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Yeah, yeah, I’m pretty sure I vowed to make a new bloggie post several weeks ago, and obviously those weeks have gone by with nary a word.

I can honestly say that I have meant to sit down and write a few lines, and it’s no secret that I’ve been online often enough to have done so, but the truth of the matter is, every time I’ve thought about posting, I’ve come up with something else to do, such as finding people on Facebook (it’s fun!) or surfing relentlessly or playing yet another mind-numbing (and usually unsuccessful) game of Minesweeper. (See! That’s EXACTLY why I refuse to invest in a videogame system, no matter how much I want to be able to hop online and challenge Patti and/or her her kiddos to a game of whatever Mario Bros. contest happens to be in the machine at the moment — I quite literally would never get anything else done!)

So I’m borrowing Jane’s nickname as my title for today’s post because that’s exactly what I am: a slacker. The “if not the original, certainly a reasonable facsimile” slacker.

Put it this way: I can slack with the best of them … and I have, what, a more than one-month lag between posts to prove it!

Today I feel energetic yet annoyed. And upbeat, in general, because President Barack Obama is now in the White House, and despite the relatively miserable state of our nation, I have confidence that he is going to try to get some stuff accomplished. As I’ve gone on record before, I’m not naive enough to think he will actually be able to DO all the things he wants to do, nor am I a person who has ever had all that much faith in the president (first presidential memory: Richard Nixon resigning; enough said). However, I do think our nation’s leader is responsible for setting the tone for our country’s overall mood by stepping up and being just that: a leader.

And I think President Obama is quite capable of doing that.

My annoyance comes not from the president’s detractors but from the overall negativity that certain individuals always seem to want to inflict on others. Over the years, I have found myself basically banishing certain people from my life (even if I still saw them on a regular basis) because I realized they were doing absolutely nothing (say it again!) to make my life better.

And, lest we forget: It IS all about me … except when it isn’t.

I mean, I would completely ignore the negativists (cool word, even if it does refer to people who annoy me!) for as long as necessary — and wouldn’t you know: IT WORKED!

Quite frankly, I strongly suspect none of them ever realized (or cared) that they were being ignored, and I don’t recall any of them ever actually changing into shiny, happy people. Which, now that I think about it, probably wasn’t my intent, anyway.

I can’t really change people; I can only change how I react to them.

Meanwhile, I have balanced the realization that you cannot reason with nor understand the rationale of an unreasonable, irrational person with the excitement over reconnecting with a few people who meant quite much to me when I was a much younger person. (In other words: I have been aggravated beyond belief by someone I know who, quite possibly, is crazy — or, if not, exhibits power freak issues and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and empathy. On the other hand, I have been thrilled to have renewed some very important relationships over the past several days/weeks.)

Out with the bad, in with the good, I say!

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And this was my ballot (well, part of it, anyway!):

From what I’ve been told, I wasn’t supposed to have any kind of recording device in the voting booth with me. However, I wasn’t being sneaky about anything: I snapped photos of fellow voters and election officials before and after I voted, and no one said a word about the digital camera I had hanging around my neck. (Ah, the power of the press!)And, no, I’m not posting the picture of my ballot now just because Barack Obama was, indeed, elected to be our 44th president. I actually attempted to post it here AND on the Pem Hall Web site (I’d include a link, but you can’t get in without a password, anyway) last night, but strangely enough, my computer was acting all funky and laggy and weird, and after a couple of attempts, I bailed.Election Day wasn’t the greatest for me, personally, but it ended on one of the highest notes imaginable.

Starting around 9 a.m., my throat felt like it was on fire (it started out scratchy and became more irritating as the day wore on), and by mid-afternoon, I was feeling very lethargic. I made it through work and then completed some chores, all the while knowing I was going to spend at least a portion of my evening at the local courthouse. Fortunately, this was one of those elections in which most of the “real” contests, locally, had taken place earlier this year in the primary (big, big-time Democratic country down here … which doesn’t exactly explain why John McCain carried most of the counties in this part of the state, but believe me, I have a few theories about that), so I didn’t have to spend too long at the courthouse.

Then I was back at home, crashed out on the couch, just in time to watch the next-to-next-to-next-to-last episode, ever, of The Shield — while also switching over to various networks’ (mostly WGN, MSNBC, ABC and Fox News … with a little Comedy Central mixed in there, too!) coverage of the election results during the commercial breaks.

As soon as The Shield ended, I flipped over to ABC, just in time to see the announcement that Obama had clinched the presidency.

I felt extremely happy and also very relieved, but if I had to use just one word to describe my overall state of mind, I would have to say “hopeful.” Which is the adjective that sums up how I have felt about Obama from early on in the campaign, back when The Lovely urged me to “listen to what he has to say” and told me he was the first politician who had inspired any kind of hope in her since John F. Kennedy.

I feel hopeful that our new president will show the kind of leadership that can help this country get back on track. I am hopeful that the change he speaks of might have begun last night when the unthinkable — or, at most, something that would have been unthinkable just 30 or 40 years ago — occurred. I hope I and the other 18 million or so voters who picked Barack Obama are right about what we see in him.

Granted, I STILL detest politics, and I’m not naive enough to think that one person will solve all the problems in our country overnight. Or over the span of a few months, or even a few years. I do find myself hoping, though, that this is a step in the right direction.

Now: If only my throat would quit hurting. (Damn sinuses!)

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