Interviewing San Diego: Andrew Phelps

Thursday, August 5, 2004, 5:05 —by Joe Crawford
This item was posted in Blogger Interviews, Interviews category and has 1 Comment so far.

Andrew Phelps is a digital raconteur, bon vivant, and man about town. Well, sort of. Andrew has one of those easygoing blog voices that makes some envious. A quick wit, a big afro, photography, and memoirs of an interning journalist at KPBS. Full Disclosure: Once, he complimented San Diego Blog overmuch. He also writes here, occasionally. His most recent post here is San Diego Convention Center is Tops. We swear that the interview was no more or less favorable despite this clear conflict-of-interest. So let’s get to know Andrew:

Blog Birthday:

The birthday for my current weblog is the same as my own: April 9, 2004. (Well, I wasn’t born in 2004, silly!) andrewphelps.com originally launched October 1, 2000, but it was a pseudo-weblog-before-I-knew-what-blogging-was deal.

Why do you blog?

I love to communicate to large audiences. It’s thrilling, powerful, and somewhat erotic. I write and edit for newspapers, and I used to work for a TV station. I record radio ads. As of June, I’m at a radio station. A weblog is a natural medium to extend this fascination.

Which radio station do you work at and are you enjoying it?

I’m at KPBS-FM in San Diego right now, well not right now, but you know what I mean. I’m enjoying the crap out of it! The greatest gift it’s given me a much better knowledge of San Diego. Since I live in North County, it’s harder to follow Southern goings on.

What do you talk about?

I usually talk about everyday life stuff –- random experiences or personal opinions on whatever’s current. This has become a general no-no in the Blogosphere in recent years, but for me, it works. I say that because of the response I get. My last weblog became really popular because I wrote about things that matter to me. Usually the things that matter to oneself don’t matter to anyone else. But I tried to write in a natural, honest style, and that attracted people. Add to that the fact that my life is quite crazy, inane, and downright kooky, not to mention always busy. So I don’t write this stuff; my life fills the pages for me.

My favorite thing to write about (as well as photograph) is people. There are billions of them, and you can never run out. People are what make my life so damn interesting. And of course confusing, frustrating, and challenging.

I’m also a technology enthusiast, and I envy the “A-listers” who only blog about tech. I’m a nerd. I think about this stuff all the time. I want to write about tech all the time. But people just don’t read that. It’s like I have found this (growing) audience of “normal” people and I can’t shake it — not that I want to.


What don’t you talk about? Why?

Now I avoid talking about the things that hurt me deeply: the people or events that tested my personhood and nearly destroyed me. Truthfully I want to, but experience has taught me that it’s damaging to share too much of myself with the world. That’s not to say I don’t already share a hell of a lot; I have never really cared about privacy or keeping things under the radar. But people are reading, and I have to blog responsibly. It’s a blessing and a curse, that quality.

Worst or best experience regarding something you wrote in your blog?

See above. I don’t want to get into it.

Favorite and worst thing about living in San Diego?

It’s cliché, but it’s true: the weather. Absolutely, positively amazing, all year long. The worst thing about San Diego: development. No more cookie-cutter houses and SUVs and Wal-Marts, please. Go away, developers. Stop ruining our county.

If you were president of the US:

Then I most certainly would have been coerced. I would unify the people by way of honesty and enthusiasm — and not alienate myself from them like a certain someone.

What actor would play you in the movie of your life?

Ewan McGregor. What a stud. He’s emotional, versatile, and handsome — like me! My favorite movie is “Moulin Rouge” and I see myself there always.

In what way are you like Moulin Rouge? Are you a ‘lost at love’ kind of guy or a theatrical singer?

I don’t know what a “lost at love” kind of guy is, but somehow it fits me. I feel that way, I guess. Love has chewed me up like a pig’s ear in a retriever’s mouth. I can’t even watch that movie anymore because I cry. I am not a theatrical singer on the outside, but definitely on the inside — seriously. I have secretly wanted to be in musicals for a long time. The inside of my mind is theater. (Notice the correct spelling of theater?)

Favorite color:

Blue.

Favorite food:

Mexican. Nothing beats the streetside taco shops in Baja.

Does anyone ever call you Andy? Or Drew?

Only very, very special people call me Andy. And only ladies. It’s never really official; it just happens. Someone decides to call me Andy, and that’s that. Someone used to call me Andy, and I don’t really like to hear it from anyone else anymore. No one calls me Drew. A few people call me AP, but I wish a lot more would. I like my name a lot: Andrew. It’s just unusual and uncommon enough. And it begins with the first letter of the alphabet.

When you were 10, what did you want to do when you grew up?

At 10, I already thought I was grown up. I think at the time I wanted to be a pediatrician or a psychologist. I love(d) people and the idea of healing. This was just before my infatuation with computers began. So, at 11, I wanted to work on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. Although my career has taken a direction away from computers and into journalism, that’s still my ultimate dream. Even to go there would rock my socks.

Why would you like to be a “crazy-man’s” doctor? Do you identify with something there?

I think because I am a crazy man myself. By the way, I find the term”crazy-man’s doctor” offensive. I think everyone should get a therapist, no matter what his mental state. I love listening to people, understanding people. Especially women. I love talking to a girl and watching her life unfold through her eyes. Wow, now I’m sounding creepy. I’m not, though.

What are your hobbies?

Photography: part profession, part passion. There’s nothing better. It is not a hobby so much as it is a state of being. A beautiful, full moon cannot be enjoyed unless it is captured. I also love coffeeshops and that whole culture. And mountain biking, although I have not done it in far too long.

I don’t have a lot of free time, so when I do, it’s usually spent sleeping or wasting time.

What do you want to tell other bloggers?

Write it, and they will read. Pour your heart into it, and they will come. You owe nothing to anyone else and everything to yourself.

Andrew, what turns you on?

Commas are erotic for me.

Anything you want to tell us that we didn’t ask you?

I’m single. Ladies?

Thanx, Andrew!

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One Response to “Interviewing San Diego: Andrew Phelps”

  1. Andrew Phelps said on Thursday, August 5, 2004, 9:44

    This interview was done in two parts, so I didn’t know I used “erotic” twice.

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