I asked the lovely Beth of Not to be Trusted with Knives to send me 5 interview questions. This one’s extra fun, since we don’t know eachother very well online or off, and Beth has (unwittingly I’m sure) brought up some questions I actually haven’t thought about the answers to in a while. And I apparently have more to say about them than I thought!
1. Your blog has a very cool name – World Wide Water Cooler. I am notoriously bad at naming things. Can you share you secret for coming up with good names?
My secret is, I keep a file (some in my head, some written down) of “answers to problems that don’t yet exist.” That file wasn’t actually named until right this moment – but it’s a good description. My “secret” is that I’m freakishly observant, and notice a lot of things. When I see clever ones, I make a point of remembering them, and repurpose them when the appropriate occasions come up.
If you check out my Why Watercooler page (which desperately needs updating), you’ll read that I just read the term “World Wide Water Cooler” somewhere, and thought it would make a good blog name. So I bought the domain. And the rest is history.
2. You talk a lot about cooking on your blog – what’s your favourite recipe?
This is a total cop out answer, but it depends. I’ll give you two:
There’s a pasta in a Jamie Oliver book (Jamie’s Dinners) that I make semi-regularly. It’s decidedly unfussy, and follows the typical (and occasionally infuriating) Oliver style of asking for a pinch of this and a good handful of that and a medium-ish eggplant and a good slug of olive oil. But this recipe turns out (for me at least) really good every time – and it’s quick and easy and hearty and feels like it requires just enough effort to be full of love, but not so much that it’s also full of cut fingers and curse words.
On the other side, there are the menus out of a book I bought recently: The Flexitarian Table. For the record, I still think “flexitarian” is a stupid word for omnivores who want to be difficult/special, but I do like the way it’s used for this book: dishes and menus that are easily convertible from omnivorous to vegetarian/vegan, and presented both ways. Peter Berley also uses a lot of ingredients and techniques in this book that are outside my normal comfort zone, so I bought it initially to get out of a culinary rut and try cooking new things.
One other thing the recipes are is incredibly fussy. They absolutely require full mise en place before you begin cooking, and also rely a lot on the knowledge that comes from the experience of having cooked a lot in terms of dish timing, consistency and taste preferences.
But when I have the time to be fussy, I find it really fun and relaxing to go through the meticulous prep, setup, creation, plating and serving of an elaborate meal. Though I’m not confident enough yet to make these for anyone but Neil and I, because they still turn out edible and presentable more “not” than “often.”
3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through the same fleeting dreams as any child: astronaut, vet, rockstar – but had a really defining moment when I was 10. There was this boy, Jason, who I had a childhood romance with (we occasionally held hands) and he said one day “you’re good at changing the subject, you should be a lawyer.” And it stuck. I figured I like to argue, so why not.
I stuck with the lawyer plan through elementary and high school, and lost it partway through my university career. After a string of dissatisfying jobs in the years after university I picked it up again, and went so far as to write the LSAT in the summer of 2006.
After writing that test (and scoring somewhere in the 65th percentile – not nearly good enough for any of the schools I wanted to go to) I realized that if I didn’t have the passion to study for the LSAT more than 5 hours (the total prep time I put in), I probably wasn’t all that passionate about going to Law School. And if I wasn’t passionate about that, the two years of school (and the associated debt), then spending the next four or five years of my life busting my ass articling at a firm, even though those were the necessary actions to becoming a successful lawyer, would not make me happy. And why choose the path of unhappiness?
That experience really showed me that I needed to figure out what would make me happy, and after some serious self-reflection and a few false starts I landed in marketing, specificially of High Tech products, and I love it.
4. What are your thoughts on the Canucks signing Mats Sundin? Inquiring minds want to know!
My thoughts on the Sundin thing are a resounding “meh.” Not that I don’t care about hockey, I do very much. I just think that he’s not good enough to carry the entire team to any sort of definitive victory. I am interested in how the team dynamic might change around him, but so much needs to happen for the Canucks to be successful, and I think he’s a very small piece of that puzzle.
5. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I don’t tend to feel particularly guilty about my pleasures. Why ruin the fun?
That said, there was a period where I bought a lot of books, and I still haven’t read many of them. And I do feel a bit guilty about the physical, mental and financial clutter I’m responsible for with those.
And now, I pay the interview-fu forward:
Want to get in on the fun? You can be a part of it by following a few simple steps…
Send me an e-mail [jen at thisdomain dot com] with the subject line “Interview Me”
I’ll respond within 24-ish hours with 5 questions directed to you (I promise to try and be unique)
Answer the questions on your blog (or Facebook or MySpace) and link back to this original post
Invite others to participate by re-posting these steps