One Persons Tradition is Anothers Angst at ‘Again’

Having completed the necessary and brilliant football picks (Panthers giving 1.5 to Dallas? Absolutely!) over java and a large bacon-cheese-egg-with wasabi sauce sandwich, its almost time to head over to brother Steve’s for the deep frying of the turkey. While he hasn’t confirmed that the noon start– and strict schedule adherence isn’t usually a strong point with him– cooking time has been cigar and an adult beverage time tradition for us for the last couple years.

The real tradition behind this article is the Drumstick for Glenn though, and for a significant number of years, pretty much everyone has gone with idea I’m going to want to gnaw on one. Its not usually the massive hunk it seemed to be ‘back in the day’, but it doesn’t seem like there are a dozen other items crammed on the plate that made its presence look so overpowering either. Dinner seems simpler now, and while its understood Mike will mention his le sueur pea concoction (like the cheesy, not enamored of the potato chip topping vs. crispy fried onion) being a specialty more than once, its easily balanced by the fact Steve usually has a couple good bottles of wine available.

About the drumstick as Tradition/Dammit, Again. For the sake of accuracy, it was actually a Christmas turkey, and Steve’s family had left for a ski vacation out west, and my folks were here in Charlotte from Tampa. Having parked near the garage instead of on the street, significant date and I came through the house from downstairs vs. front door, arriving in the kitchen just as a semi-shocking conversation between Mom and Dad came to a point.

Mom: Just cut the meat off and put it on the plate.
Dad: That’s Glenn’s drumstick that he always likes to chew on.
Mom: Ohh, I always *hated* that he did that!

That we’d arrived just in the nick of time to save Dad from having to stymie her willingness to hack the meat off herself was one thing; to hear she’d HATED– apparently for most of 45 years!– my chewing on the dark, juicy drumstick was more than just a little bit of an oh my! moment. If there’d been a tendency to eat like a pirate early on, it has still been something to kind of count on as mine. Dad having my nephew Ian deliver a small drumstick to me (“Grandpa said you’d really like to chew on this”) when Thanksgiving was being celebrated at a cousins house, is still something that comes as a really good emotional memory. Those two specific times when a certain ‘streak’ was imperiled and Dad came through, that’s deep stuff, and clearly what Tradition is about.

Long time family friend Mrs. Kline– who alternated major holiday dinners with Mom for years once they determined there was no sense making seperate ones when we’d wind up together later in the day– *guaranteed* her mashed potatoes wouldn’t be stiff (it was a fact in the past) when we got together last year, which shows how significant some holiday memories are imbedded. It was only mentioned once, but we can all smile about it (now).

It’s doubtful Mom will say anything one way or the other today, and hopefully Steve leaves one drumstick to the side, and nobody grabs it before me. Tomorrow might begin another tradition when I help prepare a holiday dinner at the Men’s Shelter, and at some point there will probably be a dinner with lasagna instead of turkey, but Tradition, lets go with that at least one more time.

Best wishes to all, including those unfortunate SOBs who have to work in retail starting at 6pm.

Glenn S.

Advertisements

On the Verge of Restoring My Sports Writing Credibility

670px-bank_of_america_stadiumHaving neglected my own blog because I’m posting on Pulse and upping my profile (got to #2 in my category a few weeks ago) rank by responding to numerous subjects/slices of opinion on LinkedIn, I’m also working through the technology on a site that will put me back into the ‘getting paid for the effort’ area for my long time expertise in sportswriting – http://www.Blastingnews.com.

It’s not a done deal yet, and the semi-hangup is having to (as in *mandatory*— pieces don’t go through without it) link to two other pieces. Not MY work mind you, just anyone who has done something for the same outfit, and that’s not something I’ve felt comfy with. It’s not collaboration, its simply this new site (about two months in business, Euros don’t you know) trying to ensure their writers get more views, which will increase how much they get paid. Now, I’m not against more $$ at any point, but when I’m done knocking out something on the local Carolina Panthers, trying to put (in my humble opinion) *legitimate* links in when the possibilities are about fantasy football or the futbol played in the rest of the world, I’m not crazy about that.

The lure of getting my opinions in front of thousands of readers is driving me though. Back in the early ’80s I earned my writing muscles while writing several features a month for IT’S SPORTS! magazine in Tampa, FL– muscles but not much cash. When I arrived in Charlotte 20 years ago, there weren’t the possibilities for publication there are now, and this city is *busting* with all levels of sports, even beyond the headlining NBA (Hornets) and NFL (Panthers) teams: there is AHL hockey (Checkers), an International League baseball team (Knights) that lead the league in attendance with their classy new stadium last year; lacrosse! a mens and womens soccer organization with a mission (non-profit!) you probably wouldn’t believe, and of course, NASCAR is still kinda big hereabouts.

I know I’ll get the hang of that linking thing soon, and I’m goal-oriented enough to state that I want to be read and considered an EXPERT about Charlotte sports in places like Belgium or Wisconsin. If you’re reading this now, please try and find me on http://www.us.Blastingnews.com/sports/glenn-shorkey again soon– I’ll make sure its worth your while.

Glenn S.

Smooth Transition on Super Sunday-Last Stuff Moved, Great Football

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, plus cousin Frank’s b-day, and the second anniversary of my Dad’s burial down in Tampa, FL. Nothing dramatic about the day this time around, and I’ll always maintain his death went about as smoothly as anyone could conceive. I went directly to the hospital after driving in on Monday afternoon from Charlotte, got to be of service with sips of water till after eleven. He died the next afternoon, and I’d known since Mom told the doc there weren’t going to be any extra-ordinary measures, this was going to be the end. My three brothers flights all came in at 6:00, and everyone appreciated a steady week of family to take the edge off. I got the talk at graveside done pretty well, glad I’d written/printed it as a giveaway at time of the happiest event in their lives, their 50th in 2005.

The line Frank used that day was perfect: “Uncle Walt kept all those extra pieces of wood because he thought some project might need it. When you’re thinking like that, you’re not worrying about dying.” Dad died two days after his youngest brother, Donald, died in the same hospital, also of congestive heart.

I always mention that he got the last joke I made, about his meatloaf-mac ‘n cheese-green beans plate needing tabasco. Dad rolled his eyes, because he’d said for years I would put it on corn flakes.
=====

It’s certainly been examined and opined about since the second of decision, but “Twice in Beast Mode” wasn’t ABSOLUTELY the BEST call that should’ve been made? Bro’s chili was his best effort ever. The word most asked was ‘cemented’ regarding Brady, and that is a stone-cold fact when discussing his place in the QB hiearchy. Hiya, Joe!
===

Simple, Cheap, Tasty ‘Shorkey Soul Food’ for Singles

Today was almost a deluxe edition, with an entire Andouile sausage (vs. hamburger) cut up, and a Medium onion, diced. The stars of dinner are snap peas and bean sprouts, and this goes over 2 pks. ramen noodles beautifully (most selections are done with rice as default).

I’ve used olive oil to sautee the sausage and beans– in my humble opinion, thick fresh beans show you care in this dish, especially since nobody leaves the pointy ends on, right? Some of my SSF variations include garlic; I feel the andouile sausage gives all the flavor necessary here, but I make a generic-thorough couple revolutions with hand ground pepper.

Couple extra items experimented with: small jar of pimentos– good! Slivers of red were noticeable and the second half use of .85 condiment. Added a large handful of frozen-chopped spinach– very good effect. You know there’s never anything wrong with an extra leafy green, and it clings to stuff nicely, a constant reminder something good is definitely in this.

Lastly, an unknown amount of jalapeno slices from the jar, but the *juice* is what turned this into something distinctive. Yes, some spiciness from sausage and jalapeno, no problem throwing anything you want in as ‘end of the saving it’ fodder. Hey, its over ramen noodles…!

Glenn Shorkey

Close Enough on ‘Madam Secretary’, 3.6MM French March, Rowling v. Murdoch

Having already sent out two more resumes with cover letters this morning and knocked off final third of a nursed-through-the-weekend terrific cigar brother Steve gifted me with for Christmas, it seems legitimate to put the end of a drippy, contemplative Monday afternoon in Charlotte towards honoring a New Years vow to blog 3x a week.

Last night was the first time watching ‘Madam Secretary’, and kudos to the writers who nailed Tia Leone’s struggle about going to the funeral of a slain prep school classmate, a Bahranian prince she’d convinced, in a 1-1 post-private dinner discussion, to honor certain beliefs he’d espoused years before. Viewers who didn’t see he’d be killed by *someone* who felt 180 degrees differently about what he said back in his own country must be blind to what would happen, especially given recent events in the real world and TV drama.

Her bind was obvious: Having been told that, even as the representative of the United States government, she would have to view the funeral from behind a screen with the other women, how could she acquiece, knowing it would undoubtedly be viewed as accepting another cultures regard for women (slavery was a major sub-topic to show) as less worthy than any other man’s ability to pay their respects?

I appreciated her solution, flying all night to speak privately with the greiving King vs. not paying final respects to a cherished friend at all, or raising a major furor by trying to insist on bulldozing the custom. One small detail: Even if the King agrees to meet with his dead son’s friend just before the event, and she wears a respectful head scarf, you don’t show up wearing makeup and pants.
===
3.6 million Frenchmen march over the slaughter of Charlie Hepdo cartoonists by Muslim extremists? Sacre bleu! Who knew they cared that much about anything? That the event caused such an over-whelming response, can we somehow start to think that killing of ‘others’– with the twisted notion it will cause events one group or another finds disrespectful to totally cease– will be repudiated by the masses that radicals pretend they represent? There didn’t seem to be any similar reaction to Chechens slaughtering 400 children in a raid on Russia what seems like soooo long ago, nor the 140+ killed at a school for the children of Pakistani military more recently.

I live in Charlotte, NC– ‘The Buckle on the Bible Belt’ as many proclaim it— and I am grateful EVERY DAY that I don’t have to worry about someone from one (of a couple thousand) churches deciding to strap on an explosive device and kill believing-in-a-somewhat-different-way worshippers while shouting ‘God is Great!’

The animals that call themselves Boko Haram, taking DAYS to destroy multiple villages and systematically kill over 2,000 is beyond comprehension; don’t even try to tell me there was a reason or God involved with that.

Rowling’s succinct tweet about Murdoch’s comment re: Islamic extremism and the worlds Muslim population being represented by violent action, didn’t actually convince me of anything being totally wrong with what Murdoch foolishly tried to get out in 140 characters. I question his methodology more than any essential fact— which has been noted above and on previous occasions– that seeing the words ‘Muslim extremists’ in front of so many brutally negative events doesn’t bring up the idea “they aren’t representative of the Muslim religion.”

Murdoch owns an un-Godly (?) number of media outlets around the world; screw a 140 character tweet! Put a thoughtful, double-truck message in the middle of all those newspapers about how that violence scares people, the distrust that living next door to someone who might walk into your grocery store tomorrow and kill you and a dozen friends engenders! Have your FOX network people throw 30 seconds of your minimally expressed thoughts out for consumption on a massive scale, or are you afraid ‘they’ will punish you?

===
On a much lesser topic, how could Dez Bryant’s catch in game vs. Green Bay be overturned? I’ve heard the ‘control-going to the ground’ explanation of the rule, but he was CLEARLY controlling the ball in left hand and took two strides after the catch before it bounced off the ground on impact. I watch a lot of TV football, scream regularly about ‘defenseless’ 6’5″, 260 lb. behemoths getting whacked at the instant they make a catch because they shouldn’t be hit when a QB squeezes a throw into the foot of space between defenders. Not a catch? Sorry Cowboys, you got stiffed.
==
As for Clooney’s comments, including how glad he was to be Amal’s husband after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, it was one more large brick in the huge personal Manhood he represents. He got married when HE was ready, to a beautiful, smart, All That Woman, and while humble about “whatever alchemy,” he wasn’t apologizing for it taking 53 years to decide.

I respectfully submit three moments that cement my own regard for him: Above all, that he took his DAD into Darfur to “make it less possible for the world to ignore that situation,” knowing full well if the bad guys somehow showed up, they wouldn’t think twice about shooting everyone in that convoy, movie star or not. Second, his grip on fame while defending his aunt (Rosemary Clooney), with comment that “she didn’t suddenly lose all her talent,” when parts that involved her signature singing vanished, pretty much from one year to the next.

Lastly, and I smile at the super cool guy-ness of it, was after Danny Devito went on ‘The View’, still pretty well lit after a night out with Clooney doing shots of Lemongello. Told that Devito had talked about their night out, George gave that killer grin and one-lined it: “Yeah? So how did he do?”

Glenn Shorkey

Grandma Said Being 80 Allowed Saying Anything; I’m Almost 58 and I Can’t Wait

Ask ten managers or recruiters whats most important on a resume, and you will undoubtedly get ten different answers. Having commented/semi-raved about this situation several times, committing to an at-length discussion about unfairness of “ya gotta show ACHIEVEMENT, not *just* did things” mind set seems legitimate. The 6-8 seconds aspect of recruiter viewing is certainly a gripe many others will have too, but for now, lets use three examples regarding resumes and delineating production/achievement relative to executive-administrative assistant roles.

I’ve seen a particular article about the high desirability of ‘soft skills’ several times recently, a factor which I (perhaps immodestly) know I’ve got an abundance of– both freelance writing and significant sales background rely on the Q&A style of determining what needs to be known, rapport building, taking care of whatever blips or situations come up. Communications ability rarely generates verifiable ACHIEVEMENT; most often being the oil that keeps gears rolling smoothly is what makes up the EA-AAs job.

As a temp replacing an EA that handled three VPs, I was the primary coordinator for a quarterly meeting of a 175-190 person Residential Master Servicing group for a bank. I love a challenge, so determining the site (maximum convenience), the menu/costs for feeding everyone lunch, the AV equipment setups, which logo-ed gift the participants would receive and team building exercises were all wrapped in the project.

Yes, there was a sub-set of 9-10 others who helped, especially on idea of gift (a sweet umbrella, large with padded grip) from corporate catalog, but it was my job getting the factors together. That the ballroom location and equipment needs were essentially ‘free’ once the luncheon cost ($17 x 190= approx. $34k) was negotiated was a no-brainer when I presented it to the VP with oversight responsibility. The idea of a scavenger hunt for a team building exercise was, IMHO, brilliant, and everything worked exceptionally smooth. The lady who didn’t put a printout in teams box by ‘zero’ as rest of room counted down end of exercise certainly won’t forget it.

Problem: Sure it was an achievement, the first item at top of my resume on Pg. 2– but HOW MUCH under whatever budget can I claim? Banks were fat then, it was almost a blank check really, but knowing what previous meeting looked like– including having people drive to another part of Charlotte– what magnitude of Great Job is legitimate?

Second: A multi-functional job as Customer Service Administrator, including the quantifying of technician hourly/travel expenses, researching any customer billing questions (and those techs weren’t always great on their documentation), putting together $30-60,000 consignment orders of parts for new locations, and interfacing with three mutually exclusive data bases.

I utilized writing skills several times, with a specific ‘Parts Ordering and Return Policies’ piece being an ‘achievement’. The Parts Dept. was often called on to diagnose what part had failed, based on customer description of a machine not working. Codifying how company wanted callers– generally the guys in the pits with machines, not office personnel– to present needs in 1st, 2nd, 3rd best ways to determine the required part IMPROVED process-efficiency for Parts (diagnosing being a Service situation), but QUANTIFYING that achievement from an administrative POV for resume, hmmmm.

Third: During a reorganization of a 105 person Purchasing department, I was tasked to the change coordinator, and based on my abilities in several areas, became point of contact for five Team Leaders. I didn’t have to make travel plans for all of them, but beyond creating and disseminating all new policies through the e-mail system, DOING for multiple execs or managers is frequently in position descriptions for EAs.

THEN comes the 6-8 seconds of ‘attention’ factor by a recruiter, who we *know* is trying to fill a specific need for their clients– but who often won’t sit with someone to determine the extras their experience/under-utilized skills might bring if known about.

I’m coming back to administrative arena after working in retail during the recession, taking Excel and Outlook courses on line to refresh things I knew cold seven years ago, but while the 112.6% of goal (achievement!) I nailed in 2013 in retail job barely counts, you can’t leave out all that time. Retail paid my bills during a hellacious economic time, and for sure it involved those soft skills and production, yet its not super relevant to the admin-organizational roles I want/need to present in a resume. Two counselors agreed a ‘functional’ resume (without dates!) that minimized retail worked better to promote my previous admin experience; several other recruiters said dates, including when NOT working, were mandatory– clients felt you were trying to hide something otherwise, and yeah, just describing the job wasn’t enough, resume needed to include achievements. I couldn’t tell you how many never responded at all, or number of insurance companies who wanted the sales experience because it was at the beginning (or popped the right word in algorithym).

As a possible fix I’ll offer this:
Like the NASCAR app I came across with a 2000 word limit to describe ‘career experiences’, applications need a heckuva lot more flexibility to include ‘other stuff’, AND RECRUITERS SHOULD READ IT. Sure you’ve got a bunch of resumes for every position, you’re sooooo busy/focused on getting a payoff result, but eliminate a candidate because you only took six seconds and didn’t see an EXACT match for job order that included ‘achievement’, where something like a quarterly meeting *should* count for something, dang it, that’s wrong.

Take a whole MINUTE maybe, tell yourself TODAY is the day you discover a unique, shining example of someone whose paper portrait includes a factor you hadn’t considered. Maybe even call them and ask for an explanation of whatever drew a huh! from you. It’s January baby, if you’re just BSing around the water cooler because (as one recruiter stated) “The only thing I have is a job upselling people who have basic membership on a dating site,” you’ve GOT the time.

Glenn Shorkey