Finally 46

I’m at work today, unfortunately – that was a lack of forethought. But I had ABC, CNN, and PBS up on my computer, and very little got done between about 10:30 and 12:30. Sorry, not sorry.

(Gosh darn it, I did not tune in in time to see 45 give his speech.)

And here’s the result of my morning – finally, something I think I’ll WANT to remember:

Was it just PBS that had “YMCA” playing over Trump and co getting on Air Force One (FOR THE LAST TIME)? Because … that was surreal.

I mean …

Young man, there’s no need to feel down
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town
There’s no need to be unhappy

Young man, there’s a place you can go
I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough
You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A
It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A

They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams
But you got to know this one thing

No man does it all by himself
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the Y.M.C.A
I’m sure they can help you today

They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal
You can do what ever you feel

Young man, I was once in your shoes
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt no man cared if I were alive
I felt the whole world was so tight

That’s when someone came up to me
And said, young man, take a walk up the street
It’s a place there called the Y.M.C.A
They can start you back on your way

Y.M.C.A, it’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A

No man, young man, does it all by himself
Young man, young man, put your pride on the shelf …

Literally the last person I would think of listening to those words is … that person.

And then they played “Tiny Dancer”. Reginald, you need to sue. (And also – wut??)

I admit I was hoping they’d trip on the way up the steps to Air Force One (which I just tried to type as AF Once), which they didn’t – but they did stop halfway up, and I wonder why. Catching his breath? (See below…)

“My Way” makes a little more sense to play for this person. If nothing else, he sure did do it his way. Sadly. Shamefully. His way.

ABC – Rep James Clyburn referred to Trump as a cancer and a malignancy on this country

Just because there’s a new administration doesn’t mean the work is done – no: it means it has a chance of GETTING done

Joe Biden is not a young man. No question. But he just climbed 48 steps up to the entrance of the Capitol building – and he does not appear to be even slightly winded. I’m impressed.

Funny – I cry pretty easily, but sometimes there are solid reasons. Four years ago today I was crying because dear God what had the world come to. I wore all black, I remember. Today I keep choking up because I want so badly to hope for the best. And I’m so relieved. And when it all settles down, dammit, I like Joe. That’s not why I voted for him – I was furious with people who didn’t vote for Hillary because they “didn’t like her”. That doesn’t matter. If T**** (That’s how one of the late night comedians spells his name, like a curse word you can’t show on tv, and I hereby adopt it for the rest of time) had done good things, it wouldn’t matter so much if he behaved like a toddler. Can you do good things and behave like a toddler? I have no idea … Toddlers occasionally have their charm, even for me, an avowed disliker of children. So maybe. But still – it’s nice to like the Commander in Chief for the first time in years.

Gene Goodman, the Capitol cop who saved the lives of members of Congress and the House by leading a rabid mob in the opposite direction, escorted the Bidens and Kamala and her husband into the building, and escorted Kamala Harris to her seat. Bless him.

One of ABC’s reporters just talked about “Republican friends of mine” … God bless her for having the ability to say that. I can’t. There are some things that have to permanently affect how you perceive a person. I mean, I listened to an interview with Sister Helen Prejean, the nun known from Dead Man Walking, talking about the suffering of that first convicted murderer she provided spiritual solace for. She talked about how torturous it is to know the moment of your death, and be escorted to it. And all I could think, the only reaction that I hold in my head, was “yes, the young girl he raped and murdered must have felt much the same, though for a shorter period of time.” And Sr. Helen spoke of that convict asking for prayer and spiritual support, and, again, all I could think was “the girl he raped and murdered didn’t have that kind of solace.” T**** didn’t kill anyone with his own hands (as far as I know) (bone spurs), but he has caused death and pain and suffering and anguish. He has indeed been a malignancy. And anyone who voted for him contributed to that. Deliberately and with forethought. It’s much the same as knowing someone’s driven drunk. It’s indicative of … something. Personality; thoughtfulness; the word isn’t coming to me right now. But it is, no matter what, indicative. (ETA, in an esprit de l’escalier moment: Character is the word I wanted.)

Oh, Barack and Michelle Obama are just class on ice. God, they’re beautiful.

Bush 43’s reaction to T*‘s inauguration? I need to look that up. I have a feeling I will be delighted. And, again, I hereby retract and apologize for most if not all of the mockery I sent his way in his day. Now I know what the worst looks like, and he was not it.

In a comment unconnected to the prior, but to his appearance onscreen – – Wow, when’s the last time I saw Dan Quayle?!

Hunter Biden enters; one of the proudest moments of the Election cycle was when someone in one of my FB groups asked for suggestions for a sign to carry at a (socially distanced and masked) rally for Biden. Right around then, Hunter Biden was being viciously attacked on a couple of fronts. It was ugly. And messages from Joe to Hunter in rehab were leaked, in which he said all the right things, and which were full of love and support and a complete lack of giving a damn about what it “looked like”. (Compare and contrast to T****’s relationships with his sons, the elder ones especially.) And I suggested “Joe Biden is a great dad” – mostly kidding. Next thing I knew, the original poster put up a picture of herself with the handmade sign saying “Joe Biden is a great dad”. I love that. I kept it.

George Stephanopolous just commented on all the masks being a sign of the times. Also a sign of the times is that I didn’t mark it. There have been plenty of times I’ve looked around me at the gas station or in one of the two times I’ve gone to the grocery store, and felt knocked out of myself by the fact that a year ago this would have been unthinkable and now it’s normal and necessary.

“Many members of Congress wearing body armor” … I have to say, Biden’s coat looked like it was hanging a little strangely, with some lines across his back. I hope he’s got Kevlar on.

No, seriously, I love Obama. Just seeing him – either of them, actually – makes me happy.

Aw, dammit, karma just got me, and Kamala had a little stumble coming down steps.

Kamala Devi Harris’s Secret Service code name is Pioneer. Doug Emhoff got to help choose what he’s going to be called: Second Gentleman. The first. Weird, I couldn’t pick Mike Pence’s wife out of a lineup.

It’s snowing, I think.

This feels like it’s the way it should be. An elder statesman about to take the office, and a young, feisty, fierce black woman being sworn in as VP. It’s comforting and safe-feeling and … good. This is good. Would I have chosen Joe Biden. Nope. Will he do a good job? I think so. We’ll be ok. In a way, I’m sort of glad he’s the oldest president to be inaugurated. We need experience and empathy and all that sort of thing right now, and Joe’s got it all in spades.

Sergeant at Arms – “acting”, because the previous one was relieved of duty after the insurrection. Two weeks ago, for the love of God. The unsung heroes of today are the staff who worked their ever-loving tails off to restore the building and make it safe and presentable.

It’s not fair that we can’t kick T****’s claims of having record numbers at his inauguration to the curb. It’s not bloody fair.

Aw, I kind of hoped Amy Klobuchar (sp) was going to quote the song (not written by Cole Porter, as I thought, but Dorothy Fields) – that we were going to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again.

Reagan’s description of the Inauguration: “commonplace and miraculous”.

I so hope my mother’s watching.

With malice toward none and charity for all …

Be with us, holy mystery of love, as we dream together.

Shut up, Lady Gaga looks spectacular.

Firefighter Andrea Fall signed the Pledge of Allegiance. Beautiful.

“My whole soul is in it.”

I believe it.

I will never, ever, EVER understand how people who call themselves Christians can have supported or voted for T****. How? I have a bumper sticker on my computer at home that says “give me a break – like Jesus would ever own a gun or vote Republican”. I mean, think about it. Whatever religion you follow, if any, the historical man Jesus would not have espoused anything that T**** ever stood for.

The sun just came out as he was speaking of unity, and bathed him in light. Thanks for the added symbolism, Lord.

12:06 – ABC lost the feed. The screen went blue – for maybe two seconds, long enough for me to be really, really scared. Because, deep down, I never expected to reach this moment.

Lead not by the example of our power but by the power of our example. That’s good. Someone referred to Biden’s speech as “workmanlike” – and that’s about right. It was solid. It was appropriately uplifting without being terribly poetic. It wasn’t something that would live in history in ordinary circumstances other than being his inaugural speech – but given the way things are right now his first words are the beginning of myth and legend. Solid is good in a foundation.

I feel pretty good right now.

Hamilton reference by the poet laureate! 22 year old Amanda Gorman. “The Hill We Climb”. What a bright shining soul. I did not want to be won over by her – and I am now her fangirl. (ETA: my original phrasing here was remarkably dumb, and I regret it.)

I’m not going to relax for a long time – I have been braced all day to see a little red dot appear on someone’s chest, and I think I will be for a while. But I feel better.

P.S. @ 1:30 PM – Good heavens. Minutemen.

Well, we’re off.

(ETA: One of the reporters just talked about the National Guard out on the streets of DC (the only people out there, the reporters and the Guard), and praised them for doing their duty which can be pretty boring. Let’s all hope it stays boring, huh?)

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