Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Walter Egan: You are a Magnet, and He's Stealing Your Limelight

Well, so I've been trying to get myself to write about the event that I had to work at the other day, where I was serving at the UT game, but I've been distracted by my other job. And I just haven't wanted to revisit that night.

Fortunately, on the cab ride home, I was treated to a rendition of Walter Egan's "Magnet and Steel", which in turn led me to look it up on YouTube. I was so caught by his camera-mooning, I was all like this:

So I decided to make him a best hits collage:

I love how he looks like he has a Brady Bunch intro screen all to himself. He'd probably love that. Look how much everyone else is enjoying it:

But the best is yet to come. Check out this Thriller Rip-off. There is a werewolf transformation scene, okay? You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Job 1: Q&A Website Guru

The other day, while the gray morning wasted into a bright afternoon, I sat and answered questions posted on a website for over an hour. The concept is this: people log on and ask environmental-type questions, and I research them on the internet and answer back.

Despite being paid what a small child would disdain for their allowance, it was actually pretty fun. I learned a lot of things (Red meat is the worst food for the environment--who knew?). My favorite question, though was this:

How many moths do bears eat?

I thought this was a joke, but it turns out that bears in Yellowstone eat 40,000 moths a day! That would be like having a stomach full of rolling papers.

In other news: Check out how usefully I've been spending my time. The other day, trying to see if there was a sad song in The Jungle Book, I discovered this little gem, which is a montage of Jungle Book clips set to Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion." I'm trying to think of other Disney movies that would work well with Aerosmith songs. Bambi and "Janie's Got a Gun?" 101 Dalmations and "Dude Looks Like a Lady?"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guest Post: Dispatch from the Desert

June 2009. I'm living in Phoenix and I'm unemployed again after losing my seasonal position with the Desert Botanical Garden, a great gig. I was banking a luxurious twelve dollars an hour, and you certainly couldn't ask for a finer workplace. But the days grew hot and the work ran out.

I'm a month into the new-old routine: waking up too late, drinking too much coffee, playing too many casual games (goddamn your collective hide, PopCap), and occasionally responding to the least degrading of Craigslist's daily job offerings. One such afternoon, my then-girlfriend half-jokingly forwarded a posting announcing the need for a "Brand Ambassador," one day only. The job? Push push push the hell out of a video game, "Midnight Club: Los Angeles," on behalf of Rockstar Games, purveyors of everyone's favorite murder simulator, "Grand Theft Auto." The ad's instructions: respond with a resume, a brief description of your familiarity with current trends in gaming, and a picture. The job promises $200.

I think of all the gussied-up, corporate, doublespeak titles I've held over the years: package clerk, data integrity specialist, gallery assistant. Brand Ambassador is new, a fine addition to the list. I shoot off a reply. Within an hour I'm told to report to the Phoenix Convention Center on Saturday sporting clean jeans, sneakers, and a plain black t-shirt. The event hosting Rockstar's "demographic outreach" is the 2009 Dub Auto Show, a traveling cavalcade of car culture: mods, custom paint jobs, expensive upgrades. A more alien environment I cannot imagine. I can't bring myself to vacuum my car, much less spend money on it. This is as comfortable a fit as wearing pants made of scorpions.

After introducing myself to my co-workers for the day and receiving a well-rehearsed litany of dos-and-don'ts from our wiry, lizard-like minder, I take a quick walk around the convention floor to get the lay of the land. The sea of sparkling hoods, polished rims, and trunks crammed with subwoofers is interrupted by booths representing the Army, the Air Force, Monster energy drinks, and NASCAR, each one there to colonize the impressionable gray matter of the show's mostly young attendees. For me, this is everything terrible about our culture crowded into one room and given a drum-and-bass soundtrack.

Did I mention that Ice-motherfuckin'-Cube was scheduled to perform that afternoon?

Before long the show got underway and any conversation that might have taken place was curtailed by a wall of sound that would make Phil Spector blush. I established myself as the "swag guy," shoveling out great armfuls of license plate frames, keychains, stickers, posters, and t-shirts, the better to avoid talking to people. I manned my station for nine hours without cease, excepting the occasional bathroom break. Later, when the show began to run down, my cohorts and I numbly staggered about the work of breaking down the booth. We were nearing our anticipated payout and the expectation was a shiver of excitement passing from one of us to the next. When our employer jokingly suggested that his checks would bounce, the excitement turned to black thoughts of zip-tying the jester's wrists to his ankles and leaving him to the mutants at the NASCAR kiosk.

But the money was legit, much to the relief of my colleagues, each of whom demanded that his check be made out to cash so he could get drunk that very night.

Is this bike owned by Shaquille O'Neal? Yes, yes it is.

For the folks playing along at home, invent your own acronym! "My anus flowers in autumn."


Treble? Where we're going, we don't need treble.

The deck appears to be stacked against her.

The auto show equivalent of the wolf shirt.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Welcome to the Inaugural Post of Odd Jobs! Putting the 'Recess' Back in Recession

First off, apologies on the "putting the blank in blank" wordplay. It was too terrible for me to resist. Luckily for me, however, "too terrible to resist" is also the theme of this blog.
Here's the idea: as a social experiment, I will attempt to take on 'odd jobs'--jobs specifically designed to be temporary, to not further my career, or that are just plain out-there. Will it spur moving commentary on the state of our economic decline? Probably not, since not even our economic decline itself has really seemed to do that. Will it make for amusing anecdotes at parties? Let's hope so, since that's probably all it could hope to do.
So, you're probably wondering a bit about me. Am I crazy? Independently wealthy? Preternaturally disposed toward doing things I regret? The answer to all these is, to the best of my knowledge, no, though don't read too much into the first question since I am writing this blog as if anyone beyond my immediate friends and family will read this first post.
The truth about me is that I woke up one day and realized I could not go on doing what I was, which was working as an accounts manager at a small tech company. So, I quit my job, heading for a career in freelance writing and willing to take on just about anything in my quest to get there, as long as it wasn't headed towards a career (Editor's Note: if you have a writing or editing job that you would like to hire me for, I am a self starter who is totally looking for a career).
Anyway, enough about me. This blog is about the jobs. Let's let them have the limelight, shall we?