Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to a New America...

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Words Sometimes Seem Superfluous...

"I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure, that it will prevail, that the dream of our founders will live on in our time."
~ Barack Obama
At the Lincolm Memorial concert on National Mall in Washington, January 18, 2009, two days before his inauguration as US President.

What an amazing time we live in. The world is a very volatile place right now with wars spanning the globe and our economy -- as well as nearly every other country's -- teetering on the brink of collapse. But Barack Obama stands as a beacon of hope in the darkness. And as I watch the events of today unfold on CNN, I am saddened that I am not standing on the Mall with the approximate 1.2 to 3 million people enduring the freezing cold, but I am beyond thrilled to be witnessing this moment in history regardless of where my seat is.

While these times are uncertain and frightening, it seems as if the whole world love Barack Obama. Not only is he the new leader of the United States of America, but it seems as if he will be bringing the world towards the light.

God bless you President Obama. It's a great day for all Americans.

And all our fellow human beings.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

History is Written by the Victors

On Sunday afternoon, I had lunch with my friend Tom. We ended up at a little neighborhood coffeehouse, Murdoch Perk, where we discussed politics over the most decadent chocolate cheesecake I think I have ever consumed. And I've indulged in some cheesecake therapy in my day...

Part of the discussion was about the history of impeachment... but most of it was about how history looks back on former Presidents.

The impartial eye of history magnifies the accomplishments, and debacles, of former Presidential administrations, but it also takes the emotion out of the events.

Now, as some, most, or -- most likely -- all of you know, I am not George W.'s biggest fan. In fact, I have said on more than one occasion, I expect the person holding the highest seat of power in the land, nay the entire world, to be smarter than I am.

Which really isn't that great of a feat.

In fact, I am embarrassed that George W. Bush is not only our President, but that the American people elected him a second time.

But Tom argued that historians might look back with a more objective eye and see things differently. That if the war that I think is idiotic and completely unnecessary (and that Tom seems to concur on me about) takes a turn that will only underscore Bush's reasons for having a U.S. Military presence there, then the history books will be kind to him.

I protested vehemently, arguing that there is no way that Bush could pull out of the tailspin of his disastrous 8 years. But Tom returned with how FDR and Truman were vilified at the time, but look at them now...

Of which, I couldn't really dispute. Truman was practically vilified by the American public when he left office and now he is practically revered by historians... and Americans alike. What a difference a generation or two can make.

I was suddenly sweating if my animosity was misguided or, at the very least, a little too rabid. (<--Note, word use is a tip of the hat to Maggie. She'll understand.)

But then I saw this on CNN and it occurred to me that while things might yet turn out better for Bush than he will ever deserve, Katrina will forever remain a blight on his record. There is no amount of spin that can rectify turning his back on his own countryman.


Now, there are those who can argue that it was Congress that didn't allocate funding to help out the devastated areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but my God... If the leader of the free world is not at the forefront of helping the people who elected him, then what is wrong with this picture?

My same argument stands for 9/11. I may think that Mayor Giuliani was (and still is) nuttier than a fruitcake, but who was the one person that rallied a broken and terrified country to stand tall once again? Not the President of the United States of America, whose very country was attacked. It was the Mayor of New York, who had been battling tabloid stories and genuinely bizarre behavior. Rudy Giuliani was not made Time Magazine's Person of the Year because he was a good mayor to New York. But he was the best non-elected President of the United States we could ask for.

I could also argue that the first term of George W. was not one that he was elected to, but I'll spare you that diatribe for another post.

So Katrina... A horrific natural disaster that occurred in August 2005, of which the effects are still felt by the residents in the path of the hurricane. And not just irritations and annoyances are felt by those displaced for a period of time, then tucked back into their lives. We're talking about people who are still homeless. Why has George W. Bush not moved Heaven and Earth to help these people?

This was not a rhetorical question; I really don't have an answer. Maybe you know?

I hope that he has a few answers on Thursday night when he gives his farewell address. I have no real interest in hearing his convoluted phrasing of not only the events of his administration, but his infamous ability to butcher simple English grammar. But at an estimated ten to fifteen minutes in length, I think I can stomach the speech for that short duration of time.

Then, Super Tuesday! TRUE history in the making. And unless Obama totally falls out of step with his proposed changes, I think that his highlights will cast a serious shadow on the previous administration.

And, to be completely catty, it won't take too much work.

Maybe Tom and I should rendezvous in 20, 30 years and revisit the conversation. Because at this point, it's all conjecture.

And plus, I'm always up for any reason to have chocolate cheesecake.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

To-Do List...

Okay, so I'm a little late with my first posting of the new year, but after the gluttonous gorging I had over the holidays, I got a little sleepy.

The holidays are difficult for me at times, and being unemployed this year didn't help the matter any, so I'm going to skip over the highlights of the season. Instead, I'm going to look forward to a bigger and better 2009!

And with the new year comes new resolutions. But rather than call them resolutions, I'm going to make myself a "To Do" list. If I give myself goals to achieve, rather than tasks to accomplish, I might actually be able to cross some of the items off my list...

1) Bike 100 miles this year. I know people who can crank this out in a weekend, so why can't I get it done over the course of 12 months?

2) Walk Lance at least 5 days a week. It doesn't have to be far, but it has to be done.

3) To go hand-in-hand with the walking of Lance, I need to walk at least 10 miles a month. It might not seem like much, but it's better than nothing. Which is sort of what I'm doing now.

4) If I can't afford to replace my kitchen cabinets, I need to at least paint them. I have lived with them for 34 years, but I vow by my 35th birthday that they will no longer look like faux-woodgrain Formica covered cabinets. They will be a solid neutral, like white.

5) I will rearrange the bedroom for optimal flow (pardon the pun) to get to the bathroom. Right now, Lance's dog bed sits in front of the Master bathroom door.

6) I will spend more time with my friends actually DOING things, rather than spending money. Some of the activities might require spending money, but let there be something meaningful that comes out of it. I already have two friends who want me to teach them to knit, one who wants to teach me how to purl and a few others who just want to 'create' when we get together.

7) I will write more... and hone my drawing skills. I set aside drawing for numerous reasons, but sometimes when I try to convey an idea through words, all I can do is visualize it my head -- and not be able to adequately describe what I'm thinking. I realize now that what I see in my head, I need to put down on paper.

8) I will my ass up off the couch more and live my life, rather than hide behind my laptop during my free time. It's a bad habit that I got into and I need to find a good habit to slide into instead. I am open to suggestions.

I could have been cliche and put that I will get a job (which I will) and lose weight (which I hope), but I thought if I gave myself small projects and goals, then I'd accomplish more than if I looked at the big picture, which is kind of scary.

Happy New Year to you and yours. And happy New You!

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