The Great Interview Experiment

Share the joy

The Great Interview ExperimentI can’t even tell you how I found out about this little interwebs-game, but I did and I signed up and it was very interesting and fun.  The basic premise of the GIE is that I interview the person who signed up before me, and I am interviewed by the person who signed up after me, or something like that.

So, my interviewee-pal is a chap named ‘Jack’ who maintains his blog

Whoa.  I had been assigned a real deal, hard out blogger.  Someone who writes and blogs for the sheer love and joy of it, someone who is not a mommy-blogger, someone who writes really, really well and doesn’t just fill the gaps with pics of whatever their kid did that day (like me).  Suffice to say, Jack’s blog has been added to my google reader.

Here are my questions and Jack’s answers;

  • Your blog archive dates back to 1999, though your posts then seem somewhat…….blank.  Were you just inventing the interwebs back then or beginning your blogging journey?  What were you really doing online in 1999?

I started blogging in 2004. It was kind of an impulsive move on my part, can’t really say what made me do it. Prior to my blogging career I had participated on a bunch of message boards and various chat rooms. I started doing that sometime around 1994.

I know for certain that I was doing it on January 16, 1994 because it was the night before the Northridge earthquake. I saw Schindler’s List that night and was so bothered by it that when I got home I logged onto AOL and spent some time there trying to distract myself.

Anyhoo, years later I am a seasoned blogger with a ridiculous number of posts.

  • New Zealanders are beginning to share you view on over-parenting, those precious kids are being referred to here as “cotton-wool kids”.  How are you letting your kids get grubby and bruised and really experiencing the world?

I am a big believer in teaching kids how to survive in the real world. That means that sometimes I let them fail at activities. When we play games I don’t always let them win. They need to learn how to deal with adversity and how to rely upon their own resourcefulness, ingenuity and intellect.  At the same time we try to be careful to make sure that their egos don’t get crushed in the process. It is a real balancing act.

It makes me crazy when I see parents totally cater to their children. One day those kids will be in a world of hurt because a situation will arise and no one will be there to rescue them.

Part of the process/theory we use is providing the kids with an allowance and providing opportunities for them to spend their own money to get things that they want. Again there is a bit of a balancing act going on, but I like them to understand that things aren’t free. Not to mention the benefits of teaching them how to use money responsibly.

  • Practitioners of the Jewish faith here in New Zealand are about as rare as a good taco, so can you hook me up with a good Latkes recipe?  I have tried to make them one time and they turned out not so bueno.  Thanks in advance.

There are a million different recipes for Latkes. I am a big fan of Joan Nathan. She is a well known author of cookbooks of Jewish foods. The New York Times just ran an article she wrote with some latke recipes that sound interesting.

I like making latkes and use a recipe that is similar to this one. I say similar because I am one of those people who uses the recipe as a sort of guide. I never make anything exactly the same way, there is always a special twist or two.

  • How much social media is enough?  FB, blogging, tumblr, posterous, twitter…….where does it end and what suffers as a result?  Your thoughts please

Social media is an interesting sort of animal. It is the kind of thing that can easily become a major time suck and I suspect addicting for some people. I suppose that I have sort of a low grade addiction. I truly can’t imagine giving up blogging, but that is because I love to write. It is a an expression and an outlet that I never grow tired of.  But I certainly don’t spend the same amount of time reading and commenting on other blogs as I once did.

I have two Facebook accounts that I use.There is one that is tied into my blog. Since I am semi anonymous I decided that it was easier to use one account strictly for the blog. I have a second account under my real name that I use with friends, family and business colleagues.

I got into Twitter a year ago. For a long time I was reluctant to add any other “extra curricular” activities to a fairly busy schedule. But a while back it became obvious that social media was going to be a big part of my business so I set about doing what I could to try and learn how to become proficient in it.

The question of when does it become too much is subjective. I suppose that if you become so involved that you lose your employment or find personal relationships suffering it is time to curtail or cut out some of your social media activities.

  • How does a Jewish family spend Christmas Day?

Christmas day is just another day of the year for us, albeit one in which we often find ourselves with lots of free time. There is an old joke that Christmas day is the time when all the Chinese restaurants are filled with Jewish families.

It is not unusual for families to go to the movies or to organize parties. In college they used to have dances they called “The Matza Ball” that we would hit.

In my family we did a lot of those things. But some years we would be invited by Christian friends to their homes. When that happened we’d go hang out and help them celebrate.

  • Have you participated in the Great Interview Experiment before?  If this is your first time, how did you find out about it?

I did this last year. I interviewed Marinka.

  • What do you love/hate about LA?

I am a native Angeleno, born and raised in Los Angeles. I love this city. It has everything that you could ever want in a city. There is art, museum, cultural events, incredible restaurants, great entertainment and of course spectacular weather.  How many cities can you name that provide the opportunity to surf and ski on the same day. It is close to the mountains and the desert. There is fresh fruit year round.

Going back to food, Los Angeles offers access to great ethnic cuisine. We probably have the best Mexican food in the country and in spite of the protestations from others we have great pizza. You can find a great steak with your eyes shut and there isn’t a city anywhere that offers more opportunities for great sushi.

And none of that covers great Indian food, some of the Ethiopian restaurants or the hundreds of others that are here.

On the other side of the coin I have seen the city grow and become a bit crowded. Not unlike many cities traffic has become problematic and the public transportation needs work.

As a kid the public school system was great. We received an excellent education and went to the best universities. There are many issues now that need to be addressed. You can still receive a very fine education but it has become harder.

In addition the housing market went crazy here. It has become harder to find affordable homes to purchase.Now that the bubble has burst there seems to have been a correction, but I wonder.

  • Have you considered moving your family anywhere else in the world to live?  If so where and why

I love L.A. and there really aren’t too many other places that I would consider living. All that being said I wouldn’t say that I am locked into living here forever. In 1995 I was on the verge of moving to Israel. Some times I am still surprised that it didn’t happen.

Within the states I’d consider living in a bunch of different places, preferably a warmer climate. I am a guy who can wear t-shirts and shorts year round. I don’t like the cold very much. Although I suppose that if the right opportunity came up I could find myself living virtually anywhere.