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Here’s basically how our day went down (hopefully Ill edit this later more, it’s a mess…i was REALLY exhausted when I wrote it):

Left the apartment an hour late, but managed to find a cab which took us fairly close to the mall (17th and E or so), so we didnt have to walk and got there on time.  It wasnt as cold as I thought it was going to be, so I left a  layer of clothes at home, which I later regretted.  We got in the 17th and Consistution line, which was the closest but ultimately not the best. The were more people than I’d hoped there would be, but less than I expected. We’ll need to come much earlier inauguration day.  Unfortunately, two things were wrong with the entry we chose, although we couldnt have known this ahead of time.  First, the are on the constitution side of the reflecting pool got -nowhere- near as close to the lincoln memorial as independence ave side did (although realistically, because of things in the way, those guys probably still didnt have a -great- view). So, even if we had been first in, we were still a football field away.  The second issue was that further lines got in just enough earlier that a ton of people went past before we could get in.

So, the early morning plan of attack ended up being a miss. We were packed in about 30-50 people deep trying to get that extra foot closer, but behind us it didnt seem to start to fill up for ages.

Paivi and I decided we’d rather not wait from 9am-2pm for a crappy view, so we wandered out to have coffee on 17th at that Caribou.

On the way out, though, we DID get to see Snipers setting up:

This proved fortuitous, because we ended up seeing Mr Obama twice within 25 yards of us (one of those times he waved at us).  It was on the way back from coffee/lunch near the old executive building. He drove past in that awesome caddy he has and we could see him inside looking at us, smiling, and waving.

Barack Obamas Caravan before the We Are One concert

Barack Obama's Caravan before the We Are One concert

The second time was when he left an hour or so later for the concert. I thought I saw his figure outlined in one of the windows, but he was definittely in one of the cars. I have a video of  Obama driving by here:

While we were waiting for him to come out a second time, a youngish asian lady had a megaphone and kept chanting that she knew how to make world peace happen if only obama would show us his birth certificate. Every time someone would bitch at her to STFU, she’s megaphone that she was being harassed to the police. As if. Im sure at that point in the day, they wouldve been more than happy to do a little harassing themselves.

We wandered back to the concert after that and ran into Doug and Nofcna (Nguyet) near the “Homo-Sex is a National Security Issue” fuckers.  We tried to get back in to the main area, but at this point the checkpoints seemed to be closing.  We opted to go check out the concert from the Jumbo-tron nearest to Independence Ave by the WWII memorial.  At first, the sound was really bad. Doug and Nguyet eventually took off, discouraged that they could neither see nor hear. Fairly soon, though, the sound started to come through louder and we really enjoyed the show, even from so far back.

Some notes about the show:

a) Im pretty sure I could actually hear Biden’s actual voice echoing back to us. That guy was loud!
b) Im not a country music fan, but Garth Brooks is wildly successful for a reason
c) The “young adults” – all 10 of them – climbing on the tree nearby were about to tip it over. Their parents did a really crappy job raising them.
d) My wife is in love with Bono
e) Watching snipers scramble up onto towers is scary and unnerving, as are police in face-covering black masks with sunglesses
f) The rudest people are 50 year old successful white men
g) Tom Hanks presentation wouldve gone MUCH better if he’s been playing Forrest Gump up there
h) The Boss seemed to be trying to hard
i) Crowds singing along to songs rock
j) Barrack seems to have given the same speech in Baltimore?
k) Tiger Woods is not a good public speaker
l) Shakira, Usher, and Stevie Wonder worked well together
m) No one knew much about Josh Groban, but everyone seemed to have something to say about him
n) The scripts felt like a really slick advertisement.
o) Obama better know what he’s getting into and better be able to pull it off, because it is a long, fast, sad road down from this kind of a pedestal.

Afterwards, the roads out were clogged for pedestrians by pedestrians. It moved as a snails pace.

Paivi and I skipped that road (the one behind the washington monument) and fought our way across the mall directly. This ended up being much faster…much much faster.  We followed the mob up towards dupont circle and it wasnt really until past K street that the entire road wasnt packed with pedestrians. It felt like we were marching for something, but we were really just going home.

Yes We Can!

Yes We Can!

Made it Dupont area, had dinner, metro’d home.

Really a nice day, ultimately, if exhausting.

As an aside – today we were at the Georgetown Barnes and Noble and ran into the same girl who was standing next to us the day of the concert. Crazy small town!


Last week, I had the perfect storm of random happenings.  I was outside having coffee with Stacey by the Pentagon City Mall.  I got a twitter from Rebecca – some mumbling about a guy with a machete getting off the same bus as her. Quite surprised (and amused), I shared the message with Stacey.  Just as I do that, who walks up to us but Rebecca herself!  You have to keep in mind – Im not sure Ive ever run into her outside of Artomatic before in my life. The timing here is too weird. So weird, in fact, that the only thing I can think of to say to her is:


Turns out, some guy in a suit got off the local bus near where we were…manicured and everything….but with a machete on his back.  Hrm.  I cant say I havent felt the same way myself before, but most of us dont DO that :)

Anyway, Rebecca wanders off to knit (in Starbucks I think?? or some secret hole to Neverwhere) and Stace and I finish up. 

Heading into the metro, the next Yellow line to DC is 8 minutes away, but a blue line will be right there. I figure Ill catch that and jump across above ground from Farragut West to Farragut North and catch the red line home.

And…that brings us to the point of this post. 

Once I get up the stairs, Im surprised to hear….love shack….by the B-52’s. I check my ipod. No, no it’s not coming from there.  I look around and realize there is an actual live band  in Farragut Square doing love shack.  Not that that’s my favorite song mind you – by any means – but the fact that the typically dreary shuffle of end-of-workday commutes that normally happens here has been completely supplanted by random live 80’s music in the middle of the square. How freaking cool.

Apparently they were playing for the last day of OnTap’s “Sounds in the Square”.  I wish I had seen the others. I need to read my OnTap notices more carefully!

Luckily, I actually brought my video camera with me to work that day (???? I never do that ????). I grabbed it from my bag and immediately started filming.

As the song went on, I realized that these guys were pretty good (By pretty good I mean dont mean I’d fly to Hong Kong to see them, but they were FAR and away better than what you normally find laying around there in the afternoon)  AND had a great sense of humour.  All the guys were wearing moon pants, the guitarist had a Karate Kid bandana on, the basist had big white sunglasses with slits in them, the female singer was Madonna’d out, and the male singer had Rick-Springfield sunglasses. 

I ended up filming six songs in High Definition and I think they all came out really well – especially as it was spur of the moment and I couldnt move around much.  I’ve included two of my favorites in this post – Walk Like an Egyptian (top) and Jessie’s Girl (bottom). I particularly like the footage of Walk Like an Egyptian…the singer walked out and was dancing with a couple of kids egyptian-style. It was adorable.

Anyway, the band’s name was “The Reflex”.  They’re based in DC and if you want a bit of entertaining eighties in your life, check them out!



First of all, I wanted to share the HD video of the opening Cure song at Madison Square Garden – Underneath the Stars.

If you want the high quality version, click this link and then the “Watch in High Quality” link below that:

Otherwise, here yah go:

(You can also find “A Night Like This” from the same show in this post: )

Secondly: We got back in yesterday afternoon from our two day stay in New York for back to back Cure shows (at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall).  As previously mentioned, the first was an amazing, high powered show which was one of the best I’ve seen. Radio City Music Hall was equally well-played, but while the venue had an air of intimacy lacking at the Garden, our seats weren’t nearly as good and I didn’t feel quite as “connected” to the show as before (despite Robert walking all up and down the side stairs of the venue). I didnt get any pictures – just video – but spiggy has a ton.

They can be found here:

I’ll do a mini-review later (probably…I obviously dont always follow through on the “later”‘s here), but I wanted to thank all of the Chain of Flowers people we hung out with at Heartland and later…Laurie, Randy, Beckenbach, Danny, Karen, Veronica, others whos names Im blanking on for the moment :)  One of the things I enjoy about travelling to see the Cure is all the people we get to meet, and this group was particularly fun.  Hope to see you all around :)

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