Randomly on a Monday: 11.26.2018

Wow, it’s been almost three weeks since my last post! Time does go by fast these days, doesn’t it?

I haven’t had a whole lot of anything meaningful to write a post of substance lately, but a whole bunch of little things, so I figured, why not another Randomly post?

So, here’s how I’ve been recently:

  • We had Thanksgiving last Thursday; in past years, we wouldn’t really do much of anything because the relatives that did come over to our house when I was younger have gradually died off. Most years around Thanksgiving my dad’s employer gives away turkeys to its employees, but I usually ended up saving the turkey for Christmas (they store real nicely in the freezer). My dad didn’t bring home a turkey this year, and it didn’t bother me one bit. Perhaps this Christmas I’ll cook up what my grandmother loved to make for Christmas: lasagna.
  • The beauty of having in-laws, though, is that this year we actually got to go somewhere for Thanksgiving: to my brother and sister-in-law’s house on the other end of town! It was a small gathering: in addition to our hosts, their little girl, and me and my parents, we were also joined by my mother and father-in-law, my other sister-in-law (the sister of my brother’s wife), and my nephew. I still haven’t really learned all their names yet, so mother and father-in-law will be MIL and FIL, while A’s sister and her son will be known as B&B. J smoked his Thanksgiving turkey on his charcoal grill, which took about 7 hours to cook, but it was one of the most delicious turkeys I have ever eaten. The white meat on it was quite juicy and not dry at all (which always can happen when you oven roast it like I normally do). He has previously cooked whole chickens in this manner and they come out quite tender with a real nice flavor imparted by the charcoal. MIL ended up doing most of the cooking, with all sorts of side dishes like mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserole, marshmallow yams (not really my favorite, so I skipped that one), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a honey ham that was heated up in an electric roaster.
  • I did do a little bonding with the sisters-in-law as well, we ended up getting into an interesting conversation over true crime shows and making fun of Lifetime movies.
  • A is about 6 months along in her pregnancy 🤰🏻 right now and seems to be doing well. She is showing, but not heavily (she was the same way when she was pregnant with R.A.).
  • Speaking of the baby (who I will be referring to as “The Bambina” until she’s born), I have plans to knit her a baby blanket, and I’m hoping to get the yarn for it as soon as tomorrow. (I plan on asking my dad to take me to the local Walmart Supercenter instead of the Neighborhood Market when I go to get groceries this week, and I should have enough money on hand to cover the cost of the yarn.) The design I have in mind for The Bambina is a checkerboard blanket in two different shades of pink, with a small border around the edges in a third shade of pink. I’ve already done some test knitting to figure out the size of the squares.
  • We are about to have our first major cold snap of the season this week, with a cold front connected to a winter storm working its way across the Northeastern United States due to pass through here within the next couple of days. We won’t get much in the way of precipitation, but temperatures here will plunge into the upper 30s and low 40s overnight and we’ll have a few days where the high will not break 65 (which is downright chilly 🥶 for our warm blood here). It will definitely be “sweater weather” here for the next few days.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me lately.

I close this post with the song that always comes to mind when I think of cold snaps, “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood.

The Nerd Super Bowl

Today is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November: Election Day. It is something normally observed (unless you live in a state with off-cycle elections for certain offices) every two years. This year marks a set of elections between presidential elections, or what is colloquially known as the “midterms”. On the federal level, both houses of Congress face election — the entirety of the House of Representatives (which is up for election every two years) and about one-third of the Senate (each Senator serves a six year term and each seat is up for election every six years, but only one-third of the seats are up for election in a given election; for example, Florida’s Senate seats were up for election in 2016 and this year, but will not have a seat up for election during the next presidential election in 2020). On the state and local levels, a bunch of legislative and municipal seats are up for election as well as governorships, including in my home state of Florida. Both of the major party candidates for governor here are in their late 30s, by far the youngest candidates we’ve seen for governor in a long time. The Republican candidate served in the Navy before getting elected to Congress, while the Democratic candidate was the mayor of our state’s capital, Tallahassee, and could become Florida’s first-ever African-American Governor if he’s elected. Elsewhere, a transgender woman is running for Governor of Vermont, a Native American woman is running for Governor of Idaho, and a woman in Georgia could become the country’s first African-American female governor (although the governor’s race in Georgia has become quite contentious).

My Election Day started with a trip to the Florida DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), where I finally took care of something that needed to be taken care of for a long time: I finally obtained a new, valid ID card. I got it primarily so I could go and vote without any hassles, but…I could also use it to buy some alcohol if I wanted to (and I’m actually tempted to get some Chardonnay the next time I go to the store…or some hard cider)…or get into bars…but I’ve finally gotten that taken care of. The DMV office I went to was relatively empty (despite the DMV’s reputation for long lines and bureaucratic stuff). This was mostly because we went to an office that wasn’t in the county seat, which is guaranteed to be one of the busiest. Thankfully, I got all my required documents together and ready to go. I was even prepared to tackle a bit more of The Fountainhead while waiting, but the whole thing only took me about 30 minutes from the time I went in to the time I walked out with my ID card.

Next, my dad had to get more cigarettes 🚬, and then we swung by the McDonald’s drive-thru to get some lunch before we went over to our polling place. (My dad had already cast his ballot this morning before coming home, and my mom was never a voter, even when she was mentally competent…she didn’t care much for politics.) It took about another 20 minutes for me to sign in and fill out and turn in my ballot. There were 12 different state constitutional amendments to vote on, which took the longest part (although I had already filled out my sample ballot as a guide after researching and analyzing what all the legalese in the amendments meant), and I decided to look over my ballot one more time before turning it in, just to make sure I filled in my choices for the partisan races properly and that I was sure that my choices for each amendment were the ones I intended. The nonpartisan races were kinda pick and choose unless I knew who the candidate was. These were mostly county races.

So, who did I vote for? I’m not telling. Some of my friends and acquaintances know how I lean, but this is meant to be an apolitical blog that is welcoming to everyone, no matter which way they lean. I will say I am confident in my choices on who I voted for and that I have no regrets.

Tonight, I’m gonna watch the returns come in and play some armchair pundit with a friend or two over messenger. Watching all these numbers come in results in a data-palooza that I like to call the “Nerd Super Bowl”. No matter how the results turn out, this is a historical day, as is any General Election Day here in the United States. I hope those of you who were eligible to went out and voted! Every vote matters!

Now, as I await the start of the Nerd Super Bowl 🏟 (which kicks off in earnest around 8:00 pm Eastern time), I’m gonna relax and drink some well-deserved coffee ☕️ and reflect on how I actually got done what I wanted done for once. That I actually put on my grown-ass woman pants and did some adulting today.