Jenna’s NOPE of the Week: Concert Copulation

I never used to like to go to concerts, but recently got into them with a good friend. My preference is to enjoy music in the privacy of my home, alone, with a glass of wine. Concerts tend to be the exact opposite of this. Sweaty hoards of people jiving around while drinking shitty beer and screaming the lyrics at the band while they play, as if they may have forgotten their own song and need some assistance.

Still though, if there’s a band I really enjoy and I have good friends with me, concerts can be fun. I went to a concert on Friday with a girlfriend. It took us 40 minutes to get in the door, which was unusual for the venue. Apparently other people were unaccustomed to the wait and filled the time with drinking copious amounts of what-the-fuck-ever. We saw three people throw up and five people pass out before the opening act even started. That was novel.

Finally! The main act came on (MGMT, if you must know). People were visibly wasted, but most of them were that fun, unbothersome type of drunk, but some were downright obnoxious. And then there was them.

“They” are that couple who are at every concert. They’re usually older, too old to be at that particular concert. Still though, they’re there, in their country club attire, and you can tell it’s rare that they get out. One of them tends to be more drunk; it’s usually the female.

They’re fine at the beginning, but by mid concert, they’re petting each other like they’re long lost loves who haven’t seen each other in a year. This particular couple was plagued by the woman’s intoxication. She ground her ass into his groin. She shimmied her breasts in his face. She eventually backed into him and jammed her hand into his pocket in what I suspect was a maneuver to caress his throbbing member.

It would be lovely in a romance novel, but FOR GOD’S SAKE, we were at a concert. PDA is fine as long as you keep it fairly tame. Bedroom maneuvers belong in one place: the bedroom, or the kitchen if you can’t quite make it upstairs.

To all the couples trying to make babies at the concert, I have one word for you: NOPE.

Absolutely not.

We’re back!

Listen in to our new podcast. We’re using a new 3 part approach. Shit I saw on Facebook, Jenna’s NOPE of the week, and The News according to Ray. Please direct all your complaints and political rage to

Depression vs. SAS (Shitty Attitude Syndrome)

How can you tell the difference? How can you tell when you’re depressed and when you’re just suffering from SAS. I’ve invented this little quiz for you to figure it out.

1. It’s Monday morning, you stayed up too late watching True Blood and the alarm is blasting a little too close to your head. Do you..

A. Throw something at it, roll over and bitch about hating Mondays. Then continue bitching about it until Friday.

B. Turn it off and go back to sleep. Work? Kids? School? Whatever, they’ll figure it out.

C. Turn it off, yawn and stretch, then sing a little song to the birds.

2. It’s the weekend and your significant other wants to hang out with the boys. Do you..

A. Tell him it’s fine then mope, whine, and bitch about it until he decides to stay home with you. Besides, you’re the most important person in the world to him, right? He should want to be spending all his free time with you!

B. Tell him it’s fine then once he leaves you find yourself crying in the bathtub wondering where you went wrong and why your man doesn’t want to be with you.

C. Bake him cookies and give him a kiss on the way out the door.

3. It’s Christmas time and your parents have offered to fly you home, but money’s tight and they can’t afford a ticket for your spouse. Do you..

A. Go see your family. It’s family, duh.

B. Stay home with your husband but you sit in bed writing down all the reasons why he’s not good enough to stay with.

C. Turn your home into a magic wonderland then ask your fairy Godmother for 2 tickets instead of 1.

If you answered mostly

A’s, you’re suffering from SAS.

B’s, you’re probably depressed.

C’s, Congratulations, you’re a Disney Princess.

If you answered mostly A’s and you don’t see the problem in those responses, then you probably have SAS. Having a shitty attitude is often contagious but lucky for you, you can fix it! You’re in charge of your emotions and reactions. Do not let your emotions be in charge of you. You can heal yourself from this crappy disease and not only will you be helping yourself, you’ll be helping those around you.

For all you B’s, if it’s an overwhelming dread or sadness that just doesn’t go away, no matter what’s happening in your life, then it’s depression. Some ways depression is shown is through forms of anger, sadness, malaise, and rage. The great part is that depression is treatable! You can talk to someone and they can teach you coping methods and/or provide meds to improve your life.

As for you C’s, I hope you like those glass slippers.

There are millions of people, books, podcasts, meds, etc out there to help improve your day-to-day life. There is no reason a person should continue being miserable all the time. Stop making excuses and start making a game plan to live a happier life.

Here are some links to get you started..



Ben and tech compulsion

Today is a guest post brought to us by Ben: Angry Dad. You can find him on twitter at @BenAngryDad.


I sold my smart phone about a month ago, its replacement will be arriving tomorrow.

A smartphone occupies an odd place in one’s life. It fills an obvious communications role, but increasingly it also acts as a primary camera for most people, media player, photo storage and viewer, planner/calendar and sometimes a fart machine in meetings. I read once that the app store had 1,123 separate fart apps. Those are some dedicated developers. “How was work today honey?” “Well, the pffffttt sound just isn’t wet enough. Don’t worry dear. There are still 3 weeks to launch we will make it”.

photo 1(3)

Two words. STONE-AGE

I’ve read a lot of articles recently about the negative social impact our smartphones have on our day to day lives. There are stories all the time about people losing the ability to connect with one another because rather than embracing those awkward moments of silence, they whip out the phone and start giving the bad piggies hell instead. This happened to me, as I found myself waiting for meetings to start and all I had was my blackberry (which I refuse to acknowledge as a smart phone. There is very little that is smart about that phone). While I stared blankly at my co-workers who were tapping away on twitter, checking the facebook status of Aunt Sue, and trying to beat the next level of candy crush, I wondered if I should talk to them. Engage in conversation? Ask which one has the highest score on You Don’t Know Jack? To be honest, it wasn’t as hard as it seemed. I simply talked to them. I spoke to them by name and they put the phone down and replied. There you have kids, actual conversation.

I personally think that this anti-social phone phenomenon is exaggerated, but individuals will always have their own expectations of others, as well as their own experiences. I found that people will follow whoever will lead them. If you sit down and start talking to them, they’ll talk. If you sit down and pull out your phone, they’ll do the same. Lesson learned? People aren’t anti-social, they just tend to roll with the crowd.

Overall, my experience from the last month summed up- I need my fucking phone back and it has nothing to do with not being social enough.

5:45 Am – no phone, no alarm

6:00 Am – no phone, no music in the shower

6:30 Am – No phone, no newspaper (granted I can snag a laptop, but why?) with breakfast

7:00 Am – No phone, no night vale (ahem CTFU) podcast while headed to work

8:00 Am – 5:00 Pm ??? Profit???

The biggest things for me is constant contact with family, and well documented pictures. With the metadata stored on the photos taken over the years, I know the place, date, and time without needing to hunt for additional info.

Photo Metadata used to generate map in iPhoto

Photo Metadata used to generate map in iPhoto

photo 2(1)

Not only is this photo not douchey at all, but it features an invisible 6 year old in the back mourning the loss of his stolen electronics. Double win!

We have a short little window with our boys, and I positively cherish the photos and memories. So to make the memories more memorable for the oldest, I stole his iPad while I waited for my phone to arrive. Hey, take it up with Tim Cook’s supply chain sonny boy.

If I add the word sex down here, does that count for tagging purposes? Nothing sexier than a 64 bit system on a chip.




Religion, Panties, and Politics

Listen in as Jenna says things like, “question asker”, Ramsey rambles on about Mormons, and Ray decides to take away everyone’s guns.



How do I make friends?

This question was posed to me this week by an internet friend. There’s a group of us that met on a horrible baby forum (I’m looking at you when we were pregnant 6 years ago and this small group has remained friends ever since. I clarify all of that so you can understand the context of her question.


How do I make friends? I don’t have any. And no, I am not having a pity party, . I honestly don’t have a single person I am not related to that I talk to in person. clearly you guys are amazing, but I want a friend to call and meet for lunch, or go have a drink with, or even bbqs with kids…. anything. If I want to get out of the house I call my mom or sister. I see all these mom’s at practice or school things and they are all friendly and no one talks to me. It’s hard, believe it or not, I am a total introvert at first and I loathe small talk. But I am so lonely. I do try to appropriately insert myself into groups and we get along, but again more small talk. I’m just not like the other moms. They all seem so perfect and put together. We go to a rich school, but we don’t have a lot of money, and I am too embarrassed to even let the kids have friends over, because I am afraid the mom’s will want to come in too and see my little house.

I just don’t know how to do this. I avoid all real human interaction, because I am afraid we won’t have anything to talk about, and it will be uncomfortable. I simply dread the phone, and even avoid calls from people I like. On the off chance someone does want to do something with me, I make excuses or worse, ignore them so they don’t persist.

What’s wrong with me?

I love this question because I feel like I relate to it so well. I have severe social anxiety that just gets worse the older I get. The problem is that I need friends, but it’s hard for me to make them and keep them because of my anxiety. I have found a few tips that help me when I’m trying to make new friends. I plan the outing. That’s #1. My dad always told me growing up that 1% of the population are the planners. The rest are followers. It’s so true. Very few people actually plan the parties and get togethers. So, here are the things I tell myself when I’m getting down about not being invited to things… I think 95% of the time, I’m not invited because people assume I already have things going on or they just don’t think about it. It’s not malicious and it’s not intentional. 5% of the people probably just don’t want to invite me. I can’t take that personal, I will never please everyone. (and truthfully it’s probably closer to 10-15%). Plus when I do get invited, I often say no because of my social anxiety. So I can’t really blame them when they eventually stop inviting me. So, moving on from feeling sad about not being included, move straight into the inviting. For me, things like movies or grabbing dessert work great. During a movie, nobody has to make small talk. Awesome. Dessert is good because it’s fun and tasty and quick. It’s not a full meal. (coffee works well here too). I have to plan out questions in my head to ask these people. I have to tell myself to listen to the answers. And if it’s bad, I take a Xanax beforehand. 98% of the time, it all turns out great. I enjoy meeting the people, I have a good time, and I find people within the group that I probably click with more than others and so those are the ones I move onto one-on-one time with. It’s painfully hard for me, but the value of good friends is immeasurable. For all of you out there that are struggling, just take it one day at a time. You can do it!





Guest Post: Not My Type

One of the topics of discussion on yesterday’s podcast was Twitter and what people use Twitter for and the different types of users one encounters.  To be honest, the ten minutes or so that we spent on it weren’t nearly enough, in my opinion.

Twitter has, by now, become one of the most ubiquitous mediums of interaction in the world.  Think of all the important news stories that have been broken and “covered” on Twitter, from the Arab Spring to the Boston Marathon bombing.  Try to think of a publication you read or a television show that you watch that doesn’t have a Twitter account that they promote and encourage you to tweet at–with hashtags for fuck’s sake.  Hard to do, isn’t it?  Because of this and because I enjoy using and being entertained and informed by it so much (and also because I’m freakish and weird) I have a compulsive need to understand Twitter almost at an anthropological level.

This is why I’m so happy to introduce the following guest post by my friend, Allie.  Allie’s been on, and an observant student of, Twitter for about four and a half years and has built a modest but solid following.  She’s also a school teacher, which I think gives her an interesting and unique perspective on the Twitter ecosystem.  You can find and follow Allie on Twitter as @jolieesprit.  I hope you enjoy her post.  If you do, by all means let her know.

- Ray


Upon opening my Twitter account in 2009, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; so, for a long time, I kept my head down and quietly observed. I foolishly followed unfunny celebrity “buy my new mediocre album or see my overhyped movie” accounts, not realizing that these tweets were most likely written by a PR firm, a manager, or someone else in the celebrity’s entourage.

As I became more comfortable interacting on Twitter and my follower count grew, I found my voice.  That wasn’t the only thing I found.  I found people who grated my nerves and irked the living shit out of me.  I found people who have crafted their Twitter personas so carefully that they have become a caricature of an idiotic caricature.  I found people who try so hard to be different that they end up being like so many others.

Twitter is an antisocial social network.  There’s a plethora of unwritten rules and very few experienced tweeters will tell you what they are.  In fact, the only time the rules are revealed is when someone breaks one and gets slammed for it.  Thus, it’s understandable how Twitter can be quite off-putting to some new tweeters. It intimidates and drives people (who warily admit that they “just don’t get it”) into running back to the land of liking posts on Family Friendly Facebook and pictures of cats and food on Instagram.

I’d explain to you what these rules are, but honestly it’s more fun to watch you learn the ropes and twist in the wind.  Twitter isn’t for the easily offended.  If you can’t handle someone busting your balls, whether you’re male or female,  you really probably don’t belong there.

If you survive your trial by fire and become accustomed to Twitter or if you’ve been there awhile, the following archetypical tweeters will seem quite familiar to you.

If you’ve been tweeting for a while, you’ll most likely think of someone you follow who fits into each category.  And that, folks, is why you can hit that unfollow button and never fucking look back.

The Big John G’s of Twitter

There is an infamous Tweeter, we’ll call him Big John G, who follows a great number of people to get them to follow back.  Then, a short while later, he unfollows them, betting that they won’t notice that he has.  As a result, his follower count grows exponentially and it  appears, at first glance, as though he writes great tweets and is popular for this reason.  The truth is, he’s playing the mass follow/unfollow game (for the sake of growing his follower count) that the rest of the “little people” on Twitter call the douchebag game.  I’ve been followed and unfollowed by him so many times that I’ve blocked him.  But his game got me to thinking…

Why would Big John G do this?  The most likely reason is due to the need to demonstrate that he has a solid following on Twitter.  This comes in handy when trying to promote a project or if one has been hired to do promotions using his or her Twitter account.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s also a Little John G tweeter.  Little John G is the tweeter who has an arbitrary goal in mind, of say, 8,000 followers.  He follows back until he reaches this goal or decides that he is finally “Twitter famous” and then unfollows all but maybe 500.  The 500 that he continues to follow are the ones who will kiss his ass by starring and retweeting him.  He then does the same for them and this, my friends, is how a Twitter circlejerk starfuck clique is born (see also Favstar).  In case you were wondering, this is also how mediocre tweets get 100 stars and 50 plus retweets in no time at all.

Miss Badvice

Also in this gathering of Twitter archetypes, you’ll almost definitely find a person who feels qualified to dole out advice to everyone who follows her.  Miss Badvice’s tweets are usually pithy, reworked or reworded quotes that she found online or what she believes to be her own unique insight about life and love. Her brilliant advice is usually about sex, friendship, or relationships and this is supremely ironic because Miss Badvice tweets so much and so often, that it’s impossible to figure out how she manages to have sex, keep friends, or work on her own relationships.  Isn’t the best advice based on experience?  Yes, it is.

What is also interesting about Miss Badvice is that at the slightest hint of anyone challenging her or questioning her, she reacts swiftly, forgetting all of her preaching about good manners and proper behavior.  Miss Badvice has a lot of followers though, and she’ll use them against you if you call her out on her hypocrisy.

And then she won’t let it go because you’ll have struck a nerve.  You’ll be persona non grata in her eyes.

Don’t worry though, you’d be a hero in mine.

Mighty Mini Misanthrope

For the sake of trying to be outrageous, which in some circles may translate to funny, this tweeter posts wildly inappropriate tweets that can range in subject matter from racism to misogyny.  The first 25 tweets from this guy may be mildly funny due to shock value, but his timeline quickly becomes a tireless rewording of the same tweets that are posted repeatedly.  There are very few people who can successfully sustain this type of shock and awe account. The one particular tweeter I have in mind attempts to be the edgy and shocking guy. Truth is, he tries too fucking hard and can’t see that he’s actually one of the types of people he claims to loathe. I observed him tweeting on a daily basis about how anti-social he is.  If you’re a psycho dickbag, do you really have to announce it?  Or does the subject matter of your tweets paint you with the crazy brush?  And…if you hate people THAT much, would you supply them with the Favstar link in your bio so that they can star and retweet you?  I think not.  I smell something, alright, and it’s not crazy. It’s the shit he tweets.

I’d like to take this opportunity to let this guy know: Yes, we know you’re going out in public. Yes, we know we should be worried for anyone with whom you come in contact.  And…yes….we know you hate people. You have 20,000 tweets about this.  Yawn.

You so gangsta, though, tweetin’ about how you hate people and all that really scary stuff.  It’s so very original.  Carry on, you psycho badass.  Carry on.

We’re all Scared. Of. You.

I Don’t Heart Rob Delaney

A trend that has been around for awhile on Twitter is to slam the professional comedian Rob Delaney.  If you don’t know who he is, his avi is a picture of him wearing bright green Speedos.  He has quite a large following on Twitter, which is surprising considering how many tweets I see about how much everyone “hates” him.

If you think he’s a no-talent hack who doesn’t deserve the followers he has, then, pray tell, why would you tweet about him almost daily? You are causing someone, somewhere, who doesn’t know who he is to go and find out.  And, judging from his follower count, they are hitting the follow button.

I’ve read my timeline almost every single day since I joined in 2009 and I’ve seen enough tweets about him to last me a lifetime.

I’m not sure why he’s so widely vilified other than my guess that less successful comedians are envious of his success.  I’m also not sure why so many people feel the need to tweet about him or to @ him with dumbass comments (which he’ll happily retweet to his followers to show the world what a dumbass they are).

I imagine that if you can’t make any witty observations, craft a crazily funny tweet, or just simply shut your twee hole…well, I imagine you can just slam Rob Delaney.

And I imagine it really bothers him, too.

Too Elite to Tweet

I’ve been on Twitter for over four years and I’ve honestly not been able to discern why some people feel qualified to baptize themselves as Elite. There’s a misconception that each Elite has a ton of followers.  It’s not always true. These tweeters literally believe that they are “Twitter famous” and that their followers (sheeple) hang on every character they tweet.

Their tweets, at one time funny, turn into pathetic pandering to their “fans.”  An Elite can tweet a single word and get endless stars and retweets.  They prove that unfunny people can thrive on Twitter if they have the right sheeple starring and retweeting them.

The sheeple that follow the Elite feel obligated to star and retweet nearly every single tweet in order to show their devotion.  They do this either out of fear of being unfollowed if they don’t or perhaps, in exchange for the slightest attention from their Twitter idol.  The endless Follow Friday mentions are really the new fan letters. The hope of one day being retweeted by an Elite spurs crazy behavior on.  Twitter is a level playing field on which the only weapons one has are his/her wits and writing skills.  Those with more followers think that they wield more power and this snowballs into the fallacious reasoning that anyone on Twitter is Elite or any better than anyone else.  Experienced people who play on the insecurities of those new to Twitter in order to amass their frightened legions of followers aren’t Elite.  They’re bullies.  Bullies with a lot of people who follow them out of fear of what will happen if they stop.  In school, an Elite would have taken your milk money.  On Twitter, an Elite takes advantage.

The @ Guy

I recently had a follower (with a whopping 27 of his own followers) who decided that he was required to respond to my tweets.  Every. Single. One. of my tweets. I honestly don’t mind the occasional @ to me and I’ve been known to throw a few to my friends as well, but this @ guy took it too far.  After he responded to 10 (ten!) of my tweets back to back, He really creeped me the hell out.  I don’t think I’m too good to respond to anyone, but he made me genuinely uncomfortable.

Tweeters like @ Guy have no sense of what snark or sarcasm is and really almost cannot help but to @ a person with a literal reply–literally stupid, literally unnecessary, and literally annoying.

What’s even worse is that most of the people who hit the reply button too often don’t even realize that they are annoying.  I’m pretty sure that the guy who kept answering my tweets thought he was being charming and hysterically funny.  Trust me.  He wasn’t.

I read his timeline before blocking him and saw that I wasn’t the only one he had blessed with his opinion–which to him, was fact.  He had not one single original tweet.  I had to throw a block on him, not so much for the constant @’s to me, but for the racist undertones that were rumbling under his responses.

I may be off-base here, but I feel as though the people who reply constantly to tweets somehow got lost on their way to an AOL chat room and found themselves on Twitter.

So, remember: Don’t reply to every tweet a person writes. Don’t answer rhetorical questions. If you’re not sure, by the way, of what a rhetorical question is, do yourself a favor before you hit that reply button and do a little research.

Ask yourself if you want the person you’re about to reply to to ignore you, block you, retweet your stupidity, or call you out in front of their thousands of followers.  Keep in mind it is Twitter.  All of that can happen. True story, bro.

Me Love You Long Time

Of course, writing about Twitter archetypes would not be complete if I didn’t mention the people who tweet about sex.

Not people who write the occasional funny sex tweets or the self-deprecating “it’s been so long since I had sex” tweets…no…those are funny.

I’m referring to the people who tweet constantly about finger-banging, blowjobs, anal sex, threesomes, and boobs.

We get it.  You’re not getting any.  And yes, we can unfollow you if we don’t want to read about your imaginary sexcapades.  But, honestly, it really just gets old.  How many dick jokes can a person tweet?  I wish I had a dollar for every tweet about finger-banging I’ve read so I could pay for some of you to get laid. When it comes to tweeting about sex, let’s try this:

Think outside of the box (take that as you wish) and tweet about something other than the two or three sexual fixations you have.  Learn some new terminology.  Be funny.  Don’t be so disgusting.  If it’s already been said a million times, why would you say it again?

What’s surprising about Twitter is that women tweet in this fashion about sex almost as much as men do.  Now, listen, I’m all for women expressing their desire and being open to sexual experiences, but you can only brag so many times about how awesome you are at sucking cock. It may have been a great strategy to get your 10,000 followers but eventually you’ll have to put up or shut up, put out or log out. Sooner rather than later, you’ll be known as just another slutty girl on Twitter.

And then what are you gonna do?

DM men blowjobs so they don’t unfollow you?

Team Followback

Have you ever had someone follow you and then send you multiple @’s asking you, or yet worse, TELLING you to follow back?

There’s a disease on Twitter and the people who claim to be on Team Followback are suffering from it.  This disease is called idiocy.

There’s no reason anyone should feel obligated to follow anyone else, but the douchetards who are on this “team” don’t think so.

If the only reason you are on Twitter is to get followers and you don’t ever tweet anything worthwhile, then why be there at all?  If it’s to sell the followers you collect to someone else, then I guess there’s that.  But why else would anyone do that?  What’s the point?

Twitter is for self-expression.  It’s a social platform for some.  For others, it’s a writing exercise.  It’s not an app that one uses simply to get people to follow them.  If I see the words Team Followback in a bio or anywhere else in someone’s profile, I don’t follow.  I don’t need to be bombarded with requests to listen to someone’s mixtape or to get a DM telling me “Follow me on Facebook!”

Team Followback is a pox on all of our timelines, a modern scourge.  It needs to be eradicated with the force of every badly written tweet that’s ever flopped and crashed into the ground.

Team Followback?  Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit.

Tweet the funny and I’ll follow you.  Twitter isn’t a goddamn team sport, dipshit.

The Favstar Fuckheads

The Twitter add-on app named Favstar has changed Twitter and has completely ruined some aspects of it, to be honest.  When I first began tweeting in 2009, it didn’t exist…or at least I hadn’t heard of it.  Favstar has turned writing tweets into a competition.  I was, at one time, guilty of not tweeting something because I didn’t think it would get enough “faves.”  After a brief foray into doing Twitter the Favstar way, I have regained use of my common sense and I no longer censor myself in this fashion.

What exactly is Favstar, you may ask?  For $30, you can purchase a six month membership of the oft-misbehaving app that you’ll see referred to as Favstar bonus features. This membership allows you to see your oldest tweets, to star and retweet from Favstar, and to award a ToTD (Tweet of the Day) trophy to one tweet each day of your membership.

What began as what was probably meant to be a fun idea and as a casual add on to Twitter rapidly became a monster that almost everyone feels they need to feed.

“Will it get a lot of stars?  Will it get retweeted?  Could I possibly win a ToTD?  If I give so and so a ‘trophy’ will she finally notice me?”

These are all questions that tweeters shouldn’t ask before hitting that send button.  Twitter, to many, is a stream of conciousness outlet.

By letting Favstar affect the way you think and tweet, you are limiting yourself as a writer.  Because, let’s face it, a great majority of people tweet because they want their thoughts to be heard and to be validated.  They tweet to laugh at what’s bothering them or the absurdity of something they witnessed.

Why should Favstar get in the way of that?

Is an imaginary trophy really more important than getting something heavy off of your chest?

I saved the Favstar Fuckhead description as the final archetype in my post because I’m hoping that eventually we’ll all have a good laugh.  You know we’ll all run the “That awkward moment when we all gave away imaginary trophies…” joke format into the ground.

The Favstar Fuckhead is the tweeter who only tweets for stars, retweets, and trophies.  If Favstar is down, he doesn’t tweet.  He saves tweets for the times when most of his followers are reading their timelines and starring tweets.  He also only stars and retweets those who star and retweet him.

This is the Favstar circlejerk starfuck clique mentality.

This, my friends, IS doing Twitter wrong.

I don’t think that Favstar is a completely horrible thing but I do think some people are entirely too serious about it.  If it gets in the way of self-expression, then maybe they aren’t “bonus” features afterall.  I understand that Favstar can be ego fuel catnip, but if it prevents someone from expressing a thought, then it may be time for that person to step away from the Twitter crackpipe and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

As I’ve said before, I’ve seen Twitter change.  I’ve seen the egos of the “Elite” get blown out of proportion.  I’ve seen the hollow thank you’s given out for the fake trophies and the people who are trying too hard.  And yes, to some extent, I’ll agree that it takes all kinds and all minds to make Twitter work.

There will always be people on Twitter (in addition to the obvious panderers and quote accounts) who fall into these categories unless we block and report as spam each one we encounter.

I’m only kidding.

We couldn’t do that.

Could we?

- Allie @JolieEsprit

Jobs, Dating, and the Twitter Elite

Listen in as Ray and Ramsey argue the merits of following your heart. Who’s side are you on?



Marriage and Dating. Is it possible?

Dear CTFU,

Between kids, school, work, and everything else life brings me, I’m finding it hard to reconnect with my spouse. Everyone says to go on dates but between the cost of the babysitter and going out, there’s just not money for it. How can we reconnect and feel like we’re in this together and not just two adults living side by side?

- Tired in Toledo.
Dear Tired,

I hear you. As a mom of 3, I often find myself in this same situation. Even if we have the money to go out, I feel so worn out by the end of the day I’m not sure the desire is even there. However, I think it’s a vital part of a marriage so I’ll tell you what works for me.

First, make it a priority! Yes, your children need you but so does your spouse. People gravitate towards marriage and monogamy because we need someone to help us through life. Someone to share our joys and sorrows with. Some days you may feel like you don’t need anyone, but you need your spouse as much as your spouse needs you. Your children are going to grow up, move out, get married, and start their own families. If you don’t cultivate your marriage, once those kids are gone you’ll wonder who you’re even married to. So understand that your marriage is your top priority.

As for the money part, I totally understand it. There are a few options here. Try finding friends with the similar number of kids. They probably need a night out too. Offer to do a trade once a month. That way you’re both benefiting. If that doesn’t work, ask around and maybe someone is willing to do trades. Maybe you can cook their family dinner a few times and in return they’ll watch your kids one Friday night. Another thing you can do is a date night at home. Put the kids to bed and plan a date at home. Go to redbox, rent a movie, make a special dinner, do something at home. The point of it is to reconnect with each other without the stress of your kids. So, just stay up late.

Here are a few suggestions to help you along the way. Make sure you take turns planning it. Alternate it so you’re both doing things you like to do. Turn your phones off. This is such an important point. I find that when I’m talking to my husband or when he’s talking to me in the evening, I only hear every 3rd word if I have my phone in my hand. So for date nights, phones get turned off. You can do it. You can catch up on twitter, facebook, emails, play candy crush in the morning. I promise you, the internet will not stop working if you log off for a night. You can do it.

I hope my tips have helped you and I hope you truly take the time to do them. Your marriage should be what brings you joy and helps you get energized. Take time to nurture it so that it fills that spot in your life.



Networking: How to Use and Annoy Your Friends and Former Colleagues To Find Your Dream Job

There’s a popular saying about work that goes something like, “if you do what you love for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  I like that saying.  I agree with it and I’ve said it, or some version of it, to young people–well, younger people than me, many times in hopes of guiding them towards a more happy and fulfilling life.  Unfortunately, nobody ever said it to me when I was first starting out so I do what I do for a living not because I love it, but because I’m good at it and it pays the bills.  Pretty well, I might add.  Still, it’s not what you’d call a “fulfilling career,” but the money’s nice.  Anyway, I say all of that to tell you about my recent adventures in career transition and a few of the lessons I learned.

I work in corporate finance.  Bean counter is something people have called me.  Raging dickhead is another, but I digress.  For the past eight years, I’d been doing my thing for a pretty well known company which is a subsidiary of another pretty well known corporation.  The paycheck was good, the hours manageable, the people nice, but the unchanging routine of it coupled with the daily aggravation visited upon me by the bureaucrats at corporate were boring the living shit out of me while also slowly devouring my soul.  I recognized the symptoms because I’d been similarly afflicted with them a half a dozen or so times before in my career and knew that it was time to move on.  But how?  Here’s where the lesson begins.

I’ve been doing what I do for a living long enough that I’ve risen to a fairly senior level in my field (not-so-humble-brag).  Because of this, the types of jobs that I would be interested in are not exactly plentiful, but they’re out there (even in this economy).  So I knew that I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for in the classifieds section of the L.A. Times or on or any of the other internet job search sites.  No, friends, I was going to have to NETWORK to find the job I was looking for.

Networking.  UGH, AM I RIGHT?

Yessssss, reaching out to friends, acquaintances, that guy you worked with on that project that one time, etc. etc.  LinkedIn, coffees, lunches, corporate sponsored wine mixers, fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Guess what?  As distasteful as all of that sounded to me, it worked.  Not right away, mind you, because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing at first, but I’m a fast learner.  So now, I’m happy to report that I left my last company, on excellent terms, and now work for a company that is providing me the kind of challenges and learning opportunities that I was looking for.  I’m excited about going to work again.  How did it happen?  Here’s what I learned:

1. Know What You Want — You don’t like your job?  Ready to find a new one that you WILL like?  Your chances of success will increase dramatically if you first take the time to write down exactly what you don’t like about your current job and exactly what kind of job you want to have instead.  Details are important: your position, title, responsibilities, type and size of company, management structure, location, etc.  This will help you with step 2…

2. Make a Target List — Use the internet and the business section of your local newspapers to research companies in your area or the area of the country where you want to live and work that best fit the description you came up with in step 1.

3. Now You’re Ready to Network — Networking is fundamentally transactional.  It’s about buying and selling.  If you aren’t in the market to buy or sell something, networking is basically a waste of time other than as social activity for which there are usually better and more fun alternatives.  But now, you are in the market to sell something: yourself, as a valuable human capital asset, to the highest bidder from among your target companies.

4. The Network — Start with your friends, acquaintances, colleagues and former colleagues.  If you don’t have a huge list of those, attend the next breakfast or mixer put on by your local Chamber of Commerce.  If there’s a professional association that you belong to or can get one of your acquaintances to invite you to a function as a guest, attend that.  Depending on your personality it might be uncomfortable as hell, at first, to network with strangers but you’ll get comfortable and even good at it fairly quickly.  Trust me.  Numbers are the name of the game at this point.  You want to meet as many people as possible.  By the way, you know what?  Most people, the vast majority actually, are happy to help.  I know, it shocked the hell out of me too.

5. The Elevator Pitch — Write down and rehearse, until it’s as smooth as glass, your “elevator pitch.”  That is, a 30 second (no longer than a minute) description of who you are, what you do and what type of company you want to do it for.  It’s called an elevator pitch because in business you sometimes have no longer than the length of an elevator ride with the person whom you need to sell on your idea, your product or yourself to get your message across.

6. The Ask — End your elevator pitch with the following question: “What do you do?”  Take a genuine interest in getting to know this person.  Ask questions, learn something.  Then after they’ve told you about themselves, based on what they do and whom they might know, you can follow that up with “I’d love to get an introduction to someone at __________ company.  Do you know anyone there or anyone who might be able to facilitate an introduction for me?”  NEVER say “I’m looking for a job” or “I’d like to talk to them about a job” or “I’m going to ask them for a job” or anything like that.  It can make people uncomfortable to sic “job hunters” on their friends or business acquaintances.  But networkers know that it’s a “you scratch my back today, I’ll scratch yours tomorrow” world and that introduction could lead to them being able to call on you for a similar favor or even to do business with someday, so…

7. The Follow Through — You’ve gotten the introduction, usually by email.  Now what?  Follow up with an email or a phone call of your own.  Schedule a meeting or a coffee or a lunch, whatever works best for both of you.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 from above.  Tell them about yourself and what you bring to the table.  Share your resume with them and ask them if they think someone with your skills could help their company or the firm for which you’re asking an introduction to.  If you’re looking for them to facilitate another introduction rather than bring you into their firm you can also offer to help them with referrals or introductions to people you know or have gotten to know.  Scratch each other’s backs, so to speak.

Here’s what will happen: eventually you will get introduced to people who will be in a position to get you to the position you’re looking for.  Crazy right?  When it does, you’ll be ready to capitalize because the other thing that networking does for you is it makes you incredibly good at talking about and selling yourself.  You’ll also learn how to ask the right questions.  The interviews will be a breeze.  In fact, they’ll feel more like natural and interesting conversations than interviews.  And that will lead to offers and the job you really want.

I tell you this with the confidence of someone who’s done it and done it successfully.  Life’s too short to be unhappy forty hours a week.  Update your resume, polish your elevator pitch and GET OUT THERE.  Good luck.

- Ray