I just completed the ethics and workplace harassment training courses that corporate mandated for us earlier today. I’m pretty sure I’m the first one at the office to complete mine (even though we have, like, a month or so to finish them), which should earn me some kind of bonus, right? — but I’m pretty sure it won’t.

Nevertheless, I’m feeling all ethical and, like, trained, y’know?

Actually, I’m feeling kinda tired, thanks to waking up at 3 a.m. and then being completely UNable to get back to sleep until sometime after 5 a.m., and even then, only for a few minutes. Yet, I want to stay up for the 11 p.m. showing of The Shield — which, now that Eli Stone has returned, I’ve been forced to miss at 9 p.m.

But my eyelids, they are a-droopin’ …

I’m sick of election coverage, and the thought of “four more years” of Republican “leadership” scares me. As does the current economic situation. How bad is it all? I’ve had close friends who have lost their jobs because of corporate downsizing and/or financial mismanagement and/or plain and simple “slow sales” — as far back as 2002 and as recently as within the last couple of weeks.

My gas tank is presently just below the one-fourth mark, and over the past week or so, I’ve seen the prices drop from up near the $4 mark to approximately $2.83 at the station just down the street from me. I keep playing my own little game of “Chicken,” daring the prices to go down even further before I pull in for a fill-up.

The disgusting part: Don’t you just know that in a few weeks (days, maybe), the prices will be going right back up again? And this time, they will jump to well over $4 and will not come down again. Ever.

Do prices ever go back down again, on anything? Or is our financial system, our entire economy, based on the fact that prices must always go up, up, up (“in a puff of smoke, and it ain’t no joke, the way he broke my heart”), never to decrease? And, if so: Why?

I took a semester of economics my senior year of high school. Of course, I got an “A” in the class, but I truly have never had a clear understanding of even the most basic principles of economics. (I did enjoy our little project of having to “invest” money in different stocks and then track their gains and losses over the course of the semester.)

Every day, after I descended the stairs and rounded the corner on my way to the locker Tee-Hee and I shared (as seniors, we didn’t HAVE to share a locker; we just wanted to!), I would see Tee-Hee, watching me and smiling as I displayed what she called “The Econ Look.” Which I can only imagine was a look of utter confusion and cluelessness.

And I am not, by nature, a clueless person.

Go figure.