friday random eleven: “maybe 242 years was a good run” edition

09 Feb

My nerves really can’t take this kind of thing for much longer, I’ll be honest. This latest shutdown drama, passing late into the night (and still technically not over as I write this) has been hell on my calm, especially given how normally disorganized my organization is. I went to bed not knowing whether I’d be working, and I woke up at 5am not knowing whether I’d be working (since the House apparently passsed the bill aroun 5:30). Bill still hasn’t been signed by the White House, and given how stable that place is, I can’t be sure it will be, because it doesn’t have a wall in it. In the meantime, I’m following instructions, sitting here in limbo in my office, not working (because I can’t, technically), waiting for word on what the hell I’m supposed to be doing.

This business is all very frustrating to me. Personally, because I and my cohort of public servant worker drones are getting tossed around as pawns with alarming regularity, and also because it’s all theater; everybody pretty much agrees on the issues they’re fighting over (yes, the DACA kids deserve a path to citizenship; let’s get that sorted out). Also, the fact that I have to admit that I agree a bit, at least in principle, with Senator Rand Paul about something (that spending is a little crazy, even if we’d disagree on appropriate spending targets) is troubling. Were I merely a disinterested observer and civics geek (and I’d argue that I’m kind of the latter), this would all be fascinating. As it is, I’m just seeing it as evidence that we’re pretty much a Republic in decline, and as a career bureaucrat pawn in the game, I have a front row seat.

Oh, as I write this, I just got an email broadcast from the agency COO:

Teammates,

The President is expected to sign the funding bill this morning. No one should be furloughed at this time. etc.

Okay. Whatever. If you really look at the bill, it’s just another continuing resolution carrying us to March 23 (which could really screw up my plans for Consonance), with the skeleton of the huge budget “deal” attached; a deal that will actually have to be it’s own piece of legislation, so we might have to do this again…I’m to cynical to believe that we’re all bipartisanship and roses now.

So what do I have lined up this weekend? Tonight, whether I’m furloughed or not, I’m doing a father-daughter dance thing with the youngest at school (hope it’s not the creepy kind; I expect it will be enjoyable -she’s certainly excited), and running the crew through further adventures on the Isle of Dread tomorrow afternoon. I also need to pay my bills at some point.

I might also be crying and wailing in despair at some point, but if I can manage to avoid that, I will.

Tunes:

  1. “Rich Girl” – Daryl Hall and John Oates
  2. “Dancin’ In The Moonlight” – King Harvest
  3. “Watching and Waiting” – Journalism
  4. “Coming Home” – Cinderella
  5. “Life of Just Living” – Cavemen
  6. “Is There A Ghost” – Band of Horses
  7. “Down Under” – Men At Work
  8. “Hard to Explain” – The Strokes
  9. “Here if You Want (Pale Blue) – MOSSS
  10. “Home” – Day Wave
  11. “Dondergod” – Heidevolk

Couple of hours later update to this nonsense: Shortly after this particular missive posted, we got a message that superseded the message I quote above, telling us to engage in an orderly shutdown. So, we start. Less than 40 minutes later, we get further notice that we’re to cease that shutdown business. Talk about whiplash. Even later, more official guidance laid things out to say that if you got your furlough notice, you got the day. If not, you’re working as normal. My boss had a small fender-bender on the way into work.

We missed the cutoff by ten minutes. Damn.

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