Hard to believe that Ann Richards is dead... (sigh)
She was truly an amazing woman.
I managed to reach our friend Wayne yesterday by phone. Actually, first I spoke to his wife Judy for about half an hour. Then I spoke to Wayne for 15 minutes. We heard during vacation that he's getting hospice care now, so it's only a matter of time...
Wayne is such a wonderful man. We've known him for at least 20 years through the festival. He's always been such a hard working volunteer! Last night Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I talked about what an entertaining conversationalist Wayne is. He's always got the best stories to tell. It's going to be so hard to say that final 'goodbye' when the time comes... (sigh)
Judy said the kindest thing to me. She said that people like Marilyn and me are a big part of what keeps them going as they deal with this. She thanked me again for the ecards, emails and phone calls -- and the good thoughts and prayers. Marilyn and I both wish we could do more. It's hard.
We hope to get over to see him, but decided together that it needs to be entirely their choice. If it's inconvenient in any way, we'll let it go. We agreed it shouldn't be about us and our need to see Wayne one last time -- even as much as we both want to...
Today was jury duty, which was interesting, believe it or not. I was surprised by how poorly people listen to what they're told -- and how easily people can be annoyed and bored! I asked Mary (who has worked in the Jury Room at the desk for three years -- and prior to that was an attorney for many years) if sometimes it felt like 'herding cats,' and she laughingly agreed. I found her respectful, professional, helpful and pleasant -- and that she had a great sense of humor. But I heard the woman sitting next to me on her cell phone referring to Mary in the rudest possible way.
The instructions we were given were quite reasonable and simple. I get the impression that they are, indeed, trying to make this system better all the time. We were told to put on our juror badges immediately and wear them until leaving for the day. (They're on long, plastic 'ropes' that easily fit over your head and hang around your neck. No big deal to slip it on when it's given to you.) Naturally I heard Mary reminding several people to put these on -- and having people treat her rudely because of the reminder! (We were told this several times in the course of receiving instructions, so there's no excuse for not hearing it, by the way!)
We were told we'd have a ten-minute break every hour of the day, where we could go outside the building, if we wished. (Or to the little stand in the lobby that sells coffee and food.) That, I suppose, is for the smokers who would have fits if they didn't allow them to go out and smoke, as the entire building is non-smoking. (Which I'm assuming is needless-to-say, but I don't know about other states and other countries in this regard...)
So we hadn't even been officially checked in for an hour before we were given a ten-minute break! As I told my sister Sue, you don't get ten-minute breaks every hour when you're working, for heaven's sake!
The majority of the seats in the room were black leather and comfortable. I found they would rock a bit if you leaned back and forth in them. They're quite an improvement over the old plastic chairs that used to be there -- and the wooden benches I recall from my stint in college (back in the 1970's). And there was a flat, large screen TV in front of the rows of chairs -- with cable -- for those who wanted to watch. Plus magazines, books, games and puzzles provided.
And for those who'd brought along laptops, there were several workstations with internet hookups. Plus connections for those with wireless laptops.
Also, cellphone use in the Jury Room was allowed except during announcements.
Yet I heard several people complain about being 'bored.' Bored? This was after an hour or so!!! We're talking about adults here, people -- not children! (And I don't like to hear children complain about being bored, either, while we're on the subject.)
After four jury groups had been called and it was nearing lunch time, Mary announced that they would only have two more juries selected in the afternoon. So they were keeping a group of 45 people and releasing the rest of us for the day! (We'd already been told in the morning that Grand Jury was selected on Mondays, so none of us needed to worry about that.)
So even though I seem to constantly be called for jury duty (!!!), I wasn't called for a jury today -- nor did I get called for the group that had to remain for the entire day. As I'd expected to be there until 5:00, this was a happy surprise!
I also took a new MAX line home! I rode the 'yellow' line that goes to the Expo Center. It runs Interstate and has a stop right on the street that's the main drag in our part of town. This and is right by the local Transit center where you can catch buses. So I got off MAX and grabbed a bus, then walked the several blocks down from there, getting home in around half an hour. This is much faster than my previous commute from downtown. Go me! (smile)
Marilyn had offered to pick me up and take me back to the office, but I'd wanted to get home to check up on our sick kitties (!!!) -- and start the garbage and recycling. I ended up working in the yard, doing laundry and cleaning and even coding more website pages, so no one would have ever guessed I'd been gone for half the day.
Oh. That's another thing. Our jury instructions tell us to be in the Jury Room by no later than 8:00 a.m. (The room opens fairly promptly at 7:30.) I can't tell you how many people didn't show until 8:30 or 9:00!!! (One guy showed up past 9:00 -- but was told he'd have to return another day, so he could receive all the proper instructions that he'd already missed. Tough, guy! Get over it and be on time next time around.)
I have to mention that I did manage to force myself to get over my 'bad attitude' about serving on jury duty -- so I was in good spirits today. I was actually prepared for whatever happened, though I admit I'm glad I didn't end up doing more.
Mary said something that impressed me. She said that many people didn't realize that they were, indeed, serving as jurors by just coming and being available. It didn't matter if they ended up as actual trial jurors, because they were providing an invaluable service by being present.
I guess a lot of people end up disappointed by not getting to serve on an actual jury.
That will never be a problem for me, seeing as I served on a number of juries back in college -- and another one in 2002 (the less-then-pleasant jury experience). Actually, I was a foreman (foreperson, for those who prefer to be P.C.) several times, too.
Mary and I did discuss how it use to go -- with four weeks of reporting daily and being there from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (or later). That's what I did during my stint in college. Obviously this method allows more people to serve, as almost anyone can take one day away from their work (school, etc.) to be there. And most trials don't run that long, thankfully!
But you should have heard the bitching that went on! It made all my previous moaning and groaning sound like nothing by comparison...
Anyway, I'm done for the next two years. (smile)
Now I can start setting up that huge list of appointments. (Dentist, ultrasound, eye doctor, mammogram and on and on.) I need to get my hair trimmed, too, while I'm on that subject!
And thankfully we get our manicures this Friday, as my nails really need it. (Though I have to admit that I only really broke one nail, so that's not horrible...)
I heard from cousin Linda today, too -- but I can't go into that now. Maybe tomorrow.
I have a ton to update on. I just haven't been hanging out at LJ much this week. I've been so very busy so far! (Hard to believe it's only Wednesday -- I've gotten a ton done these past few days.)
I need to read my friends and catch up!