Monday, November 10, 2008

My Election Day Experience

A close friend of mine worked the polls in Ward 2 in Portsmouth, NH this past Election Day, to protect against voter fraud. He got a call around noon to be on the lookout for a tall guy, curly hair, blue jacket, with a MA license who was giving a story about living with his mom in NH, who had just left Ward 1 and was headed to Ward 2 to vote again. Sure enough, about an hour later, the guy showed up, went to the registration table, plunked down his MA license, and registered to vote. My friend stepped in and challenged his ballot. They went to the moderator (the guy in charge) and said my friend had to fill out a form to challenge it. They went to get the form, brought him the wrong form, went to go get the right one, and in all the confusion and going back and forth, someone else gave this guy his ballot, and he voted.

So, despite being on the lookout for this guy, spotting him, and taking the appropriate steps, his vote got counted anyway. Twice. And there is no doubt in my mind that he left there to go directly to Ward 3, 4, 5, etc. to vote again and again.

The worst part is, I asked my friend what would happen now. I mean, we had this guy's sworn affidavit that he was a legit voter, and presumably several more from all the other Wards, we had his ID, we could collect all the duplicate sworn affidavits and he would get prosecuted for voter fraud, right? I mean, it's a FELONY, right? You guessed it, my friend said that the police did not have the resources to follow up on every guy like this, and no, the chances of him being prosecuted were about the same as the chance of McCain winning if he called for a recount. It just killed me that this happens, and will continue to happen, as long as there are no consequences for the violators.

To try to end on a somewhat happy note, another guy came in, with a CA driver's license that had a NH address on it (I have told this story many times, and am still waiting for someone to explain to me how you get a CA license with a NH address, but anyway...). Again, my friend stepped in and challenged this guys ballot too, and and the guys started hemming and hawing and weaving his tale, getting more and more agitated, and finally, in mock outrage, said "uhh...I...I...I feel intimidated, I'm leaving." and left without casting his ballot. Mark at least one small victory for the good guys.

It made me think a lot about our system, our democracy, and how worthy of protection it is. I am definitely going to be more involved next time around, hopefully doing the same thing my friend did, trying (not always successfully, but trying nonetheless) to secure free, accurate, trustworthy election results. Just casting my ballot is not enough for me anymore.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Birthday Party after Party after Party...

It's tough enough when it's just one person's birthday in this family - we not only have the private family birthday party on the actual birth day, but then there's usually an extended birthday party at Grandma's house and then very likely a birthday celebration with friends. And of course, this year you can't forget the small uneventful birthday celebration at preschool co-op (both boys attend once a week) which included yet another rendition of "Happy Birthday" and cupcakes. But when there's two birthday boys, it's another whole scenario. By the time October is over, we're about birthday'd out - sick of cake, weary of the birthday song, overwhelmed by children and ultimately tired of all things festive. And we're so happy to have another one to celebrate before Christmas arrives this year! :-/

This year's birthdays brought many great times for the boys though, and we do admit to having some fun through the whole process. Jayce's birthday was first, and for his special day, he chose to visit Cedarland AMAZEment Action Playcenter down in Haverhill, MA where they have a huge maze, slides, bounce house, sandroom, games, small indoor rides, and more. It was hugely entertaining to all the children, and since it was a Wednesday evening, we even had the place all to ourselves for the most part.

Reagan's birthday was a few days later, and he chose to go bowling which is always a fun, family-friendly activity that leaves me sore and feeling very old. But I did come in first and totally beat Mike so I guess it was worth it! :-)

The boys' official birthday party was held at The Children's Museum of NH where we had many, many families (did I mention many?) join us for a wonderful time of celebrating and then exploring the museum which was recently opened just a couple blocks from us. They have some great exhibits, and the boys had a great time with their friends.

This one's for you, Grandma Joyce!

Here's a video sample of the birthday party along with Reagan enjoying the museum. I've purposefully edited it with no nice background music so you can get a small glimpse into the chaos we've endured this month (lol):

And in the midst of all the festivities, we "celebrated" our 13th anniversary. (I put celebrated in quotes, because there really was no celebration to speak of what with all the other celebrations going on - I fear it will be like this for many years to come!) But, oh, the blessed joys of parenthood! :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meeting Peter Tork

Peter played at the Chicken Bone in Mass. A fun little place filled with loud music and lots of people. Peter walked around and talked to people before he had to play while we sat and ate dinner...or what I tried to eat, I was too excited!

Peter played with his band, Shoe Suede Blues. They play mainly blues and rock with a mix of Monkees songs. Surprisingly, Peter played Auntie Grizelda and played Daydream Believer twice. Overall, I wouldn't mind owning one of Shoe Suede Blues cd's.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun. Peter signed autographs afterwards. I walked up to him, all smiles and just kinda speechless, but Denise helped me with that. :P After my card was signed, I started to give him a "polite" hug. Then he said, "No, no, let's hug hug like regular human beings." Then he gave me a real tight hug. He was so nice. I wasn't so nervous as with Micky. Well, two Monkees down, two to go...well, one, since Mike doesn't tour anymore. I should just go to California and track him down, ok I won't. It's highly unlikely they will have a reunion tour though. I think it'll be fun meeting Davy Jones who stands at 5' 3" boots.