Friday, April 12, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: JFM

This week I'm thrilled to share my interview with my brother Joe.  Joe is five years younger than me, and is currently rocking life in Milwaukee.  Joe is unbelievably intelligent and can talk to you about any subject under the sun.  You know when you meet someone and you just know that they are going to change the world?  That's my brother Joe.  Remember his name.  You'll hear it again. 

His interview, after the jump:

1)       What is your name, and who are you?
My name is Joe Maloney. I was born and raised in Eastern Iowa and have spent brief periods of time in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Denver. I am a Gemini, was born and raised Catholic, play three instruments, love history and philosophy and am a natural skeptic.

2)       How do you know Kate?

Kate has been my sister (for as long as I can recall!).

3)       Tell me about a typical day in your life.

A typical day involves working, a quick workout, and some reading if I have the time (currently reading Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb).

4)       What’s the most challenging part of your life (could be a pet peeve, a work or family issue, whatever).
My current job tends to require working a really large number of hours – usually all day and all night most days of the week, which makes it very difficult to see friends and family.

5)       What are you likely to be doing at 8pm on a Saturday night?
Watching a new movie or playing guitar.

6)       Paint me a picture of your life in five years.
In five years I expect to be in graduate school.

7)       If you could be given any gift, what would it be?
Tough question! I'm going to defer on this one.

8)       What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
I check my email as soon as I wake up to get a head start on the day.

9)       What one deceased person would you like an hour with?
Probably Christopher Hitchens – a fearless writer and one of the most persuasive social critics of our time. Or Nietzsche. I would love a one-on-one chance to try and figure out what was going on in his head.

10)   If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why? Have you been there before?
I would take a train ride around Alaska or do something similar (have never been there before). My ideal vacation involves traveling somewhere remote where tourists are few and far between.

11)   You have ten minutes to give a speech to college seniors.  What do you talk about?
I would encourage them to spend as much time as possible doing what they love. In my opinion, people spend far too much of their lives on “means” they think will lead to “ends” that make them happy. Life is too short not to enjoy the “means” as well.

12)   What is your all-time favorite song?
It changes frequently. “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show is always high on the list. Lately I’ve listening to a lot of the White Strips and the Strokes, perhaps the most important bands of the last 10 years and, arguably, the saviors of contemporary rock 'n' roll.

13)   If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would you like to do? 
Per the last question, in alternative universe, I would love to be in a band full-time, successfully or otherwise.

14)   Tell me about your family.
I have a wonderful family of three brothers, a sister, and two lovely parents across three states. My brothers Austin and Ian are in college at Loras College and Iowa State, respectively, my brother Matt is a successful hedge fund analyst and my sister is a successful Account Manager at My very kind mother works at the University of Iowa and my recently retired father, Shawn, is busy putting his exceptional craftsman skills to work.

15)   What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
Life is far more random than we tend to acknowledge. But that’s too messy for most people – we like things to be explainable. We don’t like to “fly by the seat of our pants,” if you will. We like to attribute our successes and failures to causes that may or may not be real and over which we may or may not have any control. When we see smoke, we assume the proverbial fire. Embracing the random character of the world can be very liberating and I wish I would have appreciated that earlier in life.

Thanks, Joe!!

If you'd like to be part of the Interesting Person Interview Series, please email your answers to kate at


  1. Question # 12: you forgot to mention U2. just saying.

  2. I may be biased, but that's one cool guy!


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