Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama-rama 2009

Notice how I threw 2009 in there? That's to separate it from Obama-rama 2013 when he's sworn in for his second term. Nothing like a bit of . . what's the word I'm looking for . . . . oh that's right . . . hope!

So I was at ground zero for the Obama-rama and while I did not partake in a lot of the festivities, I did go down to the National Mall to see him sworn him. Me and the other 1.8M people. But it was such a great experience.

Superlawyer, his children, and and his BF crashed at my place Monday night since the bridges to the Commonwealth were going to be closed. We all crashed around 11PM and then I heard an alarm go off at 430. And I'm like, if we're leaving at 0530, why are we getting up at 0430. And Superlawyer is like, "You obviously don't have kids, do you." Ah, good point. And even getting up at 0430, we didn't leave until 0545 where we started to trek down to the Mall. Coming up to Scott Circle is where we saw the first of the military guys standing watch. It was harshly cold and they were bundled up pretty well. We hit the Caribou Coffee at 18th and M and then started walking down 18th towards the Mall. When we hit Consititution, we cut down 17th between the Washington Monument and the WW II memorial. Once we were on the south side of the mall, we cut towards the Capital. Needless to say, it was already a mob scene by 0630. And by 0700 we had come to a forced stop right in front of the Smithsonian Castle. Not anywhere close to the Capital, but we just hit a wall of people. So we stopped, pulled out the blanket that SL had brought, and sort of sat down.

Now as the Mall began to fill up, people were packed in all around us, and trying to push their way through the crowd. While we were playing Uno. Um, hello, see this blanket. No you just can't cut through. Where you want to step is the discard pile. Please go around. And most people did, and some people just ignored us. For the most part it was okay and there was very little ugliness by anyone. And I'll have to say that part of that was due to the cold. It was FRAKKIN COLD!! The weatherman had said mid-30s, but they lied as usual. SL, the expert planner, in addition to the blanket and Uno had brought sandwiches, snacks, and water to help tied us through the morning. At some point the jumbotrons started playing the We Are One concert. Which was good. It helped take your mind off of the cold. And then the pre-ceremony stuff started being shown. And the crowd was loving it. The huge cheers for the Obama children, and the big boos for W and Cheney. I said nothing and just observed the crowd around me and their reactions. Black, white, young, old, and everything in between. And the reaction was nearly unanimous. No one was sorry to see W and his cronies leave town.

The oath. Dear God! You're the Supreme Justice, you couldn't read the oath properly! I froze a bit when it happened, but it's all worked out. And then the speech. It wasn't great. But it was good. It was a somber reminder of the situation our country faces. The challenges we need to overcome, both here and abroad. And the thing I like about it most, is that we finally have a President who will speak to us as adults. No platitudes, not obfuscation. We're American's, we can handle the truth. And we finally have a President who will tell us the truth. During his speech, he mad some comment about how we weren't going to trade our freedoms and civil liberties for security, and just when he said that, the jumbotron cut to W and I just had to smile. That's right. We don't. America is strong enough in our ideals and our principles to have the civil liberties and freedoms that all of our ancestors have fought for, while still maintaining our national security!

After the speech, we bailed. Sorry about the poem and the benediction. We'd been there for over 6 hours, we were cold and we were leaving. And we weren't the only ones. We cut through the Smithsonian Castle gardens to Independence Ave. A couple of narrow gates caused some severe bottlenecks and people were just trying to push through. Again, it was a recipe for some ugliness, but I saw none. SL and his crew headed east to walk to Eastern Market to catch the Metro. And I started west. It was hard to fight the crowd down around the Washington Monument. I felt like a salmon going upstream against the masses of people heading L'Enfant Plaza. But that was nothing. As I wormed my way across the Mall through the masses, I finally hit 18th St and looked up the street. It was just a sea of people, from building to building, all the way as far as the eye could see. It was just insane. And I knew most of them were heading for Farragut North Metro, and that would just create more of a cluster. So being smarter than the average bear, I thought, I'll skip over to 19th, walk up that and avoid all of the madness. Good plan in theory, but . . . . 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd were all closed to PEDESTRIAN traffic! WTF?? That I don't just get. But figured it was not a smart move to ignore all of the soldiers who were directing traffic towards 23rd. So needless to say I took a very round about way back to my condo.

That evening Museum Man, SL, and his BF and I hit 1789 for a celebration dinner. Dressed up in our tuxes, we looked great and had a great meal. I had the smoothest cosmo and then a little wine with dinner. We toasted to our new President and it was just a fantastic way to end the day. Well, sort of. SL and his BF headed back to the Commonwealth so since MM and I were all dressed up and no place to go, we would hit the ultra-hip lounge near my place. Had a drink there, which was not so good, and then finally went home since I wasn't feeling so well. Had a really rough night. Sort of like Andrew's: "I swear I didn't drink too much and suspect food poisoning or some bug, but I spent much of the night projectile vomiting into the bathroom porcelain. Maybe it was some kind of psychosomatic response to the end of the Bush administration."

Well that too, but I think it was some severe dehyradation (since I didn't want to battle the masses for the port-o-potties) combined with some strong drinks and rich food.

Anyways, that's the wrap up of Obama-rama 2009. It's a new adminstration, a new point in history, a new day for America.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wish Jeans, Milk, and Being Bitter (-ly Cold)

So I'm still alive. Still sick. Of course. But still alive.

My trip to San Diego got canceled, but that's probably a good thing. There's lot of work for me to do here. And the whole logistics of it all really sucked. My flight back was supposed to be on Saturday (yesterday) with stops in Denver and Boston. Yep, apparently trying to fly into DC over the MLK/Inauguration weekend is a serious haze.

So, the diet and exercising is working. And I'm now actually managing to squeeze my still fat a$$ into my wish jeans. You know, you buy the jeans wishing some day that you'll be able to fit into them. Well my wish has come true. Sort of. I still need to lose some more weight, but I'm making some good progess. And how long ago did I buy these jeans? I'm not sure, but they are 2(x)ist jeans and I don't think they even make them anymore!

Finally got a chance to see Milk. It was really good and I'm not a huge Sean Penn fan, but I think he did an amazing job. The whole story was just amazing. I will say that what I thought was particurarly interesting is that back in 1976 (?) during the Prop 6 effort (where they wanted to ban gay teachers), the established gay and lesbian groups were pushing a message that was focused on human rights but didn't actually use the word gay. It reminded me of the arguments in the aftermath of a Prop 8 where the leading GLBT groups did the same thing. They didn't actually use the word gay, or show gay couples in there advertising. And that was a huge mistake. To be effective, you need to make it personal. It's one thing to say that you're going to ban gay marriage, but when you've going to say that you're going to prevent your Uncle and his partner of 10 years from getting married, it turns it from an abstract concept to a very personal reality. Personally, I think the anti-prop 8 groups needed to run commercials like this:

Anyways, since everyone else is doing, I'm going to also. Dayum it's cold out there!! It is just bitter. In theory it will warm up a bit before the Inauguration. Even making it into the 30s would be good. Superlawyer and his kids are going to camp at my house on Monday night and then we're going to get up at the crack of dawn to head down to the Mall. I haven't decided whather I'm going to watch today's festivities on TV, or brave the cold. I'm still trying to get over this cold, so maybe staying in will be a better option. Anyways, stay warm everyone!

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Snotty and Sniffling

Yep, I'm sick again. As is quite typical on my trips to Paris, I usually get sick a day or two after I get back. And while I usually blame the walking & talking viral factory that is my niece, I actually think it was my Mom this time. So I've been trying to lay low for the past week or so to try to recuperate.

Christmas in Paris was good. Ish. Five adults and two children does cause some interesting family dynamics. But I think it went better than I thought. And while the weather was pretty cold, atleast it didn't rain much. So we did managed to get out of the flat every day for little adventures or the daily chores.

Let's see, Christmas highlight? I have to say that it's my niece listening to my iPod and singing along to Pink's "So What" at the top of her lungs!

"So so what?
I'm still a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't need you"

Just too funny and too cute.

And the trip back rocked! I got bumped to business class (thank you United!) and the flight got in an hour early!

I stayed in on NYE. Museum Man and I watched a movie and had some kirs. Nothing too wild. Though we did have an exceptional brunch at Fahrenheit at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown with the Glamazon on New Years Day. We had several cosmos and we were feeling pretty toasty by the time we left about 3 plus hours later. Definitely a good time.

Started the new gym routine yesterday. It's been three months since I started at my self esteem crushing gym and I need to mix up my routine to see some new improvements. And like any gay man, I normally ignore my lower body. Well, with the cardio I do, my lower body is fine. But I finally decided to add some legs to my routine. Plus I'm mixing up my other workouts. I want to lose 15 pounds by the cruise in March. So that's the goal!

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