It’s been a while since my last interview. Today I have the fortune to interview Carrie Lowery. She is the owner and operator of one of my favorite blogs “My Cool Job” and frequent commenter to my site. I was fortunate to get in on the ground floor as it were and be the third cool job listed on her site, someday when she publishes her first book of cool jobs and gets rich and famous I can say “See, I used to have a cool job…”
PF- So your e-mail and URL are identified as Jimsmuse. I have to assume that there is a Jim and you are his Muse. This begs the question, who is Jim and does he know you’re his muse?
CL- Jim (last name withheld lest he google himself and arrive at my blog) is a fellow that I corresponded with and “dated” about 10 years ago. (He lived in Idaho, and I live in New Jersey — we didn’t see too many movies together…) He was a good writer and a decent poet, and used to write fanciful and romantic little pieces that he’d publish on his now defunct website. When my computer crashed in the midst of my unusual online relationship, he was generous enough to have a new one shipped out to me the next day. Perhaps I was his only fan and my responses were that important to him. Perhaps I really was his “muse” — something he mentioned on more than one occasion. (What can I say? Girls like me just eat that romance stuff right up!) When I received the new computer and went to sign up for my new ISP, I chose the name “jimsmuse” to honor my benefactor. The relationship we had is long over, and I haven’t spoken to Jim in ten years, but every time I go to pick a new screen name of any kind, it seems to be already taken. I have chosen to regard this as a sign that I should just leave well enough alone, and just put up with people calling me “Jim” and calling me “dude” online from time to time.
PF- I find your Blog particularly fascinating because I have always been interested in how people ended up doing what they do for a living. Particularly when the job is “Cool” It looks like you’re up to over 26 cool jobs already. How did you get so many people to participate so quickly?
CL- For every interview that I publish on the site I’ve probably sent out 6 or 7 emails requesting someone to answer the interview questions. Sometimes I get lucky (as I did with the Environmental Artist, who answered my email in less than 20 minutes), sometimes I give up after a few days and try another person with the same occupation, and sometimes I get a pleasant surprise in my email inbox weeks after I’ve given up hope that someone would answer. The family and friends I have featured on my blog I simply look at with pleading eyes and then tell them to check the email when they get home. It is easy, however, in the sense that I do try to find people who genuinely love what they do, and doesn’t everyone like to talk about themselves? I know I’m having a great time doing that right now.
PF- I notice that you don’t keep a hit counter on your site so I have to assume that keeping score is not that important to you. However, comments seem to keep flowing in, how important are comments to you?
CL- I do obsessively check my stats on a daily basis, but I don’t have a counter because I’m too shy to let people know how few hits I get. It really is the comments that matter to me — someone who takes the time to say something about an entry is much more important to me than someone who stopped by and skimmed an entry or two. I’ve made some great online buddies and learned a lot about them from trading comments and reading each others’ blogs.
PF- Down to the famous ten questions:
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on [creatively, spiritually or emotionally]?
great movies, red wine, and 3:00am on a hot summer night
4. What turns you off?
A small switch on the back of my neck.
5. What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of someone taking a shower in the next room.
6. What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate the sound of a ringing telephone not being answered
7. What is your favorite curse word?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a psychotherapist so I can get paid for messing with people’s minds instead of just doing it as a hobby.
9. What profession would you not like to do?
I think I would never want to work at Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. I’d hang myself in the storage room after an hour on the job.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I expect it would be something like, “Oh My Me! I love it when atheists show up…you should totally see the ridiculous look on your face! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, and by the way, Clive Owen has been waiting for you for ages since he was tragically killed at the height of his rugged good looks!”
And lastly to be completely fair, do you have any questions for me?
1) Fair is fair, dude — so what’s the story behind your screen name? Inquiring minds want to know.
PF- That’s actually a remarkably easy question to answer.
First I love the prairie, the big sky, the open flat land, and all the critters. The freedom out there is intoxicating, for me it’s Anarchy Park.
Second, Flounder is one of those words that seem intrinsically funny simply by its sound and the way it makes your mouth feel when you say it. Like “frippery” and “fnord” it’s just a wonderful word. Also flounder is a verb meaning to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements. I find this describes times where I find myself on the prairie after a few beers with friends.
Third, In the movie Little Mermaid, Flounder (his name not the type of fish) is a wonderful character who like me is kind of shy and naive but will fiercely defend his friends. Also he hangs around some really odd people.
And lastly, I didn’t want to display my real name on the internet so I had to choose an alias. So I thought of a name that reflects how I view myself. I had a friend who used “Mountain Surfer” as an alias because he enjoyed snowboarding. So I figured Prairie Flounder worked for me.
2) Can I have a pony?
PF- Yes. If anyone asks, tell them I said it was ok.
Thanks for allowing me this interview.
CL- You’re entirely welcome. I enjoyed it! If you want to know anything else, feel free to ask!