Category Archives: economy

I do need a job…

This Craigslist post has left me completely confounded.  They’re looking for people to work full-time December 1st-23rd to create one-of-a-kind toys for children in need.  If selected for the job, they will pay for you to fly to Alaska where you will stay in Santa’s Village in Northpole, Alaska, be paid $25/hr, and “be back with your families just in time for Christmas!”

Sounds like the premise of a low-budget slasher film.  But they do promise I’ll be back with my family in time for Christmas…  (I guess Santa’s workshop isn’t looking for anyone who celebrates any of the other holidays, such as Hanukkah Dec. 1st-9th.)

Also confusing is that this opportunity is listed as a “Sarah Palin Economic Initiative.”  It’s so ridiculous that I’m afraid it might be for real.  Does anyone know anything about this?  Is Sarah Palin funding a bizarre toy workshop in Northpole, Alaska?

The official website ( also looks suspect.  The free apartments in the “dream village” offer these amenities:

• Fireplace

• Queen sized bed

• Flat screen television

• Full kitchen

• Full bathroom

• Meals included and provided daily

Also, “Aside from the luxurious sleeping quarters, we have put together a modern holiday lodge that truly exemplifies the spirit of Christmas. The main lodge contains a heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, as well as a sauna. There is a large gathering room where we encourage all of our employees to relax and mingle on nights and weekends. The gathering room contains a large beautifully decorated Christmas tree and a lovely fireplace. We also have a full concierge and a coffee bar with complimentary beverages for all of our guests.”


Note: I was going to put a photo of Sarah Palin at the top of this post, but when I got to Google Images, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Also, this quote from the site does sound an awful lot like Palin rhetoric: “We need to have hope because we can, and will, rise up once again and reclaim our status as a financially stable, independent and respected country.”

Oh, screw it.  Let’s look at her!

Santa's helper?

Impending lay off and it feels so good. Impending lay off like we knew we would.

More and more lay offs have begun taking effect at my workplace.  My own release date is still a few weeks off.  But the goodbye hugs and the “Nice working with you”s have made it all more real.

Made me think of that movie from last year, Up in the Air, with George Clooney.  I saw it in the theater by myself and I snuck in a calzone.  Made me think of one scene in particular, the one when Anna Kendrick’s character fires her first man using the remote system she pioneered.  Kendrick tells him over a computer webcam that he’s been fired.  And the look on his face.  That man’s performance affected me more than the film as a whole.

But I couldn’t find it!  So here’s something else from it:

“Anybody who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where you are right now.  And it’s because they sat there that they were able to do it.  That’s the truth.”

That “truth” makes me feel equal parts suspicious and inspired.  Because of course it’s not as simple as that.  Being laid off alone doesn’t automatically give you the tools or opportunity to change the world or build an empire.  But I do think it can get the fire in your belly burning enough for you to make steps in that direction. 

If, of course, you can find the means to feed and shelter yourself and survive while heading in that direction.  If you’re George Clooney?  No problem.  If you’re anybody else…

An independently owned and operated blog post.

I regret starting a blog post with this statement, but here goes – I was in Starbucks the other day.  And this middle-aged man was sitting at the table next to me.  We started small talking.  He mentioned that he’d started four different businesses from home and that I should do the same.  I agreed.  That sounded like a fine idea.

Then it came out that I wrote a blog.  And this guy was all about ways of making money, so he said I should put ads on my blog and I should finagle subtle advertisements into the posts themselves.  For the sake of keeping things simple I agreed with him again.  But the whole thing left me uncomfortable.  I thought to myself, no, that’s not the kind of blog I want to have!  The aim of my blog isn’t to make money for myself or third parties, it’s simply to have a platform for expressing myself and have a platform for connecting with other people. 

Ya know?

So, there will be no ads appearing on this website any time soon.  And mentions of Starbucks are in no way meant to endorse the company.

I was going somewhere with this.  OH!  I wanted to say a nice word about a website a friend referred me to.  It’s called  Every 3 hours or so they give you a word or a few words that’re supposed to serve as a jumping off point for you to write something and then you write something in 300 words or less.  It’s good for those times when you want to write but you can’t think of a single thing to say.

Thought I’d share my latest.  It’s a true story from the year 2004.  The jumping off phrase was “not my ticket”:

I’m itchy.  I’m sitting in the orchestra section for an evening showing of Phantom of the Opera with Dad.  I haven’t showered in two days because that’s how long the trip to New York has been for freshman orientation at college and no one else was trying out the dorm showers so I didn’t either.

The man next to me is opening up a Hershey’s chocolate bar and I think that I’d like a Hershey’s chocolate bar, too, but I’ve been itching my stomach and my face and I wouldn’t share if I were him.  Dad is grunting because he doesn’t have enough leg room.  We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge earlier and it was sunny because it’s August and I sweated some and now the sweat has dried.

Andrew Lloyd Weber music starts to play and the man is still crinkling the candy bar wrapper and Dad is still adjusting his legs and I’m itching myself, but goddammit this musical is brilliant.  I hope Christine and Raoul bang.

If you join you can conveniently find me under the user name “MadameLibrarian.”


I eat a lot of eggs.  And I try to buy cage-free, organic ones because that means the chickens are treated more humanely, right?  I wonder what actually constitutes as cage-free and if the quality of life quotient is in reality much higher for those chickens.   I hope it is.  But at the end of the day it’s still about the money for those companies and farms putting those eggs on the shelves, so I don’t know.

I noticed in my avid egg-eating lifestyle that sometimes shells will break really easily.  And the shells that are more brittle are always from the not as fancy cartons.  Which makes me wonder about the health and treatment of the chickens that produced them.

You know how they say that apples are less nutritious now than they were a century or something ago?   I forget why they say that, but I feel like that goes for much of the food on the market now. 

Lately I feel like everything I consume and even do day-to-day is resulting in consequences I’m not even aware of.   Consequences to natural resources and the environment, consequences to my health.  So, what’s going to happen?  How much longer can it all go on?  Salmonella outbreaks, big floods, droughts, species extinctions.  I think we’re doing some things wrong.

And this DeCoster dude scares me:

Career Change!

I’ve been perusing the job sites this afternoon, and I came across two positions that are particularly cool.  One of my dreams is to live on the road for at least a couple months of my life.  This summer isn’t conducive to that, unfortunately, as I have three weddings to attend, but that’s totally fine.  Besides, I’m not really qualified for either of these.

The Big Apple Circus, an internationally recognized, not-for-profit touring circus seeks a Fleet Assistant.

Responsibilities are dependant on experience and skill. Duties include assisting the Fleet Supervisor in maintaining the show vehicles and equipment, basic mechanics, driver’s license required.

This job requires full-time travel with the show. Position provides: salary, housing, all meals, benefits, and tour transportation. Tools and equipment provided.

To apply, email resume to or call Chris @ 917-921-2560

Just think–you could literally run away with the circus!  This next one I guess I could be qualified for, but I’m not sure I have the temperament for:

Private large Motor Yacht based in Jersey City is looking for a friendly, reliable, professional stewardess who can bartend, waitress and keep the yacht clean and tidy. Experience and interest in preparing and presenting food will be very beneficial to the successful candidate.

This is ideally a live aboard position as the yacht travels from Newport RI to Cape May NJ all summer long. Hours are not set but determined by the owner’s use of the yacht.

This is a great opportunity for those looking for a summer of fun and travel along with the opportunity to save their earnings as food and accommodation are provided when living on board.

Inquire at

They even provide a uniform!  Which is one reason I’m not sure I’d be a good fit–I don’t much like khaki.  Or yachts, if I’m really honest with myself.  I want a grungey tour bus compartment to sleep in, not an oak cabin compartment.  And they use the term “stewardess.”  Which makes me think that’s what this rich chauvinist still calls the female flight attendents on his private jet! 

Sigh.  Some people.

I did apply for one job today that I’m really excited about.  And really qualified for, I think.  But times are tough.  The ad was posted at 9:22 this morning, and I’m sure by now, 6:30pm, they’ve already received countless inquiries.  Feel free to do this for me:

Happy Mother’s Day and such.

Sometimes it feels as though an inordinate amount of my life has been spent on Greyhound buses. Yesterday I boarded one a little after 6pm in New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. I once had a bus driver give a long diatribe all about the terminal’s population of crackheads who would try to help us with our bags and then steal them in order to fund their crack habit. He said it’s especially bad in the warmer months as crackheads outnumber police officers 10 to 1. Point is, the Port Authority Bus Terminal is full of characters. Go ten paces in any direction outside of the terminal, too, and you can find an adult video store/peep show theater.

Usually my Greyhound bus trips aren’t too eventful. One time I almost inherited my seatmate’s diabetic 13-year-old cat. One time I sat next to someone I’d been fascinated with all through college and I thought we might be falling in love, but it turned out not.

This trip was uneventful aside from the two-year-old girl sitting on the lap of the woman beside me. Children are okay. I understand they need to travel places, too. It just sucked that she had a cough. And that cough kept being directed at me. And each time, seconds too late, the mom would tell her, “Cover your mouth.”

Still, today is Mother’s Day. And the girl’s mom was trying. And I know years down the road or in another lifetime I’ll find myself in public with a two-year-old who’ll be crying or knocking things over or losing control of its bodily functions and the last thing I’ll want to deal with is some childless bystander giving me a hard time or rolling eyes at me when I’m doing the best I fucking can.

Taking care of kids is hard.

Is it just me, or does the whole world feel a little out of whack right now? I feel like it’s the beginning of the Wizard of Oz and the winds are powerful and I can’t find Toto and my blue gingham dress doesn’t quite fit. This oil spill in the Gulf is a real drag. The economy is still a drag. And everyone’s anxious about terrorism and volcanic ash clouds and whether Men in Black III is gonna be any good.


Speaking of the economy, 60 Minutes had an interesting segment tonight about people walking away from their mortgages–even if they can afford them–because they’re paying off, like, a $250,000 mortgage on a house that’s now worth almost half that!

60 Minutes makes me laugh. And it teaches me things. I like that combination. I like this combination:

You heard it here first

Unless you heard this somewhere else, such as inside a stall in the women’s restroom of Penn Station.

This is probably the most informative piece of bathroom stall graffiti I’ve ever encountered. And possibly the only piece of bathroom stall graffiti I’ve seen that makes no mention of cock.

There was also graffiti on the stall door that said organized crime’s influence had infiltrated New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, too! I didn’t know how to take any of this news…so I posted it here.

Thursday Free Write

I’m eating a terribly bruised banana.  It’s way too easy to abuse bananas.  I swear.  You leave them alone for five minutes and they’re barely edible.  Just like children.

It’s a beautiful, mild day in New York City, but I’ve spend the majority of it in this dang’ed cubicle.  And wouldn’t you know it, during my 15 minute break, I go outside to catch the last of the day’s sunlight, and a guy soliciting my nonexistent money for a perfectly deserving organization sits down beside me.  Don’t you know, “Matthias” from “Greenpeace”, that I just gave a dollar to that drug addict on the subway the other night?  And he said, “Wow, a real American dollar bill!  I haven’t seen one of these in ages!”  And you expect me to also help do something to protect the environment and promote peace? … I guess that’s reasonable enough.

I went grocery shopping for the first time in weeks the other day and I saw this baffling thing on the shelf:

Who at Pepperidge Farm decided the word “pumpernickel” needed to be shortened to “pump”? And who backed that idea up enough for it to end up on that poor loaf of bread? It’s nothing short of tragic, especially in light of the word’s fascinating and bizarre origins I just found on Pumpernickel orig., an opprobrious name for anyone considered disagreeable, equiv. to pumper(n) to break wind + Nickel hypocoristic from of Nikolaus Nicholas (cf. nickel); presumably applied to the bread from its effect on the digestive system .

There’s something pornographic about that phrase, “Dark Pump,” right? I know it’s not just me.

“Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd”

Thanks for clarifying that. And thanks Lynyrd Skynyrd for these lyrics:

Oh, take your time. Don’t live too fast.
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman–you’ll find love.
And don’t forget, son, there is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh, won’t you do this for me, son, if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold.
All that you need is in your soul.
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.

This song was on my mind today. Mostly because I submitted a two week’s notice for one of my jobs. It felt impulsive and liberating. But really I’ve been thinking about doing it for awhile. I’m only there one day a week for one thing. It doesn’t pay all that well. And it doesn’t challenge or stimulate me in the slightest. (A cubicle is involved.)

So, out with the old, in with the new. Which, is this economy, doesn’t mean much. But fuck it. All I need is in my soul.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

I'm so glad my lover is as vain and superficial as I am!