As I get out of the shower at 4:30 AM, I come to the realization that I am living, as my father put it yesterday, “an unhealthy lifestyle.” You see, for the past three weeks, all I have basically done is sleep and play online poker. I no longer exercise. “The gym costs too much” and “The dumbells that I have aren’t heavy enough” are my excuses. While the first excuse is true, the second is a stretch. It should be edited to say “The dumbells that I have used to be too light when I was in shape.” I prefer to ignore such trivial details, however.
The fact of the matter is that I currently have two main activities and they both take up a great deal of time. And while poker cuts into my time to sleep, I try not to let sleep cut into my time for poker.
“You should start looking for a job,” my dad also tells me, but right now poker is my sole means of income. At least until “my job” starts.
Let me explain.
* * *
I was very involved at my college. One of the organizations I was in was basically a group of delegates who went to various alumni receptions to schmooze with varied alumni in the tri-state area, telling them how great the school still is. As a Delegate, I became close with the president of the school. Upon asking me what I wanted to do with my future, I told him that I had no distinct plan. He informed me that there was a new job opening at the school to work on the website, doing both graphics and writing. Not only did this fit my major (Digital Art), but also my minor (English).
“You know, as president, I have some say in what goes on around here,” is what he said, followed by, “Talk to Tim and do all the interview crap, but the job is yours.”
That was May.
So, assuming that I was golden in my future plans, I inquired about the job. Tim (who is the head of that department) said that he was finalizing the job description and would get back to me. In the meantime, I figured I would spend my summer at my parents’ beach house at the Jersey shore. When I hadn’t heard back from Tim for a few weeks, I went back to scooping ice cream at Marita’s, where I had worked since I was fourteen (and also where I had officially quit at the end of the previous summer, assuming I would have a real job the following year).
“Just until my real job starts,” is what I told Marita.
On June 27th, nearly two months later, I finally heard back from Tim. He had finally completed the job description, after two months of slaving over the fine details, I’m sure. He graciously forwarded me the one page PDF file.
I applied, sending him my resume and a tremendous cover letter, which basically illustrated how perfect I was for the job and how perfect the job was for me. I cc’d it to the president of the school, so that he knew I was heeding his advice. I then patiently waited for a phone call from Tim to tell me when I should come in to start work.
I waited until the end of July. Tim called and said he’d be “very interested” in me coming in to talk about the job. Even though I had waited an additional month to hear back from him, all doubt was gone, and I wondered if I should bring a bottle of champagne with me.
On August 5th (the day after my 23rd birthday), I made the three-hour drive back up to school for a ten minute interview, which basically consisted of Tim reviewing the bullet points from the PDF file he had e-mailed me.
He then told me that they were opening the job up to the public. Awesome.
Disappointed that the job that “is mine” was being advertised in the papers, I made the three hour drive back to the shore to scoop some more ice cream.
Labor Day came and went. To her delight, Marita got a full summer out of me. Back at my home in Pennsylvania, I was in an awkward spot, waiting to hear about “my job.” I was not really doing much with my life, as aforementioned, sleeping and playing online poker.
Finally, the phone call came on September 19th, a month and a half after my interview. Tim told me that I had all the skills required, which was good news. They decided to go with a different candidate, however, which was bad news. In conclusion, he thought that I was going to do great wherever I landed, which was good news. Two for three in the good news column. That’s a pretty good phone call, I’d say…
So, two big middle fingers to my alma matter and to Tim for wasting four and a half months of my life.
* * *
Now that “my job” is presently “another candidate’s job,” the future is wide open for me. Finally unignoring my father’s advice to look for a job, I scour through Craigslist job postings for writers in New York. I find one posting: “A layup for a sharp witted comedy writer.” It appears to be right up my alley. All I have to do is send some writing samples: “your blog, perhaps, or whatever you think best demonstrates your style.”
What can I send them?
My blog? No. Too newborn. The first entry is only halfway done.
Perhaps I could send them a piece I wrote about the bar scene at the Jersey shore? No, the world is not ready to witness that insanity.
I know! The hilarious piece I wrote about the word “penis.” Nope, that one is fully written in my mind but only one page of it is on paper…
* * *
While a writer is something that I say I am, it is not entirely true. Sure, it is something I strive to be, and I believe I have a certain knack for it, but I am simply too lazy to officially hold the title of a writer. I’m a wannabe. I conceptualize many different stories and ideas. I dream up characters, settings, situations and dialogues. But when it comes to actually starting and finishing an idea on paper, I opt to watch episodes of The Office or Late Night with Conan O’Brien (the one that comes on an hour and a half later than the normally scheduled Late Night with Conan O’Brien and is usually a few months old).
My inability to complete a project is a part of my personality, and most likely stems from the same ineptitude that allows me to currently be in the middle of five novels (Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King by Michael Craig, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, and Choke by Chuck Palahniuk). Three months ago I started a full feature screenplay. I wrote twenty pages in two days, and haven’t touched it since. Last month, I wrote five pages of a character-driven novel. Character-driven, because there simply is no plot. And of course, there is that damned unfinished essay about the word penis which is a page long and thus too short — The article is too short, not my…. nevermind.
Anyway, that’s why I started this blog. It’s not really for you, but for me. Sorry.
I figure that if I have an audience who is willing to take the time to read my rantings, I will feel compelled to sit down and actually rant. A blog is evidently something that writers are assumed to have, so if I am going to really be a writer, then what better place to start?
Well, I suppose writing my penis piece is a better place to start, so that I can send that in and maybe get a job…
Shit, I’m going to go do that. Penis Article to follow.