Category Archives: Adults (kid-free)

What do you do?

I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you do for a living. You may have told me once and somewhere in your description I got bored and started thinking about what I was going to say next. Or I just don’t understand what you meant. It’s my fault if it’s the latter, but, sorry, all yours if it’s the former.

Tell me again. What do you do for a living? It’s usually the second question asked in any social setting or introduction. If I yawn or look blankly through you, then tell me what you really want to do. Also, please give me your card, because inevitably someone else will ask me what you do when I tell a story involving you. I hate not knowing, I really do. I feel the need to study my friends’ LinkedIn profiles, because I never remember what exactly their job entails. There should be a “Take Your Grown Friend to Work Day” to help explain it all. About ten years ago I actually e-mailed a survey to my friends asking them to write about their jobs and their future goals/plans. Do any of you remember that? (Let’s be honest, those friends don’t read my blog.)

But here’s the kicker, I don’t want you to ask me what I do. Which goes against one of my biggest social faux pas. It’s a real annoyance when a person you’re talking to doesn’t ask you any questions about yourself. You know the type. You ask them, but they don’t reciprocate.

Ask me other things. Ask me what I like. But don’t ask me what I do.
Because it’s hard to explain. No, that’s not true. It’s just that you’ll ask me (or wonder) if/how much I get paid for it. And I don’t, really.

So then, should I just say I’m a work-at-home dad and not worry about the other part? Not worry about what you think? Or more accurately, how I worry about what you must think of me?

It’s why I don’t like to go out sometimes and meet new people. I used to excel at that, I really did. I’d make my rounds and meet everyone in the room at a party. I’d introduce myself and remember your name. We’d have a laugh.

Now, not so much. I try. Sometimes I’m back in my element. Maybe when I’m on stage or when I’m older than the people I’m hanging out with socially I’m fine.
It’s probably more of an issue when I try to keep up with the Joneses that are my age, the ones with the really green grass.

I’ve been sitting on this draft for a while, afraid to post it for the possible misreading of its tone. I keep coming back to it. I know I want to just get it out of my head. I should just go to bed earlier. Things are always better in the morning than when you think too much about your problems alone at night.

If interested in my dilemma, know this is a companion piece to: Are you wanted to be when you grew up?

Do you know what your friends do?
Would it be better to know what they want to do?

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Filed under Adults (kid-free), Grown-ups, Take a Chance

Oscar Tribute to John Hughes

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Filed under Grown-ups, movies, Shows

Are you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” — Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), Say Anything

But seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up – if you are not doing it already? And if you are what you want(ed) to be when you grew up, congrats. How did you do it? I still don’t know what I want to be or at least how to do it.

My last post got me thinking about this again. When I was boy I was heavily influenced by movies/TV, shock!, I know. I am still am. I wanted to be a truck driver because of B.J. and the Bear. Lead character McKay was from Milwaukee. Oh, I was on the right path, destiny?

Now the thought of me actually being a truck driver. Wait, just think about it for a second. If you know me, it’s at least mildly amusing. I don’t even like to “drive shifter cars. I drive luxury automobiles. Cars that shift themselves” (V. Gallo, Buffalo ’66)

But to his credit (?) Greg Evigan sang his own TV theme. As did Lee Majors in The Fall Guy, a seriously well written tune called The Unknown Stuntman. And yes, I really wanted to be a stuntman for a long time.

Did you listen to it? It’s a melancholy tune, just the classic lovable loser who doesn’t girl after doing all the work. My stuntman desire was augmented by my love for Raiders of the Lost Ark and a TV special called Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can watch all 6 parts on youtube, it’s a simple documentary for younger ones, but you watch it with them. Did you ever see this?

In modern cinema, many stuntmen have lost their jobs to CGI and the like. Many of the best stunts of the past wouldn’t be done the same way today. There was a much bigger element of danger when you drove a car off a bridge or fell into an airbag.

Somewhere in my Raiders of the Lost Ark love, I realized I didn’t really want to be a stuntman. I think I got my stunts kick out of the way with trying skydiving and bungee jumping. I really wanted to be Steven Spielberg, the director. Which is probably best that I realized early I wouldn’t be Harrison Ford. Which is not to say I totally gave up on acting because later I would want to be a comedian and trying acting. Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live were among the numerous influences. (I’ve talked more about comedy specifically and will again later.)

And the Spielberg dream still exists, though now I would cross it with Wes Anderson and Woody Allen and a few others. The list is long of other partial considerations or even attempts at dreams, goals, or careers.

writer (I worry this is too solitary of an existence for social me. I would need to collaborate in some way.)
comic book artist/comic book writer
record store owner (extinct)
video store owner (extinct)
advertising copy writer – actually went to college for this one before going to film school for a while. Worked in advertising for a while, but never as a writer.
radio DJ (dabbled)
record producer
band manager (still could)
greeting card writer (like 500 Days of Summer! but only because it came up on an career aptitude test)
bar owner (harsh hours)
restauranteur (harsh failure rate)

I did some of these, worked in some of these fields. And Lloyd Dobler, I did sell things for a while and really didn’t enjoy it either. But here I am now, a work-at-home Dad, which you can see wasn’t on any of the previous lists. That said, I did always want to be a husband and a father, so no complaints. It’s a full time job, the toughest job you’ll ever love. You’re so busy and then so tired by the time you have a moment to yourself (usually just when the kids are asleep). Lately just thinking about what comes next now that the boys are getting older and going to be at school for longer days which will provide a little more time, hopefully, to go after the passions.

My problem has been that the things I want to do, really have a passion for, just don’t seem to have an easy career path, especially in regards to supporting a family financially. I made a list for 2010 of possible “jobs” I like still am interested in pursuing. Replicated from the index card near my desk:

2010
FILM – direct, produce, act, write, curate, theater
WRITING – blog, book, film, mag, comic
COMEDY – live, perform, improv, stories, write
MUSIC/DJ – play on web, radio, manage bands
PLACE/VENUE – own bar/restaurant/theater for movies/host B&B, trivia, bands, games, art, sports, wine
B&B – get paid, franchise, web videos
TV SHOW – cable, local
EVENT PLANNER –
RADIO – host, podcasts
BIZ w/ MU friends (names held here for privacy)
TRAVEL –

Do I see patterns here? Anyone have any ideas how to help me achieve my goals, dreams, career? Those of you that have done it please share your tips and any advice you may have for the many of us who are still searching.

A few years ago Mama and I hosted an Idea Party based on Barbara Sher’s programs. After talking to a college friend recently, we thought maybe it’d be a good time to revisit the Idea Party. Let me know if you are interested in attending an Idea Party with us.

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Filed under Grown-ups, movies, Take a Chance, TV, writing

Hibernation turns Fat Tue Lent

Among the hibernation projects has been catching up on TV on DVD/streaming. The aforementioned Breaking Bad and Dexter were great, and the latest craze has been Battlestar Galactica. BSG reminds me of that feeling you had as a kid watching Star Wars wishing you could pilot the Millenium Falcon. BSG is that rare show that deals in adult themes and issues, asking big questions of religion and science and the meaning of life, but also just makes me want to shoot a frakkin’ (BSG curse) gun, pilot a Viper spaceship, and kick some Cylon ass. It’s simply thrilling to want to project myself into the action again. It’s been a while, for as much as I love Dexter, I don’t want to do what he does. But I’d be Apollo or Adama just like I wanted to be Han or Luke.

And the other show stealing the hearts and minds of those in know is Lost. Funny to see the same method of marketing employed on both shows final seasons. Lost is using this currently:

But they both totally ripped off Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code which did this one a few years ago. That amazing movie adaptation was the first time most people saw this image:

Does anyone give up anything for Lent anymore?

Fat Tuesday always reminds me of the one gloriously debauched weekend we spent in New Orleans after driving straight through the day and night from college in Milwaukee. It’s a town which allows everyone in the car to drink except the driver. A town with drive-thru frozen alcoholic beverage stops. And it allows drinks in the streets like the Hand Grenade and Hurricane.

Once we arrived in the Big Easy we drove to different parades with a keg on the back of a truck, stopping at signal lights to get out and refill along the way. It was like the classic un-PC named, Chinese Fire Drill.

For the Beads! Crappy plastic beads and the women who wanted them. What we all would do to get more beads. Why? Does Mardi Gras even “work” on a person over the age of, say 25? Could I ever go back and enjoy it the way I did my senior year of college?

I doubt it. Just like I keep saying that if I don’t go to the SXSW music festival before I turn 40, I won’t be able to fully enjoy it. I can’t even imagine experiencing (at least enjoying) that many live bands now.

Maybe I’ve missed my window on that one. But I’m still holding out for Sundance and Cannes someday. I know I can enjoy watching movies at 9am and classy parties at night. I know it. Invite me, someone. But I want to go with a purpose. What’s my purpose? I gotta find it.

And to conclude the ramblings of a mad (men fan) man…

I ask you what, if anything, are you giving up for Lent?

And are you eating Filet O’ Fishes on Fridays?

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Filed under 1, Adults (kid-free), art, TV

Resolutions

On Friday, September 26, 2009, I heard a piece on MPR about better health and possible cancer prevention. Recently I found the scrap of paper with notes I made on the story.
The few bullet points I had sounded like a good enough New Year’s resolution for me, too.

Positive thoughts
Nutrition
Exercise
Handle stress
Meditation

Formerly it was usually something along the lines of “all things in moderation”. I didn’t really take too much stock in my 2009, but did seem to have an overall good year. Maybe better than most, so I can’t and won’t complain. This winter on the other hand has been pretty rough, but again, in the big picture, I’m blessed. Or as Mama says, Luckymetimes3.

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Dessa – free download/new track “Dixon’s Girl”

Darling, isn’t it?

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Filed under Adults (kid-free), Music

Great Expectations

Tonight, I preview Fantastic Mr. Fox (written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach based on the Roald Dahl book) and the new ICON theater in the SLP. You may know Roald Dahl and I have a history. I worked on the film Matilda as a production assistant and even appeared as an extra. Good times.

My next most anticipated film is also by Noah Baumbach. Looks and sounds…well, kinda perfect for me. March 12 is too long to wait.

And maybe the coffee is talking, but I’m super fired-up for this week.
Thanksgiving with the joint families, a wedding in MKE and a mini-high school reunion reunion. Perhaps a few days off from the kids is getting me typing quickly here, too. Milwaukee, a great place on a great lake: Here we come.

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