HELLO! WE'RE LIVEBLOGGING BEFORE RUNNING AWAY TO CALIFORNIA FOR A MONTH!!!! Buddy Dyer says he "got in trouble" for making people stand for the invocation, because religion. There is a Methodist minister with a Fu Man Chu invoking the LORD right now. Dyer is standing, as is everyone else. Today should be fun.
We don't see much on the agenda to get excited about, but CONGRESSMAN DAN WEBSTER IS HERE in order to throw a flag around for auction later. There is a piece about electric fences coming up. For now it's Lui Damiani and Dan Webster who want to talk about sexual abuse. What world is this?
2:12 p.m.: Lui Damiani just said the phrase "wave a denim," as a means of supporting anti-sex-violence etc., and we guess that there's a big thing on April 29 (STATE OF THE CITY!!!!). The mayor wishes he could wear jeans, he says. This is gross.
2:13 p.m.: Congressman Webster is now out of his groundhog hole and trying to make us believe that he's really focused on the Victims' Service Center in honor of sexual violence. We remain unmoved by Congressman Webster.
2:17 p.m.: Cue uncomfortable singing "Happy Birthday" to Frank Billingsley who is an amazing man who happens to carry Buddy Dyer's dress-train all day, every day.
2:20 p.m.: There are a lot of "things" going "on" in the awards and presentations preamble. Currently we're talking about the new men's service center for the homeless downtown. "Meaningful services" will be offered now. We're going to "do something differently" at the men's service center, which is open now. There are 250 men every night being served – veterans, alcoholics, people who enjoy bunk beds.
2:27 p.m.: A PROCLAMATION FOR VOLUNTEERS!!!!! WHEREAS!!!! This is going longer than we'd hoped.
2:29 p.m.: Now everyone is posing for a picture. Literally, everyone in the audience. They will all leave after this and the echo chamber will resume its echo.
2:31 p.m.: Tony Ortiz is talking through his mustache and somehow his mustache is making his speech stumble. The gist is that there is a senior crime watch thing because GET OFF MY LAWN. Ortiz is honoring someone named Tom DeLay? Maybe? It's not that guy tho.
2:37 p.m.: OMG THERE ARE MORE PRESENTATIONS. This, dear reader, is typically a sign that there is nothing on the agenda. It's like #pageantlife. This time it's, rather depressingly, about helping blind people. Not depressing because it's a bad thing to support the medical eye bank, but because, OMG, blindness is depressing. It's all about cornea donation; things that freak us out.
2:45 p.m.: Buddy Dyer is talking about the Spring Fiesta. He was turned away once from taking his dog to the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Sorry, Buddy. We got distracted by this middling new Morrissey video. Dogs are allowed at the Fiesta.
2:47 p.m.: There will be a new "North quarter loop" for free LYNX service starting April 19. Then there will be more bussing involved with the "lime line" that will take you to the Grand Canyon... Er, the creative village.
2:50 p.m.: Jim Gray is saying things like "game changer" and that's "all I've got." Dyer has already mentioned the absence of controversy on today's agenda. OH, REALLY. LET'S TALK ABOUT TONY ORTIZ AND ANNEXATION ON CURRY FORD! Welp, he's done, too.
2:53 p.m.: Robert Stuart is MAKING US YAWN. His hair is incredible, though.
2:56 p.m.: Patty Sheehan JUST TALKED ABOUT SKATE PARKS!!!!! She's totally rad.
2:58 p.m.: Regina Hill is conjuring the ghost of Tinker Field and talking about Easter, which is totally about ghosts, too.
3:01 p.m.: Hill continues to go on and on and on, maybe repeating herself. She rode a Schwinn Girl's 10-speed for a Parramore parade to celebrate diversity. It was basically a mini-Pride parade in Parramore. Where was I? Also, it was the Credo folk that did it. Sounds like church.
3:06 p.m.: SAM INGS IS TALKING ABOUT VIRTUALLY NOTHING AT LENGTH, INCLUDING ONYX MAGAZINE.
3:11 p.m.: OMG, WE'RE HALFWAY TO CALIFORNIA AT THIS POINT. EVERYONE IS JUST TALKING AND THERE ARE ONLY BITS OF NOISE PENETRATING OUR EARS.
3:12 p.m.: However, Thomas Chatmon, representing the CRA, is wearing a PINK blazer. Chatmon FTW.
3:16 p.m.: The city is not all about your electric fence, via ordinance. YOU CAN'T BUZZ PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.
3:18 p.m.: Boring zoning ordinances. No public outrage. Etc.
3:20 p.m.: Annnnnnnd, with that, it's over. We'll see you in May upon our return. Our meaning "my." Return meaning "I'm going on a writer's residency for a month in California." Love to all of you. Hope I find myself there, and then I find a new myself back here. THIS SHOULD BE FUN. Fini.