Perhaps I’m the stupidest person on earth. I think this because I seem to find freedom in bondage, pain in happiness, and liability in irresponsibility.
I’ve been more cash-strapped than ever these last few weeks. It’s a combination of reckless spending on lunches and dinners I didn’t need coupled with ridiculous gas prices, increased food costs and the fact I haven’t had a raise in going on five years. (Viva journalism!) I was all sad and mopey about the fact that I’d have $40 to live on for two weeks until I made it through the first week spending barely anything. Just five more days to go. And I’ve got $35.
I’ve been working harder than ever, 12 to 14-hour days. And I’m looking for freelance gigs. And still, I smile on.
Turns out, I don’t need to eat lunch out every day. Turns out I have cabinets full of food, freezers full of treats and a condiment-stacked fridge containing all sorts of flavor-enhancing goodies. I think this is God’s way of telling me I need to take Lent more seriously. I gave up going out to eat for Lent, with the exception of one day a week. I haven’t honored that vow since Day 1. Lent unfortunately coincided with the craziest time of my career, when I got a new job that I’m still getting used to and the NCAA Tournament came to town. And the only consolation I received was a fast meal, usually from Taco Bueno.
Have I mentioned how glad I am to be somewhat back in the world of sports journalism? It feels like home.
But I’ve cooked dinner every night, brought my lunch to work and even taken my own cans of Diet Coke to the office. I’ve gotten lucky, too. For some reason, Netflix gave me a free month of service. I had a luncheon to go to and my friend Frances is helping me out by paying my way. I was able to buy the staples at the grocery store. I have plenty of pet food… as long as Leon doesn’t go on an eating binge.
Now if I could just find some trash bags… I might borrow some from my workplace. Or use paper bags from the store. Or just throw it on the ground, hobo-style. Canyou compost paper towels?
That’s another thing: I’ve got paper towels and toilet paper. I would spend my last dollar on making sure those things are stocked. I won’t live in an uncivilized world without paper towels. I am not a barbarian.
Really, all these decks I’ve stacked against myself came down, and I’m still in a great mood. I don’t have money, but I’ve got health (finally… I was sick for a week, hence the lack of Garish Chicken posts), I’ve got a computer I can surf and write with, and I’ve got friends who I adore.
And I’ve always got Netflix. I spent my sick week watching streaming episodes of “Friday Night Lights,” and kind of got strung out on that show. Tim Riggins, I want to marry you. Not the real person. Tim Riggins.
Oh, and I’ve got an account at the Press Club should I really, really need a cheeseburger or a beer. Come Friday, that may sound pretty good.