And it's a good thing. When I finally got up, while I was brushing my teeth, I peeked into the parking area in front of my house, and my heart skipped a little beat. Both my spots were empty. "Where is my car?"
I did a quick assessment of last night. Where was I? Was I drinking? How'd I get home?
Then I remembered that Jen had taken me home from our SIGDOC meeting last night as it was too late to catch the bus, and we were so engrossed in checking her brake lights when she dropped me off, that it didn't even dawn on me that my car wasn't there. I'd driven to catch the Wolfline bus yesterday morning up by the Gorman and Avent Ferry intersection, and that's where my car still was. Bless my mess.
I was glad I hadn't gotten up earlier only to dart outside to no wheels. I made my way to the bus stop at 8:11 for the 8:15 bus, and it didn't come until 8:26. It seems the 7:45 bus is early more often than not, and the 8:15 bus is late more often than not. Get it together, Capital Area Transit!
Hello Outdoorsy Driver was at the helm. There was a person in a wheel chair aboard, and I wondered if that hadn't contributed to the bus running a little late, as it takes a while for that contraption to open and close to make the ramp available.
I didn't see anyone with an "I VOTED" sticker on.
I haven't mentioned Burka Lady in a long time, but she is almost always at the Gorman and Conifer stop, on that corner with her kid—and the slew of other kids and parents—waiting for the school bus. It's also been forever and a day since her partner (or perhaps, husband), whom I'd named My Three Sons, has been on the bus.
One thing Burka Lady has never done is board the bus, but that's exactly what she did this morning, along with her son. He's maybe three or four and an absolutely adorable and well-behaved kid. Although I felt not one iota of angst with her being aboard, I couldn't help thinking about the whole Juan Williams situation.
Maybe if I worked for NPR, I could get fired for saying this, but at one point she pulled out a cell phone and either checked her voicemail on it or sent a text message or both. I was surprised to see her using a cell phone, but I'm not quite sure why. I mean, it's not like she's Amish or anything.
Suddenly, someone's cell phone in the back rang way too loudly—People! Have you ever considered the vibrate mode?—and then the person's conversation proceeded at a decibel level to match the ring, "I'M ON THE WAY. I'LL BE THERE IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES. NO. I'M ON THE OTHER ONE. THE WOLFLINE BUS PASSED RIGHT ON BY ME 'CAUSE IT WAS FULL." He got off at the next stop, by the McDonald's.
Right before I got off on Hillsborough Street, another loud talker got on her phone, "NO. I LOOKED EVERYWHERE FOR IT. I COULDN'T FIND IT. I LOOKED BEHIND THE TV. I LOOKED BEHIND THE TRASH COMPACTOR. THERE'S NO TELLING WHERE IT IS. NO. HE STOPPED LOOKING SO I STOPPED LOOKING. HE WENT BACK TO BED. SAID HE WAS TOO TIRED TO LOOK."
Mercifully, my stop came up and I exited from everyone else's business and I enjoyed the short, quiet morning walk to my building.
Most of my work day today was spent dealing with the University Information Technology Committee (UITC) meeting that, instead of physically meeting tomorrow, is being handled with electronic updates this month.
I had an hour phone meeting with Ed from Manbites Dog, where we worked on the new Manbites Dog Fan Page together.
At lunch time, I walked down a block to the State Employees Credit Union, where I thought I'd make a quick deposit into my checking account and be on my way. I handed the cashier my filled-out deposit slip and a check for $8541.43 to deposit into my checking account. I also swiped my credit union ID card, which brings up my account automatically for them.
After about two minutes, the guy was still looking at the screen and the check and back to the screen, and then he said, "Are you planning to withdraw these funds right away?"
"Not really, no," I said.
"Well, I'm going to have to put a hold on this, for probably three days; is that okay?"
I said, "Sure," but then remembering I wanted to transfer most of it over to my other credit union account to pay off a loan, I said, "Well, I do want to transfer it to another account eventually."
To which he replied, "Okay, let me check first, because we may have to put a 10-day hold on it. You'd only be able to withdraw a $100 of it until the hold is released," he said as he started walking over to some higher-up muckety-muck.
When he came back, he said, "Yes, we're going to have to put a 10-day hold on this."
"Fine," I said shaking my head, and then added, "I really don't get that, though. I mean this check is from a gabillion dollar financial company and it's drawn on a Wells Fargo bank account."
He said, "I know. It's just that it meets our exception rule: 1) because of the amount, and 2) because it doesn't look like most checks that we see."
You know that made me feel good, but I thought, "Whatever; I'll get it out when I can get it out. It's not like I have a payment due or anything."
It took him another couple of minutes to put the hold on, then print a form saying there was a hold on, which I had to sign, and which he then took to a copier and gave me a copy of. Drama.
I caught my regular city bus, since there's a stop right at the place at which I vote, and outside the building there were two people standing there. One of them tried to hand me some literature and I said, "No thank you." The other person smiled at me, and as I passed her, she said, "I'm Jennifer Weiss, and I would appreciate you thinking about me."
I said, "Okay," as I walked and then it dawned on me that she is a huge supporter for my constituency (meaning she actually acknowledges my humanity), and in fact when I got home last night, there was one of those fliers—with the hole in them to put around a door handle—from her and she'd hand-written a note, "I stopped by to see you. I would appreciate your vote tomorrow."
I turned around giving her a big smile, and said, "Oh, hello. And I will think of you when I'm in there."
When I came out, I walked back over to her, and into her cell phone she said, "Let me call you back. One of my constituents is here and wants to talk to me." I said a few words to her, which I noted via a Facebook status update when I got back to my office:
When I got home in the evening, I stuck my "I VOTED" sticker on her flier:
I did a load of laundry this evening—mixed whites and colors. While they dried, I ran to the grocery store, stopping to gas up my car on the way, since the orange "empty" light was on.
And finally, this is an 11:00 PM EDT snapshot showing that over 11 million people on Facebook indicated that they voted today.
While that sounds like a lot, there are an estimated 500 milllion facebook users, which means only 2.2% voted.
However, I think 500 million is a worldwide number and a lot of those wouldn't be voting today. So, if you factor that in, as well as there may have been a lot of people on Facebook who did vote, but did not "Share" the voting counter, affecting the number, too.
Whatever, though. The point is, and it's no surprise, not enough people exercise their basic right to vote in our country. It's pathetic.