Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Oct 13 Various stuff

The canvass with the volunteers was cancelled because of the rain. But Sandy had said he would help and by the time the volunteers called, Sandy was two minutes from our house.

Primo hadn't even showered yet, so I had to stick around with Sandy, whom I like and whom it is no trouble to entertain, but I had my own things to do. Primo and I are going to have to come to an agreement on this sort of thing: I don't think I should  be stuck waiting and waiting and waiting while he showers or goes upstairs to print something. It's Primo's responsibility to take care of his guests, not mine.

This has happened before, obviously.

But the time did give Sandy and me an opportunity to discuss Samantha. Primo met Samantha when she was running Teresa's judicial campaign. (Teresa is Sandy's wife, remember?)

Primo was impressed with Samantha's energy.

But now we know that maybe we should have asked Sandy and Teresa what they thought of Samantha.

I told Sandy that Samantha was no longer Primo's campaign manager.

He nodded. "I don't think we would have won without her, but it was a problem working with her," he said. "She is not organized. She is not a planner. It made me crazy."

We had a good Samantha-bashing session. Well, as good as it can be when you actually like the person but her work is not what you paid $7,000 for.

I delivered yard signs to volunteers. I got rid of all the deliver sheets and maps I created the other day! There were 50 signs to deliver and I did not want to do it. I called people who had said they would volunteer (I had not called these people before - they are not of the dozen non-responsives) and asked if they would do signs.

They all said yes.

I dropped the signs off and dropped postcards off with another volunteer who is a big, big Polka Dot and has all kinds of Polka Dot signage around her house. I called Primo when I got to her house to ask about leaving a yard sign. She is pretty far Polka Dot and it might not enhance his moderate message to have a sign in her yard. We decided not to ask her to put up a sign.

Before I could deliver the signs, Primo had to explain to me how the sign had to be installed - perpendicular to the house, not parallel, or diagonally if the house is on a corner. Deep! At least six inches! Did I get all that?

I rolled my eyes.

We are both pretty tense and exhausted.

Primo saw that somebody had kicked over two of his yard signs on our block. Other yard signs were undisturbed. We don't think it's partisan, because 1. hardly anybody knows who Primo is and 2. if someone is really expressing an opinion about a candidate, wouldn't he go after the Obama and the Romney signs first?

We are pretty sure that Primo's opponent did not send out a goon squad to kick the signs. Primo does not agree with the guy, but his opponent does not appear to be a jerk.

And then I went to the store and got stuff for the fundraiser/thank our volunteers party next Saturday. Almost every fundraiser I've attended with Primo has had crummy food.

If you want people to give you money, you should give them good food.

I asked my facebook friends what foods would make them donate money.

Buttery, fatty, rich foods predominated: cappuccino brownies, little spanikopitas, my grandmother's apple strudel, little quiche.

We're having hummus, the Junior League onion dip, Rotel dip, our friend Julie's polenta cake, the cappuccino brownies, and other stuff I can't remember now because I am exhausted.

Primo and I had a fight about whole chickpeas in hummus.

I will be amazed if we survive until November 7.

Saturday Oct 13 A rainy day when Primo is supposed to have volunteers

Some organization is going to send volunteers to do doors with Primo this morning.

And of course it is raining.

It didn't rain almost all summer. There was a drought. Crops were ruined. I cut the grass maybe twice from July to September.

Now, when we need it to be dry, it's raining.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Oct 12 The neighbor from whom I took the green tomatoes delivers a thank you note

On Tuesday, as I was walking to the bus stop, I noticed someone had left a bunch of yanked-out tomato plants by the curb. There were still green tomatoes attached!

Yankees. Don't even know about fried green tomatoes.

I looked at my phone, saw that I still had a minute or two before the bus arrived, and got to work. I picked about two dozen tomatoes off the plants and put them in my gym bag. Then I hauled the now-heavy bag to work.

In the afternoon, on my way home, I saw that the plants were still there, so I collected even more of the tomatoes. Got home and had about 15 pounds of green tomatoes.

Primo loves fried green tomatoes, but even 15 pounds might be a bit much.

So I started googling for green tomato recipes.

Did you know you can make pie from green tomatoes? I did not. I had never heard of it. But the reviews were good on multiple sites, including Paula Deen's. What's not to like about someone who uses butter with the abandon that she does?

I made the pie. It turned out great with a great crust because I know how to make good pie crust. (The secret is lard.)

Then I thought, "I should take some pie to the people who threw away the tomatoes so they will know what a great person I am and they will be embarrassed that they wasted."

Tonight, on our way to the restaurant to use the groupon that was about to expire, Primo and I stopped at the house. I have never met these people. They probably wondered what was going on when the doorbell rang at 7:30 on a Friday.

But the woman answered the door.

"I hope this doesn't sound stalkerish," I said, "but I wanted to give you a piece of the pie I made with the tomatoes I got from the plants you had at the curb." I held out the aluminum container that I had saved from restaurant leftovers. Washed, of course.

She looked skeptical, but then I said that I lived down the street and walked past their house on my way to the bus stop every morning.

Meanwhile, Primo was rooting about in the car. I saw him out of the corner of my eye.

She laughed. "We have so many tomatoes still! We picked a ton of them before we pulled the plants. I have no idea what we're going to do with them." She took the pie.

OK. Not food wasters after all.

Primo walked up behind me. "Hi," he said to the woman. "My name is Primo and I'm running for the state house." He handed her a flyer.

I rolled my eyes. "Primo! We're talking about tomatoes!"

"I know," he said, "but I just wanted to introduce myself."

She laughed again, shook his hand, thanked us for the pie.

"Let's go," I said as I grabbed his arm. He is becoming comfortable with this politician stuff.

She thanked us again and we said goodnight. Maybe he does have a chance to win this thing.

Friday Oct 12 Primo's notes on the walk lists

Comments next to the names on the lists of voters from doing doors:

Nice, nice, nice, Nice!, retired engineer!, grumpy, nice, nice, nice

Tons of junk on porch and in yard

Lots of old cars!

I interrupted dinner

Friday Oct 12 Isn't today really Columbus day? So why was the PO closed on Monday?‏

A few donations have been trickling in through ActBlue, the online campaign contribution site that takes a chunk out of every dollar.

Isn't capitalism great?

There was one for five dollars yesterday. "From an 18 year old kid," Primo said.

"That's so sweet!" I said. "Five dollars is a lot of money to a teenager. It's really sweet that he wants to support you."

Primo sighed. "It's sweet but it really doesn't help."

"You need 100 people to give $5 each," I said.

"Probably easier to find one person to give $500," he answered.

Friday Oct 12 Primo goes to the senior center and a volunteer picks up yard signs

I had nagged and nagged at Primo to go to the senior center. I emailed the senior center and was told he could come but could not leave any campaign literature behind. The director wrote,

Goldy, we would delighted to meet your husband, but we do not allow campaigning in our facility during  hours, Monday – Thursday form 8-4 and Friday from 8-2. If indeed he wanted to come and chat with our diners (11:30-12:30) one day that would be fine. Literature can be handed out, he can talk to diners, we will introduce him, but he really can’t “campaign.” Literature cannot be left here when Mr. Digger  leaves. The problem is impartiality. We have to remain impartial here. Allowing someone to actively campaign  would mean that I have to invite every  candidate to come and do the likewise. While everyone is welcome, I do not have time to set up a debate/forum.  We would like to meet your husband, all it would be is an introduction to all as a group  and then he can walk around tables and chat with folks. You are both welcome to come to lunch. The menus for October are on our website. We ask that folks put in their order for lunch by noon of the working day before someone plans on visiting. The County Department on Aging asks a $2.50 voluntary contribution for those 60 years of age and above and $6.00 for those under 60 years of age.

Let me know if I can be of further help to you. Please let us know when your husband will be coming. 

Primo didn't want to go. "All those old people!" he moaned.

This from a man who had adored his grandparents.

"They'll be nice," I said. "They vote! They'll love you!"

So he went.

"They were so sweeet," he said, "but it was kind of a waste. There were only about 25 people there and most of them lived outside of the district. But they were soooo nice!"

"I told you they would be nice!" I said. But I had anticipated that it would be a more worthwhile visit.

When I got home, I called one of  our neighbors, who had volunteered to deliver yard signs. I spent an hour this morning putting together delivery routes. I did it by hand on google maps, then Primo told me, when we were messaging, that there are probably programs that do that, which OF COURSE there are and I don't know why I didn't think of it. So I googled "how to design a delivery route" and all sorts of options popped up. I tried It wouldn't have been that much faster than what I did because it wouldn't have clumped addresses. I still would have had to break out the different routes by hand. But it would have been nice to upload 30 addresses at a time. Next time, I'll know better.

He came over to get them and started to tell me a very long story about why he couldn't put a sign up in his own yard. Fortunately, he caught himself and smiled ruefully. "I'll have to tell that one later," he said.

I was grateful. This guy is very nice and off the charts smartski - he's a professor of something that it's hard to be a professor of - chemical engineering or something like that. It's not like he's a prof of a "studies" subject, which for the most part, are academically lacking. 

Oh relax. You really want to tell me that it's as hard to get a PhD in social studies as it is to get one in physics?

But he likes to tell long, involved stories about things he knows about, which is a lot. He knows a lot. But sometimes, you just want to give someone his signs and get back to making your green tomato pie that you're making with the green tomatoes you rescued from the tomato vines someone pulled up and tossed in the curb yesterday. I saw the tomatoes on my way to the bus stop and harvested about two dozen of them. Stuck them in my gym bag, carried them to work, then carried them home again.

So our smartski neighbor is nice and helpful and he knows that he talks a lot.

I am so grateful that he is helping.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Oct 11 Spam and volunteers‏

Primo is getting spam in his campaign email account. Someone wanted to sell him static cling calendars, whatever those are. Because there is nothing like a 2013 calendar to help someone win an election in 2012.

I have called and emailed the people who said they would volunteer.

One. One has responded.

Wait. Two. I called him and he said that he really wants to help but has developed a medical issue that makes it impossible.

So. Two out of 12.

People. If you don't want to volunteer, don't volunteer! That's fine! But don't say you'll help and then blow me off later. You VOLUNTEERED! Primo didn't ask you!

Remember the husband of the friend? The guy who wanted to help? Well, Primo saw him this week and the guy told him once again that he wants to help. So we'll see. I don't know why he couldn't have answered my emails and just said that he wasn't feeling well that week but would definitely be available later.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday Oct 20 Planning a fundraiser, refraining from looking at information that should be private

You guys, I am having a hard time holding back from looking up everyone I know in the Polka Dot voter database.

It's a database of voters in the state. It has publicly-available information, like your name, address, and phone. And then there is other information that had better be public but shouldn't be but I guess once it's  out there, it's hard to pull back.

If you've voted.

If you've signed a petition.

If you've donated to a candidate.

If you have a hunting or fishing license. (?????)

And weirder things, like if you've responded to a political poll. Your ethnicity. (Don't EVEN get me started on why the government should have that information. I cannot believe that in this century, the government is still asking me what color I am on the census and on our wedding license application. I refused to answer the question on the census. You don't have to, you know. All you have to answer is your name and how many people are in your household. None of the rest of it is anyone else's darn business, especially the government's.)

Your religion.

So I have looked up a few people I know, including some of my relatives, because I am NOSY.

But I am making myself stop. This is not my business. I do not want to be as bad as the government, sticking my nose where it does not belong.

I have, however, enjoyed seeing how WRONG the Polka Dots can be.

They have my aunt and uncle, who never miss Mass, listed as Protestants.

In separate households.

Apparently, nobody has thought to match addresses and realize that two people who share the same last name and have lived at the same address for 30 years might be related by blood or marriage.

I'm not going to tell them they're wrong.

The other thing - Primo wants to have a fundraiser at our house, which has me hyperventilating, because any cleaning and cooking that will need to be done will have to be done by yours truly. I have not cleaned the living room in a while because we're never in there except to assemble yard signs. I noticed last night when I was sitting on the floor, stapling the heck out of the signs, that there sure can accumulate a lot of dust and cobwebs in a few months. Or more.

I will have to clean the living room and the bathroom (which I do anyhow, but still) and will have to prepare food. I like to cook and bake, but it's a little more of a challenge when I am away from home for 11 hours every day. This is going to take heroic planning and organization. Fortunately, I am a heroic planner and organizer. But I'm not going to get a lot of rest between now and then.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday Oct 8 Sly and Doris are giving Primo grief because he didn't call yesterday

You know Primo is supposed to call Sly and Doris every Sunday before 4 p.m. their time (that is, before they start drinking). But yesterday, he spent the morning assembling yard signs and then he spent the early afternoon delivering them and then he and I spent the late afternoon and early evening doing doors.

He didn't call them when we got home because there is almost no point to calling them once they've started drinking. They are belligerent and mean and then they don't even remember that he called, so he gets no credit for it.

They sent him an email this morning wondering what was so important in his life that he couldn't call them.

He called just now and all I hear is, "But I was out campaigning! I was busy!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday Oct 7 Doing doors and meeting people

My door conversations.

1. Older lady (91): Is your husband a Polka Dot or a Stripe?

Me: He's a Polka Dot. I'm a Stripe.

OL: I'll vote for him.

Me: Thank you, ma'am.

OL: My husband was a Stripe. I used to tell him that he cancelled my vote. He would say that I cancelled his.

2. Me: Actually, we're a mixed political marriage, but I can tell you that he is a man of integrity who will work hard for all of his constituents. If he doesn't, he'll be sleeping in the guest room.

Woman: Mixed political marriage? That's worse than a mixed sports marriage! That's worse than having one person be a Bears fan and the other be a Packers fan. 

Me: I'm not sure about that. At least with politics, there is room for common ground. There is no common ground for the Packers and Bears fans.

Woman: You're right!

Sunday Oct 7 Primo's weekly report

Ralph, Potsie,

The Gold Digger helped me for most of the weekend (with data entry, sign assembly and list maintenance, volunteer contacts, and more than three hours of doors after the game today).
  • Between Thursday night and Saturday morning, Smith [Primo's opponent] signs went up all over the district (including a few in my neighborhood, which he visited after I was in his neighborhood).  Therefore, I spent some time delivering signs to my neighborhood supporters (this afternoon) and a few people in Watertown, especially the few locations I have on busy streets (yesterday).  I was delivering signs, not dropping lit, during the game today.
  • Mayfield ward 22 is actually a pretty good area for me, and I had quite a few 1's (along with five new locations for yard signs, which are already planted) from my walk this afternoon/evening.  That is a lot better than dropping lit and marking everyone as not home.  Assuming that we'll be in a rush to cover turf toward the end of the campaign, I probably will plan to use the time during the remaining Sunday afternoon football games to drop lit.
  • Assuming that Geri, my volunteer, was able to complete her piece of turf (or will complete it tomorrow; the Gold Digger will check with her), we should have ward 22 completed by the end of tomorrow, after I spend another full day on it.  With a couple of brief events in addition to doors yesterday and the game today, it wasn't possible to finish that ward by today.  I will be ready for more turf on Tuesday.
  • The Gold Digger has been contacting volunteers.  She has had limited success so far, but I'll be working on this as well and we should have a few people to do some doors soon.  Also, RH confirmed that he will get some volunteers from ABC to canvass for me next Saturday (10/13).  The bad news is that one of my prospective volunteers (and one of the few from Watertown, who seemed really excited about my campaign when I met him) has developed a kidney problem and won't be able to help.
  • Data entry is probably 85-90% done.  I still need to recreate a few lists from Watertown ward 4 (or get access to Cindy's lists), and there may be one or two other stray lists that haven't been entered yet.  From now on, we should have data entry done within a few days of completing any walk list.
  • It is good to be working in Mayfield.  The houses are closer together, and I should be able to do 120 doors a day if I stay focused.  I am in very good shape at this point and have good endurance after I get myself going.  It's getting out there each day that's hard; my legs feel like lead when I wake up, even after nights when I get (what should be) enough sleep!
I'll see you guys at Perktown in the morning.


Sunday Oct 7 I meet the parents of a friend from the Peace Corps

I knew my friend Dean's mom and dad lived in my town. He visits them every summer, but as yet, he and his wife and Primo and I have been unable to meet up. Not surprising - he grew up here and has relatives and old friends here, so someone he knew 20 years ago in the Peace Corps is low on the list. But I do hope that we can manage it someday - he's a really nice, interesting guy.

When I looked at my walk list this afternoon, I saw people who had his same last name. When I knocked on their door, they answered. "Are you Dean's mom and dad?" I asked.

They were!

And then I told them who I was and they knew because Dean had been trying to get together with Primo and me.

Then I told them why I was there. I noticed on the walk sheet that they are listed as Strong Polka Dots, so I suggested that if they were interested in a  yard sign, we could arrange that. They are on a corner lot, so that's a good spot for a sign.

Sometimes it is fun doing doors.

Sunday Oct 7 The National Polka Dots ask Primo for money

And he is far nicer to them than I would be, considering they are giving him no support, financial or people.

He just tells them that he is running his own campaign and can't contribute time or money.

Sunday Oct 7 Primo has a facebook friend who Cares

Primo has a facebook friend who posts something good at least a few times a month on his page. She is passionate about causes. Any cause. Her most recent cause is "Join my cause: Jail time for the torturers of cats in Tunisia."

Because there are so many people in favor of cat torturing that it's time for the anti-cat torturers to stand up and be counted.

Sunday Oct 7 Primo weighs himself

"I'm down to 154!" he said. "I've lost ten pounds since I started the campaign!"

If I hadn't started a diet when I started my job - it's a lot easier to eat less when you are 13 miles away from your refrigerator, I would be within striking distance of my husband's weight.

As in, only eight pounds lighter but five inches shorter.

I am trying to lose, he's trying to keep from losing. Which means I cook fun things like Dutch baby pancake with bacon grease and butter and chocolate chip cookies and cardamom cake and coconut cake with cream cheese frosting. Good for him, not so good for me.

Monday Oct 8 Primo's followup to the dog bite story‏

This is what Primo posted on facebook:
As many of you know, I was bitten by a dog about three weeks ago. Considering the circumstances, the experience wasn't bad at all; the owners are super-nice and will be voting for me. I've told the story a few times on the campaign trail, usually after encountering a boisterous dog. At this week's most memorable door, the woman who heard that story (because she had a couple of noisy dogs) knew exactly who I was because her daughter is one of the owners of the dog that bit me! She lives a couple of miles away in a different part of town, so this was an incredible coincidence.

Sunday Oct 7 If Primo had been in charge of the industrial revolution, we would all still be spinning our own yarn and tanning our own leather

Primo and I have been fighting over the yard signs. More specifically, over the production of the yard signs.

We have the blanks and the frames - we did not pay for someone else to assemble them because that would have been crazy expensive and we are not in the spending stupid money game here.

Here is what is involved in assembling a yard sign:

1. Fold the blank in half.
2. Slide the metal frame inside the folded blank.
3. Staple the top twice just outside the wire.
4. Staple the top once just inside the wire.
5. Repeat 3 and 4 for the other wire.
6. Staple the bottom twice just outside the wire.
7. Staple the bottom once just inside the wire.
8. Repeat 6 and 7 for the other side.
9. Staple the outside edges three times.

It's not rocket science.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

But when I told Primo I would do it so he could take his shower and get on doors for an hour before the football game started - he plans to deliver signs during the game, he had to hover and watch me to make sure I was doing it right EVEN THOUGH IT'S ONLY STAPLING!

I hate being micromanaged.

I hate it.

"Go away!" I snapped. "There is no efficiency to be gained if you are going to watch me do this!"

"But I have to make sure you're doing it right!" he protested.

I wanted to smack him.

Am I unusual? Is there something wrong with me that sometimes I just want to smack the person I love? Is it unusual that sometimes, I wish I had never gotten married and that I could run my life MY OWN WAY without arguing about bedtime or how to spend free time? It was never my dream to spend my Sunday morning assembling yard signs. It was never my dream to have anything at all to do with politics or politicians. I want to vote in every election and then I want to move on. I do not want this to be my life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Oct 7 We see yard signs for Primo's opponent

Primo spent hours assembling and delivering yard signs today, only to see that his opponent, Mark Smith, already has a bunch out. I saw one and pointed out that it was only stapled on the bottom, not on the top or the sides.

Primo shook his head. "Flimsy. They'll fall apart."

Saturday Oct 6 Samantha goes to work for Primo's friend in the next district

I've told you about MaryJane, right? She's running in the district adjacent to ours. She is also a political novice. She's a super heavy smoker and you can smell those two packs a day on her breath. I don't mind fresh cigarette smoke but stale, lodged in the lungs smoke? That's nasty.

She is also a serious drinker. "She drinks vodka on the rocks," Primo says. "That's what you drink when you just want alcohol in you."

She's my age but looks ten years older because of the smoking and the drinking. Still, she is amazingly energetic, running this campaign while she is still doing her full-time job.

So Primo fired Samantha, or he would have fired her except she quit the day he was going to tell her. The other candidate fired her.

Now MaryJane has hired her.

Primo and I are just shaking our heads.

Saturday Oct 6 Potsie agrees with me that Primo needs to go to the senior center

I emailed the senior center for out town. Primo can go there but can't take campaign literature unless he invites his opponent.

I called the assisted living home in the district, though, and the administrator told me that they don't let candidates in.

Which is crap. Don't older people deserve to meet candidates? When my grandmother was in the nursing home, I asked what the visiting hours were. The administrator told me that there were no hours - that this was my grandmother's home and I could visit whenever I wanted to.

Old people are politically active and interested. And they can be lonely. I'll bet they would love to meet the candidates.

So I have been nagging Primo about going to the senior center at least and he is reluctant, but when he mentioned it to Potsie, Potsie agreed wholeheartedly with me. "Those people vote in droves," he said.

Saturday Oct 6 Primo describes the state of our love life

Primo, on his way to a 10:00 a.m. rally for the steelworkers, to be followed by doors until a 6:00 p.m. fundraiser: We're never going to have sex again, are we?

Me: Probably not during the election. Maybe after. If you don't lose and aren't too despondent.