So, I lost my job on Wednesday. Or rather, I was told that I need to be bumped down from salary to freelance because the economy is in the stinker.


Now some people might be thrilled with this- the freedom to set their own hours, living in the moment, just believing the next paycheck will be dropped in the mail…I cannot find the thrill in that. In fact, just writing that sentence gave me heart palpitations.

I am my father’s daughter, through and through. I crave the comforts of a corporate salary, its regular appearance in my checking account provides me with a sense of calm and relief, like flipping the channels and finding an Law & Order: SVU marathon. Now with it gone, I grapple with that feeling of being dangled in mid-air, the safety net nowhere to be found.

I wonder how Charlie Bagel will feel about generic dog food. It’s too terrible to think about.

So over the last few days, I’ve done what I always do when this happens. Panic attack, cry, try to cancel cable and magazines and TiVo but luckily get distracted by another panic attack before I can find old bills with account numbers, drink wine, imagine Charlie Bagel and I walking up the driveway to my parents’ house on Long Island with all of our wordly possessions in garbage bags, finish the wine and open another bottle, drunkenly revise resume and shudder over cover letter, find cable bill, call cable company and tell the man that I cannot afford his exorbinant cable any longer because I lost my job today, let him talk me into keeping it and also relishing the sound of sympathy in his otherwise cold, customer service voice, stumble to the couch, pull dog onto the couch to cuddle with me while I wonder if the both of us can move into the puppy shelter, the two of us huddled together in a crate, him perfectly at ease because all he really cares about is sleeping anyway and me in my fingerless pink-and-black striped gloves, fall asleep watching House, have dreams of me being fired by House and physically attacking him with his own cane before being carried away by Chase, wake up. Realize I can file for unemployment. Formulate a plan. Attack online jobs with resume and new-and-improved cover letter. Call Mom and get just the phone hug I needed, the one you can only get from your mommy when you’re 27 years old and feel like crawling back into the womb is a pretty solid plan right now. Continue breathing in and out and somewhere, somehow get excited at the prospect of something new, something different, something right that’s coming and having no idea what it is.

Yeah. Pretty much what I always do.

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3 Responses to Lemonade?

  1. Kari says:

    Oh, Ollie, I’m sorry to hear it. I will be wishing you much luck.

  2. Jocobeth says:

    Sorry about your job, I can imagine the fear, and exaienty you must be going through, but you are talented, creative and have a lot going for you, believe me this too shall pass, wishing you nothing but all the best from South Africa.

  3. No, you don’t know me, I’m just some guy who reads a lot.

    Saw your blog post on your lost job, and I thought I’d write and share a program I wrote that might help you a tiny bit with your job search. It lets you search craigslist in a quick and easy fashion.

    http://www.bigattichouse.com/oneeyeopen.html – If you mention it on your blog, I’ll send you a full license.

    Also, as one free agent to another, if you’re interested I’ve attached a bread recipe that has helped our family through some seriously rough spots. You can also roll out the dough for pizza, or mix cinnamon and sugar and butter all over and roll/cut for cinnamon rolls. It seems like it takes a long time, but its only about 5 or 10 minutes worth of work with a lot of waiting.

    Mike Johnson


    Time: About 2 hours (Actual Work Time: about 15 minutes)
    BigAtticHouse dinner rolls: (one dozen)
    4 cups flour
    1 1/4 cups warm water ( Water should be warm, but not boiling. )
    2 tablespoons yeast (or 2 packets)
    1/2 tablespoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar (or 1-2 Tablespoons if you want fluffier rolls)
    1-2 tablespoons cooking oil/olive oil/whatever

    1. dissolve yeast and sugar in water in large mixing bowl.
    2. mix yeast until dissolved.
    3. add 1 cup of flour and mix
    4. add salt
    5. continue to add flour 1/2 cup at a time mixing.
    6. flour will seem *VERY* wet, keep mixing. You can use a spatula to “fold” it.
    7. If you feel like a little exercise, oil your hands and knead in the bowl.
    8. The bread will “come together” after a few minutes, and feel “springy”. It will be smooth, If it looks like biscuit batter- keep kneading. Once it is smooth, it means the gluten has developed.
    9. Go ahead and knead the dough for a little while longer, you won’t hurt anything.
    10. Oil a glass or metal bowl. flop your dough into the bowl and flip over – so your dough is lightly covered in oil. Let sit 1 hour in a warm place. you may want to cover with seran-wrap to keep it moist/warm.

    **** After One Hour Rising ****
    11. Flour a surface.
    12. Punch the dough. Yes, punch it… all the air bubbles should deflate it.
    13. You can knead again if you want
    14. Cut the dough into four pieces
    15. Cut each piece into 3 pieces. This should give you 12 small balls of dough.
    16. Oil a muffin/cupcake pan, crisco works best , place one dough ball in each cup
    17. Place pan in a warm, draft-free place for 30-45 minutes.

    **** After 30-45 minutes rising ****
    **** Preheat oven to 425 ****
    18. When the oven gets to 425, Bake for 15 minutes. Rolls should swell about 3-5 times the size of the dough balls. They will start to brown after about 10 minutes, check every two minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
    19. Pop them out onto a wire rack to cool, or the bottoms will get slimy.
    20. Serve immediately with dinner, or as a snack. Careful they’re HOT!

    Note: Before putting in a bag, Let them cool completely (several hours at least) “stone cold”. They keep for 3 or 4 days in a plastic bag. 15-20 seconds in the microwave makes for a great snack.
    source: Mike Johnson of BigAtticHouse

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