These were taken by my friends who were down in DC. They had access to stuff most people would never see. Charlie and I avoided the cold since Sadie isn't even two yet. So, thanks Cathy, Anya and Jane for the great pictures!!!
This is the crowd down by the Washington Monument:
I'm a little worried that Blackman is one word on that t-shirt. But the way it looks, it kinda seems like Educated Blackman is a superhero....
This is the inside of the National Museum of the American Indian. People came in to stay warm, and stayed to watch on the big screen.
These are shots from the roof of the NMAI.
This is the leftover trash. A LOT of leftover trash.
People think I'm kidding when I say there a sharpshooters on top of the buildings. Trust me, they are there. Hey, there they are on top of the National Gallery of Art.
If you were watching ABC's coverage, they were broadcasting from here: The Newseum.
For some stupid reason, Charlie and I decided it would be a great idea to go see if we could see Obama on his Whistle Stop tour running from Philadelphia to DC. Well, he went from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and did a brief stop in Edgewood, as you can see here:
We thought, "Hey, maybe they'll slow down at my stop that I take every day going into the city to Union Station. So, we bundled up, and tried to bundle up Sadie and walked to the train station, thinking that this would be a quick 30 minutes outside. Say hi to Obama and leave. We thought there would be big crowds, so we could avoid the traffic by walking there. Well, we waited, with a bunch of other people. And we waited. And Sadie started crying. And a woman offered her warm car to warm her up. She kept crying. And we waited. Finally, Charlie took Sadie home. Then rumor was they were having dinner and then going to DC. They finally left Baltimore at about 5:30, a full 60 minutes of when we thought they would be there (and all of us waiting were popsicles.) And after a couple of helicopters overhead, lots of police cars. and freezing outside in 12 degree weather for 2 hours.... the train flew right by. It was so dark, I don't even have a picture. And I think Sadie is really mad at us for making her go out in the cold. The only thing I could do was let her watch her Abby Cadabby DVD and give her some applesauce and crunchies. She eventually came around and gave me a big kiss.
Why do we do this Inauguration thing in January? I was sure there's some sort historical reason why. They used to have it in March (which really wasn't much better.) But why JANUARY?
Here's why... Congress decided there was too much wait time between November's Election Day and March's actual Inauguration. This wasn't a big deal in the early years, but it was a big problem for Lincoln (Civil War) and FDR (Great Depression) who were dealing with a huge crisis and had to wait 4 months to be sworn into office. So they modified it to January in 1933. But logistically, it's cold in DC in January.
If you want the little official ballot necklace, you can get it atUncommon Goodsfor $38.
This morning's commute involved bomb-sniffing dogs and Secret Service. I come in through Union Station, which is also the arrival place of the President-Elect as he does his whistle-stop tour on Saturday. I have come to accept the bizarre things I come across while doing my daily routine.
These are my favorites: 1. Rerouting due to a bomb scare. 2. Delays on the Metro due to a bomb scare or a broken train creating a mass block-up in the commuting routine. I had to yell at people once because I was 8 months pregnant and they were pushing. 3. Secret Service looking inconspicuous while wearing all black suits and little buds in their ears. 4. Famous people. You find them here there and everywhere. If you are friends with security, you can ask them who is the big cheese in the museum. This is how I found out about Michael Jackson w/unveiled kids, Angelina Jolie w/kids, Pearl Jam, Tom Brokaw (he's much taller than I thought), Laura Bush's birthday party, Dick Cheney, and the Chancellor of Austria all visiting our museums. You notice the earbuds, the suits (most people where jeans and t-shirts when they visit) and the hovering. That's the funny thing. The hovering. That's when you know SOMETHING is up. 5. The new Army recruits jogging around the National Mall at 8AM in their little Army green shorts in the summertime. I didn't realize 18 years old was so young, until I was about 30. 6. Accidentally running into the filming of a movie or tv show. That's happening more and more.
Today I'll be running around the National Mall checking on last minute stuff, and hopefully take a few pictures to document the pre-event vibe.
I have to switch gears every morning from surburban beltway Mommy-mode into Washington, DC commuter mode. But it's getting more interesting as the Inauguration is only 6 days away. This morning I faced 5 security guards, 1 bomb-sniffing dog, overstuffed metro cars, and my standard security sweeps just to get to work this morning. Now I have to work on media coverage, safety plans, and making sure the stars are aligned (or at least the weather will be decent) for the 6000 students my programis hosting for the Presidential Inauguration. Sure, my kid can't say her own name, but she can say "Obama". I can't wait for all of this to be over.
This is how I usually see the U.S. Capitol on my way to work (when they started construction on September 22, 2008):
This is what it looked like for the 2005 Presidential Inauguration:
We've heard estimates from 1 million to 4 million people planning on attending the Inauguration, and it keeps changing. Check out this commentary showing DC's take on this. It comes off as "Uh, we have no idea what is going to happen with this Inauguration thing." The fact is: we don't. No idea. I love the part where they say this is not like putting your family in a van and going to Air & Space. Even that can be a pain in the butt on a regular day in Washington, DC. In case you want to attend, here's the Senate site with all the info (plus some fun historical facts). But I plan on watching all of this at home, away from the city.
I have to follow the Inauguration for my job, so I have to check the Washington Post religiously for new Inauguration info on a daily basis. Thanks to my little widget, I found this unintentionally funny songclip. Apparently this guy is hoping it will be THEObama Theme Song. I agree with the bloggers, we already had a good one with will.i.am's "Yes, We Can".
And yes, it does sound like the Perfect Strangers theme from the 1980's. To be honest, I kinda like the Perfect Strangers theme better this icky song.
But if they start blasting this song through the streets of Washington, DC, the 1.4 million people that are anticipated to be on the National Mall during the Inauguration will quickly dwindle to about 150. They will either run from DC in sheer desperation or their heads will simply explode from the horrendousness of this song.
I'm sure the next president will give us plenty of amusing media to put on this blog, but since we are saying good-bye to President Bush, I had to bring back one of my all-time favorite photos. And if you are in the mood to play a fun little game, you can throw a shoe at Bush here.