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As Long as We Remember...

November 2, 2004

Surviving Election Night

Edward Lulie III

For me the chance that John Kerry could be the next president of the United States is scarier than anything you can imagine on Halloween. Why we donít just move Election Day to October 31st is beyond me. Most politicians are already in disguise and there is sure to be a shudder, shock and gasp even in the more mundane elections.

Perhaps you have had enough of polls, pundits and wise columnists spinning webs of words for weeks before you cast that ballot. Now what? Do you settle back and watch the results on television as you speed dial that remote in search of answers? Or do you find some other method of calming oneís nerves before going to bed, somewhat confident that after a good nightís sleep you can better face whatever the result may be.

While I donít know that I, an amateur political junkie, can resist learning whether we will be ruled for the next four years by the French or a guy who really does like sports that arenít listed in LL Bean catalogs. However, if I can not take the suspense there are a number of alternatives available, some of which may even appeal to you.

1. Knitting black armbands by candlelight. These useful items will certainly be in demand post election day and you can either have them ready for use when you learn the election results or have them for sale outside the local Starbucks where local Kerry supporters will be gathering together in shock.

2. A DVD marathon. Presuming that you have a DVD player and TV (one new enough to use an S-Video input) then you have a wide variety of choices of some great movies

Gladiator is excellent, lots of action and violence even if the plot is a bit threadbare.

Alias, you can now rent the first, second and third seasons. That is 24 episodes per season, no commercials. Although the first season has more than a few weak moments, it does hit itís stride and take off. A bit of the Avengers, mixed with 24, a hint of the X- Files and with an excellent cast this TV series is far above the average and a joy to own for those longer winter days when you canít drive anywhere and still have electrical power.

24 is sort of a James Bond meets Tom Clancy kind of action adventure series. Very watchable, but also it can be addictive. If you enjoy the first few episodes you probably can not resist watching them all.

Perfect Storm this movie is just wonderful to enjoy with surround sound and a large enough TV. The downside is if you are subject to getting seasick. Visually stunning with incredible special effects it makes you feel like keeping a dry towel nearby to wipe the saltwater and rain off.

Bowfinger: the best Steve Martin comedy ever made. Heís a desperate crooked producer with a twisted scheme to make a movie. If you need a good laugh, this is probably the movie for you.

Lastly I give you the secret receipt for perfect buttered popcorn. Use a pyrex cup and take one stick of real butter (do NOT use a substitute). Heat in microwave on high for 2 minutes and 11 seconds. The butter will appear to boil but ends up bubbling (it foams before reducing to a bubbling liquid). Some microwaves may overcook it so be careful. If you do it right it eliminates a lot of the moisture content and leaves a wonderful, salty butter that is almost exactly what one could get in the old days of going to the movies when they too used real butter. Air popped is also the way to go and has fewer calories (which, of course, you care about since you just used a whole stick of butter).

Other possibilities for a quiet evening might consist of cozy snuggling with a significant other or a really good book.

Imbibing adult beverages may suit some but consider the possibility of having to face the next dawn with a hangover and the chance that youíll also be waking up to an even worse type of hangover, the kind that last four years.

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