My fall semester, Frosh year—that’s what we called first year instead of the male-centric “Freshman”—I stayed in my room most of the time. I passed up invitations to go to the student center, to go play pool, to go hang out “with the guys.” My friend Risa, locking her room across the hall and dangling […]KEEP READING
My new favorite writing prompt is even more fun if you’re old as dirt
OMG best thing ever A fellow copywriter/word nerd posted this Merriam Webster tool in a Facebook group, and all I can say is, what a perfect birthday gift. It lets you see what words were made official the year you were born. I thought that would make me feel old, but many of the words […]KEEP READING
Can you say “ballsack” at a funeral?
I don’t want to get too heavy on you, so I’ll jump in at “ballsack.”KEEP READING
How to follow up without being a nagging, passive-aggressive psycho
I had a housemate in college who’d leave messages on my answering machine like this: BEEEP! “Hey, just checking in, I was just wondering what you were planning to do with the spaghetti pot and some of the other stuff you left out on the counter. I’d clean them myself, it’s no big deal, but with […]KEEP READING
Easiest money you ever made?
The easiest buck I ever made was in 1994. Before I tell you what the job was, let’s talk about easy money. I often see business coaches posing this question: “Do you feel guilty charging for work that feels easy?” They post it on Facebook and Twitter, offering to help people break through this so-called “money […]KEEP READING
Wayback Wednesday: Kids, have you seen my rubbers?
“HAS ANYONE SEEN MY RUBBERS?” My dad used to yell that through the house. I think about it on slushy New York days. By “rubbers,” he meant his black rubber overshoe boots by Totes. Instead of changing from one pair to another, you just slipped these on over your good wingtips. Or, in my dad’s case, Hush […]KEEP READING
Path To Success: How To Spend Your First Summer After College (In NYC in 1991)
Below is a transcript of the inspiring speech I will give to a graduating university class, if ever invited. In it, I lay out a step-by-step blueprint to early success based on my own first summer after college, a time that helped shape me into the adult I am today. (Note: most of it requires […]KEEP READING
Wayback Wednesday: That thing that might’ve almost happened to me on the way to piano
The real story is the one I never used. I always made some shit up when I wanted to skip an after-school commitment. “I didn’t make it all the way to Hebrew School because a drug dealer came up to me and offered me pot on 83rd Street. What, why are you mad, I thought you’d […]KEEP READING
Wayback Wednesday: I Worked In A Fecal Punk Rock Bar (Or, How To Avoid Having A Business That’s Not Your Scene)
25 years ago, a fucking quarter century, I was working in a bar downtown. East Village. I didn’t even know where I was, except how to get there from the subway. On my way, I walked past the Palladium and a bunch of junkies. It was winter, so I wore my black wool coat there. […]KEEP READING
Don’t throw that out! (1980s buttons and more from Casa Mom ‘n’ Dad)
My parents don’t like to throw things out. Neither do I. Steven keeps saying, “apple, tree” whenever he sees evidence of a hereditary hoarding pattern. And since we’ve been living here for a month, he’s had many opportunities to say it. Here are some of the things my parents hold onto: A ziploc baggie of […]KEEP READING
The 20 Stages of Public Speaking
I stood on the high diving board, looking down. Nope, nope, nope. I was 10 years old, at the pool at Twin Lakes Tennis & Swim Club. That’s where my family went on hot days from our weekend house in Stamford, Ct. The usual suburban club: Moms with deeply freckled chests. Tennis whites. Cheeseburgers, defrosted crinkle-cut fries, ketchup […]KEEP READING
Low things I’ve done for attention from hot guys
This summer, two convicted murderers broke out of prison in Upstate New York. You probably know about them. Richard Matt and David Sweat. There was a thing in the NY Times yesterday about the female prison employee who helped them escape. She did it because they flirted with her and got her to crush on them. Especially Richard Matt, […]KEEP READING
You could go blind from that.
July 4th weekend always brings back my childhood fear of going blind. Before I started worrying about nuclear war and cancer (which I thought I’d get because I ate Reddi Whip right from the spray can), I freaked out about losing my eyesight. There were 3 influences: 1) Little House on the Prairie. Nothing scared me like […]KEEP READING
Wayback Wednesday: Therapy ruined my Wednesdays.
Before my parents made me go to therapy, Wednesdays were the most special day of the week. Not because of “hump day,” which is now the basis of the most annoying Geico ad ever (that one with the camels), but because it was a half day at my school. We got out for lunch, and our parents […]KEEP READING