Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Doing My Civic Duty

I had jury duty this week. Here in California, they send you a summons to be on-call for a specific week. You then call in each night to see if they want you to come in the next day. If you make it through the whole week without being called in, you're good to go for at least a year. If you get called in, you drag your butt down to the court where you wait with a few hundred (at least in Los Angeles) other potential jurors to see if you will be called to sit on a jury. If, at the end of the day, you have not been put on a jury, you are free to go for another year, your civic duty done.

I was called in on Tuesday. Having been through this drill before, I knew my Tuesday might entail hours of sitting around with scores of strangers, so I headed to downtown Los Angeles armed with things to do. I took my trusty Alpha Smart and a book to read. And it was a good thing. Even with all the comings and goings, announcements and uncomfortable furniture, I managed to write a whole chapter of The Ghost of Granny Apples and read 60 pages in Boris Akunin's Sister Pelagia and the White Bull Dog.

I never got picked to be on a jury, I wasn't even close, but it was hardly a wasted day.

Last night I finished reading Queenpin by Megan Abbott. It was fabulous. Abbott and Christa Faust might make a noir fan out of me yet.


JeanC said...

Not fair, I never (almost never) get called for jury duty :( The only time I was I no longer lived in the state. My HUBBY who is still a Canadian citizen got a summons a few months back from our county. HE gets a summons, I don't. I guess it is becasue I WANT to serve on a jury.

BTW, the library just received Thugs & Kisses, but I have to wait for someone ahead of me on the waiting list to finish the book before I can get my hands on it.

Keith Raffel said...

Jean C, Why not just buy Thugs and Kisses for yourself? You'll get it sooner, be able to see its funny cover staring at you from a shelf, and have the quiet satisfaction that you have helped support future books from the wonderful author. If only libraries bought books, there would be very few mysteries and none in the Odelia Grey series!

Aimless Writer said...

Last time I did jury duty I sat in the room with 100 others doing nothing. I brought my laptop and wrote. Actually got alot done. :)

Aimless Writer said...

JeanC. Are you registered to vote? Some states take their jury pool from voter's registration or those with driver's licenses.

JeanC said...

Keith, I would love to buy the book, but thanks to the university's new health plan and the state not wanting to give us poor employees raises, my paycheck went backwards this year :( So no luxuries like news books for quite a while and I haven't seen any of the Odelia Grays hitting the used book stores, people don't seem to give them up. Some day we'll be ahead enough to buy new (knock on wood) and I will be getting the whole series.

aimless writer, yup, registered to vote, been since I was 18 (some many long years ago LOL). I think our county takes the pool from driver's licenses, since hubby isn't registered. Just miffed EVERYONE around me gets called and I don't :(