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#496253 - Sat Sep 12 2009 07:13 AM Interview with Gatsby 722
BxBarracuda Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
New�York�USA�...
When did you first find FunTrivia and what was the site like then, what is your favorite aspect of the site?

I found it (by sheer accident) just a few weeks after getting my first home PC -- in January (maybe February) 2001. I have to be honest, too, and say that it was a time that I knew absolutely nothing about using the internet in any sort of recreational and/or conversational way --- it might sound very odd, but I call that period my "didn't know the difference between my screen name and my password" era. All that I really remember, potently, about *then vs. now* is the leaps and bounds in size of the site. It was/is an exciting gradual growth that was engaging to check in on, as the days went. Other websites tended to bore me after a week of even casual involvement(s). FunTrivia never did that. As for my favorite aspect? I love all the quizzes and information (one really does learn a lot around here, even when they don't realize they're learning it, yes?), etc. ... but the people I've come to know over time is, and always will be, the largest asset I've gained in this community. Nice to discover Jack Benny's birth name, and all that -- but its invaluable knowing the people that make up the 'heart' of this place. Knowing Mr. Benny's bio makes my brain feel a tad larger (I reckon), but having made friends like the ones here? There's truly very much "heartful" about that. And a day means little, in my estimation, unless there's some heart in it.

Does your Username have any special significance?

Not much of one, really. When I had to think of a user name I had to realistically try to recall a nickname that I'd ever had, so a friend reminded me that everyone referred to me as "Gatsby" back in high school (which I'd pretty much forgotten about). The numbers are my birthday. For some long, long time I was really not in a position to have a nickname, so it was a dilemma coming up with one! Well, I may have had a few 'names' used in my direction over the years ... but none of them were shared so that I could hear them .

Tell me a bit about the region you live in, what makes it a good area to live in, what are some of the drawbacks of the area?

I now live in the area wherein I was born and grew up (even though I spent the majority of my life elsewhere). Northeastern Ohio, very typical US Midwest feel to it. Once quite bustling as the town was a hub of very successful factories and economic booms. That changed, though, in the mid- to late 1970's, when the employee-heavy foundries became empty abandoned buildings. As it stands, the region is still trying to recover, in many spots of it. Too much crime here, too much economic duress (made even worse now, of course). But it's nice, too. A short drive from the 'city'? One can see the rolling cornfields and plaguing calm of the small outlying towns. THAT part looks like how Ohio is generally portrayed. Canton itself, though? If I may be entirely candid, there's nothing too terribly picturesque about it.

How did you get involved with being a staff member and what are the ups and downs of being a moderator?

I'm pretty sure that I got to be a moderator simply by hanging around so much LOL. One of those: "Well, for God's sake! He's here all the time, anyway. Might as well put him to some sort of purposeful use, don't you think?" As for the ups and downs ... the biggest *up* would be that I get to feel like I'm enabled to make a (tiny) contribution to a system I care very much about. Not many *downs* to it, for me --- but, again, my responsibilities are not exactly vast.

What is the most fulfilling part of your responsibilities on the site?

That'd be involved in the "people" part, once again. I've always enjoyed (not just here, but in all aspects of my life) a rainbow of individuals offering a rainbow of attitudes, opinions and observations as they go about the business of a day. It applies here, too. I, personally, get all jazzed when a new member shows up, might get off to a cumbersome (meaning "they sound like they know what they mean, but just aren't presenting it quite inclusively right") start ~ but finally 'get it'. Hopefully they then become, ultimately, a really worthy and happy contributor to FunTrivia - wherever their comfort zone here finally happens to be.

Do you have any pets, if so what types?

Funny you should ask! I do have a new pet these days. He's a cat that got rescued by somebody who found themselves overwhelmed with rescued pets and offered me one. Little cat (not a kitten, though) who I shamelessly named Middlemarch. His gratitude at having a home is (literally, some days) nearly killing me. He eats like a miniature horse. He's awfully 'talkative' too often. But he's a very nice fellow, overall. A gentleman! He's been here almost two weeks, but he already runs the place.

What is the best job you have ever had and what is the worst job you have had in your lifetime?

The *best* job one is easy. For a couple of decades I made my living running bookstores. I got lucky, as it was the perfect fit of a workday, for me ... even though I'm always clarifying a few things about it. The general thought is that a job in a bookstore is nothing more than spending 8 hours discussing Proust, sipping coffee, listening to Brahms and so forth. I wish! There was a LOT of aspects of the job (aside from those mentioned, which rarely happened, thematically). It requires a strong back and time-consuming determination and/or planning, too. All those books have to come out of [very heavy, delivered daily, fifty at a time] boxes, be inventoried, be taken out and be shelved in the right places on the sales floor. I never once, in twenty years, left the job being 'done for the day'. And, somehow? I loved it.
The worst job I had [ever ... and I have a few stinkers in my day] was being a telemarketer. It was dreadful sitting down at that desk every day preparing to try to find the most sensible mindset to begin being, nothing more or less, a pest for an entire (endless) shift.

What do you like to do in your spare time, outside of the site?

Let me answer like it was a few years ago since, now, my spare time is a little compromised due to health *stuff*. I liked playing tennis, read voraciously, cooked quite a bit. Much board gaming, entertaining, etc. I always had a constant motto, in my 'productive' days: Work very hard, play very harder. Another guidepost I had, too, when it came to spare time activities (tennis aside) was that it was stressful and made you sweat like crazy - what's "fun" about that? I had a friend who liked to climb small mountains here and there when he had 'down' time. Now, honestly! To each his own, I know, but I can think of nothing I'd rather do LESS than climb landforms that you might fall off of and die at any given moment. Leisurely? At work I was always in 'high energy' mode. When not at work? I like(d) being as laid back as I could find.

From posting along side you on the Big Brother thread, I know you are a fan of the show, as am I. When did you first start watching the show, what season was your favorite and who is your favorite houseguest of all time?

To be honest, I'm about 50/50 when it comes to that (intriguing) program. Some seasons I've started, and didn't get grabbed at all and I quit watching very early in. Some other seasons, like the last three, have grabbed me at the gate and held on tight. I love the premise of the show ... but it all boils down to how 'interesting' (be it for good or bad) the houseguests are. That's likely true for most people, I reckon. Probably like anybody else who's watched, I guess my favorite on any season was Dr. Will. What a rascal! But smart and funny and devilishly honest about what he was up to. On the very other side of him, though, I also liked Memphis last year. He just seemed like a nice guy --- not much *rascal factor* at all, at least not on the surface of it. How they end up coming off, though, is never so much about who they are as individuals, though, is it? It's about how they end up forced to bounce off the other folks they're stuck with in there as they go, in my opinion. Kind of a microcosm of everyday society. With more whining and drama and editing, naturally.

Do many people oustide off the site know you are a forums moderator and do they find that strange?

Everybody who knows me knows very well of my time and interests here. At first they thought I'd gone mad --- me being so jacked up about a cyber community didn't quite fit the profile they'd had of me. I'm pretty sure many of 'em thought I'd been drawn into some sort of new age "cult", or something (sigh). As time has gone, though, they all 'get it' now ... and, in fact, think it's interesting and almost important that I'm a FunTrivia fan. Too many people in my age group tend to think computer recreation = creepy chat rooms where folks get to doing all sorts of dubious stuff. Once they realized that the cyber world isn't just about endless information on one side of it and web cams/suggestive photos on the other, they're 'on the program'. All my friends can often be so *black and white* about things! But, then, it's always been [kinda] my job to keep them abreast of the *gray areas* of many things.

What are the most interesting things you like to observe?

Human behavior, mostly. I find it fascinating to try to understand and/or figure out. I really enjoy, too, watching peoples' innate skills emerge, whatever they are. That can go all the way from a 13-year old who flat-out testifies that they couldn't cook dinner if their life depended on it (then, given the space to try, discovers that they can make dinner AND dessert, too) to a 25-year old bartender who's given a chance to get up on a stage and sing some rock-n-roll (against all odds of being very good at doing so) and wows the crowd! I suppose, "meet-cute" as it might sound, I like to observe progress. Hearing about it is fine, but seeing it happen is better.

Would you ever want to be a houseguest in the Big Brother house?

Not. On. Your. Life! While it may be true, and said, that I enjoy watching the human condition in-action? I'm not sure I meant that there would be any personal benefit gained, for me, by watching it in a claustrophobic setting while knowing I'm being stared at by a few million strangers. With claustrophobia and being eavesdropped on 24/7 comes some v-e-r-y exaggerated behavior, evidently. I think it'd be rather cool to get to chat occasionally with Julie Chen, however ! Without question, too, if I were to be on such a show? My luck, I'd be the one who ended up wearing a neon red unitard or banana suit weekly and/or be on an "anchovies only" diet all the time. No, thanks.

What is your favorite quiz which you have authored and what was it like getting your first quiz online?

I had to think a minute --- because, really, I had a pretty large amount of fun writing almost all of my quizzes (which, of course, was the reason I got to writing them to begin with). But I think my favorite is one of my *weirder* literature ones: The Ransom Demands For Our Gerbil, "Geronimo". It was a blast to do, because I had that oddly-named gerbil in my head long before I had a quiz planned to write regarding him. I had no idea, even, where "he'd" end up ... but he finally morphed into a (semi-peculiar, perhaps) 'bookstore'-themed quiz. My first one? I think all I remember is being shocked when it went online - such things were all new to me at the time! Reading it now, it was truly unworthy ... but I remember feeling like I'd successfully jumped a cyber hurdle getting that far with it. It was many years ago.

What are some things in life that once you owned them, you couldn't live normally unless you had them?

Certainly the computer is one. A coffee machine, circa 1976, is another -- the first one I bought when I didn't even like coffee (but visitors did). Now I drink coffee 24/7 and wear out three machines a year! My first (non-winter, keep-your-ears-warm) hat became a habit. I never thought about hats being up there on a person's head just for *fun* when younger. These days I wear hats everywhere, all the time. I'm even one of those "old guys" who wears baseball hats backwards ... which I'm told is a ridiculous thing for men to do after a certain age. Bah, to that! Call me ridiculous, then.

Would you be more likely to be seen at an art museum, history museum, sporting event or concert?

My favorite place in the world, at least as far as I've seen of it, is the Art Institute in Chicago. I used to go to Chicago often and, no matter if I was there for a week or just two days, one full day of it was reserved for that building. I'd get there when it opened, and leave when it closed (lunch breaks notwithstanding). I like concerts a lot, too. The perfect version of heaven for me? James Taylor playing for eternity at the Chicago Art Institute.

Are there any T.V. shows or songs that you could watch or listen to over and over again, but watch or hear now, and wonder what you were thinking back then?

Ha! Of course. Example: I was firm about it, up until I was about 12 (and, naturally, excessively verbal about it, too). The greatest actor and actress in the world? Without question it was Jerry Lewis and Doris Day! I was darned serious about the matter --- until I caught a glimpse of Marlon Brando and/or Geraldine Page, that is. Same with music. I was crazy for Herman's Hermits and The Monkees. Then along came an introduction to Peter, Paul & Mary and/or The Doors. As for TV ~ I'd like to say I outgrew my adoration for "Bewitched", But I didn't. I still think it is a pretty terrific show (as were so many others over the years). In fact, I'll even watch reruns of it with my Cleveland Indians baseball cap on backwards . One should stubbornly keep a solid respect for where they've been, in my opinion. Helps you remember that there are always still more places to go.

Much Thanks for this Gatsby722

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#496254 - Mon Sep 14 2009 04:17 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
romeomikegolf Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Apr 07 2004
Posts: 4875
Loc: Rothwell Northants EnglandUK
Gatsby, you say you spent the majority of your life away from the area you grew up in and now live. Where did you live before you returned 'home', and what influenced your descision?
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#496255 - Mon Sep 14 2009 07:09 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
OhioUSA
Quote:

Gatsby, you say you spent the majority of your life away from the area you grew up in and now live. Where did you live before you returned 'home', and what influenced your descision?



I was one of those malcontents, as a boy - couldn't wait to get out of my home town and "see the world". So I left as soon as I had the opportunity. Then, with my job (and notably because I was the resident *single* guy and easier to uproot), I got transferred around a lot. It was [kinda] fun. I came back to Ohio at one point, to regroup and restart, and my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer while I was here. It seemed best that I stay and help with his care. After his death (two and a half years later), I essentially decided I didn't have the energy to go 'back out there' - I was nearly 40 by then - so I ended up staying put in Ohio.
Good question !
_________________________
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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#496256 - Tue Sep 15 2009 03:05 PM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
damnsuicidalroos Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Hiya Gatsby I have a question that you may like to answer,nothing about monsters this time though.

Is there anything that you haven`t done in your life to date that you would really like to do?
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Responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones.

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#496257 - Thu Sep 17 2009 06:18 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
OhioUSA
How did I somehow know that you'd throw me the hardest question of the year (so far) Mr. Roos ? Nah, I think I can answer it. I get hung up on that *neighborhood* of things, sometimes, though. So many of the things I'd like to do these days are things that I have done in my life already, but find that I can't do anymore. So that doesn't count, right? The trick there is to be happy I got to do them to begin with, once. Remember doing them. Wax nostalgic, etc. Be glad I was *there*. But on the subject of things I never got to do, while always (and I will continue) wanting to? One'd be an airplane trip across an ocean. I ain't picky which one. I think the combination of terror and wonder in it (and the destination, too) would be beyond exciting for a small-town Ohio kid. Especially one who's terrified of both heights and water. I'd also like to be in the room when a child is being born. Strangely enough, I've never seen that happen (close, but never the actual delivery). Hmmm. I guess that both things might indicate that I aspire to (and hope to continue aspiring to) those things that make me realize what a true piffle I am, in the big lovely picture/scheme of things. Knowing that I might fall thousands of feet into a bottomless abyss of man-eating fishes or seeing a new life getting its first glimpse of life? Wildly scary in very different ways. But immeasurable, I reckon, in terms of assuring us where our "place" is. And where it isn't.

If that makes sense ?

*edited for a misspelling


Edited by Gatsby722 (Thu Sep 17 2009 11:18 AM)
_________________________
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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#496258 - Thu Sep 17 2009 07:48 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
ktstew Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Tue Jan 18 2005
Posts: 8717
Loc: Arkansas USA
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#496259 - Thu Sep 17 2009 11:57 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
damnsuicidalroos Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Interesting and very readable answer thanks Monsieur Gatsby.
_________________________
Responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones.

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#496260 - Fri Sep 18 2009 10:06 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
MadMags Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat May 03 2008
Posts: 17092
Loc: Orosi CostaRica
I mentioned elsewhere, but it bears saying again ~ fun interview Gatsby. It was a treat to take a peak inside your life and head.

I have a question, Gatsby, that you may like to answer. Looking back, what is one incident in your past that stands out in your memory - it could be for any of a vast variety of reasons. Something that was just too crazy for words, or something you're proud of, maybe something that really surprised you, perhaps a 'whoops' moment ... you get to pick, but I'd like to hear of an outstanding memory.
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A smile is a curved line that sets things straight. ~ Anon.

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#496261 - Mon Sep 21 2009 07:39 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
OhioUSA
Quote:

I have a question, Gatsby, that you may like to answer. Looking back, what is one incident in your past that stands out in your memory - it could be for any of a vast variety of reasons. Something that was just too crazy for words, or something you're proud of, maybe something that really surprised you, perhaps a 'whoops' moment ... you get to pick, but I'd like to hear of an outstanding memory.



Jeesh, Mags . I don't know. I reckon it's a toss-up. It'd be either that time that Indian girl refused the Oscar for me -- I believe her name was Sacheen Littlewhatsit. Or it could be that time I won the coveted video award and that (rude, let me tell ya) Kanye West barged in and stole my thunder AND my moment on the stage? OK ... truth is I have no Marlon Brando/Taylor Swift moments . My life's been pretty much made up up of *little* moments, ones that were privately satisfying but don't stand as being very 'large', in the big picture. I apologize. Not a very *good* answer, I know ...
Oh, I just thought of one . I won a 'Teamwork' certificate at a company meeting once. I didn't even know such a certificate existed (neither did anybody else in the room) but they came up with one specifically for me and my staff. I was mighty proud of that, I recall. A little less thrilled when I had to stand in front of 300 people and give a speech about the whole (unrehearsed) business, however. It was all an oxymoron, finally. An incredibly awkward "honor"?
_________________________
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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#496262 - Mon Sep 21 2009 08:19 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
MadMags Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat May 03 2008
Posts: 17092
Loc: Orosi CostaRica
Thank you Mr. Gatsby. It's always such a pleasure to see your wit at work!
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A smile is a curved line that sets things straight. ~ Anon.

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#496263 - Mon Sep 21 2009 09:19 AM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
shuehorn Offline
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Registered: Tue Jul 04 2006
Posts: 3613
Loc: Lawrenceville Georgia�USA�...
I have so enjoyed reading these interviews and getting to know some of the people here more. Thanks for being an open book.

I always dreamed of having a coffee-shop/bookstore too, but it looks like that isn't going to happen (at least not in this life). What was the best book-person connection you were able to make when you had your own shop? Is there a particular incident that you recall with getting someone introduced to an author or finding the book that answered someone's quest at the time?

Thanks!

Sue

(edited to add a question)


Edited by shuehorn (Tue Sep 22 2009 02:04 AM)
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Sue (shuehorn)

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#496264 - Tue Sep 22 2009 01:05 PM Re: Interview with Gatsby 722
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
OhioUSA
(Ooops! Didn't see the question 'til now. Sorry )

Finding "quested for" books was an almost daily challenge. Many people would come in with the vaguest, and often strangest, requests. "I can't remember the title, but the cover of the paperback is mostly green, it has silver letters on it ... and has something to do with a little girl and her mother ..." -or- "My daughter wants that diet book written by Stephen King for Christmas! Do you have it?" The weird thing is, you get to a place where you can almost always figure out the book(s) they mean! Never mind that I had NO success, that day, convincing the holiday shopper that King's "Thinner" was not a *diet book* -- or even close to one . I think we introduced shoppers to a vast array of authors they'd never tried before, and it was always great to see them come back looking for more of their 'discovery', too. I can't recall of any one incident of it that stands out more than any other, just now. My staff was full of "experts" in different categories, though - and I remember that the Sci Fi guy and the Romance lady were turning on readers to new authors or series all the time, that were close to things they'd been fans of before. I can't say it enough: working in a bookstore is hard to beat, in terms of reward(s) !
_________________________
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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