Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been remiss to not update my blog since my return from the inauguration, but better later than never.

It's really hard for me to conceptualize my weekend in Washington, D.C., half because it was one of the most powerful things I have ever been a part of and half because I'm not sure if I've been fully able to realize the magnitude of my experience. Like wine, I'm assuming it will only get better with age.

From what I am able to realize now, I see right now as truly the beginning of a new era. That might sound like a naive, altruistic statement at first glance, but I make it with a reservation of reality.

Barack Obama is a brilliant man, with great ideas and visions to restore America's place in the world and in our hearts, although I recognize that he is just a man, not the Messiah or immune to the corruption and pressure of politics. Obama is going to have to make hard decisions, which will most likely not be to the liking of all Americans, but I hope he is able to maintain his character and overall mission to make America the place of life, liberty and happiness once again.

But, when I say that the tide has changed for us, I do not solely credit Obama for change. I feel the real change is with the people, shown by the sincere, warm smiles exchanged by strangers in passing or felt by the American pride that hangs in the air.

On the day of Obama's inauguration, I woke up at 5 a.m., layered myself with long-sleeved shirts and thermal pants and I walked for an hour and a half in well-below-freezing temperatures to stand in a cramped crowd of people for an additional three hours. I did not even feel the cold and I did not want to find the nearest warm store for refuge. Don't read this as, "Wow, she walked a lot and had to be so uncomfortable, yet she pulled through and braved the cold just to be a part of history." It was not like that, to be honest. The excitement, the comradery of standing amongst millions of other Americans, and visitors, for the collective celebration of change was truly motivating.

Television anchors and reporters may have highlighted how cold and miserable the crowds must have been to stand in long lines or how some people, with tickets to boot, missed the ceremony all together because they were being held in an underground tunnel. I even was in one of those dreaded clusterlines at 3rd street trying to get to the National Mall.

The police did not know whether the line and security checkpoint would grant people access to the National Mall (where Josh and I wanted to go) or the parade route (which would mean standing until 2:30 in the afternoon, most likely missing the oath, etc. as well as just seeing the president drive pass; no thanks). Around 9, Josh and I decided that we were too far back in the line to even get through the checkpoint before the procession's start at 11; the worst would have been to be stuck in the middle of a random street and miss the whole thing.

So, we walked over to Clyde's at Gallery Place, saddled up to a pair of stools at the second-floor's bar and watched the whole thing on a HD flatscreen tuned to CNN, with a Bloody Mary in hand and packed house standing behind us. People were cheering and clapping; crying and praying. It was like being on the Mall, only it was warm and I had the best seat in the house.

There was a feeling of collective happiness, like "we did it; I can't believe we all actually did this."

So I think the change really is with the people, banding together to help others for the common, collective good of the country.

When I went to the free "We Are One" the Sunday before the inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial, I turned around at one point to say something to my friend Marcus Hadley during the show. When I did, I found that Marcus and his dad had both hoisted two little girls in their arms, so they could see Obama deliver his speech.

At the end of the concert, I told Marcus and his dad that it was so nice of them to have done that for those girls.

Mr. Hadley said, "They just needed to see that."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

care bears and clouds

Have you ever wanted to snuggle up in a cloud like a carebear?

Pulling the fluffy, soft covers of cloud over yourself, tucking yourself in for a cosmically cozy nap.

I don't.

The visual-- the playful, warm animation-- looks so delightful, but to an unmatchable extent. I think that if I were to be giving the chance to sleep in a cloud during a dream, or in some unrealistic way within the actual drawing, I think the experience would still fall short of what my sight calculates the sensation would be.

My perception of cloud slumber is a mix of two things: the fantasy of how soft and fluffy clouds would be in a cartoon world plus a sprinkle of childhood nostalgia.

I feel like the adolescent perception, the way things are more important, more exciting, more extreme, more fantastic, cannot ever be recovered, at least fully. No one knows when it goes, or how or why, but it's clear that there comes a time when imagination weakens.

And that's why I'm confident that looking at a picture of a carebear sleeping in a cloud is more delightful than if I were given a the actual opportuntiy now to sleep in a cloud.

The picture conjures up hazy, nearly-gone feelings of imagination; the most delighful thing in the world.

the science of song

it's like a nest. each piece fits together, cradling the user.

the scraps are not felt as individual pieces. the cracks and connections are smooth and fluid.

those scraps-- drums, bass, guitar, vocals-- are felt by the listener as a living (moving, evolving) entity they comprise.

listen closer.
to find complexity.
individual movements that help to create the song.

like seeing an organism, but then looking under a microscope to find millions of individual molecules moving differently, yet contributing to a collective, cohesive overall being.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008: the year of the BOOST, apparently

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2009 is going to be a big year (see: Obama, graduation)!

HuffPost featured a bunch of new year blog entries, one of which was a post by Andy Borowitz that showcased his facebook statuses from 2008.

I thought it was a neat way to summarize the year. Here are a few, starting from Jan. 1, 2008.

Jan. 1: Paige is "election year! WAHOO"
A nice message among a sea of comments on hangovers and drinking regrets.

Jan. 11: Paige is "really named jonathan, or atleast that’s what she tells sketchballs at the club."
Some girls rely on their girlfriends to bail them out of awkward situations. I just introduce myself as Jonathan. Great advice for Iguana's in Baltimore; trust me.

Feb. 4: Paige is "avoid nothing, battle everyone."
Just some classic Paige Dearing trash-talk. Again from Iguana's, only this time about dance battles.

Feb 21: Paige is "BOOOOOOSTED. Usa today intern? YEAHHH."

March 5: Paige is "LIFE IS TOO GOOD: Chelsea, nate, savannah, ultimate."
Last spring was packed with fun. Chelsea, Nate and Joe visited for 'boost central.' Ultimate was going great and spring break playing ultimate all week in Savannah was going to be amazing, and was.

March 16: Paige is "boosted for springtime and ultimate outside. Now it just needs to come."
Syracuse winters are long.

April 7: Paige is "reserving a seat for katie’s spirit."
Katie was abroad and missed the annual Mirabeau dinner.

April 27: Paige is " let the seasons begin, take the big king down"
Beirut is fantastic and I couldn't stop listening to Elephant Gun.

May 5: Paige is "all I know is I can’t wait to see what becomes the summer08 dance."
We all know the summer07 dance was a smash.

May 13: Paige is "haruki murakami."
Fantastic author.

June 10: Paige is "bonnarooooooo."

June 18: Paige is "twilight, Elliott smith."
Great combination.

July 4: Paige is "kannst du mit dein Arsch wackeln?”
German for "Can you shake your ass?"

July 23: Paige is "nancy drew: the phantom of Venice, from USA TODAY, fo freeee."
What is summer without a little Nancy Drew action?

It will be interesting to see what 2009 has in store for me. Will this winter be as long as last year? What will I be doing in the summer? What will I be doing with my life?