Okay, yes. Of course I’m very happy.

But I just worked for nineteen hours straight and then only slept for three hours afterwards. I may post later this afternoon, but for now I’m just checking in to say yay! And I will have a lot to say later about working as a poll-worker.

I took this in the middle of last week, when New York was without power and we were all walking around searching for food and a place to charge our computers and phones, and for places to take showers and be warm for a little while. In the midst of all that the tour buses went on.

At first I thought, what the hell? But then I realized, these poor people. They plan vacations, buy tickets for various shows, events, and so on, and they get here and Broadway is shut down, events are cancelled, and many hotels were closed. Their vacations and the money they spent on them went largely down the drain. Then I felt really, really bad for them.

Working the Polls Tomorrow

I have to report for duty at my poll site tomorrow, at 5am. It didn’t occur to me until yesterday that I am probably expected to stay until the polls close, and a little after. We have to seal everything, and hand the ballots to the NYPD. We might be working seventeen hours straight. That can’t be right! Right?? That’s absolutely insane. I just checked the card I was sent. That is right. Good lord.

Note to all Americans: be very kind to your poll workers, especially if you’re voting late. They have been at it since 5am!!

Bleeck is hanging on Obama’s every word. Or, he’s having a nice nap.

I Could Have Use a Marathon Today

An update follows this post from this morning.

The New York City Marathon would have gone a long way to making me feel better today. I’m fine really, all I lost was the food in my refrigerator, and I was cold for a few nights, and while my friends and family have varying degrees of loss, no one died. (My father went into the hospital though! He’s out and stable, but poor him!) We’ll see how many people leave Echo because we were down for a day, but I’m guessing not many.

I’m wondering how many of the people who thought the Marathon should be cancelled have actually ever attended a marathon. It’s not that I’m insensitive to the fact that people died and lost their homes. It’s in part because all the stories are destroying me. I wish I could explain it. It’s the sight of people who have been training all year, and for years, war veterans running on prosthetic limbs, people racing in wheelchairs, people with cancer, or who have children with cancer, and all the people running for charity—one of which I supported and of course the money goes to the charity anyway.

There’s nothing like it. Maybe it’s because I always position myself somewhere along the last mile, as close to the end that I can get. The runners are almost at the finish line and they know it. It brings something out of each of them. Many look like they can’t take another step, except they all just keep on going even if the best they can do is limp. Through sweat, tears, and blood (lots of blood) they summon something, something absolutely determined and miraculous, and I get to see that happen over and over, thousands of times. I can never watch without crying and walking away believing anything is possible, one can always strive and try again, and even people who have been totally screwed over by life in some way, shape or form, can win.

UPDATE: Well, the marathon runners made me cry even without running. This picture comes via @911BUFF. It’s a crowd of runners boarding the Staten Island Ferry to volunteer instead of running. Thank you wonderful runners!

Con Ed employees by the generator they set up so people could recharge their phones and computers. My grandfather worked for Con Ed his entire life so I have a soft spot for Con Ed employees. He never missed a day of work and one day, when he didn’t come in, one of his fellow employees joked, “Oh! Walter didn’t come in today, he must be dead.” And he was!

Wishful thinking on the part of one of my neighbors. I thought it was a great idea when I saw it, and we did get our power back yesterday morning. But I’d spent the day cleaning up and I was just too exhausted to leave the house last night. I’m guessing most of us were feeling the same.

All the trees we lost. It breaks my heart. God knows how old many of these trees were. It’s one of the greatest things about the neighborhood, all the great big beautiful trees.

Sob. I’m not showing the half of it, because, as I said, I seemed to have broken my camera AGAIN. But there were downed trees everywhere. Oh, and thank you Department of Sanitation! Talk about being exhausted after all the clean-up.

Just Heard Power in Manhattan by Midnight

We shall see! I just finished foraging, (broccoli, apples, and a Cosi sandwich) and now I’m quick checking my email, making this post, checking the presidential polls and then I’m heading home. Hurricane Sandy did not make a dent into my poll addiction.

A enterprising bike shop puts up signs at the subway stops.

A number of very kind businesses (and Con Ed) set up generators on the street and let anyone who came by power up. But this shop, a UPS store on 7th Avenue between 18th and 19th, gave out power AND CANDY. So a big thank you to UPS! I’ll bet it was the idea of the guy looking at the camera. He has such a sweet face.

There’s Got To Be a Morning After

Or so they sing. I’m sitting in a Starbucks right now, but I’m going to move onto the New York Public Library soon. This connection is painfully slow because it’s packed with people like me.

And, as usual, I need to forage for food. I had a salad and an orange last night and having fresh fruit and greens felt like a banquet. Now I want a real meal. I’ve been living on rice and beans and warmed up pizza.

The only casualty in my house was Bleeck’s whiskers above one eye, which were singed by a candle. I now have to block off the candle because he continues to be curious about it. (I will be getting a coleman lamp for the future, clearly candles are too dangerous in my household.)

Oh, and my camera needs to be repaired. AGAIN. Water must have gotten into it somehow during the hurricane. (That’ll teach me. I should be glad that’s the worst I suffered when I went out.)

There are two Manhattans. Those of us downtown, without power, and those who live uptown, for whom it’s business as usual. It was like this after 9/11. Not that people uptown weren’t affected, of course they were, but I’ll never forget going uptown a couple of weeks after, and people really were walking around like nothing happened, it was like being in another world.

I forgot: Thank you, Atlantic Metro (our co-location host) for getting us back up so insanely fast. And for being so helpful last night when I showed up, and for getting the serial console reconnected. And thank you to Echo’s tech, Jonathan Kay, for all his hard work (and sense of humor) during this emergency.

Hurricane Sandy Clean Up