Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fast away the old year passes

Every December 31, I like to look back at what went right, what could’ve been better, that sort of thing. Back when I kept written journals, I used to look back at news stories, too. Now, all I have to do is peruse the archives of my blog to see what I thought of some of the news from the year. Such a time saving!

Since I’ve had the blog, though, 2006 was the only year I was able to do a year-end post (last year, I was in Chicago and had a very quiet—and cold—New Year’s Eve/Day). So this year I again get to look back, and on a year with far more highlights than lowlights.

The election of Barack Obama is clearly a major highlight, and still pretty much surprises me. Actually, it was probably the highlight of the year. The election of more Democrats was a great thing, but is held back from being a highlight only by the fact there weren’t more elected (I mean, really: After all the Republican fuck-ups over the past 8 years, you’d think voters would have been tripping all over themselves to give the other team a go).

Far closer to home, a major highlight was the Custom LASIK eye surgery I had. It’s the closest thing to a surgical miracle that I’ve ever experienced, and it’s made my life so much better. Expensive—very—but worth every cent.

Highlights for me also continue to be my podcast and this blog. Most of my blog posts are like any other person’s—opinionated rants—but every once in a while I write one that I think is pretty good. Sometimes, I add on to news stories to give some more background and information (like I did here and also here). Hardly journalism, but useful to people who read them.

Probably my favourite podcast episode of the year was my interview of Kiwi Singer/Songwriter Monique Rhodes in AmeriNZ 91. Unfortunately, that episode was posted at the same time I was switching feeds, so I’m afraid not as many people heard it as I would’ve liked. That’s a shame, because she’s great and deserves to be heard more widely. I’m not mentioning other episodes for fear of forgetting a guest (they were all great, especially my old friend Jason and e-friend Mark). This year I also began, tenuously, adding videos to my media stable.

What about lowlights? Well, the biggest also comes from the American election: The passage of Proposition 8 in California, as well as other anti-gay measures in other states. They were an affront to democracy even as it was used to make the propositions law. I was disappointed (though not surprised) to see Labour lose Government in New Zealand. They’ll be back sooner or later, of course, because that’s the nature of democracy. Similarly, in the perhaps longer term, this year’s hateful American ballot measures (and those from other years) will eventually be reversed because that, too, is the nature of democracy.

Mainly, the highlight for me this year, as it has been for so many years now, is ordinary, day-to-day life in a beautiful, tolerant land (with sane politics!), shared with someone I love, the best dog in the world, and an embracing extended family. Really, because of all that, how could anything else be all that bad?

Happy New Year!

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