So I’ve joined the ranks. Whatever the number of unemployed that you’ve heard on the news, it includes me. I found out for sure yesterday. I was out sick on Friday, but Saturday I learned that Phill had been let go, along with about 16 others. I started doing the math, and was expecting to be number 18. The yacht building business is feeling it too. Some of the buyers have backed out of the deals. The owners of the company are certainly not going to start paying us out of their savings accounts.
I arrived at the plant early yesterday figuring I’d either still have a job or I wouldn’t. Wondering was worse. As soon as he was in his office, I walked up to my supervisor, and asked, “Well, Jon, do I still have a job?” He seemed taken aback slightly.
“Well Robert…” he paused “Actually, no”. He seemed genuinely distressed to tell me that I was laid off. I think that due to the global economic situation, he’s even concerned for the long term safety of his own job.
Now I’ve temporarily got a little more time on my hands. Filed for unemployment last night. This morning I visited the Work Source office in Auburn. I don’t like it there. There is a spirit of desperation in the people that were there. Even the woman at the front desk was a downer. The comments I overheard from her were less than encouraging to the people she was talking to.
I will be pursuing voice-over gigs more aggressively now that I am available during “business hours”.
On Thursday there is a job fair at church. I’ll be putting together a resume today and tomorrow.
I’m at peace with the circumstances. Do I like being unemployed? No, but the Lord is my provider, and I know that what looks like a setback is actually an opportunity. I’m also relieved to be out of that dust factory with my body still somewhat intact.


When I was a kid,  we used to take family vacations from California to Lawton, OK to visit my Grandmother. Much of the trip was through the desert. One of the things I always enjoyed was stopping at the truck stops and curio shops. Most of these places had the run of the mill souvenirs, like Indian bead work and letter openers with “Flagstaff” burned into the handle. What captured my imagination however was the taxidermy work that was on display.350_wolf_taxidermy2 I thought that was the coolest thing. We saw everything from bobcats to rattlesnakes in every pose you could imagine. Usually they looked quite threatening.

When I was 11 years old, I found an ad in a “Boys Life”, or “Field and Stream” magazine for a correspondence course in Taxidermy. What a career! I would be the envy of all my friends. I could contribute to the family income. I told my parents of my newfound vocation. For some reason, in a moment of temporary insanity, they agreed to spring for the mail order taxidermy course. The time spent waiting for lesson one to arrive was interminable. “When will it get here?” I wondered daily.

Finally, the mailman delivered my ticket to fun and wealth. Lesson One of the home taxidermy school had arrived. I began reading it the moment I had the manila envelope torn open. This was going to be so cool. I’d show those guys at school who thought they were all that because they built all those mundane hot rod models. I could quit school to pursue my career as a taxidermist. I was gonna learn how to make a stuffed pigeon.

Now one thing that the magazine ad failed to mention, was that I had to come up with my own pigeon. Not only that, I had to come up with my own dead pigeon. They gave me the choice of three methods to put the bird to death. I never got that far.

Needless to say, Lesson two was never paid for,and thus never arrived.

I’m not sure, but I think my parents had forseen how this little adventure would play out, and figured they wouldn’t go broke on my taxidermy school.

Some Days…

Do you ever ask yourself why you bothered getting out of bed? I’ve been dealing with some sort of chronic upper respiratory bug for the past two months. It hasn’t been one of those 24/7 constant misery types of things, but it’s been a daily annoyance. two or three times a day, I’ve been hit with sneezing fits complete with the runny nose and watery eyes. Sometimes at night when I’m trying to sleep, my nose feels like a faucet. (Love that imagery, right?)
For some reason, I was wide awake last night and finally got to sleep around midnight. My alarm goes off ar 5:20am so I prefer to get to sleep earlier than that. Anyway, about 3:15, I woke up choking and coughing as all this fluid started making it’s way into my lungs. I spent the next couple of hours coughing. The last thing I want is for this nonsense to turn into pneumonia. My Doctor, gave me a precautionary prescription for some industrial strength antibiotics.
I decided that staying home from work was the wisest course of action since I work in a dust factory. I drove to the pharmacy in my local supermarket.  As I went to pay, I discovered that I’d left my wallet at home. Aauuuggghhh!! OK So I buzz back home to get my wallet. On the way there, I noticed a car that had been pulled over by an unmarked police SUV. Good thing it wasn’t me without my wallet. I grabbed the wallet from my house, and headed back to get my drugs.
At the corner where the fire station is, I came to a complete stop at the red light before turning right. Bad move. In my rear view mirror, what do you think I saw? The flashing blue and red in the grill of the unmarked SUV. On this particular corner there is a sign that says No Turn On Red. I know it. I stop there every morning and grumble as I wait for the light to change. My wife and I used to carpool in the morning and every time I’d start to turn she’d say “No turn on red” After several months of this I developed a near Pavlovian response. When I see the light turn, I hear my wife’s voice in my head, and my foot automatically stays on the brake pedal until the light changes.
Maybe it was my brain being addled with illness coupled with my irritation at having to retrieve my wallet. Whatever the reason, I turned right on red.
As I sat in the car, waiting for King County’s finest to run his check on my license plate to make sure I wasn’t listed as armed and dangerous, I wanted to scream. I wanted to curse at him and ask him why he was trapping me instead of catching real crooks. I didn’t. I just got out my wallet, and began getting my registration and proof of insurance together. I wanted to beg for mercy and explain that I stop and wait for the light to change every single day on my way to work. I wanted to ask beg for his indulgence since I’m sick and only driving in the first place so I can get my medicine.
I said nothing audible as Deputy Fife informed me of the sign, and how they’ve been getting complaints about scofflaws like myself ignoring it.
“Have a nice day” he said while handing me the ticket.
“Too late” I replied to his back as he sauntered back to his rolling trap.
Just what I need. another bill, and another increase to my insurance.
This sent me into a state of grumpiness for the next few hours. I picked up my prescription and headed for  home.  For what it’s worth, I saw my buddy in the unmarked SUV pull over
another unsuspecting driver, as I was turning left at the fire station.
The crocodile nabbed another zebra trying to cross the river.
Anyway, I took the first dose of my drugs, and went back to bed.


Well, here we are; another year. 2009 sounds strange. A new year always has sounded weird to me. We’ve spent a year saying 2008, and now with the tick of a clock, we’re no longer in that year. I’ve done well the past few years not writing the wrong year on checks.
Today was a total vegetate day. It’s Jean’s birthday today, and we spent it in a state of semi-concsiousness in front of some bowl games.

I’ll be hitting the South Beach diet trail again after two months of reckless indifference toward what I’ve been eating. Oh yeah exercise too. Mid January, My step-mom, Alice will be celebrating her 90th Birthday. We’ll join her down in Mesa Arizona.
Right now, I’m focused on this weekend’s Saturday Night Life. After not having a show in December due to The Joy to the Children production, I expected to have it all together. Yeah right!
January also marks something new for Anastasis Theater. Beginning the 23rd of this month we will be doing a TGIF show at the Corridor, in SeaTac, on the 4th Friday of the month. This will be a unique blend of music, comedy, and drama that will bring a smile to your lips, a tear to your eye, and bounce to your step.


It’ll be a good year.

We Made It!

We’ve made it past another Christmas. I’m immensely grateful that I did not have to work on the 26th. Christmas day is never a particularly restful day for us. It was a fun day, but we’re always shopping right up to the wire, and this year has been no exception. Jean was sick the whole week before, and then we were blessed with the “Winter Wonderland” that made getting out to the stores pretty dicey. We spent the day with kids and grandkids. That’s usually a wild time. It was a joyous day, but it’s good to be on the other side of it.

I love Christmas, but I’m weary of the stress we put on ourselves to follow the tradition of buying, and “celebrating”. We go nuts making sure that we find that gift. In the malls you see a barely contained state of panic in the faces of parents and grandparents. They have a list, and this list drives them into a state of frenzy. As much as I enjoy Christmas, and what it’s supposed to stand for, I’m always ready for it to be over, and look forward to New Year’s Day.

Several years ago I wrote a script dealing with the absurdity of Christmas shopping It’s called Ballistic Battlestar Bob. It’s Christmas Eve. Steve and Janet have invited another couple over for some Christmas cheer. Steve, however hasn’t returned from last minute “Panic Shopping”.


The full script may be accessed here: Ballistic Battlestar Bob