Aaron Sorkin quit Facebook too!

June 23, 2011

Congrats Aaron. We hope you keep it up.

Happy Pride!

June 12, 2011

Pride month always provides a bevy of news about progress (or lack there of) in the gay community. This pride month is no different. Tracy Morgan decided to go on a homophobic rant in one of his routines, leading the whistleblower of his show to come out to his family. New surveys show that a majority of the American population now support gay marriage. Croatia’s pride celebration ended in disaster, the Giant’s started MLB teams on making videos for the It Gets Better Project, and Rick Santorum claims that he loves his gay friends. I don’t believe he has any, but he loves them hypothetically.

Pride month isn’t even half way over and we already have a plethora of news items to discuss. For me, none has been as irritating as Ann Coulter. Now, generally, I just ignore what she who must not be named says. She’s one of those rare creatures who is incredibly easy to ignore because everything that comes out of her mouth is complete shit. Piers Morgan asked Coulter on Tuesday “If you had a son or daughter who came to you and told you they were gay, how would you feel?” She repeatedly dodged the question, blabbering something about not imagining being married (despite her three engagements) and how getting married was the first step towards having a baby. Fast forward three days and she finally tells Sean Hannity how she would feel:
“I mean, obviously, I’d tell him he’s adopted…How’s asking him for help redecorating the dining room?”
Now, there is nothing in this statement like Tracy Morgan saying he would stab his son for being gay, or equating gay marriage to sex with ducks (thank you Pat Robertson). But Coulter spreads not only hatred for the gay community, but for those families who turn to adoption to create a family. The slight about the gay community being great decorators- not harmless, but expected from a person who thinks women shouldn’t have the right to vote. But adoption, Coulter? Really? Thousands of children around the world need good, loving homes. People who adopt love their children, no matter who they are. Families choose adoption for a number of reasons, but the common theme between them is the desire to raise a child. It’s a choice people make, not a random occurrence.

Thank you, Ann Coulter for being a bigot during pride month. It reminds us all how far we still have to go and who we are fighting against for equality. Pride month is a celebration of being who you are, but also remembering what lengths it takes to be able to be that person. It’s not a short or easy road, but things are moving forward- despite the efforts of the small-minded and hateful.

Ann Coulter is the devil

The Razzies Just Make More Sense for this Jaded Q-Lifer

February 21, 2011

The Razzies Just Make More Sense for this Jaded QL

It’s award season. It’s Chinese New Year. And I am still also having trouble writing 2011 instead of 2010 on all documents. And Yes…I actually do still write a check or two.

But outside of my antiqued fiscal dealings and dyslexia, all of that other stuff just points to the special time of the year when the layers of self-indulgent BS reaches epic proportions. Especially cumulating with the Oscars.

My money is on “The King’s Speech” for Best Pic. Colin Firth for Best Actor. And Natalie Portman for her lovely lesbo scene as Best Actress. Always pays to be British or have a little girl on girl to get the Academy all hot and bothered.

I also predict Health Care reform to be repealed by the Supreme Court, a North Korean regime change, Iran will go nuclear and Snuggies will come out with its own form of an 80’s reboot of the Thigh Master.

But this is such stuff as to be below my Quarter Life expectations of existence and this special time of year.

More than just being a political think tank or entertainment expert, I have year in and year out enjoyed the enlightening experiences of other, less well known award ceremonies. Such as the Darwin Awards where they award those who have died in horrible humorously stupid ways and thus eliminated themselves from the human gene pool and the Darwin evolutionary process. More on the movie side of things, right after the Golden Globes, the Sundance Film Festival and the SAG…come the Razzies.

Much, much more to my liking. They give out awards to the worst of the worst in the film industry. No favoritism. No political games. No agendas. Just if you make bad movies or star in them…you will be bitched slap for the artistic offense.

Thus there are a lot of nominations for Vampire style flicks and actors this year.

So no red carpet makes me feel better. It is the Razzies which give me an overall better feeling about my QL experience in 21st society. That there is some sort of honesty still out there. That if you do truly suck (no vampire reference intended), we QL’s are not just going to blog about it…we are literally going to fashion a statue out of gold and give it to you for being a POS in your newest cinematic career move.

Quite Refreshing.

Plus I love Razzieberry Pie. The one where they put all the different kinds of berries in the same delicious baked yummy. Oh, so good a la mode.

Please fill out the information below completely and accurately. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are required. Warning: may cause suicide

February 8, 2011

Dear Job Websites-

I am seeking new employment. However, whenever I see a position that looks exciting, for which I have the proper skill set and associated experience, and one that I would ultimately want to apply for, I face something called the “employer’s application.”

The gauntlet begins: I am thrown into a round of mindless input of information readily available on my resume: including contact information, previous work experience, job descriptions, and much more. What’s the point of the resume if I need to fill out these blank boxes? Or better phrased, why do I need to put in information that’s already available on my resume? If I get through this level (gulp), I see what awaits me on the next round: a 30 minute survey of behavioral interview questions to quantify my interpersonal, organizational, and leadership qualities. Apparently, they want to know if I “agree, disagree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or not applicable.” (double gulp)

The unemployment rate recently dropped to 9%. Unfortunately, that’s not because more companies are hiring. In fact, in January, the private sector only added 36,000 jobs. The number has gone down because people have given up looking for work. The government doesn’t consider you “unemployed,” if you’re aren’t looking for work. To be unemployed, involves two requirements 1) not have a job and 2) be looking for a job. You don’t count if you’ve given up.

Over 15 million people lost their jobs during the recession, and many have been out of work for longer than 6 months. Some have been unemployed for a year, some even two years. Not only do these people face a challenging job market, where there are simply not enough jobs to go around and too many qualified people to fill them, but the insult to injury, is the ‘dark abyss’ of the employer job application.

Each of these generic applications can take upwards of 20-30 minutes. Factor in another 30 minute assessment, fine-tuning cover letters, and the actual original job search, and you get an unwieldy amount of time spent on applying to even ONE job. My question is: why? Why do companies; large, global, goliath, major institutions of profit, partake in something that is so inefficient, wasteful, annoying, and frustrating?

My first possible explanation is they consider it a “barrier to entry.” In other words, if you really want this job, you’ll sit through the mindless input, possibly followed by a 30 minute round of behavioral questions, just to be considered. That’s the shocker. You could spend all of this time and energy, to submit an application, when the employer knows very well they would never hire you based off a 10 second glance of your resume. So is their goal to reduce the number of applications?

I’ve attempted to send my resume to real people, using various networking and research vehicles online: LinkedIn, google searches, etc. My hope is to circumvent the wasteful time suck that is the employer job website application. The response is typical, “thank you for forwarding your resume to me, however, we can not consider applicants without ……”

At that moment, I hear a shrill scream from inside my mind. The job application on the company website is UNAVOIDABLE. It seems the lengthy application may have something to do with documenting equal opportunity employment screening.

It can not go on like this. Very capable workers have given up hope of finding a job and I can promise you that this senseless application process is a major part of it. We need to innovate here and change the status quo. Attention Entrepreneurs: the market has a need and you can fill it. If companies insist on having information in piecemeal format, we can set up a main online company that provides this format to companies. Consider what Careerbuilder or Monster do, and make it the standard.

So, if they insist on knowing the dates I worked at TPT, or how much I got paid, they can have it in its own little box for perusal. In other words, when I apply and send my resume, I can also send a form that gives them their desired knowledge of my work past, but without the manual input required for EACH website. Now, I can apply to 100 jobs a day, versus 10. Life is a game of numbers and this would increase the chances of garnering employment, of reducing stress and aggravation, and simply be more efficient and simple.

Personally, in the interlude, I have decided NOT to apply to any job that requires a job application. If a company doesn’t value my time and energy, I can not take the time or energy to apply.

I went to college. I can input information into a box if asked and if needed. And I can promise that the information will be accurate. But doing it 10x a day, 7x a day, for an unclear amount of time, I will not. I repeat I went to college. I know how to think and make choices for myself. I know that problems are often complex and unemployment is a major problem now. We can talk about stimulus, tax cuts, work programs, entitlements, unemployment benefits, aggregate demand, consumer confidence, and much more. But, because I went to college, I also know sometimes the simplest solution is often the right one. At this point, I can only ask, “what if there were no asterisks?”

Thank you-
Job Seeker

Life After College…The Book!

January 17, 2011

When we started this site, there were only a few people who even knew what a Quarterlife Crisis was. There had been a few studies and a few books, but anyone you told about it laughed. “Of course life isn’t what you thought it would be,” we heard. Well why didn’t you tell us that?

Now, three years later, there has been a vast increase in the resources for those of us experiencing the crisis. Many of those resources written by people who have actually gone through it and come out the better. Our goal was to let people know, you aren’t alone.

Now, one of our favorite bloggers has written a book! Jenny Blake works at Google in career development and is a life coach to boot. She’s a lovely person who obsesses about cupcakes- so that makes her an ideal person to take advice from. She has a blog that inspired her upcoming book.

We suggest reserving your copy now. Congrats to Jenny!

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!

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.

Time for an adult conversation

November 28, 2010

 “Let’s cut deficits!”

“Let’s cut taxes!”

“Let’s pay off the debt!”

“Let’s cut spending programs and entitlements!”

“Let’s stop big government!”

The statements above reflect fundamental tenets of the new ‘Tea Party’ movement sweeping into Congress come January 2011. However, none of these things will do much to spur economic activity and help aid unemployment—the major problem facing our society.

If you give money back to the uber-rich, you will not increase economic output. Policy analyst Andrew Fieldhouse questions why we would give tax cuts to “a group whose incomes have seen the strongest growth over recent decades and who will put relatively little of it back into the economy.” As he notes, there are better ways to spend this money.

If you cut deficits and debts, in the short-term, you will severely limit the government’s ability to step in and act as a “consumer of last resort.” You think if the government didn’t pump in bailout and stimulus funds, we would be better off now? We fought off a crisis of a catastrophic magnitude with an intensity and creativity of which many of us will never fully understand or appreciate.

If you cut spending and entitlements, you will put people already on the bottom of America’s socioeconomic ladder, into poverty and sickness. There are some among us who believe that many workers are jobless because they are lazy and riding on the backs of other hard-working wage earners.

In reality, most people are unemployed not because of a lack of skill or initiative, but because of a simple lack of jobs. In fact, a Rutgers University survey of workers who were unemployed in August 2009 showed that a staggering 80% of them were still without jobs six months later.

Unemployment benefits are actually good policy. Why? Because EVERY dollar paid out is usually spent immediately on food and other necessities. Compare that to the dynamic of handing out $100,000 checks to America’s wealthiest versus the weekly unemployment check for $300. What do you think would get spent faster? If you really do not believe people are hurting, check out this time-lapsed welfare map that shows the 60% increase in food stamp usage since 2007.

And regarding big government? Imagine if the Obama administration failed to jump in and save General Motors. According to an analysis by International Economist Robert Scott, the U.S. investment in GM prevented the failure of a major American auto maker, which could have resulted in one million to three million lost jobs. As the Economic Policy Institute noted, “considering the impact on government budgets of such a massive shutdown and such widespread unemployment, Scott wrote that the federal government made a savvy investment. He calculated that the investment saved federal, state, and local governments between $94 billion and $515 billion.”

So then, I ask, how do we fix unemployment? The answer is, most likely to the cringe of the GOP: green technology.

We’ve seen from tragic oil spills and mine explosions that there is a serious cost of using fossil fuels—to human lives and our environment. Green technology offers America an industry with tremendous growth potential and with great possibilities of fundamentally changing the way we live for the better.

The US government must step in and invest in this new industry with tax incentives, capital investments, and rigorous policy initiatives to help get the ball rolling. If we can lead the world in green technology, we will be at the helm of the next major economic powerhouse.

The folks most affected by the recession have been working class people – in construction (previously home and office builders) or manufacturing. These jobs have either been out-sourced or destroyed by the loss of consumer demand and the difficulty in getting credit to fund capital investments. Less consumers/capital investments = less things sold = less things made = less workers employed to make them.

According to a recent letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “[C]onstruction employment declined nearly 25% from the start of the recession through the end of 2009 . . .[s]imilar to past recessions, job losses have been concentrated in cyclically sensitive sectors such as construction and manufacturing.”

Futhermore, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for construction workers “has been hovering around 20% in recent months” compared “with a more typical rate from 2003 to 2006 of about 7 to 8%.” This represents about 1.25 million more unemployed construction workers, and while many “of these workers are likely to be employable in other sectors as the economy improves…a large share may not be.”

But when the economy isn’t improving, how do we put these 1.25 million construction workers back to work? Currently, the economy is only growing at about 2% a year. In order to affect the near 10% unemployment number, we would need a growth rate of at least 5%. Construction – both residential and commercial – is dead. Banks aren’t loaning money to companies and individuals, which is slowing down the rate of recovery. And don’t expect it to change any time soon. With so many bad assets on their balance sheets related to the housing bubble and mortgage mess, it will probably takes years for banks to resume normal leading.

If we sit back and do nothing, employment may not come back till 2013 or even later, some say 2018. In previous recessions, the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates and spur economic activity by making loans cheaper for companies and individuals. However, short-term interest rates are near zero and have been near zero since the fall of 2008. So the Fed’s back up plan? Money Voodoo. Right now, the Federal Reserve is planning a second round of “quantitative easing.” Basically, the Federal Reserve will print $900 billion dollars and use it to buy treasury bonds. Who sells treasury bonds? The US government. So, the “bank of the government,” is going to print money and then use it to buy bonds, which are basically “I-owe-you’s.” They are doing this because they can’t cut interest rates. This is monetary policy geared to helping supply more money to the markets.

However, the US government is not the only owner of treasury bonds. Banks, financial institutions, insurance firms, foreign governments, and even individuals own T-Bonds. By buying these bonds, the Federal Reserve will pump money into the system, onto bank and company balance sheets, making them able to have money to do stuff. But the catch is they might not do anything.

For example, if you are JP Morgan Chase & Co and you have $176 billion dollars in bad mortgages and the Federal Reserve buys treasury bonds from you, giving you say $100 billion in “cash,” what do you think you would do? Do you loan that money out or do you hold on to it to make sure you survive your credit losses?

To me that doesn’t sound like the best investment. Wouldn’t it be better for the federal government to invest that $600 billion dollars into building a new economic powerhouse to drive the economy for the next 5-10-15 years? Or to take the money pegged for tax cuts for the wealthiest and invest it in green technology? This is the type of infrastructure we need to be building. For all of the unemployed construction and manufacturing workers to help build the factories, the plants, the roads to the offices, etc. There’s a multiplier effect that would take place: more people working = more tax revenue for the government and more people buying things = better economy overall. And we’re investing in the future! This is a long-term solution to MANY of our problems.

In a recent blog post about the sunken position of newly minted college graduates (a must read), the article notes a recent paper on long-term investments in rebuilding a green energy base by Robert Pollin and Dean Baker. According to the report, if “the military and fossil fuel industries accounted for roughly $1.2 trillion in total U.S. spending in 2008, this means that taking, say, 25 percent of their total and distributing it proportionally to traditional infrastructure and clean energy investments would generate a net increase of roughly 2.5 million jobs—enough to reduce U.S. unemployment, as of 2008, by more than 1.5 percentage points.”

Sounds like a plan that could be crazy enough to work. To put Americans back to work. To strengthen the economy, create a better world, and put America back at the forefront of innovation.

So the question I have for the newly elected Congress: do you care? What will you be fighting for in 2011? Will it be repealing the healthcare law, cutting taxes for the top 1-2%? Will it be making sure Barack Obama is a one-term president? Will you allow unemployment benefits to lapse so that people can’t feed their families? Will you change the American landscape, will you fight for a better future for these people you represent?

My advice to you is beware of logical fallacies and intellectual dishonesty. You can’t cut taxes for the wealthiest AND cut deficits and debt. You can’t cut entitlements and spending programs AND help Americans do better economically. You can’t lead by obstructing or fight for the working class by protecting big business.

We are ready for the “adult” conversation, but only if you are too. Let’s take our government back, yes. But let’s be sure to do it’s for the American people and not the corporate elite. After all, these unemployed construction and manufacturing workers are the ones behind this Tea Party rage, behind the anger at big government and bailouts. These are the people who elected you. Please help them.

Happy Cherpumple Pie Day!

November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble. I’m elbow deep in the world’s most disgusting dessert. Remember to be thankful for being a quarterlifer and for the wealth of viral videos on the internets.
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Clinton in “The Hangover 2″?

November 18, 2010

I am going to pre-review a movie I have never seen and is not actually in
the cinematic film can yet. That is the “bizness” chatter for filming has
not wrapped up on the production set.

I just read that a former President of the United States has a cameo in a
R-rated comedy. I guess it was an easy inevitable leap that you can go
from talk shows, or a VP & Senator hosting Saturday Night Live or guess
voicing episodes of Futurama. It’s all good these days. I suppose by the
2020 Presidential race, all candidates will need to have a self promoted
porno on their political resumes to even compete with Senator-elect
Kardasian.

So it is Clinton…none too surprising. I had heard he was to voice a
character in the upcoming Disney animated prequel of the piggy movie,
Babe. But, he had to settle for the most money making comedy of all time
and its sequel.

The first installment of this soon to be franchise, 2009’s Hangover, was
in the truest fashion all that appeals to a generation who grew up on
Johnny Knoxville, Clinton and Oral (I mean Oval) Office cigars & American
Pie flicks. Is it the later segments of Gen X? Certainly it is quarter
lifers of Gen Y and all of the Y2Kers. And they, us, the stars should be
ashamed.

I can appreciate the satirical, double comedy of Shakespeare’s Taming of
the Shrew to whacky Airplane‘s, “Don‘t call me Shirley“, Grocho Marx’s
mirror gag, Animal House Togo parties, Dumb and Dumber’s shameless Jim
Carey promotion to all things Seth McFarlane cartoonish. But, the
Hangover? It’s sequel?

All 90 minute flicks have the same story line:

Introduction.
Plan of action.
Crisis.
Journey.
Resolution.
Finally, self discovery.

Road trip movies with bachelor party themes not withstanding…especially in
Vegas. Hangover played to all of these without really ever engaging the
audience to care about anyone except the goofiness of Zach Galifianakis.
No one really gave a rat’s ass about the baby. Bradley Cooper only cared
about his hairdo. I get the tooth gag and its apparent appeal to an
audience absorbed with a drunken history of Sharpie marker abuse at the
expense of a inebriated passed out friend.

When I was in the audience of a good mix of youthful male and female
demographics, I practically was sensory overwhelmed by the twittering,
busy fingers texting and whispered buzzing…“Oh this reminds me of us. My
group of friends is just like this. I remember Spring Break.” It was like
going to Sex and the City, but there were actually straight dudes there,
not threatened with a sexual embargo if not taken to the movie.

Pièce de résistance, the insertion of convicted rapist Mike Tyson just
shows you how far a movie can go into the moral toilet. And you know
what…if you want to produce a sinker in the commode at least provide a
once in the while floater laugh. Again, the only worthy moment was Zach’s
wolf speech.

I should have seen this coming after the shove the script down the crapper
and hire all comedy stars in 2003’s “Old School” and the announcement of
its sequel. The only thing missing from the Hangover was the obligatory
cameo of Will Ferrell. So I guess now that he is too expensive, go with
President Clinton. After all he only charges $200,000 for a thirty minute
speech. I hear the cameo is 45 seconds, so that works out as a bargain in
Hollywood prices.

So Hangover II will be filmed all over the world, tripling its budget on
actor salaries and guaranteed to exceed the $467 million foreign and
domestic gross of the original.

In the end…no matter what…I am just ranting. I bitch because I did not
have the peaches to submit my road trip stories, my drunken debauchery, my
time partying with the Bush girls here in Austin, my one time stint
filling in for a Vegas Elvis illegal marriage…and thus make a cool $100
million. Day late, dollar short. But I have those wonderful quarter life
memories…

Oh…and if the couple out there reads this and remembers the blonde spiky
haired Elvis who “married” you. I am not licensed and thus you are living
in sin. FYI…

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