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Third Time's The Meme

I participate in the Interview Meme once more, answering questions by Tim the astounding:

1. What's the stupidest question you've ever been asked by a library patron? ("There are no stupid questions" is not a valid answer.")

Heh. I actually use that line in library instruction sessions, then follow it with "but there are lots of funny questions." The students all laugh, but then they start to look worried, as there's not much more bruising to the young ego than being laughed at.

I suspect you're looking for a question like, "I'm looking for this book I saw in the bookstore last night. I don't remember what it's about, but it's got a red cover." Happily, I don't have any questions like that. The closest I have was a student who came in, said his professor had told him he could find plenty of articles on his topic online, and was having trouble. After searching for a good twenty minutes (his professor was clearly wrong), I found him an article that looked perfect. It was in an issue of a journal we had in the bound collection, all he had to do was go upstairs and get it. He said, "No, my professor said I could find it online." I said, "Excuse me a moment," left him and never came back. It was either that, or put his head through the monitor.

2. Holy shit, dude! You had a kid! How awesome is that?

It is awesome, in the original sense of the word. I'm still a little stunned, frankly. I can't believe Lisa went through the whole nine months to birth thing, and can't imagine what it was like for her (ok, I can imagine, but you know what I mean). Respect is an insufficient word for how I feel towards her now.

As for Ian, he changes every day, and it's simply fascinating to watch. You pick up the basic skills pretty quick (diapering, feeding, burping, and so forth), but they'll only take you so far. It really feels like an adventure, in the best sense.

I would like to be able to sleep more than three hours at a stretch, however. Please?

3. You suffer a head injury, which opens a lesion in your brain, and you develop alexia and agraphia, which means you can no longer read or write. How does that change your life in the short term?

I once visited a large bookstore in Poland, and when it became painfully clear to me that they had pretty much no titles in English, I became extremely depressed. So, I'm guessing I'd battle depression, go on disability from the library and take care of Ian fulltime, sell my book collection, subscribe to a lot of movie channels, and invest in DVDs. Oh, and switch this journal to a podcast.

4. You're digging a hole in your back yard, and you find a battered old metal box full of money. Say, $1,000,000. Do you report the money on your income tax? If not, how do you launder it?

In order to set a good example for the sprout, I would probably report it to the IRS. Gotta be a role model, after all. Having said that, assuming I actually needed that kind of money (say, I developed alexia and agraphia but was denied disability) and that this large bundle of cash didn't have, say, sequential serial numbers, I'd take Chili Palmer's advice, get myself a safe deposit box and put the money there. Safer than stuffing a mattress, and I can get to it when I need it. Sure, I miss out on earning interest, but most banks pay a quarter of a percent these days, at best.

Now then: why are you asking? Something we need to know?

5. Are short stories more like novels, or more like poems?

I've only been peripherally following this discussion, as sleep-deprived as I am. But honestly? I think a short story is like an hour, a novel is like a week, and a poem is what you remember about an event (i.e., when your brother punched you in the nose when you were eight, the summer you spent at camp, or the year you spent digging wells in Guam). Make of that what you will.

And now the standard conditionals, yadda yadda:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.