Posts Tagged ‘stupid advice’

Five signs you might be living above your means

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

So I saw an article on Yahoo with this headline and followed it, hoping for some kind of awesome insight. Sadly, it was super boring and predictable. Mortgage is some gargantuan chunk of your income? Can’t pay your credit card bills? Duh.

It occurred to me that some of you may be living beyond your means and not even know it (and besides, since when does a 600 or less credit score mean you’re living beyond your means? It could just mean you’re a deadbeat or a total f-ck up or think repaying student loans is for chumps).

Regardless, I thought I’d offer some REAL tips to clue you in that maybe it’s time to cut back a little on the champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

1. Your revolving credit card balance is in the high-six or low-seven digits.

The key word here is REVOLVING. It’s one thing if you’re racking up the big bills every month and able to pay them in full, and it’s another thing if not.

(By the way, if you’re of the former group, could you shoot me an e-mail or buy me a beer or several hundred beers or whatever seems reasonable?)

2. You have a gold plated swimming pool with a custom mosaic of your face on the bottom…and you’re paying that off with your job as night manager of a Taco Bell.

Enough said.

I know I keep picking on him, but it's meant affectionately. Really. Probably.

I know I keep picking on him, but it's meant affectionately. Really. Probably.

3. You’ve turned your face into a sphinx, have a $50,000 a month pill habit, your own amusement park in your yard, and at least three doctors on permanent staff, one of whom puts you to ‘sleep’ with anesthesia.

Doesn’t sound so bad?
Did I mention you haven’t really had a hit album since like 1988?

4. You just chartered a private jet to Mustique for a week and got home to find your gas, cable, and electricity have been shut off.

Not judging. Just saying you might want to make sure you can cover the basics before you start sharing Mai Tais and tanning oil with David Bowie and Mick Jagger.

5. You’re on a first-name basis with your local repo-man.

Once again, enough said.

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Tough times call for trendsetting

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Sadly, one glance at the headlines and it seems like layoffs are the new norm. It’s got to be stressful, and I can only imagine that the competition for open positions is tough. Thus, in the spirit of always giving back, I thought I’d share some tips for standing out a job interview in these unique and challenging employment times.

What qualifies me, you ask?

Well, I’ve interviewed dozens if not hundreds of people in my day. And I’ve interviewed for and gotten some jobs myself. And clothes factored in here or there, I bet. Plus, I am – generally speaking – a snazzy dresser. I know the difference between culottes and gauchos, and I strongly encourage you to wear neither.


It used to be that superlative prior experience or a stunning resume were all it took to get the interview and land the job. But today? When the competition ALSO has a PhD in nuclear physics and a law degree and spent ten years working for Doctors Without Borders while working as a photographer for National Geographic? Well, obviously just having the right credentials isn’t enough. It’s time to stand out. Big time.


Thus, sit back and take in my top five tips for dressing for interview success in 2009!

1. Don’t be afraid of color. Go ahead and buy that canary yellow tux. If it’s good enough for the cast of Cirque du Soleil, it’s good enough for you. They may not remember what you said in the interview, but at least they’ll remember that your outfit ‘popped’!

 2. Don’t be afraid to show a little skin. Sure it could be read as a willingness to perform ‘favors’ to get the job, but the rent’s not going to pay itself, is it?


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A word to the Somali pirates

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

A PR efforts go, you’ve down an outstanding job of getting coverage.



However, I’m concerned about the image you’re portraying to the media. Effective public relations creates good publicity, building your reputation with potential takeover targets and others that matter to you. That stated, haven’t you ever seen Peter Pan or Treasure Island? What about the excessively overexposed Pirates of the Caribbean franchise?


If you’re familiar with these films, then you must know you’re way off base. For starters, you can’t call yourself a pirate without catchy drinking songs about pillaging, plundering, and bottles of rum. How about a little ‘yo ho, yo ho…” as you’re speeding toward a Korean vessel? Nothing gets the team fired up to do a little hijacking like songs about fifteen men on a dead man’s chest.


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. Are those BASKETBALL SHORTS!? And not a pegleg in sight...




Next, let’s talk about physical appearances:  Where the hell are the puffy shirts? You can’t call yourself a pirate without a puffy shirt, or at least some stripy pants and knee-high boots. And where are the eye patches, for god’s sake!? What about a hook hand? I have yet to see a photo of a single Somali pirate with a hook hand, peg leg, or (and this really is unacceptable) a large parrot on his shoulder.



The three “P”s – Parrots, Puff, and Patches – are absolutely critical to an effective pirate public image.


You can get a nice rhinestone patch like this at any online costume store.

You can get a nice rhinestone eye patch like this at any online costume store.





Have you been wondering why so much press coverage refers to you as “alleged” pirates? That’s because none of you have adopted colorful pseudonyms like Long John Silver, Calico Jack, Captain Hook, Black Sam, Blackbeard, or Ghedi the Scalliwag. And if you have, it’s time to start sharing these tidbits with the press. Build up a little mystery. Get some exciting names and work up some meandering tales about buried treasure.




You look like a washed up R&B group. Not a scary crew of pirates. Get some parrots already!

You look like a washed up R&B group. Think "Swashbuckler" not "Member's Only."















Lastly, and perhaps most egregiously, what the hell is this watercraft? This is not a pirate ship. It’s more like something stolen from the set of Miami Vice. I half expect to see someone water skiing behind it. Where are the black sails? Where are the damsels walking the plank? WHERE IN GOD’S NAME IS THE JOLLY ROGER FLAG!?

That’s just simple etiquette. You’re supposed to raise the panic-inducing skull and crossbones when preparing to hijack a vessel. Seriously, I thought everyone knew this.


One sorry excuse for a pirate ship

One sorry excuse for a pirate ship

Look, let me give it to you straight: Piracy has a history thousands of years old. As long as there have been humans with watertight vessels, they have been ripping each other off at sea. There have been documented pirate attacks since 13BC. Julius Caesar was captured by pirates. So was Saint Patrick (in fact, he wasn’t Irish at all. It was the Irish who captured him. But that’s a story for another day. Like St. Patrick’s Day).


What I’m trying to say is that you’re an embarrassment to your predecessors. Get yourselves some button-down shirts, some tight satin pants, and some buccaneer hats, and at least look the part.


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