NaNoWriMo: Day the Fourth

I was so disgusted about the results of the election, not just here in Ohio, but nationwide, that turning off access to Facebook and Gmail was the only way I could remain sane tonight.  This meant that I tackled my nightly quota for NaNoWriMo more enthusiastically than I have any of the other three nights since the contest began.

I vote at the Tuttle Recreation Center, and I was glad to see that, if there was low voter turnout in Ohio tonight, you would not have known it if you had been at Tuttle.  The parking lot was jammed, and the poll workers had posted a sign saying they will tow if anyone who was not voting was parking there.

The process went efficiently, as it has the last few times I voted.  (I have voted in every election since 1981, when I turned 18, whether it was local, state, or national.)  This was the first time I had voted at this precinct, so I was afraid that I would end up having to cast a provisional ballot, but they had me on the books, and the address on my ID matched what they had in the book.

In Franklin County, the voting machine resembles a laptop upended on an easel, and it uses touchscreens.  The whole process took less than five minutes, and I came away with my I VOTED TODAY sticker proudly stuck to my shirt (soon to be pasted into a page in my diary).

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom of Speech," published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943.  It was part of a series called "The Four Freedoms."

Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943. It was part of a series called “The Four Freedoms.”

In exercise news, I stayed away from the steps today, since I didn’t completely shake the cough until much later in the day.  I walked a little more than my usual two miles, and, at day’s end, felt energetic enough to walk from downtown to Tuttle Recreation Center to vote, and then home.  I burned a few calories sitting at the keyboard.

While recounting my conversations and experiences with Robert Lowry, it has almost been like getting into Peabody and Sherman’s WABAC machine and going back to my life in Cincinnati in 1990.  I describe that time in my life the same way my dad described his Army experience or that I describe parochial school: I would not have missed it for the world, but there is no way I would do it again.

Mr. Zimmerman summarized my feelings best in “My Back Pages”: “Ah, but I was so much older then/I’m younger than that now.”  Another way to summarize that time of my life, as I look back on it almost a quarter century later, is from the title of a book written by Snoopy.  The cartoon shows him pacing back and forth on his doghouse roof, trying to think of a title for his next masterpiece, while the typewriter sits in front of him.  He comes up with the perfect one: Things I’ve Learned After It Was Too Late.

The Cincinnati experience was a good one for me, overall.  I do wish I had been more prudent with money.  If I had not been a drinker in those days, I am sure my cash would have stretched further, and my employment would have been more stable.

This is the first time that a NaNoWriMo project has cost me more than the caffeine and bad food I’ve consumed while I’ve been writing.  I learned, to my dismay, that I was missing my copy of Lowry’s chapbook XXIII Celebrities, which I had bought at Acres of Books in 1991.  So, I went to Abebooks and ordered a new copy from a bookstore in Ontario.  Now, I hope that it arrives before NaNoWriMo ends.


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