Category Archives: Lists

3 ways to make job hunting easier (and possibly land your dream job)

So first off, I know what you’re thinking: two posts in one day, is this girl crazy?! Yes, I am, but that’s neither here nor there. I am here and you are there, so I figured I’d share with you my heres to entertain you over theres.

My last post was kind of brutal; very cynical and bitter and pretty much a downer to anyone pursuing a college education, and for that I am sorry (for you, not me, I stand by every word I said, er, typed).

But amidst the anger and frustration, I actually do believe a college education is a beautiful thing, and if I had an endless supply of green, I’d probably take classes forever (don’t forget, the previous post was all about how MY college degree is worthless, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up on the institution as a whole, although it could definitely use some fine-tuning but that’s chatter for another day, another blog post).

Moving on.

In between my bouts of giving up and feeling melodramatically melancholy, I am actually looking for a “real” job (still have yet to clearly define a job as being “real” so we will have to settle for the air quotes for now and call it a day). Having recently moved from sunny Florida to, er, sunny California (all that schooling and I can’t find an adjective better than sunny? sigh), I’m basically in the midst of figuring out what I want to do with myself in my new state, figuratively and literally; I’m digging this state so far, great weather without the crappy Florida humidity, and the people are much more on my level than the general population of the Sunshine State (at least that time it wasn’t my lack of clever descriptive words). Wait, so if Florida is the Sunshine State, what is California? Excuse me while I Google… ah, okay, the Golden State. Not that original, but none of them really are, now are they?

Getting back to the point. What’s my point again? Is this why I can’t find a job? Shit.

Okay, so job hunting. It’s never really a fun thing and it can tend to become very frustrating, especially if you’re currently unemployed and are becoming desperate, but just remember everyone, at some point in their lives, has been or will be where you currently are. Try to maintain a positive outlook and know that, eventually, you will find the right fit (and all those rejection letters that came before just weren’t meant to be, no matter how badly you thought you wanted them). Here are a few tips to get you going in the right direction:

Edit your resume. Before you go sending your resume out to a bunch of potential new bossman bosses, take a quick scan over it to make sure everything on it is current, accurate and relevant. Did you move? Did you change your phone number? Even little things that seem as insignificant as that are important, so make sure all of your information is correct. Then, take a look at your work experience, education and even extracurriculars. It isn’t necessary to have every job you ever had listed on there, but whoever’s doing the hiring is going to want to see some relevant experience,  so make sure that stuff’s on there. If you don’t have any relevant experience (if you’re switching careers or fresh out of school), that’s okay too. Make sure you show you have general work experience, that you know what it is to work hard and accentuate the skills you already possess in a way that makes them relevant to the position you’re applying for. You will have to work a little harder to prove you can handle something you’ve never done before but it’s not unheard of, so don’t lose faith in yourself. Just remember, always be honest about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s enough. It’s better to have a resume that’s a little lighter, one that might not get you the interview, than to beef your resume up with lies and get called out on it later.

Set goals. It’s important to give yourself something to work towards. It could be that you want to apply to a certain number of jobs a day; it could be you’re holding out on quitting your current job until you find the right one, not just the next one. Whatever it is, have a goal(s) in mind to keep you motivated and positive. You’d be surprised how much stress is eliminated when you have a plan.

Be persistent. This is especially important if you’re currently unemployed. It’s important to remember that something will come along eventually; it may be when you least expect it, but if you remain active in the search, eventually something will come your way. After all, everything is a numbers game, and if you send out enough resumes, something is bound to come back. The hardest part isn’t finding any ole job, it’s waiting for the right one to present itself, but it’s not going to unless you stay at it and remind yourself that there is a purpose to your search and you are accomplishing something just by looking and inquiring, even if at times you feel like you’re getting nothing done. You are. Before you know it, you’ll go on an interview or two (or three, no big deal how many it takes), and then you’ll be getting ready for your first day in a new career.

When it comes to the actual interview, though, you’re on your own. I come across much better on paper (I am skilled with the written word, after all) and tend to get really nervous during interviews (I think it’s all the pressure to impress). All I can tell you is dress appropriately, be confident and be yourself. Talk about yourself in a positive, yet humble, way that lets your interviewer/potential new boss know that you have the skills and knowledge they’re looking for and that you would be an asset to their team. Try not to be fake, because if they do hire you, you’ll have to keep up that fake persona and that’s just never a good idea. No one is better at being you than you, so I’d lead with that. Unless you’re a serial rapist or an axe murderer, then I’d be someone else.

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5 not-so-last-minute Halloween costumes (to get started on for next year)

With Halloween a day behind us (feels like a year to me), it’s time to start plotting for next year’s festivities. Because sometimes crafting the perfect Halloween costume isn’t always the easiest (or quickest) thing. Sometimes the logistics of pulling it off are just too difficult and/or time-consuming (like me trying to sew my own patchwork dress for my NBX Sally costume…the day I needed it). Sometimes it takes 364 days to create the ultimate of all ultimate costumes. And sometimes I just forget to write blog posts in time to make them relevant so I have to pretend it was intentional (because I’m not waiting another year to write this). Sorry if I have a life outside my blog and I didn’t get to this in time. J.K. I have no life.

Moving on.

It’s a rare thing to witness someone out and about during the weeks and days leading up to Halloween decked out in a seriously kick-ass costume, and it’s probably even rarer that you’re the one donning the unique garb, but with enough planning and plotting, it is possible to be that super-rad person on Halloween with the costume no one forgets and everyone wants a picture with. Here are my top 5. You can thank me later.

1. Hitler. When I picture someone dressing up as Hitler, I picture the little kid from Eurotrip. I don’t think anyone could be that adorable as Hitler if they tried, but it would be amusing to watch. Honestly, I just want to witness someone getting the crap kicked out of them by a bunch of Jews for dressing up as Hitler. Did I just say that? I’m going to hell. But you LOL’d, so you’re coming with.

2. Santa Claus. Because when have you ever seen Santa running around on Halloween? That’s what I thought.

3. Barbie (or Ken, depending on your sexual preference). This is especially easy if you’ve already molded and shaped yourself with so much plastic surgery that you’re practically unrecognizable as a human being anymore. All you need to do is throw on a blonde wig and you’re good to go.

4. A bag of Halloween candy. This idea is super awesome and super original. If done right, you may even win a few costume contests, and if you stage it correctly, everyone will love you for all the free candy you’ll be handing out all night. Just make sure you stop by my house first. I like Reese’s and Crunch bars.

5. A double rainbow. No explanation necessary. Please refer to the double rainbow song.

I would continue on with more Halloween costume ideas, but frankly, it’s bringing me down talking this much about Halloween after Halloween is over because there are still 364 days of not-Halloween to get through before it’s Halloween again.

How many times can you say Halloween in one sentence?

Anyway, you will just have to wait until next year for more, so sit back, relax, and don’t eat all your Halloween candy at once, because this guy did and, well, look what happened to him.

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10 movies to watch with the lights off (because you can’t be afraid of the dark anymore)

Last year, in the true spirit of Halloween (whatever that means), I wrote the epic 10 movies to watch with the lights on, which, for those who never read it, you need to go review. Right now. I poured my sweat and blood into that post, losing sleep for days to write and perfect every single word, so the least you could do is read it.

Okay, it took me like 5 minutes to write, but still, it’s worth a read.

Anyway, now that you’ve finished reviewing last year’s list, let’s get on with this year’s top 10.

Last year I advised watching said movies with the lights on. Because I know you are probably a big scaredy cat and can’t handle watching scary movies in the dark. But this year I challenge you to the ultimate horror test. Watch them alone. In the dark. Okay, well maybe not alone, but definitely in the dark. I know everyone can’t be as tough as me. I watch these things alone like it’s my job. Which I wish it was, cause that’d be the coolest job ever. Anyway, getting back to the list.

Now, just as a disclaimer, I can’t repeat any of the movies I quoted last year; that would just be silly. Then there’d be no point in writing this entry because you could just go read last year’s and save everyone a load of writing, reading, editing and rewriting (and re-editing). So, if you think about it, this is actually the next 10 in my never-ending list of scary movies to watch, after last year’s 10, which were the first 10. Are you following?

Before I confuse myself any further, here is the next installment of the top however many movies to watch with the lights on or off, alone or with other people.

10. Young Frankenstein. Everyone loves a good Frankenstein movie, and what better one than the Gene Wilder version? He’s crazy enough by himself but add one of the most iconic monsters of our time and you’re set for a great night at the movies. Of course, you will most likely be watching this at home on your computer and not in the theaters, because it’s from the 70s and what theater is showing movies from the 70s? So yeah.

9. Disturbia. Not a true horror flick, but definitely one of the better thrillers I’ve seen in a long time. Whether you’re a Shia fan or not, this movie is pretty great, and it’s one of those movies that make you never want to trust your neighbors again, so it’s pretty realistic as far as thrillers go. Just be careful you don’t turn into a super stalker, because more than likely your neighbors aren’t interesting enough to be killing people in their basement. Unless you live next door to me.

8. The People Under the Stairs. What a freaking weird flick. I bought this movie on DVD years ago thinking it was going to be some dumb scary movie attempt, and there were times when I mourned the $10 I spent on it, but this movie is super creepy. Wes Craven never fails to deliver, and this movie is no exception. I suggest watching in a large, open room, one devoid of any nooks and crannies someone could be lurking in.

Jaws ate me. The end.

7. Jaws. Maybe not the scariest movie ever created, but I doubt there’s anyone who can honestly say they don’t give it a second thought when they’re swimming in open water. I’m a diver and even I freak out at the surface when I can’t see what’s below me. You never know what’s lurking beneath the inky blackness of the sea. Thanks a lot, Steven Spielberg.

6. The Descent. Maybe not one of the better-done horror movies out there, but this movie will terrify you if you’re a) claustrophobic b) afraid of the dark c) afraid of being trapped underground d) afraid of being hunted by creatures you can’t see. Oh yeah, and e) afraid of being eaten alive.

5. Silence of the Lambs. They say serial killers usually keep a trophy from each victim. Well this one ate his. A classic horror movie, usually at the top of most people’s lists. Although if you grew up with a name like Clarice, you probably hate this movie and all the times people called and said “good evening, Clarice” in that creepy Hannibal Lecter voice.

4. Hostel. Some people can’t handle this type of movie. Maybe it’s because it puts the all-too-real idea of being kidnapped abroad and tortured to death right in front of your face. Or maybe it’s the explicit scenes full of sex and gore that blend together in such a twisted manner you don’t know whether to be turned on or throw up. Not for the faint of heart.

3. It. Ah, the original killer clown movie. Well, one of the better ones. This movie is why grown men will not let their kids have clowns at their birthday parties. Reverting back to the old school horror movie standards (and another Stephen King classic), this movie has just the right amount of visual scare, leaving plenty of room for your imagination to do the rest.

2. The Hills Have Eyes. This movie is quite disgustingly awesome. It has the right amount of gore and scare and is possibly just a tad too f*cked up but it’s a good movie to watch this month. Just don’t be surprised if you never want to take any road trips after this one.

1. Halloween. Michael Myers is one of the classic killers of our time, and he deserves a certain level of respect around this time of year. Try and swallow the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis is a terrible actress in this film (well, in most films, but this isn’t a critique of her acting abilities, it’s a scary movie list, so get over it), because there’s nothing scarier than a mute masked madman menacing  a mundane midwestern town. Oh, you like alliteration? You’re welcome.

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Shark wrestling (and 5 other sea creatures I’d like to meet)

I defeated a shark.

Albeit, a baby one. But a shark nonetheless.

Sharkie and me.

As a diver and avid water enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated with sharks. Sure, I’m terrified as much as the next guy, but I’ve always been strangely obsessed with things that terrify me (hence my all-consuming obsession with horror, gore and all things Halloween).

And when it comes to sharks, the more up-close-and-personal I can get with them, the better (unless they’re sneaking up on me to have me as dinner). Now, I’ve been diving around sharks before, and I’m sure there have been plenty of times they have been lurking below me as I frolicked at the surface, but there’s nothing more exciting than coming into contact with one (in a good way, not a “my-leg-just-got-ripped-off-by-a-shark” kind of way).

Shark attack!

Catching the six-footer off the coast of Key West two years ago was awesome. I wish I could find the pictures to show them off to you now, but you’ll just have to trust me. But we cut the line before I even had a chance to say goodbye, let alone touch it. So catching Sharkie (as I’ve dubbed him) last week was quite exhilarating; here was a baby shark that was big and strong enough to put up a good fit but small enough to come on board for a quick photo op. As terrifyingly awesome as it was to hold the thrashing beast in my bare hands, there are still several other sea-beasts I’d like to encounter before I croak. In no particular order:

A whale. They may be gentle-ish creatures (to us, not plankton), but they are so massive and hard to come across it would be a shame never to meet one. Plus I could probably even have a conversation with one if I channel Dory from Finding Nemo.

Dolphins. I swam with dolphins on several occasions (thank you travel & tourism), and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. But I want to get cozy with a wild dolphin. I’ve tried to no avail, but I know one day it will happen. And when it does, they will push me out of the water with just their nose. I’m sure of it.

Sharks. I know I’ve already encountered several sharks, both above the ocean and below it. But until I encounter every species (okay, maybe not every species of shark, but at least all the really cool ones), this one will still be on my list. With a giant, man-eating great white at the top of the list.

The Loch Ness Monster. I know this one doesn’t technically reside in the sea (if it resides at all, which I believe it does), but it’s too noteworthy not to include. I want to dive Loch Ness and come face to face with the elusive monster and hope it doesn’t swallow me whole.

A giant squid. I’m not talking a tiny little blob of a creature that is smaller than a boat or one of those dinky ones that you see at the aquarium. I’m talking legendary Kraken-size, like, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea proportions. I want to go down in my little submarine with Jules Verne and be overtaken by a giant squid whose eyeball alone could swallow the city of New York. And then I will write the best-selling, Nobel-prize-winning novel 21,000 Leagues Under the Sea and retire with (most) of my body parts still intact.

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Who I would go back in time to be (and who I would avoid while I’m there)

The future holds so much unknown. And that can be both exciting and scary all at the same time. But the past is someplace mysterious and intriguing, because we know a little bit about what it was like and who lived there, but we’ve never experienced it for ourselves. The future, we get to experience that with every new day, but the past, what has come before us, we will never know. I would love to time travel one day (it will happen, just wait. cars are driving themselves these days, so time travel is next on the list). There are so many people I’d want to go back in time and meet, but even more, I think I’d rather be them. People like:

I love him so much, I'm torn between wanting to be with him and wanting to be him.

William Shakespeare. He is my literary hero. Plus I’d like to put those plagiarism rumors to rest (for good).

Joan of Arc. Cool chick.

Edgar Allan Poe. True horror at its best.

Benjamin Franklin. That man accomplished a shit-ton of good things in his lifetime. Plus, I’d like to go back and keep him from mentioning the idea of Daylight Saving Time. It’s stupid and I hate it.

Sacagawea. Smart chick.

Aphrodite. She was the goddess of love, hello.

Jesus. Y’know, to see if he really did all that.

 

People I neither want to be nor want to run into:

Adolf Hitler. He wasn’t a very nice guy.

Reverend Jim Jones. Gives me the creeps just thinking about what he did.

Joseph Stalin. He was a bad guy or something.

Michael Jackson. Too soon?

 

Unfortunately, no one has invented time travel yet. So until they do, I suppose I will have to be content with being myself. Except when I’m pretending to be someone else.

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