Freedom From Jury Duty.... So Far
2020-06-21, 11:21 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
From today's filming of the first half of As You Like It:
* Shanna and I attempted to rehearse her part for about 15 minutes beforehand (her cat had another seizure in the middle of the night), but didn't get that far, oh well. She did a great job cold reading anyway.
From the chat:
From OLIVER/LE BEAU/ Stage Directions to Everyone: 12:31 PM
From Me to Everyone: 12:50 PM
From DUKE/ FREDERICK/Stage Directions to Everyone: 12:56 PM
From DUKE/ FREDERICK/Stage Directions to Everyone: 01:05 PM
Mom (and later, Roger) watched it today. I guess it was Mother's Day because a few other moms watched too.. Her text afterwards: "We enjoyed it very much. You are definitely more comfortable and more genuine. You are fun to watch!"
I heard back from Kelly, asking me to do a reading with some other actors she knows of the farting play. I read it and it's hysterical and I laughed the whole way through. SIGN ME UP PLEASE!
Shanna and I finished rehearsing the rest of the play a few hours later, and she started out by saying, "You are so special. I just want you to know that you're my favorite person."
*blushes* After so soon of an acquaintance, no less!
After that, I had no excuse but to go outside. It's nice weather outside by my standards. About the same as two weeks ago except I saw four people wearing masks, which is three more than the last few times. And just as many not wearing them, of course. I got gas for the first time since March 10 and went through the auto car wash. I checked my mail and I don't have to pay the PG&E, I got another card from Cameron (she doesn't like the hot, she smelled smoke before, and her play has been moved to next year). I put my letter to her--five pages over the last two weeks--in the mail, so in a few days she has something to read that should be pretty interesting.
And.... well. I haven't mentioned in this here because (a) I was having high levels of freakout and (b) I was debating whether or not to go with someone's suggestion of "pretend you didn't get it," but... thanks to the US mail preview thing I have in my email, I saw that I had gotten a federal jury duty notice last week.
I can't remember how many years it was ago, but I got called for this years ago. I'm not even sure if it's "federal" exactly, it's "Eastern District," whatever the fuck that is, but in addition to being called in your county, it turns out you can also be called for EXTRA JURY DUTY in Sacramento. At the time they said I had to call them once a week for a month--which turned out to be six weeks before they let me off--to see if I had to come in or not. This started in November and as it bled into December (WHICH IT SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE, but they kept telling me to call back for another two weeks) I remember being worried because I was going on vacation in December--I think it was Hawaii--and was afraid that this crap would prevent me from going.
Now normally I'm fine with jury duty (though I imagine my work would really not be happy about me being out for it now), but under these circumstances I was all, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!? Also, I thought jury duty was suspended! No, apparently it's opening up again, in person! Seriously, I would have figured they would have found some way to do it over Zoom before they'd open it up again. I couldn't find anything specifying what was going on with this level of jury duty, but I saw that my county at least is having Zoom juror selection, if apparently nothing else. And then I read that the Sacramento sheriff refuses to make anyone wear masks or enforce public health anything and people at the courthouse are coming down with it due to their exposures to prisoners...
So yeah, been operating under a special level of panic for the last week and a half that I didn't even mention because I was seriously considering just not going. It says "jail time or $1500" and if they gave me an option I'd pay the money! But, well...
Anyway, I opened the thing and this time, it was different. It was a questionnaire to figure out if you are eligible to be a juror. Specifically says in red that it is not a jury summons. Which, whew, and also, "huh, you asked? Last time you just declared me one." It said you had to go fill out the questionnaire on their website...which, ahem, isn't working, btw. Am I off the hook if I literally can't use the thing?
But also, according to their website, jury duty is still not happening until further notice. THANK GOD. Literally, thank you, God, on that one. I felt like...well, the world has decided to open up again even if that is going to get everybody killed, but at least I still didn't have to go out, and that jury notice (and finding out that most places did open up jury duty) made me feel like I was going to be forced out.
But I'm not.
Having a celebratory drink now.
I watched the Queen + Adam Lambert concert mix video, and then started watching "Small Island." It features a Jamaican girl named Hortense circa WWII or so. At the start of the play she's in a schoolhouse with a hurricane coming on and a crazy white lady who's all excited about her first hurricane and she's going to put on lipstick for that. Hortense is all, "I bet you're wondering why I'm in this schoolhouse with a crazy lady" and says that she could have gone home sensibly, but she's hoping that her love realizes he should come rescue her already! Anyway, we find out that Michael is her cousin/childhood sweetheart, recently returned from school, and ah...kinda full of himself and having some kinda flirty relationship with her boss, Mrs. Ryder. Who he came to rescue, and not her. Everyone finds out and Michael huffs off to leave the island.
Then we cut to a white lady (Queenie) who says that getting into a fight with her husband is the most interesting he's been since she met him. Oy! How did I end up here? She didn't want to be on a farm her entire life. Then her aunt offers to let her work in her shop. She meets her future husband, Bernard, who seems dull, but he's more into her than she is him. There is a very dramatic/funny scene of her aunt eating something, choking, and being lowered down into the stage. Then we skip to her marrying him. "I've rather made the assumption that we'll be sleeping in the same bed... I probably should have mentioned this before marriage, but I'd like to have children." Then he can't even kiss her. Queenie is very explicit as to his light-switch-in-the-dark, "a grunt" sexual technique. But I do feel sorry for him when he gets all scared during an air raid and actually says he loves her. Then her husband joins the military. Queenie has three pilots in to stay in her spare rooms, and then Michael and all of his hormones walk into the house.... You know where this is going.
Then we switch to a Jamaican guy (Glibert) saying that violence feels good as he gets into a fight with a military guy. On the one hand, he's going to pay for this, but "this the sweetest moment of the war so far." Especially when Gilbert gets the other guy's crotch. I love these narrating actors. Cut to Gilbert enlisting. Gilbert thinks all the ladies will want to lay him in that uniform. Gilbert gets promised "air gunner" or something prestigious but is assigned to be a driver when he doesn't know how to drive. Then Glibert has an awkward run-in with Queenie's mute father-in-law Arthur, who got lost and needs someone to return him home. 'It's not him, you daft beggar," Queenie says to the whole thing. Gilbert, like Michael, falls for Queenie at first sight. Queenie and Arthur have moved to her dad's farm to get him away from the bombs and Arthur has mistaken Gilbert for Michael. He comments that the baked good she gave him "was the first food he ate in England that did not look like it had been eaten before."
Queenie invites Gilbert to the movies when she and Arthur run into him, which turns into a full out brawl when they try to segregate Gilbert in the movies and he says there's no Jim Crow in the movies and everyone gets into a brawl...and then Arthur gets shot and died. So sad. Then later Gilbert runs into Hortense while in Kingston, who was also looking for Michael. The family got a telegram saying he's been missing since 1944. Who else is missing? Bernard, who disappeared circa 1946 after demobbing and Queenie has no idea where he is. We find out that Bernard did a little jail time in India.
Cut to Hortense's bestie Celia introducing her to her new boyfriend, Gilbert. Gilbert wants to go back to England where he might have more opportunities. Hortense does not like Gilbert's weaselly cousin Elwood putting the mack on her. Hortense, in a bad mood, mentions that Celia's mom is notoriously insane and Celia can't leave her behind. So much for friendship. That's a bad trait to be a mad secret blurter, Hortense.
The missing Michael returns to Queenie right before he moves to Canada.
Then out of nowhere ,we have Hortense proposing marriage to Gilbert (and offering to pay his way to England) because she wants to travel and can't do it while single. He's all, she doesn't even LIKE me! Both of them think Jamaica is pretty dead end, so....
Then we have Queenie explicitly narrating her sex life... "Mrs. Queenie Bligh plans out what's for dinner while having sex with her husband," so this girl is obviously having a very good time and can't be her, right?
In Act 2, Hortense has finally joined Gilbert and is unimpressed that he has the one room and that he didn't pick her up at the dock. Gilbert is renting from Queenie, so finally everyone meets. Hortense can't stand the place--there's not much kitchen, the bathroom is downstairs, and when he reveals the chamber pot...and spills it...she loses her mind. Gilbert points out that he was lucky to find Queenie again because most people won't rent to him. Then he's about to wash the chamberpot with the dishes.... "You will have to wash your plate, your vegetable, and your backside in this room too!" he loses it at her.
Meanwhile, some obnoxious neighbor lady comes over and bitches to Queenie about having black people in the neighborhood. Hortense walks in towards the end of it and Queenie is all, "fine, tell Hortense here your bullshit." Turns out Hortense is asking for separate basins for the non-urinary activities and Queenie is all "you just clean it!" Queenie hasn't gotten to talk to a proper woman and is desperate to. And ah...wearing a pretty baggy dress these days, so you figure it out.
Hortense and Gilbert aren't loving England, between the racism and the poverty. And then the lost Bernard shows up..... oh, and he turns out to be fucking racist and loses his mind when Gilbert introduces himself.
Hortense finds out she can't get a teaching job here, and then even worse, she tells Gilbert she accidentally walked into a cupboard instead of leaving out the door. He tries to make her feel better and asks what it was like in there. "It was a dirty cupboard!" He suggests she get a sewing job and asks if she can actually sew since she ah, can't really cook (I think she just doesn't know how English food is supposed to go?). Then they get home and find Bernard lurking in their room, bitching them out and telling them to leave and he wants to sell the house...and the ensuing fight is interrupted by the inevitable happening to Queenie and her giant dress. Hortense, alas, is wearing a white dress right now....oh no, sweetie, put that coat back on. Imagine Hortense's surprise when the baby is black....Welp, too late to hide that any longer.
When Bernard takes the baby out of Queenie's arms when she was asleep, I am all OMG HE'S GOING TO BREAK THE BABY'S NECK. He doesn't. He tells her about how he ended up in jail, had one friend, thought he had VD but it was malaria, didn't want to come home obviously insane like his dad did.... Bernard goes out and Gilbert and Hortense come by to say that they're moving out. Queenie introduces them to the baby and Hortense red flags when she hears the baby is named Michael.... and then Queenie asks them to adopt the baby. And suddenly Bernard is offering to raise the kid together and I am all WOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM ALLUVA SUDDEN?!?! Queenie points out that they'll get tons of shame for this and is Bernard going to be able to deal with it? If she puts him in an orphanage, he'll get shipped off to America and that's even worse.... And yet as Gilbert is trying to comfort her, Bernard yells at him to get his black hands off his wife. Gilbert tells him off and says they're the same, really, want the same things, went through similar shit. Bernard claims to not understand a single word Gilbert said. God, this fucking guy. Gilbert and Hortense leave, sans baby.
"This is not what I was expecting in England," Hortense says, and the audience laughs in irony. She points out that she was given away by her mother. She mentions Michael Roberts was her cousin. Gilbert can't allow the kid to grow up despised. Hortense said she was proud of how he spoke to Bernard....and she kisses him. WOW. Followed by her saying it's going to be cold this evening (Gilbert, not getting where this is going, points out that it's always cold). You want us to take the child, Gilbert? They do.
Then I watched "Mrs. Warren's Profession," since that one's public domain. One madam, her intellectual daughter who's been kept apart from her, and four skeevy dudes leching all over the mother, three of which who may or may not be the daughter's father, and the one young man in the bunch skeeves all over Mrs. Warren and brags that her daughter must have money. One old guy skeeves all over her even worse and then after she rejects him a bunch of times, blabs that her mom’s job is still going on and oh, she and the young guy are (probably) related. This doesn’t stop Mr. I’m So Broke from coming onto her anyway, including openly saying he’ll just hang around as a brother waiting for her to change her mind about marrying him. GOOD LORD, DUDE. By the end of the play, the daughter has sworn off her mother, love, men, sex, and holidays forever. Can’t say I blame her. What a bunch of creeps.