Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Highs and Lows of 2009 - The Lows

Time for my annual recap of the year. For the third year in a row, I've found it difficult to come up with 10 real low points. In fact, one or two on this list will make the "highs" list, I'm sure! Of course there were some terrible things that happened in the world, but these are things that affected me somewhat directly. Most of these won't have a link to a specific post. This is what makes my "lows" list (the "highs" list can be seen above...):

"The 10 Low Points of 2009"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
10. Too Much Drinking - Not that I drink that often, or that much, but twice this year, it got me into trouble. The first time was in August, when a little too much beer while out dining with Rachel and a friend got out of hand, and he and I verbally ganged up on her. Much to her displeasure. She ended up leaving without us, but not after a few choice words. To add to the discomfort, I still had to spend the night at her apartment. Not one of my finer moments. The second incident had me chugging beers with two guys half my age. Twice. I won, of course, but eventually that night I puked like I hadn't puked before. And if my diabetes was triggered by any sort of bodily trauma, this was it.

9. Carroll College's Pep Band - I went to Homecoming this year, and ended up sitting close to the pep band. The band that I formed and developed about 15 years ago. It was sad to see how far it had fallen since I left. And the double whammy of having fans (who generally don't pay them any attention) come up to me and ask why it sounds so bad. I imagine it's probably like raising a child who ends up a petty thief. You just don't know where things went sour...

8. Football Gods Pissed Off - I bragged all fall on my three favorite teams, and how they had gone through their seasons undefeated, and perhaps this was the year that all three would bring home their respective championships. Well, that didn't happen with any of them. One team didn't even make it to the championship game. Particularly hard was the loss by the University of Montana. They looked like champions all season (even when they didn't look very good...). Right up to the last two quarters of the playoffs. They really should have won that game...

7. Vision - My vision has deteriorated due to the diabetes, though it's slowly coming back. But for those first three weeks after the hospital, I was blind as a bat. Not in the "blackness" sort of way, but in a severe bluriness sort of way. I still have a couple of months for it to stabilize, but between the diabetes and my advancing years, it's just a matter of time before I'm wearing glasses on a full-time basis. Damn.

6. Trolls, Juveniles and Assholes - This one has a permanent place in my "lows" list. And it's probably the one thing I hear the most complaints about, particularly from HNTers. It's the constant barrage of come-ons, pick-up lines, juvenile remarks, and totally inappropriate comments that some of you get. Not to mention comments left by ones whose only purpose in life is to stir up emotions. It's never welcomed. It's never classy or humorous. It's the reason I wish I could zap certain people off the internet. I also hate that some guys (let's call it as it is...) look at HNT as their own sexual playpen. Sure, some ladies don't mind, but I think a majority of them at least roll their eyes at certain men. Or some are squicked out enough to quit altogether. As one former HNTer said to me, "why is it that if I post a nice half-nekkid picture of myself, some of these guys automatically assume I'm looking for sex?" I wish I had the answer for that one...

5. Pricey Tix - I am totally disgusted with the way concert tickets are being sold online. I think it's foolish that someone will stand in line at a ticket office, thinking they have a chance for a good seat. But when tickets are advertised as being sold online at a particular time, and the ticket brokers have already snatched them up, it's really a sad state of affairs. Especially if the brokers have some sort of tie-in with Ticketmaster or Live Nation. I bought tickets for a friend as a favor back in February. I was forced to try to get them from a ticket broker. Tickets that were advertised at $49.50 (plus fees) ended up costing $194.26 EACH! For the second to last row. And those who purchased tickets later paid more. It's one thing to pay big bucks to sit in the front row. But to hold the consumer hostage for the cheap seats? It's criminal.

4. Equipment Truck - I have ranted on for well over a year about the equipment truck that we use for the symphony. It's an old furniture truck that now belongs to a construction company. We pay nothing for borrowing it, insuring it or maintaining it. Therein lies the problem. It's a piece of crap, but no one's willing to pay to fix it decently. It's a dangerous vehicle, but it's all we have at our disposal. The thing didn't work well in the winter months (dead as a doornail). It's a piece of junk, but it's free. The construction company finally auctioned it off, and now we have to pay U-Haul for a truck for each concert. Pricey, but well worth the money. Someday we'll have our own concert hall, and we won't have to deal with transportation any more (he said with a dreamy look in his eye...).

3. Bloggers Disappearance - Another permanent topic on this list. The disappearance of bloggers. I understand why it happens. People get caught or outed. Family members find out. Or the whole blogging excitement just isn't there anymore. I get that. But I don't like it. This past year has seen it's fair share of popular bloggers/HNTers disappear like dust in the wind. Or smoke on the water. Some go to invitation only, which isn't quite as bad, though it's sort of embarrassing to ask for an invite if you weren't originally on the "A" list. The risk of rejection is high (just like friending on Facebook!). Some come back and maybe post once a week, which means you never really know if they've quit or not. And others pull the plug with absolutely no notice, and everyone's left scratching their heads. Like I said, I understand it, but I don't like it. I am happy to report that one particular friend who sort of left me high and dry is back. Not quite the same as before, but...baby steps.

2. Haloscan/JS Kit/Echo - Back in the dark ages, when Blogger was still the "old" Blogger (I'll bet some of you don't even know there WAS an "old" Blogger!), Haloscan was a wonderful plug-in that allowed you to customize your comment page, gave stats, allowed editing and a multitude of other features. It was good. Then JS Kit came along and bought them out and decided that what bloggers really needed was a bunch of stuff that none of them actually asked for. The interface was changed, modifications were made, and all in the name of "progress". Then along came Echo. I think it's actually part of JS Kit, though I'm not sure. More tinkering transpired, and all was not well with the world. Until one day, just a couple of weeks ago, they changed things around, unannounced, again. You people bitched about it for months, and I finally got fed up with it. It's no longer a part of my blogging. And the fans cheered from far and near! I'm still a firm believer of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I wish they had believed it too...

1. I almost died - Yeah, this one was pretty much a no-brainer for #1 on this list. The month of October is pretty much a fuzzy memory to me, even today. Not much more to say, other than I'm alive, I'm feeling good, and hope to God I don't have to ever go through THAT again!
There you have it. I didn't find the year to be quite as bad as many of you have (and for good reasons, I'm sure). My 10 Lows of 2009. It's not really that bad of a list! Other than that whole almost dying thing...

7 comments:

Barefoot Dreamer said...

#1 kinda sucks huh

boo said...

I'm glad you made it through October, Os. I'm sorry I missed the whole harrowing experience! But then, I've missed a lot in the last 8 months... *le sigh*

I'll catch up, I hope!

Here's looking at 2010, a new and bold frontier to conquer!

boo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vixen said...

Yep yep and yep.

Here's to a better year. I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting changes to come!

tCj said...

I'm with you on Haloscan. Ugh.

Glad you lived. Most definitely. You can die after we meet. :-P

rage said...

We are all glad that you're still with us O, and furthermore I am happy that you're not using the Haloscan plug-in anymore.

It's easier to comment now than ever before on your blog.

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