So You’re Thinking About Going to College

Have you not been paying attention to the economy? Even people that go to good schools aren’t getting jobs–what the hell makes you think you’re so special? Oh, that’s right–you’re a millenial. Therefore everyone’s been telling you what a special snowflake you are for your entire life. Well then, I guess congratulations are in order. Congratulations for not paying attention to the world around you, and congratulations for deciding to take a tentative step toward doing something one day. That’s the kind of shit people praise you for, right?

In any case, you’ll need a handy checklist of things to think about in between status updates on Facebook or tweets about how you hate when Wikipedia doesn’t have an article that you need for a paper. So pay attention, snowflake!

1. Upsell your personal statement.

Yes, it’s possible someone might read this essay (if you beat the cut scores; otherwise, don’t bother), so you’ve got to do everything you can to improve your chances for admission. Luckily, that’s easy to do on a personal statement. Mix and match any of the following for a can’t lose admissions essay:

  • “My love of musical theater and Prada handbags has made life in Midland, Texas, very difficult.”
  • “Working in my parents’ restaurant between violin, piano, and ballet lessons was difficult to fit in, but I know it made me a stronger person.”
  • “And that’s why I’ll never forget the promise I made on my best friend’s deathbed; and one day I will hold that “Go Bulldogs” sign at the Harvard-Yale game in remembrance of her.”
  • “It was funny, really: who would have thought that a kid from Canton would create the year’s most popular smartphone app?”

2. Think about the costs.

Quite frankly, if you have to do this, you should not be attending college.

3. Have a school counselor help you begin your research.

What are you, an old? Use the fucking Internet!

4. Take your exams.

Test-taking is obviously the most important aspect of the college admissions process. Luckily, you’re part of Generation Special Snowflake, and so all you know how to do is take standardized exams; this will give you a leg-up in the race to the Ivy League. If you cannot afford to hire a test-prep coach, you should not be attending college. Because let’s face it, if you can’t spend a couple sawbucks on an SAT tutor than how will you afford black market Adderall during finals week? Back to cosmetology school, chump!

5. Visit a campus and see what it’s like to be an annoying undergraduate.

Determining where you’d like to spend four years is no easy task, especially on the basis of a weekend visit. And if that weekend visit included a party, that task becomes all the more difficult, because let’s face it, who would turn down the University of Bierundboobsen? Nevertheless, strive to make your choice as objective as possible; you don’t want to end up going to some second-rate state school just because you got laid at a tailgate party (go Warhawks!).

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Utah Will No Longer Tolerate Your Sexy Shenanigans

In a bid to crack down on prostitution (and annoy the shit out of people trying to get a lapdance), the state of Utah recently amended a solicitation law to include boobs and sexy gestures:

Utah law had defined solicitation as a person agreeing to have sex for money. But an amendment last year broadened it to include any person who performs acts such as exposing or touching themselves.

An attorney for the escort services says the law now makes it a crime for a stripper to merely expose private parts during a dance.

Apparently, police officers were having a difficult time busting escorts for prostitution; the officers would do all that they could within the bounds of the law to get the escort to offer sex. Not to be fooled, the wily dancers would ask their clients to expose themselves, which is illegal for a police officer to do.

Now, however, the officers may arrest the dancers for erotic gestures or the exposure of dirty pillows (one arrest has been made, though the case is pending a federal court decision regarding the amendment).

There’s no word yet on whether scratching your ass under the hot Utah sun will be prohibited by the amendment; presumably, it would only be an arrestable offense if you have a nice booty.

The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes Just Got a Bit Thicker

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: What’s the thinnest book in the world? The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes! Hilarious! Well, that book just got a little bit thicker.

The Robert Beren Academy boys basketball team, which recently earned a spot in the state semifinals, will be forced to forfeit their upcoming semifinal game because the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools refuses to reschedule the playing time, which happens to coincide with the Jewish Sabbath. The Head of School, Rabbi Harry Sinoff, has asked TAPPS to reschedule to earlier in the day, but TAPPS refused.

“There should be a really big reason that prevents a team that has worked hard and earned its position before you exclude them,” Sinoff said. “All sports have been improved by inclusion.”

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, otherwise known as the Texas Association of Dickbags, claims the schedule cannot be shifted. Not surprisingly, the majority of schools in the dickbag association are Christian.

“We have certain things that we do, not necessarily based on religion, but when TAPPS was founded, there were no schools in it that celebrated their Sabbath on anything but on Sunday,” said TAPPS Executive Director Edd Burleson.

Burleson also noted that Robert Beren Academy knew the rules going in, and joined anyway so that their team would have opponents to play against.

Perhaps most irritating (and unsurprising), is that accommodations have been made in the past: according to Rabbi Sinoff, a Seventh-Day Adventist team was allowed to reschedule a tournament game that would have taken place on Saturday.

Sadly, this means that Robert Beren Academy’s team will forfeit, and Kerville Our Lady of the Hills Catholic School, the opponent that they crushed to reach the semifinals, will play instead. Yeah, it certainly is tough to be a Christian in America.

I hope that Kerville gets scored on more times than Mary in a manger. Mazel tov, bitches!

Google+ Sent You a Friend Request–Do You Accept?

Wait, who the hell is Google+? Did I meet him at that party last night? How drunk was I? Dammit, I hate when this happens!

Sadly, if this article in the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, you probably didn’t accept that friend request. Instead, you threw up, drank some orange juice, and went back to bed, leaving Google+ to wonder why you won’t accept its friendship. Especially after that amazing conversation you had.

It turns out Google+ is a virtual ghost town compared with the site of rival Facebook Inc., which is preparing for a massive initial public offering. New data from research firm comScore Inc. shows that Google+ users are signing up—but then not doing much there.

Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore, which didn’t have data on mobile usage.

To be fair to Google+, it would seem that their service does offer features that might be useful; it’s not all Jesus quotes and shit white people say. However, these features are not enough to lure uses away from the social networks that they already populate (probably because moving sucks). Media analyst Brian Solis claims that Google+ has not adequately demonstrated its value to users, but he also adds that “nobody wants another social network right now.”

Yet Google executives aren’t giving up–they’re looking at their long game:

Google executives downplay the direct comparison to Facebook, which has 845 million monthly active users. They have repeatedly said they are making a long-term bet on the initiative, and the company has yet to build up some of the weapons that made Facebook successful, including encouraging app development.

In an interview, Bradley Horowitz, a Google vice president of product management, said Google+ is designed to be more than a destination site and, as a result, is “extremely hard for any third party to measure.” Rather, he said, Google+ acts as an auxiliary to Google services—such as Gmail and YouTube—by adding a “personal” social-networking layer on top of them.

And when Google+ really takes off, the data mining tools will already be in place; thus, advertising content will be so tailor-made for you that your innermost psyche will reveal itself in glorious banners of divorce attorneys, local gun shows, and discount bakeries. Not even Freud could hope to analyze your subconscious with the accuracy of Google+.

So maybe when you wake up, you should accept that friend request and head on over to Google+. Start a “hangout,” have a video conference; then, prepare to be bombarded by ads for private detectives.

Because Google+ just realized you were adopted and figured you might want some help finding your real parents.

This Kid’s a Real Turkey

Sadly, professional bowling gets little respect. Probably because it’s one of the few sports that allows you to enjoy a nacho platter while participating. It is, as Mary Pilon notes in her Times article, the “corner of the sports landscape where gray-haired and balding athletes can thrive.” But 14 year-old Kamron Doyle is going to change that.

Sipping a blue sports drink and eating a Milky Way candy bar for breakfast Friday morning, Doyle, a 5-foot-5, 105-pound eighth grader, prepared for the next round of the United States Open, an event with nearly 400 competitors and a top prize of $60,000. In advancing this far he had already become the youngest bowler to reach the prize-money level in a Professional Bowlers Association national tour event.

Kamron began bowling at the age of six after attending a friend’s birthday party; something about the sport really called to him, and he began practicing and watching videos of champion bowlers on YouTube:

“I can’t really remember why I liked it so much at first,” he said. “I just remember watching some of those guys on TV and thinking I should do it, too.”

Here’s my theory, Kamron: bowling is awesome. Who the hell wouldn’t want to bowl professionally? Communists, maybe. But because Kamron is not a member of the Professional Bowler’s Association, he is not technically a professional bowler; thus, he is not eligible to compete as a professional in tournaments. Yet the governing body for bowling does allow amateurs under the age of 18 to compete for scholarship prize money, and Kamron’s already racked up nearly $20,000.

So get off your asses, parents, and take your kids bowling. And then, when you’re at the bowling alley, enjoy a nacho platter and a beer. Do they sell beer at high school basketball games? I think not. It’s time to rethink our notion of “prestige sports.”

Your Wang Will Inevitably Make You Say “Dang”

Do you have a penis? If the answer is yes, then you should probably avoid social media:

When it comes to managing their social media profiles, women, on average, behave more like mature, responsible adults while men act like impulsive adolescents.

In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, some interesting and divergent trends emerged in the patterns of social media usage by men and women. Apparently, when it comes to the Internet, having a wiener is a major setback to keeping it classy. Especially when it comes to privacy:

A full two-thirds of female users allow only friends to view their Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace pages without restrictions, while fewer than half of male users do so. Some 26% of men choose the most public setting for their profiles versus only 14% of women.

Not only are women more likely to restrict their sharing to those within their circles; they’re also more apt to kick people out of the circle. Asked whether they have deleted people from their networks, 67% of women said yes, compared with 58% of men.

Moreover, nearly twice as many men as women regretted something they’d posted; arguably, this is because men are just more self-reflective and apologetic than women.* This apparently places men in the same category as “young morons,” who expressed regret at a rate of up to 15%! And here you thought the future was looking bleak. At least the millenials will regret it when they screw everything up. And if they’re men, they might even admit it!**

*Dammit! I deeply regret that comment.
**Son of a bitch! I deeply regret that comment.

Not Having a Job is Keeping You From Having a Job

In news that will possibly make your head explode, several states are considering legislation that would prohibit employers from exclusively seeking candidates that already have jobs:

State lawmakers say they see the bias turning up in a nation with an 8.3% unemployment rate: Companies that explicitly advertise that they won’t hire someone who isn’t currently employed.

The proposals from Connecticut to California range in scope from banning advertisements that require current employment to allowing unsuccessful job candidates to sue businesses under the same discrimination laws that apply to bias on the basis of religion, race, gender or national origin.

Yes, in order to get a job you must currently have a job. Apparently, employers regard the long-term unemployed as shiftless layabouts with an atrophied brain:

Employers often worry that job skills erode the longer people go without working and may pass over unemployed workers because they assume other managers didn’t hire them for good reason, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Department of Labor economist.

“The longer you’re unemployed, the more likely you are to be perceived as a risky hire and the less likely you are to get a job,” Mr. Burtless said.

Ah, the beauty of a vicious cycle. Predictably, companies are none too pleased to have Uncle Sam forcing them to hire the unflushable turds of America’s workforce:

“We are challenging this. As a private employer, the government has no right in legislating how you hire and what’s in your business’s best interest,” said Robin Lord, an attorney for Crestek, Inc., a Ewing, N.J., maker of industrial cleaning systems.

I can certainly appreciate a company’s unwillingness to allow their human resources department to become an unemployment center; however, there must be some way to balance the needs of a company with the needs of those people who have been unfairly shuffled out of consideration for present employment. While some of the long-term unemployed might lack specific skills, surely not all of them do; requiring a person to have a job before they can even apply is patently ludicrous.

Unfortunately, since this is America, there’s little doubt as to who’ll win out on this issue. Compromises are dumb, anyway.

Being Gay for Gay Marriage is the Latest State Government Fad

With Maryland’s state senate voting to approve legislation that would legalize gay marriage, it would appear that being gay for gay marriage is the hottest trend in state government. The Governor, Martin O’ Malley, promised to sign the bill into law, but it still awaits House approval and a battle from reactionary morons:

As part of the conditions agreed to in order to get the bill passed through the House, opponents of the new law will be given an opportunity to put the issue on the ballot in November, raising the possibility of a major public fight this summer and fall. The law will also not go into effect until all legal challenges have been exhausted, which could be a matter of years.

It would also seem that opponents are going to attempt to draft President Obama for their cause; he has stated in the past that he opposes gay marriage but his administration has not come to the aid of DOMA, which was recently declared unconstitutional.

Regardless of what happens, it would seem that various state legislatures are sending a message to America, and that message is this: it’s time to get gay for gay marriage!

Wanted: Seatmate to Discuss Art, Film, and Politics; Quick Handy Over Nebraska Optional

Given the pervasiveness of social media, it was probably inevitable that the airline industry would attempt to use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to serve their customers. Predicting the manner they’d employ those platforms, however, might have proven more difficult:

This month, the Dutch carrier KLM began testing a program it calls Meet and Seat, allowing ticket-holders to upload details from their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles and use the data to choose seatmates.

The concept is a step beyond the not always successful efforts a few years ago by some airlines — including Air France, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa — to build “walled” social networks out of their existing frequent flier memberships.

Yes, now you can select a seatmate based on your shared interests as expressed within your Facebook profile. Do you love cats, Jesus, your mom, and America? Well, so does Jason F., from Des Moines! Get together and annoy the shit out of that third seatmate by talking about which type of cat Jesus would find cutest (mackerel tabbies, obviously!).

And KLM isn’t the only airline getting in on the action, either:

Last year, Malaysia Airlines introduced MHBuddy, an application that allows users who book and check in via the carrier’s Facebook page to see whether any of their “friends” will be on the same flight or in their destination city at the same time. The platform, which claims 3,000 monthly active users, also enables existing friends to select seats together.

Also:

Planely, a Danish start-up, allows registered users who submit their itineraries to view the Facebook and LinkedIn profiles of others who will be on flights with them. Since it began in late 2010, Planely has connected more than 1,500 travelers, according to its chief executive, Nick Martin.

Perhaps more useful is the service Satisfly (a Hong Kong based company) provides, whereby you set a mood preference; for instance, my mood is “shut the fuck up” (paraphrased). Theoretically, this will allow you to control what type of asshole you’re confined with–no more Saskatoon Dan the Cattle man and his ribald tales of a Montana beef auction! Although that story about Big Red Jim, Marco the Teat, and Jenny Loo was pretty awesome.

On KLM’s service, once you sign up you’ll see the profiles of other members; simply pick a seatmate and it sends your profile to them! It’s like a friend request, but somehow dumber! Thankfully, KLM is offering a “defriend” type option, as well–you can change your seat again within a certain period of time (if, for instance, you discover that Mandy in 17B is not DTF).

As we all know, this service will inevitably be used solely to find people who want to fuck in tiny airplane bathrooms. I love the future!

Your Waiter is Pretending to Like You

Determining the needs of a table is a skill that requires an attentive eye, a certain boldness of character, and a general desire to earn more than 15% on the check. It’s also a skill that can be taught; at least, that’s what restaurants are betting on when they train their waiters to provide the kind of service you’d expect at a Waffle House (they’re Zagat-rated, right?):

Called “having eyes” for a table, or “feeling” or “reading” the table by restaurant workers, it’s how the best waiters know what type of service you prefer before you tell them. From fine dining to inexpensive chains, restaurants are working to make service more individualized as the standard script (‘I’m so-and-so and I will be your server tonight”) is sounding dated.

Even chain restaurants like Denny’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill are focusing more on personalized service by training staff to note body language, eye contact and offhand remarks, hoping to make service feel less mechanical. Traditionally, eateries taught waiters to follow a script and push add-ons like desserts and drinks.

Waiters are trained to read a variety of table types, the better to respond to the needs of the customers. The following is but a sample of the sorts of tables a waiter might find:

Table 1: A douche at an airport Chili’s with a bluetooth, laptop, and wrinkled suit from Men’s Wearhouse (“You’re Going to Regret the Way You Look”).

Ricky Richardson, COO for Carlson Restaurants Inc. (which operates T.G.I. Friday’s), suggests that when “diners have a laptop open on the table, they might not be interested in appetizers that are best for sharing or learning a lot about the cocktail menu.”

In other words, just throw a blue margarita at the guy and try not to stare at his off-centered lapels.

Table 2: A couple that’s giving off so much hate toward one another that Emperor Palpatine’s balls would shrivel (even more!).

This table is clearly waiting to murder someone; the best strategy for a waiter is to alert the other waitstaff to bring their food promptly and with as little intrusion or flair as possible. And if someone’s crying, GTFO. Also, stand clear of whatever side of the table the knives happen to be on.

Table 3: A party of four, and one of them clearly hates the other three, which is obviously why she keeps drinking.

According to Mark Maynard-Parisi, managing partner of Blue Smoke (a couple of BBQ joints in NYC), it’s necessary with parties of four or more to “read the dynamic between the group.”

Alcohol (who is ordering more or less) is a potential point of contention. [Maynard-Parisi] reads eye contact and body language to see if a group is friendly (looking at each other) or less secure, like an uncomfortable work meeting (glancing around the room, fidgeting). “Am I approaching the table to rescue them or am I interrupting them?”

Why is Sally drinking so much? Probably because Tom and Becky, two of her dining companions, are so Goddamn annoying. Also Jim, her husband, keeps casting sideward glances at Frederique and Jacques, the two hot bartenders. In other words, do Sally a favor and don’t make a big deal over her fifth glass of cava and St. Germain. And definitely don’t tell her what Jacques and Frederique just told you about Jim.

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