Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 (and good riddance)

Aside from the election of Chicago's own Barack Obama, 2008 was not such a good year. Corruption, greed and stupidity reigned. We saw the economy slide into the toilet. We threw good money after bad wars and big corporations while the average American lost good money, period. Food and gas prices went up. Home values and paychecks sunk. Sarah Palin showed that political illiteracy and a lack of experience can win you a spot on the Republican ticket and Blago demonstrated that there's no limit to the gall of Illinois Governors, no matter which party affiliation.

Unfortunately, 2009 isn't going to provide us with a fresh start. The economy's going to get worse before it gets better. Economists are predicting 10% unemployment and I heard today that layoffs will hit my agency on January 5th. Assuming I don't get a pink slip, the chances of a raise at my one year review seem slim to none. What's more, the Chicago Tribune filed for bankrupcy and publications in general are cutting back on freelancers, meaning Josh's income will be halved--or worse.

So what does this mean for my New Year's resolutions? Well, they start with "spend" and end with "less money." We're going to put off purchasing a new dining room table and chairs and we won't be getting the mini kitchen remodel I've been planning (granite countertops, tile backsplash, a new sink and faucet). And our plans for a 10th anniversary vacation will be scaled back or scuttled altogether.

It's all a little bit of a bummer, but I'm an optimist. If Josh can't stay busy with reviews, perhaps he'll write an Oscar-winning screenplay. If we can't eat out at fancy restaurants, there's Five Guys and a new local Trader Joe's. And who needs expensive entertainment when you've got small children. This pic's of Baby A after her bath tonight...naked and wearing her big sister's shoes.