Thursday, February 28, 2008

Queen Stupid Is Crowned

Update: Just as predicted, Juror #921, Queen Stupid, decided to hold up deliberations this afternoon. The good news is that I wasn't the only one who recognized her stupidity (although by the end it was clear that it was not stupidity but rather mental incompetence). Eleven to one. Yep. Eleven very logical, very certain, very fair people. One squinty-eyed, squeaky voiced, dim-witted doof. And I know someone out there is thinking..... what if that was me holding the lone (right) opinion in the room? Trust me. Queen Stupid was no Juror #8 from 12 Angry Men. No philosophical voice of dissent. No profound insights or possibilities. Nope. No way. No how. Nope. But, I am happy to say, that at the end of the day, truth, reason, sanity, and justice prevailed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jury Duty

My jury duty summons arrived about a month ago. Because I'm a history teacher and because I love being entertained by stupidity, I am always excited by the possibility of serving as a juror. This is my 3rd time being called for duty. The first time, I participated too much (i.e. I answered too many questions voluntarily) and got axed. The second time, I had a different strategy--I played it cool, only answering questions directly asked of me by the attorney(s). I don't know if it was my strategy or something else but I was selected to be part of the jury for a criminal case. Woo Hoo!! And, it was a crazy ass trial ---revoked driver's license, outstanding warrants, baby mama drama, gun-toting, gun-shooting, police chase, car crash. Could it get any better? It did. The alleged perpetrator's defense rested solely a dude named "Boo." I'm not kidding. Boo. No real name, no real address, no real phone number, no real nothing. Just Boo. Boo. Well, I was taken to the edge of crazy myself before I was finally able to convince about 3 of the 12 jurors that Boo didn't exist. Can you believe? I couldn't until that day. So, the 3rd time, this time, that I was summoned I assumed that I wouldn't get picked due to my last jury service. But, I was. Criminal case again--armed robbery, stolen vehicle, resisting arrest-- but I can't say anything else because we haven't finished yet. What I can say though is we have at least one juror who's in the running to be crowned "Queen Stupid." Her response to 11, 12, & 13 yr olds having babies...."what's wrong with that?" ugh.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow is My Friend, But.........

I love a good ol' snow day off school as much as the next person but the snowy, icy conditions made me feel trapped in the house on Friday. Sure, I did some productive stuff--downloaded some new tunes, played Barbie tea party with the kid (2-games-in-1, my favorite kind!), read the news, watched some funny You Tube videos, ate some Ramen, painted & made art with the kid, took a nap, played Barbie tea party with the kid (again), read some magazines, (you get the idea). But, I wanted out! So, yesterday, I hit the ground runnin'--well, walking, often slowly, actually. After all, I'm no dynamo.

First, to the Humane Society for Grover's med's. Second, to the Goodwill to drop off several bags of stuff (I love giving away stuff for a good cause but I hate that I end up with so much crap to give. Note to self: Gotta curb that waste!). Third, to the Framery in Soulard to drop off some cool art that I bought on Etsy. Fourth, lunch at McGurk's.

Views from our usual booth--outside and in.
We had some family fun making snow art with found sticks on the way back to the car.

And, lastly, Bill and I went to Powell Symphony Hall to listen to some Wagner, Stravinsky, & Strauss.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eagle Watching

Winter is eagle watching season along the bluffs of the Mississippi River and Monday was a perfect day to go--cold and clear skies. First, we stopped by the Chain of Rocks Bridge along Riverview Drive but the parking lot was locked. So, we drove back about a mile south and parked at the Riverfront Park and walked to the boat slip. Immediately, we spotted two eagles. Very cool.

Next, we drove to the Melvin Price Lock and Dam #26 in Granite City, IL. The eagles are much harder to spot here--lots of visual distractions (museum, locks, gulls, pelicans, ducks, etc.)--but they can be seen. And, we did spot several eagles here as well. As an aside, the Melvin Price Locks are an interesting visit, especially if you're into environmental history or environmental studies. What the locks (i.e. The Corps) have done--regulating, controlling, dictating--to the natural flow and boundaries of the river and flood plan is amazing. That male dominated, imperialist attitude so typified by the Corps has completely changed our relationship to nature. It's really sad actually. But, that's really another post.

Next, we drove along the Great River Road to Grafton, IL for lunch at the Fin Inn - an aquarium restaurant. The food was not great nor was the atmosphere. If you're in the area, skip it. On the drive home, we saw more eagles than we could count. If for nothing else that a great scenic trip, I recommend that everyone take the drive along route 3 in IL north through Granite & Woodriver (not so scenic) into Alton, Elsah, Grafton, and as far north as you feel like going.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hola du Soulard!

Soulard is a historic neighborhood in St. Louis City known for it's French heritage and architecture. In fact, Soulard's Mardi Gras celebration is only second in size to that found in New Orleans. Even more, Soulard has based it's local, regional, and national reputation on it's French-ness. So, the fact that you cannot find French food in Soulard is a peculiarity. Irish, Italian, American, Pub, nouveau cuisine, etc--no problem. And, now, there's even Mexican--who knew? Not me. But who did were our friends from (of all places) New Orleans, Jen and Rob. We met them last night at Chava's. The atmosphere is SW/Mexican rustic. The food and drinks are deliciously Mexican. The photo is a little fuzzy but check out Faith's gang signs. Those dope signs are straight outta Nawr'lens!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Love the Turks

If you're ever in the mood for some super excellent Turkish/Mediterranean food, you gotta try Aya Sofia. Bill and I went tonight and I'd forgotten how great the food is.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snow Balls at the Maya Cafe

More snow time fun from last weekend's winter weather extravaganza. We met the Morton-Holden's at Black Cat Theatre in Maplewood for Piwacket's rendition of The Emperor's New Clothes. Funny stuff, especially if you're under four feet tall. After the play, we walked up the street and had lunch at the Maya Cafe. Good eats, good times.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Art Hill

When it does snow in the city, Art Hill in Forest Park is one of the best places to go sledding (if you can stand the crowd, the mayhem, the blood & broken bones, etc.). For those of you that actually know me, you know that this is the type of situation that I go to great lengths to avoid--the chaos upsets my chakra. However, for the betterment of the kid's mental and physical development, the Henske Three went to Art Hill for some sledding fun. Plus, as an incentive, I knew we could stop for eats and drinks at the Boathouse. Great burgers, great atmosphere, great views. Needless to say, I survived The Hill. And, I actually enjoyed myself. I'm turning into such a softy in my old age.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day, or More Reasons to Heart Missouri

We spent the day yesterday in school awaiting a winter storm which, we were assured by the weather people, was on its way. Usually, this means nothing to me. One, because weather prediction is not an exact science. And, two, because the majority of all snow predicted around here usually doesn't manifest. But,surprise, the snow did begin yesterday as predicted. I took a few photos from the car while driving home yesterday afternoon. Then, we went outside this morning to have a little fun.