July 17, 2006

Interviews With Bloggers, Part 11: Prego From "Rust Belt Ramblings"


The Bella Rossa Interview with Prego of "Rust Belt Ramblings."

Prego is a busy dad and teacher who broke down barriers for gender equality all over the blogosphere when he was asked to contribute a Father's Day article to Mommybloggers.com. (How cute is that?) He writes with great humor on a variety of topics. He's another of the Roundtable bloggers who I've had the pleasure of interviewing, and has had the experience, like many of us, of having tons of unexpected hits on his site from a post totally atypical of his usual content.

BELLA: What current books, music, tv, movies, hobbies, sports, etc., are currently holding your interest?

PREGO: Unfortunately, I haven't much leisure
time to read, since I've got two kids (aged 2 and 4). The only place
I find quiet enough to read undisturbed is 'Elvis' throne', where I'm
currently reading a biography of Keith Moon, the late drummer of the

I've been watching the FIFA World Cup,
which I've done every tourney since 1982. I am also a somewhat
mediocre hockey player, but it's one of the few things I have left to
keep me sane.

BELLA: How would you describe your blog?

PREGO: I'd describe it as a kitchen sink.
All kind of things get thrown in. Sometimes I turn on the garbage
disposal and find a beer cap, fountain pen or a Matchbox car rattling
noisily in there.

BELLA: Why do you blog? What was your original goal or
intention when you started, and has that changed with time? Is your
blog a means to an end (finding work, developing creative ideas, making
money, meeting people), or does it exist for its own sake?

PREGO: The latter. I have no idea what I set
out to do when I first started blogging. I came across a couple
blogs about a year ago and thought I might give it a go. I always
enjoyed writing...ever since I was a kid. For some reason, the idea of
writing something down and having someone else read it has always
appealed to me. It's just taken a new direction as a creative outlet
than what it was at its onset.

Is there one particular post that you think exemplifies your work, or represents your best writing?

PREGO: Umm, I don't know, really. I don't
feel comfortable tooting my own horn. My personal favorite was the
recent one about wanting to 'nail' Jesus' descendent... I like to 'go
there,' you know? I like to make the comic connection that people
either don't see or won't say. It's not for the purpose of being
crass or to get a cheap reaction. It's just the vineyard I like to
tread in. There are some things that people take seriously or
respect just because they're conditioned to or just feel they should.
I have no such restraint.

How often do you Google yourself, check yourself on Technorati, and/or pore over your referral logs and visitor statistics?

PREGO: There was the one about the guy who had
plumbing, so he kept a Coleman cooler full of p*ss and s*it whenever
his toilet overflowed. He did this for weeks until he felt it was
necessary to call a plumber. For some reason a lot of the people who
first came across that one come back to read once in a while. Why do
I think that is? Sh*t, I don't know. I think the vast majority of
bloggers are rather proper, and then along I come like the boor at a
birthday party that makes people giggle nervously, but giggle

BELLA: What are some of your favorite, "must-read" blogs?
What keeps you going back again and again? Have you ever totally lost
interest in a blog that you once really enjoyed, and if so, why?

PREGO: I like to visit Rob at
fuquad.blogspot.com frequently, because his humor is sui generis.
He's a gifted wordsmith, in my opinion. There are several others I
visit fairly regularly for a variety of reasons. Carmi of
writteninc.blogspot.com, for instance, is the quintessential polite
Canadien who's my polar opposite. I like the thought-provoking
aspect of his entries. He's also like the one friend you have that
doesn't drink - it keeps you on your best behaviour.

BELLA: What kind of person is the likeliest reader of your blog? What would you hope they get out of reading you?

PREGO: Bloggers are most likely to visit...and people who read for entertainment purposes while recovering
between porn-sites. In all seriousness, what I hope they get from
reading me is just enough to have made them feel their visit was
worthwhile for whatever reason.

Are there people in your life who don't "get the
whole blog thing?" How do you explain it to them without feeling as
nerdy and defensive as I usually do?

PREGO: Most people don't get it so I don't
bother explaining it. People close to me know I like to write, so
they understand it's just another venue. (I used to write movie
reviews in entertainment weeklies and did editorial cartoons for a
stint, as well.) I still get the ol', "Are you blogging again?"
from the wife, even though she knows why I do it.

What's your relationship with your readers? How much interaction do you encourage?

PREGO: Anybody that reads regularly I consider
somewhat a friend, as lame as that sounds. Not in the sense that I'd
say, "Rob, this is Prego from the Rust Belt. I'm in Seattle and
I need a place to crash... The floor's cool." I don't know how
you wouldn't think the relationship with your readers as friendly,
unless they're just visiting to be an a**hole and leave sh*tty,
harassing comments, but that hasn't happened yet. Even if they did,
I wouldn't shy away from a verbal joust.

BELLA: How much do you self-censor, knowing that your friends and family might be reading?

PREGO: A bit. There are some things I
wouldn't write just to avoid a fight with the missus, even though I
might deem them bloggable. Also, I'm a teacher finishing coursework
to become a principal. If some of the crap write about came across
the wrong Dell lap-top, I could be in for an unpleasant experience.

Have you ever heard yourself say something like "If
you really cared about me/were really interested in me, you'd look at
my blog"? Is this a fair thing to throw at, say, your sister, during an
argument over who gets the nicest drumstick at Thanksgiving?

PREGO: Nope. You shouldn't have to force
anybody to read your sh*t. If they cared about you and were
interested they'd do it on their own.

BELLA: Do you video blog? Would or will you? Are there any video blogs that you look at? What would you video blog about, if you did?

PREGO: I haven't decided yet. I have an
unused BA degree in film & video - it might remain unused.

Have you ever blogged something that later you regretted and/or deleted from your blog?

PREGO: I like to remain unapologetic, unless
I'm using it as a humor device, as in the "Karma is a Barista"
post. I don't write about people I know much, so there's no risk a
pissed off friend will ask me to delete an entry.

BELLA: What are your thoughts on the phenomenon of
"doocing," wherein someone loses their job because of things they
posted on a personal blog? Are you careful to maintain a clear line
between your online self and your real world self?

PREGO: That would suck an unimaginable amount
of ass.

BELLA: Are you conscious of creating an online persona? How is that persona different from the real world you?

PREGO: I'm not that much different than my
online persona, really, though the dynamics are certainly different.
One of my friends noticed that the comments made on one of my posts
would have obviously been very different if the readers knew me
personally. Some idiosyncrasies just cannot be conveyed in the
written medium.

Dell_laptop_9BELLA: How long do you think you will continue to blog? What are the circumstances under which you can imagine yourself quitting?

PREGO: Writing, never. Blogging I'll quit
when it loses purpose, appeal and manageability, essentially when
it's a dead horse. Or if I get 'dooced'.

What's the coolest thing that's come out of your blogging experience?

PREGO: The blogging experience
itself is
pretty cool. It's letting me explore new styles and ideas in my
writing. It's also afforded me the opportunity to interact and meet
an assortment of people whose personalities ooze in their writing, and
people from around the world, like Keda in Turkey for example.

I was also pretty flattered when the
ladies at mommybloggers.com asked me to contribute to their Fathers'
Day feature. And of course, this. It's always nice when somebody's
interested in what you think. Thanks, Bella.

No comments: