November in a Nutshell Part Deux

A funny thing happened on the way from October to December.

November.

(I always wanted to write something like that. 🙂 )

As many might remember the dim recollection of the US presidential campaign coming to a screeching halt around November 4, so do I. By November 1st, I was way past my tolerance for any more news coverage on Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, and purposefully tuned in to Turner Classic Movies to avoid the news. (Let’s face it, the race was all about them, not the other two guys. Who are they now?)

Election Day turned out a nice day, warm and sunny. In fact, later that week, I picked the last of my tomatoes, and the last one is finally red on my windowsill today. On Election Day, I had to drive my husband, the Dear Mr. Demonic, to the airport at 5:30 a.m. (He did the absentee ballot thing, a very smart move.) He was outbound on a plane to Las Vegas for his annual convention. By the time I returned to my little, soon-to-be frozen city, it was a quarter to seven, and the polls opened at 7. I thought to myself, who the hell would be up this early? And, I’m up and about anyway, might as well vote.

The polls for our precinct is located in a nearby community college. It’s the same college we threatened to send our daughter to, because she could walk to it and it’s a lot cheaper than the private, Catholic college in California that she is attending. The college is basically a courtyard building, where the hallways make a large square and in the middle is some greenery. The hallways are connected. When I entered the building, there looked to be about 25 people in line, which seemed promising. In and out, that’s what I wanted. Still, I knew a record turnout was expected, so I brought the book “How to Get a Literary Agent” by Michael Larsen. (Excellent reference, by the way. I strongly urge all writers to read it.)

My estimate as to the line was wrong. Way wrong. The people in front of me were the first 25, who had already been cleared and were waiting for ballots. Behind them was the rest of my precinct. No joke. I wandered down the first hallway of a hundred or so people, hoping to find the end of the line. When I made the turn to the second hallway, there were another hundred or so people lined up. At the end of that hall, I made another turn, and there was another line, then turned into the final hall, where I finally found the end. There had to be 500 people in line ahead of me.

I settled down to reading my book (standing up) and waited as we slowly proceeded. It took about an hour before I got to the short line, but that was okay, because I managed to almost finish the book. Then it took another fifteen minutes before I got to vote. My ballot was at first rejected by the counting machine, and I had to go back and clean it up. It wasn’t messy. In fact, I am a master at FOSDIC circles, and being a former art major, can color within in the lines with my eyes closed. (Well, at least with my glasses off.) I think that perhaps the machine did not like my choices, so it spit my ballot out. Nevertheless, I returned to my little stand and darkened the circles as prominently as I could. They were so black that they glistened like onyx jewels.

Then I went home and turned off the TV. I avoided newsstands, and refused to talk to anyone. It was obvious who was going to win, and I hadn’t voted for him. (If you must know, I voted my conscience.) If you know me, you know I hate news anyway. Journalism has taken the mucky path down sensationalism and is of the yellow kind these days. Luckily, with my husband off for a week in Vegas, I used the opportunity to make a huge dent in my NaNo efforts. In fact, that week is where I made the most progress.

Hmm… I wonder what that means???

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4 Responses

  1. Wow, 500 people in line before the poll even officially opened is extraordinary. I expect you could probably have used some refreshments while you waited 🙂

  2. Waiting in line to vote is alien to me. I haven’t been to a polling precinct in years. In Oregon you vote by mail. In Sonoma county, they didn’t have enough people to man the polling precincts so about 3/4 of the citizens voted by mail.

    Now I’m curious to find out how the rest of the 26 days of November went. You know, you could write about November for most of December!

  3. It means you were smart enough not to let the hype distract you. 😉

  4. I think it also meant that my husband is a distraction… 😛

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