07 Mar Ellen & Obama
This has been a ridiculous week. Absolutely ridiculous.
I’ve been living out of a suitcase and now I’m home, my brain is almost empty – but I wanted to tell you about it.
On Friday Mike McKeown and I (Mike is a big wig at Kelly Brothers and the a whip smart guy who helps me shape the interviews with anyone I interview) flew to Montreal. That night I sat down with Ellen Degeneres and did a show for 15,000 (totally my guess, I didn’t actually count everyone) in Montreal at the Bell Centre, then on Sunday we flew to Toronto, and did a show at the Scotia Centre at 2pm, changed shirts, and did another show at 6pm. I’m no math whiz, but that’s roughly 45,000 people I got to hang out with.
I tried to mix things up and ask Ellen different questions, different topics, and she took everything I threw at her and knocked it out of the park. So quick, funny, genuine and heartfelt.
Portia was on the trip with her and it was fun to see Ellen light up every time she was close. They clearly love each other a lot.
Then on Monday we flew back to Calgary – to get ready for over an hour interview President Barack Obama at the Saddledome on Tuesday. Yeah. The 44th President of the United States. It’s not something you can prepare for, but we sure tried to prepare as much as we could.
I’ve interviewed a lot of people and I have to say, he is one of the most thoughtful/ thought-filled people I’ve ever talked to. Everything I asked him, he really listened, he paused, reflected, and then thoughtfully answered the question. There were 15,000 people in the Saddledome and he had no problem with silence, no problem thinking something through before he spoke.
He was funny, he was genuine, he was heartfelt and he was smart.
He is a man who clearly knows what he means to people. He has had the most impossible, ridiculous, high pressure, extreme life that anyone could have, and somehow can calmly sit and have an in depth conversation with me about life, marriage, the environment, the economy, building teams, having big dreams, making tough choices – and remaining optimistic in the face of whatever life throws at him.
And I was lucky enough to sit there with him.
Then I went home. No big deal. The guy who spent the week with Ellen and the President.
And the kids could not have cared less.
Blythe had to go out tonight, John was at the neighbors, so it was just me and Tess after supper. I was doing the dishes, and Tess sat on the counter and went through the spices in the cupboards. I cleaned while she did a running commentary of everything she was finding. Parsley. Cumin. Cinnamon.
At one point, “C-A-Y-E-N-N-E – What’s that?”
“It’s cayenne. It makes things spicy” I said.
“Bleahhhh! It’s stinks. Why would you want something spicy?”
Then it got quiet for a moment then, “Oh… this is best one in here.” I turned around and she had an entire fist full of sugar shoved into her mouth. “Aughhhh… yummy.”
I don’t know what that has to do with President Obama, I don’t know what it has to do with Ellen Degeneres, but in every way possible, it was the sweetest moment of the week.