Sunday, April 22, 2012

Interview with Steven Novak, Author of Goats Eat Cans

Those of you who know me on Facebook know that I've become a Steven Novak groupie.  I don't know how to explain why.  Maybe you should know that most of my friends in high school were awkward misfits that not even the Quirky Outcast groups would talk to.  (Maybe you shouldn't know.  Oh well.)  For that reason I feel a kinship with Novak, and I also feel oddly protective of him--even more so now that I've read his first blog collection, Goats Eat Cans (Amazon link here, my review here).  I know he's not impressed by my sense of protectiveness.  In fact, admitting something like that may be considered one of those incredibly awkward things Novak would blog about.  

To give you a better idea of what to expect when you read Goats Eat Cans, I sat down with Steven Novak -- okay, you know what?  I actually sat down with my computer and e-mailed some questions to Novak, and he replied with some answers.  I'm going to copy and paste all of that below without any simulated witty banter.  Hope that's okay with you.

1.  If you could score with any Star Trek character (from any franchise), which one would you choose?  If you had to go gay for any male Star Trek character, who would you choose?

Oh my, that’s tough. That’s real tough. It’s embarrassing how tough it is for me. I suppose it would be too obvious to say something like Seven of Nine, or 1960’s Uhura, or NextGen Troi in that little purple and gray jumpsuit of hers, or even T’Pol.

T’Pol was naked a lot.

Beverly Crusher had a very MILF sort of thing going on for her.

Ensign Ro Laren walked with an awfully enticing gait (though I’m not entirely sure what that means).

A harem of Orion Slave Girls might be the way to go.

No, wait…I could never satisfy a bevy of anything.

Okay, I’ve got it. After a heck of a lot of thought, and some serious number crunching, and some head scratching and some reviewing of tapes, I’ve decided to go with Hoshi Sato. Yep, Hoshi Sato it is. She was smart and she was a little bit mousey, but I’m guessing she was probably pretty wild in the sack when she let her hair down.

The answer to the second part of your question is Odo. I’d bang that blob of alien goo six ways to Sunday.

2.  Which of your bad habits do you secretly enjoy (and hope you'll never have to give up)?

Unfortunately, I have about a million bad habits and I probably won’t be giving any of them up anytime soon. I’m married. I’ve been married for almost twelve years. Trying to better myself just isn’t something I care about anymore.

That’s the wonderful thing about marriage.

3.  If you could go back in time and punch any historical figure in the face, who would you punch?  Why?  (Yes, just pick one.)

First off, just let me say that I’m against this whole “just pick one” thing. It’s silly. If I’m going to take the time to work out the equations necessary for time travel, gather the money to construct a time machine, build a time machine, and put my life on the line to actually use it, I’m punching more than one person.

I’m punching at least three people, damn it.

If I don’t return from my trip through time with a hand full of broken bones I’d have to consider the entire trip a failure.

Here’s the list: 1. Jim J. Bullock circa. 1990, (the Neal Tanner on ALF period). 2. Napoleon Bonaparte. 3. Albert Einstein

I’d also drive to Chicago and punch Oprah. She’s not dead and I don’t need a time machine, but she’s very punchable and I figure it would be best to just get all my punching out of the way at once.

4.  Do you have any invention ideas that could make you a fortune?  Do you want to share them with me so I can get rich instead?

I do not, no. I have a lot of ideas that could make me pennies, nickels, dimes, and possibly a few quarters. I don’t think you have any interest in those though. Do you?

You do?

Okay, since you asked I’ll toss one your way.

Muffin gloves.

Not only do they keep your hands warm on a chilly winter day, but they’ll also tickle your taste buds and come in a six delicious flavor varieties.

Don’t say I never gave you anything.

5.  How do you feel about Japanese anime?

I don’t think much about it.

Honestly, I don’t know. If that’s what the kids are into these days than that’s what the kids are into these days. I don’t get Justin Bieber either, or the Twilight nonsense, or Katy Perry (even if I kind of do get her boobs), or Tillamook brand cheese, or skinny jeans, or Dr. Pepper, or the man-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics originally put forward by Hugh Everett in 1957, or that stupid new boy band from across the pond whose name I can’t recall at the moment. Japanese anime isn’t exactly my thing.

Tillamook brand cheese is, though. I love that stuff.

6.  What's the worst fashion offense of the past 20 years, in your opinion?


Here’s another thing I don’t really know anything about.

Honestly, I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in almost six years. I’ve been wearing the same shirts for five, and I squeeze my beefy thighs into a rotation of two pairs of jeans that wear on continual loop and wash only once a month. I’m hobo chic without the chic. 

7.  You recently saved a life in a very odd and spectacular fashion.  Do you plan to do it again?  Are you considering taking on a secret identity to protect your family from dangerous supervillains?

First off, I didn’t save anyone’s life. I was almost hit by an idiot in a flying car and I busted the passenger side window to help that idiot out of her flying car. She was shaken up, but she was fine. Despite the fact that her car had slammed through a tree, rolled, and there was a fire under the hood, there wasn’t a scratch on her.

If I had been ten feet further into my nightly walk I would have been a bloody smear across the pavement.

She was fine though.

Honestly, I should have punched her in the face after I pulled her out.


  1. I think I need a pair of muffin gloves. Also, I'm disappointed that there is no Beyonce killing. Oprah is a philanthropist, she could be spared!

    p.s. Novak, you should totally become a superhero!

  2. p.p.s. MJ, your questions make me giddy in my happy place.

  3. I loved these questions. You didn't ask me what my inspiration was and I didn't have to come up with another way of saying that I had no inspiration.

    You are my new best friend.

  4. I seriously don't understand how anybody who actually READ THE BOOK can ask you questions like that. Amateurs, the whole lot of them.

    Also: I'll take a set of muffin gloves. Lemon poppy seed, please.