Friday, August 31, 2007

Worked So Far... But We're Not Out Yet.

Commencing Random Thought Mode in 5... 4... 3... 2...

You know what's awesome about growing older? The fact that I am right now, at this very instant, apologetically and unironically clothed in an entire outfit from TARGET, including...

1) a faux vintage Mossimo (TM) brand button-up shirt

2) Fruit of the Loom boxer-briefs; the perfect compromise between form fitting but un-complementary tighty-whites and loose fitting boxers that would inevitably wind up contorting themselves mercilessly in my...

3) low end, Target issue Levis (Note to Self: never, ever dry these jeans, lest they reduce in mass to sub-atomic size, part of a plot by the combined forces of the yakuza, the Illuminati, and the insidious Dr. Shrinker to turn the bargain hunting, 30-something men of America into submissive, 21st Century Castrati)

4) Mossimo casual dress shoes. But not the ugly ones. Most Mossimo shoes land just this side of the mark; a lazy mimetic approximation of urban fashion, producing in the wearer the jarring effect of "trailer park metrosexual". But every four (4) years, Mossimo quietly releases truly brilliant footwear to an undisclosed number of stores throughout the country, always directly to the clearance shelves. For a mere $6, you can get into a pair that will earn you endless acolytes from your envious friends. Though mine are encrusted with fossilized oatmeal remains (long story) I continue to wear them, because 4 years is a long time to have to wait. Damn you Massimo Giannulli! Again. I again suspect the Illuminati has their hands in this.

Of course, you can still wear all these things in, say, your mid-twenties, but only to the detriment of your reputation as a hipster - unless, of course you perform a convoluted shell game with the labels, strategically covering the logo on the back of your jeans with a belt, or palming that Mossimo Gryffindor symbol embossed on the front of your shirt.
Another great thing about growing older is the fact that I no longer feel the need to qualify my taste in music. Around 9:30 today, during my usual mid-morning surf, I was plugging random pop-culture memes into Wikipedia. Kismet led me to the entry for Information Society, the late 80's synth-pop band, much maligned by the Cool-Kid Elite for their Thompson Twins-meets- Front 242 sound. I, of course, thought they were nothing less than the bees balls. And they're releasing a new album in October, which is liberally sampled on their website. Great Cesar's Ghost! does it make me want to stand up on the desk in my little cube and dance like an android. It's like a long lost mix tape unearthed from my high school sweetheart's closet.

Luckily for me, I'm too old to be a hipster. I suppose I could be a crypster (the rough breakdown is as follows: 21 - 24, Scenester; 25-30, Hipster, 31 and up, Crypster. It's all very complicated, isn't it?) But really, my life long M.O. is much more akin to "poseur".

Why am I musing over all this? A couple of reasons, I suppose. The wife's best friend is coming into town for the weekend, and we'll be going out tomorrow to pretend like we're young. "Danceotron" at Sputnik, probably. It'll be nice to break from Lipgloss for a change, though I suspect there'll be some crossover, music-wise.

The other reason is my Onion gig. I love it; I'm just enough of a dork to be thrilled every time I see my name in print, waaaaay the hell in the back of the paper. And that buzz, I'm sure, will increase exponentially when I get my first check next week. But damn! if I'm not a big ol' wannabe, an enabler of the big, eeeeevil empire all week long, only to write about entertainment diversions for left leaning Generation Y'ers by night (it just doesn't have the ring of "X'er" does it? Yes, I'm bitter) My love for sub-Depeche Mode (did somebody say "Red Flag"?) technopop alone would be enough to have me barred for life from writing in the alt newsweeklies of the world (though I went to high school with the city editor, and could surely dig up some blackmale-worthy stories if need be).

This must be how Clark Kent feels. That is, if he worked for the Metropolis Voice, rather than the Daily Planet.

All told, though, it's probably good that I'm starting to do this at this juncture of my life, rather than when I was younger. Good for my married and family life. Being published, no matter how small potatoes, is pretty good capital toward getting laid in clubs and bars around town, as no doubt guys like Adam Cayton Holland at the Westword could probably attest to. I myself would no doubt have wound up with a burning case of the herpies.

See... bitter.


Still, I'm lucky that I can still get out occassionally, like I am this weekend; otherwise, there's a chance I could turn out to be a twisted little pervert obsessed with other people's lives...

ending Random Thought Mode.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Beware! and Take Care!… all of those who enter here, seeking out my personal brand of wit and snark and smarm relating to all things coffee. I’m afraid I haven’t the peace of mind to offer up anything along those lines at the moment.

No, this will be one of those long, drawn out, soul searching, emo blog entries, where you’ll laugh (at me, not with me) you’ll cry (again, with the laughter), and then you’ll roll your eyes and generally think “Geez! Pull yourself up by the boot-straps, wuss. There are law abiding citizens in Iraq who are getting the crap liberated out of them day in and day out!” And you’ll be absolutely, positively right to think that. But for now, indulge me, wouldja?

A wiser man than me once said “Your focus determines your reality” I’m not sure who it was. Somebody totally intellectual, whose inclusion in this blog reveals just how deep and thoughtful I really am. (Maybe Sartre. Or Kierkegaard. Alfred North Whitehead, possibly? Yeah, that’s probably it.)

It’s my mantra. More than some mere tool that’ll eventually reveal a grand, unitary big “E” Enlightenment, it is, in and of itself, "The Goal", the very manna of my existence. It’s my personal Holy Grail… and about as difficult to attain. I’m always trying to focus on my work, so I won’t make any mistakes, so things in my life can calm down a bit, so I can focus on my health and going to the gym, and more importantly, so I can at long last focus on my writing, which’ll maybe give me a few more bucks, so I can purchase at least a ford focus, instead of the crappy little piece of Korean engineering I’ve been driving until quite recently. And if I have a little time left at the end of the day, maybe I can crash on the couch and focus a little on “Spook Country”.

And I try – really I do – to pay attention to what I’m doing, to focus on whatever task is most pressing at any given moment of my life. But as always, there is the constant stream of Bright, Shiny Objects which distract me as if I’m some bored –n- horny housecat with a chronic case of ADD.

Last Friday at work was a banner day, which I won’t really go into, other than to say that if Paramount Pictures has a less than stellar 2007, I don’t personally think it’ll have anything to do with the fact that I scheduled the wrong 30 second spot for them. (Hello? Have you seen the ads for “Hot Rod”?).

So, all weekend I was stewing over that, trying to be present for my wife, and kids, and life in general, but deep down not really being any of those things. On Sunday, I was driving past the 16th street mall with my kiddos, looking for something interesting to do with our day. Set up on the mall was a huge, piss-yellow tent with a sign that said something about “Scientology” something-or-other.

Let’s stop there and talk about “focus” for a minute; nobody spends more time focusing - no, no… obsessing about the no good, very bad deeds that have been thrust upon the world because of overt dogma and unbridled religious fundamentalism. Which is fine, so far as it goes. But it festers, even mutates into it's own very own creeping form of fundamentalism, which then drains me of my energy. So as I was driving down the street, musing over a bunch of these angry and entirely un-productive thoughts in my head... and then I proceeded to plow directly into the rear of a rather large van, entirely visible to anyone who was paying any attention at all. My car was totalled, but there was barely any damage at all on the other vehicle (which was empty, thankfully). To make matters worse, the vehicle belonged to the aforementioned Scientologists.

Long time readers of this blog will note that I also spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on “irony”.

In the time since then, the wife’s car has been acting all wonky, and our computer is now on the fritz - all expenses that we weren't really counting on. And without a car, there’s no focusing on going to the gym at lunch… so, there’s that, too. On top of all this, I was working on a last minute assignment for The Onion - the one thing (outside of family, and such. The Big Stuff) that I want to be focusing on.

You always hear those touchy-feely progressive types talk about how “The Universe” is trying to teach us something. And yeah, despite my generally agnostic nature, I guess I really am one of those. But I add a wrinkle into that whole idea... The Universe, right now, is playing a dirty little game with me. Poking and prodding me, just to test my meddle, as if to say “Oh, you want to write, huh? Well, just how bad do you want it?”

The answer to that? (I sez to the Universe, I sez) “Real Fucking Bad.”

Nothing I’ve ever done - not wearing a miserable little headset in a call center, not scheduling freaking commercials, not doing stand-up comedy, not even pulling wicked-ass espresso shots the consistency of the heat vision in Superman II – even comes close. Maybe bike riding. And dancing. But the job market’s pretty dry in those areas right now.

So. You wanna see focus? Watch this space. Right now, out my eye-sockets, there’s a Terminator style readout with everything that I see. My brain is teeming with words and ideas and big important revelations that’ll make you roll your eyes, and little itty-bitty anecdotes that’ll change the world. And if you get in my way, I’ve got enough rhapsodic wax to tear off even the tiniest little hair along your metaphorical bikini-line. Read the local, print edition of The Onion (sorry, us freelancers don't get put up online); my little introductory paragraphs to my Q&A sessions are gonna melt your faces off, bitches!

“You wanna get nuts? C’mon, let’s get nuts!” Bruce Wayne

Okay. Thanks for that. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Coffee good. MMMMM.