Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finally accountable for my beliefs?

I'm a lot better now, but yesterday sucked a little. I had no idea what the process was for yesterday's jury situation, but I got there just before 9am as planned (rain and snow mixed, lots of wind, fucked up my umbrella, no real clue as to the layout of downtown Hillsboro), and met some of my fellow potential jurors. They called 16 for the day - 8 to report at 9am, 8 to report at 1:30pm. At around 9:45 they took 4 of our 8 off somewhere. They were not done by the time the bailiff came to get us at 12n for lunch.

We got back in the room at around 1:10 from lunch and the bailiff took us out and down the hall to a small court room, like probably where they hold hearings or something. Who knows. We filed in in a specific order, and to my surprise, not only were the defense attorneys and prosecuting attorneys there, but so was the defendant. I really wasn't expecting that. At all.

They questioned the first woman for about 45 minutes and let her leave when she was done. I was second. They asked a lot of questions, especially concerning my time in Mexico. That was fine. My answers are my answers. The worst of it was sitting in the same room as the kid whose life is pretty much in my hands. I imagine many of you don't believe it, but I seriously believe that all people are good - until something proves me wrong in so many cases - and to have this kid sitting there, accused of murder, it was like, oh man. What happened to you? Awful.

So then everything I have subsequently done I think in terms of this kid. Except that I went back to work when I was done around 3 (got in around 3:30 - 3:45) and worked til around 7:30 - that's MY punishment so it didn't apply. But like, I stopped on my way home at the 7-11 for smokes, and, you know, I could. And I chatted with Becky and my sister in law Jill and talked on the phone and washed my face and made coffee for this morning and went to sleep in a warm soft bed and got up this morning and took a private shower (though the fire alarm went off again and you know, that is NO WAY to start your day) and am sitting here... I kept thinking about that kid and where he is and what HE is doing and I KNOW we make choices in our lives and we have to be accountable for them, but it is so hard not to feel sorry for the ones that make the wrong ones.

I'll find out if I am actually a juror in like a week and a half or so. Maybe less.

This is going to suck.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Getting fired up to miss every stop light on T-V Highway

So I'm still at home because I have to leave at 8am (or so, it snowed a teeny tiny bit last night, just enough to dust my uncovered car so I have to scrape it off before getting on the road) and head on BACK to Hillsboro (can I even do justice to how flipping FAR it is and on top of that how insanely INCONVENIENT it is to get from my apartment to the courthouse?) for Stage 2 of the saga that is jury duty. I called yesterday at 4pm, dutifully, after my 3:30 left, and at first thought I was safe - they called jury number 44 first, and then continued in a numerical fashion... until, in the middle of number 126 and number 147, they named me. Juror Number 18. I listened to it twice just to make sure.

They called 2 groups, so I am hoping that I still will be able to make my 11:45 doctor appointment. And then after that, back to work. I realize that if I DO get chosen, I will probably be working evenings and dispensing judgement days. It makes me cranky just thinking about it, so I won't. Because I have no idea what today is all about. Maybe this is where I get to say "Hang the bastard" and get the boot. But you know I won't, and I will answer all questions truthfully and with some thought. Maybe I'll be out of there early. I hope so. It's still month end, you know.

Which leads me to something I simply must say: I am so sick of escrow that it is all I can do to contain myself. As a rule, we in escrow know going in that we are going to be blamed for everything. We know it. But we still do the job because of the control and the compensation and the knowing everything. As of right now, however, I am done. I am tired of being the one thrown under the bus no matter how hard you kick your ass to get something done. I can control only so much. But no matter what the situation, it is always my fault. There is just no amount of money that makes that okay. The people I deal with, clients, sometimes customers, are just plain rude and it brings me back to, When did it become okay to be a dick and have bad manners? This business is thankless and stupid and frankly, I am going to be happy to be done with it when I am. Which better be soon. So long as this jury duty thing takes care of itself early.

If it doesn't, look for my upcoming book, Juror Number 18, coming soon to your favorite bookseller. Nothing I do has ever been less than a story, and this has the potential for an epic. I can feel it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's only raining here...

It could be a lot worse. Like look at poor Dave snow blowing.He's a boy, though. He probably loves playing with his toys. Just think, last week they were in Cancun.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Not a Pauly Shore movie

So the jury I might be on is actually a murder trial. There were 300 or so people in the auditorium we were to meet in in downtown Hillsboro Friday morning at 8, and on my way from the parking garage I started chatting with a girl who ended up working for First Tech Credit Union and knew a lot of the same people I knew. So that was nice, not having to do it all alone. Anyway, we checked in, and then the judge spoke to us (and he was pretty funny too, in a dry sort of way), and basically told us there is pretty much nothing you can say that will get me to excuse you. Any excuse for work would have to be pretty unique. After reading the indictment to us, which caught my attention anyway, he explained the process and about how being a juror was our duty as citizens and all that. Then he read a list of people (long list, 3 legal pages long) who were related in some way to the case. You were supposed to raise your hand if you knew a name, give your own name and your juror number, and how you knew the person. Then the judge asked if he thought you knowing this person would alter your judgement in the case, and if you said yes, I assume you would be excused. But nobody said yes. For as much grumbling as was going on in that room before the judge gave his shpeil, you would have thought someone would have said, Yeah, my knowing J.D. will make it very hard to serve on this jury. But I guess he had us convinced.

Next the bailiffs swore us all in, and then handed out this 36 page questionaire, about 250 questions. Question #2 was "name your siblings and their occupations". Fabulous. The average I am quite sure in that room were like 2 or 3 max. I have NINE. Plus I had to remember how old and what amount of education and what they actually do for a living. I glanced over at my new friend a little later and saw she was on page 29 - I was on page 12. Hung up by the family ONCE AGAIN. I have to laugh at the symbolism of it all.

Anyway the questionaire asked all manner of questions, like have you ever had any bad experiences with law enforcement (yes) and please describe (when I was 15 somebody climbed in to the window of my house while I was home alone and it took the Beaverton Police 4 hours to show up) and do you ever watch crime shows on TV (yes) and how often (nightly). The death penalty could be a result of this trial, as there are counts for both murder and aggravated murder, but isn't that the juror's decision? Yikes. When the questionaire was finished, you turned it in, and then I have to call back on Monday after 4 to find out when they need me next. In theory, free for the rest of the day! But no. I went to work. And it was hellish. HELLISH. But I made it through and actually got home from my last signing at around 8 so it could have been a lot worse. Next week won't be so bad.

But this trial thing may take 5-6 weeks, and if that is the case, um, we might have a problem. I guess I won't panic until I know I am chosen.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Girl's head nearly explodes from being too smart...

Remember like a year and a couple of months ago when I blogged about how I missed thinking and being smart and all that? Actually missed escrow? Yeah, um, I was crazy. There's just no other explanation. All day today (the day before the last day to sign refis, mind you) our escrow system was down. Up and down, but mostly down. Piece of shit. Just absolutely the most frustrating day. It came up, no lie, at 4:10. Thanks. I had my hands reaching for my keys on countless occasions, ready to drive over to where ever the hell it is the IT people hide to beat the crap out of them. I left work around 7:10pm and my head was ready to explode. I am so ready to be done with this flipping profession. Remember I said that.

So last Sunday I went to get hypnotized to quit smoking and frankly it didn't take. So I am still smoking. I guess it wasn't quite in the cards yet. I think I need to like switch my routine drastically to do it. Hmmm... any ideas? Never mind, I have one.

I saw Elizabeth and Becky's pictures from Elizabeth's party and they were quite fun, especially the one where I was in it. Somebody, one of them, drew a picture of me (and can I just say, my hair wasn't quite what I thought it looks like to me) and taped it to a chair. Quite festive. The pictures were great though, and the party looked like it was big fun. I wish I would have been there for reals. But alas, I was at home, preparing (unknowingly) for one holy hell of an escrow week.

So tomorrow I have jury duty. Did I mention tomorrow is the last day to sign refis? Yeah. So the deal is you have to call and find out if they need you the day before, after 4pm. I phoned and they said those potential jurors with juror numbers 1 - 450 must report. Since I was number 18 I guess there isn't much grey area. So tomorrow morning I get to haul my happy ass clear the hell out to Hillsboro and do my civic duty, while my month end and any hope of client satisfaction crumble into oblivion. They don't really take the "I can't miss work" excuse anymore, and the information I received was that about the only way they will excuse you anymore is if you are in labor or had a limb lopped off on the way in. So I guess "I can't do my civic duty because I need to close 4 files tomorrow, if they don't sign tomorrow then they won't fund Wednesday and the locks will expire and all escrow hell will break loose." They don't care - they're the law.

So I will bring a book or two and hope to get out early. I have shit to do. I think my plan is to tell them I am a raging Republican and I hate anyone who isn't white. That should do it, right? Or maybe they'll embrace me as one of their own. That would be horrid. I have one of those personalities where people just sort of gravitate to me, I think it's because no matter what I always look like I am smiling or half-smiling, like an idiot, or a half-wit, so I could be in trouble over there in western Washington County. I hope I make it out alive, frankly.

Not much else going on that I care to share. I am working on a plan and I will have more details on that plan when I get some things taken care of. I can't really say a lot here because sometimes people from work read, and that's an issue. I must be very secretive. Stealth. So have patience, especially you, Janie. Time will tell.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Year In

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my re-entry, and what a year it's been. It's funny - I know "you can't go back" because I have done this before, a few times. But I think that when I moved back after 16 months, I knew that the PLACE would be the same, the PEOPLE may have changed a little bit, and the SITUATION might be different, but not so much that I couldn't get right back in it.

I was pretty much wrong, I'll admit, you know, you read it. I have a fairly low threshhold for stupidity and kind of a knee-jerk temper, so it shouldn't have surprised me that a lot of things set me off and wouldn't let me go. I have always described myself as a grass-is-always-greener kind of gal, but it turns out this grass wasn't as green as I thought and I kind of like sand.

So I have had my struggles. I have definitely seen some changes. I have FELT some changes that I don't like, within myself. And I know what I have to do. It's just the DOING it that is kind of hard, but I know I have to. Having been back here a year, I find that I am not the person that I want to be. And I know I need to find that person and bring her back out.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Happy 30th birthday, my friend ~ hope it is fabulous.

Note - I am removing this picture by the end of the day, so if you got to see it, you will know what I know - Liz can be a dork. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Waking up to some news


So today was sucky. I woke up at eight. EIGHT. THREE HOURS LATER than normal. Fabulous. I managed to get to work at 8:40, and I even showered. Walked in on our staff meeting that started at 8:30, and of course Linda was there. Neat - o.

See, I got a new phone yesterday. Becky and I went to lunch at Red Robin and there is a Cingular store next door. Since everyone has a better phone than me, I decided to see what I could do. I have only had my phone for 1 year so I wasn't really ready for a new phone yet, but we worked out a deal, and I'm pretty happy about it. Except that I have yet to read the book and so when I set my alarm, I guess I didn't adjust the volume, and if it went off I surely didn't hear it. Sucky, I tell you. I still have my own phone so I'm going to use that one still as an alarm. Sucky.

So let's see. Tomorrow is casual day for those of us that finished our reviews at work (we have to review ourselves now and send them to Nicky and in like 3 months we'll get a raise). I got mine in on Tuesday so I'm dialed. Not like I'll ever see the actual review. I think I will probably be moved back by the time May rolls around. Maybe even April. Who knows, maybe even March. I have much thinking to do on this but the Ceruttis offered me a job and I think I am going to take it. Just wish I could talk to Bridie.

Anyway, you'd think I would be bouncing off the walls right now, but I am just kind of chillin on it. Because, you know, it's pretty much real.

Tomorrow Elizabeth will be 29 for the last day of her life. She's having a party on Saturday night at My Place and beyond, and I have some friends from Wisconsin going down to visit for the weekend, so they are bringing her a present from me. I shipped it earlier this week to them. It's fun. Don't tell her, but I got her a ______________________!* Isn't that great?! She's going to have so much fun with it! Yay!

Not much else going on except that in my waking up at 8am haste I did not take my stomach medicine or my Tunguska and I am feeling it, man. Tomorrow will be a MUCH better day.

* What, did you think I was gonna say what I got you, silly girl? Neener neener.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I have simply one thing to say ~

Spikey Bouncy Ball is evil and stupid.


I rue the day I ever started playing it.

Thanks a lot, MW and Beckla.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Anticipating happily ever after

So I went to a wedding yesterday. It was nice. It must have cost a fortune, too. The wedding itself was in the First Unitarian Church but was officiated by a Catholic priest (I think the bride was just looking for some ambiance - she isn't Catholic but the groom is). It was the short version of a Catholic ceremony, 25 minutes (you can almost set your watch to it). For some reason, cold, hard, bitter me didn't even choke up at the recitation of the vows (and seriously, I usually do, oddly enough). I think it might be because for the first time ever the bride was wearing make-up and she didn't look like herself. She looked very pretty, but just not like the girl I know.

Anyway it was nice. The reception was down at the Governer Hotel and was catered by Jake's (Grill I assume) so that was good. It just seemed so EARLY. I guess it's normal to have a reception start around 12:30 (because I think that was what time it was by the time we got there). I just haven't been to a wedding that was so early in a while.

And trust me when I tell you, I have been in some weddings. Seven, to be exact. And don't you know, there was only ONE bridesmaid dress I could have worn again. And for the life of me I cannot seem to find that dress anywhere.

All in all, I didn't mind being in the weddings. I had fun, and it's always nice to be asked. It certainly doesn't bother me when people make that "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride" comment - good Lord, I have witnessed the incredible stress these brides endure. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. And besides, if I was married, I'd probably be doing laundry or vacuuming or something equally stupid right now, because I am quite sure my time would not be my own.

So we are approaching my 1 year anniversary of being back in the United States, and frankly, I am not sure how I commemorate it. Comemorate? Commemorate. Hm. Anyway, I might have to have one of those observations posts or something. I had a ton of ideas yesterday about what to blog about today (seriously) and now they are all gone. But I bet if I start making observations NOW and writing them down I could have a pretty good post come February 18. But let's be honest here - I never write anything down. Which is why I have been to the store 5 times since I realized I am running low on coffee filters, and am currently filtering my grounds through half of a paper towel.

Not too much on the agenda today, it's Becky H's birthday and I think she is like 38 since she has been in her mid-30s for the last 12 years. Happy Birthday, you rarely read! I am heavy into a bad Harvey day so I may just loll around, who knows. I have been out of B12 all week so I am feeling sick again, but it might be totally in my head (it IS a head cold...) or it might be because it is COLD AND WET AND I DON'T LIKE WINTER.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Maura!

You know, really, I should have blogged last Friday too (well, morning), as it was Benny's birthday then. Groundhog's day. You know I've been to Puxatawney, PA before. Stocked up on beer for a camping trip at a drive-thru liquor store there. But that's a story for another day.

So Happy Birthday to Maura who I am quite sure doesn't read this unless I tell her to. I'm sure, it's not like people have OTHER THINGS TO DO. What-ever. But in fairness to the faithful, I will admit that at times I can be cryptic. I apologize.

For instance. Yesterday I got a phonecall from a friend who lives far, far away and with whom I rarely talk on the phone or see (and yes, Bill, I know it's mostly my fault for the "not seeing" part, I can only apologize so much). He was quite confused as to the post from Friday night (you know it as Saturday morning, early). You know the one, the one where I was disgusted and wouldn't really say why? I feel that we (bloggers, or those who share our random thoughts to the internet universe) have the right to vent when we feel like it. We have the right to not be clear, to not make sense, and to mention things completely out of context or off the wall. Though we should probably, for the sake of the faithful, try to make SOME sense and/or have SOME content on a fairly consistent basis... that's just a manners thing. Anyway, to sum up last week's evening rant, let's just say it shouldn't amaze me anymore (though it does) to know that pretty much every person we deal with has some degree of issues. Some have a LOT of issues. Others just a little. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the kind of people I attract tend to be rather dramatic most of the time. Every once in a while I am absolutley stunned when people act in character, and I have to let off some steam. Thanks for listening. I didn't proof read yet so I am sure I still don't make any sense.

I also have to comment on a comment from mid January that now that I know who the author is, makes me laugh EVEN NOW, a day after I learned the truth. I was ranting about firing a long-time client and an Anonymous wrote - Don't fire my dad. I just figured it was Sol, because he tends to post obscure and not-much-sense-making comments from time to time, and it was funny in it's own right. But when I found out it was that Texas-living, slow-talking, bleach-drinking Bill, it made it WAY funnier. Like so funny I am STILL laughing. And it's the next day. None of you guys are, but that's okay. I'm the one that needs to laugh these days...

So none of this as anything to do with Maura and her birthday but it gave me an excuse to write and something to do before the 8 o'clock bell rings.

Have a nice Friday.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The light of day

Okay, so I had the opportunity (MADE the opportunity) to give my opinion of the events of Friday night to the offender. Oddly enough it was well received. I had agreed to dinner as an early birthday celebration Saturday night early in the week, so I spent a lot of time debating on whether or not I should live up to that obligation. I compromised and told Becky I would go to dinner, but I would take my own car, so that if the others felt like going out afterward, I would be able to just go home. Also well received.

We went to dinner at the Melting Pot downtown, and good Lord that's a food orgy. It was good, but I can't see going back very often, if for nothing else than the complete avoidance of the vat of cheese pre-entree and the vat of chocolate for dessert. But it was good, and since I had made my feelings clear earlier in the day, I left after dinner - which started at 6 and ended at 10! Either our waiter was unrealistically slow, or the whole event is supposed to take that long, but rarely do we spend 4 hours at dinner here in the States.

Also went this weekend to the new(ish) Grande market in Cornelius. It used to be a Hank's, same owners, but to serve the needs of the Spanish-speaking market, they changed over. It still has plenty of white-people fare, like any supermarket, but I have to say I had a couple of moments in there. The candy section was a LOT like the ones in Cancun, with all the old standbys, as was the cracker aisle, the soda aisle, the cheese section and the panaderia. I will go back. It's nice to know where to go to get the stuff you need.

Other than that, watched the Super Bowl here at home, sola. It was good to watch the Bears lose if for no other reason than I didn't think they played well. I am happy for any Bears fans out there that they got that far, but frankly, the wheels sort of fell off from where I was sitting. So there you go.

Not much else to report, and I am already going to be "late" to work, so I am off to complete the get-ready process. Oh my how I love Mondays. The good news is that when I leave work around 5pm it is still a bit light out, so that's something to look forward to. Still waiting for my news, but I am finding that patience is a very good trait to have.

Also thank you to my friends who have supported me on and off the comments area as a result of Friday's post. I do know who my friends are. Sometimes I think we can all use a lesson in that.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I am disgusted.


Long ago, apparently, LONG AGO, I had a group of friends that we all called "the Core". I am not even going to describe it. We were friends. Good, solid friends. Thick and thin friends. Sickness and health and all that shit.

Lots of things have changed since then. And I have rolled with them. I really have. I mean, I have rolled with them in a GIGANTIC WAY.

But today? I mean tonight?

Seriously. I am ready to just take my memories and leave.

Because pain or no pain, we are still supposed to be human. And when you stop seeing humanity, you need to just walk away.

I tried. I really did. You saw, you read it. But I can't. This whole thing makes me sick and disgusted. These are not the people I need to be around.

This might mean nothing to any of you, but I don't really care. Just remember one thing. Without integrity, you are NOTHING.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A lifetime (or just a moment?) of ignorance

So yesterday one of the "more mature" women (and by that I ONLY mean "older") in my office came into my office to show me an article. It was about a stabbing that occurred on Tuesday at the Hillsboro library (Hillsboro is west of Portland and even Beaverton, and has a very large Spanish-speaking population). She wanted to show it to me to see if the stabber, or even the stab-ee, was one of my customers. I am closing for Bancasa again, so there is a steady stream of people-with-a-tan-even-in-winter types going all the way back to my office for signings. It clearly makes this woman nervous. The victim, whose name was something like Eduardo, and the guy that stabbed him for no apparent reason, were both Latin of some sort. My client from Bancasa, who comes in for each signing, is Everardo. She told me, I just want to make sure that it isn't the same person. I just looked at her. I told her, Yeah, you know, there are hundreds of thousands of Latinos in the state now, so the odds are pretty slim. You know, I told her, not all of them are criminals. As a matter of fact, I saw on the news some lady named Karen was in jail for killing someone, and I thought, Hmmm, I wonder if that's Kathy? I better ask. It could be the same person.

She has no idea how ridiculously offensive she is. So do I ignore her blatant stupidity, or do I tell her what time it is? Because seriously, she was dead serious when she asked me if my lender client stabbed a stranger at the Hillsboro library. She must think it's in their genes or something.

Meanwhile, I need to start getting things rolling...