I've started and deleted quite a few posts now, to post to my own as well as a couple different communities. I get it all spelled out and suddenly remember that wading back into it all really doesn't do any good.
I am trying to keep my head up, to stay above the negative energy or bickering or negativity, to not let the state and the job and the process wear me down. Days like today, however, can make that pretty challenging.
All in all, i feel pretty good about it. Well...maybe not good, but as good as one can feel knowing they made the best decisions possible in a lousy situation. Much like having written long tirades and deleted them before putting them out there, i've generally been able to get control of my emotional responses before they get the best of me, to focus on what's important and filter out the surrounding crap.
We confirmed more dates for mediation today...7 more full days in june. Plus one more day for the monthly board meeting, plus a rally to plan and pull off, plus what will be a very contentious chapter meeting, plus a handful of various committee meetings, plus starting bargaining with the union's staff. Oh, plus the full time job that this all fits around.
There are a great many people that simply go to work, go home, have dinner, laugh at the tv and go to sleep soundly.
I don't think i'd ever want to be that...but i do admit to a small part of myself being envious.
- Music:The Weakerthans - Bigfoot
So i had a good long post about the murder of the doctor by the anti-
abortionchoice terrorist, but i decided that was just too draining to go into at length.
Work: I am cautiously optimistic. I was productive today, got a lot done, and had a pretty decent discussion with our department's deputy commissioner about how to proceed forward as far as problems identified and what the plan is from here. Basically, the idea is for me to pick up all my old duties with a new supervisor once bargaining is over. I'm not certain it will work perfectly, but i'm certainly going to do all i can do see that it gets as close as possible.
Which of course leads to...
(the seemingly-unending)Bargaining: I suppose bargaining as i know it, or as it's gone thus far, is done. Wednesday is day one with the mediator. In a perfect world, this means we've got an objective voice to bring the disparate sides together. In practice, however? I for one am pissed about how state workers have been treated, and see no reason whatsoever to cave on anything else....and i don't think i'm the only one in that mindset. We'll have to see, i guess.
I got an email today about the possibility of another rally next week on a couple key issues...I'm excited about the idea, so i guess we'll have to see. I think a lot of people see the whole process as something between crippled and hopeless right now, so one big display of solidarity, a strong statement of what we're fighting for and why, could potentially do a lot.
Anyway, yes. Time marches on, i suppose.
- Music:Ian & Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
Hey, remember me?
Like at least a few others i'm aware of, i seem to be neglecting LJ more and more in favor of facebook. This, however does
have a couple advantages: One, easier to post longer entries. Two, less blur between friends online and off.
Specifically? It's not always 100% comfortable to post my seething anger and disgust with state government when a handful of said government leadership are friends. I doubt they pay much attention to anything i say, but you know...it's just easier not having to worry.
To provide advance warning, i write this mostly to get a few things off my chest. ( Work, union, and the damage done.Collapse )
Not sure it even really sums it up to say i'm tired. I'd say i'm at the end of my rope...but i can't. work goes on. Bargaining has no end in sight. I can't
be, so i won't be.
- Music:Defiance, Ohio - This Time This Year
Okay, so let's talk about the state of the nation, this "economic crisis". Everyone else is...I feel i'd be remiss if i didn't chime something in.
First and foremost, my thought on the greater crisis in simplest terms possible: Think of crack in the 80's. Crack infests the inner cities, flourishes, dealers get rich, junkies die, criminals kill each other, assorted dredges of society and those unfortunate enough to be in the vicinty have their lives ruined and/or ended and time marches on. The addiction and related crime move beyond the borders of the "bad" areas, however...and it becomes the War on Drugs. Problems may or may not exist until such time that they impact the right people, then they are a crisis.
Which brings us to current day. Every morning, i hear responses tinged with regret and indignity and outright rage about AIG, about Bernie Madoff. Joe Smith lost the $200k he invested and He! Demands! Justice! AIG high-level execs got fat bonuses as the ship sank and suddenly everyone from the president to the guy working in the cafe at work has an opinion on corporate finance and just how corrupt and in need of reform it all is.
I don't mean to say that this ISN'T terrible...it is. The gall of the AIG execs is stunning, and I still think many many years of jail is too easy for Madoff. But having said that...all the outraged people seem to be a bit late to the party.
Yes, these men were absolutely shameless and horrible in their greed. You know what makes them special, though? The fact that it's on the headlines this time. The fact that rich men get and stay rich by the means of greed and fraud and corporate misdeeds...How does anyone still consider this news with a straight face? But no, i hear, it's DIFFERENT. They got government funding. This is tax dollars being wasted. Again..News? Now it's recovery or stiumulus or bailout. Then it was research and development or support for the global market or tax subsidies. It will be again. Our dollars have been dumped into, as the most obvious examples, the aerospace and auto industries for as long as they've existed. When and why exactly did it go from "supporting american industry" to "descending into socialism"?
I'm not a huge Obama fan. I mean, i like the guy. I love that he seems so much like a person. someone you could actually picture yourself talking to, as opposed to, say, someone whose security phalanx would put the SS to shame. At the same time, though...He's still human. He's not going to turn water into wine. He's not gonna fix it for everyone and bring about sunnier times. I still believe wholeheartedly that for ANYONE to rise to that level of power, they're 100% bought and paid for. He is no exception. Having said that..The guy's been in office what, 2 months? The outcry i keep reading/hearing about how he's doomed us all financially is just ridiculous. I mean, conservatives are pissed that he's in power. I get that. But folks, if that's your deal, embrace it. don't pin your grandkids' debt on him, don't say he's in bed with AIG or UAW or whoever else and in cahoots to have us all working on state-run farms. Just do what the rest of us did when we found we hated the president.
Repeat after me: "I hate the president."
You have the right to, and it'd be far more credible than blaming him for everything or presenting Rush Fucking Limbaugh as the true leader of the "real america".
Back to the economy: I may hate my job at times, may curse the particular situation i'm in, but make no mistake..I consider myself very lucky. Jen & I both have secure, decent-paying jobs with a future and good benefits. That is a big deal right now. I see the reports of local businesses closing daily, and i know full well that we're fortunate. I'm not trying to say for a moment that things aren't bad.
However. I still think many of these "crises" so often howled about on the news are a) not new, and b) not the end of the world. The dotcoms boomed..then lost it. So housing markets boomed...then lost it. Each time, it just amazed me. Have we no memory of history? This is part of a pattern. It goes up, it corrects. It goes down, it recovers. While i obviously can't say this with 100% certainty, i will offer a 99% guarantee that the end is not immediately nigh.
If there's a lesson in all this...no, it's not "don't invest". Well, maybe "don't invest without care and attention", but that's not my point. If there IS a lesson, i think, or hope, that the long term moral from all this will be "it can happen to anyone". Because not being able to pay their bills and losing their home was a crisis to someone before it started to happen to the upper middle class. If america takes anything from this mess we're in when it does inevitably clear up, it's that we can't forget the least of us, because we're only as strong as they are.
So..i'm in a bargaining team meeting today. First of two days. not only do i learn more and more about our contract and the administration of it, but i also get more used to the compressed little netbook keyboard.
I do realize i've not posted for a while...Plenty i could say, i suppose.
Work plugs along...I'm seeking new jobs within our department. I put in an app yesterday afternoon for a spot taking calls in unemployment, even if it is a small demotion in pay range/rate. We'll see, i suppose.
I was supposed to go in for more blood work friday, but ended up having to skip out on it in order to make a board meeting. I'm sure, however, that my blood count is low and the iron level is still deficient. I know i need to get it done so i can hear exactly how bad, but the last time i did so they admitted me for 3 days and a total of 4 transfusions. Rational or not, i just have a fear that if they see how i'm doing now, they'll just send me back in. Just not a convenient week for me.
I know, i know...i've been slacking as far as posting. This is hardly redeeming me.
In the 1970's, CBC Radio's This Country in the Morning held a competition whose goal was to compose the conclusion to the phrase:
"As Canadian as...
" The winning entry read:
"....possible, under the circumstances."
This is both good and bad...i've got only 3 days of work this week, but it's monday thursday friday. HATE when it's broken up like that. i'm much happier when bargaining's thursday & friday. Well..it's less work, at least.
Got the new tv yesterday...42", 1080p, lcd. Loving it so far, but we apparently need to go to time warner and get a cable box with a HDMI output. So complicated.
Anyway. Ended up watching the superbowl. I generally couldn't care less about sports and only 1/2 paid attention, but there was a couple really good plays. It was cool to compare the regular NBC feed to the HD signal, also. So that was exciting. In a way.
Jen leaves for DC tuesday morning, til sunday. sounds like her conference ought to be interesting.
I'm tired, i think. i feel like a snack but nothing appeals to me.
- Music:Stan Rogers - Barrett's Privateers (live)
So..I registered Sage today.
Did i mention i named the jeep Sage?
Anyway, yeah. I was able to do a transfer and get a partial credit from the registration on the old car. Rather than paying $190 today for a year, i paid 65 and they'll expire in July. Seemed decent.
Then, as an added bonus, just short of two hours waiting in motor vehicles. On the bright side, however..blew the extra $25 and got vanity plates. The state has a thing where you can check plate availability, which i had previous used & confirmed it was taken, but the lady that helped me mentioned that it's not in real time...Apparently the plate you see here hadn't been registered in 6 months and just became available. Believe you me, i left the office one happy foreigner.
In other news, Jen is off to dc for 5 days next week. I'm not used to taking colleen to school, so it'll be fun. i've got bargaining 2 of 5 days next week, so it should be a pretty low-intensity week. On another high note, tax return should be in a week from today, with which we shall stimulate the economy and buy a new tv. Finally.
Maybe tomorrow i'll go look at best buy.
I love How it's made...not just for seeing how stuff is, um, made, but more for seeing the machines with such specific purposes. Systems designed solely for forming chain links or torquing propeller blades...Awesome.
"Proud and self-reliant characters prefer hatred to such sickening artificial love. Not because of any reward does a free spirit take his stand for a great truth, nor has such a one ever been deterred because of fear of punishment."