Monday, May 28, 2007

"A Hot New Quarry of No-limit Fun"

I don't know how or when it started, but my friends and I have grown into avid Big Buck Hunters.

Collaborate and Listen

Vanilla Ice paid Des Moines a visit last night. I was able to get him to sign a Supporter Card for Barack Obama. Worlds are colliding out here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MO town

Michelle Obama visited yesterday in one of my counties and I was able to organize two groups to meet with her. She gave a great speech about her relationship with Barack, and at times you'd forget that she wasn't the candidate herself. That's not to say she sounded like a politician -- just that she was extremely convincing in discussing his politics and integrity. Obviously her appearance and advocacy of his candidacy makes my job a lot easier, but she really was incredibly impressive in her own regard.

Fortunately, it got a lot of great media coverage. (I even ended up in the background of one of the photos that ran in today's Des Moines Register (above), which has me feeling a bit like Ricky Gervais in that first episode of Extras.)

Other pictures of the events are here.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Check it out...a picture of my volunteers at an event in Indianola last Thursday with the boss ended up on the front page of the Iowa Obama website.

Eat that, Sam Donaldson.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

JP on the Square

If there's one thing I've learned about Des Moines in my 2 months here, it's that the Urban Planners and Modern Artists dominate the agenda for this town. There are parks in the middle of otherwise crowded city blocks and large, strange, unmistakably Midwestern works of public art everywhere.

The large trowel (left) is two blocks from my apartment. Everytime I get a chance to go for a run, I head in its direction and find myself doing a few laps around the park in which it rests. I did a little research on it the other day and learned:

Claus Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen have struck again...It looks perfectly at home on the lawn in front of the Meredith Corp. headquarters downtown. Meredith is a media conglomerate that publishes many well-known magazines, so perhaps the handtool is a sly reference to one of its most famous, "Better Homes and Gardens."
Their library, from where I'm currently writing, is also a testament to the contemporary art that Des Moinians seem to appreciate with an uncanny fervor. There are large windmill-like metallic structures on the west and north sides of the building, and the intererior is full of leather couches and gray overhanging fluorescent lights that would make, well, Claus Oldenburg, proud.

I believe former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack was instrumental in getting new libraries and improved facilities across Iowa to raise literacy rates across the state. I may vehemently disapprove of the seemingly quid pro-quo endorsement she and her husband gave last month, but you can't argue with that kind of work. I also met her a few weeks ago and she's quite possibly the nicest woman of all time.

Anyway, the town loves its art and its parks and the merging of the two.

I bring this all up because on Friday night a group of us watched Jurassic Park out in the field behind my apartment on a big screen with a couple hundred other people (pictures here). Every Friday night in May they'll be playing movies there, all for free. There was something extremely satisfying about seeing Dr. Grant and co. frantically escaping while stretching out on the grass with a cold beer on a warm spring night.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bring on the Butter Cow!

One of my towns had a "Loyalty Day" parade yesterday. Fortunately, I contacted the VFW and they let us have an Obama truck in the parade.

I brought a group of my fellow organizers with me, and had a
good time. I sent all my pictures off to the writer of the official Iowa For Obama blog, so keep your eye out for them there. While you're there, check out the pictures of the art teacher who painted our office -- he definitely outmoded our meager attempt from my first day on the job.

Other than that, life's good. I went to a Cinco De Mayo street fest in West Des Moines last night and manned the Obama booth while eating delicious, delicious taquitos. I can't tell you how ready I am for the onslaught of county fairs, festivals, parades, and the second biggest state fair in the country.