Tag Archives: economy

in other news, i turn 31 tomorrow

wait, what?? what??!

wasn’t i just, like, 15…yesterday? it really feels that way. it seriously does. (the fact that i act like i’m 15 half the time only compounds this. the ashlee simpson circa 2005 haircut doesn’t help matters but oh i do love it so)

my dad warned me back when, gosh, i think i was a senior in high school or early in my college career that time really flies faster and faster once you get older. you all remember back when you were in high school (or maybe you’re in high school now): time. moved. soooooo sloooowly. like, you couldn’t wait to be done with it all. “older” and…”mature.” and then you’re finally older and you’re kind of wanting it to slow down.

my mom says that life just keeps getting better and better with each passing year, and i have to say i see where she’s coming from. ok, so i’m laid off. and i kind of live…in a…transitional neighborhood. where i can’t even take a decent walk  by myself  during “business hours” (omG what is w/all the crazies in the park between 10 and 4?!; also, haha, i remember business hours! they suck!) and the dead rats in the alley outnumber our friendly neighbors (ok, i’m exaggerating. kind of. but not by much.) but i have my wonderful unlawfully wedded partner by my side, i feel more sure of myself than ever and i’ll tell you what: i am having a damn good time.

i’ll tell you another thing: i have felt better the past three weeks than i have in years. i am not exaggerating. i went from having migraines two, three times a week to…well, i don’t want to jinx things, but let’s just say a whole helluva lot less. it’s amazing what stress and basically being unhappy from roughly 9-5:30 monday thru friday can do to a person. three weeks into this new chapter in my life, and i feel like a new person. i was full of knots before. my brain was a clenched fist. my days have taken on an entirely new rhythm. and i can devote myself entirely to what i love to do: write. i have just been so…happy. it’s a new feeling (i guess you don’t realize just how unhappy you’ve been until you’re actually happy) for me, this happiness that’s not just on a saturday and/or sunday. let’s just say i’m getting used to it quickly.

so here’s to this new chapter in my life. a new (jewish) year. and a new 31st year here on planet earth (wait, wasn’t that a duran duran song?!). i’m already thinking it’s a pretty doggone good one. and the fact that i’m eating lunch closer to 11am now makes it even better 😉

i just gotta say

this whole layoff thing? we are saving one helluva lotta money on gas! booyah!

so i cleaned out my office today

office.jpeg

my office, last day, 2009.

and, honestly, it was a little weird. more than that, it made me incredibly sad.

i know i joke around a lot. and i’ve been a miserable sonuvagun there for quite some time. i didn’t think i’d feel all that bad packing up and leaving it all behind.

it was weird having to coordinate my visit w/the hr director at the place i’ve worked for four years. and it was weird having everyone look at me with…just so much sadness in their eyes. and getting hugs (tho i did appreciate them) from folks i’ve barely touched on the arm.

the executive hallway i sat in was so quiet. and a couple of those executives were there–including those that made the decision about who would go and who would stay (there were quite a few of us let go on monday). they knew i was there. i knew they were there. one called when holly–who came w/me, thank goodness–and i were taking my stuff off the wall, out of drawers and off shelves, all that was left of my 40-hr-a-week life there.

“hello?” i said, expecting a friendly voice. i thought maybe a buddy had seen me enter the building, and wanted to stop by and see me off. but no.

“uh, hello?” said the male voice, which i immediately recognized. i heard his voice echo down the hall, just slightly off-beat from the voice over the phone. the man that dropped the bombshell on my whole world monday morning. the man that never really kept it a secret that he didn’t want me, or my boss (also laid off), there to begin with. he was only steps away in his office.

“who is this?” he said, sounding shocked and pretty darn irritated.

“this is jessica,” i said, barely keeping my composure. oh how i wish i could have shot poisoned darts thru the phoneline.

“oh,” he spat out with an uncomfortable laugh. “what…what are you doing here?”

i felt like saying, dude, grow a set and come talk to me 10 feet down the hall!

“i’m cleaning out my office,” i spat back. (hey, why hold it in? i’m already canned.) suddenly it occurred to me that it was weird he was calling. why are you calling my number?? he answered my question before i could ask it.

“i’m, i’m just checking your voicemail,” he said.

“ok then! goodbye!” and i smacked the phone down. the same way i used to when i was a community reporter after dealing with a particularly obnoxious interviewee.

i noticed i was shaking, just the tiniest bit.

“honey calm down,” holly said. “let’s just do this.”

and so we did.

off came the framed madonna albums off the wall. down came the pink flamingo lamp. my collection of snowglobes. the ramones posters. photos of holly and her sisters. pencil drawings by my sweet little niece. down came everything.

this was really over.

we talked to a woman i’ve grown particularly fond of over the years. i joke w/her that she’s my office mom. she is one of the classiest women i know. she has always been so kind to me. always, always so kind. and when my own family didn’t seem all that interested in hearing the details of our wedding plans, she was.

she was the first person i showed pictures of what would later become my wedding dress (which i had made for me by a seamstress here in baltimore). she oohed and ahhed and gave me exactly what i needed last summer. she was so supportive. i will always be thankful to her for that. more than she’ll ever know.

she was also the first one i told about my layoff monday. i walked into her office and didn’t have to say a word. she already knew. and she gave me a good strong hug.

“i’m sorry,” she said, looking as if she might cry. i sniffled and we hugged again.

she walked us out, and there was something about having her see us to the door–even tho i’ve pretty much, despite financial concerns, been pinching myself that my monday thru friday nightmare is finally over–that made me want to just break down right there. i don’t want anyone reading this to think i’m sad. i’m not. it’s just…i don’t know. something deep w/in me cracked.

but i didn’t cry. the tears came as we walked out–arms full of the last couple bags, to holly’s waiting jeep out front–but i didn’t let them out.

the lady at the front desk gave me a big hug, too. gosh, she’s nice.

“don’t be sad,” i instructed her. “you’ll be hearing about me.”

“i know,” she said. “i know i will.”

i tried to swallow the huge lump that developed in my throat as we opened the doors and got in the car. it was unusually warm for this time of year, it felt like, and the car was hot inside. i noticed i was in a sweat. i wiped my brow and put on my seatbelt. we opened the windows.

we went to the supermarket. we went to lunch. the lump quickly faded as i saw the daytime crowd at trader joe’s (many adorable old ppl, i must say) and hip moms with kids at starbucks (really too cute; hopefully me sometime soon?). i started looking at everything with new eyes. this is what went on when i was in that windowless office for all those years, i thought. people living.

and it was all of the sudden that a completely unfamiliar feeling swept over me: i’m going to be able to live, too.

i took holly’s hand in mine, and we drove home, silently relishing this new time together. awake (we spend most of our time together asleep, i’ve realized) and ready, as always, for whatever life brings our way.

does anyone want to start a band??

cause, like, i have the time now. to practice and strategically rip my jeans and plan a tour and stuff. since i’m laid off now. i probably could write good lyrics (being a writer and all) and i kind-of-sort-of play the electric bass, which i have in our basement. i mean, i’m halfway there already, with the rock look and black clothes and bangs and whatnot. plus i’m sure i can look menacing. also hott. (but in a non-threatening way so the tweeniebopper parents will let the kids download our hit singles. and then we can finance our-soon-to-be expensive pedicure/iced coffee-triple-soy-latte habit w/out worry.)

any takers??

the only catch is that i don’t really drink. or smoke. and the jewish thing kind of throws a wrench into the whole tattoo thing. and i’m incredibly responsible and like waking up early and get a lot of headaches and low blood-sugar all the time.

oh wait: i’m actually a huge dork.

 ha. ok, forget it. dressing in black and wearing baltimore tattoo museum t-shirts every other day is actually easier. plus, hello! rockstars can’t get low bloodsugar! unless you’re type 1 diabetic brett michaels. and he’s a big ol slut anyway.

there are better things out there for me

i know this. i feel it. b/c i was laid off today. one door closes, a window opens.

i wasn’t the only one, either. ten percent of the organization was cut, 18 ppl.

i’ll tell you all, for those of you that don’t know me personally, or don’t know me well, i was miserable for a long time, so i’m looking at this as a blessing, an opportunity, more than anything.

i’m not going to go into it b/c, while i may have what some might call a big mouth (me??? never), i like to keep things classy. (anyway, all the juicy stuff is for my book, so you’re just going to have to wait 😉 ) but. i will say the following:

1) i have a sneaking suspicion i’m going to be getting a lot less headaches now.

2) while i’m stressing about cashflow (holly was laid off three weeks before our wedding, so, this doubly sucks) i am overwhelmed w/joy that i will be able to enjoy the season that i am ape-sh*t crazy for: fall.

 as in, i won’t be chained to my (ex) desk in my (ex) windowless office. i’ll be able to actually (gasp!) walk around, go to the park (with holly. during the *day*…sigh), stomp on soon-to-be-crunchy leaves and pet as many puppies as i want w/out any concern for time. as in: no busybody admin ladies who are all oddly obsessed w/my comings and goings noting in their little black admin books when i’ve left and when i return. the delight i feel at the prospect of this …well, i almost have no words for it.

3) twitter. w/said admin busybodies out of my hair, the tweets are unlocked, baby! it is ON! i’m in the process of putting the feed back up. bring it!

and, finally, last but certainly certainly not least:

4) lunch. lunch at home. and i don’t even have to wait til 11:30. (and i can eat it on the roof.)

good night, my lovelies. and to my facebook peeps: a million thanks for the kind words! (turns out facebook isn’t just great for coming out, launching blogs, having Big Fat Gay Weddings (BFGWs) and birthdays. it’s also pretty awesome when you lose your job.) you all are saying what i’ve been thinking since i got the news at 10 this morning, my breakfast barely digested and my to-go coffee mug from home still hot: this is a brand new beginning for me. and i’ll tell you something in case you don’t already know:

i’m completely unsinkable.

and like all those friggin cats that found their way into our walls this winter, i always land on my feet. something wonderful is going to come of this. i don’t know what right now, but it will. and altho i’m stressed in an unfamiliar new way, i have my life back. i. have my life. back. and i’m never going to lose myself like that again.

mean streak

i’ve found over the past few weeks, the past couple of weeks, especially, i have witnessed and, unfortunately, been the target of some exceptionally mean behavior. it’s like everyone (well, not everyone, but you know what i’m saying) has something srsly lodged up their butts.

holly and i were talking about it tonight and we think it’s the economy. it has everyone all tied in up knots. and i feel it, too, trust me, my partner’s laid off [and even after a $XX-thousand wedding and eight years together (in may) i still can’t get her on my health insurance, but that’s a whole ‘nother story, i.e. rant, for a whole ‘nother day] and we’re feeling the pinch, too.

but you all know how i feel re: meanness. i say break the cycle. someone (who doesn’t even know this blog exists) was exceptionally nasty to me–i won’t say who but man, what an ass–today and insted of acting out, yes, i was nice to someone. (of course i cried when i got home, which was stupid. but i’ve had a helluva coupla weeks so i think it was a combination of things just weighing on me) but anyway, yes. i think being mean is unnecessary. i don’t get it. i don’t care what the hell you have going on in your life but don’t DUMP on other ppl, fer cryin out loud, you know?!

i don’t think ppl realize how much words can hurt. yes, our economy’s tanking. but we’re all in this together, you know? so let’s all try to cut each other some slack, bad economy or not. when your fingers start typing out grumpy words to a coworker, how ’bout takin a step back and reevaluating before you hit send? if you’re about to act out on someone you barely know (like maybe, um, me?) how about stopping for a moment before you morph into a jerk? go home, dislodge whatever crawled up your butt and died, get some sleep and wake up fresh in the morning. the. end.

laid off

holly was laid off friday afternoon. three weeks before our (very expensive) wedding. it’s like the news headlines landed right splat in the middle of our living room. and i’m scared.

i did my crying soon after she broke the news (unfortunately, i was still at my office) and proceeded to shut my door and then email pretty much email everyone i know for leads. i think it’s important not to mope about what’s happened (holly agrees), but i can’t but think that this really sucks. i mean, the timing couldn’t be worse. besides the wedding, we have a mortgage. and two cars. and monthly bills like most other americans. i’ll be the first to admit it: i’m scared. terrified, in fact. but i’ll be damned if this is gonna drag us down at a time when we should be–no scratch that, will be–celebrating.

i’m a true believer in silver linings–and a time-honored saying that some ppl scoff at: “everything happens for a reason.” holly wasn’t happy where she was. in fact, she was treated pretty badly. i know we’ll find something better for her. we’re a great team, and we’ve been thru some pretty rocky times. [post-9/11 when she was called for active duty in the navy (she was in the reserves for 11 years; luckily she was stationed stateside) was pretty bad.] we’ll get thru this, too.

we were able to forget about our troubles a good portion of the weekend, thanks to andrew (another one of my “best people”) and justin. they threw us a bachelorette party sat. night to end all bachelorette parties. we started off with some delectable vegetarian dinner at vegetate, then bebar (where the rest of our rowdy crowd met up with us) for drinks and some very interestingly shaped cupcakes (andrew, you BAKE?? omg) and cake (becky, your culinary and all-around festive skillz never cease to amaze me!), then the thumping town. it was a really late night. and by 3am, andrew and i had the chance to dance to a madonna song (finally!! why the hell did it take so long to get to one at a friggin gay club??? i thought gay men love madonna?!) holly fell right to sleep, poor thing (she’s had a terrible cold for the past week, to add insult to injury), as soon as we got back to justin’s. he and i stayed up even later eating veggie burritos and talkin our usual smack (i’d put in a wink right here but the doggone blog turns it into a big cartoon-ishsmiley). in the a.m. we chowed down on fluffy frittatas and buttery potatoes at this great french place (gosh i don’t remember the name of it but it’s at the corner of 18th and florida, i think, in adams-morgan) and then holly and i got on the road. we stopped in takoma park to look for an accessory she wants for the wedding and man, did i get all emotional when we were driving around.

when we met, i was a wee 22, not even a year outta college, just a community reporter with pink-streaked hair and a bad attitude. i was living in this crappy, roach-infested apartment, paying my own way, thinking i really had it going on. it was right on the border of takoma park/silver spring and holly really must have liked me, b/c she kept on making the drive from baltimore to visit me in that craphole, ignoring the crusty, old shower and yes, the roaches. i’d make her coffee in a peculator my late grandma (and best friend; more on her soon) bought for me only a few months before she passed, and we’d eat various things (assorted nuggets, nachos, etc.) from a toaster oven (also from my grandma, but this time i took it from her apt. when we were cleaning it out) lined with foil. she was (and still is, wink) a few years older than me, and looking back on it now, it gives me the warm n fuzzies thinking about her spending so much time w/me there when she could have been at her much nicer shared house w/her old friends.

i thought back to those days, thinking back even further to those months before i met her. 

“i was so lonely back then,” i said as we drove down university boulevard, past the awful strip malls that used to drive me crazy but now make me nostalgic for times that seem like a lifetime ago.

she looked at me from the driver’s seat and grasped my hand.

“you’ll never have to be lonely again,” she said.

of course i started to cry. just like i am now. it hit me, all the sudden. i’ll never need to be lonely again. i’ll never be lonely again. what’s a lay off when we have each other? we could lose everything but we’ll still have each other. we’ll always have each other.

hunny, i love you. we’ll get thru this. i can’t wait to marry you and be yours forever. 20 days and counting…

holding hands on university boulevard, takoma park, 10/27/08 (that's my hand w/all the bracelets, but you probably already guessed that)