Election day has arrived once again! What a difference a year makes. Not quite as much excitement this year as last. But there are some things I am interested in nonetheless. I will be watching to see whether people in Maine can be the first in the country to vote for equal protection for gay people when so many others have voted for discrimination. I know that eventually all of these terrified people who vote against gay marriage will have to just put up with it, because in the future it will be legal and people will look back at the silly folks who fought so hard against it. Still, it is always nice to see progress. And the special election in the 23rd district of NY has turned into quite a sideshow. Now that the Republican candidate has dropped out, voters have a choice between a carpetbagger who has no clue about any local issues and has yet to actually move to the district he wants to represent and the Democrat. I find it rather amusing that this guy can run for Congress without ever having lived in the district while in some places in the state (including Niagara Falls) people who work for the school district can and will get fired for living outside the district. The guy got angry when asked about local issues by the editorial board of the local newspaper. And he had brought a Republican guy from Texas to the interview with him—Dick Armey—who called the issues parochial. There you have it. All of those Republicans who are always screaming about local control and keeping big “guvmint” out of people's private lives (except of course when it comes to deciding who you can love, whether or not you will become a parent, or whether you have a right to end your own life in the case of serious illness), decided that those parochial locals in upstate NY can't figure things out well enough for themselves to provide a good candidate. If I were a Republican (perish the thought) or a voter in the 23rd district, that kind of disrespect would really piss me off. But I am not either of those things, so I can just watch and analyze. I am left to observe and wonder at the insane rhetoric that keeps flowing from the mouths of some of these people and the fact that so many people buy it. It seems to me we are in some of the messes we are flailing around in because people listen to the hysterical and calculated ramblings of the (admittedly sometimes skillful) Republican fear machine instead of educating themselves on issues. Their mouthpieces spout off a bunch of crap that is factually inaccurate, call it truth, and people believe it. You get what you deserve. I just wish the rest of us didn't have to pay for that kind of ignorance.
I was listening to a local law enforcement official on the radio yesterday and I was reminded again how surprised I am by how much this area seems to fit in regionally with the midwest. The dialect is more like a midwestern one than a Philly/NJ/NYC one. Interesting. It just seems very midwestern here in some intangible ways.
I was reminded last night of how important music is to my mood and how I feel about my day. Last night, after an afternoon of running around, I was sitting here listening to The Chieftains Silent Night: A Christmas in Rome on my mp3 player. A few notes in and it felt like Christmas. It's funny—when I first got the CD, I wasn't wild about it. Then a couple of years ago I listened to it and I couldn't hear it enough! There are others like that. So I am grateful that I have all of my music because several years ago Bill took the time to digitize all of our CDs. So this year I will do without my holiday DVDs, my Christmas earrings, my collection of stockings—all of it given to me by people I care about. They are not gone for good, only absent for this year. I can make some new ornaments. But at least I have my music. YIPPEE!!