Is that too “iffy” a title? I don’t want any reader to be unclear about the purpose of this post, so maybe I should find a way to put it a little more bluntly.
Lest you think me ungrateful, here’s the (very short) list of things that were good about 2011:
1. Like basically every year of her life so far, I got to see my daughter 3-4 times every average week. I pick her up from school 3 days a week, hang out with her for a few hours, take her home, then every other weekend I have her for overnights. So that’s cool.
2. If I, or anyone I know, has something horrible physically going on, it’s hiding so far, though I do plan on having the doc get overly familiar with me in early 2012, but that’s next year. (Oh, except for my ex-bro-in-law, who still is fighting stage 4 cancer, things still suck for him, but he made my sister’s life hell for years, so my sympathy is somewhat mitigated. That’s right; I’m flawed.)
3. After 3 winters-from-hell in a row (or more) this one has started out mild as a lamb–brown Christmas, temps 20 degrees (F) above normal, no real snow in the forecast.
4. No flooding in my backyard, no sandbagging.
5. I met a bunch of blogging friends.
Now the bad:
–The economy has almost completely gone to hell. I already live in the worst-paying area of the country, where poverty wages are accepted as “our due” or something. I make about 22 grand a year. You can’t buy too many boxes of wine with what’s left from that after bills. But the cost of things has skyrocketed as if we live in Africa and have someone named “Papa this-or-that” as our dictator. I know that the subject of rape, anytime, anywhere, is about as fun or funny as a spree-killer walking into a daycare, but I had a thought in the grocery store the other day which, well, gave me a chuckle because of how badly I wanted to say it. As I was paying 2 bucks! for a dozen store-brand, non-free-range, average ordinary eggs, I saw an assistant store manager stocking hot dogs nearby, and the thought flashed into my head that I wanted to ask him a question really badly. “So…., do you folks have, like, a ‘rape club’, where you get together after work and go out looking for more victims, because you don’t get enough of bending people over with your prices here?” Not a fair comparison in terms of violence or horror, I know, but I do feel very violated by their nearly constant price increases, which are in the 20-30% a year range lately, or higher, on a lot of food products. I was, for certain, being figuratively bent over in the margarine/eggs/hot dogs/lunch meat/cheese aisle, without breakfast, without lube, without a kiss, without so much as him running his hands through my hair and telling me I’m pretty. Just putting it to the customer shamelessly.
–Though it’s eased up a little bit lately, the price of gas, well, I don’t really feel like going into all that. Oil company profits are enormous, commodities traders are getting insanely rich (another blogpost), supply is up, demand is down, there isn’t really any “environmental surcharge” (green tax?) on gas like there probably should be, yet I’m sure I paid–what–$500 more this last year on gas than it should have fairly cost me. That’s money I needed, that other families needed, not that a select few should have received, to afford lavish vacations and a second or third home.
–Politicians, right and left, couldn’t decide on a paint color for a laundry room, let alone what to do with the economy or health care. They are in it for the glory and the perks, and the free health care for life, I think, except for a caring few, who can’t get it all done by themselves.
–We’re not even going to talk about Cupid, except to say that I’m not sure what it was I did to piss the little flying fairy off, but if I ever meet him in a dark alley when I’m too drunk…. It’s gotten so bad I’m actually thinking about going to church to meet women. Which, if you’re unfamiliar, usually takes place before noon on Sundays. Before noon on Sundays is my time, you know?
–The clear-coat is molting off my car (way before its time), my furnace has maybe a year or two left, I have the stomach of an 80-year-old, I’m not sure what career I’m supposed to have but this one isn’t it…
–Farmers around here, who used to be stewards of the land (my dad was), now are, by and large, consumed with greed. Everywhere you look, there are entire groves of trees bulldozed and burned, to make more room to plant more corn, which sells for insane prices partly because you and I pay taxes to subsidize the buying and selling of ethanol. Which raises the prices of everything made with corn or fed by corn. These same farmers “drain-tile” entire farm fields, vast plots of land, to drain water off more quickly, which washes out creekbeds, washes silt into rivers, washes chemicals into rivers more quickly, and destroys wildlife habitat.
Oh my God, I’m ranting, but I’m tired of the greed of so many people. I want mine.
Here’s to hoping that 2012 is way better. I would love to have a drink or a cup of coffee with you blogging buddies of mine. Let’s raise a toast this weekend to those we read and those who read us. You, a couple work friends, and my little artist girl, all make my day. Happy New Year.
Why, the hell, is Avril Lavigne in this video about halfway in?: