Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Campaign Slogans

In a recent conversation with some friends we remarked that sound bytes and catchy slogans really seem to work and grab the attention of American Voters - remember Bush 2 with 'compassionate conservative'?

Anyway I was reminded of my bid for Senior Class Vice President of Pine Forest Senior High School in the early eighties. My slogans were:

Fred is Dead, so vote Tracey for VP


My Aunt Myrtle Wears a Tight Girdle so vote..

There was another, but I can't remember it.

I won. Shocking, eh?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nite Out: Barack The Vote

Despite being sick and lame, I made it off the couch last night to go see Arrested Development, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at Barack the Vote at the Orange Peel. It's only a spring cold but it still knocked me on my bum and I was this close to canceling. Lucky for me, I was carpooling two friends who didn't know each other and I felt responsible for getting them to the gig.

We parked just North of the Peel and as we walked past the City Bakery, some folks were advertising that Arrested Development was inside. We ducked in and they were there indeed, not eating a snack but all lined up sitting against a wall and behind tables, ready to sign autographs. My two friends had barely heard of Arrested Development and I had not heard of their music since the nineties and "Tennessee" so I didn't know the lead singer from the drummer. But they were terribly gracious folks, bantering with us as we moved along receiving each autograph on our newly purchased CDs. We thanked them for their obvious pro bono work; our tickets were $5 each. They told us they had done two other gigs like this for Obama; one in Columbia and one in Atlanta where they are from.

We moseyed on down to the Peel and lingered outside for a while, signing up for Obama yard signs. Then we filed inside for a beer which temporarily quelled my cold symptoms. Being a politically charged event, the atmosphere was lively and energetic. A few people took the stage to speak, including an older distinguished looking woman who gives "hugs for Obama" near Pack Square every Friday night. She captured the crowd with her genuine enthusiasm, warmth and sincerity - once she learned that the microphone had to stay in front of her mouth, and not swing side to side like a pendulum. She spoke to the lot of us as if we were all 18, voting in our first election but we didn't care. We got where she was coming from. Our Mayor, Terry Bellamy, also gave an impassioned speech. I've never seen her so animated, but I've only seen her at the City Council meetings.

I had never heard Abigail Washburn or Bela Fleck. Together with Ben Sollee on cello and a fiddle player (who was absent) they make up the Sparrow Quartet. They were amazing but being an acustic gig they were partially drowned out by many in the crowd who were talking.

Arrested Development was fantastic and engaging. I was bummed when they wrapped up their set around 11pm but in reality I needed to get home before I turned into a pumpkin. So we weaved our way up Biltmore Ave, my friend, Susan, stopping to intervene in an argument between two drunk young men. "Hugs for Obama," she said. That sentiment wasn't as appealing to these two but I think the shock from her intervention style stopped their arguing, temporarily at least.

I bussed my friends back to their abodes and came on home to nurse the cold. I'm glad I made it off the couch, even if I have to pay for it today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mr Curbie

Today is trash and recycling day in my hood. There was a time, back when the babes were in diapers that missing the trash folks was such bad news that I would load up the trash in my van and chase the trash truck through my neighborhood rather than be with the stinky mess for another week.

These days, the trash isn't the problem; its the recycling that is mammoth. We fill up four bins, half of it mixed paper. So this morning while parked in front of the computer, I heard the familiar clanking of glass and metal and realized that the Curbie dude, was on my street. Early. Still in my red velour snowflake pajama bottoms, hair askew and teeth not brushed, I slipped into my Carolina blue fluff Crocs, a Christmas gift from my brother, and hustled out the back door to my recycling pile. I grabbed one bin and hastened to catch Curbie four houses down. When Curbie caught sight of me, he said chuckling, "Girl, where'd you come from?" Graciously taking my bin from me, he volunteered to back up and get the rest. I huffed it back, as fast as any woman could in backless shoes, and in a feat not much unlike those who lift up two thousand pounds of a burning vehicle to save some one's life, I heaved two of those hefty bins, brimming with cereal boxes, newspapers and junk mail and shuffled to the street to meet Curbie. I watched as he unloaded them, waiting to thank him for his kindness. He then turned to me, stacking my bins on the ground next to me and said, "There's one thing I need you to do." And before I could say anything, he said with a sincere smile, "Give me a good morning hug," wrapping his arms around me in paternalistic manner.

What a sweetie, Mr Curbie.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good Day

The day started with a run with the hound dog. Really more like a drag. I ran less than 2 miles in 25 minutes. Still its something. The girl scout cookies are still hanging around like a spare tire round my middle.

After the run, I huffed it over to Obama's HQ to volunteer registering voters. My friend and I were sent to Greenlife, where we registered 3 voters in a half hour. Those Greenlife folks are civic minded - all registered. Bob, the sweet shopping cart man, asked me if I was cold. yes. I was under dressed -why would I believe the weather folks? They have been totally wrong the last two days. Bob offered to fetch a coat from his car. What a sweetie. And the patrons of Greenlife were kind and courteous too. More than a few thanked us for what we were doing. We had an odd encounter with a well groomed, nice looking white man, about 50 years old. We asked him if he had registered. He replied that he couldn't because he was a convicted felon, all the while looking me straight in the eye and speaking loud enough for folks who were lingering to hear. We had been told that convicted felons can register as long as they have completed their parole and probation. So I began to tell him that when he interjected, I killed someone. Someone who was trying to get me to register to vote. Then he grinned and walked away. Nice joke, dude. Really.

After that we went to UNC-A to help. We met a young woman, Lauren, who is working her bootie off registering voters. She had 187 done in just one week.

Later in the day, I picked up some boys for soccer practice across town. I had 4, ten-year-olds in my van and sheesh was the smell funky. Somebody has hit puberty. The boys began talking about the cool Bud Lite commercials that have played during the NCAA tourney. I must say, the cavemen ones are pretty hilarious. And the "dude" ones too. Clever. Obviously very effective in capturing the 10 year old audience, too. YIKES!

Now, I'm readying myself for the visit with the rodent for the next 3 days. Not my idea of vacation but its what the DH wants to do. At least the weather will be favorable and the boys are old enough to ride some roller coasters this time.