This evening I will depart from our shockingly cold tundra for a place with a little more reasonable winter temperatures. At least Washington, D.C. knows how to hover around freezing.
Instead of working from the confines of the City Pages office (or my couch during particularly cold days) my boss gave me the OK to fly out to the Capitol for the week to experience Barack Obama's inauguration in person.
But we won't be leaving readers behind. We've made it easier than ever to cyber-stalk while I am gone.
For up-to-the-minute details, I'll be updating my Twitter as much as possible. I've been a Twitter stalker since starting at CP, but now I will actually put that sucker to work.
We know all of the major publications will be there, but who cares? The amount of Minnesotans, ticket or no ticket, heading east is astounding and we will be there to document their experiences. And what other Minnesota reporter will be giving you all of the dirty truths about life after dark when Obama's fans hit the bottle to celebrate? We can only imagine the walks of shame we might encounter on our evenings out. You can read Obama's inauguration speech elsewhere.
Preparing for the trip, I've spoken with many Minnesotans planning their adventures. People like Alan Lifson, his wife, and two grown children. Lifson is a physician and professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. His family found an overpriced and small hotel room to share (the kids are stuck sleeping on the floor). They don't have tickets to the inauguration, but they couldn't care less.
"If you had told me two years ago that we would going to a presidential Inauguration, it would have been like telling us we were going to the moon," he says. "However, something different happened for us with this election. The hope and belief in values that we had previously felt with our personal heroes, Paul and Sheila Wellstone was rekindled."
Their plans are spare, but they are coming to be with what Lifson called "four million or so of our closest friends."
"We expect that our experience will be crowded, expensive and chaotic, but it will also be completely exciting and a chance to be part of history that we hope our children will long remember," he says.