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2005-06-20 - 1:50 p.m.

I'm getting good at phone interviews. While the first one I did a few months ago was a train wreck--I mentioned Quentin Tarantino at one point--the last few have gone well. It helps when the phone interviewer is as nice as today's was. Her name was Fiona and she was English. She'd just gotten back from visiting her family and when she misspoke about the courseload and potential starting date, she said "Sorry, that's the jet lag talking." At the end, she said I did well and that I gave "forceful answers" to her questions.

I'm reading a young adult novel in preparation for this class I'm teaching that starts next week and I'm surprised by how literary this novel is. There are big metaphors (sea turtles as lost people) and even though the writer explains those metaphors more than she would in a regular novel, it's not simple-minded stuff. It's about a bunch of smarty kids and I think that's why they recommend I choose this one to teach.

At The Taphouse on Saturday, there was a band in the dining room and they were too loud and that place is not made for shows so the noise sort of washed over everything in a giant wave of bass-guitars-yelling-snares. So I went to the bar, about twenty feet from the speakers, and leaned in, my mouth about a foot from the bartender's ear. "Three PBRs and a Something Something porter!" She pointed at her ear. "You'll have to yell!" And I was already yelling so loud I could feel my vocal chords threatening to shake loose. So I held up three fingers and yelled, "Three PBRs!" "Three PBRs?" she asked. "Yeah! And a porter!" That was just about all I had in me, to order those beers like that. Later, after dropping off a friend, I did the drunkest parallel parking try I've ever done. The space was so small I almost got into a situation where I could neither back up (into the curb) nor go forward (into the back of the Dodge minivan.) I managed to get out of the space, but not before rocking the minivan pretty good three or four times. My friend Rutledge kept saying "You're going to set off an alarm!" and "I don't know you!" I had room behind, too. I should have parked it.

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