Tag Archives: Obama

Remember When

I’m not really the nostalgic type. While I am never one to speak for all, I’m thinking most shallow people are with me on this. At times I think the desire to recreate the past happens when we’re not so happy with the present. At other times I simply can’t remember what it is I’m supposed to be nostalgic about. Whatever, it seems to me that living in the here and now, not in the past or in the future, is best. So it was with some surprise to myself and others that I decided to go on the hunt for a manual (yeah, there wasn’t always a plug) typewriter. As expected, it wasn’t long before someone asked me “Why? Why would you want a manual typewriter?” To which I provided what seemed to me to be the most logical response, “because I want to write using a typewriter”. Which is partly true. I mean the idea of taking the time to tap hard on each key and having no easy way to correct my mistakes has an odd appeal to me. Possibly it could make me a more deliberate and mindful writer. I’d have to think carefully about each and every word, how to properly structure my sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into stories. I’d have to learn how to spell again. The other part is I have this handcrafted pine desk crying out for me to put something on it and I thought an old typewriter could be just that thing. More decor than function really. Regardless, this little journey of mine into the past got me thinking about how things have changed even over the relatively short time (come on…in the scheme of things) I have been living on this earth. So as I am wont to do in this cases, I will share some of these thoughts with you.

Remember when a phone was something you only had in your house? If it rang and you were home you normally picked it up as there was no way of knowing who was on the other end. If it happened that you were having one of your daily chit chats with your friend from down the street, catching up on all the comings and goings of that neighbour you were pretty sure, but not entirely confident, was having a fling with the grade 4 teacher, (it’s possible there was just some tutoring going on) your caller would get a busy signal (you can play it here if you don’t know) and be left to redial over and over again until their fingers got tired and the incessant sound of the rotary dial made the whole endeavour seem a little too onerous . And if you weren’t home at all?  Well if a phone rings when no one is home does it really make a sound? Now, short of putting your phone on “do not disturb” which no one really understands, there’s simply no escaping it. It’s with us everywhere and all of the time. For most of us hearing that catchy little jingle we have chosen triggers an immediate response. Like Pavlov and his dog. We text, we talk, we FaceTime, and we pretty much know exactly when that grade 4 teacher comes and goes.

Remember when a coffee shop was a place you could stop off on your way to work to grab a cuppa joe for a quarter? Pretty much always it was better than the sludge they percolated in the coffee room. Sure, sometimes you would linger for a moment to hear what Sam the owner, who knew everyone’s business and was more than happy to share theirs with you and yours with them, had to say.  But unless you were under five and could be entertained by continuously spinning on those metal stools that someone somewhere decided would be a viable alternative to a chair, it was a pretty uncomfortable place to spend your time. Now coffee shops are a destination. A retreat even. You go, you sit, you read, you meet, you greet, you make new friends, lose old ones and, of course, you spend inordinate amounts of money on drinks that bear only a faint resemblance to the roasted beans from which they came.

Speaking of friends, remember when they were people you actually knew? And liked. There was a time when making friends wasn’t so easy. First you had to identify people who were somewhat like-minded and with whom you had something in common. Like a shared interest. Or work. Maybe a hobby or two. Then you had to actually meet them. In person. Once that happened you would spend some weeks or months getting to know each other and somewhere down the line you would realize you had made a new friend. If you were really lucky you might find a few more people that you could call friends. Now I have 82 friends on Facebook (a paltry number by most standards) and I don’t even know where some of them came from not to mention how they have come to know me. One thing I do know for sure. They must really like me because they all seem to remember my birthday.

And we couldn’t leave this trip down memory lane without remembering when no one, and I mean no one, spoke openly about marijuana. Not that it wasn’t around. But if it was around you sure as heck didn’t want anyone to know. Apparently, (well this is just hearsay) to get some you had to know a guy who knew a guy and your guy had to be pretty sure that guy wasn’t from Precinct 52. And from what I understand, there were no choices. You got what pot you got. Unlike today where you can meander down to your corner weed boutique and find a litany of choices with enticing monikers like Moon, Forest Rain and Ocean View. Not sure if the names reflect the effect but if they do, might I suggest you stay away from something called Shark Shock

Finally remember when Barack Obama was President? I do and lately I have found myself pining a little for that time. So at the risk of sounding just a tad nostalgic, I would like to pose one question. Does anyone happen to know anyone that has access to a time machine?

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It’s that time of year again

bus seatsI know! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? The thing is, I’ve been a little busy lately. As a matter of fact, right now I’m writing to you from just about 38,000 feet, listening to my fave chanteuse, Ms. Brandi Carlile, on my way to yet another conference. Which, if I do say so myself is quite an accomplishment since, not so long ago the only way I would get on one of these things was with the help of my “little white pill” and you certainly wouldn’t want to be reading anything I wrote in that state, even if I would have been able to write. I’ve come a long way in more ways than you can imagine. Because, if you have been reading this blog carefully you’ll know that around this time last year both me and the President of the United States of America had quite a lot to celebrate. One year ago, give or take a few weeks, Mr. Obama was reelected and I made my way into yet another decade (you don’t really expect me to tell you which one, do you). And, if I can speak for the both of us, the year has had its ups and downs, perhaps less for me than for him. After all, most of the web stuff I’ve developed over the past year has actually worked.

But that doesn’t mean it’s been smooth sailing. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I have a problem with getting older. Quite to the contrary, I actually think it’s a “good thing” given the alternative. As a matter of fact, I’ve managed to save quite a lot of money this year by taking advantage of all the discounts that have very recently been made available to me. Let’s face it, I’ve always enjoyed a good hotel but now I get to enjoy it 10 to 15% more, most of the time. And shopping has become a bit of a treasure hunt, what with all of the potential savings to be had on Tuesdays, my new favourite day. If only the sales clerks could remember to always ask me for my identification. It’s a funny thing the cycles of life. For years I hoped no one would make me take my pic out of my wallet to prove I had reached that all-important age of majority because really, how much more mature was I going to be once I did reach 18? But now I’m quite distressed when they take my word for it that I actually meet the requirements for their “special” prices. Which brings me to the one thorn in my side, fly in the ointment, wrinkle in an otherwise well thought out plan.

You’ve heard it before. The boomer generation has redefined aging. Well why not? We’re a big group of people and that’s what big groups of people do. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’ve managed to convince the rest of you that “60 is the new 40” whatever that might mean because I’m afraid most of us can barely remember 40. Nonetheless, I’m going to come right out and say that I’ve done a pretty good job of staying fit, at least enough that I can still do 5 long ones on the treadmill without causing any serious damage. And when people who haven’t seen me for quite some time proclaim, “you haven’t changed a bit” I try my best to believe them. Which is why I found my recent experience on the Tube (you recall it was not all that long ago I was wandering the streets of London) just a tad concerning.

As a Mother of two fine young men, I know it was incumbent upon me to ensure that my sons were aware that, finding themselves seated on any type of public transportation meant they needed, at all times, to be prepared to relinquish their seats to someone older and perhaps wiser than them. It’s the right thing to do. Period. Well other Moms, you and I may have made a mistake. You see, on my most recent travels, almost without fail, as I stood comfortably and securely holding on to the poles provided for just that purpose, some young man would politely tap me on the shoulder and say “Ma’am, please take my seat”. And while I knew his Mother would be proud I, on the other hand, was just a tad mortified. Because up until that very point in time I was happy in my illusion, content to think that I really “hadn’t changed a bit”. But that one act, that innocent and generous gesture, that simplest of requests, that one thing, in and of itself, burst my bubble and made me realize that no matter how much I want to believe otherwise, to those who don’t know me, I have changed, likely quite a lot. And in that moment, my otherwise smooth ride became just a little bumpy.

So Mr. Obama, it looks like we made it through year one and as you begin the second year of your term I wish you all the best. As we both continue on our journeys, here’s hoping the ride will be a smooth one from here on out. Although, if you don’t mind me saying, I’d like to think that my term will last a whole lot longer than yours.

Before I leave, a quick thanks to my little bro’ for the idea for the post. It helped unblock the writer in me and now you can blame him for this one.

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