My thoughts

So, here we are, embarking on what many people believe is a new age, filled with hope and promise and change. I will totally not share any of my political views because they totally don’t matter here. We have a new president and I wish him and his staff nothing but the very best. I pray that the hope and promise that he has cultivated in our country comes to pass. I pray he is successful in helping move our country forward in a positive way – though most of the responsibility for that comes from We the People, not the government. It comes from us pulling ourselves up, finding opportunities to better ourselves, grow our businesses, being creative and innovative to change our own circumstances – not from the government waving a magic wand to “make it all better”.

That said, I did watch the inauguration and was, at the same time, amazed and tickled by what I saw. Here are my opinions (and that’s what they are, MY OPINIONS ON MY BLOG. I respect your right to disagree, but please do so respectfully):

1. Could it have TAKEN any longer for all the VIPs to amble to their seats? The entire mall is crammed with wall to wall people who are FREEZING to death. Hurry up, get to your seats and let’s get the show on the road.

2. I was amused watching all the ex-presidents line up. First at the gate were Bill & Hillary who waited as George & Barbara Bush joined them. Kisses and hugs and what seemed like honest affection passed between them. (OT: I was worried about George – hard to watch him shuffle down those halls) Then, they’re joined by Jimmy & Roselyn Carter. It seemed like both the Clintons & the Bushes couldn’t get away from them quickly enough. There was one handshake and one cheek kissed between the 6 of them. What was that about?? Weird.

3. Watching all the ex-presidents & First Ladies walk in, my first reaction was “Mrs. Bush!!!! You’re going to be SO COLD!” Then, Mr. and Mrs. Obama walked in and I literally shouted, “President Obama!!! Where is your hat?? Your scarf?? Your gloves????” Can you tell I’m a mom first? All I could think was how COLD they all were going to be.

inaugural_roll_f_01

4. I, like probably everyone else watching on TV, was flabbergasted by the number of people who braved the temperatures, getting there at 4am to get a space, to be a part of this day. Not the Million Man March, not Promise Keepers, not ANYTHING has drawn this many people to the mall before, as I understand it. Here’s a photo taken from space:

inauguration_2009

5. I was disgusted by the fact that, in the midst of their victory, pride and excitement over President Obama, people felt a need to boo President & Mrs. Bush. Thankfully, I didn’t really hear it due to the lovely strains of “Hail to the Chief” as they walked in, but seriously, how classless is that? Your candidate has won, you’re getting everything you’ve claimed to want, basically the entire world is bowing at the feet of this new president and you have to BOO the guy who’s leaving? Disgusting. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. No matter what your viewpoint of they guy, at the very least, HE’S LEAVING. You got what you wanted. Have some grace and class. Whether you like him or not, he WAS the president and deserves at least a little respect. Grow up.

6. Oh – in that vein? I was following my Twitter feed during the ceremony and was also disgusted by some of the people who were Twittering some really foul, horrible things about President Bush & Vice-President Cheney. I will never understand this. Believe me, I understand the whole, “Boy, I’m glad he’s gone” sentiment, but to call obscene names, wish bodily harm or death on the person – what the blue blazes is THAT? People were rejoicing over VP Cheney being in a wheelchair – that it was what he deserves. Calling him obscene names. Suggesting that the person pushing his wheelchair should push him into traffic. Uncalled for, rude, tacky and, at the very least, poor sportsmanship. Rejoice in your victory. Be glad about what’s happening. Be excited for our new president and our country. But to wish tragedy to befall the outgoing administration is just evil. Again, grow up.

7. I know a lot of people were mad about Rick Warren being invited to give the invocation. Like, spitting mad. But, for me (and I’m guessing thousands upon thousands of other Americans), it was an amazing moment. To stand in front of my TV, praising God and praying fervently for this man, his family and the people he’s surrounded himself with. Even if they don’t appreciate it (which I understand – not everyone is a Christian), I appreciated it. I appreciated being given the opportunity to join with all my fellow believers to lift up this presidency. Because we do not wish ill upon this man or this administration. We pray that he will be successful and the hope he has engendered in our country will become prosperity and blessing. But, as Pastor Warren prayed, I thought about the thousands and thousands of other Christians whose voices were lifted with mine (even, unbeknownst to me at the time, my own children at school) asking for God’s favor on our country at this time. Lifting up President Obama, his family, his cabinet, the Congress. Asking for God’s strength, wisdom & favor and that our new leaders will lead with humility and service. I had tears streaming down my face. Thank you, President Obama, for allowing me and many others this opportunity to pray together for you.

8. Then Aretha came out. And my squeal was heard for miles. You see, I was raised by a costumer. My mom did theatre costumes for over 20 years and she was AWESOME. And, if I believed in past lives, I would believe that my mom was a milliner sometime in the past. Because she loved hats, loved making hats, loved buying hats, loved looking at hats. And I do, too. A good hat makes me happy. I cannot wear hats (as you learned in my last post), but I LOVE seeing a good hat on a woman who can rock it. Seeing the congregation of an African-American church makes me giddy. Therefore, when Aretha stepped out in this amazing piece of millinery, I gasped.

aretha-blingee

I LOOOOOOOVE this hat like a fat kid loves cake. Grey wool? Yum. Big, huge bow? Yowza. What looks like rhinestone bling, but knowing Aretha, is probably diamonds? YIPPIE!! This is awesome. So good, in fact, that I could forgive Aretha for not singing well at all. I know she’s getting older, but dang that was bad. So disappointing. The song was totally wrong for her, too. I would have preferred to hear her sing “America the Beautiful”, I think. But she’s just not as good as she used to be. Which stinks.

9. Was anyone else a little nervous during the interim after VP Biden was sworn in and before President Obama was sworn in? All I could think was President Bush and VP Biden?? Weird.

10. Justice Roberts!?!!?? What were you thinking?? A lot of people are saying that President Obama flubbed it all, but that’s not the case. He KNEW what he was supposed to say. Then Justice Roberts gave him the wrong cue. P Obama hesitated because he KNEW it was wrong and wasn’t sure if he should say what he knew was right or just parrot Roberts. He did not mess up. He wasn’t “lost without his teleprompter”. He wasn’t sure what he should do. And I would have done the same thing. Thinking, “Geez….if I say the wrong thing, will I NOT be president? But I don’t want to make Roberts look stupid….”

11. Michelle Obama looked so lovely in that outfit. I loved that she wore yellow. She stood out on the platform like a blooming flower. And don’t get me started about Malia & Sasha. They were the cutest things EVER.

12. I seem to be in the minority here, but I wasn’t terribly impressed by President Obama’s speech. He delivered it well, as he always does, but the content wasn’t terribly memorable to me. Definitely not a Kennedy speech or a Reagan speech. Hey, bets on how long after President Obama is out of office before they begin the Obama Monument/Memorial there in DC? You know he’ll get one. Will they wait until he dies?

13. What the sweet, holy hell was that poem? I only heard it (was in the car), but it was the worst thing I’ve ever heard. And the way she read it?? Oh. My. Goodness. It was like listening to a preschool teacher read a book with “big words” (more than 1 syllable) to a group of kids who don’t speak English. I wanted to shake her. Can we now please stop the Inaugural Poem tradition? I was going to pick a snippet that was especially bad, but I couldn’t. The whole thing made me cringe. More than once, while listening, I went, “Wait…WHAT???” Just….bad. If you must have a poem, get Maya Angelou. That is my mandate.

14. :sigh: Rev. Lowrey. :sigh: Dude, seriously. How tacky to take your opportunity for the benediction to slyly diss President Bush. Just pray. And this little bit of racism?

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.

Shame on you. “When white will embrace what is right”??? Because it’s ONLY white people who ever do anything wrong. Are we really going to go there? I found this disgusting, really stupid-sounding and a really bad choice for this event. First off – are we really still calling people “black, brown, yellow and red”? I’ve never even seen a yellow person, so what are you talking about? I know *I* don’t call Asian people “yellow” or Native American people “red” or even Indian/Middle Eastern/Latino people “brown”, so what in the world?? I thought we were beyond that. Let me tell you, ALL the white people I know “embrace what is right”. I’m insulted. And, apparently, so does most of America, considering we ELECTED AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT. Yeesh.

15. And, finally, I can only imagine the relief and the size of the sigh given by President Bush as he climbed into that helicopter and flew out of DC. How relieved he must feel to be out of the line of fire. I say, thank you for your continued service, even in the face of hate & vitriol spewed directly in your face. I don’t think any president has weathered such foul, hate-filled vilification as you have. But you continued to try to do what you believed was the right thing to do. You’ve been blamed for many things that weren’t your fault. You’ve been held accountable for things with which you had nothing to do. You took responsibilty for things about which most people would have tried to pass the buck. And you did it with graciousness. I may be in the minority, but I thank you for your service. You were not perfect – as none of us are – but you tried your best, facing struggles, trials and tragedies the like of which other presidents only had nightmares. You looked your adversaries and haters in the face and did your best to explain. You admitted you weren’t perfect. I cannot even imagine what it must have felt like to be you over the past 8 years. I pray that you’ll find peace, respite and some calm in your retirement.

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