Interview with David Sasaki / el-oso.net
David Sasaki might not be someone you’ve heard of yet unless you live and blog in San Diego or are a regular at Global Voices. He’s one of the best kept secrets on the web but with his strong and honest writing voice, sometimes odd sense of humor, it’s only a matter of time until his name will begin to sound familiar everywhere. His blog is a perfect blend of techie, in that he incorporates so many dynamic elements, and personal due to his open writing, along with definite political veins. Check out his visitor map, his plethora of tags just waiting to be clicked and explored and his photos here and here. Combine that with his heart of gold and there is no way you can’t not like him. (Yes, Mrs. Wheeler, that was a double negative. And I meant it.)
Why do you blog?
Thanks to A Word A Day I know that graphomania means a compulsive desire to write. I’m pretty sure I suffer from it. I’ll be walking around, or stuck in traffic or staring listlessly outside the window of the Coaster and all of a sudden thoughts come to my head. Rather than letting them float away, my fingers demand that I write them down. The fact that so many others around the world are equally compelled to do the same, I find comforting.
What do you talk about?
I’m not entirely sure. Most visitors seem to arrive at the blog by searching the term “anal bleaching.”
What don’t you talk about? Why?
Friends, family, relationships. I make references, but only when related to other subjects. I feel like it’s not my place to write publicly about their lives.
Best experience regarding something you wrote in your blog or put out on the net?
Google has been very kind in getting me reacquainted with old friends. Because of the blog I got back in touch with an old roommate from Kathmandu, a childhood friend who I hadn’t talked to for about 20 years, and many others. The other wonderful experience has been meeting new friends, especially those that transcend geographic boundaries.
You share your blog with other writers. Why? Would you recommend that to other bloggers?
I try to share my blog with other writers. But one is a rock star and the other is a law student and so they mostly ignore me. When all three of us our in fact writing though, the site feels much more like a dinner table than an egocentric self-portrait and, yeah, I prefer that.
Favorite/worst thing about living where you live?
If you were president of the US:
I think I heard it on NPR as my alarm clock was waking me up: that in the UK massages will soon be covered by their national health care plan. I’d have to agree with that.
What actor would play you in the movie of your life?
A young one? I really should start reading tabloids or watching E!
Recently I’ve been fascinated by white. I have dreams that I am in a white room with white furniture. It might be an ethnic identity thing.
All of the above. A couple weeks ago I went to Island Spice for the first time. I had the jerk chicken. Delicious, but not awesome in the cosmic sense of the word. This week I’m trying the curried goat. I’ll let you know if it becomes my favorite food.
When you were 10, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I think I wanted to be a scientist or programmer or some such nonsense. Only later in life did I reach for the stars and become a barista.
What do you hate?
When people get so upset about nothing.
What do you love?
What do you want to tell other bloggers, if anything?
That blogging is like driving – we all think we’re right all the time even though we all cut people off just as often as we are cut off ourselves. Use blinkers. Be nice. Ignore mean people. And don’t forget to listen to good music.
The design of your blog is very dynamic. How do you keep the page load time down to a minimum while still supplying so much of it?
AJAX. I also use it in my bathroom.
Astounding facts about you:
Birthmark the shape of an inverted australia on my left ankle. Had to pull strings to graduate from high school because I had too many absences.
Are you Windows or Mac? Why?
Mac. It’s perty. And I don’t have to put up with the snickering reserved for windows users at blog conferences.
Who are your heroes?
There’s this homeless guy who comes into my work every night. We call him Jesus – he’d make a much better Jesus than the guy in the Mel Gibson flick. Anyway, he always pays the full price for his coffee even though I tell him not to. He’s pretty swell and I have a hunch that he does wonderful things when no one is looking.
How would your family/friends describe you?
Distracted. Carefree to a fault.
What are you working on right now?
A friend of mine from Venezuela and I just finished a grant to get funding for a Global Voices-like site in Spanish. Once that gets on its feet, I’d like to really concentrate on bridging new media between North America and Latin America.
Please tell me more about Global Voices. What do you do for the group and why do you work with them?
Global Voices is a weblog and a community. It was founded by two special people: Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman. I think it’s the closest thing to a global village that has ever existed and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
I monitor weblogs in Latin America and pick out the best content which gets highlighted on the site.
What do you do to stay sane and keep healthy?
I never really write about it, but I’m a basketball fanatic. I play almost every night. It’s just about the only time that I’m not joking around. As a matter of fact, I even get in physical fights sometimes. Yeah, that’s my therapy.
What will you being doing next year?
Shaking my bootie somewhere in South America, probably Argentina.
Tell me a secret?
I have the smell of a girl’s hair stuck in my head.
What do you wish I had asked you that I didn’t?
I can’t believe you didn’t ask me what my favorite meal at Pokez is … Mahi Mahi Enchiladas. Favorite drink: Gin and Tonic, squeezed lime.