Hello, Evanston, Illinois.
Barack Obama said to say "Hi".
(This is when I open my eyes very wide and say, with all sincerity, "Can you even believe it????").
Three days ago, I was one of five Americans selected by YouTube and Google to interview the president in the first-ever, virtual Presidential Google+ Hangout.
The days leading up to the interview were some of the most surreal that I've ever experienced.
I submitted an interview question for the president to the White House via email on Jan. 23. Three days later, I learned my question was one of five selected. And on Jan. 30, I interviewed the president of the United States Of America from the comfort of my dining room.
Once I'd been chosen, I had to keep the news a secret until the interview began. I told only a handful of people, but I wanted to shout it to the world. How could something like this happen? As the saying goes, only in America...
I wrote about my experience in more detail on my website while the events were still fresh in my mind ... and I'm sharing them with you here.
I'm still processing the experience, noting the serendipity most of all. If you believe in fate or higher powers or karma or positive energy, you'll understand why I keep getting the chills: Not only was lucky enough to interview the commander-in-chief, but I was selected on the very day I finished a novel about a 12-year-old girl from Evanston, who writes to the president when her parents both lose their jobs.
As someone who's still awestruck when I encounter the likes of U.S. Rep, Jan Schakowski or former SNL star Tim Kazurinsky of Evanston ... this experience just might do me in.
Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you.