Monthly Archives: June 2013

Things I Would Rather Do Than Write A Cover Letter

I got laid off this morning. I wish I could just take the ‘off’ out of that sentence, but unfortunately, that’s not how it went down. Getting laid off sucks, but not as badly as getting fired, and I’ve had that happen as well. Getting laid off usually comes with some sort of compensation package, and the potential to apply for Employment Insurance if you aren’t successful in getting another job right away. Getting fired usually comes with emotional pain and humiliation. What they both come with is an opportunity to update your resume, and get your ass out there to look for a new job.

I don’t mind updating the resume. These days I save an old copy on the computer like a normal human should, and then all you have to do is add your most current employer. It should be fresh in your mind as they’re the ones that just ripped your heart out. I totally don’t mind sending my resume out. I used to print that shit up on fancy paper and mail it. Now I email it, and it couldn’t be easier (although the way technology moves, I’m sure it COULD be easier…. I’m holding out for the day that I’ll be able to just ‘think’ my resume into some potential employer’s head… that’ll be awesome). The part that aggravates me is that I’m supposed to do an original cover letter for every employer that I send the resume to. I know that there’s some cut and paste potential here, and it’s probably not as bad as it sounds, but I despise the process of attaching cover letters to my resume.

There are no words that I can come up with (and I’m pretty good at eventually finding the right word for a situation…… not always at the moment I need it, but usually well after the conversation has ended) to describe how I hate working on cover letters. To accurately portray how I detest this routine, I’ve provided a list of…..


– I’ve been changing a lot of diapers these days. It’s been pretty routine lately, but there have been some wild ones over the last 8 months. I would happily change the crappiest of my son’s diapers before working on a cover letter
– If given the choice to clean the toilets in our home instead of the cover letter I would scrub the toilets for sure.
– Master the Rubik’s Cube without taking it apart or peeling the stickers
– Ride a Unicycle while juggling bowling pins
– Run a Lemonade Stand with a partner who lacks work ethic
– Polish my shoes (when I re-read this in my mind I pronounced it Po-lish, like from Poland, and I spend moments reflecting on what it might mean to Po-lish ones shoes).
– Go to Wal-Mart/Costco which may be something you do all the time or enjoy, but I avoid this shopping cart gridlock like I avoid nut-bars on the subway system.
– Return empties to the store
– Watch a Julia Roberts movie
– Sit in the pediatrician’s waiting room for half an hour
– Have my flight delayed
– Get crapped on by one of the pigeons that waits for me under the bridge near the subway entrance. As long as it’s just on my clothes, and on the way home from work. If it gets in my hair, or is on the way to work…. I’ll take the cover letter.

Blog Ideas For the Idea-Less Part 2

I’ve always wanted to do a sequel. Well here it is. I’ve got nothing today, but a self-imposed deadline that says I need to produce a blog before day’s end. So, I started Google-ing blog ideas to see if any genius decided to post some generic ones that I could write about, then I thought…… ‘wait a minute’…. this all seems so familiar. I did a blog about blog ideas. All I need to do is go back and read it, and pick my favorite idea. So I did. The only problem is that I didn’t like any of the ideas, or else I would have used them before now. I did however like the idea of blogging about blog ideas.
I’ve decided that I’m going to write down additional ideas for blogs that I will either do in the future, or pay it forward (I absolutely HATE that expression….. saying you’re going to ‘pay it forward’ is trying to take credit for doing something that you should probably just do without patting yourself on the back…. knock it off) by donating these ideas to the blogging community. Blog little bloggers!!!! Blog freely and mightily!!! Give these crappy ideas a home!!!!

Here are the ideas….. Feel free to steal these, and don’t feel like you need to ask permission. Permission is granted…..

– Whole Wheat Bread…. A Black Eye On the Sandwich Community
– Why Pandas Are Totally Overrated
– What To Do If Your Wife Likes Zombie/Vampire Movies And You Don’t
– Why Your First Car Is So Much Better Than Mine Was
– The Itchy Hipster Beard
– I Hate Sand, Saltwater, and Sunshine, but I LOVE The Beach
– How To Handle Your Baby Being Better Looking Than You
– My Secret Mission To Fill Ponds With Golf Balls

Awwww man…. 295 words??? Didn’t I just write a blog about how all blogs should be at least 500 words? I should go in and change it. I think I still can. I’ll change it to say ‘unless you are making lists, which by nature do not require a lot of filler words as they are all titles.’ It’s too late. Too many people have read it. I’m going to start a new list below.

These are potential names for a rock band if I ever start one. I always wanted to be a rock star, but it was one of about 7000 things I wanted to do. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and I have no musical ability, so it’s a long shot at best. I have thought long and hard about band names though. Here’s a sampling……

– Electrical Thug Outlets
– Paranoid Gerbils
– Discreet 2nd Mortgage
– The Founding Mothers
– Tapedeck Wristband
– Devastating Sockpuppets
– Scurvy Pimples
– Leadpipe Tenderness
– Skintag Army Boots
– Picnic Casket
– Stucco Surprise
– The Ironic Glue Guns
– Sweatsock Machismo
– Rancid Daisy Experience
– Unsexy Vampires
– Rolling Credits Plot Twist
– Inbox Spam & Eggs
– The Jolly Ranchers of Grave Concern
– Thundamentals
– Rusty Barf Bags
– Dan’s Still In Distress
– Frog Penis
– Jim Jevitis
– Scrap Metal Ninja Star
– Cryptic Crochet
– Depresso Machine

504… Phew…. I probably could go on, but I’m pretty sure I could get wildly famous with one of the above band names. Now I just need to start playing the guitar.

Blirritations & The New Blog

Part One: Blirritations (Blog Irritations…. I’m forever inventing words aka wordventing)

I feel a little sheepish writing this post. I read some blogs every week. Not because I enjoy reading, but because it’s bad Karma to write a blog and hope for support, and not read and give support. So I try to read and give support as often as time will allow. I will say that I’m generally pretty impressed with a lot of the blogs I read, and even if I’m not (after all, who the hell am I?), I try give positive feedback, or at least hit the ‘like’ button to let a fellow blogger know I stopped by. I figure this is the least I can do.

I have certain blog pet peeves though, and the reason I hesitate to share these with you is because some of my favourite bloggers do some of these things. I hope that if you are one of these people, and you are doing one or more of these things, that you’ll ignore my complaining, and stick to your guns. You’re my favourite for a reason. These are just minor irritations from a person who tends to get irritated often enough to have a ‘rant’ blog, so consider the source.

By the way, am I being Canadian enough with all these apologies??? What I’m about to say isn’t really that offensive, unless you have a blog where you do 3 or more of these things. Without further nonsense I present my top 5 Blirritations

1. I like a blog to be between 500-1500 words. Under 500 tells me that you aren’t a writer. If you can’t elaborate on an idea for at least 500 words, then why bother? This is writing. I’m not a writer, but I can at least bullshit you into thinking I am for a minimum of 500 words. I don’t often click on a link when the blogger didn’t think enough of their topic to give me 500. I know it’s hard some days, but how do you expect to get better? On the flip side of that coin, if you’re giving me 1500 or more words, you have exceeded my attention span for a blog. I respect you, but unless your post is fully riveting, or ‘shit-your-pants funny’, I would rather read two or three 500-1000 word blogs in the same amount of time.

2. There is a famous saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I don’t think whoever said that meant that you could just have a blog and post a bunch of pictures, and not write. I’m struggling with this all the time, and I think that eventually I will bite the bullet and start posting pictures with my blogs. The stats indicate that you get more people reading your stuff if there are pictures posted. On WordPress, if you can get ‘Freshly Pressed’, it seems to lead to about 2000 more followers almost instantly. I really want 2000 more followers, but I need to post pictures and stop swearing in order to make that happen, and unfortunately, the temptation to swear is too strong (because that’s often how I express myself), and I feel it cheapens the blog to post pics (unless it’s a food blog, or travel blog, or something else that requires pics). I’m giving a FREE PASS to bloggers that draw their own pictures. I quite like those. It’s like getting a handmade birthday card instead of store-bought. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d rather have a thousand words from a good blogger.

3. There’s this blogging technique where it’s funny to say some crazy shit say what you really mean, and then cross it out and say something more politically correct. This is a deft way of saying some ignorant shit and not taking credit for it making the reader understand how you feel, while not actually including it in the text. It’s the comic strip equivalent of a thought bubble. The character doesn’t say how he/she is feeling to the person she’s talking to, but they let the reader know. Ha ha ha, except this isn’t a fucking comic strip, it’s a blog. I’m not feeling it. If you’re trying to be a better writer, you should try to make your reader feel the exact same way without the shortcuts.

4. There are so many ‘currently popular’ words that come and go. Some get overused, and I’m having a tough time thinking of examples, although I know there are tons of words that I feel this way about. I will focus on ‘Epic’. Not everything is epic. It’s a word that should only be used a fraction of the time that I’m seeing it. Your sandwich isn’t epic. When you tripped over your shoelace, it wasn’t epic. When your girlfriend broke up with you at Starbucks, it wasn’t an epic breakup. When you had too many Jager Bombs, your hangover wasn’t epic. Now if a dinosaur suddenly smashed through your kitchen window with his head, grabbed you, and the contents of the freezer with his teeth, stomped over traffic, and crushed motor vehicles on its way to the beer store, and picked up a case of Lowenbrau tall cans, and flew (with you, freezer contents, and beer in hand) to the nearest park, where he kicked a family of 12 off a barbecue, and started to throw down on some baby back ribs, all while knocking cyclists off the bike path with his tail while the two of you laugh and laugh and laugh, until he eats you for dessert. That would be epic.

5. What on earth is a guest blog?? This isn’t Regis and Kathy Lee, and one of them is sick and needs a replacement! It’s a blog! You’re the writer, so when (and if) I go to your blog, it’s to read YOUR writing. I get that you’re being supportive to a fellow blogger, and want to feature them in some way. I just don’t think that’s the way to do it. Or if you said you would blog every week and you’re sick this week, but honestly, the world will go on if you don’t blog for a few days… god…. how important do you think you are?? It’s not a TV show where ‘the show must go on’, it’s a blog. It shouldn’t go on, if it’s not you doing it.

Part Two:

The New Blog….. is up. It will be everything that I just said I hated about blogs probably, but I’m doing it anyways…. Don’t worry (if you were worried), ‘Thoughts and Rants’ is still my baby, and I’ll still be doing this one every Monday. The first post is up on the new one though, so in advance I thank you for checking it out, and potentially following it, if you think it will be of interest to you.

Things Are Going to Be So Much Better Now That I Have A New Phone

Today I finally bit the bullet and bought a new phone. Actually I didn’t buy it, it was free! Shout out to Bell for making this happen in under 5 interactions with store/customer service (4 to be exact). I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of my contract renewal. Let’s just say that they wasted a bunch of my time, and I inadvertently pulled their phone off the wall while talking to the customer service department. I should have been way more embarrassed by that, but my experience with that company never should have culminated in that particular store visit (ie if they all did their jobs properly, I wouldn’t have ended up using that phone with a really long phone cord, lulling me into a false sense of security as to the pacing radius I could use, and pulling it off the wall and onto the floor……..the guy didn’t look impressed, but guess who else wasn’t impressed with the fact that I had to call customer service to begin with….. eye for an eye!).

Now…. it’s just time to bask in the glory of a new phone. Everytime I watch TV, I see a bunch of commercials, and in almost all of them, there are people who look really really happy with their phones. I’ve never been unhappy with mine. I’ve achieved some pretty good longevity with some of them. Sadly, longevity is not valued in the world of cell phone users. The paying public wants it to be new. Always new. So while, I’ve never been unhappy with my phone, I’ve also never experienced the euphoria that a new phone seems to provide the handsome actors and actresses in the commercials. I’ve seen a lot of different commercials, and the automotive industry doesn’t even have commercials where young people are this excited. I just want that feeling. That glow that only can seemingly be achieved by bragging about your new phone! I’ve seen it!! Just let me feel that!!! Just once!! LET…. ME…. FEEL….. THAT….. THE GREATEST…… FEELING…..EVER!!!!!!!! Oh god, I wish I knew how to use an emoticon other than happy face/sad face…. I bet there’s a perfect one for this.

Sadly, I don’t feel any different. It could be because I didn’t get the newest phone available. I got one that’s older. It’s new by my standards. Or maybe it’s just way less old than the one I had before. The sales associate couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t get the new one that had just come out. I told him that I would get that one. Next time. When it wasn’t new anymore. I figure that all the bugs will be figured out by then. I’m always worried that when you get the newest thing available, there might be a bunch of problems with it when it first comes out, and I don’t like the headaches. The associate seemed to be part of this new culture of people who need everything to be new. He explained that the new phones have way more cool stuff, and even though he understood that I’m not a user of a lot of cool stuff, he just thought that I’d like it better. Maybe he was right, but the one I got was free! Most importantly however was the fact that it is ‘NEW TO ME’.

I’m going to go into that concept further with you as I did with the sales associate. He looked like he listened to rock music, so I asked him if he liked Led Zeppelin. Just to be clear, everyone that likes rock music likes Led Zeppelin. If you find yourself reading this and thinking ‘hey, I don’t like Led Zeppelin’……cool….. but then you don’t like rock music. (Moving right along), the associate confirmed that he indeed enjoyed listening to Led Zeppelin. I was puzzled. They aren’t new. I would suggest that he might not be old enough to have been around when they disbanded, and he damn sure wasn’t around when their first album came out. I asked him how he can be a fan of them, when he wasn’t there when they were new. He didn’t know the answer. I did. It was because Led Zeppelin is new to him. It’s no worse for him than it was for people who were around at the time. I wonder if my son might like them. I don’t know if he’ll be into rock or not, but if he is (and as I established earlier), then he will like them. They won’t be old though. They’ll be new…. to him. Just like the phone I bought is new to me. Just like the new phone that I didn’t buy will be new to me by the time I buy it.

The sales associate didn’t think I was a fountain of deepness, but I had also just ripped their phone off the wall, so my credibility was limited. I hope you all understand though. Chronology is overrated. Things can always be ‘new to you’, and whether they’re actually ‘new’ or not is irrelevant. The sooner you all figure that out, the more awesome you’ll be in my mind, which is just like being awesome in real life, except it’s not real life, it’s just my mind…. which is really awesome in its own right.

Rock on!