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i am jack's colon
and not even beck can tell me where it's at
by michael d. driscoll
11.12.01
pop culture


I am so pop.

Each morning I wake up to NPR, brush off my Ralph Lauren sheets and matching quilt to turn on the "Today Show." By the time the TV warms up I've already flicked the Pottery Barn lights in my fashionably green bathroom amid the sounds of the humming bathroom fan in my 1920's renovated home in a downtown district.

My shampoo is from Australia and my conditioner from France. My soap moisturizes and my facial scrub is acne fighting. The shower curtain that sometimes grabs my leg and makes me jump, thinking I've been attacked, matches the walls of the bathroom. Cute, no?

Drying off with a stolen towel from the Ritz is not uncommon; in fact, I have a few you can have. My sister gave them to me.

Razors can be so arbitrary so I purchased one that was advertised for the closest possible shave. The shaving crème says the same thing.

Applications of Adidas deodorant are followed by enough hair goop from d:fi that I look like an Abercrombie model who actually eats. I was once an Aberclonie...now I just look like one caught in the crease of the centerfold.

One could say that having clothes made only by one designer is fashion passion. My clothes are like my portfolio--diverse with big returns. If brown is the new black and black is the new orange then I usually have every color so that I can always be the new black. That is so now.

And my cologne is a lotion.

It's always difficult to decide on the shoes from France or the non-lace hiking shoes from Merrell. I can usually work around this if I know which Banana Republic sweater is appropriate for client meetings that day. Winter is fast approaching and soon I'll be able to break out the turtlenecks with the DKNY tag on the back. I hate it when people grab it with their finger.

Appropriately I eat uncooked Pop Tarts.

Soon it's off to work in my black Jetta blaring NPR through the sunroof or whatever band in on our top 40 station. I can't hear Train's "Drops of Jupiter" enough. Eternal hunger for that song is my albatross.

Did I tell you about my Herman Miller desk and chair?

I arrive at work with my Starbucks stainless steel travel mug (I travel 6 miles to my desk) filled to the rim with Vietnamese Cinnamon coffee made in a Krups all-in-one maker from Williams-Sonoma.

The firm is decorated with pods (cubes are so not now) and glass accented with indirect lighting. If Herman Miller had vomited in 10,000 feet of office space...well, you know...we'd probably frame it.

My Areon chair is adjusted for my height and posture. I have an iMac, a laptop and a PC for just doodling. I've captured "messy chic" very well on my desk. If it looks out of place then you know I meant for it to be there.

I have Gantt charts strung across my pod, print outs of bad Web sites I tell my clients to get acquainted with if they don't hire me, and a Magic 8 ball for when I'm scheduled to be spontaneous. And I've fought hard to get to middle management.

This is my now. This how I manage my now--with pop culture paraphernalia surrounding me and I don't know where it all came from.

I’m reminded of a guy I used to know who was quite crafty and non-traditional. Even when he took a corporate job he painted his big toe blue as a single revolutionary act, albeit a quiet revolution.

He shopped at thrift stores and only went to malls to laugh at the pop culture virus collected on a single mall-walker. The mall, to him, was the incubator of a dastardly plan to make everyone different just like everyone else.

One day you don’t care what is the new black, and the next day you wake up to find the new black is you. What would Herman Miller do?

I aspire to be more like the guy I used to know. Better yet, I will become him again - right after I get my new couch from Rooms-to-Go and have the yard cleaned by a service.

For the rest of you ... step away from the pop culture and no one will get hurt.


ABOUT MICHAEL D. DRISCOLL

Curious about everything, Michael plans to do it all. A ruffian by day and a lover by night he's managed to go where no one else has gone. His slight forgetfulness means he is curious about everything and plans to do it all. A ruffian by day and a lover by night he's managed...

more about michael d. driscoll

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COMMENTS

russ carr
11.12.01 @ 12:47a

The first rule of Intrepid Media is...

Cyclical cynicism. That's the thing. My first thought on reading this column was how close to the bone it might have cut a few years ago...but now the similarities are watered down to the Jetta and the raw Pop-Tarts.

Then I realized that the thing that changed my Couplandesque lifestyle was getting married. Now the shampoo bottles are hers. I use her shaving gel because it's better.

My Central West End studio was replaced by a suburban ranch. I don't go out for coffee at Starbucks...I don't go out for coffee anywhere. I don't go out to movies much, either. I've missed the last two John Cusack films. (Note: I don't believe I've "missed" them so much as "not seen" them.)

I'm not painting my toe blue, but I am painting some new cabinets in the laundry room. Most of my wardrobe is from Kohl's...or Lands' End Overstocks, at best.

And suddenly I'v

russ carr
11.12.01 @ 12:47a

...And suddenly I've cynicized myself into Adam's last column.

mike julianelle
11.12.01 @ 9:24a

Uncooked pop tarts are the way to go. Screw toasters!!!

adam kraemer
11.12.01 @ 9:53a

Wouldn't that hurt?

michael driscoll
11.12.01 @ 10:01a

Russ: you had me at "cyclical cynicism." ;+)

jael mchenry
11.12.01 @ 10:29a

Uncooked brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts. They even come in low-fat. Life is good.

Russ, you're reminding me of an Office Space quote. "You've been missing a lot of work lately." "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob."

tracey kelley
11.12.01 @ 11:00a

Just NPR or Train? Why, I would have thought you'd be wiggling in your DKNY merlot (because darling, everyone looks good in merlot) turtleneck to the mellifluous sounds of at least David Gray, Michael Franks or a Frank Sinatra compilation.

roger striffler
11.12.01 @ 1:04p

Oh no, Tracey, not Frank; Billie Holiday...Frank is so last decade. And David Gray, well, close, but last week.
Actually, if I know Michael (and OH, I DO know Michael)...he's probably gettin' down to some New Janet or Destiny's Child.

But I'm probably not supposed to say that out loud....


jeffrey walker
11.12.01 @ 2:13p

You make me hate the idea of "real job" life. I so prefer waking up late, put on same clothes from last two days, eat at local diner: toast, eggs, bacon, lots of coffee, skip class, get wasted, plan to shower tomorrow, repeat steps as needed. Clothes from salvation army, food and toiletries from local 24 hour mini-mart, music: all obscure (lately, actionslacks and grant lee buffalo) and downloaded at no cost to me.

roger striffler
11.12.01 @ 4:00p

I only endorse "real job" life as a means to an economic end. Beyond that, it's largely over-rated. Unless your passions happen to line up with your "real job". But really, what are the chances of that?

I'm so un-pop, though God love 'em, my friends try to help. I think it's hopeless, I mean, I even like my pop tarts toasted...


michael driscoll
11.12.01 @ 5:50p

Janet and Destiny's Child?! Roger...for shame. I didn't think I'd get a chance to tell everyone about your obsession with Pat "look at my large head" Benatar...blech.

roger striffler
11.12.01 @ 6:55p

I read your column. I don't expect you to understand.

russ carr
11.12.01 @ 10:28p

Raw brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts and a freshly microwaved mug of Earl Grey. I used to get the low fat ones, but now we've got this Sam's Club membership, and we buy Pop-Tarts in big 36-count multipacks, and lowfat is not an option. And they're working harder to fatten me up by dropping blueberry as one of the included three flavors...and replacing it with "S'Mores."

Shopping at Sam's vs. shopping at the little local grocer's (it is now a parking garage) in the CWE reminds me of how suburban I've become. Sub-Urban. Below Urbane.

My name is Lester Burnham. And in less than a year, I'll be dead.

tracey kelley
11.13.01 @ 8:03a

Nummy. toasted S'mores Pop Tarts.

I may not be pop, but I'm a happy girl with warm chocolate and marshmallow on her lips.

Russ, stop draggin' my suburban life around. At least you're in St. Louis. Try Des-our-closes-at-5pm-but-you-can-boogie-at-Super-Walmart-24/7-Moines.

tracey kelley
11.13.01 @ 8:05a

Ooops. That was supposed to be Des-our-downtown-closes-at-5pm-but-you-can-boogie-at-Super-Walmart-24/7-Moines.

I should never post before breakfast.

jael mchenry
11.13.01 @ 8:49a

Never post before breakfast? We post more before 9am than most people post all day.

russ carr
11.13.01 @ 2:59p

I may not be pop, but I'm a happy girl with warm chocolate and marshmallow on her lips.

Tracey wins "Best Erotic Imagery (Unintentional)" for another week..

michael driscoll
11.13.01 @ 4:13p

She had me at "warm chocolate."





tracey kelley
11.14.01 @ 12:01a

Well if that's all it takes....

tracey kelley
11.14.01 @ 12:03a

Russ, BTW, you said "another week." Was I the winner last week? Shows how much I was paying attention.



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