Your Account Has Fallen Below the Required Minimum Balance: A Memoir

Hello all,

It is dark and snowy here on this Thursday evening in Brooklyn. I got home not too long ago for the gym (I joined a Planet Fitness that’s two stops away), and I’m feeling rather tired but glad I made it my priority today. I’m also sweating on account of the heat blasting in my apartment in combination with the spicy Indian sauce I made to go with dinner.

As you can see, there’s very little to report this week.

Although, my mum will being coming up to visit me this weekend, in a small moving truck with a lovely little couch, bookshelf, bed, and various other home essentials, so I’m really excited about that. Also my love is coming up next weekend, and we’re going to have an amazing time at this slam poetry show (!!!!!!!) that I got tickets for. The show was written by the founder of the slam poetry club at Ithaca, so I’m really excited to be going (especially since I missed it the last time it was running).

Otherwise, I think that’s really all that’s happening down here. I’m continuously trying to find more hours in the day to do things, but it’s very much a constant struggle to blog, have two jobs, freelance write, write/read on my own time, see friends, go to the gym, and cook. Sleep is not happening really (although we had a late start at work on Wednesday, and let me tell you- life looks pretty beautiful when you’ve had 9 hours of dead-to-the-world sleep), and I also somehow seem to be horribly broke. Like, “lemme-see-what’s-hiding-in-the-back-corner-of-my-savings” broke. As in, $3.25 in one account and $11.95 in the other. I’m essentially living on pasta and tofu until my paycheck comes in, which should hopefully be tomorrow or Saturday at the latest. (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)

So that’s all to report. I’m going to try to clean my room and unpack the half-full suitcases on my floor and put away everything in the furniture I don’t have, so my mother doesn’t think I’m living like a prepubescent high-schooler who thinks Lysol is a street drug.

Be calm, be observant, but always a little angsty,



Work Hard, Drink Hard and Remember That You’re Not Getting Paid

I’m starting today’s post with an excerpt of a conversation I had on Tuesday with a colleague.

Editor: “Did you get your hair cut?”

Me: “Yeah, I did. I actually got bangs too. My cousin did them for me. They were supposed to be straight-across bangs, but they didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted them too, but it’s fine, I pulled them to the side. They’ll grow out.”

Editor: “Is your cousin a hair stylist?”

Me: “No, but she cuts her own, and she has great bangs.”

Editor: ” Well that’s cute and indie and all, but you’re an adult now, and that’s what your hair stylist is for.”

Me: “…….”

I have a rather brilliant idea. How about you, Ms. Executive Editor, use your magic powers and procure me a job, and then I’ll have half a shot of getting my hair cut nicely for you in between paying New York rent on a midwest salary, paying my parents back for student loans, and (possibly) eating. The disdain for my life and situation is maddening.

On a different note, I’m going to Ithaca this weekend to visit le boyfriend and go to his little brother’s birthday party (it’s at a bowling alley, where my skills are most certainly wanting). It’s basically the only thing that’s getting me through the week right now. That, and racks on racks of cabernet. I wonder if all fashion closet interns, assistants etc. have secret drinking problems. Or maybe they just subside on a diet of raw foods, electrolyte-infused mineral/coconut water from Acapulco, and Xanax (they’re thin enough where it would make sense).

I don’t have a lot to share today, other than the fact that despite having to give up a lot of favorite foods, I really enjoy being vegan (is it just me, or do I talk about food way too much?) I clearly don’t belong at any of these magazines with my vegan ass and indie-fuck hair.

I’m trying to remember how and why I wanted to be here, again.

Love and veganism,


Brooklyn, Veganism, and My Fantasy Farm (I Swear This is Not the Name of a Hipster Co-op or an Aging Hippie’s Autobiography)

Hello friends!

I’m writing to you from my new local coffee shop in Ditmas Park, BK, and I must say it is quite a dream around these parts. I’m living off of Cortelyou Rd, which is the main strip in this neighborhood, and has many a cute coffee shop and restaurant (plus a local co-op!!!). It has been a while since I’ve updated, which I apologize for- the holidays for me are very family-oriented, so I’ve been technology-free for almost three weeks now (it was wonderful). But I’m now back in the city that never sleeps, and ready to get started with part two of year one. My updates are as follows:

1) I’m living in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn courtesy of one of my co-workers at the underground magazine I’ve been writing for. Her close friend broke up with his girlfriend and wasn’t able to continue paying rent for the two of them in his apartment. My co-worker put me in touch with him, and I’m now living in a MASSIVE bedroom in the cutest apartment ever (he’s converted the closed-off living room into his bedroom). The apartment is kind 0f old which I love, and has a great kitchen and bathroom, not to mention that my bedroom is unfurnished, which means that I’m able to settle into my own room (FINALLY). But seriously, when I say this bedroom is huge, I mean it’s HUGE. Like 15 by 15 (and I’m paying a little over $700 a month, which makes it even more incredible). I don’t have a lot of furniture in there right now, but it has a lot of potential to be fantastic.

2) I’m currently interning in the fashion closet at ze large corporate fashion magazine. I’ll also be starting as an aide at my old job next week, and I’m still working on sorting out a freelancing opportunity with the underground fashion magazine. The fashion closet bit is rather interesting. As far as paperwork goes, I’m listed as a contractor (which is just not true) and HR has no idea that I’m working there. Not exactly comforting, but I figure if I do good work and get noticed, than it’ll be worth it (hopefully). A lot of the girls who work there are extremely vapid, and I’m not sure how I’m going to fit in with that. A lot of them talk about about celebrity news and clothes, and there’s really only so much I can say on those things before I feel like my brain is shutting down. I’m also the oldest intern there, and it shows. Blegh.

3) I’ve officially decided to go vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost three years now, and it seemed like it was time to throw in the eating animal products towel. That being said, if I suddenly come into a large amount of farm land, than I will most certainly own cows and chickens and eat cheese and eggs (but I’ll never drink milk, that weirds me out). My big issue with eating cheese and eggs is the animal cruelty that goes hand in hand with those products (if you’ve read the recent Rolling Stone expose on this, you’ll know that  animal cruelty is still a serious on-going problem), and I don’t want to support that kind of brutality. My boyfriend’s neighbors have a chicken coop in their backyard filled with chickens that are free to roam around the backyard, aren’t kept in cages, fed three meals a day, and are only cramped when their snuggling together inside the coop when it’s cold. That I can get behind. But until the day that that becomes standard issue, I’ll be vegan.

4) I’m really excited to be meeting with Anna tomorrow to shoot my first interview for N3Y since I graduated! We’ll be shooting in my new apartment and around my neighborhood, so once the documentary comes out y’all can see the loveliness that is Ditmas Park.

I also promise to be better about posting this time around. There’s a lot of new and exciting things happening in the new year, and I’m excited for all of these new adventures!

Peace, love, and vegan curry (I say all of this ironically except for the curry of course),


Red Dye #5, Unpaid Interns, and General Fuckery

Hi friends,

Sorry it’s been a while. Life has been happening, but not the exciting kind where you have all this awesome shit to share, but the kind where you reach a trembling finger towards your key board to order Thai food at 8 pm and use every ounce of strength to answer the door when it rings because otherwise no Thai food (and you’re in the hole $12.50 plus tip).

Important updates are as follows:

– No word from bougie fashion magazine on whether not I’m being paid for my fashion closet services

– No word on whether or not that internship is in fact official or even legal

– No official decision made with current company regarding whether or not I’m working in a new position, or staying where I am. There’s been a lot of confusion lately about what the protocol is, because HR isn’t hiring interns or “aids” as they’re called now, it’s an outside agency. So I know nothing and neither does anyone else

– Still an unpaid intern at lovely underground magazine where I’m actually doing awesome work and learning things, but I don’t know how long I can keep that going without going freelance or getting paid…

– I’m positively begging humans via the NYC housing group on Facebook to show me their apartments so I can pay them disgusting amounts of money and not be homeless. Considering I’ve only been able to make two appointments for Thursday, I’m essentially Fucked with a capital F

– I have very little amounts of money, so Christmas presents are going to be a joke this year

– Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Ice cream is a joke and not worth it

– The roach family has retreated to a hide-y hole under my kitchen sink where I like to imagine that they’re rotting in hell, but they’re probably just waiting for an opportune moment to eat my face off in the night

– I have more dirty laundry than I have appropriate work clothes that I enjoy wearing (that doesn’t change even when I have clean clothes, so it’s a bit of a moot point)

– My room is too small to allow me to pack up my shit while also living in here, so my room is a Hunger Games-style obstacle course of suitcases, books, New York encrusted shoes, and plastic take-out utensils

– I am full of Ramen-style noodles from a fancy noodle place that was really good but expensive and I somewhat regret spending all that money (but it was so GOOD)

– My shower is flooding and I have little to no desire to buy yet another thing for this apartment, least of all Draino, which I’m actually terrified of (don’t fucking laugh- Draino is essentially Ebola in a bottle that lives under your kitchen sink next to your Windex and can horribly fuck with you. I dare you not to imagine the consequences of what ingesting such a chemical would do to you. If you really want to know though, I’ll tell you about a little kid I know of who did it and had to have a tracheotomy. Argument closed.)

– I’m hovering in the midst of chronic sarcasm, exhaustion, and crabbiness.

I hate being an intern. I hate that when it snows in NYC is turns into the consistency of freezing toilet water. I hate being broke. I hate not having a real job. I hate being told that I’m an entitled millenial because having 5+ internships doesn’t qualify you to have a real job, and you have to pay your dues for two years after you graduate college, which means not eating and having a roommate until you’re 30, but it still doesn’t matter because at least half your take-home income is being eaten and shit out by absurd rent prices, while 1% of New York City lives is a goddamn pent house while making $10,000 a day just for showing up to back to back meetings and holding a fucking pen in an authoritative manner. And yet somehow 20-something unpaid interns are entitled because we would like to qualify for minimum wage.


And looky that? We haven’t even started on student loans!!!

But actually I can’t start that. It’s too exhausting. And the red dye #5/cow brain mixture that is this god forsaken Ben & Jerry’s needs to be put in the back of the freezer where it belongs.

If I don’t post again, I’ve probably followed it into the freezer and found some kind of David Lynchian Narnia behind the Edamame peas and decided it was preferable to whatever this shit is that means being a college graduate.

Good night, good luck, and god help you.

Internships, Thai Food, and Julia Child

Well howdy! Can I just say that it still amazes me how much can happen in one week?

So for starters, we’re 2 for 3 folks!

I was offered the internship at the tiny, artsy, super cool fashion magazine (which I accepted), and am currently working there Monday’s and Friday’s. My first day was last Monday, and I got to write an article on the first day (which was way more than I was expecting, but definitely awesome). So I’ll be working there until I know what my schedule is definitively in January. And can I say that their offices are amazing? The magazine is run out of an old rope factory/warehouse in Brooklyn, and there are all these cute bars and coffee shops around. My favorite is this coffee shop called “Spina” that sells coffee for $2.50 (size large) and doesn’t charge you for almond milk (a damned crime it is, over-charging those with dairy allergies). Meanwhile, the coffee shop also doubles as a flower shop, so you can caffeinate yourself amongst pocket-sized cacti, succulents, and cabbage roses. Fills my heart with joy.

I was ALSO offered the internship at the big, corporate, Devil-Wears-Prada style magazine (!!!!!) which I also (naturally) accepted. There are still some logistical things that need to be worked out (namely, how I will be able to work there without receiving college credit or getting paid…) but I’ve been told that it’s being taken care of. I’m still a little concerned, and was definitely having a considerably long think about it, but I think there’s no way I can’t say no. Plus, considering that I’ll only be working Monday’s and Friday’s, I don’t think I’ll be in a position to be taken advantage of. I’ll be starting there in early January, and I’m SO excited.

Which brings me to internship #3, which is with my current company. I’m meeting with the hiring manager next Tuesday, and I should hopefully know if they’re keeping me on at the end of November or early December. I’m very much hoping they keep me, not only because I like it there, but because they’re also the only internship prospect I currently have that will pay me (I would get a 10 cent raise which is pretty nice). So let’s keep our fingers crossed that that turns out well too!

Next on my list will be finding a new sublet. Mine is up January 5th, so I need to start looking ASAP. I’m pretty confident I can find something, but I want it to be for longer rather than shorter, so I don’t have to keep moving over and over again. I’m also hoping I can move closer downtown, but at the same time, I know that the farther down you go in Manhattan, the higher the prices rise. Once again, I am at the mercy of timing and fate. Let the gods be good to me.

In other news, seeing my boyfriend this weekend was amazing as always. The time I get to see him is never enough, and I can’t wait until his theatre projects are over/he can afford to move up here. We talk on the phone everyday, but as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s hard. Yet I’d honestly rather be with him and see him every two weeks and talk to him on the phone, than be with someone else here in the city. Go ahead and cue the vomit, but what we have is worth the long distance. I’ll be going to his family’s for Thanksgiving, which means I have to channel Julia Child (baking is not exactly my forte, but than again there are worse things

—We interrupt this post because Thai food has arrived, and nobody puts Green Curry in the corner.—

Sorry I’m back. Thai food and Netflix are having a passionate love affair, and when one happens, the other (specifically Parks & Rec) soon follows. So alas I’m posting this far later than I expected, but I think I’ve successfully conveyed all that is happening. I should also mention that if y’all are curious about anything, feel free to comment and ask whatever you’d like. Well, within reason, of course.

May your evening be joyous and your weekend be fair.


Thirsty Thursday

Let me start by saying that Wednesday will be my official “day-of-the-post,” but it’s been a hectic week, so forgive the 24 hour lateness.

But anyways, EXCITING NEWS. I have not one, but TWO interviews tomorrow (can we take a moment and think about that? WHAT IS THIS) which I’m quite excited about, so this will be a short post, because I need to prepare and sound like an articulate human being. They are both for internship positions, but because I am J- professional intern, full-time worrier, part-time optimist, freelance crazy person- I’ll take what I can get.

Interviews for tomorrow are as follows:

1) Fashion Closet Intern at very, very well-known women’s fashion magazine

2) Fashion Editorial Intern at alternative/artsy/underground print/online fashion magazine

Both sound very appealing (although one is definitely unpaid. I’ll let you guess which one) so I’m really excited to have options (basically I’m just happy they want to talk to me). So we shall see what happens. Hopefully good things.

On a separate, unrelated note, love of my life arrives tomorrow evening to spend the weekend with me, which I am beyond thrilled about. I saw him about two weeks ago, so not a ton of time has passed, but prior to that we hadn’t seen each other in about a month, which was nuts, so we’re recovering from that by being stupid and cute, and seeing each other as often as possible.

So to summarize le news and report other updates:

2: Interviews I have tomorrow

1: Sexy boyfriend coming to see me

3: Days I have to spend with said boyfriend

3: Amount of roaches currently feng shui-ing the cabinet above my fridge

$78.97: Amount of dollars being credited to my account in place of my lost monthly metro card

^$400: Average amount of dollars being deposited into my account tomorrow (PAYDAY)

5: Oreos I ate while writing this

0: Fucks I give about it

0: Amount of pages of Game of Thrones I’ve read today :cries:

– 1,235,680,923: Amount of dislikes I have for Lily Allen’s stupid (and marginalizing) excuse for a song about feminism. Why? Well you’ll just have to ask me about it.


Aaaaaannnndddd I’m done. Until next time folks!


Hi Y’all!

Hey guys,

So this is my first post on behalf on Next 3 Years! In case y’all don’t know who we are, or what we’re about, I encourage you to read a little bit about the project, and then by all means stick around!

So, let me tell you a little about myself. 🙂 For now, you can call me JZ, and I’ll be the designated blogger for the Next 3 Years (and for that actual length of time by the way). I graduated from Ithaca in May with a BA in English Literature, and I’m currently pursuing a job at a publishing company. As you’ll see from the many posts that follow this, I’ll be dealing with my ever present existential crisis about pursuing a job in magazines while actually wanting to work at a book publishing company, while actually, actually wanting to write science fiction/fantasy novels and slam poetry on my own time (confused? Don’t worry, I am too).

I spent this past summer writing cover letters in my sleep, wearing very tall shoes to countless interviews, emailing anyone who’s ever read a magazine, and plotting my own demise (kidding). Despite my feverish attempts to find a job, I ended up living at home in our nation’s capital until late August, when I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Europe for my cousin’s wedding in Cornwall, UK and to travel to Paris, Amsterdam, and London with my amazing boyfriend (who you may hear about from time to time, because he is a prince among men). After said trip ended, I continued my job hunt, and was finally rewarded with an amazing editorial internship at a fairly famous publishing company.

Thus I moved to New York City to seek my fortune, and have been subletting like a gypsy and doing my damnedest to learn all I can at this internship. Yet all good things must come to end, and as of December 13th I will be jobless, and as of January 5th, I will be homeless. So the pressure is on for me to find a job in order to stay in the city, and eventually an apartment.

I should take this moment to tell you another very important thing about me: I have two very dear best friends who I have known since high school. I will talk about them way too much and brag about them far too often. So just be prepared. One of them is fortunately living in the city with me, about 20 or so blocks from me to be exact. She is also pursuing a career in journalism, but more from a news perspective. We’ll call her C. Condensing her into superlatives won’t do her justice, but just to give you an idea– she’s fiery, witty, and incredibly smart; loves anime and all things Japanese; wears Doc Martens like it’s her job; reads tarot, plays piano, cooks like your mother never could; and knows Latin and Greek; just to name a few of her many talents.

Best friend #2 is S. S is currently finishing school in a teeny college in North Carolina, and will graduate in December, but is staying in NC to work/be with her girlfriend until May. After that she’ll hopefully (hopefully) move to NYC, and then the three of us will live together. As far as fast facts go: she’s incredibly wise, hilarious, curious, stubborn, and compassionate; makes friends like you would make bacon; loves sunflowers, basketball (she’s a starter), hot sauce, country music and people; and will drink you under the table on any given day. If sunshine decided to become human, she would be S. She’s hoping to work for a non-profit organization after she graduates.

As I’m sure you can gather, S & C are some serious bad-ass bitches.

Other fast facts about me: I spend a ton of time with my family; I read as much as I can (I’m on the latest Game of Thrones AKA A Dance with Dragons these days); I don’t eat meat except for the occasional fish; I love slam poetry; I tend to wear a lot of black; and I’m obsessed with hip hop/songwriter Dessa.

As of now, I think that covers all the bases, but I’m sure you’ll learn more about me as time goes on. As far as current updates go:

– Still unemployed as of Dec. 13th

– Still hoping that a job will happen so I can continue subletting until S gets here

– Still haven’t finished the novel (more on that to come)

– Still battling roaches in my kitchen

Until next time folks.