Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Peaceful Transition of Power

Photo: Reuters / Jim Young

    I cried when Rick Warren gave the invocation at Obama's inauguration today. I wanted to be there. The classical music piece, "Air and Simple Gifts," composed by John Williams, was just beautiful and so very fitting.

I let my class out so they could go listen to the inauguration. I told them it was a historic event, and I thought they should see it.
   Historians and critics claimed that Obama's speech was almost scolding in nature, as though he were a father talking to his children. I agree. Obama strikes a fatherly chord that I have not detected in any other President during my lifetime. It is wonderful. It is what we need. A true leader who cares for his people, who scolds us when we need it and who pats us on the back when we deserve it. (We haven't been patted yet because we don't deserve it!)
   My favorite phrase was "...know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." Build, Obama, Build!
   I am proud to be an American. I am hopeful for our future. Today is a glorious day!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year! Who was your First Foot In?

   I spent part of New Year's Eve at Crossroads, listening to the super-funk band "Discoasis." I sat with a lady who was getting a divorce. He husband was leaving her for another man. I told her she looked great, which she did, and I took a picture of her with my cell phone and I sent it to her.
I also ran in to a gentle long-haired fellow who I had seen as a regular at the 5 Points coffee shop. He was a computer person and music enthusiast, so I asked him some questions about my new iPod. He was very helpful. He never downloads songs from iTunes because their quality isn't very good. He prefers to buy CDs for two reasons: 1) the superior sound quality, and 2) he sometimes discovers new songs he loves by putting his iPod on shuffle and listening to unknown tracks on his CDs.
   I eventually met up with my friend P, who is from Scotland, and I was very pleased to find out that New Year's is a more celebrated holiday in Scotland than Christmas. ("Auld Lang Syne," anyone?) P said it was tradition for people to go around visiting their friends, toting Whiskey and a hot coal, I believe, to bring cheer and warmth into the New Year. And since you would be the first person through the door in the New Year, it was called "First Footin'." The tradition has been somewhat suppressed, however, since Scotland has passed strict drinking and driving laws.
   One New Year's Day, I went and saw my all-time favorite couple, Dr. H and Miss M, and they had prepared a wonderful meal of homemade Hoppin' Johns and rolls. And they served it with Champagne. They had prepared a digital slide-show of all their travels during the past ten years, which included Egypt, Australia, South Africa, Antarctica (three times), Alaska, Austria, Crete, and Russia. It was magnificent! They have wonderful friends from all around the world. The pictures were stunning. I was particularly fond of the one of them posing with a koala bear in Australia. Miss M said its fur was so soft she wasn't sure she was really petting it.
   Now I want a pet koala bear.