Brandon Rogers from One Child Left Behind makes me laugh. And laugh. And laugh until my gut hurts and tears are running down my cheeks. Sometimes, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Sometimes I do. But, it doesn’t matter because his writing is so creative and strong. It’s beautiful and honest. His own personal favorite post (listed below) is actually the first post I ever read of his and I admit it, I fell in love. Brandon has written for McSweeneys. And I hear he writes some pretty sexy material for scholastic books, of which I have not had the pleasure of perusing. Brandon lives in Washington State with his very understanding wife and two children, who ask him to bing them in the head with small, plastic toys. For fun. And, he has a potty mouth. If you are my mother, you don’t want to read any further.
Why do you blog?
The reasons change weekly. Some days I blog to avenge perceived childhood slights. Some days I blog because it’s easier than talking out my problems with an actual human being who might either A. laugh at me or B. jam a stylus into her cochlea moaning “NONONONONO.”
But most days, it’s to create a living record of all the mistakes I’ve ever made. I have a feeling it might one day come in handy.
What do you talk about?
I think the most common comment I receive goes something like this: “I have no idea what the hell you are talking about but it’s pretty and I drink too much tequila, too.” (ed. note – I’ve NEVER said I drink too much tequila.)
According to my keyword referrals, however, it’s very clear what I talk about: Prison Sex, IROC Mullet Hore and Steve Pary Girlfriend Sherry.
What don’t you talk about? Why?
I self-censor when it comes to anything that I think might hurt someone’s feelings. And by someone, I mean someone who isn’t related to me. Besides, there are plenty of other sites that do this far better than I ever could. I mean, if you were to Google ‘PARIS HILTON CAMEL TOE,’ it’s not like you’d arrive at my site even if I did put a lot of effort into a well-written post.
I also try to avoid dirty talk because someone pointed out this website to my grandmother, and even though she hardly speaks English, she still understands, INTUITIVELY, what a Reverse Anal Cowgirl with Pearl Necklace means. And when she dies, I don’t want her corpse to flinch when I kiss her cheek goodbye at the funeral.
I also never write about cheese. I find this odd, because in everyday life I find that I talk about cheese quite often.
Worst/best experience regarding something you wrote in your blog or put out on the net?
When I first started writing, I put up a lot of posts detailing my childhood, thinking that no one from my family was smart enough to use electricity, and further testing this theory by actually spelling out my URL to the reporter when the local newspaper interviewed me to talk about my experience as a guest on the NPR Weekend Edition Puzzle with Will Shortz (GEEKNERD).
Fast forward to earlier this year. It’s 4 in the morning, and I’m actually awake getting ready for work. The phone rings. It’s my mom. She’s obviously crying (at one point she says, ‘I’M SORRY FOR CRYING’), and is in the emergency room of a hospital in Yakima. She’s convinced that she only has a few moments to live. And then she says, ‘I’m sorry for how hard your childhood was! I’m sorry for ruining your lives!’ And the first thing I’m thinking is,
“GODDAMNIT HAVE YOU BEEN READING MY BLOG?!” But fortunately, I’m able to say something a little more measured, “Don’t worry, everything will be just fine, you’re not going to die, you probably just ate too many burritos.” Getting the five-minutes-left-to-live-confessional from your mother is not a happy time. That was just a bad day overall. I expect a similarly poor experience when she uncovers my VOX site. Meh.
The best experience was writing two posts while my wife was in Romania, visiting her family, just ahead of our 10th anniversary. She got back and we went out for dinner. I picked what would turn out to be perhaps the worst Italian restaurant in Seattle. I had printed out the posts and had given them to her to read. When I saw that first tear roll down her cheek, I knew two things: the day wouldn’t be overshadowed by the awful food and I still had a chance of getting laid. Anyone who has ever gotten laid because of his blog will tell you that the best thing about blogging isn’t a potential book deal, it’s the potential for getting laid.
Favorite/worst thing about living where you live?
I live in the Cascade foothills, far enough away so that it’s quiet and I can pee in my backyard, but close enough to SeaTac airport that I can easily fly some place where it’s noisy enough that I can pee in a bar alley surrounded by dozens of my peers. Plus, I’m a total animal freak, and everyday on my hour-long commute, I always have the chance to see elk or weasels or bald eagles or horses with massive erections. It inspires me to be more.
On the downside, when the terrorists launch a million nuclear bombs at us, we’re too far away from any major population center to die from a direct hit. Instead, we’ll be known in history as the ones who lingered on, smelling faintly of baby wipes and pine needles.
What’s the deal with the duckies?
I work with a guy who was a television producer, and one day I made a joke about how all of our videos seem TOO scripted, even down to the wildlife, and he said, ‘HA HA! CUE THE DUCKS!’ I thought that was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, even though he doesn’t remember saying it. But now I say it all the time, primarily using it as a transition to the many dream sequences I incorporate into my posts. Seriously, blog posts without dream sequences are like nonalcoholic beer. You really have to chase them down with a half dozen tequila shooters before they’re even remotely effective. Plus, my parents, in an effort to become better people, started a farm after they ruined our lives, and they have about a dozen different kinds of ducks, which fascinate the ever living christ out of me. My BFF, Kat once posted photos to her Flickr account of an unnamed duck and I stood up and screamed at the monitor, “I KNOW THAT BIRD! IT’S A SMEW!” It frightens me that I know this.
Plus, is there anything cuter than a ducklet? If you said ‘yes,’ you are wrong.
If you were president of the US:
I’ve always found it odd that you are required by law to have automobile insurance, but health insurance is OPTIONAL. It reminds me of where our priorities lie. Unfortunately, as President, I wouldn’t actually do anything about this. Instead, it’s more likely that I would be the only chief executive ever caught urinating on the White House lawn holding a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and the First Cock in the other.
What is TEQUILACONPACNW07?
Totally out of the blue one day, Jenny of Run Jen Run! asked me and Jill of Egg In Spoon to come to Chicago and drink tequila. And we did. And we called it TequilaCon, because anytime more than two bloggers get together it’s technically a REALLY BIG DEAL. But surprisingly, when we started writing about it, other people started commenting that they wanted to attend TequilaCon, too. So we organized another event in New York and I was amazed at how many people actually flew into town based on nothing more than a time, a location and a promise that one of us would hold their hair above the toilet when times got rough. The next get together will be in Portland on March 17 A ton of very cool bloggers have signed up, but it’s open to anyone, and there’s no pressure to drink or actually fondle each other. In fact, most people go home surprisingly sober and sexually frustrated. It’s like church camp. Only a lot more expensive.
What actor would play you in the movie of your life?
According to myheritage.com, Al Pacino would play me as an adult and Alanis Morissette would play me as a woman. If the movie has scenes from my gangster phase, then that role would be taken by Tupac.
What do you do to stay sane and healthy?
I read that a glass of wine a day is good for your heart, so I drink the whole bottle just to be sure.
In order to stay sane, I occasionally break down and smoke a menthol.
Every kid knows the saying, ‘yellow and blue make green.’ And since blue is a metaphor for sadness, and green a metaphor for nature, that must mean yellow is a metaphor for anything that can transform sadness into nature.
We had a poor childhood and among our government housing cuisine was chicken gizzards more often than not, and it still brings me a great deal of sick comfort, even though I’m a vegetarian now. Well, the other day I had a miserable time, and while I was in the deli, I saw a big plate of chicken gizzards, and because I was in an unhappy place I wanted to jam a whole handful into my mouth right then and there. Unfortunately, there was a very pretty girl next to me, and when the server came to ask for my order, I just couldn’t bring myself to say CHICKEN GIZZARDS PLEASE while this perfect stranger whom I’ve never seen again remained within earshot, how ashamed I was.
Can food be any more perfect than that? Anyone who questions the emotional value of what we stick into our mouths is lying to himself. I would tell you what my favorite food is, but I’m ashamed to say it out loud. And I can’t eat it, anyway.
It’s ten minutes to midnight the day before the world ends. Forever. No take backs. And there is no afterlife. What do you do with your last day?
Are you fucking kidding me? End-Of-The-World-Party excuse? Count me in. And I’d treat it like New Years, with all of us together on the beach one minute to midnight. We’d pop the cork, pour our final drinks, and I’d watch everyone go bottoms up. But I’d pour mine out onto the sand, the first and last time I would have ever turned away booze. I’d go out a winner, goddamnit.
When you were 10, what did you want to do when you grew up?
The only thing I can remember wanting to be when I was a child was a poet, but I don’t mention this because when I write poems God kills kittens and makes pedophiles masturbate on the bus, which is the opposite of how this whole masturbation-kitten mortality relationship happens in conventional wisdom.
I turned 10 in 1983, so there’s also a slight possibility that I wanted to be Ricky Schroeder.
What do you hate?
I hate that I stayed up reading all the interviews you’ve conducted, and it seemed like each person had a perfect answer for so many questions, so much so that I felt my penis getting smaller with each response. That’s a hard reality for a man who isn’t ready to admit that there’s probably more sexual intercourse behind him than in front of him.
I also hate splinters.
What do you love?
My kids have this really bizarre game where they bring me plastic toys while I’m typing away at the corner nook and then they take off running down the hallway expecting I will throw the toy at their heads, because I was such a good baseball player but not quite good enough to make the Braves minor league system when they were perennial doormats. Anyhoo, one time, they both took off running and I threw the big plastic cookie and it hit BOTH of them in the head, and not just glancing blows, but solid, and both of their skulls made sounds like coconuts falling onto a concrete floor. I think the little one even fell down and started crying. And of course, they came running back begging me to do it again. I loved this moment so much I gave myself permission to finish the box of wine, which, as I pointed out, is what I do to stay healthy.
I also love bloggers who purposefully misspell or completely make up words, use poor grammar or otherwise write posts that make no sense. This is the one format in the whole world where it’s permissible to do that. It seems such a waste not to.
What do you want to tell other bloggers, if anything?
Just because you and someone else both suffer from a compulsive desire to write, and this manifests in an online journal doesn’t mean you have that one commonality that will bond you for life. Plenty of people were born with a natural ability to discharge a firearm and THEY haven’t all teamed up on the same side. Many armed separatists, in fact, can’t even stand each other. Some bloggers aren’t going to like you or respond to your emails or trackbacks or links. That doesn’t mean you should stop writing or that you’re a bad person. Sometimes it DOES, though. Go with your gut. I don’t know what else to tell you people.
Astounding facts about you:
I occasionally dream about having liaisons with other blogfolk. Most recently, I had a dream that when I returned for my reunion Mrs. Kennedy was the principal of my school, and we totally did it on her desk. This was the Eden before she cut her hair most recently, and our locks got entangled (DON’T ASK), which made it difficult to run away when her husband came after me to strangle me with his bare, mighty hands. I woke up simultaneously grinning and crying.
I’ve also written or contributed to 7 books related to college financial aid and college admissions. This has never gotten me laid, not even during my REM phase.
Are you Windows or Mac? Why?
Everything I own is Windows, but it’s not a philosophical stand. If the senate were tied on a vote 50-50 for whether or not America should go Mac or Windows and I was the VP called in for the tiebreaker, I would either A. fall asleep during the debate, or B. skip the vote altogether and get arrested under suspicion of buying alcohol for an underage stripper named Mohina. If a blogger told me she would only sleep with me if I were a Mac user, I would tell her I was a Mac user. If later in the evening her sister were to make the same statement regarding Windows users, I would tell her I was lying to her sister only to get her to sleep with me and then we would sleep together. If their cousin then showed up to the party and said the same thing about Linux, I would probably tell her I’m tired of all the lies.
Do you really love Journey? If so, why?
I love the IDEA of Journey. I love that I live in a country where 20 years ago Journey could call its own shots in some questionable music video direction. I love that people got so upset when I told them I didn’t really like Journey and made me re-add it to my profile. I love that many of those same people believed me when I retracted and are now re-convinced that I love Journey. I love that I have yet to find myself in a crippling accident being cared for by a sociopathic nurse immediately following the release of my forthcoming novella: PLEASE STOP BELIEVING – THE DAY I KILLED JOURNEY ONCE AND FOR ALL.
How would your wife/kids describe you?
My wife would say I’m a great solution when the only answer is cock.
My kids would describe me as fast and a good source of cash. One day, however, they will describe me as the guy who never made them go to bed before 11 or eat their vegetables.
I’d love a parenting tip, please.
Don’t tell one child that you love him/her more than the other, even if you secretly plan on telling all your children the same thing. One of my earliest memories is of my mother whispering into my ear “you’re my favorite,” while my younger sister was sleeping just a few feet away. It fucking breaks my heart even now.
Also, never use the phrase, ‘Because I said so.’ Instead, say, ‘Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ I find it teaches my children to respect tradition, plus it comforts them to know that it’s not me making these decisions. Because I’m a moron.
And while you’re at it, how about a husband tip?
When your husband has angered you beyond any limit you thought possible, like let’s say he told you that the shoes you chose for your anniversary dinner make your ankles look swollen, fuck him hard for a good, solid day. Then as he climbs into the shower to wash off the day’s worth of filth, no matter how angry you might still be, climb into the running water and go down on him, and vice versa. You’ll both sleep for the next 12 hours and forget why you were so angry. And when he wakes up in the morning and looks at you, he’ll think you’re the most beautiful thing god created and regret saying those nasty things and never say such nonsense again. Unless, of course, he realizes the big reward he got for doing so, but still, it’s pretty sweet to have sex for two days straight, no matter the excuse, right? If spouses would just immediately go down on their partners whenever one made a serious error in judgment, we’d all be fine.
Plus, when you fuck a guy’s lights out, he really will think he doesn’t deserve you. And that’s half the battle right there. When a guy thinks he deserves you, you’re in dangerous territory. The other half of the battle is don’t ever tickle him, ever. He doesn’t like it, and hearing him squeal like a rabbit in a mole trap does no good for your faith in him as a protector, either.
What is one of your favorite memories?
On my very first call as a firefighter/EMT, I came to an 80-year-old woman’s house, looked through the window and saw her husband trying to perform CPR. A few weeks before, I had arrived on a scene of a dead man, and the two of them were the exact same shade of purple. I worked on her for about 10 minutes before the paramedics arrived. I was concentrating so much on CPR that I never noticed she had turned completely pink and was breathing again. It was the clearest transition I’ve ever witnessed between life and death, and it was exhilarating beyond description. She lived for a few weeks afterwards, and I’d like to think I helped buy them a few of those precious days.
Do you cook?
I experiment with a lot of odd ingredients. I have a fig tree, and I’m always dropping figs into everything. But since I get 80% of my caloric intake from liquor, I’ve come to realize there’s just so much you can do with olives and celery stalks.
What are you working on right now?
I’m writing another education-related book and continuing to solicit other bloggers interested in helping me test suitable Portland bars for TEQUILACONPACNW07.
Your own favorite post? And/or your favorite post of someone else?
This post by yongfook blew me away. Though his post on sexual positions is likewise hilarious and totally unsafe for work.
As far as my favorite post, I kind of liked my birthday letter to my son.
And I guess people found this one kind of amusing:
What will you being doing next year?
I will be introducing a new generation of bloggers to the depraved joy that is tequila/digital photography.
Tell me a secret?
My real father was a violent alcoholic, and although I don’t share his violent tendencies, I drink a lot. I drink during work hours, hiding booze in my Gatorade bottle. I take a drink in the morning. I take a drink before I go to bed. I drink too much, period. I know that it’s a problem, and I’m desperately hoping to go through life as the first alcoholic who never hurt another with his illness or is made to pay the price of his mistakes. My secret is that I know how horrible this sounds.
What do you wish I had asked you that I didn’t?
What’s your favorite deciduous coniferous tree? It’s totally the tamarack.