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arrrgylesocks
"Head...Shoulders...Knees and...SOCKS!"
 
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http://www.grumblytomato.com

I'm just saying its something new...that's all.
 
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Tags: bedtime
While tucking in my son at bedtime tonight and giving him a goodnight hug...

"Mommy...you are the most comfiest mommy I've ever had."
 
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Inauguration 2009
We all know that the upcoming inauguration is big news.  But I'm wondering if it's being covered as much around the country as it is here in DC.  Every major local news website has it's own section devoted to it - blogs, photos, updates, closings, etc.  It's all everyone around here is talking about.  What is Michelle going to wear?  What roads will be closed? What balls are now going on?  How fast did parade tickets sell out (1 minute)?  How many porta-potties will be on the Mall?  What does their hotel suite look like and what is the thread count of the sheets?  How are the girls adjusting to their new school (after all the hype about which school they would attend)? Obama went to lunch at DC landmark Ben's Chili Bowl - but WHAT DID HE ORDER FOR LUNCH??  DID HE HAVE TO PAY???  HOW MUCH DID HE TIP???  It's gotten mad crazy around here.

Now while most people around the country will watch all of this on TV on the 20th and move on.  We've been having to live through it.  As excited as I am, I'm certainly ready for all of this Change to be over. 

Lucky for me, as an employee of the Federal Government in the Washington, DC Metro Area, I have the day off on Tuesday.  Even more lucky, we also have off on Monday for MLK day (some of my colleagues are even lucky enough to have off the Friday before).  So my plan involves staying as far away from the Mall and downtown DC as possible.  Now we could have gone down to Pennsylvania Avenue early this morning to watch the parade rehearsal with a couple thousand of our closest friends, but we chose to stay indoors this cold morning.  Four years ago we were waiting in line to get into the United States Botanical Garden (on the west side of the Capitol) and were listening (and could see part of) the inaugural ceremony rehearsal.  Av had fun dancing to Hail to the Chief over and over.

All of the major roads leading from Virginia into the District are closed.  (I think its amusing that there are Virginians who think this is a slight against them because of the Civil War.)  I'd show you a map, but it's a 9 page PDF document listing all the closings and restrictions.  The two highways that lead from the Capital Beltway down into the District will be shut down, and all bridges going from Virginia into DC across the Potomac are closed as well.  Yesterday they opened them up to pedestrian traffic, but that was after a lot of complaints by locals & officials.  So even if I wanted to go to work that day, I couldn't, my office is in the zone.  Well I could, but it would take forever using only public transportation that will already be overwhelmed with the projected 2 million extra people that are expected to come in to town that day (down from the projected estimate of 4-5 mill).  One of my colleagues, who as an essential employee was expected to go in, was going to catch a cab to the Metro at 4:30AM, to go to a stop one away from our building (because the closed Metro stop will be closed) so that he then has to walk about a half mile to get to work.  A couple hundered Smithsonian employees will be camping out at the museums just so they can get to work.  Lord only knows what sort of special dispensation they will give to first responders, hospital personnell and service industry workers who are expected to be at work that day.  Oh...and they aren't even talking about the weather yet.  Luckily (?) it's still too far out to predict what it would be like that day.  We've had a mild winter so far, but I wouldn't be surprised if all of a sudden we get all the snow that has been avoiding us thus far.

As for the ShocKs family, we don't need to go into DC that day.  Or really any day that weekend.  Shiny does have to go to work, and the boy has school (yay private school! All the public school systems in the area are closed as well), but they are in the opposite direction of the city and outside the Beltway.  Shiny, out of concern for my well-being, suggested that maybe I'd want to go out to the outlet mall that's about 35 miles away - just so that in case there is a disaster or major emergency, I wouldn't be at home.  I thought that was incredibly sweet, but even if I wanted to go shopping that day, I'd still have to get back home at some point.  And as we learned in the rush of everyone trying to get out of the city on 9/11, in the case of extreme emergency, that's not going to be an easy thing to do. 

So what are my plans for 1/20/09?  Well... I'll get up before dawn and help the boys get out of the house like I do most mornings, and then I'm going back to bed.  I'll get up around 9:30, then wander downstairs to watch the swearing in starting at 10.  If I'm up earlier, and the weather isn't too bad, then I might go to the Starbucks around the corner.  I will then sit in front of the TV and witness history in the making.  Why stand outside in freezing cold gosh-knows-what weather on the Mall watching this on a jumbotron, when I can watch inside, in my jammies, in the comfort of my own home?  Obama has to be sworn in by noon, so that gives me time to pause the DVR and get lunch (an inaugural splurge!) before watching the parade.  Then I get the rest of the afternoon to myself, and I wait for my boys to get home at dinner time.

I went back to look at my journals to see how I spent the 2001 and 2005 inaugural days.  In 2001 it snowed, we went ice skating and hung out in our apartment playing board games.  In 2005, I was down in Florida on a business trip.  So I hung out with some old friends and took Av on a long walk.  Obviously I cared very deeply about the Bush inaugurals.  This time around though, I think I'll pay attention.
No sock-a-roos - sock it to me!
 
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The most wonderful time...
Six years ago at this time, Shiny and I were laying in bed laughing at Will Ferrell singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" while rotating on a platform that was spinning too fast.  We had a wonderful evening with dinner out at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, and were excited for the next day which would be all about registering for things that we'd need in four weeks time.  We never imagined that instead of coming home with a list of baby stuff the next day, that we'd come home with a baby instead...
 
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Tis the season
Yesterday at work I was overhearing one of my colleagues on the phone with a friend talk about her daughter's school.  Apparently she was miffed because "Christmas landed at John Doe Elementary" right before Thanksgiving.  There were Christmas themed bulletin boards in the hallways, a tree in the classroom, and in the school library, each kid was asked to bring in a white teddy bear.  My colleagues daughter brought in a Chanukah bear, but took the Chanukah shirt off the bear because it was supposed to be non-denominational.  What did they do with all these bears?  They made a big tree of bears in the school library (some of whom apparently still had "Christian things" on them.).  I was laughing to myself when my first thought while listening to her was "Thank goodness we don't have to deal with that at our school this year..."

We spoke further after she got off the phone.  We were laughing as I told her my thought, and she said she had thought the same thing ("Well at least socKs doesn't have to deal with that at her kid's Jewish day school...")  So we talked about it some more.

Apparently her issue is not with Christmas - she can admire the beauty of the season and the decorations as much as the next guy.  Her issue is with the inequity in the displays and lack of sensitivity towards other religions.  Apparently there is a child in her daughter's class who is a Jehovah's Witness.  Therefore, the decision was made that there would be no birthday celebrations in the classroom out of respect for that student's beliefs.  While it would have been difficult to not have any decorations in the entire school (and I would assume that Witnesses are so used to being around public displays of holiday decorations given that they are everywhere this time of year), perhaps the teachers could have at least not had a tree in the classroom.  Her other issue was that there was no mention of Chanukah.

We talked about our past experiences with the holiday season, and what's going on this year.  Neither of us are anti-public Christmas decorations.  I don't expect every holiday display to include Chanukah stuff, although that would be nice - I'm pretty realistic.  I love seeing the twinkle lights in the trees around the city.  Our neighbor strung up lights in the huge pine tree (at least 14') that is in our community's common area between our homes.  This is the first time anyone has done it - and to quote my kid: "Wow...that's beautiful!"  I remember this neighbor saying the day he moved in: "I can't wait to put lights on that thing!"  We will put our electric menorah in our kitchen window for the neighbors to see, just like we do every year.

This reminded me of the recent seasonal display controversy at the Washington State Capitol.  A national Atheist group went through the proper channels to get a sign displayed at the capitol reflecting their views of the holiday season.  It was placed near the traditional Nativity scene.  There was also a Christmas tree.  In the past they have had a Chanukah menorah as well.  Conservative Christian groups around the country have been calling in and expressing their outrage.  I say three cheers to Washington State.  Their official statement was:  "The U.S. Supreme Court has been consistent and clear that, under the Constitution's First Amendment, once government admits one religious display or viewpoint onto public property, it may not discriminate against the content of other displays, including the viewpoints of nonbelievers." 

Equality and representation for all - isn't that what our country is all about?

 
I always feel like...

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