Hola readers, it's been a few months since a mandatory, unpaid sabbatical removed me from your lives, but now I'm back with an unbelievable epiphany: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Take our modern publishing industry, for instance. While I once found myself very fortunate for being able to support my swank, Manhattan lifestyle by writing a single column a week, I'm afraid these days are deader than UGG boots. My former publisher, The New York Star, was recently purchased by a Taiwanese cloud computing company who transformed our century-old building into what's known as a "server farm." And I really appreciate how fast those guys moved -- a quality I don't normally prefer in men! (Wink, wink.) Instead of giving us weeks or months to mope around our old workplace, they simply locked us out of the building one fateful Monday, and gave us 10 minutes each to comb through the three dumpsters that held all of our stuff. If only all break-ups could be so efficient!

It's been a while since I've had to fend for myself, but if writing came so easy, how hard could this be? Breaking down my former salary into weekly installments, I then shaved off a cool $500 to make the price of my column appealing to newspapers and magazines. Little did I know, the economy changed greatly in the time I was able to ignore it, and my weekly creations couldn't even merit a lousy $5200 a pop. You'd think 500 words per week about white, aging, upper-middle-class New Yorkers would be in demand, but the lack of nibbles on my line can only be blamed on the last decade's economic collapse. Suddenly, the conspicuously wealthy are the bad guys? If they had their way, I bet revisionist historians would start calling Hitler "Gucci."

While I was out scrambling for pocket change, Samantha was on her hands and knees for a different reason. Of course, sentences like the one you just read are the trademark paragraph transitions you've come to expect from my columns, but, I'm sad to say, my friends have cut off all communications since I left their tax bracket. Of course, they might have had enough of me talking about their sex lives before an audience of millions, but I can only hope this mess can be chalked up to some horrible misunderstanding -- something that's hard to figure out when you're communicating through a publicist or lawyer.

Even though I've descended a few steps on the economic ladder, my new state of being is putting me in touch with plenty of interesting people who I'm sure will form a new circle of beloved friends. In fact, just as I was asking people for loose cigarettes outside of the Stop-N-Save, I met an eccentric young woman named "Sunny" who taught me how to steal 40 ounces of malt liquor without the use of a backpack or heavy coat! I really see her as the "Miranda" of this new circle of friends, but only time will tell.

Though I've suffered some hardships, I'm proud to say my column lives on, and after self-employment tax, I get to take home a cool 40 dollars for my troubles. And now that I've been classified as an "independent contractor," I have more pride in my work than ever before -- I mean, I moved to New York to be independent in the first place, am I right? And the lack of sick and vacation days just gives me more time to pursue my passions, like writing and fooling local Burger Kings into thinking I'm a restaurant critic. And even though I've since found that designer shoes make better leathery soups than they do fashion statements, I'm proud to say this new life adjustment has made me more prolific than ever. In fact, if you see an "Around the Web" link called "You Won't Believe Which Celebrities Scalded Themselves With Hot Soup" would you mind clicking on it? They said if 50,000 more people do, I'll actually get paid. And the power company isn't going to send itself an 18-dollar check.

– Carrie Bradshaw

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