For the first time in over three years, I’m a non-working television producer. As of today, I have been without a job for eight whole days. Breaking it down, that’s 192 hours, which isn’t so bad. Heck, I’ve slept more than 192 hours straight on several different occasions.
You can also think of it as 11,520 minutes, which starts to sound a little frightening… though not as frightening as 991,200 seconds. Holy smokes! I’ve been a non-working producer for 991,200 seconds? It’s true what they say about life… it really passes you by before you know it.
You may have noticed that I’m using the term “non-working,” which I think is much nicer than “unemployed,” don’t you? In fact, if we put our minds to it, we can put a much nicer spin on any unfortunate situation just by tinkering a bit with word choices. Examples: My show wasn’t “canceled.” It just “concluded its run.” My financial situation hasn’t “stagnated.” It’s merely “awaiting an upcoming monetary installment.” You’re not “old.” You’re simply “well seasoned!”
I’m doing my best to stay in the moment, which is what everyone is telling me I need to do. Actually, before they tell me to stay in the moment, they ask that question all “non-working” producers just love to hear: “So… now what?”
It’s like they think I keep thirty or forty fully developed careers on stand-by for just such an occasion. “Well, let me take a look at my handy list here… oh! Next up is ice cream man. Perfect! Summer is just around the corner. Kids are out of school. All I need is a little paper hat and a van that plays “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” and I’m right back in the game!
People also do their best to get you very excited about having potentially endless free time on your hands. “Think of all the things you can do now!” they encourage brightly, “Re-decorate! Write a novel! Run a marathon!” Why in god’s name would I want to do any of those things? Those sound worse than having to go to work every day. Even if I was independently wealthy, I don’t think any of those things would interest me.
I appreciate all the words of encouragement, instructions on what to do when life gives me lemons, and the reminders that I’m only about thirty work years away from having to scoop up french fries and assemble Happy Meal boxes if I don’t play my cards right.
But for the next 991,200 seconds, I think I will focus on making pizza.
Have you listened to a steaming hot pizza pie just out of the oven recently? The way it sizzles and hisses as the cheese bubbles pop hyperactively from one end of the crust to the other? That aroma of tangy sweet and spicy sauce snaking its way through your kitchen? Even those charred little pockets of mozzarella left behind on the walls of your oven take on a fragrant reminder the next morning… man, I love pizza!
And that’s… what’s now.
So if you’re in the Hollywood area, you should definitely stop by and snag yourself a slice. And don’t worry about gaining weight. At Tv Food and Drink, your butt never looks “fat.” It merely looks “super existent.”
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