Category Archives: Unemployment

The great unemployment coffee experiment

I’m a creature of habit. My morning commute to my five-month freelance gig always included a stop for coffee. The project’s long hours made caffeine a necessity. Soon enough, the caffeine headaches made caffeine a necessity. My trip always led me past one of two decent coffee places, depending on the route. The fancy-sounding though […]

Smartphone zombies rule the earth, or at least New York sidewalks

Walking consists of two major components: moving your feet and looking ahead. If you don’t move your feet, you stay in one place. This is called standing, or, in New York, tourism. If you don’t look ahead, you run into things, or things with the right of way run into you. This is called stupidity, […]

Jobless need not apply, and less

The call went out. Maybe you saw the big “U” projected onto the Empire State Building. Maybe you heard the siren song blaring from large speakers mounted on flatbeds circling the city. Maybe you received a little note slipped into your pocket as some nondescript pedestrian brushed by on the sidewalk. RT (Russian Television) needed […]

Let the music play… and I will kill you

Morning and evening rush hour on the subway is quiet time. The trains are crowded with commuters. But everyone sleeps or reads or daydreams or listens to music through headphones. Nobody talks, and nobody bothers anyone. It’s a very New York feeling to be surrounded and still alone. And during rush hour – when you’re […]

The more things change, the more they stay different

So much has changed since I last held down a job and forced it to stay. Some of it’s good; some of it’s not so good. And some of it just is. Let’s review the high points. Class, please follow along. This material will be on the final… I have two beautiful young nieces, whom […]

The unemployed guide to taxes

I like doing my own taxes. And, no, I’m not insane, at least not like the drunk guy dressed as a female clown who rides his three-wheel bike around my neighborhood with a live parrot on his shoulder. My insanity – since that’s what it probably is – is more pedestrian and middle class. There’s […]

This week on Dancing with the Politicians

Host: Tonight they have another dance… another chance. Only one can take the trophy. Who will move a little closer? Live from Washington, this is “Dancing with the Politicians.” I’m Norm Elrod. Tonight is the semi-finals. Let’s welcome our first star. Dancing the Political Two-Step, former Texas Congressman, Tom DeLay and his partner, his own […]

What is unemployment anyway?

I’ve been a horrible person. It’s not because I hate you, though I probably do, because I’m a horrible person. How’s that for circular logic? It’s because I’ve been ignoring my blog – the public manifestation of my unemployment. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, and have no plans to stop. (And I love […]

You’ve lost that useless feeling

I hurt myself at the gym the other day. The exact moment is still fresh in my head. There I was, back flat against the weight bench, two 400-pound dumbbells poised above my head. Nickelback played through the speakers, angering me to the brink of insanity at the unfairness of life. My muscles twitched; sweat […]

Unemployed snow day photo exhibition

I love a good snow day, even when there’s nothing to stay home from. What kid, or kid at heart, doesn’t? To this day, the news radio chimes make me hope for the words, “Montgomery County schools will be closed today,” no matter the time or season. A snow day is special, a surprise holiday, […]