lextopia

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Archive for the ‘DNC’

This Was One of My Best Days

February 28, 2009 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, DNC, Happiness, Mom, Politics

There’s this thing I’ve done for years and years… I don’t get my picture taken. Being always behind the camera lends itself to that, sure, but what I”m talking about is that whenever I’m with a celebrity I’m never one of those folks who gets their picture taken with the famous person. For me, it’s enough to be working with the famous person. I only allow my picture to be taken with someone when they mean something to me, and only allow my solo picture to be taken when the event or place means something to me.

This picture is one of those rare ones.

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I’m at Invesco Field in Denver, CO, and behind me is the stage on which stood the then next president of the United States. On stage behind me in the picture is actually Al Gore. Not bad either. :) But when Obama stepped up was no time for pictures. It was a time for listening. And I did. I was so proud to be standing there. It’s one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had, and i think you can see that in the picture. What a privilege it was to be there.

I’ve been doing this exercise, writing down all the things I can think of that make me happy. Not surprisingly, my favorite words are “Michael” and “Cape Cod,” but in terms of things, that’s tougher. Ever since my stuff was stolen in Italy in 1988 I haven’t let myself get attached to “stuff.” This includes pictures. So, really, the most favorite “things” I have and love are my memories.

All of my memories of Mom are my favorites–except, of course, the last one–but one does stand one… I said something or did something that had Mom laughing like she was going to bust a gut. She laughed and laughed and laughed. To see this person laugh was to see the truest form of happiness. She was the sun. :)

Anyway, I like this picture and wanted to put it up. And what’s a picture without a little backstory… :)

Confessions of a Press Pass Abuser

August 28, 2008 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, DNC, Propeller

 

I don’t have an “Arena” pass. The one I have reads “Perimeter.” A Perimeter pass let’s a person from the press do three things: go inside the media tent to slave away in curtained-off vestibules beside better-funded news outlets, hover in the scorching heat of the exposed plaza outside of the Pepsi center (hence “perimeter”), and… use the port-o-potties. This last is the reason I became… *hangs head in shame*… a Press Pass Abuser.

The distance between the Media Tent refugee camp at the Pepsi Center and the Colorado Cenvention Center where all the caucuses take place, is about a mile or two. Not a big deal unless it’s blazing hot and you’re carrying a lot of heavy crap. One day, after a too long walk in the too hot sun between the two venues, I felt that special kind of woozy that tells you you need to get to a first world bathroom, fast.

********** is with AOL News and shares what I’ll call the petite’08 AOL Elections “media booth” with us Propeller folk (James and me). She’s holding the Arena passes today. When I ran into the AOL Elections closet-nee-bullpen, dropped my stuff and tried to be non-chalant as I asked: “Hey, **********, are there any Arena passes left?” “What do you need it for?” There wasn’t much going on inside the Pepsi Center at the time so it was a legitimate question. It just threatened to out me, so I started to sweat on top of my sweat. “Ah… I just want to see what’s going on. Get a lay of the land. Check in.” While I scrunched my face in shame at the amount of vague, meaningless phrases I had managed to string together in that moment my stomach gurgled in a decidedly audible way.

********** looked up.

“Everything okay there?”

“I need to get inside the arena,” I said.

********** looked at me hard. My stomach gurgled again – this time unmistakably.

********** reached for the pass and handed it to me with the speed of a gunslinger. “Just bring it right back,” was all she said.

Guys, I didn’t even take my camera (would you have wanted me to….????), so if an exciting story had popped up I would not have been able to cover it. This is my shame. I abused AOL’s Press pass. I’m nothing…

The Relevance

August 26, 2008 By: admin Category: Campaign 2008, DNC, General, Propeller

 

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This is me on the floor at the Democratic National Convention, 2008 

Being here at the DNC is so full of relevance. I feel like I’m actually, actively doing something good. It also seems as though I have a teeny bit of a knack for this shit. :) I just interviewed New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin cuz he “stopped by” the media tent. I asked him a few question with my little audio recorder and felt… just so close to the process. And this while suffering from heat stroke…

Okay, now that my father has had a heart-attack with worry, I’ll explain that… :)

When we got to the media tent this morning, I went out immediately and headed to the convention center to try to snag an interview with Dr. Julianne Malveaux (those of you who have been following the http://blog.propeller.com/category/2008-conventions know that I was successful). What I didn’t realize was how hot it was outside.

Within only a few minutes, I could feel the sweat developing. Wasn’t soon after that that my head felt like it was cooking under my brand-new (and journalistically ethically-incorrect) Obama hat. I stopped in the shade and took a breath. I looked up — the world went blurry for a second then came back into focus. “Oh fuck,” I thought. I’ve had heat stroke before and recognized the symptoms. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.” I was in the middle of nowhere with only a fairly useless press pass and heavy camera bag. So I walked a bit more and then felt my heart pounding just a bit too hard…

Knowing I wasn’t able to continue, but still committed to trying to get my interview I did the only thing that made sense:  flagged down an empty city bus. Seriously. I ran out into the middle of the street (it’s still like the Wild West out here during this convention…), and asked him to take me to the convention center. The lack of blood in my face and sweat dripping from everywhere must have given me away. “Come on,” he said.

Once on the bus I took off my bag and felt that my shirt was soaked. I mean like I’d gone swimming in it. I sat back and breathed slow.

Once inside the convention center, a slightly rejuvinated-by-Denver-city-bus Alexia made her way to the Korbel ballroom and found there… Dr. Julianne Malveaux. This is what even we non-religious folk call A Moment Of God. Dr. Malveaux’s panel had been over for more than 10 minutes (an eternity in the tightly-scheduled convention-time), but she was still there.

I’ve known about Dr. Malveaux for five years and so getting this kick-ass interview with her was a huge thrill. So was the one with Ray Nagin. They were moments of relevance, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something.