Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With the Old -OR- 2010: The Year We Didn't Make Contact

Morning surf along an unidentified beach.

Note: The pictures in this entry are mostly natural scene images I retrieved off the internet.

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I just wanted to post a quick update this blog ahead of the arrival of 2011.

I'm supposed to go to Rockville later this afternoon to see D. (my friend from work) and his wife and young son. I'm visiting their house and then going to dinner with them -- at least that's the plan. Then I'm returning into D.C. around 730PM-ish and may briefly see K.

As for where I'll be at the actual midnight hour, I don't know. I may go to College Park to Gerry's party along with Kristof and Gary. But J. wanted to go to another house party -- this guy that we worked with briefly during that "shit show" of a temporary Census job (through which I also met J.).

One of these days I'll have to write about just how ridiculous, even farcical, was that whole temporary "group quarters" Census enumeration.

But I desperately needed the money at the time as the 1099 independent contracting job for the Japanese turkey farm / intellectual sweat shop -- a borderline criminal operation -- in Bethesda was already ending and my current job had not yet started.

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As for tonight, I probably won't go to Cobalt tonight. Last night, it was mobbed and ended up going with Gary and J. to Windows.

A sunlit tropical coral reef (don't touch anything!) off Sulawesi, Indonesia.

I suppose this is where I should write reflections on 2010 -- a year in which there was at least a temporary major change for the better in my personal life as a result of the job I got, but also an emotionally and physically draining year as I really started to feel my age (now 41), in particular because I live such an empty, unhealthy, and problematic existence here in Washington, D.C., the Capital of the Empire with no past and no future.

As for the job, I fully realize it could end rather abruptly -- in which case my D.C. "reprieve" (if that's what it is) would end quite quickly and I'd probably leave Washington to live with my dad within a few months. I have no money or savings of any sort.

Even with a suddenly decent income, I live paycheck to paycheck with no reserves and massive debt -- in other words, EXACTLY what this monstrous and ruthless corporate capitalist "free will" economy and country want.

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A lone fisherman fishes in the turbulent surf on a sunny day. The source Web site states this picture was taken May 20, 2007 and, I'm going to guess, in California, but I'm not sure.

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2010 was also the year I realized that I will not be here in D.C. beyond about 5 more years if things remain as they are. I don't want to live and slowly but steadily die here, an unhappy denizen of the vapid and empty 17th Street gayborhood. My world reached a sort of shrunken D.C. bubble state wherein its a big deal even for me to go to to the Maryland or Virginia suburbs, never mind to Europe. And the South Pacific or Australia might as well be on another planet.

As for leaving D.C., the problem, as ever, is where would I go.

I can envision a scenario by 2015 in which I'm living with him by the beach in Delaware -- since he wants to move back up this way from Florida in 2011 -- and my mom is somewhere in Cape May County, N.J., with Ray, also not far from the ocean.

Jersey shore at low tide.

2010 was a year in which I got to be much closer to my mom in a way that I was not as a teenager or even when in my 20s and 30s.

As for my dad down in Florida, he just kept on keepin' on ... and that's good. He turns 70 (!) next month. That's a scary thought.

Costa Rica seaside resort (not sure where).

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As for the weather, it was a thoroughly and profoundly shitty year here in Washington, D.C.

Yes, we had the three snowstorms -- blizzards, I dare say -- last winter including one in December 2009 and two in February 2010. But then we had a basically violent and rapid transition from winter to a hellishly / record hot summer. And we've been "chasing rain" for months now with below average precip.

For the record -- and assuming no measurable precip total (which there won't be), here are the final stats at the three regional airports:

DCA:
2010: 34.78"
1971 - 2000 Normal: 39.35"
Departure: -4.57"

BWI:
2010: 43.47"
1971 - 2000 Normal: 41.94"
Departure: +1.53"

IAD:
2010: 39.10"
1971 - 2000 Normal: 41.80"
Departure: -2.70"

Of note, the NWS 30-year averages will be updated next year to reflect the period 1981 - 2010.

Finally, last week's meteorological shit show in which EVERYBODY in the mid-Atlantic and New England, and, hell, even in the Southeast, had a snowstorm -- even blizzard -- on or the day after Christmas EXCEPT the D.C./Baltimore area was one of the more obnoxious slaps in the face.

The D.C. White Christmas Weekend That Wasn't ...

Here was the Dec. 26, 2010 snow and ice cover map for North America from NOAA -- note the hole of no snow that includes the Baltimore / Washington area.

Thank Ya, Lord.

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There was never a cool and wet period of the sort I love -- just heavy snow to intense heat and droughtiness to a cold but dryish late fall and the big Christmas snowbust.

The Sterling LWX arrogant egotists and the giant-headed, slurping Doug Hill (why in the hell did Bob Ryan go over to channel 7 with him??) and Sue "Snake Eyes" Palka -- not to mention the dumb public -- were happy, though. I guess that's all that matters.

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Politically, it was a shitty American year of a sort not that uncommon in this country with the GOP -- which should have been in exile and oblivion for a generation -- roaring back to power.

This was thanks to a combination of Democratic / Obama corporate sell-out wussiness and failure and Tea Baggers -- the late 2000's/ early 2010's version of America's episodic eruptions of ignorant Jacksonian populism that the forces of "reactionary intrigue" (think the Koch Brothers and related to that, Dick Armey's FreedomWorks operation) ruthlessly exploited that for at least a quick electoral trouncing.

Most maddeningly, Obama seems weirdly pleased about the "shellacking" the Democratic Party took. I have this awful sense that he actually likes it when Republicans are surging and he and his side are "shellacked." But he gets very prickly angry when the liberal Democratic base fails to praise him in sufficiently worshipful ways.

How depressing.

Maybe it is true --as I sometimes hear and read -- that just too much of America is ideologically such a right-tilted and religious country, doped up on its particularly wacky brand of fundamentalism that it cheerleads as the corporate oligarchical overclass and ever-metastasizing surveillance and police state with its amorphous, ever-shifting, but ultimately permanent "War on Terror" turns everything into a kind of happy-faced 1984 world.

And maybe it's true we can never have a progressive Democratic "renaissance" and reform period. But it would be so nice if once ... just once ... our side actually tried.

Maybe we would've lost 67 seats instead of 62 or 63 seats -- but it sure would've been better to go down swinging like that instead of having fucking Robert Rubin / Larry Summers / Rahm Emanuel with all its corporate whoring sell-out and GOP-lite behavior.

I suspect Obama will win reelection because the useless American economy will be slightly better than it is now and the GOP will nominate a crazy or Sarah Palin will split the vote. He'll "win" with something like 48 to 46 percent of the popular vote and an electoral college advantage of approximately 3o to 50.

Well, this entry turned out longer -- and much more angry and hateful sounding -- than I thought. But, hey, I live in Washington, D.C., the Seat of Falling Empire (to again use an Asimovian turn of phrase), at the end of 2010 and that's the way it goes.

I still plan to post another entry tomorrow, probably including what I wrote on my Arcturus blog about my latest topic of interest -- the New Horizons probe on its way to Pluto and the whole Pluto / dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt discussion. Yes, I know this isn't a new topic but I've become more interested in it.

New Horizons is now half way on its 9-1/2 year journey to Pluto / Charon with fly-by anticipated in mid-July 2015.

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See and talk to you on the other side of the New Year.
Peace,

--Regulus

2 comments:

fifi said...

Very good post, mate.
I wish you wealth prosperity and health in the new year
and hope this year is a good one.
(sorry for such a vapid comment after such an interesting read
but just woke up and typing on my phone)

Regulus said...

Thank you, Fifi. I worried it came out sounding too angry and hateful.

Yes, I too hope this is a good year.

And, no, you could never post a vapid comment. That is a self-negating proposition from a Sublime Sea Mermaid as yourself.