Recently, Chris Flynn asked me to give some pointers to a friend of his who wanted to be a writer. Apparently, this means I’m a full-on writer and not just a charlatan, as my paranoid, minuscule ego likes to tell me. Anyway: I spent a good while typing up an e-mail, blindly, without regard to whether or not this girl was an intelligent person. The result was a lengthy piece of work that was incredibly insulting to her intelligence. Luckily, I showed it to Flynn, who told me to calm down. I edited it down and, instead of the list being insulting, it was pretty practical. I’d post it up here, but, as I said, it’s largely stuff that I believe is good – but I’m not a Famous Author. Here’s advice from a Famous Author.

Anyway, one of my suggestions was to write something every day. Another advice was to not get distracted by petty things like TV and video games. Well, I’ve been writing every day (after taking a couple of weeks off during the move and ensuing job hunt), but I’ve gone and really, really broke the second rule. And, my friends, I can say that the reason I’ve broken it is a good one: Minecraft. Well, perhaps not good, but very fun.

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Fun With Interview Questions

"Tell me a story." "Oh, God, why?"

Recent college graduates (like me!) are coming to the conclusion that the world has no pity on us. Even though we all have completed at least one degree, the world is still flinging itself around the star Sol at a mind-asploding pace, and life on Earth doesn’t really care whether or not we get a job.

You walk across a stage, grab the diploma from the Dean of Students, or whoever, and then you step outside and Sallie Mae loan officers are standing right there, contract in hand, grinning at you, and holding up a sign displaying the amount you owe in student loans. Hopefully you’ve thought about all of this before and have at least applied for jobs. And, if you’re lucky enough, you’ve gotten some callbacks and have gone in for interviews. In the interview, you’ve probably been asked some questions like: “What are your strengths, weaknesses?” But sometimes you get thrown a curve ball. Sometimes they ask you something like this: “If you could be any bird, what would you be?” That’s when you start thinking about whether or not you’ve applied to be a support staff officer or an ornithologist. It is petrifying on a visceral level.

But I’m here for you.

Wow your interviewer with some outside the box answers, like the ones that follow.

Q: What do you regret the most?

A: [put on a thousand-yard stare] Letting my girlfriend drive the car that night. I should have realized that the GPS wasn’t updated. That what it thought was the Interstate was really Dead Man’s Gorge.

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Nearly Drowning

Why I Kinda Almost Died

There are so many things I could tell you about today.

I could tell you about how my interview went.

I could tell you about how many times I thought I was going to kill my arm if I keep sleeping on air mattresses.

I could tell you about how I thought I was going to melt if I stay in this state too long. (It is ungodly hot in Tennessee.)

I couldĀ  tell you about how I’m still lamenting the loss of my external hard drive as a result of my own idiocy.

Instead, I’ll tell you about how I almost killed myself.

See, I had just finished the job interview, talked to my rents about it, and walked the dog. I decided that I’d celebrate by going for a little swim in the pool in the complex. Good idea, right? I don’t walk around a lot in Nashville (no one does), and so I needed to get some exercise in – and swimming’s a great way to do it.

Well, halfway through the swimming session, I decided that I’d start singing while swimming. And, as Fiddler on the Roof was one of my fondest memories from the past year, I decided that I’d sing “If I Were A Rich Man.” While on my back. In water. While moving. Sometimes, you see, I have lapses in good reasoning and decide to do things that should end up in my demise.

So there I am, thirty seconds later, sputtering by the side of the pool, cursing Chaim Topol for no reason other than he inspired me to be Tevye in the first place. I swore, then, that I would never sing while swimming again. Will I do it again? Probably. For two reasons:

  1. I am human, and thus I am stupid.
  2. I like singing when there’s no one around. There were geese, but they don’t judge.

You see, we all make pledges we won’t keep. Swearing not to drink after a hangover, for instance. I’m no exception, but, as I’ve rehearsed for the interview: “We all make mistakes. But, really, the only regrettable mistake is one from which we learn nothing.”