Look, I'm not going to lie to you. Nobody ever just woke up one morning and thought, "Of all the things possible in the vastness that is life, what I'd really like to do is play smooth jazz 250 nights a year." It just doesn't work that way.By all means, read the whole thing. I'm aware that it comes from The Onion and is undoubtedly satire (try Googling the name of the "author," and every hit will point back to this story), but it's close enough to the truth that it might as well be authentic.
It's not something you can plan for—it's all circumstance, I swear: You want to play music for a living. You bust your ass paying your dues in tiny clubs with six people in the audience. You think about all the talented jazz musicians out there who can't make ends meet and you start to worry. The next thing you know, your agent has you filling out forms to legally change your name from Mel Jablonsky to Michael Langello, and it's seeming like a good idea. Then suddenly you're 40 years old and you open up your dresser drawer to find nothing but linen pants.
[...]I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. Smooth jazz has been very, very, very good to me. But I can't exactly say I spent 80 hours a week practicing at Juilliard only to play watered-down instrumental versions of innocuous pop songs to audiences composed primarily of over-30 middle-class moms and their husbands. On the other hand, it does bring in $6,000 to $14,000 a night, and, no, Juilliard was not free. I mean, honestly, if one day you're just sitting around sipping coffee on your back deck and you get a call from Windham Hill Records, what are you going to do, not take it? There's worse things that could happen.
(Via Eric, who I'm sure was happy to spread a laugh after a rough dayat work yesterday.)
He won't forget next time! A guy lost first place and a $1000 prize in a text-messaging contest because he forgot to put an exclamation point at the end of his sudden-death sentence.
More dress code silliness: A Pittsburgh hospital has banned the wearing of Crocs by workers in patient-care areas. The reason sounds like something Mom would tell you as a kid: "A syringe might go through one of the ventilation holes and stick you!"
Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to my sister Kristen! If I'm lucky, I'll manage about ten minutes with her on the phone, for, as you may know, I have three very active nephews who keep her on the run. (UPDATE: It was thirteen minutes; I feel lucky!)