There's sad news in town today. I don't relish being the one who breaks hearts and shatters the dreams of millions of discerning music fans who've come to expect nothing but magic and joy from this band, but it's time to face the truth: O-Town has broken up.

We all thought they would last forever. We thought the bliss would be eternal. We fell asleep at night knowing that tomorrow would be a better day because of them. Oh, sure, we gave the collective impression that America didn't give two slickers in a shitstorm about their songs or videos or selves, but that was just a ruse. A ploy. We just wanted to egg them on to greater things. Adulation breeds complacency. We were just challenging them. It was a dare. But it wasn't meant to be. The brooding guitar player, the pretty blond tenor, the big-lipped one, the token black singer, and that other guy -- all of them prodigious, memorable talents, but when you get five such monstrously artistic people in one group, it's really bound to combust.

It's not widely known yet that they've split. That's so like them. Always shying away from the public eye, always downplaying their true skills in their songs so that their records wouldn't dominate the charts, therefore giving room to other less talented artists who might not ever get attention were O-Town to shine at its brighest… yes, it's fitting that they go out as discreetly as they arrived. Bless you, young tenors.

Actually, I do owe them a sincere debt of gratitude, I guess, as they're the reason I'm currently working in television. Were it not for the existence of Making the Band and the brilliant Web site Television Without Pity, I wouldn't have written the recaps that prompted my current boss to offer me a job in LA. So I guess I should shut my ungrateful mouth and just wish the boys well.

So. Good luck, guys. Keep studying that Bible, Jacob, because as long as you're seeking direction, you're not opening your mouth to sing. Everybody wins.

Shifting to work for a second, I'm in an interesting situation right now wherein I've been offered another job that would be a lane change from where I am right now. Without getting too specific, it would be less writing and more ideas-oriented, think-tank stuff, all for a new show that starts taping sometime in January. It would be a longer term gig that quotes annual salary rather than weekly rates. It might even come with benefits.

But it would also come with insane hours, at least for the first few months, and it wouldn't have the built-in hiatus time that being a freelancer affords me. I liked the instant gratification of booking a trip to Europe in April and taking it in July. I liked knowing I could take a week, or a month, or however long I wanted, as long as I could afford to pay rent. I love the built-in vacations, even though the uncertainty about when the next check comes, how much it's for, and how long you'll be getting them for can sometimes start to grate.

The kicker is, I don't officially have the job offer yet because they're trying to see if they can offer me a competitive rate. Now, yes, I'm doing fine for myself, but let's be clear: I am not expensive. I have no delusions of grandeur. I'm not at a point in my life where I'm a bank-breaker. So this whole thing just makes me laugh.

I know that moaning about their tight budget is a line -- they're trying to make it sound like they just don't have enough money for real negotiations, so that they can save cash. They don't want to show their hand, so I won't know how much I can realistically ask for or how much they would realistically have been prepared to pay. But there's something really entertaining about this company acting like it's trying to afford me. It's all bullshit, but it's fun bullshit. The whole conversation was one of those "answer questions with questions" dances: "We're hoping we can fit you in… we're wondering about what your current weekly is…" "Oh, well, what are the parameters you have?" "Well, what are you getting?" "Uh…"

I don't really know what to do, as there's also a couple opportunities that would crop up at my current company sometime in 2004, probably February. At least in my current job I get to do a lot of creative storytelling, even if it's in ways Hollywood considers unorthodox. I think I'd miss that part. And I'd have to extricate myself from here early, which I would not do if I couldn't do it in a professional way that didn't alienate people.

But the new opportunity would certainly add a nifty dimension to my resume, as my pal Liz pointed out, and it might introduce me to a crop of new people, new contacts, new opportunities that might end up taking me geographically where I've been curious to go… all that stuff. Surely it couldn't hurt to rejoin the real working world for a year and have a regular gig without a looming out-date, thinking in terms of annual salaries instead of weeklies.

I'll have to see what they say. So far, I'm waiting for the call with the money offer, and as much as I know they can totally afford someone relatively inexpensive like me, I also know that in this town, there's always someone who's willing to do it cheaper. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Someone got here by searching for: getting over a breakup, which is apt for today, for reasons I'll hold over until tomorrow's entry Writing: A new ER recap Waving: At the folks on the Sarkgasm and TWoP Alias forums, who've dropped by because of my David Anders sighting. Reading: The latest Drunky But Funky entry about how much people hated us on Halloween for wearing short skirts.

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