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BIG TIME BABY STEPS

Eugene, Oregon is a beautiful little skid-mark of green and brown on the map. That skid-mark is my home town. The people there are friendly tree lovers who really know their liberal talking points, their weed, and their house parties (15 men to every female; 23 men to every single attractive female – the odds get a little better if the party is on campus, though to really get the statistics in your favor you pretty much have to be at a Frat “social” or in the middle of a dorm). Here are some things people in Eugene know nothing about: sunshine, the haberdashery fascism that wearing shorts, socks and birkenstocks promotes, and Hollywood. I know very little about The Biz, but I know a lot more about it than some bearded lesbian who voted for Ralph Nader – twice – and whose moment of shining glory was defacing a Starbucks the last time the WTO rallied in Seattle. My favorite pastime on Christmas break is to have a couple of drinks with old friends from college and play catch up. Here’s a typical conversation : Me: So, what are you guys doing these days? Liz: I’m grading papers at a shitty little college. Todd: I work at a bakery. I make – bake – bread.

Liz: What are you up to? Me: I’m freelance writing, and I just landed a writing gig at MTV. I also finished shooting some spec commercials on film. Liz: Oh, well, good for you. That’s something. There’s always that tone of condescension, the implication that despite the fact you manage to make a living in a creative vocation in LA, you’re still to be pitied because you haven’t been signed by Universal or awarded the sequel to Transformers. I’ve come to the conclusion that you must fight condescension with condescension. Here’s next Christmas break: Liz: What are you up to? Me: I just bought this bar. Once the royalties start coming in the mail from “Batman III” I’ll probably buy up the rest of downtown. Tell Todd thanks for the bread.

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