Friday, October 28, 2005

aTypical Joe

The Blog Interviews continue. Today we have one of the few liberal bloggers I enjoy reading. Joe, of aTypical Joe, agreed to play along, and today, he takes your questions.

Let's see if we're set to go.

I'm ready ...

Joe's ready ...

And the questioner's are ready ...

First question? ...

Assume you are the last man on earth. Collossal mutated guinea pigs are roaming the streets littered with propaganda pamphlets, while frenzied pigeons dive at full speed into the torn pavement. Why did this happen?

It all started when a fifth generation Sony Aibo leaked battery acid on the living room carpet of a vacation home on St. Simons Island, and a fourth generation iRobot Roomba took offense. Evidently some kind of robot war took place, but I have no memory of it. See, the experimental advanced memory chip I had implanted in my brain malfunctioned and replayed over and over again that halcyon period that followed the blog interview.

That interview was so warmly received by the conservative blogosphere that they all flocked to my blog and were won over by wit and charm, and by my compelling arguments, so that my traffic spiked and my blog was filled with glowing comments on nearly every post.

Oh, about those propaganda pamphlets. My guess is they were advertising circulars that doubled as ballots in the corporate-state that replaced the 21st century nation-state. I'm just not sure if that corporate-state was the Target Federation or the Wal-Mart Alliance.


What was your worst job?

I don't have any good bad job stories. I've been lucky to love my work. But I do have a job story I told recently to students, about how I lied to get a job driving a grocery delivery truck for Oyler's Market in Harrisburg, PA in.  If you'll indulge me I'll tell it here now.

The lie was that I could drive a stick-shift; at the time I never had. I got the job and was to start the next day. So on that night before I laid awake fretting the whole night through. When the time came I climbed into the driver's seat, with the gruff old trainer beside me in the passenger seat, and started the truck and somehow pulled out of that parking spot without stalling. That gave me the confidence to keep on going. Grit and determination got me through.

I told the students that story because I was about to put them in a very difficult situation; for a very important school function they had to go out and operate equipment and address technical problems without adequate prep or training. I told them that story to say that I know how it feels to be in that situation, and that I wish I could support them better but I knew that they could succeed. That showing up and giving your best is a big part of any job. And I told them that they couldn't fail, because I appreciated that they were willing and I'd support them.

They performed wonderfully.


What makes you think that we NEED anymore Yankees in the South?

Hey, I'm no Yankee. I'm a damned Yankee! :-)

It's a very interesting time to be in the south. And I'm in a very interesting southern place. Authentic. Old. Changing.

The thing I liked about New York is that it was always changing but everything stays the same. 42nd and Broadway is now and forever will be.

I hope the town where I live -- and all of the south -- is like that too. I expect it is.

What was your first thought when moving from New York to Georgia became a possibility?

The first thought of living here was Christmas vacation 2003. We came and visited and I just acted as if. I fully imagined living here. It's turned out to be very much like what I imagined.

Now don't get me wrong; getting to that point was no picnic. Six months as an unemployed fish-out-of-water New York Yankee was very hard.

But we could have moved to Ohio or Indiana. Georgia was my choice. I like Georgia. And now I hope one day to become an authentic southern character in my own rite.

How do you think I'm doing so far?


What was your worst day blogging?

The day, 7 days after I started, that I made a horribly embarrassing factual error and Wonkette pointed to it. I got something like 3,000 pageviews that day. That taught me a thing or two I'll tell you...

On the other hand, it showed me quickly how effective, connected, self-correcting, powerful, different, engaged and engaging, the blogosphere is.


What was your best day blogging?

The day, a Saturday, that Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice wrote to tell me he was adding me to his blogroll.

Of course, that answer's not fair to Basil. He probably doesn't know how important a role his ongoing patronage has been to keeping me blogging. Gandelman made my day; Basil's kept me blogging. He's been the single most important support and encouragement I could ever have wished for. I'm a lucky blogger; and genuinely grateful.



Have you started saying "ain't" yet?

Ain't ain't a word!


What is your first memory?

Honest to God, there are 2. I can't recall which was first. One was sitting in my highchair and getting jelly on me and feeling "sticky" for the first time. Or, more precisely, the first time I minded that I had jelly on me. It was very distressing and went something like, "Oh shit! From now on whenever I get jelly on me I'm going to have to get someone to get it off me." At that time I wasn't able to do it myself.

The other was riding in a stroller through Cinderella's Castle in Disneyland the year it opened, 1955. That was a memory I would wake up in, dreamlike, and that I didn't realize was a memory until I found a picture of my mother, my grandmother and me in that stroller at Disneyland. Then I knew that dream was actually a memory. The picture hangs on my home office wall. I wanted to scan it and post it on my blog for this year's 50th anniversary. I may yet still.


What is your position on the requirement for government to grant permission to people in order for them to marry?

This is a hard question to take lightly. And the way it's phrased, I'm not real sure what it is. I recognize the state's interest in a stable society, and marriage fosters that. So to that extent I think the state has an interest in encouraging it. As such, gay and lesbian people should be included. I think "domesticating gays" is a good thing. Pushing them out of society and into the wilds of the demimonde isn't healthy for them or society. For more, check out my blog and click on gay life.


Which is better, being gay or being a New Yorker?

Both have their guilty pleasures. Being gay is lifelong; New York was just a passing phase.


Chocolate, Vanilla, or Butter Pecan?

Chocolate Pecan, single scoop, from Brewsters. In a sugar cone.


How does a gay New Yorker end up in the rural South?

If you asked me a few years ago, it would have seemed unfathomable to me. I always knew I wanted to -- and likely might -- end up in a college town somewhere (even as I feared that I'd be one of those New Yorkers who complains about everything but can't leave because nowhere else is like New York) but there just was no way I could have imagined I'd end up in such an anomalous, for me, place.

Everyone who knew me knew that I loved New York. My very identity was totally wrapped up in my love for that city, as my blog name now suggests. The life, the energy, the art, the people, the subway, the architecture, the neighborhoods, the tough temerity of the place is in my blood. Watch any episode of the Ken Burns documentary, New York. You'll like it I promise you will and then you will understand my love for that city.

But the absolutely positively most interesting thing about now is that it seems that THIS is precisely THE right place for me. I can't say I'm sure yet and I think I make some New York Yankee mistake just about every day and I fear that any one of them could be the big one, but generally I like my home, my friends and my colleagues. Particularly I like the work that I'm beginning to be able to do, the program I'm hoping to build. And most particularly I like the students I work with and mentor. That all makes me very happy to be right here where I am.


What was your first car?

A blue 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible. I got it the day I turned 16. And wrecked it six months later. I also ultimately wrecked the Oyler's delivery truck in a dramatic and fiery crash. Another story worth telling. I'll save it for another time...


What about dippin' Skoal, "ain't" it the greatest?

Ain't ain't a word!


If you could live one day over again, either exactly the same or with one critical change, what would it be?

The perfect October day in 1987 when I went, in the motor home of my life partner's family, to the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. This is a breathtaking space for the outdoor display of large sculpture, I urge everyone to go there one time. You will enjoy art in a way that you never have before. I did that day. Everything came together in such a way so that on that day I declared that it was the happiest day of my life.

The one critical change would be that he would have been "my spouse" instead of the perfunctory and far more klugey "life-partner."

That life-partner died a little over a year later. It was a very difficult death for me; I took it very hard; it was tragic on so many levels. And it would be a decade before I was able to enter into a life-partnership again, this time with Doug, the man who moved me to Georgia.

Back on that day in 1987 I said that even though I was then and there declaring THAT DAY to be the happiest day of my life, I knew that there would be another day, a future day, that would be even happier and then that day would become the happiest day of my life. I expect it still and I know when it will be and so I'm going to tell you now.

That day will be the day that I marry my life-partner, Doug, and he becomes instead, "my spouse."


Mets or Yankees? Or Braves?






Alrighty then.


Thanks, Joe, for joining us today for the interview. And thanks to everyone who asked questions!

Remember, we have Kit from Euphoric Reality tomorrow!

And more coming up next weekend. And the weekend after. And the weekend after that. And the weekend after that. And the weekend after ...

Well, you get the idea.

We're looking forward to more of the Blog Inteviews, where you can find out all you ever wanted ... and maybe more than you wanted ... to know about your favorite bloggers!


  1. Keeps getting better and better. Great idea, Basil.

  2. Weekend Adventures

    Very nice interview over at Basils of aTypicalJoe, one of the better Raging RINO bloggers out there.
    Having solved all their problems in their own country, Iraq is sending troops to Pakistan. This is either really stupid or a really good sign....


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