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Back To Work…

Back To Work…

Just back in town from Houston so why not drop an actual UPDATE up in here for the remaining three readers (and the 17,392 Somali scam artists that visit)?  As I alluded to in the initial unwordy post, some things have changed for the Chillster of late.

1.  I am back to work at a full-time job.  After close to six years of non-employment, suddenly I:

  • Have a senior position at a promising startup company that I believe has a chance to be extremely successful in a pretty unsexy market segment (hopefully the only time “unsexy” and “Chilly” are together in anyone’s stream of consciousness, ever).  Very excited about this opportunity and have been using parts of my brain that have been in storage for some time;
  • Own a business that has thirteen employees;
  • Am doing some informal advisory work on a middle market deal (thanks to my banker homies for all the SDC this, and MergerMarket that (I know it’s the same shit now but struggling with what else to put in there that wouldn’t me sound even more dipshitty, bear. (“Bear” is my new slang abbreviation for “bear with me” – if you don’t like it, deal.)))

I have hit a couple of nadirs in my life – first, when I was an aimless college dropout – the Navy fixed that (mostly by process of elimination, such as “well, I sure as fuck don’t want to be enlisted in the Navy” and “I cannot contemplate life for even one extra hour as a submarine officer” but still); then when I was putting in a robust four hours a week as a pharma rep (3.5 hours were driving), I got kind of bailed out by the Navy again (admissions offices were very kind to ex-Nukes and Naval Academy guys back then) and got a fancy MBA and fancy job that I hated that ultimately led me to want to take six years off and be something of a minimalist.  Hoping this time I can pull it together and not go to the extremes of my previous professional life and maintain some of the perspective gained from seeing folks at various end-0f-life stages.

2.  Last week I ran the fastest 3.0 and 4.5 mile times I’ve ever run.  Better not older, etc.  Not sure exactly what happened but I had something of a breakthrough in running during the summer and gained over one mph in speed despite the fact I didn’t lose a ton of weight or anything.  (I did drop a few pounds when I was on essentially on the unpopular “endless sobbing” diet plan.  I got some perspective on how absolutely shitty it would be to have chronic depression – cannot imagine feeling like that every day without ever getting better.  Understand why there are so many meds out there now.)  Don’t race me.  (Disclaimer: all of my record times are on the same treadmill at the gym – it’s been so fucking humid here that if I went for speed records I would definitely die of heat stroke in under half a mile.  Now that fall has fallen, I’m looking to prove it outdoors.)

3.  After running outside, I for the second time got a persistent rash under my eyes.  The first time I got five years ago, it it lasted months (even after visiting an unhelpful dermatologist “I’m not sure what that is?  It’s pretty weird-looking”) and had me scaring babies and shit.  I’m kind of hoping that I actually got bitten by a radioactive raccoon and am about to start exhibiting my newfound trash-eating superpowers.

4.  I finally got an iPhone two weeks ago.  I keep my phones until forever and absolute failure; my beloved Mytouch 4G died in May so I bought a shitty windows phone as a bridge to the new iPhone.  I ordered a 6 Plus and was delighted to find that it was the size of a ping pong paddle (or maybe a surfboard for squirrels).  Did you notice that I used the past tense a couple times there?  If so – very observant!

So once I got the phone I would make sure and tell everyone “Look at my big-assed phone! It’s huge!  I never drop them – also, I never get raccoon rashes – so I’m going to wait to buy a case, do some research, you know, make sure my $30 goes to the right product.”  In my defense, I did not drop the phone – due to its immense size, it decided to shoot out of my pocket when I did the customary lap-making maneuver that happens anytime you sit down on something.  I was sitting in an SUV, and the street was not a receptive environment for the 68 square inches of screen.  First cracked screen I’ve ever had.  When it happened all I could do was go “Oh, no!” in the exact same tone and volume that a six year old girl would have used.

I figured the screen would cost $400 to replace and that it would take a month for the new screens to even arrive.  Somehow, it was $129 at the Apple store.  They didn’t have screens so they just gave me a new one.  I ordered a case and some tempered glass for this motherfucker.  I don’t know any of the features on the thing, but I do know I’m pretty terrified I’m going to break it again ASAP.

Anyway, I’m hoping for a renaissance with writing on this site, there may be some interesting developments.  I’ll let ya’ll know about the eye rash.




Expectations vs. Reality

Expectations vs. Reality

A lot of people ask me, “Hey, Chilly, how’s it going? You still living the dream?”  This forces me to ponder how many 43 year olds dream about living at home and occasionally helping their dad urinate.  It’s not so bad though – the Sriracha at Wal-Mart here in Arkansas goes for $2.66, compared to, if I recall correctly, $18 at Gristedes.  (Don’t worry, I’m already working on this arb opportunity; next time in NYC I’m bringing twenty cases of Sriracha with me and will sell them on the sidewalk for $4.  I’m partnering with a gentleman who’s an expert in marketing used DVDs and cell phone accessories.)

Given that this site is just over three years old now, it’s probably time to reflect upon my post-banking path.  (I almost typed in “genuflect” there, because I momentarily thought it meant to genuinely reflect.  I think I’m getting stupider.  I thought iPad Boggle was supposed to sharpen your intellect?)  I’ll be honest: I predicted nothing short of meteoric success for myself in whatever endeavor I decided to pursue after getting canned.  For those of you who have read about my many previous occupations, you might ask yourself “why the hell did he think he would be hugely successful when he’s only been average/below average, at best, in his previous jobs?”  The answer (that I tell myself) is that I never really tried all that hard before, because I never really felt all that invested in anything.  They were all just jobs.  Now – elusive freedom in hand – I would focus my energies like never before, creating either sardonic-yet-enlightening-in-a-non-meaningful-way masterpieces of internet writing or performing myriad backtesting analyses to confirm/tighten my trading strategy and generate mucho cashflow.  (This is all detailed more thoroughly in my thus-far-unpublished trogger manifesto.)

Instead of all that, I mostly just kind of f*cked around.  Results could kindly be described as tepid.  But the way I understand it, it takes about twenty years to become a successful internet writer, so I’m really only 15% down the path.  Just getting started on my journey.  If I don’t see some results in another 15-17 years, I’m totally dumping this site.  The upside is, I’ve learned a lot about SEO (that’s search engine optimization for you nEwBs out there.  That’s how we internet people really talk, all cool and stuff with random capitals and in-the-know slang.)  In fact, I’m going to be using my newfound SEO knowledge to kickstart this motherf*cker in the near future.  On the trading front, I’m thinking my “hope for the best” approach will really generate some serious alpha going forward.  So it is all good in the hood, but there is certainly room for improvement (to quote virtually any of my performance reviews.)






Career Advice For Ugly People

Career Advice For Ugly People

Sofia: this article does not apply to you. At all.


One of the most potentially psychologically-damaging questions that one faces in life is: am I ugly?  (Clearly, since my face has been shown like 532,017 times as the toxic physical embodiment of the 1%, I pass.  Nobody would get that pissed about an uggo.)  There’s probably a pretty strong correlation between one’s perceived unattractiveness and being a youthful age, but I think as most folks get older and mellow they realize they probably fall into that 60-80% groupage of people who are neitherly overly beautiful/handsome (4-5% per Seinfeld) or disgusting/sickening (15-16% in most locations, jumps to around 35% when strolling through Wal-Mart).  Just to be clear, I’m talking about old school ugliness, not genetic deformities or accident victims.  I’ll also exclude African-American (and African-Canadian, for that matter) albinos due to the fickleness of melanin.  We are all aware of the benefits of beauty – you get a leg up in just about everything – but what restraints might ugliness put on future career options?

Let’s consider the other end of the spectrum for a second – it used to be easy to identify that top 5% of women, at least.  Back in my days of burgeoning adolescence, you knew that that group was comprised almost entirely of ladies who were members of one of the following organizations:

  • The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
  • The Solid Gold Dancers
  • Charlie’s Angels

That was pretty much all you needed to know.  These days, with the 24-hour news cycles, reality television, blogs, old ladies rapping and what-have-you, it’s harder to pinpoint exactly what kind of grouping would give you the same results.  But based on my keen observations of modern culture, I can hazard a guess that the hottest ladies around now are:

  • Anyone who’s ever been on the cover of Shape magazine (with less than 48% airbrushing)
  • Anyone who’s appeared in a Skechers Shape-up advertisement
  • Anyone who’s served as an internet tee-shirt model

For the three ladies who read this, I must admit that I’m not sure what the modern day male equivalent is – based on feedback from the ladies I know and some extrapolation, I’ll assume the top 5% of males are:

  • Dudes that stand outside of Hollister with signs
  • World Cup participants (pretty countries only)
  • Anybody in a band who appears to have a questionable hygiene regimen


Anyway, this piece was intended more to point the non-pretty in the right direction.  If you are ugly, you generally need to shy away from sales or relationship-type positions, it’s a proven fact that people are more likely to buy sh*t from/interact with people that are attractive.  That’s pretty much common sense, but the equation gets more complicated if you have other negative qualities beyond ugliness.  For instance, ugly and stupid is a pretty loathsome combination – one that lends itself more to a career in serial murdering moreso than say, chemical engineering management.

There is a lot of misleading propaganda out there about ugly people occupations – always tending toward easy targets such as carnival workers, DMV employees or toll booth operators.  But have you been to the DMV lately?  Some serious hotties working the Take A Number machine these days – hell on That 70s Show, Fez worked at the DMV at the same time Wilmer Valderrama was deflowering basically every starlet around in Hollywood.  Misleading.  And a recent study in Scientific American showed that carnies, on average, have better facial symmetry ratios than any profession other than the somewhat exclusive society of French newswomen.  Carnies likely suffer from the fact that their jobs often require unfortunate hairstyles/ dental work aimed to attract curiosity seekers by startling the visual senses.  I will attempt to steer the unfortunately-faced away from such stereotypes.

So if you routinely hear things like “hey, are you Heather Graham?” or “has anyone ever told you you look like Michael Cera?”, feel free to skip the (beautiful) flowchart below.

For every John C. Reilly, there's like 4,200 Matt Damons