Entering the 36th Chamber / Canvassing for Bernie
Well, it was my birthday this week—Wednesday, I believe it was—so that means I'm 36 now. A good age for a Wu-Tang fan, I suppose.
Birthdays have never meant that much to me. They're a bit depressing, reminding you, as they do, that you are marching inexorably closer to death. They're also not that interesting. I don't like having a bunch of people focus on my "special day." Thirty-six doesn't actually even seem like the right age. I relate better to 20-somethings than people my own age, with their babies and careers and whatnot. Big friggin' whup! I have a 27-year-old girlfriend and live with my parents. Granted, we're here by choice, for a specific reason, to help out while my mother continues her cancer treatments. So I'm not a completely destitute bum or anything. I have money in the bank. My "career" is flagging a bit, since my most reliable freelance client for the last decade-plus became recently defunct, but I'm picking up new work here and there...
Anyway, fuck it, who cares about that?
Allison likes birthdays, naturally. And she did quite a good job of making sure I enjoyed mine. First we went for a hike—well, more like a walk—in Lower Falls Park. I'd never been there before, but there's a spectacular view of the bridge over the Genesee River, and it's also possible to walk right up to the top of the falls themselves—which we did, of course. Then we made our way over to the Genesee Brew House, for tasting flights of beers. We called it a "classic Rob and Allison day," as this is what we did a lot on our road trip—find an interesting place to go hiking and take pictures for a while, then find a brewery to get drunk at. It's a great way to see America! After that, we had an excellent steak dinner at Black & Blue, which is apparently one of the most expensive restaurants in Rochester, but Allison gets a discount because she works at one of their sister restaurants. We also had two Manhattans at the restaurant's bar, and after that dinner was kind of a blur, although I can say for sure the steak was delicious. She also gave me tickets to Bill Burr's show in Syracuse in June. I guess we really are about that Western/Central New York life now. Might as well embrace it!
We took a night off from drinking last night—much needed, as we also got wasted with her co-workers at a drag show at a club downtown this week (that must have been Thursday), and I think all the boozing was starting to negatively affect our moods (that happens, right?). So I felt pretty spry this morning and went out and did three hours of canvassing for Bernie Sanders, knocking on doors in the South Wedge and asking folks (that's politician-speak for people) if they plan on voting for Bernie in the New York primary on April 19. It wasn't nearly as harrowing as I thought it was going to be, though I did take a clonazepam before I went out, which helped me interact with people in a friendlier, less awkward way than I likely would have otherwise.
The first thing about canvassing that I should say is that most people do not answer the door. Some of them aren't home, of course, but others I could tell were. Cars were still in the driveway, doors were slightly ajar, but my knocks being ignored. I actually watched one pair of people stare at me from behind the blinds, making no effort to approach or open the door. Also, LOTS of people have dogs. Like way more than I realized. If your knock isn't greeted by silence, it will be by barking dogs. BUT, that doesn't mean someone will answer the door. Some people are content to just let their dogs bark and bark and bark until you finally go away. Unless they actually aren't home, and I'm not convinced that was always the case.
And yet, out of the 53 doors I knocked on in two and a half hours, I did find more "Strong Bernie" supporters than any other category. Here's a quick tally:
- 8 Strong Bernie
- 3 Undecided
- 1 Strong Clinton
- 2 Other/GOP
These numbers don't include the guy who's girlfriend said he's "Strong Bernie" but wasn't in my database, the house with a "Bernie for President" sign who wasn't home, or the house with at least three people who were "all for Bernie" but were also not in the database.
I wish more people would have answered the door, but all in all, not bad. I've also been giving out yard signs like crazy to the neighbors ...