Monthly Archives: August 2013

Jane On Jury Duty. Three Days Of Our Tax Dollars At Work.

So, what did you do last week? Work? School? Housework and blog work? Same old, same old?

Me?

I had jury duty.

Juror-button

Every American dreads it. You get the summons in the mailbox and your heart sinks. You struggle to find a way out of it. But once you get there, once you are chosen for a jury, you come to appreciate the awesome privilege and responsibility that it is.

Unless you get the case that I had.

…..

Seconds ago, I wrote a detailed account of the trial. A frivolous lawsuit. Two young college kids. A fight over a girl. Punches pulled with minor injuries (a bloody nose and a black eye.) But I erased it. I feel for those two kids. One who let his temper get the best of him and the other who came off looking like a greedy, vengeful crybaby. I felt awkward sharing the intimate details of their mistake. The details aren’t important.

“They had a trial over THAT?” my 9-year-old asked.

Yep. Three days of my life. Three days of our taxes to finance THAT.

We all make mistakes. Violence is never the answer. The puncher realized that, said as much on the stand. Showed remorse and regret and wanted a chance to do it over. But he knew he couldn’t. So instead, he owned what he had done.

The punchee sat on the stand, looking pitiful, recalling the events that happened 18 months ago and tried to convince us that the bloody nose and black eye had scarred him for life.

…..

We are a litigious society. We have a need to point the finger. And when we’ve been wronged we want someone to pay.

What Mr. Puncher did was wrong. Throwing a punch because you’re angry with someone is against the law. And he paid for that with repercussions at school and at least a night in jail. (And I only know that because of  a comment from one of the witnesses. Neither lawyer pursued her comment. Nothing else was entered into evidence.)

But what Mr. Punchee did was wrong, too. Beyond medical bills, he deserves nothing else.  All of the x-rays revealed he had a simple bloody nose and a black eye. No broken bones.This never should have gone to trial. And no one should expect pain and suffering for a scrap in a dorm room.

Re-reading what I’ve written, I’m afraid I sound cold. Unsympathetic to a boy who felt wronged. One of my fellow jurors would be thrilled to never see me again. She wanted to throw the book at Mr. Puncher. I wanted to shake my finger at Mr. Punchee and tell him to grow up.

We, as jurors, had so  many questions. Did the university take action? How long was Mr. Puncher in jail? Because this was a civil trial, was there any other legal action taken before this trial? Did either side try to settle this out of court?

“I’ll bet Mr. Puncher refused to pay the medical bills,” said Juror #47, “That’s why we’re here.”

“I’ll bet Mr. Puncher agreed to pay the medical bills but Mr. Punchee demanded more,” said Juror Jane, “In closing arguments his lawyer pleaded with us to consider his pain and suffering. That’s what we were charged to determine. His lawyer already admitted to being good friends with Mr. Punchee’s father. An opportunity to cash in. Plain and simple. THAT’S why we’re here.”

In the end, we compromised with medical bills and a little compensation for the attorney’s fees and filing costs. I can live with that. Mr. Puncher needs to pay for the medical costs he created and a little more because this all wouldn’t have happened if he had kept his temper. Mr. Punchee can have a little of his honor restored by saying he “won” in court.

But pain and suffering? The only pain and suffering was endured by the tax payers, having to sit and listen to this frivolous suit.

And the bulk of Mr. Punchee’s  attorney’s fees, to the tune of $11,500?

Let his dad and his buddy work that one out.

5 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work

Seven Questions I’d Like To Ask My Dog

 

1. The cat threw it up. And you still ate it. Now, stop and think a minute. Don’t you think there may have been a reason why she threw it up?

2. Yes, we typically feed you after you’ve been outside. And yes, your food bowl is empty. You eat twice a day, approximately every 12 hours. But by asking to go outside, again, just after you’ve eaten, and then running to your bowl to see if maybe we’ve put more food in it – do you really think we’ve forgotten that we’ve just fed you and you need to be fed again? Really?

3. You’re fixed. That special part of your anatomy is not even there anymore. Why, oh why,  do you still want to hump the leg of my daughter’s friend?

4. Along those same lines….. I know it is natural for you. But it is not natural for humans. So, could you please stop sniffing every visitor to our home in the crotch area? Pretty please?

5. You bark at the mailman but not the UPS man. Is there something you know that we don’t? Should we be concerned?

6. We just took you for a long walk. #2son played with you in the back yard for an hour. You follow me into every room of the house and I always stop and pet you and talk to you. You curl at my feet while I’m writing blog posts and I never fail to give you a little love. Yet you still act as if we never pay attention to you. Will it ever be enough? Ever?

7. It’s your crate. Your little sanctuary. We leave the gate open because we know you love to sleep in there, even though you don’t really need to be crated anymore. So, let me reiterate, it’s your space. Why do you let her push you around?

2011_0408winterspring20110008

4 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious

I Wholeheartedly Agree. The End.

chocolatesalad

4 Comments

August 24, 2013 · 8:58 pm

Yes. I Am This OCD. Can You Relate?

funny-gas-station-OCD

4 Comments

August 20, 2013 · 2:11 pm

The First Week Of School Has Kicked My Butt. And It Hasn’t Even Gotten Crazy Yet.

The first week of school has kicked my butt and it hasn’t even gotten crazy around here yet. Next week is when we add swim practice, baseball and Cub Scouts to the schedule. This week it’s just been school.

Just four days of school.

That’s it.

As much as I enjoyed our summer (and we had a fabulous summer!) I craved the routine that makes the school year. The week before school began I could barely contain my glee. Oh sure, I’d miss my kids but our wake-up times, leave times, come home times, dinner times and bed times would finally be in sync.

Bliss.

Or not.

First day: no homework (yay!) but #1son’s backpack and the required 2-inch binder broke. Back to Target.

Second day: Homework. Not too taxing. Everyone was happy with their results but it took longer than expected and dinner was late. Oh, and #2son has decided that school lunches are gross. So now, it’s back to making lunches in the morning. For one child. Other child calls school lunches “gourmet.” And the recent-school-lunch-hater’s Buzz Lightyear lunchbox from 3 years ago simply will not do. Back to Target. And Publix for lunch meat.

Third day: More homework. This time a research project. Over the summer we brilliantly put in place a net-nanny system on the computer upstairs that requires me to punch in a password for every new website they visit. Every. Single. One. Who’s brilliant idea was this? Oh yeah. Darling husband who isn’t home during the day when the boys use the computer. Project (finally) finished but need a clear folder to place it in. Back to Target.

Fourth day: I’ve been in a daze. I can’t think. I can’t focus. Pulled in different directions, I can’t seem to finish a project. I can’t sit still because I keep thinking I’m forgetting something.

target

Guess I’ll go back to Target.

Because Target hasn’t failed me yet.

5 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work

Spending Wordless Wednesday At The Atlanta Botanical Gardens

DSCF0086

 

DSCF0098

 

photo (3)

 

DSCF0124

9 Comments

Filed under nature

10 Things I Never Dreamed In A Million Years I’d Say. (Okay. Maybe In A Million. But Certainly Not In 100 Years.)

About a year ago, I was bemoaning the fact that it’s 2012 and we still don’t have flying jet packs.

And then, yesterday, as my children were calling for me a flight of stairs away (Do your children scream downstairs for you, too? One of my big pet peeves. Yet, I always respond. What is wrong with me?) words left my lips that sounded so foreign, so odd, but made perfect sense to my tech-savvy self. (Okay. I’m not very tech savvy. At all. But when I said #3, I felt like the perfect techno-geek.)

It got me thinking. When I was sitting in Algebra class, oh-so-many-years-ago, and we were sitting around figuring out how old we’d be in the year (gasp!) 2000 and wailing “We’re going to be sooooo oooollllddddd!” (36 years) besides the ancient age of 36, there were many other things we never could have imagined. So many other things we never could have predicted would come from our fossilized and parentified lips.

1. How can you have any dessert when you haven’t eaten your meat?

2. Boy, that Zumba class really kicked my butt this morning.

3. Hold on. I need to turn off my book.

4. I just hit 190 followers on my blog!

5. Because I said so.  (Or some similar version.)  (Okay. Not very original. But when we heard that as kids we all vowed we’d never say it. Am I right?)

6. Honey, don’t forget to charge the car.

7. Wait a sec, I’ll just Google it.

8. Oooo. I love that song. What’s the name of it again? Here. I’ll Shazam it and then download it when I get home! Hey! I don’t have to wait. I can download it now!

9. I just Viggled the Today show. It’s on for four hours! That’s 240 points!

10. Upon leaving the house and forgetting, yet something else – I’ll be right back. I forgot my phone.

So, what did you dream you’d never say?

11 Comments

Filed under Completely Random, Uncategorized