Unemployed, but popular (in a completely obscure and geeky kind of way)

Now that I’m officially unemployed, I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want to do, whenever the hell I want to do it. That’s right, baby: you can’t hold me down. I’m as free as a bird … albeit a soon-to-be-homeless bird with two kids, a wife and a six-figure pile of debt I no longer have any means to pay for. But, hey: freedom is a state of mind … and if you’re as insane as I am, you can look at all of those dire realities and shrug them off with one big, fat, optimistic “Fuck it!”

And while I’m in this free state of mind, I’m going to go on a quick stream-of-consciousness journey. Join me, won’t you?

So, last week, I get an email from the lovely Meredith [Wanner] Groenevelt, whose blog can be found at BuenoBaby.com. Meredith flatters me with the news that she is planning to make me the Featured Blogger at her site this week — a slot previously occupied by the equally lovely Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child. Melissa asks if I’d like to supply her with a graphic that she’ll link back to my site. I noticed that Rebecca had supplied a very subtle, artistic, dignified graphic, so, being the class act that I am, I felt it would be best if I whipped up something equally dignified.

You don’t think this is too narcissistic, do you?

So humble. So very humble.

Well, if nothing else, the one thing I do have going for me is the fact that the delightful and talented Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks.com took that photo, and anything that Karen shoots has intrinsic value, regardless of the subject matter. Basically, what I’m saying is: this is all her fault.

At any rate: Thank you, Meredith. I’m flattered. And humbled. And, quite obviously, in love with myself. Your attention has done nothing to lessen that. Nice work.

As if Meredith’s fawning wasn’t enough to swell my head to dangerously huge proportions, I also received this week an email that contained this bit of news:

Cool, right? I was nominated for a — what’s that? I wasn’t nominated? I’m what? A potential nominee? Oh. Ahem. Well, just being potentially nominated is an honor, dontcha think? No? Well, um, at least they included some helpful advice on how to get the most out of my nomination potential nomination:

And while I’m flattered that their editors picked me, it only took a few seconds before it occurred to me that nominating potentially nominating a bunch of bloggers and suggesting that we slap on our blogs a bunch of “Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks” graphics isn’t so much a great way of “rocking our nominations potential nominations” as it is a great way of “promoting Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect website for free.” But, OK, fair enough, I’ve taken the bait. If you feel so inclined, you can go there, find my mug and click the “nominate” button underneath it. [UPDATE: Nevermind; it’s even more blatant than I thought: they force you to sign up for their site in order to click on the “nominate” button. I’m not down with that.] I don’t have the foggiest idea what happens if I win, but I’m betting that, at best, it involves someone dumping a bucket of that green slime on me. So there’s that.

As if all of this adulation wasn’t enough, Wonder Woman and I had the pleasure of heading into Cambridge last Saturday night to attend the final stop on Bossy‘s 12,000-mile (No) Book Tour, where Bossy herself snapped this here shot of the lovely couple:

And by “lovely couple,” I mean those two huge-ass, tequila-filled beverages.

We also met (and, in some cases, re-met) lots of other cool peeps, namely: Meg, Chicky Chicky Baby, Christine, Christina, another Christine, Ron, Sarah, Michelle, Margalit, Angela, Sierra and cameraperson/blogger Erin, as well as non-blogging blog enthusiasts Golden, Betsey and Jeff.

I took a few photos — including one in which it looks like Bossy is flipping me the bird:

Bossy's Boston-area (No) Book Tour meetup

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t actually flipping me the bird … although I did tell her earlier in the evening that I was planning to relocate to her neck of the woods, so she may have been sending me a message about how excited she is at the thought of having me nearby. At any rate, the real post-meetup/(No) Book Tour fun is happening over at Bossy’s site, so I encourage you to check out her official Bossy debriefing.

Now, if anyone’s still reading this clusterfuck of an entry (hey, listen, they can’t all be winners), allow me to end with something unbelievably awesome and inspiring that, with any luck, a couple of you haven’t already seen.

Greyson Chance is a sixth grader who recently participated in a talent show, during which he performed a cover version of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” a song that I’d never before heard until seeing the following video, which Greyson uploaded to his YouTube page three weeks ago. It has since been viewed almost 19 million times, earned him a spot on “The Ellen Show” and reportedly landed him a record deal. (Viewing tip: Watch the cute blonde girl in the background fall in love with Greyson during the song.)

Now that kid is having a way better time than I did at his age. If only I could sing … or play the piano … or have a cool-ass name like “Greyson Chance” … or something.

But, nooOOOooo … my big talent (supposedly) is blogging. What a turn-on, right? Well, at least I already landed my own cute blonde girl.

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Posted in Inspiration, Life | 14 Responses

No, really: This job-search thing is like shooting fish in a barrel

OK, seriously: What’s with all the hubbub about high unemployment rates in this country? Because I’m still two business days away from separating with my soon-to-be-former employer, and already the job offers are coming at me faster than I can keep up with them. You jobless whiners out there must be a bunch of losers; this job-search shit is even easier than kicking my kids’ asses at Candyland.

As if yesterday’s offer of a Financial Services Representative position from my man Glenn wasn’t enough, this morning, I received the following pitch from Aflac:


Dear Jon:

I found your resume on CareerBuilder, and I am very interested in your skills for our career opportunity. I know your past experience may not have been focused on sales or insurance and you may not have considered a career in insurance sales, but some of our most successful associates had résumés just like yours.


Ari [So-and-so]
Regional Sales Coordinator


Well, now we’re talking. Are you thinking what I’m thinking, people? That’s right: time to start a bidding war.


Dear Ari,

Thank you for contacting me about an insurance-sales job with Aflac — and a special thanks for acknowledging right up front that I have absolutely no qualifications for this position whatsoever, nor any demonstrable interest in insurance, sales, or insurance sales. (Glenn from MetLife contacted me yesterday about a Financial Services Representative gig, and I had to inform him that I have no idea what the fuck that even is. AWK-WARD.)

Speaking of Glenn: Do you guys know each other? Because you’re both in the same town … which is convenient, because I’m thinking the two of you should get together over lunch and figure out which one of you is willing to go the distance to get me to sign with your organization.

Here’s the catch, though, Ari: I would rather be dipped in rocket fuel and forced at gunpoint to train evil albino lab rats to play Tchaikovsky’s “Romance in F minor” on a baby-grand piano engulfed in flames than sell insurance. So insurance sales? That’s out. What I would be interested in, however, is some of this right here:

That’s right, Ari: Daddy Scratches as the new Aflac duck.

Don’t get me wrong: Gilbert Gottfried‘s great and all, but he’s gotta be like, what, 75 or 80, right? Let’s face it: you’re going to have to replace him sometime. Might as well get it over with now, especially when you have a talent like me waiting in the wings. (Get it? “Wings”? And there’s plenty more where that came from, my friend.)

When you and Glenn hook up for lunch, he can provide you with a copy of the list I sent to him, in which I set forth the perks that it would take for him to lure me into a life as a Financial Services Representative. I’ve not yet heard back from him, but it’s only been about 24 hours, so let’s just assume that he plans to meet my demands.

My advice to you would be that you use that list as a starting point, and then tell me what you can do to sweeten the pot. (Suggestion: Item #10? The one about the pony? I know Jenny would love that … but here’s a little inside info that’s going to give you a distinct edge over Glenn: the thing that Jenny would love even more than a pony is a unicorn … especially a unicorn that’s also a dragon whose horn is filled with liquor and fairies. So here’s the deal, Ari: You produce one of those, and I’m in that fucking duck costume tomorrow, you dig?)

I don’t want to count my ducklings before they hatch, but I have a good feeling about this, Ari. I hope to be quacking — I mean, working! — with you soon. (And I hope you like to laugh, Ari, because I’ve got a million duck puns for you! It’s like I was fucking born for this job!)


a.k.a. Daddy Scratches
a.k.a. The New & Improved Aflac Duck

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Posted in Life | 22 Responses

Man, this finding-a-new-job thing is going to be easier than I thought

Since learning last week that I had been laid off from my job of the past 10 years, I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and unsettled. So imagine my relief when, this morning, just a few short days after uploading to CareerBuilder.com a copy of my résumé, I received the following email:


Hi Jon,

My name is Glenn [So-and-so] Managing Partner for [Nationally Known Life Insurance/Financial Services Company]. I recently reviewed your resume on CareerBuilder and your background would be a great fit for the Financial Services Representative position that we are looking to fill. I would like to set up a time with you to discuss career opportunities with our company in our [greater Boston area] office. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you soon!


Glenn [So-and-so]


As you can imagine, my excitement about this opportunity was overwhelming … to the point that I had difficulty remaining seated long enough to reply to Glenn’s inquiry as follows:


Dear Glenn,

Thanks for your note. Please allow me to begin by asking which of the following factors made you feel I’d be such a great fit for your Financial Services Representative position in the greater-Boston area: Was it my 16 years of web-publishing/journalism/design experience, my glaringly obvious complete and utter lack of a background in anything even remotely related to the financial-services field, or my expressed desire to obtain employment in the greater-Philadelphia area?

Whatever the case, I’m flattered you’ve initiated contact with me, and very excited about filling this position — particularly in light of the fact that it will give me an opportunity to start my career over at age 40 in a field about which I know absolutely nothing. After all, Glenn, life is an adventure, am I right?

As you no doubt have anticipated, landing a candidate who is as great a fit as am I for your Financial Services Representative position will require some extra enticement. In an effort to expedite this process, I have included below a list of my needs, all of which your company will have to address in order for me to consider joining your team:

1.) Explain to me what the fuck a Financial Services Representative is.

2.) Pay for all expenses associated with my acquisition of an MBA or similarly relevant graduate degree, to include a stipend ample enough for me to feed, clothe, shelter and provide comprehensive health, dental and vision coverage for myself, my spouse and our two young children for the duration of my matriculation.

3.) Guarantee my placement in a corner office on a high floor with a water view, and a desk equipped with a ’50s-style intercom system.

4.) Hire for me a secretary named Miss Wilson, who I will summon by announcing into my ’50s-style intercom system things like “Miss Wilson, I need you to take a memo” and “Miss Wilson, call my wife and tell her I’ll be late for dinner” and “Miss Wilson, please bring Glenn and I some refreshments while he explains to me what the fuck a Financial Services Representative is.”

5.) Implement “Massage Mondays,” whereby my work week will begin with an hour-long hot-stone massage, administered by a professional masseuse, who will report to my corner office on a high floor with a water view.

6.) Outfit said office with a massage table — and a shower, so that I may wash from my body the oils that will be applied during my weekly hot-stone massage.

7.) Provide for me transportation to and from work each day via either: a.) a stretch limousine driven by a chauffeur with a British accent, or b.) a fully paid-for Lamborghini registered in my name. (Please note: I would be willing to alternate between these two forms of transportation on an every-other-day basis.)

8.) Notify the staff that they will be required to refer to me as “Supreme Being.”

9.) Further notify the staff that they are not to make eye contact with me, nor speak to me unless first spoken to.

10.) Buy me a pony. (IMPORTANT: Glenn, you are to personally deliver the pony to: Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess, a.k.a. The Czar of Nothingness, Martindale, Texas. This will all make sense when you get there. Maybe.)

11.) Move your greater-Boston-area office to the greater-Philadelphia area.

12.) Make me a Managing Partner.

13.) Fire yourself and hire me someone who will actually seek out qualified candidates rather than carpet bomb via spam people who recently have uploaded to CareerBuilder.com their résumés — résumés that you yourself clearly don’t read.

Your immediate attention to the above-listed items is greatly appreciated, Glenn. I look forward to working with you during your termination period.


Financial Services Representative/Supreme Being
Glenn’s Former Company
Boston Philadelphia

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Posted in Life | 32 Responses

Pardon me while I use this post to take care of some important administrative business

From: Jon, a.k.a. Daddy Scratches
1 Way Too Expensive House
Chokingly Huge Mortgage, MA, 0MFG!

To: The Bank

Dear The Bank,

Listen, about that money I owe you? See, here’s the thing: I bought this house and all this other shit when I had, you know, a job.

Problem is, I found out a couple days ago that my job? My job of the past 10 years? The dream, work-from-home, full-time-music-journalist job that I love so much? Yeah, that’s gone. Pfft. Gonzo. See ya. Buh-bye.

And, sadly, gone with it are all those other things I love so much … things like a paycheck … and my family’s health insurance.

Now, I’m not sure if you read my blog (though I’m assuming you do, because, really, who doesn’t, am I right?). Anyway, as you no doubt noticed a couple of weeks ago, I alluded to, but did not specify, a then-embargoed subject that I described at the time as being “the biggest source of my stress right now.” And, in hearing the news of my sudden unemployment, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, that must have been the thing to which he was alluding.” And, boy howdy, do I ever wish that was the case.

As it turns out, however, the thing to which I was alluding was the fact that my wife and I recently made the decision to uproot our family and relocate from the suburban-Boston area (where my side of the family lives) to the suburban-Philadelphia area (where her side of the family lives) — a decision that we’ve agonized over for years, because we love both sides of our family and wish we could simultaneously live in both places, but we can’t … and since her family is too selfish to all move up here, and my side of the family is too selfish to all move down there, we have to pick one.

Thing is, as it stands right now, we’re not planning to let the loss of my job change our decision … and since this relocation plan already was financially maniacal (because, as you, The Bank, already know, we bought at the height of the housing market, borrowed more money than we could afford and spent six years accruing an assload of additional debt while the housing market tanked, to the extent that we’ll be lucky to get out of here with cab fare to Philly), I was thinking maybe you could just, like, give us a pass on what we owe you. I’m assuming this won’t be a problem, particularly in light of the massive bailout with my wife and I and, you know, the rest of America recently helped you.

Thanks in advance for what I’m sure will be your compassionate and understanding response to the unfortunate position in which I currently find myself. You guys are the bestest bank EVERRRR!!!

Yours in perpetual indentured servitude,


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Posted in Life | 28 Responses

Happy Cinco de Me Oh Mayo

Happy Cinco de Me Oh Mayo

My idea of the perfect vacation is depicted in every…… [read the rest]

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Posted in Featured Photo | 3 Responses