The word recession would be pretty if I didn't know what it meant. It's whispery like water flowing over stones. As with gonorrhea and effluvium, it sounds kind of nice unless you know (or have lived) the meaning. Meaning changes everything.
Here is a list of some American Dream stuff I like in Sacramento that the r-word has not (yet anyway) messed up:
The pool and library at McKinley Park. Budget cuts have made life pretty sucky for people without millions of dollars and private jets. The days of going to a free library and an inexpensive community pool are probably numbered. Till then, this place is pretty great.
Our neighborhood pool closed. Its turquoise waters glitter in the sun behind chain link fences, empty and wasted. McKinley is one of the few pools I can still take my kids to during the hot Central Valley summer, and it's right there by the library. The pool is overcrowded now. It's hard to actually swim but at least it's water.
But what the hell. As long as I can reserve any book I want online and then get a friendly email from the library telling me that my book is waiting for me on my special pick-up shelf, corporate greed can't hurt me. Right?
Deseret Thrift Store on Auburn Blvd. This thrift store is organized, clean, and cheaper than Goodwill. They organize stuff by size so it's easy to shop. Another thing I like about Deseret is that unlike other thrift stores, they don't try to charge more for quality. I once found an Armani skirt with the tags still attached for the same three dollar and fifty cent price tag as every other skirt on the rack. Almost everything I wear comes from there. It's awesome. Mormons seem to be making a move on the Republican party, and I say let them have it. Those LDS know how to thrift.
Costco. Costco says, "You can have what you want as long as you buy a million of it." I like how I can buy a million tortillas for two dollars. My kids are really into bean burritos lately, and Costco lets me tell them, "Yes, you can have it." Costco says yes when everyone else says no. Walmart says "yes" too, but then Satan takes your soul and grinds it into a spicy powder that he uses to flavor his burgers. Costco has highly ethical business practices. Costco would never take your soul unless you tried to get out the door without paying for it. As long as it's on your receipt, it's yours.
The Farmers Market of the Apocalypse. On Sunday mornings sometimes we go to the Farmers Market under the freeway. It's not really called the Farmers Market of the Apocalypse. I only call it that because the vendors and farmers huddle under the roaring traffic like refugees at the end of the world. You can buy a whole live octopus there, as well as little sachets of fresh lavender and bags of oranges. It's nice to know that if the recession goes any farther and civilization collapses in on itself there will still be a place to go for those things.