One of the greatest joys of People Who Work Here is introducing you to our newest employees in a timely fashion. These interviews are — let’s face it — great reading for you, but they’re also a useful and powerful tool for Sub Pop staffers to get to know our new coworkers so that we can commence harassing them in better, more effective ways much more quickly than ever before. Mona D is our newest addition to the Sub Pop radio promo staff and she’s a nice little thing who is paying way too much for a studio apartment in Capitol Hill. Mona has only been in Seattle since January, and I think she’s a vegetarian and I know that she likes to drink vodka sodas. Let’s meet Mona!
L: Mona, welcome to Sub Pop! You have been here for about two months now—how do you like it? What is the most surprising thing about working here? (This can be anything from ‘I had no idea you guys worked in cubicles’ to ‘Who knew that people in Seattle were so racist!?’)
M: I think Seattle is actually hell of rad (you can take the girl out of California…). [I always thought it was ‘hella’. I guess you get to church it up a little if you have a Masters, though. –ed.] There are a ton of good record shops and bars here, and the weather is actually kinda nice these days. The most surprising thing about working here? To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a high percentage of the staff to be married or own a house or have kids or all those adult things…I was more expecting to walk in on people doing hell of drugs in the bathrooms. I’m definitely not disappointed that it’s babies over blow here, just a bit surprised. [For the record, most of the staff does drugs with their babies at home, not at work. –ed.]
L: What have you been doing in your free time? How do you find Seattle? Do you pretend you live in England on account of the grey? That’s what I do….
M: I’ve pretty much been doing here what I do in every town…chain smoke, listen to records, and wander around town (Ballard and Capitol Hill both seem pretty awesome so far). I’d like to start DJing again soon, ‘cos that’s pretty fun too. Seattle reminds me a lot of San Francisco but without all the pretension. Sometimes I do pretend it’s England though, and I say ‘cor blimey’ and ‘bollocks’ a lot…until I get punched in the face, and then it’s not fun anymore. [You should lay some of that cockney shit on Richard the Scotsman—he looooves it. –ed.]
L: Please tell me about Mona D in high school. I see you have some Souxsie and the Bashees stuff at your desk—were you goth? Would you consider yourself goth presently? Wait, fuck it, what’s your favorite band?
M: Mona D in high school was pretty goth if you consider a Robert Smith hairdo, 20 eye docs, and black lipstick ‘goth.’ I never wore a cape thankfully, but I did used to recite poetry with my best friend at midnight on the weekends…it was some next level loserdom. I don’t think I’m still goth (do I still seem goth?), [Sure, a little. –ed.] but I still love all that music…Bauahaus, Christian Death, Virgin Prunes, Sisters of Mercy…so good! My favorite band? The Smiths…hands down. Best band of all time. Though I’ve been obsessing over Richard Hawley for a while now too. [He’s really great—you should check him out for sure. –ed.]
L: Tell me about the first show you ever saw—mine was Bob Dylan and Tom Petty at the Southern Star Amphitheater with my mom and dad, followed shortly thereafter by The Monkees reunion tour where Weird Al was opening for them. Do you think that your first musical experience shaped your life in any fundamental way or was it just blah?
M: My first show was Thompson Twins and Cyndi Lauper at the Lawler Events Center in Reno, NV. [It’s too hot to wear a cape in Reno! –ed.] I was in the 1st grade and my sisters dragged me out and made me wear INXS cycling shorts, that were in fact pants on me ‘cos I was so short. I don’t remember much of it, but I think it definitely shaped my musical tastes…I still love a good synth track any day, and I still wear cycling shorts all the time…especially when I go to shows.
L: You used to live in London—what were you doing there? Did you pretend to live in Seattle on account of the grey? I hear you have some hot shot British boyfriend—lay it on me, sister.
M: London is where I got my Masters and worked at a bunch of radio stations. [Well la ti da! Look at the big brain on Mona! -ed.] BBC 6 Music was my favorite station I worked at, ‘cos at the time it was super new and the DJs got to take a lot of risks…it seemed to kind of have this John Peel ethic where they’d play loads of stuff from all different genres old / new that weren’t heard on other stations…like you’d hear Lord Kitchener into Gang of Four into the new one from Futureheads into Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band into Half Man Half Biscuit. It ruled!
L: You are from Reno and I am going to Reno in the near future. What should I do for fun?
M: Dude…where to begin!? You must stop by Pneumatic Diner they have some really tasty vegan/vegetarian treats…try the Princess Erin Shake: it’s a ridiculously delicious drink with chocolate, coffee, espresso bean, and ice cream goodness). Um…Recycled Records is pretty cool and my favorite casino to gamble at is the Atlantis…might I recommend the Double Double Bonus Poker machines…play nickels, 5 credits at a time and play slowly so you keep getting free drinks before you lose all your money…if you are lucky you might even win and get paid to drink…pretty exciting stuff. (Note to editor: If you and your dude wanna skip the fancy wedding you have planned, you can do a quick one at the trashy chapel downtown called White Lace and Promises …you can call it White Lacey and Promises if you like.) [Oh, I like! –ed.]
L: Please tell everyone what the day to day life of a college radio promoter is like. Are you going to stay with radio or would you like to do something else?
M: My days are always different, but they usually include stuff like talking to music directors …setting up studio sessions…putting people on ‘the list’ for shows…mailing out records…bringing joy to people’s lives one day at a time. I’m basically a pusher, but my product isn’t gonna cause anyone to lose their day job, or their teeth. I’ll probably stay with radio for a while…I wouldn’t mind being an astronaut either. [Is that what your Masters is in? Astronautism? –ed.]
L: What is the worst injury you’ve ever had? Do you do drugs?
M: I’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had any crazy inuries…I did land on a rock once when I jumped into a lake and had to get stitches in my knee. But that wasn’t too bad. Why would ask if you I do drugs? I don’t. Do you? Is that the right answer? [You seem a little paranoid, Mona. –ed.]
L: Can you tell me a good joke? If you had to sum up Mona D in one word what would it be?
M: Here’s a joke: Why are indie boys so bad in bed? They’re always lying about their 7 inches. [I don’t get it. –ed.] Mona in one word? Razzmatazz.
L: And finally, is there anything you’d like to ask me?
M: Can I have a lollipop now? [No, but there are a TON of Wonka products in the kitchen if you want some! –ed.]
Well, this is it, folks. I am pulling out all the stops and bringing you what you’ve all been waiting for, and it can only go down hill from here. Ladies and Germs, it is with much pleasure that I bring you People Who Work Here’s exclusive interview with the man, the myth, Mark Arm! (wait for applause) Mark Arm is the Warehouse Manager here at Sub Pop Records, and that means that if you order anything from our store, especially a big package that has to be sent via UPS, Mark will have, most likely, put those golden hands of his upon your box. I mean, package. Whatever. Some things I’ve learned about Mark since working with him are: he is super into politics, he has to listen to NPR really loud because his ears are not what they used to be, he can stand fully upright on a yoga ball, his wife cuts his hair, and he’s a funny/fun dude. Let’s meet Mark!
L: Contrary to popular belief your real last name is not Arm. Please discuss how you got this name and how you feel about having a “punk name” at 40+.
M: My friend Smitty and I were deep into a fake argument using non-offensive body parts as swear words. The argument culminated with him yelling “arm arm” at me. I had no response to this attack and we both broke down laughing. Then when Mr. Epp became a real band, complete with instruments, we adopted non-sequitur punk names. Jeff Smith became Jo Smitty and I became Mark Arm. I never thought it’d stick. Luckily, I’m more comfortable with my “punk name” than the easily garbled Scottish name I was born into. [This version seems a lot more tame than what I was led to believe. –ed.]
M: Of all these bands, the MC5 is my favorite. It’s not my band, so it’s much easier for me to embrace. The MC5 is one of the best bands ever and they helped lay the foundation for what would become punk rock. Getting to play with the DKT/MC5 was such a fantastic mindfuck. That said Bloodloss was most satisfying musically. After playing together for a few months I realized that we were able to effortlessly pull cool shit out of thin air with everyone playing around each other instead of following the same riff (and no, we weren’t “jamming”). The downside was going on tour with a dude who was in a constant state of withdrawl. The rest of us felt like we were dragging around a whiny corpse and propping it up for shows. [Weekend at Bernie’s! –ed.] Monkeywrench is a total hoot and getting to play with Tim Kerr, Tom Price and Martin Bland is a total treat that happens way too rarely. Shameless plug: our third album (Gabriel’s Horn) in 17 years comes out in February on the Birdman record label.
L: When Mudhoney was getting going you were relatively old (26-ish, right?). How do you think that being more, ahem, mature helped your band achieve the dizzying success that it did?
M: Maturity had nothing to do with Mudhoney. It still doesn’t. [Whatever you say, old man. -ed.] The dizziness was usually bedspins. We were old enough that we had a pretty firm idea of what we wanted Mudhoney to be when we started. I was well aware of the glass ceiling we’d encounter with our brand of entertainment. I just figured it would be lower. We weren’t dazzled by the brass ring and we never bothered to reach for it. [I smell lyrics a brewin’. –ed.] We achieved more than I ever anticipated and I feel incredibly lucky that I still get to muck around in this shit.
L: Major label vs. Sub Pop. Pros and cons of each, please.
M: Major Labels have giant warehouses all over the country. I don’t think I’d be able to wrap my head around their inventory, but I would probably get to drive a forklift. Sub Pop is blessed with a pretty swank warehouse, but since T-shirts have become a major part of our inventory, I wish it was bigger. [Touche, Mr. Arm. -ed.] Perhaps I can expand into the Art and Hardly Art departments. One of the odd side effects of working in the warehouse and getting to know our inventory is that item numbers are seared into my brain. So when the clock strikes 6:47 or 7:04 I flash on Comets On Fire.
L: You have remarkable posture. How do you do that?
M: Why thank you Lacey, how nice of you to notice! Emily & I invested in a matching set of gravity boots nine years ago. We have a wall mounted TV that rotates so we can watch it when we’re upside down. We try to do this at least 3 hours every evening. That’s why I don’t go out that much. The first time I tried this I nearly choked on popcorn and mountain dew poured out my nose. After years of dedicated practice I’ve gotten pretty good at snacking upside down.
L: Who in Mudhoney do you spend the most time with? Who in Mudhoney knows your deepest, darkest secrets? What is your favorite Mudhoney record?
M: I probably see Guy [Male Nurse! –ed.] more than anyone else these days, Dan is a close second. I don’t see Steve that much since he moved to Portland. Steve & I started hanging out in 1983 so I guess he knows more about me than the others, but he doesn’t know much. I refuse to let anyone past these walls, no one get’s in…Get Out! As far as favorite record goes, I don’t have one. I don’t listen to our records unless we’re putting together a comp or trying to relearn a forgotten song. At this point I’m most familiar with The Lucky Ones since that’s the one we’ve been working on and you know what that means, it’s the best one yet. [Available May 20th on Sub Pop brand Records. –ed.]
L: I heard there will be a Green River reunion this summer, true? Tell me how the whole thing went down and how you think your performance will be.
M:True, we are slated to play Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary this July. I’m not sure how it went down since nothing’s happened yet. Everyone is psyched to get together again so I think it’ll be great (for us at least).
L: Please name your five top rock performers, in order, and let me know why you like them.
M: This is tough, Lacey. Since you asked about performers and not musicians, I’ll talk about folks who”make good show”.
I’ve been going to Nick Cave shows since the first time the Bad Seeds came to the Northwest (’86 in Vancouver) and I’ve seen them in Europe, the UK and Australia. After all of these performances I’ve concluded that Nick is always on fire and will stop at nothing to put on a good show. I would have loved to have seen the Birthday Party in LA & SF in ’83, but I didn’t have money or a car. John Brannon is super sweet in real life, but on stage he exudes more heartfelt distain, hatred and contempt than anyone I can think of. I’ve seen Negative Approach play to 3000 people, Easy Action play to less than 20 as well as a bunch of Laughing Hyenas shows and despite the audience, he’s always super intense. The Butthole Surfers were brilliant performers. No one could touch these guys in the mid 80s. They hung out in Seattle for about 3 weeks in December of ’83 and their special effects amounted to little more than a couple of Radio Shack strobes and flying safety pins. They were mind-blowing. They kept adding to their shows, lights, films, naked dancers, etc. When they played Reading in ’89 they opened by smashing their gear (no, I didn’t see that). It all went south when they started hanging around Ministry though. Iggy Pop puts everything into each performance, even if he’s touring on a crappy record and is backed by a bunch of hacks. I wish he had a better sense of who to play with. I’m glad the Stooges got back together. That’s something I never thought I’d see. I wish I could have seen them in the late 60s/early 70s when no one understood what they were doing or how to react to them. I would love to watch them confront a crowd of indignant Crosby Stills and Nash fans in some Midwestern college auditorium. I hope I can still hop around like Iggy in 15 years, well not exactly like that, I hope my back and hips don’t get as fucked up. That shit looks painful. Jimi Hendrix died well before I was going to rock shows, but I’ve seen him preserved on film and no one plays guitar like that. He’s astounding to watch, he makes the craziest shit fluid and effortless. He didn’t just play guitar, he played electricity. He’s even amazing when he’s sleepwalking, like the first part of the set at the Isle of Wight Festival. He wakes up mid-set after going behind the amps to get a boost and blows doors. Sadly, he died a week later.
L: Please tell me a funny story about when Mudhoney was in that Chris Farley movie! Also, your wikipedia entry says you were in Velvet Goldmine which I did not know. What was that like? (PS Dean Hudson HATES that movie!)
M: We were only on the set of Black Sheep for one day, but we did hang out a bit with Chris Farley. Steve was totally star-struck and offered him some blow, which took us all by surprise since the rest of us had never seen Steve near the white lady. Anyway, Chris had only been clean for two months or so. Apparently he never got clean again. Steve still feels guilty about it, but we tell him it’s not really his fault because Chris Farley would have been offered drugs from some other sycophant. I’m not in Velvet Goldmine. My name is on the soundtrack recording, but my voice got erased in favor of Ewan McGregor’s. I did get a chance to write two songs with Ron Asheton (another happy mindfuck) and record them with Ron, Mike Watt (this is how he ended up in the Stooges), Thurston Moore and Steve Shelly as the Wylde Ratttz. Due to the Ewan McGregor crap, it’s hard for me to be objective about the movie. What’s Dean’s problem, is it too gay for him? I like Todd Haynes stuff, especially Safe and Far From Heaven. I just saw I’m Not There and really liked the Fellini homage in the Cate Blanchett part. The Christian Bale segment was straight out of hack biopic 101 though.
L: Tell me how your met your lovely wife Emily, Pet Photographer. What do you guys do in your free time?
M: We met in ’85 probably at a party or a show. I don’t remember the exact circumstance, but there was a lot of beer and MDA around at the time. We went out for about three weeks. She moved to NY for awhile, came back to town for a summer and we hung out as friends. Then she moved to L.A. Mudhoney would stay at her place. I had a girlfriend so Emily wouldn’t make out with me. [What a prick tease! –ed.] She moved back to Seattle in ’91 with a boyfriend in tow. Then in ’93 they broke up, I stopped with the opiates and we started going out. We got hitched a year later. By the way, I hear Ruben finally proposed to you,congratulations! [Why thank you! –ed.]When we have enough free time, we like to travel. Our last two big trips were to Brazil and Burma. We’re going to Costa Rica when the rest of Sub Pop goes to SxSW.
L: If you were to have kids what would you tell them about drugs?
M: That’s another reason to not have children, it’s a conversation I’d rather not have. I like drugs. I just don’t like people on drugs. [But what about kids on drugs? That’s fun, right? –ed.]
L: And finally, what is Mark Arm’s favorite place to eat in Seattle and why?
M: Except for lunch, which is usually just sandwiches, I don’t go out to eat that much. I always enjoy the Boat Street Café, Matt’s in the Market, Machiavelli, The Tamarind Tree and a place right next to it that’s simply called Schezwanese Cuisine. A couple of default places in West Seattle I enjoy are Taqueria Guaymas and the West 5. That didn’t really answer your question, did it? [That’ll do, I suppose. –ed.]
PS Mark, don’t try to get all clever in the photo booth. I won’t allow it.
It’s a new year and we’ve finally got a new People Who Work Here for 2008 and it features Gabe Carter, International Man of Mystery. When I first started here Gabe and I worked together for an hour or so during the day and we’d make fun of everyone and jam out a lot to Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/Love Below or the Misfits. When Alissa started working in the warehouse a little later we’d have a full-on delicious snack spread with cheese and crackers and all kinds of good stuff in the afternoons. Gabe is a stand up guy but now that we both have different duties at Sub Pop we rarely get to eat cheese together. Gabe always has the sharpest knife, though, so if you need to slice an apple he’s your man. Let’s meet Gabe!
L: You started at Sub Pop in the warehouse and worked there for a good long while. Please tell me about how you started working here and your subsequent rise to power in the International Department. What do you do now? Do you ever want to go back to working in the warehouse?
G: It’s a Cinderella story really. I started in April of 2002. I had been fired from my previous job of 7 years at a snowboard factory for touring too much with my band during the busy season. The irony here is the band I was in broke up shortly after. Kristin Meyer called me and asked if I’d be interested in the ‘warehouse manager’ position. It initially paid about the same as what I was making on unemployment but it was getting at the point where sitting around the house wasn’t as fun anymore. After you’ve been on unemployment for a while they start making you jump through lots of hoops: turning in your job search list, going to classes etc. Not working in itself starts to become a job. Warehouse manager title was a bit misleading as you weren’t in charge of anyone, just the warehouse. Kwab trained me for about a day and a half and then I was on my own. It was a bit different than what I was used to. I started trying to get to know my new co-workers I nicknamed myself “Talking Gabe” or occasionally “Shit Talking Gabe” and spent too much time yacking to people trying to work. People have that look though when you interrupt them while they’re trying to read an email or just get their work done. For sanity’s sake, the warehouse manager job became something I decided to/needed to take pride in. I tried to just be a reliable shipping engine in the back of the office. I got miracled [I like when Gabe uses these weird phrases. I mean, what does that even mean? –ed.] in to the International job when Shawn Rogers left. Shawn is still a very well regarded person both in the company and abroad. It’s taken a while to grow out from his shadow over the department. My only immediate qualification for the job was that I was well traveled. Carly and I split the job down the middle she does all the marketing and publicity, I do all the nuts and bolts stuff like logistics and production. I do still love the shipping room. I like the physical and social aspect of the work. I like the blasting music and loud talking. The warehouse is like the mafia—they never really let you go.
L: It’s a new year-did you make any resolutions? Even if you didn’t will please pretend that you did and then tell me what they are? Also, what did you do to celebrate?
G: I didn’t make any special resolutions for New Years. I make resolutions all the time but they are broad like “stop drinking so much” or “get to work on time” “get your shit together” [When do you plan to start working on these? –ed.] I’m a ‘watch the New Years on TV’ kind of guy now that I’m a father. I always make a pot of black-eyed peas for New Years Day. It’s supposed to be good luck, one pea for each day of the year. I’m not superstitious though I just like black-eyed peas. I usually end up eating all the leftovers for days afterwards. [Me too! I was sooooo farty. –ed.]
L: Fantasy Basketball-what gives? Is it really that fun? What about Real Basketball?
G: Yes, I’m totally into it. One year I even got several other Sub Pop employees to try it out. These days, players don’t stick with teams long enough for you to really develop any personal attachment to any specific team. You become fans of certain players as they migrate around the NBA. [Sports are so boring to me—wake me up when this is over. –ed.] Sport’s betting is one of the most addictive things around. Sports are unscripted drama. Fantasy sports is just a couple bets on the side. As for real basketball, I was a Sonics season ticket holder since the Key Arena inaugural season (‘95) up until a few years ago. It was a good time to be it to basketball in Seattle. Sonics were always playoff contenders and even went to the championship in 96. I let the tickets go when my wife got pregnant. I used to play actual real basketball but I hate playing pick up basketball, too many day pass thugs and all that running. I hate playing basketball with jerks. [You mean YOUNG jerks, don’t you? –ed.] I’d much rather play half court three on three with some friends. For one it’s easier to get back on defense.
L:You were born in Texas. Tell me three reasons why Texas is better than Washington. Would you ever in a million years consider moving to Texas?
G: Yes, I was born in Houston. The Republic of Texas is one of those places that has an almost indefensible amount of state pride. I have to say the three reasons why Texas is better is: real BBQ, Austin, people are friendly. It takes a while to get used to how unfriendly strangers are here. People just don’t say “hi” here. You walk down the street in Seattle and people pretend they don’t see you. It is really weird and takes quite a bit of getting used to. I would be the first to concede, I’m not a real Texan. [See you are a real Texan—you’re trying to concede! Oh wait…it’s secede, isn’t it? -ed.] I moved here when I was nine. I would never move back. It’s too beautiful here. There’s nothing on the horizon there both literally and figuratively. I get a wave of nostalgia when I go back to visit but that’s all it is. Seattle is my home now and probably forever.
L: You work very closely with Carly Starr, who was recently featured here in PWWH. Please tell me Carly’s three best qualities and one really annoying one.
G: It goes without saying that Carly is great. She and I used to carpool together and I would make her late most days. I’m going to take the high road and assume you’re not talking about Carly’s physical attributes. [Carly has nice jugs. –ed.] While she is clearly an attractive and stylish lady, three of her greatest qualities have got to be her generosity especially with sweets [You mean when she breaks into the ice cream before the party? –ed.], her heightened sense of cleanliness and organization [That’s clearly a neuroses. –ed.], and her ability to have fun [She does love mayonnaise! –ed.]. As far as annoying goes, while she can be fairly bratty at times, which she readily admits, I find her tabloid addiction much worse. Nevertheless, I usually hand the TV remote over to her in the lunch room so she can watch her shows on E.
L: You were in that band Juno and I remember reading about you guys in Punk Planet when Arlie broke his neck or whatever while doing snow sports. You were guys were fairly big, huh? Tell me what it was like being in Juno and tell me what you’ve been doing musically since.
G: I was in Juno from the beginning until its ultimate demise or rather, extended hiatus. It was and sometimes still is a large part of who I am. [Let it go, Big G. –ed.] Experience shapes perception and what not. We toured and toured, 14 or so Secret Santa [? –ed.] US tours and 2 European tours and a last hurrah Japanese tour. We released two full lengths on DeSoto Records and 7” singles with Sub Pop, Jade Tree, Magwheel, and BCore and a split with the Dismemberment Plan. Former Sub Pop employee Joan Hiller was our publicist for the last record. I loved being in the band. I’m sad that we couldn’t keep it together. Traveling to Europe and Japan as a band was very rewarding for me personally. Some people go to college, I went to rock school. I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish as a band, most of which we had to do for ourselves. We had a tendency to burn bridges while we were still on them. Arlie’s broken and then healed neck was the 6th member of our band for a while. He was trooper though he got right back in the van and toured as soon as he could. After Juno I joined Hint Hint and managed to record a full length and do a little touring with them before the inevitable break up. Since then I had a personal musical project going for a while but right now I’m the only one in project and the music is all on a pile of practice tapes.
L: Please tell me your favorite Sub Pop album from each year that you’ve worked here. What’s your favorite song from each record?
L: If you had to lose either both your feet or both your hands which would you choose and why?
G: Feet. No question. People can lose their feet and still run marathons with prosthetics. Showers would be weird though, right? Have to get one of those shower chairs to wash my nubs. I need my hands. I would hate to lose any part of either hand. How do you get dressed with no hands, or drive, or make a sandwich. [With your feet, ding dong! –ed.]
L: You have a kid—tell me what it’s like! Are you going to have another one? If so, can I pick the name?
G: Let me be the 10 millionth person to say how great it is. It is unbelievably great. I think I have a better perspective on it since we waited until we were older. I don’t feel robbed of my youth and ambitions. I feel I have a rich enough life and wealth of experience to share with him. All I want to do is hang out with him. I don’t know about a second one yet. My need to procreate is completely satiated by my son. I wonder though sometimes if his quality of life might be better with a sibling. [Sure, why not? He’ll have someone to pick on. –ed.] It’s still on the table. If we do, I would endure some suggestions from you for sure. The name Ulysses was a top contender last time Jimmy Carter 2. –ed.]
L: You are into Japan quite a bit-why?
G: I’ve heard that before. I’m not really so into Japan more than anything else. [Well why do people keep saying this to you? –ed.] I like a lot of Japanese film: Akira Kurosawa movies (Seven Samurai), Battle Royale, I even like my fair share of anime [Blech. –ed.] like Spirited Away. But to be honest, I like Sushi more than Japan. Last time I was in Japan I felt slightly unwelcome. They aren’t really so into foreigners. Gaijin is the Japanese word for “foreigner”. It also happens to be the word for “barbarian”, since that was what all foreigners were considered to be. Baka roughly translates into “smart, no”. Perhaps as close to “stupid” as they would want to call somebody. So Baka Gaijin roughly translates into “stupid foreigner”. [Yeah, sounds like you are not into Japan at all…. –ed.] Also if you see another gaijin on the street, they pretend to not notice that you are clearly not Japanese. It’s like you went to high school together and they are praying you don’t recognize them. Maybe I’m extra sensitive to that. As a general rule tourists and ex-pats are dorks it sucks to feel like one.
L: Tell me something that you’ve learned as you’ve gotten older. You know, something like “it’s OKAY to trust people over 30” or something like that.
G: I got a few, take your pick: Don’t judge your friends or you’ll lose them. Don’t buy a car at night. A good man can whistle and change a tire at the same time. [These are good. I’m going with the tire one, though, because I’d never buy a car in the dark and if I have to quit judging my friends I might as well stay home. –ed.]
This week People Who Work Here takes a look at Sub Pop’s newest all star publicist, Kate Jackson, but not that Kate Jackson. This one is 26 and married and has a dog and a home in West Seattle and is a very nice lady and she has not been on any TV shows, at least as far as I know. As Kate is pretty new here I don’t have a lot of interesting facts to lay on you right here, but I will vote her most likely to sunbathe topless and drunk in Hawaii. I’ll let you know how that goes when we get back. Let’s meet Kate!
L: Tell me how you came to be employed at Sub Pop.
K: I used to do a little work with Steve Manning’s wife, and met Steve through her a few years ago. Around the same time, I was introduced to Megan Jasper while working on a fundraiser for the Vera Project. I thought both were charming freaks and apparently they thought the same of me, so when there was an opening here they thought I would be a logical fit! [Knowing people is the only way, my friend! –ed.]
L: Are you enjoying yourself so far? Who is your surprise favorite coworker?
K: I am enjoying myself thoroughly. In my first week we got to ride the Duck with the whole funny clan and I had a massage in the office. How could I complain? I just rearranged my cubicle so I feel like the vibe just got a whole lot better in here. [She’s not kidding—I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen feng shuing in action. –ed.] My surprise favorite co-worker…Bessie, Vito and Dinky…although the humans are cool too.
L: You married your high school sweetheart—what’s up with that? Is it working out?
K: Yeah, the guitarist of his then band went to my high school and he set us up on a blind date at an all-ages Superdeluxe show at Green River Community College when I was 14 and he was 15. It just kinda stuck and we ended up getting married about 2.5 years ago after 10 years of hanging out. [So that means you two have only had sex with each other, huh? What? I’m just asking! –ed.]
L: What is the first Sub Pop record you ever owned? What is the last Sub Pop record you bought before becoming employed here?
K: That is a tough one…I think it may have been L7 that I first bought on my very own. I had others that I had gotten as gifts, but I saved for that one. The last Sub Pop record I bought before I started here…I believe it was Band of Horses Everything All the Time. [Oh c’mon—you know you got that for free! –ed.]
L: I heard you are into some weird personality analysis called enneagram. What is it and what can you tell me about myself using this witchcraft?
K: You’ve clearly been talking to Megan! Yes, I was raised with the Enneagram and love it to this day. Aside from sacrificing small animals and drinking their blood, the whole practice involves minimal witchcraft. It is disturbingly accurate although sometimes hard to admit that you have the characteristics spelled out in the personality descriptions. I am an “8”, so watch out. Lacey, hmmm…not sure I could peg you so easily. Maybe after a few drinks together I will have you all figured out. [I can’t wait for this! Please bring your witch tools to the island! –ed.]
L: You are super active with the VERA Project. Tell me a little bit about the project and what your roll is there. Why do you think it’s a worthwhile organization? Why should parents feel safe leaving their kids in the hands of punk rockers and other musical degenerates under the Space Needle?
K: Vera is an all-ages, not-for-profit music and arts venue that is run primarily by youth volunteers. It is a space for people of all-ages to engage in music performance and other related arts in an alcohol and drug free environment. They offer live shows, studio engineering classes, silkscreen classes, sound and light engineering classes, have an art gallery and do a million other wonderful things that empower youth and cultivate talent. I have been a board member of the Vera Project for a little over a year but involved with the organization in various capacities for about 4 years. I spent almost every weekend in high school commuting from Tacoma to go to RKCNDY or the handful of all-ages venues that existed. When the teen dance ordinance closed all of it down, I didn’t see a show for 3 years that wasn’t at a festival or arena sized rock. Being involved in the music community brought me to my current day profession. It is imperative, especially in a city like Seattle, that we have a place for the young musicians, fans and art lovers go to learn how to appreciate art in their own way and sustain the growth of that community. [See, I told you she’s a publicist! –ed.]
L: If I had to hazard a guess I’d say you drove a Volkswagen, probably something with a hatchback. Am I completely wrong? What kind of car would you drive if money were no object?
K: I have a Subaru wagon. If I could drive any car it would be a Volvo wagon when they go hybrid and I also love the new prototype for the VW Minibus, so I guess you were kinda right about me. [It’s a gift, what can I say? –ed.]
L: Alright, let’s get to the juicy part…you used to work with Pearl Jam—what were your duties? Who is your favorite Pearl Jam? Do you still talk to them on the phone? Tell me a funny story about Pearl Jam that does not involve Ticket Master, mohawks, or Crohn’s Disease.
K: Ahh yes. Mostly I just picked out all of the brown M&Ms. nothing makes Mike McCready more angry than brown M&Ms… [Not even Crohn’s? –ed.] No, really I worked for a small publicity firm that handled a lot of music and non-profit related clients but was also Pearl Jam’s in-house PR in addition to handling the band’s philanthropic efforts. We did everything from set up a record to handle day-to-day appearance, donation, etc. requests for the band, to help strategize political involvement and activism. My favorite Pearl Jam…impossible to choose! Nicest people ever. The secret about the Pearl Jam organization [They sound like the grunge mob. –ed.] is that they have about three times as many dogs in office as Sub Pop does. When I was there we would have anywhere from seven to thirteen dogs on any given day. Scared the hell out of visitors when a pack of dogs – ranging in size from Jack Resells to Lab/Rodesian Ridgeback mix- would come tearing through the office.
L: You are a young go-getter of a gal—how’d you get to be like that? Do you have any tips for someone who might be in her early 30s, floundering around fairly aimlessly with no clue as to what she’d like to make of herself?
K: Good God, you overestimate me. I personally invest a good amount of time in wine drinking and reading thesuperficial.com and therefore am the last to be doling out advice to anyone. [Well then I must be on the right track…. –ed.]
L: What does Kate Jackson do on the weekends to relax? Tell me about it.
K: The best kind of weekend contains these ingredients – one night out for dinner and drinks/show, good Saturday morning greasy breakfast, a lot of On Demand, red wine, and a long walk on Alki beach with my dog. [Where’s the shame spiral? Or is that on Monday morning for you, too? –ed.]
L: When I was in high school I had a gay friend who told me that I looked like Kate Jackson but I don’t think you and I look anything alike. Say, who’s your favorite Charlie’s Angel?
K: You only get one guess…the smart one.
L: And finally, let’s do some quick word association:
Catholicism – my upbringing
Ireland – my homeland
West Seattle – the best neighborhood in Seattle
Grunge – my youth
Steve Manning – monkey
Publicist- dirty word
Balls – I wanna dip my…
Hey, look who’s back! It’s me, People Who Work Here, and this week we’ll be meeting Carly Starr. Carly started here as an intern and worked her way up to become in charge of International Marketing here at Sub Pop! Don’t get your hopes up, though, because we don’t generally hire our interns at Sub Pop; these days we just give them their very own record label. Carly enjoys shopping, candy, going to the gym, reading trashy blogs, and watching trashier TV. Carly will not do anything she does not want to do. Sometimes people confuse Carly and I for each other. I think it’s the boobs. Let’s meet Carly!
L: Your birthday is Thursday—how old will you be? Have you accomplished the things you hoped you would by this time? What is the best thing to happen to you in all your years alive so far?
C: Actually, my 28th birthday is Friday. Your friend Tammy’s birthday is Thursday. [Happy birthday, Tammy! –ed.] I’m pretty proud of what I have accomplished to date. When I was 14 I started a piggy bank called “Savings for Seattle”. I was totally obsessed with Sub Pop, Seattle, grunge, and getting out of Wisconsin – weird I just realized that I’ve spent half my life loving Sub Pop – can I get some retribution for that? [I’m not sure that’s the word you’re looking for. Well, fuck, maybe it is. –ed.] So it’s kind of effed up that all of my dreams per se have come true – and because of that I think I have accomplished a lot. I also managed to graduate college, which I’m pretty happy about. I think the best thing to happen in my life changes every day. Sometimes I think it’s Lola (my cat), and sometimes ice cream. [I’d stick with ice cream—that cat is a bitch. –ed.]
L: You work in the international department here at Sub Pop which means you get to travel abroad fairly regularly. What’s your favorite European country and why? Where would you like to go that you’ve never been?
C: I’d have to say that Italy is my favorite European country. Florence, Venice, Milan, the people, food, wine, shopping [See? What did I tell you? –ed.], and the countryside are all amazing. I would like to go back to Australia because I was only there for a few days and Melbourne seemed really cool. Places that I’ve never been to and want to go to include: Brazil (duh), Greece, and Morocco. That being said, there are a lot of places in America that I’ve never been to and would like to see (like LA – not that I want to go there but I do think it’s funny that I haven’t been yet. Actually – it is now my new life goal to never go to LA). [This is totally doable—set up that piggy bank! -ed.]
L: You hang out with CSS a bunch—tell me a really good story about one of the times you guys were getting wasted and partying into the early morning.
C: I love CSS and miss them so much – no secret to my co-workers. I still put them at the top of our international notes (the album came out a year and a half ago – you’d think I’d give it up). Is it sad that I can’t remember any crazy party stories? Not that I was too wasted to remember but that there really isn’t any. They are one of the hardest working bands I know. Every time I go out with them their time is filled with interviews, photo shoots, radio sessions, and shows. It’s nonstop. I think my favorite memory is meeting them for the first time, months after their broken English drunk dialing, emailing, and texting. Lovefoxxx and Ana stayed with me for awhile two summers ago. Every morning I would wake them up (remember when they “interned” here for a week) and Lovefoxxx would sit up and say “What time it is?” – that still cracks me up. [Ha, ha! Stupid foreigners! -ed.]
L: It’s no secret that you love Eddie Vedder. Tell me about your love for Pearl Jam and how you manage to justify it in 2007.
C: This is a common misconception. I USED to love Pearl Jam (see answer to question # 1). I had a bad habit of buying Pearl Jam tickets to concerts that weren’t even in Wisconsin (Toledo, Ohio, and Missoula, Montana for example). My Dad, Phil, was awesome enough to drive me around the country to see them (thanks, Dad!). He also brought me to my first concert when I was 7 years old, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block (this was when New Kids were OPENING for Tiffany). Little did he know that he would sit through many more NKOTB concerts (thanks again, Dad!).I don’t think I’ve actually listened to a whole Pearl Jam album since 1998. That being said, they were one of my favorite bands so naturally I’m still curious about them. My sister Jessica, however, is in love with them and travels all over the country to see them. I think it’s cute and good to have a band that just totally blows you away. [Yeah, but… -ed.]
L: You are also an enormous Radiohead fan—what did you pay for their new record? What do you think about their controversial marketing scheme?
C: This is true. They’re the current Pearl Jam for me. I love every new album more than their last – which a lot of people don’t agree with – but I like all the tweakery that Johnny Greenwood does. I bought the box set thing, which ended up being over $80 since the USD is such shit. I’m annoyed by their marketing scheme only because now my mom Trudy (Hi Mom!)likes to tell me all about how the music industry is changing and that it’s all going downhill because bands don’t need record labels anymore since Radiohead just released theirs on their own and it turned out alright. Sigh. [Yes, but your mom also gives out your business card to performers at the local Quacamonoc coffee shop. I think it’s cute that she’s interested. –ed.]
L: Tell me something about Carly that most people would not know.
C: I can not roll my r’s and it makes me sad. [Me neither. –ed.]
L: If you could switch jobs with anyone here who would it be and why?
C: I don’t want to switch jobs with anyone here. I have a pretty sweet deal. [I’ll say! –ed.]
L: What is one thing you wish you knew more about and why?
C: For years I was obsessed with the Chunnel. How could people build this tunnel under the English Channel? Did the tunnel go through the water, sit on the ocean floor, or was it under that? How many people died building it? How many years did it take? After studying up a bit – I was greatly disappointed with all of my answers. Turns out the tunnel is only 30 miles long (23 of which are under the seabed), 150 feet under the seabed, and only takes 20 minutes to go through via train. [I’m impressed! –ed.] BORING. [Oh. –ed.] I’ll stick with being naïve and creating my own ideas of how the universe works.
L: Carly, you are from Wisconsin. Do you think you’d ever move back there? How do you think Wisconsin makes you who you are?
C: I love Wisconsin. Seriously. The best people from Earth come from the Midwest (it’s true). I was so anxious to move away and get to grunge town that I don’t know if I really appreciated all of its glory until I left. I would definitely move back to Milwaukee. I’m not sure what I would do there, but I’d be down to kick MKE style. Wisconsin (and the Midwest in general) breeds people to be friendly, hard working, mayo-loving, football fans who are what you see – there’s not a whole lot of B.S. I’m about to get a Wisconsin tattoo but I can’t decide what the banner under the state outline should say. Maybe you can help. Your choices are:
1. Escape to Wisconsin – this used to be old tourist catch phrase until people kept on crossing out the “to”. [Before or after the cow tipping? –ed]
3. Forward! – the state motto and my personal favorite. [This is almost like when you are driving your gay pal around and you say ‘Do I go straight here?’ and he replies “Forward, never straight’ and then you say ‘I hear you man—I’m straight but not narrow!’. -ed.]
4. Midwest Pride
L: And finally, if you were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, what is one thing you’d want your mom to know before you left?
C: Thanks for the quilt, Mom. [This makes me sad. –ed.]
People Who Work Here has really been taking its sweet time in between interviews, but this next one is a real page turner and well worth the wait. This week we’ll take an in depth look at Stuart Fletcher, the newest member of the Sub Pop Records Technical Team, Ltd., and also the last remaining interview from, as they like to refer to themselves, the Nerd Cave. Stuart “does computers” and as far as I can tell this means that he fixes broken things on the website and also provides you with new download codes when yours doesn’t work. I’m sure he does other stuff, but these are the only two things that I personally need him for. Stuart is wealth of weird information/superstition such as ‘you should never separate the salt and pepper—if someone asks for one you must pass both.’ As you might expect from someone with crazy ideas about spice movement, Stuart can often be found straightening his papers just so on his desk at work so that nothing is out of place. Stuart is also a founding member of the somewhat now defunct Monday Night Supper Club and a frequent lunch partner of mine. Let’s meet Stuart!
L: You are new-ish here. You worked at another computer job before and you left even though you made a million dollars an hour. Why? Do you think you made the right decision?
S: I am way more suited to working at Sub Pop than I was to working at my last job. So yes, even though I was paid $1,000,000/hr at my last gig it’s worth it to work for such a fine company as we do. No question I made the right decision. [Smart answer, Kid—I think the boss reads these. –ed.]
L: So, you have a really janky desk here and you are the only one who suffers from this type of treatment. How does that make you feel? Do you think that it will ever be okay?
S: When my desk was first installed it did seem to really not fit the space, but the Technical Staff here collaborated on some feng shui-esque maneuvers and managed to make the Technical Staff Office into, in my opinion, a much nicer space than when I was sitting at my card table (which I thought was pretty great at the time, to be honest). And honestly, most of my problem with my desk can probably be chalked up to me falling prey to the status quo bias. I’m very prone to it. (Meaning: I hate change.)
L: You and Dean Hudson went to high school together—tell me a good story about ‘the good old days’ at Issaquah High. What about James Bertram? Got any dirt on him?
S: Hmmmm. Truth be told, Dean Hudson and I went to elementary school, middle school, AND high school together. I have a funny story about 4th grade, but since you asked about high school I’ll stick with that. This might not be a “good story” but at minimum it is a story. Dean Hudson and I worked together in a public library in high school. Our main duty was shelving books. Toward the end of when I worked there we somehow got the idea that it would be fun to sort of sketch out the rough outline of a musical about serial killers. [Oh geez. This is classic. –ed.] I think the idea probably came about because all the books on serial killers would have the same Dewey Decimal classification and somebody probably returned a bunch of them at the same time and they were all waiting to be shelved. That or Greg Heino are the most likely reasons we were thinking about it. Keep in mind this is waaaay before there was that movie with Charlize Theron and all that. Punk hadn’t even broke at the time I’m talking about, if you know what I mean. I’m just trying to point out we were ahead of our time. So anyway, we came up with some song ideas, a rough plot outline and had a lot of fun with that. Kind of sick. James Bertram… let me think. Whenever I think of him being in high school he is wearing a Misfits t-shirt. [James is coming out 100% more cool than you and Dean combined here… -ed.] Because he really did wear a Misfits t-shirt sometimes. That’s not really “dirt” but that’s all I’ve got. James and Dean are two of my best friends. [That’s sweet. A little gay, but sweet. –ed.]
L: Did you go through a goth phase in high school? Did you smoke cloves? Did you cry a lot? Do you still have all your black clothes? Did you wear Doc Martens or those little karate slippers?
S: No. No. No. Never had an inordinate amount of black clothing, so it’s the same as ever. I’ve never owned Doc Martens and I don’t know what you mean by karate slippers, but I think that’s a “no” as well. Are Doc Martens comfortable? I heard they are. [Look, I’ll be asking the questions today, Stuart. –ed.]
L: Mayonnaise—for it or against it and why?
S: I am pro-mayonnaise because it is delicious & it can make the things it gets on more delicious than they otherwise would be. And the mayonnaise that the Dutch dip their french fries in is amazing. Anything in the same family as that special continental mayonnaise gets my vote. [There is a direct correlation between one’s enjoyment of mayonnaise and how much fun a person enjoys. Look it up. –ed.]
L: You are a real fan of Sub Pop recording artists Tiny Vipers and you have driven them to Portland more than once. What do you all talk about? Who has to stop and pee the most? What kind of road snacks do you guys get?
S: It’s true I’m a big Tiny Vipers fan. On the rides to and from Portland we regale each other with tales of past times, ponder the nature of electricity and magnetism, examine questions of ethics and morality, and sometimes we just sit and think quietly while hurtling along I-5. Pretty much just the usual. We normally make one pit stop on the ride to/from Portland, and it’s equally likely to be me or Jesy that requests the stop. I don’t think Ben ever asks to stop, but whoever says the word I think everyone takes advantage of it. Snack-wise, rest stop cookies (found alongside the free rest stop coffee) [Cheap bastards. –ed.] are a favorite, as have been lozenges to ward off sickness. If I recall correctly, we’ve usually neglected to plan ahead enough to stock up on snacks for the road. Tiny Vipers and 5ive Style are my two favorite bands on the label. [I didn’t ask you this but thanks, I guess. –ed.]
L: You play bass in the Sea Navy. If Jay Cox, leader of the Sea Navy, were to suddenly disappear what Seattle band would you want to join and why?
S: (can you say here that I look “visibly shaken” or something like that?) [Sure. Stuart appears visibly shaken by the mere mention of Jay Cox’s hypothetical disappearance. –ed.] First of all, I would be really bummed if Jay Cox, leader of the Sea Navy, were to suddenly disappear. But if Jay Cox, leader of the Sea Navy, WERE to suddenly disappear, and I were somehow forced to join a Seattle band…I have no idea. I’ve never wanted to join a band so what I would do is this: I would get Jordan, drummer of the Sea Navy, to form a band called “I.S.O. Jay Cox” which I would then immediately join (thus answering your question?) and we would embark on a sort of “psychic journey” through a vast multi-dimensional landscape of good and evil trying to find Jay Cox, leader of the Sea Navy. Picture something which has the epicness of the Lord of the Rings movies [Exactly right here is where I quit reading…. –ed.] but looks more like a realistically rendered cartoon (like the J. Penry cover art on Love As Laughter’s “Laughter’s Fifth” LP) and where the kid who isn’t Frodo doesn’t cry quite as much. In fact, when we become “I.S.O. Jay Cox” we would actually TURNINTO cartoons so that we can go on this epic journey. There would be lots of sliding down rainbows and getting into all kinds of little side adventures, but don’t worry — there’s always a lot of jamming going on, too. We’d have to be changing costumes quite a lot, I imagine. If you’re wondering what “I.S.O. Jay Cox” sounds like, I would play bass with the attitude [He’s still talking, isn’t he? –ed.] of a young Geddy Lee mixed with the fretboard chops of “Diver Down”-era Michael Anthony (btw, that synth glitch never woulda happened had Michael been there — sorry Wolfgang!). Jordan would drum in the style of post-Spectrum Billy Cobham combined with the studio precision of Rick Marotta’s work on “Don’t Take Me Alive” and the “git down” vibe of Agharta-period Al Foster. [I’m sorry I asked. –ed.]
L: Do you own any pets? Why or why not? What is the most exotic family animal you’ve ever experienced? This can be yours or a buddy’s.
S: I do not own any pets. I like cats and have lived with lots of them, I’ve enjoyed living with dogs somewhat but right now is not the time for me + pets. My place is not very large (that’s an ambiguous statement, huh?) and honestly the cat and/or dog hair everywhere and on everything gets me down as a long term proposition. The most exotic family animal I’ve ever experienced is a house cat [Oooh, neat! –ed.], though not just any house cat. This one was raised by turtles on the coast of North Carolina (or on the islands maybe — I forget) and is the oddest cat I’ve ever known. Name of Taco, she’s still around (I think) in the DC area. She was not “mine” but I lived in a house with her for several years. I’ll point out now for the reader in the early 21th century where we in Seattle are currently graced with the presence of the band TacocaT that Taco the cat is well over ten years old & was named on another coast in another time by people who may not even “get” the thing about the bicyclists and the peeps and whatnot. Her “exoticesqueness” is mostly psychological in nature and is best experienced. You’ll have to take my word for it. She’s the longest haired cat I’ve ever seen: the volume of hair makes her seem approximately three times as big as she actually is. And she’s tiny, probably because she was raised by turtles and didn’t get the proper nutrients as a baby cat. What do turtles eat anyway? Lettuce?
L: Tell me the proudest moment in Stuart Fletcher’s life up to this point. What do you hope to achieve in the future? What color is Stuart’s balloon?
S: This is a tough one to answer (but haven’t they all been!). There are all sorts of kinds of ways to be proud. I was proud to own/ handle/manage that cat Taco I was talking about earlier, but I suppose you mean the thing I’ve done that I’m most proud of. Some moments I’ve felt quite a lot of pride in my own acheivements have been:
1. graduating from the University of Maryland (we have quite a few celebrity alumni, by the way), [I’m sure they are proud to add you to this distinguished list, especially since you misspelled achievements right off the bat. But then again, you weren’t an English major, so…00100101001. –ed.]
2. helping build the current Sub Pop website, and
3. having been a member of The Sorts, a band I played with for a long time in DC (that’s more than a moment, but isn’t life just a moment in time?).
Also, I am really good at folding laundry (especially t-shirts!) and I wash dishes (in the home, not professionally) pretty well, though not exceptionally quickly. Those are two of my skills I’m proud of. In the future… shoot, I thought I had already made it to the future. I just want to keep doing cool things and continue to have fun or whatever it’s called now. Mostly I want to keep thinking thoughts for awhile. My balloon… isn’t it what color your parachute is? [Godammit, Stuart, I said that I’M ASKINGTHEQUESTIONS! If I say it’s a balloon then it’s a goddamn balloon! But, I think you’re right…it really is parachute. –ed.] If it’s just a helium balloon or something, how is that going to float me? I guess it’s gray, though, if I have to answer. Either grey or dark blue, but definitely one of those. Don’t The Cure have a song called “All Cats Are Grey”? Taco wasn’t gray, but grey cats are fine with me and my balloon is gray with a 50% probability.
L: Around the office you are known as ‘the good Stuart’ and Stuart Meyer is ‘the bad Stuart’. Name three reasons why these nicknames are indisputably correct.
S: Oh boy. I don’t know how this got started, but it really has legs.
1. Stuart Meyer doesn’t like mayonnaise, if I recall from his Sub Pop PWWH interview. Liking mayonnaise = ‘good’. [Please see above. –ed.]
2. From what I can gather from what is said around here I watch much less television than Stuart, and that’s ‘good’, right? [I think that’s relative. –ed.]
3. If I were ‘the bad Stuart’ I would take it personally and not have a sense of humor about it. That would make me miserable and that’s the last reason why our nicknames are indisputably correct.
Although I halfway (or quarterway) wish those names would disappear, I DO think they are funny and I have to admit that I’m happy that I got the ‘good’ one. Sorry Stuart. That’s kind of a boring answer. I know I should have said something more biting. Like claim that I am effortlessly able to maintain my trim waistline or something. But I don’t have it in me. I don’t want to add any kindling to this particular fire. (And to be perfectly honest, when I think hard about this good/bad thing, I end up concluding that Stuart Meyer is probably cooler and better than I am in just about every way.) [Nope, you’re wrong. –ed.]
L: And finally, what is the deal with carrying hot sauce in your pocket?
S: First of all I’d like to point out that the one time I’ve “carried hot sauce in my pocket” it was my jacket pocket, not a pants pocket. That is an important distinction. Secondly, that hot sauce was (and indeed is) El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero and their motto is “Much More Habanero!” When I lived in Washington, DC the El Yucateco was relatively easy to find, but since I’ve been back in Seattle I’ve had a hard time tracking it down. I found it at the so-called Mexican grocery in the Market, though, so I’ve been excited to use it ever since then. Hence the carrying it in the (jacket) pocket. Short answer: I like how it tastes when applied to a wide range of foods. How it tastes in my mouth. [Fair enough, weirdo. –ed.]