Recession forces people to get intimately acquainted with their stoves

1950s woman cooking

"Oh why hello there, Mr. Oven, I'm just hanging out here saving money and looking all domestically hot and stuff"

Readers of this blog already know that more Americans are carrying flasks around than they are embarrassing themselves at expensive bars. You may have also noticed this little thingamajig called Groupon, LivingSocial, or any of its less famous stepsisters that never make you want to leave the house unless it’s for 50% off the nearest restaurant. Combine these two social phenomena and sooner or later you have a trend piece about more people cooking in than dining out. Let’s break down the SHOCKING reasons why. Continue reading

Add Golden Globe winners to your list of unemployed

christian bale golden globes 2011 hair

What you're seeing is phase 3 in unemployed purgatory.

When not working, it’s easy to let yourself go. Pajamas become the clothing of choice, showers get fewer and farther in between, and most grooming efforts fall by the wayside. My hair grew at least six inches while avoiding spending money on unnecessary beautifying. And I’m not the only one! Continue reading

Shoppers are partying like it’s 2007 again

Let's party like it's 2007

"I've been saving for three years to score these pretty average sheet sets!"

Start pouring the champagne early, ladies and gents! The Times reports that Americans are splurging like it’s BR (before the recession).

After a 6 percent free fall in 2008 and a 4 percent uptick last year, retail spending rose 5.5 percent in the 50 days before Christmas, exceeding even the more optimistic forecasts, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail spending. The rise was seen in just about every retail category.

“For the past year or two, when I’ve seen growth in one area, it seems to come at the expense of another,” said Michael McNamara, vice president for research and analysis at SpendingPulse. “Here, things are actually all moving in the right direction.”

The MasterCard data suggests that the pre-Christmas sales increase was the biggest in five years. Spending reached about $584.3 billion, compared with $566.3 billion in that period in 2007.

“In the face of 10 percent unemployment and persistent housing woes, the American consumer has single-handedly picked himself off the mat, brushed his troubles off and strapped the U.S. economy on his back,” Craig R. Johnson, the president of the consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, wrote in an e-mail.

WOOOOOOOOOT! Looks like all the cash people have been storing in their bedsprings has come out of hiding! So the economy’s all fixed up now and everyone’s going to get jobs, right?

The Fairy Jobmother is coming to a television near you

fairy godmother

Bippity Boppity Paycheck!

When you’re lying in bed and crying yourself to sleep because you’re a jobless loser, unable to even wipe your tears with your hand because of an early onset of arthritis from hand-editing all those resumes, you think to yourself: damn, GODSPIRITWHOEVERYOUARE, I’m doing everything I can! I’m kissing ass on informational interviews, tailoring my cover letters until my fingers bleed, and dry cleaning all of my blazers so I have no money left to eat. What more do you want from me? All I’m asking for is a crummy cubicle job. IF ONLY I HAD A FAIRY GODMOTHER TO COME AND SPRINKLE ME WITH CORPORATE FAIRYDUST.

Well, you’re in luck, pathetic unemployed vagrant! Lifetime (yes the same channel that brought you A Boyfriend for Christmas and The 19th Wife) has a new recession reality show that answers your prayers: The Fairy Jobmother. The show is a British import that features self-titled career specialist Hayley Taylor assisting “severely job-challenged” families with “tough love” career advice. Continue reading

Watch America become a wasteland of unemployment

If unemployment claims rising to the highest level since November doesn’t put you in the right partying mood, this visual graph of the nation’s growing unemployment numbers will sure do the trick. Don’t forget your flask this weekend!

(Thanks, HuffPo.)

UPDATE: Good point, Despondent! Things are even more depressing! The real unemployment rate — when you factor in people who have given up looking for jobs or underemployed folks working part-time or less — is closer to 20%, which Salon pointed out back in October.