Tour of Duty

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, 11:03 pm

I knew this morning was gonna suck.

I’ve been telling myself that I need to take a break from volleyball. I’m too big and fat and sloppy, and though I’ve been playing well lately my shoulders and hips have really been hurting. Take a month off, lose some weight, give my body a chance to recover. But I decided to suck it up and play last night, since everyone would be going to the bar afterwards to watch the Steelers lay waste to the Redskins.

Played for two hours, and then we drank and argued about politics to the wee hours. I got home around 1, went to bed around 2. When Ernie woke me up at 8, oh baby. It was a hard walk to the kitchen to make coffee. And then I looked at the clock on the stove and saw it was actually 7am. Oh, right, I hadn’t changed my alarm clock for Daylight Savings time. Ernie likes to knock my alarm clock off my nightstand (and I like to knock Ernie upside the head with a skillet) so I hadn’t gotten around to adjusting the time. Great.

I wanted to get to the polls early but that wasn’t happenin’. Answered some emails, did some work, wimpered in agony a bit. I poured coffee into my system and took a therapeutic shower before draping myself in fabric and heading out the door. It was a gorgeous, glorious day, and I thought about taking a hike after I voted. Drove to the community center where I play volleyball and got in the very long line to vote. One problem–there was a line for District 7 and another for District 8. I had no idea which District I live in. Here I did something smart–I switched to the shorter line for District 8 to see if I was on the rolls. No, I wasn’t…and the registrar checked my address and found that I lived in District…10.

Hey, la-dee-dah, I live in District TEN. No down-and-out District 8 for me! Unfortunately that meant I had to travel to a different polling place, St. Catherine’s school, but they gave me the address and off I went. I popped the sun roof, cranked the tunes, and drove down Route 8 toward Hardies Rd. I couldn’t get Google Maps to spit out precise directions so I didn’t know whether to take East Hardies or West Hardies. Tried East…nope. Turned around and tried West. Nope. I really didn’t mind doing all that unnecessary driving through the brilliant fall foiliage, and maybe that’s why my brain didn’t perk up and say, “Hey, doofus, isn’t St. Catherine’s the church about 100 yards from where you live?”

I pointed my silver steed toward home and after an extra left-right-left I was pulling into the parking lot. Which was totally jammed. I did a lap of the lot and was thinking of parking at the top of the hill when a car pulled out and I snagged the spot. An elderly couple entered just ahead of me and I saw that there wasn’t that big a line. A poll worker helped the older folks head toward the registration desk…and that’s when she told me that the line to vote was actually down the hallway. Way down the hallway. Down the hallway, and around the corner, and then around another corner. Oof. It was about an hour wait and I guess they were letting older people who couldn’t wait that long without some duress. So that was a very civilized thing to do. Then again, it meant I had to wait longer. I thought about throwing a fit, maybe one of the hissy variety, but come on. It’s Election Day. Time to be all civic-minded and selfless and groovy. I stuck earbuds into my head and listened to some tunes while I waited for my turn to discharge my civic duty.

Sixty minutes rolled by with little to comment about. When it was finally my turn the registrar walked me to my console, passing by one that she said had been “acting up a bit”. I have to say that I miss the old mechanical machines–pulling that lever and hearing the gears go KA-CHUNK was very satisfying. Just isn’t the same tapping a touchscreen. Which is odd, because I think that the touchscreen of my iPhone is something akin to magic.

In years past I voted in the evening, after work, and I wanted to get the election results NOW, not eight hours later. It appears that my vote did some good–Obama won Pennsylvania, and with Ohio now declared for him as well it’s all over but the shouting. And there will be a lot of shouting when Obama finally hits the 270 mark. Don’t know that I’ll be awake to see it all, as I’m bushed, but we’ll see. I’m polishing off a celebratory Pale Ale, the cat is curled up on my arms (making typing a real chore) and I have a heating pad on my back. This is shaping up to be a far, far better night than we saw in 2000 or 2004.

A few random observations about the coverage I’ve been watching, which I think has been all CNN:

  • CNN’s “Virtual View”, where they project “holograms” of their field correspondents on the main set, is the stupidest (deleted) thing I’ve seen in my entire (deleted) life. I’m expected to trust these idiots news judgement when they present idiotic distractions like this?
  • Every time I hear Paul Begala speak I want to hit the mute button.
  • Watching CNN’s “experts” lined up with their laptops reminds me of media row at the WSOP. They wear a bit more makeup.
  • CNN reported that they turned the news off in the ballroom where McCain’s supporters were gathered. They TURNED THE NEWS OFF? What the hell were they doing there then? Dana Bash reported that the McCain supporters hadn’t heard they’d lost Ohio. What were they doing instead, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? Deliberately avoiding bad news–yeah, that’s a good quality in a political movement.
  • And were my ears decieving me, or was the one band at McCain’s gathering playing Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out With Him? Bizarre.

I have two hours to post a photo, and I think I’m gonna have to punt and take a picture of Ernie. Today would’ve been perfect to get a nice shot of the fall colors, but hiking/walking/standing didn’t appeal much to me. Let’s see what I can come up with.

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