Recently (and unjustly, I might add) sacked member of Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show writing team answers the question “What do you do with all this free time after you get laid off?”
I think the deeper reason people are so inflamed by this petty war is that Conan in his own way has come to represent the aggrieved, the injured, the wrongly terminated. I think there is a sense in this country that giant corporations are ruining everything, even late night talk shows. Something so insignificant takes on greater importance because I think on some level, “The Tonight Show” actually has become a very flawed stand-in for all the jobs lost to corporate greed, arrogance, and stupidity. We see Conan as a victim because we feel as though, like us, he wasn’t given a fair shot. If a guy like that, a guy who has everything, can be downsized and demoted, what hope do the rest of us have? Moreover Leno is installed back in his abdicated throne. It feels like a coup, a particularly unfunny coup.
And above him, all the top brass still have their jobs. Just like all the top brass in every other failed or bailed-out corporation. It feels unfair. And it makes people mad.” —
This is an excellent analysis of the Late Night situation vis-a-vis the current financial situation by Michael Ian Black.
I actually got asked to send a resume because of my LinkedIn profile. How do I make this happen more often without actually hustling on LinkedIn (my least favorite social networking medium)?
The recipe I found calls for 2 cups of maple syrup so the pudding is unemployed in name only. (The last bottle of maple syrup I bought cost $9. Grade B, too.)
I got a “please switch from my work e-mail to my personal e-mail since I’m laid off” e-mail from a friend. You never know whether to say “Congratulations!” or “I’m so sorry.” Getting a pink slip is simultaneously exhilarating and crushing, even if you saw it coming and even if it happens to someone else. (Which is why this season of The Office with Dunder Mifflin going kaput made me punched-in-the-stomach nauseated.)
It’s not like a breakup. It is a breakup—oftentimes with a lovable loser you couldn’t wait to ditch but still have an iota of feelings for, but then you realize you didn’t get to do the dumping which would have made the too-lengthy relationship salvageable in your mind. But with the pink slip, you get unemployment benefits. So, how do you like them apples?
I got medieval on my ass and started bartering. I dog sit for friends who got a puppy and need someone to walk him when he’s alone at home for more than 5 hours or when they have to go out of town without the puppy. They offered to pay me cash per dog sitting session, but I insisted we just trade goods and favors. So far, my dog sitting has netted me the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook
, the Gristleism buddha box, a dinner at Corso, and a dinner at Zare. If I got cash money, it would just go to bills and groceries instead of getting presents outside of gift-giving holidays.
P.S. Numismatics is the study of currency and payment systems.
I used to compile everyone’s year-end lists and make one of my own for work every December, but then, I got laid off. This is the first year I’m unburdened with coming up with a list of ten things. (Besides, do I need to list anything but Inglourious Basterds? I think not.) Old habits die hard, however, so here is a list of things I made myself because I had time due to this jobless condition I have going on.
- Bread. I tell everyone I haven’t bought bread since I got laid off. Use the No Knead Bread recipe and thank me later.
- Ginger Ale. Homemade ginger ale on a hot summer day? Yes, please. Bourbon and ginger or Moscow Mule on a hot summer weekday because you’re unemployed? Yes, yes, yes!
- Mayonnaise. I’ve never needed anything beyond Best Foods/Hellman’s, but aïoli made from a Thomas Keller recipe will make you say “Woa” in that dumb Keanu Reeves voice.
- $50 restaurant meals. Speaking of Thomas Keller, his Ad Hoc at Home cookbook helped us recreate his $49 prix fixes for a fraction of the price at home.
- Mustard. It’s stupid how easy it is to make your own mustard. I used this Alton Brown recipe, which actually sucked (too watery), but I’ll just DIY it from now on since a bottle of Grey Poupon is like 5 bucks.
- Soft Pretzels. I get weak in the knees when I’m at the mall and see deep discounts or smell the fresh-baked mall pretzels. Bonus, this recipe makes chewy pretzels you can split and butter like a bagel.
- Sausage. I finally invested $40 in a KitchenAid Food Grinder attachment
so I can grind my own meat. For now, it’s bulk sausage like breakfast patties and Mexican chorizo, but eventually, I’ll be making real sausages.
- Girly booze. I came upon a recipe for Kumquat-Clementine cordial and adapted it so I can finally get rid of the Tanqueray bottle that never went away.
- Gravlax. I used to buy great, cheap smoked salmon from a little French place. Right now, though, I have a side of gravlax in my fridge, ready for New Year’s Day.
- Jam, marmalade, preserves. I got back into putting up jams. I bought a 12lb box of ugly tomatoes, then turned it into 7 pints of tomato jam, then turned that into some favors.