Thursday, September 03, 2009

Buy My Friend's Book!
Even If You Win One of the Six Copies I'm Giving Away!


To the winners: click on the "e" icon in the upper-right corner of this blog and then send me a message through the email link so that I can get your address and send the book your way!

My friend Claire Zulkey rocks the house, and I'm really excited because her young adult novel, An Off Year, came out today. I think you all need to rush out and buy it right now. Or you can do so here... or here! See how easy I've made it for you? No excuses!

Anyway, in a week and a half or so, I'm going to not only explain all of the reasons why Claire is my hero, but also post an interview I did with her so that you can learn a little bit more about her book. In the meantime, however, here's the gist of its story: a girl named Cecily arrives on campus for her first day of college and then is like, "Um, you know what? I don't think so. Dad, take me home!" That's right, she leaves. I'm not spoiling anything because that's what happens right at the beginning. And I'm not telling you anything else!

To honor Claire's huge accomplishment, I'm running a contest starting right... NOW so that six lucky 'According to e' readers will be able to win a signed copy of An Off Year. Now, I still want everyone to go buy the book. If you win another copy you can give the one you bought away as a present and keep the signed one for yourself since Claire will certainly be mega rich and famous one day. Then you can auction off your rare signed copy of her first novel for millions of dollars and retire in luxury. All because you won a contest on this little ol' site. You're welcome, in advance.

(Before I go any further, if you're not into this contest but know someone else who would be, or who might have a teenager who'd be interested in An Off Year, send them thisaway!)

So here's what you need to do in order to win:
Tell me about something memorable that happened during either your senior year of high school or your freshman year of college. I'm not looking for anything serious or personal or deep -- you should know me better than that! I AM looking for funny stories or bizarre anecdotes. And I have an expert BS Detector, so don't even try to make something up that didn't really happen. If I sense lies or untruths or trickery, you're out of the running!

Here's an example of a few things I would submit if I didn't already have a copy of Claire's book for myself that I will be making her sign:

- During my senior year of high school, for some inexplicable reason, my friends and I had an obsession with the color yellow. One day we decided to videotape ourselves going up to people in random places -- like the gas station, Bennigan's, parking lots -- that were wearing something yellow and shouting "HELLLLLOOOO YELLLOOWWWW!!!!" at them and seeing what they did. No, we did not get arrested. No, we were not drinking or on any sort of drugs. We were just weird. Yes, I still have the videotape. No, you will not ever be able to find it and blackmail me with it.

- In 1993 during my freshman year at Michigan, the basketball team made it to the NCAA playoffs. It was the "Fab Five" era with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson -- before any scandals broke out. The night they won their Final Four game against Kentucky and advanced on to the final championship game, everyone streamed out of their dorms -- I'm talking thousands of people all at the same time -- and headed to a major intersection on campus in front of the student union. It seemed like a very good percentage of the 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students were there. Then, the strangest thing ever happened: everyone -- peacefully, joyously -- started singing the popular song "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty by Nature (hey, it was the early '90s) and waving their arms back and forth to the beat in celebration. It was one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced and is now one of my favorite memories from my college years. (I choose remembering that awesome night over Chris Webber calling a time-out -- that the team didn't have -- during the final game, thereby losing the championship to North Carolina. D'oh!)

See what I'm getting at? Just random stories like that.

I will close the contest at midnight on Wednesday, September 9.

An esteemed panel of judges will decide on the six best stories and I will announce the winners on or around September 13th.

Here are other rules that I've learned I better list out:

- This contest is open to U.S. residents only.

- Please keep it to one submission per person. You have some time, so think about it and make it count!

- Only entries on this blog via the comments section below this post will be considered -- Tweets or Facebook comments will not.

- Please keep it clean. I'm definitely not interested in stories about drinking, drugs, sex, yadda, yadda, yadda. And I won't publish any submissions about those things, either, so don't waste your time, dude reading this who had a reaaaalllly cool frat party story!

- Don't send anything you want kept private -- I will be publishing everything I receive (except for the stuff I mentioned above).

Can't wait to read these!

- e


laura said...

My senior year of high school, I got Bell's Palsy, which temporarily paralyzed half of my face. This was not long after the whole Amy Fisher/Joey Buttafuco fiasco and some of my theater dork friends encouraged me to do my best Mary Jo and say "I still love my Joey!" (I grew up in Jersey, it was big news there.)

Also, it was the fall, so in all of my yearbook club photos, I hold my head at odd angles or have my hand on my chin trying to hold my face up--classy!

Anonymous said...

okay, i only graduated high school like 5 years ago, and i can't think of one funny-ish moment to share... seriously? am i getting that old?!

...on my senior trip to italy, france, and spain, my friend and i totally *wiped* out on this slippery bridge... and i mean like WIPED out! locals came over to help us up! but i suppose that is kinda a "be there" moment... :D

although, along those lines... on the flight there, we played a major prank on my english teacher who was supervising us... it was april fools day, and she is totally the type to pull one over on us... so a bunch of the students on the trip decided we needed to beat her to it...

we made friends with one of the flight attendants, and asked if he would help us... he ended up writing up a ((fake)) report that said that one of the students on the trip had tampered with the smoke detector in the bathroom... he even woke her up to give her the papers... she started yelling at the student and she pretended to cry... then we all came around the corner and said "april fools!"... the look on her face was priceless! she couldn't believe we tricked her! :) wish i had it on tape... but i do have the fake incident report somewhere, and possibly a pic of my teacher's reaction when she found out it was a joke... :D

*kristYn from CALI*

helkatmat said...

My senior year of HS was 1970-71. I was a good student but I walked to a different drummer. I was Art Club president, not a cheerleader, that should paint the picture. My last name was one that was frequently mispronounced and at the beginning of the year, my 1/2 study teacher (a coach) always mispronounced my name and I would correct him. After about 2 weeks of this, I just didn't answer when he mangled my name and the guy removed my name from his roster. This made me a free agent for that half period plus my lunch period and I began skipping school everyday for lunch. I had two cohorts that joined up with me and we left school for lunch for about 6 months before we were caught. The girl's adviser happened to be a teacher I had previously known in grammar school (I'm sure that term dates me, we had no middle schools back then) and because she knew me to be a good student, plus she knew my family, she mercifully did not suspend or expel me but made me do detention by coming into school at 7 a.m. every morning for two weeks. Her rule was if I wasn't on time, the number of minutes late added that number of days to the detention. I think it took about 4 weeks to complete my sentence which brought me up to almost the year's end. I then spent the end of the year in a new 1/2 study/ lunch period with a bunch of freshman boys who pretty much thought I was cool and fawned over me because I was a senior. After nearly 40 years, I realize that this is probably the most interesting thing I did in high school.

Virtual Jon Daniels said...

Oh e...the best part of this contest is the memories that come flooding back. Not so much from high school (never really liked that era), but from my freshman year of college. So many stories, so many inside jokes, so much fun...

It's ironic, I was actually back on campus a few months ago, recruiting for "the Man," and my roommate from freshman year was still there (he's a PhD student now) and we were reminiscing about various stories...the bottle rockets that were shot off in the dorms (not by us!), getting burnt out on Chik-fil-a (there was one downstairs) and drinking ungodly amounts of Dr Pepper.

One story that we talked about happened one Friday afternoon in the middle of the semester.

Our dorm had instituted a "Power Hour" from like 4pm - 5pm on Fridays that allowed residents to "blow off steam" by playing their music as loud as they want.

Now, my roommate and I had been preparing for this afternoon for a week. We had a killer speaker setup (for 400 square feet of dorm space) for the TV and each had a set of speakers for our computers. Prior to Power Hour, we burned one CD with DJ Sammy's "Heaven" on it and each made sure we had it on our computers as well. Just prior to 4pm, we synced our computers and the TV sound system to all play the same song at the exact same time.

4pm hits, and BAM, we blast that sucker as loud as it has ever been blasted. I mean, glasses were rattling and the bass was so loud that you thought an airplane was about to land.

About two minutes later, we hear a POUNDING at our door. We stopped the music, and at our door was the RA and a kid from the floor above us. The kid from above's face was beet red and it was clear he was annoyed at us.

The RA: "Guys, I know it's Power Hour, but come on, when you play the music so loud that THIS guy hears it and complains, you gotta cut it out."

The other kid turns to us, and with half-broken speech, he says, "It's songs like that that make being deaf not so bad."

And we have always referred to that day as playing music so loud that we "woke the deaf."

Dee said...

I think one of the funniest and most memorable experiences I have from my freshman year of college was when my roommate and I returned to the dorm after our Winter break. We lived in a pretty nice dorm; it was always very clean and well kept. And being a huge neat-freak, I cleaned our room at least once a day and made both our beds in the morning. (I've never been sure if my roommate appreciated this or was slightly offended. Probably both.)

Anyways, we returned to the room and found that the ladybugs had taken refuge from the cold inside. I have no idea how they got in there, but every few minutes we'd find another one crawling up the windowpane or down our desks' legs. We tried and tried to get rid of them, but the final straw was when we discovered about twenty of them encamped ON THE CEILING.

We had HAD IT with the ladybug infestation, so I ran down the hallway to get the vacuum cleaner. I nearly tripped over my own two feet trying to run back down the hallway towing it behind me. And when we finally got it running in our room, the hose wouldn't reach the ceiling! So my roommate got up on her desk chair and I hoisted the vacuum up in my arms while she sucked them up with the hose. We laughed hysterically the whole time at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation. When she and I chat with one another today, we still bring it up and start laughing all over again.

Oh college... good times.

Alisha Rene' said...

So this is technically between my Senior Year and Freshman Year. It was 1993 and I was getting checked in for Freshman Orientation. My dad decided to come with me even though I went to college in the same city where he worked. (cool dad, but I digress)My full name is Alisha, but due to a tortured pestering past of name calling I started going by Ali. As you can imagine, it comes up, a LOT, that my name becomes confused with being a male Muslim, even though I clearly check the "I AM FEMALE" box on everything. So I get my key and dorm number and head on over with map in hand. Go to the floor I'm supposed to be at, walk over to the door, slide in the key, open it, to discover a nice boy named Steve standing in his boxers putting on a shirt for a room mate. Saying that there was blushing involved is putting it lightly. (turns out he was a close major to mine and we saw one another frequently after that for the next 4 years)So, I head out to meet my dad for dinner. I tell him I have a great story for him about getting my room this afternoon. He says "really? when I got my room I opened up the door to a nice lady named "Beth". My jaw was on the floor. His name is Loren, box or no box to check, it was a definite WTF moment. He said his only disappointment was that she wasn't getting changed. I myself, was glad Steve had on underwear, LOL.