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The 5 best things about a medium childhood

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I used to think I had the worst childhood in the world.  When I spoke about it I called it a “rough” or “bad” childhood.  I spent a lot of my teens and early twenties hyper-focused on that notion that I perceived as fact.  Somewhere along the way I stopped doing this for two main reasons.  The first is that obviously I did not have the worst childhood in the world.  The winner of worst childhood in the world is certainly not a contestant from the United States and I don’t think I place in the top 10% in America, in regards to “Roughest Childhood” (a really strange competition btw).

The second reason is I realized that focusing on one’s childhood and labeling it “terrible” is really a poison to happiness as an adult, an easy path towards bitterness and victim-hood.  Pretending that moments in my early development no longer shape both negative and positive aspects about who I am today would bring about its own psychological issues.  However, the reality is that in America my childhood was probably only a few standard deviations below the mean.  And if you look globally, I’m certainly lucky to have never dealt with war, famine, drought and other tragedies that occur on a less-than-rare basis across the globe.

Thus, the way Phillip Morris is now Altria, I have rebranded my childhood.  It was medium.  It was a medium childhood.

While re-branding my past is a big part of happiness, another key is always looking on the bright side of things.  As such I’ve listed my favorite things about the fact that childhood was the least favorite part of my life….

1. Being tougher than the “Happy Children”

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Ok so yeah…there’s the private panic attacks and racing thoughts when triggers from those childhood moments occur.  But nobody really sees those, and after you deal with that mess (healthily or unhealthily) you keep it moving.  At work you’re tougher because of your childhood and everybody knows that you’re tough—they respect you.  One co-worker is having a bad week and wonders if she’s depressed?  Eye-roll, you wonder every day if your depression came back and you’re just in denial like your mom was.  And there’s no reason that depression needs to stop you from hitting your numbers.  Somebody starts crying at work?…and you can’t help but laugh…your tear ducts ran out of juice when you were 10.  Somebody is embarrassed because they spilled coffee on their blazer?  Your embarrassment sensor is broken from that shame of being you 20 years ago.  Man your office is full of pu****s.  You’ll never get fired if this is your competition.

2. An unburdening of obligations

This is one I realized relatively recently when I started observing functional families…so many obligations.  They need to talk to each other politely, interact with each other while sober, and get together at regular intervals.  Ugh, what an ass-ache.  You don’t have to do anything during the holidays or live up to anyone’s expectations if you don’t want to.  You don’t owe anybody sh*t.  This is an underrated aspect of your jacked-up family…enjoy it.

3. Pride In Normalcy

You ever see that movie where the son is trying really hard to make his rich and successful dad love and respect him?  It’s a popular story arc because it’s a common theme to many in the world.  While it seems like a pain of the privileged, it’s painful nonetheless.  You don’t have that.  All you have to do is get a job, keep it, avoid crack and stay out of prison.  Every day that I spend a 24 hour period without being a terrible crazy ass mess…winning.

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4. Way less parenting pressure

This one may not fit you yet (or ever) if you haven’t taken the terrifying step of reproducing—possibly being responsible for someone else’s years of pain, anger, and resentment.  But trust me, being a parent is WAY less stressful if you know that it’s possible to emerge from a medium childhood and still be OK.  Because with parenting, you will inevitably feel like you’re doing it wrong.  Having the expectation that you need to recreate some blissful pathway to maturity for your offspring can cause a lot of anxiety, and be downright crippling to some.  With my medium childhood the bar is set pretty low, such that as long as I never steal money from my kids I feel like Atticus F***ing Finch.  I LOVE being a dad, it’s really an delightfully awesome experience.  Thank you emotional wounds!

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5. How else would you want it?

If you have the choice between happy childhood and sad adulthood, or sad childhood and happy adulthood…which one are you gonna choose?  Now I have met people who were raised in a positive nuclear family environment, undamaged, with means and education that are happy adults.  It DOES happen.  Some parents can be supportive and consistent without coddling and raise well adjusted people.  But if social media has shown us anything, it is how annoying all these “formerly happy children” are as they become adults.  Quarter-life crisis?…get out of here…you just got too many hugs as a kid—shut up.  Spoiled children turn into spoiled adults, and there’s nothing more miserable than an adult that starts blaming the world when things don’t fall their way.  And worse than the annoyance, is the self-absorbed unhappiness that is often the result.  I spend most of my days happy…truly happy most of the time.  Sometimes I get emotional as my heart is so full of appreciation for the joy that I have.  And why am I so happy?

Because I know that I will never have to be 12 years old, ever again in my life.  Sometimes I get so happy about that, I feel like I could cry…but I don’t.  Because I’m way too tough.

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The Job Search Manifesto

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You ever see someone win an award and give a speech and say “this is such a humbling experience”. What the hell is that? It’s usually an actor or an athlete, and they say that because have never had to look for a job on the open market. Because that s*** is humbling. There’s a lot of advice out there for job seekers. Some of it’s good, generally of the no-brainer sort. Some of it’s bad or outdated, but in all, very little of it seems to resonate in the real world. I feel that in 2014 as a recruiter who just changed jobs, I have a particular insight on seeking a job, at least in a high population area like Washington DC, where the labor market is relatively strong. Here’s my advice for the real world in 2014. Hopefully you can find some use in it.

Resume Advice:
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1. Remember that your resume is not a history of your entire life. If you’re 30, take your SAT score and GPA off of there and no one needs to see your high school accomplishments. You probably drank away most of that intelligence anyway as a way of coping with the mundane job you’re trying vacate. If you took a short job 5 years ago that has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for…remove it. The goal is to look like you’re not a job hopper, without having too many gaps. Sometimes those concepts conflict with each other a little bit, but bottom line—not everything needs to be on there.
2. Try to look as close to a 25-30 years old as possible on your resume. While the world is racist, sexist and all sorts of other things, the worst “ism” in recruiting is ageism. If you switched careers and are looking for a slightly above entry level job, take your graduation dates off that piece and just put relevant recent experience to the job.
3. Keep it 1-3 pages. I think a good rule is about 1 page per 5 years or so, and no more than 15 years is needed to be listed. Put anything further back than that under an “other experience” category and bullet point each role if you feel so compelled.
4. Make your resume a chronological one. Someone got high one day and created this idea of a “skills resume”, where you list what you can do rather than when you did it—don’t bother making one of those unless you are a time traveler and conventional understanding of space-time doesn’t relate to your job. A recruiter reads that as a red flag for either someone too old (it’s not right, but ageism) or someone who has a ton of gaps or jumps. If you don’t resemble the red flags, then you should avoid being lumped into this group, if you fall into this group, just embrace it up front and save yourself the time.
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5. Think about someone finding your resume and what they would be searching for. Recruiters generally use Boolean logic. If you have a weird or non-descriptive title, translate it in parentheses. For instance I was “Talent Senior manager” at my old job, but that title really makes no sense, so I put Sr. Recruiter (Sr. Manager, Talent) in the title. Put all the buzzy terms from your industry in all the different ways they can be written, the more the better…you can even put a key words section at the end.
6. Keep your formatting simple. Crazy bullet points, frames and symbols in word often get jumbled when parsed into recruiting databases such that your resume is hard to read. The closer it looks to plain text the better it will look to someone farming resumes.
7. Don’t put your hobbies, groups, and interests unless they relate directly to the job you seek. For the one in 10 times that being in a fraternity or liking Kayaking is received positively, the other 9 times it usually allows prejudgment of the type of person you are…and sometimes becomes something the recruiters giggle about. It’s usually not a deal-breaker, but it’s never going to get you the job, so why give preconceptions that you have to overcome in the interview.accomplishments
8. Cover Letter: Eh, if you want to. I mean, I guess you still have to for some jobs… especially if it takes a doctorate to get your job.  But understand that nobody’s going to read it.  I generally have one generic 3 paragraph cover letter for each type of position I’m applying for, but I just change the addressee.  It’s a matter of checking off the box to say that you cared enough to attach one. A unique cover letter for each application is poor time management.

Applying:

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Applying these days is a double edge sword. In that the process is capable of cutting your heart out. Oh you thought I meant that it has positives and negatives? But that makes no sense…both edges of a double edge sword are a blade, so why would one be positive and one be negative? You are either the slicer or the slicee, and depending on perspective, you will have the exact same affinity for either side of that blade. I know what you’re thinking but no, you’re the dumb one…your phrase is dumb if you’ve been using it like that. Whatever…moving on:

The internet makes applying easy, which is awesome, except it’s also way easier for everyone else. So here’s what you need to do step by step.
1. Apply for everything that’s a perfect fit for what you’re looking for no matter how old. This is probably about 10 jobs max that you are perfectly qualified for AND really want to do. Indeed.com is a pretty good resource, but there may also be some tools based on your industry. Outside of that don’t bother applying for jobs posted longer than a week ago. Nobody is looking at them.
2. Apply for OK fits (and better) that have been posted in the last week.
3. Go on linkedin and find all the people that have the job you want…find their supervisor and introduce yourself with a short message letting them know your career intentions.
4. Find all the companies that fit the profile you’re looking for, and get into their hiring database…apply to the closest job to your skill set. That way you’re at least in the system for when the right job does emerge.
5. Check once a day for new postings on whichever resources you’ve identified in 1-4, apply to anything new.
6. Engage with 2 agency recruiters (see details below AND ONLY if it makes sense for your skill set)
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7. Try not to kill yourself. I mean that however you interpret it. Because searching for a job sucks, it can suck so much I literally mean don’t donk yourself off. But I also mean, don’t try to swim upstream…job searching is a matter of timing. Network a little, but not too much. You aren’t going to find a job at a networking event …just a financial advisor or a real estate agent. No matter whether you have a job or not, just keep busy, and either enjoy unemployment or the few things you like about your job. Repeat steps 1-5 daily (or however much you have time for) and try to enjoy the rest of your life.

Interviewing:

– Don’t Be Yourself
If you call your mom before a big interview, she’ll tell you go in there and “be yourself”. This is bad advice. Probably the worst advice. Do not go in there and be yourself. Obviously you can’t go in there and be someone completely different, but you’re a miscreant. You’ve called in sick, hungover. You look at Facebook when you know you’ve completed tasks rather than find new ways to contribute to your organization. You gossip about people and always think that your idea for how to get something done is better than everyone else’s. No—do not be yourself. Create a character of yourself, if they made a movie about your life (a la Blindside and Pursuit of Happyness). Create a clean narrative that ignores your complexity, and be that person. Every major decision in your life had a multiple reasons for why you made that choice, but no one wants to hear them…pick the most positive reasons.

-Bring multiple copies of your resume
Duh! This rule doesn’t always apply to techies who might bring in their computers to show their work. But, bring sh*t
…blueprints, writing samples, if you’re specialize in blowing glass pipes then bring a couple bongs…whatever. Bring it, tell em you brought it, but don’t force them to look at it if they don’t seem interested. The point is that you brought it, not boring the interviewer with whatever dumb ass product you create in your job.

-Take notes. I once had a candidate of mine not get a job because she didn’t take notes. Since then I’ve given the advice to take notes. It’s good to write down names of who you’re talking to while you’re nervous, or questions you want to ask later. Sometimes I just draw pictures of racecars, and words that the person says that are also sexual innuendos: Like “back-end tester”, “market penetration”, and “filling open slots”. But regardless, taking notes makes you look awesome and engaged and gives your hands something to do.

-Ask questions
You already know this rule. But it’s tricky because now it’s a cliché that you have to ask questions. And if you interview with 6 or 7 people…it’s easy to run out. So here’s my philosophy: Questions turn it into a conversation rather than an audition. You should have questions about the job responsibilities and also some that suggest you’re weighing options (but don’t come in with that “I’m interviewing you” sh*t…nobody likes that). Has there been turnover? What are the metrics you need to hit? Growth? Etc. But then eventually you get a sense of those things…and if you ask the same question a bunch of different ways you come off looking like a robot with a glitch when the interviewers debrief with each other. So the second phase of question-asking is just to ask them about themselves…why did you join this company? What’s your favorite/least favorite thing about working there? People like to talk about themselves, let them.

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BUT don’t ask them if they pee-test. My advice is to try to refrain from drugs as you’re interviewing, or at least identify a dependable source of urine, such that you don’t need to ask. Also, save questions about benefits and salary and “ME things” until the negotiation phase.

-Tell the interviewer that their opportunity is your #1.  No matter what your situation, you want to give the impression that you’re looking at 2-3 jobs, but all things being equal–you’d like to work for them.  This means they can’t twiddle their thumbs and expect you to still be on the market, but they should’t cross you off the list thinking you won’t be around next week.

– Understand the Recruiter’s role and how to interact with them. Since this is my specialty, I’ll make this bullet its own section.

RECRUITERS

Your first call is likely with a recruiter, either a headhunter or corporate recruiter. I’ve been both and they are slightly different.

HEADHUNTERS: Let’s start with headhunter (an agency recruiter)

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Head-Hunter’s are best for if you already have a job and don’t have time to do your own networking and applying. There are good agency folks and bad ones…the bad ones get the most press, as horror stories seem to be disseminated more profusely than positive stories. But, honestly as one who left the industry, they can be the most useful way to get a job in certain circumstances.

Agency recruiters (headhunters) get a fee based on your salary, usually around 20-25%. Which sounds like a lot unless you’ve ever been one. A bad recruiter can sometimes lose sight of the fact that they’re in a people business and forget that people invest more than the company does at the end of the day. But there are good ones. It comes down to pros and cons when working with a recruiter.

Pros:
a) A third party telling a company that you’re awesome resonates way louder than you saying you’re awesome.
b) Agencies often have jobs that aren’t posted anywhere
c) A good recruiter will put you in touch with a hiring manager rather than a Corporate recruiter, which helps by removing a screener from the process. The fewer cooks in the kitchen, the better your chances.
d) Agency recruiters often have insight about what will get you the job, they’ll generally prep you for the interview.
e) Agencies can give you feedback. If you were rejected they can tell you why you were rejected and that can help you in the long run.
f) Headhunters are trained negotiators. If they ask for a lot on your behalf, the client gets mad at them and thinks they’re a d*ck…not you.

Cons:
a) A headhunter wants to close the deal. Period. They may use the line “my fee is based on a percentage of your salary so getting you the best salary benefits me”, but it’s the same as a real estate agent in that the few extra bucks they get from negotiating your salary up, is not worth the extra time versus closing your deal and working on closing another one.
b) The client pays their bills. In agency, I was a little bit of a bleeding heart outlier in that I was like “f*** the client, I’ll just get a new one”, most recruiters, even the good ones know that to rise in the industry client happiness is key.
c) A headhunter more often than not knows only a brief snapshot of the company and the role. There are exceptions, but sometimes their information is pretty paltry. That means they will tell you what you want to hear. They are not lying to you (they usually will tell you things they think to be true but aren’t actually sure), but they just want you to stop asking so many damn questions and talk to the company and figure it out.
d) A headhunter will often overstate their relationship with the client. Sometimes they have little to no relationship or want to use your candidacy to break into a client. Occasionally this can mean your chances are just as good or better to just apply on your own.
e) It’s hard to tell bad ones from good, and bad ones can be quite shady.

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You’ll notice that the pros outweigh the cons, and that I didn’t list the fee as a con. This is because in the recruitment world, the placement fee is generally not a factor. It’s not like the VP of HR actually signs a check from their bank account. Maybe 5% of the time the fee can be the reason that you don’t get the job vs. another candidate, but it’s a net neutral because I would say that 5% of the time you are getting the job BECAUSE there is a fee associated. It makes you seem sexier as a candidate. It’s the same phenomenon that causes people to buy $800 purses and $80,000 cars that are always in the shop. Also, a company that is willing to pay a fee for their candidates is also a company that is willing to invest to get talented people in the doors of their company. This is a sign of a good company.
Ultimately, headhunters are just like everyone else in that they want to make a living and are generally good people, all things considered. To mitigate the “cons”, you just need to interact with them the right way.

Some Agency specific tips
a) Apply to jobs first (jobs posted recently or ones that are a dead-on fit)
b) Don’t talk to an agency until you have relatively specific parameters for what you are looking for in a job (level, salary, culture). Once you have those parameters, be honest.
c) Feel free to say no to jobs they present to you. If you say no, and they want to stop working with you because you’re selective, you’ve done yourself a favor and eliminated a bad one.
d) Work with 2 agency recruiters total. With two you should get a pretty good market share of the agency-accessible jobs without a ton of overlap. If you work with 3 or more, you’re guaranteed to work with a shady one, forced to be shady to try to beat the others to the punch on the same jobs. 1 is too few and 3 is too many. Pick 2.
e) Don’t work with people who’ve been in the business for less than a year. This is rough advice to dole out, because of the fact that I was once one of those people and I feel for the rookies, but they don’t know what they’re doing yet. I would work with someone (of the aforementioned two) in the 2-4 year range and one in the 5+ range. The younger heads are more motivated and care a little bit more about each role/candidate. The older heads are more connected but you’re just a number by that point usually.
f) If you’re looking to completely switch careers, don’t bother. You and the recruiter can’t do much for each other.
g) Don’t get double represented. And don’t have them represent you at a job you already applied for. You won’t get the job.
h) Confirm with the recruiter that your resume doesn’t go anywhere without your approval.
i) Stay responsive and pleasant. If they like you they will sell harder for you.
j) Let them take you to lunches. It’s free!

CORPORATE RECRUITERS

If you apply on your own (and often enough when you go through an agency) you will come into contact with a Corporate Recruiter. You’ve dealt with them before so I will give them a little less attention than the agency guys, but the main thing to understand is that they are essentially the gatekeeper. Your goal is to get past them. More often than not, a corporate recruiter has very little power except whether they make a recommendation to put you forward in the process or not. They have a little more power if you’re applying for a recruitment position, but respect what little power they have because if they don’t like you, they mark it down in their system, and you’re pretty much shut down for the company, sometimes forever. It’s their tiny bit of satisfaction after being the punching bag of their organization all day. Basically, tell them what they want to hear, and here are my pointers for dealing with them:

a) Say “Yes”. If they ask you if you’re willing to lift over 25 lbs., say yes. Work on occasional weekends, “sure”, under the right circumstances. Basically, don’t give them any reason to strike you from contention. Half the questions they ask you might not even relate to the job you’re applying for. Later on you can negotiate these points if they love you enough. Of course if it’s something you know you won’t do (like move to Nebraska) say no—saves you time. But if under the right circumstances, you could see it working…just say yes to the recruiter.
b) Be nice. Some recruiters are smart, some are not. Some have personalities, some don’t. No matter what your view of them is, they are a necessary step in the process. Treat them as such and be polite.
c) Don’t extend the time with the recruiter. Ask a question or two after you talk to him or her, but don’t be the one extending time. If they are closing the conversation out with you, you’ve either won or lost in your goal…don’t keep talking and turn a win into a loss.
d) Understand that negotiation begins with that first phone call. This means be prepared to talk about salary requirements if they ask. And basically the trick is to answer as vaguely as you can without lying. So don’t bring up salary yourself of course, but the recruiter is trying to see if you fit in the salary window. I think it’s best to say “Last year I made X, but I’m very flexible on salary, what’s your range for the role?” In that case you’re being cordial, not playing games, and you can get a sense of what the role will pay and try to ratchet it up in the end game. Of course, if you’re money motivated (not the recruiters favorite thing to hear btw) you might as well start with the least you’d need to realistically take a job. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

REJECTION
If you’re looking for a good job, you’re probably going to get the rejection e-mail a few times. Everybody reacts a little different. I get angry. My first go-to is that they must not like black people, and I imagine that this guy got the job instead…

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…I hate that guy.

I’m joking mostly, but sometimes I do actually believe this is the case, but that’s just the world. Just out of college I was actually snarky enough to respond back with “sucks for you guys…I would have rocked it”, and even crazier, sometimes angrier, things. This is obviously not the way to go, as I now realize that sometimes awesome people don’t get the job. You really ARE overqualified. You really would get bored or frustrated. The rejection e-mail (or call) is an opportunity to show how graceful you are. Or, in my case, how graceful you can pretend to be. Swallow your pride, and send them an e-mail thanking them for their time, and let them know that if another role opens up you’d love to hear about it.

Often enough, a second role does open up quickly and/or the white guy pictured above got a DUI coming back from a O.A.R. concert back in 2011 and 2nd place DOES become good enough. Allow the recruiter to make a non-awkward phone call when that does happen by inviting them to call you in the future.

Don’t ask for tips, or have them critique what you did wrong. They will either lie to you or make you feel sh*tty…neither of which helps the process.

NEGOTIATION AND OFFERS
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So you got the job.  Congrats, we’re all jealous for you… I mean happy for you.  I love watching my friends outdo me on facebook, buy cooler stuff and go on better vacations.  Congrats.

You placed number 1 and the company is preparing an offer. Here’s what to keep in mind:

a) The negotiation began a long time ago. Like I said, in that first call with the recruiter you put yourself into a range. If you said you wanted 40K, you’re not about to get six figures all of a sudden. Getting the offer you want is about little tweaks, not blindsiding them with a laundry list of demands. Ask for just a little bit more, and have a good reason for why you’ll need it.
b) You have a ton of leverage. If you’ve placed #1, that usually means that 4+ people have come to an agreement to like you and want you on the team. That is a hard thing to do. Restarting the recruitment cycle takes time and money. You’d be surprised at how much money it’s worth to bring you on board. The trick is to know that, without obviously being perceived as someone who’s abusing that. In order to do that you need to…
c) Look at yourself objectively and understand the market. Your offer will be based on market value, other candidates they interviewed, and “internal equity”. They can’t pay you more than your colleagues with more experience, and can’t pay you more than the amount of money you save/earn for the organization. Do research on the range and aim for the top of it rather than beyond it.
d) Try to avoid absolutes. The more concrete your speech in negotiation, the more leverage you give up. You want to remain excited and say thing like “that sounds good”, and “I think that would be enticing”, but you want them to think you’ll accept but not know for sure. If they know you’re excepting you probably just lost a couple grand off the salary. If salary is indeed what you’re negotiating around, my tip is to give them three numbers…a walkaway number (number below which they might as well not make an offer), a “sleep on it” number (a number you’d probably take), and a “pull the trigger” number you’d be able to accept on the spot (this number should be a little ridiculous but not outside the realm of possibility). I’ve also referred to this with a stoplight analogy.
e) Don’t expect more than 20%. That’s for both the offer and what you’re currently making. That dollar figure in the offer is not going up more than 20%, and even that’s an aggressive number. And unless you just got a degree or hard-to-get certification, you’re not getting more than 20% of what you were making. Has it happened? Sure, in the history of the world it has. But to me that’s huge red flag…why are they paying you so much? Your boss is probably an a**hole.
f) The best situation is if you’re not even negotiating money. Negotiating your salary up a 1K here or a 2K bonus bump there can often be more trouble than it’s worth. Broken down over 24-26 paychecks, then taxed and you’re talking about like 50 bucks a pay cycle. Negotiating stock options, PTO, work hours, start date, is the way to get the best value. Often times, this is also way easier for the HR team to get approvals on.
g) A verbal offer is just words. This is especially important if you’re waiting for your #1 offer to come through, but #2 or #3 is moving faster. A shrewd (and good) recruiter will try get you to take the verbal prior to the written, at least once. Some will even make you accept the verbal before they put an offer together. I’ve tried to shift away from this approach because it’s just a game, but even good recruiters will use this tactic (agency cats basically have to). If you want the job, provided that the #1 option doesn’t come through, then take it if your backed up against the wall. Why wouldn’t you? Your honor? C’mon get over yourself. You don’t want to burn a bridge if #1 comes through? Eh, you’ve probably made it too far in the process to avoid that anyway.
h) A written offer is just a piece of paper. This is the same as the bullet above. An offer letter is not the same as a contract, signing it is a matter of intent. I mean hell, there’s usually language on there so that the company can back out if need be. Keep that in mind. You usually have 48 hours at least to decide, but say your number one opportunity still hasn’t come through. It’s better to sign and later rescind then give the company some sign that they’re your #2 option. You’re more likely to burn a bridge by doing so, but bridges are overrated, and your professional reputation has way less value than you think it does.

Good luck, hopefully this helps. Now, it’s gonna be rough–that’s a promise.

But hang in there…quitting a sucky job feels pretty awesome too.

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HATER CATHARSIS

You ever notice how rap albums (and now pop culture) are so focused on haters, yet where are these haters? Well, here’s one. I admit it…at times I am kind of a hater. I sip haterade, eat hater tots, my favorite supreme Justice is Ruth Hater Ginsburg.

Gosh that feels good to admit.

I don’t really wish ill on people, but I get irked by the success of some people beyond their competency level…especially those whose images we are inundated with on a weekly or even daily basis. Below are some of those people who I’d rather see less of.

Macklemore
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I know what you think, and no, I’m not upset that the first platinum rapper from Seattle since Sir-Mix-A-Lot is white. I’m a little bothered by the haircut choice and the fact that he chooses to look like an extra from the party scene in American History X, but I’m a fan of Eminem, Asher Roth, Atmosphere (at times) and Will Smith. I’ll give him credit that the anti-semetic imagery of his EMP performance was an accident, and if so–his and my political views align. My problem is that his music is terrible in that innocuous way. He’s more like a Flo’Rida… a rapper that’s not a rapper. I love the idea of “Same Love” way more than I like the song. When the woman stops singing “she keeps me warm” and he starts talking, I start dying inside. Thrift Shop was cute, but should fall in the category of all the kitsch songs about suburban dads or Natalie Portman busting a rhyme. I actually know friends of friends of his, and they say he’s a nice guy. Can someone get the message to him to just put his pile of money in the bank, live off the interest and happily go away please.

Beyonce
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I was in love with Beyonce back in the “No No No” days with Wyclef and Destiny’s child. And she’s talented, such that she deserves much of her level of success. However, by my estimation no one needs to be quite at THIS level of exposure. The biggest problem is that she now does other things in front of microphones than sing. How many times can she say “I’m just a simple southern girl” in an interview? Make a drinking game of it and you’ll get drunk enough to think that Solange is the more attractive one. Do I have a strange latent gay jealousy that no woman is good enough for Jay-Z? I will not confirm or deny that…but I think the Beygency skit on SNL does a good enough job of describing the problem (below) so I’ll stop paying as much attention to her. Starting now.

.
Christine Quinn
dreamkiller
Christine Quinn was a New York City council woman and recently lost the mayoral race in New York in that sh*tstorm that included Carlos Danger. So she’s not really all that famous or in all our faces. But this is a woman whose demise I do root for. She knows what she did.

Dane Cook
about as funny as genocide
Dane cook is on the down-slide, but I fear a comeback. And this guy is about as funny as 12 Years a Slave was. He’s a hard worker and had perfectly crafted all the elements of comedy one needs to be a successful stand-up…except for the actual joke writing part. “You know that moment/thing/time when…” No Dane, I don’t know what moment you’re talking about. That moment that happened to you one time? Is that what you’re saying? yeah… girls can be silly. Get off the stage! booo.

This guy has reportedly done 8 hour marathon sessions of stand up. I can’t even imagine the horror. Sarah Macloughlan needs to do an infomercial about those audience members.

Jeff Dunham
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While we’re on the topic of comedians, do you know who made 19 million dollars in 2013? Jeff mo*********ng Dunham. It goes to show the old sentiment that you never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. One of my problems is that he’s considered family friendly. I guess racism is OK if it’s puppets? This guy’s act is way more offensive than anything I have ever seen Tracy Morgan do.

Hold up. I just remembered some of Tracy Morgan’s last show I went to and that’s not true, but you see where I’m coming from. My biggest issue is that he’s just not funny. If you disagree, please never tell me…because you will put our friendship in jeopardy.

Jennifer Lawrence
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I really like Jennifer Lawrence, especially on the big screen. She’s likely the next Jodie Foster or Meryl Streep. The thing about Jodie and Meryl is they keep it together. Now, her first Oscars she was totally a fish out of water and her discomfort with celebrity was charming and refreshing. But a year later she was doing the same bit and it was contagious. Did you notice how all the women started bumbling and acting like they forgot how to put a sentence together? Someone needs to temper this J Law movement…suddenly being triflin’ is chic. Girls are emulating Jennifer Lawrence, saying look, she’s elegant but a mess, taking away the need for girls in the 20s to try to operate with self-respect. If a video emerges of J Law cry-puking in a nightclub restroom, these same girls will have no impetus toward self-improvement. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t need to go away so much. I like her, but all these broads that worship her need to temper their idolatry.

In Defense of 2 Chainz

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I love 2 Chainz. And if you don’t like him, you’re wrong and you pretty much don’t know sh*t about sh*t. Go listen to Macklemore or Immortal Technique and give yourself a swirlie…nerd.

2 Chainz is better than you. And why? Let me count the ways.

1. He’s taller than you…6 foot 5 approximately. You ain’t that tall so sit down…Witcha broke ass.
2. He has more Chainz than you. At least 1 more, but probably 2
3. His hair is long, his money is long, and last I checked he had an aversion to associating with broke niggaz
4. He’s 37, which gives me hope that I can still break into the rap game post 30

And despite these indisputable facts some people still aren’t convinced. Below are some of the statements I’ve heard you mouthbreathers say when knocking Tityboi, as though he’s anything but the best rapper in the game right now.

“2 Chainz is Dumb”

Nope. You’re just not smart enough to get on his level. 2 chainz actually graduated 2nd in his high school class and graduated college with a 4.0…some reports state that he did so in 3 years. So yeah, maybe it was Alabama State rather than Yale, but Alabama State is the Yale of Alabama. What’s the Cornell of Alabama? Dale and Cletus’ Handfishing Academy.

And Alabama’s version of WSU?–it’s a barn where you drink 22s of schlitz for 7 hours per day while staring at a dog licking up a jar of mayonnaise that spilled. The acceptance rate is lower than actual WSU, strangely enough.

“OK, well his lyrics are dumb”

Here, you are closer to a point, but you still miss the mark. Again, you just don’t get it. His most oft criticized lyric, highlighted when he’s accused of being ignorant is: “She got a big booty, so I call her big booty”. If you don’t find this profound, 2 chainz is probably smashing your girl right now (2 Trainz?). Because you’re a lame. Upon close reading analysis, you can obviously tell that the word choice is evocative, the imagery robust, and the subtext runs deeper than 2 chainz himself into your girls guts. I would try to explain it all to you, but it would be like teaching Shakespeare to a drunk hamster.

No, instead I’ll put it like this:

I think of 2 Chainz as the William Carlos Williams of the Rap Game. Don’t know who that is? Unsurprising. He’s most famous for his poem The Red Wheelbarrow

The Red Wheelbarrow, by William Carlos Williams

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

Yeah, I bet you don’t get that poem either. Dub Cee Dubz is obviously talking about the crack game there. As an aside, Little known fact: the TS in TS eliot’s name stood for “Trap Star”. And tell me the following line isn’t far and away better than anything in the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

“Let me slow it down ‘fore I get a ticket
Nigga want a verse from me, it’s gon’ cost a chicken”

“He isn’t saying anything”

Well, I already responded to this somewhat, as 2 chainz stays TRU to the “show don’t tell” method of intellectual poetry, but I’ll drop down to your dumb ass level for a minute. I assume by this you mean, he’s not Tupac. Well yeah…first of all it’s time to stop jocking Tupac…but also–who has “said anything” in the last 15 years. I suppose you mean Talib Kweli. Well, where’s Talib now? Not wearing Givenchy (god bless you) and driving a lambo, I’ll tell you that. Even Common and Mos Def are spending their time in movies because their records aren’t selling. When I’m looking for political discourse I listen to NPR or read well researched articles. If you’re looking to Hip Hop to find enlightenment or explore academia…you’re shopping at the wrong store.

Also, ahem. Not saying anything?:

“Uh, all I do is me: masturbation, I can make your girl walk: graduation,
I’m known to make it rain; you do condensation”

I rest my case.

“His rhymes are sexist”

All I can say to that is stop being a silly ho. A follow up suggestion…look back at it.

So yes. I love 2 Chainz, and not ironically. You should too. If you don’t, then tell whoever is helping you sound out the big words in this blog post that they should be fired. And crank this shizzzzzz…

The Facebook Misogynist

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I went to a wedding recently and had a blast. However, for a moment while floating from conversation circle to conversation circle, I was accosted by a group of female college friends about a Facebook post that supposedly drew ire from many of my Seattle colleagues.

I didn’t really think people paid much mind to the nonsense I post as a status update. My recent posts include a couple recent musings like claiming I was very happy for Michael Sam breaking ground being drafted as the first openly gay player, lauded “the kiss”, but was incensed that he was in an interracial relationship. Or the following quote:

“I hate it when you pee all over the front of your pants and you look like the type of idiot that doesn’t know how to wash his hands without splashing.”

However with a post a few weeks ago, I guess I struck a chord.

I linked to the following article about the fact that Russell Wilson was divorcing.

http://www.komonews.com/sports/Seahawks-QB-Russell-Wilson-to-divorce-wife-Ashton-256434211.html

and word for word posted the following:

“We all wanted to think that Russell Wilson was THAT good of a guy that he wouldn’t trade up from the unattractive heart-of-gold woman he decided to wed before he got paid up. Alas, human nature wins again. As long as scoring doesn’t keep him from scoring…Get em Russ.”

For the post I was accused of an anti-feminist sentiment, and it was implied that I’m a misogynist.

With a goal of posting once a week, word from my wife that my ish is too long, and a lack of another topic to write about, I thought I would defend myself.

First…from start to finish, after learning of the news I probably spent about 30 seconds from brainstorm, rough draft, revision, and workshopping of the status update… Such that I didn’t really consider many of the gender politics that can unravel in a close reading of the post.

Secondly, my sentiment was more a brief (and knee-jerk) commentary on hero-worship and America’s celebrity culture. The football world, and especially Seattle, has created this unattainable ideal for Russell Wilson that the 25 year old man can never live up to. He’s a religious, almost christ-like leader who always says the right, humble and perfectly crafted things. In a league where the receiving yards leader can’t stay off drugs, Aaron Hernandez can’t quit murdering people and even good-guy Ray Rice isn’t immune from having to knock out his fiance from time to time–Russell Wilson is our savior to our outlook on humanity. He is evidence that virtue can be the causation of talent rather than two concepts (virtue v. talent) that are in no way even correlated.

This is how we get blindsided that Tiger woods was playing way more than 18 holes on a given weekend, or that even one ball is more than Lance Armstrong has displayed having throughout his life. Don’t even get me started on Pistorius, A-Rod and the rest. When we build these people up to be more than human, our collective cynicism spikes as we’re heartbroken rather than starting with a measured approach and admiring rather than idolizing.

Sooo…Wilson’s story of his divorce broke and I reacted to it. I realized that while I was (strangely) disappointed by the fact that his marriage was ending…I shouldn’t be. We all liked the fact that rather than Pacmanning it up at strip (I’m sorry Gentleman’s) clubs like we’ve come to expect in the NFL, he was in a committed (and christian or whatever) relationship. Through conjecture, timing of his divorce (right after becoming one of the NFL’s most recognizable figures and right before becoming a multi-millionaire) seemed opportunistic for financial and oat-sewing reasons. At the very least, backing out of a pledge to a woman he made before god runs counter to the messianic narrative we’ve created for him as a christian.

That being said…I’m writing this because I feel that the criticism against me has some credence to it. I don’t know the Wilsons. I think when Russell Wilson meets me he and I will pretty much immediately be best friends (we’ll probably hang out a bunch, riding tandem bicycles together while Rich Homie Quan’s “My Niggas” becomes OUR song. We might even break out in tickle-fights and people will look on and think its weird but we won’t care because WE get it…you know), but that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t really know their life. As such, the idea that this “champion man” would toss aside his woman because he doesn’t have a prenup and now wants to philander may be inaccurate. It’s also a visualization reflective of a male-dominated hegemony where women are trophies rather than valued members of a relationship. I also called her unattractive, as though that’s the first virtue she possesses.

And my defense is…

I calls it like I sees it.

Ashton Wilson may have decided she was done with the spotlight as it was too much pressure and didn’t receive the attention and intimacy she needed from a marriage. Or, as complicated as marriage is, they may have simply drifted apart. Or hey, maybe she’s a terrible person and hanging out with all those cancer kids is some cynical front she puts up.

But based on everything I know about the world, I think Russ called an audible, temptation was too much, and half of 500K is way less than half of 20 mil. Ladies can be mad all they want about it, but that’s the way it works some times.

Because here’s the thing…

I consider myself as feminist as a red-blooded man who doesn’t smoke weed can be. If I list all the people in my life that I truly draw inspiration from and rely on…the short list is all women. When I vote, I’m straight down the line on the women’s side when it comes to birth control, pay, laws, and representation. But I also think that feminism does no good when its constructs can’t exist in a world that’s 49% men. And that’s why I’m not particularly sensitive to gender-politics when they conflict with how I understand the world. Perhaps I should be, but I’m not.

Calling Ashton unattractive. I’ll take a strike on that as a chauvinist but not a misogynist. Since she’s skinny and blonde the comment is somewhat a reaction to the anglo-constructs of beauty that oppress most of us, but she can’t control what she looks like so it’s a cheap shot. I apologize. Doesn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t hit (it’s a joke, relax).

So yup. I think that Wilson dumped his girl (which he may regret at the end of his life when the glory fades) so that he can start knocking down some poon in the off seasons to come, and in several years will re-marry a tanner and bustier woman who could give a sh** about sick kids.

Time will tell. In the meantime, while its always nice to see a guy resist temptation and honor his marriage, he hasn’t done anything that makes me dislike his ice cold quarterbacking skills. So go Seahawks… 2 in a row baby. Let’s get it.

dumb
Meanwhile outside the russel wilson residence.

The Dozen Best Chick Flicks

Other woman

In honor of The Other Woman and NPR’s schellacking of it… read here. I thought I would take some time to take a look at the best “chick flicks” of all time. But prior to the list let’s examine “Chick Flick” as a term:

-First, I understand that the term “chick flick” originates from a male-dominated hegemony, such that it’s a dismissive way of describing movies that females like. However, I use it here understanding its roots, re-branding it as a genre for lack of a better and more simplistic term. So, no disrespect from this guy in using the term. I’ve got too high of a regard for femininity to be that degrading to the movies that b****es like.

-Secondly, let’s define it. For purposes of this I will define it as a movie either made by women, with a female dominated cast, or one made for a majority female audience (either by design or accident). Thus a movie like Magic Mike would be a chick flick, but a movie like Tomb Raider would not, despite each having elements which could place it either inside or outside the genre.

Also before I start the list, I want to give my opinion of the genre…not a fan. In fact, I’m really not a fan of movies that can be boiled down to a formula in general. I want to draw a distinction, though, that I don’t hate these movies because I’m a man or because I don’t like women. In fact, because I like women I hate seeing what these terrible movies are doing to the minds of young women. I think Don Jon explores this concept well, but they are perhaps the most destructive force to meaningful human relationships known to man. To me, these movies insult women, pandering to them and insulting their intelligence. Check out my top 10 over/underhyped movies here, I’m no hypocrite as I hold testosterone-fests to the same standard.

Usually in “chick flicks”, the main character is a vapid woman espousing no principles who falls down, because geez, high-heels are tough…and oh my gosh—that’s spinach in her teeth BUT SHE’S TALKING TO A GUY. Isn’t she cute? Sometimes (but usually not) this woman has beat all odds and become a power attorney or doctor, with a skill set and strength of character never displayed on film. But she’s always missing that one thing…a guy. She’s white or black, but never any other races. She’s pretty but not too pretty, big boobs categorically mean she’s not virtuous. Then eventually, without any effort on her part she usually attracts two PERFECT MEN who are handsome, successful, and willing to put up with ALL of her bulls*** no matter how ridiculous. They fight over her and she picks the one who truly loves her essence the most…I guess because he has an Oedipus complex and his mom fell down a lot and had spinach in her teeth.

The message these movies send to girls made me spend my teens and early twenties wishing I was gay so I had a loophole out of dealing with the ramifications. As a woman, your beauty and not your character was your only true asset, and the responsibility of a happy relationship fell upon one of two men fighting over you like a prize. I’m sure women have the equal and opposite frustrations of men who grew up in the era of easy access to porn who thought that showing up with a pizza with “extra sausage” and a half-smirk should be all the charm it takes to round the bases. Were you ever invited to someone’s dorm room to “check out their fish tank”…without even the thinly veiled promise of a massage? That’s porn’s fault.

But still, I do think the format has some diamonds in the rough. So the list…


12. Frozen – This movie is pretty hyped up so the hipster side of me shudders at putting a movie this popular on any list. But this movie is good. And yes, while it can fit into other genres (animation, children’s) it’s certainly a chick flick–it contains not one but two princesses and a show tune soundtrack. I like this movie because while the main character technically has two love interests, neither is the perfect man, and ultimately the story-line is about sisterly love rather than sacrificing everything you are to snag that man. If you’re mad about that spoiler…shut up. You’ve had plenty of chances to watch the movie. Really my only qualm is that Disney reverted to the giant eyed, dainty-framed, female form with weird (and subconsciously harmful to girls) ratios. It’s basically like someone said to the cartoonist: “Hey, bro…can you draw me a sexy infant.”


11. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Now this one is certainly a Chick Flick. And I bet you’re surprised it made the cut. Well, I ultimately thought it was pretty good. Not at first, though, because it followed the formula: sad, hapless girl, with few redeeming qualities, yadda yadda yadda. But ultimately, that’s kind of the point of the movie. It’s not about some amazing man that needs to change somehow in order to suit a woman’s mediocrity, but a woman who needs to grow up and has to be accountable for her own love life. I also like that the boring guy ends up being the winner. Because you’ve had the conversation with a sobbing lady-friend: “why can’t I find a good man?” Then she ends up dating someone in MY circle of friends…again (huge mistake). While there’s plenty of good men out there—some of them happen to be boring.


10. Bridesmaids – This movie was hilarious. I’ve heard some people call it a “chick flick with boy humor”, but I think it’s just a genuinely funny chick flick and don’t see what HAS to be boy-humor in order for it to be funny. Girls have sex and get diarrhea too, and both are hilarious. Like Bridget Jones, Kristen Wiig starts off a mess and again, the onus is on her to improve herself as a person and friend, not be saved by some man. It features Melissa McCarthy at her best along with great performances from the entire cast in a movie that works well.

facial mcadams
9. The Notebook – I felt like I HAD to throw this one on here, because it’s a well-made movie for the genre. It’s the type of movie many of the crappy ones are trying to be. The acting and writing are solid enough for this old-timey love story. But I refuse to put it higher than 9…because while it’s a love story told well, there’s really nothing here that hasn’t been done in another movie somewhere along the way. Maybe the actor wasn’t as handsome as Ryan Gosling, but you’ve seen it before: poor-guy-courts classy-girl-really-hard…she resists and they eventually have a timeless love—not groundbreaking. Additionally, this is one of those movies that poisons men’s minds as much as women’s. First, there’s the fantasy of Ryan Gossling chasing you until you relent. Let’s take the scene with the Ferris wheel where he hangs off of it with one hand until she goes on a date with him. If someone does that to a woman, and she agrees, she WILL spend the rest of her life with that man…it will just be a very short life that ends in the trunk of a rental car. So ladies…let’s imagine that instead of Ryan Gossling, he was replaced by the last guy that hit on you (maybe on a bus, train, work, wherever), yeah…replay the scenes. Not so cute, huh? But there’s a contingency of men who watch this movie, and say…all I have to do is try harder. This is the concept that births creepy guys that don’t “get the hint”. Yup, it’s mostly The Notebook’s fault. Other than that it’s a good movie and a chick flick classic.

(Side note: I accidentally clicked a movie online starring Facial McAdams called The Scrotebook…That is a different movie and I don’t recommend that one)


8. Mean Girls – In retrospect, The feat of keeping Lindsey Lohan sober enough to film this should go down as one of the finest cinematic feats in history. But that aside Mean Girls was excellent, and I think ushered in a few of the other comedies on this list. It’s a high school girlie movie, which didn’t let the genre dictate an inability to include some solid bits that work. Tina Fey has consistently put out some of the funniest material over the last decade or so, gender-irrelevant, and this movie marked her foray to the silver screen. Now Admission sucked, and Date Night was just average…but she didn’t write those, so I liken it to Kanye rapping over a beat he didn’t make.


7. The Best Man – If you think I dislike Chick Flicks as a genre, lawd, don’t get me started on Black Chick flicks. Now I will throw out a nod to Love Jones, Love & Basketball, and a few others. I’ll even throw some love to Just Wright, although Common (one of my favs lyrically) has all of the emotional range of a CPR practice dummy. But I think The Best Man takes the cake as one with a good blend of jokes and story, and Taye Diggs’ subtler style kept the rest of the cast from doing that Black overacting sh*t we always seem to do in movies.

6.The Descent – Yup, this one for sure counts. There are virtually no men in the film unless you count the creatures, and the #1 demographic of horror movies is females under 35 years old. Plus the working title of the movie was “chicks with picks”…I didn’t make this up. It also has female leaning themes like the Romance between monster-teeth and lady-flesh. Hopefully I don’t ruin the ending by telling you they come together in the end. Overall, this is a movie with a simple story, sprinkled with some backstory, and told well without many frills or gimmicks. After watching this movie I also determined that anthropomorphic monsters are the scariest.

5. Romeo and Juliet – You knew a Leo movie had to make the list, but you probably expected that one where the boat sank. But all I need to discredit that movie is this image , plus Romeo & Juliet is way better. First, let me tell you, if you’re teaching Shakespeare in the South Bronx (like me circa 2007)…throwing this movie on is a decent reprieve after struggling through that play for 4 weeks understanding why some people throw themselves in front of the 6 train. This was also Baz Luhrman’s coming out party, and while Moulin Rouge was perhaps a little more polished a movie, this one was ambitious and worked for Shakespeare lovers and 8th graders alike.


4. Notting Hill – “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy”…yeah I quoted it. That’s a tender motherf***ing moment…I’m a man, but I feel. This one features Hugh Grant at his best, and even though he likes to pick up black hookers no matter how hot his wife is–you got to give the limey dude credit…he is charming as hell. Julia Roberts puts up her usual solid showing and the crazy roommate adds hilarity while Julia and Hugh keep it up with the wit. That’s an entertaining movie, formulaic or not. Plus, I like again that Julia Roberts has to take some agency in her actions as a participant in the relationship. She’s the one that has to woo him after doing him so dirty. I keep pointing this out not to say that men aren’t flawed and often responsible for issues in a relationship, but it’s nice to mix it up. Plus when a man messes up real early in the relationship such that he has to apologize to get you back…he’s going to keep making that same mistake for the rest of the relationship. When a woman f***ks up an apologizes there’s actually some chance that behavior stops.

3. Set It Off – F**k you, I’m counting it. It’s a very flawed movie, don’t get me wrong, but this is Queen Latifah way before Chicago and other movies made her a genuine box office draw. And back then, we saw that the woman could act. This movie was refreshing and did a good job not letting the gimmick take over what it was trying to do as a story. The movie ranks this high on the list partially due to nostalgia. It takes me back to a day when it wasn’t a lock that Will Smith would be such a bigger star than Jada. Also, it was a time when you a black woman might realistically think there’d be more money in robbing a bank than leaking audio of a billionaire being racist on TMZ.

2. Pitch Perfect – This is a chick flick I’ve seen a handful of times now and was pleasantly surprised when I chose to watch it. It’s a group of women, competing in an A Capella contest with a mixture of story line and pop music performance. From that description it should have been about as entertaining to me as watching paint dry, but no…thoroughly funny and I got into the corny singing and dancing a bit too. Now Anna Kendrick’s love interest does put up with a lot of BS, but he sings A Capella so it’s kind of believable that he’d find himself whipped up like that. Plus the movie is more about the girls coming together. And again, just because the girl projectile vomits, doesn’t mean one should dismiss the funniness as “boy humor”

1. The Graduate – This is one of the greatest movies of all time, and ultimately it’s a romance comedy. This being said, more than any film on this list, I’d accept and probably resign that it’s not a “chick flick”, as it predates the genre. Still, when I think of romantic comedies this will always be my favorite. It’s the typical story, boy meets girl, girl is actually 20 years older than him and married to one of his dads friends. I first watched this in high school and thought…you know what…that makes me look at how I’ve been having affairs with my dad’s friends’ wives in a completely new light. Maybe I should rethink this. Without this movie I might not be such a happily married man. Real talk. Because the moral of the story is if you’re thinking of having a torrid affair with a family friend’s wife whose 20 years older than you…don’t. Well, if you watch the whole movie it’s not really “don’t” it’s more that you shouldn’t expect everything to go smoothly. And that’s a depiction of genuine love.

In conclusion, that is my blog about Chick Flicks.

The Cannibal King Strategy

me

I think it’s good to have a plan for the apocalypse… a general strategy, if you will, for how you want to play things out in a world post-civilization.  Perhaps it’ll be a nuclear explosion that wipes out most of humanity, a pandemic that destroys the humans that run our infrastructure, or a good old fashioned Rapture that takes the holiest and leaves the rest of us. In narratives like “The Road”, “Book of Eli”, “Mad Max” (and the like) there’s usually a small group of righteous individuals journeying through a landscape of cannibalistic squadrons of darkly-clad degenerates organized by a malevolent ruler.  There’s variations, but let’s take Book of Eli as a prime example:

gary oldman

Gary Oldman (Carnegie) rules over a barren landscape with henchmen, a concubine, and  access to the choicest water and food.  As we come into the story he’s ruled for decades.  Meanwhile, Denzel travels the wasteland solo, carrying a book which seems like an allegory for the bible–until the dumb ass ending shows us it’s actually the friggin’ bible (as I’ve said before, there’s a statute of limitations on spoiler alerts).  Of course, we root for Denzel as he gets all badass on Gary Oldman’s crew.   But slicing people’s hands off aside, to me, Denzel is on some sucker sh*t.  He spends most of his life lonely as hell, eating cats and rodents, and yeah…he gets to hang out with Mila Kunis, but never hooks up (friend zone, anyone?).

suckerfool

Nah, in the apocalypse I want to be Gary Oldman.

Granted, Denzel defeats him at the end of the movie, but they both die.  And remember–Gary ruled for decades, so I ask you this…who had the happier life?  And really, if Gary wasn’t so obsessed with the book, he might have been able to keep living the high life–by post apocalyptic standards of course.  So, my plan for Dystopia includes a strategy for how to ball as hard as I can.

ball in the apocalypse

And that starts with planning.  You’ve got to think like a corporation and visualize.

First, there’s bound to be a period of time when people are shell-shocked after “the event” (the flash, the quickening, doomsday, whatever name it gets) and humanity (or at least what’s left of it) decides to unite toward a goal of peace and harmony.  There will be a couple years of food storage when people will share resources and try to find ways to sustain life from a basis of mutual respect and love.  This will be the time period when I begin acclimating my palate to human flesh, starting with the recently deceased.  You know… trying different recipes, figuring out the best cut…do I grill a human ankle, or should I fry?  Obviously, cooking for a long time on slow heat would be my assumption for the best taste, but I’ll be doing this secretly, so I might not have the luxury.

In the meantime, while everyone is talking about banding together and perhaps finding a way to be righteous so that they can be part of the rapture, I will be recruiting.  Some form of loose organization structure will emerge, and probably incorporate religious philosophies…and that’ll be just perfect.  I will join immediately and rise through the ranks, all the while snacking on my fellow man.  The other reason for the eating of people, is that it will leave me with an abundance of food, which I will hide for safe storage.  I will intermittently share my extras as though I’m going hungry, and grow in affection within my organization as a selfless and holy man, again helping the recruiting process for my cannibal cult.

hordes

Then of course, food will become scarce.  Humans will start eating rodents, and bugs, and finally sandwiches from Subway (eat fresh my ass).  And that’s when me and a solid crew start eating mother*****rs.  By my estimation, being the cannibal king is really about being the first to abandon your humanity (holding out is just delaying the inevitable), having a solid initial crew of easily manipulated minions, and chomping down on people while there’s still other food.

my niggaz

First we will start eating people that look delicious and are annoying…Kim Kardashian comes to mind, Rush Limbaugh looks delectable.  I really think my minions will get behind this.  But after they’ve all adjusted to cannibalism, I think we’ll just indiscriminately eat the slowest and the least useful.  From that, the system will be a “join-us-or-get-eaten” policy and the growth of my empire should just roll downhill after the intial upstart.  I should be able to pass off most of the management duties to a new CEO and remain chairman of the operation, and just chill for the most part…

me2

Until some self-righteous killjoy, gets all pious & moralistic on me, because I ate his dad or some other nonsense he should just let go.  

party foul bro

He will obviously exact vengeance (god says to forgive but he’s a hypocrite), and I’ll hang my hat, die dramatically and call it a good run. If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to get in on the ground floor of my Cannibal Army. You won’t be king, but you can be high ranking. Just holla at your boy.