1. What happened to Nurse Jackie
  2. Can the Grizzlies have Rudy Gay back tomorrow?
  3. In the past three years, how many seemingly interesting documentaries have been made that turn out to be propaganda for juicing? 
  4. How bad are cheap sunglasses for your eyes?
  5. How many miles does a car have to have on it before you decide you shouldn't take it on longer trips? 


Soapbox Tuesday

A while back I served on a jury for a crack cocaine case. I don't know why they picked me since I was the only potential juror that answered all of their "do you think _____ drug should be legal" questions with YES, YES, yes, yeeeeesss, yes, that too, ooh too bad they don't make qualudes anymore ... and so on.  The furthest anyone had gone up until then was "oh I think marijuana should be legal for medical use." I don't know how it is in other courtrooms, but in downtown LA you speak into a microphone when they are asking you these questions. Everyone heard everyones answers, and I can confirm that people really will say anything to get out of jury duty.  I wasn't saying that drug stuff to get out of JD, I was just telling the truth. I think I was finally selected for my answer to the question about being able to discern between what I believe, and what is legal. You know, intelligence.  They picked all females in their thirties for that jury.

The whole case was hinging on a bunch of bullcrap and the narco cops, while extremely handsome (confirmed first thing when we were all finally able to deliberate) were really lazy and essentially offered up this testimony: "man in a van with a scale and a bunch of ones nearby a guy who had a small rock in his pocket" - from this we were supposed to convict this dude of dealing a couple rocks. I wasn't about to lock up a human being with such flimsy evidence and I could tell a few other people thought the same thing.  The case lasted three days, who knows how much all of that costs the state, but don't even get me started.  I would love to elaborate more on the awesome witnesses (an ex-girlfriend, a mom, a friend) and the defense attorney (a middle aged woman who looked like Danny Devito's penguin character from the bad Batman and who ate cheeseburgers and wore same gray suit three days in a row), but I am trying to stay on track as to why I felt the need to write about this in the first place.

In the deliberation room, after we got the discussion about the detectives and their jewelry and nice-fitting suits out of the way and started to give our opinions about the case, the first woman who spoke announced that she was a mom and that, "she didn't want drugs on the street."   Not a word about evidence or the case. Just her fear about her kids being exposed to drugs.

Who knows, maybe that was a dig at me and my desire to make herion available at CVS (which is not the street by the way), but I gathered that by her logic, we were supposed to vote guilty because this mom, along with the rest of the geniuses and profiteers behind the war on drugs, had figured out how to get drugs off the street.  You just lock people up. Anyone.  If only juries had the same conviction about cases involving violence against women... but I digress!

I bring this all up because last night  I finally got to see The House I Live In - a documentary about the real effect of the war on drugs on our communities and economy.  I didn't expect it to, like, completely blow my mind since I was an advocate against mandatory minimums back in my college days and I currently teach in a prison, and unlike the rest of the naive, sheltered population, I actually am aware of the number of non-violent people that we, as a society, have put in cement cells, but what I liked about this film is that it indubitably, passionately connects the dots for people that don't know and tells them why this actually matters to everyone. Another one to put on my long list of documentaries that will most likely not be seen by the people that need to see them. You should see this one.

We ended up submitting a not guilty plea for that crack case, because it really was a shitty case built on crappy policework and a couple of us pretty much took all the non-critical-thinking gals through the logical steps until they forgot what they were trying to say in the first place, because the truth is people like that don't actually believe in anything and they live their lives sound bite by sound bite. I still think about this so much because I remember thinking how very afraid everyone should be at the average person's willingness to lock someone away.


You Can't See Any of This

Some kind of photo malfunction isn't letting me upload pictures today. 


The Best Intentions

Whenever I start to type I intend to write one of those beautiful essays that are about a mothers breath, wanting a stranger to touch our elbow, the effect of a sunny day on an old heroin habit, the pain of the pain of the pain, the lightness of our hearts after we have that one experience that makes us realize we were standing right in the place we were looking for the whole time.... but nothing comes out of me.... My words are always so clunky and even though I try, there just aren’t sweet ways to write about being cranky.  

It doesn’t help that I woke up this morning with my sinus bones snot-glued to my brain bones, a rejection email waiting in my inbox, and a fat tax bill from the great State of CA (thanks 2007) in the daily mail. I only check my mail because I am hoping Sargent Sparkle will post something my way. I made the mistake of watching The Invisible War the other day so, every day that I don’t hear from her I am certain that she has fallen into an Army rape den in the middle of Afghanistan. 

And then I looked around... maybe what I had been looking for was right in front of me the whole time!


Something to Wear with Bakersfield Flair

We got to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame the other week - they have a great Bakersfield Sound exhibit right now.

I took home one of the activity guides and put some Bakersfield flair on my country clothes.



If you like this, don't forget to check out my old completion photo drawings.


A Study in Dorff

I can't get enough of this commercial. It's mesmerizing:

That one minute video is better than all of Somewhere. "We're all adults here"

If you don't know him - Dorff is a smoker and a ruffian. He is just live-wirey enough to be cast in Britney's video as the magazine-flinging, box-kicking boyfriend:

(Yeah, I know, thanks Spring Breakers for reminding me about that pop song).


Alumni Power

I took on the volunteer task of sending handwritten postcards to encourage potential students to attend my alma mater: Wayne State University.  A large university right in the heart of Detroit.  I loved going there, well I kind of got more of an education from the city, but nevertheless.... like many things, the further away from it I get, the fonder my memories.

But when I got the postcards, I couldn't help but question my brain health.  Did I go to THIS Wayne State?

I don't remember trumpets or grassy fields. Or any kind of grassy field you would want to walk in unless you were looking for something you lost after a high-speed police foot-chase. 

To be fair, that horn may be a french horn. I'm glad things are progressing, but I am not sure what to write now that I am under the watchful eyes of these happy young people on the front of these cards. Maybe I could draw over the pictures to give a more accurate portrayal of the WSU/Detroit experience? 

I'll probably just do my duty, say my educational experience shaped my life into the masterpiece it is now, and then invite the students to check out a future blog post where I dig up some more old pictures of the old D days. 

Go Tigers. 


MissMatched Neon Bikinis

You don't need me to review Spring Breakers because a bunch of people already have. Well I saw it yesterday, Easter Sunday, and I found it to be a mix of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Excess Baggage, Belly, and early 90s MTV Spring Break specials.  It isn't nearly as exploitative as Teen Moms so don't worry about being offended.  It also reminded me of my own spring break in Clearwater Beach, FL: 1992 - we had a few less guns but that didn't mean we still didn't find trouble, ok? We drove down with five girls in a '91 Cutlass and didn't stop to change drivers. Figure that out. Maybe I'll do a vine reenactment later.

Most of my movie reviews include what the people next to me were saying because I always have someone sitting in my area that feels the need to talk. A couple reasons for this are 1) I attract verbal communication and 2) southerners can't be quiet.  The highlight this time was when the mother from the family sitting behind us whispered, "What's double penetration?"

What else do you want to know? This is not a movie review.