Thursday, January 31, 2008

Was It Worth It?

Well, it was a big Wednesday for me...I attended my first political rally! Barack Obama spoke in Denver yesterday. I really had no intention of attending the event at the University of Denver (DU) until a nice woman in New York called me to say, "Do you know that Barack Obama is speaking in Denver?" and I said, "Why, yes, I do..." and she said, "Would you like to go?" and I said, "well, sure".

So, then I heard that they were expecting 8,000 people, and quickly decided that I wanted no part of that.

But then I thought about it more, and decided that it would probably be really exciting to be right there in the thick of the action. Every once in a while, being in the thick of it sounds like a great idea.

So, I went to work for an hour; I thought ahead and took the light rail to DU rather than trying to drive into the mayhem; and I dressed completely inappropriately. Actually, if things had gone the way I envisioned them, I would have stepped right off the light rail into the arena, found a seat, and knit for 2 hours until Barack finally showed up.

But, no............

Instead, I stood at the end of a 1/2 mile line winding through the campus. Take a look at this line. And it couldn't have been more than 10 degrees! Holy cow was it cold! I was so superbly underdressed, it was embarassing!

I was all by myself, but met a very nice woman named Jean who is VERY politically motivated and inspiring. We decided to be rally buddies for the day.

And then we stood in line some more.

And more.
And finally we were standing in line in the sun...hallelujah! I think that raised the temperature at least a degree or two. I was so uncomfortably cold, I couldn't open my eyes, or move my face, fingers, or toes, or speak, or breathe.

And then we started moving! Finally, after about 2 hours of this craziness.

And we got closer...and we were on the steps, and at the door, and we walked right through security, and I held on to Jean for dear life as claustrophobia set in.

And we finally walked through another set of doors and saw an open place to stand, and looked around for all the banners and patriotic colors, and the podium, and all we saw was this.

A gym.

And a screen that showed those nice patriotic colors and the podium and the important people.


After a few confusing moments we realized that we were in the overflow! We weren't even in the main arena. We were going to have to watch Obama speak on that screen!

Well, you know me...I wasn't having it! After all that cold and waiting. Hell, no! So I decided I would just make my way into the other arena. Well, that idea didn't last long. They weren't letting us out of the overflow gym! But, the nice woman keeping me locked in there told me that, "Obama will come to this room."

Well, that made me feel a bit better.

We watched the screen. And there was Federico Pena..the fomer mayor of Denver. And he was chanting and clapping his hands. And then he introduced Rod Smith, Denver Bronco and Blackjack Pizza spokesman. He trembled and mumbled and explained that he just got into politics 10 minutes before standing before these 12,000 people.

And then something exciting happened. Mr. Obama himself came into the gym to see us, the lowly overflow crowd. He waved and smiled, and held a baby. Awwwwww......Then he spoke very briefly about how he just wanted to acknowledge us, the overflowers, and thank us for coming out to support him.

He's down there in the midst of that crowd of people. I swear. And that just made us feel so much better. Good move on his part...automatic brownie points.

...Meanwhile, back on the screen, a young lady, the leader of the Young Democrats or something, introduced Caroline Kennedy. And the crowd gasped. Apparently this was unexpected and amazing!

Caroline Kennedy spoke very beautifully about how she has never seen a candidate move and inspire the American people like her father did, until she met Barack Obama.

And then the man was on the screen.

He shook hands for about 10 minutes with the people behind the podium. Then he took the stage and got us pumped up for the Democratic National Convention here in Denver in August. He encouraged us to caucus this coming Tuesday. He said some nice things about his buddy John Edwards, who had just announced he was dropping out of the race. And he talked about exactly what I expected him to talk about. Don't get me wrong, it all sounded good to me. He's been against the war from Day 1 and will end the war when he is elected president. He outlined his stance on the environment, education, healthcare, lobbyists, etc... He promised us that George W. Bush would not be on the ballot in November! (That got a reaction from the crowd...)

I didn't hear anything that I couldn't have learned from his website, the newspaper, or from watching a debate on television. However, I will say, it was worth it.

It was exciting to attend my first political rally, it was exciting to wait in the cold with 12,000 other people who are motivated and inspired about change in this country, it was exciting to see him standing in the same room as me, and it was exciting to take the morning off of work.

I'm still undecided about which candidate I would like to support, but I admired his enthusiasm during his speech, and the fact that he took the time to speak to us, the little people in the overflow gym.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Best Book I've Read In A Long Time

Everyone should read this book. Seriously, READ IT! It's a great story, provides good insight into a part of the world that many of us don't know much about (except what we hear from the media and our always-truthful powers-that-be), but mostly it is truly inspirational!
My mom recommended this book to me and I finally had a chance to pick it up. Greg Mortenson has dedicated his life to building schools, mostly for young girls, in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan. He recognizes that the way to change a culture for the better is to educate its women, because they are the ones who stay in their home villages.
My mom was fortunate to see Greg Mortenson speak in Evergreen last week. I hadn't read the book yet, so I didn't go, but now, of course, I wish I had.

I recommend this book to everyone, it was amazing and inspirational. The type of book you want to read again as soon as you put it down.

Hockey, eh?


We had so much fun last week at the Avalanche game against the Minnesota Wild (what sort of name for a team is that...isn't that an adjective??)

Our friends Amanda

and Ryan invited us to join them on Thursday night for the game. We had great seats, and made sure to get to the Pepsi Center in time to see all the opening hooplah! It was Brian's first Avalanche game ever...look how excited he is!

It was a great, great night, even though our team lost and there weren't any fights or blood or broken noses or anything....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Adventures in Blocking

Blocking for me has always consisted of throwing a wet towel on top of whatever knitted item I'm blocking and running an iron over it a few times. (for those of you who are non-knitters, "blocking" is a way to flatten out your knitting. It's especially efffective for lacy projects.)

So, I worked very hard on this great scarf for my friend Amanda, and it just didn't look quite right without blocking. So, I decided to finally become a grown-up knitter and use all the proper blocking tools. (like a blocking board, and blocking pins...).
I gathered all my supplies, and then put it off for a month or so. Finally, the day before New Years Eve, I thought I should probably deal with it if I wanted to get away with calling this scarf a Christmas present.

Here's how the scarf looked when it was all blocked out.
I laid a wet towel over the project, and then all I had to do was gently steam it with a hot iron. It dried quickly, and retained its geometrical shape after it was pulled off the blocking board.


I've just discovered a great It's a great place to keep track of what books you've read and books in your pile of "to read". You can check out my bookshelves here at It's also a way to find out what your friends are reading, and what they think of books they've read.

If you sign up, make sure and add me as a friend!