Sweet Distractions


Okay, this really sucks. Not 24 hours after Obama is elected on a platform of “hope,” Ollie loses her job. Here she was, only hours before, freaking out with joy, and then bam.  Not two weeks ago, my sister lost her job. Now she’s worried about losing her apartment. The month of October we lost 250,000 jobs. 1.2 million since January. That number always seemed like an abstract until if affected two people close to me. The ironic thing is that both of them can continue to do freelance, so they don’t even qualify for the tally.  Yet that instability is heart wrenching.  My sister regularly IM’s me in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because of stress.

This American Life did a great show explaining the murky and confusing world of credit default swaps.  It’s worth a listen to, if only to be able to sound like a brilliant economist at your next cocktail party, or at your next job interview, as the case may be.  At any rate, you’ll never give your cash over to Wall Street without some hard-hitting investigation first. I personally have invested at a local (very local) establishment with a low return, yet high stability….


I certainly don’t want to be a bummer. I like to go to blogs to escape. In Hi-Fidelity style, I’m rolling out the…

“Cones Top-5 Picks To Take Your Mind Off The Ensuing Depression”

#5: What could be better than an indoor swing for adults? Make fun permanent!


You’ll be just high enough that the Repo Man won’t be able to reach your Manolos.  And the view is much better from up there.  Just think of Mary Poppins and the tea party on the ceiling.

#4: Never has there been a woman quite like Scarlett O’Hara. When times got tough, she got tougher, sacrificing neither style nor attitude.


If watching her shoot, charm and steal her way through the Civil War doesn’t get you in the fighting spirit, then frankly my dear, I don’t know what will.


While you’re at it, the sequel to GWTW, Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley is a wonderful read. Not only does Scarlett give the proverbial finger to the high society ladies of the south who don’t approve of her grit, she sets her sights on the land of her father and begins life anew.

#3 But of course.

3Chocolate jacks up your serotonin whether you have $20 in the bank or $20,000. And for that one bite, okay 5-10 bites, there is little else that matters in the world. And here’s the magic of these brownies, you won’t even need to stand in bread lines for the flour because they’re flourless. Oh man, I don’t even want to tell you what’s in these because you won’t believe me and you won’t make them but you HAVE TO MAKE them because they are outrageously delicious.  Black Beans.  There, I said it.  They are BLACK BEAN BROWNIES.  Depression-licious. Oh and PS, I make at least 2-3 recipes from this fantastic chef every week.  Go, explore, lose yourself in it.

#2: Cheap date. Snuggle up to someone new. Or old.


This is no time to be alone. Get off Craigslist and off your couch.  Ask that cute guy from your former office out on a cheap creative date.  After all, if he says no, you can reflect on your life and realize that, yes it really can always get worse. And if he says yes, well then you have yourself a hot little distraction. My husband and I finally started dating fo real after he got laid off from our company and all the messy taboos no longer applied.

Some good ideas:

  • Get tickets to a local high school or college musical or drama performance. Ask the stars of the show for their autographs on your program.
  • Take a cooking class together, pauper style.  Get Nigella on the tube and your hunk in the kitchen.  Nothing sexier than a man in an apron. Nigella’s not bad on the eyes either.
  • Adopt a dog for the day.  Find a shelter that allows you to take a dog out for the day and go to the park to try to find him potential adoptive parents.

Your handsome guest will admire your sense of whimsy!

#1 Volunteer.

1Maybe you wanted to get out and register people to vote but you couldn’t because of that pesky job.  (Who needs it?) Now’s your chance.  In all likelyhood, you’ll be back in a cubicle in a month or two.  You could spend the next couple months moping around Starbucks with all the other unemployed people, or you could do something that will make you feel like you made wise use of this little sabatical. It is a bonefiable fact that Volunteering makes you feel better about yourself.  Not to mention it’s a brilliant self-marketing strategy.

Potential employer out saving the world on his weekend: Do you work with the kids often?

You: I’ve always wanted to but my job had these grueling hours that just didn’t allow for it.

Potential employer: Oh, you no longer work there?

You: Nah, I’m looking for a better job, something that makes a difference, something that allows for a higher quality of life.

Potential employer: (thinking: This one gets it, she’s a valuable find, smart, dedicated, just the kind of team member we could use…) Well you should come interview at my company, we have a few slots open and I think you’d be a perfect fit.

Bam, the perfect interview foreplay.  And all it took was getting away from the Starbucks sulkers.

More info:, New Yorkers, AngelinosChicago-ites (?), San Fransicans

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One Response to Sweet Distractions

  1. lewp says:

    Great post. It’s too bad we have to worry so much about keeping a job. “Leave it to Beaver” was like Santa Clause, just a big lie.

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