Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

O Happy Day!

Today I voted. In person. For the 1st time in 5 years (3 years in Morocco, the year before on the high seas in Alaska in November). Here's how dedicated I am to this proposition. Having lived overseas, and planning to return, I didn't have a permament address. So I cleared it with the Registrar of Voters here, and picked an address that I was staying at briefly. This had the happy side effect of allowing me to vote for Jim McDermott, one of the most liberal members of congress, a consistent friend of Arabs, consistently against the war, and an all around nice guy. (I've communicated with him before by email.) And then I waited for my absentee ballot, since I'd be going to Yemen and unable to vote.

And waited. And it never came to that address. So I tried again. And waited. And it never came. By this time I was not going to Yemen, so could vote in person, so called, and confirmed that I could vote in person. And then waited for that wonderous day, a day we shall call Today.

The nice thing is that Line 36 goes right by my house, and it turns out goes within half a mile of the polling place. So I hopped on the bus and wended my way. Close to the polling place, suddenly the streets began to receive 3 signs at every intersection. I don't know why. But they did. Which made it difficult to know if my stop, on 9th & Armour, had come or not. When I asked the driver, he hadn't heard of Armour. And then we were suddenly on 10th, and he said he wouldn't be returning to 9th. So I figured I'd missed my stop, and got out, to walk back to where it must have been.

It was a long walk, over the hill. But if I hadn't done it, I would have missed the moose.

And then, just as I had walked the entire length of the street, the same busdriver pulled up, after his 20 minute mandated rest stop, to say he'd made a mistake. 3 stops beyond me, there it was, Armour and 9th. I needed to catch the next bus, and go back from whence I'd come. Just wait there.

Which isn't too bad. Except for one other thing I haven't mentioned. Right now we're experiencing the Puget Sound's worst storm in decades. Seriously. Except with Global Warming, there' s likely to be more and more of them in the future. 25 rivers and climbing are flooded, some around 55 feet high. Some won't crest until later tonight. If you're from the MidWest, NorthWest storms are a little different. They're excellent female basketball players. They also are without thunder and lightning. I can't remember the last time I've heard it. There's not an intense downpour- more like a drizzle, alternating between light and heavy, that goes on, and on, and on, till the chill creeps into your bones and you grow mold all over your skin. This one's been going on for three days. Some polling places have closed, roads have been washed out, neighborhoods completely flooded, cars washed into houses, and people stranded, having to be rescued. Thankfully only one fatality so far. Yesterday there was a slump not far from where I live on Beacon Hill. Yesterday morning we had more rain between 9 and 9:05 then we had in the entire month of August. As of last night it was 10 inches in 2 days. It's so bad there's been a run on umbrellas, in a city where it's possitively hshuma to be spotted with an umbrella. That's what I was walking in. I'm really dedicated to the franchise.

After I took the bus back to the right stop, and got out and found my bearings, I realized I had to walk around an entire cemetary to get to the polling place. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong direction, and had to walk around the whole cemetary to get there. (There appeared to be long lines to vote in the cemetary as well.) Then I got to the polling place, on the 6th floor of a Seattle Pacific University dorm.

But they didn't have my name listed. Now keep in mind, I had confirmed 3 times online, as well as over the phone with the county registrar, that I existed, and at this polling place. But they had no listing. Except...there are two polling places, both on the same street, both without address numbers, 2 blocks from each other. I was at the other one.

At the correct polling station they did have me on the rolls. To see how I voted, you'll have to view the video. But naturally I increased taxes every chance I got.

And then I got on the bus to go home. No, just kidding. Of course, it wasn't that easy. The online recommendation was for a street that was very far away, very hard to find- in part because the bus stop was actually not at the intersection specified. And then I got there, and the bus was just pulling up, and I ran to catch it- but I of course couldn't get on, as the busdriver was on his 20 minute lunch break, so I had to wait outside. (If you'll recall, there's still a rain storm.)

Then, I got to go home. Where it's warm. And everyone knows your name.

So why is it a happy day? Rumsfield, the architect of violence, is stepping down. And surprisingly, most of the initatives went the way I voted- which considering my maverick personality, is quite rare indeed. I'm not so sure how I feel about being in the majority. But at least the iniative to restrict touching in strip clubs, which I voted for, does not seem to be passing...

But the main reason to be joyous- we won the House tonight! And then later the Senate! Which means setting the agenda: an increase in the minimum wage, an end to cut and spend, working to help the poor, enacting social justice policies, working to protect the environment, heading towards universal health care, preparing the U.S. for Global Warming, and overhauling our educational system. But one thing above all. The party that controls either house can start investigations into possible illegal acts from any other branch of government. Things like illegal wire taps, suppression of scientific research into Global Warming, secret overseas American prisons, domestic spying, detainment of foreign nationals, allocation of Iraqi contracts through the Spoils System, and detainment without warrant within these United States. Oh- and maybe advocating casus belli through deceit. More allegations of cover-ups than any recent administration.

You have to understand. I didn't vote for Clinton either time, as I found him too conservative. I'm not into sports that much- elections are my big sporting event. So, really, except for when I was 19 and 21 14 years ago, this is the first time my team has won. And that's why it's a most glorious, wonderous day.

Finally, I figured a work-around from the bug in the Blogger system that didn't allow tags to show up. This is important because I recognize that I have a rather diverse readership, and an equally diverse series of topics- meaning that not everyone who reads my blog is understandably necessarily interested in every post. Now you don't have to read it. Just go to the bottom of a new post and read the tags. (Sorry, I still haven't figured out how to get around the Blogger bug that puts the tags at the bottom.) They're a listing of the primary topics of that particular post. If you find it interesting, read on! If very interested in a particular topic, click on the topic, and you'll see all my posts relating to that particular item. If not at all interested, visit someone else's blog today :-)


Lauren said...

I would vote for you. any day of the week.

@bdul muHib said...

Thanks! :-) I was wondering if anyone would see that.

drh said...

I watched the video. So, did your write-in candidate make the news? Also, was the video taken during the time when you officially voted? I wondered whether or not they'd let cameras into the voting booth.

@bdul muHib said...

I don't know if they'd allow it or not. I didn't ask. :-)

But that's an official ballot you're looking at, baby. I just should have actually signed in Arabic. Then maybe I'd have made the news. Or at least had a knock on the door.