The Purpose and the Pop

A simple conversation about Asher Roth became a dissection of popular entertainment culture as we know it.

I really enjoy having the lovely and talented Nelson Blake II as a roommate. He's incredibly intelligent, well-versed in pop culture, film, comics, sports and other things I enjoy. I can hear him snoring as I write this. Some of the thoughts below are his, I'm just not going to write this as a conversation. Last night he mentioned that Asher Roth was going to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live as the musical guest [Sidebar: I first heard about Roth via Bryan Hill, who I heard about/met via NB2]. We started talking about why he always gets compared to Eminem despite their incredibly different styles. They both happen to be white, both happen to rap, but beyond that there are not a ton of similarities. I can pretty much guarantee (with no evidence) that every mainstream review of his new album will compare him to Em. And that's because mainstream music coverage compares Eminem to every other white rapper. Every Other White Rapper becomes a singular figure by which to measure Eminem against, and in turn the goal is to place every new white rapper into that mold unless he's Eminem. It's a cycle, and journalists should push themselves to go deeper, but don't really need to. Roth is rapping about his life, enjoying college, drinking and girls, and a totally different life experience than where Eminem came from. Em's story is much closer to ethnically black rappers who birthed the genre in the first place, and yet we're making comparisons based on skin color. Roth is closer in style to Lupe Fiasco, who rhymes about skateboards and giant robots.

Eminem is not a superstar (pop star, if you prefer) because he's white. Nor is it because he's a white guy that raps. It's because of the music. He's making art with his music, because what he does is personal to him. If, for example, 50 Cent never comes along, someone else will make In the Club. It's a club anthem, well-produced and with some decent stuff in it, but it's nothing special or personal to 50. Anyone could have made it. How many guys could make Kim, off of the Marshall Mathers LP. That song still kind of scares me when I hear it. It's a song by a dude with problems, made art and placed within the confines of hip-hop. That he and it happens to broach the pop culture bubble is actually something of an anomaly. There are a million guys who will take 50's place. There's not going to be another Eminem because he makes music that is personal to him.

There are certain things that work. Let's call them formulas in the general sense of the term. Pop music especially, but also the broader pop entertainment, is comfort food. It's easily digestible, familiar, and ultimately forgettable. It doesn't really engage us on a level that speaks to anything beyond in-the-moment enjoyment. That's not its goal; it is entertainment, plain and simple. I get why it works.

What I found curious and have been ruminating on since last night is why we exalt those who do what they do - Eminem, Lupe, Michel Gondry, Frank Miller, Bob Dylan, etc. - purely for following their heart and their passions. They make the most of what only they can deliver and we love it, except that in many instances they are not as successful as those delivering pap crap. We have some true artists and visionaries who do become superstars, but for the most part we as a culture seem content to place the fluff and filler ahead of the substance.

It all goes back to my mantra of DEMAND BETTER. I understand the financial realities of it. For every million American Idol contestant CDs sold, that means that the label can sign a handful of indie bands and give them a shot at success. The money has to come from somewhere. I know, I know. I just remain ever hopeful that things will improve, and quality will be both appreciated and successful in the years ahead. Quality is key. Striving is the only way to get there.


Roll With It (aka Be a Professional)

You have to take the good with the bad.

Sometimes you do all you can, and things don't turn out ideally. The trick is not to rest on your laurels or get caught up in the shoulda-woulda-coulda syndrome. To borrow a sports analogy (metaphor, simile?), it's why they tell you to take one game at a time, or that it's a long season. There's always another game. Some nights you're going to be off, and there's nothing else to it. Other nights you're playing out of your mind, but it just isn't enough. Shit happens. Pick yourself up and keep moving.

I got a call tonight about a project I put some work in on. I wrote a treatment, helped get a project sold (or optioned, I'm not privy to the contracts), and that means at this point I'm out. Wasn't my concept to begin with, and the people who have the money want to use their guys/name guys. I'm neither one, so at this point I exit stage right. I'll get paid for my contribution, and there may be some ancillary work coming as a result, but for all intents and purposes my services are no longer needed.

Some people in my position would get pissed off. They'd bitch and moan about how it's unfair, they deserve more, they're better than the guys who are going to get brought in, etc. That's not how I roll. I know how these things work. This is the second time I've written a treatment on spec that got taken to a studio and optioned and then I was excused. This happens all the time, especially when money is involved. In both cases I was developing based on someone else's original content, so I was just the flesh-out/development guy. In the first case I got bent over and taken forcibly from behind. In this case I've been treated as well as is possible, given the circumstances. I knew this was a possibility, and I know there are far worse possibilities that could have arisen.

So what's next? That's one thing off my plate. It would have been an awesome project to write, and for all I know I may still be involved in an alternate capacity, but for now I move on. I take the experience, the contacts and the work, put it in my library and go off and create something new. I keep plugging away, trudging along, hoping to get my own projects closer to fruition.

If you want to make it, especially in a creative field, you can't be bitter. There are too many people involved, too many links in the chain of collaborators, and no one is irreplaceable. Don't believe me? There are two Terminator films that James Cameron didn't direct. Six different actors have played James Bond. There have been four different men playing Batman on the big screen, and only six movies. Hell, IMDB has a Raging Bull 2 in its listings, and neither Marty nor Bobby are involved (and yes, we are all on a first name basis). Everyone can be replaced.

Point being, check your ego at the door. There's always somebody better, faster, nicer, more connected or hungrier. And they're waiting for you to falter. When you burn a bridge or slam a door on opportunity, someone else takes your place. Make the most of every opportunity given, show respect all around, and in turn you'll be rewarded.

I got the shot to do something. I did the best I could (practically overnight), and I helped move the project forward. The people involved will do their best to take care of me, just as I did for them. And I can guarantee the next time someone says, "Hey, do you have anyone who..." my name will be at or near the top of the list.

Be a professional. Hang your head high in good times and bad. Be smart about what you do and who you do it with. Someone is always watching, whether it be an employer or competitor. And when you give them an opening, they're going to seize it. Don't get caught off guard.

Roll with it.

TGIM - Twitter

Okay, I know what you're thinking.

a) Who cares?
b) Isn't it the same as facebook?
c) "What are you doing? What kind of question is that? I mean seriously, who cares what anyone is doing?

I don't know why I started using twitter. I really don't. I signed up, started posting, and now I just do it. People asked what it was and I said, "Instant message blogging." I have very few local friends on there, and my phone is a dumb phone (whose contract ends tomorrow - suck it Verizon!) so I don't get live updates from anyone. I only use it when I'm on the computer, and until recently I'd only checked a handful of recent posts when I logged on to update my own and then went about my day. It's mainly just a way of keeping myself entertained in 140 characters or less.

But the other day I downloaded Tweetie. I've played around with one other twitter app, but it didn't take as I spent too much time reading old posts in an effort to have them all read (like email). For whatever reason, Tweetie is working for me and I've been getting some great links. Art from @jeffwamester, random awesomeness from @briandenham, swine flu updates from @CBcebulski, random depravity from @mattfraction, and all sorts of productivity and business advice from @tferriss. There are tons more, but that's just a random sample.

I mainly use it to stay connected to the comics community, even though I rarely talk comics (or much of anything but random thoughts on paper). I do have 2 goals specific to the medium though. Twitter-exclusive fiction (idea courtesy of @RantzHoseley) and the infamous Day of Twitter, in which every single thing I do will be twittered (tweeted, whatever).

I'm not such a fan of memes in the more modern less Dawkins-based idea of the word. I don't want to spend all day watching stupid videos. But I do enjoy experiencing things I'm not at via pictures and videos, especially if they relate to the experiences of friends and colleagues. And I'm not about to go searching through facebook to stalk people's photos so I can make sense of a status message. And I don't really care what celebrities are on here. I follow a couple of characters from The Office as they rarely post, but Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and Shaq can go disappear in another corner of the Internet.

So twitter gets the TGIM because... um, it allows you to experience cool in as broad or as narrow a scope as you'd like. As of this posting, I'm following 189 people, with 303 followers. I've updated 1,666 times. I'm about to email an artist whose work I just saw because he intrigues me. And @topcow told me that the Trader Joe's in Westwood validates after 6pm, so now I know I can go there and pick up women without worrying about paying for parking. There are worse things to be happy about.

Also, follow @melcaylo!


Darwyn Cooke Meets Richard Stark

IDW announced that Darwyn Cooke would be adapting Stark's Parker series of novels into OGNs in San Diego. I've been anxiously anticipating them ever since.

Scott Dunbier posted a link to an 18-page preview of The Hunter earlier. It's really, really good. I'll be buying the hell out of these books.



I don't mean what the Hawks took from Miami's 3-point onslaught tonight, I mean what I worked on yesterday.

I had a couple of calls and meetings yesterday with some production companies. I know most of them don't have tons of funds to begin with - you need to hook up with either a studio or a financier - but none of the ones I have any connections with or ins to have any cash to toss around. It's a little disheartening to know that once you attach someone, and we're talking real names here, that's only five per cent of the battle, but I don't let it get me down. I've taken a lot of really good meetings with quality companies whose people both know their business and are on the level. I really respect that.

It's why I came out of my afternoon meeting feeling like I had a chip on my shoulder. I'm getting in the room. I'm sitting there with opportunity staring back at me. And yet, I don't have stuff to pitch. Sure, I have concepts. Out the ass do I have concepts, some saleable, some not. But my goal is never to be the pitch guy. I don't want to spring a pitch on an unsuspecting guy, nor do I want to not bring my A-game or the best version of something to the table. But at the end of the day, I don't have enough polished and pitchable stuff, nor do I have any scripts I can send around to get people excited about.

I came back from the meeting and got to work. It had been a long day, I had put some time in on Days Missing, and I had a dinner meeting to go to. But I also have the long-neglected LYP to keep rolling. As you know, I was supposed to finish by the end of March with it. That was my goal for the year well before I went freelance. And I didn't get it done. I've been chasing other work, paying bills, traveling, whatever. I didn't get it done when I planned.

I decided to Blake Snyder up the story. I've had the first act worked out forever (though a good note made it clear I need to make one change to the first act and I've got a much better story, thanks B), but I didn't know where to go from there outside of a loose skeleton. I took Blake's beat sheet, which I know some folks in the industry swear by, and I decided to see if my story fit the mold. It actually helped me with a couple of things, including figuring out a subplot which helped strengthen the theme of the script. I didn't have a B storyline before, and I do think it's necessary just to give another dimension to the world.

Before anyone writes me off as a slave to the formula of Snyder/McKee/whoever, a brief word on formula and structure. Structure exists for a reason in crafting dramatic stories. And I mean that in a very Aristotelian way, not in a THIS goes HERE and THAT goes THERE sense. There are certain rhythms that work and should be used. Once you have them down, you can do all sorts of awesome, Tolstoy/Gaghan-style shifting and playing around with it, but until then... don't try to destroy the world if you can't tie your shoelaces. I'm not a big fan of formula. Not to say you can't subvert, but formula is a method that relies on the established. Structure deals with the way various pieces are put together. It's an argument for another time (or someone's college paper), but I digress. I've tried to read Story three times and failed. I disagree with a lot of what Snyder writes, and think he's bitter he didn't come up with Memento. I think Syd Field is where it's at because it's not overly didactic in showing you that what you think is innovative isn't. It's clear, concise, and informative.

But there's not one single method. There's whatever works for you and whatever works for your story. Put them both together and you get good fiction.

I feel like I'm in a better place now with the script. Not only did I figure things out, but I was able to place it well within seemingly commercial confines when my goal is not necessarily to sell this script. My goal is to a) finish, b) write something good, and c) use it to get representation. Anything else is just icing.

I totally lost the point of this two paragraphs ago. I wrote out the beat sheet. I feel good about the story and my progress on it. My goal is to finish it by 5/20. Failing that, the end of May. If that doesn't happen... I'm quitting writing and moving home to Atlanta to become a waiter and figure out what I want to do with my life.

Yesterday, leaving my meeting, I realized that there's nothing else I want to be doing. I want to write, I feel good about my stories and my abilities, and the only thing stopping me is excuses and time. I don't have any of the former, because I don't believe in them. And I have plenty of the latter if I use it right.

Time to take over the world.

Oh, and I had lunch and hung out with Josh Fialkov today. He's a good egg, an excellent writer, and I sometimes wonder why he isn't bigger than he is. As a writer, not as a man. It's a good size...


Melville Criterion Covers

Came across a couple I had printed out while cleaning up the office. I like the simpler, more effective ones than Bob or Les Enfants, but this is just great stuff.

TGIM - Hawks Beat Heat in Game 1

Come on... Was there ever any doubt?

Anyone that knows me knows I love the Hawks. I mean the kind of Love where you deal with ten straight losing seasons just to get to the playoffs again (as a sub-.500 team), and you feel justified in never abandoning them. Not even when they met it impossibly hard, like the infamous 13-win season, or when they drafted Marvin Williams instead of Chris Paul...

I love the Hawks. They're my hometown team, they make bonehead moves, but at the end of the day I still love them. That they're finally good again, and attempting to make a move into the NBA's elite makes it all the sweeter. Their next step? Getting into the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs after last year's surprising 7-game showdown against the eventual NBA Champs, the Boston Celtics. No one gave us a chance, we closed it down on our home floor, and we pushed them to the brink (assuming you don't look at Game 7 that closely).

We started out the season scorching, 6-0, until we went to Boston to play our old pals the Celtics. Again, we pushed it to the brink, losing on a last second shot from my enemy, the bitchiest and only, Paul Pierce. We didn't get our revenge on the Celtics (getting swept in the season series 0-4), but we did firmly plant ourselves as the East's #4 seed. The only team that even made it close was Miami, led by the incredibly talented Dwyane Wade.

Most people are picking the Hawks in 6. My gut told me Hawks in 5. The season is a waste if we don't get to the 2nd round and get a chance to show ourselves against one of the East's true elite teams (Cleveland, Boston, Orlando). But everyone keeps talking about how Wade can take over a game (true) and how he has the skill to take over a series (it's a team sport, so not quite). Imagine my pleasure looking at the final score of Game 1.

It's a team playoff low for Miami. It's just the first of many steps in the Hawks' journey. We didn't keep up the intensity all game. The fourth quarter was a joke. But man if we didn't look amazing for a half and solid for another quarter. That's all we need. One game at a team, one team, one series.

We saw what happens when you let up (us vs. Boston) last year. We're not going to sleep on Wade or the Heat. But we're also not going to get pushed around. We have the personnel to destroy this team, and right now that's the goal. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are too good for the Heat to handle. And we can hurt them other ways too.

I love it.


Kaiser Haunts My Nightmares

I've been so unhappy with my Kaiser insurance that it's started to seep into my dreams, giving me one of the worst nightmares in recent memories. I was just supposed to go to the doctor to get a follow-up x-ray on my left thumb. But it turned out to be a journey into the mouth of madness... Highlights include:
  • Them NOT scheduling an x-ray (I knew it!)
  • Me forgetting my previous films
  • The lady at the secure gas-station style window asking if she could help me, then walking away
  • The same lady walking away every time I told her, "I don't care, I just want someone to take an x-ray today before I murder people."
  • My parents showing up to ask what the problem is
  • That lady telling me that my monthly payments were being raised to $3,500/month because of past problems (I guess getting sick one and having a leg problem qualifies as a health risk)
I also had a dream after this where I broke Passover by eating a burger with a bun... But it wasn't a nightmare. I did remember halfway through and try to eat it with matzah. Stupid, crumbly matzah.

Can't wait to eat me some bread tonight...

Don't Think, Just Act

Sometimes it's a good idea. You just roll right into it, firing on all cylinders. There's literally no downside.

Steps have been taken, plans are in motion, and I'm excited. Miles to go on this, but... Something I hadn't considered has now been considered (albeit very briefly) and thusly acted upon. Harumphs all around? Excellent. I'm glad we settled this.

Bernard, if anything comes of this... Well, I'll owe you one. Again.

Stay tuned!


TGIM - Dodgeball

I have a feeling this is going to be a great week. Don't ask me why, but I do. For now, let's just focus on potential awesome and ride that wave wherever it takes us.

Last February I got an email from Alexander that said simply, "Want to join a dodgeball league?" My first thought was that I didn't know how to answer. My second was, "Umm... Fuck yeah." Since then, I've won two championships, played something like 7 seasons, and completely changed my social life.

At the time I started this, I really only hung out with work people, my old roommate, and Alexander. Now I have all kinds of friends, not to mention regularly scheduled nights at the bar, that I never would have met if I had continued just being a lazy guy who putzes around his apartment watching movies and TV.

It's stress reliever, the best time I could ask for, and a place to meet cool people from random walks of life. Plus, we go out to the bar after, so it's a chance for me to network, spit game, and drink... I can't say enough about the positive impact it's had on both my life and my psyche. Good times.

If you'd like to learn more, visit the L.A. Dodgeball Society website.


Sample Startup Pitch Deck

For those pitching startups (or not sure how to), here's a great slide show I got via Tim Ferriss that shows an example of the major beats.


A Softer World

I don't know what happened to the emailer I used to get, and Joey rarely posts on twitter, but damn...

I really love A Softer World.

EDIT:  I need to find a better way to post photos in this blogger template, as everything including YouTube videos gets truncated on the right side.


My Business Card Hero

Found this via Cameron Stewart on twitter.

Happy Passover!


Palm Pre, Be Mine

Chase It

I can't mention what, because the Internet has large ears, but I've just taken the first step toward realizing a longstanding dream that goes back to the late 80s.  And no I'm not going to be a Ghostbuster or get a flat top, despite that being a flat topped Ghostbuster would be the greatest thing since sliced bread.


Future Tech - Previewing Tomorrow

I wouldn't necessarily call myself a tech guy, and I'm definitely not an inventor...  But if I were more of both, and less of a writer, I would totally be a Futurist.

There's a show on The Discovery Channel called NextWorld, which I've never seen.  It tries to take a look at emerging technologies that will shape our future.  What I have seen is the slightly cheesier but I'm sure no less brilliant 2057, which takes a look at our world 50 years from now based on current tech trends and development.  Cheesy, maybe.  But fascinating.

Here's a tech dump for youse fine folks with a little more practicality and less futurism, courtesy of the fine folks over at Engadget:

TGIM - Hardship

I got some bad news on Saturday in the form of rough estimate for what I owe the government in taxes.  Yeah, I'm pretty much down to the last of the reserves.  I'm not dire, as I've got Days Missing and some TC work to hold down the fort, but they're the last hurrah in terms of 100% officially signed off on and negotiated work.  After that...  Well, that April 1 post may not be too far from the truth.

Anyhow, that's enough of that.  No more time spent on the negative.  Here's what I'm getting at.  A few weeks back, David Wohl and I carpooled to the Radical Publishing grand opening at their new LA offices.  I had recently run out of normal funding, and David relayed a bit of advice he had received from former Marvel head honcho, the late Mark Gruenwald.  Mark told him that you couldn't reach greatness without having struggled.  I told David, I grew up in the suburbs, so by that token, I'll never be great.  David dismissed the thought, telling me that this, right now, was hardship.  This was my struggle.  It's not fighting a war or losing a limb.  It's not beating cancer or some other some such real struggle.  It is what it is for each person. 

Right now, times are tough for everyone.  The U.S. economy affects the global economy, and I'm at the center of the maelstrom in my own life.  I worry, of course.  Probably a bit more every day that goes on and I don't have a metric ton of cash sitting in the bank account.  I worry on the days when I know there's no paycheck coming on the 1st or 15th.  But I'm not worried.  This, like everything else I've faced in my life (good and bad) is something I will get through.  And if this is a tougher challenge, that's not something I'm worried about.  I'll come through stronger, better, and likely faster.  I'm like the 6 Million Dollar Man of unemployment.

Hardship builds character.  This is a crucial time for me because it decides the course of my life.  Not only professionally, but in terms of my character.  I could turn tail and run, give up and head home to Atlanta.  I could live rent free in my parents' house and not worry about anything.  But I'd feel like a failure because I had failed myself, and everything I'd spent two and a half decades working toward.  So I'm not going to whine or complain.  I'm not going to be complacent.

I'm coming through the other side a better man and a better writer.  I'll see those of you who have struggled through it on the other side.  The rest of you...  Time's wasting, so get your asses over here.


The Bryan Hill Project (featuring Bryan Hill)

Part of my job at Top Cow was discovering new talent. Mainly on the artistic side, but I'm a story guy, so I was always looking at new writers. It's nearly impossible to find them fresh, but sometimes you get really close. I was after Matt Fraction and Jason Aaron before they became Marvel-exclusive superstars. Ditto for Brian Wood, who had a ton of work under his belt, but DC hadn't quite made him a household name. I lost out on a lot (though I guess you could say I helped the mainstream discover Phil Hester, the writer...).

One of the guys I did "discover" has turned out to be one of the most beneficial discoveries of my professional life. Last April at the New York Comic Con, I met Nelson Blake II. Cully Hamner recommended he swing by the TC booth and come talk to me. I dug his work from the jump, and literally ended our conversation by standing up and saying, "Okay, so I love you..." A few months later, Nelson introduced me to his buddy Bryan Edward Hill at the San Diego ComiCon. For some reason, I kept wanting to call him Joe. So for a few days and a couple weeks jokingly after, he was Joe-Bryan Hill.

One day Bryan asked if he could pitch me something for Pilot Season. Normally when guys ask, they have a pitch ready to send your way as soon as they get the greenlight. Bryan told me he was working on something, and even checked in a bit later to tell me he'd have it to me in a couple days. Okay, whatever. We'd hit it off just fine at the show, but there are plenty of really nice people who just aren't on the level of guys already working. What I didn't know is that Bryan had been paying attention to what I'd been saying and to what kind of stories I liked, and then crafting something that would knock me off my feet.

He sends me the pitch and I'm floored. It's the best pitch I've read since Marc Bernardin handed me the pitch for Genius a year and a half earlier. I schedule a call with him immediately and I believe what I told him was, "Okay, you can pitch... But can you write?" He sent me a screenplay and I loved it. I asked for more. He sent me part of the graphic novel he had done with Nelson, and I loved it. He sent me a novel, and I loved it. He writes exactly the kind of stuff I like to read, and he does it really, really well.

We started talking more and more, about the pitch, my writing, and other things. We became more and more friendly, and he asked me if I wanted to jam on something with him. It started with one idea, which I didn't think he even needed me on, and now we talk a few times a week about the umpteen things we have in the pipeline, and whenever one of us has something new, it's kind of like, "Um, if you want in on this... I'd be cool with it."

And just so no one thinks I'm just glomming onto his immense talent, I hired him to write one of the stories in Broken Trinity: Aftermath, and he was being groomed to write the spin-off series whenever it gets moving. He's got stuff coming out, and it's good. There will be more - solo, with me, and in multiple formats. He's a writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. He's a storyteller for the new media age.

He's also served as a bit of an inspiration. And not because he had a WMA agent at my age and has already written all kinds of awesome. He's got the right mindset, the right experience, and the right things to say when I need to hear them. It's really helped me keep my head on straight, especially when I got laid off. He was actually the first guy to know, as I had a call scheduled with him minutes after Matt walked into my office.

Long story short, I'm kind of in love with Bryan Hill. He's a collaborator, a partner, and most of all, a good friend. He posts almost daily on what I guess could be called a culture blog. I enjoy it quite a bit.

Bless yourself: HERE.

April, Fools

Hopefully the lack of comments on yesterday's post was stunned silence and not apathy. Just to make sure folks are totally clear, it was a little April Fool's joke. I'm not quitting writing, I'm not moving (at least not for the next 30 days), and I'm certainly not trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. I'm good on that front.

The non-reaction on the blog itself did bring into question how well a job I'm doing of marketing myself. Apparently, not well. Not only did I not promote the only new work that's come out since I left TC (WITCHBLADE #125 ON SALE NOW! Backup by Rob Levin with art by Marco Castiello!) when it hit stores, but also I got zilch Internet reaction to the I quit style post. Hell, I nearly cried when Cameron Stewart pulled the same thing via facebook a year or two ago.

I actually hauled ass yesterday in terms of getting in touch with folks and various other freelance productivity and research. Slow and steady is the game, and it's not a race. Plus, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT! Anyone who gets that reference, I love you.

See you guys in the grind. And if anyone in Baltimore wants to hang out, I'll be in town for a week starting Saturday.


Heading Down That Dusty Trail...

I've spent the last 2.5 months working my ass off. I've contacted, written for, pitched, and offered up my services across the land. I've tried to make a real go at this writing thing. Be it because of the economy and employers getting skittish, or just my own lack of skills, I've decided to hang up my writing boots. I'm packing my bags and moving home to the ATL.

It's not an easy decision to make. I never wanted to live in Atlanta again, and I never wanted to give up on the dream of doing this writing thing full-time. But ultimately, I need to be responsible financially. And rather than let the lights go dim and get kicked out of my place, I'm taking what little scratch I have left and preserving it so I can eat.

I lined up a job at a new restaurant that opens this month not far from my folks' house. I'll do that until I figure out what I want to do with my life now that I've realized writing isn't a viable option. I'd like to think that I went out fighting, there just wasn't any more funding for the troops so surrender became the only option. Surrender and survive another day, or continue to battle and die. I didn't want to die.

I'll miss all of you so very much. Especially Old Balls and Cobra Command. I'll be in town long enough to help the former win their Third Burger, but then it's splitsville for me. I'll be sticking around the Internets in the usual spots, but expect this to be my last post here. Not much use in branding a waiter with a nom de plume.

Thanks for the memories.