Where’s the (Kobe) Beef?

photo by Flickr/cherrylet

For those of you who have spent even a small amount of time with me, you probably already know that I’m one of those people who likes to study weird things about … well, everything. Especially when it comes to food and drink topics.

I was absolutely fascinated when I learned that Chilean sea bass doesn’t come from Chile. (The name is a euphemism, devised by wholesalers to make Patagonian toothfish from the Southern Ocean sound more appealing to Americans.) I was thrilled to learn the difference between whiskey with an “e” and whisky with a “y” (no “e” for the Scottish or Canadian stuff), and I was absolutely floored to discover I had been butchering the name of my favorite champagne for years. (Next time, I’ll ask for a glass of Mo-wett, NOT Mo-ay.)

So, you can imagine my horror (gasp!) and delight when I stumbled across this Forbes article that matter-of-factly proclaimed there is no such thing as Kobe beef in America.

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Now What?: A Word on “Living in the Now.”

One of the hardest parts about taking an unconventional career path—for me, at least—is ignoring that constant, nagging feeling that I should be doing something else: something more important-sounding, more secure, more lucrative. This is something I also struggled with the first time I got laid off, but this time, I’m a lot more interested in shifting out of that mindset, rather than quieting those feelings by getting a “real job.”

It’s not like this particular brand of insecurity is anything new. We worry about what we should be doing even during our scheduled relaxation time. My yoga teachers are always telling me to be in the now, let go of everything outside my mat, just for this one hour. And I can’t seem to forget Carrie Bradshaw’s famous musings, “Why are we ‘should-ing’ all over ourselves?” But maybe the answer to this problem is actually really simple.

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Unemployment Benefits: the unexpected perks of being laid off

So, I just got laid off. And, although I initially greeted this information with the standard reactions of fear, uncertainty and mental images of homelessness, now I have to say I’m pretty happy about it.

Maybe it’s because this isn’t my first time being laid off.

As a twentysomething who graduated college in the mid-to-late-2000s, my entrance to the real world perfectly coincided with the “Great Recession.” So yeah, I’ve already witnessed a seemingly successful career plummet into the abyss of unemployment.

The first time I got laid off, I took it pretty hard. Back then, I was working as an entertainment journalist in Las Vegas, a job that (although low-paying) was frequently padded with comped dinners at acclaimed restaurants, free show tickets, celebrity-studded nightclub openings, countless open bars and coveted poolside cabanas. I went from that lifestyle to waitressing in Denver, so my long work hours were swiftly replaced with part-time work; free entertainment now meant a trip to the public library. Champagne was replaced by the “champagne of beers.”

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