Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, has been doing a lot of thinking, of late, about reinvention.

And I've been thinking that what we often think of as reinvention is not so much making something new of one's self, but growing into something that you were always working towards. Your MatchGirl feels, dear readers, that life is just a journey. I've certainly been sharing my journey with you here on Unemployed Brooklyn - and you have shared some big changes with me! - and on my new blog - about the journey I have embarked upon in my personal life - A Precious Environment.

Since you've walked this path with me, you can probably see that I haven't changed that much.

I still contemplate relationships. I still try to shop on the cheap. I still connect with people and connect people to one another. I still, very much, share my perspective on being - in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

So, while I am going though some big changes in my life, I don't feel like I have changed. And as I continue this journey, figuring out how to marry my passions and professional worlds, I am inspired by those who have done it before me. I've written about it here before, in a post entitled "The French Chef".

It's not, really, about reinvention, gentle readers. Just about hitting your stride.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remembering The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire - And The Importance of Oversight

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl would like to take a moment and talk about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Friday, March 25th, marks the 100th anniversary of the tragedy - the largest industrial disaster in the history of New York - in which 146 people died - mostly women and, in reality, children.

I would like to take a moment to remember that tragedy and to talk about the important strides for worker's rights and labor unions that arose from the fire.
With all that has been happening in the past few years - recession, job loss, fucked up economy, unemployment and underemployment - your MatchGirl thinks it's important to take pause and think about the workers who sacrificed so much to ensure that we could have fair working condition. With states like Wisconsin taking steps to make sure that collective bargaining and worker's rights will go away and Congressional Republicans promising to cut funding for OSHA, it's time to take a moment to think about what unions have done for us. And how they can help under served workers in the future.

Unions, of course, dear readers, are different then they were in the wake of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy. They are different than they were when Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975. And maybe the union, as we know it, is no longer necessary. But there is a place for oversight. There is a place for organization. There is a place for worker protection.

Employers, as a rule (save those with amazing company culture), place economic growth and profits ahead of the welfare of their workers. In 1911, that welfare was about cramped working conditions, long hours and fair wages. In 2011, it's about substandard oversight of oil rigs and mines. It's about teacher's, educating this country's next generation of leaders, getting paid, on average, less than your neighborhood babysitter. It's about people desperately looking for jobs only to see the only things listed are unpaid or underpaid internships - where the "employer" wants full time work and a long list of qualifications, but refuses to pay for the experience.

Your MatchGirl doesn't have the answer, gentle readers, but she sees the problems. And while we may not have the same kind of need (in this country, anyway) for labor unions that we used to, we still need something.

Until that time comes, let's make sure to look out for each other, gentle ones. It's the least we can do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Operation Tomodachi: Benefit for Japan

Gentle readers, though it's not in Brooklyn, your MatchGirl wants to share this benefit event with you. It happens tonight at 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross to assist the survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Thanks to Star Mama for sharing!

Please join Deadly Dragon Sound and guests as we honor and pay respect to everyone that has been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this past week.

We will be donating all proceeds from the night to Red Cross Japan.

Confirmed guests include : 

plus performances by :

Johnny Osbourne
Ranking Joe
Screechy Dan
Mikey Jarrett
Willow Wilson
& more!

$10 (suggested donation) at the door.

Happy Ending Lounge
302 Broome Street (Forsyth/Eldridge)
New York, NY 10002

10pm - 4am
2 for 1 drink specials from 10pm - 11pm

for more info check out deadlydragonsounds.blogspot.com


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Employed But Looking?

Ah, gentle readers, your MatchGirl has been a busy, busy bee. She is about to leave her cozy apartment, where she has lived for 6 1/2 years. She had been hard at work as part of the team that brings your favorite networking event to Brooklyn. She has joined the Community Managers Meetup community, hoping to meet more people who share her passions for connecting people in real life. And she has been working away at her day job.

At the same time, she is still connecting with people who are unemployed and underemployed, sharing the knowledge she gained during her year and a half of unemployment and trying to help make sure that others have smooth transitions and answer any questions that I can.

Recently I spoke with a friend who was employed, yet unhappy. And I've been thinking about that conversation. She's since quit her job and is in the process of figuring out what her next steps will be. I also spoke, recently, with a friend who, though he doesn't hate his job, he certainly does not look forward to going to it every morning. In that conversation he confided to me, and I feel OK in sharing it here, that after a long period of unemployment, he still just felt grateful to have a job. And, through, my network of formerly unemployed and still unemployed people, I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of people who have been or are currently in similar situations.

Many of you, dear readers, took the first job you could get. You needed to. You needed to make more than $405 a week. You needed to get health insurance. You needed to start putting money back in your savings account. You needed to be able to go out for a drink or to brunch. You needed to be able to afford that plane ticket home for Christmas. And, for some of you, that's worked out well. For some of you, you feel stuck. You're employed, but you're looking. You don't want to seem ungrateful, because you still feel so lucky to even have a job at all, but you're not in a place that feels an exact fit.

And that, gentle ones, is OK.

It's awesome that you have a job now. It's awesome that you can pay your rent on time and without freaking out that the check will bounce. It's amazing that you can go to the doctor without having to go into debt. And you are not ungrateful.

Here is my advice. If you are unhappy, but employed, look. It doesn't hurt. And it's not ungrateful. See what's out there. Either you will find something that will suit you better or you will find out that where you are is not so bad.

It's not the same kind of job search that you had while you were unemployed. It's not as pressing. It's not imperative. It's just putting your feelers out there. Knowing what you are worth. Knowing that it's healthy to be keeping an eye open for your future. It's totally OK to look to better yourself and to take care of yourself. Keep eyes forward, gentle readers, it can only help you move ahead.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Go Go Go

Sunday night, I saw something amazing happen. I watched someone I know win an Academy Award. I watched him accept his award in his usual, easy and funny way. I watched him tell his girlfriend she was his dream come true. I watched him become a trending topic on Twitter. I watched our mutual friends fill up his wall on Facebook and tease each other about who was and who wasn't an extra in the film (your MatchGirl, gentle readers, *was* an extra). I whooped out loud when they called his name. I can't explain the feeling of excitement when you watch someone's dream come true. When it's someone who you know.

It's magical.

But here's the thing, dear ones, it's not magic. It's work. It's a lot of hard hard work.

And it's inspirational. To see someone, a regular person, someone you were just singing karaoke with a couple of months ago, reach this. This epitome of success.

I think I feel more emotional and excited about it because I have been spending a lot of time thinking about going and doing and innovation. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about ideas and how to spread them. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to not only think outside the box, but to build a whole new box. And I feel inspired.

Yesterday I mentioned that I have been working on a lot of new projects and I linked to them in a post. But here's the one that I didn't talk about. Here's the one, gentle readers, that has your MatchGirl filled with ideas and inspiration and excitement.

The Domino Project is the latest project from Seth Godin, with a simple goal: "get books to readers who want them. We identify great authors, establish smart partnerships, and use digital tools to give readers ideas they can spread." And I was accepted as part of the street team for this new venture.

The biggest perk so far (aside from meeting, IRL and online some really amazing people), has been that I received an early edition of Godin's new book "Poke The Box". It's a slim missive, no chapters no footnotes, no Table of Contents. It is, however, chock full of inspiration. Of ideas. Of reminders that the the people who wait to be picked are never the rule-breakers, the deal-makers, the innovators. The people who are afraid to fail - afraid to fuck up - are the ones who can never succeed.

Dear readers, your MatchGirl knows that some of you are still unemployed. She knows that many of you are under-employed. She knows that a lot of you are spending time trying to figure out what the hell you want to do. She knows that some of you are working in jobs that are not quite right and trying to fit into them. She knows that many of you are working in jobs that are not quite right and trying to make them fit to you. And your MatchGirl, gentle ones, wants you to to buy this book. Or borrow this book. But most of all, your MatchGirl wants you to read this book.

I read it over a couple of days on my commute to and from work. And as I read it, I smiled. I felt excited. I felt inspired. I felt like going into the office and kicking ass and figuring out what I could do that was different, that was unexpected, that was outside of my "job description." I felt like going home and getting online and telling you all about what I was reading. I felt like organizing events and pushing boundaries and trying to make not only my life better, but your life as well. I felt like launching my new projects and pushing them forward as hard as I can.

There are a lot of great quotes in there.

There are things I need to go through and pull out and share with you.

But for now, while I'm still full of excitement and inspiration; while I'm ready to work my ass off; while I am ready to begin, I share with you this:

This is a manifesto about starting
Starting a project, making a ruckus, taking what feels like a risk.

Not just "I'm starting to think about it," or "We're going to meet on this," or even "I filed a patent application..."

No, starting.

Going beyond the point of no return.



Making something happen.
There are so many other inspirations your MatchGirl wants to share. There is so much I know we all can do. If you read the book, and I hope you will, let me know what you think. If you read the book and you have questions about the project, let me know. If you read the book and you think it's drivel, let me know. I'm really excited to hear what you guys have to say about it.

Finally, dear ones, I leave you with this: Have you fully understood the cost of not starting?