As I write this blog post, I have the latest US presidential debate in the background. I still haven't figured out what I want to do on election day. Do I stay up all night watching the results? Do I go to Presidents Night at the Melkweg? It's basically an election night type of party - well, i guess the atmosphere of the "party" will depend on how the results turn out. Do I just go to sleep at a normal time, wake up in the morning, and find out what happened? The Netherlands is 6 hours ahead of the east coast, 9 hours ahead of the west coast. Voting booths close around 8pm around the country (maybe later), so that will be 2am here.
I'm registered in California, which will vote democratic. I have many, many doubts about my absentee ballot being used for anything other than recycling container filling, but I'm sending it in - if for no other reason than to take part in what will (hopefully) be the biggest overseas vote in history. When some reporter says "record amounts of Americans living abroad sent in absentee ballots this year," I want to be part of that record-breaking number. It's all I can really do - well that, and donate money to Obama's campaign on behalf of some of my European friends (I've been asked a few times!).
Anyway, three weeks from now we'll have the answer. Until then, I am grateful that the Daily Show streams episodes from the website, because it's a wonderful relief.
Focusing on day-to-day life in Amsterdam, I'm wondering what happened to my bike overnight to make my front wheel squeak and made me work twice as hard to pedal to work this morning. I'm still having a really great time climbing, taking Dutch classes once a week, going to the movies one or two nights a week, trying to find time to sleep. But there's a few important things I really need to take care of that I've been putting on the backburner.
1. Find a doctor, dentist, and optometrist. I've got this great health care that I'm not putting to use!
2. Get my roommate registered at my apartment, which means hoping that my landlord agrees to write a letter saying that he can stay. My (Australian) roommate has to go through the same process as I did in order to get his address registered, apply for a SOFI/BSN number, and then a bank account.
3. Order some curtains that actually fit my bedroom window and get a real internet connection set up at home, rather than just cross my fingers that the open network I use remains open.
4. Buy a ticket to Paris. I really miss my friends there, and I've been anxious for a weekend trip out of town. There's a million places I haven't been that I would love visit, but I think a weekend with good friends in a city that will always feel like home sounds like a good November trip.
5. Figure out what to be for Halloween! Yes, even here in Holland, I found out about a huge Halloween party planned for the 31st. I'll go ahead and add "Halloween costume" to my top priorities- after all, what's more fun - making a costume or going to the dentist?