December 10, 2003


I was supposed to work a landscaping job yesterday. There was snow on the ground so it didn’t happen. I was supposed to work a landscaping job today. There was three more inches of snow on the ground so it didn’t happen. Instead, I hopped the 9:15 bus to the Mountain and played in eight inches of fresh powder all freaking day. We made fresh tracks in virgin pow all through the Outback, and occasionally I would find myself sucked into a tree well, buried in snow up to my waist.

There is currently snow on the ground, and if this is still the case tomorrow morning I probably won’t be landscaping again, and will instead catch the 9:15 and do it all over again. I feel that if I’m not going to be making a living wage in town, I might as well be boarding up at the Mountain. In town I’m surrounded by all sorts of tempting things that cost money, like rock climbing shops, useless Downtown trinket shops and prostitutes. At the Mountain I’m surrounded by all sorts of things that are free, like snow, pine trees and unlocked snowboards.

Not-Work (as I’ve started characterizing my current living situation) is really fun, but it’s not as fun as it should be. You find yourself saddled with all sorts of degrees of Not-Fun, which usually take the form of questions. Consider the following questions. If you have found yourself asking ten of them or more, you may be experiencing the lifestyle of Not-Work:

I participate in dangerous activities that threaten to move vital things inside of me (bones, organs, etc.) to a space outside of me. How am I going to pay for someone to put those things back inside of me?

I drive a horseless carriage at dangerous speeds in slick conditions that Bendians characterize as "black ice", even though Bendians have no idea what "black ice" really is. Black ice forms when it’s so freakin’ cold that car exhaust freezes on the road, and since cold is epidemic in the Midwest, so is black ice. However, Bendians conflate the concept of "black ice" with the concept of "ice", and seem to think that black ice forms when ice forms on the road. How am I going to pay for a third party to fix my car when an idiot in a bright yellow Hummer H2 (aka, a Small-Pen1s Mobile – SPM) smacks into me?

I drink water from the tap. I steal sugar packets and salt & pepper shakers from restaurants when the hostess isn’t looking. I rifle through my neighbor’s garbage for expired multi-vitamins. I make homemade oatmeal out of shredded newspapers and paste. Despite my best efforts, my body continues to groan for something of nutritional value. How am I going to pay for Ramen?

Every month at about the same time, I receive large amounts of mail demanding large sums of money. When I ignore this mail strange things start to happen. When they cut out the electricity the house becomes dark, and I can’t read the nasty messages that the electrical company sends me. When they cut off my phone I can’t use the phone to contact the phone company to figure out what needs to be done to reactivate my phone. When they turn off the gas I can’t cook my Ramen, so I become delirious with hunger and can no longer function as a reasonable person and can’t make constructive decisions toward getting the gas turned back on. When they cut off the Internet I can’t find minimum-wage jobs to apply for. When they cut off the water I can’t take a shower, so I can’t give myself a respectable smell for job interviews. And we all know that the only reason you need a job interview is so the employer can have a chance to smell you. How am I going to make the postal worker quit frequenting my house?

So, how did you do? Are you experiencing Not-Work? Not sure? See if any of these questions describe your situation:

Are you living in the state that comes in absolutely dead-last for unemployment?

Are you finding yourself with plenty of time on your hands to distract yourself with books and weblogs?

Are you filling out hour-long applications for jobs that boast generous wages up to $8.00 an hour?

Are you suddenly appalled after discovering that states may have reason to demand a minimum wage from businesses, and that the reason may be because businesses will pay minimum wage if they are able to pay minimum wage? Does this seem like a disgusting perversion of an otherwise excellent free-market, capitalistic system? Despite your best efforts, is your faith in Ayn Rand faltering? Just a bit?

Did you graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from a Great University on a Great Lake last May?

Do you find yourself tempted to get a job at McDonald’s, just so you can say you graduated from college and got a job at McDonald’s? Do you grin impishly at the prospect of constantly asking people, "Do you want fries with that?" Would you ask people if they wanted fries with their Egg McMuffins?

Do you find yourself tempted to get fired from a job at McDonald’s, just so you can have the bragging rights to such a feat?

Wow, Dane. I’m going to make a political donation to a neo-conservative on your behalf, I feel so sorry for you. 😉

I dont feel sorry for you. Starve you lazy piece of 8inches-of-powder-scum! You and your damn oregon mountains can rot under all that snow. Arapahoe basin, the vail owned resort with the most snowfall this year, boasts that a full whopping 25% of its runs are open. Though, it admits, that 25% is pretty lame and has a lot of rocks on it.
curse you. curse you and your light fluffy pacific northwest snow. You aint gettin’ any of my hard earned ramen.