Hey, so, you know how the press keep saying that there would be spotty text messages and cell phone reception today? They were right. But mine'll be collected after the jump along with the parade!
3:40 ET: Barack and Michelle Obama and Joe and Jill Biden are headed down Pennsylvania Avenue in the armored car as people are whooping it up. It's no Popemobile, it's a well-painted tank. Those people watching have to be hella cold. The commentary is pretty much all about Ted Kennedy being taken out of the Senate luncheon on a stretcher.
3:45 ET: Parades are boring even when you've gotten warm again, so my friend and I are going to drink champagne until it gets exciting. Tamryn Hall is biching on MSNBC that her microphone batteries keep going dead. I can only just now feel the tops of my ears, so I don't really give a fuck about her microphone. Cry me a river. I had to check to make sure I still had 10 toes when I took off my shoes.
3:53 ET: MSNBC commentator refers to Obama as "audacious!" We clink and drink. You should, too.
3:59 ET: Commercial break, so story-telling time. Our morning started with a phone call from the person that had tickets for us for the swearing in, telling us that he'd gotten inside the secure zone, and security was a clusterfuck, so he wasn't going to be giving them to us because it would be inconvenient. We were not happy, given that it meant getting to the Mall, but we raced for the Metro anyway. That was not a great idea.
Mostly because 7 subway trains like this passed us before we could squeeze onto one. It then took 45 minutes to get to L'Enfant Plaza, when we started to get worried.
Mostly because it looked like this.
4:03 ET: Barack Obama just got out of the limo with Michelle Obama right by the Navy Memorial and National Archives. It's a fuck of a long walk to the White House from there. I'm guessing they'll get back in.
4:05 ET: Keith Olberman is frustrated by the Presidential limo going really slow like it's IN A FUCKING PARADE. Between that and saying "puckish humor," we drink to "Shut the fuck up, Keith Olberman." You should too.
4:09 ET: We decide that Michelle wants to get back in the fucking limo because she looks cold. And then they do. My friend — a dude, by the way — says, "He gets to wear a coat! That skirt must be killing her." We drink to how right he is.
4:15 ET: Keith Olberman continues to bitch about how slow the limo is going LIKE IT'S NOT A PARADE and I drink to stop yelling at the TV.
4:16 ET: Back to our adventure. So, we finally emerge from the subway to a big sign telling us to walk from 7th to 12th Street to get onto the Mall. At 12th Street, we were sent to 23rd Street. At this point, I realized that there was an epic security fail: all of Independence Avenue from Capitol Hill to the Washington Monument was filled with thousands upon thousands of unscreened people that were going to end up watching the speech (or listening to it) from just outside the secure zone and just away from the view of the Jumbotrons. Bad plan. But then we passed a guy carrying what it turns out is David Hammon's African-American flag and began to debate whether it was a Black Panther flag (me) or an African country's flag (my friend). We were both wrong.
We hit the Holocaust Museum just as Bill Clinton was being introduced and all these people cheered.
4:23 ET: Yeah, the parade is still boring. So we drink.
4:25 ET: Keith Olberman says "puckish" again, so we drink.
4:26 ET: Barack and Michelle emerge from the car again. We wonder if she was wearing gloves the last time. Making my dude friend discuss Michelle Obama's clothes makes us drink.
4:27 ET: Rachel Maddow points out that Michelle must be fucking cold. She doesn't say fucking. But we drink to Rachel Maddow commenting on Michelle Obama's sartorial choices.
4:31 ET: Barack and Michelle are just walking. They're discussing the "reviewing" stand, which is a temporary construction with heating for him to sit it. We decide this is possibly more boring. Joe and Jill are walking along Penn Ave in front of the White House, too. And now the Obamas are getting in the vehicle and there will probably be a commercial break. We'll likely drink.
4:34 ET: My friend says, in response to an annoying discussion between Keith and Rachel about how Obama might change up plans for the evening, "Wow, you might even call him a maverick." I drink because he pwned me on that joke.
4:35 ET: Whoa! Jill Biden is wearing heeled, knee-high black leather boots and I sort of love Jill Biden right now. I think they're suede. I drink to her shoes and my friend laughs at my shoe obsession.
4:37 ET: Back to our adventures because they are talking random crap. We realized having passed yet another security checkpoint that the lawn to the southeast of the Washington Monument was filled with more unscreened people dicked over by a 2 hour Metro ride and random security, so we joined them. This was them.
The crowds behind us.
All the good trees were gone by the time we got there.
For some reason, this all seemed to mean a lot to this family. For some reason.
Anyway, post-speech, we headed for something involving food or coffee. We passed the World War II Memorial (don't visit it! It sucks!) and the only protesters we really saw. They were lame.
They said they wanted a Million Man March. I think they got a Million Person crowd.
My friend (an atheist) thought it was funny that in a ceremony with so many God references (though he appreciated Obama's shout-out to the godless among us) that these people thought it wasn't god-y enough.
4:45 ET: Ok, I am not going to liveblog a bunch of marching bands. Plus, what am I going to drink to? Baton twirling? Bass drums? I have to put on make-up in the next 2 hours. Anyway, since Choire ended up as screwed as I did on data/text message access, these are his dispatches:
I can think again, as I have finished lunch. Can I say something horrible? When will singers stop breathing in the middle of the word "country"? I felt really bad and weird when Aretha did a MAJOR pause in the middle of that word today at the inauguration. (There is a similar incident on the latest PJ Harvey album, with the word "significant" in her accent, oh my.) When will we as a people learn?????
And I found a fabulous pair of saddle shoes on N Street! New president, new shoes! [Ed: Aww, he loves shoes, too!]
We're going to finish off the rest of the champagne just in time for me to speak about the inauguration for the Mark Steiner Show, which I'll be on sometime between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Stream it live!