The show frizzflopsqueezepop by Claire Ashley was at the Chicago Cultural Center, when we saw it last month. This show closed last week. The inflatables that she has created are abstract canvases filled with hot air. These brightly colored plastic toys are created in a loud and carefree spray-painting style adapted from that of the street graffiti artist. Produced from large scraps of PVC coated canvas hand-sewn together, painted, and then inflated via an embedded air-blower into the rotund bulbous forms seen here. Recent incorporation of these inflatables into parades and performance art works, often feature the performers embedded within the inflatable itself.

Tuesday was Election Day and Anne worked the polls as an election official. Being an election official is a fifteen hour work day. She gets up at four and leaves the house before five. The polls are open from six AM to seven PM. Anne usually returns home after eight at night. It is a long exhausting day. Yesterday things didn’t go according to plan.

Anne’s duck began quacking at four. The quacking ducks are her favorite iPhone alarm. They didn’t wake her up, but they did me. I then woke her up. She got up, but I had problems falling back to sleep. Eventually though I did fall asleep again, only to be awoken again when Anne announced, “My car won’t start. I’m taking yours.” Before I could react or even wake up she was gone.

I got up, waited for dawn and then bicycled over to her poll in Maplewood. I threw my bike into the back of the Prius and drove it back home. I checked Anne’s car and noticed that one of the doors had been left ajar, since last Thursday. I got ready and then drove to work, where nine out of nine of the guys there agreed that that I had been wronged. After work, after I had voted and after I had gotten her car started, I called Anne. She had already arranged for a ride home, so I didn’t need to complete my morning dance again, in reverse.

There was only one issue of note on our ballot, Proposition P, the so-called Arch tax. It passed, but calling it the Arch tax is somewhat a misnomer. Only 30% of the monies raised with this sales tax will go to the Arch. They plan to reconnect the Arch with the rest of downtown Saint Louis. Currently, I-70 acts as a moat separating the Arch from Saint Louis. 40% of the money will go to maintain Saint Louis city and county parks. The remaining 30% will be given to a non-profit Confluence Greenway for the development of bicycle trails in Saint Louis.

I was miffed by Anne’s cavalier behavior, but I shouldn’t have been. It got me out on the bike in the early AM and I haven’t ridden at that hour for some time. It was a cold, crisp, beautiful, early spring morning. I’ll have to do it again soon, only this time of my own free will.

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