T-minus two weeks

I’ll be in Washington, D.C., two weeks from this very moment. It’s kind of ridiculous how it has crept up on me, and how unprepared I feel. Actually, that part’s not ridiculous at all; I routinely fly places while being fully unprepared. I don’t ever get fully prepared for anything, really.

One thing I need to do is procure a proper winter coat. When I visited Chicago in mid-December of 2007, I very nearly froze to death after being outside for three minutes because my wussy little trenchcoat did little more than shield me from the most timid of breezes. I’m told D.C. can be brutally cold in January and I’d hate to get there and then be unable to move because of my own inability to dress myself appropriately.

(Of course, if I go and buy an $80 coat — how much do coats these days cost, anyway? — it’s pretty much guaranteed to be 60 degrees in D.C. when I’m there. Which is also fine. In fact, that would be effing awesome, right?)

I’ve been officially turned down for inauguration tickets (thanks for nothing, Steve Cohen!!!) so I don’t exactly know what I will or won’t be able to see and do. I figure I’ll do a lot of wandering around, pushing through crowds, trying to find the top of my gracious pal David’s head, and standing on tip-toes. Lots of squinting. Which is fine. Just being there will be an amazing experience in and of itself. But it sure would be nice to feel like I had some chance of actually participating in more than the sheer spectacle of four million crazies descending upon the Capitol. I am one of those crazies, so I can hardly complain. I realize that people watching their televisions from home might get a better view than I will get, actually being there, but I am still so excited to get the chance to tap in to the electricity that I hope will be buzzing through the city that day. And then coast on that high through the rest of the week while I tour museums and see what the local watering holes are like.

My dad is super worried and convinced that a complete meltdown of human order is going to happen. He’s not keen on the idea of his little girl being in the thick of such a major news event, but I think that once it’s over and everything has more or less gone smoothly, he’ll be the first to brag to his work friends that I was there, witnessing it all. At least I hope he’ll brag. I want him to understand how important this is to me, to our country, to civilization in general. I want him to feel some semblance of pride. Not fear. This needs to be a good moment for him and people like him. I’ve got all my digits crossed in the hopes that everything goes smoothly and that people can come together to celebrate this amazing victory without conflict.

But, well, we’ll see.

9 thoughts on “T-minus two weeks

  1. I am mulling over buying a new coat myself, or just putting a layer of long underwear on under my clothes. B got a down jacket that is huge, hooded and super toasty for $5 at a thrift store in Chattanooga this weekend, so I say, with the mighty words of David+Amy ringing in my ears, GO THRIFT BABE.

  2. C, I want a peacoat like mad, so this might work out well.

    A, I like the idea of long underwear. Maybe I’ll just wear some Spanx. And yes, I do need to go thrift. Hrm. Maybe tomorrow. P.S. I had a crazy dream in which Brandon had starred in some 1980s musical television show based on the movie The Doors. He was jumping around in that enthused way people in plays do. Not sure who his character was supposed to be. Also, Toby was telling some dude about some chick he had banged six ways to Sunday. And I saw two people in motorized wheelchair get into a brawl. All in one dream.

    S, that’s awesome. I will make it my mission to check out their coats too!

  3. I covered the first Clinton inaugural and so had tickets and press passes and everything and still I nearly froze my ass off. Just a big crowd scene. I did have one cool experience. I sat with (the now late) Sen. Fulbright, whose family once had owned our newspaper and who was a friend of our family, and got to get a ride out of there at the end with him in a Park Police cruiser with the lights going. He asked where I wanted to go and had them drop me at the National Press Club, where I filed my initial stories. I actually wound up watching a lot of the parade from the press club, but ventured forth about halfway through. The balls were a joke, with the media roped off into these little paddocks where everyone worth quoting could avoid you with great ease. That sucked and I bailed and got a lot better view watching them on TV back at the Mayflower, where I was staying. I wasn’t doing much of a story on those anyway.

    Regarding your note below about crazy people hiding in the CA building, we had one of those in our building in Fayetteville once, too. I was one of the first to suspect because it was while we were still a PM, back in the 80s, and was one of the first to come in (I was desk chief in those days). What a whack job. I caught him, and I crap you not, doing lines of blow on my big old horseshoe desk. I won’t reveal what happened to the rest of the blow. Really. My puzzlement centered on how a person could afford a pretty substantial quantity of cocaine and yet had to live as a vagrant in a newspaper building. Maybe I just answered my own question, though. Have fun in DC.

  4. Oh yeah. One more inauguration story. The day after the fist Clinton inaug, I had to fly back to Arkansas on like a noon flight. I had been so busy I hadn’t toured any of the places I wanted to go, like the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam wall. Anyway, I went there at about 7 AM and the place was nearly deserted except for me and, dig this, Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe, whom I met coming out of the Lincoln Memorial. They actually let me take their photo and Stipe shot me with Natalie Merchant. I’ll find them and send them to you one of these days. That was back in the days of negs and actual film.

  5. RR, those stories are fantastic! Thank you for sharing. There is no way my adventures are going to stack up to those.

    M, yep. All by my lonesome.

  6. It’s awesome that you’re going. Especially that you’re going alone. I’m not lying that’s something I would do. Of course you will have your camera to keep you company. Your dad will be just fine, and so will America. I am so proud of my country. We have our first African-American president, and country boys will survive.

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