Sunday, 15 February 2009


one may wonder where i have been. i can only say this . . . since obama's inauguration my life has been NUTSO crazy busy. blogging feel off the charts. don't get me wrong, the year of awesome is going strong. it just isn't translating into the year of awesome blogging.

i am writing from mumbai (bombay). i told myself no india blogging until the inauguration is done. so . . . here goes.

inauguration weekend started with cheryl and i acting like teenage groupies and heading down to union station with hopes of meeting president-elect obama as he finished his whistle-stop tour.

we weren't the only people with this idea.

it didn't work. he snuck out the back and into his car . . . RATS!
so we got ben & jerry's
not quite barack and michelle,
but it will do in a fix

sunday was the day of the "opening ceremonies"
basically the biggest bestest concert ever
i was supposed to teach relief society
but my dear friend aubrey offered to teach so that i could go to the concert
thanks aubrey

cheryl and i rode down and then separated.
we had different ideas
in the end, her idea was better
i just made a bunch of failed attempts at getting close

the crowds were amazing
they were larger than anything i have ever seen on the mall
and they everyone was so well behaved

i decided to climb a tree too. i got kicked out before i really got up.
but it was fun trying
the concert was super fun
who knew i could love garth brooks like that
and i hope that when in my next life i am mary j. blige

people were stopping their cars on 14th street just to get a glimpse of the concert
it was pretty remarkable
and was just a foreshadowing of what was to come

that night we had a inauguration party
it was well attended by the qualters, liz, brian and me

elaine made this cake
it was as delicious as its symbolism
maybe i can get her to give me the recipe
i think this is my favorite cake ever in the history of cakes
some coffee-hinted chocolate deliciousness

the Qs on Q!
with a BIG O!!!

that night kamilah arrived from NYC and vincent arrived from paris
it was super late and we stayed up even later talking
it was wonderful to see both of them
i hadn't seen vincent in about four years
which made seeing him even a greater treat!

the next morning dianna invited us to do 44 sun salutations
in honor of the inauguration of our 44th president
we all jumped at the chance

dianna, vincent and me


vincent babu

mahātmā d

turns out that doing 44 sun salutations to dianna's voice is about the most hypnotic thing you can do. it is super soothing and keeps you doing something that you don't realize is going to make it hard to walk for the next 3 days.

post yoga, kamilah and i decided to go to RFK stadium to participate in the
national day of service
check out kamilah's blog for more info

dianna decided that the best service that she could do for our nation is sleep
i think she made the right decision
we ended up putting this crappy stuff into plastic bags for the troops in afghanistan and iraq
it felt like we were just creating tons and tons of landfill waste
the tiniest bottles of sunblock
some weird energy drinks
a crappy note pad (the kind you get for free in a hotel)
it was really just garbage
and then to think that we were going to ship these bags full of waste to troops half way around the world.
seems super ridiculous
needless to say, kamiliah and i didn't help out too much
i think we made 3 bags and then bolted

we took a cute photo

and then met nancy pelosi
nancy with the evidence of the ridiculously wasteful bags of junk for our troops

nancy getting us all fired up

this is just moments before i talked with her
i said: "thanks nancy"
and she looked at me like she didn't know me
and then walked around me
touched me on the shoulder and said
"oh hi, how are you doing, good to see you"

we went home hungry
kamilah and i got pizza with:
cheryl, diane, mark, and mark's sister (whose name i can't remember)
and then we all went to bed early to prepare for the big day

i woke up at 4:am to go down and meet some presidential inauguration committee volunteers
they wanted us to meet at the washington monument at 4:am
it was going to be 17 degrees at 4:am
so i decided i would wake up at 4 and then head down
for some totally bizarre reason i took a shower
which meant my hair was wet when i left
which made me even more cold

i could NOT figure out how to get to the washington memorial
this is me at the 3rd street tunnel
soon to be known as the purple ticket tunnel of death
please note that at 4:30 there are already gobs of people

i ended up passing thousands of people on my bike as i weaved my way to 19th street where i then could jut down to the mall

security was clearly tight, but unorganized

this is the capitol at 5:am on 20 jan 2009
i was totally frozen solid
so i couldn't get the camera steady

at about 6:am i met lindsay
and parked my bike at the dept. of transportation
i love to be apropos in moments like this

this is most definitely the opposite of hot
in every single since of the words!

here are the girl scouts i am supposed to be managing

i tried to teach them to disco
it did NOT work
but we laughed alot

these guys just laughed AT me
i will not be intimidated my cool teenagers into thinking that disco is dead
it lives in my soul
and on inauguration day, we should all disco

the sun is coming up
it did NOT make a lick of difference for on the temperature
at about this point i went to take a drink from my bottle
it was frozen!
the little bit of water stuck in the little "big bite" straw was frozen
the whole thing was frozen solid
it caused me some distress, i will not lie
but i got over it, because obama was about to be inaugurated
investitured (that is how vincent said it)!

lindsay and i made friends with some wonderful ladies from philly
they made the day even better!!!!
dutchess and tina, we want to see you again!

dutchess, lindsay, tina, and teabelly
again, the antithesis of hot!
thank goodness for tina's hand warmers
i think i might have frozen to death without them

some perspective on the crowds and where we were
12th st.

the jumbo tron was our friend!
i kept trying to predict the occupants of motorcades
frankly, i did pretty darned good!

sasha and malia
if you want even more adorableness
click here
(just so you know, i just click through the linked photos
and teared up in an executive lounge in my hotel . . .
all i am going to say is:
if you have a case of the monday's click on that link!)

there were some really awesome moments in closed captioning

i am really glad i got this moment
tina turner would definitely say
"what's cheese got to do, got to do with it?"

the moment i had been waiting for five years!
i could NOT believe how much it made me cried
it was like a giant catharsis
i just sobbed
the kind that makes you make noise
the kind that makes you cry even when you are half way around the world
about a month past the event
and just thinking about it
this was a defining moment of my life
it made being an american a sense of pride again
it restored my faith in the hope that the constitution could really deliver on the promise of
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

i tried to get this guy to take a photo of me and lindsay with obama giving his speech
obviously, the guy did NOT understand what i wanted

a great quote for a photo
i hope we really are able to create a way for americans to pursue this!!!!

then it was over
we all just kinda stood there
i would be totally neglegent if i didn't post a link to one of my favorite parts of the day
"air and simple gifts"
yo-yo ma, itzhak perlman, anthony mcgill, and gabriela montero
click on it, please
it is some of the most beautiful music ever played!

then we all started to leave
the mall was a giant trash heap
and the crowds were a bit overwhelming
i grabbed my bike at the transportation department and thought i might kill someone with it if i tried to go down third street
the street i work on
so i abandoned that idea and went for 5th and worked my way back to lindsay's house

but not before we took some photos

maybe i need to start modeling?

i went back to lindsay's.
we ate tomatoe soup, grilled cheese, and seaweed snacks like there was no tomorrow
i kinda just huddled and drank hot green tea
i think i was literally frozen to the bone
we watch the parade on lindsay's intermittent internet access
and just before dark i headed home.

the next day i decided i would go down to the mall and check on the mess
i was surprised to find NO mess
it was clean as a whistle
i regret not getting a photo of the mess the inaguration had made of the mall
i do think that some of these photos will help support some serious american investment in the mall. it is a national treasure that is totally falling apart!

the capitol

the golf carts
probably the golf carts of democracy

the next night, tomicah got me a ticket to the obama staff ball
sarah, tomicah, and i went

me and sarah pre-coat check

sarah and tomicah post-coat check

we got to hear from joe and jill
total love-fest

then david plouffe
the hero
ali thinks i should date him
david, if you see this, i will totally go to dinner with you

then david introduced the president of the united states
barack hussain obama!!!!

obama then spoke
he essentially said that we were awesome
and that we should take out awesomeness and fix america

then jay-z sang

he ripped on bush

and loved obama

i when jay-z was done i went home. and my life hasn't been the same. the old executive office building feels new again. the animosity i used to feel passing the white house is gone. the whole city feels better.

i hope it lasts!!!


KamilahNYC said...

Really beautiful post. What a weekend. It makes me happy to relive it again! Seriously though, what are you doing in India?

Vincent said...

And more important, when are you coming back ?
Thank you so much for your hospitality ! It was "super cool" as you would say and hopefully it won't take us four years to see each other again...

Take care !