Last night I was reading in bed and fell asleep in my clothes. Urk! I do that. I woke up around 3:30 AM to the lights still on and the sound of a stiff wind blowing outside. Feeling pretty awake, and somewhat curious about the change in the weather, I went out into my front yard and stood there for about half an hour, letting the wind blow me around a bit. It felt good. The night sky was clear, the wind was cool but not cold, and the air smelled good. I didn't see the moon. After awhile, I went back in and got ready for bed and crashed out until time to get up for work this morning. When I woke up, it was still windy and the sky was purple to the north like it was threatening to rain. The clouds got lighter as I drove to Alameda, but they didn't start clearing away until afternoon.
It's a strange condition,
A day in prison,
It's got me out of my head,
And I don't know what I came for,
This afternoon, I rolled into Alameda to the Rene C. Davidson Superior Courthouse to do the jury duty thing. First off, I don't recognize an imposed duty. The entire process is rife with so many assumptions of authority that are entirely unwarranted in a civilization whose people regard it as free and who claim it to be conceived in liberty. The only duties we really have are those to which we have explicitly agreed and bound ourselves. All other "duties" are merely euphemisms for various impositions and conscriptions. Frankly, if jury "duty" were voluntary, I would probably sign up for it, not that it would do me much good. Basically, it is a contemptible waste of my time because the corrupt voir dire process (as SciFi author L. Neil Smith says, "That's French for 'jury tampering'") will just screen me out because of my education and ideological leanings. Usually, I just try to get out of it. If I am selected, I merely point out up front that I am a member of The Fully Informed Jury Association and that is enough for the judge and the prosecutor, if not the defense lawyer as well, to want to bounce me. Oh yeah, dragooning me into the courthouse where I am disarmed, indexed, cross-referenced, scrutinized, and suspected like a criminal by bureaucrats who fancy themselves aristocrats and myself a serf is really conducive to my continuing respect for this criminal government which betrayed the U.S. Constitution years ago. Of course, it's merely insult to injury that they then disqualify me after giving me a thoroughly detestable and tyrannous ideological screening. Are there any Americans left in this country? Somehow, I think that they are very very scarce. Why do we tolerate the idiocy? At any rate, the case settled out of court so the potential jurors were dismissed at 3:30 PM after only a two and a half hour wait. I'm off the hook for another year. I decided to go home instead of back to work. It was such a beautiful day today that I couldn't resist playing hooky.
Yesterday was Jackie's birthday. Monday, one of her best friends got on Yahoo and cajoled me into canceling plans for having her and her sister visit this weekend because he wants to spring a birthday surprise on her. Hmm, the guy really went to some trouble, pulling in a few more of Jackie's friends and her boyfriend too. He and Jackie have been as thick as thieves for years. Before he came out of the closet there was the suspicion among their mutual friends that he had a fierce crush on Jackie. Heh. Well, I couldn't say no, although Jackie gave him grief for usurping her plans with me without consulting her first. I asked her if she really wanted to do this thing before telling them that I was okay with the scheduling re-work. Often Jackie gets control freaky, like her mother. Unfortunately, the re-shedule means that I won't be able to see the girls until the second weekend of October, unless Shannon wants to come down by herself this weekend. I don't think she was included in the friend's plan. My elder daughter is a social gadfly. This is technically sort of a second party for her. Her mother had one at her house for her last weekend.
You know you’re the best thing ever,
To come out of this place,
Monday was also the anniversary of the day Crystal and the girls left. It's been four years now. Recently, I've been discussing some things with the ex concerning relationships, particularly ours. She's a smart woman, and frequently I still value her opinion on this and that. She is a woman of surprising insights. I still believe that her infidelities were wrong, but I had to tell her recently that I had begun to understand a little about what she may have been feeling when she undertook them. I had an epiphany when thinking about a recent personal experience. It almost made me feel like a hypocrite just for feeling the way I did. "... My precious sense of honor, Just a shield of rusty wire..." At any rate, I told her what was on my mind and what I had come to realize about some things like love and attraction and temptation. Is that forgiveness? I don't know. I'm not much of a grudge holder to begin with. I sincerely hope that her second marriage works out for her, long term, and I'm pleased that she's happy being pregnant again. She and I have been getting along better and better and I can honestly still say that I love the woman, even if we probably weren't really suited to remaining married to each other. On my end of things, the stuff I learn about myself and the discovered subtleties involved in the things that I believe never cease to surprise and amaze me. Usually, wisdom is a quiet and slow influence in one's life. It's frequently pleasant to have it break the pattern and pop up and surprise you, even if it does leave you more confused about some things.
From the Department of Strange Coincidences and Serendipity, within the last month two people who were born years after it was released have told me that they like Petula Clark's "Downtown" without knowing when they said it that it was one of the very first favorite songs I ever had in my life. One of these people is my elder daughter and the other is the one who may perhaps unwittingly be the inspiration for the enlightenment mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Read me the letter, Baby,
Do not leave out the words.
Stories and cigarettes ruined lives of lesser girls,
And I wanna know,
‘Cause I want you to know,
I saw the following question meme on eithnepdb's page this morning and thought it looked interesting. Anyone reading should feel free to ask me a question on each of the following topics just for hoots or if you're really curious and willing to run the risk of finding an elusive personal TMI limit: