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Archive for Political


Ok, so, let’s be honest…I dropped off the face of the earth when it comes to this blog.
Here a few reasons: time (lack of it), facebook is more convenient, I’m integrating Twitter.
I don’t have a ton of time for this post, but I’m going to try something new… the rest of this post will be taken from my status updates on Facebook. If we’re friends on Facebook, then chances are ood that you’ve already seen these.  Buuut, since my blog also serves as a ‘yearbook’ of some of my life, I’m using updates here to keep that concept going… facebook cuts off the ends of some (the older the posts get).

Here goes…

June 20 at 11:19am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is pleased to announce the birth of Jacob Grayden Smith (6lbs, 12 oz), born at 9:59am. Total labor: 8hr & 6 minutes. 🙂 🙂 The meet/greet at Holy Cross will be available when Greg says so, so please wait for an update.

June 22 at 9:33am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just watched this clip of people ‘paying it forward’. A friend of mine has a cousin in this piece. Wow. It’s so refreshing to see people’s kindness.  http://tinyurl.com/mdjots

June 23 at 9:23am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is not a Father, but wants to thank Gunner for his post about fatherhood… whoa… gonna go on a limb and say that maybe everyone should read it? You tell me. http://rawchristianity.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/i-am-a-father/

June 24 at 1:04pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, has a LOCAL market update: a healthy inventory for SCV is between 2-3k homes for sale. As of this week, there are only 780 active listings in SCV (all price ranges). If you’ve been waiting for the ‘bottom’, I think we’re hovering dangerousl

June 24 at 5:36pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE just got HOOKED up!! 4 workers, 3 hours, $75=the cleanest her house house has EVER been! If you don’t mind the foreman singing 80s love songs like he means it, lots of cleaning fumes and the cleaning crew being 3 hours late, then she can

June 26 at 12:37am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, l-uuu-uu-uu-vs working at Keller Williams VIP Properties. (that’s right, Very Important People Properties’?). Even after an 18 hour work day, her KWVIP reflections yield love! She attended her 1st sales meeting… it opened with the ple

June 26 at 12:22pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, STRONGLY suggests that you give your A/C a test run today…tomorrow is supposed to be blazing in SCV. Find out early if your AC needs service (hard to find repairmen on the weekend). 🙂

June 27 at 10:49pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just got back from 30 fantastic hours with the Harveys! Highlights include: 1 mini-van road trip with Z & T only (Yes please!!!), 1 Surprise retirement party for Grandpa Harvey (hilarious), 100s of laughs (mostly courtesy of Kristin, Ken,

June 29 at 9:58am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, was A-mazed by this ‘Living Photography’ (from the early 1900s, looong before pixel generating software). http://www.oddee.com/item_95004.aspx Google for the whole gallery and closer shots… amazing….

June 30 at 11:19am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is glad to be able to answer your long asked question ‘What is Kent Dresdow doing these days?’. Feast, my friends… http://christusnostrumvita.wordpress.com/

July 1 at 10:33am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, would like a FB option that says ‘Sam Neylan acknowledges this’. The ‘Likes This’ thumbs up is somewhat limiting. Yes. A flat hand that says ‘Sam Neylan acknowledges this’ would be appropriately comparable to the real life head nod accompan

July 4 at 9:56am ·Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just went to Kevin Mather’s blog. He’s a Copperhill Community Church guy and a TMC grad who was cycling with a group of guys and was hit by a car and is in critical condition. Please visit his blog (for what happened and upda…tes), pray for him, comment if you feel inclined. He’s married too, so please pray for her too. http://kevinsrecovery.com/blog/

July 5 at 10:16pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE’s Sunday highlights: cool new communion style @church, lunch w/Wendy Simpson (love her!), Yogurberry, attended her 1st ever WNBA game at Staples with Holly & roomie A (FYI-the Sparks ladies foul alot), talking to Staples usher who will also

July 7 at 9:31am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just had a FANTASTIC customer service experience (once she got to upper management)! Conclusion: all charges refunded on the credit card. And, bonus: her blood pressure never spiked and she did not sin in the process. 🙂 Baby steps.

July 9 at 1:19am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, has a new phase: ROBEKS.

July 9 at 9:01am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, passing on another well said post from Chuck Hooten. If you are one who likes music, who leads people through music in ANY capacity, who loves God, or who has wondered about those who do, this read is worth the 2-4 minutes. Thanx Chu…ck. http://chuckhooten.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/thoughts-on-a-commonly-used-phrase/

July 10 at 1:01am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE is wondering if she mentioned how much she loves working at her new brokerage, Keller Williams VIP Properties? Oh. She did mention it? Huh. Ok, well, good to know.

July 11 at 3:16pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, gives yet another reason why the Invisible Children are so cool. Saw this on their blog http://behindthescenes.invisiblechildren.com/post/138214152/i-want-it

July 11 at 4:57pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, recounts a recent conversation with a colleague/rep trying to earn her business. REP: “Sam, do you believe in the law of attraction”. SAM: “No, I would not say that.” REP: “What would you say?” SAM: “I’d say I believe in God’s Sovereignty.

July 12 at 11:03pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE’s sabbath rest included: church, helping out a friend for fundraising for son’s MS event, a trip to AT&T with Jonathan (the best customer service rep ever), a pedicure, dinner sitting across from Cesar Millan (you know him and love him, more

July 13 at 8:47am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is now taking your suggestions for your favorite iPhone apps. Specifically for Twitter, Bible, Real Estate, and any of your other favorites that you think Sam needs to have. Please include the app name and why you recommend it please! Br

July 13 at 3:22pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, wants to remind you of the power of one…one who stays committed. Change: one person at a time … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk&feature=related

July 14 at 11:46pm · Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just saw a free screening of the movie FOOD, INC. in Pasadena, sponsored by Chipotle. Mostly a good movie (depending on your world view). Probably a movie that everyone should watch and at least discuss.

July 16 at 7:06pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, can’t remember who was wanting the ant killer suggestions? Well, whoever your are, google this mixture: Borax, sugar, water. (ex mix 1 cup warm water with sugar and borax (tablespoons of each: just a little bit more sugar than borax). Pu

July 17 at 11:22am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, got a ‘Quotes’ app. Interesting. In flipping through some, it’s amazing how many great quotes are really just eloquently worded lies that perpetuate a Godless worldview. The app has become a game: to filter each quote through the grid of Sc

July 17 at 10:14pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, had waaaay more fun working the registration table (at WDW) than she thought she would. Mostly because it was a mega reunion with SO many cool people that she hadn’t seen in years! Here’s to Saturday’s reg-table reunions (SRTR)!

July 20 at 9:58am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, wants to share this recent article about how Kevin’s church has made it known to the onlookers that they’re Christians by their love (for kevin). http://www.the-signal.com/news/article/15712/ And, thanx to Kevin’s chu…rch for using technology to help mobilize all the people who want to/do help during crisis and rehab! Way to not waste Kevin’s accident!

Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is listening to Pete Huttlinger’s album ‘Naked Pop’ …MAN he’s good! Check him out http://petehuttlinger.com/ or sample his stuff on iTunes. If you dig some of the best guitar finger work ever, then you’re going to want to be a part of thi

July 21 at 8:40am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is inviting you (all 800 something FB friends) to vote for a burrito creation her friend Wendy created for Chipotle. Wendy and & Sam go way back… they were badminton partners in high school…that about says it all. Wendy is fu…n, hilarious, smart, creative, a mom, a wife and has one of THE best laughs… come on, won’t you give her a quick vote? http://mychipotle.com/#/view_submission/63085

July 22 at 8:35am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just re-read Piper’s post on ‘Why I Tweet’. Whoever you are (and if you exist in this world with all the ever changing technology, which I think you do…if you’re reading this update then I know you do), I encourage you to read it. http://ow.ly/hIAw

July 22 at 5:17pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, totally thinks the iPhone is like an In ‘n Out menu… all their goodness is not advertised on the front marquis. You have to know someone and get tipped off about a fantastic secret menu item that will change your life. Well, the REAL-TO

July 23 at 10:09pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, invites all SCV residents to a garage sale at the Brocks on Saturday (7/25). START TIME 6:30am. GOAL: sell it all! Some items: couch, bedroom set, bakers rack, porch swing, household items (candles, dishes, linens, etc), books, baby crib

July 25 at 6:45pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, would like to thank everyone for coming out to the garage sale today! HUGE success. AND, now a bonus ‘for sale’ item…a neighbor donated a collector’s item that will be sold on Ebay unless there are any takers prior. … Are you interested? A HUGE larger than life sized 3 dimensional Pixar Sulley. See link http://www.nnanime.com/events/0209pixar/029-PixarJDRF.jpg

July 27 at 8:21am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is reminding all potential SCV buyers that the $8k tax credit is only available if you CLOSE escrow BY 12/1/09. As of today, there are only 707 ACTIVE listings on the market in SCV. Pending/Back up listings=1,026. Buy low, sell high. 🙂

July 27 at 6:24pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is wondering how she is JUST NOW hearing about this website!?!?! There’s a little something for everyone …. http://juststopandthink.com/index.php Thanx to Mike Butler for the website!

July 28 at 1:57pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is taking up Brad’s Sunday challenge to ATTEMPT to count our recent blessings. Scratching the surface: Docusign, mom (hilarious family, in general), iphone, Keller Williams, Holly, Dinks, Blue Mountain, clients/clients/clients, Horner’s Bib

July 29 at 12:20pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is gut laughing at this … especially if you know Holly . http://failblog.org/2009/07/22/weapon-choice-fail/

July 29 at 3:17pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, usually politically lays low (on-line) cuz there are often too many uninformed & unnecessary opinions shared (hers included). HOWEVER, courtesy of Mike K, this made her laugh out loud http://www.slideshare.net/dpakman/first-pitch-breakdown-1781375

July 31 at 12:05am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, had to work so she didn’t get to watch the live SYTYCD results show which is why she DVR’d it…but alas, no need to DVR it since some FBers used their status as spoilers. Can’t we all agree that you have to wait till the next morning befo

July 31 at 6:52pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, laughed HARD (really hard) at lunch when she heard the server repeat Holly’s order back to Holly, “So, ranch dressing, tossed in ranch, with ranch on the side? Is that right?”.

August 2 at 10:40pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is offering a refresher course on why ‘REAL-TORE’. It’s the proper way to pronounce my profession: REALTOR. There’s no ‘A’ in between REAL and TOR. So, for those who learn phonetically: REAL-TORE. oh, aaaaand, SHARK WEEK!!!!! 🙂

August 3 at 3:11pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, has 4 things on her mind (well, really 438 things, but for brevity’s sake) let’s go with these: 1) the Harvey baby coming ‘any time now’ 2) SHARK week 3) paperwork and lots of it 4) where is her holy writ? Left it in a car after

August 4 at 1:22am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is using Tuesday to celebrate the one year anniversary of Brad’s stroke…or as the Worship Team calls it his ‘Strokeaversary’. God’s incredibly good! Amazing to look back and reflect on all that God has done with Brad’s life and that pes

August 5 at 10:58am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, loves Stevie Wonder and loves blind people…so, why is this appropriate? Thanx again, Fail Blog. http://failblog.org/2009/08/02/braille-faille/

August 6 at 12:00am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, chooses ‘Great White Appetite’ as her favorite SHARK WEEK show so far. Mostly the opening sequence…unprovoked attack on the filming pontoon out at Guadalupe. Yes please.

August 6 at 10:23am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is posting this link to those wondering how to take advantage of the $8k New Buyer tax credit. http://tinyurl.com/n35jsv

August 6 at 12:16pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is happy to have just learned that her 1st time buyers that closed escrow on 6/23/09 also mailed in their tax credit paperwork the same day (6/23/09) & they had their $8k tax credit check IN THEIR HANDS on 8/3/09! WOW!!! Regardle…ss of how you feel about the 8k source, it’s good to know that something is happening in a timely manner from a government agency! Congrats new homeowners!

August 7 at 11:05pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, ‘s fall roommate had a change of life plans. So, Sam, now has a room for rent (ad on Craigslist or this link http://tinyurl.com/m4swjk )

August 10 at 9:33am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, is looking for connections for any Korean churches in the Hollywood/West Hollywood areas. Some clients will be relocating from Korea and want to find a Bible believing church in that general area. Any suggestions?

August 11 at 2:17pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, proudly announces ‘Samantha Grace Harvey’, born at 1:17pm today 8/11/09!!! 8lbs 6 oz, 20 inches long, 11 days early. Healthy and good. Praise the LORD! Kristin wants a chessgeburger a pizza and a cache of sleep!!! Welcome to the world Samantha Grace!!!!

August 11 at 11:54pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just did this in the last 7 hours: drove to/from Hanford to meet Samantha Grace Harvey. She’s cute & cute! (It seems Zach will be differentiating the Sams as “Little Sam & Big Sam”). Grown up Sam made the trip… with Johnny Cash and his 4 cd set: The Legend. New favorite Cash song, ‘You Can’t Beat Jesus Christ’. Yes please!!!!

August 12 at 4:18pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, had fun in real estate today! Bought a new property search/management product that we’re probably all going to love (lots of ‘P’s in that sentence)! Will reveal product later! ALSO, she confirmed what the ‘VIP stands for in ‘Keller Williams VIP Properties’: Value, Integrity, Probity! What’s probity, you ask? ‘Adherance to the highest principles and ideas’. and they mean it. Sam hearts KW!!!!!

August 13 at 8:31am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, who doesn’t love cats, had this happen to her 2 nights ago: It was dark out, was working on computer with the window open. Left the room. Whilst walking back to the desk, glanced out the window & saw the bold glistening eyes o…f the ‘dennis the menace’ neighborhood cat comfortably perched on the sill, nose to the screen contentedly watching (me) like he was on his own balcony. Sick. A voyeur cat.

August 15 at 12:00pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, admits…it finally happened. Like the first ding on a brand new car, on Tuesday she dropped her iPhone for the 1st time. Well, now that’s out of the way. Check.

August 15 at 10:05pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, about 30 painful minutes in, walked out of a movie tonight (& got her money back). If you’re not into being barraged with constant filth then you are going to want to avoid this particular movie. She was hoping that if she wa…ded through the initial muck, it would redeem itself. It didn’t. She went home & watched the ever worthy, FLETCH. It was like a reunion with a dear friend. It all worked out.

August 17 at 1:34pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, has an urgent request (thank you in advance). Ok, are you or do you know anyone who speaks Korean, knows the west hollywood-ish area & is honest and willing to help a family moving from Korea (translation, etc)? Sam has feelers o…ut, but nothing solid yet. This one is time sensitive. They want the daughter in school by end of August/beginning of September. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Thanks!!!!

August 18 at 1:28pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, had a 1st today. Like in the movies. Pumped gas. While waiting for the gas, went in to buy a drink. Had to wait a LONG time cuz cashier was ‘changing shifts’, per the sign. After 7 minutes in line, went back to the car, go…t in & slowly started to drive away (thank God it was slow). Glanced out passenger mirror to clear the post & realized: still had gas nozzle in tank. 1st time. Check. Next.

August 20 at 2:19pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, offers this: remember she told you about Kevin Mather? A cyclist from Copperhill Church that was hit 6.5 weeks ago http://kevinsrecovery.com/blog/ . Well, he & his wife are renting out their SVC condo while they go through rehabil…itation. Check out the CL posting… know anyone? http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/apa/1330184633.html They could use a GREAT renter!

August 22 at 1:07pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE’s highlights from 3 days in Hanford: W-swimming w/Z for hours, Th-Mark’s enchilladas AND capturing the 1st pic of Z holding Sammy (like the Loch Ness), F-capturing the 1st pic of Kristin with her THREE children (note Z’s… resistance) AND only throwing up 8 times, S-kept the graham crackers down all night. Many Kudos to the Harveys for surviving! A great family who loves God and each other and others!

August 24 at 12:57am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just saw this fantastic slide show of Samantha Grace …AND, a miracle of miracles, zach is holding her AND kissing her … people, you might want to witness history made http://www.fresephotography.com/sh809/

August 25 at 12:01am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, spent almost all day in real estate troubleshooting. Highlights: talking to the CAR attorney (California Association of Realtors), time with branch manager (Sam hearts Keller Williams!), GREAT clients, technology, contracts!

August 27 at 9:28am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, always has a zillion projects going. About 20 years ago, she started compiling an anthology of her favorite love songs (& a thesis as to why). It’s not finished (probably won’t ever be), but the other day she was thinking… about adding a song to it & she got to wondering what everyone else’s top selections were. What are your ALL time favorite love songs (any era, any genre)? And if you have time, why?

September 1 at 3:20am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE just did this in the last 4 days: drove to/from the SF Bay Area, fun/gourmet food w/the Seelye’s, went to the SF Farmer’s market, attended a graveside memorial service for 2 family members, fun w/family (as usual! and a midnit…e jacuzzi debrief), Caspers 2x, saw the great white shark at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, took the coastal 1/101 route back to the LA fires!…oh & laughed a LOT with Holly!

Wed at 9:15am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE’s mom sent this link http://tinyurl.com/m9gwpj and intro’d it by saying ‘the massachusetts “govt that doesn’t let crises go to waste” for purposes of stealing another liberty from its citizens.’ 🙂 S…am loves having a mom who knows what’s going on in the world…and cares about it…and gets involved.

September 4 Thu at 3:00am Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just synced and watched some of the footage from the memorial service last weekend. Some touching stuff. And, some VERY Royal Tenenbaum stuff. MAN, her family is funny (sometimes not meaning to be). She’s thankful to be able t…o be a part of it all and thankful to everyone who came and participated! ALSO, that iPhone takes some pretty outstanding video for being… a PHONE.

September 4 at 5:30pm Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, just saw Tony Ks profile text and loved it: “Live every week like it’s Shark Week!”

9/4/09 Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE’s mom joined Facebook today. Game on, Mumsy!

9/5/09 Sam Neylan the REAL-TORE, has 2 friends (Rob & Sarah Ikegami) who are taking a month long Jet Blue adventure! She’s trying to find possible contacts for their itinerant cities: Seattle WA, Austin TX, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, New York. Are you in…/near any of those places? Can they maybe sleep on your couch? Comment and let Sam know? Check out the Ikegami Month ‘O Travel blog http://www.robandsarahgo.blogspot.com



Well, it was a good run.

Before arriving at the courthouse, I stopped by the library to drop off some books and pick up some new ones that had come in (from my special order).  With 4 minutes to spare, I stood in line, chatted it up with the librarian who asked me about New Zealand (relating to the books I checked out), got the books, said hi to the hot dog stand couple (he tried to trick me that all the other jurors had been taken in), went through security and got there in the nick of time to just stand and wait.  🙂  It was 1:30pm.  Our call time.

We waited in the hallway until 1:45pm.  During the wait, Kind Kiwi (she’s smart and cool and funny) and I had a mini debrief of the jury selection process… which led to her telling me about her thoughts on my answers yesterday.   And I quote her, ‘When you answered that science question, I was thinking to myself  ‘Oh no, please don’t let this turn into an epistemological debate.’
So, that led into a mini discussion on organized religion, proof vs. faith, how do we determine who is an authority in deciphering the ‘facts’, and social deconstructionism.  Not bad for a 15 minute wait.  🙂

Around 1:50pm we were led into the courtroom and after lots of legal mumbo jumbo the next 3 jurors were mildly grilled.
The last one (for that round) was APL (see previous post for key).  I admit, I was chomping at the bit to know her story.  It quickly came out that she was a retired LAPD officer (of 25 years) and her field of expertise was the EXACT same as the crime the accused was on trial for.  We all started laughing with that ‘of course you were LAPD for 25 years in this EXACT field’ kind of way).  When asked if she could be impartial, she quickly and boldly said ‘no’.  The judge asked her 1 more question and dismissed her on the spot.

She was replaced and …within 10 minutes I was dismissed by the prosecution.

And that was that.

I went to the holding room where APL was being processed too.
We exchanged a few laughs and I told her that I’d been dying to know her line of work and she asked what my guesses had been.  We yucked it up for a bit and then talked to another juror who had been dismissed.  It was like a little private club.  It was fun.

ANYway, on my way out I bought a hot dog and drink JUST so i could hang out with the Lebanese guy and his NY wife.  We talked for a while and she and I are going to try to get together sometime soon.  While she and I were talking, he came over and in a scolding/endearing manner just said, ‘We’re here EVERY day M-F.  You need to come by and say hello at least once a week.’ 🙂  Oh, I will.  I will.  (it doesn’t hurt that the library is 50 ft away too).  🙂

So, goodbye, Juror #6.  It was enriching to be you for a 1.5 days.
And, may I wish all the other jurors and participants of that trial a very clear and wise conclusion, as they listen and decide the accused’s immediate future.

Prescribed civil duty for the day… priceless!


Ok, though I rarely post these days, i MUST record some debrief thoughts about my 1st day in jury selection.  🙂  If ever I was in a sitcom/Office type show… it was yesterday (with the promise of more thrills to come today!)
I’ll break this down in categories and then comedy

-I’ve already had to jack my schedule and lose income, so why not totally commit and have a GREAT time
-I will be ready and willing to meet people and observe and take everything in through the lens of the gospel and a split screen of Seinfeld
-I actually want to be selected, but I will totally honest in the questions asked of me
-Government system, county courthouse:  GUARANTEED fun for me!
-Don’t Waste My Jury Duty!

-show up for the 10:30am call time
-fill out some paperwork
-sit in a packed holding room with 50+/- other jurors (it’s awkwardly hushed like a library)
-wait for a LONG time: read all the literature that was on the chairs re: the process etc,  make small talk with a few neighbors
-Around 11:10am, the courtaid gives a mono-tone FAQ presentation that is all the same info that I just read
-A few people deem it necessary to give their whole life story when asked ‘Will anyone need to postpone?’ (my sitcom ideas started to bubble)
-The courtaid then has us watch a government video about how great it is to be a juror and a reiteration of the rules I read and that the aid gave in her presentation.  So, you get the info 3 times (at this point I was reading my book about New Zealand).  It was like when you fly a lot and you don’t pay attention to the ‘inflate your vest, put oxygen on yourself and then children’ video.
-Earthquake drill when she said ‘this is a drill’.  We all leaned over in out chairs and covered our heads.  VERY effective in a jolter, I’m sure.
-Around 11:45am, she tells us we have a lunch break until 1:15pm (?).
-Roll call at 1:20pm
-Sit in the room at wait
-Around 3pm, we all are called into the court room with ‘the accused’, judge welcomes us, tells us the type of case it will be and the duration it’s expected to be after the jury is selected (5 days, excluding deliberations)
-18 juror ID#s are called up into the ‘jury box’ and it begins…
-All 18 of us have to answer a set of the same questions, then the judge reads the law and the courts’ expectations of us, then he pulls out a HUGE book and asks us all about 42 million questions…very arduous and VERY sitcom
-When the judge is done, we take a 15 minute break and come back and the lawyers begin: defense 1st & prosectution last
-They were strapped for time since we’re supposed to break at 4:30pm
-Lawyers/Judge took a ‘sdiebar’ in the hall and came back and dismissed 3 jurors.  Those three were replaced with one of my ‘cast of characters’ lady (more to follow) and then we broke for the day, instructed to return at 1:30pm on Friday
They still need to get through about 30+ jurors today.  And, since i’m already in the box, I will stay there (as juror #6) until I’m moved or dismissed …it’s kind of like being on stage for several hours at a time

MY CAST OF CHARACTERS (highlights only)
These are the impressions made upon me as my morning unfolded…

1) the slight framed, short haired, government hating, possibly a lesbian, woman who felt entitled to point out EVERY perceived or real deficiency in the process.  she was reading a fat book called ‘the political brain’ and she had a long black ‘grim reaper/Matrix’ like coat .  During some of the group Q/A time with the aid, she asked VERY accusatory (toward government failure) and loaded questions that were nonchalantly deflected by the courtaid (who is actually pretty cool and funny…and has heard it ALL before).  What shall we call this 1st character?  APL? (angry possible libertarian?… like an angry elf, but she’s not an elf).  Her game is  intelligence coupled with angry sarcasm.  After a few interactions with her, i smiled to myself and thought ‘YES!  My first cast member…she’s perfect.’  In a sense I was choosing my own ‘jury’.  🙂

2) The court aid:  short, white haired, maybe mid 60s, slightly frumpy, cool as a cucumber, mono-toned, but kind.  Slow moving, but knows her stuff.  She did kind of remind me of a disheveled fairy god-mother on valuim.  I think we’ll go with… court aid for her title.

3) A fair skinned, light haired, quick to smile, kind woman, maybe mid to late 30s.  About 20 minutes after I got there and about 3 minutes before the FAQ presentation started, she noted the book I was reading about New Zealand and asked me ‘Are you going to New Zealand?’.  Turns out she grew up in NZ!  Immediately, I had a ton of questions which were promptly cut short by the FAQ presentation.  I did withhold barraging her with questions until the end of the day.  she was in the jury box with me in the 1st round of 18.  She will be called the ‘Kind Kiwi’.

4) He was dressed professionally, had a shiny wedding ring on, dark skinned (maybe had heritage from India or the middle east), wore glasses.  When asked if he needed to postpone, he said he was finishing up his masters and all assignments/presentations were due this next week.  Later i asked what his masters was in: education/admin, turns out he’s a principal of a charter school.  He was calmly communicative, but i would not say friendly.  We swapped stories and philosophies of education for a bit.  I assume that jury duty was a HUGE set back for him professionally and academically.  He sat next to me in the juror box too … and we had some similar answers.  I like him.  He seems grounded and even and fair.  I think I would like being a student under his direction.  I’ll call him ‘the principal’.

5) Every group has this lady too … mini skirt, slightly overweight, low cut bejeweled hoodie, ugg boots, a little tooo tan, SUPER loud.  When asked about postponement, we all had to hear a pretty extensive play by play about how she has to pick up her daughter from school etc.  Throughout the whole day she loudly/giggly answered all rhetorical questions as if just she and the courtaid were the only people in the room.  Oh, and she sat all the way in the back, I was about half way back, so I’m not joking about the loud.  She reminded me of a character from Drop Dead Gorgeous.  What shall I call her… mmmm… ‘Sissy’.  I’m confident that someone in her life calls her Sissy … maybe a grandma, a sister, a daughter … but definitely sissy.

6) other people that have given roles: the judge (pretty great sense of humor), bailiff (when i asked what the instructions were to communicate some info to the judge, he said ‘I don’t know.  I don’t even pay attention to any of this.’ 🙂 ), the attorneys (or are they lawyers?): defense attorney a man who is TOTALLY a character in my sitcom and the Prosecution is a woman and she’s stereotypical awesome.

20 minutes after arriving, done with paperwork and just reading my book, sitting next to APL
APL to Courtaid: It’s really hot.  Can we turn on the A/C
CA: sure. (she turns on a floor fan instead)
APL: is there a reason why you’re not using the A/C?
CA: oh, we are, it’s just that the thermostat is controlled down in the LA office
(I do everything I can to contain myself from showing the glee I have in anticipation of APL’s response)
APL: (rolling her eyes and bitingly muttering: that’s the moronic government for you)
CA: it’s like 20 degrees cooler down in LA, so they’re not going to change it there, it would be freezing in their offices
(Me smiling to myself… at that point i KNEW it was going to be a great day!)

-went to the library for lunch…read some books…researched and ordered some more books (which will be emailed to me when they’re ready for pick up), did some emails/texts … i HEART the local library!

-Leaving the library, I noticed someone who seemed really familiar.  Couldn’t place her…she was with 2 kids, who started looking familiar …. eventually it clicked.  She’s from church and she’s babysitting kids from my church, whose parents are my clients. THAT was a funny exchange too because child one was forlorn and crestfallen that the book he wanted was taken by another kid.  Shoulders dropped, head hug low, crocodile tears … it was awesome and sad and a reminder at just how impacting life’s disappointments can be for a young one.  I withheld the temptation to offer him a solution of ordering it through their on-line system and then giving them an email address where they can notify you that it’s in.  I figured it might be lost on the moment 🙂

-On my way back into the courthouse, a drink sounded good.  i stopped at the hot dog cart just outside the courthouse doors, manned by a married couple: he’s from Lebanon, she’s from NY.  They were HILARIOUS!  and I laughed and laughed and asked a zillion questions …they invited me to sit and have lunch with them (he told me that it was bad for my digestion to eat/drink at the same time and to stand whilst eating) … I felt like I was back in the middle east or NY … we talked about how they met 35 years ago, the fact that he’s been legally dead 13 times and the outer body experiences that went with a few of them (prompted by a comment I made about death is inevitable) . . . seriously, it made getting out of bed TOTALLY worth it.  I can’t wait to go back today!  I should bring them something.  But they are ABSOLUTELY in my cast!
And, sidenote: yesterday proved, AGAIN, that I’ve NEVER met a middleeasterner or a NYer who could not tell a GREAT story!  ALSO, the scene was reminiscent of something that anyone in my family would’ve done… I very much felt kindered to my sociable heritage.

OBSERVATIONS (in all seriousness)

-it’s an odd thing, this process…
-the accused sits there while we bare all, intended to determine if our life stories will affect a fair and impartial hearing of the evidence.
-it was weird that I know nothing of the accused and he (and 60+ other people) now know a lot about my value system, my opinions, my tendencies … it’s a bizarre peel back of yourself… in real life you let all that info gradually unfold and you get used to each other at each new phase.  Not in jury duty…we all have only loaded canon balls of info about each other…like the cliff notes of a book… it was actually convicting to wonder if short yes/no or one phrase answers about myself would testify to God’s work in me or if it would be a reflection of the world and its’ values.
-people’s stories/experiences/situations… just a reminder that you never know what people have been through/are going through …I was reminded that I need to continue cultivating automatic compassion for all people all the time, cuz you JUST NEVER KNOW.

-I always thought that people didn’t want to do jury duty and would therefore ‘say anything’ to get out of it.  HOWEVER, not the case.  There’s a bizarre peer pressure to be appear unaffected by any testimony/info … meaning it was almost as if all our personal experiences/values (what shapes you) is easily cast aside for the benefit of this accused.  To be honest with you, I didn’t believe most of the jurors answers.  I think most were caving to that weird peer pressure to not seem ‘politically incorrect’  ie. ‘accept everyone all the time no matter what.’  I find it hiiighly unlikely that if I was having dinner with any of them that they would’ve given the same answers.
So, we shall see what happens.

I WANT to be a juror but I did feel compelled to tell the truth (which risked being dismissed).
2 of the biggies for me:
1) I want to know if the accused is a US citizen because that WILL affect my perspective…that didn’t seem to go over too well with the judge
2) when asked if I would have any difficulty hearing expert scientific evidence, I had to just disclose that I don’t believe every ‘scientific’ evidence that I hear.  I got grilled on that one …..grilled right up until I had to actually give an example like creation/evolution …both being theories, however, in mainstream culture one presented as reliable fact, one presented as laughable fiction.  I wonder if it will come up today.  🙂

and the biggest one is in my head …do I really subscribe to ‘ innocent until proven guilty’?
I know that, as sinners, we’re ALL guilty.
I know the US law states the opposite starting point.
So, I had some theological gymnastics going on yesterday in my brain, in addition to the onslaught of procedure and questioning.

Off to Day 2!

STUFF 2/16/09

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a worthy update…and will continue to be a long time, as this won’t be worthy.  This is a shorty…

I can barely remember what my name is let alone remember what I’ve been up to the last few weeks, but I will give it a whirl.

-Have subbed high school and have had some GREAT class discussions ranging from Valentine’s plans to theistic evolution to predestination to world travel to robotic inventions to Octomom to politics… and I have those same students again this week!  🙂  I love them.
-Have learned more and more about technology as a result of real estate and cancer.   🙂  Who knew!
-Have been negotiating deals for clients and love the litigious state of California more than ever…who doesn’t LOVE tedious paperwork?
-Have been to more medical facilities than usual and hung out in oncology
-Have been duly noting the drying up of the ‘creative juices’ well when it comes to catchy titles for Jennene’s cancer blog posts
-Have been incredibly thankful for the body of Christ and the Worship team
-Have had lots more time with Jennene then maybe any other time in our almost 20year friendship!  Thanx, cancer.
-Went diving at Catalina this last weekend.  Loved that whilst standing on shore and putting on my wetsuit about to get into the ocean, I could look across the water at the snow capped San Gabriel mountains.  Come on!  California is awesome!
-Have been thankful for my roommates and LOVE the fact that there are foreign languages spoken in my home.  I love walking up the stairs and hearing Icelandic conversations wafting in the background!!!!
-Have gotten to meet for lunch/dinner with some people I’ve been meaning to for a while
-Attended the anual Arts in The One World conference at Cal-Arts in January.  Met cool people and learned/saw amazingly cool/heartbreaking things.
-Have had some great ‘catch up’ phone calls with old friends
-Have spent more money on my car (that whole ‘seat belt law’ thing)
-Have been really thankful for lots of things, in general
-Have consistently been 200+ posts behind on my googlereader
-Have learned 2 new songs for Worship team that I like.  Thanx, Chuck Hooten for one of them.
-Have seen a couple of movies (cancer down time and other).  Sidenote: I want a dad or a husband like the main character in TAKEN.  One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while!
-Have been pondering, again, my role in the abolition of human traffiking and how to show the gospel in rescue/justice
-Have been really really tired, but stoked about Heaven (capitalized.  it’s a proper noun).

Aaaand now I’d like to go to bed.
THAT’S how tired I am…it’s only 10:15pm and i want to go to bed already.


So, my friend Jeff sent me this link and I think it will be one that I check every so often.

A group of people decided that they would track the campaign claims of whoever was elected as President.

Well, now we have the elected President and they have the site up.
CLICK HERE to follow the claims over the next 4 years.

AND, before anyone rushes to vehement judgement,  it is a good opportunity for all of us to take a moment and notice what comes out of our mouths.  What if someone (in addition to God) was keeping track of everything you said or everything I said?


I really appreciate visual aides when trying to wrap my mind around massive concepts that involve numbers.

A church in Mississippi has created a visual aid to help people … one penny for every human life that’s been aborted since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 (which is approximately 50 million innocent children)…

Mississippi Memorial '50 Million Pennies'

Mississippi Memorial '50 Million Pennies'

50 million lives … gone.  And that does not include the living lives devastated and left behind after abortion.
And there are many more to come.

Now that Obama is president, I am willingly supportive of him as the man that God has ordained to be our president.
But, when I had a say,  here is why I did not vote for him.
I am confident that I will give an account as to how I used my freedoms in this life.
One freedom is my vote and I could not reconcile using that vote to further the power of someone who not only does not protect innocent human life (created by God and in His image), but one who is the most aggressive pro-abortion legislator that we’ve seen yet.
I’m sure Obama is a nice guy and I do look forward to living through his presidency (for historical reasons, more than policy).  But, respectfully said, when I sleep at night, I feel really good that I did not cast my vote for a man that will use his presidency to actively and purposefully increase the number of pennies that will go into that display in Mississippi.

God is merciful and forgiving.
We all have many sincere blind spots and issues to work on.  However, I hope that those of us who claim salvation in Christ are always seeking to find/correct our blindspots/issues/sins, according to God’s word and through the gracious leading of the Holy Spirit.  I hope that mainstream media and trend does not dictate ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ for us.  I hope that we can see through the smoke and mirrors and that God gives us wisdom and courage, beyond measure, to see and do what pleases Him…and Him only.

Proverbs 6: 16-22
There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.
My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
When you walk about, they will guide you;

Proverbs 24:10-12:
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

50 Million Pennies (2)

50 Million Pennies (2)


Apparently, per Larry Flint, the American people can live without cars during this economic slump, but not without sex.  Huh.  (and he became the authority on Americans physiological ‘needs’, when?)
I can’t make this stuff up, people.
It’s been a while since a headline earned the ‘Ridiculous Headline’ category.
Read it for yourself.
When i read the article, over 350 people had commented.