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Today was very very cold, again. I had jury duty today, so I had to venture out in it. Bear left for work early and my Mom already came over by the time I got up at 6:45. I left at 7:30 to get to the courthouse by 8:30. It's a straight shot on a subway, so it wasn't terrible. But walking even 2 minutes from the subway to the courthouse was super freezing.

I had the shortest jury duty ever. I got to the courthouse, got in line to get in the building, waited about 10 minutes to go through the metal detector and then went downstairs to see if I could get dismissed as a caretaker since I'm home with Tanya most of the time. I brought her copy of the birth certificate and everything. And in about one minute they dismissed me for 2 years. So then I just left the building and went to take the train back home. I got home by 9:20am. Because of construction on the subway line, I did have get off a stop earlier and walk 10 minutes and that was super freezing. I had gloves on and my fingers still got frozen.

My Mom stayed until Tanya's naptime. She is much less than a pack rat than I am - I don't like to part with sentimental favorites like my old backpack. So I let her toss it - that really works for me, letting my Mom get rid of old clothes or things I know should go. So we sorted my make-up and cleaned out two old backpacks to throw out. I do have a brand new shiny purple one and I want to limit things for the move at the end of February. We also took some photographs and postcards from the bedroom wall.

For the last four days, Tanya actually wanted to nap in her own toddler bed, that is pushed next to my bed. She slept in the crib until she was about eight months old and then she totally refused to do so (my Mom was the first one to yield to her crying and pick her up and take her into her bed). So Tanya has been sleeping with me ever since - which really does work for us, since I could get sleep and not be a zombie at work, and Bear prefers to sleep in the living room so he can stay up later and not feel like he is disturbing anyone's sleep. We periodically did try to get her back into her own crib - we converted the crib into the toddler bed, but she really didn't want to. But this weekend I mentioned that the crib, where she basically keeps lots of her stuffed toys, will be baby's bed and we will get Tanya a whole new bed for her own room. She was like, "No, this is Tanya's bed." And she is staking the claim ever since. She still wants to sleep with me at night - she is comforted by my hair, but for naps she is all about her bed now.

While she was napping, I was reading my book - I finished Jemisin's "The Fifth Season" and Novik's 3rd Temeraire book lately - so I started non-fiction "The Last Days of the Romanovs" by Helen Rappaport. (In the evening, when it's dark I'm reading Strugatski brothers "It's Hard to Be a God" on my Kindle). Hoping to get these two more books in before the end of the year. And do some book review posts.

And after the nap, I left Tanya with her little video game, which she is allowed to play for 10 minutes a day, and called my OB's office for the results of the genetic blood test. Everything looks fine, which is great. I also found out we are having another girl! Now we just have to come up with a name. It was easy the first time, since we named Tanya after my grandmother and her middle name is from James' grandmother. With this one we are actually looking at name lists.
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On Monday, Bear's Dad had back surgery (he's doing well, home already) and it rearranged our whole week. This week was a rare week during a semester where Bear had a regular schedule and didn't have to work evenings or Saturday. So he was just going to be home every night. But with his Dad's surgery, his Mom didn't really want to be home alone at night.

So we decided that he would just stay over there all week, while Tanya and I went to my parents in an unscheduled visit. My parents came to get her while I went to work on Monday and just drove us back this morning.

Monday for me turned out more tiresome too. Originally, I was just going to go straight to my parents's house after work. But the government was too efficient for once, since it was jury duty related. I filled out my questioner on Saturday and by Monday afternoon they sent me an email with instructions to send proof of past jury service, since I was claiming it as an exception.

The trouble was that I had to send it within 5 days and the proof letter was at home. So I had to go all the way home and then take trains and a bus to get to my parents. I was travelling for over 4 hours from work to their house when I only could have been travelling for 2. Well, at least I got to read my book before I got too tired.

I'm almost done with 'Fun Home'. I'm really loving it. After Chapter 2, most other chapters use classic literature like Fitzgerald and Wilde and Joyce to present this relationship between the author and her father. It is such an erudite book. I want to get the sequel too. I keep showing this book to my work colleagues and recommending it.

On Thursday, I stayed at work later since my Dad was picking me up. I opened the time to my students to come to special office hours by appointment, and in between had a good time chatting with my colleague Larry, who is really well read and we often talk about books and classical music. I also, it seems, watch new episodes of Supernatural on Thursday morning during my actual office hour, since no one usually comes that early. Works for me.

Supernatural S11E3 )

I also managed to watch 'How to Train Your Dragon 2" yesterday. It was a cute movie but the big reveal in the middle of the movie which provided the emotional beat of the film was revealed in the trailer so I think that spoiler actually ruined the impact of it. And I really couldn't sympathize with Valka at all - I think her son and husband forgave her too easily.

Today, we also finally got our new futon for the living room. It got delivered right on schedule too. Our old couch was all flaky and really needed to be replaced for a while. I like this new one that Bear picked. It's green and soft and quite comfortable.

Other than Monday and finishing up grading midterms, I have no grading until next Thursday. It's so nice. I feel like I'm on vacation. I love having small classes. I mean, I still have to prep the class and answer emails about drafts and hold office hours but it's so much less stressful. I had time to write a fic.
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30 Days of Me Meme

Day 30: Highs and lows of the past thirty days

I took me a little longer than thirty days to finish this meme. My life is pretty even right now - not too many highs or lows. I like it. It was nice to go to a wedding and a birthday party and to finally read the 8th Tomek book. RS Games starting was also nice. And Tanya learning new words like "tapki" (meaning "slippers.")

Lows were not too low - mostly being frustrated when Tanya won't eat and getting stressed or dealing with tantrums of not wanting to leave the playground - those are pretty minor. It really sucked dealing with NY State Department of Taxation again - we are probably going to get a new accountant.

30 Days of Fanfic Meme

30 – Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link

That's like picking between children. All of them have something I like, or I liked the process of writing it. I loved redoing Beauty and the Beast for Remus and Sirius, for example. Or teaching a "Global History to 1600" class and writing a Methos drabble (from Highlander) corresponding to each lecture ( story here .) I can't pick. But if I must, I'm going to also link to a Torchwood fic that pretty much wrote itself. And I accidentally wrote the Doctor too. It takes place 1000 years after Ianto's death and Jack is time traveling and just watching him in a park. It's called A Nice Sunny Day .

Movie

I watched The Beasts of No Nation last night on Netflix as it premiered. It's a movie about a child soldier in the unnamed country in Africa. It was not easy watching that movie. The subject matter is difficult. But it is a good movie. The acting was fantastic. And it makes me very grateful to be born where I was born and to live where I live where I don't have to deal with war. I can't even imagine how people live in those circumstances.

It got pretty cold today. I wish I had gloves. At least I bundled Tanya up in her warm purple jacket with her hat and mittens. I guess the weather is really about to turn wintery.

I got a letter questioner for jury duty today. I thought I did my Federal Court jury duty 3 years ago but it turned out to be 4 years ago. On the form, it said that I didn't have to serve if I served less than 4 years ago for Federal court. Ah, well. I'm just over 4 years. So I went online to fill out the form there. But on online form it said to check "yes" if I served on State or Federal Court up to 6 years ago. There is this discrepancy. Well, since I was filling out online form, I checked "yes" to that. So we'll see what will happen.
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Amy Winehouse died today at age 27. It is not really a huge shock with her troubled life. But it is sad. 27 seems to the age for some artists.

After Elton continues their hilarious recaps of Torchwood.

Jury duty check came today. It is even more than I thought since they were very generous in covering transportation costs.

Went to Brooklyn in the morning and it was nice to be outside just a bit after a week of heat.
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Today was the last of my court dates and it took me three month to actually write this entry down (September 27). The day is just so vivid in my mind that it feels wrong to try to describe it. We started with closing arguments where both parties did a great job making the case and then the judge read us instructions in law for about an hour. We went into deliberation right before lunch and lunch was actually ordered for us.

We deliberated for about three hours, maybe a little less. And the process actually made me really believe in the jury system and the logic of deliberation. All of us wanted to consider the evidence and discuss it so as one juror put it, we can sleep at night. One juror, the chemistry professor, Martin, liked order and careful consideration. We often had to wait for him to agree with the rest of us which made us go carefully through the evidence.

We decided that Mr. Shah did know Sonny Bince and did lie to investigators about it because the woman who testified to that had no logical reason to lie. We did not think the prosecution proved that they had phone contact since it was a business phone. We all thought the defendant most likely did bribe Bince but that guy’s word alone was not enough to prove it. So we voted non-guilty on bribery and guilty on two counts of lying in federal investigation. All of us were happy with that.

On the train home, I got to chat with Martin who led an interesting life – being from Argentina, living in Ireland etc and other jurors. Overall, the jury was a good experience.

Torchwood Radio play 2 “Gwen, you can’t set him up like that” Jack, stop chatting up Ianto’s ex. I like Carli quickly accessing him and shooting him down. “Mentioned the Doctor 57 times” Hee. Admiral Harkness. Ianto broke out ‘sir’ when worried. Jack’s “I promise” was sweet. “Oh well he’s got another one” – when Gwen breaks the hand and then she broke his other hand. Jack saying there is nothing in the afterlife and saying “I’m the face you see when you die” was very sad and compelling. A little too much pointing to “Miracle Day”

Netflix is raising its price extra $5. Now it will be $20 a month for 2 DVDs plus unlimited. I might change it to 1 DVD at a time.

Finally finished “Lavinia” It was a good book but it took me a while to get through it. I’m glad I read it but I probably won’t reread it. Le Guin did do a good job using the text of Aeneid to write.
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Today was my court day – I was a one of 12 jurors hearing a case in federal court. They said this case would take three days but I think we would be done tomorrow, if we all agree, since only closing statements are left. I cannot talk about the case in any way until it is over even with fellow jurors so I will write about it only once it is done.

I think the interesting thing about being a juror, other than listening to the case, which I as a student of history of law find not the least boring, is meeting and chatting with other jurors. And since we can’t talk about the case with each other until we are told too, it is fun to talk about work and travel and Broadway shows. Half of us are teachers of some kind so we can all bitch about that.

I am starting to feel some anxiety about tomorrow and deliberating our verdict because this is someone’s life in our hands. And this is a criminal case so a person could go to jail. I guess we just have to do our best and let collective judgment stand.

I preordered my Harry Potter tickets today. Bear and I are going on Saturday. Can’t wait.

So what does one do when one of the stars of your movie is in a successful TV series? If you are Peter Jackson, you adjust your schedule to fit Martin Freeman’s “Sherlock” schedule and then apparently, hire Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock to Freeman’s Watson) to be in the Hobbit too. That makes me super excited about the movie even more.

Torchwood Radio Play 1 - The Devil and Miss Carew )

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 11:00 pm
bearshorty: (Default)
Today was very different. I woke up at 6:30 so that I could take a bus and a subway to make it to federal court at 8:30 because I had jury duty. Technically, it is two weeks service but you only come in when you are needed. I only did jury duty once before, seven years ago in county court and that just involved sitting in a room for two days since I was not even called up for selection process. But today was certainly a different story. I got picked to actually serve on a federal criminal case next week for 3 days.

I can’t talk about the case at all but I can talk about the process for it which was interesting. Read more... )

Across the hall from our courtroom today was a naturalization ceremony and thinking about becoming a citizen I dug out my old paper journals to see what I wrote about it (I kept a journal in college – not every day but enough for a few journal books). I have Byron poetry copied there and quotes I don’t remember reading. It was fun to read about dates with Bear in our young and innocent stage; I was a sappy 19 year old.

Leverage S4E2 )

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011 11:00 pm
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At least I ventured out of the house today and put on actual clothes and not just pajamas. I had cramps so it wasn’t the most fun day and I watched more “Queer as Folk US” Season 3. I have to go for jury duty on Tuesday since I called in today and they told me to report. At least I’ll get paid and it is in Brooklyn, not Long Island.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 11:00 pm
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I spent the morning cross stitching and hanging out with Olya (one of our guests, she is exactly two years younger than me. Her Mom went to school with my Mom) and talking about religion and things. Before I knew it, it was 1pm. I don’t know where the time went.

Avatar:TLA S2E9 )

In the late afternoon we all got ready to go to Manhattan. Galina, Mama’s friend, is a music teacher so Mama thought they would really like a concert. She got tickets for everyone (my parents, our guests, Bear and I) to Carnegie Hall this evening. We drove to the city and then split up for a bit. I met Bear and we went to Central Park for a little while and then to get food. Then we met everyone else by Carnegie Hall. The concert was by Orchestre Symphonique de Monteal and it was called “The Evolution of Symphony.” There were Bach’s piano symphonies in all keys (I liked E-flat major) and also Webern (whom I found very creepy; I kept imagining I was walking in deep forest and things were jumping out at me) and Stravinsky. And the best part was Beethoven’s 5th. High tempo, the conductor was jumping even. Beethoven is always fun.

I got my jury duty deferred to be at the closer location. Yay. Not having to travel three hours one way is a good thing.

Cross-stitching: finished all the blue and started pink on one balloon. Just balloons left. The animals are done.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 11:00 pm
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I got my jury duty notice today at a federal courthouse a ridiculous distance away. I don’t have a car and public transportation there would take me over three hours one way. I need to write a letter asking them to postpone and then assign me to the courthouse closer to me. I liked the date of it, I could do it before summer plans kick in but I’m not really traveling that long for jury duty. If they don’t postpone due to ‘travel hardship’ I would have to stay at Bear’s house then and he can drive me. He lives maybe 30 minutes away from it. It is not the worst thing, of course, but it is a bit annoying. I actually like during jury duty – I study medieval law and I like court records, but there are limits.

DW meme:

7. What is your favourite community on Dreamwidth?

I don’t have many on my list. I think I have more feeds and journals. But I do like cross-stitch because I like to see the designs other people do.

8. What is your philosophy on journal layouts?

I pick a pretty color and I have it for a year and then I change it to a different color. I do like my layout. I had it in green last year. Purple this year.
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Happy 30th Birthday, Janna!

Tonight I went to the city for my friend Janna’s surprise birthday party. We went to this tiny restaurant called ‘Graffiti’ in East Village which served fusion type food, Mediterranean and Indian and lots of other flavors and it was certainly interesting. Janna’s surprise got slightly ruined because Marianna’s husband was running late and arrived just in time for Janna to see him right before she came to the restaurant. But she was still surprised. And it was a very nice time. We got margaritas (except Marianna who got a virgin margarita since she is almost eight month pregnant and her husband who doesn’t drink) and we shared the food from shrimp and scallions to duck and burgers – all with very interesting combinations. Marianna, Yeva and I got Janna a gift certificate for a spa and flowers. I only had one drink but I must have been tired too because by the time I got home, I felt almost dizzy and was happy to get in bed.

While I was in Manhattan, I was enjoying the beautiful trees that are now blooming. It was cold but since I got to the restaurant a bit early I had time to walk around a little bit.

pictures )

Other random things from my day:

Today in the start of Fannish Library Fest and I posted my Highlander story there. There are nice book icons there too.

I got Jury duty questioner in the mail. Federal court too. Well, it has been seven years since last time. I don’t mind.

An article on what fandom (particularly Buffy) meant for one fan.

Grading history papers doesn’t kill the brain as much as grading English papers.

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