The Rule of Sevens

Seven Things that Scare Me:

  1. Dark basements
  2. Guns
  3. Death
  4. Public Speaking
  5. Rejection
  6. Mice (not when they are friendly little “pets,” but if a wild one gets into the house, I freak out)
  7. Driving through tunnels

Seven Things I Like:

  1. Books
  2. Bags
  3. Nice Pens
  4. Piggy Banks
  5. Coffee
  6. Homemade greeting cards
  7. Hugs

Seven Random Facts About Me:

  1. I had a hernia surgery when I was about 12 years old.
  2. I broke my left arm when I was 9 years old.
  3. I consider myself an only child but I have 2 half-sisters and a half-brother.
  4. I have two tattoos.
  5. My grandfather died when I was 16; my dad died when I was 18.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my dad.  I sometimes feel guilty that I don’t think about my grandfather as often.
  6. I love that I have brown eyes because I can listen to “Brown Eyed Girl” and pretend some guy is singing it about me.
  7. I’m slightly obsessed with Dean Martin.

Seven Things I want to Do Before I Die:

  1. Visit Italy
  2. Go on a cruise
  3. See the Northern Lights
  4. Publish a novel
  5. Visit all 50 states
  6. Fly first-class
  7. Finish my MA

Seven Things I Can Do Well:

  1. Write
  2. Listen
  3. Help people
  4. Find information/research
  5. Take care of children
  6. Play the flute
  7. Make a fabulous Dirty Martini

Seven Things I Can’t Do But Wish I Could:

  1. Grow/take care of plants
  2. Play the piano
  3. Play the guitar
  4. Sing
  5. Focus on the details
  6. Disguise my emotions (at times)
  7. Remember important dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.)

Seven Words/Phrases I’m Known to Use:

  1. Oy.
  2. Holy Hell!
  3. Seriously?!
  4. I know, right!
  5. Oh, dear.
  6. Um, no.
  7. Really?!

Jury Duty

My Something New for this past week was jury duty.  Not by choice but definitely something new that I’d always wanted to experience.

I got my summons in the mail several weeks earlier that stated that I was required to be available during the week of October 11.  I called in on the 10th.  Nothing.  Called in on the 11th.  Nothing.  Called in on the 12.  Score!!  So I reported to the courthouse on the 13th, ready to serve.

As this was my first time being summoned, I thought I’d share my experience for anyone who is interested.

I arrived at the courthouse at about 8:15 Thursday morning.  We were shown a short video that served as an introduction to the process.  It was at least 10:30 before the bailiff came to take us to the courtroom.  At that point there were over 20 potential jurors.  The judge greeted us and proceeded to ask a number of questions that we were all require to respond to.  The prosecution and defense attorneys then each had the opportunity to ask us questions.  Some were in general, some were directed to specific individuals.  When the questioning was complete, the judge and attorneys met in a sidebar and after several moments of discussion, returned and excused a number of the jurors.  There was another opportunity, then, for both attorneys to excuse, without reason, any jurors that they did not believe appropriate for the case.  It was finally narrowed down to 12 jurors, myself included, and 2 alternates.

The trial, a criminal case, proceeded from there, during which we heard testimonies and were presented with evidence.

The case continued on Friday.  The day began with the closing statements from the prosecution and defense, as the evidence portion was concluded on Thursday.  After instructions from the judge on the law, we–the jury–returned to the deliberation room.

It was pretty interesting.  The majority of the jurors, myself included, had never served before.  I thought it was pretty cool the way everyone came together and discussed the trial, witnesses, and evidence–respectful of the court, the defendant, and each other.

In the end, we found the defendant not guilty on the two charges being addressed.  I watched the young man–probably very close in age to me–as the verdict was being read by the judge and I nearly cried.  I have no doubt as to whether we made the right decision or not.  The look on his face was full of such innocent relief.  As the jury was dismissed from the courtroom, I made eye contact, first with the defense attorney, who smiled with genuine gratitude, and then with the defendant who nodded a humble thanks.

I’ll never forget the experience.  I was thankful to be a part of the process and I’ll gladly serve if or when I’m called again.


If you aren’t familiar with it, November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I’ve attempted it in the past (the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days).  I’ve always failed.  I’ve also never been as busy as I am this year.  However, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go for it anyway.  I’m pretty excited for November 1st!  🙂

The 4-day weekend

Well I did half of things that I planned to do.

I did go on a day hike.  Friday.  8.7 miles.  A looong 8.7 miles.  Around mile 6, I lost the sole of one of my shoes in mud.  Not good.  I went about a half a mile, sort of limping a long, before I sat down in some grass and pulled the sole off of my other shoe.  There was a bout an inch of sole and the difference was making my knee hurt.  The problem then was that there was just a bit of fabric that protected the bottom of my feet so by the time I got back to my car, I could barely walk.  It was a really beautiful day, though.  I took pictures but I haven’t uploaded them to my computer yet.  I’ll try to post some tomorrow.

On Saturday I met up with a couple of friends for coffee.  And then a different friend for lunch.  After that I went for a much shorter hike (just a little over a mile).

Sunday I went to Stan Hywet.  It was yet another beautiful day and I really enjoyed my time there.  I went on a guided-tour of the main house–I’ve always just done the self-guided in the past.  It was really interesting.  And then I walked around outside for a bit, too.  I really love their fountains.

I decided to drive out to one of my favorite restaurants after that.  It’s about an hour away so I don’t get there very often but it’s always worth it when I do.

Yesterday I planned to get a lot of school work done.  That did NOT happen.  I slept a lot.  Went grocery shopping.  Did some laundry.  And slept.

Overall, it was a really great weekend.  I was not ready to come back to work this morning.


My Something New Revised

So.  I’ve discovered that trying to do something new everyday while working full time and going to grad school is rather difficult.  Instead, I’m going to aim for something much more reasonable–something new every week.  I can definitely do that.

I’m taking tomorrow and Monday off of work.  Partly because I want to get away from my boss.  Partly because I’m going to have a lot to do for school this weekend.  And partly because the weather is supposed to be amazing and for October, these nice, warm, sunny days are definitely on their way out.

This weekend there are a number of things I’m planning on doing.

Like I said, I also have a lot of work to do for school so a big part of my weekend will also be sitting at a cafe reading and writing.

I’m really looking forward to it.  I can’t wait for this day to be over.  Work anyway.  I like my class.

Steve Jobs

I feel like I should comment on the death of Steve Jobs since everyone else has.  But to be completely honest, his death just isn’t that big of a deal to me.  I mean, it’s sad that he died for his friends and family, of course.  But I’m neither.  And honestly, I’m not a big fan of Apple.  I have an iPod and I love it.  I’ve used Macs in the past and they’re great.  But Apple is so expensive and it’s usually just not worth it to me.



Yesterday was only half of a fail.  I still didn’t take any pictures (maybe I should just give that one up) but I did do something new.

From the talk that I went to at the library over the weekend, I decided to try a “mindful walk.”  It was something really simple and I fully appreciate that it sounds completely cheesy, but it was actually pretty cool.

My understanding of a mindful walk is this… You focus yourself, in the same way that you would during meditation–block out the chatter in your head and focus on the breath–and you exist just in that moment. While I was focused on my breath and my body, I was also very aware of my surroundings.  My mind was cleared of the normal chatter and I was free to really appreciate the world around me.  It made me realize just how unaware of my surroundings I normally am.

Like I said in the beginning, My Something New doesn’t have to be anything significant and while this was really simple–I was simply walking from my building to the campus library after work yesterday–it made a fairly significant difference and it’s something that I will [hopefully] continue.