pjhstudios blog

I’ll see your truth and raise you satire


Too often, we’re sensitive to truth and doing the right thing, or in the case of the New York Times, forget our purpose.

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner eloquently, in her best Jonathan Swift form, states, “no shit”.

…we here at V.F. are looking for reader input on whether and whenVanity Fair should spell “words” correctly in the stories we publish.

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What a college career center should be


Yes, the college career services should offer the following stock services:

  • Resume and cover letter help (I’d argue that cover letters are a waste)
  • Mock interviews – know how to talk and be self aware
  • Resources for soul searching to figure out skills and interests

I’d expand with the following:

  • No nonsense, active tips, in the vein of Ramit Sethi, where individuals are encouraged to be aware of their strengths and market the hell out of them.
  • Industry, pull-the-curtain-back on how businesses and careers run, styled like Penelope Trunks‘ detailed missives.
  • Light hearted life coaching that encourages personal introspection, ala Therese Schwenkler
  • Big, bold, constructive, have no fear to do good work, as told by Seth Godin

What links the four individuals? An emphasis on active actions (monster.com, sending out resumes are passive), where we’re self aware of what the hell we’re doing.

Sethi details psychology of actions and their perceived impacts. He may come across as arrogant in his style, however, fine tune his advice to the point of self  confidence. Formatting and whitespace on a resume ain’t gonna do that.

Trunk hails as the veteran, the insider, the one who’s been there and still doing it.  She seeks out information to gleam insights into trends or to justify why a common approach really doesn’t work. She emphasizes doing something and learning about what your learning–random jobs can teach you something.

Schwenkler brings the “life balance” dialogue to the career center.  If you’re not happy, aren’t aware of your attitudes, all your relationships will be a challenge. She’s that cool, slightly quirky advisor that can actually relate to people.

Godin is a marketer of life.  His writing belies an understanding that puts everything into perspective–career and life and all that we want to do with it. So long as we’re honest, working to do the right thing and not be afraid of our self doubts, we’ll be successful.

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Keep calm and rock out


keep calm and rock out post

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My 2011 favorite albums


Below lists the albums I enjoyed the most in 2011.  2011 overflowed with good music from numerous artists and genres. Hip hop, country and polka are sadly underrepresented on my list.

  • Bon Iver – Bon Iver: The album swirls with lush arrangements and endearing, if cryptic lyrics. The tracks are places, whether a state of being or emotion, with Perth, Holocene and Michicant being standouts.  Seeing Justin Vernon lead his Bon Iver creation in concert at an opera house is definitely a highlight.
  • Feist – Metals: A more subdued album (read: no 1234-esque track) seeks a more introspective take to the coffee house chill fest Leslie Feist creates. Graveyard builds to an anthemic chorus and the album’s closer, Get it Wrong, Get it Right, sing simple, meditative phrases to close your eyes to.
  • Seryn – This is Where We Are: Out of Denton, this quintet of super talented multi-intrumentalists created an album that ebbs and flows with emotion. A mix of folk, rock, blue grass, jam band chamber pop, there’s much to discover. So Within perfectly starts out the album–short, dramatic, leaving you wanting more. River Song and We Will All be Changed lead in so many different directions.  I even had them play an unplugged set in my living room for my birthday.
  • Wild Flag – Wild Flag: Ex-Sleater Kinney bandmates lead this foursome of rockin’ ladies.  Romance charges out and makes punk seem fun again.  Glass Tambourine is a throwback to the 70s acid rock.
  • The Calm Blue Sea – We Happy Few: Post rock is basically instrumental rock. The Calm Blue Sea put together satisfying arrangements to sit back and enjoy a glass of bourbon on the patio.  They never reach the dramatics of Sigur Ros or the quiet/loud/quiet of Explosions in the Sky, and that’s not a bad thing.
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