October 8, 2008

My Monday Evening

My very good friend (she introduced me to my husband) substitutes for me on Monday afternoons at my daycare. That's the only way I can make and keep doctor's appointments. I often do grocery shopping then. And I almost always have a late lunch with my husband on Monday afternoon.

This Monday was a little different.

I had spent a great deal of Sunday afternoon struggling with the computer, attempting to persuade the machine to allow me to design some tickets for an upcoming event we are planning. My local Progressive Democrats of America chapter will show a movie with a buffet dinner at the local Polish Natl Assoc hall on Nov 1st. The movie will be "Uncounted", a documentary about the voting irregularities in the last 3 presidential election. We will charge $15 per person. Last time we had an event like this, we got 85 people out, so we engaged the PNA, bigger venue, this time. We need at least 100 people to come. 125 would be better.
So we're working like mad. Right now I've been mostly focused on supporting other members of PDA, helping them figure out who to approach, brainstorming about the importance of getting everyone together right now . You see, just about everyone I know is working on the presidential campaign in one way or another. It might be as simple as talking to all their friends and family members. Other are working through the Union movement or with the Obama campaign to do phone banking and door-to-door canvassing. Lots of our people are making new contacts, working with people from their neighborhoods that they didn't know before. Getting as many of these people in one room together, eating and socializing and then watching a movie with relevant info in it, will go a long way toward building a progressive political community.
So, back to Monday afternoon. Although I was able to design the tickets on Microsoft Publisher, I was unable to number them. A friend of mine said he could figure that out. So Randy and I ate a quick lunch and headed over to his house. As we tried to find MS Publisher on his computer, his partner said, "It's a lot easier just to buy a numbering machine. We go through this everytime we try to make tickets." Well, we struggled and struggled. And we managed to get enough tickets numbered to take around that night, but the process involved putting each sheet of card stock in the printer individually. Then sometimes the printer would go reeeeal sloooow. And sometimes the software would skip a number for no discernible reason. So, a shout out to my friend's partner, she was right. The next day we numbered the rest of the tickets by hand.
That whole process took an agonizing couple of hours, agonizing for me because I'm in hyper drive and have list upon to-do list constantly scrolling through my brain right now. It was nice to see my friend though, and even nicer to know I have someone to back me up in my technological struggles, as well as my political struggles, haha.
With a small pile of numbered tickets, it was time to deliver them. We gave some tickets to our computer friend and moved on.
First we went to the home of a steelworker I know. He's a great guy. He has several kids, one of them handicapped. He and his wife are all about raising their kids well. I have been to meetings and such with him and his kids, and they are are great too (and not all kids can handle themselves at a meeting). He wasn't home, but just happened to be calling his wife as I knocked on the door. She handed me the phone and he told me how he managed to pass out fliers about our dinner/movie event at his factory gate that morning. He was excited. It was encouraging news. We left some tickets.
Next we went to the home of the president of the local steelworkers retirees organization. He and his wife are very active in our PDA chapter. They are Polish emigres, having come to this country in their teens. (This is the man who sang happy birthday to me in Polish at my birthday party, much to my delight). They are both extremely gracious people. They often host our meetings and feed us too. We sat and had a cup of coffee with them and gave an update of ticket sales. We left tickets with them too.
Then we were off to the home of 2 of our dearest friends. Although they live outside our congressional district and thus outside the range of our PDA chapter, we still have plenty in common politically. This couple regularly attends our weekly Peace Vigil in front of the Beaver County Courthouse. And they are gathering people to attend our dinner/movie. So they needed some tickets. Luckily for us, our friends were just getting ready to eat supper (actually I kinda planned it that way). So we sat down to a cup of herbal tea while we waited for the dumplings to finish cooking. Dinner was beef stew with home-made dumplings, yum yum. Not only were vegetables and potatoes in the stew, but also turnips and rutabagas. I LOVE to eat other folks' cooking.
By then we were pretty tired. We had traveled between 60-70 miles that day delivering tickets. We said goodbye to our friends, talked about when we would see them next and walked down their steep Western Pennsylvania front steps. I was tired but glad for all the good people I had seen. Those people are what keep me working so hard, and also keep me happy to do so.
Viva la revolution (or progressive political movement or friends getting together to make things better or whatever you want to call it)!

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