Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Highs and Lows of 2011 - The Lows

Once again, it's time for my annual recap of the year. In the greater scheme of things, this year really wasn't too bad. This is my fifth year of doing this, and as I've found in the past, it's hard to come up with ten real "lows". And once again, one or two on this list will make the "highs" list! Of course, there were some terrible things that happened in the world, but these are things that affected me somewhat directly. They don't necessarily mean they were bad things, or that life as I knew it changed. 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 2011"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
10. Curiosity Killed the Cat - Something caught my eye on someone's Twitter timeline in their sidebar, so I checked it out (this in no way implies that I approve of, or will be setting up my own Twitter account. it is still the spawn of Satan.). The short story--I found the tweets of someone I know. Along with nekkid pics of his wife (not an attractive woman to begin with), pics of him with strippers, and discussion about waiting at a bar for his wife for a threesome--he didn't care if she brought a man or a woman. Basically, a bunch of stuff that I might enjoy reading from one of you freaks, but not someone I've actually worked with (the wife) or played music with (husband). Fortunately, I've not run into this guy or the wife since reading, and have no idea what my first reaction will be when I do...

9. Montana Legislature - These guys were as embarrassing to the state as anything that's happened here in decades. Tea Party members and radical right-wingers felt they had free reign, and proposed some of the most ridiculous legislation around. They also attempted to overturn the medical marijuana laws that the voters approved by initiative. While they didn't totally succeed with that, they managed to screw things up, as well as clog the courts with a variety of related lawsuits. Other notable bills introduced: legalize hunting with hand-thrown spear; create fully-armed militia in every town; create an 11-person panel with authority to nullify all federal laws; allow guns in schools; legalize hunting with silencers; lift the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in bars, churches and banks; and declare that global warming is good. There were many others. So much more to tell, so little time/space to tell it.

8. Tsunami Watch - This is one world event that did grab me for days. Killing terrorists and despots is one thing, but to watch what Mother Nature can do on a whim was truly jaw-dropping. From the very beginnings of watching the initial wave coming on shore from helicopters, to watching the water rise, to watching it continue to rise, to watching the nuclear power plant explosions--I was glued to the TV. Of course there was the anticipation of the tsunami hitting Hawaii, and then the west coast. Not as dramatic as expected from the movies, but still quite damaging.

7. Death of a Droid - My poor phone, a Droid, went through hell in the two years that I had it. I was able to deal with the shattered screen for most of that time. But eventually, it got to the point where the touch screen didn't work, didn't allow me to read what was there, and I had to go redneck on it and duct tape the protective cover to it so the glass shards didn't start dripping off. As luck would have it, I was able to baby it along until the iPhone 4S was released. As much as I loved my Droid (and I really did), the iPhone makes me a much happier camper! And the next day, Steve Jobs died...

6. Boobie-Thon Calls It Quits - After 10 years of raising money, primarily for the Susan B. Komen Foundation, Boobie-Thon has gone into retirement. And it appears to be for much of the same reason that HNT has retired--blogging is on the decline. I noticed this year as they started their week-long appeal that there just weren't as many picture submissions, and the money wasn't being pledged too quickly. They didn't raise as much this year as in previous years, though they certainly didn't do badly. After ten years of bringing bloggers together to raise money each October, the organizers can be proud of the work that they did.

5. Life Without Dad and Ray - Last year, we were still reeling from the deaths of my father and brother-in-law to really realize what Thanksgiving and Christmas were like. A year later, and we've gone through all the holidays that the family gets together without them. We're all getting through things pretty well. It's still sad, but we don't let it bring us down. Good thing we're a tight-knit group!

4. Summer Concert - This will make the "highs" list as well, but this year was the most difficult from a production standpoint. In spite of years of doing this, and things being somewhat routine, that only happens when the project manager is on top of things. This year's wasn't. She was pretty good about the meetings with sponsors, raising money, and working up contracts. But things on the local end were left to the last minute. Contacts and agreements and scheduling of all sorts of things (like port-a-potties, or piano moves) that should have been done 3 months in advance were scrambled for in the last week and a half. She made all sorts of assumptions, without understanding that outside entities need lead time. Of course, all that ended up on my shoulders at the last minute. We got through it all, and the concert itself was pretty good, but what a hassle (worse than normal hassle, I suppose)! She won't be back in this position next season...

3. Alien Butt Probe - Shortly after my birthday, I treated myself to a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Not quite a colonoscopy, but just as exciting. And done without being put under. I was also blessed with a hot 20-something nurse to assist, rather then the male nurse. In spite of a clean bill of health, and no signs of anything wrong, I didn't get flowers or chocolate. I still feel used...

2. HNT's Retirement - This is a downer, in that it's been six and a half years of effort. Like retirement of any kind, I have no idea what's next. Nor do I really care. I would hope that everyone respects the retirement by not calling whatever it is they do in the future as "HNT". There's at least three individuals who have given some sort of indication that they want to try to keep it going (interestingly, none of whom I would say actually "got" HNT). Unfortunately, I fear that the intent and concept of whatever happens next, won't be Half-Nekkid Thursday. HNT was never about sex or nudity, and though that's never been frowned upon, it isn't what HNT was all about. I think that's been lost. It would be a big disservice to the hundreds upon hundreds who participated to have it confused with what surfaces next.

1. Stealth's Death - For the first time, a blogger whom I actually met, spent quality time with, and developed a friendship with, died. She was someone that many bloggers knew, chatted with, or had some other sort of relationship. Sadly, it was almost a month to the day before I found out, and only because of a chance glimpse of her Facebook page. Her family knew nothing about us, so there was no need to find anyone to tell. Her body simply failed her--she didn't take her own life as many of us might have feared. What's truly sad about this is that her fiancé, the man who found her laying face down at the foot of their bed on that morning, died about two and a half months later. Sadly, in this instance, I think he took his life, though I'm not positive. All in all, a sad, sad day when I found out.
So, that's the downer list for 2011. 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!

2 comments:

Cheeky Minx said...

#1 still makes me sad...

Midwestern City Boy said...

Regrettably, #1 is definite low point. Life happens, and sometimes it's not all good, which I understand; but sometimes it's really bad.