Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Office Hype, Bitches.

I don’t think people get excited enough at work. In your office what happens when you do something great? Maybe a pat on the back, or a drink at the bar, but no real emotion. So I suggest we all take a cue from the sports world and bring some excitement back in to the office. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to hype up your office mates.

1. If you show up to work on time set off a smoke bomb and run through it yelling ‘let’s do this bitches’. Apparently in the sports world simply showing up is enough to cause a commotion.

2. If at any point during the day you send a particularly good email stand up and pound your chest and yell ‘you can’t stop my punctuation mother f*cker’. It is important to celebrate simply tasks that you are expected to do. Its like watching a football player tackle a running back after a 3 yard gain, it may not seem like an event worth dancing 20 yards down the field for, but trust me a well worded email is just as valuable.

3. Win a big project, announce the win to your boss then run at him throwing your brief case to the floor, untuck your shirt and jump on him (or her). “We did it, oh my god we did it!”

4. We have all seen the celebrations on the football field, whether it is the ‘mixing bowl’ or the high step dance they are all overly obnoxious and have nothing to do with football. So I propose that your celebrations be a little more appropriate to the office. There is the ‘air email type’, the ‘copier paper reload’ and my personal favorite the post power point presentation move in which you slam down the slide show clicker, rip open your shirt and make the slitting your throat gesture…’I just killed that presentation bitches, dead!’

So if you happen into J Crew and see me sell a particularly nice shirt, or happen to fold some pants really well you might just see some amazing celebrations. “That’s right sucker, your cant handle my skills! You don’t even want that shirt, but you are going to buy it because I am that good. Customers got nothing on this sales giant…J CREW!”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Go (went) Commando!

Have any of you (men only) ever received this phone call from your mother…”honey what size underwear to you wear? I am at Kohls and they are having a great sale on underwear.” I have not had to take one of these phone calls in a long time, but it reminds me of the last time I did. I think it was the summer after my senior year of high school. I can remember telling my parents I was going to go play football or something with some of my buddies and then spend the night out. I have no idea how I was able to get away with this, but I wasn’t about to argue. The truth is we were all going to the park to have a cook out and drink…football was not on the menu. By late in the afternoon I had a pretty good buzz going when my cell phone rang. Figuring, rather hoping, it was one of the many girls we had invited, but didn’t come, I answered. The female voice on the other side asked…”what size underwear do you wear”. Buzzed and intrigued, I answered with something like…”I don’t wear underwear”. The reply on the other line was not what I was hoping for…’this is your mother, what the hell kind of answer is that?’

Needless to say my mother never asked any questions about my underwear again, and I never get underwear for Christmas or my birthday. So besides the strange looks the next morning at the breakfast table the whole thing worked out pretty well.

So now every time I see a middle aged women standing in front of the underwear section at Target with a bewildered look on her face I always think…’just call him, I am sure now is the perfect time to discuss your teenage son’s underwear’.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Party Advice

Most of us, me included, do not have the skills to be social mavens. In fact I would suggest that if you care to avoid social humiliation you should stick to the basics. This is even more important this time of the year when we are bombarded with company and family holiday parties. These situations provide all of the necessary recipes for a complete melt down. Free food, free booze, fancy environment, the nervous non work banter with a co worker or boss…it is a stick of dynamite ready to explode.

We have all heard the horror stories, whether urban legend or truth, they have been passed around for years as a verbal warning to over consumption. So here are a few tips to keep you out of trouble this year.

1. Avoid the camera. If there are not pictures of you looking wasted it is much easier to deny any wrong doing.

2. Stick with what you know. If you are a beer drinker, keep that half full Bud Light close in hand. Just because your boss is a Dewar’s on the rocks guy doesn’t mean you have to follow.

3. Avoid shop talk. An awkward conversation about how bad the Bears are this year is much better than accidently telling your boss’ wife that every female in the office thinks he is hot, and you are starting to agree with them.

4. No dancing, no singing and for God’s sake do not start high fiving people. All of these are normally great party starters around your friends, but you don’t want to have to apologize to your IT guy on Monday for kicking him in the face while trying to do the worm.

5. And lastly, I can’t even believe I have to say this, DO NOT sleep with a co worker before, during or after your holiday party. A 2007 survey says that close to 44% of men admit to having an affair at a holiday at some point in their career. Even if you are both single, at least try to leave separately so people do not get any funny ideas.

So my suggestion for avoiding trouble this holiday…stay sober at your office party, come late and leave early and if she isn’t your wife don’t bring her to the party.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Remember when we were kids and once or twice a year at school we would write little notes and tie them to balloons and release them? As a kid I can remember imagining some child far far away sitting outside at recess and this balloon falling into his lap and reading my note. My message would be so inspirational that kid would grow up to be a great leader and change the world. But now as an adult I like to picture a much different, more realistic outcome.

About 30 miles south of the school there is a farmer that wakes up at sunrise and makes his way out to the fields to tend to his crops. As he approaches his fields he sees something out of the ordinary, thousands of tiny little pieces of rubber and string in all sorts of colors strung throughout the rows of corn. He approaches one of these objects to see that a small note is attached to one of the strings, he reads the note…”I hate this place, someone get me out of here”. He then reads another and another, “the food here is horrible”, “Mr. Smith made me run laps today” each one worse than the next. “Billy and Tommy caught me in the bathroom alone again”, “I pooped my pants today, but didn’t tell anyone”. Naturally the farmer is shocked by these messages and fears the worst. “The balloon factory has enslaved its factory workers and they are sending these messages out as cries for help”.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Yesterday I was standing at an intersection waiting to cross the street. As I started into the intersection I saw a car approaching out of the corner of my eye so I stopped to make sure they weren’t going to hit me. Well I guess the red light and the giant white stop line in the street weren’t enough as the car came to a screeching halt in the middle of the cross walk (a huge pet peeve of mine that normally sends me into a rage). For whatever reason it didn’t bother me too much and I just looked up to give the driver a nasty look. The first thing I saw was a MADD (Mothers against drunk driving) ribbon hanging in the rear view mirror. ‘Huh, I haven’t seen one of those in a while.’ The irony that a woman that supported safe sober driving almost took me out at the knees was enough to give me a chuckle, until I gave her a closer look.

Cigarette in one hand, blackberry and eyeliner in the other hand furiously typing a text with her music so loud I could hear it over my ipod. I lost it…in three instantaneous stages. I went from chuckling about the irony of almost getting hit, to shock of the sheer stupidity of the driver, to a curse word filled rant that would make a sailor cry. I figured she couldn’t hear me and my poetic use of the word asstard (that is an asshole and retard) so I gave her a bang on the hood, and fake “I am getting your license plate number and calling the cops routine”. She was unfazed. My antics proved to be more entertaining to my fellow pedestrians than educational to the driver but that’s ok.

The worst part about the entire incident, besides the humiliation of looking like a raving lunatic in the middle of the street, was the fact that for the rest of the night I had the song stuck in my head she was blaring. Fucking Kanye West, Flashlights. Damn it, I hate that douche bag. You have to be kidding me, the song just came on the radio!

What is the lesson for today? I hope Kanye West’s tour bus is struck by a mother drunk driving and he can never perform again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crap, I might be good looking.

You would think that most people wouldn't complain about getting better looking, but then you haven’t met me. For me the worst part of getting old is not the fact I can't run a mile, or drink two nights in a row, or even that my knee hurts when it rains. No, for me the worst part about getting older is the fact I am getting increasingly better looking. I am not trying to be conceded here, the proof is in the is the pure truth for me as it is for many men. We get better looking with age. Not only am I better looking but I have finally graduated from 28 inch waist to a firm 32 and I can almost fill out medium T-Shirt. Lastly the addition of a small amount of fashion sense (including the removal of a shell necklace and ear ring) I find myself floating somewhere between a 7 and 8. Don’t get me wrong, I am not turning heads or fighting off crowds of women at bars, but it is a huge step up from a long lonely year my freshman year of high school.

So why does this suck so bad? I am married and all of this new found attraction is pretty much useless. Not only does being married make this power useless, but it also adds a solid 1 to 1.5 points to my attractiveness. I have no idea why many women find married men more attractive, but it's a fact. Lastly, I have lost all and any fear I once had in talking to women because I know that it is never going anywhere. In the ripe age of 28 I have become the best pick up machine I will ever be and I can do absolutely nothing with it.

Great for my wife that she finally gets to have sex with an attractive man opposed to that skinny necklace wearing baby faced boy she dated 5 years ago, but boo for me that I couldn’t have this talent 10 years ago when I headed off to college.

Feel bad for me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's offical...I am the Rat King!

My ascension to oblivion has reached its climax. There is no longer a doubt that I am indeed the Rat King.
Before I continue, I want to assure the masses that are reading other blogs and not mine that I am not a depressed, whoa is me, I have it so bad, I need a hand out type of person. In fact one might argue that I am an over confident, sometimes cocky kid that wants to be ‘in the mix’ of everything, but let’s leave that argument for another blog. I am simply trying to get to my point, because right now I have no idea what my point is or is not. I do know that my education is not worthless, but I also know that it hasn’t provided me directly with any tangible markers of success. All that I have accomplished to this point has been of my own hard work and creative design. Would I suggest to the youngsters of the world to skip college and just jump into the world…God no. But if one finds themselves in that position don’t get worried…just yet.
Ok. So what is the latest ripple in the evolution of my career that has removed any doubt that I am indeed the Rat King? Licensure. I recently learned that I have passed the fifth and final exam in the road to becoming a licensed landscape architect, a feat that only a few hundred other people in Illinois and maybe a few thousand in the country have accomplished. So why is this a mark on my status? State laws in 48 states require the stamp of a licensed landscape architect on many construction/ development plans, but guess what state is one of the two that does not? That’s right, Illinois. Meaning landscape architects have very little economic or political influence in this state, rendering my licensure virtually useless. Second that with the fact that there are no available jobs in my industry, and I might just be the most over qualified underappreciated professionally licensed unemployed person in the entire state of Illinois and maybe even this side of the Mississippi.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am the Rat King of a generation that no one will ever remember.

How you ask am I so bold as to declare myself king? Let me tell you a little something about myself before we get into my peers and generation Y. I am a 27 year old white male from an upper middle class family, raised in suburbia USA. Six months before graduating high school I had almost finished my first semester of college, but somehow managed to miss the lifelong distinction of high school honor graduate by .07 GPA. Maybe it was the 6 month stint as the Vice President of the art club my junior year that propelled me into the elite that gained my entry into one of the top state run colleges in the country or maybe it was my 115 .lbs frame that intimidated the acceptance board. Regardless of how I gained entry into this historic institution I wasn’t going to let the opportunity for a great education pass me by, or so I thought. After a year floundering in art school drawing bowls of fruit and the occasional naked man, something told me this wasn’t going to be the yellow brick road to fame and riches. Luckily a friend (who I now hate) introduced me to a fascinating degree that promised the chance to design and build great things around the world; they really need to rewrite the course description. Four years later after completing one of the most time consuming majors NOT known by anyone, I was prepared to hold my head up high with a degree from the top ranked landscape architecture program in the nation. Yes, that is right folks it is a five year college degree and they do rank the schools. To my dismay the week before graduation I discover my transgressions of a vodka filled freshman year still haunted me leaving yet again missing out on the lifelong distinction of being a college honor graduate. Mush closer this time, only missed the cut by .05 GPA.
Ready to conquer the world, despite my lack of honors, I attacked the Chicago landscape architecture scene with tenacity and vigor, armed with the declaration of a top tier education. To my utter dismay I discovered that even the most well versed employer had not only never heard of the landscape architecture school ranking system, but actually were offended that their university didn’t crack the top 20. So after successfully offending future employers across Illinois, I took a position at a little known company making a few dollars more than nothing. Four year and half years and one job later, I find myself sitting on the couch at home (newly laid off) starring a horrible jobless profession in the face. Not a fan of 50 to 60 hour work weeks, or the fear that one day I might be one of my miserable bosses making $75,000 as a fifty two year old vice president, I decided to walk away. Here is where the trouble really starts; no one has a clue what a landscape architect does. Friends and family members to this day ask me ‘why does my grass look brown?’ or ‘what do you call the yellow and purple flower?’ The first few times I would try and humbly explain that I design parks, college campuses, and other ‘stuff like that’, but eventually I grew tired of the puzzled faces and just began making up answers…’you should check to make sure you don’t have Africanized fire ants’ or ‘oh, that is a very rare poisonous flower, if you see one call the CDC immediately’.
So back to why I am the Rat King of this forgetful generation; you are going to forget me in the thirty to forty five seconds. My mother would argue otherwise, but the truth is there is nothing special about me. I am clearly not an honor graduate, my 5’-10” 160lbs frame could be hidden by a small shrub, and there aren’t a lot of government subsidized programs for white guys with parents that make money. Not that I am looking for a hand out, but who is really looking out for little old me? Shit, is it too much to ask to make a few dollars more than a female doing the same job as me? I guess so. So a fifty five year old woman that lives in Florida thinks I am ‘smart enough to do anything I want in this word’ and no one else really gives a shit. Not alternative enough to work at Whole Foods, or pedigreed enough own a board room; I might just be the most forgettable resume on careerbuilder. I can’t even get the pyramid scheme companies to cash my ‘start up’ checks, but I am The Rat King of the generation that no one will ever remember.