November 7th, 2016


In the bank

Although calling people I don't know on the phone is, like, number five on the all-time list of things I most hate to do, I bit the bullet and spent some time today phone banking for Hillary Clinton, with a few friends. The process was largely automated -- I didn't dial the calls myself, but entered my phone number in the system and the system then called me, and continuously connected me to voters -- and I had a script. It was still a little intimidating, especially at first, but once I got into the swing of things it was okay. It helped that we were mostly calling likely supporters, such as registered Democrats and people who have a history of voting Democratic in the past. I was actively calling for a little less than two hours, and I probably spoke to about twenty people, not counting hangups and disconnections. (Since California is beyond safe at this point, we called voters in Ohio. They're probably pretty sick of us by now, so I can't 100% say I blame anyone!)

Not everyone was supportive -- I got a couple of outright Trump supporters and one obvious Hillary hater, and a few undecideds who weren't willing to talk about their concerns. There were also a few people who said they were uncomfortable discussing their voting choices, which I more than understand. But I reached enough people who were enthusiastic about casting their vote for Clinton to make up for it. Like the 90-year-old lady who proclaimed she would never vote for Trump, "not for a million dollars." And the man who reached excitedly for the phone when I told the woman who answered that I was with the Clinton campaign, and informed me that his whole family were Hillary supporters. "God bless Hillary Clinton," he said. "She's going to be the next president of the United States." "I surely hope you're right," I said, and couldn't help smiling. There was also the boy sharing a table with us in the call center. He couldn't have been more than twelve, and he was brilliant: following every detail of the script, talking with such conviction about his support for Clinton and sharing his enthusiasm with every supporter he reached. His mom sat next to him, beaming with pride, and we all beamed back at her. That kid, and every kid like him, is hope for the future.

I know these two hours I put in isn't much, compared to the many, many hours and days of volunteering that some of my friends have undertaken. But I'm glad I did participate today. It was good to get down there, spend some time with fellow Clinton supporters, and get an inside glimpse at just how well-oiled a machine this campaign is.

Just two more days to go. I can hardly believe it. I can hardly wait.

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california - freeway

I'm going to go back there someday

Back when I asked for journal topic suggestions, [personal profile] lassarina came up with several. (Anyone else?) One of them was about travel: places I've been that I want to see again, and places I haven't been where I want to go. The most accurate answer to both of these questions is "everywhere", but I think I can narrow it down a little bit. :)

1. Places I want to see again: If we limit this list to places I've visited only briefly and want to check out again, as opposed to the places that I know I love and will visit at any possible opportunity (New York City, Rome, Chicago, Seattle...), I'd say the top two are London and Portland, Oregon. The first time I ever went to Europe, we flew through London and spent about a day and a half seeing the sites before taking the Chunnel train to Paris. We wandered around, went to the Tate Modern and a couple small museums, walked past the Tower and the Lloyds of London building, but I don't know if that even counts as scratching the surface. Portland I've been to twice, but neither visit was even 24 hours, and I know there's so much more to see there, too.

2. Places I haven't been and still need to visit: Oh, so many. Just for a start, let's say Hong Kong, Beijing, Alaska, New Orleans, Maui, Berlin, Venice, Florence, Savannah. If I had to pick just one of those? I was about to say "wow that's hard", but actually it's not: the only possible answer is Berlin. When I was a junior in college, I took a seminar on the history, architecture, and future of Berlin, and I want so much to experience all that for myself. New Orleans probably ranks second. I still regret that I never got to see it before Hurricane Katrina.

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