Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adventures in Jury Town

These are just some random pictures I took while on jury duty. We had an hour and a half for lunch every day so I would wander the streets of San Diego looking for odd bits of city life to photograph with my phone. I'm not a very good photographer so I didn't get many good shots, but here are a few.

Apparently six year-olds are totally into graf writing these days, as evidenced by this tag I found on a city corner. It's even funnier than normal in this context, which is quite a feat.

Pirates thrive in San Diego. But on the flip side, rampant ninja prejudice is a huge problem in our fair city.

MJ has been reduced to using public transportation to get around. How bad do things have to get before the government steps in and rescues our nation's floundering degenerate billionaire icons? Don't they know that the solution to all our economic problems is giving Americans juicy celebrity gossip to take our minds off the impending collapse? And they can't do crazy, gossip worthy things if they're poor like the rest of us.

This is an artist's rendering of the 3G PenciL Phone rumored to be announced by Apple sometime next month. Many people complained about the lack of a stylus for the popular iPhone. This is Apple's answer. [WARNING: Sharpening voids warranty]

This is the bus route I took to get downtown everyday. Luckily this was the express route or they would have stopped at EVERY stop and not just the 1400 shown on this map.
This is a picture of inside the courtroom taken on jury selection day. After taking this picture, I found a posting outside stating that it was a crime to record or photograph inside the courtroom. Oops. But what good is having a spy camera on your phone if you can't take super secret photos? Just nobody tell on me, ok. I've had my fill of judges and juries for a while.

6 Helens agree.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

mixed media - ink and pasty white skin

I am on jury duty. But I'm not allowed to talk (or blog) about the case. So I'll just tell you how I feel about jury duty in general.

First, the pay is great. Alice asked me how much I was getting paid and when I told her $15 she was ecstatic.

"$15 an hour! That's more than you make now!"

"No. $15 a day."

But even with the great pay, I'm honestly not in it for the money. I am totally in it for the glory.

I've seen a few episodes of Miami Ink and it seems to be popular to get important things or events in your life memorialized in a tattoo. For instance, if your days in the navy really made you who you are, you might get an anchor tattooed on your bicep. Or if you are an ice salesman you might get 'Mr. Cool Ice' tattooed on your chest, back and arms along with a skeleton doing a cute little pose to lighten things up. My point is, when something significant happens in your life, the first thing you should do is run out and get a tattoo before you have time to talk yourself out of it.

In that spirit, I inked (don't worry, Mom, it's just ball point pen) a rough draft of what I might get after this life changing jury duty. No, I did not start this while in the courtroom, even though I am sitting in the very back of the room where no one can really see me except the judge and she's always looking at her computer. No, I did not gum up my pen with my scraggly leg hairs and pasty skin oils and have to ask the bailiff for another one. No, I did not gum that one up as well and have to find yet another pen during a break. And no, I did not have to go into the bathroom to put the finishing touches on and get a good picture of this awesome artwork. None of those things happened.

Alice will tell you how she disapproves of drawing on one's legs in public, right up there with picking your nose. She just doesn't understand the significance of being an alternate juror. I'm sure a lot of people will not understand my 'art', but that's something all artists ahead of their time have to deal with. I am ready to proudly display to the entire world my commitment to being the best juror number 13 I can be. At least until I take a shower or the case is over, whichever comes first.

5 Helens agree.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Camp Life - Like Thug Life, but slightly more gentle

Last weekend I convinced someone else's kid to get into a car with me and drove far out into the desert with him. I planned ahead and had a shovel, a large tarp, and snacks to help keep my energy up. What was going on last weekend? You guessed it, our ward's annual Father and Son camp out! Seeing as how I don't have a son of my own, I adopted a kid for the weekend and pretended like I belonged. I'll do just about anything for s'more s'mores (Modestmuse, I know you feelin' me). Over the years I've learned that if you act like you belong, people don't question you. Just like the time I went to the bus station and pretended I was waiting for my bus when really I was just looking for a cool place to rest for a little while. I just kept looking at my watch impatiently and waving around a ticket stub I found in the trash can and nobody even gave me a second glance. Works perfect every time.

But back to the camp out. As all mothers know, young boys thrive on violence. And this camp out is the one time a year when, free of the over-protective mothering of the women folk, the men and boys can finally release the aggression that has been slowly building for the twelve months since last year's camp out. The activities at this year's camp out consisted of hitting each other with giant padded sticks (the technical term is 'boffers') a la LARPing, shooting each other with airsoft BB guns, and catapulting ballistic water balloons at each other at near the speed of sound. (Even the little woodland creatures enjoy LARPing as evidenced by this picture.) Surprisingly, the bishop had no problem with any of these activities. The one father who got smashed in the face with an ICBB (inter-campground ballistic balloon) from 200 yards didn't look to thrilled, but that's the chance you take when you go on an all guy camp out. He plans on summoning his Shield of Perpetual Impenetrability next year and calling down a mighty reckoning on his foes.

Besides violence, men also like to destroy things and construct things. I managed to combine these two activities into a fireside demonstration while simultaneously teaching a lesson about the refiners fire. We melted pennies over the campfire and cast the liquid zinc into a coin mold. Destruction, construction, and fire. The divine male trifecta.

Except for the one missing finger that turned out to be just a hot dog, there were no serious injuries. God bless the Father and Son camp out, and I'm sure He does or there would have been more calls to 911. And we all came home filthy, which is the only sure indication to our wives and mothers that we had a good time.

5 Helens agree.