Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monday, January 19th

I intended Monday, the day before inauguration, to be a day of rest. While Obama declared it a day of service, I decided to take it as a day off from service. I had both Monday and Tuesday off from work. And it only occurs to me now as I write this, that in the rest of the United States real life did not shut down for four days. Only for the couple of million people in Washington for this event did we enter this weird limbo that only inauguration mattered. Although, I was surprised by the number of DC residents not taking part in inauguration festivities. However, it was bitterly cold and crowed all weekend, and I do understand that is not everyone's idea of a fun time.

While I did not volunteer in any way shape or from, my day was still not a day of rest. I got to sleep in to a pretty good hour (which I'm not going to admit to) and then Deanna and I went and did the speediest of all grocery shopping trips. Shopping for 5 adults is never exactly quick and easy, but we got it done.

Then I went down to my congresswoman's office to pick up my tickets! Somehow, I hadn't really thought this through, and didn't realize it would be an adventure. Simply getting down there is a feat from Maryland. And since there was an 8 hour window to pick up the tickets, I hadn't even considered how many other people would be doing the same.

I took the metro to Capital South, and when I got there, there were huge lines in front of every house office building. I had to stand outside for an hour, which was not terrible. But I had not dressed to be outside for long periods of time, and this was the coldest I felt all weekend, even though it was the shortest time outside.

I only realized that I was having an adventure came when a man came out of the building and asked who in line was from Washington State. When I identified myself (yeah Walla Walla!) he then asked me if I wanted him to have my tickets sent out of if I wanted to wait to get inside and get to meet the Congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rogers. I decided that getting to go inside was pretty exciting, so I waited.

And it was neat to get to go inside the building and meet my congresswoman. I even got to talk to her briefly and she was quite nice. The man I'd met outside took a picture of me with her with their camera. It only occurred to me on the way home that I should have asked for one with my own camera! Sorry dAd.

I went home and made dinner with my housemate Jen. It was nice to get to relax a little in our house. Then we went back to Capital South to meet Deanna and her boyfriend Joe. We had made arrangements to stay the night with a friend of Joe's who lived literally 3 blocks from where we needed to go in the morning.

So we went out for drinks at the Capital Lounge, which was not quiet by any means, but not nearly as crowded as it might have been. I think that people got scared away by some of the press about how crazy the weekend would be. The best part of this was that Jen and I had accidentally on purpose had worn matching Obama shirts. And to make it even better the shirts are grey, blue and red and I wore a blue cardigan and she wore a red one. So as we were leaving these very intoxicated women came up to me and asked were the shirts were from. They were convinced that Sheryl Crow had been wearing the same shirt at the concert on Sunday. While I had noticed she was wearing an Obama shirt, I'm not entirely convinced it was this MoveOn.Org shirt she was wearing. But I got a kick out of these drunken ladies.

After this excitement, we went back to the friends apartment to go to sleep. At this point I was mostly exhausted and ready to rest up for the big event.

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