Tuesday, November 14, 2006

From Here To Eternity (or at least New Jersey)

I'm sorry this is so long in coming. Over the last few years that I've maintained this blog, I have found it very difficult to write about elections. It seems a little odd since i write so much abou politics here. I have thought about it a lot this week. I think its because when the election comes i'm tired. in one way or another, i've been involved in these elections and they just drain you. you either win EVERYTHING or lose EVERYTHING. sometimes it seems like you pour your whole life into what a few thousand people decide to do...or not to do...

I feel exhausted by it all. even when i haven't worked hard enough, i feel spent by the process that's around me. even if i'm not working campaigns, i'm at least putting together voter guides for the small local races. a way to distribute ideas to the undecided.

Election day is like a ball of happy and sick and drunk and joy and pain all rolled into about 18 hours. I never remember how much I hate it until the end of the day. Maybe that's because i've lost a lot lately. not everytime. just more than I'd care to lose.

THE TRIP

Monday:
So i show up to work that morning with to do lists in my hand. trying to put out any fires at the law office before election work starts. I leave at 1 pm and a lot of people in MS think it is impressive that i'm wanted in New Jersey for election protection work, but no one's really too happy that i'll be gone. New Jersey is 'neat' but they need help in Mississippi too.

I leave at around 1 or 2pm on a private jet. I've been on a lot of planes before. lots of small ones. lots of big ones. even a few bi-planes. Never a Jet. this one is a decent size. 7 passengers plus the cockpit. I'm a little surprised that something that big and that expensive could be so cramped...well not where i'm sitting at least. I'm amazed that it only takes 3 hours. we land in Trenton, NJ and drive into New Burnswick. I arrive at Sen. Menendez's headquarters just in time for a few hours of election law training. I've already studied a few hours on my own, but it is helpful. i learn a few things and their legal team leaders seem to REALLY have their act together. They're also wrong on a few matters, but i'm not quite ready to stand up and start telling everyone about what they don't know. i'm a little shocked at the turnout they have. it seems there must be a few million attorneys in New Jersey.

We stop at an 'authentic' Italian eatery. its complete crap and i think they stole their Haloween decorations (which are still up a week later) from a bank. if you get close enough, they talk about 'deposits' and 'scary savings'. I have a roast beef sandwich. it's the best thing on the menu, which is a bit like saying 'this is the best food in the gas station'. I head back to the Hilton at this point. I get a martini at the bar. it may well be the single worst martini i've ever seen anyone make. my lemonade gets a more vigorous shake sitting around in the palm of my hand in august than that thing did.

"You're an attorney? From Mississippi? Here for the election?"

"Yep."

"Well that drink is on me"

"Thankya dear."

5 comments:

The Hud said...

What up double half post?

What? Am I catching this mid-stride? I want more!

Polly said...

too late! more to come. i'm leaving out the good parts for tomorrow. haven't even gotten to election day!

Swirly n DC said...

People in Jersey only know three words...

BEER
TITS
JETS

:-)

brd said...

In defense of New Jersey, you should eat the peaches and tomatoes!! The best.

Glad to hear your story.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you were like, 5 minutes from my office and DIDN'T TELL ME!! WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU???

;oP