Jury Veto

Posted in Whatever on June 19, 2009 by zillatron

Jury duty today.  I like the old courthouse in Des Moines so much better.  I always imagined everyone dressed in 40’s garb.  I appreciated how the stairs were actually wearing away from decades of criminal feet…like this glacier of iniquity was reshaping the landscape.  The Antelope Valley courthouse looks like it was made in the last decade.  It was a nice facility and all, and the jury assembly room was definitely superior with tv’s and vending machines and whatnot…I’m just a bit of an antiquarian, at least when it comes to buildings.

I came very close to being a juror this time…to the point that I was actually called into the jury box and voir dired.  I was ultimately rejected by the prosecuting attorney, a younger, hotter version of Tina Fey.  The defense attorney was a ringer for Mena Suvari.  The defendant looked like a cross between Afroman and Forrest Whitaker, with the hair from James Brown’s mugshot.  He was charged with violating a restraining order…I think if I had been chosen to stay for the trial I would’ve been in for some serious Maury-type shit.  The defense attorney even warned us that during the course of the trial we might hear some offensive language…in particular the word “bitch.”

I’m not sure what exactly it was that made the prosecutor excuse me…the two marijuana possession charges in my past (degenerate) or that I said that if I disagreed with a law I would find it necessary to invoke a jury veto (subversive).  The judge responded by saying that I would be instructed to interpret the law as he explained it, whether I agreed with it or not, and that there are people who write and enact laws and that should be left up to them.  But fuck that, jury veto was written into the Constitution to give citizens a means to speak up about laws they feel are unjust.  It gives the common man an opportunity to act as a fourth branch of government, to serve as another balance in the system of checks and balances designed to protect our liberties. To wield such a power is not a subversive act, it’s a patriotic one.

The drive home from the courthouse was a golden one.  Thrilled to have been spared the inconvenience of a 5-7 day obligation as a juror, I started the car and Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta started playing.  While stopped at a red light around the corner from the courthouse an F-15 flew over on its way to Edwards AFB.  Farther down the road I saw a rather impressive dust devil.  It’s wonderful how subjective life can be sometimes, that a joyful heart can delight in relatively mundane things.  It’s worth the flipside of the equation, where despair can turn life into a world of shit.


Attack the Gas Station!

Posted in Desperation on June 16, 2009 by zillatron

I was gassing up at a Shell station in Van Nuys today when I was approached by a guy who was hanging around the pumps propositioning random people.  His proposition:  let me be your realtor…buy a house.  I take this as a litmus test for just how shit the economy in general is and especially the housing market here in southern California.  The guy didn’t appear to be a con artist or anything, he appeared well-put-together and the business card/fridge magnet he gave me looks perfectly legit.  He’s just some sad bastard, down-and-out realtor who has been driven to hanging out in gas stations asking everyone in sight if they want to buy a house.  Thank God I decided to study for a career in IT instead of real estate.  Those poor fucks were making money hand over fist a couple years ago…now they’re driven to propositioning strangers at gas stations…a desperate act I view as the halfway point between successful realtor and sign-wielding panhandler.

Another gas station-related economical litmus test I’ve noticed recently is that it seems every time I’ve stopped at a gas station in the last few months there has been someone rooting through the trash cans for recyclables.  Today it was a little girl and her mother.

The Golden State is completely broke.  Soon we’ll start climbing the fence to look for work in Mexico.

If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll see a sign of hope while stopping to get gas on my way to the border…like small children throwing empty soda bottles in the trash instead of fishing them out.


Posted in Onanism on June 14, 2009 by zillatron

I’ve always been terrible at introducing myself.  Describing myself.  I hate “about you” blurbs.  It’s not that I don’t know myself…just that I can’t decide what about myself is worth quipping about.  What about myself qualifies as interesting?  Anything at all?  Let’s hope so…for the sake of this fledgling little blog.  I guess I just find the notion of summarizing myself in a small paragraph to be…daunting.  So instead I’ll attempt to summarize myself in a rambling, semi-coherent (at least, hopefully), neverending blog.

I’ll try though, for the benefit of whoever, to sum myself up in a few brief sentences of questionable relevance.

I’ve been a slacker for most of my life.  Even in grade school I was an underachiever.  I’m in the midst of some kind of personal reinvention…or at least I try to tell myself such.  I’ll be 32 this year…at a certain point slackerism stops being charming and quirky and starts being sad and pathetic.  At some point a young slacker becomes an old loser.  I think that point was at least five years ago.  In order to not go gentle into that good night of failure I have enrolled in a much-advertised trade school.  I’m studying Computer Networking and am currently a couple months away from an Associates degree.  I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.  I don’t know if I’ll be happy or even if I’ll make it in this new career.  I don’t know if I’ll get anywhere at all.  I just know it was time for a change.  Staring down the barrel of 30 I had to do something.

Is it ever too late to make up for years of wasted potential?