Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Highs and Lows of 2008 - The Lows
HNT is down a couple of posts...

Time for that annual recap of 2008. For the second year in a row, I found it difficult to come up with 10 real low points. Certainly there was strife in the world, but that doesn't count for this list. In fact, I really had to talk myself into justifying a couple of these. Some of these won't have a link to a specific post. This is what makes my "lows" list (the "highs" list will be coming shortly...):

"The 10 Low Points of 2008"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
10. No power - During the midst of the summer, as we were preparing for the big summer concert, I show up to the rehearsal site to find that electricians had turned off power to the room. They were in the midst of work, and no one had informed them that there was a group needing the room. We ended up in an hot, unventilated, stinky work-out room where big, smelly football players did their conditioning. It through rehearsals off, it was not productive, and it underscored the need for our own rehearsal facility.

9. In Cahoots/Mob Rules Horns - Didn't mention them much in 2008, because we are still enjoying our "hiatus". And that sucks. All is not totally bad, though! We have a gig in January! After over 16 months, we'll get together for a wedding reception! More to come next month, but this could perhaps be the beginning of our first comeback!

8. Cracking My Nuts in the Cold - The Arctic cold front, along with its snow and wind, decided to show up early this year--right in the midst of rehearsals for Messiah and Nutcracker. Particularly nasty was tearing everything down after our last Nutcracker performance, but not being able to load the equipment truck since it froze up. U-Haul was contacted early the next morning, and I got to load it by myself, in the -11° temps (wind chill not included). Honestly, it wasn't bad, but once again, it was a large monkey wrench thrown in the midst of standard post-concert activities.

7. Misrepresentation of HNT - This one still ticks me off. So much that I wrote two different posts about it within a couple of weeks of each other. And ending with my reposting the guidelines for HNT. It was disappointing that so many had never seen them before, and that so many were led to believe that HNT was something that it's never been. On the positive side, there were a handful of HNTers that thanked me for setting them straight, and that they weren't "weird" for feeling that they were somewhat forced or expected to do something they didn't want to do.

6. Valentine's Day - OK, this one you might not have ever read about. It's the day that a very good friend got married. And allowed her husband to convince her that I (and other bloggers) weren't an important part of her life. For many of us, she simply disappeared without warning. While I was certainly hurt, I understood, in a twisted way, why she did it. It does have a happy ending though (even made the "highs" of 2008!).

5. No trophies - After spending most of the season touting the great records of the UM Grizzlies and the Carroll College Fighting Saints, and the fact that they were both in their respective football championships on the same weekend, only 75 miles apart, they both came home empty-handed. While most Montanans expected at least one of them to win, it was a cold, cold weekend across Big Sky Country...

4. You'd expect better... - Two highly touted blogging extras have really been a disappointment during the second part of the year. Blogrolling, which manages that overly long blogroll on my sidebar, was hacked a few months ago. To their credit, "they" have been spending their time rebuilding the application from scratch. Unfortunately, managing the blogroll is not possible right now. I can add links, but I can't delete any. And hopefully they'll get the "recently updated" feature working again! Haloscan, on the other hand, was purchased by another company who immediately went in and added many of their own features at the expense of features that we all users came to love. I'm sticking with it, hoping that everything gets worked out. But I can't figure out why some other Haloscan users haven't had the same problems that I have...

3. Death - There was alot of that this year. As there is every year. But one particular blogger caught a double whammy that really affected me. In mid-April, her mother died after a too-short fight with cancer. It was expected, but not as quickly as it happened. Two weeks later, her father was found dead at his home. Completely unexpected. Totally unrelated. It hurt to read her sparse and brief posts. It hurt that it was happening to a good blogger friend. It hurt that it happened to someone that I'd actually met. Fortunately, she's got some good family support around her, but she and her siblings just went through their first Christmas without them. I continue to send prayers and good thoughts her way.

2. Disappearance - This one is about another close friend who seems to have gone into blogger seclusion. Again, this one is fairly well-known, but sort of dropped off the radar without warning. Well, the warnings were sort of there, if you knew her at all. Personally, it's been sad to see what was once the closest of friendships turn into total animosity. To sit back and see mistakes made with no ability to do anything about it. To wonder what she did for Christmas this year. Somewhat recently, I've noticed that she's been online elsewhere a few times, so if she's reading this--I hope you're doing OK. I hope you're finding some peace. I hope you're back on your feet and kicking ass.

1. Dad's health - Well, I suppose I should be thankful that he's waking up in the morning! Poor Dad has been enduring more health issues than I think he ever thought possible. He spent time in the hospital this summer after complications after a colonoscopy. He went in for heart surgery before Thanksgiving after his heart doctor found that his aneurysm had grown. And they found that as they were determining if he could stand further surgery to treat his bladder cancer (2007). He currently has two large holes in his groin where they entered his leg to get to his femoral arteries (one of which totally collapsed). The holes are just being packed open as they aren't healing properly. Through it all, he still maintains a smile and his humor. He's moving slowly, and you can tell that bothers him. It's not going to be too long before he'll never swing a golf club, I'm afraid (and that could mark the beginning of the end...). My dad is not the same man as he was even 3-4 years ago. But he's not frail, nor losing his memories, nor even an old man. But there's alot of changes, and one has to wonder when he'll get a break...
There you have it. The 10 Lows of 2008. I suppose I should be grateful that, when you get right down to it, the list isn't so bad! Off to work on the Highs of 2008 now!

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