Top Ten Worst Entry Level Jobs

April 28, 2008

10. Mime Apprentice: The performance reviews are always hard to interpret. 9. Food Critic Intern: When you start out, you get nothing but table scraps. 8. Event Promotion Assistant: Actually...working the t-shirt gun can be fun. 7. Entry Level Sales and Marketing: Who looks good wearing a sandwich board on the side of the road? 6. Proctology Intern: With a job like this, it's comforting to know that the end is near. 5. Data Entry: Who knew learning to type fast with your cybersex partners would pay off? 4. R.N. In Training: Two words - Sponge bath. 3. Management Trainee: Can you manage getting coffee all day without killing your boss? 2. Seaman: To avoid the jokes, you constantly stress to others that you are a sea PERSON. 1. Freelance anything: Resume language for "I'm unemployed."

WTF for Friday, April 25th 2008

April 25, 2008

  • 10 Things I Hate About Commandments 3000 years in the making. Trailer (Video)

Moving to Paradise

April 25, 2008

KauaiMany people have the dream of relocating to a tropical island at one time or another. Sipping Margaritas on breathtaking shores in the hot summer sun; hiking through jungles to remote waterfalls; enjoying the raw power and beauty of the ocean; it’s the vision of paradise. So, why don’t most people follow through with the dream? It’s not easy, that’s why. Assuming you get past the inherent fear of leaving your familiar, comfortable life behind and moving to a foreign world, there are still the financial issues, family and friends, relationships, and career concerns, especially for the people of our generation. This is the time we’re working our hardest to secure a strong career and forge long-term relationships. And to top it off, we usually don’t have a large supply of cash readily available. Still, we dream. By their nature, tropical islands are isolated from the rest of the world. While that is part of the appeal, it poses problems as well. Family and friends can’t visit as easily or as often. Thanks to the extra costs of importing goods, it costs more for just about every modern convenience. Also, an island is generally not the best place to advance a career. Life is slower. If you’re in an industry that relies on current trends and technology, you can bet on a tropical island being a decade or more behind the times. Those are not necessarily bad things, just different. In fact, you can use some of those differences to your advantage. If you’re still interested in making the dream a reality, I’m here to say it’s possible. However, you have to be willing to make sacrifices. My wife Jana and I purchased one-way tickets to the island of Kauai 8 months in advance of our departure date. Our plan was to prepare as much as possible in the meantime, but to leave regardless of our situation. Though we hadn’t yet secured either jobs or a place to live in Hawaii, we knew if we didn’t purchase the tickets and set a definite date, there was the possibility that we would procrastinate until it was too late. The flight departed from L.A., and we were living in Orlando, FL at the time. We planned to make the trip to L.A. a month after Jana’s graduation from college. Our biggest goal was to sell our condo before we left. In addition to hiring a Realtor, we were constantly placing flyers and signs around town and advertising the condo on craigslist.com. At the time, I was working for one of the top web design firms in the world. They didn’t pay well, but the promise of a successful career was there. Also, I was born and raised only 30 miles from where we lived, so most of my friends and all my family were in the Central Florida area. I was going to be leaving everything familiar to me. We did our best to cut down to only the bare essentials. Jana and I avoided purchasing anything too large to take easily to Hawaii. We were constantly selling, giving away, or donating everything we could. In the meantime, we were also trying to sell our condo in the middle of a real estate market crash and nationwide recession. Most people either considered us crazy or were convinced we were going through a “phase” and wouldn’t follow through with our plans. Personally, when somebody tells me I can’t accomplish something, that’s just more fuel to the fire. The time was drawing near. Jana had just graduated. I left my job, and shortly thereafter was hired to work a contract job for 6 months in order to save for Hawaii. Our material possessions had been narrowed down to only the bare essentials. Eventually, we found a buyer for our condo. We were talking with companies in Hawaii, and were gaining great clients with our new design company, Muku Studios. We sold both our cars, and purchased a new one to make the journey across the country before catching our flight. All the paperwork was in order to bring our dog Taj without having to put him through quarantine. All the stars seemed to be aligning in our favor. We packed our Honda Element with survival gear, laptops, and surfboards strapped to the roof, and hit the road. We had just finished camping in the Great Smoky Mountains when our plans started to fall apart. The buyer for our condo backed out of the deal after he had already signed the contract. We were faced with hard questions at that moment on the road: Do we turn back now and wait for another buyer? Were the past 8 months of preparation in vain? If we did turn back, would we regret it for the rest of our lives? We abandoned our condo in Orlando, and continued on our path to paradise. I’m sure that many people considered our decision irresponsible. But those people never sacrificed everything for a dream. However, we did change our flight path. We decided if we were going to continue paying for our condo while living in Hawaii, we would go instead to the island of Oahu, where we could secure better jobs if needed. In our month-long journey across the states we slept in the car, camped at state parks, and stayed with family and friends. Every day was an adventure. We had no idea where we would be or sleep from one day to the next. There was one destination, and that was it. All other concerns were cast aside. It was the freedom of living in the moment. After having arrived in Oahu, we slept in our rental car for a few days while looking for a place to live. It was almost 2 months before I found a job. We slept on the ground in sleeping bags for weeks, then upgraded to an air mattress, then a futon. (In fact, last night we just picked up some memory foam on the side of the road for a more comfortable night’s sleep.) We also found our TV by the road. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure around here. It’s not always easy in Hawaii and definitely not luxury, but we’re happy. We’ve made great friends, many of them with similar experiences to our own. We have the opportunity to take walks along the most beautiful beaches in the world every day. I can surf or snorkel at almost any time, and we have a tan all year round. But most of all, we can take pride in knowing we accomplished what we set out to do. It’s given us the courage and confidence to achieve any goals we set for ourselves in life. Taking risks is no longer something for us to fear. Our family and friends still love us; our careers have not been hindered; and we can still afford to go out to eat or to the movies every week. All of our initial fears were overcome. We may move back to the mainland at some point, but Hawaii will always be a fond memory. So, if you’re still dreaming, what are you waiting for? It’ll be worth any risks involved. Life is supposed to be an adventure, not a tedious task. Do whatever it takes to reach your version of paradise. If you set out with a sincere heart, the doors will open for you, and you may find it’s the path you were supposed to be on all along. Paradise

Quarterlife Crisis Ode and Frugality in Your Twenties

April 23, 2008

An Ode to the Quarter-Life Crisis. A Caltech Student's Ode A quick little guide on how to be frugal in your twenties. Remodeling This Life's Financial Advice

McJob

April 22, 2008

Written By: Allison Whalen What came first, the job or the crisis? With the exception of the very rich, the particularly lucky, or those Bobby Fisher brainiac anomalies, most of us quarter-lifers don't have much to brag about in the way of job experience. We've all done our fair share of empty-headed labour, whether selling over-priced, ill-fitting, cotton garments, dunking frozen potatoes into a grease-spattering tub, or answering a front-desk phone in a peppy, little voice that secretly wants to stab every caller with a sharp pencil. These types of work (and so many more) can be neatly categorized as "McJobs", a term coined by the godfather of the quarter-life crisis, author Douglas Coupland. In Generation X, his sizzlin', pink novel that swept multiple nations in the early nineties, Coupland describes the "McJob" as a "...low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one." Sound familiar? If you haven't read the book (get on that shit), it follows the lives of three quarter-lifers who have more or less run away from the Real World into the responsibility-less land of Palm Springs, to picnic in abandoned neighbourhoods and to lounge by kidney-shaped pools with nail polish and cappuccino. Not too shabby. Each character lives in respective bungalows and works a part-time McJob, two of them as bartenders and one as a retail counter cutie selling thousand dollar purses to the old ladies who can afford them. The book serves as a mini-escape for the twenty-something reader (especially to a fellow Real World escapee, alone in a dorm room on a cold, winter night in Ontario), as the balmy, surreal setting within the book complements its physical layout, replete with slogans, amusing info-bites, comics and other tasty treats. It's a welcome form of entertainment - a grown-up book with pictures! But the best part is that while it was written over fifteen years ago, it still manages to be relatable - so much so that it's a little scary. How many times have you or I twirled pencils or doodled our names in "veal-fattening pens" - what Coupland calls cubicles - feeling like a wilted piece of lettuce with flickering, fluorescent light bulbs for eyeballs? Alternatively, can't we also identify with a job serving booze to belligerent barflies or aged lushes who snipe on the young men behind the counters (we call 'em cougars up north)? Sometimes it's hard to tell whether Coupland is criticizing this kind of work, or if he simply sees it as an irritating but necessary rite of passage that can allow for a heady escape from the soulless, nine-to-five-zombie, downward spiral. Despite Coupland's potential opinion (which may very well have changed some two decades later), here's what I'm wondering: IS the McJob a rite of passage that we all must go through in our early twenties, whether it's a means of getting through University, raising a family, or supporting any number of recreational addictions? Or can we somehow slip through the system, fly through a shimmering loophole, and be able to achieve some sort of satisfaction in our work, conveniently skipping the grease burns, veal-fattening pens, door-to-door knife selling (as Jerry Seinfeld says, "I need a knife that can cut through a shoe!"), etc.? My answer to this is, well, I'm not really sure. The grinder in me tends to buck up and lean towards the "It builds character!" side of the fence when I think about how much I learned about interpersonal communication and customer service, not to mention a worldly knowledge of leather, fleece, and the dollar bills folks will shell out for Olympic gear (I had a McJob in a Canadian goods store that sold official Olympic gear. It also had its own radio station that would not only play the same garbage songs every single day, but would also shock us employees with a faceless, deep-voiced announcer who would pipe up every eight songs and say things like "We're warming you up like a hot cup o' chocolate!" in the middle of July). I may have gained blisters and grudges, but working with the public really taught me to deal with people - the good, the bad, and the ugly. In my case, the ugly was an angry lady who threw a housecoat at us cashiers on Boxing Day. Fun stuff. The "...but you'll never take my freedom!" side of me, however, is still gritting her teeth over the time a boss came to my office McJob with a pile of sticky objects and a tube of Goo-Gone, asking me to see what I could do. Those humiliating moments are tough on the quarter-lifer's soul, as we pick at linty glue with our nails, realizing that no one in HR cares that we earned an A+ on our American Lit paper last year, or even that we can walk around without crashing into things or breathe with our mouths closed. So, I ask you: do we need these McJobs to get us through our quarter-life crises, or do they only add to them?

Top 10 Embarrassing DVDs In Our Collection

April 21, 2008

10. Drumline: The "Rocky" of drumming movies. 9. Evita: If only Madonna sang through all her movies. 8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: The adolescent in me still thinks that a man pretending to “talk” through his rear is the funniest thing ever. 7. Lady In The Water: Not even a dead Bruce Willis could have resurrected this movie. 6. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days: Or 'How To Lose My Lunch In 10 Ways' 5. Houseguest: Just when you thought Sinbad couldn't get any Sinbadder. 4. Striptease: I came into my own the first time I saw this movie. 3. Free Willy: Not to be confused with the Pee Wee's Playhouse lost episode, "Free My Willy." 2. The Fast and the Furious: For the Slow and the Superfluous. 1. Big Top Pee-Wee: The REAL reason why Pee Wee was arrested.

WTF for Friday, April 18th 2008

April 18, 2008

  • Top 10 Awesome Nostalgic Foods We Want Back They beat us to the punch with this Top 10 list... touché. Nostalgic Foods
  • NKOTB Reunion Tour Must be a different block, cuz these kids ain't new. The right stuff?

Little, White Boxes

April 18, 2008

Little, white boxes rule my life. It’s an unfortunate side effect of living in the Internet age. You know the boxes: the ones that you have to fill out with a catchy title on a job site so that someone will read your resume; the ones that want you to fill in your idea of a perfect match so that the database can send you suitable significant others; the ones on your website where you are supposed to put an article that has pertinent information, is intelligent, and has a point… These little boxes are becoming harder and harder to fill in. Maybe it’s a function of the little box itself. Before the ease of the Internet, you had a form to fill out. The form was only so long, you only had so much room, and you had to get to your point immediately or not at all. Now we have unlimited space to dispense onto the world who we are and what we are looking for. For me, though, the boxes have started to make me claustrophobic. Maybe it’s the notion that I can be captured inside this box. Whoever and whatever I’m applying to (business school, jobs, dating, Ebay feedback, etc.) can’t possibly get an idea of who they are dealing with based on my answers in their little boxes. I try to have my voice heard, to represent myself accurately, but there’s always some mystery about how it’s being received on the other end. For a girl who lives her life on the Internet, it’s a startling idea that maybe this medium isn’t representing me in the best light. When presented with a little, white box, I have to ask, “What do I need to say that will get the most attention?” instead of “What do I want to say about myself?” Even though those little boxes are limitless, we only have so much time to make an impression. In person, you can control this much more thoroughly. Online, that impression is made in your title, or headline, or Facebook status. I find myself starting to think in blog-snippets, phrasing my daily life in terms of how it will be reported later on the Internet. “Mari is…” More so, I find a problem internally when asked to take who I am and put it in a box. “Please write, in the space provided, your goals and aspirations with which our program will assist you.” Sure. No problem. And then that little, white box stares you in the face, daring you to come up with an answer. It’s not introspection that is lacking, but the willingness to put onto (virtual) paper that this is all I am. I don’t have a solution. Maybe I don’t even have a point. But I have filled up my little, white box with something real. This box can speak to who I am, but only to a part of me. If we plan on fragmenting our world into little, white boxes, we need to remember that they’re only a gateway to the person behind them.

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Songs on Our iPods

April 14, 2008

10. "Milkshake" - Kelis: She says its about her, "Feminine Essence." Yeah, and "Back that Ass Up" is about Woman's Lib. 9. "Achy Breaky Heart" - Billy Ray Cyrus: The song that legitimized Country Line Dancing. For an hour. 8. "Freebird" - Lynard Skynard: The redneck answer to anything. 7. "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles: They can sing the phone book, and I'd still get aroused. 6. "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" - Crash Test Dummies: Once, there was this band, who, had a one hit wonder and wasn't heard from again. 5. "Blue da ba de" - Eiffel 65: He was a blue man in a blue house, what else is there to say? 4. "Not Gonna Get Us" - Tatu: Fake russian lesbians (fake lesbians, not fake russians). What could be better? 3. "Ass and Titties" - DJ Assult: An ode to the things most important in life. 2. "Hakuna Matata" - The Lion King: What's a motto with you? 1. "Mmmbop" - Hanson: It's hard to deny how cute these three girls really are.

WTF for Friday, April 8th 2008

April 11, 2008

  • I'm f*ing Matt Damon By far the funniest thing Sarah Silverman has EVER done. With an appropriate response from Jimmy Kimmel. Silverman Song (video)

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