One of the songs that defined most of my high school experience turned 20 on Halloween last month (it was officially released as a single back on October 31, 1994). It was a track prominently featured during several school dances I attended during my freshman year at Iona Prep in the suburbs of New York.
I hear this song, and I can't help but flashback to baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans, Timberland boots, and plaid flannel shirts on Friday nights.
It feels like I have entered a new stage of my life here in Los Angeles.
The reason: I now have literary representation. I have an agent. I now have "people." People who can talk to your people. I'm one of the many many folks in this town who rely on individuals to pimp out their creative work and then wait by their iPhones to hear the latest developments and be on the receiving end of numerous rejections.
This was the day my 22-year-old self had been waiting for. It's the first step towards what I hope will be many more steps.
However, it wasn't quite the experience I had envisioned for myself.
The whole process wasn't as glamorous as one would expect. There was no glass-walled conference room with me seated at one end and a team of suits on the other with nothing but a fruit and muffin platter between us. No champagne corks were popped. No hands were shaken.
Everything all came together...over email. There were a few phone calls. And then, three days of trying to decipher the terms of my contract and one signature later, it became official.
Regardless of how it all went down, I'm happy that, after nearly a year of putting together the pieces of my book, I finally have someone who believes in me and wants to get my writing seen by every publisher possible. I like to think that my 26-page proposal will be enticing enough to throw a few offers my way (the dream of anyone working on their first book).
And the work shall continue. Only six of my twenty chapters are complete. I still got a ways to go, so if you don't see me out and about for the next two or three months, please know that I am probably holed up in some cafe or in the shadows of my bedroom, isolating myself in order to finish my non-fiction endeavor. (For those who have asked: it's part memoir, part satire on health and lifestyle guides. I'll let you know more the more I know it's closer to becoming a reality.)
Just when I thought 2014 didn't have any more spectacularly awesome tracks up its sleeve, along came this fantabulous track I happened to catch on the radio while commuting home after a tedious 11-hour day at work.
This just might be a last-minute addition to my Best Of list of the year:
Picture it: Glendale, 2010. Two weeks before Halloween.
On a very family-friendly Sunday afternoon, six men start stripping in the middle of the Glendale Galleria (in front of Crabtree & Evelyn no less) and proceed to dance and grind to "It's Raining Men."
And yours truly was one of the masterminds behind this failed flash mob (one of many that took place throughout Los Angeles that weekend).
You see, I was the producer for a viral campaign promoting the DVD release of Vampires Suck, which involved a series of public stunts that recreated the Twilight spoof's homoerotic dance number. We were hired by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, so we were a totally legit production...except for one tiny detail.
We neglected to inform the aforementioned shopping mall of our plans and totally went in unannounced.
Cue the mall security guard who immediately came over to stop the performance. Cut to: a dozen other mall cops who started running after us the second everyone on our crew scattered and fled the scene. Eventually, despite my pounding heart, I was able to calmly talk to the Head of Security in the stairwell of the mall's parking garage (some of the dancers and I were cornered and trapped at one point). We explained our case and apologized for the sudden burst of beefcake that had been put on display.
Although I'm sure a soccer mom or two (and some giggling teenage girls) got a kick out of it.
You can catch some of our footage here (needless to say, none of the mall footage made it):
Now I know how that kid must've felt in Johnny Knoxville's Bad Grandpa.
From the looks of the cover, one might think this second volume of fall tunes may be a little dude-centric. True, but the ladies are in full force as always. This marks Taylor Swift's first appearance on any playlist of mine - and once you listen to #4, you'll understand why I gave in. Then there's Tove Lo's "Moments," after which this compilation is named, because it. Is. Everything. (Seriously, her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, is one of the best of 2014.) But the real surprise may be Hozier's slot at #5, a track that will indeed take you to church and cause your jaw to drop when you hear this 24-year-old Irishman's voice.
1. "Lips Are Movin" by Meghan Trainor
2. "Moments" by Tove Lo
3. "Glory Days" by Betty Who
4. "Out of the Woods" by Taylor Swift
5. "Take Me to Church" by Hozier
6. "Wrapped Up" by Olly Murs feat. Travie McCoy
7. "Slow Acid" by Calvin Harris
8. "I Wanna Feel" by Secondcity - Yes, what you're hearing is a sample of Toni Braxton's "You're Makin Me High" from 1996:
9. "Lay Me Down" by Avicii feat. Nile Rodgers with Adam Lambert
10. "No Enemiesz" by Kiesza
11. "Dangerous" by David Guetta feat. Sam Martin
12. "Wilderness" by Nick Jonas
13. "Waves" by Mr. Probz
14. "Wasted Love" by Steve Angello feat. Dougy)
15. "Bright Lights (Radio Edit)" by Syn Cole
16. "Disco in Space" by Blake Lewis
17. "Knock You Out" by Bingo Players
18. "Baby Don't Lie" Gwen Stefani
19. "Froot" by Marina and the Diamonds
20."Illuminate" by Afrojack & Matthew Koma
21. "I Got You" by Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones