This was an eventful week! I had jury duty for the first time in my life, and finally got to visit mom again. I started playing a new video game with our partner, a new doll and book came in, got to have lunch with my old boss, finished a few more commissions, and was finally able to play LEGO for date night again. Let’s get to it!
🌈 Monday 🌈
On Monday I was up by 6:00am, because we had to leave by 7:00am so I could be at the courthouse on time for my first jury duty ever. Normally, I would be super excited. As a still kinda fresh citizen (just two years) I’ve long wanted to be called. But now that I have a new job, it really complicated everything.
For this week, I had to call out on Monday to be there, and even though I got enough days off to see my mom without even asking for them, if I was selected for a trial all that might not happen. Plus, if I couldn’t get rides for every day, Uber would add up a lot. So I was concerned.
Anyway, that didn’t completely remove my excitement. The waiting room was very large and comfortable, plus, there was a lounge for jurors. We were shown a video first explaining the process.
It was a “hurry up and wait” situation until you got called for a jury pool. Sometimes you also had to fill out a questionnaire if the judge requested it. I waited a couple of hours before I was called, and in the meantime had cookies, coffee and read a little more.
I was finally called, filled out a questionnaire, waited a little longer, and then we all walked a whoooole lot, took an elevator to the 16th floor, and lined up to wait outside of the courtroom.
I should mention that the building was huge and beautiful. The view from up there was honestly amazing.
It was a civil case, not a criminal case —a lawsuit between a couple of homeowners and Citizens Insurance. As soon as that name was said I knew I would be excused. We are insured by (and feel great antipathy towards) Citizens. So I definitely have heavy bias. It was a good thing too because the trial would have lasted until Thursday.
Everyone had to talk to the judge, and we passed a microphone down the line. That was a little nerve wracking; my heart was pounding out of my chest by the time it was my turn. But the judge was really nice and kept cracking jokes with everyone.
I told him how I’d been excited to be called. He pointed to the door and said there was mental health counseling available if I needed it, which made everyone laugh (people aren’t usually excited to be jurors). But later, privately, he thanked me for my enthusiasm.
Once I began to explain my feelings toward Citizens he had me stop because it would taint the rest of the jury pool. So when everyone went to lunch, the judge had a few people stay behind and called them one by one to the bench, where the lawyers also were.
A few people were excused due to biases; one woman due to poor English language skills. When I explained my own bias, the judge asked me if I would ignore the law because of my bias if it was clear that Citizens wasn’t in the wrong. I said that I wouldn’t, but that I couldn’t say the same if it came down to a grey area, which is very true. That was enough for him and both sets of lawyers and I was excused for that trial.
I thought I might get picked for another pool, but when I got back to the selection room, they sent me home. So now I am done for at least a year. Even though I wasn’t selected it was still an interesting experience.
After that I went for a walk. Christopher let me have some spending money so I went to Dollar Tree and had lunch at Panera. I saw this cool theater on the way:
Here’s another nice photo I took during the walk:
I got quite the haul at Dollar Tree: a Bluey sandwich box, a Grogu cup, a Crayola coloring page and stickers, a few packs of cards for scrapbooking, dinosaur stickers, a tiny parasaurolophus friend, and a blind bag toy. Oh, and a snail greeting card.
The blind bag has this wee white tiger cub:
After I got home and took a shower I played more Diablo II with our partner. I had a drink and some chips and brought Churrasco downstairs because his “gotcha” day would be Tuesday (2021) and I felt like he needed some attention.
For dinner, we had fajitas. I don’t normally like them because of the onions, but Christopher took them all out so it was pretty good.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
Tuesday was a pretty good day, even though I began to get my monthly irritables (PMS) and felt quite irate at times for literally no reason. One good feeling I had throughout the day though, is excitement to go back to work on Friday. Maybe I do like the job after all.
Anyhow, Tuesday was a day of chores and of working on art, but I still made time to play Diablo II with our partner. Playing this together is our little “thing” and I really do enjoy it a lot. My character is called Squirrelman. I wanted to play a Druid and it’s been pretty fun having ravens and a wolf and this vine thing with us. And some sort of spirit.
Our partner plays a necromancer so we have a bunch of little skeleton men follow us, plus two hired hands. We’ve got quite the band.
It reminds me of similarly setting an hour aside to play visual novels with Christopher, something I miss very much. I’ll have to see if I can convince him to do that with me again.
I’ve been catastrophically failing at not buying any toys or books this year. Honestly, I’m not exactly upset about it. It’s still helped: I’ve skipped out on a lot of video games and scrapbooking supplies. But I do not regret any toys I’ve gotten this year at all.
I think I may adjust my goal for the year, and, when it comes to toys and books, setting up a rule of getting rid of something before I get something new. That may be more manageable, because honestly I love new toys far too much.
After our partner ordered the little alien doll for me, I began to look at baby dolls, something I’ve never really been into. Babies are just not really my thing, not even as dolls. But I did see two that I liked a LOT, enough to add them to my wishlist and perhaps get one next month. One is another little alien, but two are more conventional babies.
I really like Crabby Cakes and her pouty expression. It’s very funny and unique. She’s more of a toddler doll. The other one is Honey Bunny and more of a simple, sweet baby boy doll. Both look very huggable with their soft bodies. I’d like to get them this year, but I definitely need to make some room first. If I can decide on something to donate/sell, I’ll probably get Crabby Cakes in May.
I should mention that not a single penny of my new job earnings are going towards toys. Instead, I reserve my modest Patreon earnings for my frivolous spending, which otherwise would be zero. Thanks to Patreon I’ve been able to get things like an ice-cream at work, lunch when I went to jury duty, the dinosaur book I saw at Barnes & Noble, some canned coffee and snacks for the month, etc. It makes me really happy to know that the art I still draw is for stuff like this. So, I am really grateful to everyone who is supporting me there.
In the evening my guys took me to my mom’s. I brought her birthday presents with me:
As soon as I got to my mom’s I saw a big slug. I was immediately excited of course. It was a big little guy and rather speedy for a slug.
Here’s some video:
I brought this little carnotaurus friend on this visit. He doesn’t have a name yet.
We were set to play Jumanji this evening but in the end we had too much to catch up on.
My mom always has a lovely snack spread set out, usually by the time I get there, and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most when I visit her.
This time she also surprised me with empanadas!
Here’s a pic of grumpy old Sweeney:
I continued to read Raptor Red in bed. I had my little trike with me, he doesn’t have a name yet either. I really have to fix that.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
I was up by 7:30am, working on art after my coffee. I took a shower and worked on the blog while waiting for my mom to wake up. It was a pleasant and quiet start to the morning.
Oh yeah, I was looking through the Ring camera on this morning and saw this funny black cat who was a bit suspicious of one of my decorations:
After my mom got up, we had mate and cheese bread!
While my mom did some housework, I had lunch (she had a big breakfast). I had a ham and cheese empanada and read Raptor Red some more.
Then I worked on art some more. I worked on a commission for Nero, on a YCH, and on a badge for Willy Joe.
We went to walk around Target and PetSmart and we had a little snack at Starbucks. On the way there, I saw this weird clock on a building:
Target had this super cool Super Mario basket!! 🍄🌈
At Starbucks I had a pink drink and a banana walnut loaf:
There was a super cute little gremlin of a dog at the Starbucks line:
During the car ride home, I found a ladybug on my clothes! It started flying around, so I caught it and held a finger out of the window until it flew away.
I came home with a nice haul. First, I got these super cute decorations for the snail tank:
Then I got these outfits, the two small ones are for my little alien doll, the snail one doesn’t have a designated stuffie or doll yet, but it was on sale AND it had snails! I was not going to pass it up.
Finally, I got a little Aggretsuko blind box because it came with a dangler and I wanted a new one for my work lanyard but… it is a little wonky, especially for the price…
We had pizza for dinner and watched YouTube, and I cuddled Sweeney, but he wasn’t very thrilled about it… 😅
With PMS and all I was extraordinarily irritable in the evening, but was able to get some chores done and ready for the next day.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
It’s date night again! It was also Rudyard’s birthday. Not his “gotcha” day, but the day he was made at the factory, back in 2020. So Rudy is now three years old. His “gotcha” day, when I first got to hold him, was September 27th of the same year.
Also, I got to have lunch with my old boss, Al, today. We had SO much to catch up on! We went to Cracker Barrel. I tend to only eat there with him, so it had been a very long time since I last was there.
In the afternoon I cleaned the snail tank and put in some new decorations…
Later I accompanied our partner on some errands and then we went shopping for groceries for dinner. At the supermarket he bought me my favorite flowers again –these are the biggest sunflowers I’ve ever had!
I still haven’t named my new little dino gang, but here is my stegosaurus with one of the flowers:
We played LEGO for the first time in many weeks. I finally started working on Emma’s Art School:
Dinner was incredible! Our partner made quesadillas. He put so much effort in them, no shortcuts taken.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Friday was a busy day. It went by quickly. Chores all morning, some commission work too, but I did set some time aside to check out my new dinosaur book:
I do not normally record video of books, but I did in this case because I wanted you guys to see just how beautiful it is. I’ve amassed a respectable collection of paleontology, natural history and dinosauria related books now, but this one blows them ALL out of the water. I got the book on sale, but had it been twice the price, I would have still felt it was a bargain for what you get:
Then I was driven to work, and worked until 8:00pm. Work was very busy and enjoyable. I found out that I and a few other workers have only one day next week due to budget cuts from above, but hopefully the week after that will be better for everyone. I intend to use the time well, and work on commissions all week long.
(On that note, you’ve probably noticed that ever since I got the job, a lot if not all of my goals have been temporarily paused. I decided that this was a better course of action than trying to juggle a million things at once. I need to, above all, to finish the final commissions. Once they are done, using my free time from work to work on hobbies and personal art won’t be stressful.)
Anyway, I got picked up around 8:00pm by our partner and got home to Christopher serving a wonderful meal.
We relaxed together for a while after dinner and then they went for a walk while I got ready for bed.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Friday I only worked four hours in the morning and early afternoon. But, I got up at 6:30am and, after a shower, finished these three commissions!
Then I went to work. It was only four hours, but being a Saturday, it was quite busy! As always I was a little early, so I doodled a snail for one of my coworkers, who did most of my training. I left it on a post-it note on her mouse. When I went back upstairs to clock out, I noticed that she had stuck it in the place where she keeps all her post-its, haha.
The guys picked me up at two, and we had Mod Pizza for lunch!
When we got home, my new little alien was waiting for me at the door. I opened her right away. She turned out to be even more wonderful than I was expecting! I’ve named her Tritium:
Even though I bought a couple of outfits for her in newborn size, they are still too baggy… I’ll have to figure out something else.
After a shower, our partner and I played Diablo II some more while Christopher napped.
For dinner, I had a potato and a rice cracker with cream cheese:
In the evening we went for a walk together. I took my little triceratops just in case I got a good idea for a picture somewhere. Eventually I did take a photo of it with a baby mango.
Our partner convinced me to go out for the evening which I did though I had a lot of housework to do. Gotta live a little. We went to Salt and Straw in Coconut Grove and I had a black olive and goat cheese waffle cone (as in, ice cream) and even though it tasted just like it sounds, it was truly delicious.
Then we stopped by a little cafe/restaurant and had some drinks and fries before heading home.
We got home very late, around 12:30am. Still, I did as many chores as I could. I was in bed by 2:00am.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Sunday I worked a little on commissions in the morning and then went out for a stroll. I needed someplace to go to encourage me to walk, because I’ve been feeling very unmotivated and tired. So I decided to see if I could find a better outfit for Tritium, but being Easter, everywhere was closed.
I walked into buybuy BABY, a place I never go into. A store full of baby stuff felt kind of bizarre to walk through. I saw some very cute toys, including this floppy puppy, and I finally ran into a Benny Phant in the wild! I came so close to caving and getting one!
Some cute dinosaur puzzle toys…
I liked these bandana bibs for my stuffed animals, but not at that price!
I came home with what I really wanted, which was a better outfit for Tritium. I’ll make her a bandana myself.
Once back home, it was time for lunch and more Diablo II with our partner. We had açaí bowls!
Diablo II has some effed up imagery… 😳 That aside, Squirrelman has acquired a crowd of critters. He now has five wolves, five ravens, a spirit, and one of those thorny plant viney things.
Have an Eastery picture since it’s Easter:
In the evening we ordered Chinese food and watched Legend!
I’d always wanted to watch this movie. Plot-wise, it is as flat as a board and incredibly dull. The acting is overly theatrical, but that aspect has some charm. What really sells this movie is its unbelievably detailed sets, costuming, and makeup. It was wonderfully trippy, and had I watched it as a child, I’m sure that it would have had a tremendous effect in my young psyche.
Anyway… that’s all I’ve got to share for this week. It was long, busy, eventful, for sure! I wonder what next week will bring…