10 Thing Friday

1. For those of you following my Instagram story, I am sorry to report that curling corner is likely over. We wrapped up the closing arguments yesterday, and moved into deliberation in the afternoon. So, now, instead of having hours together in the hall where I can grill a guy on his curling “lifestyle,” we are now trapped in a room together deliberating the verdict.

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2. I am LOVING the Forever35 podcast. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Jill! I have not listened to a beauty podcast before, but I am all about lotions, serums, and magical elixirs to keep me forever looking 25 (I kid. I just want to look less haggard and tired.).

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Outside of beauty projects, it’s fun listening to two ladies who are close to my age just chatting about life in general. They’re delightful and funny!


3. We finally finished the last episode of the Waco miniseries on the Paramount Channel, and I thought it was especially well done (other than the fact that they clearly filmed it in New Mexico which does NOT AT ALL look like Waco, but whatever). The cast was fantastic and talented on all sides.

Image result for waco paramountI know that people feel a lot of different ways about what went down at Mount Carmel, but I believe it’s a tragedy that the federal government NEVER should have been a part of. If they were sincerely worried about child abuse, then there are already systems in place to investigate that. Regarding the issue of guns, “‘Waco’ Laments America’s Unique, Tragic Obsession With Guns.” I absolutely think David Koresh was an delusional grifter, but none of those people deserved to die because of their faith in him. The Atlantic has a good article on the show and the tragedy.

4. A Taylor Kitsch palate cleanser because he is SO CREEPY in Waco.

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5. 18 Delicious Recipes with Dried Beans. Yay, I love beans!

6. The positive to jury duty is that I have been forced to explore new lunch places since I’m trapped downtown. I stumped upon La Bonne Soupe Cafe on Tuesday, and apparently it’s THE PLACE for sandwiches. I had no idea! I got a blue crab melt and it was totally dreamy.

7. The time change has messed with my “window of falling sleep” and I’ve not been to actually sleep until 1 or 2 am this week. On the bright side, I finished Hannibal! I thought the first half and second half of the third season didn’t fit together at all. It was almost like watching two different shows. The first half was a bit too moody and brooding for my taste, but the Tooth Fairy also felt like it came out of nowhere (and I know it’s from the book, but it still felt discordant when he arrived). I was fine with the ending, but I am sad it’s over. I really liked the first two seasons, and I will really miss Hannibal the Handsome.

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I also enjoyed Hannibal in his white shirt with the rolled up sleeves fighting it out in the kitchen WAY more than I should have for such a violent scene. He just looked so good jumping against that pantry door! He’s got a really nice back. I probably need some therapy about this.

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8. “Gun-trained teacher accidentally discharges firearm in Calif. classroom, injuring student.”

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9. I thought both Meghan and Kate looked fab at the Commonwealth Service.

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10. I cannot believe that students and educators are having to hold walk outs and protests to end gun violence in schools, BUT HERE WE ARE. I am so proud of the young people who refuse to allow their voices be silenced or forgotten.

Students at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute stage a


WTF Wednesday

I cannot WAIT to really talk about jury duty when it’s all over. WHAT A RIDE so far. People are just simply incredible.

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I am already terrified of going to prison in general, but I hope to GOD that I never end up on trial for something because the way people make decisions is terrifying.

I am SO PISSED about the news that Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for The Crown. She is THE CROWN. I know that he is more popular across the pond and with Doctor Who fans, but while I would have recognized him as a face I had seen before, I couldn’t have told you his name. I think this goes back not only the need for people to discuss salary, but also for agents and actors to renegotiate their salaries. Agents have to know what the other actors are making in order to act in the best interest of their client. Claire was on board before Matt, and her salary was likely negotiated before he was made an offer. Because he is a name, she should have been able to go back and get more based on what he was paid. That is the only way their will every be parity for women and actors of colors. SHE is the principle character, and while the producers have promised that going forward no one will get paid more than the queen, Claire will never have a chance to get paid what she is due (because she makes the damn show) since her seasons are up. RAGE.

I certainly hope this is the case for Olivia Colman. She has been cast for months, but we still don’t have a confirmation on who will play Philip (rumors are it will be Hugh Laurie), so I worry that her contract and salary are already set. I guarantee that if the roles were reversed and Claire was the bigger star playing a supporting role as the consort, then Matt Smith would STILL make more than her playing the king as an unknown actor. I GUARAN-DAMN-TEE-IT.

Poor little Alan puked the other night and he was quite distraught over it. When Bardot was still here (SOB), I am not even sure that she knew when she had puked. She would be walking, pause very briefly, have a barf, then keep on moving like nothing happened. For Alan, I heard a weird little noise while I was asleep, and before I could even get my eyes completely open, Alan was running down the bed at me meowing frantically like his own little wahmbulance. He was so upset about it that he wasn’t over it that evening. I called the vet and they said unless it happens again, then he should be fine, but it was a very dramatic 3:30 am wake up. He’s a sensitive guy.

On Friday, my sister sent me a text that I had butt dialed her a few minutes earlier. I replied that I had not because my phone was plugged in and charging on my desk, and I had been on the opposite end of my desk on my office phone for the past 15 minutes. I looked on my call log and there was nothing, but she sent me a screen shot of her call log which showed I had called. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE.

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If you somehow missed the 60 Minutes interview with Betsy DeVos on Sunday, then you are in for a TREAT. All I can say is WOW this woman does not have two brain cells to rub together. I particularly love when she states that she hasn’t “intentionally” visited poorly performing schools. Did you unintentionally visit them? Did your helicopter land in the wrong spot?? Did you get drunk and wake up in a shitty school?

Judge Dread

I know the degree to which this is ridiculous, but I have been so stressed out because of jury duty. I got to go to work on Friday, and was able to take care of a few things, but I spent most of the weekend wrapping up projects and preparing to be out for the week. I don’t consider myself to be an especially flexible person, and I am a planner to the point of fault. I struggle with uncertainty, and my goodness it is rough to not know what the schedule is during jury duty.

Someone at work said, “Just think of it like you’re on vacation” regarding getting work stuff done. But, it’s not the same at all. For one, I’m not in a fun place, so that is a dumb point. Secondly, when I go on vacation, I spend weeks preparing so that everything that can possibly be taken care of is complete before I leave. I prepare information for the people who work with me and report to me so they know the status of everything I was working on, and spreadsheets of where to find various documents or resources they may need. I create more spreadsheets of who can be contacted as a back up in case an unexpected situation arises. So, basically, I just assault people with spreadsheets until they submit and are afraid of the sheer number of columns. And I didn’t have time! I do my best to make sure my coworkers are not inconvenienced by my absence. When I am out sick, I am still available via phone and email, and respond to people so that they can continue their work. A last minute week to a week and a half away from work is causing me GREAT ANXIETY. I know that everything will be fine, but my civic duty is really inconvenient right now.

Hannibal! I am into the third season now, and as Jennifer noted, it is “artsy.” I don’t understand a lot of what is happening, but it’s quite pretty. Also, did Alana’s fall knock some lesbian into her? I’m so confused. I don’t believe that sexuality is discrete data with clear categories, but I felt like the scene where she is in bed with the Verger sister came out of nowhere. Her style also totally changed. Before she wore a lot of tight wrap dresses and now she kind of dresses like Hannibal and wears bright lipstick (she looks amazing, but still, it’s totally different). I assumed at first that she had transitioned to pants because the shoes would be more practical for a healing pelvis, but everything is different. I love a sharp suit on a lady, but I missed where and how this all evolved. Oh well, good for her.

Gillian Anderson also talks SO SLOWLY in this show and I find myself wanting to scream “SPIT IT OUT.” Anyway, struggling through this season. I hate knowing that it is the last one and had an abrupt end. I am preparing myself for an unsatisfactory ending.

Other than working, I made it to OTF on Saturday morning and Sari and I went to see Thoroughbreds on Sunday afternoon. We were both excited to see it, but it was beyond slow. Lots of scenes of staring and chewing.

I survived my first day of trial yesterday, and I am dreading deliberation. The judge said it can take DAYS and ain’t nobody got time for that. Just getting through the basic instructions to the jury was absolute misery.

Marvelous Woman Monday

There is no other way to describe Phoolan Devi other than complete and total badass. She is a controversial character, but a deeply interesting woman. Devi was known as the “Bandit queen” after she essentially become the Robin Hood of India. Oh, and then she went on the become a Member of Parliament. Not a gal to be trifled with.

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Phoolan was born in 1963 into a low-caste family in poverty in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. She got her start as an outraged woman when her cousin tried to cut down a tree on their property which she felt was his family’s effort to establish control over the family land. Despite being only 11, she took to publicly taunting her much older cousin. She eventually gathered a few girls from the village to stage a sit-in on the land, but she was eventually beaten unconscious with a brick when she wouldn’t abandon the protest. BEATEN UNCONSCIOUS WITH A BRICK. Age 11. Jesus.

Shortly after the incident, a marriage was arranged for with a man who was at least 15 years older than her (accounts vary on his age) and lived a few hundred miles away. Her family traded her for a cow. Unsurprisingly, she suffered sexual and physical abuse at his hands. When she tried to run away, she was sent back by her family who deemed her a disgrace. Phoolan was 11.

Her cousin (of the tree drama) lied to the police and claimed that she had stolen from him, so Devi was jailed for a few days. During her imprisonment, she was physically abused. After sending generous gifts, her family convinced her husband to take her back. The abuse began again and several accounts of her life include marital rape. She managed to run away again, and this time became a social outcast for abandoning her husband. This all happened at just 16 years of age.

It is unclear as to how it transpired, but Phoolan fell in with a gang of bandits (dacoits). The situation immediately went south when the leader of the gang attempted to rape her after she refused his attempts at courting. He was killed by Vikram Mallah who then took leadership of the gang. It was not long before they were living together. A few weeks after their relationship began, Phoolan and members of the gang attacked her husband. She herself dragged him out of the house and stabbed him. He was left for dead (tragically, he did not die) with a note for warning older men not to marry younger girls.

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I don’t typically condone violence, but I am okay with all of this. Don’t abuse children and you won’t get shanked in the night, okay? On the bright side, because he was still legally married to Phoolan, he was never able to marry again. He lived out the remainder of his life as a recluse because the townsfolk were worried that association with him would bring the violence of the bandits.

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Phoolan was the only female member of the gang, and she was soon participating in gang activities in upper-caste villages. This included looting, kidnapping prosperous people for ransom, and highway robberies targeting the wealthy. Things started to fall apart in the gang as jealousy and dislike over Phoolan erupted. Eventually, a gun fight ensued and Vikram and Phoolan escaped alone in the night. They were eventually tracked down and Vikram was murdered. The victors took Phoolan to a house in Behmai village where she was beaten and raped for three weeks. Two members of the gang who were in her same caste helped her escape, and she started a new gang.

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She eventually went back to the Behmai village to seek revenge on those who had abused her. She couldn’t find the original men, so instead she lined up every man of the caste that her abusers had been in (Rajput). A total of 22 Rajput men were murdered. Phoolan absolved herself by claiming that she had not actually pulled a trigger. While the murders were regarded as outrageous by the upper caste, those in the lower castes and the “untouchables” believed she was an incarnation of the Goddess Durga.

Phoolan was on the run for two years when Indira Gandhi’s government negotiated a surrender. Phoolan was in poor health, and in 1983 she agreed to surrender. The surrender took place in Chambal ravines in front of a crowd of around 10,000 people and 300 police. She was charged with 48 crimes, but sat in prison while her trial was delayed for 11 years. She was finally released on parole in 1994 and the cases against her were withdrawn.

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She married Ummed Singh and in 1995 converted to Buddhism. Two years after her release from prison, she won an election as a Member of Parliament of the 11th Lok Sabha. She lost in 1998, but was reelected in 1999. She was a sitting Member of Parliament when she was shot dead by three masked gunmen in July 2001 outside of her home in Delhi. The single man convicted for her death claimed that his actions were in revenge for the men who had been gunned down in Behmai.

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Her life was a controversial one and not without violence, but what an incredible story. It is a tragedy that at 37 she was murdered when she had just found a way to make change in a world that had so brutally abused her.

More reading:

“India’s Bandit Queen: A saga of revenge—and the making of a legend of ‘the real India'”


Killer of Phoolan Devi, India’s ‘Bandit Queen’, given life sentence
Phoolan Devi
Phoolan Devi: A Dacoit, a Rape Survivor, a Politician, a Legend
Remembering the Bandit Queen: 10 things to know about Phoolan Devi
Who was Phoolan Devi, India’s original ‘Bandit Queen’?