The Mexican Food Sucks North Of Here Anyway

GreetingsFromAustin.jpgI'm going to be out of pocket for a few days as I'll be attending South by Southwest. It's my first time at the festival, and I'll be blogging about it here and also over here. So check it out. UPDATE: Actually, please don't read the blog posts at The Hollywood Reporter. They were taken from me and largely rewritten without my consent, eliminating voice and style. I'm embarrassed by them, and consider them unusable.

"A Newspaper Can't Love You Back"

simonbadge.jpgThe title of this post is taken from a fantastic and also terribly depressing essay David Simon recently wrote for Esquire. You can read the whole thing here. When you're done, hop on over to the sites listed below for a broader view of the general unrest and unhappiness that's worming its way through the industry and the medium. Excerpts from

Angry Journalist #1106: I’m angry because I work so much that I can’t get a decent date to save my life. Then I take a day off to go to the doctor, who says I’m stressed and charges me $150. His recommendation: Have more of a social life. Thanks genius for completing the Catch-22. Angry Journalist #1107: I’m angry because print journalism is dying, internet journalism doesn’t exist yet and there’s just not much else to do for someone who’s young, energetic and loves to write. I’m angry because the medium is committing suicide as fast as it’s dying and the people who should care the most — average people and readers and thinkers — don’t give a shit. I’m angry because in the age of information, I’m being scared off the only profession I’m suited for. Angry Journalist #1272: I’m angry because as a music journalist in the UK, there will be no realistic job prospects for me when I get to my mid-30s, by which time I will have fulfilled a lifetime ambition but still won’t be able to afford to live in anything but a shared house or contemplate such things as saving for a pension or, in fact, getting a taxi back home from a night out instead of the night bus with the crack-heads. Angry Journalist #1268: 2/29/2008 22 out at the L.A. Daily News (buyouts and layoffs) 9 at the Daily Breeze (layoffs) 8-9 at Long Beach (layoffs/attrition/consolidation)

Also, Headsup: The Blog is a great resource for info and gripes related to copy editing. Then again, I'm the kind of person who can talk about how happy he was when AP made "fundraiser" one word in all instances, so the site's right up my alley. If you need a happiness chaser, there's also Happy Journalist, or this puppy howling.

Makeup, Tech Support, And Coming Of Age: An Online Transcript

me: i just tried to fix the printer for the new woman who [job description redacted so my ass doesn't get fired]she's cute and she had that girl smell what the hell is that smell Sis: a girl smell? a mixture of shampoo and perfume and cleanliness me: no, it's more than those 3 things has to be Sis: well i don't know i don't know if i have a smell me: because i wash my hair, stay clean, and wear a pleasing cologne, and i don't smell like a meadow in springtime mixed with sexual repression Sis: hahahahahahahaha ok i'm trying not to laugh out loud me: :) like body glitter and conditioner and sunshine and 19 other things her face was SPARKLY don't wear that crap to work it's gonna distract me "can you help me fix the printer?" "you cheeks look like stars." "...thanks?" Sis: hahaha this is great your cheeks look like stars hahaha me: "i really just wanted you to help me fix the printer." "you smell like a bed i want to wake up in" Sis: oh wow eek me: oh come on, that one was funny :-/ Sis: it is but not innocently funny like the cheeks one me: i think it is i was also debating, "you smell like being at home" i was going for the comfort angle Sis: ah it was more of the comfort/sex angle me: sex = comfort. male mindset Sis: ah me: well Sis: well

Seriously, Stop

I will kick in the solar plexus the next person who says "dudette" unironically. I realize this means I will probably be delivering my vengeance unto an adult, and a member of a generation currently stranded between the cultural relevance of their children and the deification of their parents.But please, for the love of all that is good, stop saying "dudette." You sound old, and weird, and just generally creepy and out of touch. Please stop.

20 Things I Hate About Old Man T——, My Coworker

oldman.jpg1. He falls asleep at his desk at least once a day. 2. He consistently shows up late. 3. He does almost no work before 5 p.m. 4. He does one minor task between 5 p.m. and whenever he stumbles home, usually around 8 p.m. 5. He manages to screw up that one minor task at least three times a week. 6. He yells at everyone. 7. He ignores suggestions of help and insists that he's always right. 8. He once ate a kitten right in front of me. 9. He doesn't wear socks. 10. He shows a grasp of newsworthiness that could be described as cavalier at best. 11. He occupies a chair that could be filled by someone much younger and more talented. 12. He thinks that old age equates with skill, and that tenure implies the right to underperform. 13. He constantly whistles, and it's always something tuneless and scattered. 14. He creates errors where there were none and doesn't fix the errors he should be fixing. 15. He is apparently clinically incapable of pronouncing a "th-" sound, instead saying things like "dis" and "dat," though whether this is some obscure nod to the jazz culture he claims to have once been a part or whether it's just senility is beyond my ability to say. 16. He takes several personal calls a day, usually to walk his even more addle-minded wife through tech support. 17. He shows no remorse about his complete inability to execute his job with even a fraction of the quality that would be required of someone his junior. That's ageism: Protecting the jobs of the elderly out of guilt and supposed obligation while shunning the more talented but younger workers desperate for a chance. 18. He farts. A lot. I wish I was making that up. 19. He constantly mutters, sighs, and talks to himself in his own little gibberish language. Sometimes he'll answer the phone with the greeting, "News things." 20. He won't die.

In Which My Sister Dangerously Encourages Me To Act Out My Weirdest Fantasies: An Online Transcript

me: GTHM1 just walked byi would read the entire book of first nephi for her i would wear black slacks and avoid all carbonated drinks just for her i would bike from door to door in a poor attempt to convert people just for GTHM Sis: wow isn't GTHM taken? me: by a skinny hip rock star, yes but is he willing to wear the chafing underwear? will he make the yearly pilgrimage to salt lake? because i will I WILL Sis: haha tell her that me: i will Sis: and then launch into "Take My Breath Away" me: watching in slow motion as you turn to me and saaaaaaaaay love... TAKE MY BREATH AWAAAAAAAAAAAY i will do it today's the day i let berlin do my talking for me Sis: what a glorious day
1. GTHM is the colloquialism I have bestowed on a female coworker, G——, who is a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and so cute I could puke. You can assemble the acronym yourself.

A Stunning Confluence

So, there's a near-constant stream of snacks flowing through my office, and today one of the guys in another department brought in some peaches, and cut up some and gave them to my department on a plate. Free fruit is always appreciated.The new guy in my department saunters up to the plate. He's a nice guy, but probably the ditziest man I have ever met; it's like a gay Ken doll come to life. Anyway, he grabs a peach and takes a bite and says, "These are good." And in the instant that he does that, I see Chris Farley dressed as one of the Gap Girls, saying the exact same thing with the exact same inflection. It happens around the 0:12 mark: I was floored by the fact that the new guy is so gay he sounds like Farley in drag, and went half-crazy with excitement about my discovery. I shared what I'd found with a coworker, and she completely agreed. So, that's the new guy.

More Quizzes; It Beats Working

100%The Movie QuizThat's right.

Again: That's right. 58%How Addicted to Blogging Are You? This seems a little arbitrary, but then, there's some truth to it. Free Online Dating This was actually surprising. Apparently I used "hell" four times (believable), "shit" three times (less so, but there's one more mention), "porn" twice (seems low), and "ecstasy" once (I can't believe I'm being penalized because the quiz can't differentiate between the drug and the feeling). 60% Geek Also not that surprising. I know some geek stuff, but let's face it, I also call tech support. Sometimes you just get tired of printer maintenance. Though I am happy that I finally get points for knowing who Smaug is. 45% I can't run very far, but then again, I've never had the kind of adrenaline pumping through me that I imagine a zombie invasion would produce. Still, I think my lack of physical prowess is balanced my ability to find a hiding place and look for weapons, as well as my willingness to kill my friends if they became zombies.

A Letter From HR

Daniel,First of all, how's it going? It's hard to believe you've been here for almost two years now. Who could have predicted when I interviewed you that there would be so many managerial and staff changes? Speaking of staff, your supervisor, D——, asked me to speak with you, but as I will be out of the office next week, I'm opting to send you an email instead of holding a more formal meeting in my office. You should still consider this a verbal warning, though. D—— has brought it to my attention that your behavior of late has been a little off. Specifically, he says he has witnessed you performing the following: • You softly sing the chorus of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" when our most recent hire walks by your desk, a girl you have described (rather ill-advisedly) in intraoffice emails as "cute enough to kidnap." Needless to say, this is inappropriate, as are the jokes among coworkers using seemingly innocuous terms like "teabag," the meaning of which was made horribly clear to me when I Googled it this morning. • You have occasionally worn flip-flops, despite the fact that company dress code forbids men from wearing open-toed shoes, and have also been seen slipping them off to walk around in your bare feet. This is a violation of corporate policy, as is your habit of rubbing your feet vigorously against the carpet to "grunge out the sweat," as you've been heard to say. • You go out of your way to work the word "balls" into conversations with management, which, though humorous in an after-hours or weekend setting, is discouraged at the office. • You used a pica pole to scratch your chode during the most recent office-wide meeting. • Finally, instead of coping with our parking difficulties as we have done by allowing the garage attendants to double-park your car and retain your keys, you have simply begun hurling cinderblocks through the windows of cars in reserved spaces. This will not stand. Needless to say, we still heartily value your skills and the contributions you bring to a team that has been functioning stronger than ever in recent months. But these behavioral lapses are just plain unacceptable. I understand that this time of year is stressful on all of us, especially employees like yourself who have not yet worked their way up the ladder of opportunity to a survivable wage. Feel free to swing by my office next week, when we can discuss these matters in greater detail. Sincerely, M—— Director of Human Resources

Another Thoroughly Awkward Conversation I Had With My Boss

Him: I know this isn't the first time we've talked about this. Your methods are becoming a little unorthodox.Me: Well, excuse me. I guess I'd mistaken you for somebody else. Him: Pardon? Me: Somebody who gave a damn. Somebody more like myself. Him: Again, I don't know what you're talking about, and I find these little cryptic hints you're dropping to be really — Me: And THEEEEEEESE foolish GAAAAAAAAAAAMES — Him: Oh, knock it off with the Jewel. Me: ... Him: ... Me: You knew what I was doing? Him: Yeah, and I knew last time, too, with the Lisa Loeb. Hadn't heard that song in a while. What's she even up to now? Me: Wait, wait. I'm supposed to sing, and it's supposed to be awkward, so then people will read about it and ask me later if it really happened, or maybe they'll just compliment me on my quirky uniqueness that isn't even that quirky and certainly not unique. Him: So this is all some elaborate set-up? Me: Yeah. Him: Well, then, why do you do it? Me: It's a confidence booster. I'm the eldest child. It's a long story. Him: Well, knock it off. Me: Your thoughtless words are breaking my heart. ... You're breaking my heart. Him: ... Me: ... Him: Are you quoting now, or was that for real? Me: I don't know. [Stares off into distance.] I just don't know.