Thoughts a Week From Election Day

They are, in no particular order:

1. Vote. I mean, presuming you are an American citizen, etc. But vote. It’s actually important. And remind everyone you know to vote as well. This election matters. A lot. Vote early if you can, you’ll feel better having it done with.

2. Don’t panic. One, at this point, at the presidential level, this cake is already baked. Clinton voters don’t give a shit about the most recent email nonsense. Trump voters don’t give a shit about any of the various horrible things he’s done. Everyone’s going to vote the way they were always going to vote. It’s all over except for the waiting.

3. Take a day off from the world. But! But! But! I hear you say! Polls! Controversies! Dogs and cats living together! If you still can’t stop freaking out, disengage. I did this yesterday: I stepped away from the Internet and read books and played video games instead. It helped to take a breather. I recommend you do so, too, if the stress is getting to you.

4. Clinton’s almost certainly gonna be president. Because, per point two, all the noise at this point is just noise. Polls will tighten, the press will jump on things — Clinton’s email on Friday, Trump’s server talking to Russia today — and you and everyone you know will pray for the sweet, sweet release of death between now and next Tuesday. But at the end of the day, Clinton’s in the lead in terms of projected electoral vote count and has been for nearly the entire run of the campaign. There would have to be a collapse of historic proportions to change that. Could that happen? It’s a quantum physics universe and anything can happen. But it almost certainly won’t. As Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium has noted, despite all the noise, this election has actually been incredibly stable, and stable in Clinton’s favor.

5. Clinton voters: Don’t get cocky. Clinton’s almost certainly going to win, but one way that she won’t is if everyone who was going to vote for her gets complacent. Remember that Trump is out there telling everyone the vote will be rigged and telling his voters to go be “poll watchers” (i.e., intimidate the hell out of Clinton voters), which as it happens is causing potential problems for the RNC, as it should. A number of states, including my own, have gone out of their way to make it harder for people to vote — and let’s be honest, by saying “people” here, I mean “minorities, who are overwhelmingly more likely to vote Democratic.” Also remember that Trump’s people are all in on trying to discourage Clinton voters from going to the polls, because that’s really the only way for him to win at this point. Basically lots of people would love it if you didn’t vote. Disappoint them.

6. Trump voters: It ain’t rigged. When your dude almost certainly loses next Tuesday, it won’t be because the election was rigged. It’s not. It’s literally almost impossible to rig the presidential election. The only reason for Trump to be bellowing that the election is rigged is because he can’t fathom losing fair and square, and because the GOP wants an excuse, any excuse, not to give a Clinton presidency any legitimacy. Now, you may be voting for a horrible, racist, sexist, ignorant braggart and loudmouth, but you don’t have to believe every piece of stupidity that comes out his mouth. The “election is rigged” piece is one of the stupidest. It’s not rigged. Your fellow will lose because he didn’t get the votes. Simple as that.

7. Hang in there, it’s almost over. One week, that’s all. Then afterward there is a whole other set of issues to deal with. But this friggin’ nightmare, at least, will be done. Keep it together until then, okay?

A Year of Scamperbeastery

A year ago today we went over to my mother-in-law’s neighbor’s house and took possession of two eight-week-old kittens there. These kittens, tentatively named Thing One and Thing Two, eventually became known as Sugar and Spice, aka the Scamperbeasts. It’s been a pretty good year for them since then, as they’ve become beloved members of the Scalzi household, with Sugar becoming especially partial to Daisy, our large galumphing dog, and Spice apparently enjoying alternately antagonizing and adoring Zeus, the senior cat of the household.

Over the space of the year, other aspects of their personality have sussed out as well. Sugar, appropriately, is the cuddly the one — she likes sleeping with (or on) the humans in the household and will actively seek one out for pettings and affection. Spice also likes affection but on her terms, which is usually at 4am, when she will leap on the bed with a series of loud chirps. Sugar has claimed the front room as her primary domain; Spice prefers the master bedroom.

However, both these days prefer being outside. Once they were large enough not to be taken away by hawks, we let them out to roam around the Scalzi Compound, pursuant to our tradition of having our cats not only be pets, but working animals. To recap, there are agricultural fields on three sides of us, and in the fall, a lot of the rodents who had been living in the fields start looking for somewhere warm, and our house looks good to them. So the cats basically set a perimeter. As it happens, both of the Scamperbeasts are really good at the whole “don’t let rodents into the house” thing, and they pretty much stay outside until they are tired or decide they want kibble or petting. They’re country girls at heart. We’ll see what happens once it starts getting really cold overnight, however.

A year ago I was initially reluctant to take two kittens — more accurately, I was in the market for only one, although when both Athena and Krissy decided we should take two I didn’t put up too much of a fight — but I have to say that a year it, taking the two instead of just one seems to have been the right call. In the early months especially they kept each other company; these days they are rather more independent of each other but they are still obviously affectionate sisters. They make for quite a pair.

As I said, a good year for them, I think, and for us. We’re glad they’re with us and we look forward to them being with us for as long as they are. It’s been lovely to see them grown from kittens to cats. Here’s to the rest of it.