Life in the double zeroes

I was laid off from my job a few weeks ago. Having worked hard for a failing company in an ailing industry, I have been released from the pressures of negative cash flows, late vendor payments, strung-out client payments, and a weak market for video and staging production. I am now free to think deep thoughts and plan for the future. I have recently penned some very personal observations that I am ready to share with you, due to the closeness of our relationship.  

Week 1, Monday: Birds pound their little bodies against our backyard windows seemingly at will. Is this an issue? Have they always been doing this? Has my current angst somehow been incorporated within their flying habits? Is the house at risk?

Tuesday: The pop in. I’ve noticed that Dad, God bless his soul, is quite comfortable popping in at any time of day. No doorbell ringing, just … popping in. If the door happens to be locked, keys are somehow produced and then pop-in commences. (Note: Remember to review key issuance policy with other household members, notably wife.) A very loud, boisterous and repeated, "Hello!" is shouted. This friendly procedure of his could potentially inhibit my desire to sit around in underwear enjoying second cup of coffee while lingering over the New York Times.

Wednesday a.m.: Very enjoyable morning of getting my two boys off to school this morning. Previously handled by Jocey, the boys’ departure is now my strict and absolute domain. After years of trudging off to the factory (colloquialism, actually, very nice office) an hour before said boys even woke up, I am now enjoying being able to gently rouse them from their slumber and serve them a warm, hearty breakfast. Goodbye, dear lads, enjoy the learning process. Off you go. Upon your return, you will be ever so smarter and enlightened to the magical world in which we live. Ta-ta.

Wednesday, mid-afternoon: Dear God! Home so soon? Why, I just booted the slapdashes out the door moments ago, no? Potential job note: Consider running for school board. Do whatever it takes to extend school day.

Thursday:  A large feline creature — possibly a housecat (although which house?! Did I miss a chapter in our happy domestic life? Do we own a cat?), more likely a feral mountain bobcat — seems to rule our back acreage with absolute impunity. Skulking about the hostas, perching in the fir tree, using a favorite wooden chair of mine as a scratching post, the monster thinks it owns the yard. Must introduce it soon to an old boot of mine. (Note: any connection between this lynx and window-smashing birds?  Hmmm… interesting.)

And while I’m noting the backyard natural habitat, what’s up with the squirrels? They’re everywhere … everywhere! Have we always had so many of these creatures? Even while I was at work? Ugh. I can only hope there’s no connection between my being laid off and the apparent explosion of the squirrel population. If there is any connection, dear neighbors, I am truly sorry. I’m simply saying that I had never been so aware of squirrels while I was working, therefore… ipso facto.

Week 2, Monday:  Personal dress habits have changed, I’m sorry to say. Casual weekend "bum" look is no longer ironic. Every venture into outside world represents an opportunity of bumping into my next employer — not including the one guy who walks the seven-sweatered Pomeranians every morning at 8:43. Must not look unemployed. I resolve to only leave the house in my double blazer. In fact, I only sit around in my double blazer. Can never be too sure of who might be popping in.

Tuesday: Father unit expresses great approval of sartorial arrangement during this morning’s pop-in session. Generously extends invitation to join him for afternoon bingo session at Edina Senior Center. (Note: Consider increasing daily goal of issued rèsumés from one to 16.)

Glenn Miller and his wife, Jocelyn Hale, share this column. They live in the Fulton Neighborhood.