Friday, March 04, 2005

Monkey Wrench

I have a brain made of Swiss cheese. Lots of holes in it. Hence the reason that I write everything down. Messages, phone numbers, weekly/monthly schedules, etc. Though I often act spontaneously, that's within the framework of being very organized with my time. Sad as it is, I already know some things I'll be doing well into 2006. That's the nature of being a musician. Knowing whether or not you're available for various performances. I like that aspect of my life, and I often get frustrated by those who don't know what they're doing next week. But this isn't about them...

I have been looking forward to spending St. Patrick's Day in Butte, MT (commonly known as Butte, America). Montana, and especially Butte, has a huge and important Irish influence in its history. Even though my last name is of Czech heritage, my mother's side of the family is chock full o' Milligans and O'Hearns and other good Irish ancestry. So I celebrate the day. And NO ONE--not Chicago, not Boston, not NYC, not even Dublin--celebrates the day quite the way they do in Butte! I've been looking forward to this year's festivities, mainly because we've got a gig there that night (see "Leaving the Back Row" in my sidebar). And there's a parade that I've both watched and participated in over the years. And there's a bit of beer drinking. And singing. And corned beef & cabbage. I generally have the first (8:00 AM) green beer out of the tap at O'Toole's in Helena, maybe a shot or two of Jameson's Irish Whiskey, and then head to Butte. Occasionally, I've had to actually work on that day, rather than go to Butte, so my O'Toole's stay isn't as long as I'd like. But as you can tell, it's always been a great day to look forward to. Add to that the possibility this year of getting to meet Lizabeth and her boy down in Butte, it's been a highly anticipated date on my calendar.

So I grab my mail today, and find a letter from Helena Justice Court. I don't even have to open it to know what it's going to say. I can feel it in my bones. When I open it to confirm the worst, there it was in black and white--I'm to report for jury duty at 8:45 AM on Thursday, March 17th. Happy St. Freakin' Patrick's Day! For those of you new to this blog, go here to read about my prior jury duty experience from January. I doubt that this will be anything that will make me miss the gig in the evening--it's less than an hour to Butte. But the parade will definitely be out. Unless I have a repeat of the last time, where the defendant didn't bother to show. I now have decisions to make. Should I dress in my finest greenery, or would that be considered biased against a non-Irish defendant? Should I just go in and declare the defendant guilty because they've thrown a monkey wrench into my day that I've been planning on for weeks? And the most important decision--how many green beers and shots can I have at O'Toole's before showing up to court?

Finally, a grammatical question--which is more correct? Freakin' or Friggin'? Or are they interchangeable?

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