Category Archives: actual occurrences

Unemployed life coaches create a human resources dept. at Occupy Wall Street

Life coaches stake a claim to a piece of Zuccotti. Photo via Coaching Visionaries.

At the edge of Zuccotti Park amid a sea of signs and a crowd alternating between snapping pictures of the cardboard handiwork and creating some of their own, a girl in her mid 20s walked up to a plain folded table covered in printed sheets of paper.

It was about 7pm on a Friday and the post-work crowd of gawkers and evening tourists had swelled the park population significantly so she had to speak up a bit to be heard over the din.

“OK,” she says, easing cautiously into an explanation. “I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do. I work 9 to 5.”

A girl behind the table stuck her hand out to interrupt her: “Same for me,” she says, smiling and nodding. She’s bubbly and energetic, wearing the kind of comfortable suit you might expect to see at a public relations staff happy hour.

“I’m an artist,” the first girl continues. “I have no money. I’m poor.”

Without missing a beat, the girl behind the table starts pulling papers out of the stack and makes an elevator pitch about a planned art exhibit outside the JP Morgan building that needed artists.

“Cool,” the first girl responded, seeming shocked to have found such a quick answer, and a place she could go.

Is this the central booking for all newcomers to Occupy Wall Street? Not exactly, because it goes a bit deeper than that. The table is staffed by a team of about eight professional, certified life coaches with the goal of helping newbies not just find something to do — after all, anyone can sling a plate of free vegan pizza at the chow line — but to tap into something deeper that draws out their life skills.

If Occupy Wall Street is meant to be a national come-to-Jesus sermon, this table is the private confession booth. Continue reading


Well I don’t see any centaurs…

… so they must be very good.

spotted on the BQE today.

The things we go through for free summer shows

Awaiting the Eugene Mirman/Kristen Schaal/Todd Barry/Patton Oswalt/Neil deGrasse Tyson/Jim Gaffigan/They Might Be Giants show at the Williamsburg waterfront show on Friday, when things started to look a teensy bit ominous:
And then the rains came. And came and came. The best thing about being outdoors during a torrential downpour, as confirmed by Tyson, is that you can only be so wet. In about 3 minutes, we were all drenched from hat to Chucks, so, what the hell? Might as well stick it out. The comedians tried their damndest to give a good show to the  good-sport crowd, and Schaal’s Flashdance number was sympathetic, since it involved getting water dumped over her head over and over again.

But there were casualties:

1 — Nearly full Moleskine notebook, drenched, the text now drunkenly running into each other in a bath of blue ink at the page edges.
2 – I borrowed copy of a book, drenched, now in a sad state with pages rebelling from their bindings, probably resulting in me having to purchase a replacement copy.
3- Shoes, shirt, jorts, drenched, eliminating all hopes of hitting on girls at an after party at The Gutter, taking three days to dry.

Still, when it’s the dead of winter and the thought of standing by the river is about as appealing as sleeping with your head packed in ice, I’ll smile back at this day and have no regrets. Well, except for maybe not bringing an umbrella.

Recent conversations with editors

1. via email

Me: not to be hung up on the newspaper era…
…but we have a hell of a front page right now
Editor: you mean the wood?
Me: I mean the whole first page is power-loaded. is “wood” an obscure term even I don’t know?
Editor: front page of a tabloid!
Me: broadsheet til the death!
Editor: Yes, bored to death.

2. via text

3. via email

Me: (sends article)
Editor: Gracias! (Note: I really still don’t understand how wireless internet works. Is that weird?)
Me: Kinda?

A complete list of Facebook applications I am currently blocking

The aggregate number of our reactions is never quite apparent until you review your Facebook block list for the first time:


“Which Hogwarts teacher are You?”

Ameba Pico Virtual World

Are you a true Southerner?


Bejeweled Blitz

Between You and Me


Birthday Cards

Bouncing Balls

Bouncing Balls

Bubble Paradise

Bubble Saga

Bubble Town: Party Planet

Café World

City of Wonder


Commonly Confused Words Test

Daily Horoscope

Death´s Time

Doodle Bubble Continue reading

Well played, Barnes and Noble

I don’t know about your family, but…

From the Union Square B&N. Put down the Monopoly, mom; he new LOADED QUESTIONS is here!

V-day for V-day averse

Putting aside the constraints of perpetual singlehood (or restless relationship syndrome, as some call it), I’ve never been much sold on the idea of Valentine’s Day: the thought that greedy, conniving forces outside your bedroom should dictate how you feel about someone and when. I’ve been glad to see this belief is now somewhat commonly held or at least spreading virally like so much Middle Eastern revolts. But there is always the threat that someone, somewhere, may just be expecting you to cave a bit to tradition and put forth some show of old-fashioned romanticism. And what of the folks who wander gingerly into relationships in the dregs of January, not sure if the pink sticky mess of mid-February is a trap waiting to spring or a puddle of too-candid emotion awaiting your false step?

Around noon at register 13 today, a young happy couple walked up, a baby in a pink cap draped over the guy’s torso and tattooed forearms.

They handed over their canvas bags and we started some friendly banter. “Any plans for Valentine’s Day?” I asked

“Spending it with you at the grocery store,” the girl responded with a smile. At least that’s someone, I joked back.

“We’ve never been much for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “We started dating at the end of January so it was weird. Sometimes all you need is the phone call and it’s OK.”

We talked for a few more on the outrageousness of the tyranny of Hallmark, how people fall into consumerist rhythms that substitute for actual emotion. Then she stopped, as if something had just come back to her, pointed to the baby hanging noiselessly from the father, and said, “In bed this morning, she kissed us both for the first time without being asked. That’s our Valentine’s Day right there.”

I smiled as they hoisted their bags over the shoulder and got ready to leave. “But we did put her in her heart shoes today,” the dad said, pointing to the little girl’s footwear. “They’re part of her regular rotation, but we picked them out specifically for today.”

They said goodbye and made their way toward the exit. On a 50-degree day in the dead of February with hearts and flowers smashed on the walls all around us, the allure of a valentine you don’t buy in stores shone through.