Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Art Of Woo

Several years ago, when your MatchGirl was living in Boston and freshly out of a four year relationship, she had a friend who would always tell her to make sure she was wooed. To make the boy work for it. And, while perhaps some of the advice that this friend gave bordered on game-playing or was simply too close to "The Rules", much of it was good advice.

Over the years, and through the guys she has dated, gentle readers, your MatchGirl has thought a lot about this advice. I've never been a girl to play games. But, as I get older, and the eligible (and interesting) men are more elusive, I spend more time thinking about the advice of my friend (who is professionally successful and married with a child) and the appropriate way to deal with a multitude of dating situations.

In speaking with another single, Greenpoint girl a few days ago, the topic of wooing came up once again. My fellow single lady mentioned that she has noticed how men don't woo anymore. They seem to not know how. She mentioned that they don't call - they text. They don't plan a date - they just wanna "hang". And, of course, once you have gone out once or twice with a guy (whether you have made out with him, let alone slept with him or not) the late night texts to "meet for a drink" come. The other single lady mentioned that she didn't really care if it was PC or not, but that she wanted to be wooed. She wants a phone call to set up the date. She wants the first date planned, and, whether it sounds bad or not, she wants the guy to pay for that first date. Your MatchGirl, though she may be a mostly independent woman, dear readers, agrees 100%.

I recently came across the blog Rules For My Unborn Son and while many of the rules are simply good advice for anyone, and while some are funny and some are too true, there are also many reminding the young man that the woman he is dating/sleeping with/whatever is the daughter or sister of someone. And to treat her well. And, though not the point of the site (which is also chock full of dapper men one should look up to and great songs one should listen to), there is a lot of advice that one could well use to woo a girl.

It's not about the money spent that matters. A restaurant that's hard to get into and has a great review by Frank Bruni is great, but it's not necessary (though it's fun from time to time). For the most part, the gal would prefer something a little more thoughtful. I promise she wants to be impressed by your personality and consideration more than your bank account. One of the sweetest first dates I ever had was a bottle of wine and some Whole Foods sushi on a blanket on Boston Common followed by browsing in a dusty book store. It was a thoughtful date. It was planned. It was set up with a phone call. It ended with a chaste good-afternoon kiss. And it made me left feeling like the gentleman had taken the time to plan it and pursue it. Not that he was just looking for a piece of ass.

Every time I post a piece on dating, gentle ones, I get a lot of responses from the guys, telling me that is not the way they act. Or that every guy knows better than to behave on one way or another. And perhaps the men who are posting to me are truly that aware and do know how to treat a lady right (and like a lady), but, boys, your female friends complain about these things for a reason. They've experienced the cads.

So follow this advice: "Always offer your date the seat with the best view of the restaurant." It shows you care.

Friday, August 28, 2009


A few pics from the 405 Club picnic in Central Park. Your MatchGirl can think of few better ways to celebrate one's unemployment than an end of summer gathering with fellow unemployeds.

unemployeds chat (that's Garrett from The 405 Club in the black Ning network t-shirt)

Asa Aarons from NY1 chats with fab caterer Courtney of Uptown Comfort

Jose from The 405 Club (in the yellow) chats with a fellow unemployed on camera for Japanese TV

The view from our picnic spot

For those of you unable to attend, don't worry. You may have missed the picnic, but I'm sure these guys have loads of ideas for future networking gatherings.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Part-Time And Internship Opportunities

From time to time your MatchGirl receives e-mails with employment opportunities, my lovelies. While she'd love to keep them all to herself, she learned at an early age that it is better to share and share alike.

This morning, my dear friend C sent me an e-mail that she is looking for a graphics intern at the New York City Ballet. It is an unpaid internship, but an opportunity to work with and learn from one cool and talented gal:

And yesterday from Cary Wasserman at Gilt Groupe:
Gilt Groupe is hiring part time Customer Support Associates in our Navy Yard warehouse. Here is the link to the job opening that we have. You can have your readers reply directly to me at or email their resumes to

The job will be located in the Navy Yards, however there is opportunity for some Part Time employees to work from home remotely. The part time shift runs from 11am-3pm Monday-Friday. We will also be hiring for a night shift that will work 4pm-12am Sunday-Thursday.

I know many of my readers are not so fortunate to be collecting unemployment in their current state of joblessness and that some are simply underemployed. A few extra dollars from a part-time job could go a long way in this slagging economy - especially with a company that seems to be expanding even in the current recession.

If you have interest in either position, please contact the parties directly. If you have opportunities that you think would be appropriate for other readers of Unemployed Brooklyn, please email me at unemployedbrooklyn (at) instead of posting them directly to the comments page. There are a lot of scammers out there and I would not like any of you, my gentle readers, to be subjected to them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Money Money

Your MatchGirl, dear readers, has been spending a lot of time lately thinking about money. Or, her near total lack of it. And other people's perception of money and the total lack of it.

When your MatchGirl was younger, there were a few times in her life when her family had very little money. As a child, it's not something one truly realizes - there was food, there was shelter, there were clothes. Looking back, however, one realizes that her parents struggled to put the needs of her and her siblings ahead of their own. And she's grateful - for both the fact that she didn't realize it at the time and that she does, in retrospect, now.

In the current economic downturn there is a lot of talk about people losing pensions and homes and money in the stock market. There was an article in the New York Times about how the rich can't send their kids to the top nursery schools anymore. New York is an expensive city and believe you me, getting by on $405 a week (before taxes) means sacrificing some creature comforts (We'll save for another post how loads of New Yorkers were surviving on this amount or less before the downturn).

Several people have mentioned to me that they use to manage their finances, and, while your MatchGirl has always been good at balancing her budget, she is signing up for this service as well. With less money coming in, it's imperative to make the most of it.

But let's talk about when the managing of one's finances, gentle ones, takes you socially out of the loop. How many dinners and brunches and weekend cocktails do you miss out on? How do you feel when your friends are talking about their fabulous vacations and the furthest you've made it this summer is Coney Island?

I ran into my unemployed friend A at a coffee shop a week or so ago and in the course of sharing stories from the trenches of unemployment, he mentioned a conversation he had with a well-heeled friend a few months back. It seems that A's friend was going on and on about how she hadn't received a bonus this year because of the economic downturn, all the while knowing that he hadn't worked for months and that poor A barely had enough money for groceries that week.

I have been in the same situation as A in my current state of unemployment. It's not, in my experience, that those close to you don't care. It's more probable that they do not truly understand, especially if you, like many of us, were raised being told that money is simply something you do not discuss.

For the unemployed amongst you, take heat. A job will come eventually and you will be back on your feet. While collecting your $405 a week, pinch pennies, be wise and know that having things isn't everything (something of which your MatchGirl must constantly remind herself). For those of you who are employed out there, take care with your words. Even though your unemployed friends may not share with you how stressed out or broke they are, it never hurts to keep it in the back of your mind.

The economy will turn around - eventually -- it always does. But let's all just try and be mindful of each other until it does.

Friday, August 21, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, your MatchGirl received an e-mail about a project trying to put a face (or at least a name) on unemployment.

From Michelle:
Our project is a visual archive of business cards that hopes to humanize the unemployment statistics out there. There seems to be a lot of focus on numbers in the news rather than the individual stories of the 6.5 million people who have lost their jobs. We hope that you could visit our site to learn more about what we are doing.

Check out their site and send in a business card from your former place of employment (I'm sure you haven't burned all of them!).

Budget Gourmet

Most of the time (present humid, NYC heat wave aside), gentle readers, your MatchGirl likes to cook. Cooking is fun. Cooking gives you a sense of accomplishment. Cooking for one is less fun - it's only you who gets to taste the fun things you've done - but, of course, it's only you who gets to taste it if you've made a mess of things, too.

Last weekend Michael Pollan wrote an article for the NY Times Sunday Magazine about how he thinks cooking shows are making the act of cooking into a spectator sport, as opposed to really inspiring people. And, while there are many times that I will turn on Food Network to watch a competition - Iron Chef/Iron Chef America, Chopped (with a shout out and congratulations to neighborhood fave Cody Utzmam) and Top Chef on Bravo - to see people cook things I probably wouldn't make for one (I'm talking to you, Barefoot Contessa!), or just to see someone experience another culture (and salivate over my favorite "celebrity" chef - how sexy is he in A Cook's Tour?!!), I've learned a lot, too.

In unemployment, however, though one has all the time in the world to spend cooking up fancy feast for family, friends and lovers, one does not really have the money to buy the fancy ingredients! So, while I enjoyed reading (and watching) Julie & Julia, dear ones, your MatchGirl cannot really imagine running all over the city looking for the ingredients for most of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French cooking - and I'm sure those of you living off your unemployment checks are in a similar boat.

I've definitely looked for ways to rein in my food budget in the past several months - easting out less and cheaper, cooking vats of things and eating it for days on end, coercing employed friends to buy me huge meals that will sustain me for the whole day and, something I have done a lot in my life - more because I have had a roommate or a boyfriend who was - cooking vegetarian. And while you can still drop a lot of cash cooking vegetarian/vegan - a bag of dried beans is pretty much always going to cost you less than a pound of meat. And keep longer in your pantry.

A vegan friend turned me onto 101 Cookbooks about a year ago and while she has some pricey ingredients included from time to time, most of it you can source from your local greenmarket or grocery and, of course, if you know about combining flavor (or are fearless with experimenting with it), you can always substitute something you have around for some ingredient you only need 1/4 cup of and you'll never use again.

Another one of my go-to foodie websites is Not Eating Out in New York, where Brooklyn gal Cathy spent two years not eating out - and therefore coming up with a ton of yummy and accessible recipes for her website. She not only has recipes, but writes about local food events, visits farms and gardens and keeps her readers informed about cook-offs and classes in NYC. For the most part, her recipes are filled with ingredients that you'll have around, or are easily sourced - and she breaks down every recipe based on cost and health factors.

Eating at home, day in and day out, three meals a day, when you are single and unemployed, can be quite a bore - more of a chore than a pleasure. Anyone else have great go-to websites or recipes that have been helping them through the tough times? your MatchGirl would love to hear them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Facts of Life: Rejection

Rejection. It's a fact of life. It happens to all of us, from time to time. It's one of those lines that runs through so many aspects of our lives - from your job hunt to dating ...

I stumbled upon this op-ed on the NPR website the other day - a parent writing about how her son had applied for a summer job, how he had gotten so into it - even corresponding several times with the person taking the applications - and how he never heard a word. Not even a form letter saying that the position had been filled. Now, I know in this day and age, and in this shitty economy, every job listed gets hundred of applicants. I know that in my job search, I have heard back from people ... not at all. Even for jobs that were my exact job description. People just don't have the same courtesy that they used to - appreciation for the time (or feelings) of others. And it stinks.

I've written here before, gentle readers, about the men I have dated and their strange and often not-nice behavior. Here's the thing - telling someone you don't want to see them any more stinks. It's hard. You'll probably hurt their feelings. But not telling them anything, just leaving them hanging, is a dick move. It's something that guys - the world over - do. They just drop off the face of the earth. Because they're cowards.

Maybe the people in HR are cowards, too. Maybe they've all been left hanging by some guy one too many times. Maybe they've just all forgotten how terrible it feels to be left hanging, sitting by the phone, waiting for that call that never comes ...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Guide To Life

In October of 1994, your MatchGirl was about to be 19 years old, attending a small, private university in the suburbs of Boston, MA. Every week, gentle readers, for the past year and a little bit, I had run to the student center every Thursday morning to pick up that week's copy of the Boston Phoenix.

The Phoenix was something, that, as a teen in NH, we would pick up at the local college or indie record store and peruse for news of cool new bands and read the XXX advertising section out loud to each other in the noisy cafeteria. In college, I discovered Caroline Knapp and her amazing character Alice K. (not her real initial). As a young woman of Generation X, even though there was plenty I had yet to experience, Alice K. spoke to me in a way that I really felt I could relate to. And in October of that year, when her story was collected in book form as Alice K.'s Guide To Life, I absolutely had to have it.

I devoured it.

Sitting in my Brooklyn apartment in 2009, dear ones, my life is a lot closer to that of Ms. Knapp's protagonist than I ever could have imagined it to be when I was 19 years old. There is no way that, as a Sophomore in college, I could have ever imagined how things would have turned out.

The thing about Alice K., who preceded the shopaholic Carrie Bradshaw and friends into the literary world, was that she was real. Not NYC Upper East Side real, but real life real. She had a mediocre job. She had a perfectly nice boyfriend who didn't quite send her. She ate cereal for dinner, sitting on her couch watching crappy TV. She obsessed over weight and friends and men and finding the "perfect pair of shoes" like all young(ish) single women tend to do, no matter the city. But she was real. Caroline Knapp pulled Alice's story from her own experience and from that of those around her.

There were no glamorous parties, no millionaire Mr. Big with a driver. No fairy tale Prince Charming to save her in the end.

Don't get me wrong. I loved the TV show Sex & the City. I waited in line with girlfriends to see the movie in Manhattan on opening night. But it's not real. It's a fantasy. For every Carrie Bradshaw, making her way in NYC (or some other, relevant, big city), there are a thousand Alice K.'s, just getting through, day by day.

I pulled my dog-eared copy of Alice K's Guide to Life: One Woman's Quest for Survival, Sanity, and the Perfect New Shoes off the shelf this morning. It's been a long time since I've revisited her.

I think we'll have a lot more in common this time around.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

“I have an affection for a great city. I feel safe in the neighborhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of the streets.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I was listening to the Brian Lehrer show the other day, with guest Thomas Beller of Mr. Beller's Neighborhood and editor of the book Lost and Found, a collection of "slice-of-life" stories about New York. While the book sounds interesting, and while I encourage all of you to check out Mr. Beller's blog, what really piqued your MatchGirl's interest was something that guest host Mike Peskin said.

I'm paraphrasing here, as it was late at night while I was listening and the notes I made are scribbled. But he said something to the effect of how it is easy to feel insular in a major metropolis. And that one of the best things about New York was the neighborhoods.

It's so easy to feel like you're the only one out there when you're slogging through the world of unemployment. It's too easy to hole up on your couch and watch some crap TV, looks for jobs (and men) on the internet ... and even if you go to a coffee shop or a park, all the other people in the coffee shop are just like you, typing away on their MacBooks, iPod ear buds in their ears. Eye contact is barely made. And that sucks. Because one of the best things about New York is the neighborhoods.

I know I love mine.

I've lived in Greenpoint for five years and it's taken a while to make inroads. The old school people in the neighborhood are always questioning of the new people. I'm sure they look at the way Williamsburg has changed and it makes them nervous. It makes me nervous, too. But I love that, after a few years here, that the bodega guys say hey when I see them on the street. The woman at the laundromat recognizes my laundry bag. And, now that I have met a few of my fellow unemployeds, I'm very happy when I run into them around the neighborhood.

So, my lovelies, let's meet again.

Several people have e-mailed me with ideas as to what would be useful to them in their networking efforts. Several people have sent me blurbs with what they are looking for in a job. And I love that. And I want for us all to network more.

Let's not keep ourselves so isolated in our own neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Network With The 405 Club

Next Wednesday, the 405 Club is hosting a picnic for the unemployed of New York.
It's BYOEverything, but a chance to get out there and introduce yourself to some other unemployed people and network a bit. Your MatchGirl is probably going ... will you?

RSVP here.

And be sure to check out The 405 Club.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


A week or two ago, I stumbled upon a fun post by Jen over at Your Unemployed Daughter, offering advice to the single guys out there on how to treat a lady. The rules of dating - or, better yet, of basic, common, decency. Last night, on my way to meet an old friend for dinner, I ran into another friend, a couple of years younger than me, in a serious relationship and he made a comment about that post from YUD, that I had linked to on my Facebook page. And it made me think about dating - the good guys, the ones who don't need advice on that kind of thing are the guys that will read that blog and take it to heart and not realize that most of their friends are the guys that do all the things that are the wrong things.

And, since Jen gave the advice and gave it well, I don't feel the need to repeat it here, since, gentle readers, you can just pop on over and read "Fellas, Please" in its original context.

It did, however, get me thinking about romance. And the men I have known. And the men I have loved. And some of the most romantic things that they have done for me. Your MatchGirl, dear ones, will proffer the caveat that many of these lovely gestures were from the same man - and thinking of them used to make me very sad, but now just makes my heart feel a little warm.

A few lovely gestures:

Bring flowers.
I had a beau when I was younger who would leave wildflowers on my doorstep, sometimes in a little yard sale bud vase. Sometimes in a Dixie cup.

Hold her hair back.
I had wicked food poisoning one evening, not so long ago and though I don't have long enough hair to hold back, my gentleman friend took good care of me. Coming to my apartment when I didn't feel pretty enough to be seen, going out in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter, to get Gatorade and ginger ale and Saltines for my ailing tummy.

Send her a note.
A real letter. A post card. A photo with a couple of lines scribbled in Sharpie on the back. A scrawled heart.

Make her something. My first real love, made me things. and he was quite a talent. He made me drawings, he made me origami flowers, he made me a gorgeous piece of furniture. He bought me things, too. But the things he made for me were then, and will always be, so much more special.

Hold her hand. In public. It's important. A gesture. A touch. It means more than you would think it ever could.

Make her breakfast.
It doesn't need to be amazing. Toast and eggs and coffee. Remember how she takes her coffee. Bring it to her in bed. Let her sleep a little. My father gets up early every morning to make my mother coffee and bring it to her in bed, even though he is retired and she has to be up at 5:30am. He has done this for years, and, dear ones, it's one of the most simple, most beautiful gestures that I've ever seen.

Being a single girl, it's been a long time since I've gotten far enough dating anyone to really have any of these gestures made to me (a cup of coffee here and there, but not much more). But I have been thinking about these things, about relationships, as I watch some fall apart around me, and I know how easy it is to forget the little things, the small gestures that really are what romance is all about.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Career Camp

For anyone interested in "green" jobs, you might want to go to Galapagos in DUMBO tomorrow for their career camp. Details

Tuesday, August 11th
Doors - 6PM Start - 7PM


Presented by Galapagos Art Space +

Career Camp brings together industry-leading thinkers and next wave ideas in order to stimulate discussion, sharpen skills, and illuminate what comes next.

Our GREEN session features Marc Alt, President and Creative Director, Marc Alt + Partners, Amanda MacDonald Crowley, Executive Director of EyeBeam, Rick Thompson, COO of Greentech Media, and Chris Garvin, AIA, LEED AP, Terrapin Bright Green. Moderated by Liz Danzico, chair of the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts.

We're pleased to announce that Media Bistro will join us again as well, along with special guests the Truck Farm!

Special 2-for-1 "Happy Camper" cocktails form 6 - 7PM &
Free haircuts by a Galapagos resident hairstylist throughout the evening!

Cover Letter

This missive came into the Unemployed Brooklyn inbox this morning and I thought that you, dear ones, would enjoy it as much as I did.

Fellow Unemployed Brooklyner Tony wrote this joking cover letter, which he sent in with his resume to a job listed on Craigslist (?), after writing a ton of them and not getting any real response. Enjoy!


Did I get your attention?

Yep. This is one crazy fucking cover letter, bitches!

I know what you’re thinking, this guy thinks he’s going to get a job by writing “Oh My Fucking God!!” to us. Is he insane? It’s possible, you know. After writing 400 cover letters for jobs that are probably beyond lame and way too easy for me to be engaged in for more than a week or two, I have lost my ability to write happy, positive cover letters telling you just how god damn excited I am to work for your lame ass company that will probably have to do it’s own wave of lay-offs in a few months anyway.

And hell, I’m probably not even qualified, since I went to art school and have been working mindless corporate bullshit admin jobs for over a decade.

But regardless, I am applying for the position of Executive Assistant so I can help organize some random douche bag suit so he can adequately do his job, cheat on his wife, go to the gym and not miss any appointments he probably has at an airport-area motel with a underage boy named Angel.

My qualifications include very quick and clever comebacks to any insult flung at me, the ability to look like I am working when I am instead twittering the world about how easy it would be to rob your company blind and my extraordinary way to articulate sexually devious rants to all your female and closeted male co-workers.

Do not hesitate on this one!

I look forward to hearing from you about this position, which I am sooo fucking excited about, I think I just wet myself.
References of women I’ve slept with and never called back at your request.

Tony L.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Buyer Beware

I want to take a moment, gentle readers, to talk about travel in this time of unemployment and recession. And about those people who are only out to make a buck off of you, no matter what.

Recently, a friend of mine made a purchase from Hotwire for a hotel room. She knew she wouldn't know the name of the hotel. No problem. She didn't care about that. She picked her area. She picked her rate. She hit OK. And when she got her hotel confirmation, it wasn't even near the area she had picked. She knew no refunds, but she called them up, thinking there had been a mistake, thinking that they would be helpful - because she had put in a certain area and been told the hotel was in that area and, when it clearly wasn't, wouldn't they want to help her?

The answer, probably not to anyone's surprise, was a resounding "no". They didn't care about the fact that the hotel was in a bad part of town. They didn't care that they had grossly misrepresented the area. They just cared that they had her money and they weren't going to give it back - or let her put it towards anything else.

Before the comments come about how they clearly state that they give no refunds, I know. And she knew. Her problem was not that she couldn't get her money back - it's that now she's stuck staying miles away from the area she thought she was staying in, in a less than desirable part of town. She's now forced into spending money that she wasn't planning on spending on cabs because there's not the public transportation in the area where the hotel actually is (but there is in the area she thought she was getting).

It's probably too late to do anything to help my friend out - unless her credit card company comes through for her - she's stuck staying in a place where she feels not only cheated, but unsafe. And for what? So Hotwire can make a couple hundred bucks? I hope, when you are looking to save a bit on your travel expenses that you will recall this posting and make sure to use any service other than Hotwire (and their sister company They seem to have forgotten not only the policies of good customer service and truth in advertising, but in basic human decency.

In these days, when even those who are employed need to count their pennies, I just want to remind all of you out there to beware of deals that look too good to be true, to pay close attention to the fine print and, as always, "caveat emptor".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Meeting People Is Easy

Gentle readers, yesterday we had the first casual meet'n'greet under the banner of Unemployed Brooklyn. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and just chatting/venting about our unemployment and our job searches over a few cheap drinks in Williamsburg. It was really good to be out of the house/coffee shop/away from the lap top for a few hours and to make some new friends.

I've gotten a few (great!) suggestions as to how future meets could be more helpful/useful/networky and I want to make sure that the future meetings are a bit more organized. Although, perhaps, gentle readers, not all the time - unemployed people need to have a little fun sometimes, too!

I've sent an e-mail to those who were in attendance, asking them to send me a quick blurb (a few sentences) about the kind of employment they are looking for and to please include their e-mail address in the body of the e-mail if they'd like it to be shared with others. I'll be compiling all these paragraphs and passing them back on to the group.

And, dear ones, I would like to include you on the list, if you are unemployed in Brooklyn (I'll take other New Yorkers, too) and think that you may benefit from this type of networking. Any e-mail I receive by this Sunday, August 9th, will be included in the mailing. Contact me at unemployedbrooklyn (@) to participate.

With A Little Help From My Friends ...

Well, with a little help from someone's friends. Or maybe even you.

A week or so ago, I received an e-mail from a dear friend, mentioning that an unemployed friend of hers was having a tag sale and perhaps I could help out and promote it on my blog. She also put the unemployed friend in touch with your MatchGirl.

The unemployed friend, M, not only lost her job in September, but has an 8 year old daughter to support. Now, gentle readers, I know how hard it is to be jobless, as do most of you, but to be jobless and have someone else relying on you? I have a hard time just getting by on my own. Now M is trying to stay in NY and keep her daughter's life as normal as possible (something any parent can relate to, I'm sure!) and to that end, she is having a tag sale in her Williamsburg apartment on Saturday, August 8th from 10 AM to 7 PM. It's at 315 Berry Street(between South 3rd and South 4th), Apt 208 (second floor). There is a buzzer to be let into the building, but signs will be up.

Here's a bit of the note she sent me:
I'm advertising the sale as a sort of help-me-stay-in-NY-and-support-my-kid-by-buying-my-shit / party / bakesale / funday. I've been incredibly stressed out lately, and really need to unload some of my things to make enough money to stay in NY. ... The idea of relocating with my daughter- who loves her school/life- makes me physically sick! Today she's leaving for a vacation with her grandparents, the duration of which might be extended if things don't look up here in NY.

Here is a bit about what she'll be parting with:
Motherwell print (too many details for this particular email, but if interested, please ask): $650 or best offer
Futon sofa; sturdy, well-cushioned and in fantastic shape- not your average crappy futon: $250-300 or best offer
Amazing wood and cream pleather recliner (yes, PLEATHER)
Books, oh, so many of my beloved books (adult and kid))
Kitchen and cookware
Clothing, amazing bags/purses, hats
Kids toys
Kids clothing
Kids Majar 'Chick' Chair
Art easel (wooden; for kids, with blackboard on opposite side)

Oh, there are so many other things, a whole lifetime of stuff, really, ready to be passed on to you. I'll also be selling some of my embroidered things. I may consider selling one of my favorite possessions- an amazing Emmi Whitehorse litho called Drift- it means a great deal to me, but I might be convinced. It was purchased for $1600. I already have one high bid on it from a dear friend...

And if you are not able to make it to Williamsburg on Saturday, try to make it to Spacecraft one day soon, where M has some embroidery on show/for sale or check out her shop on Etsy.

I know, dear ones, that times are tough for everyone. But I also know that every little bit helps. So, if you are able to, please stop by M's sale, pick up a book or an easel or something. And tell your friends.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's On!

Ah, my un(and under)employed friends, it's finally time we meet.
Your MatchGirl has been thinking long and hard, and e-mailing with several of you over the past few days and a time has been set.

Let's meet this Wednesday, August 5th at 4PM. Where shall we meet? you may ask. Well, gentle readers, I feel that the best way to break the ice would be for us to come together over a pint or a shot at Zablozki's on North 6th Street in Williamsburg.

The first meeting will be informal and small - a few unemployed folks getting together to meet and chat, gain a little moral support, and perhaps put our heads together for a larger event in the future.

I hope to make this the first of many such meetings.

If you feel like attending, please e-mail me at unemployedbrooklyn (at) and let me know.
See you then!


A dear (and DC connected) friend of your MatchGirl's has sent her this article about the possible extension of unemployment benefits. And, dear readers, I thought it might be of interest to some of you:

Further Extension of Unemployment Benefits Likely
By Karoun Demirjian, CQ Staff

A new push from the Obama administration over the weekend may aid lawmakers in their efforts to pass an extension of unemployment benefits following the August recess.

Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee have begun working to craft an extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits before Sept. 30, when many workers will have exhausted both their regular and extended jobless benefits.

Congress has already acted twice during the current recession to keep unemployment benefits flowing — once in last year’s supplemental spending bill (PL 110-252) and again in the economic stimulus package enacted early this year (PL 111-5).

But without another extension, more and more workers will start losing their benefits every month.

Extending unemployment benefits “is something that the administration and Congress are going to look very carefully at as we get closer to the end of this year,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

But the details have not been resolved.

“That’s what we’re working on now in terms of the some of the changes that have already been made that wipes out UI,” said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Ways and Means committee, which would be first to consider an extension of unemployment benefits. The committee is expected to take up legislation on the issue soon after the August recess.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, introduced a bill (HR 3404) late last week to keep a program of extended unemployment benefits running through Dec. 31, 2010, instead of expiring as scheduled at the end of 2009.

McDermott’s bill also would keep in force through 2010 the extra $25 per week in benefit checks approved under the stimulus bill.

In addition, the bill would extend jobless benefits for an additional 13 weeks in states with unemployment rates at or above 9 percent on a rolling three-month average. As of now, he said, 20 states would qualify.

Geithner and others have predicted that the national unemployment rate may not peak until the second half of 2010, potentially putting more people in need of unemployment assistance.

About 1.5 million are already expected to lose their benefits by the end of 2009.

Keeping those people covered, and providing benefits to thousands more likely to lose their jobs over the next year, isn’t expected to come cheap.

States already are having difficulty paying out the unemployment benefits owed their residents. To keep checks flowing, Congress passed legislation last week (HR 3357) last week authorizing transfers from the Treasury to the federal unemployment benefits trust fund, so that it can continue to lend states money to cover their UI obligations, indefinitely and without limit.

But until the job market recovers, support for a UI extension that at least continues the extra 13 weeks of coverage into the next fiscal year appears to be bipartisan.

“We’ll definitely support that,” said South Carolina’s Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative Republican, on Sunday’s Fox News Sunday program.

Source: CQ Today Online News
Round-the-clock coverage of news from Capitol Hill.
© 2009 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

And here's an article from NPR's Planet Money that is pretty interesting (or really depressing, depending on your perspective).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fine Line

This afternoon, my friend popped up on my iChat with the comment, "You're Kate Monster."

I had no idea what she was talking about, but, a couple of YouTube links later, it turns out that I am (and she is, and probably a lot of you are) Kate Monster from Avenue Q.

And here's the thing ... we all spend so much time thinking about this and complaining about this, but no one can seem to connect with each other. We're all on the internet, social networking, dating sites, commenting on blogs and news stories and "liking" people's status updates. But no one is actually speaking to each other.

I've been meeting (not in real life yet) a lot of new people since I've started this blog. I've been reading other unemployed blogs. I've been fielding a lot of e-mails. And it seems there are a lot of people out there just looking to connect, on a for real, not just virtual, level with someone else. When it comes to Kate Monster, she's talking about dating, about finding a man, and, I guess a lot of the time, so am I. And I wondered how the lyricist ended up in my head. Or if it really just sucked so much to be single in New York. Her answer? "It's the anthem of all young single people in NY?"

How sad.

You can follow the link, and probably would find yourself relating to more than one of the characters, but ... here are some of the lyrics from the first song, "Sucks To Be Me":

Your problems aren't so bad!
I'm kinda pretty
And pretty damn smart.

You are.

I like romantic things
Like music and art.
And as you know
I have a gigantic heart
So why don't I have
A boyfriend?
It sucks to be me!

And here's a bit from the second, "There's a Fine, Fine Line":

There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there's a fine, fine line between "You're wonderful" and "Goodbye."
I guess if someone doesn't love you back it isn't such a crime,
But there's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

If it is the anthem of the young and single in New York, how come none of us have figured out a way around it? Are we all just typing away on our computers, looking at profiles on one of the hundreds of dating websites, not really ever able to break free of that stigma of what it's supposed to be to be young and single in New York? Are people just staying in shit relationships (don't pretend you don't know those who have done that!) just because being the single one sucks?

Just a couple of things, gentle readers, for you to ponder on your Sunday night.


Your MatchGirl gets asked quite often, gentle readers, what is the biggest change in her life since losing her job in November of last year. And, while, of course, there have been big changes, I think it's the small ones that give me the most pause - the little things that one wouldn't normally think about, but are now constantly on the front of one's mind.

Did I change my eating habits? Yes. But not really. I go out less, and I think about it more. But, as my grandpa owned a grocery when I was small, I was raised to read the labels on the food and on the price tag - to look for value and to make a smart choice, to look for specials and to clip a coupon here and there (of course, I do keep forgetting the coupons on the kitchen counter).

Things you noticed but didn't really think about are more pressing. Like when all of your toiletries run out at the same time - employed you probably thought less about how much cash you drop on that stuff. And even if you buy cheaper brands, look for store specials or remember the coupons you clip from the Sunday paper, when you have to get it all at once, it adds up. And fast.

What I miss most, though, is the impulse buy. Judge me if you must, but this girl spent most of her adult life working retail and was a pre-teen/teen in the 80s. Frugal as I may have always been, it is a material world. And, with the state of the economy as it is, there are so many sales right now. Expensive things marked down to reasonable prices. The kinds of things I lust after at full price (even employed, on a meager salary, I would not have bought them at retail) but that I would have hopped at when marked down. My favorite local store has over half of it's spring collection on sale, and while I went in there with another friend to help her pick out a dress, I kept my hands in my pockets and away from my wallet while gazing longingly at two shirts, two dresses and the most buttery soft leather jacket you have ever seen.

I have never been a big impulse shopper, gentle readers, but I miss the ability to do it. I haven't had a credit card since 2002, so I have always needed to have the cash available to me. But here and there, now and then ... I have been guilty of an impulse purchase. A lunchtime trip to H&M, leaving with 5 or 6 items. New jeans at Diesel. A pair of shoes just because they are gorgeous. Living on an unemployment check, dear ones, is a different story.

And even worse when it comes to the big purchases. Your MatchGirl's computer, for instance, her lovely little laptop, is chugging away with poor battery life and a very fickle charger. Now, for now, I will find a new charger and make due with it leashed to an outlet (a new battery seems a little pricey for now). But, as I have written before, I will be taking some evening graphics classes in the fall and I am worried that my poor little iBook will not be able to handle the programs. So, even though that is not quite so pressing (the charger is, of course, but I am taking a wait and see attitude on the bigger problem), the simple fact is that the time will come, perhaps in the near future, when I will need to figure it out.

Sure. I would not just run out and buy a computer. It's not an impulse buy for most people. But, it got me thinking. About the things we need. And the things we want. And the things that we crave. And missing things ... that we didn't know we'd miss, just because they are gone.

I will not lie. I miss an impulse purchase.