Thursday, January 8, 2009

In an E-Mail . . .

. . . received from a friend and new found reader, I was asked why 2008 was so terrible.

In the writings on this site, you might have read that The Hydra (1 of 3, ever) was towed, twice, and sat immobile for several months. You may have noticed the posts on loneliness became more frequent. There's a possibility you read the optimistic entries all the while wondering, "How is this going to blow-up?" (More often than not, it did - spectacularly.)

So I've decided to create a list of why 2008 was one of the worst years I've ever known.

I. In 2007, I was given a raise. It was less than the rate of inflation, and worked only as an insult. It was also just enough to push me into the lowest tier of the next highest tax bracket, meaning that I made less now because of this raise. Let me repeat that: I got a raise, so my real income went down! That was annoying in and of itself, but in 2008, I found that this modicum of a pay increase also pushed me into a wage bracket that reduced my financial aide. In addition to having to pay more in taxes, I now have to shell out five-grand from my own pocket to cover tuition. To cover this, I simply cut out some of my more frivolous expenses - like textbooks. Attached is a graph showing the response of GPA to the number of textbooks purchased.

You may wonder how the GPA goes below 0.0. That's due to me negatively effecting the GPA of the person next to me as I kept asking to see his book.

II. Go to your bank account. Look at your current balance. Then scroll back to a year ago and see where it stood. Seriously, I'll wait. Done? Good. I'm going to bet dollars on the dime that your were in a better place 365 days ago. You're not alone, every single person I know was stressed out and/or frustrated over their financials in 2008. I'm certain we all knew someone who was unemployed and underemployed in 2008, and this is particularly exasperated when it's quite a few people you know. It's bad to work a shitty job, now to feel guilty that you have that shitty job - that's just worse. (By the way, this will continue on to 2009, but at least we have a hope for change waiting in the wings. That's something we certainly didn't have at the start of '08.)

III. In 2008, I only nailed seven chicks.

IV. I made reference to this in last weeks post, but as a movie lover, one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon is bouncing from screen-to-screen at a multiplex. Thanks to the poor quality of movies that were released in 2008, I was only able to attempt this once. And in that session at the AMC 21 I saw Choke, Religulous, and Burn After Reading. Of these, the latter was head and shoulders above the rest, but the thing is - it's not a great movie. It's pretty good and I was entertained watching it, but it should never be one of the better movies of the year. It's just that nearly everything released in 2008 was utterly terrible.

VI. I treated myself to a nice pair of headphones. A newspaper stand destroyed them that same week.

VI. Then my iPod was stolen, forcing me to use the shuffle in a non-gym environment. (sad face)

VII. Having a few extra bucks at the start of the summer, I bought a flat-screen television. Opting out of the conventional method by which such an item would be acquired, I went to Craigslist. After several phone calls with a Turk who called himself Bo Juddha, I went to pick up the unit. The man's house was furnished like a Circuit City. His living row was occupied by a dozen 60-plus inch flatscreens, all lined up in rows. At fifty inches, mine was the runt of the liter. Still, it was sleek. It's base glowed and it rang a sound of awe when turned on . And the picture on it was amazing, for all 13-minutes that it worked. It was still under the original warranty so I had a local repair company come and service the unit. The old, weathered TV repairman said he'd have to take it back to his shop and await the part from Toshiba. Weeks passed. Soon months. The part they needed was on back order. When the part arrived, they found that Toshiba sent them the wrong part. Every ten days, I'd call and be told of another problem they'd encountered. Soon I called Toshiba direct. They told me they had no record of the TV ever being picked up by the repair service. A more detailed inquiry found that that repair facility was stripped of it's Authorized Dealer certification due to some outstanding debts. Sympathetic to my troubles, the woman at Toshiba got authorization to send me a new model. First, she just needed the receipt. Without hesitation, I answer her request with broken words and light sobs. "My girlfriend got me the set back in December. And, well, she's not around anymore. I never was able to figure out where she got it from, or how she could afford it. It was such a sweet gesture, that I couldn't question her on it. (Pause for effect.) I might be able to ask her father if he knows where she got it, but . . . (pause for effect) when he sees me, it reminds him of her. And he hurts." She places me on hold for less than a minute. When she returns, she tells me the new unit will be shipped out the following week. In all, it took about five months from acquiring the flat-screen, to getting a new one from Toshiba. Some of you may argue that it wasn't that bad of a deal since I got a new TV, of better quality, for a fraction of the cost that I paid some crooked Turk. Yeah, but I'd already given my old TV away and had nothing in the living room. I was forced to read. Do you understand that? I was forced to read books! Fuck you, 2008!

Not all of 2008 was so glum.

My sister gave birth to healthy twin girls, who I am dying to meet. And for the first time in years, I've found love in someone who proves to be more and more amazing with each day.

But those are all minuscule when compared to the 52-weeks of inconveniences I was subjected to.

So that's what was wrong with 2008.

1 comment:

Oliver Babbles said...

Am I the love interest? And do you calculate love interest as compound or simple?