How I Spell Relief

I bow before the alter of Excedrin.

I stepped out of a twelve-hour day at The MTV last night with a thundering headache, my second in as many days. Nonetheless, I turned up The Who’s “Babba O’Reilly” full-blast. I needed the release. I needed the relief.

I don’t discuss my day job too often here, at least not in any detail. That has something to do with Viacom’s policy against work-related blogs (though when I signed away my life in 1996, the word “blog” wasn’t in the cultural lexicon, let alone the fine print), but also the fact that being an executive at a major media conglomerate isn’t very rock ‘n roll (even if it’s MTV). And hey, I’ll be honest with you: The Daily Journal was launched way back in February 2002 as a means of building an audience, getting them to shows, and selling them CDs. In doing so, I’ve omitted mundane stuff like working and non-rock ‘n roll stuff like dating (which could be very rock ‘n roll if I kissed and told and rolled recklessly through various women’s lives, but I don’t, and I won’t, so…).

But the truth is, with the exception of the occasional new song (it’s been since a month and a day, not that I’m counting), and performance (it’s been nearly two weeks, not that I’m counting), my life isn’t very rock ‘n roll. Maybe — ponytail, fingernail polish, and leather pants, et all — it never really was.

The truth is, I’m just another working stiff in the big city. And it feels that way these days. I wake up, force myself to run around Central Park, ride on the subway (with all the other straight-faced, iPod-wearing drones), buzz around 1515 Broadway for ten or so hours, then go home, watch TV, go to sleep, and do it again. The only difference between me and (most of) the rest of the world is that a) I don’t own a home b) I don’t own a car and c) pop stars sometimes walk through my office.

And that’s why my head aches, and why I need Excedrin. Because I’m just a worker bee, and the hive’s always growing, and there’s never enough honey.

Frankly, I’m not sure I’m any good at my job. I mean, I probably am. But I’m feeling tested these days, in part because my job has become infinitely more complicated with a) my promotion to executive producer and b) the department’s headfirst plunge into the multi-platform universe. The explosion of outlets (web, broadband, cell phones, iPods, RSS, etc) and challenges of deadlines and embargoes creates a Byzantine labyrinth of twists and turns that only a Rubik¹s Cube master could manage. There are points in my day when the inability of other’s to understand my point of view makes me feel like strangling them, or at least walking out the door and asking The Naked Cowboy if he needs a sidekick. I typically feel one of two ways about work: like my head’s going to explode, or I want to jump out the window (I’m on the 29th floor; it would be effective).

Instead of exploding, or jumping, I get head aches. Tylenol doesn¹t do the trick. Advil doesn’t do the trick. Bayer doesn’t do the trick. Nope, it’s just Excedrin for me. That’s my jam. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel. ‘It may hurt like a motherf***er right now,’ I tell myself, ‘But it’ll pass.’ It has to.

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