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Monthly Archives: July 2008

I took the A out to Brooklyn to meet my mom at JFK back on Saturday so she could take me out to my great uncle’s funeral. On the way out, we finally got above ground at some point and I had the opportunity to look out the window.

We were passing a grave yard, but this grave yard was half overgrown. When I say that, I mean we passed a half the graveyard that was completely overgrown and the other half graveyard that was still, in a sense, open for business.

When I finally got to the funeral, I was there when they put my great uncle into the ground. Everyone around me was crying and I felt nothing. I don’t mean I was completely emotionless, just that I kind of felt like this wasn’t the time. Later that day, we went to a memorial where people talked about him, talked about all the great things he had done for them, how he had made their lives better–that was when I almost cried.

I guess the point here is, I don’t want anybody to cry over my body–that’s no longer me. If, at my memorial, people don’t come and tell great stories, I might as well have never been born. (Also, I was thinking at the funeral, my body is really only here so I can make kids and memories. Both have to be raised properly and if I don’t, ) I’ve wasted my time here. My body will just occupy a bunch of space and provide you absolutely no memories. Cremate me, put my name on a plaque at a good school and share stories about me. I don’t care if my plaque is on a bench where people rub their ass all over my name, I just don’t want a plaque in a cemetery; no one will ever go to see my name in a cemetery. If my family does, they’ll go there and cry. If they go to my school, at least they will have another reason to go there and perhaps the knowledge that I was a happy person who once enjoyed that place.

Back on Thursday, I went uptown and met a guy on the advice of someone I met through the SPI program. I had no idea I would walk out a) far better off than SPI could leave me and b) drunk.

The guy’s been married for twenty-two or twenty-three years (he doesn’t seem to remember which) and he was staring at girls out the window the whole time. I mean, sure, he managed to drop some of the finest magazine knowledge that will ever grace my lowly and undeserving ears (see below), but his eyes were out the window the entire time. He literally said, “I love women. Sometimes I just wish it was me and the rest of the world was women.”

I almost shat myself on the spot. Not only is this guy the future me, but he wouldn’t let me pay for my Newcastles. He finally cut me off after four.

He was also one of the few people I have met in the last two months who has heard of both Holy Cross and The Woodlands. Not only had he heard of them, but he said Holy Cross was a school that he “always thought would have been nice to go to,” and, in addition to having heard of The Woodlands, he had also been there a couple of times.

Now get this: He brings up a friend of mine, we’ll say she’s named “Madison,” and as soon as I get out of the subway, I run into her. Absolutely insane–apparently, he brought her to the same bar and got her just as drunk. I can’t wait to grow up to be him.

I’m going to share some of his advice, partly because it’s brilliant, partly because I want to make sure I can remember it all.

He said you should take the first job you get. If you go anywhere else, they’ll want to know that you were employed and that you were capable. Who cares if you were sorting mail–you were there and you got to see how everything worked.

Don’t ever tell anyone you want to work somewhere else. Ever. If your boss hears about it, you will never get another raise and you will never be trusted again. You want to be where you are working. Why else would you be there?

Even if you end up in editorial, talk to the people in advertising. They actually live the stereotypically exciting lifestyle with expense accounts on their fingertips. They’re people people and if you can show that editorial is interested too or if you get to hang out with people people, you’ve done your job for the day. If you’re going to be Editor-in-Chief, you’re going to need to understand the advertising side anyway–that’s most of the job. Sure, you make a lot of final calls on articles and design, but if you can’t afford it, your magazine is in the shitter.

Always, always, always have ideas. When you’re told to come to a meeting with ideas, bring ideas. When you’re told to come to a meeting, come with ideas. When you’re going to photocopy a document, go with ideas. If you ever want to work for a magazine and stay employed at a magazine, have ideas. Ideas are the currency of magazine publishers. There’s a lot of vertical movement in this industry, but only if you have ideas.

Networking is essential, but you have to have the skills to back them up. If you can’t do anything right, make sure you can find people who can help you–networking comes full circle. For the love of God, follow up with people. If they tell you to let them know what happens, let them know your networking with them helped you and you’re grateful. It doesn’t have to be a hand written note, but that certainly helps.

You’re only as good as your word. Always do anything above and beyond what is required of you–unless it will put you in jail.

…is what I yelled five times–literally five times–at these girls last night.

Let me Tarrantino this; my friend and I were in a bar where some very important DJ was spinning (wtf???) and we were very bored. So I said, “My friend and I are are having a disagreement” (we weren’t) “and I wanted to know if you thought thongs or boy shorts were sexier.”

I then yelled the subject title five times and when they agreed with me–boy shorts, clearly–and we left.

From the July issue of Playboy:

“TURN-ONS: Humble guys who are fun, smart, manly, thoughtful, surprising, giving, patient and not too tall.”

I guarantee if I ever met this girl in a bar–or wherever I would happen to meet her–she would run off after the guy with the most rigid set of abs. She’s a Playmate, for Christ’s sake. Pretty much any guy she could ever want and she dropped my description? I believe, dear reader, that she is naught but a tease. Good morrow.

Yesterday, I read Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke to get myself completely prepared to see The Dark Knight today. I was an emotional wreck after the movie.

Both were outstanding, but I did find it strange that everyone laughed at the most pivotal statement in the movie. When the Joker says to Batman, “You complete me,” everyone roared.

There was no traditional pause associated with a joke (insert your own “Why so serious?” joke here). I saw this as the simplest definition of the relationship between these two characters–there is no reason for The Joker to exist if Batman does not. He is the complete antithesis to Batman; he has no ethics and (in the movie version) no history. He literally tells two different stories about the scars on his face and is prepared to tell what we can only assume is another version before Batman throws him off the roof.

I will botch this quote where The Joker says something like, “Your ethical code prevents you from killing me. It looks like we’re destined to battle each other for eternity.” (I know: terrible attempt.) After that line–perhaps more appropriately–no one laughed (I hope not because of the heart-wrenching irony). It was then that I saw a character completely enveloped in insanity and near-suicidal thoughts (again, the opposite of Batman’s extreme logic and lust for life, as they say). The showdown scene between The Joker and Batman on the Batpod was particularly indicative of their separation and life views. All The Joker can say while facing his death is, “Hit me. C’mon.” He seems suicidal but incapable of committing the act himself–his death, even though he is willing to meet it, has to come at the hands of a someone else, at the hands of a hero.

The (perhaps excessive) death toll makes me wonder: with Two Face dead by the end of the movie, Rachel dead, Batman positioned as the villian and The Joker dead in real life; where do they go from here? It feels like Nolan brilliantly established an oddly symbiotic rivalry between two hugely dynamic characters (vis-a-vis The Killing Joke) and has no choice but to recast The Joker. Realistically, he has already recast Rachel for this movie and there should be no reason (besides possible fan protests) to recast The Joker. This could also speak to my ignorance of quality comic books, but this movie completely established The Joker as the main antagonist although, admittedly, there is a huge potential for minor characters to challenge Batman in the periphery.

Honestly though, there’s no need to take this wonderful movie as seriously as I have; “It’s all a monstrous, demented gag.”

Apparently, you’re not under the age of 25 if you don’t own a pair of Ray-Bans.

Cigarettes are optional, but if you don’t have the classic ones or perhaps some cheap rip-offs in silly 80s colors, you’re 40.

I can’t figure out the fedora. I see it on everyone and I just can’t understand what the statement is. I’ve seen elderly men wearing them, but also young, seemingly attractive women wearing them. Somehow–and I know this makes no sense–the women wearing them become less attractive. I have no explanation, but I just think a woman in a hat is not sexy.

I have noticed, however, that I love girls in workout equipment without makeup. If a girl can look sexy while sweating without makeup, she must look incredible after a shower and some foundation. There’s no way this could sound intelligent, but I just love a sweaty woman. I’ve been told that goes back to evolution– something about pheremones–but I like to pretend it’s the untapped potential of the iPod-toting hidden sex goddess.

I also have this thing about bar music; why play it so loud if no one in the bar has any idea what the hell you’re playing? Then again, as a musician, I tend to drift in and out of conversation, particularly if I don’t know any of the people I’m hanging out with. For example, my roommate’s friend was telling a story tonight, but all I could hear was Kasabian’s “Shoot the Runner.” It probably doesn’t help that I covered that song in my last band or that I love everything about that song.

The point is, I have no idea when I will find the right bar (with the right volume levels) to take the right woman to. Until then, hit me up on the cell.

Screw that: after then, hit me up on the cell.

I’ve worked at Bath and Body Works. I’ve worked at Victoria’s Secret. I completed NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute a week ago today, a place where I was surrounded by 87 girls and four guys. I’d like to think I have some sort of insight on the female psyche.

I believe the perfect man, as women have come to establish him for themselves, does not exist.

Certainly, that would normally be highly pessimistic, but I have evidence. Chick flicks, music and books have all created the idea that women should go after the fixer-upper type, even though men will not change because you love us. Marry us if you want, but we won’t stop farting or drinking beers. I mean, I’m sorry, but we are what we are.

Then again, there’s the other end of the spectrum: the nice guy. How is it that the one guy who is pretty much willing to anything to keep a girl happy is consistently the one who never has a girlfriend? How many times have your girl friends told you, “Oh, no. I couldn’t date him–he’s just too nice.”

So then it appears that what girls want is the nice fixer-upper, which is completely antithetical since the nice guy wouldn’t need to be fixed.

A friend mentioned to me that guys do this too. I guess I could see that, but my problem, I’m convinced, is not that I’m looking for a type, but that I refuse to lower my standards. I have this thing where I’m only attracted to women who I love talking to–weird, right? After that, I think I prefer brunettes.

So I went to Staples and got a briefcase for $57. Problem solved.

So I just got done searching for a briefcase and I was surrounded by a sea of messenger bags. I don’t understand why a flap would be so appealing when you can get something that latches. Perhaps my style comes from a different generation, but it is a slight shock to walk into the 9th floor of Macy’s, ask if they have briefcases and be told that the selection is 1. That’s right; Macy’s carries one Samsonite briefcase and they had one in stock. Bloomingdales carried strictly what are referred to as “man purses” and I tend to see them on gay men more than anyone else. In fact, I even saw “stereotypical Euro-trash” hanging out right next to that section as if they were trying to mark their territory (not because they were gay, but because they were fashionable. I guess).

Admittedly, when I have money that will be my briefcase. Right now, I just don’t have the $240 to look as awesome as I want to.

In all honesty, I spent the last six weeks around the Wall St. area and probably saw one briefcase. For men who spend so much on their suits, I found it odd that they would enjoy wrinkling all their nice suits. Then again, they can all probably afford better cleaners than I can.

That’s neither here nor there–why, oh why, can’t a man use a briefcase? I don’t even own a messenger bag and I already don’t like the “fag bag” jokes. Someone should start selling briefcases again.

I’m going to the luggage store.

If I ever got desperate, I guess I might publish something like this (in the newspaper):

SWM looking for a woman with an encyclopedic knowledge of homestarrunner. Must love jokes nearly as much as ice cream and building forts. An open mind regarding music is preferable and a deep admiration of David Bowie’s “Heroes” is absolutely necessary. Must also be amiable and an excellent conversationalist–at least with me. Must also be averse to tiger-, leopard- and zebra-themed undergarments because she knows her boobies are not untamed African beasts.

Kinex lovers need not apply.