I went to elementary school in the late ’50s, when we were taught things like “civics” (how government works) and “citizenship” (one’s duty to participate). In those days between Korea and Vietnam, nothing much was said about military service; on the other hand, we had dozens of tales about World War II to draw inspiration from, outside of class. The two most important things I learned, and still adhere to, are jury duty and voting.
I’ve never understood why jury duty has become something people seem to wish to avoid… I’ve been called three times and never chosen, but I would have relished the chance to “perform my civic duty,” as the phrase used to go, and I will be just as eager to do so again, when called.
Voting — well, I haven’t missed a federal election since 1972, the year after the age was reduced from 21 to 18; ironically, also the year I turned 21. Election Day was tantamount to a civic holiday, on the same order as Veterans Day (which we still called Armistice Day in my youth), Memorial Day, or (gasp! how socialist!) Labor Day — days during which, even if we had to work or go to school, we paused to both honor and, on Election Day, perpetuate the democratic republic established in our Constitution.
… and then, on that first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, we’d all go home and watch the returns, then wait 8 to 10 more weeks for the inaugurations.
This year, on the next-to-last day of October, I succumbed for the first time to the siren call of early voting. Sure, it was convenient — especially since Indiana’s standard Election Day hours are from 6 am to 6 pm, as if we all still had plenty of time to vote that morning after sloppin’ the hawgs. But it feels weird, somehow… a disconnect between the act of casting the ballot and seeing the results.
I’ll get used to it.
What with all the Reality going on around me (and within me, see below), there’s increasingly little in SL (or Iwz) I can be arsed about. I’m still maintaining my pixel land in both places, but visiting it? Rarely happens any more. Besides, between one thing and another, I’m rarely awake past 9 pm (6 pm SL/IW time), and never online while I’m with my sweetie Emspar, every weekend.
What hasn’t changed is the friendships and conversations with people I met first in virtuality and now carry on out-of-world(s). Thank you, all, from as deeply as I can express.
Pretty much official: I have lung cancer, from which the brain tumor is a metastasis. So much for not heeding the Surgeon General… There’s another biopsy scheduled for next Monday (11/5) to nail down the histology, then chemo will begin some time after that. Wednesday (11/7) begins “treatment planning” for the brain tumor.
And somewhere in there, I ought to try to quit smoking.