Taking care of business

Tonight at dinner, I was entertaining some friends with tales about a strange job interview I’d had shortly after moving to Tulsa. It occurred to me later that weird interviews seem to be my specialty. For your amusement, I present a roundup of the weirdest interviews of my life:

Sweet emotion
During one interview, I was asked a series of bizarre questions that I’m pretty sure weren’t entirely legal. The weirdest: The manager asked if was “emotional.” Emotional? Emotional how? After a rather circular conversation, I figured out that he was asking whether I would be likely to sue any of my colleagues for sexual harassment. I won his respect — and the job — by assuring him that as a martial artist, I preferred to settle such matters in an alley, not a court of law.

A filly they named Wildfire
I once interviewed at a newspaper where the publisher and the managing editor spent two hours trashing an employee I would be supervising. I was, they said, her last great hope: If I couldn’t control her, she would be fired. “She’s like a wild filly that can’t be broke,” the publisher explained — to which I deadpanned: “That’s OK. I’m the boss mare.” I was hired on the spot.

Butt darts
During an interview with another newspaper publisher, my list of references — which included author Michael Wallis — prompted a question about a drinking game mentioned in one of Michael’s books. I think this may have been the only time in the history of journalism that a reporter was hired for her familiarity with the rules of butt darts.

Perhaps strangest of all was the interview in which I spent two hours enumerating all the reasons I shouldn’t be hired, while the interviewer spent two hours trying to convince me to come and work for him. The more I told him about my own failings, the more he liked me. It was exceedingly weird, but in the end, he knew more than I did: I took the job and turned out to be way better at it than I’d expected.

If anybody else has a weird interview story, please share it in the comments.





Plan A was to make a psychedelic lawn gnome (think Janis Joplin’s Porsche meets J.K. Rowling) inspired by some crazy earthy-hippie-celestial stationery I have … but then I noticed that my little concrete companion’s beard and bangs had kind of a leafy texture … and you know how I love the Green Man … so of course I had to scrap my original plans and go for a more mythical look.

The metallic paint on his hat, legs and feet sort of overpowered his face, so I added just a little iridescent glitter paint to his beard and eyes after I finished. Now he looks like what you’d get if RuPaul gave the Green Man a makeover. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

He still needs a coat of lacquer before he goes outside to keep an eye on the garden. I’m also thinking of picking up some crazy-looking ceramic mushrooms from Garden Ridge for him to tend.

Does anybody else* find it pathetic that I used a perfectly good snow day to turn an innocent lawn gnome into an English-folklore-inspired drag queen?


*Besides Ron, I mean. His response, upon seeing my new friend, was: “Oh, my God. That’s just scary.”

Free entertainment

As we wrap up day two of Operation Bring Tulsa to a Screeching Halt and begin to close in on day three, I am beginning to feel mildly bored. School is out today and will be out again tomorrow. Church has been canceled for this evening. I feel an overwhelming temptation to take Gretchen to the hardware store down the road, which I am pretty sure I should not do without adult supervision.

I could be using this time to rewrite the abysmally confusing grammar section of our composition textbook, but I don’t have any brilliant ideas at the moment. While I wait for inspiration to strike, I am rationing my math homework and trying to suppress the urge to either renovate the bathroom or sand and paint the kitchen cabinets while Ron is at work.

I am also revisiting a Web site that gets funnier every time I see it. I’m sure I’ve posted it here before, but it’s still the funniest thing on the Internet, and an excellent way to kill an icy afternoon. Page Nine is my favorite. Enjoy!

When you finish that, check back here. I feel a creative outburst coming on. God only knows what you’ll find here this evening. Probably a lawn gnome or a sock monkey, but I’m going a little stir-crazy, so there’s no telling what else I’ll come up with before the day is out.



I just checked the online gradebook for my math class, and this is what I learned:

I scored 24 out of 25 on the quiz the other day — meaning I missed part of one question — and 98 out of 100 on Sunday’s test. So far this semester, I’ve scored 225 out of a possible 230 points, which translates to a 98.

Not bad for the girl who scored so abominably on the placement test that she had to sign a waiver just to get into college algebra. Heh, heh, heh….


Snow day

We’ve had freezing rain, sleet, and a little snow in the past 30 hours or so. Today was a snow day, and by early afternoon, the superintendent had already called off school for tomorrow as well.

I’ve used the time to catch up on some sleep; cuddle with Scout; clean the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and hamster cage; make a pot of pinto beans on top of the woodstove; pork down the better end of 3,000 calories; and put captions on about 50 photos for this freelancing project we’re doing.

I’ve also managed to keep the fire going continuously all day long, and I think I’ll have time to do my math homework before Ron gets home from work.

My next order of business will be to design my February lesson plans and rewrite about a fourth of our composition book to give the kids a fighting chance at understanding grammar, because the exercises in the book are getting them nowhere fast. I don’t know who wrote the grammar section of this textbook, but I suspect it may have been the same non-native speaker who called me up today to try to sell me a product he couldn’t pronounce, much less pitch. (Seriously: I understand the benefits of outsourcing an inbound call center to India — their geeks work cheaper than ours — but outbound? Not so much.)