I really must like talking about myself, because I was excited to find more interview questions from Laura this morning! And she had some GOOD'UNS, man! Since my goal today is to do as little work as I can get away with (Give me a break; I've had a rough week), what better time than now to dig in, so away we go!
1. In your profile, you describe yourself as, "Mediocre in most areas but with occasional flashes of brillance." In what areas do you consider yourself brilliant? No modesty needed, we all know you're fabulous! So brag about it!
Oh my God; note to self - change moronic profile. A better description than "brilliant" would probably be "wit". I've attended five colleges, yet have no degree and I'm so very far away from being "brilliant" about anything relevant. BUT, I have a vast knowledge on almost all things pop culture-related and I also know I can be a pretty funny mofo at times as well. My favorite thing in the world is to make someone laugh, especially the ones who are the toughest nuts to crack, so I consider that a pretty good achievement. I'm glad that was the first question - get over myself already!
2. (Blatantly copying...) If Tom Cruise were standing before you spouting that twaddle he said a while back about how psychological meds just help people cope and don't actually cure anything, would he become the second person you ever punched in the face? Seriously, as a fellow anxiety and depression sufferer, what would you say to those folks who don't "believe" in medicating for mental issues? (And, how's it going?)
I was so happy when I saw this question. I love celebrities, but I have a serious problem when they start spouting off opinions on shit they know little to nothing about such as politics, religion and in this case medicine. As we all know, he's a Scientologist and most of what he says is based on that rhetoric. I know they don't like meds, and while I do believe there are a lot of doctors out there who are butt buddies with their drug companies and love nothing more than to write you a handful of 'scripts to walk out with, Mr. Cruise is bugfuck crazy. He's in a "religion" that is based off of the teachings of a no-talent Science Fiction writer. I am doing great with my anxiety issues at the moment and I believe a "take as needed" drug (Xanax in my case) is the best for me. I also believe if my dad would've been taking it, it might have saved his life. Oh, and would I punch Tom Cruise? No, but that's only because I still remember the glory days of Top Gun, Cocktail and Jerry Mcguire. And his smile is his most redeeming quality, so I wouldn't want to be the one to ruin the teeth. But still: Bug. Fuck. Crazy.
3. What's the best advice you've ever ignored?
Dude, you have some seriously great questions! I would have to say it came from my dad and it was to get a college degree. Referring back to question 1, it's a serious thorn in my side I haven't completed one yet, though I haven't given up on the idea either. Had I even finished my Bachelor's at this point, I could be working in the same job making more money, because no matter what people say that degree equals more cash. Yes, Bill Gates is a college dropout, but I think he might have invented an operating system that helped make him enough bank so that he's not really regretting not having that diploma on the wall. For me, a degree would've helped a lot, both financially and how I view myself. My dad also told me it's just as easy to marry someone rich, but I didn't listen to that either. God, I'm an idiot.
4. You seem to write about nostalgic subjects a lot. What aspects of your misspent youth would you repeat, and what aspects would you care to forget about completely? Please, don't skimp on the embarrassing details.
There was a strange period of limbo-time I spent in my late teens/early 20's, where I somehow managed to still live at home enough to get fed and sleep there sometimes, only work part-time yet always have beer and gas money and had a group of friends, both male and female, who were so incestuously close it was crazy. We took road trips together, went to concerts, went on camping trips, drank beer at our parents' houses, drank beer in the woods, drank beer illegally in scary biker bars, paired off and had sex with each other, slept with each other without having sex - we pretty much spent every free moment together. One of them I moved here with and even after we broke up, we remain friends to this day and we've been talking about having a reunion of sorts with all the people who comprised this group. It was one of the happiest, most free-spirited times in my life and I think of it fondly and often.
And hmmm, what would I care to forget? I'm going to have to take a potty break, refill my coffee and think about this one for a minute. Okay, I'm back - somebody brought in doughnuts so I got distracted for a minute. I guess the part of my life I'd like to forget would be the period from starting September 2001 and lasting through the next year or so. My two-year-old marriage stumbled and both of us turned to other people first emotionally, then in every other way you can imagine. It was a horrible time, yet I'm not sure the right thing would be to forget about it, because we both learned huge lessons during that time and were able to survive it, grow from it and come out with a much stronger relationship than we ever had before. So I guess no forgetting for me.
5. This last one is less of a question and more of a request. Demand? Something. I need more recipes! Share a favorite one, please!
Well, considering I've looked many times at your World Famous Nosh, I'm a little intimidated to offer YOU one of MINE. But since you asked, no DEMANDED, I guess I will. This comes from the Soprano Family Cook-book and it was the first time I'd ever made my own spaghetti sauce from scratch. It took most of a whole day and I was a nervous wreck not to screw up thirty bucks' worth of ingredients, but holy cannoli was that stuff the shit! Here goes:
Sopranos Sunday Gravy (That's what them Eye-talians call sauce)
For the Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb meaty pork neck bones or pork spareribs
1 lb veal stew meat or 2 veal shoulder chops
1 lb Italian sausage
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 (28 ounce) cans peeled Italian tomatoes
2 cups water
6 leaves fresh basil, torn into small pieces
For the Meatballs
1 lb ground beef (or combination of beef or pork)
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese or parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb pasta shells or rigatoni pasta, cooked and hot
freshly grated romano cheese or parmesan cheese
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
- Pat the pork dry and put the pieces in the pot.
- Cook turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned on all sides.
- Transfer pork to a plate.
- Brown the veal in the same way and add it to the plate.
- Place the sausages in the pot and brown on all sides.
- Set the sausages aside with the pork.
- Drain off most of the fat from the pot.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden.
- Remove and discard the garlic.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- With a food mill (I use a Braun hand blender) puree the tomatoes, with their juice into the pot.
- Or for a chunkier sauce, just chop up the tomatoes and add them.
- Add the water; and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pork, veal, sausages, and basil and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little more water.
- Meanwhile, make the meatballs: Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl.
- Mix together thoroughly.
- Rinse your hands with cool water and lightly shape the mixture into 2 inch balls.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet.
- Add the meatballs and brown them well on all sides.
- They will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
- After the sauce has cooked for its two hours, add the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the meats are very tender.
- To serve, remove the meats from the sauce and set aside.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Serve the meats as a second course, or reserve them for another day.
Well, if that wasn't fun as heck to do. I look forward to reading everyone else's Q & A's as well. I had an idea, but I don't think I ever realized what a voyeur I really and truly am. Somebody get me a tape recorder and some binoculars and I'll be able to embark on a whole new career.