Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hello 2009

Well another year drew to a close and it's time for my "State of the Bunion" address - so called because my feet are sore from tramping through another year of head-scratching-what-the-fuck?

My little one is two now, and although she is a great kid... she is still a two-year old and it seems that two-year old people exist only to ask questions and cause trouble. She moves at 100,000mph and if you take your eyes off her for a second the next thing you see will be her cleaning the cat's arse with your toothbrush.

It's like a cowboy movie all day long. We stand off, hands on hips ready to pull that pistol. She gets the glint in her eye and I say "No way... whatever you are plannning... no (fucking) way..." and off she goes to do the exact opposite of what I tell her. The (fucking) part is just said inside my head, I swear a lot inside my head these days.... (Fuck this fucking blog shit is taking too long to write)

Toothbrushes are her specialty for some reason - she'll climb up on her little stool in the bathroom and take all the toothbrushes down from the sink. These toothbrushes will then do two things - they will either disappear off the face of the earth never to be seen again for a million years or they will be used to clean the cat, the toilet bowl, or the bottom of her shoes.

You will also be subjected to hours upon hours of kiddie TV shows. These will include furry pink monsters who say things like "I love to play with balls!", a Latina girl with a pet monkey and a talking backpack, and my favorite - an octopus who is best friends with a talking flower and a penguin... and on top of that has a dog that is made out of a sausage.

It's at this point that you realize that all the drugs you did in college were actually some sort of preparation for parenthood.

"See Mum, I WASN'T wasting my life!!!!"

On some days you can try - if you feel motivated enough after your 30th episode of Petey the Paintbrush - to do something that does not involve turning on the TV.

This is pro-active and healthy. It is also incredibly hard work, especially when something like painting or Play-Doh is involved.

You will start off great. The table will be nicely laid-out and the primary colours will all exist nicely in blobs side by side. However, within about 10 minutes of trying to explain how to make a donkey out of crayola dung (the pirate version of Play-doh) or how to paint a picture of an apple, you will look up from the table and your living room will suddenly look like Jackson Pollock went on a drunken rampage.

Anyway, as I write this it is now 2009 and we are 2 weeks away from inauguration day for Barak Obama. This means two things - he will be the first African-American President, a fantastic leap forward for the US but since so much has been written about this I want to concentrate on the second thing that will happen after inauguration day and that is... THE END OF 8 YEARS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

Oh thank god... I never thought this day would come. I thought the Thatcher years were bad but Bush made her look like a lilly livered socialist.

On January 20th I will raise a glass and toast Barak Obama and wish him all the luck in the world (God knows he's going to need it) but I will get rip roaringly drunk in celebration of the end of the Bush years.

I can almost hear the screechy little granny voice saying "Step into the light Carol-Anne!"

It's interesting to me that I did not post anything on here prior to or immediately after the election, maybe because I was glued to the TV that whole time, but more likely because I did not want to jinx Obama's chances. Everyone knew he was going to win, we were just all too afraid to say it.

He's the text of an email I sent to some friends the day after the election:

"Well, I certainly picked a hell of a time to be living in America I can tell you. 9/11 happened 2 years after I stepped off the plane, and now 8 years later I am here for the election of the first black President. This morning, the day after the election, it still hasn't sunk in. Last night I was emotional, I was at work as the results came in so I got to see some "off-camera" stuff before it hit the airwaves and we knew it was looking good but no-one wanted to say anything in case we jinxed it.


Finally... finally... finally. The Bush administation is over. (Hopefully) The Conservative movement is divided and in danger of splitting right down the middle between the Jesus freaks and the Fiscal freaks. If it happens then we could banish these people back to the crazy foxholes they crawled out of. The job is not quite over yet, the seperation of Church and State has to be reinforced during this administration and the Talibangelicals should never be allowed near a high office again.

Obama ran a fantastic campaign, on top of that he is a once-in-a-generation orator who can inspire people, and has already inspired millions of people in this country to get out and vote for the first time. He is a community organiser (something that the Republicans thought fit to make fun of at their convention - how sweet it is to see them eat those words) and everything was run from the ground up and not from the top down as is so often the case. I had friends, who had never been involved in a political campaign before in their lives, riding on buses from New York City to Pennsylvania every weekend for the last few months to knock on doors and pound the pavement for Obama.

Yesterday, as I was leaving for work, I ran into my next door neighbor. She was going to the polling station with her mother to vote, her Mum is in her 90's and they had a camera with them to take photos because, as she explained to me: "When my Mother was little she knew people who had ACTUALLY been slaves, and also when my Mother was younger SHE was not allowed to vote!". It was a very touching moment to witness and was a great reminder of how far things have actually come despite the fact that we are all mired in our own cynicism.

So anyway, America... well done. I am very fond of shitting on this country (Hey! It's what I do - I like shitting on Scotland and England too) and now I have been forced to stop and think. The one thing I loved about the "American Dream" is that, even though it is mostly hyperbole, it was always open to re-interpretation and re-invention. This is one re-invention that I am proud to have been living here for and one re-invention that I am proud our daughter was alive to see (even though she will remember nothing and would have preferred Dora The Explorer for President). Every American should walk an inch taller in their shoes today.

Nov 5th 2008"

I don't think I can put it any better than that. The initial euphoria has worn off slightly and I have been pretty disappointed by his cabinet picks so far (where are the Union leaders in his economic team?) but I am still willing to give him the benefit of doubt and pray that he doesn't turn out to be Tony Blair redux.

Jan 20th here we come....


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