The News-Gazette Q&A

The following is a questionnaire being presented to local Champaign, Illinois bloggers by The News-Gazette. Below are my answers. You can read other answers at Meg Dickenson’s News-Gazette blog.

Name, age, town of residence
Sean McDevitt, Too Damn Old, Champaign

Profession: Explain in one sentence what it is you do.
I’m a copywriter with Horizon Hobby; blogger at; writer of an upcoming children’s book and a couple of comic books; awesome.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I’m supposed to get up at 6:30am and do an elliptical workout. My workout, when I do it, is 30-45 minutes long. I finish up that first hour by showering, getting dressed for work, reading several feeds via Google Reader and heading out the door.

What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
Foot-long Subway chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, green peppers and mayo on 9-grain bread. It was tasty. My sole companion was my iPhone which loves me unconditionally, much like my mother.

Best high school memory.
My senior year, I was the “singer” in a band for the Junior Variety Show. My band, ingeniously named WHAT?!, played “Rock and Roll All Nite” by KISS. My loving parents came to every performance. After the last night, my Dad was talking to a friend of his who asked what he thought of his son’s singing. My Dad saw me out of the corner of his eye walking up and with a deadpan delivery said, “Well, at least he knew all the words.”

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
My all time favorite pair of shoes was my first pair of Nike leather basketball shoes I had in the 8th grade. I had never had leather basketball shoes before in my life and they felt heavy, but had wonderful support. First game in them, I was left wide open from what was probably three-point land and I drilled it. Best basketball game I ever played in.

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Killing time at a bookstore. Catching up on my Google Reader feeds. Afternoon nap. Chili in the crockpot.

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
My Dad has an amazing collection of DC comics from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. Reading those books as a kid were  a wonderful introduction to the printed page. I learned other things too like Fe was the chemical symbol for Iron and what the word “Invulnerable” meant. I doubt many 1st graders could say the same. He’s kept them in all in fairly good condition. Someday, we will go through all of them and organize them.

Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
I’ve never been to Hawaii, so that has an appeal to me. I also really enjoyed Phoenix, San Diego and Santa Monica. All of those places seem to have perfect climates and I’ve realized in my old age that I’m just not a big fan of snow anymore.

Tell me about your favorite pet.
I am one of those poor souls who never had a pet growing up. Not even a fish. My brother, who also grew up with zero pets, but he did have some fish for a bit, has a dog. They named it Ozzie because there was no way his wife was going to allow him to name their firstborn Ozzie. In a way, that dog is their firstborn anyway.

Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
I’m totally like this weird amalgamation of my parents. My Dad is funny, smart and doesn’t suffer fools. My Mom is the best cook I know, anxious and loves her family unconditionally. I like to think I have all of those traits.

What would you order for your last meal?
I would love my late grandmother’s spaghetti. My second choice is my mother’s thanksgiving meal – hand-pulled off the bone turkey, real mashed potatoes, our family recipe dressing, fresh corn off the cob, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream and coffee.

What can you NOT live without?
I should say my girlfriend, but I’m pretty sure she’d defer to the internet and Google Reader specifically. She knows me well. Tivo is a hair away from being numero uno.

Who do you have on your iPod?
Every studio recording by KISS, Chris Hardwick’s podcast (Nerdist), Aisha Tyler’s podcast (Girl on Guy), Kevin Smith’s podcast (Smodcast), John Siuntres’ podcast (Word Balloon) and the PodKISSt.

What’s the happiest memory of your life?
Holding my baby daughter hours into her life and repeating, “I’m your Dad. I’m not going to drop you.”

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom
would you invite?
I’d invite Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Wil Wheaton.  I’d like to talk with Mr. Jobs about his vision of the future, the President about his brand image and marketing the Democrats and Wil about writing. I also think the dynamic of the four of us talking about the nerdy things we like would be incredibly enjoyable.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” — Linus Pauling

What’s your best piece of advice?
You will fail 100% of the times you never try.

What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
I think my first job was helping my Dad total pharmacy inventory at the nursing home he used to work at part-time. It was the first time I ever used a big adding machine/calculator.

What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
A pivotal decision was moving to Champaign from Effingham. I love my hometown, but I needed the opportunity to grow and branch out. It was an easy decision to make as I moved for a position with The News-Gazette.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
Eating too many processed foods instead of fresh. I’m a convenience kinda of guy even though if I just took the time, I’d eat better, probably feel better and lose weight if I ate more fresh food.

How do you handle a stressful situation?
Prepare and practice as much as possible.