"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Trapped on Wednesday, Too

basement window in Legislative Office Building

Okay, so the incarcerated/trapped theme is somewhat outworn this week, but I'm sticking with it one more day....

Today I was "trapped" in Representatives Hall, where we legislated like hell from 10 a.m. till 4:40. Tomorrow is the deadline for reporting bills going to a second committee. Because icky weather is expected, we really didn't want to come back for a second session this week. We were sufficiently motivated to make it through Part 1 of our calendar (the deadline bills) and a portion of Part 2. We special ordered the unfinished Part 2 bills to next week.

Melissa, I thought of you--and your EZ Pass woes of last year--when voting on HB 1604-FN. Our Dept. of Transportation estimates 33,000 EZ Pass violations each month...you can screw up twice in 30 days without penalty. But three times, and you suffer the consequences. There's no reference to an appeals process in this particular piece of legislation, as far as I can tell.

At lunch break I did email on my laptop on the deserted 3rd floor of the LOB. Taking 4 flights of stairs (from the basement to the top) up and down is my midday exercise.

During the afternoon debates I was attentive yet still managed to scribble a portion of my scene-in-progress. As the hour grew later I got giggly. The bill that would've formed a study committee to see if NH wants to change to the Atlantic Time Zone cracked me up. (And my seat mates and the row behind me.) Not so much on its merits, or lack thereof, but points made during the debate were occasionally frivolous. And late in the day, I'm susceptible to any sort of humour.

I can't imagine driving from Portsmouth to Kittery and entering a different time zone. I know, I know--Indiana. Not a convincing argument!

A parliamentary inquiry (PI) type of question popped into my mind near the conclusion. It went unasked but I'll share it with you.

"Would the honourable gentleman believe that I spent 11 years living in the Mountain Time Zone, and would he also believe that I moved to the Eastern Time Zone where all my immediate relatives reside partly to stop my mother, father and brother asking me 'What time is it there?' every time they rang me up, which was driving me crazy?"

I escaped the Hall soon as we were released, raced to the garage, and was on the motorway before the State employees merged onto it from the state complex at Hazen Drive. It was a speedy commute and I was singing along with Dar Williams and Ani DiFranco--Comfortably Numb--at the top of my voice.

I really should be at church tonight, kneeling and reciting the Ash Wednesday Litany with my fellow parishioners. I think ours is the only church in the village that didn't cancel services (because of impending weather.) I don't have the energy. Our miserable country road is such a mess after a day of pouring rain that has nowhere to run off due to the snow piles that I worry about getting out and not getting back home.

Some might say that I've already done my penance by being confined in the State House so many hours. Others would say that because of the way I voted, I ought to do penance.

If the weatherman is correct (for a change) our snow plow mountain will grow tomorrow.

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