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WordPress Default Gravatar: The Japecake Interview

November 20, 2011

What do you call that color? Off-lavender? Dusty mauve? Grayple?
I don’t know. I’m not into labels. I guess I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of Pantone 5225, 5235.

My first impression when I saw you sitting there was “patchwork quilt square.” Was I right?
I get that a lot. I’ve also been described as an Art Deco pinwheel, a cyberpunk rotary saw, and the bastard child of an Easter egg and a Chinese throwing star. I got an e-mail from a guy who swears he knows me from Phillips Exeter, though I prepped at Phillips Andover. People read into you what they want to see.

To be honest, there is kind of an unapproachable air about you. I have to admit that when you stood up to greet me a few minutes ago, I was nervous as hell to shake your hand. I really expected a serious laceration.
Let me see your hand. See? Not a mark.

And you ordered us some sushi and sake, which was nice.
Well, look. I’ve never claimed to be a saint, but I like to think that basically I am a nice guy. Do I look like I’m studded with shards of broken glass and razor wire? Maybe. Does that mean I’m going to shred you to ribbons? Absolutely not. People get so hung up on appearances. It’s a shame. I pay my taxes, give blood once a month, and volunteer as a Big Brother. I clip coupons, play on a hockey team, and watch the History Channel. Apart from my ridiculously large collection of antique shaving mugs, I guess you could say I’m as normal as they come.

Is there anyone special in your life?
Well, the job makes anything like a real relationship pretty difficult. The hours are so unpredictable. You’re always on call. Some blogger is completely convinced that she’s writing the Great American Novel, so she’s posting about her “process” three times a day. And then you get the guy who’s all gung-ho to blog about building a log cabin for like three days, then not a word for two months.

It must be frustrating.
Not really. You just need to know what you’re getting into with this line of work. Gravataring is a service industry. The customer is always right. You’re not there to judge, tempting as it may be sometimes. I try to just go with the flow. My yoga instructor has gotten me sort of curious about Zen Buddhism, so I’ve been exploring that some, and I find that it really helps to keep me on an even keel.

The more I hear you speak, the more I do sense a kind of pervasive calm about you. Is there anything that upsets you?
“Anything that upsets me.” Hmm. I don’t know. [Long pause] You know, there is one thing. You know those guys who put those nickel-sized holes in their ears and wear those goddamn ear plugs? Did you ever see one of those guys walking around without the plugs, and they have these huge, stretched-out, holey ear lobes that are just kind of hanging there and flapping? That I could do without. One man’s body modification is a freaking horror show for everyone else.

When I first contacted you about an interview, I was surprised to hear that you were actually familiar with Japecake.
I’d love to blog myself, but, again, I just don’t have time for that kind of thing. But yes, I do follow a few blogs, including Japecake, which I dip into whenever I have a spare moment.

Oh, yeah? What do you think of it? Be honest.
Generally amusing, and occasionally quite funny. You’ve been a little hard on the Amish, for my money, but you could stand to go a little harder on Mitch Albom. By the way, WTF was up with the fornicating popcorn? Sick, dude.

You mentioned an interest in Zen Buddhism. Would you say there’s a philosophy that governs your life? 
You know, we all like to think that we’re here for a purpose, but in the end, it may just be that each of us is nothing more than the product of a program that automatically generates symmetrical, rotationally symmetrical, or quasi-symmetrical monochromatic geometric formations within the confines of a square. And then randomly assigns us to a new user. 

That’s pretty insightful, if a little bleak.
No, not at all. I’ve learned to embrace and cherish the ephemerality of existence. One day you’re here, the next you’ve been replaced by a photo of a cat wearing Groucho glasses, or one of the Scooby Doo characters smoking a joint. One of my best friends, an azure-verging-on-cyan guy with a really striking Moorish tile kind of pattern, disappeared into thin air one day, only to be replaced by a unicorn barfing a rainbow. Sometimes, that’s just how it goes. [Long pause as his expression tenses.] Sorry. Wasabi went down the wrong way.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2011 11:09 pm

    I hate those stupid things. Get a proper Gravatar, I say. Who needs those stupid little automatic ones?

    • November 22, 2011 3:00 pm

      You’ve reminded me of a quote from James Lapine’s Impromptu (spoken by Emma Thompson’s character): “Stupid, stupid rain!”

  2. November 21, 2011 8:33 am

    Awesome picture, I must say–much more impressive than the Gravatar itself. And a very snappy interview. I never would have expected it from such an obtuse default Gravatar. This post was just full of surprises! 😉

    • November 22, 2011 2:56 pm

      You know the worst thing about WordPress Default Gravatars? They don’t enlarge very well.

  3. November 21, 2011 9:23 am

    fascinating insight into a much overlooked personality. i’m curious how long it’ll be before the fellow is called into action on this very post?

    • November 22, 2011 2:54 pm

      Actually, he and Japey Gravatar aren’t speaking. WordPress Default Gravatar is the one who shoved the pen through Japey’s head during a particularly heated game of tic-tac-toe.

  4. November 21, 2011 9:39 am

    I was going to write some really cheesy comment about it being hip to be square and whatnot, but your Gravatar seems a little more sophisticated, and I’d hate to be called juvenile by a Grayple box 😦

    • November 22, 2011 2:51 pm

      On the contrary. You’ll find Huey Lewis and the News’ entire catalog on WordPress Default Gravatar’s iPod.

  5. November 21, 2011 11:17 am

    Mr. Zen Gravatar and his hipster brethren seem to be out and about a lot lately, subscribing willy-nilly to any and every blog. Could it be that he has sold his soul to the WordPress devil?

    • November 22, 2011 2:49 pm

      Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. Pretty weird. I’ve come to think of them as spam pals.

  6. November 21, 2011 11:36 am

    So glad you didn’t interview one of those little cartoon monster default gravatars. Those guys can be real dicks.

  7. November 21, 2011 4:36 pm

    you are just freakin’ funny. that’s all there is to it.

    • November 22, 2011 2:42 pm

      Thank you. Mom says the same thing, only she drops the actual F-bomb.

  8. November 21, 2011 11:53 pm

    Looks can be so deceiving! A very funny, interesting interview from a rather bland looking Gravatar. But, as much as I enjoyed his comments and insights, I learned more from the fornicating popcorn 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 2:41 pm

      Given your Gravatar, I think the only appropriate response is “Yes, ma’am.”

  9. November 23, 2011 3:10 pm

    I hope that you put that gravatar image into Photoshop and pulled out Pantone 5225, 5235. If not, I’m going to seriously question the validity of this blog. 😉 Hilarious and creative piece!

    • November 23, 2011 8:25 pm

      Ha! I actually do more research on some of these things than people realize. OK, here’s a little behind-the-scenes, making-of documentary for you. I basically pulled up a Pantone chart and eyeballed the Gravatar until I found the closest match. (The color actually seems to be somewhere between 5225 and 5335, thus, “the neighborhood.”) You mean there’s an easier way?!

      • November 25, 2011 5:25 pm

        it is so hard validating ethnicity without a proper ink sample these days..

      • November 28, 2011 12:37 pm

        Excuse me while my case of the giggles passes. Yeah – you can copy and paste the gravatar into Photoshop and then use the eyedrop tool to identify the exact color. It will forever change your life. Ok, it won’t change your life; I lied. But it WILL make you more anal. Happy specifying!

  10. January 23, 2012 5:21 pm

    Okay, yeah, I really do hate you. I’m going to go into HVAC now.

    • January 24, 2012 9:37 am

      Glad to be of help. Also, did I show you my nine consecutive “Vaccies,” recognizing me as the HVAC Professional of the Year? One more and they officially name it after me.

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