Friday, May 21, 2010

Goose steppin' in the rain

I've said that the majority of people I encounter in my travels as an enumerator are friendly, kind and cooperative. It's still true. I've come to appreciate Home Depot in a whole new way. Go to Home Depot, buy a home (aka plastic storage shed), place it on a flat piece of ground and viola! Instant dwelling. Add a few poles and some plastic sheeting and you're stylin'. And the fact that someone lives in one is no reflection on the niceness or contentment of that person. In fact, some of the most rudimentary houses shelter some of the happiest people. That's the beauty of America. We are free to live as we choose.

That said, we all know that not everyone is nice. Today, a woman asked me if she had to answer, grilled me on why the information was needed, asked if I counted illegal aliens. Then, she had the temerity to say, "It feels like Nazi Germany, having someone come to your house like that." Really? Nazi Germany? Now, I do look pretty ominous, a 51 year old woman with frizzy hair wearing an orange Big Dogs shirt and purple sneakers, so I can see where she might have felt intimidated. And I'm sure she would know all about what it felt like to live in Nazi Germany, having been born in the 70s. Comments like that must infuriate people who know what Nazi German was like. They infuriate me, and I can't pretend to know. I'm getting pretty sick of people throwing labels around without the faintest concept of what they really mean.

That said, I'm happy now, home in the hovel, listening to the rain wash from the sky in great sheets, my SS cats and my Gestapo dogs all snoozing about the house, my husband with the German last name watching old movies in his office but telling me he's working. My beer is chilling and almost ready for me. I'm free, free, free to do any damn thing I please right now. Nazi Germany? Come on!

A hui hou. Aloha!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Enumerating is fun! OK, I'll admit I wouldn't want to do it long term, but mostly, it's cool. I drive to Hilo, attend my meeting, submit my time card and completed forms, stop at Good Earth for a muffin and coffee, then head into "the field" as they say to count people. Most people, I've finding, are nice, cooperative and not scary at all. A few are creepy and paranoid, but the majority are pleasant, polite and generally swell. The paycheck is also swell. Don't you just love economic stimulus?