It is hard to describe how good it feels to finally have free nights and weekends (sounds like a cell phone plan), to be able to leave work without having to worry about anything until the morning after. I've even found myself slightly lost when faced with all this free time. I can't wait for the spring, when the nice weather will allow me to spend some time outside and work in the gardens.
Getting my paperwork straightened out was definitely the highlight of 2008.
The year also presented several traveling opportunities, a rarity I should say. I was able to go to Italy for a week to see my parents and friends. I spent a nice long weekend with Fabrizio in New York City. I went to California with my family to visit Ray's friend Sue and loved all I saw. And we closed out the year by going on a 5-day road trip during which we touched 4 states: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. I love traveling and I love road trips :-)
2008 remained weak on the movie-viewing front, with only 26 titles at final count, and the best movie turned out to be 2008's Best Picture Oscar winner No Country For Old Men. Following is the list of what I saw with my grades that, probably for the first time ever, didn't fall below 6:
92009 seems poised to be richer on that front, with 4 titles already to review and a slew more to come, since Ray's mom got us a subscription to Netflix for Christmas. However, movies will have to fight for my free time, since I still watch a few TV series, love playing with the Wii, and have finally started reading books again!!
No Country for Old Men
The Dark Knight
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Beauty and the Beast
Flags of Our Fathers
The Air I Breathe
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Gabbianella e il Gatto
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Meet the Robinsons
Night at the Museum
2008 was also the year when the political pendulum firmly swung to the left again. The Democrats made big gains in both houses of Congress and, above all, regained the White House, with the victory of Barack Obama, the first black president of the US!! He inherits a troubled country from W, but the whole world has high hopes that he'll get it back on the right track.
As for gays' rights, it was a mixed bag. We lost Proposition 8 in California (as well as in Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas), where for the first time legal same-sex marriage was undone by a simple majority of the popular vote. However, we won full same-sex marriage rights right here in Connecticut, which now joins Massachusetts as the only 2 states were gays can legally marry.
I guess the low point of the year has been the ongoing trouble Danny's behavior caused the family. For 6 full months he just wouldn't behave in any daycare (we tried 5!! -- and not by choice...).
Then he finally settled down when he started kindergarten in September (and daycare number 6!), but he still keeps misbehaving at home. I think he's just too immature for his age and eventually will outgrow this, but in the meantime, it's like dealing with a 2 year old, and it's incredibly frustrating.
Another unfortunate event was Big Ray's declining health and his Parkinson's diagnosis, but he seems to have since recovered and is now doing pretty good. He'll turn 79 in a month!!
So, good bye 2008, you were pretty good to me, and hello 2009!
Let's see what it will bring me.