Thursday, February 21, 2008

DCDC had a Prom.

"If you plan it, they will come", said the little voice inside our heads. Day after day, we worried, "Will there really be enough people interested in an adult Prom? Could we actually pull this off?" The answer, as last Saturday night would so firmly attest to, was a resounding "YES". As it turned out, the fine people of the DCDC establishment were in fact overjoyed at the idea of a Prom. They hit the thrift stores in droves, in search of the perfect, and in some cases aptly anachronistic, attire. They found dates. They ordered corsages and boutonnieres. They made restaurant reservations. They posted nominations for Prom King and Queen, writing eloquent and appropriately cliche prose about their fellow DCDCers. And when the night rolled around, they came ready for the party of all parties, well-oiled and ready to shake some proverbial ass.

As the head of the Prom Committee, I promised my fellow DCDCers a decorum reminiscent of our days at high school dances. Although we were initially enthusiastic about the infamous balloon archway, which we thought would be an appropriate portal into yesteryear, we quickly decided that the construction as well as the costs of such a structure would exceed its potential benefit. And so the first lesson in the economics of Prom decorating was had. But not to worry, we managed to find mildly affordable, yet plenty cheesy, party adornments at Tuscaloosa's one-stop shop for all your party needs, "PartyMakers". With gold and silver-colored balloons, crepe paper, and stars we transformed the party room at the Children's Hands On Museum (our venue) into something truly "promtastic" (see photos below).

When Andy chose our Prom theme, "An Enchanted Night of Memories to Remember", I remember thinking that it might be a little ambitious--I mean not only did the night have to be enchanted, but it also had to be chocked full of memories. That would be a lot to live up to. But as the night progressed, I realized that the spirit of our theme had indeed already manifested itself! If they weren't dancing to the beats of Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, and the like, they were over at the photographer's corner getting Prom pictures made, or merrily cavorting with each other, swilling beer and talking about how this was the best party in Tuscaloosa---EVER.

Some choice photos are provided for your viewing pleasure. Check out the entire photo collection here. And, if you're so inclined, check out DCDC's website for a complete up-until Prom timeline.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Takin' It To the Streets

In the true spirit of grass-roots politics, Andy and I took to the streets on Saturday hoping to use our combined persuasive power to round up some votes for Obama. This was my first ever experience canvassing, and though I was a little nervous at the get-go, my excitement to be a part of the campaigning process soon outweighed those jittery tummy rumblings. As was the case in South Carolina, targeted areas for canvassing in Tuscaloosa were the African-American neighborhoods. We visited a predominately working class black neighborhood, hitting about 40 or so houses during the course of the afternoon. Even though a lot of folks weren't home, the people we did talk to were very receptive and positive about Obama and his message. At one of the last houses we visited, we met a woman who said she was on the fence between Hillary and Obama. It was our first real test. We had to convince her that Obama was clearly the better candidate. So we turned our sweet-talk on (mostly Andy), and I'm pretty confident that by the end of it she was at least teetering towards the Obama side of the fence. After all, how can you dispute the fact that Obama was the only candidate to open offices in Alabama? That alone sends a clear message to most people that he cares about our state.

Perhaps the best part of the afternoon was our run-in with 4 neighborhood kids, who stopped their Saturday afternoon bike-riding to help us knock on doors on their street. They were real interested in what we were doing of course. Who was this Obama guy? Could they have a poster to hang up in their room? And they were very helpful when it came to figuring out which door to knock on. He never comes to the front door, you gotta go to the garage. I heavily recommend canvassing with kids. They make it a lot easier on both parties.

Anyway, I know I have only canvassed once, but I would sure do it again if given the opportunity. I feel like it was a positive experience, and one that challenged me to do something I would have never thought I was capable of doing. I know it's cliche, but Obama has really put the power back in the hands of the people! And he's empowered ordinary people like me to help make a difference in our communities. And come Super Tuesday, we'll see the fruits of our labor. Obama will win Alabama!