Saturday, March 22, 2008

4 X 4

There is a concept that exists in the blog world (and perhaps many other places, although I've primarily encountered it in therapy sessions) called the "meme." When you break it apart it looks like "me" "me." And that's pretty appropriate, because that's what it's about. Michael "tagged" me, which is a fancy way of saying that he wants me to write about my life, and then ask two other people to write about their lives. So I tag Martin and Carol.

Four jobs I’ve had

Busboy -- Holiday Inn, Crete, Illinois -- During high school. This was a relatively fancy Holiday Inn, and I had to wear a bow tie and a gold jacket. I looked like Liberace. My first day on the job I ignited the carpet and burned several square feet by spilling sterno (used to light the bananas in bananas flambe). Amazingly, they didn't fire me.

Business Consulting Salesman -- Oh, the odd career paths trampled by a Creative Writing major. I was out of school. I needed a job. And the George S. May Company offered me a job. I walked into various company headquarters, without an appointment, and asked to speak to the CEO. If I was lucky (about 1 out of every 20 calls) I tried to convince various plumbers and building contractors that my company (with me as a shining representative; will quote poetry upon request) could help them run their business more efficiently. I didn't last long.

Technical Writer -- Well, I guess this is what I've done since 1982, and it's what I do most days 8:00 - 5:00. I've worked in most of the IT organizations of most of the high-tech companies in Columbus, mostly at AT&T Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, but also at Qwest Communications, J.P. Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, various agencies associated with the State of Ohio, Checkfree Corporation, Symix Systems, and KarlNet, Inc. Yes, I'm a consultant, which means I move around a lot. I've developed websites, and written technical manuals, online help systems, marketing literature, online training courses, standup training courses, newsletters, and speeches for CEOs. And one script for an animated training course featuring a blowhard cartoon character who looked and acted a lot like Dick Cheney. That was a lot of fun.

Music Writer -- Currently for Paste Magazine, All Music Guide, and Christianity Today Magazine. And occasional speaker on music and music criticism at various colleges/universities and arts conferences/festivals.

Four TV shows I’m watching


Cleveland Cavaliers basketball.

Cleveland Indians baseball.

Ohio State football.

There's nothing else I watch with any degree of regularity.

Four places I’ve been

Athens, Ohio

Venice, California

Florence, Kentucky

Berlin, Ohio

Four musical artists I’m listening to

Frightened Rabbit -- The Midnight Organ Fight

Matt Beckler -- new and still untitled album

T Bone Burnett -- Tooth of Crime

Old 97's -- Blame It On Gravity


John McCollum said...

I love me a midnight organ fight.

Andy Whitman said...

Me too. They're the best.

Peter said...

you have matt beckler's new cd. color me jealous.

Tom said...


So how is the new Old 97's cd? I've just heard the first single.

Andy Whitman said...

Tom, it's good, and a welcome return to the early Wreck Your Life/Too Far to Care form. Ken Bethea's guitar, which was strangely muted on 2004's Drag It Up, is all over this album. Rhett Miller is his usual wiseass self. Murry Hammond contributes a couple nice tunes. It's a fine rediscovery of what this band does best.

Pilgrim said...

You must have lived in Crete about the same time as my husband's family.