Vote, vote, vote


My receipt for voting.

Lucky us! We get to vote on Ground Hog’s Day! So if a candidate sees his shadow … Oh, never mind. Ground Hog’s Day is such a silly holiday, anyway!

I got one phone call to vote for Jim Ryan for judge. When I said I would vote for him, the caller asked if I would like to put Jim Ryan sign on my lawn. Then, last week, I get two unusual calls from politicians soliciting my vote for David Hoffman. One was from Paul Vallas who doesn’t even reside in the state of Illinois anymore. And the other was from Miguel del Valle who also solicited my vote for David Hoffman in Spanish. I must admit he spoke Spanish very nicely. I’m not sure if Paul Vallas really wanted me to vote for David Hoffman. Or if, as I suspiciously tend to believe, that he wanted to remind me that he still existed so that I would vote for him upon his imminent return to Illinois politics. But that’s just me.

I also received voting instructions for early voting in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Okay, I’m not actually sure if it’s Mandarin Chinese, but I wanted to sound knowledgeable. Everyone wants to sound knowledgeable around election time, no? In Chicago, all the polling places are multilingual. If you’re an American citizen, you’re entitled to vote even if you don’t speak English! But this is typical of every election in Chicago.

A Chicago election is always very confusing. For whom do I vote? There are always a few obvious candidates for me. But others, I never even heard of them! I know we’re supposed to vote for candidates intelligently. However, I only seem to be aware of candidates who raised enough money to pay for radio and TV ads. So how do I vote for everyone else? Including the completely unknown candidates? I vote the Chicago Way! I vote for all the candidates I knew from before election day would get my vote.

What happens to my votes for the rest of the candidates? In a general election, if I’m not sure for whom to vote, I vote the straight Democratic ticket. It’s the Chicago Way! In a primary election when I have to declare myself a Democrat, I vote for all the Irish candidates. It’s the Chicago Way! Of course, I once met a Judge Cunningham who was elected as judge because of his Irish name. Judge Cunningham was African-American! So I guess voting for an Irish or Irish-sounding candidate is very egalitarian. It’s the Chicago Way! Next in the pecking order are female names. If it’s a female candidate with an Irish name, so much the better. That was in the old days. Now that we have more Hispanic candidates, I automatically vote for a Spanish name. The election slate is so long for some elections that very few people would know every candidate very well. However, I want to exercise my Constitutional right to vote! Even if it’s the Chicago Way!

Mexican Chinese food


A Chinese restaurant in México City.

While I was in Mexico, we went to several malls, which were very much like many American malls I have visited, only newer. Since finding a restaurant that was appetizing for my sons and the rest of us was was a huge challenge, the mall provided the perfect solution with their eateries and their variety of restaurants. Each one of us could order our favorite food at different restaurants. My sons chose Subway, not surprisingly. I wanted to try new food that I had never eaten in Mexico before. I found a Chinese restaurant in a hidden corner near one of the mall exits. I just love Chinese food! But I suspected that Mexican Chinese food would be different from American Chinese food. And I was right. The choices on the menu were different and I didn’t recognize all the entrees. But true to the Chinese restaurant tradition–even in Mexico– I was served very large portions and at a very economical price compared to the surrounding restaurants in the mall. An elderly Chinese man served me. He understood all of my questions about the menu. However, he barely spoke Spanish and had a difficult time communicating to me. I think the best Chinese restaurants are the ones where the cooks only speak Chinese. Yes, even in the U.S. Well, the food was delicious! But I was hungry a half an hour later. Yes, even in Mexico! I was disappointed that they did serve green or red salsa. I mean every restaurant in Mexico serves salsa!

I would like soy sauce and salsa!