Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voting Day 2006

Well, I'm a mere shell of myself, but I'm still going to vote. On Sunday, I was in a car accident. Completely stopped at a red light, I was rear-ended hard enough that I ran into the person in front of me, even though my foot was firmly on the brake.

When I got back into the car after all the info-exchanging, I saw that a flashlight keychain was on the floor. Previously, it had been in a little cubby on my dashboard that actually slants UP, so somehow the thing flew up against gravity to land on the floor. More sobering was seeing my sunglasses on the floor. I know I was wearing them. One of two things happened:

1. I was hit hard enough that my glasses flew off my face, or
2. After the crash, I tore them off and threw them on the floor even though they are prescription glasses.

Interactions with the woman who hit me were so aggravating I can't even blog about them. A few bits of info, though: she initially didn't seem to want to exchange information and thought there was no damage, although I'm dented slightly in front and back bumpers AND when I peered closely at my bumper, the digits from her license plate are EMBOSSED into my bumper. I could read them! She stamped me!

A police officer happened along and took a report. Hilariously, when he said to her, "So, you're the one at fault?" she hemmed and hawed and tried to construct some way of not saying yes. He said evenly, "You rear-ended her, right? So you're the one at fault."

People, I know the insurance companies tell you never to admit guilt. But come on, when two people are STOPPED at a red light and you plow into them, there's no QUESTION about guilt. And in that case, it makes sense to apologize. Even in a situation where there is questionable attribution of guilt, you can still apologize for the hassle or the situation without outright stating that you caused it.

Okay, off that unpleasant topic. And on to the emergency room!

I have an ongoing health issue that required that I visit the ER to make sure I was okay from the crash. So I called Alan, he came home and drove us to the ER. We tried to figure out which one to go to and hoped we chose wisely. We chose badly.

After four plus hours in the waiting room, I made it into the emergency room, where we languished another two hours with staff members intermittently stopping by and then disappearing for long periods. I know the ER was slammed; we saw probably six different ambulances pull up during the night. The triage system is absolutely essential, but you know it's bitter when you see someone go by on a gurney and you hate them because now your triage placement has slipped another peg.

Time spent in the capable hands of the ER: six and a half hours. It was practically a work shift. I could have taught six classes.

Anyway, I seem to be okay. Okay enough to vote!

I heard on NPR that Virginia's turn out rate in the last election was a flabberghasting 8 percent. Ninety-two percent of Virginians didn't bother to vote! Kansans similiarly had only 14 percent of residents voting. (Those are the only states they mentioned; others could be the same or worse). Oakland's city percentage last June was 33 percent. Absolutely dismal. Disheartening.

Why are we* fighting so hard to install democracy in other countries, when Americans themselves don't participate in the democratic process?

*"we" refers to of course other people.

1 comment:

blue said...

did a socialist (independent) not get elected in vermont? i think that's fabulous! election day wasn't a total waste, even in my region. perhaps my ballot was actually counted after all. i hadn't heard about the dearth of actual voters.

terrible to hear about your car accident. i'm glad to hear there were no ill effects. i hope the guilty party doesn't continue to hem and haw with the insurance process ...