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Interview Time

I read this interview meme by scyllacat, and now it's my turn to 'fess up.

Interview meme.
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better! If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate!
3. You WILL update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions...

Sounds easy enough, right? So here goes, questions by scyllacat.

1. Tell me your life story in terms of your ambitions. What did you want to do with your life, and how has it changed as you've grown older? Let's keep this at a low level of complexity: 500 words or less.

When I was the littlest that I could remember, I aspired to be tall like my cousins, smart like my dad, and loving like my mom. I wanted to be an astronaut fireman doctor. Not just one job, but do all three all at once, because I have never wanted to be stuck with just one thing when they're all so interesting. I also knew I wanted to have a family just like mine. When I started listening & playing music in elementary school, I wanted to get a musical career if I could, but my parents pushed for me to make sure I could get a more "stable" career first. Same for professional sports, though that one faded as my organized sports involvement did. I eventually noticed that I knew computers better than all the adults in my neighborhood, and figured I should take advantage of that somehow. I played tons of games, so maybe a computer game job. As a smart kid who was fascinated by the stars I wanted to get involved with NASA and landed an internship, but then realized that their budgets were shrinking and that some at NASA were just living the "government job" life. So I went for Computer Engineering first in college, combining the top two suggestions I got from people. Designing computers (comp. engineering) has a more limited job market than writing software (comp. science), so I switched and it paid off. That's the job half of things, in brief.

Ambition is a tough nut to crack for me. I seem so driven to other people, but it is mostly short-term goals with immediate results. Plotting the next step is easy, but planning years down the line? All that is vague. I mean, I've achieved a lot of what I set out to do in life. Nice job that pays well with decent coworkers and recognition for my efforts (usually, and we'll gloss over the long commute). A loving relationship with a wonderful wife and a child now on the way. A house we own a decent chunk of, football season tickets so I can go and spend time with my father, enough hobbies to keep me entertained, and good friends to talk with and laugh with. I quit smoking, still run everywhere and keep more active than most people I know despite a serious video game habit. I have seen a few other countries (and enough to appreciate my home), been on television twice, traveled around with a band, and learned the confidence I never had as a kid. Not bad for not quite 30. Top goal on my remaining list today? Find a way to keep it all going as my daughter comes into the world. How'd I do for word count?

2. Your child asked you for advice on their first day at a new job. You give them the "meaning and value of working and career and stuff" and it goes like .... how? Does it change if the child is a different gender?

"Your job is what you do to get paid. No more, no less. It doesn't have to be glamorous, it doesn't have to be popular, but it does keep food on the table and a roof over your head. And even if you don't think people notice how much effort you put into your work, they do. A little effort or a lot, they will notice, I guarantee you that. You don't get a thank you every day, you don't make a major breakthrough every day, and sometimes yes, your boss will be a complete idiot. But persevere. If you are the kind of employee that people want to have, they will do what they can to keep you around. You're building that resume, so take it seriously. You never know when someone you worked with before might think you're the perfect fit for this new job they know about. Your word and your reputation can pay off handsomely if you do it right.

But I'll repeat myself: your job is what you do to get paid. The rest of your life can't be abandoned. You have to have a life outside of work, friends who are not coworkers. Don't forget you have a family that cares about you very much, and eventually you'll have one of your own to look after. Just one smile from your mother or the best kid in the world (implying smirk) recharges my batteries like you wouldn't believe. I'd say any of your relatives or friends could help you relax, but I'm sure even I (emphasized for humor) will drive you up the wall sometimes. So just get your work done, do what they ask of you, and go home.

Yeah, yeah, I ramble on. So good luck today. You'll do fine. I have faith in you. You can tell me all about it after you get home. We'll go somewhere nice for dinner to celebrate. Don't worry, I won't ask for any money out of that first paycheck. Just don't spend it all in one place, you hear?"

It'll be the same speech for a daughter or a son. Once they get into having a family of their own, I'll add in my suggestions that they make sure someone's at home when their kids are real young. There's nothing wrong with the life of a housewife or househusband, as long as both people are comfortable with the arrangement and their role in it and the bills get paid. We'll see how my wife and I sort it out ourselves. And whenever it happens, the infamous "sex chat" will include the line: "I may look forward to grandchildren eventually but don't you dare make me a grandparent too soon. I'm in no hurry, and you've got some years to go before either of us are ready for that."

3. I will take a moment to kvetch that your journal is written in tiny print with no pictures. You are not the Wall Street Journal. :) Will you post some pictures? Even if it's just the backpack and the faucet?

Yeah, I have gone with the oh-so-plain original journal option I've had since I started back in 2000 or so. I should come up with something better. And I do need to work on the photos! I've got some of those, I swear! I'll come up with something. Hmm ...

4. What's the next thing you're planning to make? Do you have a DIY bug, and if so, which way does it go?

The next thing I'm planning to make is a replacement step for my shed out back. One of them cracked and gave way. I've gotten away with no step so far, but that's not safe to have it stay that way. I'm sure something else (like another anime costume or serious piece of fiction) will come along and jump to the front of the line, but again, my goals tend to be either immediate or back-burnered until they become immediate. I do love to do things myself. I love learning things and being fairly self-sufficient, and I know I put that pride-of-workmanship into everything I do. Call it that personal Pookah touch, though sometimes it turns a simple task into a bigger production. And that's when I'm in trouble, if my stubbornness won't let me either simplify something or call in a real expert to point me in the right direction. The worst traps are the things that SHOULD WORK. I've got an interest in fixing things that can border on obsession; I will think about it to that level of detail, which can be a real curse if I'm stuck on something.

5. What is your favorite kind of puzzle or puzzle game?

The Sudoku craze caught me quick, but lately I've been only doing the occassional extra hard ones or bigger Samurai Sudokus. Once I learned the tricks, I needed that complexity to keep it interesting. I've been through phases with logic problems, crosswords, Tetris, and innumerable card games. For a great puzzle game I highly recommend Tsuro. It's for 2-8 players and is one of those games that has a simple foundation but the potential for some deeper strategy without requiring a grand scheme like Go or Othello.

- Pookah


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
interview me !
that's about it, really.

much love,
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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