Friday Five: The Bard

  1. In what way is all your world a stage? Well, I’m a writer, so I draw inspiration from almost everything and everyone around me. I consider everything in my life fair game for material, and then I spit it back out into the world for people to read and hopefully enjoy. I’m not performing, but I’m telling stories and try to make sense of the world through them.
  2. What is something wicked which this way comes? Well, Paul tried to get me to go visit his family with him tomorrow, and I’m probably not gonna go, but if I do, something wicked would be his mother.
  3. Is the fault in us, in our stars, or in something else? Us. Humans are flawed by default. We make mistakes, and sometimes we’re intentionally shitty.
  4. What will you be doing tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow? My weekend will be spent getting a haircut, lounging, and going for walks. My more long-term future will be spent working and writing. The one definite constant for all my tomorrows is writing.
  5. What’s your most recent pound of flesh made of? Hmm. Nothing, I guess.

From Friday 5.

Friday Five: Interview

  1. How well do you think you handle being interviewed for jobs? I’ve only actually ever been on one job interview, and it was for the job I currently have, so I obviously did well. I remember being nervous and feeling like I really had to sell myself, but I do think I did a good job. I’m not saying I bullshit my way through it because that’s definitely not the case, but I do think I had a good of idea of what sorts of answers they wanted for questions like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
  2. In what other contexts have you been interviewed? I’ve been asked a few brief questions for newspaper articles for events in high school and things.
  3. What are the strangest questions you’ve been asked in interviews? I’ve never had any strange ones; they’ve all been pretty predictable and expected.
  4. What are your greatest strengths on the job, and what are your greatest shortcomings? I’m a hard worker willing to stay late to get a job done, and I’m great at meeting deadlines. I’m also attentive and detail-oriented, and totally willing and able to put the highest amount of effort into a job to make it the best it can be…unless I’m really tired, which is where my shortcomings come in. If I’m tired or cranky, I start slipping and half-assing. I can also be really stubborn about wanting to do things my way–or in my current situation now, doing things the way I have been for years then being forced to change and not doing it well.
  5. When has a mistake at work resulted in something positive for you? Actually, minor mistakes usually do result in positives in the sense that we get feedback and can then improve. And I know how cheesy and cliched this is gonna sound, but mistakes are almost learning experiences, and learning is basically never bad.

From Friday 5.

Booking Through Thursday: Unread

What proportion of the books you own are unread?

HA. Most of them. Like, probably about 90%. I mean, there’s a slight chance I’m just so overwhelmed by my reading list that I just look at it and scoff and resign myself to the fact that statistically speaking, even if I live to be 110 like my great-grandma’s grandfather, I will never be able to read everything I want to. Maybe it’s not quite so bad as 90%. But even as I sit here and glance over at my behemoth shelf, I’ve read maybe 30 of them, and that includes like four series.

Another good weekend.

Friday night, Paul and I packed up to spend the weekend in Greensburg. We’d planned on eating at Primanti’s, but we took too long to get ready and get out there, and we were heading over to Pitt-Greensburg for the annual Writer’s Festival alumni reading. So by the time we got into town–partially thanks to Paul taking the long way through downtown–we would’ve only had a half hour to eat. Normally, Primanti’s service is super fast, but it was in the middle of a Pens game–albeit a losing one–and I didn’t want to risk it. So we grabbed Subway then went to campus, took a brief stroll, then got situated for the reading.

And it was a good one, as always. My former professor Jakiel’s husband, Dave Newman, read, as did alumni Adam Matcho and a few other alumni. Maybe I’ll be among them one day. I mean, I had the option to, but I didn’t.

Past experience has taught me everyone usually goes out drinking after these things, especially when they’re one of the last events of the festival and on a Friday night, so Jakiela took a poll and a sizable group of us went to Headkeeper’s for beers. Paul and I spent most of that time talking to this guy Matt, who graduated I think about four years ahead of me, about all kinds of things. He was cool and it was really fun, and I love doing things like that and I’m really glad we went.

Saturday brought Steel City Con. After a little confusion, my parents test-drove a possible new car that it turns out they don’t need, thanks to the local Toyota dealer trying to rip them off on my brother’s car inspection, then picked up Kelly and met Paul and I. It was a good convention. I still think the admission is getting pricy, but I got cool stuff like lace gloves, handmade soap, and some comics, plus I met Noah Wyle of ER and Falling Skies fame and told him I’ve done the closed captioning for his shows at work. And he was super nice to talk to.

We then had dinner at my beloved Green Mango, which is pretty much the only restaurant I ever go to in Monroeville. It’s too delicious.

Sunday was lazy. Paul and I did make it to Primanti’s, making up for missing it Friday, then went for a nice walk on Greensburg’s trail. Paul’s decided not to renew his lease since he’s now working a few minutes down the road from my apartment, and I’ll miss hanging out so much in Greensburg in general, but I’ll especially miss easy access to a nice, safe, well-maintained trail. Not that we don’t have good places to walk in Washington, but Greensburg is better.

The warm, sunny weather was the perfect touch, too, and I’ve enjoyed being able to keep the patio doors open all evening for the past week.

Friday Five: Opposition

  1. What’s a current political or social issue on which you stand opposed? Honestly, just about everything Republicans are saying and doing right now. When I registered to vote at 18, I registered as Independent because at the time, I agreed with different things on both sides and felt that neither party had all the answers/solutions–and that bit I still do believe. But over the past few years, either my views have shifted enough or the Republican party’s views have shifted enough that I can no longer stand for any of their policies, with the Pennsylvania exception of the push to privatize our liquor stores. As far as I know, the backlash from that has been mostly Democratic due to the jobs that would be lost, although my argument is that whatever state jobs would be lost might just be made up for in private jobs if other stores are allowed to open or even if gas stations and grocery stores being allowed to sell alcohol means they need to hire more employees. But that’s a whole other discussion.
  2. What forces have worked against your efforts this week? Just the nature of the workforce beast–I’d love to actually leave work on time more regularly. I like the boost in the paycheck from my overtime pay, but I also like having a good chunk of time in the evening to enjoy.
  3. Would you rather have to climb a steep hill in order to get into your house, or climb a steep hill in order to get out? Probably to get out, because that’s when I’m less likely to have to carry stuff up said hill.
  4. In what way have you recently made things difficult for someone else? My dad kept asking me over the past few weeks if Kelly wanted to go to Steel City Con with us yesterday, and I don’t have her phone number and was gonna send her a Twitter message instead but kept forgetting. So I didn’t get around to it until yesterday morning, and it turned out she needed a ride because her car was getting worked on–after my dad had already left. But he hadn’t gotten far and was wiling to get her or have her meet him somewhere, but then he also talked my mom into going because he does’t think Kelly is very comfortable around him. So everything was kind of jumbled planning-wise for a bit.
  5. In what way has the “opposites attract” cliche been true in your life? My whole relationship with Paul! At least to an extent. I’m a firm believer that we’re not actually opposites. On the outside, sure–he dresses more conservatively and plainly, and I’m either in band tees and jeans or doing some weird goth/hipster/punk weird thing. He comes from a sheltered, straight-laced conservative family and my parents are a lot more relaxed and open about things. But at our cores, we’re actually really similar and have a lot in common, from our taste in movies and books to even our political views. I’m certainly the more liberal of the two of us, but he’s not as conservative as his family would like, for sure. And we both have the same ambitions. There are some nice opposites, though–I have more of a passion for life in general than he does, I get more excited about things than he does, I’m worse at math and science than he is, I’m a vegetarian and he eats lots of meat, he’s a cynic and I’m a (realistic) optimist, but it works. Really fucking well.

As always, from Friday 5.

Booking Through Thursday: Recommended

Do you read books recommended by friends? Or do you prefer to find your own books to read?

I tend to stick to my own personal reading list, mostly because it’s already quite a long list without any outside help. I’ve got a stock of books to read as it is, so when I need new reading material, all I have to do is consult my shelf or the list I’ve been keeping of books I want.

That said, I am almost always open to recommendations. I try to read things I’ve head talked about a lot, but as I said, my already large reading list can make this difficult. I’m very open to what other people are paying attention to and interested in, especially if it’s something I might not have discovered otherwise and might really like. I’m even more willing to give something a try if someone says, “Hey, I read this, I thought it was great, and you can borrow it,” which is what Terra and Paul have both been doing with me for awhile–Terra gave me a small stack that I’m slowly getting through, and Paul and I have been doing almost like a book swap for most of the time we’ve been dating.

Because I also believe in keeping an open mind and not being dismissive of something without good reason, I’m willing to listen to just about any recommendation thrown at me, and I only won’t take it if I’m really, really reasonably sure I won’t like it–a good example would be subject matter I’m just not interested in or writers I know I don’t like. The only time I ever remember being like, “Ha, no way,” to a recommendation was the time I asked for recommendations on Facebook and Paul’s brother Jacob suggested one of Glenn Beck’s books. I don’t like him on TV, so I doubt his books would be enjoyable for me.

Easter was mostly nice.

I spent Friday night in for once and did some drinking and writing, which was nice, then met my parents at the outlets Saturday morning since my mom had some coupons to use. I got myself some nice, new clothes, an infuser pitcher, mojito lemon tea, and a few kitchen supplies–a vacuum wine-bottle sealer and an apple corer.

Then I came home, packed a bag for the weekend, and headed off to Paul’s, where I’d wanted to make progress on our ongoing Netflix shows (Attack on Titan, Arrested Development, Archer, and Bob’s Burgers), but I was really sleepy and ended up just taking a nap instead before my dad picked me up and we went downtown to see Stage Right do Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s been a few years since they did it, so I was glad to see it again. It was great, as their shows always are, and they even took a fun little creative liberty with King Herod’s song where they referenced Sia’s “Chandelier,” video included–they had a troupe of girls in nude leotards and blonde wigs doing all the dancing.

And after that was Easter. We went to church Sunday morning at 8, then I hung around while my mom did most of the cooking, which is kind of rare in our house, but she prefers to do it when it comes to Grandma’s recipes. She made Grandma’s rigatoni and potato salad, plus she did the mashed potatoes since she doesn’t like the way my dad makes them–and neither do I.

Aunt Gina and Uncle Richard stopped by for a little bit, bearing gifts of halupki and haluski, and Paul eventually made his way over and hung out for a few hours before we went to his grandparents’ house, which is always an adventure. This time, though, most of the extended family had gone by the time we got there. And his grandfather wasn’t feeling well, which led to him taking his pants off at some point, I guess–I was in the kitchen and he was in the living room, so I don’t really know–and his grandma yelling about it. I felt bad for him. He’s feeling sick and his wife’s biggest concern is how he’s presenting himself in front of company. I get not wanting your guests to see your husband in his underwear, but I also think that his health is of greater importance.

Still, it was one of the tamer visits, and it might’ve been for the best we went over so late in the day. We ducked out after a few hours, and Julie beat us to it and said they were breaking out not too long after we got there.

And yesterday, Paul brought Eddy over for both of them to stay here while he works right down the road.