Archive for August, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions about The Meat Raffle

Why The Meat Raffle?

Because a good name is half the battle, right? Would you read this blog if I called it “half-baked stories from a Midwestern transplant in the New England.” Actually that’s not bad.
Meat Raffles are fun and surprising, a pastime that brings people together in a simple, familiar way. But they’re also a little weird, right? (You WIN! Here’s some brisket!) Also, in Minnesota it’s not uncommon for groups to throw together a meat raffle to raise a little money or awareness for something.
I’m not a VFW (and I don’t need your money…yet), but I thought it was time to raise a little awareness of my writing since I call myself a writer. And some of the best advice I ever got from an editor is to write every day, no matter what the subject.

Also, it’s a scientific fact that meat raffles are more fun with a few beers in you. So crack a few before you read here. Trust me, it’ll go down smoother.

OK, so how do Meat Raffles work?

You buy a ticket, the wheel is spun and if your number is called you’re going home with a very lucky slab of raw meat. That simple.

Right, so what’s this blog about?

Are you familiar with the term Polymath? No? Oh you poor thing, have a cookie. A Polymath is someone who is knowledgable on a great many things in this universe! String theory! Nano Technology! Animal Husbandry! Impressionist art! Excessive use of exclamation points!

Yeah I’m not that guy. I know about the finer points of cake baking, the history of Yacht Rock music, the weaknesses of Green Lantern’s power ring and the correct proportions for a tasty manhattan.
But I’m also a trained (I swear) journalist curious about many things related to pop culture, news, technology and cuisine. Also sports. Did I mention I like sports?

Which is to say this blog is about all of the above. Keep reading.

I feel you’re not taking me seriously.

Maybe if you weren’t wearing that stupid hat.



5 Things I’ve learned in unemployment

List blogs are hot, and, unfortunately, so is unemployment. I figured it was about time to sit down and write up my “what I did on  my summer vacation” (we went to the Vineyard, I met a sea captain, I milked an Alpaca!), but instead break it down into digestible hits.

1.) The news is damn depressing

Funny how stories about unemployment figures, the jobless rate and the stagnant pace of growth in the economy are background noise (albeit sad background noise, like a Sarah McLaughlin album) when you have a job. Now that I’m a free agent (my preferred term thank you), all that news seems to do is sucker punch you. That’s the best case scenario, worst case is it depresses the hell out of you, making the job hunt that much harder. As a reader of news I know you can’t easily stop those stories no more than you can stop the causes behind them, but still, NYT, could you take it easy on the fun-loving headlines using phrases like “jobless have only desperation?”

2.) You’ve got a lot of time with your thoughts

And depending on how much you like yourself, that could be a good thing…or not. Over a long enough period of time your brain can turn into that annoying roommate who never gets off the couch and leaves a thimble-full of milk left in the fridge. When your days consist of looking for work, evaluating (and re-evaluating) your worth and making a case for your potential, that’s just opening the gates to some self-debasement. At the same time, you’ve got ample opportunities for your mind to wander and discover that repressed ADD inside you. This is problematic only because when you should be looking for a gig you end up losing hours contemplating things like “whatever happened to that Mustang Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt.” (Answer: It is believed to be hiding in a barn somewhere in the Ohio River Valley.)

3.) Finding that “book in you” is a lot harder than you think