06 March 2006

A Whole New Way In Which I Suck.
PLUS: Meet More Readers!

If I were the 20-year-old Pablo Neruda,
it would be almost impossible for
me to suck.


If there's one thing I shouldn't do, it's read. Reading only uncovers new and multifarious ways in which I suck. Take the book I picked up this morning, A Gentleman Pens A Note by John Bridges and Bryan Curtis. It's part of my collection of writing references. I'm a writer. Did you know that? But I'm not just any kind of writer. I'm a copywriter. I get paid positively scads of money to write compelling two- and three-word directives that get consumers to snap up things they probably don't need. Hell, simply writing the words "download now" nets me about $12.50. I've got the sweetest gig in the universe.

Now back to what I was saying about how I suck...

Bridges and Curtis, through several excellent examples, get across a very simple point. Good note writing lies in thinking about the other person. For instance, if you forgot to send a thank you note for something you got last year, their rule of thumb is that it's never too late to say thank you. "Every time I pick up the 'Kats R Krazy' mug you got me for Hannukah '03, I always get a laugh and think of your smiling face..." You don't say, "Man, I'm so sorry I'm late sending this. I'm such a douche. You're so generous - and me? Well, I don't deserve to draw a breath." The latter is about you, you and only you, and not just that, but what a dunce you are. It's as though you're trying to let everyone know that life is an unfolding drama with you as the central character. That's no way to say thank you, now is it?

Which brings me to this blog, which is about me, no matter how much I'd like it to be about you. Ergo, by the aforementioned standards of etiquette set by Mssrs. Bridges and Curtis, I suck. Although this blog is called "Dear Gregory", at a glance one can see that it's mostly about how I suck at Buddhism, how ghey I am for the football, and how I'm a hack who spends his ill-gotten wealth on overpriced PataGucci hiking schwag.

Forgive me. There should be more in this blog about the person who inspires it. It's worthwhile to note that I write these letters to you because I know that you "get it", not because we're related, but because you and I have a unique attunement and understanding others might describe as "shared comorbid neurotic eustress". I must also say that I shy away from bringing up things that you may or may not want out there for public consumption, like details about your brilliant invention [understandably classified], or your address [transient], or your bass-playing acuity [wicked!] which is currently being rented by a country western band [harsh!].

Most recurrent among comments that I have received while writing this blog is the question of whether you're a real person or not, which only underscores the fact that I don't write enough to you, and write far too much at you. So drop me a note, wouldja, and let me know what's fair game and what's not.

In the meantime, dig your crazy readers, man!

Meet Peter Darchuk!

Darchuk is not a unicorn, but he plays one on TV.

Peter Darchuk currently does something or other for Disney, a job for which he can scarcely conceal his loathing. Given his druthers, I'm sure he would sooner skin cats in a Mexican rendering plant (without the benefit of union representation, even) than continue doing whatever he does for The Mouse.

Alas, his job does supply him with a "connection" to the "industry" which he "milks" for all it's "worth". He's a writer, but not the bad kind like me. He's the good kind, the kind that creates works both authentic and unique, that - speaking of egregious unfairness - do not make him dime one. See for yourself.

Darchuk is also the auteur who brought you "Danny Nutter's Tips For Livin'" and The Idjit's Bible.

Meet Tyler Hill!

L to R: Tyler Hill, Tyler Hill, Sara Hill, Tyler Hill.

I could probably hit Tyler Hill with a stick right now - if he were sitting at his desk, and if my arm were mighty enough to blast it through four walls worth of concrete. Perhaps it is, come to think of it. I'm going to shut up and let him talk while I go out and try to find a stick.

What do they call you back home? Tyler, or Ty (if they are feeling monosyllabic). College buddies refer to me by a wide variety of names ranging from Spongeboy to the General.

What do you...uh...do? I'm a graphic designer and occasional illustrator. But, generally I ramble about the board game I'm designing, or how I'm going to make a comic book one day.

What would you like to know about Greg? I think its important that I remain ignorant about Greg.

What would you like Greg to know about you? Recently, I put my quarter-life crisis behind me, and kicked off my third-life crisis by getting a tattoo of a bee. I'm boarderline phobic of both bees and needles, so the event has tons of symbolic meaning that I don't like to focus on too much for fear of it moving from "symbolic" to "trite."

Isn't it ossum on a hot summer night when you put your arm underneath your pillow and it's still all cold under there, like some kinda "coldness magic"? (yes/no) Definitely "cold magic." My wife and I just switched the sheets at our apartment from Winter Mode™ (flannel) to Spring mode™ (cotton), so its all about the cool sheets these days.

(And speaking of Cool Sheet, you should go read Tyler's blog! -Ed.)

Meet Elizabeth Rogers!

L to R: Elizabeth in Australia; Another sign of the impending
apocalypse; Elizabeth at 6,000 ft., above Lake Angeles.

What does Elizabeth do? Well, in her own words she: "...wrangle(s) a bunch of highly intelligent, energetic and crazy people with very short attention spans.


I said I wrangle a bunch of highly intelligent, energetic and crazy people -

Ice cream! Ice cream! Ice cream!

- with very short atten -

Look, birds! I have a dirty hand!

- tion spans.

Can you roll your tongue like this - llyyaaaaayyyllyyyaaaaahhhh?

Thaddeus! Settle down!

Okay, I will. Now what was that first part?

I wrangle a bunch...

Do you like busketti?



Ahem. I wrangle a bunch of highly intelligent, energetic and crazy people with very short attention spans. You know, creative types. During office hours I am their leader which means I mostly channel the collective energy and creative tidal wave towards good instead of evil and remind people to go to recess and write blogs when things are leaning towards the dark side. When I am not at work, I basically hole myself up with lots of sharp tools and yards of fabric. Occasionally stopping to cook and run amok in the great outdoors.

What would you like to know about Greg? What is it like to be Beethoven, Napoleon Dynamite, and Thomas Edison all at the same time. AND how in God's name is that combination possible with the massive amounts of weed you are reported to have grown, refined and ingested over the years? (CLARIFICATION: Greg was not the weed-growing brother. In high school, he only smoked his tuba. She has you confused with the brothers we refer to as "John" and "Tom". -Ed.)

Coldness Magic? YES.

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.



Luke Keen said...

bleeding genius!!
my thankyou notes will never be the same!!
that's amazing though. through lateness (which is a feature of me and my life) and then by being wracked by guilt, I've kinda lost touch with people over the fact that I hated the "I'm so shit, sorry for being shit, I don't mean to be shit and in my mind I'm not being shit on purpose, and I certainly have no intention of being shit with you, cause I like you, and being shit to you isn't my idea of being good"
so now I know...
I wonder if I'll remember it and be abetter person to those around me and support me?

Elizabeth said...

That is what my creative meetings are like. REALLY... Hey, put that exacto blade down! And you, stop writing on your friend's hand!

The General said...

Thaddeus, I thought it bears mentioning that Sarah spells her name with an "h." I only mention this because she has (shall we say) strong feelings about the other spelling, and I care about your well being.

Thaddeus Gunn said...

She does? Still? I thought we changed all that because of that Strunk and White rule: h before h except after h and not between words like "Sarah" and "Hill". Don't you remember? Eighth grade English? Sheesh!