FBLA 20 Questions: Pedro and The Watcher


We don’t normally offer double-features in this here space, but the Orange County Register has worked hard to market columnists Peter Larsen (aka Pedro) and Michael Hewitt (The Watcher) as a single, uber-hip brand, so we’re going to aid and abet and hit them with our patented stupid questions:

1. What newspapers do you read? Michael Hewitt: The Register and the Times, of course. And the Grunion Gazette, the local weekly.
Peter Larsen: The Orange County Register with breakfast, the LA Times from the recycling bin at work and the NY Times and Washington Post online when I think to look

2. Which ones do you move your lips to while reading?
MH: Do you mean when I’m swearing under my breath at Kobe?
PL: Giant head = lots of brains = ability to read with mouth closed.

3. Which Web sites (aside from FBLA, of course) are on your favorites bookmark? MH: Well over 100. I couldn’t do without Futon Critic, Reality Blurred, Epguides.com, Survivor Sucks and, during Idol season, MJ’s Big Blog. And no day is complete without a stop at I Can Has Cheezburger?

PL: Fimoculous, Kottke, Waxy and Boingboing for random stuff. Goldenfiddle and What Would Tyler Durden Do? for celebrity gossip. You guys, LAObserved and Big Action! for media friends. Some combination of Large Hearted Boy, Stereogum, Fluxblog, My Old Kentucky Blog and An Aquarium Drunkard for music. And it’s safe to say YouTube changed my life.

4. Where do you get your car washed?
MH: When I’m feeling flush, I go to Circle Marina on PCH in Long Beach. Expensive but good.
PL: At the wash-it-yourself car wash near my house, where you plug in quarters to use their water, sprayer and brush. If I really hustle I can get it done for four bucks — and it’s a work out, too!

5. Do you know your dentist’s first name?
MH: Of course. Both of them.
PL: Of course, it’s Daniel. And while we’re talking about dentists, why don’t they give you nitrous oxide any more? Some of my fondest dental memories involve nitrous oxide but it’s never on the menu anymore.

6. Do you believe newspapers are going to die? If so, when?
MH: Entropy will kill everything eventually. Newspapers are likely to go sooner, probably when somebody comes up with an electronic reading device that works as well as paper.
PL: Naaah, you must be mental.

7. What was the last book you read?
MH: The Hours by Michael Cunningham or The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. I tend to read two books at a time, and I’m not sure which I finished first.
PL: Dishwasher, by Pete Jordan, aka Dishwasher Pete. As a fellow alumni of Hobart U. it was pretty much required reading. Currently almost done with the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

8. What’s the last book you say you read?
MH: No one ever asks me.
PL: BeemerTM (I swear it’s next on my list!)

9. If you got a unicorn what would you name it?
MH: Corny. Or Meal Ticket. You could probably scratch up a lot of green if you had a unicorn.
PL: Well, first of all, did you know that unicorns can only be, uh, mounted by female virgins? I read that on Wikipedia, so you know it’s true! In any case, even though I’m not a female virgin, if I were ever able to own a unicorn I would name it, I don’t know, Bukowsk,i so that I could always count on my unicorn being game to split a 12-pack of PBR with me.

10. What does your TiVo think about you?
MH: That I’m a slave-driver. I have two, and the recording lights are rarely off.
PL: I use the cable company’s DVR because I don’t want my appliances thinking about me, period.

11. Character of fiction you most resemble?
MH: Chance the Gardener. I like to watch.
PL: Geez, this is getting hard — are we almost done? Today we’ll say it’s Tintin.

12. Who plays you in your bio-pic?
MH: Either Anthony Edwards or John Malkovich. It will depend on the screenplay.
PL: Ted Cassidy, if he could come back to life.

13. Do you floss?
MH: When you have two dentists, it’s imperative.
PL: Frantically for two weeks before seeing my dentist Daniel.

14. Did you ever believe your toys come alive when you leave the room? Do you still?
MH: I rarely left my room as a child, so this never came up.
PL: No, though once when I was a kid in Kentucky I thought Abraham Lincoln was haunting my wardrobe one night. You cannot believe how scary the ghost of the Great Emancipator can be. Turned out it was just some clothes and the shadows, but even though it was one score and 19 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.

15. How many old cell phones do you own?
MH: None. I don’t even like new cell phones.
PL: Zip. I just use what the company issues me, and only for work-related calls.

16. Best show legendary biz/movie star encounter.

MH: Back in the Eighties, a couple of friends from OC wanted me to take them somewhere “Hollywood” for dinner — as if I would know. We went to some then-trendy/now-defunct joint on Melrose. Of course, there was not an actor in sight (not counting the wait staff). In the middle of the meal, Bruce Willis and Robin Williams walked in together with an entourage of about eight young women, stood in the reception area for a couple of minutes, then walked out. I never got to thank them.

PL: Lunch with Mamie Van Doren was pretty legendary. And covering the Oscars and the Emmys is shooting fish in a barrel. But if you don’t count work, just random encounters, I’d say, either having my former Hollywood Hills neighbor Courtney Cox leave me a note to apologize for her dogs barking all night, or sharing a loud urinal-to-urinal conversation with Mojo Nixon at the old Music Machine night club.

17. Do you get satellite radio?
MH: I get a few dozen XM stations as part of my DirecTV subscription. I like “XM Classics.” It has a wide playlist — not just Bach, Mozart and the Romantics.
PL: Nope. I’ve never bought a car that wasn’t at least 10 years old so I’m still a few years from my first post-millenium satellite-radio-equipped ride.

18. And as a follow do you “get” satellite radio?
MH: I don’t get what anyone wouldn’t get.
PL: Of course — just like I “get” cable TV and I “get” the telephone and I “get” the phonograph, etc.

19. Do you read the Enquirer/InTouch/UsWeekly/People?
MH: When I was features editor at the Register, I read them regularly. Nowadays, only if I come upon them accidentally. They’re sort of like Kandy Korn — I’ll eat it if it’s there but I never buy it.
PL: Dude, it’s my job to read those! I call that doing my beat checks.

20. Do you lie about it?
MH: In other words, you are asking whether my previous answer is false. How would you know which answer to believe? This reminds me of one of those brain twisters about the village where half the natives always lie and half always tell the truth.

PL: Naah, I only lie about reading the New Yorker — all those words and no fat-celebrities-in-swimsuits shots? I get tired just thinking about it.