Tag Archive: cbs


1.) The only reason I enjoyed this Sunday is because I know I don’t have to be at work tomorrow because of Columbus Day. Love Love Love.

2.) You know how in Jersey Shore the boys sing “T shirt tiiiiiiiiiime!  T shirt tiiiiiiiime!” over and over before they go out and while they wear the “shirt before the shirt”?? Well, I love that they do that. It cracks me up. And last night before we went out, Megan and I sang “T shirt tiiiiiiiiime!” and it was awesome. We didn’t change our clothes for the song or anything but it was cool anyway.

3.) I was supremely hungover today.

4.) MSU beat U of M yesterday. I’m not a huge sports fan, as you know, but I really, really love the rivalry between the two schools, and it just feels really good to know that my school is better than that other school for another year.  I actually did watch the second half of the game, though, so I felt like I participated in the win.  I took a nap during the first half. It was a good one.

5.) I went to a hockey game with my friends from work on Friday. I know I have talked about this before, but I’m gonna say it again because it’s still definitely true. Yes, hockey is hot. It is. But I just can’t get past the violence. It’s so violent. And the refs just allow the fighting. I can’t understand that! If that was my honey out there, I wouldn’t be able to watch. How does Carrie Underwood do it?! And then at one of the breaks between periods (yeah, I know there are three periods in a hockey game), there was this hockey team made up of little kids. They were so precious. And I got worried and a little upset because someday if I have babies I just don’t think I could watch my little one play hockey. I would cry the whole time and be like DON’T HURT MY BABY!!! I’m such a pansy. The hockey game really made me want to watch the Mighty Ducks trilogy.

6.) My class ends this week. I am SO excited for this class to be over. This has been the most frustrating class of my MBA program and it’s deeply upsetting. I had a meltdown a couple weeks ago about it. I just can’t get an A in this class to save my life. It really, really bothers me!

7.) Speaking of my class ending, that means I have a week of no classes before the next session starts. During that week, I will be on vacation. Starting this Friday after work, I will have an entire week of vacation. I’m not going anywhere, so it’s a stay-cation but I’m still really excited. I have so much to do! I need to get a haircut, finalize my Halloween costume, and help Mom move to the new house! Busy, busy, busy!!

8.) I am watching How I Met Your Mother again. Season 3 this time. I just finished the episode where Barney and Robin sleep together. Ted got really mad but I totally dig the idea of Barney and Robin together. I have trouble reminding myself that tv shows aren’t real life and that those people don’t actually exist.

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So, as I told you earlier this week, I’m sick.

It’s really just a bad cold, but it’s completely wiped me out. And I can’t really breathe, so I’ve become a mouth-breather which both annoys and upsets me. I also basically have no voice, so that’s awesome. And when people interact with me, the know I’m sick and pretty much just want me to not touch, breathe on, or be near anything.

So today I just basked in my own sickness, pretty much.

I began my day with my “daily alarm” on my phone going off. I didn’t have to have a “daily alarm” today since I wasn’t going to work. This daily alarm very deeply confused me. It was still dark out and it was as if I lost all ability to read a clock. The numbers meant nothing to me. And then I couldn’t figure out what the noise was or how to make it stop. Finally, I figured it out and zonked back out. The meds I took before going to bed should have worn off by the time the alarm went off, but I was seriously confused.

I woke up and decided to watch Shakespeare in Love. I had never seen it before and let me just tell you this: I loooooved it. I decided that I must own that movie.

After I finished that movie, I thought I should probably work on my hygiene. I took a shower, mostly because I hoped that the steam from the shower would let me be able to breathe.

It should also be noted that the only good part about being sick is that it’s a perfectly legitimate excuse to do absolutely nothing but chill out and watch movies. All day long. There is no guilt associated with the degree of lazy being sick allows.  That’s the silver lining.

I watched a lot of tv today. I caught up on all the new tv shows that I have missed. There is way too much on tv for anyone to possibly be able to watch it when it’s actually on. I just have so many shows I would like to watch and not enough time to watch them all. Are you ready for my list?  Can you handle it?

MONDAY:

TUESDAY:

WEDNESDAY:

I have nothing listed.

THURSDAY:

See?! It’s obscene! There’s no way I can watch all of that. PLUS, The Good Wife is coming back soon and I really, really like that show.  So that’ll be one more show I won’t have time to watch. Luckily, it’s possible to watch tv online. But still. Finding the time to do that is hard. Maybe I should hope to get more gnarly colds like this one. Because today has afforded me to watch a lot of tv today. I’m practically all caught-up.

What shows do you watch? Is your tv schedule as obscene as mine? What shows am I missing?!?!

We all filed into the courtroom and took our seats in the audience.  Straight ahead sat the judge, poised behind the giant wood desk-type thing. I sat on the left side, where the prosecuting attorney had his notes open on the table beside him. To the right was the defense, along with the man on trial. I hadn’t been expecting to see everyone there. I didn’t expect to see an actual person on trial standing in front of me when we entered the courtroom. The charges were announced and things got serious very quickly. It was no longer a fun little field trip to the courthouse, it was no longer an escape from work, it was no longer just a chance to live out an episode of Law and Order or The Good Wife. This was for real. This was a big deal. This was a man’s life. This was a family. This was so much more than just a civic duty. I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the possibility of having an actual impact on the outcome of someone’s life.

Of course, now that I've found a picture I realize he looks nothing like this man other than the fact that they basically have the same haircut. My bad.

The defendant, who had an uncanny resemblance to a character from the movie Ghost, was being charged with two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and one count of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree (sexual penetration of a minor, specifically, his 16-year-old daughter).

When you hear that, it’s hard not to feel the breath sucked out of your lungs. When you hear that, it’s hard not to look at that man’s face and have every fiber of your being fill with disgust. It’s hard to remain impartial. It’s hard not to be biased. It’s hard to not hate him.  You hear something like that, something truly heinous, and you want something bad to happen to him. You hear something like that, and you look at that man’s face and you think You are capable of this; you are a criminal.

I have no idea how long it took before my name was called. Everyone was fidgety and antsy to move around. It’s hard to be quiet that long. It’s hard to listen to people lay their life out for a room of 100 strangers to hear. It’s hard to hear people talk about traumatic events that inevitably make that person undesirable to the attorneys to keep as a juror.  To be honest, I thought I wouldn’t be called at all, simply because I wanted to be called so badly and I usually never win anything. I might as well have skipped up to the juror box, I was so excited. It took everything I had not to burst into song and smile until my cheeks hurt. I tried my best to play it cool as I took made my way to the first juror chair.

It's Not Real.

It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to sit in that box and face the attorneys, who pepper you with invasive questions and judge you based on your ability to be unbiased. I was asked if I knew any of the people involved in the case. I was asked my age, occupation, and if I had any close friends or family in law enforcement or involved in the legal system. I was asked if I had any personal experiences that would make me sympathize with the victim, any personal experiences that would make me unable to listen to all the evidence and testimony and remain impartial and unbiased. I was asked if I had any strong feelings about alcohol. I was asked if I had ever had experience with the court system. I was asked if I would have a problem accepting testimony via transcript rather than live testimony. I was asked if I understood that CSI was not real-life. I was asked if I knew what perjury was, and was asked to define the word. I was asked if I understood what a vendetta was, and if I could understand how a teenage girl who is on probation may have a “score to settle” with her father. I was asked if I could understand that a child may hold a grudge against his or her parent. I was asked if I understood that children lie and usually only dig the hole deeper when they do.

I was never dismissed. I sat in juror seat 1 the rest of the day, until we had thirteen jurors that the prosecution and defense were satisfied with.

We came back on Thursday morning to begin the trial. All thirteen of us were corralled in the room, which was a small room with an oval table with just enough room to squeeze twelve chairs around. One wall was made of two large windows, overlooking a parking lot. There was a tiny fridge, like the one Sarah and I had in our dorm room in college, a coffee maker, a microwave, a sink and a little bit of counter space. A shelf with five puzzle books was above a row of hangers for coats, which was located behind the chair I claimed as my own for the entire four days of the trial.  It’s interesting; all thirteen of us chose the exact same seats in the room every single time we were in there. Funny how humans really are creatures of habit.

The court officer was the only one to come in and out of the jury room with us. He gave us our notebooks and pens and gave us instructions. He’s the one who lined us up by our juror number every single time and who blocked the hallway off.

Close Enough.

I was so nervous that first day I could have thrown up. Every time, Mike, our court officer would give me the nod indicating it was time to move. He would say, “All rise for the jury” and every time I could feel my anxiety level increase. As the line-leader on our way to our seats, I remained single-focused: Just Walk. It’s a wonder I didn’t totally eat it on my way to my seat.

Opening arguments began and all thirteen of us were told two theories behind the charges.

The night of November 7th, 2009 Brian, the defendant, went to his mother’s one-bedroom apartment around ten o’clock that evening. In his hands, he brought with him a plastic bag with two fifths of brandy and went directly to the only bedroom. It was to be noted that Brian was technically not even supposed to be at that apartment, as he had gotten into an altercation with the landlord of the building and was no longer welcome on the property.

Brianna was raised by Brian’s mother, Viola, who had guardianship over her. Viola and her husband Albert lived in the living room of this tiny apartment. Albert resided in a hospital bed that was set up in the middle of the room, and Viola, who has battled cancer for a few years, cared for him. She slept on the couch while Brianna lived in the only bedroom. That night, she had two of her friends over (Monika and Aviance), and they were hanging out and listening to music on myspace.

When Brian got there, Monika had been hiding in the closet. All three girls were on probation for various reasons. Monika, due to the terms of her probation, was not to be hanging out with Brianna or Aviance. The fact that Monika was there caused a slight upset but it quickly dissipated. Brian provided the girls with the alcohol and took his seat on the window sill in the bedroom.

The timeline of events is unclear, but it wasn’t long before the girls had finished the fifth of brandy. Aviance and Brianna, who were described as “girlfriends,” had spent somewhere around 20 minutes under the blankets on Brianna’s bed while Brian sat at the window sill and Monika occupied herself with the computer. Brianna had gotten sick from all of the alcohol and had thrown up outside. After that, she came back to her room and passed out in bed. She remembered being warm and taking her shirt off to cool down but she kept her shorts on. Some time later, Brian and Aviance had gotten into an argument and Aviance was asked to leave. Monika left shortly after.

Brian had been watching TV on the edge of Brianna’s bed, but he, too, passed out in the early morning hours of November 8th. Brianna testified that the next thing she remembered was waking up at 4:16 AM with her dad inside of her. She pushed him off of her, pulled her shorts up from halfway down her legs, and went to the living room. She fell asleep in the recliner beside the couch, next to her grandmother.

9-1-1 dispatch received a call at 8:26 that morning, with a girl wanting to report a rape. Police were sent to the scene. Brianna was taken to the hospital via ambulance while the police stayed to investigate and interview everyone at the scene.  Brian had confessed to the detective that he had provided alcohol to his the girls but was surprised to learn the reason behind the police’s appearance at the apartment; he had thought it was because he wasn’t supposed to be there. DNA samples of Brian were taken, his clothes were sent as evidence and he remained in custody. At the hospital, Brianna was examined for somewhere between two and four hours. A rape kit was completed and her DNA samples were sent to be analyzed.

We heard testimony from a sexual assault nurse examiner, one of the policemen at the scene, the DNA analyst, the detective on the case, Brianna herself (even though she was quickly deemed “unavailable” due to her “lack of memory” and inability to cooperate and answer the prosecution’s questions), Aviance (Brianna’s friend and “girlfriend”), Viola (Brianna’s grandmother), and three other members of Brianna’s family.

It was incredibly difficult to have to keep all the details of the case secret. It was difficult to think through the case without talking it out. I think you guys can tell I’m just one of those people that needs to talk about everything, and that I can’t make a decision to save my life. With all the testimony I heard, the evidence in front of me, I didn’t know what to do.

It was hard not to think of the victim, how this had certainly not made her life better, how she had little support through all of this, how this had been traumatic for her. It was hard not to think of the defendant, how his life was ruined, how his family was torn apart, how he could be in prison for a very, very, very long time. It was hard not to think of the family involved, how they would never come back from this, how this had torn them apart.

I left court each day exhausted. My heart ached for everyone involved.