“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” Made Inauguration Week Funny

With all the hype, hoopla and Obama-mania of last week’s Inauguration 2009 coverage, it is nice to know that someone found a way to poke fun at it all. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart takes us through a quick recap of the Inauguration events which include calling out former Vice President Dick Cheney’s wheelchair ride, Obama’s shut-up face and a hint that America has been in The Matrix for the last 8 years. Check it out!




Inauguration 2009 Pics

My Inauguration 2009 coverage would be incomplete without my pictures from the trip. So, here they are. Enjoy!

xoxo,
The Caramel Bella





Inauguration Day: And We Waited & Waited…..

As you may have gathered, I waited for about 4 hours in the blue ticket section and didn’t get into the Inauguration Swearing-In Ceremony for President Barack Obama. It was cold especially for a person acclimated to Southern California weather. Here are some videos that I took while waiting, and waiting…. and waiting….! Well, you get the drift.

Line Not Moving

Still Waiting

xxoo,
The Caramel Bella

P.S. How long was your wait? Talk back. :-)




Inauguration Day: Metro Train Ride to the Swearing-In Ceremony

I’ve decided to post the videos from my trip to Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration of Barack Obama. Here is a video of my Metro (subway) train ride. There were thousands of people on the crowded trains. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authorities (WMATA) closed several train stops (including the one I needed based on my swearing-in ceremony ticket — Federal Center S.W.).

Although I wasn’t able to capture it in the video below, the subway personnel instructed us (in a very loud voice) to “keep it moving” to help the crowds exit through the train doors, to put our tickets through the reader, to ride the escalator up and out onto the streets. These instructions became a fun chant for the upbeat Inauguration train riders.

xxoo,

The Caramel Bella




Inauguration Day: Blue Ticket Blues

blue-gate

Although I feel extremely lucky to be in the nation’s capitol during the 56th Inauguration of President Barack Obama, I was one of the unfortunate few that never made it past the security screening for the swearing-in event.

Crowd at Metro Station
Crowd at Metro Station

My morning began with heading down to the Mall area around 7 a.m. After facing massive crowds on the subway (Metro) and the closure of the designated Metro stop for my “blue” ticket, I reached the line for the blue ticket holders (before 8 a.m. and the opening of the gates). The blue area was full of people and completely disorganized. There weren’t any police, security, guides or Inauguration staff in the vicinity to ensure order.

After standing in the line for over an hour, the mass of ticket holders began encircling the line. People were shouting, “stop cutting” in hopes of preventing the disarray. However, no amount of chanting or “tsking” could prevent the confusion and chaos that erupted.

Crowd of Blue Ticket Holders
Crowd of Blue Ticket Holders

While standing in line (around 10-10:30 a.m.), an off-duty police officer who happened to be at the event told us that a generator had gone down. As a result, several blue gate security screening stations weren’t working, which affected the amount of people able to pass through the gate. However, the officer said we would all be admitted. (This unauthorized communication was the only information we received during this entire process.)

The people in the crowd began to amuse themselves by singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and other patriotic songs. (Oh, they also sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”) And after desperation set in as the clock inched closer to 11:30 a.m., the crowd began chanting: “Let us in. Let us in.”

My friends and I stood in this line for about 4 hours before finally realizing that we weren’t going to get through the security gate and screening. There were still thousands of people in front (and around) us. After hearing “Hail to the Chief” around 11:30 a.m., we realized we definitely weren’t getting in and headed back.

Outside the Blue Gate
Outside the Blue Gate

We were pretty disappointed with the lack of organization in the blue area. After attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., I was amazed at how the DNC could be so safe and orderly in comparison to the chaos of the Inauguration swearing-in ceremony.

Empty Security Screening Gates
Empty Security Screening Gates

There have been several reports regarding ticket holders that were turned away. Although the blue section appears to have the most problems, the purple and silver sections also had ticket holders who didn’t gain access to the event. Reporters from the Washington Post and London’s The Telegraph wrote about these unfortunate incidents.

Although I didn’t end up witnessing the swearing-in ceremony in its “true” fashion, I am still happy that I traveled from Los Angeles to D.C. to be a part of the whole Inaugural event. The crowds remained mostly positive and upbeat despite the widespread disappointment. I met people from all around the world who were so inspired by Obama to make the trip. We all knew that we were just feet away from Barack Obama and this historic moment.

Still hopeful and excited,

The Caramel Bella

P.S. Video and more pictures to come….




T Minus 10 hours & Counting until the Swearing-in Ceremony

U Street

Today, I spent the majority of the day walking around the “Inauguration Washington, D.C.” As a person who calls this place “home” (my folks still live here), the District has really transformed into this buzzing and alive place. Obama hasn’t taken office yet but my “home” has changed already.

From the Historic U Street area to Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant to the Washington Monument and Mall, the streets were full of people. I couldn’t tell the tourists from the natives. And there were tons of street vendors. It appears as though hundreds of people have figured out how to make money in this troubling economy — sell anything with Barack or Michelle Obama on it. There were the standard souvenir fare like t-shirts, hats, buttons and posters. Yet, I also came across unique and somewhat strange items like Obama earrings and condoms. Yes, this city is alive with Obama-mania!

After walking around downtown and the Mall, I headed into the Smithsonian to warm up and re-familiar myself with my favorite museum. I then walked back to the U Street area to visit one of my favorite places: Busboys and Poets. It’s a unique spot that’s a restaurant, bookstore, bar and venue for artists. I love it. Following an hour long wait outside, I was able to enjoy a great dinner in one of the most eclectic places in town. (It is open 24/7 during the Inauguration festivities.)

My visit to D.C. (my home) has been almost magical. From getting tickets to the swearing-in ceremony to seeing my city with new eyes. I am hopeful that the “new” energy so easily seen in the nation’s capitol remains long after President-elect Obama has taken office tomorrow at 12 noon. Our new president has a tough road ahead to turn the state of the nation around (especially economically and in terms of international relations). Let’s all pledge to remember the excitement, hope and belief in the future of our country that we have right now. We’re going to need it.

Only a couple more hours until the ceremony….

signing off,

The Caramel Bella




The Caramel Bella is Going to the Inauguration of Barack Obama

capitol-building-inauguration-bleachers

Yes, I am going to the Inauguration 2009. And I must confess. I am feeling a little under-excited. And I honestly don’t know why. (Maybe it is the cold weather, the large crowds, the tremendous logistics involved, the financial expense, etc.) This is probably THE most historic presidency of my lifetime – at least that is what I am being told by almost everyone around me. And a part of me believes this statement. Whenever people super-hype things, I always take a teeny step back. (Maybe it is because I personally believe I will witness tons of firsts – including a woman elected president, other people of color as president or global leaders in addition to the greatest thing of all – world peace and an end to terrorism.)

With that being said, I will probably become swept up in the moment once I arrive to DC (via two planes..sigh). The presidency of Barack Obama is something truly worthy of celebrating. The United States has a chance to change course.

So why the sense of trepidation about this fantastic moment? Well, I can’t help but think of the costs of this super Inauguration spent by myself, others and the United States government while this country is in a serious recession/depression. And I am trying to remember the thousands of people that are losing and have lost their jobs during the economic fallout.

But I guess I’m digressing from the beauty of the moment.The Obama electoral win shows that the United States has (at some level) shifted its consciousness to a place where people are being judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, which was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. There is no coincidence that Obama was elected during this time in history and will assume the presidency the day after MLK’s birthday. There are no coincidences.

This consciousness shift is the main reason I am getting excited. I am getting pumped up to witness this incredible moment in history.. IN PERSON. Yes, I will be there on the U.S. Capitol steps (I can’t believe I actually got a ticket!) watching the ONLY 2008 presidential candidate I believed in become the leader of our country.

Okay, I’m getting excited writing this post. Stay tuned on my adventures back to DC (my home) to participate and observe in this tremendous time in history. (I will be twittering it too. Follow me on Twitter.)

Yes, I’m tingling a little bit now. An intelligent, hopeful, trustworthy, compassionate man – who happens to be a man of color – will be our next president in three whole days!! Woo hoo!

Getting excited,
The Caramel Bella




Hush Beyoncé, You Spoiled the Secret

beyonce-singing

According to HollywoodLife.net, Superstar Beyoncé recently released a statement saying, “I am so honored that I will be performing for President Obama and the First Lady. To sing At Last while they have their first dance is a dream come true.”

This statement about her Inauguration 2009 performance is all good except for one thing – one big thing. It was supposed to be a secret. The site says the Presidential Inaugural Committee had hoped the song would remain “classified” until the President and his wife stepped on the floor for their first dance on inauguration night. Yikes, talk about letting the cat out of the bag.

Beyoncé’s inability to keep this bit of news hush-hush may be a surprise to her fans. After all, she kept her wedding plans to rapper Jay-Z a secret for months. Come on Beyoncé, where’s the tight-lipped Sasha Fierce when you need her?

Are you interested in hearing the original version of At Last by Etta James? Listen to the song at Last.fm. Eventhough Beyoncé has a golden voice, she has some legendary shoes to fill on this one.

xxoo, The Caramel Bella




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My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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