As promised, here's the delayed monthly personal update.
I'm typing from my bed and fully plan to turn off the lights and computer once this post is done to go to sleep, so I'm already in my pjs and everything. That's a pillow behind me, instead of the usual couch. I just took that picture, and am impressed how though my hair is messy right now, it turned out ok.
Anyhow, October I moved to a place only about half the size of my previous place. Since the middle of college, I've had a group of boxes that move along with me even though they haven't been unpacked. They followed me for six moves, with more and more boxes being added in this group. It got so bad that at my last apartment, a one bedroom and den (the den was very large and could definitely be used as a second bedroom), I used the whole spare room for these boxes. There wasn't much floor space in that room to walk between the boxes. Well, I finally went through each and every one of these boxes and threw out what was now trash, and reorganized the contents I wanted to keep in boxes according to what they were. Now some of those are in storage and some are with me. I donated most of my furniture to the Salvation Army, and have several boxes (currently living in my car) to donate to a food bank, Toys for Tots, Dress for Success, and Goodwill. I was awful stressed during the whole process though.
A few family members celebrated birthdays in October. My ultimate team ended our regular season losing only one game at the very beginning. I played a session of bridge at the Silver Spring Sectional, and one at the local unit game one night. Some dear friends came into town for a conference, bringing their two kids. I took the oldest of the kids to see the National Archives, the WWII memorial, FDR memorial, and paddle boating in the tidal basin.
For Halloween, I dressed up as a gypsy at work and brought in candy for everyone. I also baked cupcakes and gave those out to my fellow coworkers also in costume. The best was Pee Wee Herman.
The last weekend of October I went hiking in the Shenandoah. Also stopped by Luray Caverns, which I hadn't gone to since I was a little girl, and The Garden Maze. The website claims the maze to be one acre. Looking at it from the outside, I was disappointed because it didn't seem like an acre, but once inside, it seemed huge, and it was certainly of good relative difficulty. You could kind of see through the hedge to the path adjacent to you, but that didn't help you get there in the slightest. Next time in Luray, I would def suggest trying it even though it looks gimmicky. And look for the stamp stations (there are 4 landmarks to find). If you have younger children though, be warned that I saw many poor parents whose kids had run ahead be terribly lost and unsure of how to get to their kid that appears to just be a few feet away.
For those participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, something I often claim I'll do but never have gotten close to succeeding in), Macworld had an excellent article on Mac novel writing tools. The tools featured in their article feature 30 day (or more) free trials, and a discount on the purchase if you decide to keep it. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to start and finish a novel of at least 50,000 words all in the month of November. These trials are plenty long enough for this whole goal!
As you may have guessed, the software featured in the Macworld article is indeed Mac-only. PC users may want to look at Liquid Story Binder XE, also available for a 30-day free trial and at a discount for those who want to purchase it. Another great PC-only tool is Q10. Those are the top two I've seen PC users use. Meanwhile, Writer's Cafe is available for both Windows and Mac.
Personally, I had started in TextEdit on my Macbook Air, and then decided to try Scrivener after reading the article. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to work on my novel since then, so no review from me yet!
I know, first Monday of the month is supposed to be my personal update, but I decided to postpone it a week this month for a more important message.
If you're a US citizen, no matter what state you're in and no matter which candidates or issues you support, get out there vote!
For those who have already voted via absentee or early voting, good for you! But if you're state doesn't have early voting, please don't let long lines, weather, or what the polls claim be excuses. Even if you feel like your presidential election vote doesn't count, there are other important candidates and issues on the ballot besides the presidential election where your vote will definitely count. And be an informed voter! Don't just vote for the name you recognize because they are the incumbent. You can look up how your senator or representative has voted in the past on various bills, and decide whether or not you really do want to keep them in office.
If you lost the little card with your polling site, you can go to http://maps.google.com/vote.
What time do polls open/close?
I couldn't find a good resource with a nice table of all the poll times for all the states so I looked them all up for you (ok halfway through making the chart I found Vote411 had information for all the states, but it still wasn't an easy chart). Yes, I took the time to do this. You can make sure to schedule some time in your day tomorrow to go vote. All times in local time unless noted. Feel free to send me corrections if you find a mistake.
|Alabama||8am to 6pm|
|Alaska||7am to 8pm|
|American Samoa||No voting rights in national elections at this time|
|Arizona||6am to 7pm|
|Arkansas||8am to 6pm|
|California||7am to 8pm|
|Colorado||9am to 7pm|
|Connecticut||6am to 7pm|
|Delaware||7am to 8pm|
|DC||7am to 8pm|
|Florida||7am to 7pm|
|Georgia||7am to 7pm|
|Guam||No voting rights in national electionsat this time|
|Hawaii||7am to 6pm|
|Idaho||8am to 8pm|
|Illinois||6am to 7pm|
|Indiana||6am to 6pm|
|Iowa||7am to 9pm|
|Kansas||7am to 7pm|
|Kentucky||6am to 6pm|
|Louisiana||6am to 8pm|
|Maine||10am-8pm (though most polls open earlier)|
|Maryland||7am to 8pm|
|Massachusetts||7am to 8pm|
|Michigan||7am to 8pm|
|Minnesota||7am to 8pm|
|Mississippi||7am to 7pm|
|Missouri||6am to 7pm|
|Montana||7am-12pm (varies) to 8pm|
|Nebraska||8am to 8pm CST and 7am to 7pm MST|
|Nevada||7am to 7pm|
|New Hampshire||Varies. In general, open between 6am and 11am and close at either 7pm or 7pm|
|New Jersey||6am to 8pm|
|New Mexico||7am to 7pm|
|New York||6am to 9pm|
|North Carolina||6:30am to 7:30pm|
|North Dakota||Mostly 7am-7pm|
|Northern Marianas Islands||No voting rights in national elections at this time|
|Ohio||6:30am to 7:30pm|
|Oklahoma||7am to 7pm|
|Oregon||No polling sites. All vote by mail drop. Drop off by 8pm|
|Pennsylvania||7am to 8pm|
|Puerto Rico||No voting rights in national elections at this time|
|Rhode Island||7am to 9pm|
|South Carolina||7am to 7pm|
|South Dakota||7am to 7pm|
|Tennessee||7am to 7pm (mostly) but all must close by 8pm EST/7pm CST and be open at least 10 hours and at most 13 hours|
|Texas||7am to 7pm|
|Utah||7am to 8pm|
|Vermont||10am to 7pm (most locations open earlier)|
|Virginia||6am to 7pm|
|Virgin Islands||No voting rights in national elections at this time|
|Washington||7am to 8pm in King and Pierce counties. Otherwise, varied|
|West Virginia||6:30am to 7:30pm|
|Wisconsin||7am to 8pm|
|Wyoming||7am to 7pm|