Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Every Day I'm Hustlin'

The fact that I'm titling posts using Rick Ross lyrics should give you sufficient insight into my mindset. Things have been hectic here at The Money Pit1 because life as a freelancer can either be Feast or Ramen and right now I'm running out of seasoning packets. This week I've tried to act like An Adult, which means my wardrobe has included more than Sleep Pajamas and Work Pajamas and I've been sending unsolicited e's to a brazillion publications--both the print and bloggity blog variety--in the hopes they need another slightly unhinged writer whose areas of interest and expertise involve David Lee Roth-era Van Halen, how to use Charmin's cardboard spindle as a viable wiping option and dinosaurs.

I've also tried to schedule interviews with several musicians and have been writing lists of appropriate, interchangeable questions like "If you had to make a suit out of someone's skin, whose hide would you use?" and "Theoretically, how long would you let me hide in your back yard before you'd call the authorities?"

Basically, I hope that if I throw enough lawn darts at enough strangers, eventually I'll nail one. In that highly developed metaphor, "lawn darts" would mean "pleading missives liberally garnished with samples of things I've written for The Internet" and "strangers" would denote "strangers".

My frenzied burst of productivity has been fueled by the fact that my bank balance has dwindled to the point where I'm concerned they'll be coming to repossess the soft-sided logo cooler they gave me when I opened a checking account and the fact that I'm three weeks away from tongue-kissing my twenties goodbye, dashing my long-held hope that the phrase "twentysomething whiz kid" would follow my name in a Parade magazine profile.2 I know I've whaled on this Turning Thirty horse carcass for, oh, the past year, but my twenties haven't yielded much of anything except a trio of severance packages and a wildly uncontrollable housepet.

My earbuds have been blaring the Beach Boys for the past week and it's humbling3 that Brian Wilson was all of 24 when Pet Sounds was released. Granted, he also turned his dining room into a sandbox, frequently soiled himself and had intense arguments with plates of carrots, but still. I can match him pajama leg for pajama leg when it comes to crazy but the outpouring of genius? That's what I'm waiting for, begging for, putting fresh sheets and a mango-scented candle in the guest room for.

Thirtysomething Whiz Kid wouldn't look too bad on a business card.

Neither would Dinosaur Resurrector. I'm keeping my options open.

1 Yes, that's how I describe my apartment. It was either that or The Pit of Sarlacc.
2 I also hoped for "Baby Genius" or "Heisman Winner".4
3 Sometimes, I use humbling as a euphemism for so jealous I ground my back molars into a fine powder.
4 Once I read an article where a pre-Duchovny Tea Leoni was described as "impossibly lithe", which would be an improvement from my current status as "impossibly unemployed".


Michael said...

I've progressed from "Every major league ballplayer is older than I am", to "The typical rookie of the year is about my age", to "Most established starters are my age", to "Anybody still playing at my age is a grizzled veteran" to "A disturbing number of players my age are retired", to "Pedro Martinez is my age".

Next stop is "Players my age are almost all retired", then "Guys my age are being elected to the Hall of Fame", closely followed by "Guys my age are mostly dead".

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

I am also feeling the oncoming big Three-Oh, but I didn't truly feel old until I learned that No Doubt were going on a reunion tour.

Good luck with the unsolicited emails. I have sent so many unsuccessful one myself that I'm actually trying a new tack: being insulting. My favourite ones are posted on my blog, under the titles "The Imaginary Reviewer Writes a Letter" Parts 1 to 5.

Oh, and my new tactic is sending out unsolicited feature articles to magazines that have absolutely no chance of being published. They're more fun to write than earnest ones, and they have as much chance of earning me money. The most recent one was 'Six People who Changed the Way we look at Canaries'. So far Cage and Aviary Bird Magazine haven't got back to me.

LiLu said...

That's the official definition of "humbling," isn't it? I'm pretty sure Urban Dictionary says so.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Someone'll bite. Not to kiss ass (Hey, does it pay to smooch ass, 'cos my bank account is full of cob webs?), but your blog is one of the best I've seen. Completely and totally original as well.

kendrasue said...

They way you feel about Brian Wilson is how I feel about every professional athlete that seems to be younger than me and making a bajillion dollars more than me. And they don't even work the full 12 months. And I'm only 24.

Indy said...

Have you ever heard of this writing "aid"?

Dr. Wicked is evil, but it may be a fruitful strategy for getting something down on paper...

joy refurbished said...

Don't feel bad. My 20's have left me with a big ole bag of nothing in terms of bragging rights. My wee baby sis however keeps checking stuff off the things I've accomplished list.
Rather "humbling" indeed.

Stinkfingers said...

I think you've struck on the missing link to your success. You've been prattling on about Robyn Hitchcock and musical atrocities like Let's Active for all this time, when you apparently could have been caressing my eyes with delightful tales of Roth-era awesomeness.

emmysuh said...

"a trio of severance packages and a wildly uncontrollable housepet" -- I'm not sure, because I'm on the opposite end of this decade's spectrum, but I believe that this is actually what your 20s are all about. Unless you're foolish enough to get married fresh outta high school/college, aren't your 20s all about pretending to be a grown up while secretly (or perhaps not so) still acting like a college sophomore?

Which isn't to say, of course, that you have to stop wearing your dino pajamas out in public or that you should stop making out with your TV screen during House, but rather that it sounds like you're making good progress on the become-a-famous-writer front. I'm right behind you a few years...I'm hoping to move into the untrained house pet stage first, then into writing.

MAN. Long epic comment. I might as well have just blogged here. Would you mind if I set up a blog on your blog comments page? KTHNXBAI.

Carebear said...

The "outpouring of genius" happens for you regularly here - you're just still as yet undiscovered. Remember Bea Arthur wasn't really famous until her 50s, but she was a genius for many years before that. Here's wishing 30 is your year!

Carebear said...

Okay, I wasn't going to say anything because I really like you and don't want to offend, but the high school English teacher inside me just won't shut up. So, I think you meant "Throw" not "through" and you're missing "long" in your second hypothetical question for the musicians who should totally let you interview them. Okay, sorry. I'll go away now....

Perfectly Shelly said... many google pages are devoted to you?

I think you are awesome, BTW.

Julie said...

Well, just remember that Brian Wilson was unhappy and unstable. Whereas you are, by contrast...uh...okay, you made your point.

"Feast or Ramen." Love that. That needs a trademark.

theloosemoose said...

You're far too hilarious and talented to NOT be a bajillionaire - your time will come and we'll all proudly say, "We knew her when!"

To which YOU will reply, "Who the fuck ARE these people? I demand a restraining order!"

I'm two weeks away from tongue kissing FORTY myself so I understand your angst. Hang in there.

Grateful said...

If anyone has a connection to Jon would make a great writer for his show...or on-air talent!

Abecedarius Rex said...

Ah to be spry and in me twenties again... no. No I've been 40 since I was 15 and my mom got shot. Now at last I can finally claim 40 and all the decrepitude and wisdom that gravitational bending of the spacetime continuum can effect on my softer body parts.
I tried with halfheart and languid wrist to lift myself from the torpor of my 20s divan and send something to publishers but then thought, ah, who really reads anything I write but me and the pixies? So... I remain a very small person in a very large world indeed. Thank goodness. Pass the tobacco pouch.
Still, you could always send your stuff to an Ecuadorian number of publishers (or perhaps a Xinguian number if that doesn't work). Fortes fortuna adiuvat.

Christy said...

First, I can't believe you actually put your full name in the sidebar on your blog!!! I'm a little disappointed & yet, so completely shocked I can't feel anything else.

Second, until you ARE discovered, remember this: THEY'RE MISSING OUT! Sadly, this also means you're missing out on $, in which case, it's time to put a donation button on your blog. =)

Third, & finally, don't make turning 30 sound so horrible, I'm not far from it myself...& terrified!!! Quick, find great things in it & BLOG BLOG BLOG!!! =) Thanks in advance.

Eric (Extra P.) said...

Michael: you know what disturbed me the most? When I realized Playboy playmates are all more than a decade younger than me. Because before that, I had a shot, man.

On the writing front, I just begged for 500 words and a $75 payday in a regional publicaiton, and I'm happy to have it.

Anonymous said...

The 30's are staring me right in the face too. The good news is that we're right on the cusp of the best running years of our lives.

Here's hoping something big happens... for both of us.

Andy said...

Since I'm a similar "writer for a living" boat and I have exactly one, one dollar bill in my pocket, I feel you on this one. And yet I feel a sense of jealousy because you might one day get to write about dinosaurs, and I only get to write about education and kids.
Count your blessings. (And count your Ramen packets. That shiz runs out quickly)

Bradshaw said...

This has nothing to do with writing. At all. Or turning 30. Not even a little.

BUT. In perusing some sites, I came across USA National Doodle Day. They auction off celebrity doodles to make money for neurofibromatosis. And Rue McClanahan has two up. I thought you'd like to see. Enjoy.

Bradshaw said...

Helps if I leave the link, huh?

Mike said...

30's? I think I remember those. I'm not really sure though.

J-Money said...

Michael: Oh come, now. No one is as old as Pedro Martinez.

The Imaginary Reviewer: This is one of my all-time fave comments. You, sir, have changed the way I look at canaries.

LiLu: If UrbanDictionary doesn’t, the tattoo I’m getting on my fist very well might.

*Akilah Sakai*: You’re a sweetheart. Now if you could just sell a few editors on me, that would be awesome. I can’t help with the bank account cobwebs, but I do have a box of Slim Jims I’d be willing to part with.

Kendrasue: Sigh. Here’s where I give you a sad high five and quietly seethe because YOU’RE ONLY 24

Indy: Oh wow…thanks for sending that my way. Much like my dog, I tend to learn best with negative reinforcement.

joy refurbished: My little sister is the Successful One too. I’d be angrier but she’s, like, super awesome and my best friend. DAMMIT.

Stinkfingers: Oh, Stinkfingers, there’s room in my heart for both Robyn Hitchcock and Diamond Dave. What if I told you I was wearing a 1984 t-shirt right now? Is that something you’d be interested in?

Emmysuh: If you would like an untrained housepet, we could maybe arrange for you to share custody of the BoxerBeast. Also, thank you. I look forward to more of your comment page blogging.

Carebear: You know, I read that in her obituary a couple of weeks ago and that made me feel better. Yes, I’m frequently reassured by the deaths of others. Carry on. ALSO: thanks for fixing my typos. Sometimes my brain no likey doin things write.

Perfectly Shelly: Wait…I have google pages?

Julie: Yeah, perhaps I should’ve modeled myself out of the more mentally-fit members of the Beach Boys. Like…um… the ones that weren’t responsible for writing “Kokomo”.

Theloosemoose: No way! We’ll always be internet best friends, even when I have a golden water hose and diamond encrusted pants. And Happy Early Birthday!

Grateful: Yes! Let’s work on this.

Abecedarius Rex: I was with you through “the Pixies” and then I got distracted because I had to scroll through my iTunes to play Doolittle. Also, you are perhaps the most vocabularily enhanced commenter ever. Yes, those are for-real words.

Christy: Sorry to disappoint! I’m just writing more stuff under my real name, so it’s no longer a big secret and I’ve also given up on ever working office jobs again, so I don’t worry that someone will google me to discover that I’m talking about my vajay again. Anyway, I’ll always be J-Money here.

Eric (Extra P.): Congrats on the regional gig. I’ve been ignored some of North Carolina’s finest local publications.

Anonymous: I’ve got my fingers crossed for the pair of us, yo.

Andy: Oh, one day I will write about dinosaurs. You should totally try to work an ankylosaurus reference into one of your articles just to see what happens.

Bradshaw: Thanks! I do adore Miz McClanahan.

Mike: If you can’t remember, just make up a past. I’m pretty sure you spent your 30s collecting fruit bats and fighting infidels.

los_tartist said...

I love the Money Pit!!1 That scene with the bees!?? Classic Tom Hanks.