06 February 2009

The business model is that we are edgier than you and boy did I fool them.


A long time ago, it was the 90's. The 90's were really 2 things-they were Kurt Cobain, and then he died. He was a sad man, and everyone else was very sad after he died. After he died, the 90's became the dotcom.

I didn't mean to go to the dotcom. I was fine being sad about Kurt Cobain and sitting in my garage painting pictures of Kate Moss and the WuTang Clan and deer and Martha Stewart wedding bouquets out of thick layers of plastic resins and day glo paint. But there was this issue called the money and what I heard was the dotcom meant everyone under thirty years old could have buckets of money thrown at them just for inventing the internet! You didn't even need to ride horses or anything. And they would buy you all the sushi you could eat, is what people were saying of the dotcom. Everyone was moving to San Francisco to do it. And you could wear whatever you wanted to the dotcom. Which for me at the time seemed to involve gigantic clothing that did not fit that I got at thrift stores. We'll just say it was Vintage. If by vintage you mean big, dirty, and unhemmed stuff matched with tiny kids t-shirts with things like talking silver nuggets on them.

Super cool. I had all the qualifications. I knew how to do the email. I was an artist and all I had to do to get hired was tell them wacky stories about my art. Which was really Karl's art, he would actually make all of our art while I sat around and played with Timmy and spray painted things and held the flashlight. The other big secret was to wear the stuff you bought at thrift stores but wear it with a pair of super expensive shoes and carry a super expensive bag. Magic! When I wore the super expensive shoes and they heard about the art, and I had Timmy with me, all these guys in denim shirts and baseball caps started giving me money to be the Senior Designer or the Art Director because they found me to be Edgy. This was a very, very important word of the 90's. Because if something was edgy, it would make buckets of money for the investors and everyone could buy Saabs. Because, well, not sure why/how because. That little because issue, turns out, was the whole downfall of the dotcom. Another story for another day.

If I was wearing the navy blue slip on vans and driving my truck, it didn't count. I was just messy again. People who were VP's and CEO's warned me,"Do not let the client see your truck!" but if I had on the expensive shoes and finally bought my Honda CRV and waved my arms around and yelled something like, "We'll just take all the filing cabinets to the hot rod guy and have them pinstriped and metal flaked!" (true story) or "A parrot with a hat is not a f**king KEW-UUUL brand!" (true story) and had Timmy do his special trick (dancing dog) I would get these checks later on in the mail for a lot of money. I am not kidding, you guys. Really a lot of money. It's all such a blur now. The conference calls and redrawing spaceships a million times and beanbagged meeting room door slamming.

I bring this up because you know when you are maybe getting the flu and you can barely walk and your nose is running and your throat is sore and it just feels better to stagger instead of walk in a more conventional fashion, like one foot in front of the other? And maybe even you left work early because it was rainy and maybe it even stopped but you just didn't want to be outside but then later you tried to be inside and that didn't work so maybe walking with the dogs down to the beach would inject some vitamin D into your eyeballs and that would just patch sickness up? Except then you get to the beach and you realize that you really do feel crappy and all that's left to do is STAGGER all the way home. Because the weight of the world is on your back if the weight is named cold and flu season and it is all you can do to stagger up the street back to your house.

Past where the guy you knew from the dotcom is remodeling his stunning yet tasteful 4 bedroom faux-craftsman style house where he lives with his 2 lovely children and thoughtful, friendly wife. And their Saabs. Who during the dotcom was actually sort of one of the smart guys, opposed to 97% of the other dotcom guys who liked to have meetings to talk about the foosball table and team building and Radiohead (true story) and wanted the website to have race cars and godzilla even though the clients just wanted it to be sort of basic and swiss, forcing me to scream at them and storm out with Timmy, slamming the conference room door and leaving to go get an expensive hair cut (true story although I just threw the hair cut in at the end because I used to do that all the time in the dotcom).

And the guy, he can just look out his window. And instead of ocean view, sees this gigantic clothing, staggering mess slither by, hair sort of in this wadded up pile of a pony tail with unflattering tendrils whipping free, wiping nose on sleeve of gigantic, dirty jacket. Three dogs pulling the mess along, navy blue slip on vans sliding along the asphalt, really just staggering along wondering how 4 more blocks on a sunny afternoon with a goddamn rainbow up above me in the breeze can feel like 400 miles of trudging through a blizzard in hell. He wears Dockers. My muddy jeans are ripped along the hems and I forgot to put on a belt and they're sort of falling down baggy and probably showing my underpants. During the dotcom he had to work with me because he was a VP of Something Something (that was super popular in the dotcom to have VPs of Everything) and I was the Edgy Art Director and wearing a cowboy shirt and 501's and gigantic black leather platform shoes and I believe I called him something nasty once and did that whole slam the door thing, storming out of the conference room with Timmy.

And now, it's just me and my small black dogs. Sometimes they stop to pee on his tree. Today they pull me and I stagger and wheeze and wonder if he can see me out his Milgard windows.

7 comments:

Mary Schultz said...

Good one, Laura! I always like a visit to lost dreams one! And this was a good re-make! Nice touches on and additions to the original(s)! How 'bout a remake of one of the ranch that got away ones? Pretty soon there will be enough for a boxed set of each. It would be nice if your friend who lost everything but who does not have 3 small dogs to cheer him up and so lives in the basement could perhaps design a cover for the dotcom comedy boxed set. What do you think? Possible? (Then you can get to work on doing a wrap on the remodel house collection.)

vici whisner said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. I find hot water, honey, lemon, and a couple shots of Jim Bean will clear those sniffles right up.
I also had buckets and buckets handed to me, but now we are in a drought and we all stand around looking at the trickle wondering if it will actually stop.

team small dog said...

Yes I have been working on a box set of many things! All those other stories for other days are just sitting here in my computer waiting for more rainy days. I just thought I would shove all of them in the same box. So I just need a box that is a shredded washer/dryer box left out in the rain full of raccoon poop!

team small dog said...

Yes I am trying the hot water full of coffee before work for sniffles, then tonight after work am going to try the cold water full of margarita. That should do the trick. I think?

Anonymous said...

Yes-- great plan for health and recovery! Caffeine gives you energy and margaritas have vitamin C!

-Laurel

Elf said...

Wow. I was once the manager of like 2 departments and a huge budget but I hardly ever yelled and slammed the door but I did leave a message on an employee's phone once that he'd better show up with the goods the next day or don't bother ever coming back in again and he snuck in around midnight and cleared out his desk and we never saw him again and I felt bad but not too bad and I never really mentioned it to HR because I don't think that's official policy and anyway I hated being a manager so I left before the dotcom bubble burst and now I sit in my robe typing comments to other people's blog posts. Very cathartic. But not as cathartic as having flu in the rain with all your memories. I'm sure you'll feel much more catharted when the flu and rain are done.

Anonymous said...

the flu?!! an opportunity to lose your xmas lbs without even trying. also, when you are sick(or depressed) is a wonderful time to de-clutter. when you feel like crap, it seems easier to just toss it all. not really toss, but put it out for scavengers or freecycle...
Google/Blogger is being weird. it said i had the wrong password even after verifying it...so i am anonymous,
but usually post as valpig.