Monday, April 06, 2009

Interview with a Cullen

A little while ago, Kate at Maiden Aunt posted a question and answer session where another blogger asked her some questions and she posted her Q&A on her blog. She has since asked me some questions.

If you would like to be interviewed, just ask me and I'll shoot you some questions.

Here are my Q&As:

1. What's the one main reason you started your blog? I didn’t really get into blogs until about 2005, but I spent some time on message boards. After following a couple of posters to their blogs, I discovered It Comes in Pints? and Sheila’s site. I was a serial commenter on a lot og blogs and after guest blogging at Wunderkraut for a week, I decided to start my own. I guess I felt it was nice to be part of a community joined by nothing but people’s desires to read and write with one another. A huge pen pal community, I guess.
2. What, in your opinion, makes a good blog--makes you want to follow it? That’s kind of hard. I don’t think it has much to do with what they write about. There are great bloggers who write about the minutia of life and there are those who write about sewing. I would say, to some extent, it doesn’t even matter how well the person writes. That is, there are great bloggers out there who aren’t the best grammarians. It has a lot to do with how the person expresses themselves. I believe that blogging is, or can be, a written medium that lends itself to expressing one’s self in one’s own voice. Not everyone does this, of course, but you do get more a sense of the personality of the person writing the blog than you do when you’re reading a book. At least you do when you’re reading a good blog.
3. A little about your peeps--complete this sentence: "Some things I love about my family are..."

Their support. It’s amazing to have people around you who want nothing but for you to succeed. Even if you change your mind about something, they just want you to do good.

Their sense of humor. I come from a long line of smart asses and I’m doing my best to raise them. My son, at 3, is better at making me laugh than almost anyone else I know. His innate sense of humor is amazing. But everyone knows how to be funny.

Their inquisitiveness. I’m focusing on my kids here, but even my wife loves learning.

4. Frequently, negative comments are made about homeschooling, often as the result of ignorance--what do you think people don't know about it that makes them frown on it? I think the biggest thing is that we’ve all been indoctrinated in our educational system’s dogma. Most of us grew up with a traditional 8-to-3 school day and we think, “Hey, if it was good enough for me … .” Also, there are a lot of homeschoolers who are at the extreme of beliefs who can give your average homeschooler a bad name.

I took convincing. It took a while for me to come to the belief that homeschooling was a viable alternative to traditional schooling. The biggest change happens when you come to realize that homeschooling is more about disappointment with your schools and a belief in your kid’s ability to learn.
5. Now for music: Which five albums would you pick to be your Desert Island Discs? I would cheat. I would take five CDs full of as many MP3s I could pack from my collection. It would be heavy on Dream Theater, Ramones, Pink Floyd, Clutch, Danzig, a mix of ‘80s and ‘90s-era rock and some classical music.
6. Because you have a preference for rock/metal, do you find it easier or harder (or no difference) to find/enjoy the kind of music you like, where you live? As far as the radio is concerned, this is the largest area in which I’ve lived as an adult. I find the radio stations here to be OK. A much better variety than some of the smaller towns where I’ve lived. However, they still play a lot more popular stuff than I listen to.

Outside of that, I think I have as much access to the music I want to listen to as anyone else with internet access.

The big problem is finding new music. When you’re a kid, hanging out with your friends, new bands and new music just filters to you. Lacking that, you kind of have to go outside of your comfort zone to find new bands. You sure as hell don’t find them on the radio.

Last note, there is supposed to be a robust live music scene here, but I think I’m too old and too domesticated to really become a part of it. I keep looking for lists of live shows and when I see the names of the bands (most local, or just out of the garage) I start thinking, “Do I really want to go see them?”
7. The really fun question: You've been given a $10,000 shopping spree at a music shop (like Guitar Center).  How will you spend it? That’s another difficult question question. The big debate here is do I spend the money and get two or three really good instruments, or do I buy several mid-grade instruments?

I would probably try and get as much for my money as possible. I'd probably get an economy drum set, a mid-grade 5-string Ibanez bass (or comparable), an upper-mid-grade, full-size keyboard – we’re up to about four or five ground now – two or three different kinds of mid-grade guitars (Telecaster style, Stratocaster style, and a semi-hollow body), some microphones and stands, a mixing board with a digital output.

That might be pushing $10K, but with some eBay shopping, I could do it.

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