I was something in the 60s but now I'm just sixty something.

Vegas, Baby, Vegas!


Chinese New Year a la Vegas

We decided, rather spur of the moment, since it got really cold in Colorado and because we couldn’t be assured that Elton John and the two of us would all three make it to his Denver stop on the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, that we should just head to Vegas for the weekend, catch Elton while he is still playing Caesar’s, and warm up a bit while we were there.  I know that was a really long, pressurized sentence but Vegas has a way of bringing out the mania in all of us.

I’m not sure what goes faster in Vegas. Time or money?  And I can’t believe how tired we were when we got back even though nothing happened while we were there that needed to stay there. We didn’t drink that much, eat that much, stay up in the wee hours gambling away our life savings or have marathon sex like most of the people in town. We have kind of passed our expiration date for such excesses but we still had a lot of fun in our comparatively minimalist kind of way.


Vegas never fails to assault stimulate your senses. Elton was truly wonderful. But what really offered up entertainment were the weirdos on Fremont Street and the toilet bidet in our hotel bathroom. Americans aren’t accustomed to bidets so we tend to view them as toys. If you ever have an opportunity to play with one don’t be intimidated. But I would suggest having a reasonable amount of privacy until you get the hang of it. It is not as easy as it looks. Like most things, one size doesn’t really fit all. You kind of have to wiggle around a bit and if you move too much the water will squirt all the way up your back. Not to worry though as long as you have something to dry off with. At least it’s warm, clean water from the tap unlike the water in public toilets where the electric eye doesn’t always function correctly. They have a tendency to signal a flushing at the wrong time and spray who knows what all over you before you are finished. And bidets do have their limits. For example, they would be useless in Washington because they are just not big or powerful enough to do a proper job on our elected representatives. I would explain this further but I think you know what I mean.

Bidet controls. Toilet comes with a phone too so everyone knows what you are doing.


Fremont, on the other hand, has things you would probably not want to play around with or even approach. It is kind of the side show of the whole Vegas circus. Words do not do these sights justice. Some are so gross I was afraid to take a picture lest my camera explode.  The dress code on Fremont is “pasties casual” (not to be confused with the “pasty casual” look of old white men coming from the snow belt in their shorts and black socks).  You won’t be arrested in Vegas as long as you have pasties on your nipples even if you are ancient and need to sew two potato sacks together for a bra and you are scaring the crap out of every young woman over an A cup about her future. I have never understood the logic nor the inequality of pasties anyway.  This guy isn’t  wearing any.

No pasties. No pasty.












Other hustlers can be kind of fun. Like you might dare to interact with this guy as long as you carry hand sanitizer just in case. I kind of get where he is coming from.


Same to you buddy!


On the other hand, there is not enough disinfectant in the world to get near this guy.

Chumley’s doppelgänger?


Vegas offers all kinds of decadence to go along with the good shows. It also offers cheap flights and nice weather which is sometimes reason enough to go even if Elton isn’t on your bucket list. Have you ever been to Vegas? How was your trip?


The amazing Sir Elton 


New Year’s Resolutions Redux

It is January 2018 and one of the last things I wrote on my “sixtiestosixties” blog was about New Years resolutions for 2014. I wish I had remembered that before I wrote another post for this New Year’s. I can’t say the discovery came as a big surprise since I can’t even remember what I wrote on my grocery list yesterday. But I was disappointed because not only had I written pretty much the same crap four years ago it was much funnier. This is clearly a case of use it or lose it. I am so out of practice. But I realize if I want to continue posting on this blog site I had better get going because “sixtiestosixties” won’t work forever. I’ll be 68 this year which means I’ve only got two years left under this banner and then I will have to come up with a whole new shtick. I am working on a come back.

I can’t believe I wrote about resolutions twice. I hate them. I make the same lame ones every year and  then write about them which is a pretty good indication that not only do I not keep them I don’t even remember what they are. I know I am not alone in this. Why is it that any of us even bother? My theory is it’s fucking January and we all need some hope to make it to spring.

But this year I really did get excited when I saw a suggested resolution from the LA Times reprinted in the Denver Post that I could get behind. (Yes, people, a real newspaper written by real journalists. I am not talking about Facebook shit here.) So I am going to steal the idea and start with it. The resolution? Read more books. This is such a great idea that I am going to try to salvage what little I can from my “Resolutions 2018” draft and just go with it. Let’s consider this a soft reopening. I need the practice.

Resolutions for 2018:

#1 Read more books.

I really love to read but I haven’t been reading as much as I used to. I spend too much time going down the rabbit hole on the internet. My God, does it ever end? I also watch too much Netflix. But I hear so much better with my earbuds and there are no commercials and you don’t have to wait a week to find out what happens. So why wouldn’t I? I also drink wine (or whatever) at dinner time which really helps me get through the evening news that I find totally depressing but the wine also makes me sleepy and I don’t get many pages read before I am snoring away. Reading gives me much more pleasure than libations and certainly more than news so this is really a two-fer.  Because in order to stay up to read I have to skip the wine at dinner (or the vodka or gin or bourbon or whatever). So drinking less just kind of tags along. Maybe then I’ll lose some weight around the middle and…oops!.. never mind. Failed that resolution before. Hopefully, reading will also gives me new ideas.


Pick one to go with the hat.


#2 Publish this blog post before January is over.

This is another reason why I am going ahead with this topic. I don’t have any other ideas at the moment. And, unbelievably to me, it’s been more than three years since I’ve posted. I have managed to move twice but haven’t written a single frickin blog post. What am I waiting for? My obituary? I sometimes get these crazy ideas and think to myself “that would make a great blog post”. Then I click on some stupid shit on the internet and my idea is lost is the midst of garbage. Published garbage that is out there while my garbage is not. So I am going to get organized and reinvent a page out of Marie Kondo’s book. I am going to hold my ideas close to me and if they make me happy I’ll write them down. Otherwise I’ll toss them out of my memory like I normally do with things like passwords and important birthdays. Hopefully this method will work better for me with ideas than with real stuff.


What was that idea I had last week?


#3 Write More

If I keep number #2 then this one is already done. And if I publish just one additional post I will have doubled my output. This will make me so much happier than another dinner with wine in front of the TV hearing about this year’s flu epidemic.

So I have made three resolutions to make me happy. What about you?




Swimwear Shopping

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Swimwear Shopping




Summer is upon us which means it’s time for bathing suit shopping. I did mine early so I thought I’d share some of my acquired wisdom. Many of these tips are applicable to men as well as women except for those involving boobs.  My tip to any man who has “moobs” is to keep his shirt on. Or maybe buy a really binding rash guard. Then you might get away with looking like a really cool, old surfer dude.

To make your experience more pleasurable grab your funniest friend and go to lunch first. Have a couple of drinks but not too many because pulling bathing suits on and off can be a real bitch. It requires a certain amount of strength, balance and coordination. (This alone is reason enough to go to the gym every spring.)

Be prepared not to take yourselves too seriously. Summers fly by way too fast to waste them fretting over a bathing suit

Keep in mind the new, energy-efficient lighting used in stores these days will mask the true color of the merchandise and makes everyone’s pallor look like they are about to puke. Swimwear is going to expose a lot of jaundiced looking skin. And that black (slimming but too fucking hot) suit you are going for may actually be a really gaudy shade of purple.

Men generally just put on something that looks like baggy boxer shorts and wonder what the big deal is. But men’s suits are getting much shorter and snugger and your legs and butt don’t look that great anymore either. And if you are unhappy about shorter and tighter (and I can attest to hearing male grumblings in the stores ) just go try on a speedo and check out your yellow tinted gut and sagging parts in the mirror and you will humbly have a better understanding of what women suffer.

Women’s bathing suits are now styled to hide a figure flaw. But just one. Any woman who has only one figure flaw still probably wears a bikini. The rest of us have to choose what we want to most hide. This may be a good time for another drink.

Once you have branded yourself with your worst flaw and taken your choices to a window to see what color they really are you are ready for the dressing room. Don’t let your friend get too far away. Women will not want to come out of the dressing room. They don’t want to be seen.  Men on the other hand, will not want to go in. They don’t want to try anything on. But  I am fucking tired of you don’t want to have to make returns.

Merchants don’t put three-way mirrors in their stores anymore. This is where you need an honest friend to tell you how your ass looks because you won’t be able to see it. This really pisses me off. Just watch people walking around these days and you can tell no one knows what they look like from behind. If they did they would pass on a lot of the shit they buy. Stores have figured this out.

If you have a camel toe (women) or we can tell which side you “dress”on (men) go get a bigger size.  I don’t care what size you think you are or want to be or were last year. Get a bigger size! Size really doesn’t matter here.

And please girlfriends…there is a good chance your high beams are going to go on if you get in the water so make sure when you stuff them into your suit they are pointing north. This will instantly make you look younger.

Lastly, to save yourself from potential humiliation make sure you get your suit wet and take a look at yourself in good light before you go swimming in it. (Thank God I was out of town and didn’t know anyone. I don’t even want to think what I looked like walking away. I did remind myself though that my stomach only exhibited a ripple effect because I was blessed with three children and my boobs were, if nothing else, still mine and still healthy. Or perhaps I just shopped for the wrong figure flaw?)

So good luck and happy shopping! I hope you enjoy some great summer days by the water proudly wearing your new, well-selected suit hiding underneath your favorite cover-up.


Ready for the beach!

Ready for the beach!


Mother of the Year

A break in the action.

A break in the action.


I’m reflecting this Mother’s Day.

I never won the mother of  the year award. I came close once. Of course the kids had all left home by then for distant corners of the earth and I don’t think I actually saw any of them that year so maybe it wouldn’t have counted anyway.

Not that I didn’t try to be a perfect mother. It was just so hard. The kids Things always got in the way of my best efforts. I’d dress them in a crisp clean outfit for the first day of school and they would splash in the mud on the way to the bus stop. I’d get them a nice haircut and then have to cut big hunks out where they got their gum stuck. I’d take off their training wheels in the morning and then take them for stitches by lunch.

Trouble's brewing.

Double double. My toil and trouble.

I never seemed to make the right decisions. If they said they were sick and I let them stay home from school they would be running around the house 30 minutes after the bell sounded. If I said they were fine and made them go to school they would be puking 30 minutes after they got there. I’d let them cry it out in the crib like they told us to. Only I went in after nap time once to find a baby with his foot stuck in the rails of the crib. What if it had been his head? I thought they were lying when they were telling the truth and telling the truth when they were lying. It seems like I was saying “I’m sorry” more than they were.

I’d try to be super organized but often got mixed up and somehow always seemed to forget it was picture day. And I really hate to think about what might have happened the day nobody picked up baby girl from soccer practice.

And I didn’t have a glue gun to “help” with school projects. Remember those  mothers? God I hated them.

My disciplinary approach was all over the place. Some got spanked. Some didn’t. Two of them love to remind me of how I chased them up the stairs waving a wooden spoon in the air.  Some got their temper tantrums ignored. Some got put in time out but one in particular refused to stay there and damned if I was going to stay in there with him. They all got grounded. And I yelled. A lot. I figured it was all right to yell “I’M NOT TELLING YOU AGAIN TO CLEAN YOUR ROOM.” I was just proud of myself for not yelling what was really running through my head which was more like, “YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT! GO CLEAN YOUR FUCKING ROOM! IF YOU CAN’T EVEN PICK YOUR FUCKING CRAP UP HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO EVER HOLD A JOB? DO YOU THINK I AM GOING TO SUPPORT YOUR LAZY ASS YOUR WHOLE LIFE?”  So I still hold to only yelling “clean your room” was really good.

In my defense mine weren’t the easiest of kids. They cut down a tree in the woods which hit a power line and knocked the power out in half of Chesterfield County. They built a haunted house in the playroom and passed out flyers to the whole middle school but neglected to tell me about the invites. The oldest two smashed up and broke everything we cherished so by the third one there was  nothing left in the house to break. She made up for it with cars

Beautiful bad ass baby girl.

Beautiful bad ass baby girl.


My kids didn’t grow up getting a blue ribbon for everything. And they certainly didn’t grow up with a blue ribbon mother. Maybe this “everybody gets a blue ribbon” thing is really to make the mothers feel better. It’s a tough job. Always has been, always will be. Each generation of mothers faces unique challenges.

Yet somehow, despite my children lacking a perfect mother they managed to grow up to be three outstanding adults. (Maybe it’s because I wasn’t perfect.) I love them so. Mothers Day means something very different to me today. My own mother has been dead for 20 years and my children are long gone from my household. So it’s no longer a Hallmark Day. It is about celebrating that I had the privilege to be a mother. So even if I never won a mother of the year award I am so grateful I got a green participation ribbon. Best contest I ever entered.



New Years Resolutions


Here we go!

I’ve been thinking about making some New Year’s resolutions. Have you noticed that “resolutions” seem to have been rebranded everywhere as “intentions”? That sounds a bit wishy-washy to me. I don’t see an “intention” as necessarily having a measurable outcome.  I see it as on the slippery slope to “I meant to”. Most of the things I intended to do in my life didn’t get done. I am totally OK with this new vocabulary though because if there is no call for results it allows me to just think about making changes without any real plan. It also pretty much eliminates the chance of failure.


To control or not control. That is the question.

The first intention I’ve been pondering is my tendency to procrastinate. My need to work on this one is made pretty clear by the fact it’s the middle of January as I start writing this. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not as important when you start something as when you finish it. It’s also important to keep in mind that some things we start really aren’t worth finishing. And some things we think we are finished with we haven’t even really begun.

My next intention is to be more positive and cheerful. (Except of course when blogging because then I wouldn’t know what to write about.) I tend to complain a lot. It doesn’t take much for me to get on a rant. I can whinge on the weather, the government, Comcast, bad drivers, slow service…just about anything I can’t control. Hmm…did I just write “control”? There’s a loaded word. Control. Or lack thereof. And coming to terms with having less and less of it both real and perceived as I age. Is this what makes me get grumpy?  I intend to spend some time thinking about this. Maybe I’ll start when the weather gets better.

It wouldn’t be a new year with out some kind of health intention. I’m tired of the “lose ‘x’ number of pounds, make ‘x’ number of trips to the gym, eat ‘x’ number of vegetable a day”.  I’ve made quantitative resolutions about those things time and time again changing the value of x yearly as needed.  I’m going to keep it simple this year and risk irritating  math purists.  x=my pants fit. And since I’m making intentions and not resolutions leggings count.

Every year I tell myself that I “should” call certain people or I “should” visit certain old friends. Not this year. No more saying “should”anyway. Should is an obligation. It becomes a to do list. I want to do this for me. I don’t spend nearly enough time with the people I love the most in this life. What the hell have I been waiting for?

And then there are the people I hang on to that serve no purpose in my life except to bring me down in their own special way. We all have these people in our lives. (We are all probably these people in someone else’s life as well.) Why do I hang on? I intend to disinvite them from my life and make room at my table for better companions. I will have to think about this for awhile though because it’s not always clear who’s who.

I also intend to do more. But not more of the things you cross off a list. I want to dream more, dance more, sing more, love more. I want to hear more stories. I want more time with my friends, more time with my family. I want to fill my year with joy.

What are your plans this year?


Thanksgiving 2013


Celebrate your world!

I love Thanksgiving! I love the whole notion. At least the old one before it became a shopping day for Christmas. But I choose to hold to tradition and keep it a day to gather, feast, share stories, and bask in love and community. I have celebrated Thanksgiving in all sorts of places with all sorts of foods and I have found I can be both thankful and have family squabbles anywhere. I can be with a crowd of 40 or a crowd of one or two. Gratitude and warm memories are always with me on this day no matter where I am or who I am with. If you think I am being overly warm and fuzzy you should know that Thanksgiving has  also carried with it some of my life’s toughest stuff. To name a couple there was the year my son’s seat was empty because he was at war in Iraq and we didn’t hear from him for weeks at a time. We set him a place anyway. There was the year we gathered at my dad’s house and had a take out holiday dinner from Publix grocery while Dad waited at the funeral home for us to bury him. When you consider the true meaning of Thanksgiving it isn’t such a bad time for a funeral. This year I have much to be thankful for. I have many excuses reasons to raise a glass and much to laugh about.  I hope you do too. 

10 Things I am thankful for this year:

1. My local Costco in Florida is nowhere near as crowded as my Costco in California. The folks here are rookies.

2. I  have not had any weird illnesses, broken bones or new meds prescribed this whole year. Of course I did miss my annual physical so who knows.

3. Mick Jagger is going to be a great-grandfather. This means two things. We WILL forever be young and rock and roll really is here to stay.

4. I resisted the temptation for another year not to get a new dog. My new mantra is “go around the world first”. Then I’ll get a dog and go around the block. I recite this when my dog loving Facebook friends post all those sad pictures from the dog shelters.

5. I am grateful there are no more obits or eulogies that I will be responsible for. That torch has been passed. But I reserve the right to have my funeral and write my own BEFORE I die. Why should I miss the one thing that’s all about me?

6. Since I finally got my husband out of the office and working from home I can eat dinner as early as I want. Now I know why old people eat so early. (Not that I’m old mind you .) It’s  just because they CAN. And the earlier you eat the earlier you can have cocktails.

7. I have people who actually read my blog . And some great friends who keep me encouraged and motivated to write more when I find myself writing less.

8. I am apparently so well connected that people I have never heard of send me “friend” requests on Facebook. OK, so we all get these but I’m going to allow myself a couple of days to think I’m special.

9. None of my children will be here for Thanksgiving. I love and miss them but it is an opportunity to value my life without them. I will be cooking with friends this year. Hmmm….a table of friends or a table of siblings?

10. And the number one reason I am thankful this year is that after surviving a heart attack and prostate cancer this past year my husband is still here by my side. After enduring multiple appointments, procedures and surgery at the Mayo clinic, he is once again healthy. He can also now get out of the house by himself and leave me the f*** alone  enjoy himself. Love you honey! Take your time.

For all of this and more I say “Thanks be to God.”

Happy Thanksgiving!



IMG_0412Moving sucks. I’ve done it so many times it should be a breeze by now but it just gets harder. Things always go wrong. And the people you are paying thousands of dollars to do the job will treat you like crap. The one exception is the sales rep who will be totally charming while making promises no one will keep. The only real guarantee is you will be pissed.

The person I most wanted to hurt was the pushy SOB who hauled our cars. He missed his calling. He should have been an arrogant little dictator somewhere in the world instead of driving a truck. There was no way to win with him.

The “conversation” escalated something like this:

“Excuse me sir, but these cars were to have been delivered to our driveway next Friday. This is only Monday. I’m not even in town.

No, (jack ass) I am not going to meet you tonight. It’s already 9 o’clock and as I told you I’m not even in town and I don’t own the house yet. I can’t park the cars at someone else’s house. It’s called liability(asshole).

Look, it’s more than 40 miles from our hotel to that Home Depot and it’s too late. And since you won’t deliver them in the manner of our contract (as we were assured by the salesman) we have to drive a rental to meet your demands. That makes three cars to get out of Home Depot and two drivers. Do you understand simple math? 3 >2. Sure you can talk to my husband (you misogynist prick). But you’ll be sorry you asked. He’s breathing fire by now.

OK (you mother f*****). Just to get you off our ass we will get up at 4:30 in the morning to meet your demands and be there by 6 to finish your job for you. Then you can be on your way to abuse your next customer and eventually rot in hell.”

The following day I had a nice little conversation with the driver.  This guy was at least smart enough to know he was better off trying to bullshit me than to deal with my fire-breathing dragon.

“But when you pulled out you told us the  van would arrive this Wednesday. Not next Monday or Tuesday. Where the hell have you been? I know you wanted to run by your house in Texas but hey, that’s not what I’m paying you for. You told us WEDNESDAY ! My husband has to fly back to California for a business meeting on Sunday morning and you have all his suits on your f***ing truck! Not even in California is anyone going to take a man seriously in a business meeting wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Yes, it is very clear to me you don’t give a shit what the sales rep told us.”

As for the loading/unloading crews, my advice would be don’t even look. Not coming or going. Much too nerve wracking. All we could do was repair the walls and scrub the spots off the carpet when they left.

In the end, the move is only as good as the packers. Unfortunately, these workers are on the bottom of the pecking order and get paid the least. So why should they care about your stuff? Probably the nicer your stuff the more they hate you. They have the power to make or break your move. And your heart. They can bring you to tears. I can deal with a smashed toaster oven, bent 40 plus year old wedding pewter, and wadded up clothes that will need to be relaundered or dry cleaned. But they broke the head off my doll. The one my parents bought me for  Christmas when I was six. My dad told me some years back that they had 26 dollars left in the bank on Christmas Eve and he went and bought the doll. It cost 25. My mother sewed her dress.  I gently lifted her out of the box she had been jammed into and watched her head roll across the strange floor I was standing on.  And that’s when I finally lost it. There is no way to avoid it. In every move forward in life something you love is left behind.



Heat Wave

The weather this summer has been misbehaving! Rain, floods, fires, rain, tornadoes, rain and then, after some more rain, straight into the annual heatwave. This year’s heat wave is a bad one. It just seems wrong when summer temperatures are higher in the northeast than they are in Florida. This can really confuse the snowbirds and affect their migration pattern. A FB friend of mine posted a picture of some neighbors having cocktails up in her summer lakeside community. In the bedroom. No, it wasn’t one of those kinds of parties. (Much too hot for anything like that.) It’s just the bedroom has an air conditioner and it’s been in the 90s.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hot! Hot! Hot!

I grew up in upstate New York in the 1950s and 60s. Not what you would think of as a warm climate but at least once every summer we would get a stretch of killer hot, muggy, weather. And we really weren’t equipped to handle it. My mother always complained about the humidity in Schenectady in the summer. As a point of reference, she moved there from Houston. We lived in a Levittown-esque, Cape Cod style home with an “expanded” second floor. Translation…my brother and I essentially slept in our separate halves of an attic. Big rooms with tiny windows. The only air movement we got upstairs was the heat rising from the first floor. We had one floor fan in the small hallway between our rooms. Since my brother was older and more manipulative  wiser than me, the fan was usually pointed toward his room. The theory was that the intake on the fan would pull the air from my room across to his room to create a breeze for us both. Bullshit. The fan blew on him. My side stayed a stagnant attic. All I got from the fan was the fun of talking through it when it was too hot to sleep.

Occasionally, when it got really oppressive, we were allowed to drag our bedding downstairs and make a pallet on the living room floor. This was like being released from the gates of hell. We had a screen on the front door and my parents would let us sleep with the door open. My parents had their own fan in their bedroom. As long as they kept their bedroom door opened for cross ventilation it kept them just cool enough to get hot with each other. At the time we didn’t realize why we weren’t allowed do that every night in the summer.

Turning on an oven or stove to cook in those little houses would bring the temperature in the house up at least another 5 degrees.(Probably 10 upstairs.) Consequently dinner was whatever didn’t need to be actually cooked. My mother would spoil us in the heat wave with a fun meal of huge bowls of vanilla ice cream loaded with fresh sliced peaches, plums, and nectarines. She first tried this light meal with cottage cheese but since as a child I equated cottage cheese to bleached out vomit she gave up and allowed my brother and me to have our fruit with ice cream. I’m convinced this was in part to ease her guilt for making us sleep upstairs and not buying one more frickin’ fan. Really, how much could it have cost?

At some point in the early 60s my parents bought a window unit air conditioner and put it in the tiny room in the back of the house where we all crammed in to watch TV. My mother went into that room in mid June and came out around Labor Day. From there she issued orders and ran the family. The room was meant to be a bedroom but my dad removed the door because it opened inward and hit the huddle of furniture surrounding the TV altar. This was counterproductive for air-conditioning so in the summer we tacked a sheet up over the door frame. I can still see my dad batting wildly at that sheet and moving it aside on his way to the kitchen to refresh those ice-cold martinis my parents used to keep cool. He was a master at cracking ice against the palm of his hand. Then, if I was lucky enough to be around, he’d grab the back of my neck with that icy, cold hand. I’d squeal with a mixture of annoyance and delight. After that first shock, it felt good on those hot, sticky, summer evenings.

How did you beat the heat?


Jury Duty


I recently had the privilege of upholding my civic responsibility and reporting for jury duty. I want to be clear that I am very thankful that I live in a country where we have well protected legal rights. That being said, I still hate jury duty and I am stuck in a vortex where I get summoned over and over. I keep moving from state to state yet they still find me. When I complained to a friend, she first shamed me and then suggested I might get an interesting trial. Really? Has she ever had jury duty? It’s boring minutiae and I have the attention span of a rabbit on crack. Luckily this time I was able to take the ferry downtown and walk the few blocks to the courthouse even if it meant taking two hours to travel five miles. Still it beats the usual driving all over the city  looking for a parking space that costs more per day than the juror’s “pay”. Nothing like jury duty actually costing you money.

Court employees in San Diego really are nice though in that So Cal  “chill, dude” kind of way. Once we were all settled in they showed us the cheesiest instructional movie I’ve ever seen. It begins with beautiful shots of California to manipulate you into feeling pride and then hits you with the bad news. “California has crime that needs to be ‘resolved’.” Since I’ve lived in ten states and I found them all beautiful and crime ridden this didn’t exactly move me to tears.

I noted a few descrepancies between the movie and my personal experience:

  • The movie informed us , “You may make friends on the jury who you’ll stay in touch with.” Right. Nobody stays connected with anybody in California. That’s why everybody moved here to start with.
  • We were assured, “Everyone gets called…even lawyers, judges and elected officials.” True. They get summoned. They just never actually get put on a jury.
  • I observed the men in the movie were dressed in coats and ties. The guy next to me was wearing shorts and flip flops.
  • The jurors in the film were interested and attentive. The potential jurors in the jury lounge were texting or working on their laptops.

In typical Hollywood spillover style the list of credits for this film runs longer than the film itself. Every lawyer, every judge is duly noted. Good to know they were real people because they sure as hell couldn’t act. But hey, at least the court was attempting to make you feel like part of the process.

We were informed there was a five week trial, a six week trial and several 3-7 day trials on the docket. I started to sweat. What happened to the one to two day ordeals I usually got stuck with? Like the ones back in South Carolina where if you weren’t a native you were screwed since three quarters of the jury pool were excused for being related to the defendant, having taught the defendant in third grade, or belonging to the same church as the defendant’s mama. I told myself to calm down. But five or six weeks? How would I ever survive that? I had no excuse to get out of it. You had to prove you’d lose your home or starve to death in a week away from work. Or be half dead.  Not being able to pay attention that long was not going to cut it. I wondered if they would strike me if I burst into tears.

I got through the morning without being called. So far so good. On lunch break I decided to eat real food in a real restaurant. I really wanted a glass of wine but decided drinking on jury duty was not being a responsible citizen. Returning to the jurors’ lounge, I waited again to be summoned to a court room. People were called away by the dozens. It was getting to be well into the afternoon when I noticed there were only about 15 people remaining of the original 400-500.  And then we were dismissed! I couldn’t believe it! I’m good for a whole year! I’m never this lucky! Maybe I should have hopped a flight to Vegas.