I have spent the past 15 minutes trying to figure out whether the creatures swinging from branch to branch in the tree outside my window are baby squirrels or some crazy brand of tree rat. On the positive side, they have tails that could be described as "fuzzy" and are going to town on the unripe walnuts in the trees in a distinctly squirrel-like fashion. On the "rat" side, they are missing large patches of fur and have weird beady little eyes and we have suffered tree rat infestations in the past, since our cats are ridiculously useless in the "doing their job" department, catching only one single rat, which had already been caught in a trap, and then putting great effort into bringing said rat upstairs still in the trap (crowing with pride all the while and strutting around) and dismantling it in our hall.
The amount of mental energy I am expending on this important issue suggests that it might be time to dust off the old resume and look for employment. My plan was to spend another year in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where I went to grad school, and teach various forms of writing. Since school starts in about two weeks and I haven't heard, however, I'm guessing that I'm going to get my little Canadian ass put on the first bus back to Vancouver.
And, so, I am taking stock of my employment options. Alas, "MFA in Creative Writing" does not necessarily translate into "give me a corner office and stock options." I'm beginning to see the flaws in my previous life plan, which was to have Oprah feature my first novel on her show and get me a million dollars in royalties, which I would use to purchase a house in Berkeley and spend the rest of my life selecting the perfect organic carrots from the farmer's market and raising babies. (Come on, Oprah! What do you have against quadriplegic sex scenes? Let's go!). Alas, the royalities from "Post" have so far topped out at around $800, which is hardly keeping me in the lifestyle I've grown accustomed to and would barely support my chai-latte habit.
Here is the problem. I am still having trouble with the whole "sitting down and standing up" business. This means that traditional jobs open to MFA grads (read: Starbucks) are off-limits to me. I am therefore on the hunt for a job that doesn't require me to sit for long periods of time, stand for long periods of time, or come home smelling of grease and ketchup. Ideas? Suggestions? Offers of marriage to a wealthy (but handsome and intelligent) man? What sort of jobs are hip-replacement friendly?