May 9th, 2003


Goldshlager Turned My Tongue Into A Savage.

Fly into New York. Pick up One Show trophy. Fly back to LA.

That was my day-and-a-half itinerary. The One Show’s yet another one of those awards that only us self-loathing, substance-abusing, sheep-shearing advertising people care about; but it’s the Holy Grail for folks like me ... you know what, I take that back - the Cannes Lion is the Holy Grail of advertising awards. The One Show’s more like the Sufficiently Sacred Grail.

Other than that, I blew my per diems on lunches at Bouley and Union Pacific, two of Manhattan’s best restaurants. There’s no way in hell I’d fork over my own money at those joints, because fine cuisine is wasted on an uncouth mouth like mine. A while back I learned that years of spicy Korean food, satanic-blend coffee, and Goldshlager had deprived me of a subtle palate. This means I derive the same amount of oral pleasure from a $36 Roast Venison Filet with a Crust of Black Trumpet Mushrooms as I do from a $2.50 Double-Double from In ‘n Out Burger. Which is why just about the only food I’m willing to spend a load on are steak and sushi. When it comes to “elemental nuances hinting of organic rapture” versus “damn, this shit tastes good,” I guess I’d fall in the latter category.

The lunch at Bouley was with AudioChick, who used to be an i-banker for several years before quitting to work at an art gallery. Then she quit that too and was now just biding her time, trying to figure out what she was going to do next.

“What should I do with my life?” she asked.

Unfortunately I’d just taken a red eye flight during which I managed an hour of sleep, so all I did was stare at her well-moisturized forehead for a few seconds, then resumed eating my plate of organic rapture.

Later that day, after the One Show, I was having beers with Jungle.

“Now I can retire from advertising and pursue my lifelong dream of being a drug courier,” I said.

Even though it was number two on my list of career choices, I can’t complain about advertising. But it’s made me content (picture my psyche lying under a coconut tree, rubbing its giant belly) and that’s sapped virtually all the motivation I need to go after my first choice, my dream job. And that’s the thing. Unlike a lot of people who have no idea what their dream job is, I’ve known for a long time. And have done nothing about it, which makes me the biggest idiot in the world. So it gnaws at me daily, before I throw a shoe at the damn thing.

This year, more than ever, it’s gotten worse.

The next day, I strolled down to the Barnes and Nobles at Union Square and finally bought the one book I’d been thinking of reading for the past few months …

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