Friday, December 31, 2010

The Highs and Lows of 2010 - The Lows

Once again, it's time for my annual recap of the year. Other than two really, really low points, this year wasn't too bad. But those two pretty much swayed the pendulum towards the "this year sucked" side. This is my fourth year of doing this, and as I've found in the past, it's hard to come up with ten real "lows". 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. And they don't necessarily mean they were bad things, or that life as I knew it changed. There's some definite bad things listed, but mostly just things that brought me down or perturbed me during the year. 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 2010"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
10. Montana Grizzly Football - I hate to put my beloved Griz on this list, but they really let me down this season. Granted, they had a new head coach this season, but the expectations were quite high, as usual. They lost games they shouldn't have, and beat lesser teams by only a few points. Then they had to go and lose to the Bobkittens, at home! And we all saw what happened because of that! Griz, I hope 2011 is a better year for you!

9. Technology Failures - This is a fairly generic category, but I didn't know how else to say it. My wireless router and my computer have been at odds for most of the year, which means I've been fighting with both of them. Unfortunately, I'm not sure which to blame. Online, I was disappointed with shutting down. At one time, it was a great way to build your blogrolls, without having to add your favorites by hand. And it was less hassle than having a lot of blogs in your reader. It was by chance that I got on to their site to find a notice that they would be shutting down in two weeks, and there was no way to save your lists without doing them individually, by copy/paste. Their reason for shutting down--"no one left in the company who built the service to keep it running". No one that I'm aware of has stepped in to offer the same thing, so now I have a file with hundreds of blogs listed, and no way to add them to my site. After last year's failure with Haloscan, I'm reluctant to try anything new. seems like Blogger has finally shown the most stability, even moreso than Wordpress!

8. Facebook/Twitter/Blogger - Which is a nice segue into this topic. I'm disappointed in the noticeable decline in blogging/bloggers this past year. It seems like Facebook and Twitter have elbowed their way in. While I like what Facebook is (despite its disregard for privacy and constant changes that no one really wants), I think it's lessened the online experience for many. As a friend mentioned yesterday, people only think in short blurbs anymore, rather than writing as a craft. Anything longer than a paragraph will soon no longer exist! Twitter, on the other hand, is the spawn of the devil. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it. And the people who use it like texting can rot in hell. Remember that the public is reading your crap. And they don't really want to be. Remember the old days when you'd just text one person about personal stuff, rather than broadcasting it to all? And what's up with this "following" contest? Or even worse...worrying about who "unfollowed"? It's back to junior high again!

7. Sage Saga - I purposely avoided saying anything about the "outing" of Sage, and his subsequent disappearance when it happened. It's no secret that I didn't like him, but as I said at the time, I wouldn't wish his situation on my worst enemy. (Secretly, I might have considered including the whole thing on my "Highs" list...) But why this made the list is because of how people I generally respect and like reacted to it. The name-calling, the blog posts, the all-out attacks on both sides of the fence--it was worse than schoolyard fights! And the number of weeks that it dragged on! Geez! For a lack of a better term, it was embarrassing. A new low for our community...

6. OsTours '10 - This will appear in the "Highs" list as well. The part that was terribly disappointing was not who I met or what I did, but those whom I didn't meet. It's probably quite selfish of me, but if I haul my butt thousands of miles to where you're at, is it really that hard to meet up one night? Granted, there were extenuating circumstances in Nashville (these people have no idea what to do when they see a snowflake!), but BTExpress' pool party had been planned for well over a year. And many of his RL friends and blogfriends indicated they'd show. Food and booze had been purchased. In the end, four of us showed up. Again, is it really that difficult to come out for one night? Fortunately, I've got great memories to fall back on, even without the people who said they'd be there...

5. Job situation - This is something that I haven't mentioned online. I basically work two half-time jobs. The symphony gig is probably less than half-time, but I do all my work in a concentrated time frame (one weekend/month, a handful of evenings, and flexible days). My "day" job is also half-time, allowing me great freedom for gigs, symphony, travel, etc. I'll never get rich, however. I was informed just after Thanksgiving, that I was going go be "indefinitely let go" as of Dec. 15th, due to a bad economic year. This coming after Dad's death, and right in the middle of the December symphony work. Because of that symphony work, I had planned to skip a day so I could set up. One of the owners took over my job that day. Apparently, I do more than they realized. So for the time being, I still have my "day" job, though my hours have been cut almost in half (so I'm now quarter time). They want to be able to bring me back to my previous hours, but it's a wait and see thing. I'm OK with that right now, but we'll see what it's like in February. Not sure how long I can go with the current situation.

4. Fire at Phain's - The night that Phain's apartment building went up in flames is still vivid in my mind. She had dropped out of blogging for the most part, and even many of her old fans had no idea where she'd run off to. Fortunately, we have kept in touch, so I knew about the fire as soon as someone put it online. At the time, it was thought that there was nothing salvageable, and I wanted to go into full rescue mode. As it turned out, she was able to salvage a great deal. And that rescue mode hit her friends and church, as people opened up their hearts and pocketbooks to help her out. While I still feel that I was pretty much helpless, it's good to know that the good karma fairy was on her side that week.

3. Rachel and other families - While I have been mourning all the death in my family for the past half year, I tended to forget that I'm not the only one who's seen his share of sadness. Rachel (for the newbies--one of the original HNTers and one of my beer-drinkin' buddies) had to deal with the death of her father early in the year. And then, after spending a summer in the mountains of Glacier Park, her longtime companion Midget (a cute little ratlike dog) was run down a day before they were to be reunited. Many others lost parents, kids, relatives, pets and friends. A friend sent me an email saying that she was sort of down this Christmas, but that she felt she had no right to say that after the year I've had. I said to her, "horse feathers!" (well, I used a different set of words, but you get the gist...) Sadness is as deep for each of us as it may be at the moment. No one individual's sadness should be more or less than anyone else's. So while I'm sad in my own life, I'm sad for Rachel, and the many others over the year who have expressed their sadness online, regardless of how you might think they "compare"...

2. BIL2's Death - Ray's death at 47 came totally out of the blue. He is the one who exercised, who ran, who actually watched what it was that he ate. He was active in the community. He was a great father. He was well-liked in the community. His death cast a dark cloud over the summer, though that's not what he would have wanted. It took months, but my sister (who was a rock) finally got past the daily condolences from well-meaning colleagues and workers. By the fall, some sense of normalcy was returning. Then Ray's father died (somewhat expected, and a bit of a blessing). She was able to survive that pretty well. We knew Thanksgiving would be a bit rough, with Ray not being at the table with us, but none of us was prepared for...

1. Dad's Death - I think I've said all I want to say in previous posts. This is a no-brainer.
So, that's the downer list for 2010. Some not so bad, some really bad. But as I said at the top, the year really wasn't monumentally bad. Fortunately, there were lots of good things that happened too! You can check those out in the "Highs" post above this one. Go. Now!


Dana said...

#8 - This is a HUGE low for me as well. Although twitter is my crack, I cannot figure out how to get excited about facebook, and I'm becoming less enamored with twitter now that it is starting to act like facebook. There has also been an increase in tumblr blogs - or what I like to call twitter on steroids. tumblr is to blogs what facebook is to a class reunion. I miss well written blogs.

#7. Guilty, and allowed myself to get drug in much deeper than I should have. I said my piece and should have moved on. Lesson learned.

#5. I'm sorry to hear about the work hours. Let's hope the economy picks up in 2011!

#3. This one hit me hard this year. Boo's loss of two of her children in a house fire ripped my heart out ... and still does.

#2 and #1. I have no words, only thoughts and prayers sent frequently to you and your family.

No one Special said...

((( hug )))
Lets all hope for a happier New Year.

gab said...

Yes Facebook has gotten me away from Blogging alot(as you can tell if you go read my blog) But I have come back here and just read some blogs with out commenting. If you go read mine I too have did a good and bad for the last year. More ba than good unfortunally. I hope I get to see you at my Blog and maybe as a facebook friend.(Btepress is a good friend and we had to miss his party)I would love to add you.

Vixen said...

Good points made and mentioned..... I'm in agreement with many of them.

I was saddened to be reminded.

I'm super sorry to hear about the employment issues...

Here's to a brighter, better 2011! *muah*

The Smoking Redhead said...

~sigh~ what can I say.

Love you!

Miss you!

Chapter Two said...

FB has definitely taken me away from blogging

and you know how I feel about 7 and the rest just sucks

Anonymous said...

Going from blogging, tweeting, AND facebooking, just down to FB this year has been a huge adjustment! I have wanted to say a lot more recently, but haven't had a place to do it! I miss my blog. And my bloggie buddies :(


Anonymous said...

Comment moderation? Really? lol

Osbasso said...

I think that's just for posts that are more than two weeks old. Or maybe it's just you. :-P

Anonymous said...

Fine. Be that way. Hmmmph!!