Archive for November, 2010

(Un)employment Update


I’m glad I waited a while to blog about the end of my most recent employment experience. I never wanted to this blog to be depressing and there’s not much you can say about being laid off for the second time in a year that isn’t depressing.  But I feel a little better now.

I think I’ll be able to pick up my freelancing “career” right where I left off.  I’ll never get rich piecing together a few dollars here, a little recognition there, but I may be able to keep afloat with a little help from the unemployment people.  Thank you unemployment people! (Everyone: Please call your congressman and tell him/her to vote for unemployment extensions!)

 I liked the company where I worked for such a short time and I liked the people and I know some of the others who were laid off with me are having a worst time of it.  I didn’t have very much of myself invested in the new job and it was the kind of place, where employees do invest themselves.  There were a lot of people crying when they left there last week and I remember how that feels too.

 It’s the economy. In spite of all the good news I keep hearing about unemployment numbers going down and stocks going up, there just wasn’t enough business.  It was the first lay off in 15 years for a company that had been growing like crazy. Sometimes it’s hard to believe all the good news I keep hearing, but that’s another post all together. It’s a post I’ll leave to people who know more about economics than I do.

 So now I can tell myself that the job just wasn’t right for me.  I can tell myself that my “real” job – the one I’m supposed to be doing – is still out there waiting for me to stumble on it.  That helps a lot. 

 So I’ll post this just because I posted when I got the job and it feels dishonest not to post the update, but I’ll stay positive and continue looking for a job where I can do whatever it is that I’m “supposed” to be doing. It’s gotta be out there, right?

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What is it about fall that makes me want to cook? Over the weekend I made two pumpkin pies and spinach dip for a Halloween party. Then on Sunday I made chili, honey wheat bread and acorn squash.  None of those things are on my diet – oops, I mean my eating plan, so we grilled steaks for dinner and an entire family pack of chicken breasts that I’ll eat for lunch all week.

Considering the temptation, I was actually reasonably good.  I didn’t touch the acorn squash or the honey wheat bread, but I couldn’t completely resist the sour dough bread that I tore into bite size pieces to go with the spinach dip.  Even the celery sticks I cut up didn’t help.  I try and try, but I can’t quite convince myself that celery is actually a good substitute for chips and other “dippers.” There were enough carbohydrates in those little pieces of sour dough bread to do a few days worth of damage, but at least I was able to stay out of the pumpkin pie other than one taste of the filling.  You gotta taste the filling just to make sure it’s all right, right?

I wish I could report that the people who got to eat most of my cooking were pleased and grateful.  The truth is, they pretty much take it for granted.  But I guess they’ve figured out that cooking is some kind of compulsion for me.  They didn’t ask for honey wheat bread and I was informed (a little late) that they don’t really like pumpkin pie. 

It’s not the first time I’ve gotten sucked into compulsive cooking. I remember yeas ago when I decided to combat heart disease with homemade muffins.  I don’t remember which celebrity doctor recommended the whole grain muffins, but I fell for it.  For weeks, I experimented with fresh fruits and grain combinations.  Everybody loved the first batch.  The second batch sat around a little longer.  The third batch went into the freezer.  I think it’s still there. Eventually I had to stop making them.

I went through a bread phase that lasted about 25 pounds and then I moved on to soup.  Way back before the kids were born, I made pickles.  I made so many pickles, we would still be eating them except the mason jars were too heavy to move.  There were a lot of mason jars.  I remember when a friend looked into my pantry and commented, “You guys must really like pickles.”  It was like a light went on all of a sudden.  I looked at my shelves of neatly labeled pickles and I realized for the first time, that we really don’t like pickles very much.   

I guess I like to cook and maybe that’s not such a bad thing if  can control my compulsions just a little.  I’ll just have to go find some more low carb/low fat/sugar-free recipes and then lie to the family about their nutritional values.

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