Monday, June 28, 2010

An Interview: Poop and Boogies

A little over two years ago, I was blog surfing on a rainy Saturday morning. I kept clicking on blogs linked to other blogs, jumping around the interwebs, peeking into people’s lives. I had been thinking about starting a blog of my own for years, but just hadn’t made the commitment.

But on this day, as I bounced from blog to blog, I found this post. And I laughed and laughed and laughed. And I called Uberman, I can’t remember what he was doing at the time and why he wasn’t home, and I read the post out loud to him over the phone. And then I called my mom and read it to her. And then my MIL and several friends. By the end of the day, I had that post almost memorized. It was the first blog written by someone I didn’t know, that I followed religiously.

And I decided to start a blog of my own.

Two years later, I am lucky enough to consider William of Poop and Boogies a friend. I was so excited and honored when he agreed to allow me to interview him. Even our emails back and forth to set the whole thing up were hilarious. We finally agreed on a time that was convenient for both of us, considering the three hour time difference made it seem like we were on different planets sometimes. But when he answered the phone on the third ring, I was a little caught off guard by his heavy breathing. I caught him in the middle of his ab workout. But he thanked Jesus for my timing and reluctantly agreed to stop to answer my silly questions.

Me: First things first. Your Facebook and blog signatures refer to you as William, but your wife calls you Bill. Which do you prefer? How would you introduce yourself?

Bill: Everyone calls me Bill, I prefer William. It’s the name my parents gave me. But it also sounds pretentious. Hello my name is William. Actually, I prefer Lord William.

Me: Ha ha! I love that!

Bill: No, I’m kidding. It would be “Hi I’m Bill.”

Me: You have been blogging since 2005. 2005! How do you keep it going? What do you do to avoid blogger’s block?

Bill: That’s a tough question because anything you say sounds stupid and pretentious. But it’s like a hobby. Like collecting beer cans or playing softball. Guys who play soft ball play 20 games. Or the guy in the bowling league. It’s just a hobby. It’s just what I do.

Me: Your blog has been mentioned on the Dr. Phil show, and you get famous authors like Brad Meltzer sending you advance copies of books, and now you even have Huggies sponsoring you. What’s it like being such a blogging bad ass?

Bill: Well the coolest thing in the world was getting recognized at Chuck E Cheese. But now that I’m on Facebook, everyone I went to high school with reads my blog. I was at the pool the other day and I was talking to my brother. Well I got up to tell Max and Wyatt to knock it off or whatever, and this woman turned and look at me and she said “Bill?” And I realized I went to high school with her but I haven’t seen her in a while. She said she wouldn’t have known me if I hadn’t said the kids’ names. She recognized me from the blog. But I’m not a bad ass, I’ve just been around a while. I’m just lucky and fortunate. But not a bad ass.

Me: You are husband to the lovely Lauren, you are a father to three handsome boys (Max, Wyatt and Jackson), you work a real job, spend your weekends on home improvement projects and yardwork, plus you are occasionally involved in your local theater. On top of all that, you consistently post a few times a week on your awesome blog. How do you find the time to be all things to everyone?

Bill: Seriously, about 5 to 6 hours of sleep at night. I’m usually up by 5:00 and in bed around 11:00. Especially because Wyatt’s always up at 5:00. He’ll go to bed at 8:00 and by 5:00 in the morning he is coming into our room.

Me: You just turned the big four oh. How’s that working for ya?

Bill: I’m older than I’ve ever been. That’s what forty is. I’m closer to death than I am to my birth. That’s really what it’s like.

Me: Oh that’s depressing. When I was about to turn 30 I compared it to throwing up. You know how you stand there with your head hanging over the toilet and you know you’re going to throw up, you feel it coming and you’re sweaty and sick and rocking back and forth. And you hate throwing up so you are dreading it and you don’t want to do it but you know it’s coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it. And then there you are in the middle of it, you are heaving and hacking and your insides are coming out of your mouth. And then you’re done and it’s over and you feel great. Is that what 40 is like, too?

Bill: No. It’s not that bad.

Me: Like you, my mom came from a big family. She was #7 of 9 kids. Except she was the sixth girl, sandwiched in between three boys. Kind of an unlucky spot, don’t you think? I envy her relationship with her brothers and sisters, especially since I was raised an only child. What is the best part of coming from a big family?

Bill: Did you know the seventh child was the witch child? Back in the day the 7th child was the witch. If you Googled it you would find it. (I hear clicking on keyboard. He starts reading to me.) “The seventh child is cursed and thought to have supernatural powers.” See? This is on the internet, so it’s true. Seriously, look it up. It’s from the witches bible.

Me: Ha! That is funny! And explains so much about my mom. (Just kidding mom.)

Bill: No, but seriously, I think the closer you are together in age when you’re younger, that stays with you growing up. But there is always someone cooler than you and there’s always someone not as cool as you. At any given moment you are not the best or the worst in the family.

Me: If you didn’t have the opportunity to have the life you have right now, where would you want to be? What would you want to be different?

Bill: In Hollywood. I would want to be a famous actor.

Me: Seriously? You would?

Bill: Yeah, I still do. I want to get to Saturday Night Live. That’s my goal.

Me: Well hey, look at Betty White. She’s what, 188 years old or something and she did it.

Bill: True. But she did have like 50 years experience and talent under her belt before that. I’m coming a little late in the game.

Me: Do you think these interview questions suck?

Bill: No.

Me: I’ve never really been to Philly. I mean I have been to the airport and then driven to Delaware, but I didn’t get to see the sights or have a cheese steak or anything. What is so awesome about living in Philly?

Bill: First of all, why the hell were you in Delaware?

Me: (Long, boring explanation of why I was in Delaware.)

Bill: Oh. What’s awesome about Philly? Well, it’s an hour and a half from the beach, and hour and a half from the mountains, an hour and half from New York City, 3 hours from DC and Baltimore. There’s always something to do.

Me: You are interested in acting. Who is your go to guy? You know, that one actor who you will pay money to see his movie no matter how sucky the movie looks? Mine is Ed Norton.

Bill: Michael Keaton. I’ve seen every one of his movies up until the year 2000.

Me: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Bill: The Princess Bride.

Me: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?

Bill: Is this your husband’s question?

Me: Yes.

Bill: David Lee Roth. I’m not a big Van Halen fan except I did listen to them in the 80’s. I stopped listening to them once they switched up. I think that album with Jump is the last one I listened to.

Me: How do you feel about an arranged marriage between my Boo and your Max?

Bill: Yeah, what’s the dowry?

Me: What?

Bill: How many cows?

Me: Does it have to be cows?

Bill: Well how old is she?

Me: She’s 6. She’ll be 7 in October. And she is amazing. You would be lucky.

Bill: Yeah? Well send her to college in the middle somewhere and we’ll make it happen. Like University of St. Louis or something. (Bill, I think you said St. Louis?? I didn’t type the city and now I can’t remember and I don’t want to misquote you…)

Me: How about Northwestern?

Bill: Where’s that?

Me: Near Chicago.

Bill: Yeah that will work. I’ve never been to Chicago.

Me: You haven’t? It’s a great city, I love Chicago.

Bill: I haven’t been to a lot of places.

Me: What is your favorite place in the whole world? Besides home or your mom’s house or whatever.

Bill: Brigantine New Jersey.

Me: Where the hell is that?

Bill: One town north of Atlantic City.

Me: Really. Why?

Bill: A friend of mine in High School, his parents had a house there we used to go all the time and sit on the dock and drink beers and hang out. It was just the most peaceful place to be. That and Key West.

Me: Oh I love Key West! I was there on my birthday last year. It was so much fun. I don’t have much recollection of the entire day but it was fun. We did a pub crawl. And that was the end of that.

Bill: Lauren and I spent our honeymoon there. It’s a great little town. I would totally live there if I didn’t have kids.

Me: What’s your favorite TV show? Don’t say Glee. Please don’t say Glee.

Bill: No, I do watch Glee, but Modern Family is my favorite show. Used to be The Office and 30 Rock, but now Modern Family.

Me: I love Modern Family! I want to live next door to Cam and Mitch. Don’t you think The Office has gone down hill with Pam and Jim and now the baby?

Bill: No, I think it’s just trying too hard now. They need to explore some of the other characters like Kevin and Creed. I would love to see what Oscar’s life is like outside of work, they need to devote some episodes to those other characters. But you have to have Michael Scott. You have to have Dwight. But they don’t need Jim and Pam anymore.

Me: Okay here it is. This is going to make us or break us. How do you feel about Beyonce?

Bill: (Deep breath) Honestly? I was a fan of Destiny’s Child. I was. But not a fan of Beyonce. I went through a top 40 phase. I’ll admit it, I have a Destiny's Child CD. But Beyonce? She’s ok.

Me: How do you think you and Lauren would do against me and Uberman in a Beer Pong Challenge?

Bill: You and your husband would beat us until Lauren had about 3 games under her belt. And then we would win.

Me: I am not surprised at all to hear that. She seems like she would just rock at everything.

Bill: She does. She beat all of us tonight in two games of Wii bowling. That’s just how she is.

Me: Okay Bill, serious question. What the hell is the Philly Fanatic? Don’t you wish you guys had a cooler mascot? Like I am one to talk. The D-Backs mascot is a stupid bobcat named Baxter. How embarrassing.

Bill: I don’t know. No one knows. But you want to hear a funny story about that? The owner of the Phillies hired this marketing group to come up with a mascot. So they brought out this costume and he tried it out. People loved it. The marketing company offered to have him buy the rights for like $250K, or he could just rent it for so many years. He decided just to rent it. Well it just blew up. The fans loved it. It’s the most recognized mascot now. And maybe three years later, they paid like 8,000,000 million dollars to buy the rights.

Me: There’s a lesson in that somewhere.

Bill: Yeah. You gotta strike while the iron’s hot. I mean I could be wrong with the exact figures, but the point is the same.

Me: What famous person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with?

Bill: That’s a tough one. I don’t like that question. People judge you based on your answer.

Me: No one is judging you. Who cares. (Like anyone is even reading this.)

Bill: It’s just a lot of people to pick from. I’ll come back to that one.

Me: You have been doing the P90X for a few months. How is that going? Any words of encouragement for someone who would rather stick needles in her eye than get her fat ass on the treadmill?

Bill: Just go out there and do it. Not to sound like a Nike commercial or anything, but if you do something today, it’s going to be easier tomorrow. Take five steps today, six steps tomorrow. It’s not easy. And the first 10 days suck. Once you get past that, it’s easier. But it still sucks.

Me: Your blog is all about your parent’s influence on your parenting skills. What do you find yourself doing or saying that your parents always did or said to you?

Bill: Don’t hit your brother. I probably say that every day.

Me: What do you do differently?

Bill: I don’t know. My parents were very good role models. Just recently I realized I’m own person. A combination of both my mom and my dad. And I can do things my own. I can be different and it's okay. I don’t know. I just don’t want them to hit each other.

Me: What are you and Lauren doing this New Year’s Eve? How do you feel about coming to AZ to participate in Hunko Drunko Bunco?

Bill: You know what? I would absolutely love to. But what would we do with our kids? What the hell is hunko drunko part?

Me: Well the Hunko is because we invite the husband’s. Normally they are not allowed. And the drunko is because, well, we serve cocktails. It’s awesome.

Bill: If I’m ever in Arizona I’m coming by.

Me: What’s your idea of the perfect date with Lauren?

Bill: For her or me? Because it could be different.

Me: There isn’t one that would be perfect for both of you?

Bill: I don’t know. Window shopping in a little town with antiques and artsy stuff. Because I like antiques and she likes the artsy stuff. And if it had a little bar for dinner and drinks. That would be for both of us. For me it would be like that Brazilian steak house she took me to for my birthday. That was awesome. And the perfect date for her would probably be her by herself somewhere.

Me: My friend Karen is a huge fan of yours. She has two questions for you. First, what 5 words would your best friend use to describe you?

Bill: Bill, he, is, an, asshole.

Me: (laughing)

Bill: No, for real.

Me: Nuh uh! No they wouldn’t.

Bill: I don’t know. They would probably say loyal. They would say he is the guy who would come bail you out and not ask questions.

Me: Hey, there’s value in that. Everyone needs a guy like that.

Bill: Yeah, I think I’m that guy for a lot of people. But some of my friends would say he is the guy who I wouldn’t call to bail me out because he would make fun of me.

Me: Ha! I do that too. I love making fun of people who do stupid things!

Bill: I just follow the comedy trail. That’s what I usually say.

Me: Her second question is, if you had 24 hours to do ANYTHING, how would you spend it?

Bill: Oh this is easy. Having sex and then have 23 hours and 58 minutes left over.

Me: Wow. Poor Lauren.

Bill: I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do.

Me: Well just like you said Lauren’s perfect date would be her by herself, what would your perfect date by yourself be?

Bill: I don’t know. Okay, I love casinos. It would be hanging out at a casino, getting a massage, going to a spa, smoking a cigar and having some cocktails. But not losing. Because that would suck.

Me: It is absolutely crazy to me that we have never met, yet I still feel like we are friends. I think that is one of the most amazing things about the blogging community. What is the best part of blogging for you?

Bill: I know! There are only a handful of blogs that I consistently follow. People whose personalities I like. There’s a handful of people that I follow that I am generally interested in their life. People like you and Bogart and some others. Some of those people have stopped blogging. But I read for the funny stuff, the little stories. Because I am genuinely interested. And, if it’s going on a bad streak I’m going to tell you. In real life, if we are sitting at the bar and you’re crying me the blues, I’m going to tell you shut the [hell] up. I like funny up beat stuff. I don’t want to read dark and sad and depressing. I want to read happiness. I’m quoting the cover of a book right now, and I’ve never read it but I love the name. Scatter Joy. Scatter joy all the time and it will come back to you.

Well Bill, thank you for scattering joy. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of the 104 minutes that we were on the phone. You definitely scattered some my way. And although we never did go back to the question about what famous person you would have dinner with, I am pretty confident I now know the answer to this.

It’s obviously me.


WILLIAM said...

I would have dinner with you but it would have to be at the Brazilian Steakhouse and Uberman would be the beer selecter guy.

Jessie said...

OH MY GOSH! William, COME TO HUNKO DRUNKO BUNCO! It's so fun. :)

It was so nice to read that. I'm a Poop and Boogies follower as well. Terrific blog. Great interview.


"Intentionally Katie" said...

Great interview! I second Bill and Lauren coming to Hunko Drunko Bunco. We'll figure out childcare when you get here. Phoenix is a GREAT place to visit in the winter when you're from Philly!

Coffee Bean said...

How cool! I loved this post! I've read Bill's blog here and there. The last time I checked it I ended up reading a ton of his posts. I was in a funk and spent so much time laughing that it yanked me right out of it. Gosh... there was a post about when he was in puberty that had me crying I was laughing so hard. And then there was one about him buying MiraLax in the grocery store...

How fun!~

SciFi Dad said...

What has been seen, cannot be unseen.

Destiny's Child? The Princess Bride?


Jeez, why not just serve your balls on a platter?

Karen R said...

Loved the interview. I've thought about the 24 hours question myself and got dizzy thinking of the possibilities. Don't think I could answer it either. And I love that he's only interested in surrounding himself with positive people. I agree.

WILLIAM said...

Check it out

Bogart in P Towne said...

Well, I am back...starting tomorrow. Nothing fancy, just a new name, new background and more stories.

I have missed you guys...looking forward to getting caught up.

Oh, and how cool is it that Bill still likes me even though I have not been around for 2 months?

Oh, and how cool is it that you still like me and check in even though I have not been around for like 2 months?

I love that!