kate flew in from Seattle to go over some business with Uncle Joey. Even though we are civil to each other, I don’t like her much and I don’t think that will ever change. Still, I smiled and asked how she was doing. Just before leaving, she studied my face, and was thinking that I’d better do something about the fine lines at the corners of my eyes before they got any worse. Then… just like that she smiled and walked out.

Since she knows I can read minds, I’m sure she thought that deliberately, just to get to me. At first it made me angry, but I tried to push it from my mind and forget about it. Just the same, I couldn’t help looking for the wrinkles around my eyes in the mirror. I couldn’t see anything too alarming, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to take some preventative measures and find a good anti-wrinkle cream.

This led me to check out all the newest anti-wrinkle face creams on the market. I finally settled on one that claimed to erase the fine lines on the face and neck. I thought that was the one I’d better get, since I didn’t want to have neck wrinkles either and I might as well go all out and get the best.

A few days later, the cream came in the mail and I couldn’t wait to smooth it on my skin and see the results. Two hours later, my neck started to itch. Thinking nothing of it, I scratched it a little, but it didn’t go away. As the itching increased, I realized something was terribly wrong and ran to the bathroom to look in the mirror.

My breath hitched and my eyes widened in horror. Itchy, red, hives covered my neck and crept up to my cheeks and out across my forehead. Yikes!! I quickly washed my face and neck to get the cream off, and hoped that would take care of it, but it only seemed to get worse.

I hurried to the store and bought some hydro-cortisone cream and took an allergy pill. I rubbed the cortisone cream on thick and at first it worked great. The itching stopped immediately and I sighed with relief. However, just a minute later it started itching again, but I hoped it would settle down once the pill kicked in.

I spent the rest of the evening with an ice pack on my neck, and after another pill, went to bed with hopes that it would be better in the morning. That night my neck itched so bad, it was hard to sleep, but in the morning it seemed a little better. Still, once I got going, the hives on my neck flared up again, along with those on my cheeks and forehead. Even my eyebrows were itching.

Chris took one look at me and told me I’d better see a doctor. That’s how I ended up at the Instant-Care facility. After examining me, the nurse was wondering why I hadn’t come in yesterday before it got so bad. It made me feel kind of stupid, but I had hoped it would get better, not worse.

The doctor was more sympathetic, and only shook his head a little when I told him about the wrinkle cream. He gave me an epinephrin shot and had me drink some nasty kind of medicine. Within minutes, the itching stopped and the redness went down. What a relief!! I ended up having to take a six-day regimen of pills, but at least I was finally getting better.

The doctor told me not to use that cream ever again, and of course, I agreed. I mean, who’d do that to themselves on purpose? Then I heard him thinking that I looked too young to worry about wrinkles anyway, and that made me feel almost as good as the medicine.

So, I guess I shouldn’t worry so much about wrinkles. What can you really do about them anyway? But I can stop listening to Kate. I smiled as thoughts of giving that cream to her flooded my mind… but that wouldn’t be very nice of me. Still, I think I’ll hold onto it, just the same.

I made a dumb mistake when Chris and I first got married. Probably the stupidest thing a woman could ever do, but at the time, I thought I was being considerate and practical. You see, Chris would give me flowers for our anniversary…and they were great…but that really made it easy for him…just give me flowers every year, right? Maybe it came through that it wasn’t quite doing the job for me because he asked if I liked flowers, or did I think they were kind of a waste because they just wilted after a few days and then got thrown out. Practical me said “yes, you have a point” and maybe something different would be nice. Well, what ended up happening was a card and dinner (which we mostly did anyway) and no flowers.

He always scoffed at those silly jewelry commercials too…like they were just soooo over the top and who could afford that, and thank goodness I wasn’t like ‘those’ women. (To be honest, I have gotten a nice necklace here and there, but you get the picture) I got chocolates a few times as well, but I probably complained that eating chocolate was bad for my figure, so that soon stopped.

So now, at nearly fifteen years of marriage I don’t get flowers, chocolate, or jewelry. I never thought I wanted or cared about those things, but now? Yes…I do. Mostly, I want flowers. Not the cheap little arrangement either…but the nice kind that brighten up the room and make me feel special. Why did I ever tell him I didn’t need flowers?

I know…I’ll tell him about my seventeenth birthday when the really hot guy I was dating gave me a dozen red roses and how excited and thrilled I was to get them. I’ll tell him that I even took pictures. That should work…right? Or maybe I should just tell him I’ve changed my mind and would like flowers once in a while. Who knows? Maybe he’ll be relieved to finally have something to give me that he knows I want.

What was I thinking???

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Advice
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been going to Aikido for about a month now and I’m loving it! The first few times I went were spent learning how to fall – not too exciting but a necessary skill, believe me. I’m learning what to do when someone grabs my arm, or grabs me from behind, or basically grabs me anywhere, and how to get away…which in my line of work is essential. It’s also given me a feeling of empowerment which I have to say is pretty awesome…only I think I may have overdone it. The other day I made the mistake of telling my friend, Ramos, that I could take him. I know…not very smart of me, but I was looking forward to throwing him over my shoulder like I’d imagined so many times. Naturally, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show me how wrong I was. I didn’t know at the time that he was a martial arts expert. Why didn’t he tell me this before I made a fool of myself? Needless to say, I couldn’t get the drop on him to save my life, and I guess it would have been funny if you think getting thrown to the ground and having your @ kicked is fun. Luckily, we were in his apartment which connects to Thrasher Development, and the carpet was nice and soft or it may have hurt. But the worse part wasn’t getting plastered to the floor in the grip of a 200 pound macho man (who was enjoying it way too much, I might add). Nope, it was the fact that Uncle Joey showed up and snapped a picture of that moment. The flash startled me enough, but the smile on his face…like he’d just won the lottery, still makes my stomach hurt. I think he’s putting it in a file…with my name on it. Yikes!! Why does this always happen to me? He says I can earn the photo back from him. All I have to do is help him win his next poker match. I can do that…but seriously?? What was I thinking???

What to do when…

Posted: July 2, 2013 in Advice
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What to do when another woman is after your man. As I’ve recently had some experience with this, I thought I’d pass along some information I hope you find helpful. First of all, don’t freak out! Don’t accuse your husband of anything, as this will only make him defend the woman in question. Don’t assume the worst, but don’t let it go without a fight. Your husband may not realize what the other woman is up to and be flattered by her attention. He might also be uncomfortable by the attention. So … give him an out. Show up to work when she is there and meet her. Be sure you look your absolute best. If possible, try to befriend her, perhaps even go out to lunch. Find out all you can about her. Is she married? Is she in a relationship? Anything you can use as leverage (leverage is any strategic or tactical advantage, and as a verb, means to exploit such an advantage, just as the use of a physical lever gives one an advantage in the physical sense) will be helpful. Also, make sure she knows about you and your family life. How much your husband adores you and you adore him. Go to lunch as often as possible with your husband. Let her see that you are a couple and she has no chance of breaking you up. Now – for the husband part. Re-kindle the flame that brought you together. If possible, surprise him with a night out at a bed and breakfast (no kids!). Buy sexy lingerie. (He will love it). Above all, don’t give up! Your marriage and your husband are worth it. Plus, it just might bring you closer together and that is always a good thing!