Friday, March 21, 2008

Part 196, In Which I Endorse a Candidate

The weekend before last, in the midst of all my midterm stress, I slacked off for a minute to talk politics with my dad. We pretty much agree: Samantha Power wasn't far off about Hillary, and we've got a crush on Obama. Such a crush, in fact, that we've been giving money; I've been giving in small, I'd-still-like-to-buy-food amounts, but my dad, recently, has taken up giving real money. Real money, for which he got, last weekend, tickets to a fundraiser photo op with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. He told me about these tickets, as we talked, and then utterly surprised me by saying, "I have an extra ticket, since Klement doesn't want to come. Do you want it?"

"Dad," I laughed, "have you forgotten that I live in California? I can't just randomly stop by for a party."

"Sure you can," he said. "I'll fly you out."

And so, because my mom wasn't around that weekend to say hey, wait a second guys, this is crazy, that's what actually happened. Last Monday I bought plane tickets online, and then last Thursday after classes I dashed home, threw some dirty laundry into a suitcase, and got on a plane to Boston, ready to party with the stars. Oh, sorry--pahty with the stahs. (It was in Boston, after all.)

Of course, it's absurd to think that either me or any of my immediate family members would actually enjoy a swanky fundraising party; on the contrary, my mom walked into the nightclub where it was held, took one look around at the other party guests, drinking wine and chatting, and said to me, not as sotto voce as she thought, "I'm pretty sure this is hell." So instead of staying and schmoozing, my parents and I did what we actually can do well: took unflattering photos with celebrities. I'm pretty sure, at this point, I could start a whole new blog solely documenting my failure to keep my eyes fully open when posing with famous people. I've got the first few posts right here.

He wasn't president when I met him, but that doesn't mean it wasn't cool.
After the picture, Margaret started squealing, "He touched me! Bono touched my cheek! I'm never going to wash it again!"

At least Jennifer Garner has red eyes too.

Ben Affleck looks so Bostonian.

The best part, I think, is how, while Jennifer Garner looks like a movie star, beautiful and photogenic, taking pictures with regular folks, we've dragged Ben Affleck down with us; all his practiced celebrity suavity went out the window when faced with my family's incredible ability, when taking photographs, to disagree on the location of the camera.

Cool as it was to meet Affleck and Garner, and cool as it was that my dad gave money to Obama--and yes, I know it's ridiculous that I'm about to downplay this, and yes, I know I'm spoiled--the better parts of the weekend were me just hanging out with my family: watching Slings and Arrows with my parents, cooking dinner for a neighbor with my mom, taking the dogs for a walk in the bird sanctuary/abandoned mental hospital with my dad, making and eating tortilla pizzas with Klement, admiring the beautiful purple walls of "my" bedroom, and wondering when, exactly, we became the type of family that has freshly cut flowers around the house. Oh, and of course it was wonderful to see The Dancing Newt, meet the newly engaged Pinto, and run into several other old acquaintances in the singles ward, and just as wonderful to see Boston again, even if it meant not seeing the sun all weekend. It was probably stupid and irresponsible of me to take off for an extended weekend in the crunch time just before spring break--I had to skip classes to do it, too--but, as with skiing, it was so, so worth it. Thanks, Dad, for the trip. It was a crazy idea, but so crazy it just might have worked.


Mr. Fob said...

So Bill Clinton was at an Obama fundraiser? Wow, I guess no one has faith in Mrs. Clinton's ability to win the election.

Anonymous said...

Haha Mr. Fob, you have no sense of reality.

eleka nahmen said...


The Joo said...

That is so amazingly cool. I wish MY dad would donate lots of money (ha!) to Obama (HA!)

SAK said...

You look like Chelsea in your picture with Clinton - long hair, I'm shocked!

And yes, I have a crush on Obama too - that is why he is winning after all.

mysh said...

Re:Ben Affleck looks so Bostonian.

Does "Bostonian" here mean "drunk"?

Lady Steed said...


My heart is racing right now at the mere thought...I can't believe I know someone who has touched Bono!

Next we meet you must explain how you were able to get close enough to Mr. Hewson to touch him.

Confuzzled said...

At least you're fully aware of how spoiled you are. Otherwise the story would make you (temporarily) dislike you ;)

Also, I have a crush on Obama too.

bawb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bawb said...

Dang, that's awesome. Was Obama there, or was it just Affleck and Garner selling themselves for him?

Petra said...


I wish that were the first time someone has told me I look like Chelsea Clinton.


No, it just means "Bostonian." Though maybe you're right too.

Lady Steed--

I'll tell you the story if you'll let me play with your adorable baby.


No, it was just Affleck and Garner selling themselves for him. Believe me, had he been there, I would have mentioned it. Trumpeted it. Hyperventilated over it.

Katya said...

Did you meet Bono at a political thing or at an economics thing? (Not that there's always such a distinct difference, but was he shilling for a particular candidate or party?)

bawb said...

Part 196, in which Katya learns she's a Nader supporter. ;)

Katya said...

Ha! No, I'm just listening to her dad on Radio West right now, and her dad mentioned Bono, which made me wonder what the circumstances of their meeting were. That's all. :)

Petra said...


I met Bono at a Harvard thing; he was the graduation speaker in 2001. My dad had tickets to a speech he was to give at the Kennedy School's graduation dinner, but was going to be out of town, so he gave them to me and Margaret. If I had to answer one or the other, though, I'd say economic, since that's what his speech focused on.

The Dancing Newt said...

petra, I'm so glad we got to meet up too! And of course I'm totally jealous of your life. Sigh...

"Part 196, in which Katya learns she's a Nader supporter."

Haha... bawb you always crack me up.

Ginsberg said...

Here's my political endorsement:

So I'm back at the hotel room with John Coltrane and The Love Supreme and in the next room I hear some woman scream out that her lover's turnin' off, turnin' on the television. And I can't tell the difference between ABC News, Hill Street Blues and the preacher on The Old Time Gospel Hour stealing money from the sick [beat] and the old. Well the God I believe in isn't short of cash!
And I feel a long way from the hills of San Salvador where the sky is ripped open and the rain pours through a gaping wound, pelting the women and children, pelting the women and children who run. . .
into the arms. . .
of America.

Let me know if you ever meet The Edge.
. . . and thanks again for your hospitality last weekend.