photo by EfrankE

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Part-time Career Path Detour

Well, so much for my idea of gaining supplementary income in part-time celebrity employment.

A surprisingly large number of people I know are adamantly convinced that being a part-time celebrity is impossible. They believe it’s like attempting to be be part-time pregnant or part-time married or part-time dead. “Either you is…or you isn’t!” seems to be the most (grammar-challenged and) commonly-stated position on the subject. Leave it to your friends to throw cold water on your dreams.

I’m still having trouble seeing it that way since, before TARP and the accompanying credit crisis, I was a full-time architect and am now, for all practical purposes, a part-time architect. Naturally, it was a small leap of logic that celebrity status might be similarly unfixed. Truthfully, I still slip back and forth on conclusions about the matter.

Anyway, I’ve gone back to the drawing board (which in actuality doesn’t exist anymore, having been replaced with computer workstations) and decided that the best supplementary income opportunity for me is to offer marital advice for a small fee.

Why marital advice, you wonder? Well, I’m married myself, my parents are married…heck, some of my best friends are married. I’ve been around married people all my life. I think I could successfully argue that I’m more qualified to offer marital advice than a literature professor who’s never written and published a profitable novel is qualified to teach literature.

Some might point out that there’s already a bunch of advice out there on how to be successfully married but I say, a fat lot of good it’s all doing, right? There seems to be no limit to opportunity, in that there are still a lot of disastrous marriages and people thoroughly confused on the subject. Besides, speaking of confusion, who’s to say my opinions on the subject aren’t at least as credible as anyone else’s?

So, anyone need some marital advice? My first advice is a free sample; after that I’ll have to charge you. I can’t remember where I learned of that business model before, but I’ve heard it helps develop client loyalty, something that we could all use more of.

Free sample advice example: Unless you are very rich and can support two households in lavish fashion, stay married. I’m afraid that any advice beyond this will cost you, but it will still be way cheaper than divorce. I can’t promise that I can help solve all your problems overnight but, that’s why I’ll be charging by the hour.

In order to expand into other fill-able need areas, I guess I should reach beyond marital advice alone and also offer marriage-avoidance counseling, but you need to let me know going in which one you want to focus on so I don’t end up wasting your time and money.

Sound like a plan?

I’m really excited about this new direction. It’s not just about the money either but I’ll be helping other people while also doing something I really love – telling other people what to think and do. I don’t know why I didn’t see this possibility earlier.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Part-time Celebrity Career Path

While it doesn’t appear to be a zero-sum game overall, presumably, there’s only so much room at the top for part-time celebrity aspirants. Over a lifetime of experiencing various disappointments, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s important to avoid setting unrealistically high goals. For me, just aiming to enter at the top ten percent of part-time celebrities seems like a big enough target to start with.

Celebrity-mania seems to know no bounds but let’s face it, celebrity-fatigue of specific individuals does happen. Logically, this can only result in opening up opportunities for fresher, full and part-time, celebrities, to move in on someone else’s celebrity territory – assuming they can introduce greater personal value to some celebrity-dependent enterprise.

Being virtually unknown, my own lack of overexposure has to be counted as one of my biggest assets. Another is, I’m not bogged down with type-casting or limited by expectations based on public perception. As a blank slate, I believe I’m in the perfect position to offer multi-dimensional celebrity possibilities that long-established celebrities can only dream of.

We’ve probably all noticed that possessing talent doesn’t seem to be necessary to become a celebrity, nor does having contributed anything to our society. Anybody can become a celebrity. That’s the great thing about America. I mean, you’ve got your Paris Hiltons, your Kim Kardashians, or whichever one of the Kardashians they’re marketing these days… and on the men’s side, half the people who show up as guests on Letterman I’ve never even heard of. I can’t think of a single one of his guests who’ve caused taxes to go down or made my life better in any other way. Yet in this great country of ours, these all still have managed to achieve celebrity appeal and generate income by trading on their names (Note to self: I should probably redo my resume, so as not to appear over-qualified).

I’ve long said, in a country where Rosie O’Donnell’s vitriolic ravings are considered commendable enough to merit (formerly) her own TV and (now) radio talk shows, where Tom Hanks can play the romantic lead (instead of the more believable dorky side-kick) in movie after movie, and a gravel grinding-voiced performer like Joe Cocker can make it big as a singer… well, all I’m saying is that the requirements for becoming a successful celebrity don’t seem to be all that demanding, do they? And remember, I only need a part-time celebrity position, so the requirements should be considerably less exacting, still.

Here’s a list of celebrity-functions I think I could drop into without much trouble: Grand openings, product endorsement, cartoon-voicing, opinion interviews, sporting-event half-time shows, TV series cameo appearances and featured speaking engagements on the knife and fork circuit. Anybody have any other ideas?

I realize I’m going have to be willing to have my photo taken with various sweat suit- clad, free-loading tire-kickers, as well as mixing with glamorous nincompoops from the chardonnay-sipping set at red-carpet events. That just goes with the territory. I do, however, intend to draw the line at lending my future personal allure as a part-time celebrity to political rallies, no matter how much it costs me in income in the short term.

I’d have to be na├»ve to think that breaking into this business just happens. I’m willing to work hard to attain part-time celebrity status, although, so as not to sabotage myself, I’m also willing to just fall into it through sheer luck.

Here is the only problem, though. I’m facing the age-old conundrum: Lacking any celebrity experience, how do I get started in this work? I’m looking for suggestions as to how to establish my credibility as a part-time celebrity. For moral reasons, salacious videos are out and I’d prefer to not have to do anything that could land me in jail or raise my car insurance rates. Otherwise, I’m open to considering all options. I’m inviting everyone to submit their most creative ideas.

Also, does anyone have any contacts in the celebrity biz? Someone here on the island that could be helpful in getting me started would be most convenient.

Thanks, everybody. I’m looking forward both to receiving your helpful suggestions and the income-supplementing opportunities awaiting me in part-time celebrity enterprise.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I've been fighting a head cold for the past week with intermittent headaches from sinus pressure. I apologize for the dearth of new posts. Please check in in a couple of more days. I should be clear headed enough by then to write the usual nonsense.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Go Where the Opportunity Lies

A friend of mine asked me a while back, “So, how’s bidnez? You still architek’in?”

He’s the only one I know who uses my profession used as a verb, but I answered, “Yeah, still, business HAS been better.”

The truth is, business used to be a lot better. So much so, that I’ve started giving some thought to supplementing my profession’s dwindling work opportunities with something else that’s less-impacted by the sorry state of the economy.

After giving thought to various possibilities, I’ve decided I’d like to pick up some part-time work as a celebrity, nothing big, maybe eight to ten hours a week – 12 tops. The public appetite for celebrity exposure seems insatiable and, therefore, suggests a recession-proof industry.

As part of due diligence, I’ve recently taken a serious look at celebrity interviews on TV, doing well over an hour’s research. As far as I’ve been able to determine by observation, the primary job requirements of being a celebrity are:

1. Cultivate a self-important air, feign superior knowledge of everything outside of your particular experience and exhibit condescension cloaked in compassion.
2. Say foolish and either obvious or uninteresting things when you’re being interviewed.
3. Talk about yourself a lot.

How hard can that be? I used to do all that and a lot more just trying to get dates in high school.

I know what you’re thinking. The formula above seems oversimplified, right? I'm fairly confident though, if you study the subject for yourself, you’ll find that your own data will correlate closely.

If I were to add 15 or 20 pounds I could be this guy. Wonder what he gets paid?

Next time: My personal qualifications

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guys Hate Drama!

Thaaaaat’s riiiiight, I’m saying it! Guys cannot stand to be in a drama-driven environment. It produces in us aggravation and dread.

Man alive, was I reminded of this fact again today in the course of documenting some existing conditions in an office suite for which we’re in the process of designing some alterations and expansion facilities. It was during business hours and very crowded with people.

While going about my work I could hear one woman in the adjacent room talking with elevated anxiety about her boyfriend to her female co-worker. She went on and on, speculating what he might have meant by an 8 or 9 word sentence he’d spoken to her. She hit it from different angles, talked about what she thought about each one and how she would respond to every possible scenario. And you know what? I’ll bet the guy can barely remember having had the conversation.

I thought, It is whatever he said, Lady! Why don’t you just ask him what he meant? If you want to look for hidden meanings and symbolism, read Moby Dick. Guys just aren’t that cryptic. If you ask the right questions you’ll get answers that make sense. I hope her boyfriend is recognizing the red flags in the relationship because, if he stays in it, his world will be continually unsettled. Yikes!

I’ve had guys tell me they quit their jobs because of too much drama at work. The only kind of drama a guy likes is the last two minutes of a sports event, maybe coverage of a close election (if he remembered to vote) and the suspenseful plot of an action movie (as long as it is brought to resolution with gunfire, car crashes or explosions, preferably all three).

Guys like stability, order, cause & effect, recognizable patterns, understandable sequences, reasonable dispositions, fair negotiations, clear instructions, stated goals, written contracts, straight talk in plain language, the right tools for the right job and, I might as well throw in, menus in English.

No guy goes to work in the morning thinking, Man, I can’t wait ‘til I finish my shift and I can get out of here to go find me a situation primed with drama! That would really make this job worth it! That said, however, most men of some devotion won’t object to discussing a woman’s concerns or problems in a non-turbulent, non-theatrical manner.

Women, here’s a tip: If you’re looking for male companionship, socially or romantically, the best tack to take is one that avoids appreciably involving guys in endless personal insecurities, emotional chaos and rocky behavior because…get this now, Guys. Hate. Drama.

The Check is in the Mail

Saw this on the way to the gym this afternoon. Never gave much thought about service interruption like this. Can't just reset the modem with these.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What in the World Happened to Wendy’s?

It’s been several years now since the Wendy’s in Keauhou closed up. It was in an accessible location, quick in-and-out service, decent amount of parking and, get this –it had a better view of the Kona Coastline than any house I’ve ever lived in!

As real estate, the location-location-location should have guaranteed success: Situated smack dab in the middle of the Keauhou Resort area, road-linked to a grocery store-anchored outdoor mall, signal lights adjacent to help get you in and out of traffic, filling station across the road. So what happened?

The story goes that the owner couldn’t find enough help to stay open. Hard to figure that in today’s economy, but who knows? During the last boom maybe there were more and better jobs available to the (mostly) teenagers who would have been logical candidates for employment at Wendy’s.

Personally, I never got used to square hamburgers, though I ate at Wendy's once in a while, until, that is, I noticed that a lot of pieces of hamburger in the chili formed right triangles.

I recalled, from the summer I worked under a professional chef in the Catskills, that in the restaurant business, profits were maximized and waste was minimized by taking older, less-appetizing food and disguising and re-using it as a component in some different dish. Translation: I always felt like I was eating old, unsold hamburgers that had been chopped up and dropped into the pot.

I don’t know if that’s what they did or not but the evidence suggested it and, well, there were other options. The closing left me with little chagrin.

There’s been a rumor circulating that Kona chef Sam Choy has plans to open a restaurant of some kind in the too-long vacant building. If so, that would be a bold move in these times and I would wish him success.