Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our evening with Obama

Warning: This post is about politics and so if Obama or Democrats aren't your thing you might want to skip it.

Primary time has finally come to North Carolina. One of the bonuses of having NC still in play is campaign visits and rallies being held by the remaining Democratic candidates. We're Barack Obama supporters and were hoping he would hold an event around here. On Friday we found out Obama was going to speak at the UNC basketball stadium in Chapel Hill on Monday and so we got tickets.

I met Cheyn after work and we lined up outside the arena at about 5:00 pm. We waited in line for about and hour and a half. It started raining hard and we got pretty wet. They finally opened up the doors at 6:30 and we ended up sitting in row M up from the half court line. We could have went down on the floor but didn't really want to stand anymore. And then we waited. It added up to about four hours total for Obama to come out. We read the books we brought and watched the arena fill up. They threw t-shirts out and played optimistic and Americana themed pop music as we waited. You know "This is my Country," "Coming to America,""Keep on Rocking in the Free World." They had a cover band perform Motown songs for about an hour. Then they had a prayer and had the pledge of allegiance. Two NC Congressmen spoke. A former UNC basketball player Sam Perkins and a UNC student introduced Senator Obama.

And then Obama finally came out to speak.

Senator Obama talked about why he is running and the goals of his potential presidency. He didn't mention Hillary or refer to her at all in the speech. A couple of digs were taken at McCain's policy proposal for a gas tax vacation this summer instead of a long term solution to the energy crisis. He characterized McCain's run as a third Bush term, which I'm sure we'll head this often till November. Obama talked about wanting to run a campaign that transcends the traditional pettiness and solves the problems of the us "folks."

Here is a clip where he talks about avoiding special interest and what he wants to do:

And here is his summing up where he talks about how the election and campaign is on behalf of us.

Barack Obama is a heck of a speaker. I don't know if his optimism and hope for unity and a transcendent campaign will work out. Like most politicians I don't know if he can live up to his rhetoric. He isn't perfect. I don't even know if he will get elected when he is made the nominee. But I like the optimism and vigor he brings. His message is resonating with a lot of people including myself. He offers change and a fresh alternative to the status quo. Health care, the environment, diplomacy and resolving the conflict in Iraq all seem like they should be at he top of a nominees to do list. I've read his books and he has a gift of communication. I feel like he deserves a shot. I don't know if all his lofty goals will be reached but I think its the Obama's turn and he's a special candidate. So our blog we endorse Obama in 08. And you know maybe he can be the first presidential nominee I (Ryan) vote for that actually gets elected?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Never Surrender!

Welcome to the South

Today we drove up to Durham to Bennett Place, the site of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War with some friends. This was a special day to be there since it was the anniversary of the surrender negations in 1865. The North Carolina Historic site marked the day with a living history staging of the meeting and negotiations of the Union General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph Johnson.

My other car is a horse

The people who dressed up were totally into it. They wouldn't admit it was 2008 when you talked with them and they would make jokes about the poor condition of our shoes (we had flip flops and sandals on). They were wearing full get up in the hot sun and seemed to be loving playing the parts they played.

Oh yeah, my bayonet right here says Federal rights trump States rights!

I notices that more people dressed up in Union uniforms than Confederate uniforms. Most of them were mature men. They were all really knowledgeable and made historical inside jokes that I didn't really get.

The staging of the surrender occurred in this building and the actors were really into it. Sherman was very commanding in his portrayal. Sherman talked about how he hadn't told his troops of Lincolns assassination but would if the confederate troops did not surrender under his terms. Next to the building there is a marker commemorating the sight and a walking trail around the area. All in all a fun little historical and cultural experience.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our Night Out

Last night we tried to do something to remind ourselves that we are still as cool as when we were single and in our twenty somethings. We hit the nightlife of Raleigh. The night was pretty revealing.

A friend at work heard about a fun 1980's cover band playing at a club and so we headed downtown.

At the door I got carded to see I was old enough to drink. I'm still young right? Cheyney was bummed that she wasn't carded too.

The opening band was a 1990's cover band that would ask questions like "Who here watched television in the 1990's?" and "Who here loves to get drunk?"

The 80's cover band was a bit better than the 90's band. They were named The Breakfast Club and the members dressed up like Billy Idol, Boy George and a member of Poison, and the KarateKid. They played songs by the Police, the Outfield, and Huey Lewis and the News among others. We worked ourself down to right in front of the stage. Due to our lack of drinking again we couldn't raise our beer in our right hand and yell when the 80's band when they also repeatedly asked "Who here loves to get drunk?"

It was getting late and was close to midnight and we realized two and a half hours at this bar was was enough, so we headed back home. We discovered that we can try to be cool without the bar and the band.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Island getaway with the folks

Jekyll Island is off the Atlantic coast of Southern Georgia and used to be the vacation home for the Carnagie's and the Rockefeller's. So, naturally we said YES when mom and dad asked us to meet them their for a weekend getaway. The last time I had been there was when I was 9 or 10 and have a memory of building sand castles with Branagan and Brady.
One of my favorite parts of being an adult is that it is so cool to hang out with my parents. Even though my parents' joints are aging with arthritis, it was difficult to keep up with them. Tennis, bike rides, and beach walks.... oh my!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Crash into you

"I was sending an email to a client from my laptop when I spilled the hot chocolate I was drinking, while I was on my cell phone. So you see, officer, it wasn't my fault."

So, I was in a car accident on Wednesday. You know those days that you are SO tired that you have to slap yourself to stay awake while driving. Well, it was one of those days. It didn't help that my car was all warm and cozy from the sunlight and that I was listening to NPR. I could have rolled down the window and played some booty music. But NO, I thought I could handle it.

I was coming upon stopped cars at a stoplight. I blinked. But the blink caught me in a nanosecond of sleep. I opened my eyes.... shocked that the stopped car in front of me was getting way too close. I slammed my foot on the brake..... BUT it wasn't the brake. My foot was on the gas and so I accelerated. I quickly jerked to the right colliding my right front bumper with his back left bumper. Actually it ripped off his whole bumper. Woops. What a nightmare, and not a fun way to wake up.

No one was hurt. Ryan and I get to try to survive on one car until mine gets out of the shop. Thank heavens for car insurance. Note to self and others: Be careful while driving when tired.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Raleigh Blossoms

Here are a few pictures I took around the apartment and around where I work. I'm not sure what these trees are even called, but I am enjoying seeing them.