Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes, I Can!

While I am certain that the following is not what our new, and much beloved, President had in mind when he first (or last, even) spoke the words "Yes, we can!" here is a short list of non-political things I learned on Inauguration day:
  1. I CAN stand in a jam-packed Metro station for an hour and a half without having an anxiety attack or getting frustrated or angry.
  2. I CAN stand for hours in below-freezing weather, hopping around to avoid the knife's edge that called itself the wind and to spare my toes the threat of frostbite; and bobbing my head side to side to get a better view of the jumbo tron.
  3. When absolutely necessary I CAN tell absolute strangers in the 5'9" and over set that they have strayed into the Short People Section and that they will have to move on. NOW.
  4. I CAN go more than 13 hours without eating or drinking or peeing.
  5. I CAN, when circumstances compel, swallow my own vomit. A little explanation is probably in order: My friend, Sharon, and I got up very early to leave for the Inauguration. As it didn't occur to me that I might not get anything to eat for hours, I took my several medications on an empty stomach, rode in the back seat of a car on a winding road, and then bounced around in a hot, crowded Metro car. Although Sharon offered me her newspaper to throw up on and the man in front of me encouraged me to "just let it out--they have people to clean that up," I couldn't bring myself to do it. And it wasn't just because I was too embarrassed (though there was that), but the thought of some other happy Inauguration-goer stepping on to the train and into that--well I just couldn't do it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Question of the Week

The serving size for ice cream is listed as ½-cup. Is that calculated using:

1. The amount of ice cream that comfortably fits into the ½-cup (i.e.: loosely scooped);
2. The amount of ice cream you can force into the ½-cup; or
3. The amount of melted ice cream that fits into the ½-cup?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Interesting Fact of the Day

Australian researchers found that mixing liquor with diet drinks can intensify the alcoholic effect by 50%.

(Source: Womens Health)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mall

You've seen, on television and in the paper and everywhere online, the crowds that packed the National Mall, waiting for Barack Obama to be sworn in as the 44nd President. None of those people drove to the Mall. A few were dropped off by limo or taxi. Many of them walked. But many more arrived by Metro, Washington D.C.'s subway system.

My friend Sharon and I took the Metro in from her home in Bethesda, MD. Because her stop is almost at the end of the line, the cars were relatively empty when we boarded. But by the time we transferred to the correct line, the trains were full, and when we finally reached our station, the cars were packed so tightly that you didn't actually need to put your feet on the ground.

It took us 40 minutes to get from Bethesda to the L'Enfant station. It took another hour to get from the train door to the street:

The funny part? No one was angry. Some were afraid that they might miss everything. Some were pushing, but only because they were being pushed and had no choice. But everyone apologized for pushing and made sure no one pushed or knocked over the little kids. But no one was angry about being stuck underground for so long with no idea when we were going to be set free. We just laughed and chanted "Let my people go" and "Yes We Did" when we finally moved toward the gates.

Of course there were a few other, less polite, chants:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration 2009--The View From The Mall, Part I

I wanted to capture a little of what it sounded like to those of us on the Mall. The echo was at first annoying but came to feel appropriate, as a voice ringing down the halls of history ought to sound and feel.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Note About the Inauguration

Can't post photos yet, but a note:

This was the happiest crowd of people I have ever seen. Patient. Joyous. Singing. Chanting. Laughing.

Two million people and not a single Inauguration-related arrest.

Two million people and not a frown in sight.

I've loved being here and I love this day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Convergance of Life, Politics and Family

I am going to Barack Obama's Inauguration

I'll probably have to walk two miles to get there.

I have no ticket to the swearing in.

I have no guarantee of a spot on the parade route.

I don't have an invite to a ball, or a party of any type.

I'm not sure I even have a coat warm enough for the East coast weather.

But when I allow myself to believe it, I am, for the first time in a very long time, gloriously and incandescently happy.

Because I am going to Obama's Inauguration.

As an added bonus, I am going to DC alone, which means six hours on a plane by myself. And six more on the way back. Very happy indeed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vice Presidential Handlers Lure Cheney Into Traveling Crate

From The Onion:

Vice Presidential Handlers Lure Cheney Into Traveling Crate

January 13, 2009 | Issue 45•03

WASHINGTON—A team of nine specially trained handlers have successfully lured outgoing vice president Dick Cheney into a reinforced steel traveling crate in order to transport him back to his permanent enclosure in Casper, WY, official sources reported Monday. "He's a smart one. Once he sees the crate, he gets pretty nippy, but we've learned a few tricks over the years," chief VP wrangler Ted Irving breathlessly said while applying pressure to a deep gash on his forearm. "If we break a rabbit's legs and throw it in there, he will eventually go in to finish it off. Doesn't work with dead rabbits, though. Cheney only eats what he kills." Irving said that the latest vice presidential relocation went much more smoothly than September's diplomatic trip to Georgia, which was delayed for several hours after Cheney mauled three secret service agents and escaped inside the White House walls.

HT: Thomas :) Thanks for the laugh!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Glacier National Park in Summer

Until I'm feeling more like myself, I thought I'd share a few of the photos from our road trip last summer.

Thomas and the girls walking up the glacier at Logan Pass:

Wildlife in the parking lot:

The reason it looks so close isn't because the zoom on my camera is working better, but because I took the photo from the door of the minivan. Into which I leapt to avoid the horns.