Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.
All right, friends, there is much to discuss: new musicals and prairies and airports and potential operas and killer festivals in SF. But can we just talk politics for a few minutes, please?
Because everywhere I turn right now, it's "convention" this and "convention" that. So forgive the scatteredness - I've been up since 4:30 am PST now, so you're gonna get bullet points - but seriously, let's talk about
1. Michelle Obama. Got home tonight and turned on the TV just in time to catch her opening night address at the DNC in Denver. First of all, if I can just state the obvious and get it out of the way: she is so hot. Seriously! Hot. Green dress, little brooch on the front, strong, confident, beautiful. Seriously hot. So once I got over that initial reaction, I sat there on the couch eating my broccoli and found myself enraptured. The woman can speak. She's so damn good. Like a preacher. Smart and self-possessed, with killer theatrical timing, and the ability to throw in a "see," or "you know," just often enough that it sounds like she's speaking somewhat off the cuff. I teared up. Wanted to go join up and wear Obama sandwich boards for the next two months. And turned into a puddle of mush when she talked about Barack nervously driving her home from the hospital after Malia was first born. A powerful speech, a powerful woman. Followed, of course, by the adorable entrance of her adorable daughters clad in adorable matching jewel-tone dresses. Who then proceeded to say "Hi, Daddy!" over and over to the video feed of Barack watching from Missouri. Cutest. Thing. Ever. Sheesh. John and Cindy McCain have no shot at topping this. Go to msnbc.com to watch it yourself. And do yourselves a favor and watch Ted Kennedy's moving speech while you're at it. Talk about tearing up: here's Mr. Brain Cancer himself talking about hope for the future. Whew.
2. Joe Biden. Stepped off the plane in Mpls Saturday afternoon just in time to catch the big rally in Springfield when Obama officially introduced Biden as his running mate. I'd been secretly holding out for Biden, what with the old Delaware connections and all. He IS a fellow alum of my alma mater - gotta stick up for those big blue chickens - but the guy has always struck me as fairly real and a little bit earthy (he says "hell" a lot, notice?) and has definitely seen his share of tragedy. And I think his status as a Washington insider with a lot of foreign policy experience is the perfect answer to Obama's perceived weaknesses, even if he won't necessarily be contributing a ton of votes from Delaware. Point of all that is, though, I stood there in the airport and watched Obama's speech there live on CNN, and was struck once again by what a damn good speaker he is. The man oozes charisma. I couldn't walk away. I wasn't the only one standing rapt there in the terminal, either; small kids and elderly folks had all stopped in their tracks to watch the big announcement. It made me grin.
3. Liberal Minnesotans. It was funny to be there in St. Paul as they gear up for the huge influx of Republicans for the big RNC there next week. Erghh. Seems like the locals aren't exactly thrilled. I got a bit of a primer on Minnesota politics from the big sis; love how you can always count on those good heartland Scandinavians to raise a little hell in that sleeper of a blue state nestled up there by the Canadian border. Warms the cockles of my heart.
4. The Homeland Security Nazis. I almost punched a TSA lady today when she confiscated my bag at the security checkpoint because I had - god forbid - a tube of toothpaste not included in my 3 oz. quart bag bullshit. Started muttering under my breath about georgegoddamnedbush and how we need a new president and American paranoia and oh-yeah-I'm-really-gonna-build-a-bomb-with-colgate-minty-fresh-lady, seriously! It was ugly and I had to control myself because I noticed the poor Arab-American dude next to me who was also getting specially checked (hmm, racial profiling, what?) started shooting nervous looks my way. You never know what might happen with this Homeland Security bullshit. So I shut my mouth, my face turned beet red, and the lady threw out my perfectly good, perfectly new tube of toothpaste. Thank god the TSA protects us from those dangerous, dangerous terrorists.
We can't elect Obama soon enough.