Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Day

Hey, did you hear what happened yesterday?

Damien got kicked off the Biggest Loser! It was craziness! I totally thought Joelle was going to get the boot, but no such luck. That crazy woman is still on the show even though she is totally worthless in the gym and is making no effort.

Oh yeah, and a tall, skinny black guy with a funny name was sworn in as President of the United States.

Inauguration Extravaganza
For weeks now, hoopla speculation has been the talk of the town. And for once, the speculation indeed lived up to the hype. People poured in from all over the country, some even journeyed from outside of the country for this momentous occassion, many of them packing onto any available inch of the Mall on Tuesday morning. Most of these people were really nowhere near the Capitol and saw the event courtesy of many several Jumbotrons placed up and down the area, interspersed with the port-a-potties. (The port-a-potties were a hot subject leading up to the Inauguration; people estimated that there was 1 port-a-potty for every 6,000 people.)

I, however, was not one of the most of these people. That, combined with the fact that I get very irritated in crowds and tend to start elbowing and hip checking people out of my way when they are not moving quickly or in the direction enough to my liking, meant that I witnessed this historic event from the comfort and safety of my couch. (Other people's safety, that is, not mine.) And I have to say, it was a glorious way to watch such a happening.

But that's not to say I wasn't curious as to what was going on down on the Mall. I did want to see what it was like, see the decorations, see the unbridled attempt at capitalism as people sold everything and anything they could think of, so long as it had OBAMA slapped on it somewhere. So I went down to the Mall on Saturday afternoon, bundled up in 4 layers, camera in hand, before the mad rush of crowds arrived, and took some photos.

A lucky few (compared to the amount of others who showed up) got to sit with a spectacular view to watch the Inauguration.

See the plastic waving around the arch? Underneath the blue cage-looking thing? That is the entrance from which our new President emerged, a moment that gave many chills and great relief. Is all I'm saying.

So Inaugural-looking.

I was curious as to how they were keeping the port-a-potties secure until Tuesday. Turns out the doors were secrured shut with high-tech and heavy-duty...twist ties.

(A nod to my sister Elizabeth.)

You see, there's the Capitol....and then there's me.

This Inauguration is brought to you by Pepsi. And the letter O.

There was one event of this Inauguration that I was looking forward to: volunteering at the Illinois State Society Gala the night before the Inauguration. An interesting experience, but probably not one I would do again, unless asked very, very sweetly and plied with several bourbon and ginger ales. I stamped hands and checked tickets, and while it was easy work, the poor logistics of letting 6,000 people enter the 9th Street Rennaissance Hotel simultaneously made me want to hike up my dress and make a run for it. In my ticket-taking position, however, I did get to see all the ladies and gents in their finery, and I will now make two comments: A) When an event is black tie, that means you wear a tux, or at the least, and incredibly nice suit. You do not wear jeans and a Tshirt. 2) Some of the women who went all out and even had their hair done for the Gala should have gotten their money back. And possibly sued the salon.

But enough of that. Wouldn't you like to see a few pictures from the Gala? I thought so. Here you go:

You would think, having been a bridesmaid seven (7) times, soon to be eight (8), I would have a gown to wear. But no. Thankfully, the Nordstrom clearance rack had several. And I only saw one other person among the 6,000 wearing this same frock.

I feel like I'm going to Prom for Adults. Sans corsage.

I love a good ice sculpture.

This sign was hanging in the "Country Fair" area of the Gala. A young couple was sitting on a fake bale of hay (what?) underneath it, and as I snapped a picture they asked me, "Why do people keep stopping to take a picture of this sign?" "You haven't been following Illinois politics lately, have you?" I replied. Sadly, no, our esteemed governor did not attend the Gala, but our junior senator did make an appearance. He scooted by mid-way through the dinner. Very short, that man.

There was a "Route 66" area with various rooms designated to look like a riverboat casino, a Chicago pizzeria, and this one, a 50s Diner. Elvis is very excited to see me. After this stop, I made a beeline for the Chicago pizzeria room. It was only Uno's but that's as good as you'll get in this town, and on this night, it was enough to get me to kick off my shoes, sit down in the middle of the floor in my dress and shove two slices of deep dish in my mouth. All lady like an' classy an' shit.

Until 2012, my friends.


Boutique By Bonnie said...

Thanks for this behind the scenes look at the inaugeration location.

Tonia Becker VerShaw said...

Very cool Molly. Thanks for sharing all of the cool photos and commentary.