I went with two friends; we were told that doors would open at 11:30, and that we should get there early to get through security. We left the office around 11:30, went in one side of the Student Center to get food, and came out and around the building to stand in line in drizzly rain at the other entrance to the Student Center, because that is securer. Once we got through metal detectors and into the building (past a bunch of freestaters protesting because it wouldn't be a — well, anything — without freestaters protesting), we made our way up to the balcony where I sat on the floor to eat my lunch.
That task finished, I stood up with my friends and commenced blogging.
- 12:27 Standing and waiting. In very high heels. Have spotted many work friends, a few community members, a friend from summer camp. Someone near me smells bad, but I have subtly determined it is not either of the friends I am here with.
- 12:43 Still standing and waiting. Turnout's ok, but not amazing. There is a woman to my right in a turquoise suit and a fantastic hat. If I can furtively take a picture, I will. Oh, except that as usual when I want to take a picture, my phone battery's too low.
- 12:51 There's a staff member around who looks like Tyler Coates, which is interesting, because Tyler Coates looks like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, but this dude does NOT look like Jesse Tyler Ferguson. What are the odds my battery will die completely before Biden enters the building?
- 12:55 Real conversation between my friends and me: "They should put the disco ball on when he comes in. He seems like that kind of guy, right? I don't think Mitt Romney is a disco ball kind of guy." "Mitt Romney would want to seem like a disco ball kind of guy, but then he'd say something weird that suggests he's never actually heard of disco or balls." I did not mean testicles, just to clarify. I rarely mean testicles.
- 1:02 The interim provost of the college made big gestures that I initially interpreted as saying she liked my necklace from across the room. She was actually trying to show off her own necklace to the woman next to me. I am vain and love my new necklace. [Added later: I did not pay anything anywhere near full price for that necklace. I did not pay 25% for that necklace, even. Genny can tell you how to do the same, if you're interested.]
- 1:09 Something's happening. By "something" I mean patriotic images on a screen accompanied by painfully scratchy sound. Seriously, impossible to understand, hard to be in a room with. It might be about the economy.
- 1:11 Resolved for roughly four seconds.
- 1:13 Resolved for roughly 30 seconds.
- 1:20 Maybe now it's about Osama Bin Laden, and I think for a bit it was about health care. I don't know. I'm trying not to jam my thumb into my eye.
- 1:22 I may never forgive my employer or this administration for exposing me to this earsplitting noise. Something predatory lenders something. People just clapped for women, I think.
- 1:26 It ended at last as a really rude freestater elbowed her way in front of a bunch of people (including me), many of whom who gave her a hard time for lying to them and being rude. Highlight of my day. Some kid, er, field organizer is talking now.
- 1:30 A woman in the crowd has whipped out a largeish makeup palette and is fixing her face. Huh?
- 1:33 The makeup continues. Meantime, the field organizer has finished and we seem to be at the awkward silence part of the afternoon.
- 1:40 No kidding, the makeup continues, and consists not only of the palette but also of at least two (maybe three) makeup bags. Maybe she's secret service and that's weaponized mascara.
- 1:46 Secret service suddenly emerges from nowhere. Maybe it's almost time!
- 1:48 I decide to kneel. A professor friend asks if I'm OK. I point to my heels; she lets me know she's first-aid certified if I need it.
- 1:52 Hell with it. I'm taking off the cute shoes. Now I feel like I'm standing in a hole.
- 1:53 The freestater is now talking with a campus safety officer. I like where this is going.
- 1:54 Biden's here!
- 1:59 Some people are just rude and loud, and by "some people," I mean "effing freestaters." [Explanation added later: They just started chanting to drown out the vice president, or, more likely, to get arrested or escorted from the building. Their big M.O. lately seems to be to be rotten enough to get in trouble, and then complain about how oppressed they are.]
- 2:00 Biden says: "Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but they're not entitled to their own facts."
- 2:09 Biden says: "Listen to those 2, 5, 20 debates they had. They said some unbelievable things."
- 2:11 Note to self and others (and by "others," I mean "Joe Biden"): Avoid unfunny Preakness jokes. What are you, Romney?
- 2:13 Biden says: "75% of those in nursing homes are women who've lost their husbands." That can't possibly be true, can it? Does the remaining 25% really include all single women, all divorced women, all straight married women who have not lost their husbands, all gay women regardless of status, and all men put together?
- 2:16 When Biden talks about the "crux" of Romney's argument being his business experience, he pronounces it "crooks." Genius.
- 2:19 Biden says: "Creating wealth for investors is not the job of the president. The president has a different job." Real genius.
...and then someone sent me a text with a picture and it killed my battery. Suffice it to say, I had a lovely afternoon, foot pain and white noise and freestaters aside. The vice president was inspirational and funny, but did not say anything really boffo, which was disappointing.
What did you do this afternoon?