Archive for March, 2006
Basically, I asked questions, hit the Next Track button while iTunes was on shuffle, and here’s what conspired. I swear I am 100% honest about these– I’m typing them as they come. I hope nothing really embarassing comes out of this.
How does the world see you?
“Give Me” – Atmosphere. “Give me the money / But don’t you dare stop there / Give me the mic / That’s the tool and I play it cool / Give me the life / I’ve seen things that used to be dreams.”
Will I have a happy life?
“Take it Off” – The Donnas. Oh man, this is getting embarassing already…
What do my friends really think of me?
“The Mule” – The Magic Numbers. “I’m a lonely soul, lost every single thing I’ve ever did own / But I never owned you.” Draw your own conclusions.
Do people secretly lust after me?
“Nothing is Good Enough” – Aimee Mann. No one is good enough for me, or the other way around?
How can I make myself happy?
“Sowing the Seeds of Love” – Tears for Fears. Right on!
What should I do with my life?
“Shadow Stabbing” – Cake. “Adjectives on a typewriter / He moves his words like a prizefighter / The frenzied pace of the mind inside a cell.” Amen! Two good ones in a row.
Will I ever have children?
“More Adventurous” – Rilo Kiley.
What is some good advice for me?
“Dancing Shoes” – Arctic Monkeys. “Get on your dancing shoes / There’s one thing on your mind.”
How will I be remembered?
“Them and Us” – Bad Religion. That’s probably not good. “Despite that he saw blatant similarity / He struggled to find a distinctive moiety / All he found was vulgar superficiality.”
What is my signature dancing song?
“Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” – The Eels. I’m not really a dancer, so this is probably as good as any.
What do I think my current theme song is?
“Dinu Lapatti’s Bones” – Mountain Goats. Wow, depressing.
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
“Getting in Tune” – The Who.
What song will play at my funeral?
“Learning to Fly” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Wow. Could do a lot worse than that.
What type of women do you like?
“Title and Registration” – Death Cab for Cutie. So, umm, a police officer?
What is my weekend going to be like?
“Besame Mucho” – Diana Krall. Awesome! I’m off to get arrested!
“Hello, and thank you for calling HP. Can I get your phone number?”
“Yeah, hey, how’s it going. Listen, I have a question for you.”
“Sir, I’ll need your phone number to continue.”
“No, it’s cool, I lost that little registration card that came with the printer when I bought it.”
“Well, we do ask that in the future, you register your HP products. What can I help you with today?”
“Yeah, listen, I have a problem with my connection I need to know something about the cables.”
“Ok, you’re saying you have a problem with your connection. The first thing we’re going to do is plug and unplug all the cables. Just grab the–”
“No, my question is, can I use a nonstandard DP parallel cable with your LaserJet 2820?”
“A what? Nonstandard?”
“Yeah, I bought a new cable because my dog ate my other one, but it’s not working. Do nonstandard cables work with the 2820?”
“Ummm… sir, I’m sorry, but I don’t have any experience with that particular problem. Let me just ask my supervisor.”
“Never mind. I’ll just look online.”
“Hello and thank you for calling AT&T Internet. My name is Lisa, can I help you?”
“Yeah, Lisa. My internet is out. It’s not working.”
“Ok, I can help you with that. First, you’re going to have to let me know what kind of router you have. You’ll just have to look on the–”
“Right, look on the bottom. I know, I already did. It’s a H324 model C.”
“Oh, a model C. Ok. Now the next thing we’ll have to do is called a ‘power cycle.’ A ‘power cycle’ is where we’re going to–”
“Lisa, I know what a ‘power cycle’ is. I did that three times. Look, I know about all this stuff. I’ve been playing around with computers for years. I just need to know what’s wrong with my Internet, and when it’ll be fixed.”
“Ok, I can help you with that problem. We’ll just say the router is properly connected. Now, did you restart your computer?”
“Yes, Lisa, I did. Many times. Listen, I just think there’s an outage on my local outer network. Can you check and see if one has come up?”
“I’m checking. Well. It looks like there is an outage in your area.”
“Great. When’s the fix coming?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t have any information on that, sir.”
“Hello, and thanks for calling Apple. How can I help you today?”
“Yeah, I have a question about my iPod.”
“Ok, that is something we can help you with. What’s the question?”
“Well, I hacked it open. I’m trying to hook up my video camera to it, so I can record my movies directly to the hard drive. What I want to know is this: exactly what codec do you guys use for playback?”
“Codec? You hooked your camera up to it directly? I don’t think that’s even possible.”
“Oh, it is. At least I think it is, I almost got it. So what codec is running in this thing?”
“Uh, I’ll have to check with my supervisor.”
“Never mind, I’ll look online.”
“Pizza Hut, delivery or pickup?”
“Hey, I’m trying to place an order online, and your website is really slow. I can hardly get through.”
“Place an order online? Why did you call?”
“Don’t you support your website? Oh, wait, there it goes. I got it working now.”
“Did you just want to order through the phone?”
“Nope, it’s working alright now. Later.”
“Hello, and thanks for calling Linksys. This is Mark, can I help you?”
“Yeah, hey Mark. My parents’ router is busted, I can’t get it to connect up to the Internet. Any ideas?”
“Ok, that shouldn’t be a problem. The first thing we’ll have to do is power cycle–”
“Sigh. Look, Mark, I know what a power cycle is. I got power cycles down pat. It’s not the power cycle.”
“Did you cycle the router and then the computer?”
“Did I… What?”
“Did you cycle the router and then the computer? They need to be cycled in a certain order. Is that what you did?”
“Are you still there, sir?”
“No, actually. That’s not what I did at all.”
“Maybe you should try that.”
“Great. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
“Wow. No. It’s fixed.”
“Great! Thanks for calling Linksys. You have a good day now.”
So here’s the real deal on me, Mike Schramm. Maybe you’ve read my story over on the about page. Maybe you know me in real life (I’m pretty sure most of you do). If you do, then you know that nothing on that about page is really true. I never invented the Chopinator. Unbelievable, I know, but it’s true.
I’m a writer. At least, I’m trying to be one.
A while back, I started Retarded Jimmy’s at retardedjimmy.com. It was kind of a joke between a few friends and I, but I started it because I wanted a place to really practice writing about what I knew: Music, videogames, movies, culture. And I wrote a lot of stuff there, some of it bad, some of it good. The point was that I was writing, and practicing. And eventually I wanted to use that writing to get a job that allowed me to write for real.
Which, suprisingly, I did. I got a job freelancing for a newspaper here in Chicago, and I used reviews from Retarded Jimmy’s to get it. (My editor, by the way, told me that I had writing that was different from any journalism major he’d ever seen. Probably because I didn’t major in journalism. He said it was unpolished, which you’d probably expect coming from a site named Retarded Jimmy’s. But he still gave me a job.)
Since I got that job, I thought it would be good to go to interviews where I didn’t have to list my email address at “retardedjimmy.com”. You and I are pretty easygoing people– we’re not about to blink when someone uses the word “retarded,” because we’re open minded people with a sense of humor. We know what’s important to worry about and what’s not. But not all prospective employers are as open minded as we are. So I started mikeschramm.com, as a place to set up a hub for all the writing I was doing. And a place to still practice. I would escape the review mold, but still practice writing every day.
And I have. Well, pretty much every day. For a long time, over a year, I’ve tried to come up with something funny or interesting every single day of the week. I haven’t always come up with something, and it hasn’t always been funny, but them’s the breaks.
But here’s the problem. Now, I have a full-time job writing. I write all the time, all day. And then I come home and write something for my site. And by the end of the day, I’ve done a lot of writing, but it’s all already been published, either at my job or on my site. I don’t have anything to take elsewhere. And I don’t have any good ideas left to send off to some other site, or magazine, or even agent.
What I’m saying is this: I’m done practicing.
So I’ve changed the site. Instead of a new piece every day, you’ll get a new headline. A headline with a link. Sometimes, it will simply link to something here on mikeschramm.com, like usual (those things will all be labeled “Exclusive”). But sometimes, and I’m hoping more often than not, it will link to something on another website. Or in a magazine I’ve been published at. Or, and this is where things really get interesting, a link to a book I’m working on.
You’ll still have plenty of content. Since I got my digital camera, I’m incorporating my photography into the blog, so it’s more prominent. And I’m going to do the miniblog a little differently– add some text and commentary instead of just a single link. Of course the podcast will still be around and prominent. And when I can’t get something published somewhere else, you’ll undoubtedly see it here.
But instead of spending time every day writing for my own site, I’m going to take that time and write for someone else. I’m done publishing myself. Now I’m going to get someone else to publish me. And when I do, you’ll see it right on the front page (in my new crazy web 2.0 design).
Thanks for reading. If you’ve read this whole thing, it means you really care about me and my site, and so if you have any questions or comments (good or bad) about the new design, I’d love to hear them at email@example.com. I hope you’re having as much fun consuming all of this as I’m having producing it.
Things Will Ferrell Hasn’t Died Of
Eating too many hotdogs (Though he didn’t know what he was thinking when he ate five of them)
A drug overdose
Drowing in the smells of rich mahogany (would also accept “being crushed by many leatherbound books”)
Killed by a mugging, supermodel impersonating Ben Stiller
Killed by angry athletes wishing not to be cheered on
Being in a bad movie remake of a TV show with Nicole Kidman
Too much cowbell
Hey all– I just spent a long time putting together this week’s episode of Happy Time, so go check it out. It features me yelling like a maniac, and many other things that are far less irritating. You can learn about the hopes and fears of Luke Lindberg, and why you’re a better pool player when you’re pregnant! Now that’s news you can use!
Also, I did a lot of cool stuff this weekend, so I put some pictures of said stuff up over on Flickr. Check those out too if you want more Schramm action.
I am sorry to say that I am kind of tired, and so I haven’t written anything for you today. Check back tomorrow.This post has related audio! Listen to the show over at Happy Time>.
mikeschramm.com is cc 2004-2006 Mike Schramm.