i went to work like i've been doing for the past 10 months, except today was different, there was a hollowness to what i was doing. although i'm not officially laid off, the fact that i don't have any work to do and that i know after this month i won't have a job anymore made me into a walking dead. kristine and james were already at work, and judging from their happy demeanor, they haven't heard the bad news yet, so i had to continue the charade and pretend everything was normal until the bosses told them otherwise. as soon as katrinka arrived, she and alex asked to meet with the two designers while i sat by my desk listening. i felt like i was witnessing some great catastrophe. i took the opportunity to unlock last night's weblog entry, made invisible so no one in the office would accidently read about what transpired yesterday before they found out from the source. kristine and james were a lot more talkative than dana, adam, and i from yesterday. their meeting ended abruptly, awkwardly, the two of them going back to their seats lost in thought. their world has just turned upside down.

let's review the 6 stages of grief, shall we?

1. shock, denial, isolation
this was me for a split second when i first heard the stage, but i got over this stage pretty quick, since it was my 3rd "layoff."

2. anger
i felt this a little bit, like, well, if you knew the company was in a bad situation, why didn't you let us know? but bosses can never let their employees know that the company might be collapsing. it makes the employees all nervous and might cause them to jump ship prematurely. but i was slightly angry but i understood the decision. more like annoyed though. annoyed that i have to find a new job when i was getting used to this one.

3. bargaining
i don't think i experienced a bargaining phase. maybe the first time i was laid off i went through this, but i know the drill already, it's not like i can talk the bosses into not closing the doors.

4. depression
oh shit, how am i going to pay my mortgage? i don't even think i can collect unemployment, since the company will no longer exist. i'm so screwed.

5. acceptance
i was accepting as soon as i heard the news. maybe this should be rolled together with stage 1.

6. hope
oh wait, you mean i can still get unemployment benefits for this? let the good times roll! summer vacation here i come! it won't be so bad, i'll find a job eventually, if not freelance work. in the meantime, i have at least 7 months of government money to keep me afloat.

i had already been in the office for 3 hours surfing the web, instant messaging, e-mailing, and cooking up some ramen for lunch. i didn't think i could take 5 more hours of this, so i asked alex about my schedule now that i don't have anything to do, and whether or not i could leave early again today. he seemed concern, like this was something they hadn't taken into consideration, that some of the employees would have nothing to do. he had a quick talk with katrinka in the front room and came back with their verdict: they'd compile a to-do list tomorrow, and so long as we finish the things we have to do by a particular time, our schedule was flexible and we could come and go as we please. with that knowledge i left the office for the day.

with my free time back in my control, i already knew what i was going to do and that was to go see a matinee at the boston common theatre. wandering around chinatown a bit, i bumped into james, who had left the office as well. he seemed kind of down so i talked him into joining me for a movie, which i assured him would probably cheer him up depending on what we saw. after buying some contrabands at CVS, we went to the theatre and got tickets for king arthur. we sat in the back row with all the leg room, right below the projection window.

king arthur is one of those big summer blockbuster movie with a lot of action and unintentionally funny dialogue and contrived dramatic situations. it's the kind of perennial summer affair that we all know and love. who is this arthur anyway, much less a king? in the movie he doesn't become a king until the very end of the story (hope i'm not spoiling anything). i don't know very much about the arthurian legends, just bits and pieces, characters like king arthur, lancelot, merlin, things like excalibur or the knights of the road table, that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge. so when the movie is touted as "the untold true story that inspired a legend," i don't know what to believe. truth be told, i only went and saw the film because keira knightley was in it as guinevere. oh look, she fights in the battles just like the men do! how liberating! but her role in the movie is still just eye candy, and though there are hints of a potential love triangle between arthur, guinevere, and lancelot, the most lancelot ever does is to give her some lusty looks. guinevere doesn't even appear until midway through the movie. as much as i like keira, i question her casting in the role, she doesn't seem strong enough to be this "warrior princess" and its never explained in the movie where she learned to fight. the moviegoing audience must have an appetite for pretty frail young things who can kick ass on the silver screen i guess (think mila jovavich). clive owen makes an impressive arthur, that chiseled face, those penetrating eyes, he's got a good looking head that's perfect for wide screen projection. stellan skarsgård as cerdic ("the entertainer"), leader of the invading saxon forces, plays like a viking version of clint eastwood, every dialogue he delivers is in a laughable husky whispered voice. ioan gruffudd's lancelot almost seems like the main character at times, and the start of the movie actually features him as a child, being taken by the romans from his home in eastern europe, to serve a 15 year stint as a knight in the roman frontier of england. he's a reckless womanizer, and is constantly cracking jokes like, "i'm the father of your child," which apparently in those simple times doesn't warrant an immediate smackdown. the film is shot lovely in the muted colors of the medieval english palette, it's a pretty piece of work. i'm surprised director antoine fuqua (famous for training day) would choose to take on this film (maybe looking for something different). the movie reminded me of 13 warriors mixed with gladiator mixed with tears of the sun (another fuqua movie, coincidentally). the whole backstory is really interesting, how these knights are not native to england but have grown up in this strange land long enough to be more english than where ever they originally came from. another cool scene is a pivotal battle on a frozen river, it's one of those, "hey, never seen that before" moments. the movie is not bad, the plot is interesting, the action sometimes a little bit too much, and the dialogue is bad enough to be good. a perfect summer movie.

after the movie, james headed towards backbay to catch the train while i circled around downtown crossing a bit before before catching the red line back to cambridge. in what has now become a ritual, i walked by bruce's apartment and talked to him through the window. i also bumped into jeff (without his dog) and told him about losing my job again. those who don't know me very well often wince when they find out, but no one should feel sorry for me, i'm more happy than sad.

i messed around the house a bit, surfed the web, watched some food network, then the news. before i knew it the red sox game was on again, and once more i made soup from a can for dinner. the red sox beat the athletics for the second night in a row, they're hoping to sweep their league rival tomorrow. the past two days have been good for red sox nation, especially since the yankees seem to be in a slump right now. if the red sox can continue racking up the victories, all will be forgive and my love for baseball will slowly return.

before i went to bed, julie told me the adventure she had today, with her petunias getting stolen from her front porch in broad daylight, to not being able to find her car at the liberty tree mall in danvers, with cars following her trying to get her parking spot.