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We are one people; We are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story.
- President-Elect Barack Obama

The weekend horoscoop* will return next Thursday at its regularly scheduled time, but in between it being freezing cold right now in Manhattan (um, 14 degrees) and me being giddy with joy at the fact that we’re so close to Inauguration Day, this weekend’s column is completely consumed with the events of Tuesday January 20. And it’s for those of all astrological signs, religions, nationalities, races, sexes, and like that. So here’s 12 ways to get your groove on in regards to our new President.

1. On Monday, Jan. 19, to celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President-Elect Obama asks us to summon a new spirit of service and make an enduring commitment to the neighborhoods we live in. As Americans we have a responsibility to help our communities and fellow citizens. Volunteer for the King Day of Service Monday. Gandhi famously said, You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Find or host an event here.

2. Check the Countdown Clock on Backwards Bush here. This site has a clock that gives you the exact days, hours, minutes and seconds until Obama is sworn in as President on Tuesday. You can also download a free screensaver, and widgets and gadgets up the wazoo in order to mark the last remaining moments before the regime change.

3. Note to self: purchase the special issue of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man Comic (#583) which was published earlier this week. Obama is on the cover and the storyline is about him meeting up with Spider-Man to fight crime and save the world, one would think. Actually I am not sure what kind of mayhem they get up to after they meet but it sounds like something they should be doing. There’s even a fist bump between the two superheroes. Apparently, Obama is a longtime comic book aficionado and Marvel Comics stated, “This is not so much a pro-Obama statement but a tip of the hat to having a Spider-Man fan in the White House.”

4. If you’re one of the many millions of folks heading to our nation’s capital for the festivities, check out the Opening Ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial that kicks off the entire week Sunday, January 18 at 2:30pm. It’s free, free, free. Musical performers include Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, Stevie Wonder and more. Historical passages will be read by Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. More performers will continue to be added and it will be broadcast live on HBO and repeated twice later that night. HBO is unblocking their signal to all cable providers, so you don’t have to be a subscriber to watch this event.

5. The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30AM on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday January 20 and it will be telecast live on just about every TV station in the world. If you want to go and you don’t have a ticket, you will be able to go to the National Mall and watch and hear the broadcast on large screens. Get there early is all I can say. The Presidential Inaugural Parade will follow along Pennsylvania Avenue starting at 2:30pm. My guess is no one will be throwing rotten fruit at any of the cars like they did last time. Guide to inaugural events here. YouTube Inauguration Channel here.

6. If you’re not making it to D.C., you can watch Obama take the oath of office amongst a happy throng of people celebrating at any number of places; in New York you can watch at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Blvd at 135th St.) or Trinity Church (89 Broadway at Wall Street) or BAM (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn). Check this site out for a list of events near you. Or host one!

7. If you are in D.C. next Tuesday you can swing out sister with the Dresden Dolls (among others) at the 9:30 Club starting at 8pm. If you’re not going to one of those exclusive inaugural balls, this is the place to be for sure. To quote Dolls Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, let’s start this new chapter of american - and world - history in style and with rock love. Tickets are $50.

8. New Yorkers can say goodbye to Bush at the Boom Boom Beauty Bar between now and next Tuesday. They’re offering 25% off bikini waxing (ranging from $20 to $49). The location is 35 Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. Call for more info at 212 229 2666. According to the proprietors, Let’s have our own personal party in our pants and rejoice that we still have the right to choose a landing strip, Bermuda triangle or skinny dipper. We hope this will also help welcome the ‘Big O.’

9. Wake Up World comes to DC this weekend! 2 shows only, Friday Jan. 16 and Saturday Jan. 17 at the Arlington Cinema n’ Drafthouse. Wanna see how wacky these folks can be? Check out their Joe Biden Commemorative Plate video. Rachel Maddow said of them: “Best thing I’ve seen in a million years.” Wake Up World is a satirical wrap-up of the week’s news from Daily Show Co-creator Lizz Winstead. A live sketch comedy show that gives us the world as seen by fictional producers and on-air talent at the worst morning news show in America. The results are both a hilarious and scathing view of both newsmakers and the news media that molds them. Tickets here.

10. If you’re in Times Square on Tuesday night, Jan. 20 you can celebrate the end of the last 8 years of soft shoe shuffling and shoe ducking by President #43 at the Goodbye Bush Bash at the Latitude Bar & Grill (783 Eighth Ave between 47th and 48th Streets). Bush-themed drink specials and a quote wall of the most idiotic lines uttered by GWB will be featured. Sometime around 10pm the organizers of this event will lead the party outside for – literally – dancing in the streets. RSVP here. And for the last time I’m quoting #43: If you don’t stand for anything, you don’t stand for anything! (November 2, 2000 at Bellevue Community College)

11. If I hadn’t maxed out all my credit cards I’d be heading right now to the Presidential Inaugural Store right now to buy these fabulous limited edition items. Buttons, stickers, glassware, coins, tote bags, t-shirts, scarves, cufflinks, coloring books, fleece jackets, coasters, onesies, hats, wristbands, key rings, messenger bags, even a wooden train for kids imprinted with Obama Biden / Renewing America’s Promise and the inaugural seal.

12. Look ahead to the next chapter of our lives on Wednesday January 21 at 8pm at the 92nd Street Y in New York City when Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, moderates a discussion on The Year Ahead in politics and culture on the day after the inauguration. She will be joined by HuffPost bloggers Nora Ephron, Erica Jong, Barbara Ehrenreich, Trey Ellis, and Paul Rieckhoff. More info and tickets here. And remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life. (By the way you are a child of the universe and you have a right to be here)

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This post has 1 comment. Add your own.
gail - 16 Jan 09 at 17:12:08

I’m going to wear my inauguration t-shirt until it literally dissolves.