It Gets Better for Quarterlifers Too!

April 12, 2011

I’ve been reading the It Gets Better book this week and it really struck a chord with me. If you aren’t familiar with the project, columnist Dan Savage started it after last years rash of publicized gay teen suicides. He wanted a way to reach out to those teenagers who were unable to see what their lives could be after they escaped the bullying and the homophobia of their middle and high schools. It began with him and his boyfriend in America, husband in Canada making a video about how much better their lives had gotten. After only a few hours on YouTube, there were hundreds of other videos from gay and straight people alike letting those kids know that, they may not be able to see it now, but life gets better.

I thought about my Quarterlife Crisis. It was a time where I really couldn’t see that things were going to get better. I was lost and depressed and didn’t see how anyone else could understand what I was going through. It wasn’t until I found a few friends who were in the same situation that we realized that we weren’t alone. The bullying I felt during that time was all internal. I told myself I was worthless, and lazy, and unmotivated. I told myself I was never going to achieve anything and that my life to that point had been a waste.

Meeting the people I have through this website and others like it, I was able to build a support system. I didn’t have people who had gone through it telling me it gets better, but I found people who were able to help me believe that one day it would get better for all of us. And one day, it happened. It wasn’t as though there was some miracle change that made it all better. Making your Quarterlife Crisis go away is a matter of many baby steps.

One of the symptoms of the Crisis is finding out that the path you’ve been on may not be the right one for you. It leads to a feeling of confusion and an inability to move forward. I stayed in that place for two years. I tried a lot of things in those two years to attempt happiness, but it wasn’t until I enrolled in business school that I really started to get better. It wasn’t that I was even particularly interested in business or wanted an MBA, but I wanted to be working on something, anything, that could feel like bettering myself.

It starts with one step: A part time job in a bookstore or a volunteer opportunity on the weekends or joining a choral group on Tuesday nights. It means failing at more and more things until one thing fits what you’re looking for. It takes redefining yourself and realizing that just because this first path didn’t work out doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it means you may know yourself better than most people out there.

For those in the Quarterlife Crisis, it does get better. But you have to be responsible for making it better. And that isn’t a task that comes easily when you’re gripped with fear. And even when it gets better, there are still hurdles to overcome. Some days I feel that same feeling of dread and failure creeping into the back of my brain. Maybe I’m not doing things the way I should. Maybe I chose the wrong path. Maybe I’ll never amount to anything. But then I do something that reminds me how far I’ve come. I’ll go back to that volunteer opportunity, or read a book on economics, or dig through the recycled craft supplies at Goodwill in order to make art. You have to remember who you are and what makes you so amazing.

I realize that when it feels like everything you do is wrong it’s hard to take the advice to just do something. One of my favorite themes in the It Gets Better book is that it doesn’t actually get better. What happens is you get better. You become better able to handle the bad times, you have greater resources to use during those bad times, and you have the ability to change your life so that those things and people that were making you so miserable no longer have a grip on your life.

It does get better. We all have the ability to make it better. It’s not easy and it’s not pretty, but you’re also not alone. And in the end, not only does it get better, but WE get better.

Irreplaceable: A Review of Color Me Obsessed

April 12, 2011

The other day I went to see Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements. What else can you say about The Replacements – a band that has been broken up for nearly two decades – that hasn’t already been said? Apparently, not much. The entire length of this film is one big succession of fans (both famous and not) geeking out over the relative genius of each of members of the band and, of course, the madness that equaled and collective. Strangely, though, this proves to be more than enough. The tidbits of information that die-hard fans aren’t already well aware of are few and far between, but the story-telling is spot-on and will keep you at attention the length of the film. Every one of the subjects interviewed is clearly enjoying talking about their favorite band as much as the audience is enjoying listening to them talk about their favorite band. There’s realism and simplicity to the craft used that makes the headiest moments come off as relatable, not contrived or, worse, pretentious. In a world of constant false-reality T.V., this is no easy feat. It is particularly impressive because there is no music in the movie, no interviews with surviving band members . . . there are not even that many pictures of the band shown. The director claims that he wanted to treat this differently, and compared his choice not to show The Replacements during the film was much akin to the way God is always talked about in films but never shown. To quote him, “I don’t believe in God, but I believe in The Replacements.” That may or may not be true, but it adds to a collection of good stories centered around The Replacements none-the-less. It’s a collection of stories worth telling.

South Park Raised Me!

March 3, 2011

South Park Raised Me
By: Jayce Scott

Okay I get it. I did not need and will not need the next two cinematic installments of James Cameron’s “Avatar” money machine to remind once more, that I am a horrible human being, a white male to boot, who baby rapes mother earth every day and is responsible for every evil which has every occurred.

I get it.

It just took a little longer for Orwell and “1984” to come about. But, I get it. The constant bombardment on the QL generations by all forms of corporate, social & government media marketing about how they can live better with less, put up with more crap for more money, sticks & stones still hurt, words will get you sued, all can be excused with the term “lifestyle choice”, hope is better than action and that everything is going to get either better or soon the earth will resemble the surface of Venus. It all worked. I get it.

Yet, we only have ourselves to blame. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been with us for over 13 years and they warned us. They have books out on South Park philosophy, they teach courses on it at Cornell…and of course Berkley. All we needed to know came over the broadcast, basic cable annals of South Park every Wednesday night. You know…the place where our generation decided its largest ethical issues. They foretold this us. They predicted this world would come to be.

Why did we not listen? I doubt they care…they are worth like something maybe on the order of a Google dollars now!

Top ten things South Park taught me about going green, dealing with social networking, phantom economics, human biology and living a Quarter Life with meaning and…maybe…maybe a little more dignity:

10. Driving a Prius does indeed make you pretentious.
9. Not eating meat will turn you into a pussy.
8. Wal-Mart is not evil. If you don’t like to shop there, don’t.
7. Farting is natural, but do so in moderation. It is a greenhouse gas after all.
6. People like the famous Cartman; most of the time out number us and usually get away with being who they are. Assholes.
5. Everything in the rainforest is either trying to eat you, sting, poison you or shoot you and thus we should chop that whole f’ing thing down.
4. All crimes are hate crimes.
3. Respect “authority!”
2. Getting an anal probe is natural and very probable these days. Alien or otherwise.
1. That cartoons make more sense than real life any day.

If we went by timelines, the South Park boys, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny would all be in the Quarter Life. Just graduating this May in fact. I also imagine they would be more socially and mentally adjusted than their predecessors. Sadly, a lot more ready for the real world than most of us, other ¼ lifers.

And I am not sure how I am even going to finish the point of this article because it tends to circle back on itself. Is it a better or worse world or is there hope for tomorrow that we put our faith more in a cartoon? Or because we have a significant number of wandering twenty-somethings, who wander a lot more and for a lot longer these days because cartoons were there.

Why did some of us get our social commentary news from Yahoo and E! and not listen to the wisdom of the Seth MacFarlane’s and Matt Groening‘s?

I know how to drive the point home and end this piece. South Park’s Chef would make things always better with a song. “I going to make love to you baby, take you down by the fire, and caress your tender body with wild and desireee…”

Did not help much, but it makes for a nice wrap up.

I had a WikiLeak once…

February 21, 2011

I had a WikiLeak once…

Seriously I did. But antibiotics cleared it right up.

And thanks to my fifth senior year at twenty-three, with whom I thought was an innocent freshman gave me mono to boot.

Ergo, the cliché slogans of “No glove – no love,” “She smokes – she pokes” or “Wrap the rascal” have more importance than ever for healthy quarter life sexuality.

Whether straight, gay, lesbian, bi, curious, trans, furries, pre-op, monogamous, player and whatever they come up next during Queer Eskimo Awareness Week…we have all got to take a responsible role with our bodies.

There is something like a new hepatitis being reported every week by the CDC. I think we are up to something like Q-4 on the alphabet. Roll into the Petri dish, super-bug staph, bizarre genital warts, good old HIV and about a 100 other mood killers and it is a wonder we can shake hands without a Level IV bio HAZMAT suit.

Heck, the outbreak of bed bugs on college campuses and Disney resorts tells you something is amiss.

So what is a Q-lifer to do? The old school days of condoms are just a memory. The Ring, dental damns and blood testing are fast becoming norms. Not being gross here…that is just the reality we live in. Your fist kiss these days might land you with a mouth full of acne.

And yep it is scary. But there are ways to deal with it and keep a normal, again, healthy libido, romantic and maturing QL lifestyle.

Here are some hints from my former Human Sexuality 102-304 course. She was a TA in the class. And yes, I dated her. She taught be so, so many things. But I ended up with a B-. Go figure on that. Well, now she is a MD of internal medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Tracy Connick helped me out with some good advice.

Condoms are still the best choice.

Float around the idea of what sex is really about before you actually do it. Ergo, think with your brain and not your nethers.

If committed to taking the next step in your relationship, get a STD blood panel. You owe it to yourself and others to get tested. It also makes a deep statement about your care and concern for you partner.

If you have a condition or not, you are accountable. And these days that means more than morally. In some cases, if you transmit a disease, you can be prosecuted in a court of law or have your pants sued off this time.

In your twenties you still feel bullet proof. You are not. It does not just happen to someone else. Odds are one in three of your friends have some sort of venereal disease.

Never put yourself or others in a pressure situation. Just say no is still a staple, but even in more innocent circumstances; never push sex on yourself or a partner.

It is okay to take your time. It is alright to ask about past partners or the health of another. It is fun to let loose. It is up to you about how cool it might be to hook up or wear a chastity ring. It is NOT, ever cool to take yours or others’ emotional and physical well beings at risk.

Be smart. Practice safe sex. But don’t freak out that a peck goodnight or some club rave mug down is going to give you Ebola. Use good judgment.

Get informed. Again, don’t go all hypochondriac or OCD. Relationships, random or committed are stressful enough. But knowledge is power.

Stay healthy. See your doctor regularly. Have good hygiene. Prevention is key. And for heaven’s sake wash your hands.

I liked the last one best. Mom’s advice about soap and water was right. And thank goodness that was the only thing she ever spoke about doing the nasty.

I also thought the whole knowledge, be informed was kinda cool. Sort of like those cartoon G.I. Joe public service advice segments. “And knowing is half the battle. GO JOE !”

So there it is in a nutshell. No pun intended. Weird times we live and love in, but we can get through the QL and further on with just a little caution and a whole lot of care for ourselves and others.

Tron Gone Wrong? Not Really.

February 21, 2011

Tron Gone Wrong? Not Really.

Tron: Legacy

Well it is not 1982. And Jeff Bridges is a lot older. Sort of. With the help of some serious CGI he is also back to form at a young 28 years old. Don’t ask. No one ever saw the original Tron in our generation. A good portion of you were not even born or if you were, no parent was taking your crying, diaper stench ass to the movies. Back then, they had unlicensed babysitters called the teenage girl next door who charged $1 an hour, use of the phone and fridge privileges.

But I digress, and so does this movie. I mean it is an okay ride. I did not go into the theater believing this was a flick movie with Oscar glory potential. However I did walk the sticky floors and plant myself in the stale seat of my local mega-plex 40 movie complex. By the way, it is complete is a Mickey D’s and a Cinnabon. I knew this updated form of the classic sci-fi was going to be a special effects montage designed for 3-D addicted audiences. On that, it delivers and then some.

And I loved the reworked soundtrack combining the 80’s overuse of synthesizers with 2010 club rave mixes.

So with a cool $100 million guaranteed profit, I predict a roller coaster ride within a couple of years at Disney Studios in Orlando. This, by the way, would be pretty damn cool. I always wanted to be one of the neon green speed bikers. Yes, I did see the original on laser disk. And for those less in the know, a laser disk it what they used to call DVDs, which were VHS’s, which in turn were called 35 mm film, then flash tray photo negatives, radio, music halls, jug blowing and then pretty much rocks and sticks would clarify the entertainment evolutionary scale.

Tron: Legacy. Jeff Bridges is hot. No I am not gay, though he is a handsome man at any age. He is America’s Sean Connery. And he is also hot Hollywood wise. What he touches is gold or Oscar. From Iron Man to this month’s Christmas release of True Grit. But not Tron. This movie will make a crap load of money, probably go into sequels and Mickey Mouse will continue his plans of global domination.

And you know I am okay with all three. Tron delivers what it promises. Bridges is a delight in anything. And Disney taking over the Holy Land and charging admission would probably bring about peace in the Middle East.

And besides my dreams of global resolutions over religious conflict. If you like action and having your senses overloaded, do yourself a favor, check it out and thank whatever religious head honcho you pray to that Will Smith was not cast for the part to jiggy things up a bit diversity wise.

I miss my Willy

January 17, 2011

…Today I was reflecting on the big bad whole idea of life. And not just
my Quarter Life either.

I do my best pondering while in the shower, so if you need that visual,
consider it a freebee.

Sadly I remember this was a day when a particularly good buddy of mine
made a terrible decision to end his life. Some of the reasons we
understand, others he took with him when he put the 9 mm up to his temple.
Maybe I thought about it because of the Rutgers tragedy…something sparked
it. I had not used a brain cell on the memory and its issues in years.

Good guy. Still miss him.

Yet, as I sent up a little prayer, hoped for the best and was thankful for
his short life and my time in it…I rescued my morning
get-ready-for-the-day-time with the simple question, “What would I tell my
friend, life is like in 2010, what he had missed in the past ten years?”
How would he have grown to adulthood in a Gen X/Y-post-Y2K-post-9-11ish

He was RIP in 2000. It is now closing in on the later part of 2010.

Well, Willy…he liked to be called that. Okay I lie. He hated it. His name
was Benjamin, which came from William, which made itself into Bill, but we
razed his ass so much because we heard his girlfriend call out the “Willy”
nickname during a college dorm room sexcapade where he thought those
university constructed walls would block out noise and give him the
exclusiveness of a sincere romantic getaway on a Student Life issued
standard housing twin mattress.

So Willy…here is what you missed for the Quarter Life. And prepare for

Not much changed and then everything did as well…

Let me summa up for you in a top ten. That will make it easier for both of
us. You and I loved Letterman. Yep, he is still here. But Conan took over
for NBC big chin, then fired him, forced O’Brian into a WTBS show with
Lopez. And Letterman pulled a Clinton and sexed up a bunch of his interns.
Sans cigars.

Plus a sum-up is quicker. You are probably all busy up there in Heaven
where the Cowboys still win Super Bowls, Boy Bands never roamed the earth,
Spears was still hot and underage…etc. And no one ever knew what the fudge
a Harry Potter was except as a stoner weed dude with dreadlocks. “What?
Owe you have been getting some buzz up there in Heaven about Miley?
Well…that might take more time than we have here. Just remember Satan is
not the only evil force in the universe. Pass that along to the Big Guy.”

And yes…I will be using quote marks when I psychic channel Willy. SyFy’s
“Ghost Hunters” taught me how.

10. Some crazy dudes flew some 727 jets into the World Trade Center. The
world, the economy, the fears and phobias of people fell like the
buildings. That is about the biggest thing. Oh and that we got caught in a
land war in Asia. “Ya…ya I know the movie Princess Bride, Soviet invasion
of Afghanistan and Vietnam told us not to do it. But we did. Actually two
wars in Asia…at the same time!”

9. Lady Gaga makes Madonna and Britney Spears look like Romper Room. I
remember your older brother when he had a crush on Debbie Gibson. Oh, she
did a spread for Playboy in 2005.

8. OJ is still out there. Yes, even after another crime spree of breaking
and entering, robbery, attempted kidnapping in Vegas, the juice and his
Heisman are still on the loose. Oh, they also just had to take back a
Heisman from another USC thug for NCAA cheating. Oh, and while on the
subject of sports. Before you tagged out, you were stuck with Mark
McGuire. Yep. His homerun zingers were blown away by Barry Bonds. But both
have admitted to rampant steroid use, so some dude branded Bonds’ Hall of
Fame ball with an asterisk. And Tiger is still a golfing god. I think he
owns Dubai, but he ended up getting 9-ironed by his Swede model wife for
banging something like 101 IHOP waitresses.

7. Cell phones are still the rage, but now we text. Even better. We talk
into our phones, they process the verbiage into text and then send it to
our friends. Not as actual vocal words, but even more text. Its like an
impersonal fax coming over your wireless. “Ya, ya, I totally know. We
tried the whole Marconi, Bell and Star Trek thing to instantly communicate
with everyone at anytime, but it seems we like taking steps backwards.
Pretty soon I think paper cup and string will be back in fashion.”

6. No flying cars. Matter of fact. Toyotas cannot break. I mean like they
cannot come to a stop. Pontiac, Buick, Saab, Saturn, Oldsmobile are gone.
Mercedes still cost out the ass, but they are made here in the US. Detroit
is dead, but do not worry. We have stickers on new cars which tell the
buyer all auto parts were made in Mexico, but the actual Ford Explorer is
assembled in the US. Oh, SUVs and Hummers are the douche bag eco-terror
hag’s greatest evil since Hitler. Buy a Kia…but don’t go for the warranty.
Word to the wise. North Korea has the bomb now. And so does India,
Pakistan and all those little, tiny corrupt former Soviet Republics. Oh,
Iran is 6 months from making a nuke, but we are all crossing our fingers
the UN will save our asses. “Chuckle”

5. Bush Jr. won in 2000. Don’t even ask me how. It would take too
long…Jesus would probably decide on that Second Coming thing, before I
could properly explain it to you. Just remind J-Man to smite everyone in
Florida. Then Mrs. Clinton became Sec of State. Yep…never got rid of those
families. Now…and hold onto your conservative pants. A black dude named
Hussein won the White House. “No shit! The same dude named after Iraq’s
Saddam? Oh…the later. We went to war (see above) with him and noosed him.
Not as messy as what you did, but just as effective.”

“What? Too soon Willy? Seriously, I know you and I are not bigots, but no
one had money on this 2008 election. Yep, he ran against McCain…ya I know
he is still alive, that dude is like 909ish. But our current media Prez
also beat a dude named Huckabee. So some name like Obama is not all that
bad. President Huckabee…yuck, yuck. Bring me my banjo. Something…something
about bird in hand, two in a Bush. No sexual innuendo intended.”

4. Women do not have to get periods. Yep. Some sort of commercial about
O-rings, that you shove somewhere, so somehow you do not have to put up
with that old Mother Nature, Aunt Flow. “Huh? Well, I don’t know Willy. I
suppose that stuff has to go somewhere.” Never mind the eggs. We have ’19
Kids and Counting’ and the ‘Octo Mom!’ television shows. You don’t even
have to have a dude around. You can pick your kids off the internet, get a
turkey baster and wham. You want blue eyes? Sure. You want his father to
be a PhD? Sure. It’s like genetic engineering, and Nazi selective
breeding, but with the condolences of your health plan and the popular
trend to adopt children out of the US. “Oh, Willy…you would be so lost.
Remember the Benetton ads of so long ago? Well, there are so many families
walking around which look like a meeting of the UN.”

3. Reality television. Just before you kicked off. Which was a bummer by
the way. You probably caught the phrase, “Voted off the island.” Well, it
did not stop there. Now we have pretty much a telecast (ummmm…there are no
antennas nowadays. The Federal gov’t, FCC confiscated those bandwidths to
sell off to Verizon, New Jersey shore types, wannabe gigolos and whores
selling themselves off for a celebrity book tour, cooking shows and
Dancing Your Ass Off…) “Huh?…oh. Well it is this show where, well they
actually have lots of programming where they exploit fat people. Nope. No.
Ummm. Trump is still around, but no one cares about good looking people
like Miss USA, not unless you first put out a porn video. Sort of like a
rite of passage. Oh…just remembered. No one has hair anywhere except on
their heads…ANYWHERE!”

2. 3-D. Yep. All this technology and we have NOT gone to Mars, NOT
discovered new life, NOT stopped death, starvation, disease (some new
buggers are actually making a comeback…you want the plague? She is all
the rage in India these days), NOT stopped war, NOT stopped the Golden
Girls from being rebroadcast over and over. Betty White is running for the
US Senate. Ok…the last part was a lie. But she is all powerful
nonetheless. 3-D. The same crap from the 50’s. The same crap we all see
in, everyday, is like the total bomb. Yep, they are even making T.V.s in
3-D. Cannot wait to see the newest court room drama about a young lawyer
trying to just make a damn difference in a cold, indifferent NYC.
“Man…it’s like the gavel and her bosom are coming right of the television!
Look out! Oh that was just the seam from her pants suit. This HD is f’ing

And the number one thing you did or did not miss from the past ten years…

1. Saturday Night Live still sucks ass. Nope. Never recovered from the
90’s uber wonderful cast. Oh, uber is a word for cool.

So dude. You did not miss much. We are still at war on poverty, hate,
sexism, intolerance, movie sequels, prequels and reboots, hunger, disease,
ignorance, France, war itself, economic exploitive cultures, media over
load, the Draconian Ants of Cegus V…”Oh I did not tell you about the ants?
Yea. Ummm, they like got here right after you left. And ‘frankly I welcome
our new ant overlords,’ As Kent Brockman once said.”

Willy. Wish you were still around. My Quarter Life has had its up and
downs…matter of fact. It has been pretty bitching. But as a decades go?
Meh. Let us all hope time is cyclical and we can hook up again. Let us say
something bad ass like Omaha Beach during Normandy, or the Ice Bowl and I
am QB’ing, or the creek where you and I met up with Tammy and Michelle for
a little midnight swim…or just that I might be able to have you around
through my QL issues and maybe, maybe I could have helped you through
yours. Love you dude!

P.S. I was not kidding about the Miley Cyrus thing…seriously anytime the
angelic multitudes want to get off their collective asses and smite Viacom
the better.

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

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

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

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?

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 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 and 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.

Zombie Invasion

November 18, 2010

Seems everywhere I turn these days zombies are the in-thing. And with the new television series “The Walking Dead” it is uber fashionable. That show is sort of like the writers of “Mad Men” got together with the Spiderman trilogy director and creator of Xena, Sam Raimi and B-actor Bruce Campbell…and drank way too much to much tequila.

This sort of all makes sense seeing that existence in 2010 is kind of like being among the walking dead. Hey Quarter Life has its up and down days…and sometimes zombie weeks or decades. I have spent a greater portion of my twenties do just that.

About 4 million people do it every Tuesday and Saturday night when watching Glee or SNL respectively.

Brains! Brains! Brains!

And this passion for the genre has been growing exponentially every year. We have zombie 5k lurches for Prostrate Cancer research (you would think a more cerebral cause might have been a better choice) to 10-12 zombie related movies per year pumped out by the Hollywood crap factory. Still a few good ones out there. My personal favs are still Shaun of the Dead and Zombie Land. Oh…and I am Legend. Will Smith might be lonely. But all of NYC to yourself? Guns, fast cars, chilling with your dog, golf chip shots off an air craft carrier. We should all be so lucky if the world ends tomorrow!

And on the subject of watching scary zombie related material. Never, ever do the following while viewing zombie related material.

10. When your fiancé asks you what you would do if she caught the cliché “virus” and she turns into the undead. Never, ever respond you would “ice” her for the betterment of mankind by keeping the pandemic in check. You may now insert the appropriate, totally over the top emotional, tears and the late night argument about how I do not love her enough to no join her in the whole undead thing. Oh, and then after the apopylysce is over, will I start dating that quit blonde in the cubicle next to me?

9. Never ask yourself if personality type A translates over at all into the zombie world. Why are they always so dirty? Would probably break the cinematic forth wall if we suddenly cut to a scene where one walking corpse is busily scrubbing his clothes, “Oh these darn blood stains are so hard to get out. Does anyone have a Shout It Out stick?”

8. Do zombies poop? If they eat the brains, where do they go after that?

7. Never watch one zombie movie from 1974 then one from 2009. Make up is worse, but you will like the older one better and they are so hard to find on DVD.

6. Never, ever look around the room and even for a moment entertain the idea who you would eat first if you became an extra in a “Thriller” video. And do not let above-mentioned fiancé realize it will not be her…and your choice would be your cousin’s sweet college girlfriend. But not her brains. Hey! I am dead…I do WHAT I WANT. WHEN I WANTS IT!

5. Not a good idea to eat Mexican trailer food off of Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas before sitting down to a zombie movie fest. You will wish to be dead, smell like the dead and the bathroom will be for the undead until the EPA removes the plastic tent two weeks later.

4. Never ponder during beer five (the prime buzz time before you sober up or plunge in for more), why do even the hot chicks in zombie movies go un-hot suddenly when zombiefied? And all the clothes? Personally if I am undead, the rules are off. I am dining and dying in the buff!

3. If you are a hypochondriac or have even the tiniest nugget of OCD about government conspiracies to enslave humanity with experiments which go horribly wrong. Do not rent, AMC, STARZ view any zombie flick from 1996 to the present. (Oh…on the low down, hush-hush, the vapor trails left by high flying jets are how they spray the chemicals on us.)

2. Again, never scan the room, spy your college bud who has gained a few extra lbs and say…“hmmm, he looks like there might be some good marbling there. 350 degrees, fifteen minutes per pound, garlic, a nice rosemary, red peppercorn glaze…”

1. Never get into a group discussion about either the moral complications of killing human life or who was the best zombie of all time. I lost some good friends that night. My personal favorite is a QL classic. South Park’s Kenny when he comes back from the dead in the first season because he embalmed with Worchester sauce at the morgue.

And that is my daily QL rant on today’s entertainment and my apparent need to work on relationships in this life and the next. At least my ramblings were not about the uber popular girly tween-teen and wishful could fit into their skinny jeans helicopter moms, screaming about gay virgin vampires and shirtless werewolves. I keep my fictional monsters on the cool side. And I keep my real life ones very hot. I am looking at you blondie.

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