Monday, November 01, 2010


As a far lefty, it's annoying to me that our side has to have a rally just to try and move things back toward the middle. But I guess I'm thinking of Saturday's event as kind of a first step. And maybe that's what the whole "restore sanity" theme is referring to. But regardless of all this, I'm a huge Colbert fan and a Stewart fan, too. So as soon as I heard they'd really be doing this, I cleared my cal. and planned a trip to DC.

I did a great job getting to NYC after work Friday to have dinner with Chan. A Merritt Parkway detour meant I was briefly back on my old driving grounds--the Hutch, which I used to take from Ridgefield/Danbury. It was like ridin' a bike. On a highway. The trip to my Philly hotel room was not as fun. Three separate parking-lot traffic jams on the Jersey Turnpike meant I didn't get to bed until 2, and I had to get up before 7 to get to DC. But I made it there by 10, hopped on a Metro at a station 20 minutes from the Capitol, and entered the mask of huge manatees on a beautiful day in ONatCap.

They were herding us down the Mall away from the stage--but I saw a break in the barrier and took a left turn into the crowd. If you look at the overhead shots, you see the stage, then crowd, then a cross street, then a lot more crowd extending AFATECS. I was right behind that cross street, right in the middle. A great spot on paper, but it was pretty hard to see anything on the stage. I had these two old people in front of me, who thought it would be a good idea to balance themselves on those vinyl fold-up chairs. That was an adventure. But it gave me a little breathing room in front of me in the sardine can.

The Roots started the show. They made a really funny video that I can't believe is almost 15 years old, but they haven't really excited me since. Then John Legend joined them and started singing about god, and I started to wonder if we'd all been had by Glen Beck. Then they brought out two of the "Mythbusters," who proceeded to bore us some more while the crowd behind chanted "louder" over and over. So it was a bad start, but things finally got going when John and Steve got up there.

Okay, this is getting long and you've probably heard all this already in the last news cycle, so I'll skip to my favorite part: The Train Trilogy. To my shock, Stewart brought out Cat Stevens to play Peace Train. In mid-song, Colbert interrupts, and says he needs a different kind of train, and brings out Ozzy, who breaks into Crazy Train! Stewart then cuts in, citing that the Crazy Train is "going off the rails," and Stevens starts playing again. Eventually both songs are going at once, and they finally stop them both and bring out...The O'Jays! Love Train! I'm so impressed with the idea alone--but they took it to the next level and actually got the original artists. And considering one of them was recently not even allowed into the country makes it even more amazing.

Stewart's final speech and all the riffing on our fear-dominated society were great. The line that summed it up for me was, "we're living in hard times, not end times." And of course there were a lot of great signs, most mocking the utter stupidity of most political signs. Nice to be around so many people who "get it."

Then I found Brian, who now lives down in that area, and got to hang out with him and Jen and their awesome cat attack of Milo, Henry Rollins, Jellybean...and....who have I forgotten...ah yes, Kurt, god bless, Kurt. No, that's not it. Crap! I'm sure he'll remind me.

Then it was back to NYC in the middle of the night where I had to wake Chan up to let me in at 2 a.m.

It was now Halloween. And since I knew I'd be in New York on Halloween, I made a point to stay for the Village Parade. I went to this twice before, but this year just seemed over the top. It would not end. And I was fine with this. So much good stuff. I shot a lot of video. You'll see it eventually. In fact, I did mostly video in DC, too, which is why this post isn't accompanied by pics. The video still thing is always weird. Even though I used that method for past Halloween Parades. So it got to be 10:00 and Chan and I just had to leave--we were sore, my filming hand had frostbite, and I had to work the next morning. In Providence.

On my way to work this morning, the first thing I heard was a fear commercial. Granted, the sports talk host who was doing the spot put his own tongue-in-cheek spin on it ("sleep apnea is very serious, if you have it, you could die, and if you die, you'll miss Jets-Lions"), but it was still disappointing to hear. That whole rally wasn't pointed specifically at righties, but at idiots. This country's got problems, and it would be nice if people could come together to solve them. I'm still pissed about a lot of stuff, but nothing's ever gonna change if people just stay on their side of the fence and don't even learn their neighbor's names.

My restaurant is a quarter-mile from the rally, and I get no Jere love?! For shame, sir...
Brian and I had to get over to his bro's house which is near RFK. I got out of the rally at like ThreePenh or FourPenh and was hoping the streets would start going up so I could stop in, but they went down. (Then they started going up again but I remembered from my last DC trip that your place was definitely west of the capitol--it was cool to walk east this time and see more residential areas by the way.) Plus I figured you might be a little crowded [smiley face]. (And also that you'd probably avoid working that day.)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States