Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Now listen to me complain...

"The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it."
Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

I feel like amongst all the blogs I read there are themes that the author, whether intentional or not, seems to consistently return to and write about. For Midge it's family and how important they are and how much she misses them, for Dan it seems to be religion and politics, for my uncle Dave it's life's big questions and the constant quest to be a truly happy and good person. For me it seems that I can't get away from reflecting occassionally about how much it sucks to grow up.

There are definite advantages to not living at home and even being out of school. No one is telling you what time to be home or to do your chores and there's no homework waiting for you after working hard and going to class for an entire day.
The problem is that when you're on your own, even though no one is telling you to do your chores, you still have to f'ing DO them!! And while it's nice to not have to write a paper when I get home or read 100 pages of a conviluted text book, I have worked some 22 hour days for not enough money that really make me miss being in school. I feel like life has suddenly become a race just to keep up. As soon as I get organized I feel myself slipping under a pile of bills and paperwork for health insurance (the cost of which just went from $50/month to $160!!!. how can they DO THAT!?). It's a struggle to keep working as I see the money just DRAIN from my bank account and it seems that no matter how often I sweep and do laundry and the dishes I come home to a filthy house every night. I'm not even sure how people have kids. I can barely handle having a dog and sometimes the responsibilities that come with taking care of him makes me feel overwhelmed! Trying to tame a high energy puppy who hasn't been properly exercised because of the constant downpour is exhausting and it's all chris and I can do to stay awake through a movie on TV!

Now I know people say money won't buy you happiness, but I'm pretty sure that all my problems and stress would go away if I won the lotto. The people that say money is the root of all evil are people who are easily corrupted and lack a strong family and upbringing and are devoid of love and people who care about them (and probably have too much power to begin with). I have a wonderful family, an amazing boyfriend, loyal friends and a sweet puppy. All that's missing are some additional ZEROS to my bank balance. I know it's an ebb and flow and that right now things are tight but soon I'll be back in the green...er....red? ...no....i think it's black...whatever color means less stress and more dolla bills y'all, but I can't help worrying that it's always going to be like this.

I apologize for basically just using this blog as a soap box to vent my frustrations over my own personal situation. I know things could always be worse and that at I should be grateful for having the things I do, but hey, it's my blog. I'll do with it what I will. I should really leave some milk out for that stray cat...maybe that'll help my karma.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jury Duty is Relaxing...

This past week or so seems to have flown by in a whirlwind of activity. I was summoned in to jury duty last week and decided that jury duty, as a whole, isn’t half bad. Most of the first day I spent hanging out with my new friend Lorna. We chatted, had lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant, took a walk and bonded over our fondness for swing dancing and and dogs. Lorna is most likely in her late 60's if not into her 70's. We had an incredible amount in common- including the fact that to pass the time I whipped out...wait for it.... my needlepoint. She was, quite possibly, the kind of old lady I would like to be. She was spunky and her eyes sparkled when we talked about traveling, her husband, dancing and trying to train stubborn dogs. If it hadn't been for the dates she talked about (moving to Los Angeles in 1959...etc.) and the subtle shakes she would occasionally get, I would never have guessed her age. By the mid afternoon I was pulled into a courtroom where I was also ordered to report the next day for further jury selection.

The case was a three-count charge: driving under the influence, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher and child endangerment (allegedly there was a child in the car). I thought I was off the hook until I was called into the jury box and asked a wide range of questions regarding my own personal use, views and history with alcohol. I listed my experiences and knew I was off the hook when I went on a mini rant about how irresponsible I think it is to drive under the influence when there is a child in the car. Yes, it's ALWAYS irresponsible to get in a car and drive, but people make mistakes (doesn't mean they shouldn’t be punished for them) and I can see how easy it would be to go to a dinner or a party and think you're fine to drive and you get pulled over for a broken tail light (or something unrelated) and oops you're over the legal limit.... people make mistakes, but there was a baby involved! Not a teenager or just another passenger...a baby! While other potential jurors commented on how seeing the defendant playing with his daughter in the hallway during recess made them sympathetic to him, it made me mad. Even though I know I'm not supposed to assume anything here, based on the charge of driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, I had to assume that the breathalizer read .08 or higher which means the asshat had more than one drink and was like, "hey! i'll put my baby in the car and go for a drive!". His daughter couldn't have been more than a year old and I know I'm supposed to presume this man innocent until he is proven guilty, but please, you took one look at this guy and could tell he did NOT have his shit together. I think my outward display of judgment made me a less than desirable candidate for this trial.

Now I have to say that based on testimonials from friends and coworkers, jury duty is one of the most wretched activities you can be forced to participate in. Sitting in a room filled with a random conglomeration of some of the foulest members of society doesn't sound pleasant to me, but I did actually have quite a nice experience. The jurors at the Hollywood Courhouse with seemed, for the most part, to be fairly normal and pleasant smelling (except for whoever was wearing too much perfume and whoever was burping up bologna). The courthouse was clean and the juror assembly room manager was pleasant, accommodating and, at times, borderline funny. The judge was respectable, articulate and occasionally amusing. If my company would pay for me to serve my country's judicial system I really wouldn't have any qualms with actually being on a jury. I think it might actually be fairly interesting. That said, they don't pay and for me to not have to take any vacation days I had to go into work after serving the full day. Now THAT is unjust.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome to the New Year...

Alright...so I've become a delinquent blogger...but quite frankly...the holidays were too busy to be bothered with sitting in front of a computer and uploading pictures...I'm just not that commited...I'll admit it. I'm ok with it. :)

Anyhoo...we'll skip right over posting pictures of the finished christmas tree or the totally awesome wreath I made (I'm so crafty!) and move right on to the good stuff. Our Christmas party was a raging success despite my lack of pictures from the party.

Christmas was spent with my parents and dan and kelly up in norcal. Indy came with me and Chris joined us on the 26th. Good times were had by all. Lots of delicious food was eaten, an obnoxious amount of board games were played, a ginger bread house constructed (complete with crime scene and a dog with a digestive disorder), and lots of good presents exchanged.

There's a lesson to be learned here about rooftop safey.

We came back to Los Angeles for New Years and spent the night playing Rock Band (video game...come on people...get with the times), a strange game dustin made up that involved some charades and just generally had a good time.

Here's Chris acting out myspace...and Dustin guessing everything from "My Area" to "My Bubble" but NOT "myspace".

The New Years crew: Bill (not smiling per usual), Ginger, Chris, Me, Dustin and Sam. Go team!

Good times were had by all. More to come when I'm feeling inspired. It's rainy and overcast here in Los Angeles and I should probably go ahead and start my Saturday. I hope everyone had a terrific Christmas, spoiled their loved ones and rang in the New Year with good company and good champagne.