it's words!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i'm not ashamed. ain't that news?

I need to put this above the fold because I'll forget about it if I don't write it right away. It's hilarious to me, and may also amuse anyone else who follows the NBA, and maybe others if I'm lucky. So, the Timberwolves' marketing slogan for this year is: "See What They Can Do." (They're 1-8 so far.) The PR staff is nothing if not realistic, it seems.

Probably I should wrap up the open ends from my last post. Poll-watching went off virtually without a hitch. There were a couple noteworthy incidents, though:

Minnesota has paper ballots that are basically like the Scantron sheets we used in school, which you fill out and then put into the counting machine yourself. This is important only as it relates to the case of one remarkable wheelchair-bound dude who retained only 25% of the stock human number of limbs. He drove himself to the polling place, wheeled himself inside by using his one leg to drag the chair along, used what little flesh existed past his shoulders to hold the pen and fill out his ballot himself (remember, these are little ovals that need to be darkened completely so a machine can read them), and then managed to slide it into the ballot counter - and its in-tray, which I'd say about 10% of the be-armed voters were having trouble with, was just about level with this dude's eyes. I tried not to gawk, but it was pretty freaking impressive.

One of the election judges thought so too, a hale-and-hearty 84-year-old named (really) Doc Watson, who was moved by the sight to say something to the effect of "Now that's what you call true grit." He was an interesting character himself; a good number of people who came in to vote knew him and said hello, and I'm pretty sure Doc (your mental picture of him wearing a red checkered flannel shirt is correct, by the way) did not know every single one of them, but he humored them well enough. He talked to me a little bit, and in the brief span of time we knew each other managed to tell me the same story twice (with several hours between tellings, in his defense). For some reason, the fact that four-inch-spike high-heels had been in vogue in the 1930s, and are now coming back into fashion, really stuck in his mind. His sister used to wear them back then, you see, and boy, he just doesn't see what the point is. Heh heh heh, they had a high-heel race in Minneapolis awhile back, and it was just something like 50 yards or so, but that's about 49 yards farther than Doc would want to go!

He also said funny things like "Talk is cheap, unless it's back-talk, as any cop will tell you," which was in response to my confession about getting pulled over on the way to Willmar.

"Virtually" without a hitch means that even though I woke up in time to re-experience how terrible Comfort Sunshine Roast coffee is, I got lost and arrived a few minutes late*, which was awkward for a number of reason, but we overcame. Also, Obama got frigging trounced in my precinct, but at this point I am okay with that.

I'm sure I don't need to explain how much "Saved By Zero" makes me want to throttle sparrows.

Back to the East Coast in a little more than a month! That'll be cool.

*This was Google Maps' fault. "A" is where the map said I should be; "B" is approximately the correct location. As you can see, they are very different:

View Larger Map

Only a fortuitous confluence of two things led me to discover the actual location. First, my pride was at an ebb; second, the place Google led me to was, while not the Ward 1, Precinct 1 polling place, the location of a dry-cleaning shop, the proprietor of which a.) apparently arrives at work very early and b.) knew exactly where the Willmar Senior Citizens' Building was, for some happy reason. I couldn't be happier for Schwegman's Cleaners that their only review on Google Maps, now that I look, is a positive one.


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