Friday, August 29, 2008

The Party's Over

Back home again, blogging from my own bed, not a fancy DoubleTree bed with piles of pillows and chocolate chip cookie crumbs around the space bar. I got about 90 minutes of sleep last night, with a quick nap between Denver and KC - this is the part where I make excuses for typos and shifting logic.

I took the day slow, met up with Ted/Pharmacists for lunch, walked around downtown, figured out how I was going to get to Invseco. Now I've done some walking in my day, 3 miles to work at one point to be exact, but damn was it a trek from the train to the stadium. Luckily I had a pass when I got there, because the line was easily a mile long.

Inside it was hot, but festive. Slowly the place filled up as the sun went down, but I'd say upon my arrival at 4pm it was already half full and dancing. Celebs on stage - Black Eyed Peas, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald. Walking around the crowd - Jesse Jackson, Sr. (!!!), Spike Lee (dancing with strangers and taking pics), Michael Dukakis, Tom Harkin, and a ton of folks who walked by being swamped by cameras but were lost on my general ignorance of famous folks. When Stevie played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" the place exploded into one big dance party, which continued even after his set in some sections where folks just weren't slowing down. People in the aisles from different states hugging and dancing, taking photos, soaking it all in.

Then the speeches. Al Gore was on fire, which left me thinking "where the hell was that in 2000?" I voted for Nader, you seemed so vanilla back then. Richardson, also fantastic. The group of generals and admirals, the everyday Americans, it all built well to Obama's speech. I think for dynamics, he didn't hit the fervor that Bill or Hillary did, but he said everything that was important and said it well, and with emotion. He seemed pissed, which I think is good. It's how I feel when I think about where our country is now. He seemed real, and not like he was spouting what people told him to say. He went to work on the southside after finishing Harvard Law for god sakes. He finally got into discussing policy and plans for the future. I didn't hear everything I wanted to hear, but it's a start, and he has a few months to spell it out in detail. Lots of tears in the audience as he finished and the sky filled with confetti and fireworks and streamers.

After much shuttling around town we ended up grabbing the requisite fries and beer (something about post-convention evenings that speak to bar food and fantastic local ale.) This was followed by a quick but fiery set by Ted/Pharmacists at the Onion party. Some quick goodbyes, back to the hotel to pack, catch the recap of the Obama speech on CNN, and then 90 minutes of sleep before heading to the airport. Brutal, but worth it.

All in all it was the perfect vacation, and something that I'll probably never have the chance to do again. Seeing the convention first hand, with all of the pomp and circumstance, is like nothing I've seen before - politics first hand, protests coming from all sides, special interest groups from all walks of life, people from all over the world in town to share this experience. I'm a very lucky and thankful man. And outside of the politics, exploring a new city, meeting great new friends, spending quality time with an old friend before they move far away, and, of course, eating lovely veg food at City o City. I'm already going through withdrawals and shakes without it. Could I live in Denver? Yeah, I could.

Now that I'm home, I'm just trying to digest it all. I'm looking forward to reading the paper tomorrow to hear more about Palin now that McCain has made his selection. Interesting choice, though on the surface seems like shooting himself in the foot. I like that either way, history will be made come November. But picking someone with even less experience than Obama, when that's been the main argument against him from the right, looks like a tactical blunder for now.

Two more months until game time. Now to figure out how to get work on the campaign trail. Vamos Obama!

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