Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Interview with Jordan Watland

Due to the pithy observations posted on his own blog, Jordan Watland has become an even more important figure in my life these past few months. I will, of course, forever associate him with my high school boyfriend's engagement party and a thirty year-old water vacuum cleaner, but his answers to my interview questions are memorable as well. So without further ado, I present JWAT (What?)...
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CGC: Why is Michigan the [insert adjective of your choice] state in the nation?

JW: Adjective: American.
Answer: Because earlier this week, General Motors, a 100-year-old company, marched into court and filed the third largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Because the company was then immediately approved for $15 billion in bankruptcy financing. Because President Obama said the U.S. government would not have a heavy hand in running GM. Because the Republican National Committee immediately changed the name of the company to “Government Motors,” a jab that surely got a good belly shake from Michael Steele, who later said, “No matter how much the president spins GM's bankruptcy as good for the economy, it is nothing more than another government grab of a private company and another handout to the union cronies who helped bankroll his presidential campaign.” Because GM will close plants in the US and keep its China operation and even start exporting from China in the future. Because the city of Detroit builds casinos where it should be building schools. Because, in 2005, Detroit re-elected a mayor they knew had charged over $200,000 in travel and entertainment on his government-issued credit card. Because Dearborn has the highest proportional Arab population in the country. Because Detroit, just to the east, has the highest proportion of black people of any major city. Because Bloomfield Hill, just to the north has a 90 percent white population. Because cars have been banned on Mackinac Island since the 19th Century, but people still use snowmobiles there in the winter. Because on September 12, 2001, three friends and I crossed into Windsor, Ontario, drank for four to five hours and crossed back into the United States without showing any ID.

CGC: When driving from LA to SF, do you prefer to stop in Gilroy for garlic, Castroville for artichokes, or Solvang for sauvignon blanc?

JW: I was in Santa Barbara County last weekend. Today I told people that and by far the most common response was, “Where were you? Solvang?” I didn’t know the answer, which just goes to show how much I pay attention to where I am. I do, however, know that there was sauvignon blanc. It was delicious. Some of it. Anyway, there’s also a Chuck E Cheese in Gilroy.

CGC: Was Chris Farley's greatest film Black Sheep or Beverly Hills Ninja?

JW: Black Sheep.

CGC: If you could go stand-up paddleboarding with one person, living or dead, who would it be?

JW: See. Now, there is an interesting question. The conditions for paddleboarding are so much different than the conditions for, say, eating dinner or lunch, which is how people usually approach this scenario. You can’t take someone like Ernest Hemmingway paddleboarding because he’d keep falling off and get frustrated. Sacagawea was an amazing paddleboarder. I’m pretty sure she invented it on the Lemhi River during her childhood. Realistically, you could, in fact, go paddleboarding with a dead person; lunch, not so fun to watch a dead person sit there, not eating or talking (plus you have to order for them), but that’s kinda the idea with paddleboarding. The stand-up part might be hard. You also need to consider attire for paddleboarding. Abe Lincoln wears that ridiculous suit everywhere; completely unreasonable. Whenever I think of paddleboarding, I think of that photo of Jennifer Aniston from a couple years ago, third-wheel paddleboarding with the Cox-Arquettes. It makes me sad. I don’t believe she wore sunscreen. I think I’d make Oprah and Malcolm Gladwell play paper-rock-scissors (best of three) and take the winner paddleboarding. I’ve wanted to see them play paper-rock-scissors for quite some time now and I think this would be a good excuse.

CGC: Swimmers are to station wagons as ______ are to ______.

JW: Station wagons are to leopards. (I can’t take full credit for this answer. I saw it on a bumper sticker not too long ago. And, no, it wasn’t…it was on a convertible.)

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