Grand Old Time

February 4, 2011

Our own guest blogger Denielle takes one for the team and reports for Grand Jury service:

I got it. The dreaded card in the mail ordering me to report to Grand Jury service in Elizabeth, NJ on Jan 4. No deferrals.  No “call-the-night-before-to-see-if-we-need-you.” Show up and serve.

Once I reported on that fateful Wednesday, there was a random sorting.  The judge was kind of like Dumbledore calling people to move from one side of the courtroom to another. My name was called. Or rather, half my name was called. Apparently, my name is so long it doesn’t fit on government documents. But that’s no reason to be excused.  In fact, that judge wasn’t excusing ANYONE…even the older woman whose house had been robbed 20 years before and said she could not be fair and impartial. Nope. She was in. It took a claim of claustrophobia and a stair-induced breathing attack for her to finally be let go; moral of the story: you can get out of jury duty if it’s on the 6th floor of the courthouse and you are out of shape. Unfair is ok; unfit is not.

Even though I barely get to the gym more than twice a week, I am not out of shape enough to be set free.  In fact, I was appointed to be the foreperson of the Grand Jury (I don’t think that means I’m the most in-shape, though I will take it as an honor).

So every Tuesday and Thursday until March, I report to the Union County courthouse in Elizabeth, NJ to do my civic duty. Yes, that’s the same courthouse from SyFy’s GHOST HUNTERS.

We hear up to 20 cases a day. We only hear the state’s side and it’s or job to determine if there’s enough evidence for the case to go to trial. We are just a small stepping stone on the path to justice.

I’m told that what happens in Grand Jury stays in Grand Jury. I will, however, share some general tidbits and observations with my Family Favs friends:

  1. grown men on bikes at 10pm are up to no good.
  2. cocaine dealers can be savvy marketers, having mastered localized branding and distribution techniques. They are not, however, savvy copywriters and most have ridiculous nicknames.
  3. fake guns that look like handguns can get a person in just as much trouble as the real deal.
  4. don’t hit officers of the law. They are better trained than you, have more tools than you and always have back-up close behind.
  5. if you are involved in a car chase, you can disable the vehicle chasing you by slamming on your brakes and making that car-in-pursuit hit you. Air bags will deploy and their engine will shut down.  Alternatively, if you are chasing someone at high speeds, be prepared to NOT rear end them when they slam on their brakes.

After 9 weeks of this I figure I should know enough to get a future gig as a writer on Law & Order. Or, at the very least, will understand how to integrate the term “prima fascia” into my everyday vernacular.

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:

Tahrir Square is on the brink. Passive soldiers and impassioned protesters have given way to clubs, stones, knives and bats. (Bats? Do they play baseball in Egypt?) Anger will soon give way to hate, and then there will truly be no going back. In the meantime, on his custom fur-lined Eames chair, Hosni Mubarak sips a Zima and reads back issues of Domino magazine. The buttery softness of his cashmere slippers from Barneys reminds him of his trip to the Four Seasons in the Maldives and sifting through the embracing warmth of the sand with his feet. He hopes he has time today to take a nap in his hyperbaric chamber and then start watching season 3 of The Wire. His new interior minister Mahmoud Wagdi can’t stop talking about season 4. As the room’s air conditioning washes over him, he listens to the single of the week and its soothing 50s pop groove. It’s been a tough week. He deserves this.

Click here to watch.


Anderson Cooper is broadcasting from some sort of undisclosed bunker, and I’m thinking it’s time to get the heck out of there. When “thugs” are smashing your cameras and beating everyone in sight silly, it might be good to go to Plan B. If you were planning a trip to Cairo anytime soon, you might want to see where else Jet Blue flies!

In all seriousness, good luck to everyone over there. It seems like a situation that is about to get even hairier.

I went to the dentist this morning and the woman cleaning my teeth really went to town. Really hurt. And then she has the nerve to say to me, “Do you do any sort of care of your teeth?” I wasn’t sure how to respond! You mean like, brushing?!?!? Seriously annoying.

Is the weekend here yet???


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