Part two in the interview game comes from Johnny Yen. His questions required some serious thought.
1. You’ve been asked re-record your favorite album with whoever you want, living or dead. What album is it and who would you choose?
This was by far the hardest question. My favorite Album would have to be something so completely cohesive and wonderful that most of the newer albums wouldn’t do. I then had to think if I would want the album done by a band with a completely different style, which would be cool but could possibly suck or if I wanted to go with a similar artist that would potentially end up sounding too much like the original. I am still not sure if I have made the right decision. For the album I chose “Blonde on Blonde” because it’s pretty much perfect and although I love listening to Bob Dylan, many people don’t and therefore miss out on the wonderment. I thought about “Electric Ladyland” or “Abbey Road” but I don’t think anyone doesn’t like listening to Jimi or The Beatles. I was incredibly close to having Belle and Sebastian redo the album but then realized that, while I adore their music, I am not the hugest fan of their covers. I also thought very seriously about choosing Camera Obscura but I thought the female touch might be a little too strange for me I didn’t want to pick them just to be different. Therefore, Of Montreal will be covering Blonde on Blonde.
2. A scientist develops a machine that will allow you to be transported into the past and live for a year in any time you want. What timeframe do you choose and why?
This was by far the easiest question of the bunch, I’m going to be a total cheeseball and say 1969 because I want more than anything to go to Woodstock and roll around in the hippie filled love mud.
Chicago has built five new schools. You’ve been asked to name them. What five names do you choose and why?
I’m going to assume that they are going to be five themed charter schools because it makes my answers more fun.
The Robert Heinlein High School of Scientific Humanism- I probably chose this because I just finished rereading Stranger in a Strange Land. This school would have a science focus but also be concerned with philosophy and how to apply science to the betterment of humankind.
X Elementary- This school would be focused on radical social movements, not only African-American as the name may suggest, and would teach children the importance of speaking out for their communities.
You Are Different; So Are We High- The name comes from the brochure Sarah Lawrence sent out to prospective students. While the high school would have to have a few more required classes than Sarah Lawrence did, students would be able to plan their curriculums and classes would be taught in the conference style.
We Know Trades and Will Make Lots Of Money High School- This school will focus on getting people into the trades. It is hard to get the proper information on how to enter these lucrative fields and such a school would directly funnel low-income students who may not plan for college into high paying careers.
Natalie’s Elementary School of Stuff- I had to name one after me. This school would incorporate teaching styles from Open, Montessori, and traditional schools into one cohesive wonder of education and learning.
4. If you could have a dinner with five people, living or dead, who would it be and what dinner and drinks would you serve?
Being an incredible book nerd I’m going to go with five authors. So that I can contribute to the discussion I’ll have to pick people whose body of work I am pretty familiar with. I’ll take Dostoyevsky (and somehow he will magically speak English), Tom Robbins, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison. I thought about inviting Kurt Vonnegut but since I couldn’t also invite Monica because I am selfish and that would mean one less author I figured it would be better not to include him than to ruin a great friendship. Obviously these people have very different writing styles but all of them write about the turmoil of being human. I think it would be a fantastic discussion. I would need to serve a large meal with many courses so that we can sit and talk. I find Mexican food delicious and easy to make in large amounts so that is what we will eat. We’ll have some fine Vodka to drink with various mixers. I know Vodka isn’t usually paired with Mexican food but we have to do something to make Dostoyevsky feel a little more at home.
Appetizer- Yucca Frita, I have never made it but man that stuff is delicious and it can’t be that hard to fry yucca.
Salad- (Here comes Foodie Friday) Nopalitos salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette (this recipe makes about four salads)
-Two hearts of romaine sliced in thin strips
-Two Scallions (the green part) sliced into .5 inch tubes
-Four thinly sliced radishes
-Two cups nopalitos (pickled prickly pear cactus)
-¼ cup crumbled queso fresco
-3tbsp lime juice
-3tbsp olive oil
-3tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1 clove garlic
-1 small jalapeno (chopped a little)
-2 tbsp cilantro
-Pinch of salt
-Grind of pepper
Place ingredients in food processor or blender and whir it up.
Soup- Gazpacho recipe from Mom
Main Course- Tacos (I made delicious and very rustic tortillas this week which was incredibly fun and easy and would be a great dinner party food) with homemade salsa and guacamole. I would cook some black beans and get Tony to prepare some meat
Dessert- Ben and Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream Ice Cream.
5. Like my wife, you grew up in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and now live in Chicago. What are the pros/cons of living in each place?
Minneapolis (I did NOT grow up in St. Paul) is a wonderful place to grow up. It has a small town feel although there is enough to do so that you aren’t relegated to the two small town young person entertainments, driving around and getting drunk (not that we didn’t do plenty of that). The lakes are beautiful and you can swim in them without feeling disgusting. Chicago has some parks and obviously a huge lake but nothing to compare with the looking for fossils along the banks of the Mississippi and the general greenery. Unfortunately, the people there think they live in a much bigger city than they actually live in and that can cause some inflated assumptions about how great and cosmopolitan Minneapolis actually is. As you get older, there isn’t as much to do and you need to stretch your legs. Chicago’s hyper-segregation is the hands down worst thing about this city. Minneapolis seems to be more segregated by class than race, although the two often go hand in hand. However, the museums, theater, and shopping in Chicago leave Minneapolis far behind (not that there aren’t great places to do those things in Minneapolis, don’t get all naming places Mom). Chicago is a true big city, and if you want that type of environment it is the place to be. If you want the attractions of a big city, albeit on a smaller scale, and the ease of small town granola crunching life, Minneapolis is the place to be.
I still have two slots open if anyone else is game.
Bucktown, Smif-N-Wessun- I have nothing to say good or bad about this. It is relatively standard sounding mid 90s decent rap.
The Chronic (Intro), Dr. Dre- THis always takes me back to the summer of 92 watching MTV videos with shoshana while the parents are at work. This wasn't on the TV but it just gets me ready for all the wonders of The Chronic to take me back.
You Shook Me All Night Long, Tori Amos- Tori is another one of those artists whose covers I am not particularly fond of. Purple Rain is pretty good though. I thought about having her cover a great album but iknow exactly what it would sound like so no. However, if anyone wants to buy me a present I hear she is about to come out with a new album.