Monday, December 2, 2013

M seeking W seeking M

From September 30, 2013
DLIH Original Post

Dating advice is like a sphincter, everyone has one but no one else wants to hear it. That being said, I’ve been asked to provide you with my own little brand of finger-farts so bear with me. I’ve dated a few women in my life - some for years, some for days, some for a couple hours - and in that time I’ve come to certain conclusions as they pertain to well know axioms. “Opposites attract, NEVER date someone that’s just like you, it’s bound to fail.” This is an old one that people seem to adhere to, despite the obvious limitations in and of itself. Hollywood friggin loves it. The Odd Couple, Along Came Polly, all the 90’s “you can’t turn the geek into the prom queen” movies, and countless others throughout time center around this premise alone. Hell, even Jesus fell for it with Mary Magdalene. In real life, Penny doesn’t even consider considering Leonard… well, that is until his research allows him to spin off from the university to create a super-powered something or other that he sells to (Insert Big Company Here) for XX millions of dollars. It’s not because Leonard is a short and non-typically-handsome-looking (read: ugly…well, Hollywood ugly), it’s because they have nothing in common. I mean, we all know ugly people date attractive people all the time, we see them at school, in the street, every morning when we wake up if you’re Blue Ivy…but if you have nothing in common with someone, how could you spend significant amounts of time with them? There’s another old proverb that tends to be used often and pretty much amounts to the diametric opposite to “Opposites Attract” and I think this is where things truly lie: Birds of a feather flock together. There have even been studies to test this theory, and (SPOILER ALERT) people of similar personalities prefer each other over people with different personalities. And this isn’t just a romantic thing, people tend to become friends with others of similar personality. I mean, logically it just makes sense. And the funny thing is, similarity in personality traits doesn’t just predict initial attractiveness, it’s also a good indicator of future happiness and marital stability. So when you’re out at the bar unsuccessfully try to hide the obsessive way you’re trying to rub the water mark in the wood into oblivion, I’d suggest you not give your number to the guy that didn’t brush his hair, has spaghetti sauce on a shirt that is misbuttoned, and just picked food out of his teeth with someone else’s used straw and instead go for the guy at the other end of the bar who’s unsuccessfully trying to hide the obsessive way he’s picking at the label that just won’t come off his beer. (for more on this, visit www.psychologicalscience.org/media/myths/myth_27.cfm)

“If you want to know what she’s going to look like in 20 years, just look at her mom/grandma.” This one is a funny one, but it is half true. It’s funny because we (men) try so hard to simplify things. In this case it’s a simplification that’s A) vain, B) wildly lazy and C) basic. The way this should go is by simply adding, “or dad/grandpa” to the end of it. If you paid one ounce of attention to Biology class in 9th grade (or are an adult that isn’t void of brain activity) then you’d know that, save a few dominant traits here and there, we are made up of ½ mom and ½ dad. Therefore, if you’re dating a girl whose mom is 5’5” shaped like a pear, dad is 6’1” shaped like a pencil, and is 5’11” shaped like a palm tree, chances are she won’t be “pearing out” in 20 years. I imagine this is the case for men as well, but I’ve never cared enough to think about it…so…

“The way to a man’s heart is though the kitchen and the bedroom.” This one is just true. If you aren’t sure you’ve got him in your clutches then this is a great way to solidify your position. It works on women too. Now, I’m not saying this is all it takes, but if you’ve already determined that you’re of similar personalities and you’re attracted to their parents…hold on, what?...then laying it down in the bedroom and in the kitchen is like the scotch guard for the couch that is your relationship.

Pascal is an experienced “woman dater” and has had sex with at least 4 and ½ women in his life. His life experiences have been studied by real scientists and it has been determined that he is what is known as “the average guy” so when he writes about stuff it can be assumed that it is par for the course with all other guys. He is the author of such works as: this article ; my last article; my next article; The Gettysburg Address

Intro To...The Dreaded Wedding Speech

From April 21, 2013
DLIH Original Post

Last summer my sister asked me to give a congratulatory speech at her wedding. It was a request that I honestly forgot about until the day before was at the same time honored and feared. When I was going through the process I wanted to stay true to myself so I tried to keep the mood light. The majority of the development took place in my head; I had no interest in altering a speech from the internet. If you’re really busy like I was having trouble figuring out where to start, however, those databases are the easy way out a good way to see what other people have done, what their tone was, etcetera. Just don’t forget that the couple wants to hear from you, if they wanted to hear from someone else, they would have asked someone else. Remember, though, this doesn’t have to be the Gettysburg Address. I tried to think of how my sister had changed now that she was getting married. Her entire life she had just been my mean older sister. I thought of how all of a sudden she was happy all the time. Over time I realized these were aspects I could draw from. This perspective would be a bit deprecating to my sister (that’s expected from her little brother, right?), but would show how her wife had made her a happier person. It would allow me to toss a couple jokes into the mix, as I am wont to do, and would strike home with everyone that knew my sister when she was younger. Remembering how she used to be, everyone could then think about their own personal moment. That time when my sister made them chuckle. When she made them shake their head, or when she made them break down on the floor in fits of laughter. That time she got drunk and smacked the mailing list out of the girl’s hand at that concert. I wanted to tie her life as it was - into her life as it is, and will be. This was where I began to speak of my relationship with my sister-in-law. This was more-so spoken to her than to everyone else. A couple of days The day before heading upstate to start wedding activities, I took out a pad and began to put my thoughts on paper. I tried to think as if I was just talking to a couple of friends about why I was excited to see my sister getting married. Hell, I had been gushing about it for months anyway, I was an old pro at it by now. I ended up tossing a couple of iterations before coming up with something I liked. It was light, excited, and short. I hate long-winded speeches when I’m waiting to get drunk congratulate the newlyweds. I made sure to remind people why we were there and ended it with an invitation to drink. A few laughs, the clinking of glass, and a walk back to my seat and it was over. In all, it ended up being successful because I spoke from my heart and tried to stay true to who I was. And I kept it short. There’s nothing worse than having to pretend to like someone’s boring speech as they drone on for 10 minutes.

Intro To...The Super Bowl Party

From January 27, 2013
DLIH Original Post

Super Bowl Sunday, this year, will be on February 3rd. 32 teams tried, and 30 teams failed, to get to this last game of the season. While I’m disappointed my New England Patriots didn’t show up for the second half of the AFC Championship game – the game that determined which team from the AFC (there are two conferences in the NFL: NFC and AFC) would make it to the Super Bowl – the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are both damn good teams and we should be in for a treat. If you’re not really sure how to conduct yourself at a Super Bowl party, I have a few tips for you.

Don’t ever stand in front of the TV. Ever. If you have to walk in front of it to get somewhere, hasten your pace and try to position yourself in an uncomfortable, Quasimodo-esque, hunched position to show that the last thing you want to do is make people miss the commercial. Keep in mind I say commercial because if you try to walk in front of the screen when the game is on, you’re liable to get shot.

Speaking of commercials, if you somehow don’t already know, the Super Bowl is as much for the game as it is for the advertising. This year, the average cost for a 30-second commercial slot went for $4 Million. Compare this to $1 Million for an Olympics slot, $500k for the same slot on Sunday Night Football and $142k overall on average. It was here that all the best commercials of the last 20 years have been debuted. Remember the “Bud”-“Weise”-“Errrr” frogs? Super Bowl. Tiny-Vader uses the force to start dad’s car? Super Bowl. 1984styled Apple Computer commercial? Super Bowl. So don’t go out of your way trying to see them all, but it’s ok to sit and watch, they can be pretty good.

Now, you’re there to watch the game, of course, so the best way to do this is by rooting for one of the teams. It doesn’t matter how you choose who to root for. You can root for the team everyone is going for, or the one nobody is going for. Pick the uniform you like the most, but by picking a team you will find yourself more engrossed in the game. It will also get you interacting with everyone else. You can rib the other team’s fans and celebrate with yours.

Bring something to the party. Generally, a 6-pack will suffice, but everyone loves when the one guy with the amazing guac shows up. If you have a great recipe for a casserole, or artichoke dip, this is an ideal time to bring it out. One year, my buddy’s girlfriend brought peanut butter brownies…I need to find out where she is these days.

Most importantly, though, is pace yourself. Some parties start around noon but the game doesn’t even start until 6:30. If you start taking shots at 1:30 you might find yourself under the table and dreaming by kickoff. Try to stick to beer, if you can, and spread your drinks out with water/juice/food. It always sucks when you don’t even remember what happened in the game, so stay classy, San Diego, and remember that you have work the next day.

Lastly, If your team wins the big game and you end up at the celebration parade, don’t be this chick…

Intro To...Your Work Holiday Party

From December 16, 2012
DLIH Original Post

The most important thing you must remember about your holiday party is that, while this might be, in theory, your party, that’s still your boss standing in the corner. I was talking to a buddy the other day, and he was recounting a story from a holiday party from a couple years ago. He was working for a large corporation that had a lot of recent grads in its ranks. One guy decided that, it being the holiday party and all, he would not worry about how much he was drinking. At the end of the night…well, his night at least, he was seen body-surfing down the escalator face first…not on purpose. I’ve never met you before, but I’ll make a bet you don’t want to be that guy.

So yes, this party is your party. The holiday party, at least in its original intent, is supposed to be a celebration to reward employees for their hard work. Have fun, this may be the only gift your company gives you. Chat with your coworkers, get to know their partners, in general, socialize. This is a great opportunity to get to know the people you work with, outside of work hours. Your days are so filled with your normal routine, you might not get time to ask about who they really are. This is your chance. Depending on your boss, you might also be celebrating with some of your company’s closer clients. A holiday party is a great chance for your boss to make deeper connections with clients. You can schmooze too, but this is a party. If you’re going about talking business all night, everyone’s going to think you’re super boring and they won’t want to invite you out next time. Clients, who are using this as a nice chance to relax will resent you for wasting their night. Or, if you use this time to rail on your bosses, word will get back and you’ll lose your job. Don’t be afraid to chat, but remember that you have been drinking, most likely, so don’t get too personal. Alcohol does amazing things to your decision making ability and getting to know your coworkers and clients more intimately is a great opportunity to say something off color or insulting. Depending on who you say it to, this could also be a great opportunity to lose your job. To thine own self be true, Polonius says. I say you also have to know yourself. Know what your drink limit is, and stay well away from that. Since drinking can make you do things out of character, and this is an event where all your bosses are absorbing every move you make, just don’t over-do it and make yourself look like someone they’d probably rather not have at the next company function. This also goes into another side effect of alcohol: flirtiness. No matter what level you are in the company, you don’t want to be seen as the creepy guy from HR, or the slut from accounting. For guys, sexual indiscretions can be a quick trip to unemployment, or even a court room. For girls, they often end in sullied reputations and a diminishing trust of decision making abilities. Either way, just remember that this is a work event (no, I can’t say it enough times), not a night club. The decisions you make are being seen by everyone.

Take advantage of your holiday party, it should be a fun time you share with your coworkers to celebrate all the hard work you’ve put in over the last 12 months. It’s a time to strengthen your bond with them and their families. This is an opportunity for your bosses to see you in a new light, and you might even make a good impression on some of your higher-ups and clients. Just remember that this is still a work event so conduct yourself as such. Have fun, just not too much fun, and have a happy holiday.

Intro To...Skiing

From September 24, 2012
DLIH Original Post

So you just started dating this guy a month ago and it’s going great. It was chilly this weekend so Sunday night you cuddled up with a bottle of wine and a movie and it was just perfect…until he said those 6 fateful words: God I can’t wait for snow! Hold on, what? That’s right, he’s one of those. For people like him/her (and in the spirit of full disclosure, people like ME) the summer is just a time to recover and get back in shape for next winter. It’s ski-season. For many people out there, skiing is dangerous, or bougie, or cold, or you just don’t get why you’d want to go zipping down a frozen hill on a thin plank jumping in and out of trees. But to people like me, we watch snowboard videos in the middle of July and get butterflies in our stomachs. If you’re dating someone like that, chances are you want to spend this time they love with them, but if you’ve never been before, the whole idea might be a bit daunting. Well that’s what I’m here for. I’ll give you the breakdown on what you need to do to make this experience as good as possible.

Let me start here: you can die skiing or snowboarding. You likely won’t, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, and even a lot of times when you do, you can get seriously hurt partaking in these activites. But, if you prepare in advance, you can end up having one of the most enjoyable times of your life. Let’s start with your gear. It’s snow. It’s winter. You will fall. This means you should cover yourself from neck to ankle in waterproof gear and it should be warm. Ski gear can be EXTREMELY expensive, so don’t be afraid to borrow from a friend. If this is your first time, there’s no reason to go spend $500 on a new coat or $300 on some snow pants. In addition, if you live in a place like NY, Boston or Philly, you should already have a waterproof winter coat, so just use that. If you don’t have any friends with gear, you should definitely buy some snow pants. You will fall. A lot. There is nothing worse than spending the day in some cold, wet gear. Go online, or to Marshalls, and pick up some cheap pants. Trust me, it’s worth it. While you’re there, don’t forget gloves. Make sure to get yourself some good, waterproof gloves. As many times as your butt will be on the ground, that’s how many times you’ll have to pick yourself up. Cold, wet hands end up inside, it’s that simple. Long wool socks will help, though they aren’t required, add some long johns if you have them. Next, time to protect that noggin. I suggest a helmet. They make them specifically for winter sports and I wouldn’t suggest going without one, though I skied and snowboarded for over 20 years without one (many places also allow you to rent a helmet, but that kinda skeeves me a bit). Lastly, get some goggles. Nothing crazy, don’t spend more than $50 if you don’t want, and now you’re good with your gear. If it’s really cold, bring a scarf, but remember that you can get some pretty good gear, and at good prices sometimes, at the mountain’s ski shop. It is not necessary to buy your skis, and you shouldn’t, just rent when you get there.

For most people, skiing and snowboarding is not easy. My dad has been skiing his whole life but his first time snowboarding he was on his butt the whole day. Get Lessons! The first half of your day should be spent in lessons and the second half with your buddies. It sounds lame, but you’ll be so much happier. It will also allow the other people in your group to have fun by themselves for a bit. Skiing and snowboarding is much more fun with people of a similar ability level so they’ll want some time alone. But they’ll also want to spend time with you, as that’s the whole purpose, so if you can spend some time honing your skill it will be that much more enjoyable. This being said, it’d be best if you’re not the only beginner. But if you are, just keep working and you’ll be shredding with the rest of us before you know it. Most importantly, don’t give up. There’s a reason why those of us in the know are addicted…ITS AMAZING! But you have to get past the first few days before you can truly appreciate it. Once you do, though, don’t say I didn’t warn you, you’ll never want to leave the mountain.

Intro To… Business School – The GMAT

From August 26, 2012
DLIH Original Post
We are currently in an economy that is not exactly the kindest to the working class. Due to the lack of jobs, many of us are seeking a return to school hoping that when we graduate there will be more opportunities and we’ll be better prepared for them. If your interests lie somewhere in the business realm, you’re probably looking into getting your MBA – Masters of Business Administration. The thing about B-School is that it can be a pretty pricey endeavor. If you’re gonna do it, you need to do it right. And that starts with the GMAT. The GMAT is a standardized test in the fashion of the SAT. It’s scored on a 800 point scale with 700 being that magical number, as most of the top programs average around 700 for each of their incoming classes. Stanford topped the list in 2010 with a mean score of 728.

So where do you start? First, you need to decide why you’re going to b-school. Do you want to leave your current job as a teacher to join an investment bank, or maybe run a non-profit? Do you want to go work at a top marketing agency, or maybe just need an MBA to become an exec with your current company? The reasons will vary, but find your own because schools are better in some areas than others and you should go to the best school you can afford/get in to. If you can’t afford to take two years off work or if you’re just going to school to advance in your current career and your job will sponsor you at a local partner school, you might be constrained to local schools. Either way, this is an expensive undertaking. You will be giving up time, money and effort to achieve this so benefit as much as you can from it.

They say you need around 100 hours of studying to “beat” the GMAT, but know yourself. If you tend to do badly on standardized tests, you’ll probably need more time. If you’re not trying to get into a top tier school, you probably don’t need to study as hard. Then you need to realize if you’re better at verbal or quant (words or numbers…but if you need this explanation…nevermind). Start by doing some basic study on your weaker topic and then give yourself a quick overview of your stronger topic. Your main purpose here is just to give your mind a refresher. It’s likely you haven’t done much school work in a few years and it’s good to remember the basic formulas and rules you’ll need for the test. Now it’s time to take the practice test itself. The GMAT is a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT). This is a computer test that bases its questions off the answers to the preceding questions. If you get the right, they get harder; wrong and they get easier. This means that no matter how well you’re doing, it’ll likely seem pretty hard. They key is to make sure to average 1 question every 2 minutes. On the GMAT, unanswered questions hurt more than wrong ones (as do strings of wrong answers), so timing is paramount. But this first test is just about assessing yourself. Try to always take your practice tests how you’d take the real test: go to sleep early, don’t drink the night before, no 5 Hour Energy unless that’s your style, etc. Don’t pay too much attention to your score, just focus on the questions you got wrong and the ones that took too long. Look for patterns, places you struggle. At this point you should go through all of the problems in the Official Guide (OG). You should also get a few other books. Manhattan GMAT has an entire line of books that go in depth on each subject. I would start with their Foundations of Math and Verbal and also get the subjects you struggled with on your first CAT. When you’re studying, make sure to time yourself. You want to get a feeling for how long you should spend on a question. When you’re checking your answers (I would do one page of questions at a time and then check the answers before going on), make sure you understand why you got the wrong answer. It’s good to mark down rules and formulae you come across on flash cards so you can study on the go. Then make sure to go over your questions at the end of the week. You should give yourself 1-2 hours of study every day but no more than 2 in a row. Make sure to clear your mind every now and then with a book or a walk in the park. Bad studying is worse than no studying. You end up skipping over topics thinking you have down, or have to go back and double up. Either way, it doesn’t help you any. At this point you’re ready to take your second CAT. I scored a 680(48Q 39V) on my second CAT and my GMAT was scheduled for 2 weeks later. I went back and studied all my vocab flash cards and scored a 700 (43Q 42V) on my GMAT. Put in the hard work and you can get the score you want.

Don’t Be a Goldfish: The How-To of Finding a Job in 2012

From February 9, 2012
DLIH Original Post
Last month, 30 million 20-54 year old Americans were looking for a job. If you’re one of those people, that makes the prospect of finding a job seem bleak. In a world of Goldfish, what does it take to make you look like Ahi? Honestly, if I knew that, I’d be a millionaire right now. At the very least, I’d be the on personal accountant at the Playboy Mansion. I can, however, tell you a few very basic, but sometimes overlooked, ways to improve your chances.

While our end goal is getting that lucrative offer from our dream job, goal one is the interview. If you’re not getting in there for an interview, no way you’re stepping in for your first day. But with 1 out of every 5 prime working age people looking for a job and only about 1 job for every 30 each of those Joes, that leaves most of you going on to that next stop. But why were you sent packing? Is it because you were unqualified? Or was it because of that typo in your recent job description? Did you use improper grammar in your cover letter? It is imperative that you check your document for accuracy. If you have a friend or family member that is up to the task, ask them to look over your documents before you send them out. Sending out a resume with a grammar or spelling mistake is like sending out nothing at all.

Once you get your resume together, it’s time to put it in front of people’s faces. This is not one of those situations where quality takes precedent over quantity. You want to hit as many outlets as you possibly can. Post your resume and cover letter on every single site that you can afford. There are free ones so don’t use that as an excuse.

Persistence, persistence, persistence. Chances are you won’t find a job on your first time out. You can’t get discouraged.

2 Years

It has been two years since I wrote in this thing. I was almost certain about 5 people were reading it. I now see that it was closer to 30. Surprising, honestly. Not life changing or anything, but surprising none the less. Although...now I wonder if maybe that's just page views I'm talking about...that's more likely it. Well, with this, I thank the five of you for clicking the link 6 times each. It makes me feel...accomplished. Since you've been waiting so patiently all this time, I'll try to once again frequent this blog so as to fill that bottomless pit that has been destroying your ambition ever since my last post. For now, here are some posts I contributed to our sister blog, Doing Laundry In Heels.