The con: I ended up helping my 'mom' Mel. White at her table, made buttons for her to sell, did sketchbooks and generally had a fun time of it. We had so much fun together, in fact, that Mel. wants to repeat it next year -- Whee! I was just happy that I was: a) Healthy, b) Drawing, and c) Chatting with friends I rarely see outside a con. Some of my best work to date appeared in sketchbooks this con as I was feeling inspired and energetic.
Jury Duty: I got my notice to appear for jury duty on January 4th. Little did I know this was going to be a protracted affair, and after a second day sitting in the waiting area, I found out the case we would be dealing with was expected to last through March, and that as there were some hardware issues and legal issues to work out, we were excused for the day with a new date to return: Monday after the con. Again, I expected a day of waiting, but was surprised to find the remainder of my group called into the courtroom.
The jury had been chosen, but because of the length of the trial, alternates had to be chosen as well. Their method was slow -- they had a spinning basket with our numbers in it, pulled out one at a time to fill the 12 seats. I was seat 5. Seat 4 was intentionally empty as the person whose name was called wasn't there and the judge wanted to set up a bench warrant for them. Once the 12 seats were taken, we each had a printout questionnaire to look at, was handed a microphone, and answered each of the questions listed... these were the court's /voir dire/, not the lawyers... and the judge was being very methodical and asked for elaboration on any answer that didn't satisfy him as to the bias or unbiased opinions of the potential alt juror. If there was something the person said that would obviously cause a biased opinion, the lawyers would ask to come up to the bench, talk to the judge for 2-3 minutes, then the judge would excuse that person and another name would be picked from the basket. When he got to me, I explained my concern being on a jury because of my previous work at "Jury Behavior Research", but in the end the judge didn't think that would be a problem, so I stayed there. After seat 6 completed her interview, the session was ended for the next day... which rained heavily.
One of my asthma triggers is barometric pressure changes, so I was having a hard time trying not to cough and to keep breathing steadily. Seat 7 had an issue and was excused, the next person pointed out she had previously discussed her situation and was excused, another person was called up and passed the questioning... then the same problem happened for seat 8, with one after another people were being excused. By this time, we had a break, and I took the time to use my inhaler... but walking up stairs got me wheezing again as we filed back into the courtroom. As we sat down, the lawyers asked for a sidebar, and after a talk with the judge, he thanked me for my service and excused me. I got home and hit my other asthma meds and passed out. So much for jury duty.
I'm still trying to find a job, but may well have to do some retail work until such time as the market gets better, or I go back to school to get my Bachelors in Management. Alas, the Greystone campus is only offering the Associate's program at this time, so I would have to go back to Hyde Park to get my degree. I'm at least talking with admin at CIA to see what can be done for me.
Meanwhile, I've been doing workouts on my Wii Fit and it feels like it's helping a lot. Nothing too strenuous to set off my asthma, but enough that I'm sweating and sore by the end of a session.