Change is Coming

Three weeks into the new year and I can tell you that I am still grumpy from the old one. Still have too many bills to pay and too few options. Tired of listening to people say that Bush is responsible for all of our problems. Tired of listening to people say that Obama is going to fix all of them. Tired of listening to Sarah Palin whine about whatever it is she is whining about. I am ready to turn on the television, open a newspaper and or surf the net without seeing her name.

Talked to the boys and confirmed that I am not the only curmudgeon feeling this way. But even if I were, I wouldn’t care. It is how I feel. Spent more than a few hours talking about such things over the weekend. A few of us got together and held a state of the union and discovered a few things.

We’re all ready to give up on women. every last one of us. The wives have gone out of their way to drive us to drink. There is a reason why clumps of hair keep falling out and we have knots in our necks. But I suppose that is only fair to say that the wives are telling similar stories among themselves and truth is that none of us are going to give on women.

To quote my friend John. “Jack, I love hanging out with you and talking to you is real easy. But it is much more fun to sleep with Kelly.”

John hadn’t quite finished his sentence when he realized how he had left himself open to all sorts of fun replies. Being a gentleman I told him that I agreed with him, it is much more fun to sleep with Kelly because she doesn’t snore.

On a more serious note, I suspect that a few more of the boys really are going to hang up their spikes and seek greener pastures. I find these conversations about troubled marriages to be troubling. I don’t really want to have give my opinion on whether they should stay or go. I think that it is the sort of conversation that is rife with pitfalls that I don’t want to fall into.

Every relationship is different and everybody has their own ideas about what they have to have and what they are willing to compromise upon. I can’t really tell anyone what to do, only what I’d do. I don’t like straddling the fence, but sometimes it is safer there.

If you wanted a list of complaints about these marriages I can provide it without trying too hard:

Not enough sex
Too much sex
Money problems
Different ideas about child rearing

I suspect that those are relatively universal problems that can crop up. But if you ask me the thing that I don’t hear any of them say is that their wives are their best friends or even good friends. Mostly they refer to them in a way that sounds more like a business partner that they occasionally have sexual relations with.

If I have any real advice about marriage to offer anyone it is that you need to like your partner. That is different than love and different than lust. If you don’t like them I don’t know how you are going to make it for the long haul.

Enough about all that. Here we are less than two hours into the Obama presidency and I wonder what we are going to see happen over the next four years. I am curious for any number of reasons. I suppose that part of it is because President Obama holds the title of first president that I consider to be a contemporary. As far as I am concerned he and I are pretty much part of the same generation.

It is kind of different. Until now I had always thought of the president as being either a really old man or closer to my parent’s generation then anything else. Maybe I really am getting older, who knows.

President Obama’s Inauguration

This is what I would call sort of live blogging the event. I have been torn about whether I felt like being on the computer today. Check that, I have to be on the computer for work purposes, the question has been whether I was going to blog about anything.

I am not as caught up in the events of the day as a lot of people are. That is not to say that I am not excited about it, I am. But I am feeling a bit worn out. I am tired of reading about all of the challenges we face. I am tired of reading about banks and other industries being given billions of dollars to be bailed out.

Lots of people are in financial trouble. Lots of people are fighting to stay afloat and it kind of irks me to see these institutions get more cash, especially since I know that I will end up paying for it.

So I am ready to let the man begin working. As I said in an earlier post I don’t expect that he or any other person can turn everything around over night. It is going to take time to make things happen and while I am ready to celebrate the potential for change and a brighter future I am far more interested in seeing the process get started.

More to come on this in another post.

Obama- Realistic Expectations

Less than two days left until we say goodbye to Dubya and set a new milestone by inaugurating Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. That is quite a mouthful, President of the United States of America.

You don’t have to spend much time looking around to see descriptions of the POTUS as being the most powerful man in the world. I’d say that it is relatively fair assessment of what comes with being POTUS. However I’d also say that it is not unlimited power. The president is not omnipotent.

So you might ask yourself why I am mentioning any of this. The answer is simple. I have grave concerns about the expectations that some people have of President Obama’s ability to solve the challenges facing him.

Far too many people talk about him in almost mythical terms. I am gravely concerned about what is going to happen if he doesn’t meet their expectations. And to be honest I don’t think that he will. That is not a knock against him. I am not talking about qualifications and whether he has them or not. That discussion is done.

I am convinced that he is a smart guy and that his heart is in the right place. But there is only so much that can be done. And it seems to me that there are people with unrealistic expectations about what he will be able to accomplish. We have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a very tough economic situation. Not to mention all of the fuss over what people think that he’ll bring to the ME peace process.

There is enough work there to last four terms, let alone one. So while I very much want him to succeed I do not expect it all to work. I expect that he is going to fail in some areas. And so I wonder what sort of response he is going to receive when this happens.

Let me be clear, I don’t think that anyone could walk in on January 20th and fix everything that needs to be adjusted. There is simply too much.

So here is what I am hoping happens. I am hoping that the man exceeds the expectations of those who wish that he fails and that those who idolize him gain a more realistic perspective. Add to that my wish and fervent desire that the polarization we have seen under Dubya and Clinton disappears.

It is time for people to pull together and stop pulling apart, at least that is my dream. In a couple of days we’ll get a chance to try and find out if some dreams can come true.