1. What is your name?
GhettoAardvark, or Ghetvark, or Uncle GhettoAardvark. If the internet's taught me anything it's that sharing real names on the internet is Bad. That's a lesson that should go right up there with "look both ways before crossing the street", if you ask me.
2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?
I'm a native Oregonian, and while I want to live other places this is where my heart is buried. When it comes time for the rest to follow I'll preferably be by a lake and with enough foreknowledge of my doom to get drunk as hell first.
I've been teaching myself how to cook since '09 or '10. The first thing I started with was spaghetti, because it felt like I hadn't had a decent plate of spaghetti in years. I didn't feel like stopping there, and now I'm working for an upscale pizza company/bakery in Portland doing wholesales prep and whatever odd test kitchen jobs my boss needs done. I get to play with samples of food ranging from cured meat to hot sauce to imported cheese, our company potlucks are informal food competitions, there's four or five excellent places to eat within walking distance, I could seriously go on all day about this.
I recently got married, and it's the smartest decision I've ever made. The experience has been beyond words. Maybe some other day.
I've played an assload of video games, and I like the weird ones the best.
3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?
We were freshmen or sophomores in high school and one of us found it via Slashdot. I'm the only one of us who really integrated into the site, though I think a couple of them still check messages.
I wouldn't say I was really a noder (if at all, anyone who can sum up who they are in a single word needs to consider whether that's all they really are) until a few years later, after high school, when I needed to escape from the pure hell of irrelevancy and apathy that is data entry work. Nothing really stimulates the brain like drudgery. It motivates the mind to flight and escape.
4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?
Crunchy peanut butter was written right in the middle of that aforementioned job. I remember being extremely incensed, and just thinking about it now I get a little steamed. How could you not like crunchy peanut butter, you fools? Completely unconscionable.
The rest of mine I like are all in a little list partway down my homenode. Most of the nonfiction work was written between data entry or phone calls, but they have a little more spitshine on them than the rest.
As far as single nodes go, I have been cultivating my own little "Best of E2" using my bookmarks on my homenode, pretty much ever since I had an account. Of particular note: Alexander the Great and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, because it was really that node above any others at the time that made me want to sign up. Not many people can combine ancient history and children's books to everyone's benefit. Also, 18thCandidate's writeups There is good rap music and There is good country music were key in giving me a place to start expanding my musical tastes from. When you read them, make certain you do some crossreferencing with Youtube, don't just assume you know what any of it sounds like.
These days it's less about single nodes and more about their authors:
sam512 and The Custodian, of course; why neither of them have comic books yet I don't understand.
If you're not familiar with much ancient history, Sol Invictus does a excellent job of cataloging the bits with all the sex, drugs, and rock & roll in them.
Noung has a particular talent for clarity and political analysis, a combination sadly lacking in many of his contemporaries.
I truly adore everything Girldoll writes. E2's infamous for bad poetry, but where everyone else is gushy and breathless, her work is intimate and suggestive.
If it weren't for Ancientsnow I don't know that I would have ever given Isabel Allende or Gabriel Garcia Marquez a shot, and that would have been a damn shame.
Speaking of interesting people, TheDeadGuy is as interesting as just about anyone gets these days.
I don't always claim to get everything raincomplex posts but all of it's been worth at least trying to understand.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?
Wow, favorite is a strong word. Honestly? For real? Putting faces to names. Only a bare few of you will probably ever grasp how important that contact was for me. It's not even just me; out of all the reasons I ever hear about anyone remaining in contact with the site, the running theme is "the people". If you haven't met another noder, do so. Look, the site's fuckin' got "everything" right there in the name, now you have "everything" in common. Things to talk about! Halspal says in his interview to not let this site turn into an island unto itself, and he's absolutely right, but the key for me (and I suspect a lot more of you, now and later) was getting drunk and finding a few more friends I didn't quite realize I had. It's not for everyone, and you know yourself best (we all hope) but to you quiet little introverts, don't be too afraid. This site doesn't attract the best sort of people: it attracts the most interesting.
Noders and their strange knowledge of their ability to write their own narrative, this site and its permissiveness, the English garden-ness of the nodegel amidst the complete psychosis and insanity of the internet's near-anonymity has given it a bizarre lushness, a resonance of words that I haven't seen anywhere else. Some days it's like a big wall full of graffiti, style and excess and roughness and abandon. Others it's a treasured communal notebook full of in-jokes and notes, complete with stupid doodles around the edges.
Least favorite? I don't pick at scabs and I don't open old wounds. That's what causes scarring.
6. What keeps you coming back (or not coming back, as the case may be)?
More important things, like being married. I'll probably check my mail all the time no matter what; I am a man of habit and my chair's all nice and broken in now. Writeups are often the perfect length to read while consuming morning coffee and crumpets (this one's to you, E2!).
Am I going to write anything? Definitely not soon, or even in a great while. Higher callings beckon but demand their attentions in return.
7. What do you hope for E2's future?
Change. Stagnant waters are only attractive to pests.
8. What does E2 mean to you?
9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?
My favorite noders know exactly who they are (I hope!). I am not a very complicated person; either I like you or I couldn't be bothered to give a shit. I know I'm terrible at telling you sometimes, favored noder friends of mine, but know this: every friends list I have has a special place for noders. And I play a shitload of video games.
Asking who we miss the most is a poor question. Entirely too personal. Facebook is going to make it nearly irrelevant as well; when the next rash of noders begins answering these questions they will say "but I talk to YorkusMajorcus on bookface all the time" and you might as well get rid of the question now. And for serious, if the person you miss isn't dead or MIA in some foreign prison, why tell anyone else you miss them? Go find them, write them a letter, tell them you think of them. Good intentions mean as much as bad ones if there is no action behind them.
10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Gael Garcia Bernal.
11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."
12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?
Marry, fuck, or kill?
What's your most inspirational touchstone? (For me? The Stars My Destination. I read it almost every year, especially if I know there's something big and life-changing coming up. Never steers me wrong.)
Everything2 Decaversary Interviews
If you have questions or comments, please contact GhettoAardvark or Jet-Poop.