LIVE FROM BOSTON….While Kevin anchors our “as seen on tv” coverage of the Democratic National Convention, I’m the on-site blogger who will bring you the sights, sounds, and smells of events in and around the Fleet Center. It’s my first official duty as an incoming editor at The Monthly and I can’t complain, as my direct instructions were: “Go to lots of parties and write about them.” Consider it done.

A few opening observations before the festivities really get started tomorrow. I arrived in Boston via a brief weekend trip to Maine and along the drive south down I-95, I passed an overpass where at least ten Kerry-Edwards supporters waved campaign signs and displayed a huge “John Kerry for President” banner to greet southbound traffic. I’ve spent my fair share of time on similar activities on Election morning or in the lead-up to key primary dates, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen such enthusiasm three months before an election.

Here in Boston, convention-goers are all obsessed with one thing: Getting into parties. And not just any parties ? there are plenty of wanna-be bashes to attend for the undiscerning ? but the choicest events. One problem for would-be party-goers is that what qualifies as the “It” gathering of the evening changes from moment to moment, making it very hard to keep up. Case in point: Just a few nights ago, everyone was buzzing about a reception for the Clintons this evening. But then people got to talking about the Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway tonight and within a few hours, the tide had shifted and it became The Event, even though it is not in any way affiliated with Convention activities.

If this sounds a bit like high school to you, you’re not far off.

Personally, I’m waiting to jump in with both feet tomorrow, starting with an 11 a.m. appearance on NPR’s “The Connection,” on which we’ll be discussing the presence of bloggers at the Convention and how their coverage might differ from that of the other 14,985 media types wandering around.

Stay tuned.

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.