Potatoes and Politics

Q&A: Who is your hero? I don’t have one distinct person, just positive aspects of a variety of people who I agree with and try to incorporate their habits into my behavior. I also see disagreeable traits in individuals and try to do less of those things myself.

 

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Sparky and Peanut

 

I was going to write another post last night but got sleepy and interested in the results of the midterms, so I looked online for what I could find and jumped from one website to the next. I was curious about which propositions were approved and where states stand on their views of the environment, economy, and education.

Arizona banned new taxes on pet grooming and fitness activities and voted no for increasing renewable energy. California agreed to allow a permanent change to Daylight Savings but said no to regulate dialysis charges and clean water bonds. The Golden State doesn’t mind paying taxes to fund homeless services, pay for roads via gasoline usage, and give animals destined for dinner plates more space while they’re alive.

Florida wants to ban vaping indoors and restore voting rights for felons since a certain generation believes that their voice doesn’t count because they’re not educated enough to make those decisions — their words — then the state wants to get some of those votes back from people who are willing to share their opinions, as long as they didn’t murder, rape, or commit pedophilia.

I only found one proposition for Texas and it received 64.8% of the votes for increasing salaries for Houston firefighters. Montana said no to an increased tobacco tax to fund Medicaid but yes to provide more property tax to pay for higher education and leave new hard rock mining without a limit. I had a good debate writing itself in my head as I fell asleep to wake up early and motivated.

I went to the gym and though Greg, a talkative gym-goer, was there we must have bypassed politics to talk about his job opportunities and my plethora of push-ups. It wasn’t till I was almost out the door that I had an awkward conversation — it’s part of who I am. One of the trainers was pregnant and I asked discreetly if she felt any fatter, but she let me know that she miscarried a week ago. I inquired for details and then to lighten the mood before I left talked about Taylor Swift booping her cat on the nose.

With tired arms, I was off to eat potatoes and watch President Trump talk about the midterm elections. I had an assignment to watch Obama’s State of the Union when I lived in Florida, so it was long ago but still a point for comparison. I tried to watch the live footage but it was like seeing an angry child fight for his position at the podium, which given some of the outbursts from the press it could be understandable, but he has the upper hand of authority in the room.

 

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Peanut setting the pace of Sparky’s youth

 

I took a break and what was meant to be a twenty-minute walk with one dog turned into a playful lap around the block and a 2.5-hour ordeal. Sparky and I were joined by a beautiful mutt that happened to follow us home after running back to me to get a sticker out of his paw. He was curious about what Sparky had for dinner and that’s when Sparky lost interest in making a new friend, especially one with so much energy.

I walked the pup into the backyard and called the vet to scan his microchip. They told me they would hang onto him till the owner arrived if they found a number — they didn’t. I told the nurse I would Google the location of the Humane Society and ended up in San Ysidro behind an apartment complex before realizing that I would be going back to the place where I dropped Piggy off almost seven weeks ago, north of Old Town.

I tried taking him to the local dog park to burn some energy but the city is fixing a water pipe issue and there is only dirt and no other dogs for him to run around with there, so in the car we went. I got him to the shelter and they took him to a back room when he tried to jump up to intercept a cat in a box. I got a receipt saying he wasn’t mine and that I forfeited rights to them — agreed.

I went in to use their bathroom and found a whole facility unexplored. I looked at things for Sparky and then asked the lady about donating items instead. Since I was there I looked at their one hundred cats, two large rabbits, and 40 dogs — one little chihuahua that looked like Lassie, a Rough Collie, and a larger dog with a fractured leg. I had Arms of an Angel playing in my head and was happy to leave.

I’m on my way home when I get the message that one neighbor talked to another and found the owner, Matt. He was sad about the drive like I was but excited to get his dog back with shots up to date and a new microchip, just in case this happens again. I let Matt know I’d keep his three-year-old Peanut in my backyard and save us both the time and gas, but now I know where he belongs.

My colleague finally responded to my text from yesterday and asked me to send my résumé along. I found the best version of it and edited the fluff-for-the-professor out of it before sending it to a possible employer. Then my boss emails me to spell check a document and I add line spacing too before sending it back as my dad calls to talk about anything but the political situation that has spiked his nerve. We talk about serious things and I talk about me (usually good for a laugh) and we talk about our spouses.

 

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Peanut is a good passenger

 

This conversation had me search for the President Trump press conference from earlier as perhaps being able to skip parts would make it easier to watch. This only fast-forwarded me to the parts of him declaring the importance of a giant wall, perfectly clean air, and asking for more interesting questions as he cut off speakers to call others rude and dismissed questions to make a point about him being awesome and unimpeachable (not trying to have a political debate here) while talking like a child on the playground about who got the bigger cookie.

I understand how moments like this can turn many people away from politics and government, from the local to federal to international level. The good thing is that it’s not everyone’s job, or assignment, to watch these speeches verbatim, but it is in their best interest to find leaders that align with their views of growth or decay, peace or war, protection or destruction, and to know where their taxes go so they can have an opinion, especially when it’s asked for.

I’m sure the presidential ways of the past — guns and notes on horseback — makes for an interesting read, but now we have mail-in ballots, online voting, and free apps that allow a more transparent look into the behind-the-scenes of this large country. I wouldn’t expect anyone to recall everything they learned in history or their social sciences class but it would be nice for them to remember the people who fought for the right to be educated so that they could vote — even if it meant standing in a rainy line for hours in 2018 to help ease access for those filling out ballots in the future.

 

This entry was posted in Animals, Education, Family, fitness, Food, Government, Media, Military, People, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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