From age 16 until Hollywood Elsewhere came along I’ve had over 20 jobs, and all but two I was let go from. Partly because I used to daydream a lot, and partly because I’m not that good at kissing ass, and partly because I can be willful and obstinate. I was fired from the Silvermine Tavern after one night as a bus boy. (“I’m sorry but it didn’t work out.”) I was cut loose from a truck-driving job with a Wilton lumber yard. I was canned from Boston Yellow Cab for driving a regular customer off the meter. I was cut loose from a chain link fence company after I eased a truck bed into the back of some guy’s car. I was fired as an airport shuttle driver. I lasted for a while with the Spring Street Bar & Grill but then something happened. I lost two or three more Manhattan waiter jobs (including one as a host at Lincoln Center’s Adagio Room). I didn’t get fired from my Film Journal managing editor job but I did lose my Hollywood Reporter gig a year or two later. I lasted for a while as a press-kit writer at the Samuel Goldwyn Co. I landed some publicity work with New Line Cinema over a two-year stretch. I didn’t get whacked from Cannon Films (I did pretty well as their in-house press-kit writer) but I was canned from a development gig at a company I won’t name in ’89, and then as an editor of Sound + Vision, a retail-funded promotional trade, a year and a half later. I was a regular freelancer with the L.A. Times Calendar section for a while. I did pretty well with Entertainment Weekly for four or five years and then my string ran out. A People desk job lasted for 20 months or so. My L.A. Times Syndicate column lasted for five years (’94 to ’99) — a long time for me. And then I became a salaried online columnist from ’98 through ’04 and then, finally, Hollywood Elsewhere. Something close to job security for the last 11 years(!), and probably for another 15 or 20 or whenever I drop dead. (Preferably in Paris.) Long is the road and hard that out of darkness leads up to light.