2008 is history, finally. With a presidential campaign that seemed endless, and a financial crisis with no end in sight, 2008 was at best a mixed bag. And with blog readership down across the board, this particular year-in-review list will draw scant attention. But hey, everybody's doing it! So now, here are my highlights (and lowlights) of 2008. Please keep in mind that most of these selections are from a personal perspective, and do not cover every world event.
Greenlee Gazette's Top Events of 2008
1 - Legally marrying The Other Half in Palm Springs, California. Yeah, it's only legal in a couple of other states--and not in our home state, or in our birth states--but it meant a lot to us. Thanks to all well-wishers, family and friends.
2 - The election of Barack Obama. The presidency of George W. Bush also seemed endless. President-elect Obama has a heck of a lot on his plate, and it will take (at the very least) two terms to undo all of the crap the Bush Administration pulled. So, let's cut him some slack, and see what he can do.
3 - Our belated wedding reception. We planned our wedding in a hurry, fearing (rightly) that that the chance would be taken away from us. But thanks to a (very generous) friend, we had a belated wedding reception six weeks later. Many friends and family members attended--of all political persuasions--and they couldn't have been more loving, supportive, and generous. It was heartwarming to this reputed black-hearted scrooge.
4 - Getting to visit my new nephew before his first birthday. My sister and her husband were together for 17 or 18 years by the time little Lux Owen was born, and being 2,000 miles away makes me quite sad. But I got to visit the little tyke three times before his first birthday, which was a wonderful experience. I haven't had the time or ability to pay a visit since then, and he's already 19 months old, so I'm going to have to step it up in 2009.
5 - Blogging. I started this blog in June, 2007, largely due to the frustration I felt over the strangle-hold the Bush administration held over "reality." In these waning days of the old regime, that oppressive air feels like a (very bad) dream, but it was certainly a reality. Blogging these frustrations, and helping to get the truth out has helped me retain my sanity, has spared The Other Half some of the rants only he used to hear, and has surely reduced the amount of time I spent talking to myself.
6 - Seeing comedy shows by Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho. I don't partake of the entertainment available here in Las Vegas very often, but am particularly glad that I managed to take in these two shows. While very different in style, Griffin and Cho are sisters in their ability to strike at the ridiculousness of the "norm," and to point out what should be obvious to people. And they are hilarious doing it.
7 - New toys. Christmas was a rather sedate and spartan affair this year, for me and for most Americans. But I got myself a couple of things that perked me right up. The first was a Toshiba HDTV for my office, and the second was the new Samsung Rant telephone today. I love technology, and love new toys. These two made me very happy.
8 - The end of the Bush administration. See #2.
Greenlee Gazette's Worst Events of 2008
1 - The financial crisis. Las Vegas (and this writer) are definitely feeling the pinch, as is the rest of the country. Foreclosures, layoffs, reduced working hours, shuttered businesses. . .it's a colossal mess, and the worse it gets, the worse it gets. Let's hope it is short-lived. With America's renowned short-attention span, it just might be.
2 - Death (people). This year, The Other Half lost his father, one of the kindest, most forthright men I've ever met. He'd been in decline in recent years, and had a long, full life. But that doesn't make it a whole lot easier to absorb. A good friend of ours lost his mother, also a very cool lady. Both are tremendous losses. And that doesn't count the famous people like Heath Ledger, Tim Russert, Harvey Korman, Majel Barrett and George Carlin, we've all lost a little something.
3 - Death (pets). While on a smaller scale, these "little tragedies" can hit us hard just the same. One set of friends lost both their dog and cat, who'd been fixtures in our lives for over a decade. The cat was once my pet. And while at 18, it was not untimely, it is still a loss. And another set of friends lost one of their dogs, also a long-term pet. All will be missed.
4 - The passage of Proposition 8. The very fact that the public is allowed to vote on a civil rights issue is flat-out un-American, and wrong. The fact that marriages can be blocked or voided by popular vote isn't any better. And the protestations of "we're not anti-gay, we're protecting marriage" are a load of hooey. If they were protecting marriage, they'd outlaw divorce.
5 - The fact that the Bush administration is probably gonna get away with it. Not happy about that, not at all. So many laws have been broken. So much of the Constitution has been trampled on. So much power has been wantonly abused. So many people have died. And they'll ride off into the sunset, mostly unscathed. Let's hope that karma really is a bitch.
6 - Blogging. Yeah, it's in my "tops" list too, but I have to comment here. When news is hot, or ideas are flowing, blogging is a really fun hobby. But there are days when it is an obligation, a chore, and downright not fun. And when readership takes a drop, I do wonder, "who am I doing this for?" Then something outrageous happens, and I'm all jazzed again.
7 - Car repairs. My "dream car/truck" has been a nightmare this year. Very costly repairs on a vehicle I only drive about 16 miles per day have taken their toll on my love for my 1998 Jeep Wrangler. And now it's leaking coolant. Yay.