Sunday, August 27th, 2017 11:19 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I noticed that one of my quarters has an image of Frederick Douglass on the back. It's a 2017 quarter, and I hadn't seen this design before. It used to be news when new currency designs came out; now it seems to happen without any fanfare at all. (Although, as I'm not able to keep up with the news, maybe it's just me.)

Curiously, the Frederick Douglass design isn't part of a series of important American people, but rather "America the Beautiful" - national parks and sites. This series has been going on since 2010, with 5 new designs each year. I have seen some of the others, but hadn't realized there were so many different designs.
darkoshi: (Default)
This was my 3rd time being called in for jury duty, but the first time I was actually picked to sit on a jury. The experience was very interesting.

It was a lawsuit; I was glad it wasn't a criminal case. The trial took 3 days. We went home in the evenings. The first day, we were allowed to leave the courthouse for lunch. The next 2 days, lunch was ordered for us and we weren't allowed out.

I noticed very quickly that the demeanor and style of one of the lawyers appealed to me, and that of the other lawyer was off-putting. I did my best to ignore both feelings, and to pay unbiased attention to the proceedings. The judge seemed laid back and slightly amused, as if he'd been through thousands of similar cases. The lawyers were all obviously trying to do a good job for their clients, and I felt a bit sorry that one side or another would have to lose.

There were 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Of the total, only 2 were men.

We were instructed not to discuss the case with anyone, not even the other jurors, until all the testimony was finished. There was a jury room where we gathered in the mornings, and where we had to go each time the lawyers wanted to discuss/dispute something with the judge during the trial. We'd go into the court room, sit down, listen for a while, then have to get up, go to the jury room to wait, then return to the court room and sit down again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I didn't count how many times.

At one point, the "cool" lawyer did a nifty thing with his glasses. He had pushed them up on his forehead while shuffling through papers, and then did a quick head movement that snapped the glasses down in place again. I'm not sure if it happened by accident, or if it was a practiced skill.

During the closing arguments, the lawyer who didn't appeal to me made religious references 3 times. First, he picked up the bible which had been used to swear in the witnesses, and talked about some particular moral story in there. I raised my eyebrow at that. Really? Later he mentioned a preacher. At the end, he picked up the bible again, and reminded us of that story again. When the other lawyer gave his rebuttal, he basically said that he didn't care about some story from 2000 years ago (that surprised me too), that we should consider the facts of this case.

I didn't realize it at the time, but a feeling of camaraderie was growing in me in regards to the other jurors and even the court officials. During those many trips to the jury room, as we weren't allowed to discuss the case, the other jurors would chat. One lady especially, told several entertaining stories about her life. When we were finally allowed to debate the case, it was an amicable process, even though voices got loud as opinions were shared. Our decision had to be unanimous, and we eventually came to one.

Back in the courtroom, the foreman handed off our written decision to the judge. The judge flipped through the pages and stared at the last page for a long time. I began to worry that we'd done something wrong; that the judge would declare a mistrial. But he finally handed the sheets to the clerk, who read out the decision, and then it was over.

At the end, I realized that I'd likely never see these people again, and even if I did, I'd probably not recognize them or remember where I knew them from. It made me feel slightly sad. People with whom you've shared a special experience as well as minor hardships. Having to report for duty each day, with the threat of officers coming after you, if you didn't make it there on time. Having to spend time in a small room together. Having to sit quietly in court, paying close attention to everything. Having to tuck* my shirt tail in.

In the hours and days afterward, I wondered if we'd made the right decision. It seemed like we had, based on what was presented to us. But what about the things that hadn't been presented? What about the things we were sent out of the court room, not to hear? The trial being over, I finally did some internet searches to find more information on the case. I found a little, but not much. (Actually, it surprised me that the judge never told us not to do any internet searches before the trial was over - unless he did and I somehow missed it. But I assumed that we shouldn't, and therefore didn't.)

*The first morning, as I was following other potential jurors into the courtroom, a bailiff waved a few guys including me to the side, telling us to tuck our shirt tails in. At first I didn't understand what he had said, but he was also pointing to a sign on the wall which said the same thing. My first reaction was to frown in annoyance, but I went ahead and did it. Maybe the bailiff mistook me for a man, but if the other guys had to do it, it seemed reasonable for me to have to do so as well. Every day after that, I was careful to remember to tuck my shirt in, in the morning. This entailed choosing a shirt which would actually look good tucked in, of which I only have a few. The others are wider and billow at my waist and look ridiculous to me when I tuck them in. But I've just now found this page, which explains the "military tuck" which I'll have to try out.
darkoshi: (Default)
So many creative Halloween ideas!


Yesterday evening, we had the porch light off, the curtains closed, the dogs in the house, and the gate closed. I hadn't put up any decorations or bought any candy. (I wore my bright red wig to work, but that was it.) Yet around 8:30pm, someone was yelling trick-or-treat from outside and I heard the gate rattle. I thought that perhaps my niece or nephew had stopped by. But it was some lady with a small kid at the gate. I said, "Sorry, I don't have anything", and so they left. Afterwards, I felt bad for the kid, and remembered that I did have a few wrapped chocolates I could have given away. Later I also remembered the packets of peanut butter crackers. But as I totally didn't expect a situation like that, I hadn't planned for it.

I think the lady may have brought her kid trick-or-treating to my house in past years. I remember someone speaking to me on the street a year or 2 ago, saying they were glad I did Halloween as there are so few houses to take their kids to nowadays.

But there was also a lady last year who started harassing me, repeatedly asking me (and Qiao) for money. She would come to the gate and yell out until I came out to speak to her. The first time, she needed money for food because her sister had left her kids with her. The next time, her mom was in the hospital, dying, and she needed money to go there and stay with her. (After her mother died, she gave me one of the flyers from the funeral service. It looked real.) Then her sister (a different one, maybe) who had come for the funeral needed bus money to get back home to NC. Those first few times I gave her $20 to $40. The last time, she said she needed help with rent or bills. By then I realized she wasn't going to stop until I did, so I refused to give her any more money. I had already said one of the prior times, that it was the last time, anyway. As I walked back to the house, she even started yelling at me in an unpleasant tone. What little sympathy I had left evaporated.

So maybe it was *that* lady. But I still feel sorry for the kid.

(no subject)

Saturday, July 4th, 2009 09:58 pm
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On the way to a 4th of July picnic at the lake, the topic of conversation turned to the strange fashion statement some people make, wearing their pants down at their knees, or below their butts, as if to show off their underwear. (Or maybe it is to show off their nicely proportioned buttocks?)

At the lake, it was crowded, sunny, warm, and noisy. After a while, I noticed an aesthetically pleasing-looking person... dressed in a red/black patterned shirt similar to one of mine, with black pants with a silvery chain on one side, and a glittery logo on the other, and a dapper hat... and, to my pleasant surprise, they appeared to be physically female, based on their chest. But they were definitely dressed in a masculine style. Hmmm, someone sort of like me... cool.

But she/he had zir pants hanging low in back, like the people we had been talking about on the ride there :)
Only partway down the butt, and it didn't really look bad, but still amusing.

(no subject)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 07:26 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Why is it that I often get headaches at work where it hurts to keep my eyes open (perhaps eye-strain), but by the time I get home, they've usually gone away? So then instead of going to bed early like I probably should, I end up staying up late again, giving my eyes less time to recover.

I went to my first drag-king show on Sunday. One of them had such a cute, laid-back, suave little smile. There were 2 young drunk guys at the bar too, who perhaps due to their inebriety, also seemed somehow cute, and ended up being the brunt of much of the "token" drag-queen's jokes during her performances.

I've always thought of drag-queens as men who dress up and perform in women's costumes, without having a female gender-identity. But this person had breasts and therefore looked more like a transsexual. I suppose that shouldn't seem odd to me, since it doesn't seem unusual to me that many FTMs would start out doing drag-king performances.

(no subject)

Monday, July 23rd, 2007 09:17 pm
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Forestfen disappoints me sometimes by forwarding me emails full of fallacies and/or unsupported statements, as if she believes and agrees with them. I would have thought she would be smarter than that.

Then again, she is Christian too. Why should I be surprised. But in terms of targeting certain ethnic or cultural groups and blaming them for various ills... I thought she was smarter than to read prejudiced rants masquerading as truths, and to forward them on as if she agrees with them.

I was thinking the other day, living life is hard. That's why so many people are strange and/or unpleasant, and/or live in unpleasant ways, from my point of view. Their strangeness is their adaptation to this difficult life. No stranger to them, than my adaptation is to me. I felt a sudden compassion for the whole of humanity while thinking that.
darkoshi: (Default)
Someone in the street just addressed me as Sir, from a distance, asking if I wanted the yard raked real good.


Although I did not have the pins in my hair.

Poor guy must be in need of some money, walking the streets looking for odd jobs. This is at the old house.

I am going to try to get moved in to my new house this week. It's starting to make me feel uncomfortable, having a house but driving away and leaving it vacant each night. I've taken the week off work, and decided to move in before doing the painting instead of after, since that was slowing me down too much. I still need to get a microwave and a noodle pot, so I can feed myself adequately over there.

After a lot of research and deliberation on which vacuum cleaner to buy, I wound up buying a completely different one than the one I intended to, by mistake. Such is life. But I have my pride, aka self-consciousness, and I am *not* going to make myself feel like even more a fool at that store by returning it. It was stressful enough dealing with the defective open-box microwave from there. I hadn't even been intending to buy the vacuum from the same store, but things conspired against me, and ... Such is life.

(no subject)

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 06:35 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
My back is feeling much better. I went to a chiropractor yesterday, and it did seem to help. My belief in chiropractors has been somewhat restored.

I may be getting my own place soon - if nothing untoward happens in the next few days. I've been trying not to jinx it, by not talking about it much.

My computer's been having start-up issues lately. It often reboots itself while loading Windows. I must research this.

I spoke briefly on the phone with my brother's old friend from high school. He is vegan too. I can't think of anyone else whom I've known in person, who is vegan. Oh. I guess my German aunt's former neighbor is too, based on some of the newsletters he forwards to Forestfen. So that is 2 vegans I know of. Out of all the people I have ever met. Sigh. Or maybe there have been more, and my memory is just bad.

My bangs are long enough that they bother me. I haven't decided whether to grow them out or cut them off... which might result in me cutting the rest of the hair on the top of my head short again, too. For now, I am keeping them out of my face with hairpins. I don't like the look of the hairpins in my hair, though. Perhaps I will find some other style that I like better. But I doubt there are any that are much better. Long hair is feminine-looking enough, and hairpins make it even worse.

(no subject)

Monday, November 6th, 2006 08:58 am
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I bet the SC "anti-gay marriage amendment" is going to pass partially because few people even understand what the amendment does. I heard a dj on the radio mention that we'll be voting Yes or No on gay marriage. That makes it sound like there's a possibility of this vote making gay marriage legal. No, this vote will determine if the law against it will be written into the constitution or not. I heard a brief news clip mention that it is an amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Yes, but that isn't all it does. I haven't been consistently watching the news, so hopefully I'm wrong, but it sounds like very few people understand that the amendment will also outlaw the creation of any kind of civil partnership or domestic union for GLBT couples. In other words, it will make sure that GLBT couples are never legally recognized as couples (until the amendment is repealed, anyway) with rights and responsibilities towards each other. I suppose most people wouldn't even care about that distinction even if they understood it, though. They'd be against civil partnerships and domestic unions too. So I shouldn't be so upset about it.

Thinking about it makes me feel like moving out of this state. I don't want to pay taxes to this state, when this state's people are so bigoted. Except none of the other states are really much better, and none with a nice hot climate. Even in MA, it's still a controversial issue.

Oh god, people are so disgusting. The great majority of people are disgusting, in one way or another, no matter where you go. I'm probably disgusting to other people too. I should just focus on the very few people who aren't, in my view. Except they probably are, too.


Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 07:31 am
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During the night, 2 strange dreamy things. The 2nd was a somewhat disturbing dream, probably influenced by the first. The first, I'm fairly sure was not a dream. I woke up, from dreaming... I had been dreaming I was hearing someone speak, and on waking, realized it wasn't just a dream. Outside, somewhere on our street, a person was loudly repeating "I don't have any money!"... It was a slightly high-pitched, clearly enunciated and inflected voice... like gay/queen's voices often sound. There was another person's voice in between, but that one was deeper and quieter, not loud enough for me to make out the words. When I looked out my window, I saw nothing, no one.

A month or so ago, walking back to our house, returning from a neighborhood yard sale, I found a pickup truck parked in front of our house, blocking the driveway. Its rear tires were flat. I saw a ...guy?... walking to the truck and told him about the tires. Ze replied that someone had slashed them, and ze hadn't realized it before driving off... and that ze would get the truck moved out of the way soon. This person was dressed like a guy, in shorts and a tank-top, but appeared to have small breasts... and his voice was... like a gay guy's voice might be.

I was fascinated by this person's apparent gender-queerness, but like usual, did my best to hide it, and so just went into my house. The person appeared to be talking to someone down the street, maybe even went into a house down there. Wow, I was thinking, did we have a gay or transgender person living on our street? How neat! Since then, a few times when I've heard a voice like that in the distance, I've wondered if it was the same person. Last night, I was thinking it was that person's voice too.