Monday, January 24, 2011

Shameless Photo Post


Laughing uncontrollably...

Lost in her game...

Committing only to the moment...that's the life of a four-year-old. She's too fantastic for words!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Old School vs. New School Writers

So the hot debate among the grammar snobs these days is...periods. Should the world unite and declare that only ONE space is required after a period? Or should we stick with what Johannes Gutenberg started and do TWO spaces?

I admit, I'm a two-space girl. Two spaces after periods, two after semicolons. One of the whipper-snappers at work called me a "fuddy duddy" today after listening to me evangelize about "the good ol' days" when *everyone* used two spaces after sentences. I always knew I had an old spirit trapped in a young person's body...

Anyway, I decided today that I am going to try and be hip and move with the times. Especially since my favorite FAVORITE grammar blogger has moved to the dark side of one-spacing after sentences (love you Grammar Girl!!). One-spacing isn't wrong...I know. It's just become a style choice and change is hard. But I'm gonna try to train my thumb to stop clicking twice...and see if I can live with it. Who's a fuddy-duddy now?! ;-)

Until next time, a little light reading:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fun Observations from the Wayne County Jury Pit

I am called for jury duty every 12 months, without fail. And I am required to serve in Downtown Detroit every time, without fail. This past year, I decided to journal some of my observations while I was's what I managed to make out from my terrible handwriting:
May 18, 2010:

7:30am: Summons reads "MUST ARRIVE BY 7:45AM." I arrive at 7:30am, always the good girl, fearing that arriving at 7:46 would surely land me in jail..or at least fined. I leave my house at 6:40, after evaluating traffic and weather conditions.

8:30am: Jurors still arriving, apparently not as fearful as I am of jail and fines. One such juror walks in an announces in an outside voice that he's "pissed as hell that those muthafuckers took his lighter and his blade." I reassemble my poker face and silently give thanks for the Wayne County sheriff who took his blade.

8:45am: I've been here for over an hour, reading my book on Great Lakes shipwrecks. My butt is numb from this unforgiving plastic chair, and the smell of the poorly-ventilated jury pit is starting to turn my stomach.

8:47am: Angry court employee emerges from office, stands on a chair, and screams that we can all go take a break. I laugh--I'm the only one laughing. A break? Really? WE HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING YET. Ever the sheep, I get up and "take a break" from sitting in this ass-breaking plastic chair. I feel a tingle that reminds me that I do indeed have nerves in my lower back.

9:00am: Breaktime over, back to reading, back to hating this chair. Ass promptly goes numb, and really, it's better that way. I am, however, delighted with how wonderful the tiny cup of Traverse City cherry coffee is that I'd purchased for $4 at the courthouse candy store. The cherry scent is doing its best to mask the nasty smell of the jury pit.

People watching in the jury pit is a constant source of entertainment--anyone can fancy themselves a sociologist/psychologist/anthropologist when locked in a stanky room full of reluctant servants of democracy. Nervous women huddle together, reading their Jennifer Weiner novels and bonding over stories of their children's high school sports teams. I count over 20 men sleeping soundly in the horrible plastic chairs. One man, looks college-aged, is actually watching the VHS copy of Men in Black that plays on the broken TVs overhead. A man in the aisle across from me sits with an acorn squash and a newspaper on his lap. I begin to wish that I too had some sort of odd vegetable with me.

9:10am. Orientation. Pleasant court employee shouts into a static-ridden microphone about where you can smoke and where to get lighters. When he asks if anyone has questions, a man who highly values his own worth asks when we'll be getting started, because this is wasting his time. I am glad he let us know how important he is. Asshole.

9:30am. Angry court employee comes out and stands on chair. She screams something I can't quite understand. No one else seems to care, so I go back to my book.

10am: Unable to concentrate on Great Lakes shipwrecks, I look up from my book and steal a glance just beyond where Self Important Man sits. There's another man there, and I cannot help but stare.

He. Is. Elvis.

I'm not talking about a crummy Vegas-wedding Elvis wannabe. This dude is THE KING. From the jet black side burns to his tight polyester-blend button-down, this guy is evidence of life after death. If he stood up and started singing, I doubt a single one of us would have been surprised.

Others in the pit also notice The King and are staring as intently as I am. No one sits next to The King, even though the plastic ass-breaking seats are in hot demand. Respect for The King's personal space must be shown. Some of the suburban 40-somethings in the pit steal quick glances then hide smiles behind two-year old issues of Good Housekeeping and Redbook. I am more bold, staring openly until The King notices my stare and winks at me with a knowing smile. He knows we can't help but stare. I now feel badly that I don't know many of his songs--feels disrespectful. But I sense that The King understands.

Knowing that even Elvis must serve in the democratic path to justice makes me feel a tiny bit better about wasting away in the Detroit jury pit.

11am: Trying to not stare at Elvis. The screech of the dot-matrix printer in the jury office has stopped, and I know this means that we will soon be herded to the courtrooms. I'm not wrong--angry court employee has just screamed "Kristin Baher" into her microphone. Time to shuffle off.

So, until next year, this is reluctant juror Kristin Baher signing off.

(The author of this article ended up spending three days on an assault w/ deadly weapon case. She did not have the opportunity to serve with Elvis during these proceedings.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter Olympics for Writers

Greetings! Long time...

So, last year the Winter Olympics in Vancouver followed shortly after Christmas. For those of us who to admit to enjoying luge and curling, the Winter Olympics gave us something to look forward to while combating the post-Christmas blues. With no Winter Olympics this year (and I'm not Canadian enough to take up curling....), I realized I need to find something else to keep my sun-deprived brain occupied.

To that end, I decided I'm going to invest in beefing up my rather flabby writing muscles and get some samples posted at least once a week...even if just a few thoughts or starts of stories...or shameless photo posts of my lovely girls. Let's see how this goes! I'm sure my fan base (both of you) will be supportive of this initiative, yes?

So I went through my journal and picked out a fun story to start off the year--I'll post it this week once I dust it off.

While I can't guarantee that the content will always be memorable, I can assure you that the apostrophe use in my new posts will be kick ass. :-)