May 30, 2006

The Failure of Shameless Materialism

Dear Craigslist

You’re supposed to be the go-to in the clutch, the site that everyone told me that I should go to when trying to sell my couch. I believed in your prowess, enjoyed reading the Rants n’ Raves section, and generally have heard great things about experiences.

And I’ll admit it—it was partly my fault—I tried to sell a couch on the Friday night before a long weekend, when lots of people aren’t in front of their computers and those that are are probably never going to leave and therefore won’t be looking at or carrying any couches any time soon.

That said, Memorial Day is supposed to be this huge commercial holiday (though of course, it’s got that somber tinge to it as well, and such memories should be kept and preserved), when people go out and think about entertaining their friends and family with flamethrower grilling and lawn darts and sprinklers and hot dogs and beer in the sun and…well, you get the idea. The point is, this is when people are often moving into and out of apartments, thinking about new furniture for entertaining, seeing what they can get and what they need.

And here, I got a single offer from a person who offered me $100 for it and pick up a day after my must-move-by date and an expression of interest from someone who hasn’t replied to my email and both of whose phones have been turned off.

If you’re telling me that capitalism isn’t at least just a bit sick, I’m telling you to think again.

Love, Shoe

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May 25, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Okay, so you know those health quizzes where they talk about stress factors and events contributing to heart attacks? You know: “If you started a new job, add one point. If you had a death in the family, add 3, and 2 more if it was a close relative like a parent, spouse, or child.”

Right. That kind. Maybe I’m only making one up (because I couldn’t find it doing a half-assed Google search for something like that; perhaps typing in “heart attack stressful events death job” isn’t enough), but I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen these, and all I know is that they suggest you limit the number of such events to as few as possible over as long a period of time. Yes, yes, you’re not supposed to love, move away from home, work, get married, etc. Then you’ll live forever.

However, despite no longer being a teenager—and frankly, never having been one of the ones who thought he was invincible or whatever—I do fully recognize my own mortality, and rather than take another vitamin or schedule a prostate exam, I have apparently wholeheartedly embraced the Stressful Events Vortex as though it were a Sunday morning toilet bowl and I was a frat-boy who found a free case of Boone’s Farm late on Saturday afternoon.

I got myself married to S, who is now S Blue Shoe. Two days before the wedding I was offered a new job, doing music law work for a firm I have always wanted to work for, and then upon returning, the Missus and I packed all of our stuff (okay, our friends Torrie and K, along with some movers packed it all up), and we moved, and then I accepted the job at the end of the last week.

If you add that up, that’s 3 Major Life-Changing, Personal World-Shattering, Heart Attack-Inducing Events in the space of three weeks.

I’ll see you when I get out of the ICU next month some time.

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April 23, 2006

Wah Wah Wah

In the midst of this—the wedding planning (and upcoming—only days away), the honeymoon getaway-from-it-all, the move to a beautiful new apartment, and everything that comes with the stars aligning in a particularly wonderful and also stressful way—I have found myself in a tricky position. This is the sort of thing that critics of blogs would likely seize upon and say, “This, this is the perfect example of the blogger: self-centered, and self-pitying over things of which the rest would be glad.” And I won’t lie: they’d be right.

But that said, I find myself in the need to let off a bit of steam about the good fortune that seems to have befallen me. After my first year in law school, I worked for a firm whose main practice was entertainment law, and music in particular; it was my dream job. The named partner is the guy I want to be, representing the very musicians that got me interested in, and actually employed in, the industry. And last week he called me up, and essentially asked if I wanted to come work for him.

I want to work for him—I’ve wanted to work for him since the day I met him, and before, when I only knew him as a name to be reckoned with, a powerful man in an industry of self-important, and powerful-seeming men. He’s well-liked, well-respected, a good lawyer and a good guy. But of course, at the moment my sense of loyalty is getting the better of me, and I feel bad for giving Big Firm a trip in the lurch; I have projects right now that I don’t feel good about leaving behind, and I have people who depend on me regularly.

I can’t worry about them, I know that, I have to worry about me. But I still can’t help but feel that in pursuing my own happiness, I might be dropping people I like, real friends, in the dust.

And of course, these projects will wait while I’m gone after the wedding, but they’ll be looming when I get back, and there will be no way to simply pass them off.

This isn’t really going anywhere, but this is the one way I know that I can blow off a bit of steam, and maybe get some input from folks who can think about this in ways I can’t.

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April 18, 2006

Ready or Not...

These days, it seems I can’t ake more than about 4 steps out the door before someone—a co-worker, a store owner, the doormen, —the local lovable homeless guy—asks me, “So, are you nervous?” My mom asked me the other night—and she was hoping I’d up and ask S long before I actually did.

We’ve got 11 days till S and I are mister-and-missus Shoe.

I don’t know if it’s politeness, if that’s just what you say when you hear or know someone’s going to get married, like if someone’s about to buy a home or sneezes their milk or something like that (you know, consequential), but it amazes me how many people ask that question.

To me, it makes sense in the context of the old days where you courted each other before getting married. And yes, I know that that’s a fanciful, sterilized vision of The Way Things Were™, but the fact is that I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t know their betrothed all that well. Nor, I suspect, do you. S and are among the last people who don’t live together before they’re married. That doesn’t bother me at all, but if anything, I’ve got more reason to be worried.

I’m not, though.

It’s this simple: I love her. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her. I can’t wait to celebrate it, and I sure as shooting can’t wait to go on our honeymoon together and then move into our beautiful new home together. The only thing I’m worried about is whether I’ll remember the wedding and reception, or if they’ll shoot by like the last couple of birthdays I’ve had, whether all will go according to plan or if we’ll find the band has gone to the other hotel.

Either way, I’m not nervous. I just want to slow down time next Friday afternoon and never have it speed up so I can enjoy it all.

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March 30, 2006

Grandpa Sam

I still can feel the weight of his body as I held his arm to steady him.

The rasp of his unshaven beard over the softness of his cheek still prickles my lips where I kissed him goodbye on Sunday.

His voice will echoe in my ears and on my answering machine forever.

And I will always hold him in my heart, even though now his body has been taken from us.

1914-2006

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