Saturday, January 26, 2013

President Obama's Second Inauguration (a serious post)

(Photo from the White House Website)

For my birthday this year I wanted to go to President Obama's second inauguration. I had just finished some very grueling (and quite dreadful!) cancer treatments earlier this month so even though it would likely be exhausting for me, I knew it would be a spectacular way to celebrate my birthday and the end of my treatments. My husband, Mike, took me; and our two kids helped out enormously to make my wish come true.

Some of the niftier moments actually came before the inauguration.  After we got checked in to our Arlington motel room the afternoon of January 20th, we thought it'd be fun to take a practice run on the Metro into DC.  We decided to go to Metro Center and then walk to McPherson Square (because we’d be going to McPherson on the 21st).  As we were strolling to McPherson and taking in the sights, we passed Rev. Al Sharpton!  I said, “Al Sharpton,” when we were about two feet from him and he responded with a pleasant “hello” back to me. He was dressed pretty spiffily and was walking very quickly, so I’m sure he was headed for one of the inaugural events that evening.

Then on the 21st, while we were waiting at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and 15th Street for the parade and listening to the inaugural ceremony over the loud speaker, we met some fine folks who were waiting with us. The first, pictured here with me, is Washington Post journalist, John Kelly.  He actually wrote a very nice piece--about Mike and me going to DC for the inauguration--included in this article: “Obama’s Second Act Draws a Smaller But Spirited Crowd” (there are snippets about a variety of people who traveled to the event ... the portion about us is on the 3rd page). 

This second photo is of me with Nat Martin, who is also a cancer survivor as well as (ironically) a cancer researcher.  His cancer was serendipitously discovered (& then treated) in an early stage 13 years ago, and he's been cancer-free ever since. I survived stage IIIA breast cancer 15 years ago (no recurrence), and I just finished treatments for stage IB endometrial cancer a couple weeks ago. Nat and I swapped battle stories for a while and then we discussed how important it is for every cancer patient to learn about his/her disease and be actively involved with the process of the treatments.

The parade photos that I took with my cell phone are kind of lame, so I’ll post just a couple that my husband, Mike, took with our camera. The first one shows President Obama in his limo passing in front of us when he was on his way to the inauguration ceremony, and then Mike snapped the second one as the Obamas were waving to us when their limo was heading for the White House after the inauguration.  A cool picture (below) of the two of them inside their limo takes you to inauguration photos from the White House website if you click on it. I've also included YouTube videos of President Obama’s inaugural speech and the parade highlights (below), as well as a link to the transcript of his inaugural speech.

The parade was running about an hour late, so Mike and I ended up leaving shortly after the President’s motorcade passed us because we were cold and tired and needed to get on the road to head for Pittsburgh. I did, however, get some video of Vice President and Jill Biden walking down 15th, but my hand was shaking so I'm not going to post the video here. Anyhow, it’s a good thing we left when we did because we bypassed the crowds and got out of DC in good time; but then it began to snow when we were in PA and the slippery roads slowed our progress dramatically.  It gives me pause to think of what it would have been like even later, had we stayed in DC longer.  We finally got to our daughter’s place around 11:30PM.

(inside the limo - click on the photo to view many more, Courtesy of the White House Website)

This extraordinary trip that Mike and I took was managed on a very tight budget.  Even though it was my birthday present, we didn’t have a lot of extra cash to spend.  But between an overnight stay at a Residence Inn by Marriott (which was very nice; so thank you, Mitt Romney--who is once again a member of the Marriott International Board of Directors), the gas, the Metro tickets, the toll road fees, and what little we spent on food--since we took bread, peanut butter and snacks with us--the entire cost of the trip was only about $400.  We spent the night before and the night after at our daughter’s apartment in Pittsburgh, so we saved a lot that way.  We definitely got our money’s worth and it was the best birthday present I could wish for; although I said the same thing when we went to President Obama’s first inauguration, too--which was the day before my birthday in 2009.

(Parade Highlights - Courtesy of the Whitehouse Website)

Oh, and speaking of being on a budget, we didn’t buy many souvenirs. The Residence Inn actually gave us a ‘goodie’ bag with some souvenirs in it, so that was a pleasant surprise!  But I did purchase a Washington Post newspaper as we were walking up to the parade entry point.  I could have bought a NYTimes or a USA Today; but I was counting pennies and decided I should buy the paper from the city I was in, and I’m glad I did!  It turns out that about a half hour after we got in to the secured area, we met up with John Kelly (pictured with me above) and I got his autograph on my brand new paper!  He actually had a witty column in the Washington Post that day which offered some uberly dubious ‘quick tips for inaugural tourists’ followed by a serious plea for inaugural visitors from the rest of the USA to urge our representatives to give DC residents equal rights and eliminate the whole “taxation without representation” disparity for the District.  John was a good sport about giving me his autograph and letting me take pictures of him, so I wanted to include a quick plug for his article.  

Finally, Mike and I couldn’t resist paying $1.00 to have our picture taken with President Obama just before we got back on the Metro to return to Arlington--as one last souvenir from this special day in history. It was windy though, and the Pres seemed to want to blow away, so Mike and I were giving him our most sincerest support (I was NOT pinching the President's bottom! LOL).

Was it a cheesy souvenir?  You betcha!  But it was only $1.00 and a fun way to end an amazing and very meaningful trip to our nation's Capitol for the momentous occasion of the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

January 21, 2013 - Inaugural Address by President Barack Obama (full transcript)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stephen Colbert Suffers President Obama's Second Inauguration...and then Re-Inaugurates Himself

I live in a very conservative area in rural Ohio. Even though I'm a progressive and I know history will eventually confirm my opinion that President Obama will likely be our greatest president ever, I still like to watch my favorite conservative tv personality--Stephen Colbert, who exudes right wing thinking perfectly--to keep me grounded. I went to the inauguration and I'll post pics and a summary within a few days; but in the meantime, enjoy Stephen's take on the event. :)

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Obama's Second Inauguration
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Stephen re-inaugurates himself as Commander-In-Opposing-The-Chief for an historic second term:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Awesome Response by the Obama Administration to the Notion of Building a Death Star

From TPM... Best line: “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” Next best: “The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” which may represent a slight shift from the position of the previous administration.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bleepity Bleep!

Jimmy Fallen shows us the rest of transcript after John Boehner told Harry Reid to f*** himself:

Speaking of bleeps, I'm still undergoing 'bleeping' cancer treatments and won't be posting much here for a little while longer. :-( But happy new year, everyone! :-)