Archive for January, 2013

Police Friendships

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Adam and I got pulled over by a cop last night. Well, not really. But we were walking home from a bar and walking is very slow but we only had one bike, Big Red, so I sat on the back seat while Adam stood up and pedaled and for three blocks it was very exciting until it was more tiring than exciting and we stopped and I jumped off the bike and trotted alongside in the bike lane while Adam continued to ride it in slow circles while we made our way down the deserted street back to our apartment. And that’s when the UCSF police pulled up, and took one look at Adam circling on Big Red and me trotting down the street with a bike helmet and flashing light on my head and he said, Everything ok here folks? Because he probably thought we were drunk or in a domestic altercation and I said Oh yes, Officer! I We’re going home but we only have one bike! Which explains everything. And then I saw him staring at my helmet and I said, Safety first! He smiled and drove away and then two blocks later circled back and I waved and he waved and now we are friends.

The Fine Print

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Did you hear the San Francisco sports team is going to the big bowl event? It is very exciting for people here. I was going to watch the game yesterday but then I got a text from Lydia asking if I wanted to go to the Fine Print Fair instead which is the obvious choice. I imagined it would be a warehouse of screen printed t-shirts and pillows and tea towels, but when we showed up it was not in a warehouse but in a small room and everyone in the small room was over 60 and wearing ties, which is not a bad thing, except that it suggested we were in the wrong financial bracket. This was confirmed when the first print we saw was listed for $57,000. omg. We are in the wrong place. Maybe they have a discount bin? Turns out they did, but everything in the discount bin pile was $375. I was scared someone would ask us questions and then they would know that we did not have $57k to spend on prints because Lydia just bought a new dining room table and I bought a website. So instead, Lydia and I picked out our favorites and decided we would buy them when we were also riche and over 60.  Then we ate ham and cheese sandwiches. This would have been a perfect place to bring the FreetZ because she knows all about art and prints and shmoozing with 60 yr old print buyers. Next time.

On Saturday, Dr. Adam and I hiked up to the top of Mt Tam which is a mountain. I took a photo with my internet phone and then I put it on the internet to show everyone that I am sporty. Here it is:

View from the Top of Mt Tam. It's like being in an airplane except without the flying/anxiety attacks.

Doesn’t it look like a Bob Ross painting? Thank you.

Jury Duty if my favorite duty

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Jury Duty is over. It ended on Wednesday. The attorneys gave their closing arguments on Monday morning and then the judge turned to the jury and told us the next step would be the deliberations. I have been waiting for deliberations since Day 1. Think about it. You sit in a courtroom for a week and hear all these alarming facts and stories and all you want to do is gossip with someone. But I was very good and I never talked to anyone on the jury, not even to say hi, which might have been rude but I am a strict rule follower in the courthouse. So you can imagine my disbelief when the judge turned to me and said, And you, Alternate Juror #2, are dismissed. We’ll call you if we need you. What! I don’t get to deliberate? No, the clerk said, only if one of the jurors is excused. In the meantime, please spend tomorrow within 20 minutes of the courthouse in case we call you in.

So I sat at home on Tuesday next to my phone waiting for them to call me. I at least wanted some kind of trial wrap party with the jurors so we could finally introduce ourselves and mingle and drink wine out of solo cups and celebrate our civic duty achievement. Instead, the clerk called me at 4:30pm and said, The trial is over. The defendant was found guilty. And that was it.

I feel like I got kicked out of a movie before it ended and someone at the concession stand calls me over and says: It was the sled.

Still, jury duty was the best thing to happen to me.  Here are my top three reasons why I love jury duty:

  • Number 1. Court was in session everyday from 9:30am-4:30pm with a morning recess, a 90 minute lunch break, and an afternoon recess.  I would go home for lunch and Adam and I would eat tuna fish sandwiches. I felt like I was in kindergarten.
  • Number 2. My commute was 15 minutes long, which means I could get home in time to go to the early session BodyCombat! gym class.
  • Number 3. I got to sit and watch people argue and talk about interesting topics and then I was told to judge them.

Can I be a full-time juror? I think jurors only get paid like $17/day which would be tough in San Francisco, so maybe I’ll just try to make it an annual part-time gig.

Here is a photo I found on the internet that really sums up my experience:

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Do you want to know the bad news of the day decade? I lost  I know. Gone. I thought I had renewed the domain name last year but when I went to check recently it said it was available for sale by for a cool $495.99.


This happened on a Friday night on my train ride home when I was already a beer and a half deep into my commute and surfing the internet and which is around the time I start to look at pictures of funny cats on the internet. $495.99?! I called my domain host in a panic and was confused when the customer service agent was not also in a panic and instead sounded annoyed that I was calling drunk next to a train horn on a Friday night. I imagined him in a basement surrounded by internet cables counting hundred dollar bills next to an envelope with a return address from He said, You failed to renew the domain, ma’am and now there is nothing you can do except buy it back. I let out a half gasp/half cry and got off the phone and emailed customer service instead in hopes the customer service email team would have more sympathy for this tragedy, but instead I got an immediate response back that said simply, It’s still me, ma’am. I already told you there’s nothing I can do.

I spent the next two weeks flipping between grief and panic. What if another alexsweet bought And then it would be gone forever? Also, is it morally wrong slash financially irresponsible to spend $495.99 on invisible real estate that does nothing except sit there waiting for the day HoBaB hits the big time and goes public? But what if I become famous? What if I don’t become famous but just want to put my feelings on the internet under my real name? Should I abandon and just buy Then in December for the Challahdaze, Pa Sweet sent me a little Christmas gift pocket change that made just a little bit closer to reality. And just think! If I saved enough over the next month I could buy it back and my anxious nights and nightly cries would finally come to an end. could be mine, again, to hold quietly and softly to myself.

It was around this time that I asked SarahSweeter to visit me in San Francisco to rub my back and cook me delicious meals and make me feel better. She said she’d love to but as a grad student couldn’t swing it. I tried searching for cheap flights that fit her budget, like a Tuesday mid-day flight to a Thursday morning flight. But there was nothing. And so it was then, after a glass of wine and with Christmas gift pocket change deposited, that I went on the internet, took a deep, drunk breath, and used my new dollars to buy SarahSweeter an airplane ticket to San Francisco. Right? Because having SarahSweeter visit is more important than invisible real estate. And family is what is most important. Dr. Adam was proud of me and said I did the right thing and I smiled with tears in my eyes mostly because being selfless is hard. Then, he went out with his friends to a party and I sat at home and three glasses of wine later I transferred $495.99 dollars from my savings to my checking and bought and I didn’t tell anybody until just now.*

The end.

*Except for /jec. I told him on Sunday.


Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I have two new years resolutions do you want to know what they are?

  1. Bring HoBaB back into your my life in a big way
  2. Brush my hair every night before I go to bed
The first one is easy because I blog in my head everyday but don’t put it on the internet, which is a step I think I can easily achieve (as evidenced by this post).  The second one will be harder and I think I’ll need to set an alarm. Or maybe put a brush on my pillow or hanging from my door frame or tape this photo to my bathroom mirror. I don’t know. These are just some strategies to tackle this new challenge in my life.
What are your new years resolutions? I think Dr. Adam has something like:
  1. Call parents more often
  2. Patent new invention as lead author
We all have different goals. I think this is going to be the year.

Alternate #2

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I got picked for jury duty. I know. What are the odds? Slim. But not so slim after 90% of the people find a way to be excused and then the Clerk reads off 24 names randomly picked from the remaining pool and number 21 is Alice Wheat.

All the jurors sat up in the jury gallery and the rest of the seats in the court room were filled with the remaining civilians who sat like a bored and restless audience for the remainder of the day as reserves in case one of us was dismissed. Then the lady judge asked each juror to recite the following information: your name, neighborhood, martial status, occupation, age and occupation of children, number of other adults in household and their occupation, and any previous jury experience. This was my favorite part because if you took 24 random resident from the City of San Francisco and and sat them in rows and made them recite their basic facts, this was it! I DREAM about doing this on Caltrain. I want everone in my Caltrain car to stand up and say their name, age, occupation, and whether they own or rent because I think it’s interesting and also I’m nosy and want to know where I fall in the Caltrain gene pool.

“My name is Alexandra Sweet and I live in Mission Bay and I am a Transportation Planner and I am single but great news there is another adult in my household and the adult is a man and he is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Biophysics (wink) and I have no previous jury experience!”

There were professors and lawyers and Bloomberg journalists and an author who writes murder-mystery novels and also people who are unemployed. I decided who my favorite people were and hoped that we would all be picked to be on the jury and that we could then be best friends. Especially the two women sitting to my left, a lady in “finance”  who had a swanky purse and the Bloomberg journalist who had great hair.

I can’t talk about the case because it’s against the law but I can say that it includes an upsetting episode. And the judge asked if anyone had a relative or close friend who had experienced a similar type of upsetting epsiode. And just like that each juror recited, rather bluntly, their experience. It was sad and it was terrible and I was in the front row and stared straight ahead while the jurors behind me recounted these terrible experiences and the audience of reserved jury citizens watched on in silence. What I really wanted to do was turn around and jump over the seats and give the jurors a hug but this is not allowed I think. The mood was somber and by the end it was clear that some jurors would be dismissed.

Then the two attorneys stood up and asked us to recite our favorite TV show and hobbies which was an odd turn in the atmosphere, but they said it would help them to get to know us better. I panicked because Dr. Adam and I just got a TV two months ago and we only have 5 and a half channels and one of them is KPop which is non-stop Korean pop music videos.  I considered copying someone’s else’s answer but I had taken an oath and the jewish guilty weighed heavy on TV-less heart. Come to think of it right now if asked again I would say with full pride that my favorite television show is House Hunters or House Hunters International which I try to watch at the gym every time I go. But instead I said this:

“Well I just got a TV so I haven’t had time to pick a favorite TV show but mostly I just watch what’s on PBS and most recently it was a documentary about the Hoover Dam so that was good. Also I like to bike, play the piano, and put my feelings on the internet I am also on a championship soccer team in a co-ed league and our name is The Frogs.”

Strange enough, this was  similar to my profile on OKCrouton OKCupid where I was trying to woo other off-the-grid athletic NPR snobs. (PS it worked)  This also apparently worked on the attorneys because 2 hours later, 8 jurors were dismissed, 12 were chosen, and I was selected as Alternative #2.

Alternative #1 winked at me, which I know was just friendly because in his basic fact statement he said he has a domestic partner who is also a he, and afterward I introduced myself and he shrugged as if to say, Oh well here we are the two of us alternates together! And now we’re going to be friends.

So, there you have it. Starts Monday. Wish me luck.