Video Interview

Over the holidays, social media guru Joshua Waldman of came across my bio and asked me for a quick interview to discuss my experience with getting laid off, moving to New York, rebranding myself online and freelancing. Find the interview here.

By the way, I am totally unaccustomed to being the interviewee rather than the interviewer. Don’t laugh too much.

Thanks again, Joshua!

‘Nuff said

I remember watching Conan starting in elementary school (Be very afraid, parents everywhere) until I got too busy to watch TV, which happened sometime in college. Like most Coco fans in my generation, I barely watch TV these days, and the shows I do keep track of I watch online, hours after they air. I don’t even have cable, nor do I miss it. When I feel I need a Conan fix, I get it online.

The Internet has been flooded with Conan support the last few weeks, though before this debacle happened, judging by ratings, it seemed few people tuned in. It’s quite telling of the state of network TV, the disparity in Leno and Conan’s audiences, the outdated way in which the success of shows relies on ratings and advertising, and how the under 30 crowd watches TV.

There sure are bigger things going on in the world right now. Still, what would the world be like without intelligent, quirky, Conando-like humor to lift us up in times like these?

Though Leno will prevail for now, I’ll join all the other Conan fans in showing my support online. Leno’s fans, meanwhile, are probably busy writing a letter to the editor.

Sunny the Hair Guy

He stared into the distance, his bottom lip tucked beneath his teeth.

After a few moments of silence, as I thought it best not to interrupt him, he turned his gaze onto me. He walked around me in a circle, surveying each tendril, inspecting them from different angles and, with his hands forming a revelation unknown to everyone that wasn’t him, finally settled on something.

“Below your nose,” he said.

Then he got to work.

There are three things you must identify when moving to New York: 1) How to work the subway 2) Which Chinese takeout places near your apartment have the best hot and sour soups, and 3) Where to get a haircut and pay close to what you used to pay in your former, considerably less expensive city.

I’d checked off two of the three, and the third provided a challenge since I considered even the hair salons around Astoria too pricey for my liking. Of course, this is coming from someone accustomed to walking into a no-frills salon, waiting among other regulars and, with no hairstylist to call my own, getting my hair cut by whoever was available. This often meant someone I’d never seen before, someone who spoke very little English and someone who appeared to have been picked up from the street.

“He’s very good,” the owner would say before zipping off to another customer. I suspected she didn’t like working on long hair because it took too long, and I always waited six months to get a haircut. Twenty minutes later, with no wash preceding it, the haircut would be done. Sure, there was often a layer or two out of place, but nothing some styling couldn’t disguise.

Enter Sunny the Hair Designer.

I’d gotten his number from a friend who was satisfied with a pixie cut he’d fashioned for her. Sunny answered the phone, chuckled about cutting hair in a basement and gave me directions to his place. I suppose he could sense I was new to town. The sheer cluelessness of which line and stop to take likely gave me away.

Once I set foot on his block on the fringes of Chinatown, he waved to me from across the street. He led me to the basement, which to my surprise was a legit hair salon. I somehow imagined he’d be working from home on a shoestring budget. He was friendly, with a permanent smile on his face.

“Why?!” He said when I told him it had been more than six months since my last haircut. I could tell he kept his hair, a brown-orange shade, impeccable.

He raved about volume, how wavy hair is in (straight and flat is out, natch!), and flipped through a book to show me the hip hairstyles for 2010.

It was the first time I’d had a real conversation with a stylist about my hair. In the past, my suggestions only resulted in entirely different, skewed versions of what I’d asked for (Cue flashbacks of my choppy, thick bangs circa 1999. Shudder).

Sunny was meticulous. A snip here, a snip there. A quick moment to reflect. He talked little, as if too much conversation would interrupt the process. Afterward, he explained in detail how to style my hair, adamant about the precise amount of cream to apply.

He laughed when I told him it was probably the best cut I’d had.

No. 3. Done and done.