The questions this month were algorithmically generated by Google.
(Asking Google “what” or “what are” didn’t return any particularly useful results, but three-word inputs like “what are your” and “when did you” were enough to get us in the general direction of “interview questions”. Although the questions were either terrifyingly existential or bizarrely specific.)
[what have you] done
I have written stories. I have helped people find jobs. I have tweeted unfunny things that were true and funny thing that were lies. I have turned my back on some people who deserved it and some who didn’t. I have tried to be a good father and partner and succeeded about as often as I have failed. I have hated my body and my face. I have wished I had said or done something different. I have tried to support and encourage people who do interesting and important things. I have taken advantage of people. I have gotten angry to the point of shaking at things people I have never met have said online about things or people I care about. I have cried about music sung in a language I don’t even understand. I have been followed by a dark cloud and sometimes chased after it. I have met more amazing and inspiring people than I can count. I have tried to be happy, like actually physically tried. I have cared about celebrities and corporate brand interactions. I have felt incredibly blessed because of technology. I have liked and faved a lot a lot of things. I have been present in the moment. I have breathed air and consumed resources and wondered where the years went.
[where did you] sleep last night
In a bed in an apartment in Cambridge. The bedroom is kind of “garden level” and the windows open up on a loud street, and I’m terrified of rats and teens who wander the neighborhood, so we keep the windows shut at night, which means there’s not much air circulation down there.
[what are your] weaknesses
Everything. Fruity gummi candy. Shandy. Box or screw-top rieslings. A show about vampires or werewolves or teens or all of the above. Women who kick ass. Every soda imaginable. Truth. A really good selfie. Ghosts. People who do things I never would have thought of.
[who are your] snapchat best friends
Are we still using Snapchat? I was on it for a while but I am a Dad in a committed relationship, so I had very little to offer the Snapchat community. I can’t even remember who sent me snaps when I was on it. Nzle, maybe? I don’t have any Snapchat best friends and I’m fine with this.
[when did your] heart go missing
I’m not sure. I remember in 5th grade, having to stand up and do something in front of the class, and S____ saying something about how fat I was, and people laughing but me trying to do whatever I was doing and pretend I hadn’t heard anything, but thinking: I thought we were all the same? But apparently I’m different?
I remember in 9th grade, walking home alone from friend’s houses, late on Friday or Saturday nights, and just feeling so, so lonely. Why was I alone, would I ever have a girlfriend, wasn’t there someone who wanted the same things I did? It was all so far away and the longing felt like a high wall that stretched in every direction forever. I just wanted somewhere, anywhere to go, that wasn’t home, to my room.
I remember a few years after my parents’ divorce, when my dad tried to reinsert himself into my life, and I said fine, Here are the questions I have. Here are the things I want addressed. Here are the things I don’t understand. Here are the things I wish were different. And he said: I never knew anyone could be so full of hate.
Maybe a heart going missing is not a one-time thing. Maybe a heart is a thing you keep losing, keep having to find again.
[how do your] eyes work
Just OK. I’ve worn glasses since I was 16. For distance, mostly, although more and more I need them even to watch Netflix. I wore contacts for a while in college and a little after, but something about my negative self image, it felt too naked, somehow? Switching back to glasses offered me a wall, a layer of protection, myself from other people, other people from myself. I’m so much happier behind glasses.
[how would you] die in space
Everything I know about dying in space I know from Total Recall. So: eyes bugging out, face bursting, desperately struggling to breathe. Although wait they died on Mars, not in space? Right? So I guess I would die in space the same way I would die on Earth: terrified and alone.
[how can you] mend a broken heart
You have to eat a lot of snacks, while you’re lying on the couch, under a blanket, watching TV shows and movies that you’ve already seen before and know you love. The last part is probably the most important. Re-watching scenes that you know will make you laugh or cry because they have made you laugh or cry so many times before does something to you, and the anticipation of those scenes—here comes the part that makes me sob, here comes the part where he bonks his head and it kills me every single time because people bonking their heads is the funniest god damn thing in the world—helps rebuild and retrain the emotional synapses of your heart. This will work every single time.
[why do you] want to be a doctor
I don’t want to be a doctor and don’t think of myself that way. But I do want to fix things. I want to make people happier and healthier. I want to look for clues and symptoms and make diagnoses. I want to take disparate things and stitch them together to create something necessary. I want to leave people better and I want the colleagues of my life to be people who do similar work in the world.
[who do you] love
I love everyone.
My mom said that if this post gets 10,000 notes she will attempt to look interested while I explain to her what tumblr is
Let’s all Get Awesome Jobs by Kevin Fanning (@kfan), finished yesterday.
I loved this. If there is anything more demoralizing, devaluing, and just plain reducing it’s finding a job. I get to do it every three months. Fanning’s good humor on this nightmare is a fresh perspective. His expertise as well as his cheerful manner is delightful. I would recommend this book to anyone who currently engaged in a job search. Some highlights:
“When they ask you to describe your weaknesses, use that as an opportunity to acknowledge the areas where you’re interested in improving.”
On networking: “People want to feel useful. They want to seem smart and successful, and they want other people to listen to their advice. It’s a trait all humans are born with, and you should exploit it.”
Most of all, believe that you are awesome and make a habit out of behaving that way.
“Schedule an hour a couple times a week and then just get through that that hour. Make your job search your habit, just the dumb thing you have to do every so often in order to get to the things you actually want to do…You have talents. If you’re smart about how you present yourself and thoughtful about how you conduct yourself in the process you will eventually find a company that recognizes you for the awesome person you are.”
This is a solid list. My list includes:
- The Rock
- Maura Tierney
- Stephen Merchant
- Ryan Reynolds
- Selena Gomez
- Sung Kang
- Shiina RIngo
- John Taylor
- Philip Glass
- Maya Rudolph
- Colton Haynes
- Tatiana Maslany
- Ksenia Solo
- Susan Sarandon