"Make a list and blow out the candles." "No."
Beloved readers and interested others:
1. To produce this, the first-ever
2. 2nd Annual List Issue, more than
3. three dozen writers and artists have,
4. for your convenience, spent a good
5. five minutes or hours out of the last month or so ruminating on the role of the list in today's society, determining how this role might best be scintillatingly exploited in the form of more lists, so that our readers might pooh-pooh our judgments accordingly.
6. Six weeks ago, the first-ever 2nd Annual List Issue was going to be a
7. seven-part series of lists comprising
8. eight or more (or less) related or unrelated items, incorporating or encompassing or avoiding as many as
9. nine or as few as one distinct idea(s); anything to keep everything from being organized into groups of ten. A week later, it came to our at
10. tention that this wasn't necessarily the best way to go about the process, but by then it was too late.
Still, some of us thought it might be useful to provide, for very little financial gain, the following indelicate evidences of our disorganizational skills, in the hopes that by combining them in one convenient location we might draw forth some mysteriously worthwhile and/or subtly cathartic sigh.
Thanks, Dave Shulman, editor
RENTING SUCKS. Paying rent sucks worse, and not having the dough to pay it is the ultimate in suck. The last-ditch effort is beyond ultimate suck: selling off the precious things that make you you. As bad as that is, it's even worse when your friends sell your stuff to pay their rent. I cringe when I think of a real cool Morris-Mini electric-acoustic guitar I sold for next to nothing to some creep at a bygone guitar store on Sunset Boulevard just so I could pay $185 for a shitty room that I didn't even own on a crappy street in downtown L.A. FUCK!
Mat Pruneda (musician)
Years ago, when I'd been selling plasma to help with rent money, I had a friend who pawned his bass to pay rent. It was a '63 Gibson, 335 body style, cherry red. It was only supposed to be in the pawnshop for a week until his paycheck came in. Three days after he pawned it, there was a fire that took out four buildings, and his bass burned to death. The pawnshop told him that as a measure of good will, he didn't have to pay the $100 back.
Bruce Duff (musician, writer)
I sold a '70s vintage Fender Jazz Bass to support the band while on tour in Japan. Got 180,000 yen for it. (About a thousand bucks.) The band's lead player and I had been all over Tokyo trying to sell vintage crap, because we'd been on the road for nine weeks in Europe, were basically out of money and couldn't pay rent back in the USA.
Gendy Alimurung (writer, but not musician)
Last year I had to sell almost all my furniture to pay for the apartment that contained it. The first month I sold my dining-room table. Then I sold the chairs, the lamp and the computer desk. I tried to sell the coffee table, but no one wanted it. I'm still trying to sell the computer ($300 want it?). Now I'm down to a couch, a mattress, a TV and the coffee table. Someone offered me $50 for the TV, but I told them to get lost. What do they think I am, some kind of animal?
Sad? Ya wanna hear sad? Well, maybe not really sad, because I was so fucked up on drugs that I probably deserved it. I've sold family heirlooms, antiques and jewelry, lost my wedding ring to a pawnshop; I've sold a stock '62 Ford Falcon station wagon, my ass when it was young and juicy, hoards of CDs and stereo equipment. And a Clavinet!
Ron Stringer (musician, writer and L.A. Weekly film editor)
When I took two years (1994-96) off from L.A. to live in a hotel room in Santa Cruz, I lived on my savings for a while, then, to make ends meet, I started selling my books and records to a used-book store down the street. When I couldn't bear to part with any more of those, I sold my guitar, amp, effects boxes, etc. to a music shop. Then I broke down and got a gig in men's sportswear at Gottchalks department store, where I learned to fold shirts and sweaters and stack them neatly on the shelves so the customers could tear into them again. Then I decided it was high time I went back to L.A.