Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SOL Tuesday: Primary Day

Today is Primary Day in New York State, the first time in 40 years that the primary has been meaningful for both parties.
            My voting place is in a public school a few blocks away from where I live. I went to my election district table, got the ballot on paper inside a manila folder, and sat down to fill in the “bubbles.” On the left were the names of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (I got the Democratic ballot), and on the right were a list of six delegates pledged to Sanders and six delegates pledged to Clinton. I filled in my bubbles, went to the scanner, fed in the ballot, and started to leave.
            On my way out, I noticed a poll worker trying to answer a ballot question for a young woman who wondered why, or even whether, she had to vote both for the candidate and delegates, or if it was okay to vote for just candidate or delegates. He didn’t seem to have a clear-cut answer, repeatedly saying, “That’s your choice.” I thought I knew the answer, but wasn’t sure.
            Outside, beyond the polling boundary, there was a table of Clinton people, so I stopped to ask if they knew how to fill in the ballot properly. I was told that delegates were assigned based on the percentage of votes for each candidates, so if one voted for delegates but not candidate, your vote wouldn’t count, but if you voted for candidate and not delegates, your vote would count. Got that? Best, of course, if you voted for both candidate and delegates – though probably you shouldn’t vote for Hillary as candidate and then for Sanders delegates, or would your vote for Hillary add to her percentage, thus to her delegate count? Very confusing.
            I decided to be helpful, went back to school, and the young woman was still talking to the poll worker. I explained what I’d learned to both of them. But I did think the poll worker should have been better trained – he wasn’t a regular employee of the Board of Elections, just hired for primary and election day. And I do hope the campaign worker I talked to was right.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Slice of Life Tuesday: One More Successful Call to Bureaucracy

As a retiree, my husband set up a Flexible Spending Account a few years ago, but never got it together to use it — and it's one of those accounts that if you don't use the money each year, you lose it. Last fall, when he got a reminder letter that he had until May of this year to use it or forfeit it, he said we should look into this and how to get the money. Well, of course, we never got around to it, and the reminder has been in my pile of to-dos for months.
            Today I finally called the benefits office to find out what exactly I need to do. After 25 minutes on the phone talking to two people, I learned that the FSA only covers premiums for Medicare Part D, and that amount is on Jack's Social Security 1099. (If I'd read the reminder more closely, I'd have known that, but who reads every word on a form letter.) Filing a claim is easy.
            I'm rather glad Jack isn't here because it would have been really hard not to say "see how easy this was? how much money did you give back to McGraw-Hill because you are so bureaucracy-resistant?" At least it's one more thing I can cross off my to-do list and remove from my mind.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

PAD 3: Baseball


Life begins on opening day.
So say many baseball fans and writers.
Baseball leads into spring,
Round white balls promising
white crocuses.
Green fields brightening
the eyes.
Opening day without my partner
darkens the spring day.
No one to share a cheer
for the strikeout.
No one to share a groan
at the left-fielder’s error.
But I can imagine
his agreement,
his argument,
his “it’s only a game”
as I imagine tulips,
daffodils, lilies
sprouting in tree wells,
in parks, brightening
the city with color.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Poem-a-Day 2: He Said, She Said

He Said, She Said

He said, Can I take you out for a drink?
She said, Sure, I’d like a drink.
He said, I’ll have another.
She said, I’m doing fine.
He said, I’ll have another.
She thought, that’s a lot of glasses
lined up like a wall between them.
He said, I’ll drive you home.
She said, I’ll call a cab.
He said, I drive better when I’m drunk.
She said, I get home safer when
the driver’s not drunk.
He said, See you around.
She said, Not if I see you first.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Poem a Day 1: A Foolish Poem

And since it's April and National Poetry Month, I will attempt to write a poem every day. Robert Lee Brewer is posting prompts, which I will certainly need. Today's is

A Foolish Poem

Who’s the fool
looking for a rule
for making a tool
to escape from school

It’s too cruel
to watch my drool
Am I the fool
who can only pule

Is there a jewel
that drips the fuel
onto the stool
where I’m the fool?

SOLSC Day 31: Office Pro

I had to go into the office where I do free-lance work today, to change my password and consult with the team I’m working with at the moment.
            One of the benefits of working in an office is the opportunity for spontaneous conversations that aren’t available when one lives alone. I heard two editors talking about movies—I heard Embrace of the Serpent mentioned, which had been the topic of my last movie group discussion—and I rushed over to join in. The two editors were talking up Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some! which I had decided I didn’t want to see after watching the trailer. “The trailer doesn’t represent it,” said one editor in her 40s. I praised Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, but the editor in his 30s wasn’t going to see it: “I don’t like Tina Fey.”
            It was maybe 10 minutes having nothing to do with work, but everything to do with feeling connected to others, and exchanging opinions. That’s the part of working full-time that I miss, the part that isn’t working.
Because I had free-lance work on Thursday, I had no time to do my Slice. So here it is, a day late.