20 Questions Tuesday: 181 - Jackie Kashian

I have decided that I will eschew Internet convention and not make today’s post about New Year’s resolutions.  Mainly because only one person responded to my call for resolution questions and I have 20 Questions Tuesday with Comedian Jackie Kashian in the can…. A good way to start the year, iffens you ask me.

As many of you out there know in Internetlandia, I am white, male, and geeky.  I pretty much revel in my white geekiness.  Quite happy with it indeed.  I cannot say that I have always been happy about my geekery and my dorkiness, but as I have gained in age and wisdom and become more fully who I am by accepting and embracing what makes up the “me” in me, I have found that I am happily a nerd, geek, or dork pending on one’s definition of such people.


In the 30+ hours of podcasts I listen to, one that has been consistently enjoyable is The Dork Forest hosted by Jackie Kashian.  In this podcast she chats with people about their own personal dorkiness. Topics range from typical dork tropes like science fiction, comic books, fantasy, and games to more obscure topics such as true crime, and her now famous within her circles podcast on bee husbandry.  Each and every episode is interesting on its own, and they are consistently interesting because of the safe space that Jackie creates for her guests and her typically facile hosting. 

Jackie is a comedian based out of L.A. who grew up in Wisconsin.  She brings a different point of view to her comedy and is lovely to listen to.  More than that, she has graciously agreed to answer 20 questions from little old me (with a potential to ask me 20 questions in return).  Enough of the jibber-jabber, on to the Questions!

I ask this of all my 20 Questions interviewees.  I was born in Oklahoma City, moved to Montgomery, Alabama, moved up to Birmingham for a good long while, went to college in Kent, Ohio, and ended up settling down in Columbus, Ohio.  Question 1: What is your geographic story?

I was born and raised, youngest of six, in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its own town with its own water treatment plant, south of Milwaukee, against the shore of Lake Michigan. It was bucolic and yet has created some rage issues. I went to College at the UW – Madison, I lived three summers (pretty sure, I was very drunk) in Provincetown, MA working at a hotdog stand, selling footlong dogs to transvestites and reaffirming that I wasn’t gay. I then lived in Milwaukee for six months with my sister. Then I moved to Minneapolis for 6 years. Then I moved to LA where I have lived here almost 15 years.

Question 2: Of all the dorkdoms with which you claim citizenship, which one would you say is the most near and dear to your heart?

I’m a reader. I read most anything (cept horror, as it is scary) and do it a LOT. I read a lot of fiction: Mysteries, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Westerns, Modern Lit, Romance novels. I read classic literature as well, though not as oftenl. I also read more and more non-fiction, histories and biographies mostly. Sometimes think it’s quantity rather than quality with me and the reading.

Question 3: As a touring comedian, do you try to use only one airline to collect points as you traverse the country or do you just go with the best deal of the day when you purchase the tickets?

God I wish. I’ve had a couple “points” dorks on the show and they are ADAMANT in keeping to one airline/hotel/credit card. I am just starting to do this. I usually just go with best deal.

Let’s do this…  you say you have a love of chicken, here is what my little girl loves to eat and as a parent, I love to make for her: 

Simple & Easy Baked Chicken Drums

  • 5 or 6 chicken drums
  • 1/4 cup butter/margarine
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

melt the butter on a plate
mix the dry ingredients on another plate
coat the chicken with the melted butter
dredge the chicken in the flour mixture
preheat the oven to 425 F
arrange chicken in a baking pan
bake for 50 minutes

Question 4: What is your favorite chicken recipe?

Well that looks amazing. My favorite chicken recipe is the chicken in front of me. I will tell you this…. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the devil’s work. Don’t eat them on purpose. It’s something you eat OUT. You don’t inflict that on your FAMIILY. You love them.  Here’s my fave but there’s a bunch on my bakespace page  http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/member/14732/

Grilled Yogurt Chicken with Mint

Whole chicken cut into 8 pieces

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

Zest (rind) of one lemon, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1. In a bowl big enough to marinate the chicken (or in a bag), combine the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, mint leaves, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt; Add the chicken to the yogurt marinade, turning to coat both sides; cover with plastic wrap (or put in a plastic bag). Let marinade in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, preferably 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven 400 degree F. (unless you’re grilling, this is great grilled).

3. (If you grill put the chicken - skin down to sear, 15min, turn, cook another 20-30 til done) If you bake, sear the chicken – skin down – in a cast iron pan or hot hot skillet for 15min. Then put the chicken, skin up, in a baking dish (or keep in in the cast iron) and bake for another 20 or 30 til done.

4. Meat thermometer should register an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife).

Question 5: Pie or cake and which of pie or cake and why (three questions in 1…. it is how I roll)?

Pie. Cake is not my downfall. Pie is fine… I really would prefer to eat chicken. Cherry, Apple or Pumpkin are the preferred pies of choice. But, I probably eat whatever pie there is.

Question 6: I know that you love the comic books… do you tend to follow characters, artists, or writers?  For me, when I had the discretionary income to buy comics, I followed John Romita Jr from X-Men, to Daredevil, to Punisher…

I would say that I default to writers, then characters. Like, initially (7 years ago when I started reading comics) I chose story… non-superhero story. Stuff like Hard Times (Steve Gerber) Y the Last Man (Brian K. Vaughn), and  Lucifer (Mike Carey) were my first choices. Planetary and Ministry of Space (Warren Ellis) too. Then I read a bunch of superhero stuff and I took those authors with me. X-Men were the easiest to get into initially. The first movie had just come out and I was introduced that way, again. The first artist I remembered, and still will buy anything he writes or draws, is Kyle Baker. He drew Truth  (the black Captain America story), he wrote and drew this amazing arc of Plastic Man. I LOVE this Image title he did, Special Forces.  Right now I think I’m reading 40 titles a month. It’s ridiculous. And… awesome.

Speaking of comic books, I am a member of an online community of comic-booky people at the Ten Ton Studios forums (populated by Chris Burnham, Reilly Brown, Khoi Pham, and some other cats).

Question 7: Do you belong to any online communities, and if so, what do they center around?

I do not. I belong to the incredible communities of facebook and twitter. I talk to those people about whatever they want. Until it gets creepy. Then they are blocked.

Question 8: Concerning your podcast, who would you consider to be dream guests? I, for one, would love to hear you dork out with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stan Lee (not necessarily at the same time, but I wouldn’t rule it out).

Wow… I do not know Neil. I DO know several dorks who work at JPL though… heh. (Jet Propulsion Lab, works on the Spitzer Space Telescope). I would love to talk to famousy dorks. Like, people who others (including me) dork out about, but who are also giant fans of things. Wil Wheaton, Nathan Fillion and then just heroes of mine, like Albert Brooks and Dick Cavett. But I’m also psyched about finding the elusive NEXT awesome dorkdom that I didn’t know exist. Like … I don’t know – a Japanese Sneaker dork. Someone who’s really into sports field turf. I don’t know. Something weird and awesome.

Question 9: A: What is your favorite color? B: What color is your toothbrush?  C: If the answers to A and B are not the same color, please explain.

A. hunter green or a deep purple. (I’m an adult I get two). B. a crummy purple C. my choices were limited.

I am stuck on a break at work, when I could be home playing Star Wars: The Old Republic…

Question 10: What game are you wanting to play right now?

LOTR Boardgame. I WISH I had a new video game to play. Quite honestly I’ve been afraid to start one as I have productivity issues. But I do love me a video game. Zelda. FFLegend. Prince of Persia. (anything from this century Jackie?) That there SKYRIM looks kinda cool.

Question 11: How much time do you get to play games in your life?  I know that, while it seems otherwise, your schedule is crazy busy with the comedy and podcasting and life and stuff.

Now, why would it seem otherwise? We spend a fair amount of time playing games: Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Champions, and then just regular board games. My husband is a game designer. You know that hacky question that ladies are supposedly asking their loved ones? “What are you thinking about?” We had that conversation ONCE. He asked me, I said, “comedy.” I asked him back and he said, “games.” And I figure he’s still thinking about games (b/c I’m still thinking about comedy).

So, I cannot help but be addicted to my caffeinated Green Mistress, Mountain Dew…

Question 12: Do you have any addictions?

Treated? Food, booze, and lethargy. Not treated? sugar though. Weirdly.

Just as an FYI, asking a comedian 20 questions and avoiding comedy topics is rather difficult.  So, I will now strive to ask odd comedy questions… Question 13: So the Three Stooges seem to be funny mainly (almost solely) by men, why is that?

That’s what they say. I dunno. I like the 3 Stooges better than Laurel and Hardy but I’ve been told that I’m an idiot for that. So I’ve been tasked (by many of the male comics in my life) to watch them again, as the guys told me, “because they are so much better than the 3 stooges.” Whatever. I like George Cukor.

Question 14:  Have any of the guests you have had on the Dork Forest actually made you feel uncomfortable because of their fanaticism associated with their dorkdom? Anyone too fervent in their wild-eyed love such that it made you want to avoid eye contact and back away slowly?

Heh. So far, so good. Some of the people are super intense but it’s only dork expeditions, where I’ve gotten into a car with a super fan who’s taking me to their lair, which I’ve had to say, “Hey! Hostage situation over here… I have a show tonight. I need to get back to the hotel.” People are VERY aware that the thing they love is just that, the thing THEY love. Which is good. I’m interested, but I’m not taking up … ice climbing just because you love it.

Question 15: Is there a dork forest topic out there that you are surprised you haven’t found someone to come on your podcast and wax eloquent?

Nope. Got any suggestions? Because if I put it out there… someone will come forward. I HAVE asked about a porn dork but I want it to be academic, not creepy. That has weeded out a lot of comics I know.

I process geo-referenced data concerning the underlying geology of Ohio in regards to the state’s transportation network.  Oddly, when I get home, I don’t want to deal with geology or holes in the ground or state transportation infrastructure.

Question 16: Do you dislike being funny when you are at home chilling, or does your computer game designer husband stay away from computer games when he is home?  Could be both…

I am hilarious all the time. In written form I’m mostly sincere and amusing. Verbally I’m hilarious. Because I’m riffing I guess. Or the filter is off when I’m talking. Unlike the typing.

Question 17: What are you happy to say good bye to from 2011 and what are you looking forward to welcoming in 2012?

—Jackie Missed this question… or avoided it— Thanks, the editor

Question 18: What is your personal third rail of comedy? What topic is your own private white whale of funny?

I don’t know that third rail is… cool kid question?

White Whale – had to give it up. Had to get sane and admit defeat. I used to read Cathy every day. EVERY DAY. In the hopes that I would write a joke SO POWERFUL that she would stop making that comic strip.

Question 19: Any questions I didn’t ask that I should have?

nope. Seems good.

Question 20: Did you have any insights about anything whilst answering these 20 questions? Did this process teach you anything about anything?

Sadly no. I blame society.

Everyone go to jackiekashian.com for Jackie’s information, and give her a follow at @jackiekashian on the Twitter… she is funny… Buy “It’s Never Going to be Bread” it will make you laugh.

To recap:
Jackie is an amazanaut, exporing the amazasphere
Scrappy Doo was the single worst thing to happen to the Scooby Doo franchise
Even more worster than the subsequent addition of the Tibetan kid, Flim-Flam
That’s right, A 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo reference
Suck on that Internet…. Suckle on that obscurity
You tried to forget it, but I brought it back

Happy New Years by the way
So much happening this week
None of it involves me and cheesecake
That makes me a little sad
Not super sad
Bought some art stuff this weekend with Christmas money
Sitting at work and not getting into anything interesting
Or uninteresting, for that matter
Really unmotivated due to the ennui of this place
…and the belly seems a but uncomfortable
That does not bode well for the rest of the day
Have a great weekend everyone