9/30/2014
Defend yourself against allegations of corruption: a how-to for public officials

Categorically deny all the allegations. Merely denying allegations is no longer enough. It is recommended that you be forceful and definite in your denial, so as to be perceived as a man with convictions and values. However, you must also note that categorically denying allegations is also not enough; you have to back it up with facts that may or may not be relevant to the subject being addressed. (Please note that you can use other adverbs in place of "categorically," but our findings suggest that other terms have a lower effectively.)

Emphasize on your origins. Keep in mind that your audience are, for the most part, not sophisticated, and can therefore be easily swayed, provided you give them the right fact to latch on to. A relatable origin story has helped many public officials gain sympathy, later translated to support, from an audience. We acknowledge, however, that not everybody has beginnings that can be emphasized effectively. As a rule of thumb, rags-to-riches stories work best: illustrating your lower-class origins and how you worked your way to the top shows that you have overcome all your challenges and, thus, can overcome allegations against you. Otherwise - especially if you come from a privileged background - we recommend that you mention working for yourself and not relying on other people to get to where you are today. It may not be as forceful, but our studies find that it can also be similarly effective.

Illustrate your current position as the height of your success. Do not make the mistake of expressing your ambition; it makes your audience suspicious and, therefore, not as receptive to your denials and rebuttals. However, we acknowledge that, in some cases, previous outings may have, implicitly or explicitly, revealed your future plans. In any case, we recommend that, no matter what the reality is, you state that your current position is the height of your success. Imply that you are happy where you are now, and that you are happiest doing the work you have been tasked to do at this very moment.

Read more »

9/28/2014
Two elitist assholes in a coffee shop

Rainy and I were seated, comfortably, on the same couches where, over a year ago, we attempted to do Whipple. That time, though, it was nighttime. We had hospital food for dinner somewhere - this is not an exaggeration, and no, it's not as serious as it sounds - and then we found ourselves at a coffee shop for dessert. In my case, it's turtle pie, a good old reliable. In her case, some cheesecake, which she found too oily.

We were talking about blogs, specifically a concept she had years ago, one that didn't happen because other things got in the way. It's been at the back of our heads for the past few months, with sporadic conversations about what it would contain and who would write for it. Yes, I apparently do have the ability to dream further than my bounds. She will be a guest blogger. She will be a guest blogger. Mostly fantasy fulfillment, borne of my inability to work for a magazine that most of everybody reads. (Disclaimer: I do handle a magazine now. A trade publication. On a pro bono basis. That makes this off-tangent a hypocrite. It drives me crazy, but it is sort of attached to the day job.) The conversations got serious enough, at least to me, to the point that I told Rainy that if the project does happen, I'm pulling the plug on earthings!

And there's the rub. The whole fantasy fulfillment aspect meant the project was being filled with my ideas, and at one point I snapped and realized that, hey, this is Rainy's blog project, and I am just helping out! I mean, yes, I'm the guy who thinks like a magazine, but she's the one with the seed, and I'm just, to continue with the farming metaphor, fertilizer. Compost. Shit. Essentially.

Read more »

9/24/2014
All these things that I've done

I was on a music video frame of mind.

The Killers was on my earphones and I had this stride that suggested there's a camera in front of me and I had to act fierce. Not that I was fierce. I was just texting Rainy. "Are you getting my texts?" I asked her, assuming that her phone was being wonky again.

I looked back up and realized that, if I didn't look up sooner, I'd be in a collision course with a fancy stair fixture.

Read more »

9/23/2014
A vicious cycle

September 2013. Apple announces the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

"Thank you for calling VS&T my name is Charlotte how may I help you?"

"I wanna know when I am due for a phone upgrade."

Read more »

9/15/2014
Networking night

"I'm not feeling lucky today," I tell the woman beside me, as the host announces that she'll be giving away the grand prize to the night's raffle.

It is a round trip ticket, on a pretty posh airline, to any European destination. Economy seats, sure, but still, it's one of those very posh airlines. I watched a promo video of theirs earlier and I swear their seats pretty much resemble those capsule hotels in Tokyo that fascinated me as a kid.

People always say I am lucky when it comes to draws, but if that was the case, I should be winning everything. I did win a phone, only to lose it after four months. The last thing I won was a few months ago, when I got the grand prize in a raffle, in another one of these events I have to attend. What do I do with this? I thought as I looked at the new Apple TV I just won. The following day, I was attempting to watch True Detective again with it.

Read more »