Tag Archives: interview

TechSupport Answers, Part Tres

This is the final installment in a series of answers that my 13-year old son has provided to all the faboo readers & bloggers who responded to my request to give him the gift of questions for his 13th birthday. Because nothing screams happy birthday like the prospect of being a guest writer on your mother’s blog. I know you are all devastated. He is riveting. But he needs to go back to school. And hopefully this little exercise got him back into the mood. Either that or he’s now burned out before school has even started. Click on the links if you’s like to read Part Uno or Part Dos.

Tech Support 2012

We’re jumping right in again.

pattisj said:

I love the Big Bang Theory. Do you have a favorite character?

TS: I love Sheldon because his reactions to things make me laugh. Like how he over-reacts to everything. I also love his roommate contract Part C, Section IV. I intend to get a full copy of the agreement and use it in my real life.

• • •

Jami Gold asked:

What are some of your favorite book series?

TS: I like the Gone Series, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner.

• • •

e. rumsey asked:

What is your favorite fiction genre? What are some of your favorite movies? Do you think you’ll like playing with LEGOs your whole life, like I do? Have you been to a show on Broadway, if so, which one and did you like it?

My favorite fiction genre is science fiction. I loved the Hunger Games movie, Iron Man, Captain America, and I really want to see The Avengers. I don’t play with LEGOs very much anymore, but I have a strange urge to play with them now.

• • •

Jay Donovan @ jaytechdad

Here’s a math problem: Using only 3s & any operators you want to use, write a math equation that equals 100. If TechSupport wants some real homework, tell him to install VMWare Player on his computer, install Linux, and figure out how to build a web server or get his own Minecraft server running. Afterward, he can enter minion training. We can always use another minion.

TS: Hi Jay.

Here is my best attempt:

33 x 3 = 99.

99+3 = 102.

102 x 3 = 306

306 – 3 – 3 = 300

300/3=100. 😉

I didn’t use any help to figure that out.

But now I have a riddle for you.

You have 8 potatoes. You need to feed 20,000 people in a village of starving people, none of whom are willing to eat potatoes. How do you feed them?

I just got my own computer, and I am planning to host my own Minecraft server. I’ll send you the IP address, if you are interested. Are you interested?

• • •

Coleen Patrick asked:

What was your favorite part of your bar mitzvah (and least favorite)?

TS: My favorite part was at the after party, dancing with all of my friends. My least favorite part was when I had to light invite people up to light the candles because I don’t like being alone on stage. I get nervous when I am the center of attention.

• • •

Go Jules Go asked:

Your mom told us about the books that you collected, organized & donated for your bar mitzvah. Do you have any other projects like that that you’d like to do or are already working on? Do you have someone you look up to when it comes to doing charitable acts (someone famous or someone you know personally)?

TS: Hi Jules. I feel like I can call you Jules because my mom talks about you all the time. Plus I know you were on the phone together when I was at fencing once, and you guys talked so long that her car battery died. I don’t have any mitzvah projects in the works right now, but I’m always involved in some sort of project.

I don’t really have someone who I look up to with regard to charitable giving. {RASJ’s note: Really dude, really?!} The book thing was natural because I love books. I started it with my own initiative. I’m sure I’ll stumble into something else at some point.

• • •

JM Randolph asked:

If you had a blog, what nickname would you give your mom? And what was the single biggest thing that helped you prepare for your Bar Mitzvah?

TS: I would probably call her Super Writer. Wow, that’s pretty lame. I guess that’s why I don’t have a blog.

I think the biggest thing that helped me prepare for my bar mitzvah was starting to study for it long before I had to.

• • •

Larisa asked:

Take one of the questions that your mom answered over at The Byronic Man’s page and answer it yourself.

I chose #13. “Which superpower would you choose if you could: the ability to fly, or to turn invisible at will?”

Neither and yet both. I would like to possess the ability to use other people’s strengths. By this I mean, I’d like to be able to think of another person or thing and utilize their abilities as my own. They wouldn’t lose their powers or anything. I would just stay looking like myself – a mild, mannered boy — but I would secretly have any power that I desired at any time I desired it. Basically, I want everyone’s power. Is that creepy?

• • •

Rivki from Life in The Married Lane asked:

What’s the most difficult task you’ve tackled, and how did you feel about it before, during and after?

TS: If I had to say there was one challenge I had to overcome it would be my 7th grade social studies experience. My teacher was…um…he…um…let’s just say I had to do a lot of independent learning. Which meant a lot of boring textbook reading and Internet quizzes. My parents kept saying, “One day, you’ll see that this class has helped you understand how to be a better learner.”

I don’t think so.

• • •

Diana asked:

[My son] is almost ten and dying to be a tween. He loves computers and reading and writing. Can you suggest a few books or series for him to read, and any cool web games/programs. (He’s currently into Minecraft and making videos with Adobe Aftereffects.)

TS: Have him read The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Gone Series. I loved all 3 of them. If you’re on a Mac, try Dimp Animator and if you’re on a PC try Pivot. They are stick figure animators that I think are pretty cool. I really want the whole CS6 Suite, but my mom says it is too expensive. {RASJ’s note: I said he has to pay for it himself.} I guess I’m stuck with freeware right now. Hey, maybe I could come live with you for a while. I mean, you have Adobe Aftereffects. So you probably have the CS6 Suite, right? That would be cool. {RASJ’s note: Oh yes. Go live with people you don’t know. Whaaat?}

• • •

Nathan Young asked:

What are your favorite TV shows other than Big Bang Theory? Many geeks love animation so what are your favorite cartoons and comic books?

TS: Hi Nathan. I love MAD Magazine. It’s hilarious. When I get it, I lock myself in my room and read if from cover to cover. I also get Mac Life, but that’s not a comic book, obviously. I like a few weird TV shows like Adventure Time, which is totally wacky — but very entertaining.

I am so tired. I’m sorry you are the last person, but I have to stop now. Right now.

Here is a little bit of Adventure Time to enjoy while I am playing on my iPod resting.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. That brings Tech’s riveting answers to your questions to a close. I think this assignment took him more hours than all of his 7th grade English assignments combined. Maybe I should make a suggestion to his soon-to-be 8th grade English teacher to have the kids start blogs. Or maybe I should just shut up and stay out of things. Which do you think I’m better at? What Tech? No, I’m just kidding. No, I’m not going to contact your teacher. Sheesh, son, can’t you take a joke?

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Interview with my Friend, Author, Kasey Mathews

Click here to buy Kasey’s book via Amazon!

It is impossible for me to close my blogoversary month without celebrating my dear old friend’s Kasey Mathews‘ brand new book Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life & Motherhood, which is being put out on the shelves today at a bookstore near you! I’ve known Kasey since 6th grade. We were in House 3 together. We even went to Senior Ball together with our most excellent dates. (Hi Lenny & JMo!)

Anyway, Kasey’s book has been born! The premise? I’m lifting it from the back cover of her book:

In her early thirties, Kasey Mathews had it all: a loving husband, a beautiful two-year old son, and a second baby on the way. But what seemed a perfect life was shattered when she went into labor four months early and delivered her one-pound, eleven ounce daughter, Andie.

One pound and eleven ounces, people!

A can of Progresso soup weighs one pound and three ounces.

Here is my interview with Kasey. Subscribe to her blog, follow her @kaseymathews or via Facebook.

• • •

rasj: Kase, you are brutally honest in your memoir, especially about how you did not want to touch Andie when she was so tiny. You call her a “half-done baby” and admit that – initially — you didn’t even want to see her. I imagine in anticipation of this book coming out, you discussed these feelings with her. How did you explain things so that she could understand?

Kasey: When I began writing this book, I had to put aside my worries of “what will people think,” and that meant Andie, too. I just never could have opened up as much as I did, and I think the story would have suffered.  Of course that doesn’t mean I didn’t worry once it was all written down. But I decided it worth the risk of judgment to give voice to the thoughts and feelings I believe so many mothers have (not just preemie moms) but are too afraid and ashamed to say out loud.

As far as Andie is concerned, she’s such an old soul and just seems to “get” things on a different level. I haven’t read her the book yet (although I’ve recently decided to) but conversations around her birth and my reaction have been ongoing.  I remember a time when we were curled up in bed together looking at the photo album of her first year. I had pointed to a photo of her just after her birth and told her how afraid I was of her.  She had replied in a teasing voice,  “Well, that’s really nice, Mom. What kind of parent would think that?” To which I replied, “Well, me, I guess,” and we had both laughed. But when we got serious, and I explained to her that my fear of losing her was so great and so overwhelming, and that I ultimately had to learn to choose love over fear, the look in her eyes told me that she understood.

rasj:  You mention that a dog attacked you when you were 5-years old, resulting in 49 stitches and scars. You said that your father offered you plastic surgery to “fix” the scars, but you refused. Looking back now, what do your scars mean to you? And do you think you gained something from that terrible accident that actually helped you on your journey with Andie? 

Kasey: Some of us have scars on the outside, but we all have them on the inside. I believe our scars tell our stories. They make us who we are. Andie’s birth was such a traumatic event, and I think I referred back to my dog bite as a frame of reference, because it was the only other traumatic episode I’d ever known.  What I gained was the perspective of looking through my parent’s eyes and for the first time truly understanding how they felt not knowing what was going to happen to their child.  Although the circumstances were different, that perspective gave me the strength to know that they’d walked the path before me, and that I could do it as well.

rasj: During the darkest times, you found strength in homeopathic medicines. Can you explain how non-Western therapies (like energy work, Reiki and yoga) have helped you and your family?

Kasey: Until Andie’s birth, I hadn’t known about Holistic medicine and discovered that it was truly an “alternative” way of looking at a medical situation. It differs from traditional western medicine in that it approaches the body as a whole interrelated system, such as the lungs, gut and skin are all tied together within the human body.  These alternative therapies made so much sense to me, but I want to stress that we used them in conjunction with traditional medicine, and I truly believe that pursuing these parallel paths account for Andie’s tremendous success.

rasj. Did you ever contact the pediatrician who predicted Andie would always be small and that she would have learning disabilities? If you could talk to him now, what would you want to say to him? 

Kasey: For years I wanted to, but felt it wasn’t worth the stress it would cause me. Recently, however, after Andie’s 11-year-old check up where her growth was nearly off the charts, I used the device of writing a letter to release those pent-up feelings. The letter was never sent but the writing of it allowed me to tell him just how wrong he was about everything. And in that same letter, I also thanked him; because what I came to understand was that as difficult as he was to deal with, his doubt was ultimately a gift. He fueled our belief and conviction that Andie would prove him so wrong and show him, and so many others, that she would not be what they wanted her to be, but what she wanted to be.

rasj: I adore the way you show Tucker and Andie interacting with each other, how he becomes an unofficial part of her physical therapy. But it isn’t always perfect, right? They fight, too, right?

Kasey: Fight? Andie and Tucker?  No! Never! *laughs * Their bickering was so awful one day that I screamed at them to stop fighting and threw the apple I had in my hand straight across the kitchen. Fortunately, it missed both their heads, but… not the window! How’s that for perfect?

rasj: That’s awesome! Obviously, you have a great arm! Now tell us something wonderful that has happened to Andie since you finished writing the book.

Kasey: I think Andie would tell you the most wonderful event in her life as of late, was getting contact lenses.  She’d worn glasses since she was two and started asking about contacts when she was nine.  Her eye doctor (Dr. V. from the book) confirmed that she was a candidate for contacts, but needed to be at an age when she was responsible enough to care for them.  The contacts were her eleventh birthday gift.

rasj: Looking back, is there information you wish you had that you would want to share with parents of preemies?

Kasey: There are three vital pieces of information I want to share with parents of preemies. First, while in the NICU, cover your baby’s isolet with a dark, heavy blanket to keep him/her in as womb-like an environment as long as possible. Secondly, allow yourself to see a vision of your child in the future and hold on to that vision. And lastly — and this is for anyone who’s experienced any sort of event trauma  – remember you are not alone.  Know that most likely whatever you’re thinking and feeling, someone else already has thought those same thoughts and felt those same feelings and walked that same path.

There is Kasey now! Isn’t she cute?

• • •

Because Kasey is awesome-sauce, she is offering a copy of her book to one lucky winner.

For a chance to win:

Leave a comment about something regarding child-rearing that has been challenging for you.

Tweet us @rasjacobson & @kaseymathews

• • •

Other blogoversary giveaways you can enter to win:

The Write-Brain Book

Elena Aitken’s ebook Sugar Crash

A handwritten card from me

Tyler Tarver’s ebook Letters To Famous People

A hard copy of Tingo & Other Extraordinary Words

All blogoversary winners will be announced on June 2nd — at which point I will collapse in exhaustion.


Interview with Author Elena Aitken & Giveaway to Win SUGAR CRASH

Click here to read reviews!

My blogging friend, author Elena Aitken, is offering an e-book copy of her new book Sugar Crash.

The book features Darci, a single mother working hard to raise her daughter after her husband dies. Everything is rolling along pretty well until Taylor is hospitalized and receives a diagnosis of diabetes, which rocks their world. And because Darci doesn’t like to ask for help, she finds her job in jeopardy. Even though the book is about diabetes, it is truly a survivor story – and a story about learning to lean on others in a time of need.

I read Sugar Crash while I was on vacation, and I couldn’t put it down.

Read Elena’s blog, LIKE her on Facebook and follow her @ElenaAitken.

Check out my interview with Elena about her new book & answer the question at the end for a chance to win a copy!

• • •

rasj: Hey Elena, readers know from your Prologue that writing this book was deeply personal for you because you have a friend who went through something like this.  How is that child doing now?

Elena: Well, that ‘child’ will be celebrating her fortieth birthday this fall and has lived with Type 1 diabetes for thirty years.

rasj: Shut the front door! That is soooo cool!

Elena: I am proud to call Deb my friend. She is an amazing role model for not only those with diabetes, but everyone. She’s a busy mother of 8-year-old twins and has run a few full marathons, more half-marathons than I can count and is also a triathlete, having recently completed her first Olympic distance tri. Deb wears an insulin pump now and has actually represented the company that manufactures the pump in an international running event and she is always raising money for The Canadian Diabetes Association. Diabetes doesn’t slow her down even a little!

rasj: She sounds like an incredible person! I like how you show Darci trying to trust her 12-year old daughter to make the right decisions about her health and manage her own sugar readings. I think that is one of the best parts of the book – and probably one of the most confusing things in real life for parents with kids with diabetes. Are you able to speak to how parents of children with diabetes ever feel safe enough to let their children participate in sports (like Darci does) or go to overnight camps — especially when the consequences of mismanaging one’s blood sugar can result in seizures or death?

Look how cute she is? Don’t you want to read her book?

Elena: I think, as parents, we all struggle with letting go when it comes to our kids, but it would be much harder in Darci’s situation. Ultimately, I think it would depend on the family dynamic, but in my personal opinion, I believe it would be crucial to let your child resume their normal activities as much as possible. With the right education and awareness of course. Something like diabetes, while most definitely a huge lifestyle consideration, shouldn’t define a child. They still have to be kids.

rasj: What was the hardest thing you had to do while researching to write this book?

Elena: Because so much of this book is based on the actual experiences of my good friend, I was very fortunate in that she was so open and willing to share with me. She set me straight on more than one detail. But that was also the hardest part. Because she is so close to the story I was terrified of what she would think of it. It is obviously a fictionalized version, but it still struck pretty close to home for her and I held my breath the entire time she was reading the first draft.

 rasj: I adore the romance that you slowly create between Coach Cam and Taylor’s very hesitant mom, Darci. What part of this book do you love the best?

Elena: I have two favorite parts. The first was when Darci and Taylor were in the hospital and Darci realized she couldn’t make Taylor’s ‘owie’ go away. That would be an incredibly difficult moment for a mother. The second was the very end, when Darci and Cam were standing in the race corral getting ready to run. I think it’s very symbolic and it gave me chills when I wrote it.

rasj: What is one question no one has asked you but you wish they would?

Elena: No one has asked me who my favorite character in this book is.

rasj: Really? I was going to ask that but I figured you’ve been asked a skillion times. So?

Elena: I loved Darci and Taylor of course. BUT, Barb was spunky and fun and — her best quality – she stood up for her friend, defending her in front of a crowd. And THAT is one of the best qualities you can hope for in a friend.

• • •

For a chance to win a copy:

Leave a comment about a fear you have had to face.

Tweet for another chance.

Facebook share for a third.

Leave a separate comment for each thing you do so I know you did these things.

Tweet and share as many times as you’d like for extra chances to win.

This contest closes on May 14 when I open a new contest. All blogoversary winners will be determined via Random Number Generator, and all winners will be announced on June 2nd — once I figure everything out.

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It’s Mardi Gras & MyNewFavoriteDay!

There are TWO awesome things about today.

First of all it’s Mardi Gras, y’all.

When I was in New Orleans with Lisha Fink (The Lucky Mom) a few weeks ago, I made it to a bunch of small parades, and — yes — I lugged home thirty-five pounds of beads. Why are you looking at me like that? Those things are like gold. Do you see that one I’m wearing with the purple heart? Yeah. That’s a really good one. And the baseball beads my husband snagged? Also, outstanding.

There is definitely a hierarchy when it comes to Mardi Gras beads. I don’t wear just any old plastic beads. They have to be long and chunky. They have to shine. Does this sound crazy to you? I know. It kind of is. The thing is this: everything is topsy-turvy during Mardi Gras. Especially when it is a little dark outside and you find yourself jumping up and down in front of slightly scary looking masked people, begging them to throw you a little something.

As far as I’m concerned, I came home victorious.

{My fancy crap currently resides in a yellow bag in the basement.}

Hubby & I looking fancy!

And you know what else is awesome about today?

I’m at Shannon Pruitt’s blog “It’sMyNewFavoriteDay!”

I met Shannon at a Super Secret Underground Facebook Blogging Society.

She has a huge Facebook presence — which is incredible, and I can’t believe she even noticed me!

Shannon’s goal at her place is to have people recognize the most precious moments in their lives so that moments don’t pass us by so we can appreciate all we have in each day. You should totally follow her at @newfavoriteday.

But for now click HERE and check out the fun interview she did with me.

Do I sound like a dorkus or what? Tell me at Shannon’s place.

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