Happy New Year Everybody!
I'd like to pause from my quiet and comfort on this cozy winter day off of work to reflect on the year just past and give thanks that it is over. 2007 was a tumultuous year. I think it was a year of disaster and scandal and inane distraction. It was also the year that aired the last new episode of The Gilmore Girls.
With the democrats in control of congress, Lindsay Lohan was finally sent to rehab, a troop surge stabilized certain areas of Iraq, and nobody, not even General Petraeus knows definitively how to proceed. OJ Simpson resurfaced in another embarrassing, illegal and immoral incident and astronaut Lisa Nowak gave the space program something to be proud of while giving young girls everywhere something to aspire toward in a strange soap-opera story that rivals any fiction out there.
The label, "made in China," no longer consoles us with visions of dollars well spent and a booming third world economy dancing in our heads and dog food is now unsafe for even dogs to consume. Utah had a mining tragedy and Minnesota had a bridge collapse; February was cold and August was hot.
There was some sort of dispute over an American Idol contestant named Sanjaya that I didn't follow, but the noise about it was so strong I thought it needed to be mentioned here. Jim and Pam finally hooked up and somehow The Office is still funny. This summer's blockbuster hits were all riding on the successes of years past as Pirates of the Caribbean, Bourne, Shrek and Spiderman gave us their threequels.
Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, Tony Blair stepped down as England's Prime Minister after a decade of service, and Alberto Gonzales trumped all by hanging onto his job for longer than the story was entertaining. There is babel about possible steroid use in baseball, lewd behavior in men's restrooms has finally reached the highest echelons of society, and Harry Potter survived all seven of his creator's books.
Osama bin Laden is still apparently alive and well, the Iran nuclear issue is "now closed," it is predicted that as many as 2 million home owners may lose their homes in the next few years, and leggings are back "in." Britney Spears attempted a comeback performance but we were all too consumed this year by Anna Nicole Smith's untimely death to make proper fun of the pop star.
Author Kurt Vonnegut died, as did Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and Russian political leader Boris Yeltsin. Virginia Tech was victim to the worst shooting rampage in U.S. history, Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run, and adventurer Steven Fossett went missing in September. I didn't even know the world still had honest-to-goodness adventurers anymore. I thought they were all playing video games or engaging in adventure-like lifestyles on Second Life.
The dollar lost value in 2007, campaigning for the 2008 presidential election has long since been underway, Gardisil now protects against HPV, and the iphone and white sunglasses are in style. Last year I gave thanks to the notice that Americans were finally paying to their own responsibility in the world and this year, as Americans have taken more of that responsibility on themselves as individuals, LED lights have become more popular.
Despite the blatant idiocy displayed by the Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina, more Americans seem to be paying attention to the rest of the world. After a long stint of isolationism by the general public, the faraway countries that used to effect us so little have now at least taken solid form in our periphery. I think we will be forced this year to revamp our ideas about the rest of the world and hope that they start to do the same about us because it doesn't seem like we can afford for them (the rest of the world) to continue harboring this unfortunate and not inaccurate idea of us (Americans). Here. I'll start the revamping with this tidbit. Both Paris and Berlin ended 2007 by banning all smoking in city cafes. I'm not sure it isn't a joke though.
In more personal news, I am now living in and around Chicago, have taken up jogging, drink no more or less than I did last year, and am devoting this next year to learning as much as I can. My husband is moving to Greenland where he can witness global warming first hand while continuing to help the military machine function as we need it to. My puppy is now two years old, I am reading and practicing the piano, and am completely disengaged from pop culture - I still have not seen a single episode of Lost. I have learned how much can change in a mere year and have high hopes for 2008.