Now that I’ve been laid off for a little over a month, I’ve found all sorts of new and exciting activities that I can add to my resume. Of course, most of these activities require a sizeable investment, but I see it as an investment in my future! Or some such drivel — these career/life coaches are rubbing off on me and not in a good way. Or maybe just rubbing me the wrong way. Whatevs, on with the new skills:
Cross-Country Fence Judge. In the biz, we refer to ourselves as XC Fence Judges, but I thought I’d spell it out for you civilians. I was a XC fence judge at the Horse Trials at Fitch’s Corner. You know you’re impressed. I judged fence #6. A giant carrot with a rabbit head sticking out. Those horse people are a wacky crowd, aren’t they? I wore a swanky, WASP-y straw hat while judging. Though the fact that my hair isn’t blonde, my ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower and my last name sounds suspiciously Eastern European kind of blew my cover.
On-camera talent. Yes, I emerged from behind the camera (where I really belong) and onto the set. While the cameras were rolling! More on that in a future post, but suffice it to say, I am meeting with my director later this week. Sounds important, doesnt’ it? Also sounds like my Botox has become a business expense. And that’s a very good thing.
Fence installer. Now that I can judge a fence, why not build one? It’s a learn-as-you-go type of thing. Fence should be completed by Christmas. One hopes. But it should increase our property value (fully fenced backyard!)
Failed foster parent of rescue dogs. Totally related to my sudden interest in fence installation. Thumper the Bumper was a great dog, until he decided that he was the alpha of the pack and we were all below him in the hierarchy. When he started stealing food from out of our mouths (yes, you read that right) we knew we were not the best foster home for him. The bumper was assigned a new Nurse Ratched-type of foster mom and we welcomed Jerrie/John/George into our home. For three hours. Who knew he was a flight risk? As soon as we got him into the house, he started jumping from table-top to table-top (yeah, you read that right, too) trying to leap out of the closed windows. Smart he was not. As soon as we took him outside to go to the bathroom, he was off like a shot and ran for five miles without looking back. He was found three days later. He, too, was assigned a new (better) foster home.
Artisanal Organic Farming By-Hand Bug Population Control. While installing my new fence with my handy-dandy new post driver (that’s the red thing in the photo), I became distracted by the war waging between my cucumbers and tomatoes. Cukes were wrapping their killer tendrils around my tomato plants and as I was sending them to their respective corners, I found what I thought was a little baby cuke — until I plucked it and it squished black-green goo all over me and I noticed it had about a hundred legs. Ewww! I threw it in the neighbor’s backyard. But I think there’s a future in my gross-out — slap artisanal, organic and by-hand in front of anything and everybody wants it!
Off – that’s what I meant – getting laid off. Though one of the upsides of getting laid off is that you have a lot more time to get laid. Provided you can maintain your self-esteem and hygiene to a level acceptable by other humans. Six days without a shower and in the same stained sweats may leave you at the same pre-laid off frequency of getting laid.
My initial concern was not getting laid, but reducing my own payroll, ASAP. So I laid off the babysitter and the housekeeper and considered laying off the lawn guys until I thought about how I handled myself around a cotton candy machine. I decided that the lawn guys are one service worth their weight in limbs not lost. They’ve got job security in our household.
My daughter has decided that I should start writing young adult fiction, though when it comes to writing fiction, I prefer horror. She insists that I write a horsey story. I think there’s a way to combine the two, though maybe not for the 9-11 set.
My middle son was very worried and wanted to know how many thousands of dollars less we’ll have. Youngest son was thrilled to learn that I would take him to school, pick him up from school and be available at all times to search for lost things. My prediction? Within two weeks I’ll be stationed at my bedroom window with the kids’ bb gun and a thermos of coffee, shooting at the rabbits when they try to eat my vegetable garden. Just to scare ’em.
When I lived on E. 13th Street, I tried growing a container garden on my fire escape. This worked pretty well, except when I was watering and inadvertently watered the local drug dealers. I abandoned my horticultural explorations ’til we moved to the burbs.
Our first house had a postage-stamp sized yard, so there wasn’t room to grow more than a few blades of grass. That, and I was in an ongoing battle with the family of skunks that lived under our front door, so I didn’t have much time to devote to growing things. I don’t need to tell you about skunks during mating season. I wish I didn’t know about it.
When we moved to our second house, I started a vegetable garden. Organic, natch. So basically everything started growing, but was then chewed to bits by all sorts of creepy crawly things. So I bought ladybugs and lacewings in bulk. Let 1000 ladybugs loose in the backyard last year, but they seem to have a really strong preference for the indoors. Our house is infested with the adorable little things. In fact, I found one in my hair today, right after I took a shower — had no idea they were impervious to water. Good thing it’s hard to be creeped out by a ladybug — imagine if it was a slug — blegh! As for the lacewings — I think they were damned before they even got out of the box — haven’t seen hide nor hair of them since (not that they have hide nor hair). Next year, I’m going with praying mantis — just because they look so cool.
Two years ago, I discovered that one part of the garden was vulnerable to squash blossom rot, so I tried rotating my crops. Rot follows. Doesn’t have far to go, as the garden is only 25′ x 6′. Will stop planting squash.
Last year, I discovered organic pesticides. They don’t work. No matter, because the bugs are no longer an issue, the mammals are. And let me give you a run-down on all the pungently odiferous solutions I’ve tried: fermented salmon, fox urine, bat guano, garlic spray, homemade chili-cayenne and black pepper glaze and, in desperation, straight cayenne, directly onto the leaves. Noticed real bite marks in the leaves this spring — not bugs, but animals, stripping the leaves off everything. Apparently, the critters in Scarsdale NY prefer their produce properly spiced. Spinach, lettuce, beets, snow peas, string beans, sunflowers decimated. Fenced in entire garden, only to discover that I had fenced the evil creatures in, not out.
Entire family of bunnies living in my garden — they hopped out of their little rabbit hole to a veritable buffet. So freakin’ cute! Told my 5 year old that we may not have veggies, but I’m buying a gun and we’re gonna have rabbit stew. He didn’t like that too much.
Rabbits moved out, replaced by big, sleek, corpulent gophers. They eat everything, including flowers and trees. Anyone got a recipe for braised gopher?