It's been a couple of years for me, too.

So I'm sitting around my house, umemployed, bored, and freaking out from pre-election anxiety, when I finally get angry enough (at myself; I accomplish a lot more when I'm angry) to go volunteer with the local Democratic "organization". I take a quick shower, shave, and throw on some clothes. Just as I'm about to leave, Osama bin Laden appears on CNN. What?

It was a curiously formal speech, more like he was running for office. Maybe he sees a symbolic void with Arafat near death. Or maybe he's just trying to annoy President Bush. I'm not in the mood to think about it too hard.

The Downriver Democratic Organization (who, by the way, have now surpassed the Trenton Democratic Club as owners of the Worst Website in Politics) had been asking for phonebankers, so I called them and asked if they needed more. When I showed up an hour later they seemed really confused, because nobody was phonebanking at the time.

Somebody (who, as is the norm around here, didn't bother to introduce herself until the end of the day) eventually gave me a phone and list of people to call. As it turns out, the local Democrats are recruiting paid canvassers for election day, for the exact same pay I used to get in Arizona (forty dollars and a bottle of water). I spent four or five hours calling potential workers and telling them where to show up on election day. Or rather, I told their answering machines, because nobody is home on Friday night. (It was always a slow day in the 2002 Arizona campaign, too. We didn't even bother canvassing most Fridays.)

Most of the college students I talked to tonight sounded stoned to me. This may be a sign that I'm finally, officially old.

I took a small break to listen to a boilerworker describe Republicans harassing a Democratic office in Southgate. Apparently the business owner next store is a crazy Republican who's taken to wearing a George Bush mask while he harasses the little old ladies who run the office, and even crazier Republicans have started picketing there. You heard it hear first folks: Republicans hate little old ladies. Apparently, there's been enough harassment at Democratic offices in Michigan that people were semi-seriously discussing sleeping at the offices to make sure Republicans don't vandalize the offices.

At the end of the night, I actually told them I might come back tomorrow, then drove home through a wall of fog. (Living in Arizona for four years, I'd kind of forgotten about fog.) I'm even considering signing myself up for the forty-dollar canvass. I like actually canvassing. Also, I haven't had a paying writing job in a month, so I could really use the forty dollars.

Posted at 11:56:05 PM EDT on 29 October 2004 from Trenton, MI