Cullen left. It’s unclear if he has dumped Melissa. I think he has. (If you missed earlier installments on this story, here’s where I find Cullen in Melissa’s bed.)

This photo is from when Cullen was excited to be in lots of photos on my blog.

It was the day that a TV writer emailed me about adapting my blog for the big screen. Or semi-big screen. Or whatever we are calling TV now, but I have to say, as an aside, that TV is the new hipster medium because episodes allow for more character development than a single movie. I heard this from the Farmer, and he’s not a guy who could make this stuff up. And we are watching Breaking Bad and I want to be absurd and funny like those writers.

This is what happened with Cullen. He agreed to redesign my blog in exchange for free room and board. And then he realized he didn’t have time to do that, because he has a full time job.

Meanwhile, we were having big Facebook drama on the farm because Melissa does not feel like she has a boyfriend unless the guy puts in on his Facebook status. So Cullen did that. Read more

Welcome to the world-famous board meeting for Brazen Careerist.

For those of you who have not been to a board meeting since I had a miscarriage in the board meeting, let me tell you, this one will not be so interesting. At least at a biological level.

What's interesting, maybe, is that there is always tension in the board meeting because who knows what I'll do next?

But I am trying to be on good behavior. I am trying to be a more reliable person. Not so much of a wild card. I just read this study that the five most career-limiting habits of smart people are:

1. Unreliable

2. “It’s not my job”

3. Procrastination

4. Resistance to change

5. Negative attitude

I think we each must know what ours is, because I knew right away that mine is unreliability. I have been sort of telling myself that I am so clever, bright, and witty that unreliable doesn't matter. But it does. I feel bad that so many people are reliably there for me and I'm a wild card. So I decide I'm starting to be reliable today. I am going to be dependable and well behaved in the meeting.

I can't sit still. Some people have to rock back and forth or use a squeeze thing. I have to think about something else and write it.

We review how our ideas at Brazen Careerist were too early and now the world is catching up. I think about how I am too far ahead about goats. Goat will be the new beef. Forget cheese. The melting pot of America will be filled with goat meat. Read more

First of all, here is a photo of rhubarb cobbler.

And this is my food blog post for all of yeterday’s commenters who think I would not be a good food blogger. You will love this post: it's about what to do if you think you're about to be fired.

1. Be really interesting. And fun. It's a lethal combination.
This photo looks disgusting, because that is the truth about food. Most of it looks disgusting. Even stuff that tastes good looks disgusting in a photo. It's like sex. If you have a cinematographer and three lighting guys and a foley artist who comes in at the end, then the sex looks great. But if you take a picture of yourself having sex, forget it. You look like gross, retarded animals.

So even good food looks disgusting. But this photo is not actually an example of that, because this rhubarb cobbler tasted disgusting as well. Too much flour, I think. Although Melissa kept saying it had too much butter. Maybe too much flour and butter and it needed more rhubarb. Read more

When we are not in the garden, I obsess about how I want to redesign my blog to look like the Pioneer Woman’s blog. I want to be the Pioneer Woman on Suicide Watch. That will be the new title of my blog. I am obsessed with stealing her blog design.

Melissa sits in my garden with me and talks. She likes to talk to me in my garden because she says it’s the only time I don’t interrupt her.

In the garden Melissa narrates her Facebook activity like it’s a horse race. And she takes pictures of the farm all day long and posts them to Facebook.

Her Facebook friends tell her she is really lucky to be living on a farm. An old friend of hers that is really not her friend but her ex-boyfriend’s friend, says, “You’re so lucky. I wish I were on a farm right now.”

Melissa tells me he is a designer who can write code and he wants to live on the farm.

“Invite him,” I say.

She tells him, “You can come live here. Penelope needs a designer. Can you redesign her blog?”

He says yes. Melissa gives him one of the ten thousand free tickets she has from living in Hong Kong and Milan with jet-set millionaires who foot the bill for everything. Read more

I can’t help being giddy that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the (now former) managing director of the IMF, was whisked off his plane at JFK and delivered to one of the most notorious criminal holding arenas in the world, Riker’s Island. It’s a great story about sexual harassment because it’s so hard to nail someone like this. And it was done so well.

Strauss-Kahn is accused of raping a maid at his hotel. Which is sad. But there are some notable things about the case: First, he forced her to give him a blow job, and now it seems that there is widespread recognition that a forced blow job is rape. This is a big deal in legal history. For a long time, blow jobs didn’t count.

Another notable thing is that a woman who is a maid took legal action against a man who was staying in a hotel room that costs $3000 a night.

Typically, men harass women who they felt were beneath them. For most of history, this has meant all women – as all women had little power. In the last few decades, though, women have gained more power, and men have paid heed to that in their harassment targets. Read more

Our neighbor, Kathy, called to tell us to come over for prom pictures.

We had no idea what she was talking about. I told Melissa I was too happy reading Little Bee in the sun. “But,” I said, “Kathy is so nice to us. One of us has to go. We have to be good neighbors.”

Melissa said, “Then you go.”

“Let’s do rock scissors paper.”

“No. You want to be a good neighbor, you go. And the lambs are so happy sitting in my lap. I don’t want to move them.”

“Take the lambs with you. They’ll like that.”

“In the car?”

“Yeah. Like dogs.”

Melissa goes. It seems like maybe this would be okay because when my sons walk over to Kathy’s house, the goats follow my sons, and Kathy invites the boys in for chocolate milk and anything else they find in her fridge, and the goats wait outside, like watch dogs who have a big appetite for grass.

We thought the lambs would do that. Maybe. Or wait in the car. I don’t know what we thought. But Melissa was back in five minutes.

“You have to come. You’re not going to believe it. The whole school is there. At Kathy’s.”

“Did you see Zach and Mitch?”

“Yeah. But you have to come.”

We pull up to the house, with the lambs in the car, and there is the senior class, in prom outfits, lining up for photos. We get out of the car and start searching for Zach and Mitch. The lambs follow us.

Mitch and Zach look so cute in their tuxes that match their dates’ dresses. We want to talk with them but the lambs start making noises because they are not close enough to Melissa, and they won’t shut up, and we really just need to get the lambs back into the car.

Days later, when we ask Mitch how was prom, he says, “People thought you guys were nuts wearing those hats.”

“What about the lambs?”

“The hats were more crazy.” Read more

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Since Melissa is living on the farm full time, she has farm jobs. Her job is to get my younger son to take care of his lambs. Technically raising and selling two lambs is his business. He wanted to earn money like his brother, and his eggs selling is no longer high enough stakes for him.

But if the lambs are a small business, Melissa is a co-founder.

Imagine my five-year-old with his two front teeth missing and his blond curls still flat from the last night’s bath.

Imagine Melissa sitting next to him. Each with dark black lamb in their lap, each lamb the size of a kitten and each is drinking out of a bottle.

Cute, right?

But here’s what it is, really. My son is swinging a bat, threatening every living thing with accidental decapitation as he walks sort of to the lamb house and sort of not, as I shout, “Get your butt to those lambs!” Read more

Melissa is back. She stayed with us on the farm a little while over the winter, telling me to shut up, and playing with me in the snow.

I think by now you get the picture that Melissa is one of those people who breaks every rule and lands on her feet. One of the things I really admire about her is that she quits a job as soon as she knows it's not the right fit for her long term.

1. Keep rewriting your story so that it makes sense.
I don't think I've ever told you that Melissa worked at Ogilvy in NYC. Her stint was less than a year, but long enough for her to become an search marketing genius. Not that she's doing anything with that knowledge.

“It's interesting to know,” she told me. “And everyone should live in NYC once in their life. For as long as they can stand it.”

She took a finance job in Hong Kong and retooled her resume to tell a new story: Her developer resume showed a child prodigy programmer becoming an Ogilvy SEO queen. But she changed it to a sales resume where she is an Ogilvy account management and moves seamlessly into hedge fund sales. It's all true. But good storytelling on a resume requires selective shifts in focus for each job description.

2. Do two jobs at once to hide a job that is death to a resume.
Then Melissa quit her private equity job in Hong Kong with tons of tax-free money in her bank account and fled the finance industry to become a nanny in Milan.

It seemed like a great job. There's one kid in the family. He's nine years old and he's in school (the British school) until 3pm. For this, Melissa was earning the equivalent of US$100,000 per year. Here's the area where she was living:

The idea was that she'd hang out in Milan for a year, but she'd also do some sort of official launch of a career coaching business where she helps me put a lot of my individual career coaching online so that I can do more coaching over the phone. And then, I told her, she could drop the nanny job from her resume and say she spent the year building a coaching business. Her resume will look fine. Read more

I’ve spent three years writing about how graduate school is a waste of time and money (yes, business school and law school too). So now when radio and TV producers need someone to bitch about graduate school, they call me.

Here I am on NPR today. I don't usually post my interviews, but this one is notable because I completely lost patience for people still defending grad school. It's so clear, even to defenders of grad school, that grad school is a bad financial decision, that this guy has resorted to saying that you need to go to grad school to be a good person. Of course, I went nuts on him.

I think the thing that is pushing me over the edge with graduate school is that people who are thinking straight about schooling are not even considering graduate school. These people are debating if college is a rip off (here’s a great discussion in New York magazine with James Altucher, a venture capitalist in NYC) And people are even debating if high school is useless (here’s a great post by Lisa Nielsen who is with the NYC Department of Education). And anyway, I’m losing interest in the debate about grad school because I’m convinced that the future belongs to home schoolers because they are self-learners.

Also, for those of you who keep telling me that there are some fields you absolutely have to have a degree for, check out the song 99 Problems by Jay-Z. The song includes great legal advice about Miranda rights, racial profiling and search warrants, even though he doesn’t have a law degree or a creative writing certificate to prove his poetic talents. Read more

In case you don't remember, I really got exhausted doing Brazen Careerist. The pressure was insane and it made me nearly lose my mind multiple times. Now Ryan Healy is running the company in DC, and I sort of miss the startup life — sort of like women endure labor and then a year later they are pregnant again.

So I have been sort of bored and lost all winter, trying to think of what to do next. And then, one night when I was visiting my neighbor, her son propped himself up in his TV-watching chair and told me that he wants me to help him do a company this summer. For his summer job.

I said, “OK, but what do you want to do?”

He said he wants to pave driveways. Like, put tar on them.

So I asked, “How will you get customers?”

“I don't know. That's what I need help with.”

“I think you should start out with a list of ways you can get customers and then see which way is conducive to starting a business. So, if you could get customers for dancing on your head, then you should dance on your head rather than pave driveways. The customers are the hard part.”

“So what should I do then?” Read more