Voting, San Francisco Edition

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November 8, 2016

There are many, many problems facing the City of San Francisco.

One of these is not the system of voting.

In this presidential election year, self registered as a resident of the city, for the first time. A thick pamphlet came in the mail shortly after. Self felt like she was preparing for a grad school exam.

On the morning itself, when self turned on her cell, three text messages came up in quick succession:  Your polling place is HERE. VOTE TODAY. HERE IS A MAP.

And lo and behold, she followed the map and stumbled into — serenity. At 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, a polling place was the most serene part of the city.

It was soooo quiet! There were no lines! Self pored over her choices! There was an envelope to stick the ballot in! She couldn’t close the envelope, the ballot was five extra-long pages! She took her ballot to a volunteer, the volunteer casually flipped it over and told self, you didn’t fill in the back.

What? There was a back? For each page?

Never mind. Self did the important thing: she voted for President/Vice President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, Board of Supervisors, and some very important propositions.

After, she had to stick in her sealed ballot into a huge red box. Which was already full.

The next day, a message came in on e-mail, telling her: “There has been a change in the list of your selected representatives.” The e-mail went on to list each and every one of the elected representatives, starting of course with the POTUS. Though that was painful, she saw most of her other choices prevail.

Happiness!

Stay tuned.

More Tiny in San Francisco

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Tiny passageway

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Stunning

Art boxes by local artist Carlos Pillado on the Altar of Old Saint Mary’s in Chinatown:

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Old Saint Mary’s, Pine and California, San Francisco

Kitsch in San Francisco Pizzeria:

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Godzilla! Above the Pizza Oven in Uncle Vito’s, Bush and Powell St., San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Karen Joy Fowler: WIT’S END

This novel was published seven years ago, but it’s about a 2006 mid-term election.

That shows you how long self hangs on to reviews of books she’s adding to her reading list. She will go to a bookstore, armed with her file of New York Times Book Review clippings, she will first search the shelves and then end up asking for help from a bookstore staff person, and that person will look at self’s clipping, then his/her eyes will wander down to the date at the bottom of the page, and they will say (which has happened on at least three separate occasions), in a very offended tone: “Ma’am, this review is dated 2010.” Subtext: Are you freaking nuts?

The last novel she inquired about was Sara Gruen’s Ape House.

What can she say? She’s been living la vida loca for a very, very long time. So long that hyperactivity seems to be the norm.

In an incredible stroke of luck, self is reading Fowler’s Wit’s End the week after the elections. It would seem that, in 2009, there was the same kind of zeitgeist roiling around northern California. Because while reading Wit’s End, it could be 2016. She doesn’t even have to change a single word in a few passages, it reads like 2016:

  • Well, Ohio hadn’t delivered the complete Democratic rout that had been predicted.

A few pages later:

  • “How about that election,” the sushi chef said.

It’s been really hot in San Francisco (Ha, ha, ha — she’ll never complain about San Francisco coolness again! It’s sweltering hot. Like Global Warming with a capital G. W.) Self went to the Ferry Building to cool off. And overheard a woman say: “I’m still traumatized over those election results.”

And then, a few steps further, a vendor was calling out “Sea Salt! Sea Salt!” He beckoned to a young couple passing by and said: “Young lovers, this might be your last shot at happiness! Have a taste!”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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