Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Second Sign of the Apocalypse*

[*Apocalypse, not to be confused with Alpaca Lips, which only threaten to kiss very special guests at Alpacapalooza April 2-3. Woohooo! Can't wait!]

As much as I hate to rush right into the end of days, I feel the burden of information that, while it must be shared is also bound to disorient, even frighten the people who know me.

Hold on to your kishkas, now-

I have a job.

It's ok! Really, it is. It all began with the simple removal of a shrub.

It was a Russian olive, destined for great heights, but unfortunately planted underneath power lines and overhanging several walkways. It crouched on the front corner of our yard, inner thicker branches long since hacked to bits as it struggled to become the enormous plant that every person who ever lived here tried to stop it from becoming. One good friend, one chainsaw, a few beers later, *poof* no more shrub. Then it was clear that the huge leyland cypresses stuffed into the narrow space between our place and the neighbors' had to go. (I was all set to put a link here - but perhaps did not blog it? - to my tale of the neighbor, whose first ever words to me were, "Your treeeeees are killlllllllllllling my rooooooooooooooooooof." Yet, mysteriously, when I spoke with her about the great estimate we got on removing the trees she had $0 to kick in toward it. Huh. Weird.) So, we got the lovely but hazardous trees taken down and while the guy was here we had him prune some things and take out some things. All this work served a purpose unknown to any of us at the time.

It exposed the ugliest rockery in Seattle.

For those of you not living in Seattle, a rockery is a no-mortar rock wall that is a very common sight in Seattle. Rocks, usually dark gray, and stacked anywhere from just a foot or two to four feet, sometimes more, in such a way that they retain your front yard from sliding out to the street. People add cute little alpine flowers, cascading vines, and all manner of plants to little soil pockets set among the stones. Our rockery sports some of the more popular local weeds (not that weed - I'm talking blackberry here!), chunks of roots and bricks, and a single struggling shoot of vinca. I called a rockery guy to come take a look and give me an estimate on making things right. I warned him on the phone, "Oh, you can't miss it. It's the ugliest rockery in Seattle!" I met him at the front door and we walked to the front of the rockery together.

"Oh man!" said the man who does rockeries for a living.

"Pretty serious, huh?"

"Oh yeah," he laughed, dollar signs dancing in his pupils. He reached out to one of the rocks and it crumbled as his fingers grazed it. "There was some contractor, maybe 15 years ago," the rockery guy says, "used to work in this area on the city. Must have been the cheapest guy around. Kept prices low by using whatever materials were handy." We both look at the rockery, its incorporated chunks of broken concrete jutting out at strange angles, giant decomposing roots where solid rock should be, and we realize we would not be surprised to find a kitchen sink in there because everything else is in there. He tells me, "I'm very familiar with this guy's work. I owe half my business to him."

Great. So I head over to craigslist to see if I can go talk about eggs for a few dozen hours for the quick $$. I check all the weird, random jobs to see what I might stetch to be vaguely qualified to do. I send out many writing resumes and samples, I respond to who knows how many ads that could, if the planets line up just so, turn into something. Then I get a call for an interview. Then a second interview. Then they want me. ME!! So I have a nice, cozy part time gig doing customer service for a real estate start up. I like it a lot.

If you don't know me that well, you must be wondering why you are clinging tenaciously to your kishkas? What is the big deal?

The big deal is that I haven't worked in 15 years. Oh, well, you know, not really. Aside from the very occasional writing job, I manage some family-owned rentals. I spackle & paint, advertise & show vacancies, shoot the tenants when they act up and bury them in the flower bed, shop & cook & clean & run errands. But until last week, I didn't work. Hah! Three full hours every weekday, baby. I'm swimming in the deep end now!


At October 3, 2005 at 10:34 AM, Blogger jon said...

Looking for new apartments I saw a post similar to your at this craiglist in new york site. Its wild how they are about the same thing!

have a great day!!

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