#surprise

The Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series in THREE WEEKS. If you have been paying attention, this was not a complete surprise. While the Cubs run into October 2015 may have been ahead of schedule and caught some fans off-guard, it was clear that the team would soon be a force to be reckoned with. Chicago’s National League Baseball Franchise developed a stable full of young, athletic, versatile, promising players who excel on the field and are generally likable away from the diamond. The 2016 Chicago Cubs were a juggernaut, and won the World Series while carrying the title of preseason favorite.

October was busy, but finding a television to watch the Cubs remained priority no matter where I was traveling to see the ROAMING team. The month started with a trip to Santa Barbara where I commiserated with fellow nervous Cubs fans over beers at Figueroa Mountain Brewery. (You may see a pattern developing here where many games were viewed at fine drinking establishments.) Game One against the Giants saw Javy Baez scrape one into the basket while I was feeling Fragile & Delicious at Hollister Brewing. The next night we were banished to the backroom at Santa Barbara Brewing where the Cubs took a commanding two game lead. I watched Monday and Tuesday from the safety of my own apartment, where the dense, lead-painted, concrete walls provided the perfect sound-proofing for my celebratory cussing.

Another weekend, another playoff series versus a California foe, another trip along the coast. This time it was to San Diego where we lucked into the perfect spot Saturday night to watch Game One against the Dodgers. We grew uneasy as the Cubs gave away the lead, only to exclaim in jubilation when Miguel Montero was the hero, crushing a cement-mixer curve ball for a late-inning grand slam. Between the traditional 9pm spiced rum toast at Werewolf and the surprise celebratory Pickleback at Hopping Pig, we were in rare form at the end of the evening.

Everything was going swimmingly; I was with loved ones on the West Coast, my favorite team was winning playoff games, and the Cubs were about to play three consecutive days at Dodger Stadium. I wasn’t going to let high ticket prices or work commitments dissuade me from attending at least one game in-person. We made it to our upper deck seats just in time for first pitch. We enjoyed our Dodger Dogs and Montejo, but there was nothing to root for and Dodger fans nearby made sure to let us know the Cubs season was over.

…But the season wasn’t over. In fact, many were still quite optimistic about the Cubs chances. Just win Game Four… Just get the series back to Chicago… Just one bloop hit for Rizzo or Russell to break the seal… Just give the Cubs another look at Clayton Kershaw. We gathered for Game Six, surrounded by Dodgers and White Sox and Cardinals fans… not exactly the most encouraging environment. Maybe it was the delicious Ballast Point prototype brews, or maybe it was the euphoria and relief of seeing my team advance to the World Series, but whatever the influence I decided it was a reasonable idea to book a flight home. Ticket prices would surely be outrageous, but I wanted to feel the buzz that was surrounding the ballpark.

…And what if I didn’t tell my parents of my return? They would be out watching Game Four at one of their favorite spots when I brought some good luck to turn the Cubs fortunes. The game was a clunker, the clues I dropped about being nearby fell flat, and we didn’t rendezvous until after midnight. The Cubs were down 3-1, was it a mistake to make this surprise trip home?

 

It was the same optimistic mindset: Win ONE game in Chicago… It’s been a long time for Cleveland too, put some pressure on the Indians early in Game Six… Get this series to a coin flip Game Seven… We were in full tourist mode and took the train into the City, walked around the ballpark, enjoyed lunch in Wrigleyville, strolled up Michigan Avenue and down State Street. The Cubs were going to win Game Five, and I would fly back to California to watch the remainder of the series from the comfort of my lucky couch.

The final game was an emotional roller coaster. Chicago held a seemingly comfortable lead until Cleveland stroked a shocking home run. I paced around my apartment. I nervously poured tequila for each Cubs dinger. I cussed. I wondered. I complained. I checked my phone for emotional and mental support. And then it rained and the Cubs reset. The tenth inning started much like the first and the Cubs held the lead once more. Kris Bryant secured a dribbled ground ball and threw to first base and the CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES. I watched the game alone and I didn’t know how to react. I can’t recall or describe what happened other than I cried. I don’t know why. I thought of all of the games I went to at Wrigley Field and all of the games I played and coached and how much baseball means to me. I composed myself well enough to go be with the people, walked the streets of eerie, foggy Long Beach wearing my Cubs hat seeking a victory cocktail. The foolish, drunken, transplanted Chicago fans could not ruin my vibe. I bellied up to the bar and sipped quietly on two fingers of Blanton’s. My favorite team won the World Series. I have been in California for two years and two home town teams have won their sport’s championship. Perhaps I should have been brave enough to leave home long ago.

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What is the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.

Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated three electors and treated like a state for purposes of the Electoral College. For this reason, in the following discussion, the word “state” also refers to the District of Columbia.

The presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. You help choose your state’s electors when you vote for President because when you vote for your candidate you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors.

Most states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all electors to the winning presidential candidate. However, Maine and Nebraska each have a variation of “proportional representation.”

After the presidential election, your governor prepares a “Certificate of Ascertainment” listing all of the candidates who ran for President in your state along with the names of their respective electors. The Certificate of Ascertainment also declares the winning presidential candidate in your state and shows which electors will represent your state at the meeting of the electors in December of the election year. Your state’s Certificates of Ascertainments are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election.

The meeting of the electors takes place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after the presidential election. The electors meet in their respective states, where they cast their votes for President and Vice President on separate ballots. Your state’s electors’ votes are recorded on a “Certificate of Vote,” which is prepared at the meeting by the electors. Your state’s Certificates of Votes are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election.

Each state’s electoral votes are counted in a joint session of Congress on the 6th of January in the year following the meeting of the electors. Members of the House and Senate meet in the House chamber to conduct the official tally of electoral votes.

The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

The President-Elect takes the oath of office and is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th in the year following the Presidential election.

via NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

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