“What Do I Do?” In Response To What?

 

Man struggles with umbrella.

I’m a firm believer that if you can’t explain what you do in one short, clear sentence, you don’t have a real job. And it needs to make sense to anybody, including toddlers.

Consider: “I leverage market synergies to present new opportunities for clients.” That’s make-believe. There’s so many vague generalities and buzzwords in there that your job description is designed to obscure what you’re actually good for, which must mean somewhere deep in the consciousness of your career’s fabric, you’re either ashamed or you don’t want people to figure out you’re actually on the payroll to swindle them.

Look at this job description: “When there’s fires, I save people from them.” Boom. That’s a real job. “I fly planes.” “I design bridges.” “I teach kindergarten.” Real. Real. Real. Those people do a thing.

“I analyze metrics for building consumer-centric brand consciousness.” That’s witchcraft. You’re awful.

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Keeps No Record of Wrongs: A Valentine’s Day Story

polo

When Callista started dating Colin Raffaeli, I had to break them up.

You have to understand how terrible Colin Raffaeli is. Imagine Colin Raffaeli pulling up with his friends in his gigantic off-roading pickup with those monster truck tires I’ve never even seen at a dealership (where do you get monster truck tires?), Lil Wayne blaring at that bass level that’s so distorted you hear the car vibrating more than any music.

I didn’t have to imagine because I was watching the driveway from behind the French blinds in the front sitting room by the foyer, under our track lighting. Colin Raffaeli was wearing a big white Abercrombie polo and big khaki cargo shorts and big brown flapping flip-flops. You could almost smell the body-spray on him.

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All the Small Things

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Shrine Auditorium

Some people like to start conversations with “What would happen if.” What would happen if there was a black-ops team that hired out to help you get actual closure after a relationship by erasing all traces of the ex’s existence? What would happen if the guy who invented that “A train leaves Chicago at” math problem was upset that he never received adequate compensation? What would happen if you secretly won a big cash prize in a box of Frosted Flakes when you were 10 but your parents were staunchly opposed to sugar cereal– you get the idea. 

For most people, these become a running gag of conversation with the kind of friends who tolerate that sort of thing. For author B.J. Novak, famous from his work as actor and producer on The Office, they became a book of stories: One More Thing. The question is, is it any good?
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The People You Meet

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“That’s so true,” she said.

I looked up from my Maki roll. “What is?”

She showed to me her phone, on which was a picture of fuzzy stock-art of two hands clasping over a candle with a quotation in intricate white Gothic-font text on top: “Life Truth #754: When The People Most Important In Your Life Are The Ones You Didn’t Expect.”

I said, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.”

She looked surprised. “No, it’s not,” she said.

“You’re implying there’s something unusual or special about people you care about – I assume you’re thinking a best friend or a boyfriend – that it’s somehow a unique magical thing that you didn’t expect to meet them or expect them to become important to you?”

“It’s true for me.”

“No, it’s categorically true. That’s why it’s stupid to say. Like if you say, ‘Isn’t it crazy that when I lose something it’s always in the last place I look?’ Because then you didn’t look anymore.”

She had this wide-eyed expression. “Ohhhh-kayyyy,” she said, drawing it out like you would for an accosting hobo. Continue reading

I Chat-Sex With Andrea Rosemore

So last night I got a Gmail chat request from a sexy lady by the name of Andrea Rosemore.

I didn’t think I’d ever heard of a sexy lady named Andrea Rosemore, but you never know who you’ve met at some point and the Rosemores sounded like an upstanding family name so I accepted. Andrea’s thumbnail profile pic looked like this:

Andrea

so instantly all of my fears were assuaged.

At first it sounded like Andrea was an automated spam-bot that sent prepared responses and links to a scam webcam-chat site, but we ended up having a pretty meaningful (and steamy) conversation, which I copy and pasted below: Continue reading

Idioms Explained In Lecture: “Shitting Where We Eat”

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Transcript, Common Sayings Explained in Lecture To A Group Who Lacks Intuitive Grasping of Allegorical Concepts Series: “Shitting Where We Eat”

I suppose as a precursor it will be useful to say that this particular idiom is applicable literally, unlike last week’s topic of throwing stones in glass houses which was derailed by the most literal-minded of you, particularly those in the engineering and physical sciences, due to issues of structural integrity and visualization. Of course, being a group who lacks intuitive grasping of allegorical concepts I do not think makes you socially blind to the fact that shitting where you eat is considered wrong. The real question is why is it wrong? Continue reading

Henderson’s Game: The Battle of Black Friday

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Tracy “Gorilla” Gantz was the reason that they did it, her bright shining eyes beneath her bulbous mounds of cheek-flesh holding bravely onto mature dignity when Kevin and Bobby Durtz bumped into her at lunch. “Oops!” yelled Kevin Durtz, the younger brother, his blonde bowl-haircut swinging like curtains as he righted himself. “I must have gotten pulled into your gravitational weight!” Everybody laughed, because that’s what Middle School kids do, and Bobby pantomimed getting away from her with difficulty, shouting, “I’m getting pulled in! I’m getting pulled in!” before he left with their group of friends.

Cal Henderson watched from a corner table, his blank expression never changing, thinking that the sangfroid of her above-it-all dignity was at the same time powerful and weak: an informed maturity born out of necessity, and preempting the simple carefree confidence of those who never have to worry as they go about their lunch that they’ll be singled out at any moment for ridicule and exclusion. Cal admired that sad maturity, Tracy “Gorilla” Gantz’s deep and still eyes perhaps about to feel like crying but of course never getting too close to that edge, at the same time as he felt sorry for it.

“We’re going to do something,” Continue reading