Skip to main content

10 Years On

My husband sent around an article from the BBC about how England had changed in the last 10 years and invited people to add how America had changed.

I found this at the BBC site and as I was reading (and not getting a lot of the references) thought about the US. How
has the US changed over the past 10 years? (Since we're much larger. Regional references are OK.

I'll start:
~I93 (Boston) was a parking lot looming over our heads, now it's a parking lot under our feet.
~We (the US) had a national surplus in 1997, now we're 3
trillion dollars in debt.
~10 years ago there wasn't a Starbucks on every bloody corner.

1. Coffee is served by the pint and it will cost more than a pint of beer.
4. I remember arranging to meet friends at a given location/time many days in advance. If they were late you had to scratch around for 10p to ring from a phone box (and their mum would always tell you they had set off). They would never stand you up, as the cowardly way of cancelling without warning by text just didn't exist then.
It's OK to take photos at concerts, so long as you use your phone.
12. Helen Mirren was occasionally called "Ma'am" by junior officers in Prime Suspect, but not by anybody else.

14. Swear words are no longer asterisked in a newspaper.
15. Headline puns are no longer the sole property of the tabloids.
19. You can no longer wear a hat or a hooded top inside a shopping centre.
21. Northern Ireland is one of the UK's top tourist destinations.
23. The phrase "Big Brother is watching you" should actually be the other way round for many people.

27. Passwords were for international spies and entry to gang huts a decade ago. Now you can barely buy milk without the need for some secretive alpha-numeric code.

I was trying to think of some both national and personal and I don't know if it's indicative of my mood this week, but I can only really think of bleak ones.

Ten years ago we were not at war (well, not officially and not in Iraq). Ten years ago the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City. One didn't take one's shoes off for airport security. The Red Sox still hadn't broken "the curse" (I guess that counts as a positive). Blogging had yet to happen, but Geocities was revving up. Nobody had made a good film of a comic except Batman which was the old exception that proves the rule.

On the personal, it's rather timely. We moved to Boston in the end of March, 1997. I am not where I meant to be in 10 years, but looking back I'm not sure I had a vision of where I'd be, not a real one, and that is perhaps the answer. Ten years ago I didn't know how to drive (that is a positive in many ways--maybe not for the environment, stealing misery from the jaws of joy, that's me).

Ten years ago my father was still alive. In three weeks that will not be true. It's funny because I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I've been working on a long poem for about three weeks about the ten years that have passed since then. I'll post it here--I've given myself until the actual anniversary, April 1st, but I know it's going to take a lot of rewrites.

Two years ago I did six months of Behavioral Therapy. My therapist said that I tend look back at my life as a series of lows, of bad decisions and regrets. He made me map my life focusing only on the high points. It was much harder and I don't think I'm alone in that. I have done theater, design and acting. I've even been nominated for an award. I've done good work wherever I've worked. I've made good friends. Isn't that really what life is made up of? (I can't even figure out how you'd get the preposition off the end of that sentence). I didn't get divorced. I didn't kill myself. He (my BT) would say those last two are negatives framed as positives or something like that.

Sometimes I feel like we just moved here. Other times it seems amazing that I've done so many different things in just 10 years. I'm trying to focus on that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Driving in Boston

Inching along in a log jam of traffic yesterday on the Mass Pike I watched an Audi a few cars in front of me weave in and out of traffic determined to find the lane that was "moving" and yet for the whole half an hour that we sat there he ended up still only a few cars ahead of me. Sure there were times his lane pulled ahead, but then mine would catch up and he would switch back. The only thing he accomplished was to make the line that much slower. There was a great article that a friend sent me years ago on the physics of traffic and it has been determined that weaving in and out of tight traffic will really gain you nothing and in fact cause the very blockages that you believe you are defying. (Sidenote--an unfortunately side effect of so much of interest on the internet is that it is impossible to store all of the articles that interest you over the years in the vague belief that you will someday want to reference them to others) The article also pointed out that if all d…

Capote

I love his writing. I always have. I found the writing before I knew anything about the strange, tortured man and I'm glad, because the writing has become subsumed to the image. The writing is exquisite and never cliched and full of all the pain that is living. Poor, lonely, needy Tru.

The movie is good, Hoffman's performance is breathtaking. I understand--I don't necessarily forgive--when he sells out the killers, sells out himself, would sell out his best friend to get that laugh at a party, to make life ironic and light when he knew that it wasn't. Grabbing that moment of adulation in a crowd rather than anything lasting--tomorrow may never come, after all. And you know he knows it's a lie too. He sold out Perry Smith, and yes, Perry was a dangerous and disturbed man who had murdered a family almost because they were there, but Truman played him to get that story, and lied and played with another human being's feelings and life to write the book. And what a b…

It's a small world (blogosphere) after all

Many, many years ago a friend sent me the link to an article on the wave theory of traffic which I found wonderful and kept in my favorites for many years until it seemed silly to do so and I deleted it. I don't think I knew how to drive at the time, but it coincided with a book my friend was working on at the time on the intentionality of behavior. He pointed out that we will have a very different trip if we drive with the intention of getting somewhere as fast as possible than if we drive with the intention of getting somewhere as safely as possible.
Anyway, I had often thought of this article and wished I still had it and low and behold during the week Mother Tongue Annoyances to whom I am newly linked, linked to it in turn!

http://www.mtannoyances.com/?p=721

I wish I could say that after learning to drive I always put it in practice, but while I try to always modify my speed to allow people to enter from ramps I do tend to "punish" drivers who think they can bypass long…