Archive for June, 2012

Advice From the Competition

If you have been following the blog you will know that I am a very whimsically unemployed college graduate.  I think I represent a unique generation in America because it seems like the first time in our history where a college degree doesn’t = cash money.  It sucks, to be sure but if I know one thing it is how to lose well.  Losing is something everyone does, we lose at loose slots, we lose when we pay social security, we even lose an hour every year at daylight savings.  People tell me I get it back in six months but I don’t see any interest, I don’t see compensation for the week I pay dearly in the AM.

This model alarm clock is wifi connected to an atomic clock and has no snooze button.

The point is the numbers are against job hunters right now.  Its like that part in the The Hunger Games where the grandma with the midlife crisis is drawing names for the special kid sleepover, but instead of a grandma with a laughable wig its a business professional with a suit worth more than yours, and instead of a sleepover with swords and ninja gear its the job that will dictate how you can afford to live your life for the next few years.  No sweat.  Just take a couple shots before the interview and pop in some gum before you go in to show that you are totally cool and everything should be fine.  Oh wait, that’s for dates…

Truth is I couldn’t tell you how best to prepare for an interview or how best to set up your resume.  You have to do that yourself, and if you haven’t heard already there is no shortage of people who think they know best on this topic.  Seriously relatives, friends, people I just met, back up for a second.  When I tell you I’m looking for a job it means I’m asking you for contacts not that I wan’t your advice, its all just white noise at this point.

Rather, you should learn how to bounce back from the mistakes you made, don’t take your loss too seriously but do learn your mistakes.  In the end the ones who want the jobs more than the rest will get them.  Its a simple truth.   Indomitable, that’s what you must be.  As unyielding as a mountain, because the backbone of everything you are is reliant on your willpower to do so.

Enjoy!

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Japanese Death Poems

Poetry is a fascinating thing.  Like most things we do not understand we are quick to dismiss it after our first encounter should it be a bad one we also tend to shun what we do not understand.  Poetry is much like the literary victim of prejudice in this regard.  I will admit, for the longest time I did not care for poetry there is too much that is far to abstract for my sheep like brain.  Dada poetry, to me, sounds like the language my Sims would wail hopelessly out of their cruelly shaped mouth before I would use the last of their hard earned simoleons to slot into place the last wall of their starkly lit tomb where I would then toy with their electronic lives like ants with a magnifying glass.

Every time I am made to sit through a Dada poem a Sim dies.

Haiku’s on the other hand are brief, artful and  poetic in the purest sense, at least to me.  A simple metaphor is all you need to make a scene come to life.

Sunset Seduces; each step brings me no closer the horizon flees.
-Unknown (to me)

In the death poem in particular, the essential idea was that at one’s final moment of life, one’s reflection on death could be especially lucid and meaningful and therefore also constituted an important observation about life. A very fitting setting for a Haiku in my opinion. The poems are often full of symbols of death, such as the full moon, the western sky, and images of the season in which the writer died.  With that in mind try out these few poems and feel free to add your thoughts to the comment section below.

Pampas grass, now dry,
once bent this way
and that.

– Shoro

The snow of yesterday             
that fell like cherry pedals        
is water once again.

-Gozan

Earth and metal…            
although my breathing ceases              
time and tide go on.

-Atsujin

Now you have been exposed to two very different kinds of poetry and I hope that at the very least it has helped you to keep your mind open about new and old forms of art alike.  Or take this lesson and apply it to all things, people are works of art too and just because you met one (insert race/religion/lifestyle) doesn’t mean the rest are the same as the first.  Keep your mind open and keep calm, everything will be alright!

Rammstein Jacket

I may have only been alive in the 80s for one month, but even I knew that to be cool in the 80s meant to listen to Joy Division.   I’m the proud owner of an Unknown Pleasures t-shirt and I made my girlfriend sit through the depiction of Ian Curtis’s self loathing in Control.  I remember one scene from Control showing an angsty Ian Curtis leaving his pad to apply for a job.  “No Love Lost” ramps up while Ian stops to light up a cigarette as his eyes adjust to the light.   We see him walking towards the camera with contempt written on his face, he is nicely dressed in a shirt and tie under his black jacket.  As he turns a corner the camera slips behind him and shows that on his jacket he has painted “HATE” in deliberate capitals.

The rage of a punk rocker all grown up in a suit and tie, or, post-punk.

Well it just so happens that I got myself a ticket to see Rammstein.  Say what you want, but they a notorious for putting on a show that promises lots of pyrotechnics, thus I find myself putting together something to wear for the show so I don’t look like a frat bro in comparison out there.

I heard that half of succeeding is showing up,  I’ve also heard someone say that half is succeeding is looking the part, so I’ve come to the conclusion that all I need is a suit and a rocket and I can still be an astronaut even if  the manned space program got the plug pulled.

So here I go, much to the detest of female members in my family, I set to work on my black jacket. Stenciling out the letters with scotch tape then filling them in with whiteout.  I chose whiteout for two reasons.  First, so that I could get two tones out of the color, a half saturated white and a full white, the result was…well…pretty metal.

Secondly, and this might be the big take away, whiteout comes out of clothes with an alcohol based cleaning product like acetone (disclaimer, acetone will melt nylon so make sure there is none in the clothes you try this on).  I won’t say it was easy, it wasn’t, but the alternative is permanent so take your pick.  I doused the white out in WD40 to loosen up the white out then scrubbed it with a rag wet with acetone to remove it.  You should see it lift some of the white right off.  After a run through the washing machine my heart sank, instead of having a jacket with white letters across the back I had a jacket with a white cloud between the shoulders.  On the other hand, there was noticeable less white out on the jacket and the washing machine had a significant effect on it.  After another go with the the WD40 and acetone things were starting to look good.  By the third time through my jacket was back to normal and all it cost me was a few bucks in cleaning supplies and the sneaking feeling of cancer seeping in through the cut in my finger from repeated exposure to that nasty acetone stuff,  ‘Clean things and die young’ I always say.

My jacket after two WD40 washes.

Finally my jacket was clean like that spot behind my ears that I always remember to clean.  Bad analogy I know. I’ll work on it.  Maybe you have a better one?

Money

Yeah, I finally watched Into the Wild, and though I haven’t read the book and I think I might want to.  On second thought, maybe I won’t.  This is a great coming of age story about a kid who is fed up with society, or was it his parents?  Wasn’t he complaining about love too?  Okay it’s a movie about a bit of a cry baby who ran away from everything he knew in hopes of reaching some nirvana like realization.  My apologies should this reach any of the McCandless or any other friends and family of Christopher McCandless.  Truth is I see a lot of myself in Chris, but in fear of letting this post turn into a review I will stop here and get on with it.

In the movie, (I can’t speak on the actual memoir as I have not read it) he obviously displays a distaste for money and all things materialistic. I suppose its fits my demographic as a broke post-grad, but I can see how he felt that way.  It is sometimes peaceful to think of a time when we didn’t have savings accounts and stocks to watch while the nation reaches some insurmountable fiscal cliff looming over our existence as a reminder of how irresponsible we are with money.  Almost is if the cliff is taunting us saying “if your country cant manage its money what hopes do you have of ever doing so.”  Think of a time when the folds of your mattress was your bank bank account and anyone could tell you that the going price for a milk cow was just two chickens and five bales of hay, at least, as long as if you throw in your daughters hand in marriage to seal the deal.

The truth of the discussion where we say that people in simpler times had less to worry about, is that we are in fact being spoiled little pricks.  Sure they didn’t have quite as many appointments to keep track of as us but they were busy worrying about real problems like: getting enough wood to not freeze next winter, being robbed by bandits, or dying from this plague or that.  Besides, since money has been around since 2000BC is pretty much a good thing, you know things like, the wheel, and the alphabet and pet dogs.

Originally, money was a form of receipt, representing a store of food the community might share. This could be anything really; sea shells, bones, or pieces of jewelry.  The problem with this is that your currency loses all value outside of your sphere of influence.  It would be like trying to buy groceries with that holographic Charizard you saved from your Pokemon cards.  To a collector it is worth something but not to anyone outside the collector sphere.  Eventually people started digging up shiny rocks and trading them instead of those other fads like ivory beads, or Pokemon cards.

This led to coinage, where gold, silver, and copper were melted down and stamped for assurance of value.  There lies two problems with this.  First is that counter-fitting was easy as mixing gold with any old substance   Take some gold, mix it with bronze, lift the stamp, and make your own coin and -profit.  Second is that it relied on the three metals keeping the relative same price.   These days, precious metals change like Colorado weather, take a look http://www.goldprice.org/

In response, paper money was introduced and soon you have fait money, which is what most modern countries deal with today.  Fait money is currency given value by the government who issues it.  Which is why paper money from WWII was stamped “HAWAII” so that if Japan took the islands from us we could void all the currency in Hawaii.  Think of it as insurance in case the Emperor tried to buy our supplies from us with our own money.

You have to think of Money like the tool that it is.  One to keep track of worth and to unify people by giving them something everyone want to trade with, not just Pokemon cards.  True it can be hard to scrounge up at times.  Yet like the apple seed, if you invest in it and give it the right attention you can profit from it as well.

Don’t B Negative

Just got back from donating blood today.  Here is where I would normally post pictures of my shenanigans but alas, I am still in the process of obtaining a quality camera. But I digress, giving blood is easy and something everyone should do for karma’s sake.  For example, I learned that I am B-.  Less than 2% of the world is B-.  So if something happens and I need blood, I am pretty screwed if it weren’t for blood banks like Bonfils.  Also, there is a way to peacefully coexist with vampire we just need to stop fighting and start donating, we could work out a deal like if vampires turn into bats and use their sonar to find termites and other pests we can feed them blood.   We could even drive stakes into them humanly when the lust for immortality gives way to depression.

On the eastern front of Colorado we have Bonfils
http://www.bonfils.org/index.cfm/donate-blood/

But these blood banks exist all over and, ladies, its a perfect place to meet guys.  I’m serious, if hes donating blood he is A into women and B charitable that’s two pros before you’ve even met him.  If you don’t meet Mr. right the first time don’t lose heart, in 8 weeks you can come back and do it again!

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