Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

Doing My Duty.. Sort of

Posted by evankessler on January 20, 2006

Every once in awhile the men and women of this country receive a letter in the mail alerting them that their country needs them to fulfill their patriotic duty as citizens of this great nation of ours. I received this envelope several months ago, but was originally unable to provide my patriotic services due to my participation in “VH1’s R. Kelly Trapped in The Closet Chapters 6-8 Special.” My country still needed me. However, they’d just have to wait until the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. My country patiently waited and when the time came I arrived at the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals (at least I think that’s what court it was, maybe it was just the district court) for Federal Jury duty at 8:30am on Tuesday January 17, 2006. I was initially nervous but somewhat anxious to take part in the judicial processes of United States in America. I might be personally responsible for the condemning and incarceration of a fellow American. My excitement soon gave way to boredom. After handing in my juror information sheet, I sat down on the aisle of the Constance Baker Motley Room at the courthouse waiting for my name to be called so I could be chosen to serve on a jury. I looked around the room thinking maybe I’ll be put on a jury with a cute girl. That might be worth the time served. There was nary a cute girl in sight. I think all cute girls have ways of avoiding the majority of societies pitfalls such as unemployment, jury duty, and maybe even death altogether. The minutes of sitting turned into hours as I delved further into reading the The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Three lists of 40 or so people were read off. None of these lists contained my name, but the people whose names were called out were jettisoned to courtrooms to be chosen to the fantasy world only read about in John Grisham novels, and I suppose other authors who write courtroom stories.

Soon it was noontime and an announcement was made that the court was breaking for lunch. This was not a normal lunch “hour” as we were given until 1:45pm to return to the courthouse. I wandered around looking for food and after about 20 minutes of trying to figure out where I should eat I settled on a pizza place near the courthouse. I sat and read some of the New York Post whilst eating my slice of Sicilian. I had way too much time to kill. After eating, I moseyed over to my brother’s apartment to water his plants and relieve myself in a clean environment. I still had 45 minutes so I took a long route back to the Courthouse. I still got back early which wasn’t so bad because I was just going to read when I got back anyway and that’s not the worst way to spend your day. Granted, there are plenty of things I would have rather done to pass an entire day. Anyway, so I did some more reading and when I got bored of that I moved onto crossword puzzles from AmNewYork and the New York Post. Just as I was about to go back to reading around 3:15 an announcement was made and a list of names was read off. Again my name was not on the list. Everyone on that list was told to leave for the day and come back tomorrow morning. Five minutes later another list of names was read aloud and quite expectedly my name was not announced. I began to wonder if they had lost my sheet and I was pointlessly occupying this room. Finally, at around 3:30pm another list was read and much to my surprise I heard my name. The instructions following the announcement of this list were to call a certain number the following day after 5pm to get further jury duty instructions and with that I was dismissed for Tuesday after nearly 7 hours in the same room. I walked back towards the subway and came across the bar, The Patriot, and for a moment pondered tying one on and by that I mean drinking a mid afternoon PBR. I decided against it as I may have felt pathetic midway through and also because there were some douchebag looking dudes outside.

When I arrived home there was a text message from Kristin E inviting me to join her and her roommate Jill at the People’s Improv Theatre for their friend Justin’s sketch comedy show. Seeing as I had no other plans I decided to join them. The show was at 9:30pm and I honestly don’t have that much to say about it. It was okay. I did not laugh that much, though I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t really in love with it either. The stuff that was stupid just seemed really stupid and the stuff that worked did not overwhelm me with laughter. I’m not an expert on comedy but I think I like seeing improv more than sketch comedy. It seems a lot more rewarding because no one, not even necessarily the performers know what is going to happen. After the show, Jill, Kristin, and I grabbed a drink at Molly Wee’s though Kristin’s drink was strictly non-alcoholic, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Wednesday was a day of activity as I headed out to Queens to Anna M’s apartment for the 2nd Unemployment Brunch in about 2 and a-half months. I arrived at around 1:15 and was the first to arrive. Apparently, I am always first to every friendly gathering I am invited to. I am way too punctual for my own good. Must…stop…being…so…predictable.

An hour later, Anna and I were joined by Maureen H, then Deb M, and finally by Adam Starling. Most of the talk was of a depressing nature how none of us could get jobs but alcohol, cinnamon rolls, and crumb cake lightened the mood as we all got a boost from the sugar we were ingesting. I was just about ready to crash when I left at around 5:45. I was pleasantly buzzed after many a glass of champagne. I went from Queens back to Manhattan to meet my roommate Ellen for her friend Cat’s short film showing at Anthology Film Archives. First I stopped at my apartment which surprisingly only took about 25 minutes to get back to from Queens. It was quite the shock. When I arrived home I called the number I was given to check my jury duty status. After a long unnecessary soliloquy the voice told me I was done with my jury duty. Half of me was excited, and the other half was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the judicial branch in action. Maybe next time. Fresh off of my stunning revelation, I high tailed it to 2nd and 2nd and met Ellen, who was with Michael, the guy she is seeing. I don’t like to give people titles when I’m not sure if they’re sure they’re ready for titles. Cat’s film was the first thing we saw and at first I just thought we were watching the opening credits for another short film and then realized she had made an 5 minute abstract short. I kept waiting for the actors to come on. That being said, it was a good little film. Afterwards, we sat through 2 documentaries, the first on a woman and her dog that she had a scary relationship with. I think it was acquired by HBO so maybe you’ll be able to see it on demand soon. The “dogamentary” was followed by a documentary on the Black Sabbath cover band Sabbra Cadabbra, which I kind of enjoyed. I never really understood the idea of wanting to be in a cover band and even though I still don’t really get it, I guess I get it a little more.

When the screenings ended, Ellen, Michael, and I went to Sweet & Vicious on Spring to meet up with and get a drink with Cat. We hung out for what seemed like a half hour or so and then went our separate ways. I called it a night at that point and went home to watch TV. It’s not like it was so early, it was 11 something when I got home and finally had some dinner after a day of eating only sugar.

I don’t have any stories about today, it was mostly disappointing job hunt stuff and a trip to the gym. Now I’m ready for the weekend. Anybody have something fun for me to do?


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