Come on Big Spender, Spend a Dime on ME…

(if you don’t like it, just remember that in some realm, dimension or time, YOU are wrong…)

Since today is both Cinco de Mayo (or Mexican St. Patrick’s Day for those of you who live in the Midwest) AND The Kentucky Derby (Tequila mint-juleps, anyone?), added to which it’s a beautiful beach day, I thought I’d talk politics today!

Yesterday’s U.S. jobs report was fodder for the every present (and soon to be MORE ever present) Presidential campaign as it wasn’t as good as expected and now has people (mainly Fox News and CNN – hereafter to be referred as The Empire and dumbass-Ewok tribe) wondering if the economy has enough steam to keep employing enough people to lower the unemployment rate. It has also made people (mainly a well-coifed gymnast [aka flip-flopper] named Mitt Romney) question the president’s economic policies. Among those policies are cutting government spending creating a “free economy” and cutting taxes to give the wealthy (somehow called “job creators”) more money with which to spend.

(Listen, if I was a “wealthy” person, and someone told me they were going to lower my taxes so I’d “spend more,” I’d just use that money to fund a trip to ANOTHER country where I could put my money. And I’d be willing to be that I am not alone in that sentiment.)

Now, the idea of a “free economy” – one that is based on capitalistic principles – hasn’t existed since people traded chickens for goats. Since governments became all the rage about the time that Homo Sapiens built houses in which to live, they have steered their economies toward that which was best for the government. And in this era of government officials who are given large “campaign contributions” by lobbyists, you can begin to see where the disconnect from the people grows…

So, since governments are inextricably linked to economies, shouldn’t it be NECESSARY for governments to provide a nudge in the right direction?

Let me cite the urban legend of the NASA space pen and the Russian pencil. As the legend goes, NASA spent $100’s of million dollars to develop a pen that would write in zero-G environments, including space. At the same time, the Russian space agency used pencils in space.

Well, that’s all well and good, but whose economy benefited from hiring engineers, test “pen-ners,” engineering building, buying supplies and raw materials, purchasing lunches in order to get napkins to write ideas down on, etc.? And the list goes on. As the U.S.S.R. toiled in a land of one-ply toilet paper, our economy flourished and we had 2-PLY paper! As they continued to use space capsules to orbit the Earth, we put men on the moon (while in the Arizona desert sound stages), and build space shuttles for museums!

My point for today is that government spending is the biggest booster to bringing an economy back from the ledge. It’s like buying pizza and beer for the your buddy, sitting out on the ledge of his high-rise, wondering whether or  not to jump.

Do you really want to be stingy at a time like that, America?


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“Avengers Assemble” with 300 of my closest friends

(Forgive me, the movie got out at 3:25 a.m. and the adrenaline of the best movie I’ve seen in the last few years COMBINED with two cups of strong ass coffee has me all jittery!)

This isn’t a review on Marvel’s “The Avengers.” The movie is pretty f*cking great. So great, that I may have to see it again IN. THE. THEATER. And that’s my point for today.

I love movies. I love movies in the theater even more. Normally, I see movies in the theater in the middle of the afternoon. It’s partly due to the fact I have no job and therefore can see them when I need a break, and partly because none of my friends like to see movies in theaters anymore. More’s the pity. Most of my friends give me the shoulder roll, and say, “I’ll watch it when it comes out on NetFlix.”

Such a disgrace. I need better movie-going friends, I think. If you would have rather waited to see “Star Wars” when it came out on VHS then you’re dead to me. (note: “A New Hope,” as it is now called will ALWAYS be “Star Wars.” If you want to tell me that “Star Wars” is six movies composed of two trilogies, you can fuck right off and punch yourself in the face, please. Don’t mess with my “Star Wars.”)

As I stood in the long, slow line for popcorn and soda, rubbing shoulders with the comic book geeks, computer nerds, 30 year-old virgins and Mountain Dew swilling, Cheeto’s t-shirt stained crowd (surprisingly with quite a few attractive couples, oddly) and my two movie going friends, I was reminded WHY I love going to the theater. It’s the collective buzz and anticipation as well as the rewarding experience of being alone together, removed from all space and time, with no distractions, discovering something new and witnessing a great event.

Unless, you’re going to see a Reese Witherspoon or other romantic comedy – the ONLY type of movie you should see at home.

The theater is the last bastion of purely large scale, shared, artistic experience left on the planet where you are removed from all external distraction. You can see people texting on their iPhone at a concert. Or taking pictures with their Droid. People talk all the time on their cellphones at sporting events. (he’s the d-bag talking on the phone when the camera shows the players on the bench). But if you see someone in a theater pull this shit, you are not only allowed, but encouraged to yell at, and at times threaten them, with the crowd’s approval.

I don’t advocate seeing EVERY movie in a theatrical setting. (I’m looking at you Nicolas Sparks films…) But, some movies are made for viewing on a 30′ screen, with your movie stars bigger than life, special F/X blazing across the screen and the sound shaking you in your seat, feeling the same emotions that the crowd does.

Even with those people around you laughing (as they did A LOT last night) or making the occasional comment (as the 72 year-old African American woman next to me at a screening of “The Cabin in the Woods” said, “Oh, honey, DO NOT go in there!”), it is a far better experience to be separated in a world with 300 strangers in the dark than it is starting and stopping a movie with bathroom breaks and raids on the fridge sitting in the Lay-Z-Boy.

To toot my own horn, I am developing a website called “Cocktails and Movies,” which I hope will instill the joy that I get from getting out with friends, and not only enjoy some cocktails, but to sit together and share the same experience – something that we can call “ours,” and refer to it as “that time we all went to see ______.”

Until then, I’ll take my movies in the theater, in the company of good friends, with the laughter of strangers, the off-handed comments from the possibly slightly disturbed (who else would be seeing a movie in the afternoon), and a medium Coke Zero with a small popcorn, thank you very much.

Want to come with me?


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How Searching For a Job Has Become MY Job

(“Forgive me if I ramble, it all makes sense in my head.”)

I got up before “work” today and went for a walk. Not a run. There was no polar bear, cheetah or axe murderer chasing me. Just a nice stroll down the Strand and back.

It’s a standard practice for me to get up one minute before my alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. every morning, and going for a long walk (or on alternate days, going to the gym) is a great way for me to greet the day with highly-caffeinated blood flowing through my veins.

One-half hour later I returned, made a quick breakfast, took a shower, got dressed and left for the office…

Four feet away from my front door.

My work station consists of my kitchen table, conveniently located within arm’s reach of the refrigerator and cupboards for easy access to a 2-liter of Coke Zero, Tostito’s Black Bean & Garlic Artisan chips (Costco sized!) and Sabra Hummus (again, thanks, Costco!). You can see why the early morning walk is more of a necessity than a want… Spaced in various piles around the MacBook is a menagerie of bills, partially illegible story notes, blush-inducing passwords for EVERY username/login I have, and various pens, pencils, sunglasses and other parts of my life that encroach upon my workspace, even though I KNOW I have moved them into the living room time and again (four feet away).

For those of us who have been unemployed for a certain length of time, it’s necessary to keep a semblance of a “normal” life. I have chosen to treat my days like they are work days, in by nine, out by five with a two-hour lunch. If I drank, I am sure I would subscribe to the “three martini lunch” as I discuss career tracks with other “unemployeds.” Then bitch and moan about how my boss is “dick-faced tyrant.”

Today, I applied to four jobs before 9 a.m. PST. It’s a trick I learned from a recent fellow graduate from the University of Wisconsin. She said that because most jobs these days are done through applying online and hitting send, it’s necessary to apply so that the “application” arrives on a hiring manager’s “desk” when they open their email in the morning.

Within the last four months, as the search for a job has taken on a more urgent tone (freelance and contract work have only so many charms), I have applied to approximately 200 jobs ranging from “desk assistant” for an indie producer to PR account executive and even applied to be the President, Creative for a major cable network. Who knows? I HAVE creativity. I HAVE great writing skills. I HAVE killer social skills. I HAVE a high IQ (or did once, but I’m f*cking confident of my smarts anyway, so shut it). And, I HAVE adaptability to learn new stuff.

So, WHY don’t I have a job? (A question that my mother asks a lot and is as cringe-inducing and perplexing as, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?,” which is a topic for another day…)

Apparently, I am in that “dead zone” of un-hirablity that combines broad career experience with age.

But, I am going to persevere. I don’t have a choice. I’d rather be seen as “unemployed” and looking for a job, than not be seen at all and classified as “given up looking.”

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We are up and running!

After much help from the fantastic people at GoDaddy, we are up and running. Kudos to Canilla, Deanna, Zachary and Benny for the stellar help that they provided to a young man with a dream.

Unfortunately, I don’t know where to start today; is it CNN and their death spiral to the ratings toilet? Could it be political? Or maybe it’s the entitlement that the bitch who almost ran me down in the crosswalk as I walked home from the gym while on her cellphone felt she had this morning.

I’d take suggestions, but as it’s an “off topic” blog, I’ll probably dismiss them and do something I want to do…


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