Interview with a Winner: Erin Bealmear

erin bealmearYou might know Erin Bealmear from her poetry,
which has appeared in journals such as Exquisite Corpse,
3am Magazine, and this
here website
. You might also know her from her personal home
page, Take
Off Your Veil
. Or maybe you know her because she's that girl
you've been stalking since the eighth grade. But the main reason
you should know Erin Bealmear is that she's a winner. In our recent
fundraising raffle, Erin won 12th place, which was good enough to
be granted an interview in our prestigious, incomparable publication.
A stunning accomplishment indeed.

In the below interview, Erin shares her winning strategies and
talks about her lack of belief in karma, her extensive fortune cookie
collection, and why online dating sites can't nail down her personality.

What's the coolest thing you've ever won, aside from this
interview?

This is the coolest thing I’ve ever won . . . really. Sometimes
I win free movie passes to advance screenings. That’s pretty
cool, too.

Do you believe in karma?

I would like to believe in Karma because I think it’s important
for human beings to treat everything in the world with decency and
respect, but in order to believe in Karma you have to accept the
notion that only bad things happen to bad people. That simply isn’t
true. I don’t think that 99.9% of the people who died on September
11th deserved to die that way. I don’t know if anyone deserves
that. I can’t look at all the atrocities in the world and
believe in Karma or God. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Although, I must say, “Instant Karma” is one of my favorite
songs.

Britney Spears, Radiohead, and Seven Mary Three have all
released songs called "Lucky" in the past decade or so.
Which of those "Lucky" songs inspires you the most to
get lucky?

Actually, I think I’ll go with "Luck Be a Lady"
instead. You know, because it’s fun and ballsy and you can
dance to it. Besides, it’s always sung by some overconfident
person like Frank Sinatra or Marlon Brando, so you can’t help
but feel more self-assured after listening to it.

Have you ever played the lotto numbers on the back of a
fortune cookie?

No, but I always keep the fortunes. Once, I received a fortune
that read “Don’t walk down dark streets alone.”
Uhhhh . . . okay.

On the rare occasions that you lose at something, how do
you typically respond? (Is typing or shouting the phrase "OMG
RIGGED!!!" ever involved?)

Yeah, that’s pretty much what happens. Every time I buy a
lottery ticket, which isn’t very often, I’m always quite
positive that I’m going to win and then I die a little bit
inside when I don’t. I definitely have a false sense of my
own luckiness.

Your website says you took the eharmony online dating quiz
and failed miserably at finding a match. Are you that lame, or is
online dating rigged?

I’m definitely lame, but I don’t think that has anything
to do with the fact that I failed the test. I just think those sites
cater to a certain type of person, of which I am not. Actually,
I kind of consider it a badge of honor that a computer couldn’t
nail down my personality. I guess that’s what I have to tell
myself, anyway, or I’d just wind up laying in my closet, listening
to Travis, and staring at the ceiling for hours. Not that I’ve
ever done that before.

If you could produce a commercial for an online dating
site, what would it involve, and which celebrity would you use as
a spokesperson?

I think I would use Elizabeth Taylor as my spokesperson and it
would go something like this:

Hi. I’m Elizabeth Taylor. You may know me from my movies,
National Velvet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and
Cleopatra
, or from my many failed marriages to men such as
Richard Burton, Eddie Fisher, and Nicky Hilton. Yes, it’s
true. I have been married eight times. That’s right. Eight
friggin’ times. Each time I thought I was marrying my soul
mate and each time he turned out to be a real dud. (Okay, maybe
not that guy who died, but I probably would have divorced him eventually.)
Let me tell you a little secret: there is no such thing as a perfect
match or a soul mate. Frankly, you’d probably be happier if
you remained single, but if you insist of having someone around
that will only lie to you, cheat on you, and steal your money, then
call this number.

Your website also says you want to marry me. That means
you're probably both crazy and desperate, but it's not like I have
anything better to do, so I'll probably mail you a ring or something.
Before we tie the knot, though, tell me some of your annoying habits.
I need to know what I'm getting into here.

Awesome! I like those plastic rings that come out of gum ball machines,
so if you could get me one of those, that would be great.

Annoying habits? Here. Let me list them.

1) I take really long showers, even though I feel guilty about
wasting water.
2) I have definite sleep issues, so we’ll probably have to
sleep in separate beds like they did on I Love Lucy.
3) I have trouble shutting off my brain, so we’ll be having
a discussion and you’ll think it’s finished and then
every five minutes I’ll say “and another thing. . .
.” It’s good, clean fun!

What's your sign? Write a horoscope for that sign this
week.

I’m a Libra, which is pretty much the greatest sign . . .
ever! My horoscope for this week would probably be something like
“Don Wood will refuse to feel you up . . . again. Try putting
super glue on his hands or bribing him with candy.”

Your poetry has been published in a bunch of online journals
including the one I trick people into visiting. Write me a poem
involving rain dances and Pat Sajak. End it with the phrase "Especially
in Michigan."

Drought’s Rockin’ Beat

The night before the big storm
I was watching Pat Sajak
on the television.
You were in the backyard,
tending our starving garden.
It hadn’t rained for a month
and the plants were dying
for a tasty beverage.
When you returned
two hours later
with dirt under your eyes,
I could tell that you were excited.
Smiling,
you grabbed my wrist,
pulling me
off the couch.
“I know
what needs to be done,”
you whispered.
“There is only one way
we can save the cauliflower.”
“How?” I asked.
“I need to perform
a rain dance.
I have to do it.
I must do it.”
You squeezed
my hand.
“For the vegetables.”
So, we took a boat
to Apple Island
and I waited
amongst the trees
as you boogied
with Chief Pontiac
in the moonlight.
As I watched, my heart beat faster
even though I had prepared myself
for disappointment,
but your feet kept bouncing
as you assured me
that rain dances always work
especially in Michigan.

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