Shallow Water: A Journal that Reads Like a Survey

This one is kind of ridiculous, but I’m reposting anyway because it does share a few facts about me you may or may not find interesting. Originally posted to Facebook during the notes and surveys craze of 2008-2009:

April 22, 2009:

Not long ago I decided I was gonna stop leaving notes on Facebook. It seemed no one ever read what I wrote anyway. And this was the same reason why I stopped writing journals on MySpace. Yet, for some reason I’m not able to stick to that. Call it dissatisfaction if you want. There’s no other reason for it. Maybe I just need to write and not care what ends up being said.

It seems that surveys are more effective ways to communicate these days than actual letters or conversations. Short sentences seem to go a lot further than essays or heart-to-heart talks. It’s harder to misinterpret them. It’s harder to skim them or tune them out. The best a reader can do to a survey is to skip them, which is a blatant ignorance to the person who’s trying to communicate.

So I’m gonna leave some questions here. If you want to answer them, fine. If you don’t care, fine. But this is designed to elicit discussion. It’s designed to prevent shallowness. If you like being shallow, fine. But pretend I’d like to know what’s going on with you.

I’ll admit that I’m bad about asking questions face-to-face (probably because I always feel like everyone’s in a rush and they don’t have time to answer anyway), so I’ll ask them here.

You can be as brief as you want, but I find that depth is better.

I hope you’re not too busy to answer these.

I’ll go first.

1. What’s most important? Internet, cellphone, or dinner table?

Dinner table is the obvious answer, but I have maybe three family dinners a year (including holidays). I’m often (not always) turned down invitations to eat with friends so I tend to eat meals in front of my computer, either while I’m working or reading. So Internet (while least important) seems to be the most important social outlet right now, which sucks. I loathe busyness, by the way. There’s no excuse for it. If I’m overtaxing myself, it’s because I’ve got nothing else to do.

2. Would you rather swim in the ocean, a lake, or a swimming pool? What do you take with you when you swim?

I like sitting by the ocean the most, but fish creep me out, so I’d rather swim in a pool. I don’t generally take anything into the pool, but as a kid I loved a good raft and those games where you had to push your friends off the raft. One friend had a metal wash bucket by the pool and we’d sometimes put the cat in the wash bucket and turn the bucket into a boat. That was funny. I used to enjoy bringing action figures into the pool and make them play survivor. I don’t know—childhood was fun. Adulthood is kinda lame for that kind of thing. And I feel too old whenever I go to water parks now, or I did the last time I went…ten years ago.

3. How fast do you drive and why?

Depends where I’m driving, obviously. On average, I push the needle about five miles over the limit and rarely slow down on turns (unless there’s someone in front of me or coming at me in the intersection). I’m not a sports guy or abusive, so I have to get my adrenaline somewhere. Speedy cars and rock music tend to satisfy that for me.

4. Television, movie, book, or magazine?

I can enjoy a little of each. For television, it has to be Thursday night and it has to be tuned into NBC. If I’m not laughing or sitting on the edge of my seat, it’s wasting my time. It’s kinda the same for movies, but I tend to be more lenient with those since I can watch them on my own time, not on some network’s. Books I’m obligated to like because I’m a writer. But I’m not a fan of “literature.” Again, if it’s boring, it’s wasting my time. I usually keep that in mind when I write, so I do what I can to avoid writing boring stories. Magazines I really don’t care for, but every once in awhile I’ll open one up for the research. I find that none of it’s that great if I can’t talk about it at some point.

5. Any regrets?

I try to tell myself “no” most of the time. But the truth is that I regret almost every decision I made during my twenties. I don’t know if life would’ve taken a better turn if I’d chosen to work more and socialize less, if I would’ve gone to a town other than Orlando for college, if I’d been more serious about learning the basics of writing and less about the creativity behind it, but I haven’t been happy with the end result of the decisions I did make. And that sucks because I thought I made the right ones at the time. I suppose decisions catch up no matter where or how they were made. But I think I can put the original blame on my decision to fix an automobile that should’ve been junked. That’s about where the avalanche started.

(Note: I’m probably gonna stop here. No one’s gonna answer these.)

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