Archive for October, 2010

Adventures in Unemployment

October 20, 2010

TECHNICALLY I’m not unemployed anymore, but…

I really wanted to become a New York City cabdriver though my boyfriend said I could only do it if I carry a gun (as I’m very small).  I was thinking about this even though I’m a pacifist (I feel like people go online these days to extol their eccentricity but really, I just am that weird) because I thought it would be funny to be a 5’1”, 100 lbs soaking wet blond woman-child driving a cab carrying a gat.  But then I read the requirements for certification and it all seems a little too much to me…

  • 1

    Get your license in order. Before applying for a taxi driver’s position in New York City, you need to make sure your license is current. You must possess a New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or Pennsylvania chauffeur’s driving license with a photo on it. (Must be the equivalent to a New York state class A, B, C or E license.)

  • 2

    Pick up a copy of your driver’s history at the Department of Motor Vehicles and be prepared to submit it along with your application. If your driver’s license is not from New York, you will need a certified document (aka abstract) of your driving history from your DMV, along with a statement that your license is equal to that of a chauffeur’s license.

  • 3

    Submit a valid and original Social Security card, as well as a notarized NYC Office of Child Support Enforcement Form.

  • 4

    Show proof that you owe no debts/fines to the DMV for tickets, traffic violations and the like. If your license is out of state, you need a certified statement from your local DMV stating that you owe no such debts.

  • 5

    Complete the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) driver application and have Form A notarized. You must answer all questions in full. The applications are available at the two TLC licensing locations. (Go to TLC website for addresses of locations.)

  • 6

    Take the New York State DMV-certified defensive driving course, which is six hours in length. This must be completed at least six months prior to filing your application for employment. The cost of the course is $50. You must submit the original completion certificate when you apply. The TLC does not accept copies.

  • 7

    Pay all necessary fees and apply for license (which is one-year probationary upon issue). Fees are listed on the TLC website. In general, the total fees cost around $200 and cover licensing, fingerprinting and drug-testing. After you get your license, you will be required to attend taxi school, and the cost ranges from $150 to $325. You will also need to pay $25 to take the English proficiency test. (Total fees, including licensing, training and testing comes to around $500.)

  • Read more: How to Become a New York City Taxi Driver |

    Best Excuse Ever

    October 19, 2010

    Any moronic or odd thing you want to do if you’re an aspiring writer, you can chalk up to “gathering material.”

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!

    October 15, 2010

    When I was a child, I had a three-book set of scary stories based on folklore.  The books were compiled and written by a man named Alvin Schwartz.  I haven’t met anyone else who had these books but I remember being completely chilled by their contents.  Here is one story:

    Cold As Clay

    A farmer had a daughter for whom he cared more than anything on earth. She fell in love with a farmhand named Jim, but the farmer did not think Jim was good enough for his daughter.  To keep them apart, he sent her to live with her uncle on the other side of the country.

    Soon after she left, Jim got sick, and he wasted away and died.  Everyone said he died of a broken heart.  The farmer felt so guilty about Jim’s death, he could not tell his daughter had happened.  She continued to think of Jim and the life they may have had together.

    One night many weeks later there was a knock on her uncle’s door.  When the girl opened it, Jim was standing there.

    “Your father asked me to get you,” he said.  “I came on his best horse.”

    “Is there anything wrong?” she asked.

    “I don’t know,” he said.

    She packed a few things, and they left.  She rode behind him, clinging to his waist.  Soon he complained of a headache.  “It aches something terrible,” he told her.

    She put her hand on his forehead.  “Why, you are as cold as clay,” she said.  “I hope you are not ill,” and she wrapped her handkerchief around his head.

    They traveled so swiftly that in a few hours they reached the farm.  The girl quickly dismounted and knocked on the door.  Her father was startled to see her.

    “Didn’t you send for me?” she asked.

    “No, I didn’t,” he said.

    She turned to Jim, but he was gone and so was the horse.  They went to the stable to look for them.  The horse was there.  It was covered with sweat and trembling with fear.  But there was no sign of Jim.

    Terrified, the father told her the truth about Jim’s death.  Then quickly he went to see Jim’s parents.  They decided to open his grave.  The corpse was in its coffin.  But around its head was the girl’s handkerchief.

    Oooooo!  Scary!

    The highlight of this collection was definitely the illustrations by Stephen Gammell, though.  See a few choice examples below:


    Nice puppy.


    When I downloaded this last one its eyes started moving and I screamed aloud in my room, prompting two of my roommates and my roommate’s boyfriend to think I’m crazier than they already knew I was!


    Craigslist Poetry

    October 14, 2010

    So I’ve been posting ads for a company on Craigslist and have compiled some of the security words they ask you to type in an attempt to collage a poem.  It’s mostly nonsense, though.  I kind of liked it better when it just sounded absurd, like, “make-up divorcing.”


    (srog nosized

    great bipanday

    already onstora

    you’re oticard

    such hoading

    speech fiticer

    offiran matist

    occafion unchirty

    allound fahll

    mallible (when

    168 bustcat

    aruire you’ll

    because wooress

    telers face.

    ablinke reached

    coffeecup stilist

    Aquila lederred

    commission corilk

    the lorabs

    English Only

    Great already, you’re such speech, you’ll because face.

    Reached coffee-cup commission.


    ID has too much time on her hands.


    October 14, 2010

    So I’m writing these silly e-articles that are lists of pop culture oddities, you know, like “15 of the Worst Celebrity Parents!” or “15 Most Baffling Unsolved Crimes!”  And I think this genre, the list and the article, should be called a LISTICLE!  (Also great cause it sounds like “popsicle,” and popsicles are delicious.

    Follow Up To Le Petit Prince Tattoos

    October 6, 2010

    new york craigslistmanhattanpersonalsmissed connections

    Saint Exupery – m4w (Midtown)

    Date: 2010-10-05, 9:49PM EDT

    I was on the one train you sort of smiled at me. I saw you tats and wanted to know if you were a French Sailer or a Naval Aviator. Love to meet someone who loves le petit prince to put in ink.

    Last Night

    October 3, 2010

    A beauty mark drawn on by an eyeliner pencil way up on my left cheekbone, a friend’s tall, slim, Scandinavian girlfriend who has forgotten me, a glamorous, bustling, seventies-style event, something annual, a group and celebration I vaguely remember once feeling a part of but distinctly do not now.

    Poto and Cabengo

    October 3, 2010

    Poto and Cabengo, otherwise known as Virginia and Grace Kennedy.

    Somebody please find me the documentary Poto and Cabengo, twins with idioglossia, directed by Jean-Pierre Gorin!  Or pay for me to go see it in Chicago at the Block Museum at 7 PM on November 17.

    Revivals and Rediscoveries

    Date Film Time

    10/29 Demon Lover Diary 7 pm
    11/17 Poto and Cabengo 7 pm

    In a new ongoing series, Block Cinema will screen rare and often hard-to-see American and international films—from revered classics to obscure curiosities—that deserve a second look. This Fall’s offerings include two landmark documentaries from the same year, 1980, which offer hilarious and fascinating portraits of odd pairs, including Poto and Cabengo, Jean-Pierre Gorin’s legendary study of 6 year old twins who become a media sensation after supposedly creating their own language, and Demon Lover Diary, Joel DeMott’s side-splitting, jaw-dropping portrait of Don and Jerry, two Midwestern factory workers who set out to fulfill their lifelong dream of making a low-budget horror film.

    Wednesday, November 17, 7 pm
    Poto and Cabengo
    Co-Presented by White Light Cinema
    (Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1980, US, HDCam video, 76 min.)
    After his 1970s collaborative films with Jean-Luc Godard (Tout Va BienLetter to Jane), filmmaker and intellectual Jean-Pierre Gorin left France to teach at UC San Diego. Primarily a professor and writer, his filmmaking has been sparse, but his “Southern California Trilogy” documentaries have been recognized as classics in the genre. The first of those films, the remarkable Poto and Cabengo, interweaves the lives of two six year-old identical twin girls who seem to have developed their own private language, and Gorin’s own personal reflections on his adopted country. The result moves beyond the specific to illuminate just what it means to be human. New digital restoration from Janus Films.