Layoff 2009: The theme song as provided by Radiohead

I’ve decided I need a theme song for this layoff – my fourth.  This is my fourth layoff and it seems that I’ve been here before. I have a strong desire to zig when others would say I should zag. I think that’s why the song 15 Step (iTunes) by Radiohead appeals to me from the opening lines:

How come I end up where I started
How come I end up where I went wrong
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out and you cut the string.

I haven’t exactly been burning the pavement.  Been working on my other website, Tunes On TV; doing some long needed work around the house. Preparing for an interview (like Larry King, not a job interview).

I’ve been bitten so often that I’m thrice shy.

Day 0: Wow – I’m now a statistic

Today I was laid off.  I wish I could muster up some appropriate emotion, but as it stands I can only feel the immense weight off my shoulders. For a long time I’ve wanted to hit the reset button on my career. Do something I actually want to do. Work with passionate people doing important things.

Or maybe I need a job just pushing the button in front of me. And then when the day is done I simply stop and not think about that button until the next day.

Or maybe I need to hit the lottery? For now I have time to do some things. I’m going to breathe.  I’m going to get some things done. And I’m going to find a job that works for me better than the last one did.

I feel for my co-workers that were taken by surprised and for who this will be a burden. We’re all going to end up in good places – this is just part of the process.

Tomorrow’s a new day and for the first time in a long time, there’s nothing to dread about it.

The Internet killed: The Snow Day

There was once a time when if it snowed 10 inches you called it a day.  I’m talking adults, not children.  I’m talking work, not school. Those days are long behind us. Today Philadelphia was blanketed with just under 10 inches of snow.  In the past that would have meant shoveling you and your neighbors out, digging out cars, and the maybe a late lunch at the local pub in front of a fireplace.  Or maybe you’re more traditional – you would have built a snowman with your children and then go sledding, followed up by some hot chocolate.  It’s a Norman Rockwell postcard waiting to happen.

But the Internet has ended that.  My home broadband connection is way faster than my work connection;  I can access all my files remotely and honestly, it’s easier for me to get work done at home than it is in the office. My company doesn’t even close – ever and why should they?

Still, it’s a bit sad. Or maybe it’s just growing up.

Anyway, a modern Norman Rockwell will have to look elsewhere for subjects and we’ll just have to pray for snow days to fall on Saturday and Sunday.

Our 1st Anniversary – Atlantic City

What better place to celebrate our 1st anniversary than in the place where we got engaged. The weather cooperated, and we had a great time. AC is weird town – scratch that. Atlantic City is a sad town with such a mix of rich and poor – the casinos with the butt end to the rest of the city and even the boardwalk itself is a mix of seedy and not so seedy.

We stayed at the Chelsea Hotel which with the Borgata is trying to add a touch of class to the town. Good luck. The hotel itself was a breath of fresh air – no casinos, which meant no Philly or New York City trash to contend with.

Here are some of the pictures I took.

R.I.P.: My Thirties

Yesterday was my 40th birthday and unlike a lot of people, it doesn’t bother.   It does however present an opportunity to look back on the last ten years.

  • Met the girl of my dreams and got married
  • Visited Ireland, leaving North America for the first time (once more than Sarah Palin)
  • Visited 20 states
  • Concerts of note: Radiohead in NYC one month before 9/11, U2 in NYC one month after 9/11, the Pixies reunion tour, Throwing Muses in San Francisco, Prince 9 rows from the stage, Elvis Costello the night I proposed
  • Never more disappointed in our government than in the days after Katrina
  • Never sadder than in the days after 9/11
  • Had a niece and a nephew born
  • Saw the first viable minority Presidential candidates
  • Had dinner with Michael Penn
  • Met Aimee Mann a couple times – the second time, she approached me and said “Hey, I know you”
  • Favorite album: Elliot Smith’s Figure 8
  • Favorite movie: Ocean’s 11
  • Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Saw no championships from my favorite teams
  • Favorite drink at 30: Canadian Club and ginger ale with lime
  • Favorite drink at 40: Gin (Tangaray 10) and tonic
  • Went from Friendster, to Myspace, to Facebook.   What’s next?
  • Went on my first real one week vacation
  • Lived in two apartments
  • Bought my first home
  • Favorite moment: on the park bench after our wedding ceromony
  • Lived in Conshohocken, PA for all 10 years
  • Opened the summer in Outer Banks for 5 years
  • Saw my nephew graduate college
  • Saw my friends have 13 children
  • Spent 10 years doing the same job for 4 different companies – the longest tenure was 3 years and 9 months
  • Didn’t vote for a winning President (so I was right)
  • Had my optimism in government restored by Barack Obama
  • Owned or leased 4 cars
  • Started 2 blogs
  • Had my heart broken for the first and second (and last) times
  • Count ’em: 4 iPods and 4 Macs
  • My debt went up, then down, back up again, now back down
  • My weight did the exact opposite
  • Adopted two cats

Seems like a pretty eventful, life changing decade of my life – and I’m looking forward to the next 10 years.