dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The End Is The Beginning Is The End

This picture is so '90s, I can smell the teen spirit. It's cropped from a group photo of my college newspaper's staff in December 1993, during my sophomore year. At 19 here, I was the entertainment editor.

The guy beside me was the graphic designer. We used to lay out the weekly paper on Thursdays after classes. This being the days before the Internet was widely used, I would drive home around 5 p.m. each Thursday to watch CNN's "Showbiz" report, where some blonde broad would run down Billboard's Top 10 singles. I'd write it down, then drive back to the newspaper office on campus and do a write-up on the #1 single each week. I didn't have to. I just liked doing it.

Graphic designer guy and I weren't the best of friends, but he'd bring Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day tapes to layout night, and somehow my pop heart got hooked. Of course, I made him play "Today" over and over again, and would protest when he'd attempt to let the cassette play through the other songs -- just the hits, please!

But evenutally Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream became one of those seminal albums that mesmerized me throughout the following spring semester, and guided me through boring suburban winter blues and term papers. When everyone else at school was stunned by Kurt Cobain's suicide that April, I defiantly played Siamese Dream on a continuous loop for days.

Life's a bummer when you're a hummer.

After six years and three months, tomorrow is my last day as an employee at Instinct Magazine. It's been a long and interesting ride, but this year it just felt right to finally move on. Change appears to be in the air.

It's strange when you work somewhere for six years. Especially when that stretch arcs from your twenties to your thirties. You start to wonder about where all the time went.

I took a walk last night, and Smashing Pumpkins' "Thirty-Three" popped up. In addition to the irony of my age and the song title, the lyrics suddenly held a lot more weight last night than they ever did when I was 21, when I got Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness for Christmas:

Speak to me in a language I can hear
Humor me before I have to go
Deep in thought I forgive everyone
As the cluttered streets greet me once again

And, especially since last month marked nine years since I left Pennsylvania for California:

For a moment I lose myself
Wrapped up in my pleasures of the world

I've journeyed here and there and back again
But in the same old haunts I still find my friends

The last period I took time off between working was August 1996. I'd spent that summer before my senior year of college toiling away as a bagger at a grocery store, and I wanted to have three weeks to just unwind.

My pal M.G. and I had tickets to see Smashing Pumpkins in Pittsburgh that month, but the band's drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, overdosed on heroin and that tour date got postponed. I trudged through that final academic fall and spring, then did a summer internship.

For the next 11 years I shuffled through a series of five jobs wherein I'd start one the day after leaving the previous one. And so, for the first time since August 1996, I'm taking a much-needed break for two weeks and heading back to Pennsylvania.

Maybe I'll even take a drive to the college and snap a photo on those same steps in the picture at the top, where, in much more innocent days, I could still be found typing away with a peculiar sense of excitement about whatever song was #1 each week.

Steeple guide me to my heart and home...

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  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Mike said…

    So did Edward Furlong's doppelganger get some dirty D'Luving on those balmy college nights? Spill!

  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    OMG! Congratulations on your exit from Instinct... What's in the air for you now???

    PS - I love all the singles off Mellon Collie... But that was when SP became mainstream, right? :(

  • At 2:28 PM, Anonymous numbfromdrugs said…


    it's the end of an era! and the beginning of a new, fabulous one.


  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger duanemoody.com said…

    Good luck!!! I have to say, that Siamese Dream is, and always will be, one of my favorite albums. Amazing stuff. And thirty-three is one of those songs that really hits your in your core; at least it does for me!

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    Crunchy shell, soft sweet center. As I speculated!

    A toast to your next step...

  • At 2:11 AM, Blogger Paul said…

    have fun in Penn! And all the very best for your new venture. I'm sure we'll enjoy the ride as much as you!!

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Mike, ha, well, as I said, we werent' the best of friends...

    Joshua, starting another gig in two weeks. The Internet is about to get a bit more D'luvvly. Mellon Collie is indeed when they went mainstream...it was their first #1 album, and I recently read that it's sold about 9.8 million copies to date. Some really great tracks on there, if you've never checked the full album out -- "Here Is No Why" is probably my favorite SP song.

    NFD, total. And thanks!

    DuaneM, completely agree about "Thirty-Three." Another one is "Blank Page" of Adore. And "Soma" off Siamese Dream.

    XO and Paul, thanks!!

  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger John said…

    Best wishes to you in your next endeavor. I'm sitting here, just waiting for it. And I thought the guy sitting next to you in the pic was Mika at first glance. Please pass on my apologies for this gaffe.

  • At 1:13 AM, Blogger KulPop said…

    Enjoy your holiday and best of luck with your future plans. I'm on the verge of quitting my job and the thought of a decent amount of time off is quite nice.


  • At 3:10 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    John and KulPop, thanks!


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