Interview With a Blogger

Our names: C.S. and J.G.

Name of our blog: Hotchpot Café


In a few sentences, describe your blog.

It’s a little bit of everything. We know we are *supposed* to narrow the focus, but we like writing about what’s going on in our lives and whatever interests us. Hence the name.

How long have you been blogging?

Our first blogiversary is June 17th.

Why do you blog?

It’s a fun something that we do together.

What’s the most positive aspect of blogging? Most negative?

The best part is the friends we have made online. Most people from real life show little interest, but we feel surprisingly connected to our virtual friends. The most negative part is… keeping up the pace. (And sometimes we squabble about content.)

What inspires your blog entries?

Anything that might be worth telling, or might be fun writing about. We also sometimes do memes.

Do you compose posts ahead of time, or do you write "on the fly"?

C.S. – On the fly, always.

J.G. – Mostly, a few days in advance. I like having 2 or 3 posts in waiting; then I can shuffle them around, as needed.

1. What have you been reading lately? Do you read books, ebooks, or both?

C.S. – Pretty much stick to my list of National Book Award winners for fiction.

J.G. – So far, I only read "real" books. I tried audiobooks in the car, but I kept missing my exits! To keep the TBR list well-stocked, I rely on the Man Booker Prize winners, the Orange Prize for Fiction winners, various reading challenges, the literary canon, and whatever books I hear about that catch my fancy (again, heavy on the classics).

2. What music do you listen to? Any favorite artists or genres?

C.S. – Pop and alternative. If I’m listening to XM, it’s usually the Underground Garage, Alt-Nation and Chill channels.

3. Where do you get your news?

C.S. – Everywhere.

4. Are you reliant on any technical devices (iPod, Blackberry, etc.)?

C.S. – BlackBerry. I wish I could shake the addiction. Then again, it took me 29 years to kick the smoking habit.

5. Have you done any foreign traveling? Favorite destination?

C.S. – For business purposes only. Greece. Costa Rica. Canada. It’s not an extensive list. I really want to visit Vietnam, Scotland and Nepal and Tibet.

J.G. – Montreal with C.S. a few years ago, Jamaica and the Bahamas on family vacations when I was little, and a whirlwind tour of Europe, as a high school graduation present: London, Paris, Davos, Frankfurt, Salzburg, Venice, Florence (my favorite) and Rome, all in 6 weeks. I also spent a week in Russia between Christmas and New Year’s, back when it was still Communist. It was -49° when we arrived, colder than the winter that stopped Napoleon.

6. Aside from your blog, do you do any other writing?

C.S. – I write for a living, so, yes.

7. If you could orbit the earth in Richard Branson’s spaceship (or any other that takes civilians), would you?

C.S. – No way. Too afraid.

J.G. – Absolutely! But I suspect I would get claustrophobic pretty quickly. Can we just go around once?

8. Do you consider yourself adventurous, in general?

C.S. – I was in my younger days. Now, no.

9. Have you ever met a celebrity? Who, and when?

C.S. – While I’ve sat in the back of a limo with exercise guru Richard Simmons, visited with country singer Willie Nelson on his tour bus, and interviewed members of the rock group Kiss backstage, I’d say sitting on press row with basketball legend Magic Johnson was the coolest. He shared his popcorn with me.

J.G. – I worked in a law office where Carrot Top was our file clerk, back when he was just some friend of the boss’s son who needed a summer job. Yes, I know his real name. Yes, his hair is natural. Working with him was exactly what you imagine. Super nice guy, incredibly, effortlessly funny, and definitely not cut out for filing. Every weekend he would win $500 or $1,000 in some bar’s talent contest, usually by performing his dead-on Michael Jackson act. We knew he was destined for greatness . . . of some kind.

10. Do you watch television? Favorite programs?

J.G. – I haven’t watched any significant amount of t.v. since about 2000. I find it a huge timewaster, and the internet fills that need just fine, thanks. If something’s really compelling (horse racing, baseball playoffs and World Series, etc.), I make a point of finding a t.v. somewhere. I keep current by reading People magazine whenever I have the chance, though. Gotta have something to talk about at the water cooler.

C.S. – Very rarely. But I’ll watch Mayberry R.F.D. every time. I’m a huge Don Knotts fan.

11. Have you ever been on television? In the newspaper?

C.S. – Both. I write for a newspaper.

12. Who are your favorite writers – please list three or four.

C.S. – Don DeLillo, Saul Bellow, Wright Morris, Nelson Algren.

J.G. – Ernest Hemingway, J.R.R. Tolkein, Isak Dinesen, and Mark Harris. But really too many to choose just one.

13. What’s the single greatest/biggest world event to have happened in your lifetime?

C.S. – Man landing on the moon. We’re coming up on the 40th anniversary, and I still find it remarkable.

14. What do you do to relax?

J.G. – Read, hang out with the cat, practice yoga, play on the internet, attend baseball games. C.S. – Sleep, read, ride my bike, putz around.

15. What is your profession, if you’re currently employed.

C.S. – Journalist.

16. If money were no object, where would you live?

C.S. – In a log cabin on the side of a mountain.

J.G. – On a farm in New Hampshire, complete with an 1800’s house, a vintage barn, old stone walls, a tractor, a pickup truck, lots of flowers and vegetables in the garden, a variety of rescued animals, and a restored 70’s GTO to drive in the local 4th of July parade every year. While we’re dreaming, I would also spend late February and March in Florida at Spring Training.

17. If you were forced to evacuate your home, what possession would you grab on the way out the door?

J.G. – I’ve actually done this, in preparation for a Category 5 hurricane. As long as I’ve got the cat with me, I’m good to go. But if there’s time, also the box of important papers, the photo albums, and the laptop.

C.S. – My laptop.

18. Any plans for your next vacation?

C.S. – Savannah, Ga., with J.G.

Thank you so much, C.S. and J.G.! I appreciate your patience.

3 thoughts on “Interview With a Blogger

  1. You’re so welcome! And I share your idea living on a farm in New Hampshire would be perfection. I’d have a dozen Jack Russell Terriers if I lived on a farm, and probably a few other breeds. My kids would love that!


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