Liked the video? Even a tiny bit? Well, if you did, and you have a dollar or two to spare, then, you know….
President Obama hugs a supporter at the Gator’s Dockside restaurant while campaigning in Orlando, Florida, September 8
My Unconventional Covention Diary
As most of you know, my sister and I were a couple of the unfortunate souls with Community Credentials who had planned to be in the Bank of America stadium for PBO’s acceptance speech on Thursday. When it was moved back to the Convention Center due to forecasts of thunderstorms, we were heartbroken. Although our credentials would not let get us into the convention center, we decided to go to Charlotte anyway to soak up some of the atmosphere. I posted a few comments about our trip on previous posts, but a couple of TODers mentioned that they missed my story.
My comments were not posted in real-time, because, for me, it’s such a pain trying to post on the blog from my phone. Also some of my comments are out of sequence and I left out a few things. So I thought it might be fun to go back and put my comments in order of when the subject described was happening (see the links below) and add a few thoughts that I left out. So Here ya go! Sorry for the long post.
Dudette & Sister Road Dawg Finally Get to Charlotte – see here
What I left out: Although we arrived at the hotel at 3:30AM on Thursday morning. We were so amped, we stayed up until almost 5:30AM giggling with excitement, watching news reports and online videos of convention speeches from Tuesday and Wednesday. I love my sister very much.
Church Parking – see here
What I left out: Just as we parked at the church, we tried to login from our phones to listen to the President’s conference call from the car, but, as I suspected, there were too many people trying to get in at once. We never got beyond the “Livestream Loading…” message on the screen. Anyway, I’m really grateful to Chips for posting the President’s convention call on the blog. See here [Thank you Chips!]
The folks from the church had also pitched a tent in the parking lot, from which they were grilling and selling chicken and fish plates. That had me chuckling. Our trek from the $20 church parking lot was about a mile and a half away from the Epicentre (not counting the distance we went before we thought to ask someone for directions!). To my utter disgust, as we walked from the church along the fences, getting closer and closer to the venue, there were several $10 parking lots along our path. [WTH!!] Some of them were just a couple of blocks from the place. God has both a sense of humor and, in Charlotte, at least some of his flock has full understanding of free market enterprise. My hat’s off them.
Flirting while Exhausted (see here)
What I left out: I think “Must Be Cute” is one of the job requirements for rookie secret service agents, cuz these young gentelmen in their muscle-rippling black t-shirts left me speechless. Thanks for the nice scenery, Gentlemen! I’m assuming they were rookies, cuz who else would get “stand-by-the-fence” duty for this kind of event? ;-)
Note to self: It’s way past time to buy some new sneakers.
The white van (see here)
What I left out: My lesson for the day: Stop bitching and pay attention to your surroundings, you could see something cool or avoid getting kidnapped. :-)
Michael Isikoff (see here)
What I left out: My feeling of smug satisfaction was followed by a slight sense of regret. Mr. Isikoff had this pained looked on his face. It’s impossible to know whether it was due to the phone call itself or the frustration of navigating through the crowd. I wish I’d gone up to him and said something to let him know that I recognized him. I’d like to think that would’ve made his day. Carpe diem, people!
Lunch and sightings on the street (see here)
What I left out: [But mentioned in a later comment] There was a thunderstorm that afternoon while we were in the restaurant. It only lasted about a half hour but it did include lightning. Lots of it.
Invitation to the Watch Party (See here)
What I left out: Sadly, my co-worker’s group in the booth behind us did not get an OFA invitation like mine, at least not while they were in the restaurant, even though they registered their community credentials on the demconvention.com site. I wondered whether my invitation came, because I logged in to listen to the conference call — the other group said they didn’t bother trying. They were planning to go back to their hotel and watch from there. I’d love to find out how OFA divided up the “cast-aways” (my term) to notify us about the various watch parties that were set up (and where they all were stationed).
More sightings (see here)
What I left out: My sister is a political button junkie! I’m not kidding. I don’t know if she was just trying to outdo me or what. I bought twelve, but this woman bought something like 70 buttons and pinned a good number of them all over herself. Needlesstosay, she got a lot of attention as we walked along the street Thursday night. We also found some cool t-shirts with the picture from the now famous “This Seat Is Taken” tweet on the back.
We missed some of the speeches Thursday evening, cuz we were hanging out downtown, souvenir shopping and people-watching. Btw, there was a huge security presence, but it didn’t feel overbearing at all. For me, it was comforting… kinda sexy even. — I especially enjoyed watching the all the groups of cops on bicycles and motorbikes roll by as we walked the streets. At pretty much every corner, there were friendly uniformed officers from cities all over NC. Great to see female officers in the mix too.
Charlotte is full of friendly people. We met a very nice lady on the street who, it turned out, was heading the the Knight Theatre, to tend bar at the OFa event that we were invited to. We had a lovely chat as she walked us over to the theatre from the Epicentre. Our bartender friend said she’d heard about several other watch parties, one of which was just down the street in a bigger theatre. That one was organized by the Charlotte 2012 Host Committee. Rather than stand in line to wait for the doors to open at the Knight, we walked around a bit admiring some of the scuplture and architecture in the downtown area. Peeked in gallery windows and listened to street musicians before heading back to the theatre.
We made it to the theatre around 8:15. My guess is capacity was about 2500 seats. I sat in the lobby watching speeches on a wall TV for a half hour, waiting for Miss Thang while she stood in line to get a drink at the bar. [Really?] I talked to some folks from West Virginia, Philly, and Raleigh while I waited. All of us were thrilled to be there and show our support for the President. To a person, everyone commented how great FLOTUS’ speech was the other night, how relieved we were at Bill Clinton’s full-throated support for PBO and compared the difference in tone between our convention and the Repubs Hate-Fest in Tampa. Sis and I finally got into our seats in time to catch John Kerry. I just kept thinking what a shame it was that we didn’t put that man in the White House in ’04. But then again, if he’d won, we might not have our beloved President Barack Obama now.
The crowd at the theatre was pumped up! Let me tell you, Democrats are happy, loving people! My heart was just soaring at being a part of the rainbow of people in that room. Everyone was dancing, hugging, fist-pumping, singing and chanting! Some of the music: “One Nation Under A Groove” – Parliament Funkadelic; “Wanna Be Starting Something” – MJ; “September” – Earth Wind & Fire. Whoever was doing the music in the theatre was on it! We didn’t get to see the convention videos and speeches that were on the schedule between Sen. Kerry and SLOTUS, because they played some OFA-specific videos hosted by Kal Penn encouraging volunteer participation in Voter Registration, Get-out-the-Vote and Fundraising efforts. Some Charlotte OFA folks came out on stage to share their stories and pitch volunteering too. Then back to the speeches — Dr. Biden was elegant and wonderful. VP Biden’s speech lit up the room. Then POTUS came on and we blew the roof off!! I barely remember being in my seatfor either of their speeches! We laughed, we cried, we cheered! It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!
Trying to get on TV ( see here)
What I left out: I’m an idiot and my sister loves me very much!
After PBO’s speech (see here)
What I left out: My sister, the retired Air Force Veteran, is so much like my Dad, the retired Army veteran, it’s spooky. Though they balk in horror whenever I say it, either of them, would make great politicians. They know no strangers. Wherever they go, people just gravitate to them. It really is something to behold. In today’s case, besides her gregarious personality, I’m sure her Air Force Retired baseball cap and her over-the-top wardrobe of Obama buttons did some of the work and may have helped us get back into the restaurant late night, when they were restricting access to delegates and VIPs. We met a lot of very nice people throughout the whole day.
Friday: We wore our new “This Seat is Taken” t-shirts for the trip home. Made a stop for some BBQ at this biker joint that a colleague recommended. A lady there remembered seeing us on the street the night before. Once again, I’m really glad I was not drinking Thursday. :-)
We got a lot of smiles and waves at truckstops along the way back to Atlanta.
What I left out: I’m looking forward to going back over the videos to see everything I missed and to re-play some of the highlights. I am truly blessed and I LOVE BEING A DEMOCRAT!
Dudette …. you’re a complete gem. Thank you so much, this in unconventionally wonderful!