Steve Dahl and Mark Czerniec, Maui 2/5/2002

Around 10 o’clock this morning, I got a phone call from Steve Dahl.

Since Steve just never calls me, I immediately understood that this was the very bad news he had been foreshadowing for a couple of weeks. He confirmed it. CBS Radio is dropping The Steve Dahl Show, so I will be without a job very soon — possibly in 24 hours, or maybe as long as two weeks from now, depending on what is decided. Steve wanted to make sure I heard it from him and not someone else, which was nice of him. I told him it has been an honor to work for him over the past seven years, and for three and a half more back in the 80’s.

On my television was the Senate Banking Committee hearing with the heads of GM, Chrysler, and Ford. The early mood there seemed to indicate that Congress is not inclined to bail out the auto industry, meaning that the companies could very conceivably go broke before this month is out.

I am far from the only person in this leaking boat today.

So what to do first?

Well, first, of course, I called Amy. It turned out to be the very first call in or out on her brand new company cellphone at her new job — her previous job having been sunk by the housing and credit crises. We had discussed the potential loss of my job numerous times in recent weeks, but I could hear the certainty of it now sort of knocking the wind out of her a little as she sat in our car up there in Oak Creek. She said she would call and cancel her doctor’s appointment.

Next, I phoned my mom, who suggested that this might be a good time for me to come back to the Catholic Church. Mom will be praying for me, and she reminded me that she will do anything she can for me.

Both calls were made on my cellphone, because I have a ton of unused minutes there, rather than on our landline, which would ring up a small charge. We pay about $100 per month for both. Maybe now I should cut one to save $50. Since the cell is mobile, I guess I would want to lose the landline, but keep that number and transfer it to the current cell or some other.

I’m also thinking about cable. That’s another $100 plus for both basic TV and broadband Internet. I must have Internet access, but I could probably live without cable TV. Most of what I watch anyway is just a continuous background of news. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are both available via podcast, and 30 Rock and The Office are now viewable online. I would probably benefit from less TV, more books and public radio.

So there’s maybe $100 saved right there.

Netflix is going to have to go. That’s what — $18? Ironically, I just got an email today informing me that I can now stream Netflix movies on my Mac for the first time ever.

$118. Beyond that, it’s pretty freaking cold outside. Perhaps I should try to look at the situation with the grand, poetic, and loopy vision of Peggy Noonan:

I suppose as months and years pass it will all gleam less, with a steady falling off from perfection. It will roughen.

Yep. It’s doing that now.