On The Record

Introducing GRR’s Weekly Interview Series:

1 person (who is obviously interesting).
5 questions (that you know you want the answers to).
on the record.

It’s about to get really real in here.



November 17, 2010: Anish Shah

He is that rugged type of handsome who would show up at your house on horseback while the smoke from his perfectly lit cigarette forms heart shaped clouds in the air.  Your Dad doesn’t trust him but your Mom secretly wants to hit that.  You melt when his hands brush his playboy hair out of his eyes.  You admire his physique as much as his soul, because he loves cats and few men have the confidence to say that out loud.  He is Anish Shah and I had the pleasure of getting real with him.

Presenting On The Record with ANISH

GRR: What’s your guilty pleasure?

Anish:  The King of Queens reruns!! Please stop judging me, because I already judge myself for watching such a poorly made formulaic show. But come on, a world where a fat dude is married to STACEY CAROSI is a world I want to live in – even if that world doesn’t show her mid-section for an entire season because she was pregnant in real life. I mean, in how many scenes was she going to enter carrying big ass bags of groceries? At some point, we need to ask ourselves how many grocery runs is this lady doing and where is all the money coming from?! Sorry, I digress. Kevin James, who plays said fat dude, is simply hilarious at both comedic timing and physical comedy. His latest film is “Grown Ups”, starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and of course Kevin James as Chris Farley.


GRR:  Cheese or Chocolate?


Anish:  Cheese of course! As a vegetarian, cheese is my go-to meat substitute on practically everything. As a Wisconsinite, my blood runs gouda – I should probably get that checked out. I’m not much of a chocolate eater, or any sweet for that matter. Although, Lindt’s dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt is pretty boss.

GRR:  If you could have drinks with any person dead or alive, who would it be and what drink would you order for them?

Anish:  I would love to sit down and have a few drinks with Paul McCartney – my favorite Beatle. I’d ask him everything – song back-stories, tales of their Hamburg days, his approach for writing songs, etc. After a couple rounds of Greyhounds (vodka & grapefruit juice) I’m sure I can convince him to let me listen to some unreleased Beatles tracks.

GRR:  If you weren’t working in your current profession, what would you like to be doing?

Anish:  Currently, I’m a video game consultant and researcher – so I don’t have too many complaints doing that. However, if I had unlimited time and more importantly, unlimited funds, I would probably want to make a movie. I would hire friends to write it with me, have friends act in it, and I would shoot and edit it. Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak or that I like to tell stories, but I think I could make a pretty mean flick, a la Good Burger.

GRR:  Who was your 7th grade crush and what is he/she doing now?


Anish:  Hmmmm, let me think. Oh, EVERYONE. This is 7th grade we’re talking about, where the only things we had on our mind was trying to kiss girls and thinking how awesome The Giver was. But seriously, there was one girl – Nicole. I had a huge crush on her. During a field trip she actually held my hand for a bit. I was elated. I was blown away. I was 12 years old. The next day she asked me if I liked her. I responded “no”. I was shy. I was self-conscious. I was 12 years old. So, that was pretty much the end of our friendship. I couldn’t tell you where she’s currently at.


November 9, 2010:  Miss Jane Wanninger

It’s about bloody time someone finally sat down to interview Professor Wanninger, I could listen to Jane speak all day long.  After catching a recent opening night performance of Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice at the Broadhurst Theatre, I was eager hear Jane’s critical analysis of director Daniel Sullivan interpretation of this Shakespearean classic.  But rather than recite her forthcoming paper to be published in the Vanderbilt Press I decided to post only the juiciest of details on GRR.

Miss Jane Wanninger

GRR:  My god Jane when was the last time we sat down with a decent glass of pinot and a steaming bowl of gnocchi?

Jane:  I believe it was in Ischia when you forgot your passport and we almost lost our hotel reservation.

GRR:  Really, I was certain we were in Ermal’s apartment overlooking the Palazzo de Republica.

Jane:  I had always had too much wine by the time we ended up at Ermal’s.

GRR:  Yes that is true.  Speaking of Ermal and other men of his stature what is your guilty pleasure?

Jane:  I tend to embrace my guilty pleasures pretty openly in the hope that they will be embraced by all as delightfully campy.  I am not sure if that strategy works.  Anyway, my guilty pleasures include but are not limited to extravagant bedding and satin eye masks, wine from a box, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame, and romance novels with titles like “Prince of Dreams” and “Stranger in My Arms.”   God, that makes me sound like an aging socialite fallen on hard times.  Which reminds me of another guilty pleasure– Grey Gardens.

GRR:  Jane you have always been knowledgeable well beyond your years, but I do look forward to you becoming an academic socialite.  Do you find it hard to choose between cheese and chocolate?  Which one is always your go to?

Jane:  Cheese.  Fact: To celebrate my Wisconsin heritage, I once bought a fondue fountain just so I could have a molten cheese cascade at a party.

GRR:  That sounds amazing, a totally worthy purchase if only for one night.  If you could sit down to drinks with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be and what would you order?  And you are not allowed to say Shakespeare.

Jane:  Well, I would like to have a cocktail with Angela Lansbury, of Murder, She Wrote and Bedknobs and Broomsticks fame.  She is a classy classy dame, so I would order her something classic and old timey like a sidecar or a gin fizz.

GRR:  It’s been too long since I had a gin fizz, I need to remember that later when I’m at Solstice.  Let’s say you weren’t preparing to be a career academic, what instead would be your dream profession?

Jane:  As a graduate student of English literature, I have a lot of time to contemplate what I will do when I can’t get one of the like 3 actual tenure track jobs that come up a year.  Some potential dreams include a pastry chef with a reality show on TLC, a beer wench, a European tour guide, or a cook book editor.

GRR:  Obvi anytime I’m in Europe you are also there with me, usually several paces ahead.  Tell me about your 7th grade crush?  And don’t leave anything out.

Jane:  Oh man, my seventh grade crush?  I remember having a crush on Joel Feingold, who I met doing children’s community theater in fourth grade.  I fondly remember his star turn as Smee in Peter Pan…  My crush came to a sad end when he wrote a love poem for my best friend (an event which totally set me up for all the self-indulgent high school angst that came after).  I am still friends with Joel– he is a community organizer in New York City now, and I saw him last time I was in the city.

GRR:  Perhaps after a few more glasses of pinot we should give Joel a call tonight….


November 2, 2010: Paul Joseph Spurgeon

For our Election Day installment of “On the Record,” we turn to Paul Spurgeon a campaign veteran, currently working on a competitive Congressional race in Michigan. Paul took a break from his busy schedule of recording candidates doing bad things to answer our questions. Paul is also well-known for his respect and admiration for “16 and Pregnant’s” Tyler and Caitlin (they made the right choice!), his adoration of Lil’ Kim and his impressive knowledge of Simpsons trivia. He sometimes goes by Miguel Sanchez.

GRR: Paul, thanks so much for taking the time. I know it’s a busy time for you.

Paul: Thanks. I’m honored to be selected.

GRR: Yea, we don’t hand out these interviews to just anyone. Certainly not our friends. So, first question. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Paul: Bad Country Music. Postmodernism can be exhausting. Its nice to return to an art form that still embraces the simpler things in life. Things like Jesus and beer.

GRR: Your love of the Dixie Chicks is legendary, but I never took you for a Jesus freak. Now, here’s a question that’s a bit more complex than the existence of god. Cheese or Chocolate?

Paul: Cheese. Although, neither one is required for a complete full life. I have no sense of taste and I would be happy if the world had fewer things to choose from when it came to eating.

GRR: WHOA. That is a really controversial statement. Perhaps even more controversial than your belief that Lifetime is doing Project Runway justice. Okay, moving along. If you could have drinks with any person dead or alive, who would it be and what drink would you order for them?

Paul: I would love to meet either of my maternal grandparents over a drink. I would order bubble tea just to have a conversation piece in case things got awkward. I am sure neither of them experienced bubble tea while alive and it would be a great way to break the ice.

GRR: I would imagine that tapioca pearls would be a great way to get the conversation juices (or shall we say bubble tea) flowing.  Our next question is, If you weren’t working in your current profession, what would you like to be doing?

Paul: I would be a professional runner. I’m not sure enough people do that for it to count as an actual profession, but I would love for people to pay me to run.

GRR: Here’s the last question. Who was your 7th grade crush and what is he/she doing now?

His name was Tyler. I check for him on Facebook periodically and I haven’t ever found him. I often run down this street that has his last name and think about him every time I make the turn.

GRR: Tyler, if you’re out there…we have a Jesus-loving, food hating, marathon-running guy who can make an honest man out of you. Thanks Paul.


October 26, 2010: Erica Larson

For the first installment of our interview series, GRR reached out to a dear friend who personifies the essence of the modern woman.  She is the only lady I know who owns 20+ fashionable hats which overflow from a designated hat basket.  She flaunts a chipped tooth from an interesting misunderstanding freshman year.  She drinks whiskey like an Ad Man and throws a mean hardball.  She is Erica Larson.

Miss Larson - teacher extraordinaire

GRR:  Erica such a pleasure for you to take time away from your students and chat with us today.

Erica:  Let me first say, this is quite an honor.  So I will do my best to maintain the integrity of your amazingly informative website by answering honestly.

GRR:  Much appreciated now let’s cut to the chase.  What is your guilty pleasure?

Erica:  Guilty pleasure?  A guilty pleasure? I am a walking guilty pleasure.  I can think of several things i’ve done in the last hour alone that many people wouldn’t admit to anyone they did one time in that one country after that one thing happened that made the one thing impossible to avoid.  If i had a quarter for every time i heard “Erica…seriously?” or “Erica…what are you doing?”  followed by my shrilling insistence that it’s what “I LIKE TO DO.”  But i digress… Let’s start with Judge Judy, cheese, celebrity blogs, laying in bed for 16 hours watching any and all terrible/awesome show that’s ever been created, dawson’s creek (NEW HORRIBLE GUILTY PLEASURE) literally ANY music that makes my bird arms flail and my foot tap (let’s go with katy perry on this one) pizza, cheeto puffs, pizza, m&ms for breakfast, reading any and all news stories that involve murder or weird animal facts.  Oh what the hell.  I just sound American.

GRR:  It is true there are few things less American than Judge Judy and cheeto puffs.  Speaking of which, what’s your preference cheese or chocolate?

Erica:  This is a joke, right?  Cheese or chocolate?  Excuse me while I put down my tub of cream cheese that I’ve been dipping my string cheese into.  Oh shoot, I just knocked over my glass of warm melted cheese.  Moving on..

GRR:  Let’s say for one night you could sit down for a drink with anyone, dead or alive.  Who would it be and what would you order for them?

Erica:  At this point, a drink with anyone that can speak eloquent English and be able to decipher my fast-speak American English after a few drinks without having to ask several people what I said.  OTHERWISE, Ashley from Rock of Love Bus.  Because she says things like “people who eat basil are lame” (true) and “they don’t make swimsuits in size fat” and she’s deliciously, horribly evil and funny and I wouldn’t have to pay for her drink cuz her giant tits would be getting them bought for us all night. Ugh, or for you hipster idiots out there, I’d have drinks with Nietzsche cuz I’d love to “pick his brain”.  I’d order him a buttery nipple.  Or I wouldn’t.  Whatever. Nihilism.

GRR:  I can’t wait to order a buttery nipple from the Gold Cane this weekend.  Let’s say you weren’t working in your current position, what would you like to be doing?

Erica:  If not working at my current position I would be a videographer of my current position as an English language teacher in Japan.  Because oh. My. God.  The things that are said.  When explaining “hoarding” someone declared the man and woman from “101 Dalmations” hoarders.  Too much awesome.  Too much.  Or I’d be a cheesemaker and DIE OF HAPPINESS.

GRR:  Those kids are brilliant I never thought of Anita and Roger as hoarders but they absolutely are.  Pass one of those puppies to me please!  Ok now the good stuff.  Who was your 7th grade crush and what is he/she doing now.

Erica:  My seventh grade crush was either Jeff, Sigurd, Kevin or Jason. At all times.  Because having FOUR BOYS in your class for 8 YEARS creates a revolving door or denial/ obsession/ braces/ oily bangs/ unrequited love/ too large for my face glasses/ kohl’s sweaters/ body odor/ training bras.  They are all currently living miserable lives without me.

4 responses to “On The Record

  1. I love this.

    Every word.

    I want to be your videographer in Japan.

    In the mean time, maybe this video can help you find a japanese lover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7oSbEip_sg

  2. Amazing! Erica never fails to make me laugh!


    side note: Have you even had gouda before? Or do you just like the way the word sounds?

  4. Gary

    “My seventh grade crush was either Jeff, Sigurd, Kevin or Jason. At all times.”
    Gave me a good chuckle because I’ve spent many a minute reading the mini 5 year diary in which countless tales are told about J, S, K or J.

    You loved them. You hated the girls who loved them. You were fantastic.

    Hope my people be treating you all right.

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