Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Week into the First Year of Obama 2009

Things seem to be moving right along! Now the pundits talk about the first 100 hours instead of days ... It would seem that we have chosen well this time and it should be quite a ride.

Inauguration day was wonderful and so human. Such as flubs with the oath and romantic snuggles. Not to mention despair when Senator Kennedy was victim to an attack which reminded us that he is indeed a very sick 'lion' and with Senator Byrd's collapse at the sight of the 'lion's distress . .. Despite the coldness of the events nothing spoiled the party. We had some 'bubbly' and a steak dinner.

The next day Fox News worried that perhaps President Obama wasn't really President because the oath had been flubbed -- by the Chief Justice. Some were amused that the 'perfectionist' Justice Roberts had blown giving the oath to the one who had voted against his confirmation! Rather deliciously that same day the oath was re-administered in the White House with a mere 9 witnesses and no 'bible' -- this is ok because the Constitution does not demand one.

There was some controversy about the clothes that Michelle Obama decided to wear. I thought she looked gorgeous -- but worried that she must be cold -- 16 F is colder than people in Britain can appreciate -- it rarely ever gets that cold here. So for me she was not only chic but brave! As for the evening dress -- hey -- anybody who has her man looking at her the way he did is doing everything right -- no mistake about that ...

And since then things have been moving so fast that we can't really keep up with him. I expect he will make some mistakes, but I for one don't doubt that it isn't about 'him' it's about 'us'. He is not about making people's pocketbooks rich, he is about making people's lives richer. His inaugural address was a great speech. On the day it was hard to appreciate how much he said and how important all that he said was. I have read and re-read it and each time am more impressed than the time before. He spoke for our time and for our future and he reaffirmed the past that was framed by our founding fathers and he did it in a way that speaks not only to our citizens, but includes and invites peoples around the world in our hopes and aspirations.

Friday, January 16, 2009

As We Get Older

Yesterday I went to the Eye Clinic here for my annual check for Glaucoma. For the first time, I felt I was regarded as 'old'! Not that I'm 'not' ...

The first shock was the comment that there could be seen the beginnings of a cataract in my right eye ...

"Damn," I said.

"It happens to all of us when we get older," came the 'comforting' reply. I don't know if the rather attractive blond woman was a doctor or a technician -- but I didn't think she looked all that much younger than I! I almost asked her if she had early signs of them as well!

That said and done the examination concluded with the decision that as the pressure in my eyes was slightly on the high side, as a precautionary measure she was prescribing eye drops to be taken every night just before bed. Ho-hum.

Later, thinking it all over, I had to be grateful to be living in a country where all this is carried out without having to worry about how to pay for this or that including the many medications that I need to take every day -- including the eye drops that adds up to seven different ones every day! Gawd! I am getting old. Now I'm even blogging about my illnesses.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time, It's Ridiculous!

TIME! Good Lord, I was sure I'd posted since Christmas! What a forgetful old fool I feel like. I can't believe I've not posted since my return to England. But it did take a while to get myself together and with Christmas and dinner party planning demanded by the Man, my brain has in the end, failed me. Gosh in less than 200 hours Obama will be our President.

It amazes me how soon I've settled, for the most part, back in the British life. I still don't know when or even 'if' I'm returning to Olympia so my life and brain are in flux and I feel kind of weird and unsettled most of the time. I've seen lots of friends and had lots of enjoyable company, but my presence on the scene is certainly tentative. I had been away almost a year (bar one month) but certainly being back seems more familiar and homelike. Of course the Pacific side of the US never felt homelike and familiar to me and I realized not to long before my return that if I were to return to the US to live I would be happier on the Atlantic seaboard and probably in New England. It's hard to explain exactly why. I am not comfortable with the spread-outness of everything on the west coast -- everything connected by big highways and lots of driving. It doesn't feel to me 'settled'. It's beautiful and grand-eloquent, but for me it lacks the 'intimacy' of familiarity. It is strange to say I like 'being' there more than 'living' there.

The economic situation here seems more dire than it did in the Pacific Northwest. Businesses are closing and jobs are difficult to find -- especially for the young. It's not easy now to look to the future and feel hopeful. Since Obama's election things in the US do feel more hopeful than they do here. The British newspapers are full of dire predictions for the American economy and sometimes I wonder if it's not really 'wishful thinking'. The British pundits are notoriously wrong in predicting things American and the understanding here of how things work across the pond is often mysterious to me. The really don't quite 'get' us and they always think they have!