Eric Three Thousand's 2010 Holiday letter: the inspiring true story of how
I survived the year, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
As many of you know, I lost my job at the beginning of the year. So I’ve spent 2010 trying to figure out what to do. My first idea was to star in a reality series in which I would drag my family around Alaska on hiking and fishing trips, pointing at bears, and saying “wow” a lot. Well, it turns out there was already a similar show in production. Apparently, some other unemployed person with no marketable skills beat me to it!
So, in this tough job market I realized that being an art historian might not be obscure enough. I needed something else to add to my resume. It got me thinking. You know when you’re on a plane and the flight attendant makes an announcement over the intercom about needing someone with a particular skill for an emergency situation? Something like, “Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has just received a carton of correspondence, news clippings, broadsides, and annotated faculty senate reports, all concerning campus unrest during the Vietnam War era. We’re not sure how to proceed. Is there an archivist on board?” Well, the next time that happens I’m going to be prepared. In August I passed the exam to become a Certified Archivist! Now the world is just a little bit more secure. You’re welcome.
Next, I decided to get back to studying French with Rosetta Stone. The only problem is the voice-recognition software, which doesn’t seem to like my high, whispery voice. I’ve set it for “adolescent boy” but it still has trouble understanding me. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering why I’m screaming all the time. “TROIS! TROIS! I SAID TROIS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” Here are some useful phrases I’ve learned:
“Excuse me. Is this a pharmacy?”
“No, this is a bookstore.”
This is helpful if you are in France and you have trouble telling the difference between pharmacies and bookstores.
“Excuse me. I need a new television.”
“Why do you need a new television?”
“I need a new television because my old television is broken.”
This is helpful if you are in France and happen to run into the world’s dumbest salesperson.
“Excuse me. I need inexpensive plates so my family can eat in the park. Do you recommend plates made out of wood, metal, or paper?”
“Get out of my shop, you weirdo.”
As you can see, I spent most of the year studying. But I did have time for some hobbies. Watching television counts as a hobby, right? I do love television. When we lost the HGTV network right in the middle of an episode of House Hunters International, I nearly died. I sat despondent on the sofa for three days wondering if I would ever learn the fate of that nice couple looking for a home in Tuscany. Fortunately, we finally got it back. And it turns out they picked house number three. Seriously? House number three? I give that marriage six months.
I also continued blogging about Project Runway and this year I hit a huge milestone: the stat counter on my blog finally reached one hundred thousand visitors! You’re probably thinking, “That’s it? You didn’t hit a million?” Well, I’m sorry, but that’s the best I could do! I can’t wait for a million visitors. I don’t have that long to live. Seventy or eighty more years, tops. And by the end I’ll probably just be a brain hooked up to electrodes floating in a jar of saline solution and blogging will be a distant memory. So I’m going to celebrate whatever milestones I can.
A new hobby I’ve taken up this year is cooking. We started receiving weekly boxes of organic produce and I have to cook every night just to keep from being buried alive in vegetables. Of course, because most of the produce is local, the selection changes with the seasons and sometimes we get a lot of one thing. I think if the Other Eric sees one more leaf of Swiss chard he’s going to have a nervous breakdown. Poor thing.
In other news, I finally got an iPhone. Now my life is completely Mac-based. Resistance is futile. The main difference with my new phone is that I can now move beyond monosyllabic texts. Anyone who used to text me will be familiar with my rambling responses, such as, “ok” or in really extreme situations, “cool.” But now I have a QWERTY keyboard and can send complete sentences, like, “Do you think they sell wooden picnic plates at the bookstore?” or “Why did I bring a broken television with me to France?”
Well, that was my year. I don’t know if you noticed, but my letter was in 2.5-D this year. I couldn’t afford the full 3-D. I don’t know exactly what the extra half D is, but I can tell you that it will give you fuller, longer, darker lashes in just six weeks. Happy holidays!
Eric Three Thousand