Monday, July 27, 2009

Taking my Curtsey

I began this blog shortly being laid off in December of last year.

Since that first post 7 months ago:
-I've been interviewed by 5 media outlets and had my name and this blog referenced in countless others.
-Google results for "funemployment" went from less than a page to several pages.
I'm told that's at least partly thanks to me. Please, no applause.
-Funemployment Blog has enjoyed close to 9,000 page impressions.
Goodness that's a lot of eyeballs! Does this template make my butt look fat?
-Google results with my name has increased 5 fold.
Which has meant that the men I go out with on first dates are all that much more informed. Making them at once endearing and creepy.
-Since March, I have sent out over 200 cover letters and resumes.
No joke. I have the Excel spreadsheet to prove it.
-This is the 62nd Funemployment Blog post.

And now, finally, I have a job.

Oh dear Lord, here come the dry heaves.

Whew... I'm okay now.

Fun Fact: I've been out of work now for 8 months. That's the same amount of time that I was employed at my first San Francisco job.

Beginning August 10 I'll be working in marketing for an academic coaching company. I am, needless to say, stoked.
I will admit that marketing was not where I thought I'd end this job hunt. However, if these last 8 months have taught me anything, it's that you never know what will happen next, and you'd be surprised where the joy in your life can come from.

And although this blog has been a hoot, this will be the final post.

I've made the decision to put a fork in it. I don't want to jump the shark. I don't want to do this longer than it's relevant for me or try to hold your attention past 3:00pm on the Friday before Homecoming.

I hope that your tears don't last to long, and to help you heal your wounded heart, here are some fun things to look at:
Sound of Music
Because you can't resist the Music.
Piano at 90
Because you're never to old for a tushie grab!
HardTimes :: Art Hour
Because getting tounge tied is always funny and you should totally know Ze.
Where the Hell is Matt?
Because there's something really beautiful about this, and the first time I saw it, it made me cry.
Because you never knew how amazing post-it notes could be.
Evolution of Dance
Because the Running Man is always funny.
How to Start a Dance Party
Because it's always best to just be yourself.
Free Hugs Campaign
Because hugs are simply the best.
The Wheel
Because my Dad LOVED this song.

Because true gratitude is a beautiful thing, and I am truly thankful for all of you.

This has been an amazing, transformative time in my life and you, darling reader, have been a part of that. I hope that you had even 10% the amount of fun reading this blog as I have had writing it.
Thank you to all of you who posted comments, wrote me emails, and even those of you who just watched it all unfold.

I'll miss you. I'll always love you and I hope that you'll stay Funemployed!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Question For Ya...

You may not believe me, but I spend a lot of time thinking about you!
Where do you live?
Do you have a ninetofive?
Are you funemployed?

So to put my inquisitive mind to rest, I've added a poll to the blog!
If you would be so kind, check out the "What's your employment situation?" box to the right, and let me know what your deal is!

(If you're curious as to what "funemployment" means, exactly-check this out.)

I'll see how this one goes before potentially posting more.
I really want to know all about you. I want to get to know you in a first date kind of way... in a "Where did you grow up" or a "What's your favorite color" or a "Why are you so emotionally unavailable?" kind of way.

And I will expect a phone call within two days.

Thanks to Brian over at Isn't It Fun for the date humor.

image courtesy: Getty Images

Funner At Home

5 fun things about the office that you can recreate (and make even funner) right in the comfort of your own home:

1. Candy Time!
Ninetofiver: Just after lunchtime, go desk hopping, annoying the same three people every day until one of them restocks their candy drawer. Submit to eating (what are likely) 70% sugar chocolate eggs purchased at a 50% discount the week after Easter. Immediately regret decision.
Funemployed: Purchase your favorite candy. Hide candy in drawers throughout the house and when your sweet tooth kicks in, go Peanut Butter M&M hunting!

2. Eavesdropping on Personal Conversations
Ninetofiver: Limited to the narrative your office mate has daily with her husband about picking up the kids from school and their extraciriculars. But hey, it's better than the sound of the ventilation system, right?
Funemployed: There's always some a hole at your local coffee shop stupid enough to get into a personal conversation all up in your latte. Make note of every detail. Allow yourself to make petty judgements about their lives.

3. Gossip
Ninetofiver: Hang around the water cooler, or whatever these are called and wait for the people you want the gossip from show up.
Funemployed: You could do this. Or maybe this. Or visit here. Or one of these. Or just burry yourself in this.

4. Office Parties
Ninetofiver: Show up early to make sure you get the best, or any of whatever "food" was ordered for the occasion. Start drinking as soon as possible in order to build up tolerance to Creepy Richard in Accounting. Make ass out of oneself after 5 self-poured martinis.
Funemployed: Arrive at any Financial District bar for happy hour. Fabricate elaborate and fantastical job (suggestions: NASCAR driver, South America river rafting guide, unemployed blogger). Flirt shamelessly with already tipsy men or women until he or she insists on buying you dinner because they're so excited to hang out with a celebrity/worldly athlete/superstar.

5. Fill in the Blank!
I can't think of another one, so you tell me!
Comment on this post with your favorite office-thing-turned-funemployed-at-home-thing!
Is it free office supplies? Is it
conversation with coworkers/your fish? Tell me :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Brain FREEze!

Get your hot little hands on a FREEzing treat today with a free Slurpee!
(Did you see how I did that? "Free"... get it?!)

To celebrate their 82nd birthday, all across the country, head over to your local 7-11 on this 7/11 for your free iced delish in a cup.

Yes, they only cost as much change as you already have between the couch cushions, but you haven't had one since those nights in high school you used to drive around until 1am looking for something to do... no?... just me and my friends? Never mind.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Month 7: Bird Poo, Television Fame

On Wednesday, I took my 6th trip out to Alcatraz island as a chaperone for groups of teens touring the western states.

On the ferry ride back to the San Francisco, a seagull pooed on me. As this is a pretty well known omen of good luck, I, of course, purchased $5 in California Super Lotto Quick Picks. (Such frivolous spending!)

I had no idea that my good fortune would actually be this. That's right. It aired :)

The CBS News Early Show funemployment segment aired on Thursday morning!

It's pretty heavily focused on the FUN (*sneer in the direction of the dingbat dude on the beach and playing golf*) and skips over the 20 minutes I spoke to them about working odd jobs, taking classes at City College, volunteering, pinching every penny, etc etc. But hey, that's television!

In Housekeeping News:
I am now a dot org! You can now get here through (Funemployment Blog; making your life easier, and a little funner)

Thanks to everyone for the great comments, emails, and general confidence that I will eventually be both fun and employed once again :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Web Site Story

Because it's all so true... and I'm a musicals geek.

It's Web Site Story.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Hold the Savory

As anyone who's been to Powell's with me knows, I have a pretty insatiable sweet tooth. So you can imagine my sugar-coated joy when Andy over at SF Weekly sent me this.

Just what a gal with no dental insurance needs :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Natural, Schmatural

I got an email in my inbox yesterday from Starbucks.
the subject line boasted: Simple Changes, Big Differences at Starbucks this Summer.


I clicked through, asked Gmail, to yes, please display the images below and skimmed the Real Food. Simply Delicious section.
We're... removing artificial ingredients.

That's fantastic! I'm a fan!

Thanks, Starbucks for doing your part to simplify the food we eat, for making good, natural ingredients taste so delicious.
(Oh, and for the 380 calorie Caramel Frappuccino. Those are pretty super too.)

There was a link to and this brilliantly written page, no doubt created by a team of marketing geniuses.
(God, I love these people.)

Many of these changes were inspired by your ideas. Of course, we were more than happy to oblige – and we hope you enjoy the difference.

I hope I do too, Starbucks! I want to! I need to! I already do and I haven't even tried the new food!

So, late this morning, I made my way down to my neighborhood Starbucks eager to tuck in to what I was promised would be a newly delicious chocolate chunk cookie.

And then, I took a bite.

It's awful. It's like they took their cookies, sucked all the moisture and awesomeness out of it and then harshly berated each of them with attack on their personal style and recent weight gain.

I'm so disappointed in you, Starbucks. Booooo.

Amazing the things that will get you riled up when you don't have RFPs or TPS reports flying your way 10 hours out of the day.

image courtsey: Getty Images

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

(Wo)Man in the Mirror

I know I'm a little slow to jump on the blogger MJ bandwagon (and I actually didn't think I would find any funemployment relevance), but during a particularly exciting dish washing session today (I get my excitement where and when I can), this came on my itunes and I found myself listening even more closely to the lyrics than ever before.

No matter how you feel about his personal life, there's no denying this guy could rock a pop song like no one's business.

"Man In The Mirror"

Gotta make a change
For once in my life
It's gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I turned up the collar on
A favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind
I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer's disregard
A broken bottle top
And a one man's soul
They follow each other
On the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change

I've been a victim of
A selfish kinda love
It's time that I realize
There are some with no home
Not a nickel to loan
Could it be really pretending that they're not alone

A willow deeply scarred
Somebody's broken heart
And a washed out dream
(Washed out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me

Complete lyrics here.
Video of a live performance here.

image courtsey: Getty Images
lyrics courtsey:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today's Advantage #6

I went closet diving earlier this week and unearthed a dress I'd long since forgotten about. It's grey, it has buttons, it has pockets. It's freaking adorable.

All it needed was a little iron and lint roller love, and it was back in adorable action.

I then did something with this dress that I would not have ever done as a ninetofiver- I wore it two days in a row. (Audible gasp from the direction of my Mom.)

If I had coworkers to face on a daily basis, this move would be out of the question. There would be the inevitable assumptions about my general hygiene (which is impeccable, I assure you), and comments what I'd been doing between quittin' time and punching in.

Instead, I ventured out into the world wearing the same adorable frock two days in a row and all I got were compliments.

Today's Adorable Advantage: Funemployed

image: Getty Images

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Flare!

Ever a friend of the Funemployed, Peter Jamison over at SF Weekly sent me the link to his recent blog post about a graphic designer using her professionally-acquired skills for more recreationally-themed activities.

Check out the rest of The Great Ms. Blok at her website here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funemployed Flare!

Great idea for a fun accessory from Ze!

Affordable Button

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the Desk of: Funemployed

I was recently contacted by a German journalist living in Chicago who is working on an article for a German newspaper about funemployment. She sent me a series of questions that made me put into words many of the things I've wanted to say and clarify in terms of what "funemployment" is to me.

I've used versions of some of my answers here and I hope this can shed some light on what I'm doing and the things that I am hoping to achieve here.

Warning: This is a long one :)

On the term "funemployment
I greatly believe in language having a strong effect on your mood and perception of the world. By calling what I am doing now "funemployment" it really takes the fear and negativity out of something that I've decided is going to be a period of change and discovery for me, not the most depressing moment in my life.

On the definition of "funemployment"
To me, funemployment is about taking the reigns. It's about me focusing on the fact that what I was doing before is not what I want to do forever and making the conscious decision to make a change.
The fact that now is the worst time in my lifetime to be looking for a job makes that change very VERY difficult. In the meantime, I've decided to be funemployed. I'm taking temporary jobs that make me happy and help me to piece together an income. I'm not making nearly as much as I was before, but I am doing things that, at the end of the day, I'd do for far less compensation. I'm paying more attention to where I want to lead my life instead of simply allowing my life to lead me.

I'm very lucky that I don't have a husband, or kids, or even pets. I'm only responsible to myself, which makes it easier for me to be funemployed than someone with those things.

On the importance of finding a job

I send out an average of 20 resumes a week for jobs that are in the field I want to go into, a field I have not worked in for over 3 years. The problem with that is that employers have their "pick of the litter" right now. They can afford to hold out for someone who is way over qualified for the jobs that I, in the past, would have been perfectly suited for.

On the creation of Funemployment Blog

I was looking for something to do with my time that would allow me to be creative. I've always enjoyed writing and enjoyed the creative writing I had done at my previous job. After a few weeks of writing nothing but cover letters I started to feel the creative part of my brain turn to mush, so I jokingly said to some high school friends that I was going to "start a self indulgent, time wasting blog called Funemployment" and they actually thought it was a really good idea. (Thanks again, Mik, Calen and Lonnie!)

On my "readers"

I get a lot of really positive feedback. A lot of people are in a similar position to me, and my favorite readers are the ones who say things like "I was laid of a month ago and I've done nothing but apply for jobs since then. I found your blog and at least now I have something relatable and fun to read when I'm taking breaks between job sites." I also have an amazing family who are my biggest cheerleaders. They post comments "annonymously" from time to time- they're wonderful.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Making Lemonade... Literally - UPDATE

Last weekend, sunbathers, birthday revelers and hula hoopers alike were introduced to a special funemployment treat in Dolores Park.

Refreshin' Recession Lemonade and it's counterpart Funemployment Fund Drug-Free "Fortune" Cookies made their debut this past sunny weekend.

Although my first attempt at a Funemployement interview was almost totally botched due to my lack of ability to save audio onto my iphone, I did (I swear) speak to the founders about their funemployment experiences.

Their stories are much like many others- laid off from a software job and a job in education. (Mari? who works in education, was offered a job, then had the offer retracted within 2 hours, hence the text on the sign in the leader photo.)

But, instead of spending their sunny weekend indoors, faces attached to laptop monitors, fingers frantically banging away at cover letters and holding back the tears of silent rejection (or is that just me?) these resourceful chicas borrowed from friends, borrowed a friend, Braiden, scraped together what they had, and threw together a lemonade stand, cardboard signage and all.

By their estimation, the whole thing took about $30 to throw together (cookies included) and their take at the end of the day was $90!

If we're lucky, and if Mr. Golden Sun shines down on Dolores Park again this weekend, these entrepreneurs may be back out and back at it again, slinging chocolate chip cookies and hawking their delicious, sweet lemonade made from the bitter lemons of layoff.

Braiden, Mari(?) & Adorable Girl with Dog

UPDATE: Thanks to moneybees for letting us know that cookies and lemonade will be served again in Dolores Park next saturday, 6/27! Get out there and support the fun in funemployment!
Also, the picture caption should read: Braden, Marri & Missy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today's Advantage #5

There's nothing more delicate than a gal that shows up to work sporting a bruise, cut, or, godforbid, love bite!

As a ninetofiver the blemish will no doubt result in a flury of questions from coworkers who are eager to hear about one's life outside the cubicle.

For those of us who are terrible fibbers, it's often difficult to explain how such a mark has been procured ("well, I was kinda drunk and sort of stumbled up my front steps"; "well there was this guy at this party I was at, and he kinda reminded me of this one celebrity... yada yada yada" or the painfully truthful "I don't know") all while conducting oneself in a businesslike manner wearing a pinstripe pencil skirt and kitten heels.

However, with no office to report to, no prying coworkers to discuss the weekend's less-than-dignified events with, the wounds can simply heal in the comfort of one's own home, or at the Starbucks down the street, neatly hidden under a playful scarf.

Advantage: Funemployed

Hang in there, Z ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Not Wasting Your Time

We all get them.

Emails and phone calls from Senators, Congress people and sorted other elected government officials.
They always come with an encouragement to reach out to them when we have opinions about legislative issues. (That is what we pay them for, after all.)

Calling all Funemployed Friends!

You spend all day on your laptop anyway- you have the time- make a difference!
Use your voice to get a point across!

Whether your issue is same-sex marriage, internet security, or Hot Air Baloon Accidents, use your voice and use your time to effect your world. Sending out 340 resumes a day, although great for your keyboarding skills, can feel pointless after a while. So do something about it!

And although this blog is by no means a political blog, nor have I ever used it to push any political agenda, this is a cause that is dear to my heart and I encourage all my readers to take stand in support of same-sex marriage.

Since the majority of my readers are in California and New York, both states that still ban same-sex marriage I am providing some websites here for those regions:
Equality California
Courage Campaign
New York:
Empire State Pride Agenda

Note that I will delete any comments of a derogatory or hateful nature posted on Funemployment. I greatly encourage discussion, but will not endorse harmful comments on either side of the argument.

Thanks for using your discretion and get writing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Will Moment

There's this great scene in the film About a Boy when Will, played by Hugh Grant is walking against the flow of human traffic during rush hour on the busy streets of London's financial district.

Will is walking just as purposefully and is just as focused as the people he is passing, but his dress is much sharper and there's a slight grin on his face.

Will is wealthy beyond belief due to the large royalties he is collecting off his late songwriter father's success with a popular Christmas song.

Although I by no means benefit from such a financial situation, I did experience my own Will Moment today while running errands downtown.

I was coming straight from a semi-regular babysitting job, which I find gives me a joy in my step that only time with kids can induce. I, like the people avoiding eye contact, eager to get home, had spent my day working. But their desk had been my stroller. Their conference call had been my story time.

I don't know if I'll ever again be a downstream swimmer. I am certainly applying for enough jobs that would put me right back on that walk at rush hour 5 days a week. But for now, I'm enjoying swimming upstream, and finding my way through the crowd.

I Didn't Lie

In a bizarre twist of fate, I was bumped from The Early Show this morning for someone who recently lost their job- the former Miss California, Carrie Prejean.

My opinions on her aside...

I promise you there was a camera crew at my house.
I promise they followed me around all day.
I promise they told me the segment would air today... but it did not.

I just heard from the producer and it may air on Friday, but it is "more likely" to air on Monday.

Good news is, I had nothing else to do from 7am-9am today.

Sorry, Mom :(

Funemployment Goes National

I highly recommend tuning in to CBS News The Early Show this morning from 7am-9am.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Irony Strikes Again

As many of you know, beginning in the Fall, I will be going back to school with the ultimate goal of becoming a high school guidance counselor.

Today, I called my friendly local community college asking to meet with an academic advisor about taking some brush-up undergrad courses in the Fall.

I was informed that all of the academic advisors have been let go for the summer due to state budget cuts and was instructed to call back in late July when they may have a better idea of when they might be back in the office.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

Picking Up Steam

All across the web, Funemployment!

SF Weekly
LA Times
The Week

Interesting opinions, especially in the comments sections.
Hope you're finding as much entertainment in all this as I am.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Bright and Early Sunday

Funemployment is...
Donating time to something because you have the time and energy to do it.

I spent most of yesterday at the Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco at the Israel in the Gardens Festival.

I was there volunteering with Birthright Israel NEXT, the alumni organization for the Birthright Israel organization.

I can say with a degree of certainty that if I were still a ninetofive-er, I would not likely have had the energy to show up downtown at 9am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and hob-nobbed with the Jews all the live long day.

But, as luck would have it, I'm not. And I did :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today's Advantage #4

I had the opportunity today to do something that I consider a top advantage of funemployment.

I got to spend some time with my family.

Two of my cousins graduated this weekend, one from 8th grade, the other from High School.

In the past, Spring and Summer were filled with conferences, events, and generally business and busy-ness.

But today, instead of airport food, cardboard comfy hotel beds and climate controlled exhibition halls, I watched this...

Today's Advantage: Funemployed

Mazel tov to the Short Kid and the Red Head!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I've essentially stopped buying myself anything that isn't a necessity.
So, what's a funemployed gal to do when it's her bff's birthday and she wants to give said bff something special from the Not-a-Necessity Department?

Get crafty!

I got this idea from the fun folk over at Apartment Therapy.

Using junk mail, a sharpie, an old repainted black frame and about 2 hours, I made some original, fun, free art!

Plus, handmade gifts always tend to score high in the appreciation department.

Here is the original post with great instructions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Official

As I headed down to Starbucks this morning, reusable "commuter mug" (note irony) in hand, I had started to talk myself up for another post.

"Okay, it's been a while, I need to get my blogging going again, especially with the SF Weekly article coming out some time soon."

I walk in, motivated and ready to pontificate on my recent budget trip to Vegas or perhaps an update on my search for the new me. I ask adorable blond guy behind the counter (one of my favorite partners at this location) for a coffee with room. He gives me a sideways look and says, "I liked the article"
I look blankly back.
"It was you, right?"
My face gets hot.
"Oh my god, in SF Weekly?"
"Yeah, it's a GREAT article! I knew it was you!"

So, here it is. I think Peter hits the nail on the head in so many ways and really gets the tone of this moment in my life.
If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend picking up a hard copy... it's frikkin' front page news :)

Many thanks to Peter and Josh!

Friday, May 8, 2009

This SunDay FunDay

If you're going to be in the Bay Area this Sunday, I highly suggest you head over to one of the 17 Bay Area museums that will be free for the day! Check out the full list here.

Last week I visited the recently reopened Contemporary Jewish Museum and can highly recommend it. The current exhibit, although sparse, is totally worth checking out, especially for free.

Dwelling in a different city? Not to fear!
Head over here for a list of websites that will point you in a more affordable direction.

Today's Advantage

Let me preface today's Advantage by saying that I do have many friends who have been forced out of San Francisco post-layoff due to the cost of living here, so I am well aware of how pricey it can be to remain funemployed in The City by the Bay.
I, too, have made some major lifestyle changes due to my dramatic decrease in income.

However... According to Forbes Magazine, San Francisco only comes in at #18 on their list of America's Most Overpriced Cities.
(See a more SF-centric and light hearted take on the findings over at

So when it comes to the #1 rule in real estate, Location Location Location:

Advantage: San Francisco Funemployed

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quarterlife Crisis-ing

Big thanks to JMac for posting this article from EYE WEEKLY.

I'm finding the concept of the Quarterlife Crisis especially fitting during funemployment.

“There is life on the other side of this, and it’s actually a pretty good one. Growing up may be hard to do, but in the end, the gains outweigh the losses.” In other words: it might just be time to grow the fuck up.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Still Me

I'll be playing around with the layout and colors on funemployment over the next week or so.
Comments are greatly appreciated while I attempt to make myself a little prettier without doing the blogger equivalent of applying to much self tanner.

Today's Advantage

I just received an email from Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey attempting to quell my fears and educate me about Swine Flu.

The most effective way to avoid contracting the swine flu is to limit human-to-human contact.

Luckily, I spend most days not in an office sharing dishes, doorknobs, pens and oxygen with other people.

Advantage: Funemployed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gaining Perspective

A new way to think about being funemployed; An involuntary busting of your cycle.

What am I talking about? I'd like to introduce you to my old friend Ze.

Bust that Cycle

Friday, April 24, 2009

I feel like I've almost made it.

I've come across two pieces of digital gold today.

First, clicking through from the Economy section of I discovered this gem of a website complete with a spot-on definition of this blog's founding concept.

Second, check out the comments from my Friday, April 3 post. I'll keep you updated!

Today's Advantage

Fact: My roommate and myself are huge HIMYM fans.

Fact: Neil Patrick Harris is cohosting with Kelly on Live with Regis and Kelly this morning.

My roommate is at the office.

Advantage: Funemployed

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Pesach!

Friday, April 3, 2009

You Are Not Alone

See this NYT article posted this morning about the steady decline of available jobs in the US.

This is the first time the jobless rate has been this high since the year I was born.

In related news, Michael Jackson had a hit single called You Are Not Alone.

In only kind of related news the below music video was released the year I was born.

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I lied.

Not one.

Not one post from abroad.

Thou shalt not lie to thine blog readers. FAIL!

I hope it's enough of an excuse to say that I had scheduled activities 20 hours out of the day for the first 10 days I was away, then I was in Turkey after that with very little internet access, then had major family time in LA... but not to worry. It was all done in funemployment style.

Anyway, you know I love you (yes, you!) and I missed you and I'll be back rockin' and rollin' on here very very soon.

So again, thanks for reading, I promise not to betray your trust like that ever again.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gettin' Outta Dodge

What does a funemployed person do to pass the time?
1. Job Search
2. Read books
3. Watch TV
4. Take a trip to Israel and Turkey

I've had my fill of the first three, so I've opted now for #4.

In just about 22 hours I will be boarding a plane in San Francisco headed for New York.
Once in New York, I will be meeting up with my trip guides from Israel Outdoors at JFK's Terminal 4.
Then, at 11:50pm tomorrow, I will be boarding an El Al flight for Tel Aviv.

Holy crap.

I'll do my best to continue blogging from my trip.

It's about to be a very different kind of month.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good News/Bad News

I'm a little ill, which sucks.

But I'm funemployed, so splitting my precious daytime hours between my bed, the couch, and the big comfy chair in my living room is not, as it has been so many times in the past, accompanied by constant contact with the office.

No email, no texts, no phone calls. No ridiculous guilt for being legitimately sick.

Just swollen glands, headaches and severe lethargy. What a relief!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hey You! Yeah, You With The Job!

I understand it's a bank holiday today.
I get that many many people have the day off.


Even if you have to work today, I really REALLY don't really want to hear about it.

Enjoy the paycheck and quit the Facebook Status bitching.

Thank you.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Google Rules My Shit

Seriously, Google. Just take it over. Grab the reigns and take off running.

I've done as much as I can up until this point and now I'm good to go.

Google is clearly more capable of running my life than I am and I'm okay with that.

Between Google, Apple and Starbucks, I'm pretty much set. And here's why.

Ways Google Rules My Shit:
  • My roommates and I have a Google Doc where we input all household expenses for the month (bills, toilet paper purchases, etc.) and my one genius roommate has created equations in the doc so it all tells us how much we owe in rent for that month.
  • It looks pretty.
  • Conversations. 'Nuff said.
Ways Apple Rules My Shit:
  • My iPhone talks to my Gmail, my Address Book, my iCal, iPhoto, iTunes, etc. to create this lovely, seemless experience from laptop to phone to internet.
  • Apple thinks like I do.
  • Apple products are sexy.
Ways Starbucks Rules My Shit:
  • After having worked at Starbucks for 3 1/2 years, I can say, without hesitation, they treat their employees, on EVERY level of the ladder, very very well. Between full health benefits for 20 hr/week employees, a rigorous management training program and totally dedicated management, it's a great place to work.
  • The delish breakfast sandwiches.
  • The free wifi.
  • Howard Schultz is a golden god.

And then, this afternoon, the experience came full circle.
I was sitting at Starbucks, on my MacBook, checking my GMail, syncing my iPhone and searching for the new Lost! Remix that Coldplay did with Jay-Z on iTunes while plugged into my Apple ear buds, when I see this:

(Because the image is so unbelievably small: iTunes is telling me what song is currently playing at the Starbucks I'm sitting at.)

I'm checking out of my life now.

Just take me in your gentle, pillow-like hands, sync me up, design me to look like a sexy white plastic mobile device with a logo that looks something like this, only emblazoned on paper coffee cup, and call me iAlexis.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Third San Franciscoversary

I have now officially been in San Francisco for three years.

That's three years of the N Judah, with a job downtown, and therefore, three years of monthly Muni FastPasses.

Since my relocation three years ago...
  • My address has stayed the same, but am currently living with flatmates #4, #6 and #7 (and our #2 Couch Surfer).
  • I have worked at two ninetofives, my first as a tour guide second as a marketing and events manager for a swanky architecture/design magazine.
  • I have had my life irrevocably changed and my sense of existence keenly sharpened by a loss in my family.
  • I have lived in two of the 4 bedrooms.
  • My toilet has been set aflame*, and I've co-hosted three pretty kick ass parties.
But I have to say, the next 12 months promise to be the most interesting.

*Although photograph does provide an idea of my former toilet's fate, it is, in fact, not my toilet.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

BIG Break in the Job Search

I am a HUGE fan of Dog the Bounty Hunter.
So if you know me, or have read a certain recent post of mine, you know that this:

Gets me very VERY excited.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Funemployed Chatting

I recently had a iChat conversation with my good friend over at DEPLORABLE/BEAUTIFUL that turned, as our conversations often do, to funemployment (he's a card carrying member, too).
This particular time, however, the conversation was sprinkled with a good dose of perspective and wry humor.

Please, to enjoy...
Instant Messages of the Unemployed: A Shot of Perspective
by Kevin Dick

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Funemployment Goldmine: Farmers Market!

On a nice day, head out to your local farmers market, take in the smells and sights, and dig in!

Waiting for an ex coworker last week in front of the Ferry Building, I had time to take advantage of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. I was greeted with free kettle corn, pomegranate, several kinds of citrus, humus AND almond and chocolate brittle. All this before lunch!

Seriously, it's a frikkin' goldmine. I highly recommend this activity as a totally socially acceptable way to get a free snack, or, dare I say, a free lunch.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Economic Breakup

A friend recently lent me some words of encouragement with the following in an email.
At least you're one of a gazillion people getting laid off, so when the economy says "it's not you, it's me," you know it actually means it.

Newly Funemployed!
Robin got her walking papers just this past week!
Robin, it's not you, it's them... and now, you're one of us. Congrats!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anderson Told Me...

I've been out of town since Thursday and will be gone until later next week without much internet access, so I won't be posting until I'm back in town.
To tide you over...

Some statistics shared on last night's AC360:
Job losses this week- 36,224
Job losses last month- 632,000
Job losses last year- 2.7 million

Had these numbers been reported by someone less hunky, I may have been severely depressed, however, the Silver Fox (a Jeopardy champ, who knew?!) delivered the news with such grace and hottness, it somehow gave me a sense of pride for us hoards of funemployed folk.
Thanks, Anderson!

Newly Funemployed!

My dear friend Iris joined the ranks of the funemployed on Friday.
Working on week 2 of her funemployment, Jerusha!
Welcome to Funemployment, gals!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, America

Monday, January 19, 2009

Holy Funemployed Bat Girl, Batman!

From time to time, a funemployed person will be extended the opportunity to take on an odd job for some under-the-table cash.

I came across just such an opportunity last week.
I have a friend who works for a company that organizes scavenger hunts in major cities. Mostly, their clients are companies that use them for offsite team building. They also do games for private birthday parties, etc.

They’re an awesome company; they employ really fun people and manage to pull off really well organized, elaborate games for the players. I know because I’ve played the game before and had a fantastic time.

The friend forwarded me the following info on Sunday:
Subject: Funemployment opportunity
I wanted to let you know you could apply to be an Actor (aka a Plant) for [the company]. Plants are the people we hire to play different characters who are planted throughout the Game Zone. I figure it would be a fun way to make a few extra bucks while you look for a 'real' job. It's also the perfect Funemployment opportunity - to be able to accept a two-hour actor job on a Wednesday afternoon. :)

First off- “Funemployment”. Used twice. Awesome.

Sounded like an easy, fun way to make some cash, so I took her up on the offer.

The following day, Monday, I was placed in two games- one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. My role on Tuesday was to be a plain-clothed person in a Starbucks in the Union Square area and give out a password to teams that found me. Wednesday was to dress “sporty” and run an RC car race somewhere in the same neighborhood.

Tuesday was uneventful. Seriously uneventful. There were some technical problems with the game (a rare occurrence, as I understand) and no teams ever even made it to me. So I went from sitting at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, sipping coffee and laptopping, to sitting at a coffee shop downtown, sipping coffee, reading and getting paid for it. Good day.

Wednesday was… different. I got a call a few hours before the game (an offsite activity for an international biotech company) letting me know that my role had changed. Instead of RC cars, I was now about to become Bat Girl.

One would think that I would be deterred by the instruction “You might want to bring some leggings to wear because the costume is slightly short, and comfy shoes ‘cause you’ll be running around.” But no. I followed these revised instructions and arrived at Union Square with my leggings and tennis shoes ready to go.

I was told to wear leggings, so I should not have been surprised to be handed this to wear:

I was told to wear tennis shoes, so I should not have been surprised that I was told to run from the teams when they spotted me on the streets of San Francisco.

I was participating in a game of public human hunting, I should not have been surprised that I would be posing for photographs of me, Bat Girl, in “embarrassing or compromising situations”.

I should not have been surprised that by the end of the night, I would have kissed two women I did not know on the mouth, simulated peeing in public, twice, and fake dry humped a pirate (a fellow “plant”), in plain view of many many passers-by here:

But I was.

It also should not have taken me until the game started to have the following thought; “I am totally going to run in to an ex coworker. Dressed as Bat Girl.”

To be entirely honest, it was pretty fun. The teams were having a great time and their enthusiasm was contagious. Many of them were really into the game and came up with very creative tableaus for Bat Girl. With the exception of a couple of teams who took the “capture Bat Girl” instruction a wee bit aggressively, they were quite fun to interact with.

And so, after the game, descending the stairs at Powell Station to catch the train home, I reflected on the experience and decided that despite the $60 check in my pocket, Bat Girl had made her first and last appearance in my funemployed, or employed life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jon Makes a Point, Makes Me Happy

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Thu, Jan 15, 2009

Fast forward to 17:20.
Jon makes an excellent point about the status of the financial services industry.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Guide to Your First 24 Hours As a Funemployed Person
Part 1

I’ll be posting this Guide in several parts over the next couple of weeks.
Although this blog is intended for people who are funemployed for any reason, this guide is intended for those who get laid off.

Please to enjoy…

00:00 Moment of Impact
Deep breaths. It’s shocking, but believe me, it hasn’t hit you yet. You’re a little numb. There will be a lot of words that will come your way like “restructuring”, “severance” “COBRA” (which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act… huh?). Harness the numbness, turn it into fake listening.

If you’re anything like me, Hallmark commercials make you cry (like the one with the ice skating daughter and the mom gives her the card that says “Do you know how special you are?” That one KILLS me!) and this will make you cry. At work.
G’head, I’ll wait while you swallow that pill- it's a big one.
It’s okay.
As long as you can keep it under control and not do the gasping for air, snot-nosed, 4-year-old cry that we’ve all performed in moments of severe upset, you’ll be fine.

Also, remember that the person sitting across the table from you will likely be one of the best references you will ever have. No matter how awful a boss you think they’ve been, or despite your genuine respect and fondness for this person, he/she did just open his/her mouth and exploded your life. However, take a moment to remember; no one LIKES to lay anyone off and you will more than likely need to call on him/her some day to vouch for your abilities as a competent employee. In other words, their guilt will eventually be your “one of the best colleagues I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with”. So be respectful.

Lastly, get ready- it’s going to be a very long day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Free/Cheap Stuff Rocks

One of the most excellent advantages* of funemployment is the mid- day weekday activities. Taking advantage of anything during this time can feel so leisurely. I find that the same activities, when enjoyed on the weekend, can sometimes feel rushed. Like you're participating in some Relaxation Race.

Break out the Red Bull Vodkas and start appreciating your time off, DAMN IT!

I've compiled here a (half assed) list of activities that can be especially enjoyed during sunlight hours, usually reserved for the gainfully employed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Grocery Shopping
There is practically NO ONE at the Trader Joe's on Masonic in San Francisco at 11am on Tuesdays! Total score!

Visiting Any Retail Location
According to a study I just made up in my head, retail employees are approximately 38 times more pleasant and willing to help you mid-day on a weekday than any other time of the week.

Coffee Shop Sitting
Join the ranks of the funemployed, the unemployed, the late night service industry and the "Mental Health Day" folks where a cup of coffee will cost you $1.25 (or $10.19 depending on the shop and the drink), WiFi is (often) free and the music is what you'd be listening to at home anyway. Make that cup last as long as you can, plug in, and waste a little time here.

Free Museum Days
Because as many times as you tell yourself that after work on a Tuesday is the perfect time to pop over to the MOMA to see what's new, especially 'cause it's free, let's be honest. You'll really end up working until 7:15pm, then deliriously dragging your sorry ass to the burrito shop two blocks from your apartment and plopping yourself in front of the television where you'll stop channel surfing for 5 minutes on the 20/20 story about Orgasmic Births and convince yourself that that's enough culture until the next Free Tuesday.

Now, go forth and free or cheap your way through the week!
  • My favorite site for SF-specific activities is the aptly named funcheapSF.
  • is great for event calendars in San Francisco, New York, LA and London. They have an easy filter for "All Free Events".
(And now for a bunch of sites I just browsed for a couple of minutes for cities I've never lived in...)

*Vague Bill & Ted reference.
20 points if you got the reference before reading this.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
This one time, in college, I gave away free hugs as a project for my Peace Communication class. Much like this guy, and this guy (yes, it's the guy from 30 Rock). I highly recommend it, unless you live somewhere that people might try to pick pocket you when you hug them- that would end up costing you money. It would kind of suck, actually.
You know what, never mind, just hug someone you trust. Really sink into it... hugs are GREAT!

Friday, January 9, 2009

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

I’ve begun to experience this strange phenomenon wherein I decide that my new profession will be the profession of whoever I’m in the presence of.

I’m at a museum, I’ll be an art curator!
I’m on a plane, I’ll be a flight attendant!
I’m at a concert, I’ll be a singer/songwriter!
I’m bar, I’ll be a bouncer!

Why is this happening?
It might me that at this point I’m far enough outside the Ninetofive that I’m pretty idealistic about my options and I don’t have anything to loose in the dream.
It could also be that I am actually capable of anything. Just like Mrs. Adams always told us in 1st grade.

I don’t remember ever feeling this way when I was employed. I guess with enough time away from the stifling grind of a real job, the door on my reasonable professional limitations has been blown off. For better or for worse, I now have urges to become a MUNI driver and a defense attorney all in the same day.

I was going to watch an episode of Weeds, but now I'm afraid I'll be tempted to start dealing pot.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
Tonight, for dinner, play “What does (your name) have in the fridge that will constitute a meal?” A guaranteed good time!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sign found outside SF MOMA

My shitty cell service also thanks to AT&T.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Resolutions of the Funemployed

  • Find a job.

  • Avoid being laid off from said job.

  • Loose 15 lbs.

  • Do not shave head and sell own hair for rent money.

  • Spend less money to avoid urge to sell own hair.

  • Remember to stop using “I need to get some work done” to dodge unattractive social invitations until aforementioned job is obtained.

  • Do not start smoking.

  • Write in depth blog post about why Bad Girls Club Season 2 is the best season.

  • Watch less television.

  • Find a job.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
Never pass up free food. Uncooked bacon, leftover pasta salad, if it's free it's like gold. No shame, no hunger!