Tag Archive: lunch


I read somewhere that the average four-year-old asks, like, 400-something questions a day.

That’s amazing.

I’m not saying that I’m a four-year-old, but I think I ask something close to that.

I just wonder a lot of things.

For instance, I had lunch with my mother today, and I had at least ten questions just about our lunch.

Before you get all “you’ve said that before!” on me, I just want to let you know I don’t really care if I repeat myself. It’s my blog, I can do what I want. And if that means tell you something repeatedly, then so be it! Anyway, let me please reiterate that my mom has this thing about having her ipod headphones in her ears at all times. Usually, she has one of her stupid audiobooks playing at the same time, but you can bet your bottom dollar there’s no way she’s actually listening to her book the entire time her headphones are in. I tried audiobooks. It’s hard to pay close attention. It’s like someone is constantly talking to you and you can’t zone out ever because you’ll miss part of the story and have to just nod and pretend you know what’s going on. Okay, so it’s really no different than sitting in class in college and listening to lecture, or having to listen to some bullshit story from someone you don’t really care about, or someone who just rambles about nothing and expects you to pay attention. Hey, that’s you. Start paying attention again. I’m actually going to get back on track again.

Ugh. ADD. Anyway!

She had her headphones in while she was making lunch and not listening to me talk about how I had just finished the very last episode ever of The West Wing on DVD. Because she wasn’t listening to me, I decided I’d snuggle up to Chiefy on the floor and tell him about it. Sometimes when I do this, she will actually be listening to what I say to the pets- like that time I sat in one of the teal recliners in the living room with Stella in my lap and I sang to her for five minutes, nothing you’d know because it was one I made up as I went. Or like that time I told Tag to get a job one day. Or when I busted my ass on the kitchen floor and bruised the whole right side of my body because I dared Tag that I would be able to jump straight onto a stepstool on the hardwood floor (I’m dumb.) and it clearly didn’t turn out right because I knocked the wind out of myself when I missed the stepstool and fell.

When we finally sat down to lunch, I had already been yammering up a storm, and every time I paused where she was supposed to respond, she always looked lost in our conversation. It’s really irritating to have to battle that in every single conversation, so I requested that she remove her headphones because I had some serious business to talk about.

When you eat tomato soup, does it feel like you are just eating hot ketchup?

Is tomato soup really made of just tomatoes?

How come I like ketchup but hate real tomatoes?

Who invented grilled cheese sandwiches?

Who invented putting grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup?

When you wear your fur coat, do you think about how you could be offending people around you?

Are you supposed to eat crackers with tomato soup?

Are you going to eat these crackers?

Why did you get them out?

Why do I hate Ritz crackers? The Townhouse crackers I do like are pretty similar to Ritz crackers, so don’t you think that’s weird?

Danielle brought animal crackers to work yesterday. Have you had animal crackers recently?

I eat the heads and legs off first. Is that how you eat them?

Did you know that the average four-year-old asks something like 400 questions per day?

Apparently, that last one was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Granted, she did make a joke about me being a four-year-old since I had literally just spent the entire time we were sitting and eating asking her completely superfluous questions. Even so, she finished her grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, put her headphones back in, told me to finish up, and then took a nap as she waited for the dishwasher-repair man to come to our house.

I bet I have those four-year-olds beat. I ask a shit-ton of questions every day. That’s not even including all the questions I have to ask at work because it’s a function of my job.

Advertisements

When closing arguments began, I had no idea what I would decide. I was dying to know what my fellow jurors thought of everything we had heard. Throughout the four days we were in court, we couldn’t speak to each other about anything relating to the case. Every minute spent together in the jury room was filled with small talk. I couldn’t wait to actually be able to talk about the case, ask the questions that had been haunting my dreams, and finally wrap my head around all the facts.

There was one minor hiccup once all was said and done by the attorneys. There were thirteen of us. Only twelve would go back to the jury room and deliberate. I hoped to high heaven I wouldn’t be the one to be dismissed. How disappointing it would be to sit through the entire trial and then simply be released, to be thanked for one’s service and dismissed with no other words. I would have been pissed. But, as it stands, that didn’t happen to me. The juror in seat three was released.

The judge read us our instructions and then we filed back into our ever familiar jury room.  I took my regular seat and waited to see what would happen next.  First thing was first: we were going to order some lunch. And I was to be the one to record everyone’s order due to my neat handwriting. (I always knew I’d be good for something!) Ordering lunch was a feat in and of itself but we finally got it under control. We called Mike, our court officer, and gave him our order.

That was when deliberations began. During the time it took to figure out what everyone was eating for lunch, we had also decided our foreman. Rather than picking the woman who has sat on a jury every two years since 1985, we went with the man she nominated, who sat in seat number four. We decided to tackle the lesser charges first, and then discuss the big one. It didn’t take long at all to go around the table and say “guilty” to the first count of furnishing alcohol to a minor (Brianna).  We then did the same thing for the second count of furnishing alcohol to a minor (Monika).

To begin our discussion, we went through each of our witnesses and judged his or her credibility. In doing so, we got to hash out all of the details of the case.  We tried to come up with our own timeline of events; we tried to figure out exactly what happened. We tried to determine what seemed to make sense. It was seriously difficult.  That’s when we all started to agree upon all of the holes in the story. We all seemed to have the same questions and a couple of our own theories.

The element of personal injury to the charge of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree needed to be met. While there had been a 2 millimeter “laceration” noted in the medical records of the victim, the sexual assault nurse examiner couldn’t rule out other causes of the injury, nor could she determine how long that injury had been there. The fact that there was no physical, DNA evidence anywhere could have been overlooked had the story made any sense at all.  The personal vendetta theory that the defense had been working on started to seem more and more likely the more we went over what the witnesses had testified. And don’t even get me started on the 9-1-1 tape. We listened to it at least 7 times. I could probably quote it, verbatim.  The worst part: all of it was a fabrication; the victim’s friend/girlfriend had called 9-1-1 and pretended to be the victim. And when questioned on the witness stand by the prosecuting attorney, who was livid, she didn’t have an explanation for her actions.

All in all, we couldn’t convict him of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree because we all experienced reasonable doubt.  It’s such an interesting concept, one that I didn’t even really understand until I felt it.

When we reached our verdict, I wrote Mike the note (“We have reached a verdict”) since we weren’t allowed to speak to him. Another juror called down to his office and told him we had the note ready. Then we waited a few minutes and were called back into the courtroom.  The judge asked our foreman if we reached a verdict and then he read what we had decided.

I still can’t believe I did this, but when our foreman read the verdict, I was looking at the judge.  Can you believe that? I was looking at the judge, rather than the defendant. I thought to look at him, to read his facial expression, after we had moved onto the lesser charges. I missed his very first reaction to the “not guilty” verdict for criminal sexual conduct. By the time I looked over, he looked relieved. He was shaking the hand of his attorney and he looked… thankful. In my head, I decided he was on the verge of tears because he was so relieved.

As soon as he finished reading our verdict, we were shuffled back into the jury room one last time. We waited only a few minutes before the judge came in and talked to us. She seemed to agree with our verdict, which made me feel even better about the choices we had made. She spoke candidly to us about the case. It was really awesome.

Obviously, I think you all can tell that I really, really loved my jury duty experience. I feel like I can honestly say that it is probably one of the most important things I have ever done, and I just know I’ll never forget it. And, just for the record, I think everyone should sit on a jury at least once. It’s an amazing experience!