Thursday, March 22, 2007


sxsw Photo

Hey, so rumor has it that you heard some music down in Austin, Texas...?

Well, yeah. You could say that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


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It's not like I expected to win but in the back of my mind, I still hoped. Shana bought a few tickets. My new office mate asked me if I wanted to join in on the office pool. We all joked that it would be so awesome if I were able to quit on my third day. I even added that my recent employment probably made our chances better--I mean, imagine me standing in front of a podium equipped with a bouquet of microphones joking that, ha ha, it was only my third day. What a story!

Of course, I considered the statistics. Yeah, yeah, one in like, twelve trillion billion, but that old slogan was so convincing. I had a dollar, maybe two, and surely I had a dream. In fact, I had many dreams. My dreams had dreams. Even my dreams' dreams had a dream about having dreams.

My mother bought two tickets. After getting the disappointing news that Shana's tickets weren't the winning ones, I called my mom. I'm sleeping, she said.
But mom, I said back, they announced the numbers and you have to check if we won or not.
I'll check tomorrow.
How about if you just read me the numbers quickly and I'll check them for us.
Um...hold on a sec.

Mom didn't win either.
The night before, Shana and I argued over $1 million. I wouldn't let her give the full amount to Students For A Free Tibet. $500,000 would have to do. She was insistent on the mill. Whatever, I said. We'll see.

First thing I wanted to do was buy that brownstone up the block with the Viking stove that I could see through the window every time I walked by. I once asked the broker to let me walk around the house. It was incredible. I hated whoever would eventually move in there. Except if it were me. Obviously, I wouldn't hate myself especially if myself was so rich.

Then I would pay handsomely to have people I dislike cast in those genital herpes commercials where the actors have to say, I have genital herpes just so I can see people I dislike say, I have genital herpes.

I would invest a ton of money into a magazine and fire everyone involved and then hire the best writers in America just so they could respond to reader mail. Dear Reader, I thank you for writing with your thoughts on our magazine. And while I should be writing a follow-up to my novel The Corrections, it's more important that I explain to you why we didn't include Korn's Follow The Leader in our Best Rock Albums of All Time By Bands Named After Food, etc...Sincerely, Jonathan Franzen.

Of course, I would pay all the original cast members to return for an encore season of Parker Lewis Can't Lose and I'd pay the reunited Genesis to play in my living room. How awesome, right? I would tell Phil Collins to skip "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" because it's not my favorite song but if he felt like slipping in a Phil-solo song that would be righteous but only on the condition that Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were both cool with it.

But otherwise, things would have pretty much remained the same.

"Oh No" - Lavender Diamond

Monday, March 05, 2007


Barry calls subways "metal coffins," and this morning, I know exactly what he means. On my way to my first full-time job in over five years, I look around at my fellow passengers and their depressed expressions feel contagious to me, and so I begin to frown. Even though I would be getting paid well, their tired, reluctant eyes suggest that perhaps a full-time job and the accompanying stability were both overrated. And with every stop the subway makes, I consider that I'm getting a final chance to run before my idealistic soul accuses me of attempted murder.

Corporate America, man. Total bummer. I don't think I'm wrong in assuming that for the most part, no one truly wants to go to work and that just about every job is a compromise somewhat. And I acknowledge the fortune that I was able to work from home as a freelancer for half-a-decade. Most people don't get to experience that luxury because reality is a mortgage, credit card bill, or a college loan that comes to their mailbox every month and not everyone can make ends meet simply by sitting at home in front of their computer and writing.

But...only recently, I found out that making ends meet wasn't really enough. The anxiety I felt from my less-than-modest income forced me to second guess whether my flexibility, or the quality of life was actually worth having. I resented my art for short-changing me. Something had to give. Anxiety trumps freedom every time.

So, now I'm on a subway on my way to a well-paying job because I want more than making ends meet. It's my first day of work, the first of who knows how many days. I'll get a chair, probably a Hermann Miller, and I'll get a desk and a computer and I will sit there every day five days-a-week. This depresses me not because I'm taking a job for a corporation doing something that I wouldn't necessarily consider my dream job (a copywriter in an interactive advertising agency) but rather, I feel like I'm giving up on what I thought I would be (even though I'll still continue as a music journalist and a magazine editor on the side).

I walk into the building, get into the elevator and realize that this is for real and I feel a sharp pang in my chest. For a millisecond, I actually feel like I could cry and this over-reaction surprises me. The jarring juxtaposition of having not done this for so long finally hits me. I push the floor button and wait. Moments later, the doors open and I take a deep breathe.

I'm full-time now. So weird.

"Roll On" - Dntel featuring Jenny Lewis