Archive for August, 2008

So Here We Are

August 28, 2008


It’s 2:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. It’s like being a kid on Christmas Eve but knowing ahead of time that there’s a Barbie Dream House, a new bike, and a pony waiting underneath the tree. Each day this week I’ve been surprised anew at the opportunities I’ve had. A front-row seat to history, sitting in the rarified air of the convention hall as both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden spoke. Meeting George McGovern. Earning a skybox seat for the final day of the convention. Sharing a cab and a chat with the editor of Newsweek. Seeing too many celebrities–both political and entertainment–to count. Hitting afterparties where the sauce flows freely (literally) with great friends.

We ended up at one such party the night before last completely serendipitously, as I’m learning these things go at conventions. A friend of a friend knows someone and suddenly it’s 12 midnight and you’re standing on the VIP level of Invesco Field ordering a drink surrounded by good-looking people and wondering how you got there. That’s exactly what happened the other night. When we stepped off the elevator at the club level, the party was in its final hour. The good-looking people were scattering, tipsy and happy and, as everyone has been all week, expectant. Our little band of revelers took our beers and pushed through the glass doors that led to the terrace box seats. We sat watching a few workers even at that hour continuing to prepare the venue for tonight’s speech. Taking in this scene of quiet but electric anticipation, I smiled to myself and I took a breath of the chilled night air and I savored the moment.

I’ve worked my ass off for the man who will take the stage tonight. I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors in a dying Pennsylvania rust belt town with my father–a town that he and my mother used to be proud of in their idyllic 1950s childhoods, but that now breaks their hearts. I’ve jangled countless phones in D.C., trying to convince folks on the other end–many of whom are splitting their pills in half to save money or eyeing the gas tank needle nervously or the streets outside even more nervously–that the man I was interrupting their dinner for would actually help them and make a difference in their lives. I’ve strategized and I’ve labored over my keyboard searching for just the right words that might convince people to see what I see. September and October will bring more of the same.

When Barack Obama takes the stage tonight I will look down from my perch and know that this is one of the defining moments of my life. I believe that my children will be born into a better world if he wins. I believe that the asterisks qualifying my pride for my country will finally begin to fade after eight years of multiplying and darkening. I believe that my parents will finally get to see some of the Dream that seemed impossible throughout their lives realized. I believe–rather, I know–that my father will watch the speech tonight and recall the way he felt one similar night in 1960. And when he thinks about his daughter standing in that exact place, watching in person as Barack Obama accepts the nomination for the presidency of the United States, feeling for the first time the way he felt that night in 1960, his eyes will water a bit.

I believe that history will be made, not only tonight, but on the night of Nov. 4. When it is, I will know that I have done everything possible to make it happen. And I will smile to myself and I will take a breath of the chilled night air and I will savor the moment.

Sweet. Merciful. Crap.

August 25, 2008

Where have I been? Well for the last hour I’ve been here:


(That would be the floor of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.)

Hanging out with guys like this:

(That would be Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean at left in photo.)

Watching guys like this sing:

(That would be even-hotter-and-more-talented-in-person singer John Legend.)

And contemplating taking this chick out so I could be the bologna in the funny sandwich:

(That would be the Daily Show crew.)

I have not taken a photo of myself yet, but I assure you that it would be me standing gape jawed, thinking no more eloquent a thought than, “Holy. Shitballs.” And as if that weren’t enough, when I was coming through the insanely tight security entrance area, where the guards were shaking people down every three feet, one of the police officers glanced down at my engagement ring and said, “Wow, that’s a rock!”

Oh Denver, I heart you.

Some Light Friday Reading

August 22, 2008

I’m racing off to the gym before I start my workday (hey, cut me some slack, Condoleezza starts her ridiculously long days with a go in the gym, too). So I’ll leave you with this breaking and urgent news story. If you prefer to see it as it looks in the paper check this out (click on “Launch Edition”). Obviously I’m biased, but I think this feature is a pretty cool way to check out the paper. She’s on page six. And page seven’s pretty interesting, too. I like its um…articles on journalism and um…stuff. (twirling hair around finger)

Shower Me in Ribbons and in Bows

August 20, 2008

There is nothing like alighting from a cab in front of The Willard on an unseasonably balmy summer afternoon knowing that upstairs in the Grant Suite waits your nearest and dearest ladybirds gathered for the soul purpose of having a good time with you, a mound of festively wrapped gifts, lobster tea sandwiches, and enough champagne to christen a fleet. Such was life this past Saturday. My maid of honor–my sister–executed her shower duties with aplomb. That she did it while waddling around 8-months pregnant and still looking simultaneously chic and adorable made it all the better.

Why, even the stars of CBS’s As the World Turns turned out. (I must confess to blanching a bit as I walked up the famed hotel’s stairs and saw her perched atop them in her gown. Initially, I thought she was an actual bride. There is no needle sharper to burst one’s balloon than the site of a bride who looks like that while you’re entering the final phase of “Am I going to look good enough” anxiety. Luckily, my concerns were quickly allayed when I learned that she was a TV star. “Phew,” thought I. “Then it’s her job to look like that. More champagne, please!”

Now it seems like it was a month ago, as I sit taking a rare 10-minute break from the second consecutive 12-hour day on the campaign trail. Only 50 more to go before I come home for the final weeks before the wedding. There’s not a lobster tea sandwich in sight. Pray for Mojo.

This the *Most* Fun!

August 11, 2008

At Clemson, my close circle of sorority chums and I were devoted to a little cult chick flick classic called Shag. It featured three young birds from Spartanburg, South Carolina, spiriting their engaged friend off to Myrtle Beach for one last weekend of sun, fun, and sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes = dudes…hot dudes…) in the summer of 1963. It includes the line, “It isn’t a bone at all, it’s a muscle. This cousin of hers dated a Clemson Tiger who sprained his in a game, and she had to massage it every night when it got hard because he was in so much pain.” So natch, we consider its omission from AFI’s Top 100 Films of All Time list a glaring offense.

Well this past weekend we made like our Shag counterparts (some of whom we actually played–expertly I might add–in sorority rush skits back in the day), gathering in Myrtle Beach for friend M’s bachelorette weekend. Unfortunately for you, I promised my fellow attendees that the weekend was strictly off the record. So I can neither confirm nor deny that the following occurred:

* Enough Miller Lite and sweet tea vodka consumed to open a distributorship.
* Multiple photographs taken with a man believed to be Pablo Escobar.
* My karaoke virginity deflowered in a biker bar by the forced singing of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
* Bikers of Myrtle Beach left in drop-jawed horror that one girl could so thoroughly besmirch the legacy of Patsy Cline in three minutes.
* Motorcycle mounted long enough for multiple pictures to be taken.
* Expert shagging executed. (The South Carolina kind, pervs.)
* Relative merits of Mr. Nude Universe 1998 contestants debated at length.
* All sorts of practical “cooking” aprons bestowed. (ahem)
* Hair barrettes that would have been grounds for immediate expulsion from Our Lady of Perpetual Good Behaviory also bestowed.
* Funk unstopped in 3 a.m. parking lot dance party.
* Incredibly memorable and hilarity-laden times shared by all.
* Goodbye hugs exchanged, eyes misted, vows made to repeat all of the above as soon as possible.

But again, I can neither confirm nor deny any of that.

Surf & Turf

August 6, 2008

This afternoon I ducked out of work to join my fiancĂ© and parents at the Hay-Adams for what is inarguably the greatest part of the wedding planning process: the menu and cake tasting. It was a far cry from my typical lunch, which lately thanks to Election ’08, is a bag of pretzels, polling data, and gut-wrenching anxiety. After much nibbling, debate and mind-changing in the pretzel-free serenity of the Hay-Adams’ Lafayette Room, we settled on the following menu:

Cocktail Reception Hors D’Oeuvres
Individual Chilled Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce, Grape and Roquefort Truffle Rolled in Pistachios, Scallop Wrapped with Pancetta, Wild Mushroom Beggar’s Purse, Panko-Crusted Prawns with Spicy Chili Aioli

Preludes
Demitasse of Lobster Bisque with Cognac and Brunoise of Lobster
Mixed Field Greens with a Crouton of Local Goat Cheese with Shallot Vinaigrette

Entree
Combination of Petite Fillet Mignon Paired with Sea Bass Fillet on Sautéed Fennel and Chives, Pommes Dauphinois and Haricots Verts

Dessert
Fresh Fruit Dipped in Chocolate
White Chocolate Cake with Key Lime Mousse and Buttercream Frosting
Chocolate Groom’s Cake in Some Sort of Silly Shape (More on that at a future date)

Cake design (minus the bow and the monogram)

Now I need to get back to my breakfast, which thanks to Election ’08 is two Pepto Bismal capsules and the Examiner and Post op-ed sections viewed through a wince.

Why the Bridal Industry Hates Us Friday

August 1, 2008

Today this post title isn’t even sufficient. It should be “Why the Bridal Industry Wants to Crush Us, Drive Us Before Themselves and Hear the Lamentation of Our Women Friday.” Thanks to reader Nadine, who manages to find the most deliciously appalling bridal items, we have this week’s product: the Bridal Betty hair dye kit. The dye is bright blue to ensure that the bride has “something blue” on her big day. And that something? That would be her vajayjay.

Bridal Betty is the latest in a line of Betty-brand dyes invented for those who want to ensure that collar and cuffs match when the color of the collar came from a bottle. Remember the Eisenhower-era Miss Clairol ads featuring admirers pondering, “Does she or doesn’t she?” after a perfect blond beauty passes by? Well in this case, the groom better hope she does or else they’re facing some significant medical bills in the weeks ahead. “Forget about the flatware and dinnerware, give the gift of Betty!” chirps the website. Which raises the question: Does one register for tinker dye? I’ll let you go explore the myriad wonders that are the Bridal Betty website, because frankly, I’m not even capable of writing about it without violating just about every convention of ladylike propriety that I require on this blog. Be sure to check out the stencils, too. They allow you to…um…oh, just go read it.

This clearly calls for an update to the old saying, “Something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.” I’m thinking, “Something borrowed, something blue, and a Smurf smuggled between her thighs all day much to the horror of the man who has just committed his life to her.”