Wednesday, May 24, 2006

La Dolce Vita: the unemployed edition

I started my day yesterday at a mandatory "unemployment class: module one; how to get a job". It was enlightening to a small degree if only for the fact that I learned that ANY class I take to further my education I had to report to unemployment, I hate unemployment, blet.

The class was filled with all walks of life. The majority of which were like myself, their job was just - over. Some had up to 30 years with the same company, some had capped their wage allowance and were put to pasture, while others were victims of a treacherous economy shifting in other directions e.g., outsourcing and the new big box mode retail is shamefully falling into. A number of the attendee's couldn't even speak English, yet another sign of the times, ahem. Whatever, it's not my place to judge, hell, I have trouble with the language most days.

The class was basically a review of what they used to teach in High School; keep your references with you, don't hold your lunch over applications you're filling out, research the job your applying for and dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for (no belly baring shirts or ass crack jeans.) It all seemed like common sense to me, however, being in the position of one who has previously hired people, I can tell you that what seems like common sense to some, means absolutely nothing to the younger generations, I've seen more ass crack that I care to remember from applicants, perhaps they didn't want to be hired? Perhaps I may use the same tactic in order to continue enjoying my time off. Unfortunately, I suspect the minute I bare my ass crack to a potential employer, I'd still get the job. Stinky ass crack aside, I've mad skills, baby! ;)

One of the benefits of being unemployed is doing stuff that has nothing to do with work, like following up my mandatory class with a trip to the Tacoma Art Museum with free passes courtesy of friend and artist Teri Bevelacqua (Thanks Teri!) Unfortunately the museum was in mid-setup for a new installation but there was a Roy Lichtenstein exhibit featuring some of his American Indian paintings and sculpture. Nice stuff, although, I'm not a huge fan of modern art, I respect it, that is unless the modern art is glass work and then I'm all a quiver.

Tacoma is home to glass artist Dale Chihuly and one of the best attributes of TAC is the outdoor enclosed atrium or "stone garden" which is cool in it's own right, but litter that landscape with Chihuly and you get this:

The docent in charge of policing picture taking informed us (us being myself and friend Elizabeth "The Dreadlock Queen" and art lover of my caliber) that people call this installation "Alice In Wonderland's pool table" , tre' groovy!

After examining other works by local artist's we headed to the museum store where I purchased a charming little book "Bloom's Bouquet Of Imaginary Words ; Add on letter...take away one letter...or change one letter...Presto! You've invented a brand new word!" If your a frequent reader of my blog you'll know that I tend to make up words to get my point across, sure, it's appears to be babble, but it's an art form.
Examples from the book are
Spanties: Underwear size 7 or higher
Paintaloons: Baggy overalls worn by artists
Skosher: Just a bit more orthodox
Dicktator: Unpopular national leader

Moving on from TAC, we wanted to check out the Museum Of Glass, just a hop, skip and a jump away, but first we had to cross the stunning "Bridge Of Glass" where I took a some amazing pictures here's one example:
Click for larger view
The bridge is awesome eye candy all the way across, Chihuly is genius! However, once we reached the museum entrance we found it to be closed on Tuesdays, argh. Fortunately we found the gift shop to be opened so we browsed and were quickly reminded that glass art is expensive shit. That venture thwarted, we moved on to a bead store and topped off the day with dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory visual eye candy in itself and damn good food, yum.

Being jobless has never been so much fun, I've frolicked aboot with my friend Karen in Leavenworth where I drank beer, tasted and bought a fabulous selection of wines from local wineries. I've dallied in Olympia with family and friends for Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species and this weekend it's Northwest Folk Life Festival. Reality will set in soon enough, the move, the new job, but until then I'm having a great time.

When asked by the class facilitator how I felt when I lost my job I said "at first I was pissed, then sad, then pissed, then uber-sad (I still cry when I see the empty storefront), then after a few weeks of relaxation I got excited, because having been in the work grind the whole of my adult life, I'd rarely took advantage of what was surrounding me!" I'm doing just that - now. I'm spending time with family and friends that would normally be a chore to schedule, I'm going to my monthly baseball games and I'm loving life! I don't know if I'll have this opportunity again in this lifetime and because I saved a few bucks I have a few more weeks of not having to bare my ass crack to future employers and that will be beneficial to all.