Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Impressions

Even though, living in Washington, DC, we had potentially easy access to the downtown area to witness the spectacle that was Obama's inauguration, the thought of jumping on an albeit easily accessible metro train and sharing it with a million well meaning but disoriented and overhyped parade-goers didn't sound like the best course of action. So we decided to head to a friend's place for brunch, drinks, and child playdates. Some thing that stick out in my mind about that day:

- the Black Eyed Susans were damned good
- the egg and mushroom strata was also very tasty
- the shots of the thousands upon thousands down on the Mall was pretty thrilling - felt a little regret we hadn't braved it, but not for very long
- it was cold - which was why the regret about not attending in person was pretty fleeting
- Hailey is a super cute little girl - Noe and her seemed to get along, so hopefully they'll see more of each other
- I didn't see one second of the oath of office - picked the perfect time to try and resolve conflicts between toddlers in the basement
- reading about how the oath was messed up was somewhat amusing. I know John and like him a LOT despite his politics...but I don't cut the guy much slack on messing up the oath. The guy can quote you any significant legal opinion generated in the last 200 years verbatim, and he can't recite a few lines from memory?!? Yeesh...
- the first conspiracy theory I saw (which I believe was tongue in cheek...maybe) was that the Bible used (which supposedly was the Lincoln Bible) was in fact a Koran - that they chose to use the "Lincoln Bible" because no one knew what it looked like and a Koran could be easily substituted. The fact that the Chief Justice, one of the most conservative people on earth, happened to be holding the book didn't seem to register as a possible flaw in that theory. Eh, details.
- his little girls were so gorgeous - the youngest with the peach and orange ensemble rocked. They're going to be setting some trends over the next four years
- I like the First Lady's dress worn for the inauguartion. For the balls...not so much. I didn't get the one strap thing, and it really didn't show off the athletic build she has. But Obama looked pretty pimp.
- didn't experience any crazy traffic first hand - I think they scared a lot of people out of the area by blocking off so many roads and access routes
- the staellite photos of the Mall, showing more than 1.5 million people massed together in the sunny cold, confirmed what pretty much everyone knew - that the hopes of million of Americans - hope for greater prosperity, for civility, for a new paradigm for how a government treats its citizens and its allies - are riding solely on this man's shoulders

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years Resolutions - 2009

I am not typically a new years resolutions kind of guy. I have tried doing them in the past - I don't think I ever made it more than two weeks without breaking any and all resolutions I had made. I think most fall into one of two categories: 1) ridiculous optimism ("Become a better person this year!" "Work out every day"), or; 2) plain impossibilities ("Stop drinking"). So I haven't made any in quite some time.

I figured 2009 would be different - I'd try and set some realistic "goals" for myself this year, and really track them to see how I do. Yes, I am setting the bar very low - I find I do that a lot. But I figure that setting the bar low and succeeding at meeting a goal is better than setting them too high and failing outright (there is probably a specific pathology to this mentality - I'd rather not think about it).

So, in no particular order, these are my resolutions (goals, whatever) for 2009:

- exercise in some form three times a week - I have access to a FREE gym at work, with showers and everything, 24/7. There is no excuse, given that, that I can't find some way of exercising three times a week. Walking, playing golf, whatever - any physical activity outside of getting up to get another beer will work

- eat local, organic, and/or homemade food as much as possible - Suz jumpstarted this effort. We belong to a food coop, we have access to three farmer's markets very close by, and we love to cook, so there is no reason I can't eat a lot healthier than I did last year (which was till pretty healthy by most standards). Making our own yogurt, bread, granola, canning fresh veggies - all part of the plan

- relax and enjoy more - I am, by nature, a stress filled person I think. I may come off as pretty laid back most of the time, but I don't handle stress really well, and for anyone that has ever had a three year old, you know that there is a good amount of inherent stress in that situation. I tend to let that stress (and the fear of it) get in the way of doing things with Noe and Suz I might otherwise like to do (go to a restaurant, reach out to other parents and set up play dates, etc).

- enjoy a few hobbies - there are things I really like to do - watch football, brew beer, snowboard, play golf, play tennis. But I never give myself any time to do them - even on my AWS days, I find myself sitting around rather than venturing out to do something. I want to get out and do some of those things more - otherwise, I may get to the point where I am physically unable to do them, and I don't want that to be a regret.

That's it - there are certainly other things that I want to do this year - better myself, be a better dad and husband, etc etc. That's all a given - I see the things listed above as things to strive for over and above the day to day. We'll see how I do