Seven's Unemployment Journal

Monday - May 19: I left work bright and early and was home by 10am. Not bad after only clocking in at 9am. heh heh. This is my last day. After six months of working there I spent a moment before I left remembering all the good times. I have to say I got a little misty for a second. Really, an entire second. By the end of that second I was done remembering all the good times and was well on my way out the door.

I’ve decided to NOT do any job hunting today or tomorrow. I think two days off is good. Besides, I’ve already been putting in applications last week. I should have, no, I deserve at least two days to relax.

My daughter leaves for “outdoor school” - which is three days in the woods learning about how dirt becomes dirt, what slugs eat, why red-belly newts don’t make a good light lunch, and other neat outdoorsy stuff.

I spent most the day pressure washing the patios and walkways around the yard with my spanky new pressure washer I’ve not really had time to play with.

I broke down about the job hunting business and decided to phone up a woman I had an interview with the week before. She said they haven’t decided yet but I’m still in the running. Yeah for me. This is a job in a museum type place which is about what I need right now. No computers, no selling, just telling people about the stuff they’re looking at.

Visitor: Excuse me, what can you tell me about this painting?
Me: Umm… It’s blue and stuff.

Yup, just the job for me.

My wife and I decide to have a nice BBQ dinner and eat out by the pool. During dinner I pressure her into allowing me to invoke a a nice 1950’s Tiki theme around the pool. She hasn’t cracked yet, but I’m wearing her down. I’m thinking about building a bamboo outdoor bar (with fridge and sink), getting more Tiki torches and some of those Easter Island party lights to go around the fence. Of course I’ll need drink glasses that look like coconut shells. You wait, by the end of summer Don Ho will blend in real nice around here.

Tuesday - May 20: I awake bright and early (well,. around 11am). The wife and I spend the day in a “hip” area of Portland browsing shops, buying little odds and ends, window shopping and drinking coffee.

We’ve had a real problem around the house with flies. The little bastards are EVERYWHERE! I think my dog is attracting them because she stinks. Anyway, one of the stores was selling this thing that looks like a badminton racket, but it’s a bug zapper. Hell yeah. This thing is right up my alley. $15 later, it’s mine. I almost can’t wait to get home and become Electronic Badminton Man - set forth to rid the world of the housefly plague.

We end the day in Chinatown with dinner in a funky little Chinese restaurant.

We get home and I load up my Electronic Badminton Man secret weapon with two AA batteries. Someone must have tipped off the flies because I couldn’t find one anywhere. I had my Electronic Badminton Man speech all ready to go. Ok, really it was the “I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance” speech Samuel L. Jackson used in Pulp Fiction.

I was kind of hoping my wife would get into the Pulp Fiction role. After I dump the dead bugs in the bin she could say “Did you see a sign out in front of my house that said ‘Dead chigger storage”?

Yeah I know, a chigger isn’t a housefly. Shut up.

Later that night we watched “Caligula” on DVD which arrived in the post this morning (I ordered it last week). You know, if you take out the whole sex and nudity portion of Caligula it kind of reminds me of the job I just quit.

Wednesday - May 21: I dropped a resume off at some place which might be a fun job, got a coffee and went home. At 1pm I picked up my daughter from school.

We headed off to the pool store to buy chemicals, a pool brush, and a few other odds and ends. We went home and I cleaned the pool. Joy of joys. What the fuck is it with the worms around here? Last summer I decided that every bug in the major Portland area comes to my pool to die. This spring it’s worms. They come out at night and perform a lemmingesque leap of faith into my pool. I thought I could try to revive them using items from the Electronic Badminton Man utility belt, but what’s the point? They would just dive in again that night. Stupid worms.

We decided to BBQ stuff again (I forgot to mention I got a new BBQ for my birthday). We sliced up veggies and meat items and impailed it all on metal spikes and doused it in Teriyaki sauce. Yum. If you notice, Teriyaki fits well with my whole Tiki theme. You see, slowly, I’m wearing the woman down. Soon she’ll be singing “Tiny Bubbles” and blending me up a nice rum/fruit drink behind the Bamboo Bar.

The phone rings. I hardly ever pick up the phone but something told me I should. I noticed the caller ID said Excell Marketing. YEAH! A telemarketer. Oh happy day.

Me: Hello?
Old sounding guy on the phone: Hello, is this Steven?
Me: Who’s this?
Bob: I’m Bob calling from Trendwest (Trendwest is a big timeshare vacation company that offers trips and other junk if you attend their sales pitch. The wife and I have a habit of attending these for the fun of it)
Me: The name is “seven” Bob.
Bob: Oh Seven. So it is. Anyway, like I said I’m Bob and I work for Trendwest.
Me: How’s that working out for you Bob?
Bob: Oh well,. You know. The pension didn’t end up paying as much. I was there for 38 years and it… Anyway… I’m calling because you’ve won a Digital Camera worth $250. All you need to do is come by and pick it up.
Me: Gosh Bob, that’s mighty swell.
Bob: You’ve also won a trip for two to Victoria or Vancouver BC.
Me: A trip? For Two? The timing on that couldn’t have been better because apparently I’ve just won a Digital Camera! I could use that on my trip.
Bob: Uhhh? Yeah, I guess you could.

So, I let Bob fumble his way though the sales pitch and arrange a time for me and the Mrs to visit Trendwest to pick up our fabulous prizes. Considering it’s Trendwest, I somehow suspect the $250 digital camera is really a cheap $30 digital camera with “accessories” (like driver software, a cheap nylon bag and batteries) which bring the total value to $250. But hey, a free digital camera is a free digital camera. If it’s really a piece of junk perhaps my daughter will end up winning a digital camera, care of dad and mum. Heh heh. So, next Friday I’ll be enjoying free crappy coffee care of Trendwest while listening to high pressure sales into a time share vacation plan.

It’s been over a year from the last time I’ve done this sort of thing, I better practice my lines.

Me: Nope.
Me: No.
Me: Uh uh.
Me: Not interested.
Me: I don’t think so.
Me: $250?? I can buy that piece of junk for thirty bucks.
Me: No.
Me: Nope.
Me: Can I go now?

Yup, I remember them.

Later, I hopped on-line and bounced over to and ordered “The Hitchickers Guide to the Galaxy” and “Reservoir Dogs”. I started to watch my crummy VHS copy of a copy of Hitchickers the other night and got a bug up my ass to see a good copy of it. They don’t have it at any of the video rental stores around here so I figured I should just own a copy. I should have those movies next week.

That night I watched “The Man Who Fell to Earth” on DVD which arrived the same day “Caligula” did.

Before I retired to bed Electronic Badminton Man made the rounds about the house.

Electronic Badminton Man, 5.
Flies, 0.

Thursday - May 22: I applied at an animal hospital. They are looking for someone to help out doing odds and ends, vet tech stuff. I figure I’ve had just about every animal most people keep as pets and am considering (again) going into being a vet or a vet tech. I really, REALLY, want to get away from computers and any sort of tech sales. I don’t really know what the job entails, but it’s close to my house and that’s good enough for me at the moment.

I went down to my old place of employment and picked up my last check. It felt good to know I never have to show up for work there EVER AGAIN! I should’ve quit there months ago. I went to the bank and cashed my check then headed home. I decided to stop and get a nice iced mocha coffee.

Oh no, Starbucks by my house is hiring! It might be dangerous to be employed at a place where their main product is coffee. With an employee discount of coffee and coffee products I’d have all the coffee I could drink. I’d never sleep. An endless supply of iced mochas, triple tall lattes, frosty blended mocha frappachinos… Droooooool. I can see myself coming home from working at a espresso shop, wired on coffee and running around the house for 6 hours as Electronic Badminton Man with the furor of a crank fiend. Really, really, REALLY bad idea.

I pick up an application.

Considering I’ve given myself the goal of submitting one application for work a day, I spend the rest of the day in the pool.

At the end of last summer I picked up two air mattresses for fifty cents. I finally got around to blowing them up and putting them in the pool. I noticed one had a small hole. Damnit. I feel ripped off. I don’t care if it was only a quarter. What kind of bastard sells an air mattress with a hole in it?

After careful consideration and consultation with my daughter, we decided the best thing would be to try to fully pop the air mattress by jumping on to it from the diving board,… and from the edge of the pool,… and from the water slide. Sadly, we failed. But tomorrow is another day.

Later that night I mentioned to my wife how cool it would be to have a couple of those large Polynesian masks hanging on the wall behind the BBQ… just to add a splash of colour to the area. She’s still shaking her head on the idea so I might have to sneak some of these items in one at a time. This week-end I’ll head over to this import store and see if I can find a small Tiki related item. Perhaps something for the center of the table? Oh, better still I’ll make it a gift to her.

Me: Here honey. I bought you a present.
Her: For me? What a sweet husband I married.
Me: Shucks.
Her: unwraps Oh look, uhhh, it’s a Tiki head vase. How, uhhh, nice.
Me: I thought you’d like that. Won’t that look good on the table outside? Here, let me show you.