Merry Christmas Grinches!

December 25, 2010

I’ve now watched:
Holiday Inn (multiple times)
White Christmas (twice)
Elf (on repeat)
A Christmas Story (four times)
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Gremlins
Home Alone 2
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Muppet Christmas Carol

Now watch this. Merry Christmas!

If the man in the red suit is real…?

December 17, 2010

And I am talking about Santa, not Satan. Though I am pretty sure the later hangs around these days. Funny how both names are anagrams of each other. Huh?

Anyways I have a wish list for the former, his reindeer and the elves…oh and the Abominable Snow Monster of the North as well.

Just ten small items I think we could all use in our twenty-somethings. Well most of them…there are some personal items on the list as well.

I wish for…

A pause on all things IPhone, 4G, plasma, 3-D, etc. Just a year to catch up. I am walking out of my quarter life and already feeling like an old man techie wise.

No world peace. Well, maybe like a week or a month, but I am figuring it would be so boring. Think about that…peace means no conflict…then there is no resolution. Peace means no arguing with your partner…then no angry sex make ups. Get my drift?

I am not greedy here. TV commercials can still exist. All I want is a long segment without being hit by the perpetual car insurance cycle. No Progressive’s Flo, no geckos, no more of that Eddie Munster looking dude asking me about Charlie Daniels, etc. Oh, and stop with the Holiday time diamonds and Lexus sales…that is a lot of pressure on dudes to come up with the goods.

For the Ghost of Christmas Past, to turn back time and kill Mark Zuckerberg. So, so much of my later 20’s wasted.

For Ms. Claus to take photos at the mall, so I do not have to sit on a drunk, old man’s lap. Oh, and make her Claus’ grand-daughter…about 23 years old, with a body of 34-24-34. Hey, I said I am almost thirty, but I am not dead.

For no more movies about anyone visiting families and future in-laws for the Holidays. Ergo, Reese Witherspoon and Ben Stiller will be out of a job.

For it to be cool to run around, at my age, with all the wrapping paper cardboard tubes and pretend to be a Jedi or Black Ops first-shooter. Quarter lifers might be experiencing growth in waistlines, birthday candles and credit card debt, but there is no need to out grow being a kid at heart.

For addiction to be eradicated. Anything that interupts living a good Q-Life. And mixing anti-depressants, gin and a penchant for toxic relationships is never a good idea. Just a personal note…

Daniel Tosh of “Tosh.O” to become the next President of the United States of America.

Mac & Cheese to be calorie free! That flying car we were all promised. An Oscar Myer weenie whistle, to have a beer with Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin, John’s Lennon and Wayne back from the dead & last but not least genetically engineer those Woolly Mammoths they find perfectly preserved in the Siberian ice. I wants me a miniature one for my apartment!

That’s it St. Nick…not asking a lot here. And this is no idle threat. If you miss on just one item I am lighting no more Christmas trees…we are going all the way with lighting up Menorahs, Kwanza Kinaras, Chinese lanterns and “Christmas Story” major prize leg lamps!

Happy Holidays Quarter Lifers!

PS – supplemental to number three on the list. Coca-cola commercials with real hungry, pissed off polar bears, on cocaine and set free during a full session of Congress. Also, televised during half-time of the Super Bowl. Now that is entertainment!!!

Quarter Life Baby Ban

December 9, 2010

You hear this? Restaurants, fancy resorts, cruise ships, airlines and bars
are joining the movement to ban crying, out of control kids from their
establishments. And sans their inattentive parents!

Go ahead, hit the article web search, it is every where www-wise. Latest
airline survey had over 60% of passengers in favor of a kid ONLY section
on flights. Last week some seaside bar in NC banned the Ritalin soaked
kids and their X-Y-¼ Life Gen birthers from the premises. Okay there might
have been some MTV reality show, “Teen Mom” types and an occasional cougar
who finally got the husband with the cash for in-vitro. But you parents
know who you are.

Among the many great moments of Homer Simpson’s wisdom, there was a
particular timely line dealing with parenting and the rest of us without
babinos.

Upon hearing he was going to get his taxes raised for school improvements,
“What the hell? We would never had these damn kids if we knew we’d have to
pay for them!”

Is it the newest wave of discrimination? Where is the ACLU when you need
them? Are we all just intolerant of misbehaved kids? Do we just like quiet
dinners with a date?

Do we not love our neighbors…and their kids? Do we have to tune them out
over the rest of the TGIF crowd or in a panic cry out, “Ummm…Mam, Sir…is
that your kid hanging off the balcony?

Or is this your wee one who I just found fishing his Pokeman cards out of
the men’s room toilet? Or is this your Burberry $1,300 stroller parked in
the emergency exit?

Now there are a few Quarter Lifers out there who have done the baby making
thing. Most have tried the first portion of the process, but hopefully
with proper protective forethought, monthly timing for strict Catholics
(right) and a little luck after being lucky, there were not any 40-week
gestation mistakes.

And I know the beauty of childbirth and rearing a kid can be awesome. I
was a kid…and I am SURE I was an absolute joy, 24-7 for my parentals. From
diaper crap to my adult crud they are still the loving, kind, awesome baby
boomers I hope to make proud.

I also saw that National Geographic special on human birth, and I had no
idea the color green was involved. Purple, red, white, even yellow…but are
there green things in the human female body?

Back on track. Baby Banning. There is a societal trend to not put up with
those who are our future. ‘Til we at least make some of our own. Not too
much to ask that just because you had sex, got knocked up, the Nuva-ring
did not exactly live up to its promises or your carefully laid out plans
of the brownstone home, $80K job out of college, marriage, color match
décor between crib & nursery, and the Juno husband did not read the BOOK;
life plans put you in the grocery aisle with one of those Hummer shopping
carts…I, moi QL suddenly have to put up with it?

Should I be more tolerant of kids and the difficult job of parenting?

Should I go along with this trend to make the world safe for adults as
well as brats?

Should I make another me?

Today I am going to “secretly” post my reasons for neither making a kid or
even putting up with other breeders. It’s a secret cuz me no want da
fiancé to get wind I might be making my way to vasectomy town. Maybe I
will have a change of heart in a few days and post up a few reasons to
procreate. For now…here is why baby banning for this ¼ lifer is the way to
go.

I am under 30 and not want to die early…Your kid just sneezed swine flu
H12-J11H9 all over my steak?

If it is lost? I have to worry? I hear you can get big time cash for these
things. $50k for a good white baby and I hear Angola on a weird reverse of
marketing is offering to buy back Brad-Gelina style kids. Jobs are hard to
find in the QL, got to get cash where ya can. What you thinking blogging
is going to put my Rhodes Scholar through school?

Not every kid will have Will Smith privileges? I got ID4 and MIB. Will
you, and your kid are already getting old. Fresh you ain’t and I do not
want to subject my kid to another round of Jazzy Jeff.

Every other day should I freak about , there is some sort of magenta, pink
alert on the highway sign for some missing twerp? He/she snuck out for a
7-11 slurpee run, Nycol at Walgreens or your weird shut-in neighbor with a
collection of nostalgia candy has him…not my problem. Side note, a third
of my QL has been dedicated to the color coded alert system. The other day
I flew into La Guardia, and there was a sort of color brite sign with a
rain bow on it. I freaked. Was this the end? Ummm which color, all the
colors? Is there a gay attack? What about Kermit the Frog? Turns out it
was a sign for smoothies.

Wow. I just picked up my niece from elementary school. Their top secret
double bubble ultra protection was that I have a bright pink, in-school
laminated tag with her name on it. Dat’s it! That gets me past the
security. Let’em stay at school…be or deal with the bully…let them fall
off the gym equipment without the helmets and spongy material under the
jungle gym. (Can I still use that world, jungle gym? Oh…okay. I am told it
was a specific reference and we are cool on censors) Man, that was rant.
Can I use the word “man” anymore…?

What? Because she is cute or he butt ugly or whatever it’s gender; is
covered in hardened Mickey D’s pump ketchup, I have to wonder why it is
peeing on the floor in said restaurant’s MEN’s room. I spent a good
portion of my QL watching a lot of CSI-everywhere. When I see kids covered
in red anything, roaming around by themselves…I start looking for a crime
scene and a couple of gallons of bleach.

I get edgy around Xanax withdrawing kids and their moms. I dial, 9, then 1
and then have my finger ready to punch in the next 1. I call it the ¼ life
speed dial.

Okay the pregnant, stork signs after the handicap postings are funny and
courteous. I am a Texas gentleman, will kill for a woman’s honor, a
Southern boy who will give up his seat, decent metro-sexual (is that still
a word?) willing to give up my parking space. But dammit…hurry your baby
bump up and pull in or out. Your husband obviously was not proficient on
the later. Ba da baaa.

Strollers. Have you seen these things? Most quarter lifers do not have
such expensive cars. Most soldiers jumping for the 101st Airborne do not
have this much equipment.

Baby I-Pad, baby Nike, baby Dell, baby fueled economy. Sadly, if it were
not for those cute, wee little sneakers and the chicks buying them, all
the Obama TARP measures in the world could not save us from economic
Armageddon.

Lastly, what the hell is your kid gonna do? The Quarter Life economy is in
pretty bad shape. Seriously, besides dad’s unfulfilled X-Gen or
generational higher goals of A-Rod’s money or sleeping with Madonna…dreams
of some long ago, non steroid athlete and musical bombshell…or mom’s
wanna-be soccer practice while still balancing a legal career and an Iron
Chef’s kitchen…there are no jobs!

Texting is not a job. Sexting is. Gangsta rap is not a job. Killing people
within the confines of the USMC and the Geneva Code as a private first
class is. Nursing…yea for the girls…but man…dude. You want your son to be
a nurse? Okay that was pretty sexiest. I am sorry. Umm…too many
accountants, lawyers a bundle, doctors are afraid of taking patients…your
kid might make a therapist, online consultant (if they immigrate to the
Indian Sub Continent) or A/C repair man. Global warming baby.

Ergo…maybe you want to go the prego route., maybe not…maybe you just don’t
know yet. Darwin, your body, and your enlightened corporate health care
plan will have to make that decision. There is no rush and the Quarter
Life ticker is not tocking away. Take your time and make the best call for
you…and the little poop machine.

Hey…do you think since I mentioned the whole cash for kids thing…am I on
some FBI list now? Still, sounds more of a Securities and Exchange
Commission thing don’t it?

I cannot stand the Christmas Shoes.

December 7, 2010

I absolutely hate HATE the song The Christmas Shoes. Mostly I hate the line “I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.” Its the most wretched, terrible, sappy, manipulative Christian music song ever written. I hate it more than Feliz Navidad, which only has 6 words. The latin community should demand better from their artists.

So in tribute to The Christmas Shoes, I give you the Huffington Posts top 9 most annoying Christmas Songs. Beware- if you watch the video for The Christmas Shoes, it includes clips from the made for television movie of the same name. You may want to keep a bucket close in case you need to throw up from the nausea. Spoiler- mama dies at the end with the shoes on.

Networking For More Than a Job: The External Benefits of Networking

December 6, 2010

We all know that one of the best strategies for finding work is to network. Talking with employers of a company or organization you’d want to work for, staff members who can tell you the inside scoop and maybe put in a good word for you, or friends of friends who are connected to a potential employer, are great ways to get your goals recognized. There are many possible topics for discussion, but its most important to converse about what the company is doing, what its needs are, and what you can offer.

Start Talking

What I find most fascinating is what occurs when a professional conversation goes off on a tangent. The results can be extremely beneficial and may take you in a direction you never imagined. For example, let’s say you set up a meeting with someone who works for an international non-profit organization and you happen to wear a piece of jewelry that you got while traveling in South America. Your contact notices and comments, drawing you into a discussion of your mutual travels and interest in Latin American culture. And, specifically your love for bossa nova, a seductive style of Brazilian jazz. Before you know it, you’re offered a discounted ticket to an upcoming concert.

Let’s take it a step further. You go to the event, and start talking to the woman sitting next to you, who also happens to be job hunting. She tells you about a Portuguese language class she’s taking. This reminds you that you’ve been thinking about improving your language skills, and you get inspired to sign up for a similar class. After a few weeks of
practicing those nasal vowel sounds and laughing about it with your classmates, you go out for coffee with one of your fellow students. Soon, you’re dating someone, and even practicing your Portuguese outside of class. You didn’t even need to use Match.com. What a relief!

By following the networking trail with people about a variety of subjects that are not job-related, you might just end up with a new job. Or, if this scenario sounds too good to be true, let’s change it and
forget about finding that job. You’ve still had a good time at the concert, you’re learning Portuguese, and you’ve found someone to hang out with. The point is, that you never know where networking can take you.

Gain Self-Esteem

Beyond finding love or engaging in new activities, there are many other many benefits of networking aside from finding a job. One of the ones that I find most compelling is self- esteem. When you’re not working, you often find yourself sitting at home much of the day, feeling like you should be producing, designing, serving, managing, facilitating – or any of those words you’re told to put on resume. But, you’re not. Nor are you shooting the breeze with your co-workers. In these circumstances, it’s easy to feel isolated and even depressed, especially when you’ve become discouraged about your joblessness. In reaching out, whether you’re communicating with people in your occupational world or just with others with similar interests, you rise to the occasion. You make connection and re-encounter your self-worth. As your esteem grows, you become happier and more attractive to everyone around you, including potential employers.

Learn Something

Finally, let’s look at how networking can act like an encyclopedia. Or maybe I should say Google, since when was the last time you actually picked up one of the many-volumed tomes? In any case, when you make contact with other professionals, you may learn not only what they’re doing, but also what other organizations are doing. Or, your contact mentions a new study, a recent technology that’s come out, a company that you’ve never heard of but that interests you.

Who knows where the journey will take you, but what you do know is that networking can open any number of doors. Interacting with others and being open-minded to their suggestion, will provide you with opportunities that may lead to a better quality of life.

by Brendan Cruickshank (Vice President of Client Services)
Brendan is a veteran of the online job search and recruiting industry, having spent the past 8 years in senior client services roles with major sites like Juju.com and JobsInTheMoney.com. He is quoted regularly as an expert in employment and job trends in major media outlets like the Washington Post, US News & World Report, and Forbes and has spoken at recruiting industry events such as Onrec and Kennedy Information’s Corporate Recruiting Conference.