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Saturday 5 June 2010

The Sunday Roast

Is Alyson Really Calling People Names Or Is She Another Wordly One?

Well, just look at this!! I would be frightened to use these urinals in case
I got bitten after a night on the tiles!

Now let's see who's responsible for this toilet humour?

Now there's a mischievous expression if ever I saw one! LOL
What's cooking inside that 'noddle', I wonder?

This week's interview is with Alyson
who writes the blog,
Calling People Names

Thank you for the interview Alyson

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

It started because a friend of mine shared his blog with me. It was just a way to pass the time and to communicate with him. My first few posts had no substance what-so-ever, but I’d always enjoyed writing in general and it filled my less than full work day.

In the beginning it was quantity over quality. I posted so often for the first two years that I got burned out. I ended up disappearing for months and when I finally came back, things were different.

Blogging ceased being a time filler and became an obsession. I needed to write and every comment I received fueled the fire. I started to see blogging not only as a cathartic pastime, but as a way for me to gain experience and feedback while doing what I love to do most.

A lot of people say you should write for yourself. I’ve even used that phrase before. But just this past year I realized that writing for a responsive audience is so much more fulfilling. I write for my followers and I write for validation, but probably the biggest reason is because I just love words.

For me, putting together a perfectly worded sentence is the equivalent to an art enthusiast staring at their favorite painting or a stand up comedian listening to an auditorium full of uncontrollable laughter. It makes me happy.

And just so you don't think I'm a complete sap, I should say that writing is also a good way to let off sexual frustration, because my therapist says that hitting people is not an acceptable form of tension release. Some people are into that sort of thing, though.

(Now you wouldn't hit me would you? Very interesting answer and I like your sense of humour)

What's the story behind your blog name?

My blog was originally called “A Woman in Search of”. I didn’t really know where it was going, so that was appropriate.

In 2008 I changed it to “Calling People Names”. I wish I could say there was this long thought process or profound reason, but the truth is I simply had a random epiphany. It fits better with my personality. My writing is usually geared more toward the humorous and the risqué, so if nothing else it serves as a warning.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Naturally my first response would be the same as everyone else’s: other bloggers. Meeting and interacting with people that enjoy this just as much, if not more, as I do was something I never considered, yet deeply appreciate.

One of the best moments for me was getting a comment from a blogger that I’d been reading for a while who I thought didn’t even know I existed. You know how it is? You get enamored with some of these writers that have tons of followers and all you want to do is tell them how much you love their blog, but you feel like a drop in the bucket. To have a person whose writing affected me so much respond in kind was an awesome feeling. (That would be the wonderful Mr. London Street, in case you’re wondering.)

And, of course, there’s the little fact that I can be as obnoxious as I want and no one can bitch slap me for it.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Don’t be afraid to write what you want. The most controversial topics are often the ones that inspire the best posts. You can’t please everyone.

Do not click on comments with foreign symbols: you will see vagina. And not good vagina, more like embalm that shit and bury it vagina.

Interact with the other bloggers and try to stay away from generic comments. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. Sometimes you don’t know what to say except “great post”, but that’s the exception not the rule. Tell them a story you have that relates to their post or comment, or the one part that struck a chord with you the most.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

The blog post I’m about to share with you is relatively new. I think you’ll find that something spectacular comes across your screen far more often than expected. I find myself thinking, surely there’s nothing better than this. And yet, the next time I check my reader, I’m dazzled by something new that touches me on a deeper level, that makes me laugh that much harder, and that begs the spotlight away from previous favorites.

The post I chose is called Happy Pills, written by a recent Sunday Roast victim, Mr. London Street. He even briefly mentioned it here, but I just couldn’t pick another. This post is raw feeling put into words at its finest and is perhaps the best description of that particular topic I’ve ever read. Certainly the most relateable description. I’m not usually a crier, but I was blubbering by the third paragraph. And then, true to MLS form, I was smiling...then blubbering again. The man is, simply put, a phenomenal writer.

(Agreed, he is a great writer and has a huge following.)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

That would have to be ‘If there was an Oscar for best performance by a fat kid, I’d win’. There are times when I agonize over a post, wondering if people will hate it. It didn’t even cross my mind with this one. It’s different. While humor is the main theme, all of the stories referenced are significant events from my childhood. There’s a vulnerability in that post, and a few others, that I’m just not capable of in person.

The only problem with writing something you’re enormously proud of is that you’re constantly trying to make it back, to get that feeling again. Whether I’ll make it or not remains to be seen.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

First, it would have to be Sally-Sal from You, Me, No Adult Supervision. Her blog is one of the first I ever read and I still can’t get enough of it years later. She’s hilarious, wonderfully insightful, and she recently started this foray into fictional stories that has me on the edge of my seat.

Secondly, Ally from today is my birthday!. She’s witty, occasionally outlandish (in a good way), and pretty random. Her stories about working for her newspaper’s classified section (I suppose that’s the best way to describe it) never fail to make me laugh. She also has a weekly series called Wieners of the Week that’s comedic gold (all located on her sidebar). I just hope you hate John Mayer.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

1) My contacts. I like my glasses alright, don’t get me wrong. But do you know how dangerous it is to have sexy time when you can’t see what you’re doing? No? Is it just me? Ok, what I meant to say was: Glasses can fall off your face or get fogged up at inopportune times and of course I’m referring to driving.

2) Books. I read incessantly.

3) Breasts. Laugh now, but if you don’t have them you wouldn’t understand the perks. Or maybe you would...

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

A bestselling novelist, of course. Because I get such pleasure out of writing and having people enjoy what I write. And maybe because I’d love to travel the globe, do lovely book tours, and meet some luscious foreign men.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Though I love ice cream, I’m not a big fan of licking in general. Past experience scarring and all that jazz. I’d rather be birthday cake flavored ice cream in the form of a shake or in a cup. And as for who...let’s go with Gerard Butler. He looks like he’d like a few sprinkles and I bet he’d be a great spooner.

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

I’m lounging in the sun, alone on a dock at the lake with a Jack Daniels and coke in one hand, a book in the other, and there are no pressing issues to attend to.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

There are certain types of people that go through life being perpetually embarrassed. I would be their queen. I've been seen running naked across a lawn by a senior citizen UPS delivery man. I've turned up in an airport drunker than 40 hells, minus my luggage, my wallet, and my front of my 70 something grandmother. I was a fat kid and I wore spandex and lots of NEON, ok. Embarrassment is my forte; I've come to embrace it. The only problem with finally embracing your inner spandex wearing fat kid, is that a lot of things that faze other people and should faze you as well...don't. For instance, I should probably be horribly embarrassed that I spent my last two hour meeting with a booger hanging out of my nose. Nope. Totally funny. I've changed the spelling of embarrassment to 'B-L-O-G W-O-R-T-H-Y' and so far it's working out just fine.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

Which previous roast victim would you most like to have dinner with and why?

Well that is a very difficult one, Alyson. I know a lot of bloggers and I have roasted about 30 people since I took over The Sunday Roast in October 2009. There are some great bloggers featured on the show and more great ones in the pipeline. I would be proud to have dinner with any of them, but you did ask me to single out just one.

I am greedy - may I first have dinner with someone who has not been roasted . . . . YET! She has escaped the hook on loads of occasions . . . but one day I shall reel her in . . . I promise! She is a great friend and I would love to dine with Janine at Sniffles and Smiles. She is enormously popular and a multi-talented genius! She is the first person I 'met' in BlogLand.

As for someone who has been roasted by me I would choose David McMahon who wrote his blog Authorblog, sadly now on hold. David is enormously popular and he featured in the 100th Special Sunday Roast. I respect and admire David and I owe him a lot for his encouragement when I first started blogging. Dining with him may become a reality one day when he visits a scheduled nearby city in England.

But there are so many great friends with whom I would want to share dinner, so perhaps we should all have a gigantic party together. Fancy organising it, Alyson?

Thanks again Alyson for your interview - great fun!


Today's Sunday Roast with Alyson is the 119th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour for all
published Roasts. To view press
HERE ________________________________________________

Next week's roast is Irish Gumbo


  1. Such a pleasure meeting Alyson. Now I must go visit her blog and allow her to introduce me to her love of words.
    Thank you Eddie! This was an excellent roast!

  2. Wow, Eddie...what an honest and intriguing person Alyson is! It is so great to meet others who are so passionate about words. And she is so forthright! Very admirable. You find THE most fascinating guests...

    Which is, of course, why I continue to avoid the spit...LOL...After all, I do not wish to spoil your reputation for offering nothing but five-star gourmet!!!

    Seriously, you are too, too kind, generous and good to me! Only a dear friend could be so. And I thank you with ALL of my heart. You are a fantastic roast host...always witty, always gracious...and always ready with the most kind and generous turn of phrase. It is truly an honor to be called your friend!

    And thank you to you both for this substantial meal!

    Love and hugs, Janine

  3. Another fun interview, Eddie, even if the top photo scares me a little.

    I so agree about most embarrassing episodes being blogworthy. That's why I recently posted the details of my fall down a c=flight of stairs, complete with photos of the bruises? Embarrassing? Yes. Great blog-fodder? Also yes.

  4. Well done! Love Alyson, love her blog. Sorry about the generic comment.

  5. Enjoyed that Roasting and liked the answers that Alyson gave.
    I like that she writes for an audience and that she isn't a licker. But....... what awful urinals. Glad I'm not a man. It must be scary to use one of those!
    Thanks Eddie fo a good interview.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  6. Interesting Roast. And what an interesting urinals. I wonder where they are.

  7. Fantastic interview. Not least because I know now what to do. click on foreign symbols...

    kidding of course.

    I never write for myself, always it has been for the responsive audience.

  8. As always, Eddie, wonderful. She's a new one to me, so thanks for introducing me to another wonderful read.

  9. This chick is one of my fave bloggers. Always has me laughing and provides awesome stories for her readers.

  10. I have GOT to visit Alyson - she is HILARIOUS!

    The first question that came to mind was "How did SHE get a picture of URINALS?" Then I read her interview and determined that she would have no reticence about entering a men's restroom and snapping a photo. I'm quite surprised there wasn't a man in the picture!

    Actually, those toilets have become quite the controversial subject for a few years now. They were designed by a Dutch WOMAN, who said she designed them to add a touch of sensuality to the men's room. Then she said she designed them as a "fun cartoon" and not a "woman's mouth." HUH?

    Interestingly, they have been removed, after protests from individuals and women's groups, from a McDonalds restaurant in the Netherlands! And the designer was disappointed when a clubhouse at JFK International Airport cancelled its order amid protests - which clubhouse? Why, VIRGIN Airlines, of course!

    Fantastic interview, Eddie, and can I come for dinner with Janine?

  11. I've been following her blog for ages and loved reading this interview. It's such a treat to get more insight into a person whose writing you so enjoy and admire.

    Thank you for interviewing her and posting this.

  12. Ethel Mae
    This toilet information is fabulous.
    I don't think there would be a man in the picture - they eother ran like hell or are seated in cubicles. I always had a fanrasy of s=itting there minding my own business and a rat comes up the pipe and takes a bite!! Ahhh!

    Yes of course you may come to dinner if I can sit in the middle and btw it is your first round LOL


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