it's past midnight and i feel sick. what i thought was going to be a democratic landslide didn't end up happening, it'll take days before we can get a final count on some of these swing states, and biden could very well lose, not to mention republicans still controlling the senate. i don't know if it's as bad as 2016, when everyone was shocked that trump won. at least in 2020 i had that doomsday scenario ready in the back of my mind, so i'd be prepared if it happened again, but surely trump couldn't win this time. not with the pandemic, the stalled economy, the social injustice.

the fact that the race is even this close makes me question if america doesn't deserve to burn since half the population is garbage for voting for a candidate utterly unsuitable to be president. it isn't that bleak yet, as biden is in the lead, but at this point neither candidate can win and it'll be up to one of these swing states to decide again who the next president is. i turned off the tv a bit before midnight, i couldn't even watch anymore. nobody had an answer, it's 2000 all over again. you'd think 2 decades later they would've fixed the voting system so ballots are counted on time and we don't have a repeat of bush-gore, but leave it up to these garbage swing states to prolong the suffering. at this point i don't even want to watch the news. somebody just let me know when it's all over and who won.

the day started on an optimistic note. after waking up, i went outside and raked the leaves in the backyard and sidewalk since garden refuse pickup was tomorrow. since i was in the basement, i took the opportunity to replace the furnace fan with one of the new ones i bought online. glad i did, because the old filter was all grey and clogged with chunks of dust bunnies.

i then walked down to the nearby elementary school to vote. i was greeted by someone at the door who asked me which precinct i belonged to. i didn't know, she found out when i gave her my address. inside were the usual voting booths, but taped off so there was always a booth between voters. there were a lot more poll workers than usual, and many of them younger. besides masks, they all had gloves and face shields. along with a ballot i also got a felt-tipped black marker. after inserting my ballot into the scanning machine (face down, i didn't want the poll worker to see who i voted for, but probably most people in cambridge voted for biden), they collected my pen. i did not receive a sticker, but the ones we get in cambridge are so basic, i almost don't even want to take one if offered. usually there are people selling cookies and drinks (most likely affiliated with the school, to make some money), but because of social distancing, they set up a table outside the school with offerings of hot drinks.

with that i went home and waited. even though i didn't have any caffeine today, i was antsy. for lunch i ate an old container of chobani yogurt. it was very sour, probably meant it went bad, but can yogurt go bad? i waited to see if i'd have a reaction but when i didn't i decided to go out and get some groceries from market basket.

temperature was in the lower 40's. cool but the sun was out so i just wore a light jacket as i biked to the supermarket. i didn't mind the cold, knowing that later in the week we'd have a long stretch of 60-70's weather. i had a shopping list but soon realized i was buying more than i could carry back, so i had to figure out what was essential and what i'd come back and buy tomorrow.

my 5TB western digital external hard drive ($90) came today from best buy. turns out this particular model is a best buy exclusive. it looked a lot larger in the photo (thicker) but it wasn't that bad. as tradition, i made it an embossed label, "5TB 2020". i will use it to back up my photos.

i also insulated my back door. i insulated it last winter, but most of the weather stripping had fallen off (peeling bits of the wooden doorframe along with it). i applied some new double-sided tape to put back the weather stripping around the edges of the door. the back of the house by the kitchen is still colder than the rest of the house, but at least i'm not worried about cold draft coming into the house or warm air escaping.

i watched the first episode of the right stuff on disney+. it dovetails nicely with apple tv's for all mankind, another history drama about the early space program. while the right stuff is more a historical docudrama, for all mankind is more fantasy imagining what would've happened had the soviets reached the moon first. both are good shows for anyone who loves astronauts and going into outer space.

i bought some kale and made kale chips for a snack. i removed the leaves (from the stems), soaked them in water, then dried them in batches using the salad spinner. i was impatient and couldn't wait for the leaves to dry completely, and started tossing them with a bit of olive oil (1 tsp) and pink himalayan sea salt (1 tsp). i then put them on two trays and heated them in the oven at 300°F. 12 minutes, then switched the trays for another 12 minutes. when i took them out they were still soggy (because the leaves weren't dry enough) so i put them back into the oven for another 10 minutes before they were finally ready. the final kale chips i finished off in a single sitting.

my mother packed me some raw marinated boneless pork chops yesterday. i steamed a cup of jasmine rice in the cooker and prepared 2 pork chops using the smokeless grill. i didn't even bother opening a window to ventilate, the pork chops were fairly lean and any smoke wouldn't be of the greasy variety (unless bacon). i left them to cook for 10 minutes which was probably too long because the pork chops can't out a little dry (well done). next time i won't grill them as long. i sprinkled some shichimi togarashi chili pepper spice on the rice and paired it with some homemade kimchi. i had the pork chops with some tonkatsu sauce.

once evening arrived i was glued to the television, flipping from one channel to another, watching all the election coverage. the landslide didn't happen and when it looked like florida was going to go republican, i was hoping that wouldn't be a sign that additional swing states would go to trump. fortunately i never got to find out because they'll still be counting for days.