Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back! and inspired...

I had the most amazing time in Denver this past week! The stories are still sorting themselves out in my head, so there's no detailed, sensical post I can make out of it so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

14 lovely people and I shared a two-bedroom apartment... good thing they were all such cool types with good senses of humor. And discreet bathroom behavior.

We folded shirts and counted things in a warehouse and sold official DNC merchandise at different hotels across the city.

Me and my fiance's aunt worked together all week selling merch at a hotel... and by selling I mean fending off the ravenous crowds! When I look back, all I see is a cloud of shirts, pins and dollah dollah bills, ya'll.

I saw/met a bunch of cool people, most of whom were staying at the hotel I was working: Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Stephen Spielberg, all kinds of senators, congress people and delegates, I think I saw Morgan Freeman but everyone said I was wrong (I still say I'm right!). I even got a picture with...

Yes, Jon Stewart is a really nice guy.

And yes, the Robot Guy is a really nice guy, too.

Last Wednesday night, my group and I trooped over to the Pepsi Center and it was quite a frustrating situation because they had over-ticketed the seats. I waited 40 minutes inside the hallway before someone left their seat and I was able to catch the last half of Bill Clinton's speech and John Kerry's. It was truly exciting to actually be "spoken to" by a politician! It's wonderful to feel included in the goings-on of politics, something most in my generation have probably never felt before.

Waiting.... waiting.... !

Thursday, we went to the Invesco Center and waited 3 long hours in line, berated by heat and angry protesters of all types, mostly the evangelical type.

Compared to most of those with Something to Say, the Creepy Priest Dude was a really nice guy.

Here's just a portion of the line which at one point, was 6 miles long!

There were a few pesky line jumpers who were swiftly met with jeers, but all in all, people were really cool to eachother. One guy in front of us even bought us all bottles of water! Thanks dude!

Eventually we got in, but it was the same story again with the seats. Agh!! But when the drama cleared and I found a seat, I enjoyed hearing Al Gore, Stevie Wonder, Senator Biden and Barak Obama speak. It was so overwhelming I actually found myself in tears at a couple of points, especially when they had the "normal Americans" speak. I so admired their courage --- despite most of them losing nearly everything they had due to the economic fallout of the Bush administration's decisions, they still had courage and faith in the political system and were putting their weight behind a candidate they truly believed could change things.

Oprah was in a box-seat about 10 rows behind us... between speeches, people stood up and turned around to photograph her and Gayle King.

I wish everyone could see Barak Obama speak live, because seeing it on TV really does not compare. I most admired his angle; President as public servant rather than jingoistic fat cat. I get that some people think Obama makes empty Utopian promises, but at least he believes this country can improve, and that the health of the country is gauged by the health of its middle-class (you know, those that make under $5 million a year).

According to Obama, improvements -- education becomes a priority (no more "No Child Left Behind"! Raise teachers' salaries and lower tuition!), no more off-shoring of jobs, pursuit of alternative energy sources (although Obama's aim of ending reliance on foreign oil in 10 years is lofty, at least someone has a goal!), more rights for GLBT Americans and hands off the uteri!-- will be funded by taxes for corporations, especially those that take jobs overseas.

Other things we did: drink lots, see Eugene Mirman, tool around town on bikes and collect rocks, go to Casa Bonita, and met some of the nicest people...

And one last thing! -- Please, if you are not registered to vote, do so ASAP! The former administration may have shaken our faith (to use a Bush-ism) in the political system, but it's no reason to give up. A wave of (very positive-vibed) opposition is sweeping the country, and the past shows that when the opposition is strong enough, change does happen.



Missa said...

Wow, how exciting! I can't believe you got to meet Jon Stewart and get a picture... I'm SO JEALOUS!!!

Thanks for sharing :D

Anthea said...

Great post, sounds like the experience of a lifetime. All we can do is hope that people make the right decision when the time comes. Otherwise all of us are going to feel it. One thing I was wondering..it looked like Obama's speech was memorized on TV..was it? or was he using a tele prompter?

Sal said...

Sounds like an AMAZING experience, though not entirely hassle-free! Thanks for giving us the inside scoop. The RNC is happening in St. Paul ovah heah, and it's terrifying the crap out of me on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome experience to be at the DNC. Thanks for sharing and giving and insider's recap. I will now sulk off and be extrememly jealous for a while! :-)

Spandexpony said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Anthea: Thanks! I'm pretty sure that everyone was using a teleprompter, although I couldn't tell because I was sitting quite a ways above the action and my view was also a bit obscured by the big black media tower.

Sal: You poor thing! I had a similar bout of fright when McCain stormed into Wright State University a few days ago... about 70 miles from my stomping grounds.