The reason I haven’t posted so much lately is that I’ve been so busy with a business I started selling homemade jellies and jams.
OK, I just wanted to see how that would look in print, though the real reason is just as arbitrary, and just as delicious. Thanks to a serendipitous run-in with an old college professor I am now an assistant editor working on Food & Wine’s 2009 Wine Guide.
I won’t lie, my initial reaction when I was first proposed the job was, “But it’s barely even 2008 . . .” But once they explained all the complexities to me, I decided I was the right man for the job. Or even if I wasn’t, I would pretend I was. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you almost get picked up during your job interview. You can’t buy that kind of cross-over appeal.)
Basically, the writer of the book, my old college professor, came to me and said, “I’m looking for someone who will do a lot of work and is willing to be paid in wine.” I tried to play it cool as I ran the notion through my head several times trying to decipher it. It seemed as though when he said it that he was trying to sell me on an unpopular idea. I’m worried I’m being tricked here, so I try to imagine why someone wouldn’t want to be paid in wine. Wine is alcoholic, right? The delicious stuff that comes in dark and light, right? Is this a trick? Is wine really not delicious and I’ve been fooled by trade magazines and over-aggressive French waiters my entire life?
But before I could resolve any of this, I said I’d do it.
Now, after weeks of writing and asking myself new and uncharted questions like, “Is citrusy a word?” today I finally have my first official wine tasting. It’s at this hotel called the Waldorf Astoria – you may have heard of it if you ever wore an ascot or date-raped a sorority girl and got away with it. It’s a big affair where we’ll be tasting hundreds (not sure if that’s true) of wines from
1. The “x” is silent; and
2. Business cards.
Why people still use business cards, I’ll never know. We have effectively replaced MAIL and CHECKS and TAKING A GIRL TO DINNER BEFORE SEEING HALF-NAKED PICTURES OF HER, but we still hand each other little cardboard squares with our names printed on them? Where is the technology to just point our cell phones at each other and shoot the information wirelessly? Regardless, I don’t have business cards. And unless I want to be writing my phone number on the palms of lots of smartly dressed people, I figured I should get some.
The problem was, I had no idea what to put on the card. Besides having no classy ring to it, “Daniel Murphy – Paralegal” just seems kind of inapplicable. And sad. Like you might hand someone the card and they would look back up at you like, “Alright, cool. If I ever need a” (looks back down at the card) “paralegal, I’ll be sure to give you a call.”
So then what? I actually wrote and email to the writer of the book (my defacto boss) and asked him for his advice. He confirmed my fears:
“Writer sounds pretentious, journalist too gritty, sommelier laughable, and renaissance man preposterous. So, just use your name, address, email, cell and website.”
Still, I wasn’t comfortable with a business card that just said “Daniel Murphy.” As though I was some kind of brand. Since when did I deserve to be on a card, handed out to other people? “Hi, I’m Daniel Murphy. I’m a commodity. Here’s my card. It has my name on it.” My biggest fear is that people will stick my card in their jacket pocket only to find it five months later at some anniversary dinner party all covered in lint. They’ll pull it out of their pocket and think, “Who is Daniel Murphy?” People will randomly call me saying they found my card in their pocket. “Were you the plumber I used for that leaky drain pipe?” I guess at worst I can pick up some odd jobs to supplement my income of rare and expensive wine.
Brooke, ever the supportive girlfriend, wasn’t satisfied with the situation. In an attempt to allay my insecurities and fears of having my name run solo on the cards, she came up with a list of possibilities. They are:
In the end, I sucked it up and just used my name. While I’m sure it would stimulate much more conversation to tell people about my future career as a riverboat captain (“I plan on throwing people overboard if they get rowdy or play with the life preservers”), I’m sure I’ll have enough to worry about just remembering to drop the “x.”