Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The rack is full and so are we, of laughing gas and ennui

Well, that's what one of my snit fits looks like.  I'm sorry you had to see that.  I really do try to repress as much as possible, but that stuff was leaking out of my ears.   Please keep your eyes peeled for my gratitude post tomorrow.  No really.  I have a long list of things I'm grateful for even in the midst of my midlife meltdown.

Okay, so now I am over it.  This is me letting go of the traditional idea of work.  Once those benefits are gone, I'm going to be one of those people who simply stops looking for work.  If I can't get paid to suck it, fuck it, flash my tits at it, wear it and then sell it on ebay, tweet it, bake it, youtube it or write it, I'm not worrying about it.

We will adjust further.  Priorities will be rent, utilities, food and gasoline.  The doctor, dentist and other small business people who normally enjoy a few dollars from us each month, well, sorry.  The big guys get their money.  Georgia Gas, Georgia Power, AT&T, Progressive Insurance, the water company, the oil company selling the least expensive gasoline.

I still taste the bitter.  Dang it.

Anyway, today has been interesting.  I paid what is likely my last visit to the Department of Labor.  They were holding a farewell party for some of us long-termers.  They even provided party hats and noisemakers.  And cake.  Three kinds.  There was chocolate for the transplants, red velvet for the real Southerners, and a carrot cake for the hippies.  It sat forlornly on the edge of the table next to the cruditees, mostly ignored while we gluttonous slackers attacked the hot wings and store brand potato chips with gusto.

I never did find the alleged cooler holding the beer, but while I was surfing the job search website, the guy at the computer next to me offered me some moonshine in a flask.  I typically don't drink after people, not even MathMan or the kids, but since we're talking serious alcohol here, I figured whatever crud that guy had left on the rim of that flask wouldn't do me any damage.  Plus, I'm pretty good at the waterfall move.  (Just don't mention backwash, please.)

I had to be furtive though.  The security guard was there performing his normal duties - holding up the wall next to the check-in and pushing in chairs after ill-mannered clients get up and lumber after their counselors into the cubicle maze without taking a moment to shove in their chairs.  A couple of clients asked him if he'd give us all a patdown so we could pretend we were going somewhere for the holidays.  He told them to pipe down and have some raw vegetables because that might be the last fresh veggies they see for a while.

I saw some folks pocketing food.  Sometimes you just have to look away.  Or at least don't make eye contact. We all deserve a little dignity, right?

I high-fived the counselor on my way out.  He wished me bobspeed and told me to let him know when my book gets published.  I felt propelled by his confidence.  So much so that I skipped across the street to where MathMan sat in the middle of total chaos at the pediatric dentist's office where he waited with Nate for a 10:45 a.m. appointment.

I sat reading Laura Munson's This Is Not the Story You Think It Is (psst, read this book) while MathMan graphed stuff on a calculator.  He is so hot when he does mathy stuff in public.  I leaned over and licked his ear. Around us a herd of preschoolers thundered about, shrieking and running, climbing into the playhouse in the corner.

The most talked about kid in the waiting room was named The Rattlesnake.  The rest of the kids hollered The Rattlesnake! The Rattlesnake! over and over while I tried to focus on the book and MathMan tried to recover from being licked in front of twenty-seven other adults who lined the room, staring up the TVs showing Food Network and wishing they were anywhere else but in that noisy room with the floofloovers and the tartookas, the whohoopers and gardookas.....

Nate was finally called back for his cleaning at noon.  I was feeling grateful for the guy and his flask of moonshine...

Thanks to all of you who left comments, sent jokes and emails and who contacted MathMan to make sure I hadn't leaped from the top of garage and broken my blogging fingers.  You guys are the best.  I love you all.



P.S.  What are you reading? watching? doing over the long weekend?  Do you know anyone named The Rattlesnake?


  1. We are eating stuffing and pie tomorrow (no turkey) and hopefully clearing out part of the cardboard we've acquired over the past six months, plus de-cluttering the back porch and getting started baking for the holidays. If we live large, we might even shelf some books that have made their ways into piles. These activities are exciting only because they will help us make room for the Christmas tree I hope to get soonish (with our tiny cars, who knows?).

  2. There was an episode of "Friends" where Joey is in between jobs and broke, and when the coffeehouse guy wants money from him Joey says, "Well see I'm broke and I'm not working, so I've had to cut back on payin' for stuff."

  3. We just finished watching all 23 episodes (in groups of four) of 'ergo proxy', a very convoluted but interesting anime. Thank bob we have a collection of foreign dvd's since movie options here either stream slow with dubbing or arrive by dog sled every other week.

    Currently reading the Atlas to see if there's someplace warmer to live.

  4. Another great post. Thank you Lisa. You always make me smile and yearn for us both to fine the work we so desperately need. xoxo Love you!

  5. Still high from the surprising and warm-fuzzy-inducing skype fest with my family back home, I am entirely too excited about American Thanksgiving. I am also really obsessed with Black Friday. Which, of course, I won't get to attend. But anyway, for my second holiday season in Montreal, darn it if I don't feel as chipper as I would were I in California.
    (Did that in *any* way answer your question?!)

  6. Working pretty much until Sat. AM, then decorating the house for Christmas, the back to work Monday. That will be my life. Will enjoy eating tomorrow with my family, my mother-in-law and her husband.

    Let's see . . .

    Amos Lee's new song "The Windows Are Rolled Down", just purchased from iTunes, is really, really awesome. I have it on repeat, probably driving my family crazy.

    when I saw you had closed out comments on the previous post, yeah, I was worried, plus I felt guilty, even though I'm normally not that funny on command.

  7. Ah! Finally hired a wonderful girl, so I will be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Can't wait to eat, laugh, cuddle, and reminisce. Of course, my phone will be in my back pocket the entire day. Just in case.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Lisa. I love your sense of humor.

  8. I am so very happy to see you here today.

    Reading: Jung and Bion. Watching: Pie in the Sky. Dreading: Seeing my mother tomorrow.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all whom you love.xoxo

  9. Bitter you may be. But no matter your emotional state, your writing still wows me, Lisa.

  10. Your comedic timing in your writing is superb. A book? Great idea. You can set up a self-publish method where a book is made and vended as they are ordered. OR you can get some big publishing house to do it.

    I think you should be writing jokes for the late night stand ups because in addition to your talent, you have the POV of an unemployed smart person. Those who think it's ok to bail out rich people and not support the working people should be derided and the object of comedy all over the country.

  11. My kiddo is coming back from Ohio in December... glad to have him back, but will miss not having him here for Thanksgiving.

    Keep on keepin' on.

  12. wishing you had better news, my dear...this is pure and simple a terrible thing......i have no words as i am sure many people say to you...and no, i do not know anyone named rattlesnake excepting the real thing, with whom i am well-acquainted!

    hoping you have a good holiday and weekend...we are having a quiet time, eating some crab, some bread(not me dammit) dipped into warmed butter-yum yum, fresh crab, there's nothing better and one of the best reasons for living here! a little art, a little reading and maybe taking a walk in the sunshine, should it's that for exciting? :) xoxoxo

  13. You've got what it takes to find a way. You'll make it all work. You have each other.

  14. Hello, lovely. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    Excited for the traditional Tofurky :). My husband and I are enjoying the long weekend together, too. Prepping for a big move...should probably start Lots of course planning, too!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Don't know of The Rattlesnake. Sounds like a character in The Big Lebowski...

  15. Just finished watching the black comedy "A Serious Man" by the Coen Brothers. We enjoyed it, and spent some time after talking about what it all meant. We're leaning to Larry being Job. You might enjoy it too!

    Tomorrow we'll cook and eat traditional, except for using Nora Ephron's turkey cooking method: wash turkey inside and out, pat it dry, salt and pepper it. Then put it in the oven at 450 and don't baste it. Pull it out when the meat thermometer says 165 (about 2 hours).

  16. Thanksgiving? We're ignoring it.

  17. I'll be scrambling all weekend to finish the last sessions from my Christmas rush, which happens a month ahead.

    The only thing worse than being unemployed is being self-employed, working your ass off, and making money a teenager would turn down.

  18. Oh thank goodness you sound so much better! *whew*

  19. You are a brilliant writer, Lisa, so I'm praying to bob that someone out there pays you gazillions to write. Happy Thanksgiving!
    The Middle Ages

  20. I'm cooking my fool head off. This is our only serious holiday. But the bonus is, no cooking for the next three! It's leftovers ad nauseum. And we love the food so it never gets old. What is left is frozen and we drag it out whenever. Hoping to watch some Star Wars and do some knitting and read. I'm reading a review copy of Creation and the God of Abraham...heavy duty philosophy, theology but most interesting.

    Always praying for work for you Lisa. I know how very difficult all this is. Everyone struggling with finances, health issues, relationships, faces each day a minute at a time sometimes. Best always.

  21. Reading: The Shadow of Albion, a magic/alternate-world/regency by Andre Norton and Rosemary Edghill, Lucifer's Hammer, an end of the world Sci-Fi novel by Niven and Pournelle, and Harpist in the Wind by Patricia McKillip out loud with Youngest. Also gradually working my way through The Creators by Daniel Boorstin.

    In thirty minutes we go to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal (and far too much of it) with Dearest's mother, and with Dearest's sister's, family.

    No Christmas stuff until later later later.

    Also been catching up on Glee with daughter, while she is here with us for the break. Only TV we are watching these days. (We did watch the Macy's parade this morning - been doing that as a family forever.)

  22. I hope that we both find work's very discouraging, especially at my age I already have a strike against much for discrimination in the job market. I hope that your Thanksgiving is a special one...LOVE is the most important ingredient in life...and look at the bright haven't had to move back home at the age of 63! :)

  23. Happy Thanksgiving Lisa!

    Things just have to get better soon. They have to.

    Well, my kids are coming soon, so I'd better get back to the kitchen.

  24. We struggle to pay for rent, utilities, petrol for our one car. Right now we have no money left over for dentist, hairdresser, new clothes, eating at restaurants, travel to visit family. But I am not looking for work. Maybe next year.

    I am very lucky to live in a country with social welfare and universal health coverage. Amen.

  25. "All I had for breakfast was puff-ed rice."
    -- Darrin Stephens

  26. Don't know anyone named "Rattlesnake" but I do know someone named "Screwloose". Does that count??

  27. I just saw a notice today that after tomorrow, they are no longer providing coffee for the workers. If they weren't survivors (going to potluck it, I'm sure), they would revolt.

    Incidentally, I carry a graphing calculator around with me at all times. Now, I know why.

  28. Just finished "The Tender Bar" by J.R. Moehringher. Great memoir. I wanted to read "Open" by Andre Agassi, and everything I read about "Open" kept refering to his co-writer J.R. Moeh... I just had to read it. It was REALLY good...deliciously written....

    I have missed you on FB. I was thinking that meant you were really busy with NaNWroMo or whatever. You are in my thoughts all the time. You and yours. Enjoy the remainder of the holiday weekend. xoxoxox


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