Fight Or Flight [Updated]

On February 13th I had to go to the courthouse for a speeding ticket I received last November.

I’ve only been to the Las Vegas courthouse about 4 times. 2 times for jury summons (never got picked), 1 time for my cousin, and then this visit.

It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped foot into the courthouse but when I entered I was immediately reminded of how depressing the place can be. It starts off with grabbing a tote to place your belongings into, then you wait in line to go through the metal detectors and have your items x-rayed and searched. What also doesn’t lighten the mood is having cops staring at everyone as if we’re all criminals (Yes, I know they’re there for our safety, but it’s just the presentation of it).

Anyways, when I made it through the entrance I decided to look for the traffic courtroom myself. It turned into a bad decision because I ended up waiting in front of the wrong courtroom. After I realized my mistake I walked over to the information desk and the ladies there pointed me to the other side of the building where the traffic court area was at and then I found myself waiting in a another long ass line.

As soon as I got to the front of the line, I thought it was to speak to a clerk. Nope. It was for me to grab numbered ticket, and then to sit down in a small overly crowded area and wait for my number to be called on. It stopped feeling like a courthouse and started feeling like I was at the DMV.

When my number was called, I walked up to the clerk, she asked for my ticket, and proof of insurance. When she scanned my all my papers (including my license), she then asked how I wanted to pay the fine (cash/credit/debit). I handed her my debit card, and that’s when it dawned on me, I’m paying off the ticket and I’m not going to see a judge.

“So I’m not going to see a judge?” I said to the clerk
“Well, I can cancel the transaction, and you can see the judge now” she said
“Maybe I’ll see the judge next time”
“Are you sure?”

Now, I was tripping over some of my own words and getting nervous because of what I was asking for. Somehow, I stuck to my guns and asked to see a judge. She canceled the transaction, and printed a piece of paper with an official court order, and gave me the directions to the lower level courtrooms to see the judge.

I took the elevator downstairs, found my courtroom, and sat down outside waiting for the Marshall to let me and another guy inside.

When we were let in, I was told to sit in a chair off to the side in the actual courtroom.

The judge called my name and told me to stand in front of him.

“How do you plead?” The judge said.
“What are my options?” I asked.
“Not guilty, guilty, or no contest”

It was there that I froze. I mean, standing in front of a judge, about to be judged is very intimidating. Seriously, I got all ‘palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy’. My nerves got the best of me, and I chickened out on “fighting” the law.

“No contest” I said.

My judgement? No points, pay the fine, and the offense reduced from speeding to illegal parking.

Yes, I chickened out but I still went to see the judge. Even though I didn’t plead my case, I still ended up with a lower charge. Anyways, that’s pretty much my court experience. It’s not a good one, yet not a bad one either. I think I’ll file it under an “interesting experience”. I just don’t want to see a courthouse for a long time.

[Added 3/15/17]

Ha, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you what happened later that day. This is going to make it an even LONGER post but I try to keep it short. A couple of weeks before my court date when I was requesting the day off to “fight” my ticket, I also found out that WWE RAW was going to be on that same day. At first I wasn’t serious about going when I checked out the available seating because only the upper arena seats were being sold. Then a couple of days later I checked again and now there were floor seats available. In that moment I said “treat yo self” and purchased my floor tickets to RAW.

Took an Uber to the event and spent a good hour or so exploring around T-Mobile Arena. It seems pretty small compared to the Thomas and Mack Center. Food and merchandise was completely overpriced (bought chicken bites with fries and a drink for $15). Overall it was a really good event/experience. My only complaint was that the floor seats were all chair seats taped together which made sitting down really close to the other fans sometimes uncomfortable. Also, there was someone who hella smelled like swamp ass, and every time we stood up to cheer then sat back down the stank was back in the air.

Hometown Celebrations

I went to the Bay Area on March 20th with my parents and my cousins for two funerals, a death anniversary, and Wrestlemania. I stayed there for almost 2 weeks and returned home March 31st.

We took two cars, the Green Goblin and the Dodge Durango. My truck ran smooth during the entire trip. I only felt a little nervous climbing the hills of Tehachapi but after that I was pretty damn sure it would make it all the way. The trip took a little bit more than nine hours but just thankful to have made it without any problems.

The first funeral was my Aunty To’oa. My memory of her is when I was a kid, and was living back in the Bay Area, I remember going over my auntie’s house with my mom. They’d be gossiping for hours and the best part was my auntie would be baking a bunch of Samoan goodies. I’d be stuffing my face while they were talking away. Probably nobody else can bake as good as my auntie.

The death anniversary was my Uncle Huber. Last year I was in the funeral, I just didn’t post any updates about it. I remember Uncle Huber being really quiet. He was one of those men who didn’t say much, but when he spoke people listened.

The second funeral was my Uncle Eddie. I have a memory of him, my dad, and me standing in line at a Sizzler. I was a bit chubby and in middle school at that time. He gave me advice about my weight and going to high school. It was basically to start losing weight so when I get to high school I can can get out there and start chasing girls. I remember telling him “Nah, I’ll have a car to chase them with”.

My cousin Josh treated me and his brothers to Wrestlemania 31. It was freakin’ awesome. We missed out on the pre-show matches cause we decided to eat at McDonalds first, and also cause of the long walk from the golf course (designated parking lot) that is across the street from the stadium. I only have one bad thing to say about the experience and it’s about the seat size at Levi’s. I mean holy crap was the seats small, I sat down and my sides were being hella bunched up. The way me and my cousin made it work was that one person had to lean forward while the other leaned back. After the show I bought a hat as a souvenir and now I practically wear it almost everywhere I go (It’s my new favorite hat). Another minor thing to complain about was that I didn’t get to really explore the stadium and get some garlic fries but who cares, I was at freakin’ WRESTLEMANIA!

The drive home wasn’t that bad. I got lost somewhere near Buttonwillow cause the GPS didn’t update in time but instead of backtracking I decided to keep heading in the same direction and let the GPS reroute. I soon passed by some farms, and then nothing. After awhile I started passing by some mansions. I also noticed that the cars all around me were all the luxurious types. I couldn’t figure out why there were so many rich people in the middle of nowhere, and soon enough my question was answered as I passed by a Halliburton oil refinery. I stopped at Baker and ate at Burger King, and soon enough I made it home. Another smooth ride, and now I’m sure I can take my truck anywhere including the moon and back.

The entire trip was a sad, unique, and happy experience all rolled into one. Also, I might go back sometime for the 4th of July. We’ll see.

[Edited 4-22-2015: Added post title. I can’t believe I posted without a title. Didn’t know it was possible.]