........has taken over Pittsburgh!
I am grateful that the 'Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' have chosen to meet to work out the financial kinks in this recession. I am grateful that we have 19 of the world's largest national economies plus the European Union represented and hard at work to repair our economic mess. I am grateful that I get to witness all of this first-hand, as it is taking place in Pittsburgh. I am grateful that they chose Pittsburgh to host this conference for good reasons. I am grateful that this city has reinvented itself from the fall it took when the steel industry collapsed. I am grateful I have been able to learn more about the economy, it's peaks and valleys, by watching positive changes take place in this humid, diverse corner of the country.
I am not grateful that a meeting of this magnitude draws protesters to my new neighborhood. I am not grateful that these protesters have been saving up bags of their own feces to throw around the city or on passersby. I am not grateful that the city had to dip into their own budget to provide the financial means to bring in 4,000 or so extra law reinforcements, causing a bit of an upset in our city's monetary resources. I am not grateful that the roads I am familiar with are now barricaded or fenced off, causing detours to lead me in circles as I try to find my way to work, church, the park, Sean's place, and any of my other daily stops. I am not grateful that, with all the satellite and high security precautions going on in the area, my GPS is confused and yelling at me constantly to "TURN AROUND", "WHEN ABLE, DRIVE TO HIGHLIGHTED ROUTE", and my least favorite-- "RECALCULATING!" Lastly, I am not grateful that my roommate can't go into work downtown, amidst all the fece-throwing protesters, and instead left me alone in the house to go to Utah for the weekend. I am not grateful for my crazy mind that wanders and makes me think that there is some large man hiding in a corner of my empty abode every night when I get in a little too late. I am not grateful that my thoughts lead to panic. I am not grateful that when I got home last night I could see from the road that my t.v. was on. I am not grateful that I instantly panicked and thought the worst (big scary man on my couch waiting for me), and called Sean, asking him to please sleep on my couch for the night.
I am grateful that I have an understanding fiance that came, thoroughly scanned the house, slept on the couch, and calmed my panicked mind, which helped me sleep peacefully upstairs. I am grateful that there weren't any large scary men hiding in my home. I am also grateful that work doesn't start until after my trip to Utah, and after the G-20 Summit leaves Pittsburgh. I am grateful that my GPS will work again, and that I will not be driving in circles any longer.