Checking In

February 17, 2006

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Another day put to rest, a 12 hour shift goes by in the blink of an eye. I am sometimes floored by the velocity of time.

Work is going good. It’s such a relief to have money again, to buy my own toothpaste when I need it. Although I’m itching to get my own place again, I’m still waiting on my best friend/roommate to figure out where she’s going. Her options are to stay in school and get a master’s or walk away with a BA for the moment and go to work full-time. I opted for the latter of the two, and the thought of going back and getting my master’s is the farthest thing from my mind. I’m ready to get all of my stuff out of storage and redecorate my life with yet another new start.

I’m still amazed at the amount of Louisiana license plates I see on Houston’s streets. The Katrina disaster is no longer in the news and CNN has moved on, but here in the south we’re still recovering from a record breaking hurricane season and already dreading the next.

I served for the first time on jury duty a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been called about 3 or 4 times, but I was always able to use school as an excuse not to go. I arrived 20 minutes late at the jury selection building in downtown Houston’s historic district – it was the same day that jurors would be selected for the Enron trial, suffice to say, I was a tad bit nervous. Missing about 6 months of work could create a problem, especially when it’s a new job. The first thing the announcer told the hundreds of prospective jurors waiting to be herded to various rooms and buildings was that none of us would be selected for the Enron trial. Everyone clapped and signed a breath of relief. I did, however, get picked for a criminal trial. It was an aggravated robbery case, and although nobody was killed, the 3 or 4 robbers involved (the number was never confirmed) were packed with one revolver, one double barrel shotgun, and one huge freaking knife, and they literally scared the piss out of a couple of teenagers slinging burgers at a local fast food joint. One of the guys involved was already found guilty for the crime and still sitting in jail awaiting his sentence. He testified against his partner in crime, and we the jury had the burden of questioning whether this guy was telling the truth or not. In the end, we decided that there was just not enough evidence to convict the defendant, even though we all believed he was really guilty. Is it better to lock up an innocent man, or let a guilty man go free? I made my choice, and I hope to never carry that burden again.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist