What I’ve learned in the last couple months of under-employment:

1. I forgot how much I love staying up late at night reading 500 page thrillers/mysteries/what have yous.

2. Here’s how my trash company does its pickup: The people (2 guys) take turns driving. One person drives, the other rides. They stop every few houses, look in each can and if possible just remove bags from the can.

If there’s a lot of loose / messy stuff: they give house dirty look and wheel plastic “trash can” to truck and dump it manually.

If too heavy they use the lift to dump it  (in which case they appear to curse the house because this decreases productivity).

3. A lot of people in my ‘hood come home for lunch. Some because they have dogs but others, I guess, live close enough and just eat at home. That’s what I’d do when gas was cheap and I worked close enough.

4. I get so cold sitting most of the day, even though I’m wearing thick socks, long underwear, putting space heater next to me (safe, oil-filled so don’t have to worry unless there’s an electrical problem in which case I’m screwed), I still am cold.

Once I take the dog for a walk, which is never always appealing, but never more so than when it’s effing freezing out there. Once I get up and move around for awhile though, I’m warm for the rest of the night. Just thought you’d like to know.

5. I don’t have a solid routine yet, but I have taken advantage of my sitcheattion to revert to my old (preferred) habit of going to sleep by midnight and waking at 8 or so. Would love to sleep wayyyy later but I’m afraid to get into that habit.   <–That’s an old note. Have gotten to sleep no earlier than midnight (at least) for weeks now. And getting 9-10 hours of sleep/night (most nights). It might is going to be difficult to re-acclimate to job-time.

6. I need more human contact that I realized.  I always knew working from home 1 day/week was beneficial from a productivity perspective, but every day? Couldn’t do it. This is the longest I’ve not worked since I started working – gulp – 30 years ago.

I miss Roberto’s infectious laugh (and his candy jar), catching up on the scoop with Rhett, having Pat walk by and say “Nerdmen” (a variation of my last name that I’ve heard all my life but since he called everyone by their last name this was not an insult), and having Rob to complain to or bounce something off of  (or him doing the same to me).

7. My neighbors had their kids/spouses/grandkids/animals in town for about 2 weeks. TWO of the daughter’s family dogs (they brought 3 and left some at home) escaped twice that I saw.

I even saw one in the act of escaping. Did best to reassure neighbors that I really DO NOT sit and look at their house all day to see what’s going on. I think they believe me.

8. Think the people up the street are having baby because today one of ’em drove home a Mom Mobile-type of car, pulled into garage for about a minute.

Couple hours later, guy followed the woman home in his car, and she put the (already-tested) Mom Mobile in the garage. The pregnancy thing is just a theory so far, but if past performance is a predictor of future behavior…

Since they don’t talk to their neighbors will find out if / when she pops.

9. What the hell has happened to all my mechanical pencils? I have had some of the same ones for years and now they’re gone…? Having no other idea I’ll have to blame this one on the cats.

10. This house is so damn small in the winter. I only allow myself in each room for part of the day. So once job hunting is over for day I don’t use that room for rest of day. Same with other 3 rooms. It averages to 6 hours per room per day (with less in kitchen and more in bath and bedroom).

11. If I ever mention having watched daytime tv during the day, call me right away and invite me over because this is an indicator something is terribly wrong…

12. I started taking part of one day a week to do something fun that I couldn’t do if I were working. Went to the zoo one day and saw the baby tigers and a leopard with a hair ball. Spent another watching taped shows at inappropriate times of the day, another with my cousin and her suweeet baby.

I’ve also stripped and painted some windows, painted chest of drawers, vacuumed excessively, and gotten rid of some clutter, but that’s just catch up stuff I really needed to do.

Next dreaded – task – that – will – seem – appealing – compared – with – job – hunting: recaulking bathroom tub. Have been evading that one for 15+ years.

13. To get to their houses, the 3 newest couples in the ‘hood keep driving wrong way down our one way street . Not saying I’ve never done it mind you, but only when I’m in a big hurry and I don’t think I’ll get caught.

Almost every new person does it a lot the first few months they live here and then they stop. Not sure why they stop. Are they getting threatened “talked to”? Or do they simply feel the neighborhood’s eyes burning into their souls? Or could it be the rocks being tossed through their windows? Not sure…

14. I’m SO glad this is happening in the winter and not summer or spring. Every semi-nice day has been a test of my ability to concentrate. If it were spring I’d be outside doing anything other than job-hunting.

A couple of weeks ago I even dragged my office-type chair out to the front porch to sit in the sunshine and warmth and pretend I was here:


and not here.

15. My next door neighbor is retired and that woman is the busiest person I know. Let that be a lesson…

You’re welcome.


**Gladys is a reference to Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor in the old tv show, Bewitched. who knew everything that was going on in the neighborhood. Formerly a synonym for “nosy neighbor,” but now highly regarded as a one person “neighborhood watch group.”