Thursday, April 01, 2004

Death, Taxes, Music, and Condoms

All this talk of politics, taxes, government, and the like has made me forget to blog about something really important. It seems the former Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth recently had a guest appearance on The Sopranos. While I don't watch this show, I'm told it was rather amusing. His "big line" came at one point, when they were playing poker and discussing taxes, and he turned to Tony Soprano and said, "I used to be able to deduct condoms" or some such thing. Rather amusing if you think about it.

I suppose it could be asserted that Mr. Lee Roth is in fact a "male bimbo" as much as one could potentially exist. And, in the strange but true category, he loves to rock climb (I'm not talking implants here, either, I'm taking "real" rocks like boulders.) I'm guessing he has a serious side but will never show it. It won't fit in with the spandex pants. He is a blonde though, so you never do know.

Ken has asked me to blog about the rock stars I would sleep with. David Lee is definately not on the list. He's too slimy. Besides, I doubt there are enough antibiotics in the world to ward off all the diseases he's probably carrying. No, I'm more "traditional" in that I would probably opt for the likes of Trent Reznor or somebody more pensive.

With rock starts or musicians, you never do know who is serious, pensive, musically inclined, or just a slacker who got lucky. Keith Richards is one of the hardest working people I've ever met. He gives the appearance of this easy going slacker who never does any "real" work but the reality couldn't be farther from the perception. The man works like a dog in the studio. When I was watching, he passed on the opportunity to eat lunch and was working on a passage to record. He was constantly asking advice, interacting with the sound engineers, producers, and other folks there, and highly engaged in what he was doing. If I were a famous rock star, worth millions with money to burn, I doubt I would work through lunch. But there he sat, on a little chair, deep in the studio, playing away while his sandwhich sat in open foil wrap on the amp next to him (uneaten for hours.) I'm guessing that most folks would not describe Keith as somebody who's "serious about his work" but then, if you stop and think about it, you don't get to become a famous musician without hours of practice, touring, playing, interviews, etc. All of that amounts to work.

We all have these little fantasies that music folks sleep all day and get up at 4 just in time for their sound checks (or they sleep through them and make it to the live show just in time.) The reality is that their schedules are full, they do talk radio in the morning (sometimes, while you are driving to work, they are in the station giving an interview) have to tour constantly, which involves making planes, trains, and automobiles, and practice a lot. When recording, it's not uncommon to spend 18+ hours in the studio "playing."

I suppose my profession is close to this. Folks have this preconceived notion that programmers walk around "hacking" into large government databases, saving the world from spies or that we live the high life with big houses, since we've all made millions as "dot com millionaires." The reality is we work a lot of hours, get a lot of grief, don't always get to play with the latest technology, and have to support buggy code that's been around for years and never did work right. Another myth gone the way of the do do bird.

My goal is to find a profession that has no myths or hype but that's fun "in real life." And I don't even really want to deduct condoms from my taxes.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

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