Mindless Philosophy: 2011 in review

In case you’ve been wondering I’ve taken a brief holiday hiatus in order to get through the multitude of celebrations the wife and I attend with our families this time of year.  However have no fear, I will be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging shortly!  Until then here is the year in review from the good folks at WordPress.com!  Take a peek.


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

People I Know: Jason Lemmon

This interview you are about to read has been the most difficult of the People I Know interviews to edit thus far.  There are several factors to this, one of which was my recent 100th Post post which surprisingly put me under a lot of pressure to perform.  Secondly it seems that these past few weeks have been hell-bent on doing everything they could to delay any and all progress I tried to make on posting this interview.  And thirdly the words of Jason E. Lemmon are not easily condensed down into a manageable blog length format.  It proved to be quite a struggle and some of his concise wisdom had to unfortunately be cut so that other gleaming Lemmon nuggets could shine through.

But who is Jason Lemmon you may be asking yourself.  He is an enigma.  A man of humor, yet a connoisseur of some of the most finely crafted dramatic works.  Jason seems to be an individual who stands alone, thinking for himself yet often can he be found in the company of throngs of his friends.  An individual of deliberate speech and mercurial wit.  Prepare yourselves for a glimpse into the mind of this one, this only, Jason Lemmon.

Joshua:  First of all Jason, thank you for sitting down with me here today for this interview.  I’ve got some hard-hitting questions, I hope you’re ready.

Jason:  I am.

Joshua:  Good.  Starting off I know you’re going back to school now, so what are your goals currently, in life?

Jason:  My goals.  Well I’m going to college to be a math teacher for high school.  But I have a lot of different goals.  I mean are you talking like bucket list type goals?  Or just like what I want to do with my future?

Joshua:  Well let’s say, what’s your five-year plan?

Jason:  Five year plan, ok.  Well three and a half to four and a half years of that is college so . . .

Joshua:  (Laughing)  Let’s go seven year plan . . .

Jason:  Seven year plan, ok.  So then with the extra three years then, I hope to find a job.  Although I’m not sure if I’m going to relocate or not, and find a person that I regularly have sex with.

Joshua:  Those are some good goals.  That’s three years, you should be able to do that.

Jason:  Well it gives me seven years for the girl, because that could happen during college.  The teaching job probably won’t happen until I get the degree.

Joshua:  True.  That’s true.  And so it would definitely be a girl though that you’d regularly be having sex with?

Jason:  Um, I mean as of now that is all that I’m open to.  But if I were to find a man who overpowered my erotic senses then I guess I would make the exception.

Joshua:  Now Jason, you are a naturally funny person, humorous I mean.  Who are some of your favorite comedians of all time?  And, in the same answer, who are some of your favorite current, or newer comedians?

Jason:  Well my inspiration in comedy was always George Carlin.  It’s unfortunate that he passed away especially with some of the stuff that’s happened in the last few years.  I would have loved to see his point of view on them.   That’s like the easiest answer by far.  And then modern-day, Louis C.K. has honestly gone up, I love him almost as much as I love George Carlin because I find Louis C. K. to be one of the funniest men alive.

Joshua:  Have you watched his show, the new one, Louie?  I’ve only seen a couple of episodes but I enjoyed it a lot.

Jason:  It’s a great show, it still doesn’t surpass his standup, but it’s still extremely funny.  You know he had an old sitcom that was canceled very quickly, but it was on HBO, called Lucky Louie.

Joshua:  I remember hearing that name, I never saw it though.

Jason:  And of course, just the other day my roommate and I watched Pootie Tang, which was written and directed by Louis C. K.

Joshua:  What??  No.  Are you serious?!  I had no idea!

Jason:  It’s true, yeah.  He was the sole writer and sole director of Pootie Tang.

Joshua:  No way!  That . . . blows my mind.  Really?

Jason:  Go watch that movie again, and you’ll have a completely different perspective of it.

Pootie Tang: Written AND Directed by Louis C. K.

Joshua:  Wow.  I’m going to have to do that.  You have blown my mind here today.  That’s fantastic.  But staying with the topic of comedians here for a moment, what in your opinion makes a good comedian?  And what makes a bad comedian?

Jason:  I think half of it, a good 50% of being a good comedian, is just presentation alone.  Because you can take hilarious bits and make them not funny at all just by presenting them wrong.  And vice versa, you can say things that aren’t even regarded as humorous but somehow you deliver them in a funny way.  So yeah I’d say 50% right there is that.  And then the rest is just split up into stuff like coming up with jokes that people can relate to, things that people don’t talk about often but everyone experiences.  You’ll almost always hit the mark with stuff like that.  If you can hit on taboo subjects, I mean I guess part of being funny is having balls.  Being able to say things some people will hate you for, but a lot of people will find you hilarious for.  And again an easy way to suck would be bad presentation.  Also if 90% of your material is stolen, that usually isn’t funny.  So that’s why I hate Carlos Mencia.

Joshua:  Who are some other comedians that you hate?

Jason:  Um, Dane Cook.  Although I used to love him actually.  When he first started, I thought Dane Cook was absolutely hilarious.

Joshua:  Lauren and I were talking about this exact thing recently.  We were saying that it seems like it was very quickly that everyone went from really liking Dane Cook, to suddenly everyone hates him.  We were trying to figure out the reasoning for that.  I said because I think he got real cocky, after he got successful.  After he got successful, it just seems to me that he got really cocky and really lazy.

Jason:  I think you’re right on, because I think he started off as some guy doing something completely weird and odd, you know?  He was  just being who he was, and it was funny.  But then once he became really popular he let if all go to his head and now what he is doing is no longer weird and out of the normal but it’s really cool and badass and so he just started to act like he knows that now.  His performances come off now as him overdoing everything.  It just seems like a lot of his jokes where he took them too far wasn’t anymore because they were funny, but because he just knew that’s what everyone reacts to.  He just lost a lot of the humor, again I guess it goes back to presentation.  He just presented things differently after he became famous.

Joshua:  Now you’ve done some stand up right?

Jason:  Just very little, locally.

Joshua:  Yeah, but go into that a little.  What was that like for you?

Jason:  It was actually a pretty great experience, I probably performed for 15 people total, and 9 or 10 of them were friends and family.  But it was still really fun.  I mean it’s not exactly what you expect once you get up there, and no matter how confident you are you’re nervous as hell once you’re on the stage.  It was a really good experience and I actually wish I would have gone on with it more and in the past four months or so I’ve started writing stuff down to possibly get back out there.

Joshua:  Really?  That’s awesome.  That’s fantastic, I hope you do.  I would be interested to see what you have to say, it’d be good.  Continuing with comedy a little bit more, there’s the old practical joke with the bucket full of water over the door.  Person opens the door, water pours down on top of them.  So recreate that joke, but instead of water what would you put in the bucket?

Jason:  Well a funny thing is I’ve done almost this same joke, but I did use water.  Once when I was in high school I paid a kid to mow my lawn while my mom was at work because I was supposed to mow the lawn.  While he was doing this for me, he was almost finished, and while he was mowing down the side of my house I went out on the roof and dumped a bucket of water on him.  Which I found hilarious.  He didn’t because he was in the middle of doing me a favor.  Granted I had to mow the rest of the lawn, but I only paid him part of what I originally was going to because he didn’t finish mowing my lawn.  So . . .

Joshua:  It was a win/win.

Jason:  Yeah that’s fair right?  Anyway though to answer your question, since I didn’t do that.  Obviously there are plenty of inappropriate things that I would love to put in that bucket such as semen, or something like that.  Usually just the phrase “bucket of semen” is pretty funny.  One of my big things though is that the joke needs to be funnier then it is going to piss the person off, and I think that would be about as mad as you could make someone.

Joshua:  Yeah I think that would do it.

Jason:  But if I were going to really fill it with something . . . this is a tough question.

Joshua:  It is.

Jason:  It would always be fun to put the oil in there and then blow feathers on them, but that’s only because it’s so clichéd it would make me laugh.

Joshua:  And if you could actually arrange for that to work in real life, like get the feathers to blow on them and have it all work out, that’d be great.

Jason:  Yeah it would be great because you would have just perfectly reenacted the oldest cliché in comedy.  But I have always thought that cottage cheese was really funny.  I know when I was younger I used to say that I always wanted go swimming in a pool of cottage cheese.  It just seems like such a random substance.  But the more I’ve actually been talking about that, the more I’m actually now thinking in my head, creamed corn.

Joshua:  Creamed corn?  That’s a good one.

Jason:  So either creamed corn, or the blood of a recently murdered victim.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  Yes, both good answers.  Good, good.  Alright now moving on.  I know you’re an avid reader.  Who are some of your favorite authors and are you reading anything currently?

Jason:  My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut Jr., he’s my favorite author because he has my favorite book, I mean all his books are great but my favorite book is Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday.  I also really like Chuck Klosterman a lot.  He used to write for Spin magazine, and now he’s got a bunch of journal books out and two novels, although the first one sucked.  But the second one sounds really interesting.  I’m technically currently in the middle of another book, although I’ve forgotten all about it and haven’t read it in probably three months.  I was in the middle of the Handmaids Tale, it’s very good.  As far as comedy writing, Chuck Klosterman is pretty funny.  I read all of George Carlin’s books, obviously.  I guess when I read, for some reason I lean a lot more toward serious drama.  There’s a book that was incredibly good, that I can not think of the title of . . . . but I highly recommend it.  I own it even, and it is amazing.  So read that.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  Alright, I’ll have to check that one out!

Jason:  There’s a great book called the 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear and it’s like kind of a kids story but it’s written more for adults.  It is fantastic.  No one has ever heard of it, but I always recommend it.

Joshua:  You may have told me about that before.

Jason:  Oh did I?  I may have.  Well now it’s on record that I recommended it to you.

Joshua:  What would you say has been the best movie/book adaption of all time?  That you’ve seen at least.

Jason:  That’s tough.  Right away Fight Club comes to mind, because it’s so popular for being, the movie that was better than the book.  At least in my opinion, and many others.

Joshua:  Which is like the rarest of things.

Jason:  Yeah.  But that’s such a cliché answer I don’t want that to be my answer!  Let me think a second here . . . . my problem is all the books I read are books that weren’t changed into movies, or were changed into way, way worse movies.

Joshua:  Ha!  Yeah.

Jason:  Honestly, I think the Shining is better than the book.  Although its nothing like the book, they’re so far apart they’re almost two different things.  I don’t mean it to be insulting but by changing so much I think they even improved it.  I mean the book’s not bad but . . .

Joshua:  I’ve never read the Shining.

Jason:  It’s okay.

Joshua:  Well I don’t think you have to worry about that criticism, I’m pretty sure Stephen King doesn’t read my blog.

Jason:  Ummm . . . . I’m gonna have to say Fight Club.

Joshua:  Oh?  Good answer, good answer.  I’ve never heard that one before.  Now, as a big movie buff Jason, quickly off the top of your head:  Favorite director of all time, favorite movie of all time, and favorite genre of movies.  Go!

Jason:  This is actually really tough.  I really hate this question.

Joshua:  Good I like to ask questions people hate.

Jason:  I like Todd Solondz a lot because his movies are kind of weird and unique.  Honestly though I’d probably have to say Darren Aronofsky is my favorite director, if I had to choose one.  His movies are crazy, they’re always good, and he’s just unique I guess.  It seems like everything he puts out is something that you’ve never seen before and I mean it’s amazing to see one director doing that because Hollywood itself can’t even do that.  So I’d definitely go with him I guess.

Darren Aronofsky: Better than the entire Hollywood collective.

Joshua:  And can I just interject here about how disappointed I am that he’s not directing the Wolverine movie, because that would’ve been just the craziest fucking thing ever.

Jason:  Yeah that would have been insane, I was interested when I first heard that.  Now the next Wolverine movie is just going to be as good as the first one.  But now for favorite movie of all time?  Again this one is really tough just because it gets updated all the time.  Actually I do have one answer to that I just always give because it’s always up there, and that’s Johnny Dangerously.  I have always thought that movie was absolutely hilarious, I don’t know, it’s one of my favorite movies.  For it’s time it’s absolutely fantastic.  It’s very ballsy for its time, had a lot of jokes that people considered risqué.  And Roman Moroni is such a great character too.

Joshua:  And what is your overall favorite genre of movie?

Jason:  Genre, is probably the hardest one to answer.  I mean I love to watch comedies, but the thing with comedies even though this completely goes against what I just answered, is that none of my favorite movies come from comedies (other than my absolute favorite movie).  But I mean when I list my top ten favorite films of all time, it’s almost all drama and maybe a little bit of thrillers, but drama always has a huge role.  It seems like when you get into sci-fi or comedy those are genres that aren’t going to have a top film unless it’s like epic, it has to be absolutely amazing.  Whereas drama, because they involve so many emotions you just have to make a really good film and then on top of that everyone is emotionally involved and therefore it feels like an even better film.  So I think that’s why those always lead, dramas kind of rule my favorites.  But I think that horror and comedy are my two favorites to watch, they’re the most fun.  And when the two mix, it’s fantastic.

Joshua:  So Jason very quickly if you can, and this may be a difficult request, summarize what you think the biggest problems are with modern Hollywood and the movie industry.

Jason:  I don’t know what’s wrong with movies, honestly, in reality it’s more the audience.  The fact is Jack and Jill made money.  The only movie that beat the Muppets at the box office, which is a classic comedy, the Muppet movie was witty, everything was genius about that movie, and the only movie to beat it and destroyed it this weekend, was Twilight.  You look at the popularity of certain movies and you start to realize that they are going to continue to make shit, because everyone’s eating this shit up.  So unfortunately I think for there to be a real significant change in how well movies are written and made we’re going to have to actually see people starting to put the better movies up top and not watch the shit.  I don’t see that happening.

Joshua:  Earlier today we were talking about blogs, and you mentioned your movie blog and you have My Blog Skip.  What do you like to write about on your blogs in general, and why do you write blogs?

Jason:  I started My Blog Skip because in the past I’ve had multiple blogs here and there I had Who Let the Blogs Out for a little while, but I just enjoy writing and sharing things that I find interesting or funny.  But every time I made a blog I would just lose interest and not really care so I decided to start again, go at it one more time with My Blog Skip.  At first I was pretty successful and I think my favorite thing that I wrote, and I only did like three of these, was called Saturday Cinema Showdown where I just took two movies and basically made it sound like they were fighting in a boxing match, but really I was just rating which one was better than the other.  I really enjoyed it but I put so much time into those blog entries.  The photoshopped images alone would take me an hour just to get those looking correct.  I put so much time and effort into it and I didn’t really have any readers at that time, like I had two or three friends who read it so as much as I enjoyed it, and it’s not even that I didn’t appreciate the few that did read it, it’s just that I lost interest without even thinking about it.  I stopped writing them.  I realized suddenly I’m two Saturdays behind and then I kind of just left that.  Then I think becoming a member of Reddit was a big help because I started seeing funny things all the time, so then I would post those sometimes.  Then it became a pretty generic blog where I’d barely write but I would post things all the time that I would find funny.  I’m glad I still have that but just recently I realized I still wanted to be writing, that was the whole purpose of even starting it, I wanted to get back into writing.  My one friend actually started a cooking blog on called Through the Cooking Glass on Tumblr, and I was asking her about that.  I was saying ‘what made you decide to write this’ and she said ‘I just wanted to write again and since I love cooking, that would be a good way to focus on the writing’.  Then I realized that was my mistake I’ve been trying to come back to writing in general, nothing specific, and I realized that maybe if I focus specifically on something I love, which movies are the big thing, that I’d find it easier to write more often.  Then I created Movie On Up, and from there I’ve been pretty successful so far.  I’ve posted seven posts, and this has only been just over a week.  But that’s why I started it though, it’s all been trying to get back into writing and this time I found specifically if I focus on this category, that’s the way to do it.

Joshua:  Yeah, that’s why I started interviewing people, and started this whole People I Know segment.  I know a lot of interesting people so why not just write about them, instead of trying to think up something to write about.

Jason:  I was actually pretty jealous whenever you started posting these because it was an idea I thought was good enough that I wished I’d thought of it.

Joshua:  Wow.  That’s a very high compliment actually, thank you.  But now I’m going to completely change the subject.  There was a quest we were on at one time and I can’t remember if we’d ever discovered this or not, but your birthday falls on John Stamos’ birthday.  My birthday is the same as Bob Saget’s, and we were hoping to find another of our friends who had Dave Coulier’s birthday.  Did we ever find anyone with Dave Coulier’s birthday?

Jason: We never did find anyone with Dave Coulier’s birthday.

Joshua:  Because I thought at one time you said that you had found someone who shared his birthday.

Jason:  Actually I feel like there was a point where I thought ‘oh my god, that’s the birthday!’, but I don’t think it was a friend or anyone, I don’t think we ever found someone who we could talk to or hang out with.  Do you remember what the birthday is?

Joshua:  It is September 21st.  Dave Coulier’s birthday is September 21st.

Jason:  Well maybe a reader out there will have his birthday!  If any of you out there share Dave Coulier’s birthday contact Josh.

Is your birthday September 21st? Send me a note, let's be friends!

JoshuaAnd if you live in the Ohio area.

JasonOr if you want to get on Skype with the two of us.

Joshua:  And just hang out on Skype for hours on end.  The circle must be complete.

Jason:  We can start a Full House birthday blog.

Joshua:  Ok, now here’s a question I’ve been asking everyone I interview, but I’m going to change it up a little bit for you.  Everyone hates this one, and you might hate this even worse because it’s going to be a little more difficult for you.  Here it is, describe yourself with a phrase of 7 words or less.

Jason:  My mom named me Jason Edward Lemmon.

Joshua:  Next!  I know you’re a fan of dinosaurs, if you could have, own, any one dinosaur and that would be the only dinosaur alive in existence, which one would you have?

Jason:  Now does this dinosaur for sure act friendly toward me, or do I not know?

Joshua:  It would act, however you would think it would.  Let’s say that you raised it from an egg, so it would be as friendly toward you as it possibly could.  I would be pretty confident that you raising a dinosaur would make it fairly friendly towards you.

Jason:  My initial reaction would be a velociraptor because Jurassic Park made them look pretty badass.  Especially if it was going to be the only dinosaur on Earth, everyone would be much happier with me for selecting that dinosaur since it is the popular favorite.  But even raising it nicely a velociraptor to me seems like it would still kill people.

Joshua:  Yeah I think that would probably still kill people.

Jason:  I guess I’d have to look into the details of the whole situation to decide whether I want the velociraptor or not.  I guess I’d probably need a backup dinosaur now, since I don’t know what they’re going to give me for details.

Joshua:  Yeah, you have no way of knowing what the dinosaur reanimation commission will say.

Jason:  So for backup dinosaur, probably the stegosaurus.  Because it was my favorite as a kid, and I don’t know, it just seems like one of the farthest things from anything in existence today.  So that would be a good one to bring back.

The debate: Would you rather have a raptor or a stego?

Joshua:  That’s a good one, and I like your reasoning, you just don’t see shit like a stegosaurus anymore.  Here’s another question for you, it’s sort of a classical philosophical conundrum.  Button then zip, or zip then button?

Jason:  For pants?  Oh I always zip then button.  Oh wait!  No.  I don’t actually!  That just seems like the way to do it but then now that I think about it I always button then zip.  That is really weird that my reaction was that, it just seems so normal, but then I realized oh wait I do button first.

Joshua:  It’s harder to zip first really, because if you button first . . . .

Jason:  Yeah, then it’s just straight up with the zipper.  And that’s what I always do.  Now you’ve blown my mind!

Joshua:  (Laughing) Good!  I’m glad!  Now Jason the final question I have for you:  Is there any one pop culture subject that you think doesn’t get enough attention?  It could be a band, a movie, a television show, anything or anyone that you’d like to promote and get others to take notice of.

Jason:  I would like to see more attention drawn to the old Mr. Show episodes.  It’s an absolutely hilarious show, you know Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, I own all the seasons and it’s one of the funniest shows I’ve seen, but nobody has seen it.  There’s so many people who say ‘oh yeah I think I’ve heard of it’ but nobody has actually seen it.  I think everyone needs to see that.  And also, I’m gonna actually pick two things because they’re equal, the comedy group Stella is hilarious.  They had a TV show, but before that they were just 5 minute internet shorts.  If you haven’t seen the show, watch the show.  Then if you like the show get online and look those up, because on there it’s not TV and they can do whatever they want and it’s highly inappropriate and ten times funnier.  Then on top of that, their stand up is absolutely ridiculous.  I saw them live and it was one of the best standup events I’ve ever been to.  So watch Mr. Show and check out Stella.

Jason Lemmon says: "You should watch this show! It's funny!"

Joshua:  Thank you Jason for sitting down here with me today, it’s been a pleasure, I thank you for your time sir, and do you have any final words before we end this?

Jason:  Nope.

Joshua:  That is all!

People I Know: Dr. Jeffrey Holman

Jeff Holman is someone I’ve known for ten plus years, and for most of that time I’ve considered him one of my best friends.  The two of us attended college together at the University of Rio Grande, where I studied English Literature and he pursued his Biology degree.  We’ve gone on several lengthy road trips, had quite a few crazy adventures, and have been involved in each others lives since college for many pivotal ups and downs.  Jeff was the Best Man at my wedding and fairly recently he and his family have returned to the great state of Ohio after he and his wife finished their doctorate schooling out in Iowa at the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Holman Descending A Staircase


In a continuing effort to introduce my friend to the local establishments some of us prefer to haunt I invited him out to a small local bar and grill where we sat down to a few alcoholic beverages and a couple of cheeseburgers.  For being a Thursday night, the place was pretty busy but I chose one of the corner tables in hopes we could get away from the majority of the crowds chatter and perhaps avoid the noise from the televisions mounted overhead.  However shortly after we sat down a heated political debate between several of the bar’s patrons started up directly across from us, mainly focusing on Ohio’s upcoming issue 2 vote.  The main antagonist was a boisterous, rotund, middle age woman who was either affably autistic or an outspoken asshole.  It was hard to tell.  The drunken verbal sparing went on for most of the evening so occasionally our interview was interrupted as the two of us listened in on the bar stool talking heads with amused smirks.

Joshua: So Jeff Holman thanks for sitting down here with me today.

Jeff:  No problem.  Don’t make me look bad.

Joshua:  (Laughing) Ha ha!  Don’t make yourself look bad, I just report the facts!

Jeff: (Laughing) I’ll do what I can!

Joshua: Let me start off by saying once again, even though it’s been four or five months, welcome back to Ohio!

Jeff: It’s been a trip man.

On the Holman occupation front, Ohio wins again.

Joshua: What would you say has been the biggest change going from Iowa to Ohio?

Jeff:  Well I guess becoming familiar with the area and everything that goes along with being new to a place.  Finding the local places to go . . . .

Joshua:  Such as this fine establishment!

Jeff:  And, time seems to go by faster in Ohio, it really does.

Joshua: (Laughing)  Ohio is in a time warp actually, little known fact.

Jeff:  It feels like that.  I mean I count the weeks now, where before I used to count the days.  It’s crazy.

Joshua:  Well and you’re busy now too, I’m sure it’ll slow down.  You’ve got a lot going on, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, which actually brings me to my next question.  You are a new father, you’re definitely one of my first good friends to have a kid, your son is going to be a year coming up here in December.  What has fatherhood taught you in general so far?

Jeff:  I think my role as a father is a lot different maybe than some other people.  I think I understood my role as being there for my wife, and being a good assistant.  She has very good instincts, and maybe all mothers do, but I just need to make sure that she’s alright with the decisions she’s made.  To back her up and to support her.  Not to say that I’m not there, or that in the early months I wasn’t there through the night but it was always to make sure that she was happy, that she was comfortable.  But if you ask me now it’s different, because when he’s a year old it’s a lot different then when he’s a month old.  A LOT different.

Joshua:  Sure, he’s crawling, mobile, he’s doing stuff.

Jeff:  Yeah, now it’s totally different because when he sees me he lights up, he recognizes me.  Even if I only get to see him two of three hours a day, which even to say that is crazy, but that’s life!

Joshua:  Well yeah I mean, you’ve gotta work!

Jeff:  Yeah.  So, when he sees you, and comes crawling towards you . . . I don’t know, altogether fatherhood’s been pretty cool.  The only thing I tell people though is, have a kid when you’re ready, because if you’re not ready there will be some times . . . . there have been so many times that my wife and I have laughed at two or three in the morning because of our relationship and just how crazy we’ve made it.  But if you weren’t absolutely ready for a kid then you’d be crying.

Joshua:  Switching topics now.  Another big development in your life, since I’ve known you, is that you are now officially Dr. Jeffrey Holman.

Jeff:  That’s right, I am a doctor, I just don’t have my license.

Joshua:  So you’re done with that now, you’re a doctor, you’re a chiropractor, why did you decide to go into chiropractic?  What were your influences?

Jeff:  I think you were there!  I think we were at the bookstore next to the Ruby Tuesdays down in Huntington West Virginia and we were in our senior year in college.  I got a book called Professions for Biology Majors.  I’d always wanted to be an optometrist, even through high school I mentored optometry, and there was one paragraph about chiropractic in this book and it just seemed like it fit.  It fit the lifestyle that I thought I wanted, it fit being able to run your own business the way you wanted to run it.  Of course that’s going to influence who you have in your practice, but even though all of that was the same it was more physical, it seemed like it was more outgoing then what an optometrist would be just sitting in a office.

Joshua:  Yeah you’d have to have more of a personality as a chiropractor, if that’s the right word, “personality.”

Jeff:  Yeah, yeah.  I feel like that too.  You’re not only trying to convince people of letting you provide a service for them, but you’re trying to change lives, change how people live their lives, to better themselves.

Joshua: Yeah, as much behavioral as it is physical.

Jeff:  Right.  That, and the connection that chiropractic started an hour south of where I was born in Iowa.  I had a lot of family, aunts and uncles, in the seven years that I was out there I can’t tell you how many weddings and funerals I went to of people I really didn’t know, because we lived in Ohio growing up.

Joshua:  So your time in Iowa was sort of a reconnection as well?

Jeff:  Absolutely it was!  Especially after my mom passed away there were some aunts and uncles who stepped up and really wanted to nurture.  One in particular who doesn’t have kids, I think really took an interest in making sure that everything was ok.  She still calls me every weekend, excited and nervous for me because that’s one thing my mom did and her side of the family does, is worry.

Joshua:  Honestly though, what mother doesn’t?  But going back to chiropractors.  What do you think more people should understand about chiropractic, or what are some misconceptions that you come across?

Jeff:  I think just the idea that we only adjust the spine, or we only crack bones.  There’s one thing in particular that we try to do and that’s treat subluxation, and there’s three things that cause subluxation and that’s thoughts, traumas, or toxins.  So thoughts being stress, you know, everyday life.  Toxins, even being the nutrition and the food that you eat or the drugs that you take.  Trauma, obviously like a car accident but even everyday life, guys that are working at the factory doing the same thing everyday.  All three of those things effect how your body is able to take care of itself.  Chiropractors help your body do what it’s supposed to do.

Joshua:  Now, because I know you, and I’ve talked about you and you being chiropractor I’ve heard people say things like chiropractors are “quacks” or fake doctors or whatever, how does that sit with you?  How do you handle that?

Jeff:  Here’s my thing, and I don’t get worked up on the doctor thing because anyone who goes to school and gets a bachelors and then goes on to school you can get a masters.  I was in a doctorate program.  I went to school for nine years.  That’s the only thing that makes me a doctor.  It’s the same as someone that can get their doctorate in music, that can get a doctorate in social work.  So they went to school for that, and they deserve the title of doctor.  I’m not saying I’m a medical doctor, I wouldn’t want to be a medical doctor.  I don’t want anything to do with medical doctors.  Although I consider myself a healthcare practitioner.  So I think that has a lot to do with how people perceive chiropractic because of how chiropractors put themselves out there.  You don’t see medical doctors at a mall trying to get people to come to their office, doing a free spine screening, or doing a free drug test, you don’t see that.  That’s because the medical field can compensate themselves through pharmaceuticals, and that’s what I don’t want anything to do with.  We do deal with nutrition, we do deal with supplements.  But when I say you should go out to the store and get some natural vitamin C, buy some oranges, that’s not going to put any money in my pockets.  Whereas a doctor can say, here’s a supplement for ya, and then they get quite a good kickback.  And the chiropractic profession in our country is really only a hundred years old, up until the 60’s it wasn’t even legal in all states.  In fact chiropractors would get jailed for running a medical practice.  We’re not that old, so I can understand where there is some discrepancies in the public.

Joshua:  So would you like to see more regulation on chiropractors, or a more streamlined education?

Jeff:  I’m under the impression that if it works, then how can you put it down?  But I think there does need to be a distinction between what I do, and what I was taught at the fountainhead of chiropractic, Palmer which is the namesake of the family that started chiropractic, compared to what western states herbal medicinists do.  But they can take their tests, and they can be called a chiropractor.

Joshua:  It’s all the same test right?  They all have to take the same standardized test?

Jeff:  Yeah, so there should be a distinction, but I think if someone is trying to do good, from their heart, and can run there own business should be successful.  An overall general feeling I have, and maybe I’m just hopeful, that there are more people out there looking for a healthcare alternative.  That they’re sick of going to the medical profession, and being seen in fifteen minutes, and not really getting an evaluation and just being prescribed something.  So if there are people out there that want something else, I hope that we’ll be able to provide it.  That’s what I want to do.

Joshua:  Now Jeff, I’m going to mention a few other doctors, you may not know all of them, but give me one sentence.  Your thoughts, whether they’re good, bad, or just your opinions.  First one is, Dr. Dolittle.

Jeff:  Uh, African American, um can hear animals?

Joshua: (Laughing)

Jeff:  That’s right isn’t it?

Joshua:  Yes, yeah.  You went with the Eddie Murphy version.  My initial thoughts were the Rex Harrison version.  Just caught me off guard, that’s all.

Jeff:  Yeah, yeah I don’t even know that one.

Joshua:  No, that’s fine.

Jeff:  Eddie Murphy.

Joshua:  Eddie Murphy.  Now how about Dr. Zaius?  The original Planet of the Apes, one of the main apes?

Jeff:  Those apes scare me in those movies.

Joshua: Ha ha!  Ok, now how about Dr. Phil?

Jeff:  You know I think his show, and I’ve only ever seen a few episodes, but I think he’s become an icon.  (chuckling)  And I’ve never really thought about this before, but I think he was probably one of the first doctor shows, you know what I mean, and I think that’s exciting.  Even though, that’s a psychologist, and some of the information they put on those shows, they deal with issues but some of those issues don’t belong on TV.  From that though there’ve been a lot of shows that show medical oriented information and I think that you’ve gotta assume that what’s on TV is what that people want to watch.  So the fact that people are wanting to know about their health is exciting.

Joshua:  Ok now, Dr. Zoidberg.  Do you know who that is?  From Futurama?  The crab man?

Jeff:  Uh, is he the one with the . . . . (makes claw snapping motions with his hands) uh, he kind of freaks me out.  And he has that, it’s not a speech impediment, but he’s got those tentacles in front of his mouth . . . . and does he have something on his head too?

Joshua:  Sometimes.  When he gets excited.  And how about Dr. Kevorkian?

Jeff:  I think it’s a real ethical issue.

Joshua: To be sure!

Jeff:  You can easily say that it was wrong, but I think what was wrong was that people viewed him as being a doctor, and that his practice of medicine was wrong.

Joshua: With the whole Hippocratic oath and all that.

Jeff:  Right.  Ethically you’d hope that he was doing what he thought was right and if he was doing what he thought was right and people were knocking on his door than it’s hard to say.  On the other hand I don’t, I guess I don’t feel that its right for someone who’s in that position, where they wanted to end their life, I don’t think that’s something they should put on anyone else.  That is something they should put on themselves.

Joshua:  Next, Dr. Strange.

Jeff:  Oh that one really sounds familiar too.

Joshua:  He’s one of my favorites.

Jeff:  Maybe you dressed up as him once?

Joshua:  I did!  I made a Dr. Strange costume.

Jeff:  Um, I love him.  He is absolutely one of my favorites too.

Joshua:  Good!  What about Dr. Who?

Jeff:  Doesn’t he have a show?

Joshua:  Yeah, you and I have watched it, well I know you watched about a third of an episode that one time.

Jeff:  And it’s about a time traveling thing, or something?

Joshua:  Correct.

Jeff:  That’s very interesting.

Joshua:  It is interesting.

Jeff:  Now he traveled through time, did he get to pick where he went?

Joshua:  For the most part, sometimes his time machine sort of  just drops him off.

Jeff:  To do good?

Joshua:  Yeah, for the most part.

Jeff:  So he’s not just dropped someplace to slut around.

Joshua:  Yeah the Tardis doesn’t just choose a location based on the quality of their club scene.

Jeff:  Yeah, well I think that’s interesting, and I think probably everyone in life wants to do that, although they’d probably want to always be able to pick where they go.

Joshua:  Another one.  Dr. Doug Ross.  George Clooney’s character on ER.

Jeff:  You know, that’s a very good question.

Joshua:  Is it?

Jeff:  I don’t remember ever watching ER.

Joshua:  I’ve never watched it.

Jeff:  But I think that’s where his career really took off.  And I enjoy some of the movies that he’s been in.

Joshua:  Favorite George Clooney movie, while we’re talking about.  Just off the top of your head!

Jeff:  Uhh, well I liked the Oceans trilogy.  And there was one that I really liked, uh, From Dusk Till Dawn!  His tattoo in that movie is awesome.  If I had the cajones to get a tattoo, that’s what I’d get.  That’s a good movie.

Joshua:  I was just watching part of that today, it was on AMC earlier.

Jeff:  I like him.  I think he doesn’t take himself too seriously.  He’s a good actor.  So George Clooney, I like him.  I’m glad you brought it up.

You know what? He is a pretty good actor.

Joshua:  And how about Dr. Zhivago?  It’s a movie.

Jeff:  That sounds familiar, I’ve never seen it.

Joshua:  A David Lean movie, I have it.  No.  I don’t have it, I have Lawrence of Arabia which is another of his.

Jeff:  That’s a classic movie though right?

Joshua:  Classic movie!  You need to watch that.  Russian revolution, he’s a doctor, epic.  It’s a really good movie, you need to see it.

Jeff:  I hope you can see the spectrum of people that have the title of “doctor.”

Joshua:  Well here’s another question, this is off the cuff, I hadn’t thought of this earlier but speaking of the spectrum of doctors, would you like to see more chiropractors represented in movies and television, or do you know of any chiropractors that are in popular media?

Jeff:  I would say there is not a good example. There is a character on Two and a Half Men who is a chiropractor.

Joshua:  Oh christ!

Jeff:  Seinfeld talked about chiropractors a couple different times.  George with the famous line of “Doctor”  Ha!  I’m not gonna pay that bill!  But I think anyone who’d get upset by that, takes themselves too seriously.

Joshua:  Ok Jeff, here’s a question I’ve been doing with everyone that I’ve talked to.  Give me seven words to describe you, you’re life up to this point.  It can be a phrase or just seven words, whatever you think is more fitting.

Jeff:  I guess I’d consider myself, LovingHelpful, loyal.

Joshua:  Is this just going to be the Scout Law?

Jeff:  (Laughing) No, no.  I’m just thinking . . . it’s tough.

Joshua:  It is tough, Carl hated it.  Lauren went with a phrase.

JeffUnderstanding, and I don’t know if you’d count it as another one but also Compassionate, but I guess I feel that they’re the same.

Joshua:  I can see that.

JeffFocused.  One more?

Joshua:  I lost track.

Jeff:  I think so.  Excited.

Joshua:  I like those, those are some good ones.  I agree with your choices.  Alright here’s my last question, it’s kind of a long question, and this will just be first response that comes to your mind type of thing.  You’ve just been elected President of the United States.  It’s time to pick your cabinet, who’s on your cabinet?  Your Vice President?

Jeff:  My first lady!

Joshua:  Secretary of State?

Jeff:  Umm, George Clooney.

Joshua: (Laughing)  Yes, nice.  Secretary of the Treasury?

Jeff:  Lauren, your wife!

Joshua:  Yes!  Good choice 100%, she is definitely my Secretary of the Treasury!  Secretary of Defense?

Jeff:  Well, let’s see here . . . . hmm damn . . . . Alex Trebek.

Consider the United States defended.

Joshua:  Alex Trebek, Secretary of Defense, that has a nice ring to it.  I like it.  Justice, Secretary of Justice?

Jeff:  Uh, let’s see, Justice, um, Captain America.

Joshua:  Captain America, of course!  He would be a perfect Secretary of Justice.

Jeff:  Or Jesus, whichever.  Whoever is available.

Joshua:  Captain America or Jesus, whoever picks up the phone first.  Ok.  Department of the Interior?

Jeff:  Ha!  You said Interior, so let’s go with Clinton, from What Not To Wear.

Joshua:  Ha!  Ok, that’s what we’re going with!  Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture?

Jeff:  This is a serious one.

Joshua:  Oh yeah?  You really take this one to heart eh?

Jeff:  I would say . . . . I forget his name . . . . he is the author of a book and he was in Food Inc. as one of the commentators . . . .

Joshua:  Eh, don’t worry about it, google it and send me a text we’ll edit it in later, no problem.  Commerce?

Jeff:  Jay-Z.  He has money.

Joshua:  He does indeed have money.  Labor, Department of Labor?

Jeff:  I would go into downtown Detroit and pick someone off the assembly line.

Joshua:  I like that, real grassroots there.  Health, Department of Health.

Jeff:  Me!

Joshua:  What?  You’re already the President!  And your wife is already taken so you can’t use her either.

Jeff:  Dr. Oz.

Joshua:  Dr. Oz, why not!  Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?

Jeff:  I want to see someone more like Mitt Romney in that position of Urban Development.

Joshua:  Alright, interesting choice, interesting.  Transportation?

Jeff:  How about, John Madden.

Joshua:  He can certainly coordinate a good run.

Jeff:  Well he doesn’t fly in planes, he’s always on the bus.

Joshua:  Yes, that’s right!  I forgot about that, that’s a good choice.  Brilliant.  Secretary of Energy?

Jeff:  I think, I don’t know his name, the guy who owns the Tesla Company?

Joshua:  Education.  Department of Education who would you have in charge there?

Jeff:  Barnamus.  Mrs. Barnamus.

Joshua:  Was that a teacher of yours?

Jeff:  Yeah, she was my third through sixth grade teacher.

Joshua:  She was a good teacher then eh?

Jeff:  Myeh.

Joshua:  Secretary of Veterans Affairs?

Jeff:  Um, your father.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  I think he’d run a tight ship there!  Ol’ Glenwood Chester, he’d make shit happen.  For those out there who don’t know my father he’s an 81 year old former Navy vet who is notorious for his activities down at the American Legion and his volunteering he does with the funeral honor guard there.  Finally, Homeland Security.

Jeff:  This one, I take this one very seriously.  I think, I don’t know if it’s allowed, but I’d pick James Bond.

Joshua:  James Bond, he’s not an American citizen though.

Jeff:  That’s alright, they don’t have to be an American citizen do they?  I’m sure he can get his citizenship before they swear him in.  If Pamela Anderson can be citizen, James Bond can be a citizen.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  That, might be the take away quote from this interview!  And probably one of my favorite quotes of all time, if Pamela Anderson can be a citizen, James Bond can be a citizen.  Alight Jeff Holman do you have any final statements you want to say before we end this?

Jeff:  No, no it was a lot of fun.  Thank you for your time.

Joshua:  I’m glad you took it serious, and I liked what you had to say.

Jeff:  Yeah, I try to take most questions serious, it was a lot of fun though.  I hope it goes well.  I’m interested to read this one as well as your other blog entries to see how it goes.  See how I compared to other people.

Joshua:  Well, it’s different questions!

Jeff:  Well thank you.

Joshua: No, thank you sir!

That is all!



People I Know: Carl Randles

It was a dark and stormy night.  I’d just finished off a homemade meal with a few unexpected dinner guests.  After the plates were cleaned up and the chit chat dispensed the guests headed out and my wife headed to bed, that’s when I sent the message to Carl Randles.  His long travel to my house from his distant domicile was hindered by the inky blackness of night combined with the torrential downpour that drenched the landscape and had become a chronic ailment of the changing season.  Braving these elements however Carl arrived on my doorstep at around 10 o’clock.  I showed him in and we sat down at my dining room table over matching cups of hot tea.  The rain beating down on the glass of the adjacent window was a constant reminder of the cold unruly harshness of nature which has become man’s self appointed sisyphean task to struggle against.  There was an intensity in our speech that night, and a depth to our meaning.

Just kidding.  It wasn’t nearly that serious.  Ha!  Although I was pleasantly surprised at how candid our conversation was and how serious my friend took the questions I put before him.  It was a very long and pleasant conversation and after it was all said and done I felt like I had just been through some type of therapy session, although I’m not sure whether my role was as the analyst or the patient.

How can I describe Carl Randles?  He’s a unique fellow with a hugely diverse area of interests who never fails to conjure strange bits of information at the most opportune moments.  I’m sure everyone knows someone amongst their group of friends similar to Carl.  The type of friend who meshes well with the rest of the group, and who has a confident unintentional charm about him.  Someone who is generally well liked by everyone, and who no one can seem to pinpoint any fault with.  Basically the type of person who winds up being a serial killer.  “Oh he always seemed so nice.  He was so polite and quiet, we never suspected he had a closet full of hobo feet.

Again only joking!  I’m 98% sure Carl has never killed anyone!

Before I even got into my prepared questions Carl and I got into a hearty conversation that included what my goal was with this interview, life getting in the way of art and having to work less-than-fulfilling jobs in order to pay the bills.  We talked about whether morning or evening was the best time for creative expression, and how to find time in general to foster said creativity.  We touched on the upcoming Mid-Ohio Comic Con and the outrageous commercialization and monopolization of comic book conventions in general.  Over all Carl and I talked for about an hour and a half and unfortunately there had to be a considerable amount of editing in order to shave it all down to an acceptable length.  So without further ado let’s get into it already!

Carl Randles laborer, student, artist, good friend, man, woman, child, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, Carl Randles.

Carl as he peruses the dollar bins at Baltimore Comic Con.

Joshua: So Carl, first of all thanks for coming here on such short notice!

Carl: No problem.  I’m not gonna lie I thought you wanted me to help you with your Stormtrooper outfit.

Joshua: Ha!  Oh well if you want to help too, we can do that after we’re done here.  Maybe I’ll let you wear it.

Carl:  Naw, you should be the first one to wear it fully done.

Joshua: Yeah I suppose, but I might still need your help.  I’ll let you know.  But anyway, when you and I first met a lot of our conversations centered around Star Wars and comic books.  Those were some unifying subjects for us.  What geek, or pop culture subjects these days do you feel don’t get enough attention, or that you’d like to see get more of the spotlight?

Carl: Myself, I would love to know more European comic book artists, because there are things that are huge over there and I’ve only read a few things.  I’m reading Tin Tin and I’ve read Blacksad which the art in is terrific.

Joshua Blacksad?  I don’t know what that is.

Carl: It’s about an anthropomorphic detective, and the crime noir style caught my eye, and the art is just phenomenal.  I have one edition of it.  That would be cool obviously to check that out.  I don’t know too much though, my interests in Hell Boy and B.P.R.D have gotten big and Mignola is huge now which blew my mind.  I think I started reading those in high school which I think was a few years after he got started and it surprised me, I wouldn’t say I jump on the bandwagon a lot, but when its popularity falls off that’s when I get into stuff.

This is Blacksad, the anthropomorphic cat detective

Joshua: Yeah, being there at the beginning of something like that is rare.

Carl:  You’ve got to feel stuff out I guess.  I tried that once, being the frontrunner.  I don’t feel right being that guy that’s like “Oh yeah I heard about that before . . . .”  I had that happen once, with a band, and it was stupid.

Joshua:  What band was it?

Carl: (Laughing)  Limp Bizkit!

Joshua:  (Laughing) Ha! Fantastic!

Carl: I remember I was in high school when they came out, and I think I was in Quonset Hut and I was like “Three dollar bill y’all.”  I don’t think I even picked the album up, but I’d heard them on the radio.  My music changed I really liked Korn at the time, and now I haven’t even listened to them in years.

Joshua:  Why do you think some of those European books and things are overlooked?

Carl:  I guess because they’re not established, they’re not Marvel or DC.  I don’t know it’s really adult, I would love to go back and read 2000 AD and the early Heavy Metal books which are phenomenal, but I don’t really know why some of that stuff doesn’t make it.

Joshua:  Comic book fans always seem to know of them, but they don’t always seem to know the details.  Comic book fans talk a big game, I think a lot of the time, but then when it actually comes to reading things . . . .

Carl: Oh yeah, I’ve gotten to that point.  In my mind there’s all these books, like stupid Wizard puts out those lists “Top 100 Trades” that I think, ok I’ll check that out.  But then again that’s their opinion, I would probably love to read that stuff but don’t know why.

Joshua: So are you reading any comics currently?

Carl: I have back orders of some of the Punisher, and Hell Boy/B.P.R.D stuff, but other than that I’m just hearing of individual one or two trades that I want to look into.  Tin Tin is one I’m trying to read.

Joshua:  I want to see the movie.

Carl: Yeah that’s why at this point I have this trade, the one story in it is what the movie is based on.  It’s pretty cool and clean illustrations, the line qualities are really nice.  I would definetly suggest it.  Other than that, I was reading Loveless and Jonah Hex.  The current stuff is all one-shots like 99% of the time, just boom, boom, boom.

Joshua: Ah, that’s like old school comic books there, going back to individual issues.

Carl:  Yeah, yeah.  It’s pretty cool.  There’s also Criminal and Incognito, I might be about one story arc behind on those, but I like that kind of stuff.  Oh! AND the Goon, whenever the hell that stuff comes out.

Joshua:  Ha! Yeah, whatever year and a half time frame it takes to put out a new Goon book.  While we’re still on the subject of comics, here’s the most typical comic book question ever asked:  What is your favorite comic book company?

Carl:  Company?  God damn . . . .

Joshua:  That’s not really an easy question to answer anymore.

Carl:  DC I loved for awhile, but then the story arcs they were focusing on were . . . .  I kind of lost interest in.  But I do kind of like that they started over with their reboot, it’s ballsy!  Which is cool, you have to go back, and all these young people can get into it which is smart, business-wise.  It also pisses off a lot of people, and I can sometimes understand that but most of the time I’m just like, let it go.

Joshua:  (Laughing)  Yeah, but most of the DC Mega Fans are on death’s doorstep anyway.

Carl:  Marvel is cool.  But my favorite?  I want to say Dark Horse or Image because they’re underground, and with Image it’s creator owned.  I haven’t read a whole lot of stuff, maybe because it’s not out there and what I know, but I can’t really take the chances and spend the money on the books.  But it’s the same with Dark Horse, they’re both along the same lines.

Joshua:  Dark Horse too has really taken up the abandoned business of the licensed books that Marvel and DC don’t really do any more.

Carl:  Yeah, they’ve put out reprints, and have the rights for all the old Conan and stuff like that.

Joshua:  So Carl, speaking of comics and art and all that, would you consider yourself to be an artist?

Carl:  If you’re including my output, hell no.

Joshua:  Well I mean, I suppose it really comes down to who is an artist?

Carl: I would love to be able to realize and understand all of the high art concepts.  But I can’t fathom it all, I wouldn’t be able to create it myself I think, which sucks.

Joshua:  You mean like you’d want to come up with your own artistic concept, like being a founder of surrealism or something?

Carl: Yeah, like all the modern stuff where it’s just an image, like a Mark Rothko where it’s just a canvas and there’s two shitty blocks.  And there’s something behind that, which when I look at something I may not see it.  I usually see textural and have a very two dimensional approach to it, there might be some nice aesthetics and textures.  So you have to look behind what the artist meant to do, which is not convoluted, but it is advancing the art form but like you said, what is art?  It’s man’s creation, painting or writing, anything can be art.  But then you have people who are high up who talk down comic books and say it’s childish, but then again that’s because we were forced to think that.  But you look at the stuff of Alan Moore or Grant Morrison, that European stuff that we haven’t really read, they love that, that’s high art to them!

Joshua:  Yeah, yeah absolutely.  Well and they put big concepts into their work.

Carl:  Yes, very satirical.  Usually whenever I do something my train of thought isn’t very logical for most people, so it’s like phrase after phrase, it’s more emotional rather than logical.

Joshua:  Well that’s pretty much art right there!

Carl:  I guess I’m saying I’m just not that precise, so if I’m looking at a piece of art I may not even be able to explain, or dissect it to a point.

Joshua:  That’s where the arrogance of art comes in, people trying to tell you, what an artist is thinking.  Who would you say are some of your artistic inspirations?

Carl:  Comic book-wise would be like Mike Mignola.  Writers I’d say Ed Brubaker, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison.  More artists, David Mack and even someone like Stan Sakai, there is something in that fucking line, he can really nail that stuff out.  A lot of comic book artists are really talented, there are some of course who are just not my taste obviously, but I’ve found myself getting less interested in the superhero genre.  That type of realism just doesn’t do it for me any more.  With Hell Boy it is realistic but it’s two dimensional, and there’s really graphic elements to it.  Same with Usagi, even though Stan Sakai is not realistic, it’s two dimensional, but Fucking-A . . . .

Joshua:  Ok Carl let’s really get into the important questions now.  Answer me this, what is your favorite ethnic food?

Carl: I guess maybe Asian food?  I mean unfortunately I haven’t really had all that much, well, I guess there’s pasta which is Italian, there’s Mexican.  I’d really like to try more of the others, like Russian and everything else that’s out there.

Joshua:  You should go with me and Lauren to the Russian Festival out in Mogadore sometime!

Carl: Is that yearly?

Joshua:  Yeah it’s at St. Nicholas church, the big Russian Orthodox church out there.  It’s pretty cool.  The church is interesting, you go into the sanctuary there and it’s like stepping back into the Renaissance.  All the stylized iconography and all that, I guess it’s the Byzantine style or whatever.

Carl:  Yeah that very two dimensional, geometric, style where it was all story based to get the illiterates to understand the church.

Joshua:  But they have some good food out there.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Mogadore Ohio

Carl: I’ve always been intrigued by the Russians, with their borscht.

Joshua: That’s just fun to say.  But overall you’d say that, of the foods you know of, Asian cuisine is your favorite?

Carl:  I think so, there’s a little more variety.  Then you’ve got sushi and everything in there.

Joshua:  Now, moving on, as everyone may or may not know you have partaken in several multimedia productions along with myself and directed by the incomparable David Tavolier where you play a character named Dennis, talk about Dennis.

Carl: As a character I kind of know him.  That he is this stumbling, lower level, naive character but I also know that that’s quite a bit of me because I don’t know how to act and it’s just like I’m awkward behind it and so it’s just a lot of me coming through in that part.

Joshua:  Well that’s my next question, which is what’s your motivation for Dennis?

Carl: Well I know that I don’t have so much self respect that I wouldn’t lick out of a puddle, there’s a point that you’ll do anything for the laugh.  There’s humility at some point I think though.

Joshua: Right, sure.  Like you’re not going to whip your dick out for a laugh.

Carl: (Laughing) Well, I don’t know . . . .

Joshua: (Laughing) If it’s really funny, it’s worth it!?

Carl:  There’s a point where you think of your self respect.  Like, am I degrading myself?  I would suppose that after time if that’s all that I’m known for, that would be the borderline if that happens.

Joshua:  So you’ve gone too far when you’ve become a porn star?  That’s crossing a line?

Carl:  Yeah cause then it’s like, oh no, not this racket again.  But no, in conjunction with Reginald Sterling that is a good pairing because you have that comedic duo.

Joshua:  Both idiots though.

Reginald Sterling and Dennis off on another whirlwind adventure!

Carl:  But yeah, Dennis is just me trying to act.

Joshua:  So would you say that it’s just a caricature of yourself?

Carl:  I think so.  Because you know, you’re reacting, so you can just emphasize what you may be thinking already, what you would do normally.  I feel awkward because I’ll be thinking about the acting aspect of it, I don’t want to screw anything up, I’m always worried about whatever lines I have, which will be very minimal.  But all that is the character, and we always have fun.

Joshua:  Yeah, we do.  Ok Carl, very last question.  Encapsulate Carl Randles for the readers in just five words.

Carl:  Five words?!

Joshua:  I gave Lauren seven last week, but I’m only going to give you five because you have quite a talent for what I like to call “minimalist vocalizations.”

Carl:  Ugh, God.  Honestly I usually stray from those kinds of questions.

Joshua:  I know, yeah.  Well I’m gonna force you to do it Carl.  Five words.

Carl:  Well if I try to say humble I feel like I’m an asshole.

Joshua: (Laughing) Ha!  That’s pretty much the definition of humble Carl!

Carl:  It just feels wrong to say it, I aspire to be modest and stuff like that, but . . . Do you want a sentence or . . . . like “Carl Randles is . . . ?”

Joshua:  Carl Randles is an asshole!  There you go!  No, it doesn’t have to be a sentence it can be abstract, free verse, structureless.  Just five words.

Carl:  Um, start with Blathering, I guess.  This is just weird

Joshua:  Think of it this way, think of it as a five word time capsule of you right now, up to this point in your life.

CarlBlathering.  Uh Lazy?  Maybe also Uninformed?

Joshua:  But you knew about Limp Bizkit!

My guess is he was drawn in by the cover art.

Carl:  Also Reactive.

Joshua:  These don’t have to be terrible things about you Carl!

Carl:  It’s hard to think positive things, I think maybe I don’t really like looking back on myself.

Joshua:  (Laughing) Christ!  What do you mean?  I guess it can be whatever you want, are you determined to end this on a downer Carl?

Carl:  (Laughing)  Well it’s honestly how I feel about myself sometimes, but it’s not like devastating to me, or a depression.  I don’t feel highly about myself sometimes, or whatever.

Joshua:  Yeah I know what you mean, and maybe it’s because we’re older now, we’re both thirty.  I recently have looked back on my own life and thought what have I done?  Could I have done more with this?  But like you said it’s not depressing necessarily you just get retrospective.

Carl:  But I also have the viewpoint on life that if you have a family and a good solid base, that’s what’s important.  If you enjoy your life and the people in it you don’t have to be something huge.  But there’s also that dilemma of “Did I do anything?  What’s this life for?”  You do look back on it.

Joshua:  Well if you start thinking about your family, and your great great grandparents and distant relatives, who were any of those people?  Do you really have any real recollection of those relatives, what they did, and who they were, those people who got you to this time and place.  It just gets you thinking about your own legacy and all that.

Carl:  George Carlin brought up interesting aspects of that though, like who the fuck cares where your last name is?  You, as an individual, are what’s intriguing.  There’s also other people who have that thought that the world shouldn’t have flags, it should be one world nation.  It’s interesting.  I can’t always get behind one way or another, and that would actually be another of those words.

Joshua:  What would?

Carl: Uh, meandering?  You know like, in between childlike.

Joshua:  Ok . . . .

Carl:  Because again we’re in our 30’s and we’re not serious businesspeople and stressed out, which I think I enjoy more then being that.  I mean yeah, you can still have a steady job and be important and enjoy that, but we fucking screw around and make noises that are childish.  Just looking to enjoy ourselves and have fun with the friends around us is important as well.

Joshua:  Yeah I can totally get behind that.  There’s something about having too much responsibility and dealing with huge amounts of stress and hassle with your job, doing those things that you don’t enjoy in order to just make it, which just seems wrong.

Carl:  So what do I have so far?  Blathering, lazy, reactive, uninformed, and meandering.

Joshua:  That’s five, and that’s all I have for you Carl.  Do you have any final words before we end this interview?

Carl:  Nah.  Thanks for the tea!  It was good, what was it again?

Joshua:  This was Yorkshire Gold.  It’s a pretty strong tea, I didn’t brew this particular pot that long so it wasn’t too bad.

Carl:  The only one I’ve had that was strong, or weird, was that African root tea . . .

Joshua:  The rooibos.

Carl:  Yeah!  That’s it.

Joshua:  Alright.

And there you have it, an epic interview featuring the one and only Carl Randles.  Hopefully this has given you some new nuggets of information or perhaps even a glimpse into the very nature of humankind itself . . . .

That is all!

People I Know: My Wife

Dedicated educator. Loving wife. Frustrated puggle wrangler. Iconic woman. These are phrases I regularly use to describe my wife Lauren.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Lauren during one of her rare moments of relaxation, between grading papers and catching up on favorite shows from our DVR.  She was stuck sitting in front of our computer enduring the long drawn out process of updating her iTunes.  I made use of that captive, vulnerable moment in order to ask my wife the following questions and snag my first interview for this new section of my blog, People I Know.  The interview began somewhat distant, perhaps because I shanghaied her when she was least expecting it, and she wasn’t a fan of my impromptu interviewing technique.  Eventually however Lauren seemed to relax and really gave some insight into the life of this amazing woman.

Joshua: I just want to say first of all, that I’m glad I could sit you down here today Lauren.

Lauren: Why thank you, thank you sir.

Joshua: And second of all, I’d like to just say before we get into the questions that I love you very much.

Lauren: I love you.

Joshua: Ok, question one.  Where did you get your shirt from? It’s grey and has what looks like, water color flowers seemingly painted on it in a Japanese type of artistic style.

Lauren: Kohls. I got it from Kohls.

Joshua: And how much of your wardrobe would you say is from Kohls?

Lauren: 50%

Joshua: 50% ?!?

Lauren: Easily, yeah.

Joshua: Where do you buy your puggle’s clothes?

Lauren: Mostly Petsmart, but that one time we got that one outfit from Pets Pajamas.  It was really cute and expensive, but unfortunately it was too small, so we gave it to our friends Jeff and Mandy, who have a smaller dog.

Joshua: So would you say that Petsmart is the Kohls equivalent for pets?

Lauren: On the contrary, I would say that Kohls is the Petsmart for people.

Joshua: That’s actually a pretty good comparison.  There’s a whole lot of stuff at Kohls that you don’t really think about.  It’s more than just clothes.

Lauren: Yes.

Joshua: Here’s another question.  Who’s your favorite Ninja Turtle?

Lauren: Michelangelo.

Joshua: And why is that?

Lauren: Orange.

Joshua: Fair enough.  Now, if you had to describe yourself in just seven words or less, and I’ll give you a second to think about it, how would you describe yourself.

Lauren: The TLC album Crazy, Sexy, Cool.  That’s it.  That’s all I need.

Joshua: Ha ha! I like that!  Yes.  Ok now how much time do we have for your iTunes update?

Lauren: (laughing) 34 minutes!  Please don’t interview me for 34 minutes!

Joshua: Sum up for us, what you do.

Lauren: Like right now what I’m doing?

Joshua: What do you do?

Lauren: What do I do? Like on the planet, or you want to know what I do for a job?

Joshua: What . . . do you do?  Paragraph, roughly.

Lauren: Here’s what I do with my life.  Of my waking hours 25-30 percent of my time is spent caring for my physical appearance and the appearance of my house as well as feeding myself and other people who happen into my home.  Food is really the number one thing that I think about and spend time on I have to say.  So about 30% of my day is all of that.  I spend a lot of time guiding young minds, much of my best guiding happens when I’m not actually doing my standard teaching.  I would say that I spend a good 10-15 percent of my time repeating myself for the benefit of those same young minds.  I think about the future a lot, I plan ways to horde my money, and I evaluate a lot during my day.

Joshua: What types of things do you evaluate?

Lauren: Did I do a good job on my lesson? Was dinner ok? Are we saving enough for retirement? Will I have enough gas money? What would taste good in two hours when I want a snack? Was the snack I made what I really wanted?  Do I look ok in this outfit?  Am I getting big chunky love handles, and how do I get rid of them?  Did I do a good job of buying pants that hide them?  Those things.

Joshua:  And my last question for you is this.  As an educator there’s a lot of education talk in the media these days and some heavy debate about teachers.  What do you think are some of the best fictional portrayals of educators in media.  Movies, television, fictional teachers.  Who are some of your favorites?  Top 5.

Lauren: I sort of hate fictional teachers. Though I really like Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Everyone always says Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, but I don’t give a crap.  Mr. Holland’s Opus, he was a good educator.  Also I often refer to that movie as Mr. Holland’s Anus on a regular basis, so that’s always a good one.  But in all honesty I don’t really pay a lot of attention to, or enjoy watching, teachers in movies.

Joshua: What about Mr. Kotter, from Welcome Back, Kotter?

Lauren: I never saw it.  But you know who I do like? Miss Lippy from Billy Madison!  Because some days I want to send the children outside to play dodgeball while I stay inside and spread paste on my face and do interpretive dance.  That’s all.

Joshua:  So just three fictional teachers?

Lauren: Yeah, and that wasn’t even a very good list.  If you gave me some time maybe I could come up with some better ones.

Joshua: No.  No time.

Lauren: That’s it.

Joshua: Alright, well I’d like to thank you for this time and I hope that your iTunes updates happen in a prompt fashion, that they don’t time out on you, and that in 29 minutes you’re listening to some good tunes.

Lauren: Thank you.

Joshua: Any final words?

Lauren:  Thrombosis.

Joshua: And that is all!

People I Know

So I’ve decided that I want to add a new regular segment to my blog.  An interview portion where I talk to folks to find out what they do, who they are, what inspires them, and to learn their opinions about some of the pop culture and geek interests that I cover in this blog.  But here’s the twist, I don’t really know anyone who’s famous (although I did go to high school with the Black Keys, but they were ahead of me in school . . . ), and I don’t really have contact with any top ranking experts in specific fields so all my interviews will be, as the title suggests, just real people I know.

That’s not to say that I don’t know some interesting people.  I have quite an eclectic group of friends, if I do say so myself.  I know several artists, a couple of chiropractors, my wife is a teacher, I know a welder who has performed standup, a photographer, musicians, students, I have a cousin who is a CPA, a mother who is a nurse, I have friends who aspire to work in film, I know a young woman who was involved in the Roller Derby, and I could go on and on.

My point is that I’m surrounded by interesting people with a plethora of unique perspectives and I think it would be incredibly enlightening and amusing to tap these folks for interviews, giving them a chance to talk about themselves, discuss some of the issues of the day, and find out what their thoughts are about such poignant questions as “Who would win in a fight between Admiral Ackbar and Davey Jones?”  I know what my answer is, but what do other people I know think?

To be completely honest this is also a bit of a self serving venture because it gives me an excuse to set aside some time to sit down with some of my friends and have a semi-serious conversation, something that often seems hard to come by in these high speed, constant activity times.  This gives me a great chance to learn a little more about the friends and family I already know so well, while at the same time providing me some fresh blog fodder!  It’s a perfect venture.

So if you know me, expect to get a call or text in the near future setting up a time for your interview.  I don’t care if you don’t think you have anything interesting to say, I want to hear it, and I want to post it here so the rest of the world (aka the 11 people who might actually read the post) can read it too!  I’m already working on getting my first interviewee set up, so expect the first segment of People I Know to appear next week sometime!

That is all!

These people I do not know.


These are people I know.