Ballot Decisions? It’s going to be a long, long weekend because I just know you’re going to spend it at the kitchen table going over your sample ballot, right? Right?
Tuesday, of course is Election Day, when many true Americans grit their teeth, puzzle over choices, and head to the polls. They like the feeling of voting the old fashioned way, in person, getting the ballot from folks at the polling place, then filling it out. Others, like Sue and me, have already sent in our absentee ballots from the comfort of our home amid edgy discomfort about whether we’ve done the right thing.
Still others apparently won’t or can’t cast a ballot on grounds that they have better things to do, forgot there was an election, the baby was sick, or they felt that voting just encourages politicians.
I have never missed voting, even when I was in the Army. And if I can stand it you can too.
Meanwhile, here are some ideas of what else to do this weekend, after you’ve used a hatpin to pick candidates and yes or no on the issues.
Out With Nature: The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is a lovely place for nature walks and visits to the new Dunes Center.
Info at www.dunescenter.org or call 343-2455. From Santa Maria, take Main Street west. The center is a 1910 Craftsman building in the heart of Guadalupe.
Empty Bowls: The 9th annual Empty Bowls Lunch fundraiser for the FoodBank of Santa Barbara takes place this Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Rockwood Women’s Club on Mission Canyon Road. A $25 donation will get you the choice from hundreds of handmade bowls donated by S.B. potters, which will be filled with soup from 24 top restaurants. For reservations, call 967-5741 ext. 104. Check first, because it sells sell out every year.
Full Bowls: Looking for lunch? Ever think of eating Chinese? Sue and I joined friends at the China Pavilion, 1070 Coast Village Rd., and found the choices inexpensive and delicious. Call 565-9380 for reservations.
How about Chinese for dinner? One of my favorites is Madam Lu, on Upper State. And my favorite dish there is sweet walnut shrimp. It’s at 3524 State Street. Call 898-9289.
Come on CAMA: Joshua Bell will bring his 1713 Stradivarius to the Arlington Saturday night at 8 p.m. when he plays Brahms violin concerto. He and the L.A. Philharmonic are being presented by Community Arts Music Association.
Go for Baroque: Musica Antiqua Koln, a Grammy-nominated Baroque chamber group, will perform Sunday at 2 and 5 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Seminary. It’s another UCSB Arts & Lectures presentation, so call 893-3535.
Play Time: The comedy The Foreigner, in its final weekend, is staged by Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group through Saturday. Info at 965-5935.
Gay Movie Time: The 15th OUTrageous! Santa Barbara Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes over the Fiesta Five theaters Friday through Sunday. Info at www.outrageousfilmfestival.org.
A Bright Woman: Stretching the weekend a bit, we have former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talking at the Arlington on Monday at 8 p.m. about her life and times in Washington and around the world. She was the first woman secretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the UN. She’ll also be signing her book, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs. General public $40, UCSB students $20. There’ll be a private dinner and reception. Call 893-3449.