maybe one day somebody will ask me what i ate on my last day working at squid. they will then know that i had the short ribs korean box lunch special at apollo grille with james.

the last day sort of just happened. kristine already wasn't going to come in, and there were less and less things for the rest of us to clean up. my father dropped by briefly to pick up the computer desk that he bought, along with a bunch of stuff i couldn't easily transport via subway, like a roll of chicken wires. soon afterwards james and i went to lunch. the apollo grille was nice and air conditioned, the food clean and delicious and well-presented.

when we got back to the office, katrinka asked if we'd be coming in next week. i said, "i don't know, probably not," then she asked for our keys, which is like a symbolic gesture of power transfer, our status as employees diminishing. even the bosses themselves said they probably won't be coming in next week unless they have to. we also got a copy of the layoff letter, in case the unemployment department or health insurance need that kind of documentation. there were a few things in the office up for grabs, including a lot of toys, which i took advantage of, collecting a whole box full of unwanted items. around 4pm james and i left, saying good bye to everyone (which now just included alex and katrinka and adam), shaking hands, james thanked them for the opportunity, alex and katrinka were happy that i finally got to work at squid after all these years. it wasn't entirely good byes though, since we'd still see each other one more time at alex's wedding next month.

it felt weird leaving. this is the last time i will ever see this place. that's why earlier i was taking photos, getting some visual documentation. this is my third layoff, each one feels different. my first one, from screen house, that was shocking, and some tears were shed. my second, from SRM, i was happy for some reason, a lot of employees wanted to leave. my third, SCS, i left with a muted sadness. there's no regrets, no hard feelings, but i'll miss the work, the place, the people. with small companies, it's more personal. inside south station, james and i said good bye and shook hands.

so there i was, riding the subway with a box full of office stuff, the splitting image of somebody who just got laid off. i was hoping to milk it, garner some sympathy from my fellow co-workers, hoping to receive some sympathetic, "tell me what happened?" but nobody seemed to care. maybe their concern was tempered by fears about their own job security (who knows, maybe "layoff fever" is contagious), or heightened security worries the closer we approached the DNC. i wasn't searched at the station either, which was kind of disappointing, i was so sure that i'd receive some special attention ("is that a toy ball? or a blatant display of a nuclear detonation core?"). as a matter of fact, i saw very little security, maybe they're all undercover. when i got home, i wanted to go for a run, but it was just too hot outside, so i just stayed inside, trying to keep cool, rainchecking a run for this weekend.

what did i bring home in my layoff box? here's an inventory:

  • a sack of maybe expired sugar blended ground coffee from chiapas, mexico in a lovely green satchel with an aztec jaguar glyph (alex brought this back from mexico many years ago)
  • a tray of floating glassware toys shaped like sea animals
  • magic marble kaleidoscope
  • aleister crowley thoth tarot deck with instruction booklet (from when katrinka took a tarot reading class)
  • can of hello kitty mixed drops candy
  • assortment of colored light bulbs
  • assortment of colorful squid fishing lures
  • hoberman sphere (original grey, i was going to buy it, but katrinka gave it to me for free)
  • large rubber goldfish that's also a squirt gun
  • 3" agama lizard plush toy
  • miniature frog motif sanrioesque grandfather clock
  • french soap ($5, bought from the little store, ginger spice scent)
  • i spent some time playing with the kaleidoscope. i've never owned one before, but have always found them fascinating (and hard to spell too). the images remind me of ceramic tiles i've seen in turkey:

    living room

    living room

    outside window

    master bedroom

    master bedroom

    master bedroom

    julie invited me over to her place for virgin mojitos, but i told her if she came over to my place (saving me the ttrouble of having to leave my house because i'm lazy), i'd make her some bubble ice tea and chinese dumplings. so 30 minutes later she came over, along with cupcake making ingredients.





    having never made cupcakes before (but have made muffins a few times with miniature bundt cake molds), i thought it'd be hard, but all we did was mixed the ingredients together (vanilla flavored), filled the aluminum cupcake tins, threw them into the oven, baked, and viola! cupcakes! i had the tins on pizza trays (because i was afraid the cupcakes would overflow, which it never did), so they didn't bake evenly until julie opened up the oven and discovered too late what i did. we baked them 10 more minutes (minus trays), but the muffins were flat after that. julie frosted them with chocolate spread, then poured on the rainbow sprinkles, which is how this evening all started in the first place, when she confessed to me over instant message that she'd been eating the sprinkles like candy all day.

    the mojitos were just crushed mint leaves (homegrown from julie's secret garden) and ice (made with the finest cambridge water) and water and sugar and lime juice minus the rum. "that's it, i'm getting you a juicer," julie told me when for the millionth time she wanted a device to help her juice instead of doing it old school by hand ("that's how a man juices," i wanted to tell her but didn't). she seemed to be enjoying her virgin mojito, i thought it tasted like minty lemonade. "would it be okay if i added some red wine to it?" i asked julie, remembering that i still had a bottle of unfinished vino. "no," she said, as if answering a ridiculous child question.

    i cooked up some frozen spicy pork and cabbage dumplings (XO brand) for dinner. i wasn't sure if julie would like them, she's kind of picky about her food (kind of? okay, really picky), but she ended up really liking them, along with the special spicy dumpling sauce. instead of dipping (the traditional chinese way of eating dumplings), she poured the sauce onto her plate of dumpling and ate it like that. after she finished, i caught her dipping her finger in the excess sauce and eating it. i guess she really liked it.

    the main reason for us to get together on a friday night like this was because of the red sox yankees game at fenway park. it was a tight game, ups and downs, which is what you like to see, unfortunately the red sox came out on the losing end of the game.

    in between innings we'd fool around with the hoberman sphere. it's the kind of toy that stoners would love (along with the kaleidoscope), and we were all giggling and acting stupid with the sphere despite the fact that we weren't even drunk (so think how much more fun you'd have with it if you were). the hoberman sphere, if you've never seen one, is this collapsible ball made up of interlocking segments that can be opened and expanded to many times its original size: from 9" diameter to 30" across. i'd discovered that when expanded, it's actually big enough for me to wear as a fat suit. what julie and i found out tonight was if you drop the sphere while it's expanded out to its maximize size, it will bounce then instantly shrink back to its normal size. we also had a blast wearing it on our head like a helmet or maybe a hat or afro.

    we each had 3 cupcakes after dinner for dessert. julie worked on a 4th one, scraping off bits of chocolate frosty until it formed the letter "T" in bas-relief. i get a kick watching people being creative, even if it is just playing with their food. i think she just wanted to eat the frosting though. maybe the "T" was to entice me to help her eat the rest of that cupcake. later the cupcake disappeared, don't know if she had it or threw it away.