Editor's note: Because Mr. Light had a long interview and talks ridiculously fast--during the 23-odd minutes, an average of 2.6 words were said every second, a figure which includes "dead time"--we're splitting it up into three parts, which will air Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday of this week. It also means that each of these parts will be rather long for this blog, but hey, at least you don't have to listen to me talk.
Joe Light: One thing I really liked about the program, I know it’s something that bothers a lot of people, is that yeah, I don’t like that there’s things that go wrong. But I think it’s cool that, since we’re the first class. We’re the learning curve. We’re shaping this program for future classes. And you know, it all depends on how we handle it. We can sit back and cry about it and throw tantrums about how things aren’t going the way we want, or we can strive to make ‘em better. And when we find things that don’t work so well, bring ‘em up so that way they can be fixed, and make ‘em smoother for future FEMA Corps classes.
Andy Tisdel: And you just had an example of that, right? Something that didn’t work so well, so you brought it up and it got fixed?
As far as—you mean today? [By now, this is like a week ago.]
AT: Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. Um… I kinda don’t know how to talk about this without sounding angry, ‘cause that’s really been my only bad experience with FEMA so far.
AT: Well you don’t even have to talk about it. I just thought it would be a good segue.
Um… Here’s a way I can put it. One thing that’s important about this program is that it allows young, ambitious people to kinda come in and act as eyes out in the field with FEMA for things that don’t quite run as smoothly, and we can then report those things back to FEMA, and not necessarily make suggestions, just kinda point out ‘this is what’s happening and this is how it’s being worked, wouldn’t it make more sense for it to be done in this way.’
AT: In a diplomatic way.
Exactly. Exactly. Through the right channels. That would be the nice way of saying it. *both laugh*
AT: Readers, you won’t be able to see this on the transcript, but he’s grinning hugely.
Usually I am, though, so that doesn’t really mean much.
AT: That’s true. Why don’t you… tell us about your personality. What do you like to do, how do you like to be.
I’m bubbly. As one of my high school friends used to say, I’m ‘bubbular’. That’s not a word, but hey… I’ve been told I’m always happy, although when we’re riding in the van I’ve been told I make angry, pissed-off faces whenever we hit a bump or something, this has been caught on camera multiple times. But I’m not really angry, I’m probably just really into the episode of New Girl I’m watching or something like that, or… I dunno, something I’m reading. I really thrive off being around people, I’m a huge extrovert, that’s where I get my energy. I like to be alone sometimes and kinda recharge when I get tired, but… I feel like I get my energy, my motivation, from being around people. I feel like-I don’t want to say that I have to please them, but I feel like—I don’t know. Just who I am. As I mentioned earlier, I’m very into the outdoors. I like to fish and hike and shoot guns at things… *laughter*
Baseball! Baseball is awesome. Go Yankees. And I guess the Mets. *laughter*
AT: Just on account of being New Yorkers?
Yeah. On account of my New Yorker-ness.
AT: Talk about that. Talk about that.
Living in New York?
Well, when I was a senior in high school, I took a spring break trip to New York City with some friends, and it was just awesome. Yeah, we hired a tour guide, and so they kinda only took us to the nice parts of New York, so our first impression wasn’t exactly an accurate one. I mean, we got into the Broadway, Manhattan, the clichéd kind of New York experience, and I had this kind of glamour-y image of what New York must be like. And of course, at the end of our week in New York City, we all vowed “I’m going to live and work there someday.” And I was one of ‘em that said that, and I legitimately meant it. I even added it to my bucket list, to live in New York City for six months, and I have since moved to New York City and started working here! We are working on four months of being here, whatever, so hopefully we’ll make it to six?
AT: Eehh, we had like six weeks in, uh, in November and half of December. So still got a while to go.
JL: I still think New York is pretty awesome I admit that the first time here I was not required to drive. So I thought it was pretty great when my cabbie started flipping off people and making U-turns on the interstate and stuff like that, but, uh… now that I’m having to do that—no! Not flipping off people, but now that I’m having to deal with people being less than courteous on the roadway—
AT: *laughter* Such a diplomat.
JL: It’s trying, but, you know… We’re so close to everything. I don’t know. I just can’t help, like, looking out my window before I go to bed and being like “The Empire State building is staring at me. The Chrysler Building is right there. The Freedom Tower, which is in downtown Manhattan, is in plain view of where I am sleeping tonight.” That’s just really cool to me. And I dunno, think of all the historical and great things that have happened in New York City, think of all the amazing people that have lived here. I don’t know. They call it the, what is it, the greatest city in the world. And it’s so close to everything. I mean, I can literally just walk out my door right now and walk to a Major League Baseball stadium if I wanted to. I mean, I could hop on a train and go to the Empire State Building, go to Chinatown and buy a fake Rolex.
AT: *laughs* Oh, that’s a story. Tell that story.
...and since we here at Tisdel's Tirades don't get to do a cliffhanger very often, we're doing one today. Tune in tomorrow for the story of Cornflake and the fake Rolex!