It was November 6th in Korea and I was pissed.
Okay, if you read this, you know I'm sort of hyperpolitical and a bleeding-heart liberal. Maybe it was all the craziness or the women or the coffee or the wine, but fuck it, I freaking loved Barack Obama in a way I hadn't loved a president since Bill Clinton. Granted, I would not do the same level of filthy things to Barack, but the man had a plan and I liked it.
While I had been home in September I had taken the time to do a lot of things, and one of those things I knew was important was to get registered to vote absentee. Of course (because I can be that disorganized) I waited until exactly the last minute to get everything organized for the absentee. I was already registered—it was just making sure my vote got to Korea.
I left this with the Boy, who dutifully mailed it, only to inform me about two weeks later that it had been returned because I had sent it to the wrong election office. For those of you worried about voter fraud, you don't have to worry about it; they were pretty on top of it. I knew the registration got sent in and I spent a lot of time waiting hoping to get it in time for the election, but was mildly worried in the meantime.
And so I waited.
About a week before the day of the election I wondered if I could use the website to check on my registration. What I discovered was that when I ran my information through the county I was registered in I kept coming up as nonexistent. This really bugged me; I was sure that when I sent in my absentee I was totally registered and all I needed to vote was to get my absentee voter information in.
So then I started digging online and discovered this.
I did have to wonder. As a Latino absentee registered voter, who hadn't voted in the US in over 8 years, was I purged? This bothered me. This really bothered me.
The morning of the election I still had not received my ballot, so I began to believe that the chances were good that I was going to be disenfranchised to all hell this year. This bugged me, because I vote in Indiana and I know that the last time the election came around we managed to turn Indiana blue. I was really hoping to be a part of the same process this time. Sadness.
I went to work, I bitched to the Boy about my disenfranchisement, booked a meeting for 2:00 and then left the coffee shop and went home. As I walked in the doors I noticed there was something stuffed in my mailbox. I pulled out the something.
IT WAS MY GODDAMNED BALLOT!
I ran upstairs, dropped my bags and called my business partner.
"Hey, look I know I said 2:00 but my ballot just got here and I need to do this right now. I will call you as soon as I finish voting." I was crying I was so freaking excited. I was going to vote. I was going to count. I was going to matter.
"You sound excited. Who are you voting for?"
"Dude, like you even need to ask?"
I sat at the table and opened up the ballot and looked through all the information on what I needed to know. I noted that I could simply mark number 9 on the ballot for and basically vote a straight Democrat ticket and be done with it.
However, that would not satisfy. After waiting so long I really needed to be able to go through and check every single bubble for every single person I needed to vote for. It took me about fifteen minutes to go through, lining up names and numbers with the bubble form. I took the time and went through to fill in every circle. I needed to feel the full power of voting.
Upon finishing I asked the dog if he would like to accompany me to the post office and he agreed that he would, so we went downstairs together. I was so excited that I failed to notice that while standing and waiting to cross the street the dog had managed to wander into a part of the crosswalk and only narrowly missed being hit by a car.
"Dog, I swear if you get yourself killed while I'm on my way to vote, I will kill you."
I picked up the dog, ran across the street when the light changed, and walked in to a very confounded Korean who did not understand why there was so much writing on the outside of the envelope for the absentee ballot. I tried to explain and finally just said the only thing I could think of, "Onil. Obama. Voting." That got a smile and with a little coaching—and writing the address twice (after explaining twice that I didn't have the number for the election office), we got my vote in the mail.
By 2:30 I was all wrapped up and probably the happiest voter alive. I went back home, had my meeting, and finished out my work day, but the reality was it didn't matter. I had received my eleventh-hour pardon. Nothing else mattered.
Monday, December 03, 2012
It was November 6th in Korea and I was pissed.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
"So I had this dream last night," the Irish started off over breakfast.
"Yeah, so, I was like behind enemy lines and I was trapped there and I was pretty sure I was going to die, but I was there with the dog."
Ah, yes, the dog; the dog of impossible cuteness at the moment.
"So, there I was trapped behind enemy lines and all I have is the dog and I'm pretty sure that I am going to die, and all I could think of was to use the power of cuteness to escape."
"So, I was being pinned down by all these armed hostiles and I grabbed Tino, and I stand up with him in my arms, and I say, 'put your weapons down'. It was like they were compelled to obey the power of cuteness."
"Okay, so what happened?"
"Well, you've seen the dog, his power of cuteness was enough and everyone put down their weapons and I was able to escape."
At this point I started cracking up. I grabbed the dog and held him up toward the Irish. I couldn't help myself.
"I can totally see it," I said with the dog in hand, "Put your weapons down or (in the most saccharine voice you can imagine) somebody's getting a tummy rub."
The dog; however, was not amused.