musicfest, northwest!: day one

It’s incredibly beautiful and sunny out in Portland today, as it has been the last couple of days, and the weather couldn’t be better for MFNW. First, I am very grateful to Paul and Missy from /orate for being kind enough to get me into the whole festival in the first place, being a poor, recently-transported son of a bitch. This was technically my third time ever meeting anyone from the internet, though the first time doesn’t count cause she lived in Boise too. These kinds of meetings always start off weird, but Paul and Missy are very cool and not crazy or weird at all. I think that stigma of internet people being strange and/or socially inept is starting to wane, as it should, since everyone uses the internet these days, and we can’t all be socially inept, right? (Read more…)

moving to portland

By the end of this week I will be living in a small bedroom in my brother’s house in Portland, Oregon, with probably about $50 in my pocket and a plan in my head. Since Monday I’ve been staying at my parents’ house, which is calm and secluded and unchanging like a Walt Whitman poem. My only regret is that I can’t take all of my friends with me. My problem has always been my introverted nature (surprising to some). I’m a bit of a loner. So the irony is that moving to Portland, and being even more of a loner, kind of frightens me, because being pulled away from my friends made me realize how many friends I had. I don’t regret having a lot of friends. (Read more…)

types of dudes

My neighbor and friend Megan once told me of a list a friend of hers made — a “hierarchy of men,” segregating the different types of males depending on their basic archetypes: assholes, regular guys, momma’s boys, etc. I thought this hierarchy was brilliant, and decided to make a list of my own. I call it Types of Dudes. My list includes five basic types of men — Bros, Sweet Dudes, Nerds, Normal Guys, and Serial Killers — and includes their behavior, traits, and a brief rundown of their favorite things. So, without further ado, I present to you … Types of Dudes. (Read more…)

job-hunting: the aftermath (a diatribe)

So this is the part in my blog-writing career when I write about something that I probably shouldn’t write about because people can and probably will read it. If true, it would be the third time I wrote something on the internet that was read by the wrong person, but on the other hand, I’m not one to shy away from how I feel about things, and the last thing I want is to censor my own written material, as it is, sadly, one of the few places where I really “let loose,” as the kids say.

I’m writing about my job. It won’t be as bad as I have set it up to be, but as we’re all too aware these days, anything written on the internet can and will be read by the people you don’t want to read, and either you give up your right to free speech and force yourself into the corporate cog that millions of Americans have already done, or you say, “Fuck you, I get the right to vent,” and do just that. (Read more…)

best of music 2008, thus far

I got up at eleven this morning to do some more job hunting stuff, and it was already 90 degrees out. So needless to say I came home a bit early so I wouldn’t look like a piece of bacon. On my bike ride through the downtown of Boise, I had my MP3 player (a Creative Zen Touch — bit outdated these days but in 2005 it was awesome) set to random, and it played a particular song that brightened my spirits considerably: the techno remix of “Listen to Your Heart” by DHT.

I know what you’re thinking. “Josh,” you’re saying to me, “that’s the gayest thing I’ve ever heard.” But when I say that I like all types of music, I mean it, goddammit. I like dance music, I like classical, I like rock, I like indie. I like a lot of stuff. So get off my back, man. Just get off.

Anyway, I have decided to compile my annual Halfway Through the Year Best of 2008 in light it being, well, the middle of the year. (Read more…)

an open letter to all large company employers with online personality tests on their applications

To whom it may concern,

A couple of years ago I applied to work at Hastings (your entertainment superstore). Hastings is one of those places where they sell books, movies, CDs, video games, and various kitschy shit that no one seems to buy. I was told to apply there by my friend Adam, and so I did. Part of the application process was of the general sort: name+address, education, former jobs, references. I was fine with that. While my resume is filled with more holes than swiss cheese, I figured that Hastings wasn’t the kind of place that would look down upon me for getting my college education and not worrying about working as much.

Most of the application, however, was a big long personality assessment test. I believe it was something like fifty questions or so. And so I took it. And having never taken a personality assessment test prior to this one, I had no idea what I was in store for, and so I answered honestly, because in most tests of this sort (the Kiersey and the Jung – Myers-Briggs, for example), honesty is key in determining what kind of personality you have. I could spend another blog post just talking about these tests in general, so instead I’ll just reiterate that when I took the test, I was honest. And when I submitted it, I felt pretty good. Now, I thought, the employers will really know what kind of person I am. (Read more…)

job-hunting part x: the final dimension

Here is an interesting thing: the best way to get a job is to network, correct? And the best way to network is to meet people, right? So why are so many companies now forcing applicants to apply online, away from managers and bosses? I find this awkward. Hastings did this, and other big companies do it too, and I don’t understand why, other than it helps decrease the amount of work a hiring manager does (if they even have a hiring manager). But this begs the question: what the hell does a hiring manager do? It seems like these days people who work to interview potential work candidates aren’t doing their job — they’re letting a computer do it for them. So instead of getting a handwritten application (handwriting tells a lot about a person, doncha know), they get a form e-mailed to them that states a person’s worth in nothing but words. Their whole life, in a sense, is condensed into a one to two page resume, with optional cover letter attached.

The greatest irony for me with regard to applying for jobs is that I have a great writing voice, and yet I have no place to showcase it on an application. I probably completed the greatest application online ever recently. It was for DirecTV. I got sick of repeating the same old stuff I’ve been writing for everyone, constantly looking at my lack of experience, my terrible job history, and so when I filled out this online application I noticed that they had actual text boxes for me to write in, instead of radio buttons or check boxes. So I wrote and actually injected a little humor into the whole thing. I hope it works. I mean, come on, those people know that there are millions of people right now writing out millions of applications, typing countless accomplishments into countless computers as they update their resumes on careerbuilder. They have to know that this process is time-consuming and generally shitty. They have to. It’s not about the job itself, it’s about the process of getting the job. The job could be fighting mountain lions in a pool filled with ice cream sandwiches (best job ever) and I’d still get pissy about filling out the application form. It’s just draining.

And, you know, when I do finally get an interview it will allow me to be cool with a real live person, but even that’s daunting. I have a good personality and all but job interviews aren’t having coffee at the Dawson Taylor’s across the street, you know? You have to sit in a room and impress someone within five minutes of meeting them. You don’t get a chance to shoot the shit, or get to know the person. You just have to say, “I have certificates in every type of Microsoft software known to man. I can decode Windows 3.1 in two minutes flat.”

I can’t imagine being a hiring manager, just because I would want to get to know everyone, and it would be impossible. Instead of asking them about their qualifications, I’d be askind them what their favorite soft drink was. Instead of their job experience, I would inquire about their abilities in making sandwiches.

I wrote a short play called “Myspace Resume” which will never ever be produced, but was about a young goth kid who used a myspace survey for an application. So the boss calls him in for a job interview just to set this kid straight and the kid’s such a sorry sack of shit that the boss hires him out of pity. I only bring that up because I think I’d rather read someone’s myspace survey than their resume. It just seems so much more personal, and I’d rather hire someone who I could like and did the job well than someone who was excellent at the job but was a complete jackass.

But then again, I’m the unemployed one, aren’t I?

dancefest 2008: day three

Okay, first off, if your name is Aaron or Jason or Danny, or if you just don’t want to read about me dancing, then for god’s sake, don’t read this. Go to your fancy sports blogs and read about baseball or something.

(I said to Aaron yesterday, regarding my Dancefest blog: “I don’t write those for you,” to which he replied, “Well … who do you write them for?” Smarmy bastard.) (Read more…)

dancefest, 2008: day one

Before I begin, if you want to read about Mustache Saturday, I suggest you check out Jason’s blog. It is made of mystic awesomeness.

I am going to compile a journal of my journey through my first summer of Dancefest. Dancefest is a two-week dance intensive, which means that there are twenty 16-year-olds and four dudes, two of whom are gay, and one of whom is 25 years old. Classes start promptly at 9:00am and end around 2:30pm. After that is choreography, which rounds out the day at about 6:00pm. (Read more…)