Sunday, May 1, 2011

Death of the Draft Dream

This will be more of a politically charged entry than a hockey blog, but the truth of the matter is I can't take this any more.

When I heard that the draft this year would be in St. Paul MN, I was excited. I thought for sure I'd be able to get there. After all, I wouldn't need a passport and it wasn't a six hour plane ride. No. I should have been able to get there.

Last week I realized that dream was dead. There is one reason, and one reason only why it is.

Gas Prices. I was trying to squirrel away money each week in order to pay for the trip. But then the gas prices started to rise and rise and not stop.

I changed cars to try to save money. That didn't exactly work. While my monthly payment is almost $140 a month LESS than before, I spent $3,000 getting the damn piece of crap. Yes, I turned in a $30,000 car for a $17,000 car, but my gas mileage increased by only about 3 MPG.

The problem is, I work 23 miles from my home. The arena I loved so much is at least another 16 miles from there. One Saturday when I not only went to the Islander game but also the morning skate, I put 120 miles on my brand new blue tin can. That day cost me $20 in gas.

That was April. Now my daily trip to and from work alone without any other driving costs me $50 a week. Let's add in what the gas prices have done to my food bill. While for years I was able to survive on a certain amount of cash per week for myself, (I hate calling it an allowance, but I suppose that IS what it is) I now have to take out an additional $80 a week just to get by.

This means I no longer eat out or buy anything extra.

Yesterday I was in Payless and bought two pairs of sneakers for a whopping $27 because it was a BoGo sale. After I went to Pathmark for groceries I had $3 left for the week and only a 1/4 tank of gas.

I am not a happy American consumer. I yelled at the gas station attendant asking how many effing times a day do they raise the price of a gallon. It actually jumped six cents from the time I went to work to the time I returned home, from $4.13 to $4.19.

New Jersey Devils writer Michelle Kenneth asked me why I don't take public transit. Well, this is Long Island. Our mass transit system is sub par and beyond inadequate. I looked to see if I could find any way of getting from my home on the east end of the South Shore to my office in Farmingdale. There isn't.

The one train station that is within a 1.5 mile walk of my office is the Pine Lawn Cemetery station. Service to that stop is extremely limited. So I could get into work at 11 am and have to leave by 3:30 to make the 4 pm train. My boss would not be amused. So, I drive and I pay.

There isn't even really any bargains from station to station. So while Mobile has posted a profit this quarter over 40% higher than this quarter last year, my mortgage is late and my dream of heading to St. Paul has faded along with so many other dreams I've had that all required ca$h.

If the government doesn't do something about gas prices and the bloated profits of big oil companies, I would hope there should be an American mutiny. The price of gas hurts everyone and everything. Our nation is in serious trouble and the oil companies are raking in BILLIONS.

It also breaks my heart that I can't send any money to those people effected by the devastating tornadoes in the South. That hurts me. I'm hoping I can find an organization looking for clothing to donate to help. That, due to my brat baby, I have plenty of to give -- mostly still with tags on.

So Dear Big Oil: Stop the PRICE GOUGING!
Dear Politicians: Fix the problems and stop wasting time barking at each other!

and lastly:

Dear NHL: If you can find someone to sponsor a blogger so I can make it to St. Paul, I'd be very grateful. I also don't need a per diem for meals, just air-fare and hotel accommodations for two days would be fabulous. Thanks.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put air in my bicycle tires so I can pedal up to the deli because we're out of milk -- which is now $2.49 for a half gallon.


Tartmaster said...

It's sad really. I drive a Pontiac Grand Prix, and I get about 15 mpg. I love the car but I'm looking to sell it because I can't afford $400 dollars for gas per month. I hope you can make it to St. Paul.

TracyLynnLBNY said...

Hi Dee! Well said. So many things I had to cancel for the same reason. I live alone, am on a single income and my commute is 30 miles 1 way. I'm currently spending roughly $75 a week on gas and my car gets fantastic mileage. I hope they do something about this very soon because it's going to wreak havoc on the economy if people, like us, don't have disposable income.

Thanks for writing this one. I was hoping to go to the draft too :(


Tracy from ye olde press box at the barn.