February 15, 2008

Interview of a Grad School Dropout

I participated in The Great Interview Experiment hosted by Neil of Citizen of the Month. The idea is to get everyday people interviewing everyday people. (If you missed it, I was interviewed by the lovely Woman with no Regrets.)

But now I unveil my amazing interviewing skills by introducing Jake from Jake to Universe. After you see these questions, you’ll wonder why I haven’t been asked to sit in for Oprah or Barbara Walters. Nonetheless, here is the interview…

Your blog seems to cover a lot of topics – from art to science to philosophy. How would you characterize your blog and what inspires you to keep blogging?

Most of the ideas for my blog postings come to me while I’m lying in bed in the morning before I muster the energy to actually get out from under the covers. Of course I then forget most of them unless I happen to write them down or am reminded of it during a conversation. These are essentially topics I enjoy discussing with friends. If you’re having a coffee with me and there happens to be a lull I might turn to you and ask “hey can you think of any great writers who were happily married?” or “what’s an edible oil product anyway?”

I really enjoy it when people comment on my blog and it inspires me to keep writing. The ratio of lurkers to contributors is very skewed and some of my friends have the annoying habit of waiting until they see me or email me to comment instead of posting on the blog. I have no defining limit with regard to the subjects discussed but I don’t consider it to be a personal blog. I do find that I get more comments when I do post an entry of a personal nature.

Your first post on your blog talks about combining random words to form band names. What would the name of your band be?

I get a kick out of band names. It seems like all the low-hanging fruit was quickly taken and it’s become difficult to be original. The same problem exists for people trying to come up with new business names. I’ve started various companies in my life as an entrepreneur and I’ve noticed that it almost doesn’t matter what your band name or business name is as long as you deliver the goods. The name will soon become transparent and be replaced by the personal experience that people have with your creation. Does anyone still realize that the largest book retailer in the world is named after a giant South American river? or that the computer on which I am now writing is named after a fruit? My friend and I have a band called “Things Not Brown”.


You said you like to eat Nutella straight from the jar. How else do you like your Nutella?

Oh, where do I begin? I think Nutella goes with almost anything. I have it in my smoothie and on my peanut butter sandwiches. It goes surprisingly well with pretzels if dipped into the jar. Try mixing Nutella with Pekmez and Tahini. It may just blow your mind.

What were you thinking when you decided to participate in NaBloPoMo AND NaNoWriMo at THE SAME TIME?! Have you recovered or do you still twitch now and then?

November was one of the best months of my creative life. I blogged everyday and wrote a novel in 30 days. I am mainly lazy by nature so I really appreciate an extraneous framework that forces me to write. It’s incredible to discover that you are in fact capable of doing things that seem preposterous and impossible before you start.

On your Blogger profile you list your occupation as “Philosopher, Investor, Patron of the Arts.” What is your philosophy on life – in 50 words (give or take) or less?

I studied Philosophy up to the PhD level but left it incomplete over a decade ago. I got into the technology business just as the internet boom was starting and more or less retired at the age of 33. I’ve been investing in real estate over the years and now I invest my time and money into ideas. I’ve just gone back to try and finish my PhD in Philosophy.

20 words or less: There can be no over riding Philosophy on life except this very statement which happens to inherently disqualify itself.


Being from Canada, what amuses you most about those of us living South of the Border?

Unfortunately there hasn’t been as much amusement lately as I would have liked. I believe your founding fathers managed to fashion one of the most wonderful and useful organizing documents ever created. If you could only maintain the strength to follow the framers’ intentions.

What has always puzzled me is how America can be so Puritanical and Pornographic at the same time. Violence of the worst kind is somehow tolerated while a beautiful image of a women’s nipple is banned. You know, in Toronto it is perfectly legal for women to walk around topless on a hot day. Unfortunately very few women seem to take advantage of this license.

Editor’s note: Please see Jake’s profile on his blog to understand the title of this post.

3 Comments

  1. Nice job. I’d listen to you over Barbara or Oprah any day.

    Comment by Becky — February 15, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  2. Not bad, not bad. You certainly did better than I did during my days as a journalist.

    And I liked Jake’s assessment of you Yanks.

    Comment by Redneck Mommy — February 15, 2008 @ 11:39 am

  3. Thanks for the interview.

    I’ve posted a link back here from my blog.

    Comment by Jake Jakob — February 16, 2008 @ 1:02 am

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