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October 24th, 2004

i am not a stuffed tiger.

electioneering

I've been trying to engage in election related programs of voter persuasion over the last week, in a last ditch effort to prevent post-November second guilt spasms. In reality, this has amounted to a few hours of forced extroversion a few nights a week. Already, I have visions of myself throwing my nonexistent gold rings on the railroad tracks as Bush rides off with the election.

I tagged along with Joe on a MoveOn canvassing effort on Wednesday night. We walked around in the dark trying to make sense of nonexistent addresses, polling voter preferences over outdated call boxes, and taking down unlikely e-mail addresses (for instance indianprincess, for a woman who appeared to be neither indian nor a princess. One never knows with online identities though.) to help with voter turnout.

After work on Thursday I did some phonebanking for the Kerry people. It's hard to compare the experience with the Dean scene, since the phonecalls were taking place from the offices of a swanky Pioneer Square design firm instead of the makeshift campaign central in the Denny Regrade. The content of the calls was pretty different, too. Instead of pleading with voters on East of the mountains to show up at a caucus, we were trying to convince people to put their absentee ballots in the mail and to be sure to sign the envelope. My guess is that this is the trickiest step in Washington's otherwise lax absentee voting process.

Today was more of the same, except in person. Kerry volunteers congregated outside of Seattle Central to receive canvassing sheets. I paired-up with a guy who was more eager to say that we were with Kerry/Edwards than to say hello and introduce himself when people answered their doors. The thing about campaigning for Democrats in the forty-third district is that you're basically preaching to the choir. In this case, it's the lazy choir members that seem more likely to show up for practice but not for church. The interesting part was the gradient of wealth in a few block radius, which included both tiny neglected apartments and gated mansions where people told us that they'd already given the legislated limits to the campaign and progressive causes. Everyone that was home (an unsurprising minority, for a sunny Sunday afternoon) was pretty enthusiastic about voting; so maybe the election is important enough to break their infrequent voter reputation.

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In non-election-related activity, I spent yesterday evening with Jon and Rachel watching the high-scoring moderate stress Red Sox game. We'd planned to watch it at Jillian's, but were chased out by football watchers and reunionists. So, we found ourselves sitting around an upstairs bar at the Outback Steakhouse where the bartender and waiter were wearing Boston jerseys, but other fans were not particularly vocal or permanent.