JOBS, RANKED

  1. 1.
    Editor in chief, Matter (2014-present)
    It's terrifying, exciting, wonderful, electric, awful making a magazine from scratch with people you love.
  2. 2.
    Staff editor, The New York Times Op-Ed page (2005-2011)
    You get to pass laws; you get to save people from genocide; you work with presidents and William H. Gass tells you to call him Bill. Also, the burnout's ridiculous, like being a band out on the road too long, and I missed two of my own birthday parties.
  3. 3.
    Line cook, Doobie's Bar (2001)
    The owner is Bowie's biggest fan--like, officially, endorsed by Bowie himself--taught me about "Young Americans" and how to cut a tomato, make a burger, parboil broccoli. I think about her every day, or every day I hear Bowie or cook a meal.
  4. 4.
    Senior Editor, GQ (2011-2013)
    There's no free snack room, like on "Girls," but you do get free pocket squares.
  5. 5.
    Contributor, The New York Observer (2004-2005)
    Peter Kaplan taught me how to create or name an idea that other people wish they'd created or named themselves. I wish he'd seen Matter.
  6. 6.
    Janitor, American School of Madrid (summers 1993, 1994, 1995)
    Our summer job was cleaning out lockers. You find some weird shit in lockers.
  7. 7.
    Producer/researcher, The Al Franken Radio Show (2004-2005)
    Al took nine weeks of vacation and we got the same. I hated radio, and hated my father's kind of liberal radio even worse. He's a senator now so I won't mention how he used to leave his dirty tighty-whities lying around the office.
  8. 8.
    Personal assistant, George Carlin (2002-2003)
    George, because you're wondering, was wonderful--sweet in a way you wouldn't guess--but I was a garbage personal assistant.
  9. 9.
    Concession stand worker, Clinton Cannonball movie theater (1996)
    I ate popcorn for breakfast straight out of the popper and I saw the first and last five minutes of "Toy Story" 80 times. Maybe I should have put this one first.