Two paths to a “good” December…

It’s the last day of November. That’s important for a couple of reasons – not the least of which is it means I only have 17 work days between me and a glorious 16-day weekend. That’s sixteen days to stow my laptop and neither schlep to the office nor work from home. It’s two weeks and change of just hanging out. Let me tell you, friends, even in a plague year that’s already been filled with time at home, I’m kind of living for the long end of the year time off.

Even if my standard two-week Christmas vacation wasn’t in the offing, there’s actually a different, and possibly mor important date fast approaching. The 11th of December won’t stand out to anyone who doesn’t draw a check from Uncle Sam, but that’s the date most of the federal government runs out of money and would be forced into another shutdown. 

Look, I have no idea what a government shutdown would look like in a plague year, but hey, what’s one more bit of fuckery in the mix? With a mostly useless congress and a president who clearly has no interest in governing (and has a propensity for last minute tantrum throwing), it feels possible, even if not likely, that we could have a as much as 40-day break between funds running out and the new president taking office. Even though Congress seems to be working to stave off the possibility, it remains a wildcard.

Now I’m not saying I’m rooting for a crippling Christmas themed government shutdown amidst a rising tide of plague… but hey, if it happens, I won’t be marching in the streets or anything. Obviously, everyone’s circumstances are different, but I should be able ride out a 40-day shutdown without resorting to cat food and tree bark soup… and from that perfectly selfish perspective, more than a month just dicking around the house hardly sounds like the worst thing in the world. 

That’s true at least if precedent is followed, meaning there will be back pay for the shutdown and they’ll restore the two weeks of pre-scheduled leave that got overwritten by the closure and add it in my bucket of vacation time for 2021. If a shutdown happens without those two key components, then I might just be tempted to take to the streets after all.

My eyes are firmly on the calendar for the next couple of weeks, either way.

A short December…

Yeah in and year out, December regularly has the lowest readership of any month of the year. Everyone is busy and that’s to be expected while they’re attempting to fill the world with their personal version of holiday cheer. I mean, I can’t really expect everyone to drop their Christmas planning just because a new post or two show up on the internet. The logical result is that December became something of a dumping ground around here. Since the numbers weren’t on my side, posts got less frequent, shorter, and weren’t exactly “A” level material in a lot of cases. I like to think more recent Decembers have seen that trend reverse a bit as I try to keep the focus on delivering quality pith every day of the year.

December 2007 was seriously short on posts. It looks like I was only managing to get my act together every three or four days back then… and what did show up was often super short and lacked the snark that I think helps define jeffreytharp.com.

What does that mean to you? Well, instead of dribbling them out over two weeks, I’ve taken the unprecedented step of posting the entire month’s worth of material in one go. With these 10 posts, we can bring 2007 to an end. Next sunday, I hope you’ll join me as we launch headlong into 2008. With only ten months and 14,000 words of archive material left to post, this little project is closer to its end than its beginning. I still think it’s been a worthwhile effort if only to remind me about how ridiculous our own pasts can sound when we have the benefit of hindsight.

Racing towards the end of the year…

I’ve spent the last twenty minutes blowing the dust of five posts from the archives and couldn’t help but notice that we’ve worked almost all of the way through 2007. The last of the November posts are up and December has made it’s first appearance. Time flies when you’re having fun. Especially when you’re posting material from before the point when you got the ridiculous idea that posting every day was a good idea.

This week is the usual assortment of minutia, complaints about the onrushing Christmas holiday, and a fun little post from a time in my life when I was still professionally ambitious. Those always make me smile. It never ceases to amaze me how much your Give-a-Shit level can change in six short years.

Enjoy the archive posts and be sure to check back tomorrow for brand new gripes and complaints.