Saturday, October 25, 2008

The new and improved

I figured it was probably a good time to re-introduce myself...

It has been two years since my last post here. In those two years I have done the following:

-Had my heart broken
-Worked my way up from title clerk to, effectively, CFO of a multi-location scooter shop.
-Said goodbye to my parents, who now live a state away
-Fallen in love
-Dyed my hair black and lost 20 pounds
-Moved into a 1920s Cheesman Park apartment with my sister, recently returned from her Peace Corps assignment in Lesotho (pending, moving day is today and tomorrow)

There's more, of course. Suffice it to say there's a big difference between 25 and 27. But to be honest, it really does seem to be getting better all the time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

receding

I was driving to our South store today, which is located in a typical small-town-turned-suburb area of Denver called Englewood. Englewood crops up on the Southern stretch of Broadway, a once-bustling thoroughfare. The street is typical two-lane urban highway, spotted with late-40s hotels and car dealerships. This is the street every city had in the 40s and 50s. Before interstates but in the heyday of the big automobile.

On my commute this morning I saw no fewer than four boarded-up or closing businesses that were recent enough casualties of the recession for me to be surprised to see them gone. And then I started paying attention.

I noticed a handful more, and then began to assess which businesses were doing well. The SMART dealership seems to be prospering. The Dollar Store was opening to a full parking lot. Starbucks had a line around the building for the drive-through.

I was listening to the radio and they said that Wal-Mart employees had noticed a sharp increase in baby formula sales around the first, last and middle of the month. This means that people are waiting for their paychecks to feed their children. America, it would seem, is living paycheck to paycheck.

I heard that canned goods sales are up, and that SPAM is seeing renewed popularity.

It seems that the saddest part of this is the story behind it all. We all did so well under Clinton- we had the things we needed, and we got used to it. Then America got greedy and wanted more. And even when people weren't doing as well, they didn't scale back. Everyone wanted the bigger house, the bigger SUV. America supersized it and was proud of it. And now there's this reckoning. America is slowly realizing we can't have our war and our SUVs, too.

I think we need to redefine what it means to live like an American.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

putting lipstick on a pig

$150,000 on hair, makeup and clothes?

Considering that's probably close to the balance most people were looking at on their foreclosed mortgages this year, I find that pretty, well... ugly.

silent all these years

Thinking about coming back... we shall see.