Ladies and gentlemen of the jury

If you ever want to feel like you obviously live a pretty boring life, you should be involved in a jury selection for a DUI case. I was yesterday, and I learned that I’m actually in a bit of the minority for 1. never having been cited with driving under the influence, 2. not knowing anybody particularly close to me who has, 3. nor knowing anyone who’s been injured by a drunk driver, 4. not discussing in grisly detail the work of my law enforcement relatives (ok, so I don’t even have any law enforcement relatives, so I couldn’t even get to the discussion part) and, 5. (oddly for Utah, I think) belonging to a religion that prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

But, boring, apparently, can also lead you to being selected as a juror. Well, boring and dressing respectably. I really should have gone with my gut instinct to bring the stack of Watchtowers and wear the shirt with a giant “Jehovah-God is Watching!” As a result, though, of chinos and a tie, I was selected to determine whether or not someone else did something illegal. I guess I could have been like the one woman who admitted that she thinks anyone who drinks EVER shouldn’t have a license. But, really, either that’s a crazy reach for being excused or she sort of freaks me out. Though, she freaks me out less than the woman who believed one is guilty until proven innocent. Because, y'know, that's a good sytem, right, South America?

This system of administering justice is totally ludicrous, right? A bunch of strangers are summoned. A small set of them (26) show up. Then, four are selected and they get to make a decision that has pretty serious implications for someone else. It’s weird.

The trial itself was sort of meh. Though, I wish I could have pulled aside the defense attorney and told him, “Look, dude, your whole ‘the defendant is being painted evil just like Severus Snape’ is not as convincing nor as clever as you clearly think it is. Also, did you seriously just call dui investigations “a witch hunt”?” In his closing statement, he also placed a lot of emphasis on the fact that there was no Intoxilyzer test. Of course, that was dumb, because why draw attention to the sketchiest fact of our client’s investigation? And, also, the legal limit of alcohol doesn’t matter if your client was intoxicated beyond the ability to control the vehicle.

To be honest, I'm not sure this woman really had a chance. I know, I know, she was presumed innocent, but her actions were super sketch, as was her testimony. But, I did manage to help get her off the hook for failure to yield to pedestrians. Which I'm sure she feels just great about.

Daily Spoils

Things I returned home with today which were not in my possession at the start of the day:

  • A new, Mormon-themed board game
  • A copy of D'Aulaires Norse myths (one of my goals for the summer is to become passingly familiar with Asgard and its inhabitants)
  • A library copy of the soundtrack for the musical Billy Eliot. It's not my story, but it's a good one, regardless
  • An id badge for my new job
  • A clean bill of criminality
  • A clearer sense of how to tackle Games Mormons Play, a paper in progress
  • Plans for getting sushi in a little bit

Apparently, I have successful days. Sometimes.

Curling up

It is not odd that, upon placing the last period on my last paper of the semester, I decided to do something totally frivolous. I've earned, in my estimation, a bit of fun. What is odd, though, is that my choice of fun is to curl up with a book that has been described, variously, as "beautiful, shocking, and sad", "heart-breaking", "harrowing" and as having prose that "amplifies the isolation..that each character seems to inhabit".

I am so ridiculously excited for this. Here's hoping it lives up to those reviews.

His heart was merry with wine

Dear alea,

Remember how for the past three weeks, you've been hemming and hawing about your final paper for Ugaritic? The one in which you were supposed to categorize and discuss the use of "heart" in the Hebrew Bible? Of course, you do. It's cast a pall over practically everything. Sifting through the more than 700 verses containing the term seemed overwhelming. You couldn't focus on it for more than about half an hour without wanting to run away and hide.

Well, turns out, you shouldn't have taken so long to get started. Because, there is a possibility that you were having so much fun writing last night that it got to be 1 am before you knew what happened. You had to forcibly remove your computer so you could get some sleep. Seriously, you're absurd. This topic is awesome. And you get to say things like "well soused" and "heart foreskin". You should have seen that coming.

Please advise.


inner vessels

When I have a house, or rather any space that I can decorate, I'm going to hang up somewhere two small-ish frames. I'm picturing something like 8 inches square. Inside each will be a quote. One will be "Νίψον ανομήμα, μη μόναν όψιν", a Greek palindrome which means "wash your sin and not only your face". It's found on a fountain outside Hagia Sophia, which I desperately want to visit. The other will be from the Bible. It's in Joel 2.13

"קרע לבבכם ואל-בגדיכם" ("rend your hearts and not your clothing").

Also, I kinda love the idea of the former in a bathroom and the latter next to a closet.

I realize these are sort of weird to hang up and see everyday. But I love them so much. I love this idea of working on the inner person rather than the outer one. And I think someone (not me, probably, but surely, someone), could do something really cool with Greek and Hebrew typography that would make them really cool.

But, yeah, until that point, it'll just have to suffice to have them running through my head over and over again.