Monday, November 1, 2010

The Weekend Report: Crowds (of the rallying/costumed/marathoning varieties)

This weekend was a big one in DC! Saturday was the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

If you haven’t heard of it, comedians Steven Colbert and John Stewart called on people to rally on the Mall (kind of in response to the Glen Beck rally a couple months ago – which one was bigger? I don’t really care, but some people do.). It was beyond crowded – people completely covered a few blocks of the Mall.

This is the first rally I’ve been to, and it made me really happy to live in Washington. People were out holding hilarious signs, dressed in costumes, and just generally having a good time. It was more of a show than a rally – John Stewart and Steven Colbert did skits and The Roots, Cat Stevens (yay!), Ozzy Osborne, Sheryl Crowe and Kid Rock performed!

6x6 and I weaseled our way into the crowd, securing a spot within sight of a jumbo-tron and within ear range of a speaker. Our duck-and-weave tactics enabled us to get in, hear the whole rally, and get out before the masses could stop us! (Aka super-win!)

The weather was perfect and the rally made me really happy – it wasn’t officially political. No one chanted slogans, no one tried to argue their points of view, and no one was angry. Rather than yell, Stewart suggested everyone whisper together, “I am concerned about the direction of the country, and I am open to hearing a variety of ideas." (Forthcoming cheesy alert!) It was just a huge group of Americans who all love America in different ways with different opinions and different ideas of how the country should be run, getting together and demonstrating that rational discourse is the best way to go. Yay! (Cheesy part over.)

Saturday night PhotoMan’s visiting mom took a group of us out to dinner (yay! you know I love parents!) at Bistro Bistro. The desserts were fabulous – the Crème Brulee and the Cannoli especially!

Then it was costume time. Usually I’m a strictly 80s spandex Halloweener, but this year I attempted (and succeeded?) at something new.

I went as Snow Leopard! Like the animal…and like the Mac operating system! (Bahahaha! Will the nerdy never end???) I wore snow leopard tights and a mask (because those are things I just happen to have lying around…obviously). Then I cut out a Mac Apple logo and pinned it to my shirt. LLC jumped on the bandwagon and went as Firefox – pretty clever right? We won a Best Group Costume contest at the extremely ridiculous and rather epic party we attended Saturday night. (Sorry for the poor-quality picture...I left my camera at work!)

Just four short hours after falling into bed, my alarm sounded the time to get up and go cheer for the Marine Corps Marathoners. I groaned rather loudly, spent about a minute attempting to eye-rub the sleepiness away, then gave up and just got out of bed, saying kill me now to my alarm and the world in general.

One cup of coffee and a 2-mile walk later, 6x6 and I were stationed at mile 10 of the marathon, ready to cheer for everyone we knew, and many many people we didn’t know. I have some serious volume in my vocal chords, and we yelled and clapped and screamed for over 2 hours (it’s the least we could do, I mean those people were running a marathon!).

If you wore your name on your shirt, we cheered for you. Go Dan go! Yay Jenny! You look awesome! Way to go David! Go Sandra! Way to run! Go! Go! Go! If I ever run a marathon I will have my name written all over me. But you have to be careful what you write. Names are great but causes can be questionable. Go Jason! Yay Amanda! Way to go Arthritis! Yeah Autism! Oh wait…that wasn’t right…

One thing we noticed and were mildly annoyed by (but not really): what is it with people writing their names on their shirts, but then running with headphones??? It’s such a waste of our cheering skills if the runner isn’t going to hear us!

After the marathon, my weekend saga continued. My co-volunteer Dorothee and I went to our refugees' house for lunch, and then brought them Halloween. I can’t imagine anything more confusing. It was us, the mom and 3 kids, then 2 guys (who just arrived in America from the Congo and Rwanda 2 weeks ago). After lunch we brought in 2 pumpkins, spread newspapers on the floor, and started carving. (It’s been years, but turns out I need to add Pumpkin Carving to my resume’s Skill section!)

Pumpkin? But why? Why face? they asked. We attempted to explain the concept...who knows how much they actually understood. I imagine their conclusion was Americans are crazy.

And then the costume bag came out. We got the kids all set as a cat and Cruella Deville and headed to Bethesda to trick-or-treat. I’m sure they thought we were completely nuts, but the kids had fun and scored a ton of candy!

I expected more people to be out though…most of the kids we saw were really little…do kids not trick-or-treat anymore? That would be sooo sad!

Hope you had a good weekend too!