SUCKS TO BE YOU It may surprise you... (it may not)
SHEâ€™S A NUTCASE break up with her before she kills you
SUIT UP Ditch the â€œpoor college studentâ€? look
Sucks to be Us
The reality that faces today’s college graduates: they’re screwed, coddled, self-absorbed, mocked and a surprisingly resilient generation. NOREEN MALONE
PURSUIT features April 2012
101 WAYS TO CHEAT DEATH
How to ensure you live and breathe to fight another day T.E HOLT , M.D.
GAIN MUSCLE, LOSE POUNDS
This food will help you do both KEVIN TURNER
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S HER
Photography by Richard Keele
5–somewhat easy ways to break up with lil’ Miss Lunatic RANDY JENSEN
...That don’t involve tofu or artichoke (Promise) HANK RILEY
THE SIMPLE LIFE The hardest thing in life may be ... to live simply WALTER SMITH
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PURSUIT departments 6
SPORT THE STYLISH SUIT 5 reasons why business casual is suitable for more than just business
COOL CASH FOR COLLEGE
9 Ways to loosen up that tight budget and pay for school J.D. ROTH
46 D ONâ€™T LET 50
GET OUT AND CLIMB
10 great climbs that will kick your butt SAMUEL BIESINGER
Q&A: THERE SHE IS, NOW WHAT?
No more excuses! Talk to her with confidence DAVID DEANGELO
YOUR NEW JOB KILL YOU
Would it kill ya to put in an honest days work? â€“Maybe. RICK SWENSON
On the Cover COLLEGE GRADUATES
SUCKS TO BE YOU It may surprise you... (it may not)
SHEâ€™S A NUTCASE break up with her before she kills you
SUIT UP Ditch the â€œpoor college studentâ€? look
Sucks to be US: The reality that faces todayâ€™s college graduates: theyâ€™re screwed, coddled, self-absorbed, mocked and a surprisingly resilient generation. Noreen Malone Âť p. 8 Suit Up - 5 Reasons why Men look good in Suits: Why business casual is suitable for more than just business Christina Preetha Âť p. 6 Sheâ€™s a Nutcase: Break up with her before she kills you - 5â€“somewhat easy ways to break up with miss lunatic Randy Jensen Âť p. 34 Cover Photo: Richard Keele - Keele Photography Model: Jeff Hegerhorst
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reasons women like men in suits
I’ll let you in on a secret, guys: we think you look hot in formal wear. Do you want to be noticed by the woman you’ve been too scared to approach? Wear a suit. Christina Preetha
Men just look so classy in suits! You don’t have to be a movie star to have that certain indefinable something in your air when you wear a suit.
Women aren’t just attracted to your looks. You slouch when you’re in casuals, but you know that you need good posture to carry off formals. This makes you look more confident. Often, exuding an air of confidence makes up for other irregularities in your looks.
Contrary to what you might believe, wearing clothes a teenager would wear does not make you look any younger. If you’re forty or fifty or even older, be proud of it! Women associate maturity with stability and success. And they also hope that you will behave like a gentleman if you look like one. Please do.
One of my girlfriends once told me that the first thing she notices about a man is whether he is well groomed. Men tend to let themselves go a bit and grooming takes a backseat in daily casuals, but they’re much more careful about it when they’re wearing formals. And all that extra effort shows!
Note: Please refer to my previous statement about looking like a used car salesman. That is not classy. Also, if it is wacky or doesn’t fit well or comes in the colors of the rainbow, lay off or risk looking like the Mask. Women will be stealing covert glances at you alright…and laughing their heads off.
Note: It’s not just the suit, you have to be comfortable in it! If this is a problem, practice wearing it in front of a mirror. Choose suits which fit you well and are comfortable when you sit, walk or do other everyday activities.
Girls dig that, trust me. Repeat after me, looking mature is a good thing.
“Suits are full of joy ‘They’re the sartorial equivalent of a baby’s smile.” » Barney Stinson: How I Met Your Mother
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5. It’s Different You wear the same old jeans and stuff everyday. And we think you look good, honestly. We like it when you’re just chilling out and being yourself. But looking at you in a suit one fine day after weeks and weeks of the same pair of jeans, it’s like bam! You’re a different guy. Women start to think that there might be unplumbed depths in you after all.
WELL Suit/Tie Matching Tips
Sinatra Âť This guy knows what Iâ€™m talkin about Âť
Even the nicest suit and most expensive designer tie can look cheap if matched incorrectly. Below are 3 tips that will make matching your suits and neckties a piece of cake:
Three simple things must be considered when it comes to color matching: The season of the year, do the colors on each clothing piece go together, and what colors look good on you.
If you choose to wear a patterned suit and tie together make sure that the patterns are different in size and style. This is not only true for the suit and the tie but for all the clothing pieces on an outfit.
3. F abric & Texture
Finally you should pay some attention to the fabric of the tie and the suit. Most neckties are made from silk but some (especially trendy skinny ties) are made from cotton or knitted wool. Make sure that the fabric of the tie matches the suit. There you go ,with those simple tips you will be able to get the correct tie for any occasion and any suit you have.
SUCKS t SUCKS
to be US. The reality that faces today’s college graduates: they’re screwed, coddled, self-absorbed, mocked and a surprisingly resilient generation. Noreen Malone
very generation finds, eventually, a mode of expression that suits it. Cavemen drew lines on their cave walls. Sixties kids marched. My generation, we Gchat, a million tiny windows blinking orange with hopes and dreams and YouTube links, with five-year plans and lunch plans. So as I began to search for a single phrase that could, preposterously, describe our entire cohort, post-crash, I did what I always do in moments of crisis. I Gchatted my 24-year-old sister Clare, who happens to be living back at home with our parents while she looks for a job:
I know this might read as very woe-is-us, but these are the facts: Nearly 14 percent of college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2010 can’t find full-time work, and overall just 55.3 percent of people ages 16 to 29 have jobs. That’s the lowest percentage since World War II, as you might have heard an Occupy
Wall Street protester point out. (Not coincidentally, one in five young adults now lives below the national poverty line.) Almost a quarter more people ages 25 to 34—in other words, people who should be a few years into their independent lives—are living with their parents than at the beginning of the recession.
Being young is supposed to mean you have the luxury of time. It might be hard, in fact, But in hard times, a few fallow years can become a lifetime drag on to create a generation more what you earn, sort of the opposite of compound interest. Because metaphysically ill-equipped to the average person grabs 70 percent of their total pay bumps duradjust to this new tough-shit ing their first ten years in the workforce, according to a paper from world. Yet some of us, somethe National Bureau of Economic Research, having stagnant how, are dealing pretty or nonexistent wages during that period well. means you hit that springboard at a crawl. Economist Lisa Kahn explained to The Atlantic Our in 2010 that those who graduate generation into a recession are still earning an average of 10 percent less nearly of people ages 16-29 two decades into their careers. In is the have jobs. That’s hard, paycheck-shrinking numbers, the lowest percentage the salary lost over that stretch totals since World War II around $100,000. That works out to $490 product or so less a month, money that could go, say, of two toward repaying student loans, which for the class long- term soof 2009 average $24,000. Those student loans (the responcial experiments sible borrowing option!) have reportedly passed credit cards as the conducted by our parents. nation’s largest source of debt. This is not just a rotten moment to The first sought to create little be young. It’s a putrid, stinking, several-months-old-stringy-goathyperachievers encouraged meat moment to be young. to explore our interests and Earlier generations have weathered recessions, of course; this talents, so long as that could stall we’re in has the look of something nastier. Social Security be spun for maximum effect on and Medicare are going to be diminished, at best. Hours worked a college application. (I would are up even as hiring staggers along: Blood from a stone looks like to take this forum to at last to be the normal order of things “going forward,” to borrow the admit that my co-secretaryship business-speak. Economists are warning that even when the of the math club had nothing economy recuperates, full employment will be lower and growth to do with any passion for will be slower—a sad little rhyme numbers and much to do with that adds up to something decidedly the extra-credit points.) In the unpoetic. A majority of Americans second experiment, which was say, for the first time ever, that this a reaction to their own distant generation will not be better moms and dads, our parents off than its parents. tried to see how much And so we self-confidence they find ourselves living among the scattered ashes and spilled could pack into us, red wine and broken glass from a party we watched in our like so many overpajamas, peering down the stairs at the grown-ups. This is not stuffed microfiber a morning after we are prepared for, to judge by the composite love seats, and sketch sociologists have drawn of us. (Generation-naming is an inexact science, but generally we’re talking here about the first half of the Millennials, the terrible New Agey label we were saddled with in the eighties.) Clare has us pegged pretty well: We are self-centered and convinced of our specialness and unaccustomed to being denied. “I am sad, jaded, disillusioned, frustrated, and worried,” said one girl I talked to who feels “stuck” in a finance job she took as a stepping-stone to morefulfilling work she now cannot find. Ours isn’t a generation that will give you just one adjective to describe our hurt. Photography by Richard Keele
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accordingly we were awarded clip-art Certificates of Participation just for showing up. The finite supply of actual brass rings meant that the first experiment would never pan out, but the second was a runaway success. Selfesteem among young people in America has been rising since the seventies, but it’s now so dramatically high that social scientists are considering whether they need to find a different measurement system—we’ve broken the scale. Since we are not in fact all perfect, this means that the endless praise we got growing up, win or lose, must have really sunk in. (Meanwhile, it’s this characteristic that our parents’ generation—which instilled it in us!—so delights in interpreting as “entitled.”) I’ve got a working theory about what’s happening as our self-esteem surpluses collide with a contracting world. A big chunk of our generation, the part David Brooks a decade ago collectively labeled the Organization Kid, more or less happily embraced very hard work within the system. (Brooks was focused on elite students, but I think the term applies equally well to your typical first- and second-honor-roll strivers.) If
you were an Organization Kid and have prospered despite the economy, landing one of those jobs that come with an embroidered gym bag, you’re obviously fine. The big change is that when you describe yourself as lucky—a word that comes up a lot with friends I know like this—you may actually mean it more than you would have before. (Before, it would have just been codespeak for “privileged.”) If, though, you set track records and made summa cum laude—if you earned praise not just for effort but real achievements—only to land back in the same bedroom where you drilled for the SATs, then you are unmoored. Your less-decorated peers, feeling the love regardless of results, came to believe they’ll always be appreciated. Whereas you have had your worldview kicked in.
You become a little like my naught. Lael feels like she’s stranded on the wrong rung. “All the friend Lael Goodman. “The articles in the newspaper say that investing in an IRA now means worst thing is that I’ve always I’ll have hundreds of thousands of extra dollars down the road, so gotten self-worth from perforI should just scrimp and save,” she says. “But I can’t scrimp and mance, especially good save because I’m doing that just to afford housing and groceries. grades. But now that So I’m screwed now, unable to enjoy young adulthood in the way I can’t get a job, that I feel I was promised, and screwed for the future.” I feel worthless,” Then there is my friend Sam (not his real name, she says. because he felt that if I used his real name, he’d truly “I have a lot Lael, who be unemployable). In high school, Sam was the of regret about going to is 27, was sports captain who set all the curves in calculus. college,” the valedicI used to call him up the night before physics tests torian of her to figure out what I should know. Sam went to the -Sam high school and best college he got into, for which he took out $50,000 did very well in college too. in loans. He signed up for some abstract-math courses, Unable to find a position that was cowed by classmates who worked theorems for kicks, and paid a decent wage using majored in poetry writing rather than fall short in the subject her English degree, she got he’d built so much of his identity on. After graduating, he took a master’s at the University a job as a woodworker’s apprentice, not the expected outcome of Michigan in environmental for a grade-grubbing gunner, but also not all that unusual studies. She does technically back in the days before every decision about which major to have a job, for now, filling sign up for or job to take started to feel make-or-break. One in for a woman on maternity thing about being the boomers’ heirs growing up in boom times leave at a D.C. nonprofit, but was that it used to be okay to take a life-enriching sabbatical. it’s not one that prevents all There was no reason to think you wouldn’t eventually be able her go-getting from seeming for to get back on track.
Does your school suck? Percentage of recent graduates finding employment by school: Sandiego State University
Louisiana Tech University
University of Detroit
University of Connecticut
Columbia Illionis University
University of Reno
Columbia Illionis University
Ashen Community College
Saint Louis University
Las Vegas University
Boise State University
Richfield State University
16% 11% 35%
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Wow dude, you should be a doctor by now... graduates based on age (National average)
Sam found out that woodworking turned out to be mostly vacuuming up wood chips, and so after a few months, he moved on to a series of other gigs, none of them exactly a career. When he finally got sick of bouncing around in his broken-down $200 car and living with his parents—who kept pressuring him to revisit his math-and-science aptitude—he got himself a $25,000 bank loan, which he used to cover expenses while enrolled in continuing-ed classes in engineering at one of the U.C. schools. He ran out of money pretty quickly. He then found a job working in urban education, but was laid off after a year and a half. “That was the point in my life where I was like, I need to get a career, I need to make that move,” he told me over the phone, in the mellowed-out East Bay patois that had crept into his voice since I last spoke with him. These days, he’s going to networking events and desperately applying for jobs in the tech world, hopeful that landing something very entry-level will put him back on a navigable route to success. He’s had creditors calling him at all hours. He is rather earnestly worried that he might end up on the street. His brothers are managing to stand on their own feet, and he can’t bear to move back home. “I have a lot of regret about going to college,” Sam, the person in my high-school class who’d been most obsessed with getting into a good college, now says. “If I could go back again, I think I’d try … not going to college”—our generation’s ultimate blasphemy. Sam blames himself for his predicament, not the economy, mostly. But other people in similar straits are coming to see their personal hardships as the product of broad inequalities. How many young people will put themselves into that category is a big test for Occupy Wall Street. One of its advocates created a Tumblr, “We Are the 99 Percent,” to collect accounts of being screwed by the recession. The posts from twentysomethings take stories that sound something like Lael’s—“I worked hard (40 hours a week during most of my education), for what? Tell me what I need to
do to get ahead, because I did everything right!”—and make them a call to arms. The unions, we know, are heeding that call, but a broader youth movement has yet to materialize.* The Obama 2008 campaign was the high-water mark for twentysomething political involvement. The activism it entailed felt like work— not a turnoff for us. Dialing your way through spreadsheets of get-out-the-vote phone numbers is something you can add to a résumé; getting escorted off the Brooklyn Bridge in those plastic handcuffs is not. But we’re done with that kind of engagement, for now: While this is by some measures the most politically progressive generation ever, young people have never been more disillusioned, as a group, about their ability to bring about meaningful change through the electoral process. Sam Graham-Felsen was the Obama campaign’s chief blogger last cycle and now lectures about youth activism all over the world. When we
“If I could go back again, I think I’d try … not going to college”
7% Photography by Richard Keele
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“I was raised up believing I was somehow unique...
the economic downturn means, they’re a generation ahead: Matt Taibbi, for one, or Ken Layne, the publisher of Wonkette, whose ironized blog prose mixes strangely with his incredibly bleak reading of the economy and culture. (Layne told me, in an e-mail of ambiguous sincerity, that the main advice he would give a recent graduate was to own only what would fit in a backpack and keep a current passport always on hand.) They are unabashedly, feverishly upset. Their words practically sweat clammily. Our generation tends to prefer our dystopian news delivered with the impish smile of a Jon Stewart. (I turn the channel when it’s time for scowling, ranting Lewis Black.) Reared to sponge up positive reinforcement that requires only a positive attitude as a buy-in, we are just not that into anger. I spent the summer listening to Helplessness Blues, an album by Fleet Foxes. It is sweet and comforting and hated by a certain kind of music snob, and it was unexpectedly popular. The band, fronted by a 25-year-old, owes much to the sounds of groups like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but if such a thing is possible, Fleet Foxes makes those older acts sound hard-edged. The folk music of the sixties was protest music, but there is nothing remotely political about this. Instead, the preoccupations are inward-turning, the title track serving as a gentle generational anthem: “I was raised up believing / I was somehow unique / Like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes / Unique in each way you can see,” it begins. “But, now, after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be / A functioning cog in some great machinery / Serving something beyond me.” It’s not just the bearded dudes in flannel; some of our angry-sounding musicians, it turns out, are just seeking affirmation. On the song “Radicals,” rapper Tyler, the Creator snarls, “I’m not saying just to go out and do some stupid shit, commit crimes. What I’m trying to tell you is, do what the f--- you want, stand for what the f--- you believe in and don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do what the f--- you want.” Then the kicker: “I’m a f---ing unicorn, and f--- anybody who say I’m not.” Today’s f---ing unicorn is yesterday’s “F--- tha Police.” Desi and I tried to picture the country in 50 years, as a kind of parlor game. One we loved playing on boring nights when the news was particularly noteworthy. End of the world type stuff. “Oh! Mushroom cloud! It’s going to be a disaster!” he said. “It’s so overwhelming there’s nothing in particular to be worried about.” We both laughed, because it’s true.
“We Are the
like a snowflake...”
to collect accounts of being screwed by the recession”
Photography by Richard Keele
spoke during the early days of the protests, he wasn’t convinced Occupy Wall Street could make activism cool for kids again, a factor he views as a key difference between the U.S. and places like Egypt. “Even just the physical style, the types of chants, the stuff that they’re eating, the granola—it’s just so derivative of the sixties,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Guys, let’s do something that’s more our generation.’ ” What’s not clear is exactly what that might look like. It’s not that this is a generation that doesn’t want to improve the world—been to a college activity fair lately?—but ours is a fractured involvement. The Cold War sort of settled which was the superior economic and political system, leaving youthful calls for revolution to be shouted in the context of gay
rights and women’s rights and pro-Palestinian-hummusin-the-campus-cafeteria demonstrations, which are really about improvements to the status quo, not a wholesale overthrow. In the sixties, that generation’s protesters wanted a blank slate, economic and political chaos out of which they could build something new. We’ve got that chaos, and all we want is a way to get back to the structured prosperity that preceded their marching. It’s hard to build a potent counterculture when some of the people it’s meant to appeal to are just hoping for the chance to put on a tie and report to their cubes. “Maybe I don’t have to make a splash. Maybe I’ll be okay with just keeping afloat.” If you look at the people on the left who have painted the darkest picture of what
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CASH in HAND
money tips for college students
School’s back in session, Personal finance can be easy, even if you’re just starting out. You just have to know how it works. All of the following are concepts I wish I had known before heading to college. J.D. Roth
1. Avoid Non-
7. Spend Less than You Earn
It might seem like a good idea to put that Xbox on a credit card, but it’s not. Focus on developing good money skills with cash. Worry about credit later.
If you decide you must have that Xbox, then save for it. Wait until you can pay cash.
Don’t earn much? Then don’t spend much. If your spending and income are roughly even, you have two choices: earn more or spend less. When I was in college, I worked as many as four jobs at once. This gave me a lot of spending cash. (Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job with the spend less part of the equation.)
3. Track your Spending Habits
8. Be a Great Employee
2. Save and then Splurge
Use a notebook, or use Quicken if you have it. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This habit also allows you to detect spending patterns.
4. Budget Making a good budget is often the simplest solution to some of the most serious financial difficulties. It doesn’t have to be fancy. At the start of the month, estimate how much money you’ll receive and decide where needs to go. Remember: you don’t need to spend it all. As a student, you approve.
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“When you’ve built up a customer base, you can raise your rates a little. This is an awesome way to make money.”
5. Save your Urgent Receipts
6. Live Without a Car (Gasp!)
It’s easy. Just bring them home. Put them in a shoebox under your bed if you must, but hold onto them. You’ll need to be able to compare them with statements at the end of the month. And some you’ll need to keep for several years. You’ll know when to toss them.
Yes. I said it. Cars are expensive: gas, maintenance, insurance, registration, parking. Stick close to campus. Learn to use mass transit. Find a friend who has a car. Who knows, you may even like the reduced amount of stress due to driving in today’s heavy traffic.
Good work habits can pay enormous dividends, leading to recommendations and contacts that you can use after you’re out of school. Several of my classmates turned workstudy jobs into launching pads for future careers.
9. Start your own business Are you a passable guitar player? Charge cheap rates and exceed expectations. Word will spread. When you’ve built up a customer base, you can raise your rates a little. This is an awesome way to make money. Am I right?
Be good to me– I’ll be good to you.
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breaking the ice, confident advice Yes, it’s that time once again: the day we feature your dating and relationship questions. Your e-mail may even be answered in the process. David DeAngelo
his week’s Q&A focuses on how to avoid being nervous with women, the importance of being confident in the dating game, and not getting caught in the “let’s be friends” trap. David DeAngelo, author of Double Your Dating: What Every Man Should Know About How To Be Successful With Women, has your answers. Trust him. What’s a good way for a shy guy to overcome that nervous feeling that holds him back from approaching women? The answer is to start small. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or what anyone else thinks. Just go out for a day and go to a mall alone. Walk into every store and start a conversation with a woman who works there. Don’t worry
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Photography by David Stoker
What’s a good way for a shy guy to overcome that nervous feeling that holds him back from approaching women? about whether the woman is good-looking, married or whatever. Simply practice. At first, let the women start the conversations. When they say, “Can I help you find something?” reply with “Yes, that would be great. I’m looking for joy, peace and a rich girlfriend. Do you have any of those here?” Say it with a straight face, like a comedian would. Women love this kinda thing.
After you’ve done this 20 times, reflect on what you’ve learned. Think about what worked and what didn’t. Think about the conversations that took place as a result. Take a break, walk down to a department store, and spray some cologne on each wrist. Then, walk into 20 more stores. This time, try to make direct eye contact with the first woman you see that works
there, and hold it until she either starts talking to you or she looks away. Then walk over to her and say, “Hi, I need a female perspective on something. Which of these colognes do you like better?” Then, when she chooses one, shake your head and look at her with a disapproving look and say, “You would.”