Inauguration madness countdown

It’s almost here. I have a roundup of some of the inauguration madness here. If you’re coming to town, the WaPo is keeping track of all the details here. They are even offering “Inauguration Survival Alerts” to be sent to your cell phone. Already the traffic downtown has been snarled — in part thanks to a street closing around Obama’s hotel, and the motorcades going around. And they haven’t even closed all the commuter bridges to Virginia yet, or enforced the no-traffic zone.

I live very close to where the official balls will be held — andI can make it home without being mowed over by one of the expected thousands of tour buses or drunk ladies in ball gowns. My kid’s pre-school will be closed for two days and all the sleeping berths in my living room are booked for the week by friends coming from California and NYC.

In my local supermarket yesterday, they were handing out Obama cookies, had tables of inauguration cakes ready, even the chocolate glazed donuts were covered in red-white-and-blue sprinkles. The orchids in the flower section were wrapped in flag colors, and flag balloons were everywhere.

I passed by the Washington Monument the other morning and it was surrounded by rows of Porta-pottys. More were arriving on flatbed trucks. Organizers have planned for 5,000 of them. It made me think of this absolutely hilarious Australian movie called “Kenny.”

I’ll be at the swearing in and expect to be blogging a lot as things get underway. I wonder if this cold snap will put a damper on things. It’s about -11 C here (-20C with windchill), which is nothing by Canadian standards (Ottawa is -26 C today, -32 with windchill) but is considered intolerably cold here. Tuesday is supposed to be warmer — the latest forecast shows -1C.